Monday, December 17, 2018

Illinois' John C. Black-- Part 8: A Very Busy Postwar Life

In 1867, he passed Illinois' bar exam and set up a thriving practice in his hometown, Danville, Illinois. Throughout his life, John C. Black held a variety of positions in governmental and veterans organizations.  He ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 1872 and declined nomination for governor in 1884.

In 1884, he declined being vice president of the U.S. on the ticket of Grover Cleveland. he then held the position of Commissioner of Pensions from 1885 to 1889.  He was defeated in bids for Congress and Senate four times,  but then won for one term in Congress 1893-1895.

In 1895, he was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois where he served until 1899.

He was an active member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion and Grand Army of the Republic and served as the national commander of the latter group 1903-1904.

From 1904 to 1913, he was president of the U.S. Civil Service Commission and also a frequent speaker on the extremely popular Chautauqua Circuit.

John Charles Black died on August 17, 1915, and is buried in Spring Hill cemetery in Danville.

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 14, 2018

Battle of Brandywine, American Revolution

From the December Civil War Trust 2018 calendar.

The Civil War Trust, long preserving Civil War battlefields, has expanded its mission to preserve all American battle fields.  They now strive to save battlefields of the American Revolution and the War of 1812.


10.4 acres saved.

On September 11, 1777, the rolling hills of the Pennsylvania countryside along Brandywine Creek became the scene of the largest battle of the American Revolution in terms of men engaged.

To date, the Trust's Campaign 1776 initiative has preserved 10.4 acres at the Brandywine battlefield, marking our first Revolutionary battlefield land saved in Pennsylvania.

--Old secesh

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Illinois' John C. Black-- Part 7: First of Five Pairs of Brothers Receiving Medals of Honor in the War

As with many Medals of Honor earned during the war, he did not receive it until more than 30 years later, October 21, 1893.  His brother was also a Medal of Honor recipient, also receiving his much later, October 2, 1893.

This made them the first pair of five pairs of brothers to receive the Medals for Civil War service.

John Black, or Charlie as he was called, was promoted to colonel on December 31, 1862, and participated in the capture of Arkansas Post, the Vicksburg Campaign and the capture of Fort Blakely, Alabama, near the end of the war.

He also frequently held command of various brigades in the department of the Gulf.  At the end of the war, he resigned hos commission and received an honorable discharge on August 15, 1865.  In recognition of his years of meritorious service, particularly at Fort Blakely, Black received a brevet promotion to the rank of Brigadier General of Volunteers in March 1866, with rank dating to April 9, 1865.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

John Charles Black-- Part 6: In the 11th Indiana and 37th Illinois

At the outbreak of the Civil war, he was enrolled at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana,   Along with his brother William Black, Charlie initially served three months with the 11th Indiana Infantry, a three month regiment.  They fought at the Battle of Romney, Virginia (now West Virginia) on June 11, 1861.

In August 1861, he mustered out as a sergeant major and along with his brother, joined Company K of the 37th Illinois Infantry and was made captain.  He quickly earned promotion to major during regimental elections for officers on September 5, 1861.

Severely wounded in the right arm during the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, on March 7, 1862, he earned promotion to lieutenant colonel.  He never regained the use of his right arm.

Black received the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Prairie Grove in Arkansas on December 7, 1862, when he led his regiment in a charge uphill  against the Confederate position at the Borden House.  He was wounded in the left arm this time, but he and his regiment captured an enemy artillery battery.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

John C. Black-- Part 5: Lincoln Slept There

From the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture.

A Medal of Honor recipient for valor at the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, and brevet major general of volunteers.  John Charles (Charlie) Black later served as U.S. Congressman and national commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).

He was born January 27, 1839, in Lexington, Mississippi, to the Reverend John Black and Josephine Culbertson Black.  He was the eldest of four children.  After the Reverend Black died in 1847, his widow  moved her family to Danville, Illinois, to be near her brother James Culbertson.

Soon afterwards, she married Dr. William Fithian who served in the Illinois General Assembly with Abraham Lincoln in 1834.  Lincoln successfully represented Fithian in a lawsuit in 1850.  During the 1858 campaign for U.S. senator, Lincoln stayed at the Danville home of John's parents during his travels for the Lincoln-Douglas Debates and spoke briefly to a crowd of well-wishers on September 21.

--Old Secesh

Monday, December 10, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial: John C. Black, MoH Recipient-- Part 4: Post War

He was a member of the Illinois Commandery of the Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

He set up a law practice and became U.S. District Attorney in Chicago.  Between 1885 and 1889, he was U.S. Commissioner of Pensions.  Running as a Democrat, he was elected to the 53rd U.S. Congress, serving between 1893 and 1895.

In 1903 he became Commander-In-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic and served 1903-1904.  Lastly, he was president of the U.S. Civil Service Commission. 1904-1913.

He died August 14, 1915, in Chicago, Illinois, and is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Danville, Illinois.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Illinois Medal of Honor Recipient John C. Black-- Part 3: Received It in 1996

Am 1896 review of numerous actions of the war resulted in his being awarded the medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Prairie Grove.  Black's brother William also received one, making them the first of five pairs of brothers to both receive the Medal as of 2005.

The citation read:  "Gallantly  charged the position of the enemy at the head of his regiment, after two other regiments had been repulsed and drive down the hill, and captured a battery, was severely wounded."

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 7, 2018

Not Forgetting, Pearl Harbor: Survivor Hiram "Pete" Carter Turns 95

I put my United States flags out today (well, actually I had them out since Wednesday because of the funeral of George H.K. Bush).

From the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle  "Pearl Harbor vet celebrates his 95th birthday in Arizona."

Hiram "Pete" Carter celebrated his 18th birthday in Pearl Harbor back in 1941, seven weeks before the attack.

He was a native of Metter, Georgia, and enlisted in the Navy in Orlando, Florida, as his friends were being drafted.

Pete is one of Augusta's last Pearl Harbor survivors

The brother of his future wife was on the USS Arizona.

In 1945, he was on the USS Stembel (DD-644)

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 6, 2018

President George H.W. Bush

From Wikipedia.


(June 12, 1924 - November 30, 2018)

American statesman and Republican Party politician.  Served as the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993.  Prior to becoming president, he served as the 43rd Vice President from 1981 to 1989.  He also had previously been  a U.S. Congressman, ambassador and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

He will be buried today at College Station, Texas, where his Presidential Library and Museum is located.

Illinois Medal of Honor Recipient John C. Black-- Part 2: Battle of Prairie Grove

Now we know that the two Blacks in the 37th Illinois, John C. and William P., were brothers.

After three months in the 11th Indiana, the two brothers were mustered out (it was a three-month regiment) and joined what became Company K in the 37th Illinois.  The 11th had been commanded by Lew Wallace.

John became a major in the unit and was wounded in the right arm at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, on March 7, 1862.  On July 12, 1862, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and became the commander of the 37th Illinois.  He led his regiment against fortified Confederate positions at the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, on December 7, 1862.

The 37th suffered heavy casualties and was forced to retreat.  John C. Black was seriously wounded.

--Old Secesh

Illinois Medal of Honor Recipient John C. Black-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.


(January 28, 1839 - August 17, 1915

Democratic U.S. Congressman and received Medal of Honor as Union Army lieutenant colonel and regimental commander at the Battle of Prairie Grove December 7, 1862.

Born Lexington, Mississippi and moved to Danville, Illinois, in 1847.  His father was a minister in the Presbyterian Church.  He attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and became a lawyer.

Entered Union Army on April 14, 1861, along with his brother, William P. Black.  They mustered into the 11th Indiana Infantry Regiment.  He enlisted as a private  but was made sergeant major in April 25, 1861.

Well, that answers that question.

The Black Brothers from Danville.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

More Illinois Medals of Honor: Two Men Named Black, Four In the 37th

The second and third men on the list of 91 men from Illinois who received Medals of Honor made me look twice.  Both men had Black as a last name and both served in the 37th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  They were John C. Black and William P. Black.

The next man on the list, Welis H. Blodget also was in the 37th.  There was also a Thomas H.L. Payne in the 37th.  That is four Medal of Honor recipients from the same regiment and two with the same last name.

Might the two with the same last name be brothers?  Very often, during the Civil War, companies were made up of men from the same area.  Regiments were that way as well.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I found out that the two Black boys were brothers.

Must Have Been A Very Proud Family.  --Old Secesh

Monday, December 3, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial: Medal of Honor Winner: Richard H. Wood

Born 15 November 1833  Died 8 March 1903  Buried Woodburn Cemetery, Woodburn, Illinois.

U.S. Army, captain

Company A, 97th Illinois

Born Canton, New Jersey.  Entered service at Woodburn, Macoupin County, Illinois.

Received Medal of Honor  for action at Battle of Vicksburg May 22, 1863.

Led a volunteer storming party which made a gallant attack upon the enemy's works.

--Old Secesh

Illinois Bicentennial: 91 Medal of Honor Winners From Illinois

From the Illinois Civil War site.

Illinois Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients.

Alphabetically from Abner P. Allen to Richard H. Wood.

ABNER P. ALLEN  (Oct. 9, 1839 to August 22, 1905)

Allen was color bearer of the 39th Illinois and got his at the Battle of Petersburg during the assault on Fort Greg on April 2, 1965.  He also had the honor of carrying the Illinois flag at the Appomattox surrender a week later.  He also traveled to Washington, D.C. with General Gibbon with 76 captured Confederate colors.  He received his Medal of Honor there from Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

He died in 1905 and is buried in Centerburg Cemetery in Centerburg, Ohio.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Fort Wood, N.Y. Harbor-- Part 2: Its Troops Used to Quell New York Draft Riots

In January 1861, the fort was regarrisoned as war loomed.  It continued to serve as an ordnance depot but took on added duty as a recruit center.  Fort Wood itself never fired a shot during the war, but troops stationed there were called upon to quell the New York City draft riots in 1863.

Following the war, Fort Wood was placed under caretaker status and in the 1880s was chosen as the site of the Statue of Liberty.

Several people who wrote to the Civil war Talk Forum said they had visited the Statue of Liberty but had no knowledge of the base having been a fort.

One person said Robert Anderson and Henry Halleck served there.

--Old Secesh