Monday, December 31, 2007

New Book on Civil War Ironclads

The Civil War Book News blog reports that there is a new Civil War naval book out. It is "Clad in Iron: the Civil War and the Challenge of British Naval Power " by Howard J. Fuller.

A bit of the blurb about it:

This book addresses misconceptions of what monitors were for. Their ultimate success was not their ability to spearhead attacks on Confederate forts, but rather the "Cold War" deterrence of British military and government leaders from intervening. Fuller points out that this was a success in the Union navy's victory more than the blockade.

In other words, the monitors presence kept the British navy out of the war.

The North "succeeded through a combination of high-tech 'machines' armed with 'monster' guns, intensive coastal fortifications and a new fleet of high-speed Union commerce raiders, the North was able to turn the humiliation of the Trent Affair of late 1861 into a sobering challenge to British naval power and imperial defense worldwide."

I'm not sure about Union coastal defenses and the Union ships were not commerce raiders, but made to pursue Confederate commerce raiders.

Definitely sounds like an interesting book to read.

A New Look at an Old War. --THE Old B-Rer

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Wishing all my Civil War buddies a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I'm just sittin' here typing away with both fingers on the old keyboard and watching and listening to "A Christmas Story", my favorite all-time seasonal movie, for the second time. I sure like TBS putting on the 24-hour marathon.

A Ho-Ho-Ho to All-All-All. --RoadDog

143rd Anniversary of First Battle of Fort Fisher

Today marks the end of the First Battle of Fort Fisher which was waged Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 1864.

This is the battle that got me interested in the Civil War. As I said last month, my dad took me to Fort Fisher and explained that the Civil War was fought between the north and the south. I figured we must have been for the north since we lived in North Carolina and North America. He was very patient and explained that we were actually for the south.

After that, I would read every book on the Civil War I could get my hands on. I also decided that I wanted to be a history teacher. This event sure had an impact on my young life.

From Civil War Naval Chronology: December 24-25

Naval forces under the command of Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter and Army units under Major General Ben Butler launched an unsuccessful attack against Fort Fisher. The fleet commenced a tremendous bombardment on Christmas Eve.

The Confederate defenders were driven from their guns and into bomb proofs, but did manage to get a few shots off. Most of the Union casualties came from the burst of Parrott cannons on board five vessels.

At 10:30 Christmas Day, the bombardment commenced again, that is just about right now as it is 9:25 AM Central Time. The fire was maintained while 2000 US troops landed north of the fort. Some of them advanced to within a few yards of the fort, but it was decided the works were too strong to be carried and withdrew.

By the 27th, the last of the troops were off and transports returned to Hampton Roads. The fleet remained in the area and kept up a sporadic fire on the fort to prevent repairs.

This bombardment was one of the biggest ever in US history. Confederate naval Lt. Aeneas Armstrong wrote, "The whole of the interior of the fort, which consists of sand, merlons, etc., was as one eleven-inch shell bursting. You can now inspect the works and walls on nothing but iron." Meaning, weapon debris was spread so thick, you could walk from one end of the mile long seaface and half mile land face and never step off iron.

A Great Victory for the Confederacy in its Waning Days. --Blockade-Runner

Monday, December 24, 2007

Some More on the USS Hendrick Hudson

The name comes from a Dutch spelling of English explorer Henry Hudson.

The USS Hendrick Hudson was a schooner-rigged steamer: 460 tons, 171 'l, 29'11" beam. 9'6" displacement, 11 k speed, and mounted one cannon.

Her main mission was to shut off blockade running along the many inlets and passes along Florida's west coast.

From Dictionary of American Fighting Ships.

I could find no mention of a USS Reckless, the ship that captured the Florida according to Dale Cox.


Confederate Blockade Runner Florida/USS Hendrick Hudson

Awhile back, I came across Dale Cox's Civil War in Florida website, and he had an entry about a ship that served both sides during the war.

The blockade runner Florida (not to be confused with the Confederate warship by the same name) was built in Greenpoint, NY in 1859 and became a blockade runner.

It was captured April 6, 1862, in St. Andrew's Bay, Florida (near Panama City) by a boat crew from the USS Reckless which secretly slipped into the bay.

It was taken to Philadelphia as a prize of war and bought by the US Navy and commissioned the USS Hendrick Hudson on Dec. 30, 1862. The navy had found that a good way to catch a blockade runner was to use a former blockade runner.

The Hudson patrolled the gulf coast of Florida and captures several blockade runners during her career. In 1864, it rammed and sank the blockade runner Wild Pigeon near Key West, Fl. In 1865, it took part in the Battle of Natural Bridge, Floria on March 6th.

After the war, it was sold and became a commercial vessel again until it sank off Cuba in 1867.

Wikipedia said the Florida was captured by the USS Pursuit while attempting to run into St. Andrew's Bay.

Both Sides Now. --B-Run

An Interesting Person

H.K. Edgerton, 58, of North Carolina, is a southern heritage activist and former NAACP officer. He is planning to march into Midland, Texas, to show his support for Confederate history.

This is a remarkable show of support, but what makes this even more surprising is that Edgerton is a black man.

In 2002, he walked from NC to Austin, Texas carrying a Confederate battle flag.

He marches against "the wholesale and deliberate destruction of the positive aspects of Southern history by self-serving politicians and the media." (Hear that Mitt!!!)

"Southerners overwhelmingly still see themselves as Southerners, regardles of race, and most of them are not fooled by the propaganda."

He has a wbsite at

Dec. 11th Odessa, Tx, American.

It has a list of black Confederates, a big list of slave narratives, and a lot of other items of interest.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Watch Didn't Help

There was some hopeful expectation that the recently opened watch belong to the CSS Hunley's commander, Lt. George Dixon, might give some clues as to what befell that submarine on the fateful night of February 17, 1864. This marked the first-ever successful submarine attack on an enemy ship. The Union blockader Housatonic was sunk, but the Hunley never made it back to Charleston Harbor.

The Hunley's grave was unknown until it was discovered 12 years ago and raised in 2000. Since then, it has been undergoing extensive conservation.

The 118 Karart gold watch did not slowly wind down, but stopped quickly, perhaps a result of rushing water or a concussion. The watch stopped at 8:23 and the Housatonic sank around 9 PM. Was it possibly a concussion.

Perhaps it wasn't even working that night. Perhaps it was just too valuable to leave behind. The time definitely doesn't explain why soldiers on shore reported a blue light 45 minutes after the attack.

Senator Glen McConnell, chairman of the Hunley Commission said, "I don't think it's the smoking gun, it's just smoke."

In the next months, scientists will x-ray valves on the pumping system that are currently encrusted. This might tell whether the Hunley was taking on water. They will also start removing sediment from the hull and might find evidence of a rope that would show that the Hunley had been anchored waiting for the tide to turn.

"Hunley commander's watch no smoking gun" by Bruce Smith, Associated Press December 14th.

Just One More Mystery After Another with the Hunley. --Blockade-Run

The USS Pennsylvania, Ship-of-the-Line

Of course, I've been doing a lot with Pearl Harbor this month. The Battleship Pennsylvania, which was damaged in drydock during the attack, was not the first US ship to bear the name. I was reading about the USS Merrimack which became the CSS Virginia. When the it was burned, several other ships suffered a similar fate. Yet, you usually only hear about the Merrimack. What about the others?

There was another USS Pennsylvania that was launched in 1837 and was destroyed April 20, 1861 to prevent her from falling into enemy hands when the Confederates captured Gosport Naval Yard.

A ship-of-the-line was the capital ship of navies back in the early 1800s.. This Pennsylvania mounted 120 guns on three decks. Construction began in 1821, but it wasn't completed until 1837 because of tight budgets.

The Pennsylvania was launched on November 29, 1837. In 1838, its crew was transferred to the USS Columbia. It was then laid up in ordinary until 1842 when it became a receiving ship for the Norfolk Naval Yard. I always thought a receiving ship was a place where visitors came aboard, but as it turns out, a receiving ship was used to house new sailors before assignment.

A receiving ship was also a good thing to prevent "unwilling recruits" from leaving as many couldn't swim.

So, this USS Pennsylvania did not achieve a whole lot of glory before her demise.

I'll discuss the other vessels in the future.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the info.

And, Now You Know. --B-Run

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Confederate Cow Cavalry-- Part Two

I did some more research on the Confederate Cow Cavalry and found an article by Martha Sue Skinner called "A History of Florida Confederate Cavalry.

She said the cattle in western Florida were wild and had descended from those brought over by the Spanish explorers. In 1863, Florida became a main supply depot for beef destined for Confederate armies., but frequent Federal incursions in the Tampa Bay area threatened the enterprise and Florida authorities decided to form a special unit to fight the Federals and their Confederate deserter allies.

This unit became known as the First Battalion Florida Special cavalry and had 900 men.

Not only did they protect the cattle, but they were also involved in cattle drives as far north as Savannah and Charleston.

Now You Know the Rest of the Story. --RoadDog

Confederate "Cow Cavalry"?

I must admit that I had never heard of anything called cow cavalry before reading this article. Did they ride into battle astride bovines? However, there really was such a group.

On November 17th, a memorial to the cow cavalry who helped supply Confederate armies with beef was dedicated in Plant City, Florida. The plaque shows a Confederate soldier with a rifle in front of a horse and cattle.

According to the article in Tampa Bay Online, the cow cavalry protected the many cows in and around western Florida from Union raiders.

This was paid for by the Plant City Daughters of the Confederacy chapter.

The only black Plant City commissioner, Mary Mathis objected at a Nov. 13th meeting "this is a Confederate soldier on city property."

There were lots of replies and interesting comments to the article.

The East Hillsborough Historical Society wants a companion piece to the plaque, but now must seek city approval. This is at the old Plant City High School which is owned now by the city. The commissioners say that the historical society should have sought permission before building the first one.

Too Bad This Has to Become a Racial Thing. --Blockade-Run

SCV Reward Catches Teenagers Who Defaced Confederate Monument in Alabama

The Alabama Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans was livid over the damage done to the Confederate Memorial monument in Montgomery, Alabama, an issued a reward for $1000 for information leading to the arrest of the culprits. See Nov.16th blog entry.

It paid off. Three 17-year-of white juvenile males have been arrested in connection with applying black paint to the statues at the monument.

A lot of the repairs to the monument have been completed with a $3,500 cost so far.

Way to Go, SCV!!! --B-Runner

USS Santiago de Cuba

While researching events of the Civil War on December 7th for the Pearl Harbor tie-in, I came across the name of the USS Santiago de Cuba and looked it up on wikipedia, a great way to find the history of most US Naval ships. Also pictures.

The Santiago de Cuba was a wooden sidewheel steamer built in 1861 and purchased by the Union Navy in the build-up for the blockade. It was commissioned in November 1861.

It was 1,567 tons, 229 feet long, 38 foot beam, mounted ten cannons, and had a crew of 114 enlisted men and officers.

On December 3, 1861, it captured the British schooner Victoria off Point Isabel, Texas, but released her for want of evidence suggesting a blockade runner.

The USS Santiago de Cuba took part in the efforts against Fort Fisher and took the wounded back to Norfolk, Virginia at the battle's conclusion.


Some More on Robert Smalls

This is a follow up to the December 5th and 6th entries on Robert Smalls.

On December 1, 1863, the USS Planter was caught in a Confederate crossfire and the ship's captain (Smalls was the pilot) wanted to surrender. Smalls argued that he and the other black sailors would not be treated as prisoners-of-war (probably a correct assumption). The commander decided to go ahead and surrender. Smalls took command and the Planter escaped. As a result, Smalls became the first black man to command a vessel in the US Navy.

Robert Smalls was born a slave in 1839 and died in 1916.

I was wondering why the ship would be called the Major General Robert Smalls when Smalls was involved with the sea and the navy.

From his website:

1870 commissioned Lt. Col. in SC state militia
1871- promted to Brigadier General
1873 attained rank of Major General

His mother was named Lydia and father was an unidentified white man.

The US Major General Robert Smalls is one of eight ships in the class which are actually in the Army, and not the Navy. They are designed to carry up to 2,000 tons cargo. The Smalls was launched in 2004, but had the formal dedication during the annual Army-Navy game at Annapolis, Md. The event was attended by a numbers of his descendants and supporters.

This Was One Interesting Man Who Rose Far Above What Might Have Been Expected. --B-Runner

GAR Hall, Aurora, Illinois Receives Funds

I am happy to report that the GAR Hall in Aurora at 23 E Downer Place, ranked number 9 in recent voting for American Express' Partners in Preservation contest and, as a result, received over $50,000 for the window restoration.

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was and organization of former veterans of the Union Army during the Civil War. At one time, there were over 400,000 members. US Highway 6 is also called the Grand Army of the Republic Highway in their honor.

The building was constructed in 1878. Funding for its construction came from the citizens of Aurora and it also housed Aurora's first free public library at one time.

Over its 60 years of operation, some 700 Civil War veterans were members from 70 Illinois regiments.

By 1939, membership was dwindling because of advanced age and the GAR Memorial Association was formed to carry on. The last member, Daniel Wodge, died in 1947 at age 106.

It is built in a Gothic Revival style with locally-mined limestone and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The $55,000 grant from American Express will be used to restore the original stained glass windows. The Association originally requested $94,000, but is happy with anything. In the contest, only the top vote-getter got its full request.

The contest raised community awareness. The building had been closed a few years ago because of safety concerns.

Great News, the city of Aurora has committed $3 million to the project for the GAR. The funds will be used to stabilize the structure, build a basement, and renovate the first floor.

Always Great to Hear News Like This. --B-Runner

Monday, December 17, 2007

Quotes from "Gods and Generals"

While looking at the imdb site for the movie "Gods and Generals" where Robert Duvall starred in the role of Robert E. Lee, I came across some quotes of interest.

### Robert E. Lee at Fredericksburg viewing the slaughter of Union troops: "It is well that war is so terrible or we should grow too fond of it."

### On Jackson's wounding at Chancellorsville: "He's lost his left arm. I've lost my right."

### A conversation between Generals Jackson and John Bell Hood:

Jackson: "Tell me, general, do you expect to live till the end of the war?"

Hood: Oh, I do not know, but...I'm inclined to think I will. I expect to be wounded. And you, general?"

Jackson: "I do not expect to live to see the end of the war. Nor, can I say that without victory I would desire to do so."

I have heard the first two quotes by Lee, but I am not familiar with Jackson and Hood's conversation.

You'd just have to wonder if the outcome at Gettysburg might have been different if Jackson had been there. General Hood lost both an arm and a leg in the fighting.

One Great Movie. --Blockade-Runner

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Where is Abe?

It is believed that two new photos of the nation's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, have been discovered. This has Lincoln fans buzzing as there are only 125 known photographs of him.

Enlargements were made of two Alexander Gardner photographs of the Gettysburg Address on Nov. 19, 1863. The one shown in the Dec. 15th Chicago Tribune shows a profile of Lincoln on horseback making his way through the crowd to deliver the famous speech.

I'd say it definitely could be him.

The two photos were delivered at the recent Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg, Pa., where Lincoln scholars and fans gather each year to discuss new works and discoveries. Not every one is convinced that it is Lincoln.

You can see the photos at

Can There Ever Be Too Much Lincoln? --RoadDog

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fort McAllister Reenactment

The December 13th Savannah Morning News reports that a reenactment took place at Fort McAllister in Richmond Hill, Ga. This is also where my sister and family live. I was unable to determine the date, but imagine it was last weekend.

One hundred men, women, and children recreated the battle and there were about 400 onlookers.

The original battle took place December 13, 1864 and it was the last battle before General Sherman captured Savannah.

The fort was built to protect the Ogeechee River, a backdoor to Savannah and the original battle only took 15 minutes.

That Was One Fast Battle. --Block-Head

Corvettes and Fort Fisher

Talk about two of my favorite things in the world. This January 5th, the Cape Fear Corvette Club is planning a cruise from Jeff Gordon Chevrolet, I imagine in Wilmington, NC, to Fort Fisher where they'll tour the museum and mounds.

Then, there will be a lunch meeting at Mike's Sea Food in Carolina Beach.

Boy, would I like to be there for this event.

One of these days, I just Gotta Get a Vette. --B-Runner

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Robert Duvall--Robert E. Lee Part 2

Of interest, Robert Duvall played the role of Robert E. Lee, in the 2003 movie "Gods and Generals" about the rise of Stonewall Jackson. With makeup, he looked quite a bit like Lee. And imagine getting to play the part of a direct ancestor.

In wikipedia, there is one person who believes that Duvall is not related to Lee. The RE Lee site at Stratford has a family lineage and neither Robert Duvall nor his mother appears on it.

While on the subject of his role in "Apocalypse Now," a few more Col. Kilgore quotes:

"If I say it's safe to surf this beach, Captain, then it's safe to surf this beach."

Kilgore--"Smell that? You smell that?"
Lance- "What?"
Kilgore--"Napalm,son. Nothing in the world smells like that."

"Someday, this war's gonna end..." as he walks away unhappily.

On the use of Wagner during attacks,-- "It scares the s___ out of the slopes."

Even though this didn't involve Duvall, it is my second favorite quote after "I love the smell..."--

Captain Willard-- "Hey soldier, do you know who's in command here?"
Soldier-- "Ain't you?"

Maybe Duvall Is, and Maybe He Isn't. --B-Runner

Monday, December 10, 2007

So, You REALLY Want to See that Civil War Battlefield

Instead of just picking up a guide at the tourist center or renting a pair of headphones, why not hire your own personal tour guide. The December 9th Everett, Washington Herald ran an AP article "Guides customize Civil War battlefield tours" by David Dishneau.

You can hire a guide for as little as $50 for an ultimate 2 hour private tour at Gettysburg or Antietam. There are 155 Gettysburg guides licensed by the National Park Service, the only ones allowed to give private tours.

For those of you interested in getting even more involved with the Civil War, there will be a six-day tour of Civil War sites led by scholars including James McPherson who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1988 "Battle Cry of Freedom." Cost is $950, excluding hotels.

Sounds Like an Idea to Me. --B-R

Robert Duvall--Robert E. Lee

When the name Robert Duvall comes to mind, I immediately think of crazy Lt.-Col. Bil Kilgore's Air Cav helicopters streaking in over the water, loudspeakers blaring Wagner's "Flight of the Valkyries", machine guns blazing as the unfortunate Viet Cong village gets clobbered, all so his surfer could ride some perfect waves.

Then, there's that classic line, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning.... It smells like victory." All this while a bewildered Martin Sheen stared at him.

The UK Times Online had a write up on Duvall and said that his father, William Howard Duvall was an admiral in the US Navy and that he is a DIRECT DESCENDANT of Robert E. Lee. I do not know the hows or whys of this, but I definitely didn't know this tidbit.

Perhaps he should have been wearing a JEB Stuart plumed Confederate hat instead of the US cavalry one in "Apocalypse Now."

Confederates in the Attic. --B-Runner

Saturday, December 8, 2007

General John McAllister Schofield

John Schofield was born September 29, 1831.

While a major and Chief of Staff for General Nathaniel Lyons at the Battle of Wilson's Creek close to Springfield, Missouri, he received a Congressional Medal of Honor for leading a regiment against the Confederates. However, he did not receive it until 1892. A total of five Union soldiers received the MOH at Wilson's Creek which is also called the Battle of oak Hills and sometimes referred to as the Bull Run of the West.

As a general, he took part in the Atlanta Campaign with General Sherman, then, as commander of the Army of the Ohio, seriously damaged Hood's Army of the Tennessee at the Battle of Franklin, and took part in the victory at Nashville.

He then moved his corps by rail and water to fort Fisher, NC, in 17 days. He led the Union forces in the campaign against Wilmington, NC, occupying it on February 22, 1865. He then joined Sherman at Goldsboro, NC.

After the war, he was interim Secretary of War when President Johnson was able to remove nemesis Edwin M. Stanton from that post. He served until John Rawlings could be confirmed.

As stated yesterday, General Schofield went to Hawaii and determined that Pearl Harbor would make a strategic harbor for the navy. Then, in1908, Schofield Barracks Army Base was established and named in his honor,

From 1876 to 1881, Schofield was Superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point. From 1888 to 1895 he was commanding general of the US Army. Even today, cadets have to memorize a long quotation by him.

He diedMarch 4, 1906 in St. Augustine, Florida, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.


Friday, December 7, 2007

December 7th, 1941, a Day That Shall Live in Infamy

On December 7th, 66 years ago, Japanese forces suddenly attacked US forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, inflicting great damage and many casualties. We must always know that we have to be prepared to protect our freedom.

It is the veterans, both past and present, that stand up to our foes. We can not thank them enough for their efforts and sacrifices.

While I was still teaching, I spent a couple days around this time covering the events at Pearl Harbor. Today, I helped out at the Fox Lake, Illinois American Legion Post 703 as we hosted 71 vets from the North Chicago Veterans Hospital. They were treated to a full turkey dinner, gifts, and karaoke. I don't remember when I've seen people enjoy themselves more.

While doing some Pearl Harbor research, I found out that there is a Civil War connection. One of the objects of the Japanese attack was Schofield Barracks, an army base by Wheeler Field in the central part of Oahu,

It was named after Union General John McAllister Schofield who received a Congressional Medal of Honor at the Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri on August 10, 1861 as a major. He rose through the ranks to major general.

In 1872, he visited Hawaii at the behest of the Secretary of War William Belknap and recommended the establishment of a naval base at Pearl Harbor. Schofield Barracks was established in 1908.

I also found out that he had a connection with Fort Fisher, but that is another story.

Hats Off to Our Valiant Members of the Armed Forces, Both Past and Present. --Blockade-Runner

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Robert Smalls-- a Remarkable Man

Further information on yesterday's account of the new army vessel, USS Major General Robert Smalls.

The Planter was an armed Confederate military transport. On May 12, 1862, while three white officers were ashore, Robert Smalls and several other black crew members took the ship and went over to a nearby ship where Smalls' family and relatives of the other crew members were hiding.

They then took the ship and sailed past the Confederate forts guarding Charleston Harbor to the Union blockading fleet and hoisted a white flag in surrender.

Afterwards, Smalls' knowledge of Charleston's defenses provided valuable intelligence to Union operations.

Smalls also was involved in the effort to get Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton to permit blacks to serve in the Union Army. This led to the first black regiment formed at Port Royal, SC, the 1st SC Volunteers.

Robert Smalls served as a pilot onboard the USS Keokuk, an experimental monitor, that sank after being struck by 90 projectiles in the April 7, 1863 attack on Charleston.


The Confederate Battle Flag

Of all the symbols in the United States, this has to be the one under the most attack by different groups. Many see it as a symbol of slavery and man's inhumanity to man. Some equate it with the Nazi Swastika.

Others, see it as a symbol of their heritage. A symbol of the little guy fighting the giants in order to retain their lifestyle and independence.

I belong to the Sons of Confederate Veterans and one of the major goals of that organization is to defend the flag.

A book has been written about this. It is called "The Confederate Battle Flag: America's Most Embattled Emblem" by John M. Coski.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Army Ship Named for Black Civil War Hero

And you thought ships were in the Navy? Evidently not so.

The Major General Robert Smalls, a 314 foot-long US Army vessel was at Baltimore's Inner Harbor for Saturday's 108th Army-Navy football game. But, even its presence could not save the plebes from Navy's midshipmen.

The Robert Smalls is a logistics support vessel named after a 23 year-old slave working as a pilot on a Confederate steamer. He took over the ship in 1862 while the crew was ashore. He took the vessel and 15 other slaves and his family and surrendered to the first Union ship.

After the war, he became a major general in the SC militia and was a five-time Congressman.

Everybody Knows There are No Ships in the Army, Or Do They? --Blockade-R

Some More on Custer and Monroe, Mi

Custer got married Elizabeth on Feb. 9, 1864. She remained his biggest fan and pusher until her death at age 92.

The Battle of Trevalian Station humiliated Custer. He had his division trains captured and lost his personal baggage. Union casualties were about 1000, with 102 killed, 470 wounded, and 435 missing or captured.

The Monroe Museum is in an old post office which was built on the site of the Custer home. It houses one of the largest collections of 18th and 19th century artifacts in southeast Michigan.

On September 23rd, the museum opened a WWII exhibit in conjunction with Ken Burns' "The War" PBS miniseries.

The second floor of the museum houses one of the largest George Armstrong Custer collections in the world.

Custer was born in Ohio, but attended school in Monroe.

Now You Know Some More. --Blockade-Head

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Some More on Admiral Worden

Lt. Worden was appointed commander of the USS Monitor on January 16, 1862, and reported to Greenpoint in Brooklyn, NY, where he supervised its completion. The ship was placed in commission on February 25th and made an aborted attempt to sail to Hampton Roads to battle the Virginia. A second sailing arrived on March 8th, the day before the battle. Worden definitely didn't have much time to prepare his crew for the battle.

After Worden was injured at the pilot house, he turned command over to Samuel D. Green.

Upon recovery, Worden was put in command of the new monitor, the USS Montauk in December 1862 and led it on the attack on Fort McAllister . He was promoted to captain and sank the Confederate privateer Rattlesnake (CSS Nashville). In April 1863, the Montauk took part in the attack on Charleston, SC.

He married Olivia Toffey of Pauling.

The 165 room Mizzentop Hotel in Pauling was completed in 1881 and operated for 50 years. The beautiful views of the Harlem Valley and Catskill Mountains moved Worden to give it the name Mizzentop because it is one of the highest points on a ship.

In 1998, it became the Mizzentop Day School.

Three destroyers and a light cruiser were named after Worden:

DD-16- 1903-1919
DD-288- 1920-1930
DD-353- 1935-1943-- at Pearl Harbor, but received no damage. Engaged a Japanese submarine three hours after the attack. Sunk off the Aleutian Islands in 1943.
DLG/CG-18- cruiser 1963-1993

Admiral Worden Honored, Commander of USS Monitor

On October 20th, there was a grave side ceremony honoring the commander of the USS Monitor during its battle with the CSS Virginia, John Worden.

It was held by the Quaker Hill and Pauling, NY, historical societies and the Admiral Worden Camp 150 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War. This camp is based out of Peerskill, NY, and is composed of descendants of those who served aboard the USS Monitor.

Worden is buried at the Pauling Cemetery on Route 22 across from the Lutheran church.

Lt. Worden commanded the USS Monitor during its historic four hour battle with the CSS Virginia on March 9, 1862. He received serious eye injury when a shell from the Virginia hit the pilot box where he was commanding. He bore scars from it the rest of his life.

He later commanded the USS Montauk (a Monitor) and the USS Pensacola. He was superintendent of the US Naval Academy for five years and later attained the rank of rear admiral before dying of pneumonia in 1897.

Worden was born and grew up in Westchester, NY, but was a lifelong visitor to Pauling. He was the first to sign the Pauling Mizzentop Hotel's guest book and gave the hotel its nautical name.

Careful Where You Look During a Battle. --B-R

Monday, December 3, 2007

Custer Lost It, You Can See It

General George Armstrong Custer last saw it at what is considered to be the largest all-cavalry battle of the war at Trevalian Station in June 1864. He never saw it again because it was captured. No doubt, his wife wasn't too happy.

The brigadier general's uniform he wore at his wedding to Elizabeth Bacon in Monroe, Michigan, is back and on display at the Monroe County Historical Museum. Along with it are several other seldom-seen Custer items.

The Battle at Trevalin Station is sometimes called Custer's First Stand because he was also surrounded, but this time by Confederates.

Also included in the display is a lock of Lincoln's hair, a Tiffany sabre, and several Lincoln-signed documents.

Nov. 8th Monroe News "Rare Custer items displayed."

Here Comes the Groom. --Block-Head

Getting "Hooked" on the Civil War Again?

Since I have been doing this blog, I must admit that I am getting more interested in the Civil War.

Since 2002, I have been very hooked on old roads and particularly Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway.

But, I have been even doing some research, mostly on Lt. Benjamin H. Porter, but other aspects of the war as well. I haven't looked into my set of the ORN in years, but now the dust is flying.

Getting Hooked Again. --Blockade-Runner

Who "Made" Abe Declare Thanksgiving?

It turns out, her name was Sarah Josepha Hale who led the effort to gave Thanksgiving declared a national holiday. She also wrote the lyrics for "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and was involved in a myriad of other feminist causes.

She led a very interesting life when the opportunities for women were very limited from 1788 to the latter part of the 1800s.

To find out more, look at the November 3rd entry at:

This is One Interesting Lady. --B-R

Thursday, November 29, 2007

USS Wachusett and Commander Napoleon Collins

Let's file this under stuff I didn't know.

Remo, in his excellent Naval Warfare blog's Nov. 27th entry, wrote about the USS Wachusett and its commander Napoleon Collins who took her into a neutral harbor in order to cut out the Confederate raider Florida.

He had pictures and a lot more information, but, in a nutshell:

The steam screw USS Wachusett was commissioned March 3, 1862 and built by the Union Navy. It was 201 feet long and had a 34 foot beam with top speed of 11,5 knots. It carried 10 cannons from 2 11 inch rifles to a 12 pdr. It was named after Mount Wachusett in Massachusetts.

It joined the North Atlantic Blockade Squadron and gave support to the Union army during the Peninsular campaign and took park in the attack on Fort Darling, protecting the James River approach to Richmond.

In September, 1862, it became the flagship of the "Flying Squadron" whose job was to hunt down and destroy Confederate raiders.

On Oct. 4, 1864, it spotted the CSS Florida entering Bahia Harbor Brazil, and Commander Napoleon Collins took up station off shore. The Florida had already destroyed 33 Union merchant ships and Collins decided he would go into the harbor, despite Brazil's neutrality, and capture it.

This he did, ramming the Florida, towing it out, and coming under fire of a Brazilian fort. This action caused an international crisis. The US admitted Collins move had been illegal and agreed to return the Florida to Brazil. But, before, this could happen, the Florida was " mysteriously" rammed by a US Army transport and sank.

Collins was court-martialed for his role, but, with public opinion in his favor, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles did not remove him from command and dismissed the findings. In 1874 , he was made Rear Admiral, but died the following year.

Now, This Has the Makings of a Great Movie. --Blockade-R

Auction News--Rare Guns and CSS Virginia's Flag?

It is always interesting to see what is available and the prices Civil war related items bring at the auction houses.

1. A big auction is coming up in Nashville, Tennessee this weekend, December 1st and 2nd.

It will feature a document signed by President Jefferson Davis appointing the US Navy's Naval Academy's former commander, Franklin P. Buchanon, to a captaincy in the CS Navy. His first command was the CSS Virginia and later he commanded the CSS Tennessee. He also was promoted to the rank of admiral.

Also to be auctioned is Bucahanon's battle-scarred Stars and Bars. There is no documentation, but its style dates from the early days of the war and it is probable that it flew over the CSS Virginia in those fateful battles. It covered his casket during Buchanon's funeral.

The flag is estimated to bring in between $65-85,000. The captaincy appointment is expected to go for $3-4,000.

I also recently came across a picture of the marker by "The Rest" in Talbot County, Md. This was the home of Admiral Franklin Buchanon.

2. An auction was recently held in Fairfield, Maine that brought in $11.2 million.

A Le Mat revolver, originally on the Confederate ironclad Atlanta, had a pre-sale estimate of between $50,000 to $100,000. It went for $166,750.

A Tarpley carbine, one of only 100 made, went for $80,000.

A Confederate Texas Dane revolver fetched $51,750.

A Walker Colt pistol, considered to be "The Holy Grail" for Colt collectors, that was used in the Mexican War, went for $483,000, a new world record.

Also, of interest, three of Annie Oakley's rifles were sold as well: Marlin for $253,000 which will be put on loan to the Cody Firearms Museum, another rifle for $184,000, a a lot of her stuff and another rifle for $207,000.

Some People Just Have Too Much Money. --B -Runner.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Lumbee Indians at Fort Fisher

In a Nov. 19th blog by Patrick Mead, I saw that Lumbee Indians were forced to help build Fort Fisher and worked under some extreme conditions.

He said that Lumbee Indians from Robeson County were seized and forced to work in labor camps building defenses for the Confederacy in North Carolina.

The Lumbees were classified as Native Americans. They intermixed with either English or Spanish colonists (and possibly even the people from the Lost Colony after they disappeared). They were considered to be even lower than slaves.

They were forced to work night and day at Federal Point.


SUVCW: Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War

The counterpart of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) is the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), an outgrowth of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), the organization formed of Union veterans after the conclusion of the Civil War.

The SUVCW was created in 1881,

Currently, membership is 6,360 as compared to the SCV's 31,821.
We had the head of the local SUV camp attend our Lee-Jackson Dinner earlier this year.

I'm sure the SUV must be pleased that the GAR building in Aurora, Il., recently received $50,000 for preservation in the American Express Partners in Preservation contest. I know I voted for it.

Looks Like the South Finally Got the Numerical Superiority. --The Blockade-Runner

SCV News-- 31,824 members

Currently, the Sons of Confederate veterans consists of 31,824 members, of which 3,164 are Life Members, and 54 are Real Sons. A Real Son is one whose father was a member of Confederate forces during the war. A lot of these men were fathering children well into their 80s. And, with their pensions, more than a few young girls considered them a catch.


2008-- Concord, NC-- near Charlotte
2009-- Hot Springs, Arkansas
2010-- Anderson County, SC

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Abraham Lincoln Formalized Thanksgiving

Even though Abraham Lincoln is given credit for setting a formal date for Thanksgiving, actually, George Washington set a day of Thanksgiving back in 1789. However, it was not always celebrated on the same day and some years, not at all. Its observance was left up to each individual state.

On October 3, 1863, Lincoln formally adopted the date as being the last Thursday in November and that continued until 1942 when it was set as the fourth Thursday of November.

Of course, in 1863, the nation was deep in the middle of its worst trials and tribulations in its young history.

It is also that the idea of a presidential pardon for a turkey began with Abraham Lincoln when his son Tad pleaded that the bird's life be saved.

And, Now You Know the Rest of the Story. --The Blockade-Runner

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Some Good Civil War Websites/Blogs

Surfing the Internet, I found a two good sites.

One was the Civil War Message Board Portal which, since my main interest is the navies during the war, has a Civil War Navies Board. I'll have to check it out in more detail sometime.

Currently, on the Navies Board, they are looking for information on the civilian transport Mill Boy that, accompanied by the gunboat USS Cricket, carried four companies of Illinois infantry on a mission to burn Hopefield, Arkansas. There is also a thread started by the blogger on my second recommendation, concerning the private navy yard at Saffold, Georgia.

Another was the Civil War in Florida blog at This one is by author Dale Cox, whose new book, The Battle of Marianna, Fl, tops the Barnes & Noble top ten list for non-fiction Florida Civil War books. This September 27, 1864 marked the deepest penetration of Union forces into Florida during the war. I must admit, I'd never heard of it before.

You can find out more at He also has other interesting Florida Civil War information here.

Dale blogged about paying a visit to the site of the Saffold navy yard, in Saffold, Georgia, a few miles north of the Florida line. This is where the 141 foot, six gun Confederate ship Chattahoochee was built. It is privately owned now and fenced in, but the owners were nice enough to let him investigate the site.

Always Interested in This Stuff. --Blockade-Runner

Friday, November 16, 2007

Confederate Monument Vandalized

The massive Confederate monument on the grounds of Alabama's Sate Capitol in Montgomery was vandalized November 13th.

A person, or persons, climbed over a wrought iron fence and painted the faces and hands of the statues black.

At the base of the monument, the letters and numbers "N. T. 11 11 31" were painted. It is believed that this is in reference to Nat Turner who was executed on November 11, 1831, after leading a rebellion against the slave owners.

Associated Press "Alabama Capitol's Confederate monument defaced with black paint" by Desiree Hunter, Nov. 14th.

Even 142 Years After Its Conclusion, the War Goes On. --RoadDog

Thursday, November 15, 2007

SCV News

I belong to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, despite the fact that I live in Illinois (just a few miles from the Wisconsin border) quite a ways behind enemy lines so-to-speak. I belong to the Camp Douglas Memorial Camp which is named after the horrific prison camp located in Chicago, where over 6000 Confederate prisoners died during their incarceration. We felt this would be a way to honor their memory. To my knowledge, no other camp in the SCV is named after a prison.

The annual SCV Reunion will be in Charlotte, NC, July 16-19th of 2008. I hope to be attending since this is my home state. I can go from there and visit my family in Goldsboro. Maybe also catch some beach time down at Topsail Beach.

I'm also glad to see the SCV is going to reinstate the policy of giving compatriots a SCV logo sticker on renewal of membership.

Just Some SCV News. --BRunner

2008-- Bicentennial of Jefferson Davis' Birth

Next year will mark the bicentennial of the only president the Confederate States of America ever had, Jefferson Davis.

So far, two major events have been planned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

On June 3rd, Davis' postwar home, Beauvoir, in Biloxi, Ms, will have a grand reopening. It was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina, as it sits right on the beach.

On June 7th, a bicentennial celebration will be held at Davis' birth place in Kentucky.

This year, 2007, is the bicentennial of Robert E. Lee's birth.

In 2009 the nation will be observing the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, and that will be a much larger one than for Lee or Davis.

And, don't forget, you Civil War buffs, the year 2011 will be the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the war.

I remember the centennial celebration as I was ten at the time. I was fairly-well hooked on the war by then, but this was the final blow, and I became a full-fledged fanatic.

Lots of Significant Anniversaries Comming Up These Days. --The Old Blockade-Runner

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Great Civil War Veterans Site

While looking to see what war the Battle of Sugar Loaf was in, it was in WWII at Okinawa and called the "Killing Ground," I came across a site from Hartford, Michigan. They have done extensive research on veterans from the town and county who have served in every war since the Revolution (they have two veterans from that war).

In some cases, there are pictures of the soldier, their grave, and all have some or all of their service record.

The Civil War section is divided into four areas alphabetically. And there are a lot of them.

You can find the site at: War Soldiers M-R htm

There was also a Sugar Loaf located several miles north of Fort Fisher where Confederate soldiers were held by General Bragg instead of coming to the aide of the fort. It is still there and has some of the best-preserved Confederate fortifications in the area.

I didn't think that url would work. You can search it at Hartford, Mi Civil War Soldiers

Monday, November 12, 2007

Lt. Peter M. Boehm, 15th NY Cavalry

From the yesterday's Peace and Freedom II blog:

John E. Carey, April 7, 2007

Carey took a 65 year-old Vietnamese woman who has only been in the US 6 months for a walk through Arlington National Cemetery. She was impressed by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and JFK grave. He also showed her one of his favorites, the grave of Peter M. Boehm.

He enlisted in the 2nd US Cavalry in 1858 as a bugler. During the Civil War, he became 2nd Lt., Co. K, 15th NY Cavalry. Later, he became aide and bugler for General George Armstrong Custer.

He won the Medal of Honor at Dinwiddie Court House, Va., on March 31, 1865 for capturing Confederate colors.

He also served in the Indian Wars, but, fortunately for him, was not with Custer at the Little Big Horn. He died peacefully on June 4, 1914 and is buried in Section 2 beside his wife Ada Boehm.

An Interesting Life. --RoadDog

Got $80,000 to $120,000 Lying Around?

Here is a real bit of Civil War history up for auction. While Mary Chestnut was writing her famous diary, she also was amassing a photo book of cartes de visite of persons from that era.

This December 1st, this photo book will be auctioned off in Nashville, Tennessee. They are expecting from between $80,000 to $120,000 for it. A BIT out of my meager funding.

It contains 211 photos of Confederate generals, officers, and politicians, as well as Abraham Lincoln.

There is a story attached to the Lincoln carte de visite. I didn't find out if this happened during or after the war. She was showing it to a small boy, "who, upon seeing the photograph of Abraham Lincoln, took the album from her hand and 'placed the book on the floor and struck old Abe in the face with his fist.'"

There are signed photos of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee as well as photos of Henry Clay, Edmund Ruffin (who fired the first shot), and three Confederate Naval officers: Capt. Francis J. Hartstene, Lt. John Randolph Hamilton, and Sidney S. Lee.

Too Expensive for Me. --B-Runner

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Some More on Lt. Benjamin H. Porter, USN

I continued researching and found out that his father, James Gurdon Porter, was a merchant, carriage-maker and a member of the original fire department in Skaneatelas, NY. He was born in 1808 and became quite prosperous before dying in 1855. Fortunately, he did not have to see his two sons die, but that had to have been hard on his mother.

There is a tablet on the church's east wall honoring both Benjamin and Stanley who were killed in the Civil War. Stanley was killed at the Second Battle of Bull Run or Second Manasses as it is called in the south. His body was never found.

Lt. Benjamin Porter was only 20 at the time of his death. Even with that, he was commander of the 12 gun USS Malvern, which served as Admiral David Dixon Porter's (no relation) flagship at the Battles of Fort Fisher. Lt. Porter volunteered to lead a detachment from the Malvern for the naval assault along the beach at the Fort Fisher salient.

He had just been released after being captured at Fort Sumter. He could have gone home to recover and rest, but volunteered to return to duty immediately.

A total of 35 Medals of Honor were awarded the sailors and marines in the attack on Fort Fisher.

More to Come. --Blockade-Runner

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Confederate States Marine Corps

While on the subject of the USMC, what about those Marines in gray?

I did a little research and found out that it was established by the Confederate Congress on March 16, 1861. A total of 46 officers and 944 enlisted men were authorized, but that total was never reached.

Commandant was Col. Lloyd J. Beall who was a former Army paymaster with no Marine experience.

Naturally, the CSMC was modeled after the USMC, but with a few exceptions. The uniforms were based on those of the British Royal Marines.

They were stationed at Mobile, Savannah, Charleston, and Wilmington among other places. They also manned batteries at Fort Fisher, Pensacola, Hilton Head, and Drewry's Bluff. Confederate Marines also participated in the captures of the USS Water Witch and USS Underwriter.

A fifty-man CSMC unit was at Fort Fisher and fought by bayonet from gun to gun until "all were killed or captured." They were with the CSN detachment at Battery Buchanan.

Oo-Rah!! Confederate States Marine Corps. --B-Runner

Happy 232nd Birthday USMC

On this date back in 1775, the Continental Congress authorized to establishment of the United States Marine Corps.

It was 85 years old at the outbreak of the Civil War with 1,768 officers and men. It reached its peak at 3,881 in February 1865.

Marines were at both battles of Fort Fisher, NC. They and a naval detachment also participated in the charge on the salient on January 15, 1865.

Oo-rah!! Fighting Leathernecks!! --Blockade-Runner

US Navy Lt. Benjamin H. Porter Killed at Fort Fisher

I came across a blog from St. James Episcopal Church in Skaneatelas, NY, which was about an 1888 plaque put up honoring the sons of the church who had given their lives during the Civil War. One of them was 20 year-old US Navy Lt. Benjamin H. Porter, 1845-1865, who was killed while leading sailors and marines at Fort Fisher on January 15, 1865.

He was the second son of James Gurdon Porter to be killed in the war. That had to be especially hard on the family.

There was also a Porter window in the church to honor the two sons who died. It was placed in storage in 1959 to make way for a doorway to the new parish hall. At some time after that, someone removed it and no one knows where it is today. If anyone knows its location they are supposed to contact the church.

I'll do some more research on Lt. Porter. Was he related to the naval leader of the Fort Fisher Expedition, Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter?

A Very Interesting Story. --Blockade-Runner

One Small Victory for the Flag

A student at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale saw a university employee with a Confederate flag on his shirt and found it to be offensive. He was a member of the student governing body and put forth a resolution asking that it be banned.

In his resolution, some of his whereasses:

Whereas: the Confederate flag is understood amongst most Americans to be a symbol for inequality, prejudice, and hate.

Whereas: the Confederate flag is used as a symbol for most white supremacist groups and organizations.

Whereas: Some view the Confederate flag as a symbol of terror and oppression.

The student body government put it to a vote this past Wednesday and it DID NOT PASS.

The Confederate flag has come under way too much attack of late. Quite often, it loses out and is removed. To me, it is the symbol of a country which wanted its independence from what it regarded as an oppressive country, just the same as thirteen former colonies did back in 1775.

I do agree that too many hate organizations do use the Confederate flag, but it is their right to do so.

The war has been over now for 142 years, but yet, it isn't.

Time to Stop the Attacks on the Flag. --Blockade-Runner

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Civil War Preservation Trust

I have been a member since 5-29-01 and need to reup my dues which were due in August. I shall do that.

There are over 70,000 members of the organization and it has succeeded in saving 23,500 acres of important Civil War sites that would otherwise be long gone to posterity. Through great effort, the Trust is usually able to turn every dollar donated into $2 to $6 through federal, state, local, and private matching funds. All of these are impressive numbers.

Since I was writing about events in Missouri earlier, the CWPT has saved a total of 304 acres in the state: Bryam's Ford- 40 acres, Fort Davidson/Pilot Knob- 41 acres, Newtonia- 11 acres, and Wilson's Creek-- 212 acres!!!

Great Organization Doing a Great Job. --BRunner

Missouri's Important Role in the Civil War

The Nov. 5th Voice of the Day, evidently out of Springfield, Mo. (a great Route 66 town, by the way), discussed Missouri's role in the Civil War. It was titled "Missouri was significant state during the Civil War" by Len Eagleburger, author of "The Fighting 10th" about the 10th Missouri Cavalry, US.

I didn't know that Missouri had the 3rd most engagements during the war, floowing Virginia and Tennessee. The state also sent more men to war in proportion to its size than any other state, 199,111, and they served on both sides.

The sesquicentennial of the Civil War is coming up in 2011. That'd be 150 years. The Missouri legislature has passed a bill to help sponsors on the Civil War Discovery Trail to put up interpretive panels in key spots throughout the state in order to draw attention to state's heritage in the war.

Currently. there is also a bill in both Federal houses called the Sesquicentennial Act. This will provide much-needed funding on the national level.

There are several Civil War groups in Springfield as well.

The Civil War Round Table of the Ozarks (I used to belong to the Chicago CW Round Table)
James H. McBride Camp of Sons of Confederate Veterans(I belong to the Camp Douglas Camp SCV)
Phelps Camp Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Mary Phelps Daughters of Union Veterans (I hadn't heard of this group before)
Wilson Creek National Battlefield Association

I'm a bit surprised there is no Daughters of the Confederacy there.

The SCV Camp is raising money to dedicate a memorial to General James H. McBride in his Texas County home.

The Civil War Preservation Trust, a national organization that I also belong to, well, as soon as I get my dues in), is having a regional conference in Springfield in early 2008.

Glad to Hear the Cause Is Being Furthered in Springfield and Missouri. --B-Runner

Thursday, November 1, 2007

How I Got Bit by the Civil War Bug

I was born in North Carolina and still living there in 1958 when I was in second grade. We spent time every summer at Carolina Beach which is a short distance north of Fort Fisher.

At one time there were two big white columns near the Air Force Beach with the name Fort Fisher on them and a cannonball on top of each. I asked my dad what that was all about.

He explained that a war was fought a long time ago between the North and the South and this was a part of it.

I had studied the continents and knew about the states in school, so I told him that we must have been on the North's side because we lived in North Carolina and North America. He then had a really hard time explaining to me that we were on the South's side.

That got me to wanting to know more about it. One library book led to another, to another, to another, and so forth until I was totally hooked.

Probably a question I shouldn't have asked, but....

And Now You Know.... the Rest of the Story. --Blockade-Runner

More on Fort Fisher, NC

The National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) has placed the first Battle of Fort Fisher at Preservation Priority IV (Class C). I'm not really sure what that means, so will have to look it up somewhere. I would guess it is not a high priority, though.

It had a CWSAC Battle Summary showing that the December 1864 was a Confederate victory with a total of 320 casualties.

The 2008 Battlefield Project Grant can be presented to a non-profit or academic group and grants can range from $5000 to $75,000 with the average around $32,300. You have to file by January 8, 2008.

Save Those Battlefields. --Blockade-Runner

Another Fort Fisher

There was another Fort Fisher that I didn't know about. I came across it in another blog.

It was established at Waco Springs in Texas in 1837. It was near the present Waco Suspension Bridge in McLennan County by a former Indian village site.

It was questions about the Battle of Fort Fisher that got me interested in the Civil War was back when I was seven, back in 1958.

I'll have to see if I can find anything else about it.

Now, You Know Where This Addiction Began. --Blockade-Runner