Monday, August 19, 2019

Fort D, Cape Girardeau, Mo.-- Part 2: Never Saw Action

The earthwork walls, as originally constructed in 1861 and restored in 1936 as part of a CCC project.  A palisade wall made of sharpened upright wooden timbers, formed the rear of the fortification and had a gate.  The gap in the south wall may have been a "sally" port, where troops could access rifle pits below  the parapet.

The fort was armed with three 32-pounder cannons and two 24-pounder cannons.  A 32-pounder cannon  was a smoothbore one that could fire a 32-pound solid shot over a mile.

Fort D was garrisoned by soldiers from Missouri, Illinois and other Midwesterm states during the course of the war.  The fort never saw action, but the Battle of Cape of Cape Girardeau on April 26, 1863, took place west of the city.

--Old Secesh

Fort D, Cape Girardeau, Missouri-- Part 1: A Shiloh and John Powell Connection

From Wikipedia.

A Civil War fort along the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, about 115 miles southeast of St. Louis.  (It is 35 miles from Sikeston, home of the original Lambert's Cafe, home of the "Throwed Rolls".)

During the Civil War, it was the site of the Battle of Cape Girardeau on April 26, 1863.  The forces engaged in  a minor four-hour skirmish, each side sustaining casualties in the low double digits.  Fort D was not involved in it.

Work on Fort D began on August 6, 1861, under the direction of Lieutenant John W. Powell of Illinois.  He later recruited a company of Cape Girardeau men for service in the Union Army.  These men eventually became Battery F, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery (Powell was from Illinois)   After a short period of training, they were at the Battle of Shiloh on April 6, 1862.

As Powell raised his hand, a bullet shattered his wrist and the arm was later amputated to stop infection.  In 1868, a one-armed John Powell led the first successful  navigation of the Colorado River through what Powell named "The Grand Canyon."

--Old Secesh

Friday, August 16, 2019

Fort D Placed On NRHP-- Part 2: One of Only A Few Urban Forts Left in Missouri

John Wesley Powell got his career start at Fort D and other forts in Cape Girardeau during the war.  His friendship with Grant kindled at Fort D which helped him later to map the Colorado River and the American West.

Being recognized on the NRHP, however, doesn't carry with it any financial benefits.  Fort D is owned by the city of Cape Girardeau.

In fact, Fort D is one of only a very few urban forts left in the state if Missouri as others were often destroyed or built over by construction as the cities grew.

If things go as planned, the 1937 building in Fort D will likely receive a new roof.

The public is invited to visit Fort D on Labor Day when re-enactments take place there.

Go Fort D!!  --Old Secesh

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Fort D Placed On NRHP-- Part 1: A Redan and John Wesley Powell

Okay, I'd never heard of a Civil War fort named Fort D, but evidently there was one.

From the August 12, 2019, KCRU "A Civil War relic, historic Fort D is placed on National Register of Historic Places" by Clayton Hester.

Fort D historic site in Cape Girardeau, Missouri,  has been added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), a program run by the National Park Service.

Friends of Fort D coordinator, Scott House has spent much time working on the rather involved application process.  The drafts of this ranged from 75 to 90 pages.    Part of it pointed to the fort's significance in the Civil War as well as its architectural importance from its 1930s building on site and it is the only redan -- a v-shaped earthwork -- in the state.

Another significant fact about the fort is its connection with John Wesley Powell who went on to greater importance as a scientist in the American West.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

MCCWRT Meets Tonight at McHenry County History Museum in Union

Tonight, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table (MCCWRT) takes its show on the road and instead of meeting at the Woodstock, Illinois, Public Library, will travel to the McHenry County Historical Society's museum in Union.

The museum will show several objects from its Civil War collection and members will also have a Show and Tell.

It starts at 7 p.m. at 6422 Main Street, Union.

I am considering going.

--Old Secesh

Monday, August 12, 2019

Richard Sherwood Satterlee

From Wikipedia.

I have been writing about the hospital that was named after him.

(December 6, 1798 to November 10, 1880)

Union Army medical officer.  Obtained his medical license in 1818 and practiced in Seneca County, New York.  Joined the Army in 1822 and stationed at Fort Niagara, Fort Porter and Fort Mackinac.  In  1831 he transferred to Fort Winnebago in Portage County, Wisconsin.  While there he took part in the Black Hawk War.

After that, he was sent to Florida and campaigned against the Seminoles.

After that it was a tour of duty at Fort  Adams in Rhode Island and then participation in the Mexican War and took part in the battles of Molino del Rey and Chapultepec.  After that, he returned to Fort Adams in 1848 and survived the sinking of a steamship carrying  an artillery regiment in 1853.

He served throughout the Civil War and was brevetted to brigadier general and was a candidate for the command of the Medical Corps after the dismissal of Clement Finley.  That command went to William Alexander Hammond.  Satterlee retired in 1869 after a long career and Satterlee General Hospital was named after him.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Satterlee General Hospital-- Part 7: A Self-Contained City

In 1862, Satterlee added  military tents with beds to handle the influx of wounded after the second Battle of Bull Run.

The hospital was essentially a self-contained city by 1863.

After the Battle of Gettysburg "the greatest number of wounded were admitted to the hospital in a single month ... swelling the hospital population to more than 6000."  Along with this influx came what the clerks called "the greatest number of deaths  in any one month" in August -- an average of one a day.

By 1864, the hospital was surrounded by a fourteen-foot fence and included a barber shop, carpenter shop, clothing store dispensary, three kitchens laundry, library, post office, reading room and a printing office which printed the hospital's newspaper, The Hospital Register.

Over the course  of its operations, Satterlee treated some 50,000 wounded and deaths were remarkably low  260, quite notable considering the sanitary conditions and medical practices of the time.

After Lee's surrender, the number of wounded coming in dropped dramatically and it closed August 3, 1865.  The buildings were eventually razed and during the 1890s much of the site became residential housing.  The lower portion of the grounds today serves as Clark Park.

Quite A Remarkable Effort.  --Old Secesh

Friday, August 9, 2019

Satterlee General Hospital-- Part 6: The Largest Union Army Hospital

From Wikipedia.

Before I saw  the article in the Civil War Monitor, I had never heard of this place before.

It was the largest Union Army hospital and operate from 1862 to 1965 and rendered recovery to thousands of Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners.  It was originally called West Philadelphia General Hospital but renamed  in honor of Richard Sherwood Satterlee, a surgeon during the Black Hawk War and became a brigadier general during the Civil War for his success in the medical field.

It was founded in 1862 under the order of Surgeon-General William A. Hammond in a sparsely populated area of west Philadelphia by 45th and Pine streets on 15 acres.  The initial 2,500 bed facility was built in just 40 days.

Nursing duties were performed by the nuns of the Daughters of Charity.  Ultimately over 100 of them were at the hospital.

Dr. Isaac Hayes was the hospital's commander who was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and had gained some fame as a polar explorer before the war.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Satterlee General Hospital, Philadelphia-- Part 5: Food Consumed in One Year

Food consumed at Satterlee, September 1862 to September 1863

804,418--  pounds of bread

540,519--  pounds of beef and mutton

41,052--  pounds of pork

37,420--  pounds of chicken

95,250--  pounds of fish

490,388--  pounds of potatoes

283,123--  pounds of mixed vegetables

23,635--  pounds of coffee

4,425--  pounds of tea

74,325--  pounds of sugar

334,222--  quarts of milk

27,272--  dozens of eggs

Keepin' 'Em Fed.  --Old SeceshEat

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Satterlee General Hospital-- Part 4: By the Numbers

By the Numbers

40--  Number of physicians who worked at the hospital during the war.

91--  Number of nuns (Sisters of Charity) who volunteered as  nurses at the hospital during its existence

2--  Number of hours the hospital band performed every afternoon, weather permitting, from the observatory.

3--  Miles distant the band might be heard in favorable winds.

14--  Height in feet of the fence that surrounded the hospital

25--  The number of sentries posted in and around the hospital

177--  Number of men comprising the hospital guard

By the Numbers.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Satterlee General Hospital-- Part 3: By the Numbers

2--  Number of corridors  (each 775 feet long)

34--  Number of hospital wards (each 167 feet long by 24 feet wide) in October 1863.

150--  Number of hospital tents on the grounds

4,500--  Patient capacity of the overall hospital (including tents)

5,847--  Number of patients admitted from October 8, 1862, to October 8, 1863.

110--  Number of patient deaths during the above period

4,062--  Greatest number of patients admitted in any month during this period (July 1863).  The Battle of Gettysburg.

--Old Secesh

Satterlee General Hospital-- Part 2: Only a 2% Mortality Rate

The hospital occupied roughly 16 acres of high ground, which, according to one of its staff, contributed to it possessing "all that could be desired as to pure air, and other natural helps to the procurement of round health."

During its nearly three years of operation (the hospital closed in August 1865) Satterlee buzzed with activity, its well equipped and trained doctors, nurses and other workers catering to the needs of a rotating array of sick and wounded Union soldiers.

Their effort proved remarkably successful, resulting in a patient mortality rate of approximately two percent.

Coming up next is a number of figures about Satterlee and its operations.

By the Numbers.  --Old Secesh

Monday, August 5, 2019

Satterlee General Hospital-- Part 1: One Huge Hospital

From the Spring 2019 Civil War Monitor "Salvo  Figures.

Judging just from the picture, this was an absolutely huge hospital.

"I was learning to  love the place -- to love its kind of people, and even its scenery....  Days, months and perhaps years may roll on before I am permitted to see my second home again."  So wrote a grateful Union soldier in 1863 about Philadelphia's Satterlee General Hospital, where he had recently been a patient.

Opened in June 1862 as Western Philadelphia Hospital, it was renamed the following year for the Army's chief medical purveyor, Richard S. Satterlee, and became the Union's biggest hospital.

Designed in the "pavilion" style, with its multiple wards linked to two long central corridors and supplemented by tents.

--Old SeceshSick

Saturday, August 3, 2019

War's Hardening Ways-- Part 3: "No Idea of the Filth and Vulgarity"

**  "I had no idea of the filth and vulgarity of men in camp until I tried this little experiment."

--Colonel William Barksdale, 13th Mississippi Infantry, reflecting on his recent decision to join the army, in a letter to his brother.


**  "It seems to me I am quite callous to death now, and that I could see my dearest friend die without much feeling....  During the last three weeks ... I have witnessed hundreds of me shot dead, have walked and slept among them, and surely I feel it possible to die myself as calmly as any."

--  Union surgeon John Gardner Perry, in a letter home written during the Battle of North Anna.

--Old Secesh

Friday, August 2, 2019

War's Hardening Ways-- Part 2: "Waiting For This Fellow To Die"

**  "Am waiting for this fellow to die, so I can get his watch and ring."

--Confederate soldier Jim Randall after being asked by a comrade why he was sitting near a wounded Union officer after a battle.


**  "We passed the night high up the mountain, where we moved to reach our supply wagons.  A cold rain was falling, and before we found them ... I had lunched comfortably from the haversack of a dead Federal.  It is not pleasant to think of now...."

--  Confederate General Richard Taylor on an incident that occurred during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862, in his memoirs.