The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Battle of Blair's Landing-- First Use of Periscope in Battle

The first use of a periscope occurred during this battle and was used to fire the gun from the USS Osage that killed Confederate General Thomas Green. It had been invented onboard just a few days earlier. Union Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Selfridge fired it and wrote about it in his memoirs.

The Osage was a single turret Neosho class river monitor launched in 1863. It was sunk by a torpedo in Blakely River, Alabama during the attack on Spanish Fort. It was later raised and sold. It's armament consisted of 2 x 11 inch Dahlgren smoothbore cannons.

I See, with My Little Periscope. --Old Blockade-Runner

Texas' General Green Honored with Marker

Here is the story about a guy who really lost his head in a battle with the Yankees.

The April 13th Shreveport Times had an article about General Thomas Green who had a marker dedicated to his memory April 12th.

He died April 12, 1864, when a cannon shot tore his head off in a fight between this 2500 Confederate cavalry and Union gunboats as federal forces retreated after the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. This engagement is called the Battle of Blairs Landing, something I've never heard of before.

His body was taken to Austin for a state funeral.

This new marker replaced two earlier ones erected by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Order of the Confederate Rose and is located by the Lock and Dam #4 access road.

Hey, General, Duck!! Too Late. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Running the Blockade-- Confederate Flagburning-- Confeds in Columbus, Oh-- Court Martial Re-enacted-- Mike Triplett

Running the Blockade-- Some New News of an Old War.

1. CONFEDERATE FLAG-BURNING IN NEWARK, NJ-- My friend Ed Briggs sent me a video clip from You-Tube showing a group of people cheering and chanting as they burned a Confederate flag. This is just one other reason to belong to the SCV. You can view it at

Sure burned me seeing them do that, but, I guess everyone is entitled to an opinion, no matter how misguided it is.

2. CONFEDERATES IN COLUMBUS, OHIO FOR FIRST TIME-- Well, not exactly in Columbus, but in nearby Grove City, Ohio, southwest of Columbus. This is a major military and history re-enactment featuring soldiers from the American revolution, frontier days, and the Civil War. In the past, a lone Confederate or small group would take part. This weekend, a sizable contingent of Southerners will be on hand.

3. FORT MCHENRY COURT MARTIAL RE-ENACTMENT-- This past weekend, Fort McHenry in Baltimore had the re-enactment of the court martial of Confederate soldier George McDonald who had been captured at the Battle of Antietam. He had been given the option of staying in prison or joining the Union Army and he took the latter. In 1864, while AWOL, he shot a man in Montgomery County and stole his horse.

He was found guilty and killed by the last-ever firing squad at the fort.

4. MIKE TRIPLETT-- Member of the Camp Douglas Camp 1507 has been appointed Illinois Division Communications Officer and takes charge of the division newsletter and website. Congratulations Mike!!!

And the War Goes On. --Blockade-Runner

Illinois Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Annual Meeting

This past Saturday, April 19th, the Illinois Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans held its annual meeting in the hometown of Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois. This is the fourth year in a row being held there at the Hilton. Springfield is centrally located in the state so as to not be too great of a distance for any of the attendees, especially in these days of super-inflated gasoline prices.

Twenty-four men attended and heard the Lt-Cmdr. of the SCV, Ron Casteel, speak after lunch. Quite a few members were in uniform, which drew interested looks from other people staying at the hotel.

For me, this is also a chance to do a little Route 66 (another love of mine) cruising, which my wife and I did on the way down, the next day, and from Monday to Wednesday of this week. We also attended the Route 66 Association of Illinois' quarterly meeting at Scotty's in Hamel, Illinois, near St. Louis.

More on the Meeting Later. --Old B-Runner

Friday, April 18, 2008

Kenosha Civil War Museum

As in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Grand opening for this new museum will be June 14-15. The museum features the war on the homefront, particularly as it relates to the Midwestern states. It is state-of-the-art and will feature technology, life-size diramas and interactive exhibits.


One temporary exhibit is on the Union transport ship Maple Leaf which was sunk by a Confederate torpedo in the St. John's River near Jacksonville, Florida. A Confederate torpedo would be the same as a mine today.

It was originally a Canadian pleasure excursion vessel, but bought by the US government and put into Civil War service.

The exhibit is called "The Maple Leaf: An American Civil War Shipwreck." It was discovered in 1984 and partially excavated. Its contents are a time capsule to the era with items used by soldiers. There will also be an authentic reproduction of a Confederate torpedo and an informational video.

For more information:

The museum is located at 5400 First Avenue

Perhaps I'll go there for the grand opening since it is about thirty miles away.

If I Can AFFORD the Gas at Whatever Big Oil is Charging Then. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Civil War Cannons Returned in Racine, Wisconsin

The April 4th Chicago Sun-Times ran an article on a pair of Civil War cannons that will be returned next month to their spots in the city's Monument Square where they had been for over a hundred years.

It would appear that Racine's mayor at first wanted to get rid of them and kept them in a shed before offering them to nearby Kenosha for display in their Civil War Museum.

According to Mayor Gary Becker, they'd been off the square for a year and a half and no one said anything about it. But when people heard we "might loan them to Kenosha, then everyone cared."

The city received 122 letters with 113 wanting the cannons back in Monument Square.

Well, they're back and the city has even approved $15,000 for new bases.

The article didn't say why they were moved in the first place, but I would guess it was for work on the square.

Don't Move My Cannons!!! --B-Runner

Ringing in My Ear-- USS Merrimack's Bell Goes on Display

The April 16th site had an article on the bell of the USS Merrimack going on display at the Museum of the US Navy in Washington, DC.

It was donated by Adrian Pearsal, a collector of antique nautical items who had originally contacted the National Geographic Society about it, but they had put him in touch with the naval museum.

It is unclear whether this bell was aboard the CSS Virginia in its fight against the USS Monitor, but there is severe fire damage and a large dent, perhaps made by a burning timber striking it while it was hot. Perhaps from when it was burned at the Norfolk Navy Yard in 1861.

For many years after the war, it was with the Grand Army of the Republic and on display, but at some point in the 1920s, it went into the hands of private collectors where it remained until now.

The Navy site called it the watch bell from the 1856 Merrimack. It was also presented by Doris Pearsal.

As Anita Ward Said, "Ring My Bell." --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

James Canaan at Fort Fisher

Faded Footsteps featured the grave of James Canaan, Co. E, 118th Ohio Infantry amd GAR member. He was at both battles of Fort Fisher and on February 9th, 1865 was in operations against Confederate General Hoke, Fort Anderson, the capture of Wilmington and the Campaign of the Carolinas.

He is buried in Big Rapids, Michigan.

The Faded Footsteps site features photographs of the graves and location of Union Civil War Veterans.

We Do Both Sides at This Blog. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Why I Never Get Much Done on the Internet

Case in point, today's search for Civil War-related items.

I have a Yahoo Search for Civil War Items in the News. Today, I saw an article in the Chicago Sun-Times about two CW cannons in nearby Racine, Wi., being returned to Monument Square after protests. I read it.

Then saw the paper had listed, under Related Blogposts, a site called Civil War Memory. Went there and found it very interesting so read postings and put it on my favorites.

The article mentioned a Kenosha Civil War Museum, so searched it and spent time reading its website.

Then it mentioned having a temporary exhibit on the Union Army transport Maple Leaf which was sunk by a Confederate torpedo in the St. John's River, near Jacksonville, Florida.

Fount out it had a website so went there and spent time. Then to wikipedia which had a link to Florida Shipwrecks site.

This ended up taking about an hour.

I then posted to Florida Civil War historian Dale Cox about it. Figured he'd find it of interest.

I guess this is what they call Surfing the Net.

No Wonder I Get So Little Done When I'm on the Internet. --Old Blockade-Runner

Monday, April 14, 2008

Running the Blockade-- Grave News-- Back to the Beach

Some News of the Old War.

1. THE MARCH 25TH CHARLOTTE OBSERVER-- Had an article about the damage Atlanta, Georgia's Oakwood Cemetery suffered when the March 14th tornado went through it. Eighty-six trees were shattered and heavy damage was sustained by the Joseph E. Brown memorial. Brown was the Civil War governor of Georgia.

The cemetery is also the final resting place of several Confederate generals, Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone With the Wind", and golfer Bobby Brown among other notables.

2. THE MARCH 24TH TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH (Texas)-- reported that "Spirits of Oakwood Cemetery" was going to be given for the 4th year with proceeds going to repair broken markers. Various people played roles of those buried there.

One person played Col. Thomas Reuben Bonner, CSA, who portrayed the 231 unknown Confederate soldiers buried in a 300 by 300 foot plot in the middle of the cemetery.

It is also the final resting place of 100 early black citizens.

3. BACK TO THE BEACH-- The March 23rd Wilmington Star News reported on a road rally by the Sun Coast Cruisers at the Rock-Ola Cafe. "Some of the brave men who fought in the Civil War battles at Fort Fisher may have lived to drive a Model T" but they wouldn't have imagined the old Corvettes and muscle cars that showed up here.

I wonder how many Civil War vets actually drove cars?

The War Goes On. --Blockade-Runner

Farragut Monument, Washington, DC

The dcist blog for Washington, DC, had Ben Schuman Stoler visit the Farragut Monument in Farragut Square, and wrote, "'Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!' Perhaps it might not have been the smartest of orders. But sure enough, Farragut's bully command helped the naval commander get a huge statue and two metro stops plus a square named after him."

A reporter at its April 25, 1881 dedication wrote that the statue and the mortars around it were cast from the propeller of the USS Hartford and underneath it were documents pertaining to his service. President Garfield spoke and remarked that the capital was slowly being filled up with heroes of other times. Then, there was a massive military procession and 30,000 spectators.

Today Farragut Square "is more of a traffic annoyance than a statement of honor and national pride."

Under comments, someone wrote that the square is now populated with the homeless and that someone had scrawled "I was a racist" on one side of the pedestal.

Too Late for the Monitor, Though. --Old B-Runner

Sunday, April 13, 2008

There's Gold in Then Thar Hills or Forests?

The March 25th Pittsburgh-Post Gazette reports that Dennis Parada has asked for permission to go looking for lost gold in a state forest in northern Pennsylvania.

This was lost while being transported by Union cavalry from Wheeling, West Virginia to Philadelphia. It is estimated to be worth $20 million today. There is some question as to the story's validity, however.

During the summer of 1863, with Confederate forces in Pennsylvania, it was decided to move the gold. A very northerly route was chosen to avoid the southerners. Two wagons, 8 soldiers, and 26 fifty-pound bars of gold made the trip, but never arrived.

Parada claims to have found bones and other articles at an undisclosed site.

That Might Be Enough to Fill Up Your Gas Tank by the End of the Summer. --B-R'er

Running the Blockade-- Pensacola-- Water Witch-- Chaplain's Museum--

News of the Old War.

1. PENSACOLA DURING THE CIVIL WAR-- A book review on "Pensacola During the Civil War: A Thorn in the Side of the Confederacy." This is a narrative account of this forgotten corner of the war. From the South's capture of the Navy Yard and Forts Barrancas and McRae to Bragg's failure to capture Fort Pickens. It also covers the operations of the East and West Gulf Blockading Squadrons. From

2. TALK ON THE WATER WITCH-- Marine archaeoligist Gordon Watts spoke in Savannah in March about the USS/CSS Water Witch which was recently located. He is the founder of the Tidewater Atlantic Research Company which found it.

3. THE NATIONAL CIVIL WAR CHAPLAIN'S MUSEUM-- is set to open in Lynchburg, Virginia, to educate the public about the roles played by the chaplains during the war. It currently is at Liberty University in a 1000 square foot room, but soon will be moving to a facility ten times that size.

The War Goes On. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Well, What is a MOLLUS?

The Military Order of he Loyal Legion of the United States, or MOLLUS or the Loyal Legion, was formed after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on April 15, 1865. It consisted of former officers in the armed services.

To belong to MOLLUS today, you have to trace a blood relationship to an ancestor who was a Union officers (like the South's Order of the Stars and Bars).

On October 17-19 they wil be having their Annual Congress in Gettysburg. This weekend, tomorrow to be exact, April 12th, they are having a ceremony at Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield, Illinois. I should note that next week, the Illinois Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is having its annual convention in Springfield as well. I wonder what might have happened if the two groups had been in town the same weekend?

MOLLUS has an excellent website which includes a very thorough search engine. I found out that Admiral George Dewey of Spanish-American War fame was at Fort Fisher as the executive officer on board the USS Colorado. Also, that there is or was something called the Fort Fisher Command. I'll have to see if I can find something else about that.

It is now a oart od the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

So, Now You Know. --Blockade-Runner

MOLLUS Gets New Commander

The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States has a new commander, Karl Schaeffer of Massilon, Ohio. He joined the organization in 1994 and has written a 430 page book "Captain Ender's Legion" in 2001.

His first act was to lay a wreath at the gettysburg Monument Nov. 17th and other ceremonies are set for Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield, Illinois, and the Lincoln Monument in Washington, DC.

He also headed a drive to get a Lincoln Highway viaduct dedicated to the Four Chaplains in 1993, an effort that took a year. There are bronze plaques at each end. The four chaplains were a Catholic priest, Jewish rabbi, and two ministers aboard the Dorchester, an old luxury liner turned into troopship when it was sunk by a German U-boat in 1943 resulting in 672 deaths, including their own when they gave up their life jackets so that others could live. Now that is an act of valor.

Mr. Schaeffer has turned part of his home into a museum, one devoted to the Civil War and containing the sash his great grandfather wore into battle. The other part is devoted to John Wayne. Also in the house is a 42 year collection of National Geographic.

Sounds Like a Man of Many Interests. --The Old B-Runner

Friday, April 11, 2008

Running the Blockade--Univ of Richmond's New Prez-- Conf. Monument Vandals-- Beauvoir Reopens

Some News of the Old War.

1. THE UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND'S NEW PRESIDENT-- is one of us. Hopefully, this means there will be no pc stuff there as all too often happens at our institutions of higher eduacation.

New president, Edward L. Ayers, is the author of the book "The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconsruction." April 11 Richmond Times-Dispatch

2. CONFEDERATE MONUMENT VANDALS-- The boys who vandalized the Confederate Mounument at the Alabam,a State Capitol have all admitted their guilt so there will not be a trial. Punishment will be decided later.

I can agree with this, but, again, part of their punishment should be in getting in touch with their Confederate heritage. And money should be involved as well.

3. BEAUVOIR REOPENS, SORT OF-- It's good to see that the grounds have reopened at the site in Biloxi, Mississippi which was so badly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

There is a small museum in the gift shop which is free, but it will cost you to walk the 54 acre grounds to see the damage Katrina wrought.

We were by there back at the end of Februaray and cpouldn't go in. The exterior of the home looked quite good, however.

Glad to hear it.

The War That Goes On. --Old B-Runner

Monday, April 7, 2008

Running the Blockade-- New Five Forks Visitors Center-- Fort Lincoln Restoration-- See the Fort Fisher Hermit-- Civil War Comes to Iowa

Running the Blockade-- Some news of the War.

1. NEW VISITOR CENTER AT FIVE FORKS-- Groundbreaking for the latest addition to the Petersburg National Battlefield took place March 26th according to the Progressive-Index.

The new Five Forks Battle visitors center will cost $3 million and have 2,400 square feet. The Battle took place April 1, 1865.

2. FORT LINCOLN RESTORATION-- Civil War buffs are restoring the earthen walls of Fort Lincoln in Scotland, Maryland. It was the site of the Harrison Hospital built to take care of Union wounded from the Peninsular Campaign.

And, later, it was a Confederate prison which began operation after the Battle of Gettysburg named Point Lookout. Many of the captured soldiers of Fort Fisher were transferred here after the fort's fall, and many died there.

It is now part of Point Lookout State Park.

3. HERE'S YOUR CHANCE TO SEE THE FORT FISHER HERMIT-- Well, he's dead, but a documentary has been made. It has been seen on NC public television, but if you missed it, like I did, you have the chance to see it at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Showings will be April 12, 20, and 26 and the cost is $18 with admission to the aquarium or $10 without. It is titled "The Fort Fisher Hermit: The Life and Death of Robert E. Harrill."

4. KEOKUK, IOWA CIVIL WAR RE-ENACTMENT-- At least 600 re-enactors are expected at this even which will be held April 25-27.

And the Old War Goes On --Old B-Runner

Kilpatrick's Shirttail Skedaddle, the Battle of Monroe's Crossroads Part 2

From Wikipedia. I decided to find out some more about this battle.

It is also known as the Battle of Fayetteville Road, and in the north, sometimes Kilpatrick's Shirttail Skedaddle. You have to like a battle with a name like that.

It resulted in a minor Confederate victory, one of the last in the war. It pitted mounted Confederates against dismounted Union cavalry.

Confederate cavalry, numbering 5,800, under Wade Hampton and Joseph Wheeler surprised the 4,438 man Union encampment. One of the goals was the capture of much-hated Union General Judson Kilpatrick and they almost did. The good Union general was in the embrace of his mistress in a small cabin near Charles Monroe's farmhouse when the Confeds came a-calling. He managed to escape out the back door in his nightshirt and hid in the woods until he recovered and rallied his troops. They drove the Confederates off.

Losses were 400-500 Union and 100 Confederate. The graves of some of the unidentified Union soldiers can still be seen on the grounds of Fort Bragg.

The battle enabled retreating Confederate forces to cross the Cape Fear River and burn the bridge behind them.

Get a Move On, General. --B-Runner

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Battle of Monroe's Crossroads

This is not a battle I've ever heard of before, but the April 6th Faytetteville Observer had an article about the March 29th observation of the Battle of Monroe's Crossroads, North Carolina.

The Thomas H. Ruger Camp Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War and Robeson Rifles Guard Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans held a joint remembrance ceremony to honor the Union and Confederate cavalry killed at this battle fought March 10, 1865, on the grounds of present-day Fort Bragg.

Confederate cavalry under Gen. Wade Hampton attacked a Union cavalry under Gen. Hugh Kilpatrick and captured it. However, the Union troops rallied an recaptured it after a three hour fight. The Confederates withdrew with 200 dead and dying and it did delay the Union capture of Fayetteville by a day.

A Lot of Dead to Get an Extra Day. --The Old B-R'er

Running The Blockade-- Mayors Proclaim Confederate History Month-- Oakdale Cemetery, Wilmington, NC-- Oakwood Cemetrery, Raleigh, NC

Running the Blockade--News of the War.

1. MAYORS OF SHREVEPORT AND BOSSIER CITY PROCLAIM CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH--  It will be declared this week.  Shreveport was the objective of the Union's Red River Campaign in 1864 and was where Confederate President Jefferson Davis was headed when he was captured.

The actions of these men are commendable, especially in this politically correct era.  

2.  OAKDALE CEMETERY, WILMINGTON, NC--  This from the Topsail Advertiser's North Carolina Minute by J.C. Knowles.  One of the  interesting graves in this cemetery is that of a girl buried in a keg of rum.  The grave of Confederate spy Rose Greenhow and 500 Confederates killed in an explosion after Fort Fisher fell and others who died in yellow fever epidemics, especially the one in 1862.  There is also the grave of the last man in NC killed in a duel.

I'm not sure of the 500 killed at the explosion as being Confederates, unless that is where they were being held after the fort fell.  Otherwise, they would have been Union soldiers. 

I should add that Gen. W.H.C. Whiting's grave is there as well.  He, along with Col. William Lamb were responsible for the construction of Fort Fisher.  He died in a northern prison and was buried there until being disinterred and brought back to his adopted Wilmington some time after the war's end.

3.  OAKWOOD CEMETERY, RALEIGH, NC--  Also from NC Minute--  Has the body of a man killed going over Niagara Falls, the grave of the only Confederate soldier killed in Raleigh's surrender, and the grave of Ensign Worth Bagley, the only American Naval officer killed in the Spanish-American War. 

Some News of that Old War.  --Old B-Runner

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Medal of Honor Winner Honored

The March 29th Carroll County Times had an article about Sgt. John E. Buffington who won the Medal of Honor on April 2, 1865 when he planted the first Union flag atop Confederate fortifications at Petersburg, Virginia. An administrative error delayed him getting it until April 3, 1908.

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War will be honoring him today at the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Taneytown. They found that his grave was marked with a Medal of Honor symbol, but not that of the Grand Army of the Republic. This will be corrected.

Two great grandsons will be present along with other descendants.

The Color Guard will be provided by the Gettysburg Camp SUV 112.

Old B-Runner

Civil War 2008 Calendar

My sister-in-law bought me a Civil War 2008 Calendar, but I just got it a few days ago. Excellent source of history, both with pictures, letters, little known facts, and diaries. I'll definitely get one myself next year.

Since I'm very interested in Fort Fisher and the Wilmington campaign, I was especially enjoyed the two entries from a letter by Private John Miller, 123rd Regt. Indiana Infantry. He wrote to his father from Fort Anderson, NC, Feb. 27.

"It is curious how careless of life war will render any man. Before I came into the army, it would have shocked me to see a man cut with a knife, or knocked down with a club. Now I can see any number of men killed and never give them a thought, or glance. Ah well, such is war and it can't be helped."

Later, in the same letter, he wrote, "I have had many fair shots at rebels but never hit one that I know of. The first time I ever shot at a man I was so excited at the thought that I trembled like a leaf, but I got used to that kind of business, and I can draw a "bead" on a rebel now as cooly as would on a squirrel and be glad to see him fall."

Interesting thoughts on how war changes a man.


Running the Blockade-- My Excuse Is...-- Marker Rededication-- Missed the Meeting-- First CW Trails Marker in West Virginia-- No Fla. Tags?

Running the Blockade--  Some News About the War.

1.  TEENAGER TO USE SLAVERY AS AN EXCUSE-- The April 3rd Birminham, Al, News says that at least one of the teenagers arrested for the desecration of the Confederate Memorial on the grounds of Alabama's state capitol is going to use the excuse that it was a statement against slavery.  This should be an interesting trial.

2.  NEW MARKER FOR WALDEN--  The Enterprise Ledger reports that there are 40 Confederate veterans buried in the Enterprise City Cemetery.  There was some damage from a tornado last year.  On April 12th there will be by the UDC for a new marker on the grave of 2nd Lt. Charles R. Walden of the 49th Ga. Regiment.

3.  I MISSED THE SCV MEETING--  I picked up the April 3rd Goldsboro News-Argus and read it at 9 pm and wasn't too happy to see that i had missed the Goldsboro Rifles Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting that started at 7 pm that day.  They met at the Salem United Methodist Church and were given a power-point presentation by Jeff Bockett, a Civil War specialist with the North Carolina Department of Cultural resources on North Carolina uniforms.  Sure would have liked to attend as a representative of the Camp Douglas Sons of Confederate Veterans.  Too little, too late.

4.  FIRST CIVIL WAR TRAILS MARKER IN WEST VIRGINIA--  at Princeton.  This is an excellent program to increase public awareness of the war.

5.  LOOKS LIKE CONFEDERATE TAGS NOT TO BE IN FLORIDA--  The Confederate license plate bill appears to be dead in the water since it has no co-sponsor and has not been sent to a committee.  Too bad about that.

The War Continues.  --Old B-Runner

Friday, April 4, 2008

Running the Blockade-- Confederate History Month-- Battle of Pleasant Hill Re-enactment-- Couts Heritage Museum-- Shiloh Re-enactment

Running the Blockade-- Some News About the War

1. CONFEDERATE HISTORY AND HERITAGE MONTH-- We have another 26 days to honor those who fought so valiantly all those years ago to protect their homes.

2. BATTLE OF PLEASANT HILL, LOUISIANA-- April 9th marks the 144th anniversary of the 1864 battle and it will be observed with activities for children. Along with the usual re-enactors, this year there will be 24 cannons. Living history will be Saturday and Sunday.

3. COUTS HERITAGE MUSEUM, DUNN NC-- will feature how people lived at home during the Union blockade of the Confederacy.

4. SHILOH NATIONAL MILITARY PARK-- will be hosting a living history activity this weekend to mark the 146th anniversary of the battle. About 150 re-enactors are expected.

The Old Blockade-Runner

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Confederate History and Heritage Month

April is Confederate history and Heritage Month as past Illinois Commander Ed Briggs alerted me in an e-mail yesterday.

I will be attending the Illinois Division Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting in Springfield, Illinois, later this month. then doing some Route 66 stuff.

Springfield, by the way, is the home of Abraham Lincoln.

Thanks, Ed. --Old Blockade-Runner

Second Battle of Perryville 2008

The April 2nd Lexington (Ky) Herald-Leader reports that plans for subdivision of new homes bordering the old battlefield and a planned assisted care facility and the highway businesses they might bring with them are posing a very real threat to Perryville Battlefield.

An internet call out of support brought 150 telephone calls to protest this from Civil War fans from all over the country recently.

The Power of the Internet. --B-Runner

With All This Fuss About the Confederate Battle Flag...

As we all know, there is a "Big Fuss" these days about the Confederate battleflag. There are those who unfortunately view it as a symbol of racism, oppression, and prejudice. Then, there are those who see it as the symbol of a brave people trying to protect their homes and way of life.

During World Wars I and II and the Korean War, there was actually a unit in the US Army called the Dixie Division which consisted largely of men from the Southern states AND THEY MARCHED UNDER THE FLAGS OF BOTH THE US AND THE CONFEDERACY AND IT WAS NO BIG DEAL, EVEN TO THE BLACK SOLDIERS IN THE DIVISION.

To see more on this, go to

This Flag DOES NOT Have to Be so Divisive. --The Old Blockade-R

In Case You're Wondering...

In case you'd like to know what the rest of Rantings' top ten Best Civil War Visitors Centers, here's the list:

#1. Gettysburg
#2. Tredegar Ironworks
#3. Battle of Monacacy
#5, Antietam
#8. Belle Grove/Cedar Creek
#9. Harper's Ferry
#10. Ball's Bluff

He did say that he was more of an eastern theater person which is why there are no western ones on the list.

Good site to visit.

Love Those Lists. Keep 'em Comin'. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Almost Hanged

More Civil War History from Sikeston, Mo.

This is considering that I had never heard of this town before the vacation, it is worth further investigation. Then, of course there's always the "Throwed Rolls" at Lambert's.

The American Legion Park at Front Street and New Madrid Street in downtown Sikeston.

This park is the site of the town's founder John Sikes' home and store. During the Civil War, a group of guerillas came to the store and demanded Sikes to tell them where the family money and jewelry was.

Sikes refused and the guerillas hanged him from the oak tree in front of his store. Mrs. Sikes saw this and took $100 hidden in a sack on the front porch and sent it to the guerillas by servant girl. The guerillas cut him down just in time.

Sikeston--Throwed Rolls and Hanging Trees. --Old B-Runner

Battle of Sikeston-- Confederate "Swamp Fox"-- Conscription Tree

On our trip down to the Gulf Coast back at the end of February, we spent the first night at Sikeston, Missouri, where we really enjoyed Lambert's Cafe, home of the "Throwed Rolls." a real experience and definite place to stop in the future.

In the morning, I was in the motel lobby and picked up a pamphlet on Sikeston history.


Sikeston was just a small village during the Civil War, but its location on the King's Highway and railroad access made it an important place.

In late February 1862, Union General John Pope marched into Sikeston. The head of his column had a skirmish with 20 or more Confederates under the command of General Jeff Thompson, the legendary "Swamp Fox."


He once robbed a bank in Charleston, Mo., to pay his men and buy arms and supplies. Legend has it that he buried part of this "loot" under one of the big oak trees that once stood on the corner. During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate forces recruited under this tree. Hence the name Conscription Tree.

Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox, Hiding in the Glen. --B-Runner

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Top Ten Civil War Visitors Sites

Eric Wittenberg in his Rantings of a Civil War Historian blog listed HIS Top Ten Civil War visitors centers. Three of them are in my home state of North Carolina.

#4. Fort Fisher-- best fiber optic troop movement map he's ever seen. State Park.

#6. Bentonville-- another great fiber optic map done by Mark Moore, who also did the one in Fort Fisher. State Park.

#7. Averasboro-- Nice museum and gift shop. Most impressive-- "model for how to preserve, mark, and interpret a battlefield with private dollars."

Thanks for the recognition, Eric.

And That Mark Can Sure Make a Map. --Old B-Runner