Saturday, May 31, 2008

Battle of Galveston Anniversary Observed

Some More Old News. The Jan. 13th Galveston County News had an article "Battle of Galveston anniversary marked" by Marty Schladen.

On Jan. 12th, re-enactors commemorated the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Galveston at the City Cemetery where important figures from both sides of the battle are buried.

Stephen Schulze, commander of the Houston Chapter of the Sons of Union Veterans said the purpose was to honor the fallen on both sides.

The battle took place on New Year's morning, 1863. Galveston had been blockaded by the navy and the Union army captured Galveston in October.

On New Year's Eve, Confederate General John B. Magruder moved in to attack the city by both land and sea, sort of like Washington on crossing the Delaware. He also succeeded.

In the harbor, the USS Harriet Lane sank the Confederate steamer Neptune, but was then rammed by the Bayou City and, after a fight, was forced to surrender.

The Lane's wounded were taken ashore. Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lea, shot in the stomach, knew his father, Major Albert Lea was in Galveston as an engineer in the Confederate Army. He rushed to his son, but before he could arrive, his son died with the last words, "My father is here."

The Confederacy then held Galveston until the end of the war.

Schulze's group, which is named after Lea, spoke about the war divided families. In five speeches, the word "slavery" was never used. "The causes of this war are long settled," said Schulze.

Old B-Runner

Some Old News-- NAACP and the SC Primary

Just going through some of my old clippings and news.

This from the Jan. 23rd WSOC TV in Charlotte, NC.

The leaders of the NAACP were hoping that the upcoming South Carolina Primary would renew the fight to remove the Confederate flag. The idea is to make Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton make their stand on the issue known.

Lonnie Randolph, the president of the state chapter of the NAACP said, "America is a mean country and South Carolina is a meaner state. For the government of this state to continue to endorse bigotry, racism, and white supremacy, we are going to continue to raise our voice and speak out against it."

The flag was removed from the capitol dome seven years ago and now flies in front of the Confederate monument. Both Clinton and Obama have called for the flag to be removed completely from the grounds.

The NAACP urged a tourist boycott but the state says its has had little impact on the state's largest industry which takes in $15 billion annually.

Mr. Randolph, that flag does not mean bigotry and racism to me. Please understand that many others feel the same way. It stands for the sacrifices and bravery of those outnumbered people who felt they no longer had a place in the US as it stood in the 1850s and 1860s.

Unfortunately, it is used by some groups that do not represent my feelings in any way. They use the flag without permission. Do not think for a moment that I agree with their hatred and goals.

You Need to Understand the Other Side. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, May 29, 2008

April 19th Illinois Division SCV Meeting-- Final Part

Continuing with Ron Casteel's talk.

MEDIA BIAS


When people complain about the presence of a Confederate flag (usually one person), it just takes one phone call to bring it down. Then the press gets comments from local NAACP and SCV members.

In the old days, most local papers were also locally owned as were TV stations, but today many are owned by large northern-based companies. Most of the reporters are not from the south and want to move on to a larger market and are afraid of the NAACP which Casteel said stood for the National Association of Always Complaining People.


SOME AWARDS FOR THE ILLINOIS DIVISION From the National SCV

DIXIE CLUB-- most new members-- John Jeffers

SUPERIOR LEADERSHIP-- Jim Barr and John Jeffers

REV. J. WILLIAM JONES CHRISTIAN AWARD-- Rev. William W. Barr

HISTORY DEFENSE-- Gayle Red

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL-- John Stillwell

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

April 19th Illinois Division Meeting, SCV-- Next to Final Part

Ron Casteel's Talk


I figured that since it's now been almost a month and a half since it took place, I'd better bring this account to a close while the memory is still there. I did, however, take notes and am using them for most of this.

After all, I am the Division Historian and Need to Write the History While it is STILL Somewhat New.

After a delicious lunch, we were treated to to a talk by Ron Casteel of Jefferson City, Missouri and is the current Lt-Cmdr-in-Chief of the Sons of Confederate Veterans for the past two terms.

He opened with the remark, "It's nice to be here in the hometown of Abraham Lincoln as a representative of the Confederacy."

Ron, a thirty year veteran in the media as a reporter and TV anchorman, gave quite a rousing talk on the current SCV battle against political correctness and media bias. And he is a former member of the media so knows what he's talking about.

Two years ago, our division was preparing to build a monument to the Confederates who are buried at Camp Butler National Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. When it was becoming apparent that there would be problems from the media and certain groups, the division requested his help which he gladly gave and the monument was dedicated two years ago at the convention.

"WHY, WE ARE NOT RACISTS, and NO, WE DON"T WANT TO BRING BACK SLAVERY."

Commanders Casteel's two things to the media, should they inquire.

The root cause for the media's bias against the Confederate flag is education. Children are indoctrinated that diversity is good and the south bad because of slavery. The war was ONLY about slavery. The flag represents slavery.

Plus, history is no longer taught as just history. It is lumped together in a multi-culturalism object called social studies these days.

Education is definitely anti-southern. Unfortunately, education is also educating future media people.

More to Come. --The Old Blockade-Runner

Saturday, May 24, 2008

USS John Adams-- Biting the Hand that Built It

While reading an article about the renaissance of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, I came across the first ship to be launched from there being the USS John Adams in 1798 and that it had been burned to prevent capture by the British in the War of 1812.

I checked it out in Wikipedia and found that the USS Adams frigate had been built there and that was the one that was burned.

There was ,however, a USS John Adams frigate that was built by the people of Charleston for the US Navy about the same time.

It participated in the the Quasi Wars, the two Barbary Wars, the War of 1812, operated in in the West Indies and Venezuela, the Mexican War, and was on the African Station intercepting slave ships from 1848 to 1853 and then in the Pacific and Far East. The Quasi Wars look like a subject for another entry as I know nothing about them.

That was quite a lengthy service, but the John Adams also served during the Civil War.


CIVIL WAR SERVICE

During the war, the Adams was a training ship for midshipmen after the Naval Academy was moved to Newport, RI, from Annapolis, Md., for safety.

In the summer of 1863, it joined the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron and took up station off Morris Island as the flagship of the Inner blockade. It also entered Charleston Harbor after the city was evacuated in February 1865.

It was decommissioned in 1865 and sold in 1867.

I should mention that the USS Monitor was built elsewhere, but commissioned at the Brooklyn Naval Yard before its battle with the CSS Virginia.

Talk About Biting the Hand that Built You? --Old B-Runner

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tinclads

The USS Signal was classified as a tinclad. I went to a site to find out some more on these ships.

A tinclad had tin nailed to its sides and became bullet-proof, but not cannon-proof. Being lightly-armored, they were of shallow draft and often used on reconnaissance duty up rivers.

Ironclads and tinclads, however, were not armored below the waterline and subject to great danger from Confederate torpedoes.

I'm finding out that naval ships on the rivers often did battle with Confederate soldiers on shore as well as made raids from the ships.

Now, I Know About Tinclads. --Old Blockade-Runner

Running the Blockade-- Logan Wants to Know-- Fort Fisher Biking-- Confederate Flag in Washington State-- Ban the Flag

Running the Blockade-- New News of an Old War


1. LOGAN WANTS TO KNOW-- Logan County, Illinois, that is. The May 19th Pantagraph states that an effort to refurbish the Civil War monument on the court house square in Lincoln has raised the number of county residents serving in the war from 326 names listed to nearly 400.

The statue was dedicated June 10, 1869 and refurbished in 1903 when it was also moved slightly. By then, many of the names had weathered so badly that they were nearly unreadable.

The county would like to know if there are more and invite all leads.


2. FORT FISHER BIKING-- The May 8th Wilmington Star-News had an article about Al Schroetel and his Cape Fear Cyclists bicycle club.

It said he first visited Fort Fisher in 1963 when it was the home of the 701st Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron while serving in the Air Force. He met his future wife there. He was away for many years, but upon retiring, moved back to Wilmington.

His 350 member bicycling club offers five different rides, but a favorite is a 40 mile ride to Fort Fisher with a stop at Britt's Donuts in Carolina Beach on the way back.


3. CONFEDRATE FLAG IN WASHINGTON STATE-- And NO ONE WANTS IT TAKEN DOWN although it has raised a few eyebrows, but evoked no controversy. The May 15th KGW Northwest News TV said it is at Ridgefield in sight of I-5.

Brent Jacobs, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans raised it in honor of Jefferson Davis. "I think our ancestors got a bad rap, and we're trying to preserve their good name."

This summer, he and other SCV members plan on dedicating headstones to four Confederate veterans who moved to Oregon after the war.


4. BAN THE FLAG-- The May 14th Delmarvanow.com reports that some Allegheny County, Maryland residents wants to ban the Confederate flag from school grounds; ones that promote racial hatred. They also want the Nazi Swastika banned. The schoold board will meet to consider the request.

Who Says It's an Old War. --Old B-Runner

April 19th Illinois Division SCV Meeting-- Part 7

About Those Flags

The state of Illinois has eleven Confederate battle flags captured during the war and it is the goal of the SCV to have them all returned to their home states.

Two are currently in New York undergoing conservation: Madison Artillery captured at Gettysburg July 3, 1863, and the 9 by 14 foot Fort Blakely garrison flag captured April 9, 1865. The Fort Blakely flag is ready to go home and just awaiting for delegates from Alabama's Balwin County to come and pick it up.

The flag of the 66th Georgia was captured July 22, 1864 with the notationthat it was surrendered by the bearer upon his death.

The 46th Mississippi flag was captured April 1, 1865 bear Fort Blakely.

There are three more flags, but the problem is that they can only go to the state of origin and they are not sure of these.

The flag of the 34th Texas, Terry's Texas Cavalry Rangers is at the Chicago History Museum, but the current staff there is being completely uncooperative as to returning it.

A few weeks ago, I was notified by Ed Briggs that the Fort Blakely flag was on its way home!!! Great news.

Let Get Those Flags Home. --Old B-Run

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fort Jackson, Ga. Turning 200

The May 18 WTOC TV in Savannah had a segment on the oldest brick fortification in Georgia turning 200. It served the confederacy and later the Union forces during the Civil War.

The Coastal Heritage Society has been operating the fort since 1975.

Wikipedia said that it was originally called Fort James Jackson and was built 1808-1812. During the Civil War, it was shelled by escaped slave Robert Smalls. It was listed on the National register of Historic Places Feb. 18, 1970.

It has also been known as Fort Oglethorpe and now is called Old Fort Jackson.

During the Revolutionary War, an earthen battery occupied the site a few miles below Savannah. By 1812, it was essentially a brick battery with the rear finished later. It was abandoned in 1905.

And You Thought All Savannah Had was Fort Pulaski and Fort McAllister. --Old B-Runner

April 19th Illinois Division SCV Meeting- Part 6

The Dirt About Dirt-- The Division has a supply of dirt from all the Southern states and continues to collect it from family members, trips, and organizations. This dirt is used to sprinkle over the graves of Confederate veterans buried in the North so that they will have some dirt from their homeland on their grave.

North Carolina has sent five samples including from Orange County, High Point, the Fayette Arsenal where 59 Confederate soldiers were buried in a mass grave, and from the grave of Governor Zebulon Vance, the wartime leader of the state.

SOIL TRADITION-- Ceremony with the spreading of dirt from the home of each soldier buried in Illinois.

South Carolina Division Commander Randy Burbage has sent dirt from the Citadel. While modernizing Johnson Heygood Stadium, a cemetery was discovered in which Confederate soldiers were buried.

And, That's the Word on Dirt. --Old Blockade-Runner

Monday, May 19, 2008

And Now, Balls Are Under Attack

You've heard about the incessant attacks on the Confederate Battle Flag. Well, now it has been taken farther.

Two Escondido, California, middle schools have an annual tradition where, after a month-long course on the Civil War, boys dress up in Civil War uniforms and girls in dresses of the era for the "Confederate-Union Ball."

However, Kym Atkins said, "my child is black. If they are recreating history, my child would not be allowed to go to something like this."

The schools say it is one component of a month-long academic study by 8th graders at Bear Valley and Rincon middle schools "to understand what daily life was all about. They study the clothing, the food and all the things going on culturally."

Students dance waltzes and the Virginia Reel at the ball.

From the May 17th San Diego News TV.

I Wonder WHOSE Uniforms Mrs. Atkins Objects To? --Old B-Runner

2007-2008 Illinois Division Scholarship Winner

I know of no other Civil War group of any sort that offers high school seniors a chance to win a scholarship to college.

However, the Illinois Division Sons of Confederate veterans ans Military Order of the Stars and Bars has offered one for the past two years.

Division Commander Jim Barr announced that the 2007-2008 winner is Luke McDaniel Hammer of Sparta, Illinois. He attends Red Bud High School in Red Bud, Illinois.

Congratulations Luke. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Battle of Chalk Bluff

The April 29th Daily Dunklin Democrat had an article about the 145th anniversary of this battle which was to be marked by a re-enactment at the Chalk Bluff Battlefield Park, located a little Piggott, Arkansas.

It was hosted by the Northeast Arkansas Civil War Heritage Trail Committee and the Col. Robert G. Shaver Camp 1655 SCV and General James F. Fagan Chapter 280 MOSB.

Six cannons were scheduled along with artillery, infantry, cavalry and civilian re-enactors.

THE BATTLE OF CHALK BLUFF

From Wikipedia

The battle took place May 1st and 2nd, 1863 and was a Confederate tactical victory despite heavier losses.

General John S. Marmaduke's cavalry division fought the second division of the Army of the Frontier. Marmaduke's 5000 troops left Arkansas bound for southeast Missouri in the spring of 1863, but lost at the Battle of Cape Giradeau on April 26th.

They retreated to Chalk Bluff, Arkansas where they planned to cross the St. Francis River. A rear guard was set up on Gravel Hill while a bridge was constructed. Confederates suffered heavier casualties, but delayed the Union force long enough for the bridge to be completed and Marmaduke to escape.

The town of Chalk Bluff no longer exists.

Losses:

US- 23 killed. 44 wounded, and 53 captured
CS- 30 killed, 60 wounded, and 120 missing

Never Heard of This Battle Before. --Old B-Runner

Who Said It?

This Date 1862-- President Lincoln established the US Department of Agriculture.


WHO SAID IT. I have the Civil War Daily Calendar. On April 9, 19/20 and 29th they had quotes. See if you can tell who said what.

QUOTE #1. April 9th-- "After four years of arduous service marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the ____ __ _______ ______ has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources."


QUOTE #2. April 19/20-- "I cannot raise my hand against my birthplace, my home, my children."


QUOTE #3. April 29-- "WE feel that our cause is just and holy; we protest solemnly in the face of mankind that we desire peace at any sacrifice save that of honour and independence,...all we ask is to be let alone...."

Answers Below.








1. Robert E. Lee at the surrender

2. Robert E. Lee upon resigning his commission

3. Jefferson Davis, April 29, 1861

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Civil War Alive and Well in Northern Illinois

The May 9th Rockford Register Star had an article about Civil War doings in and around that large city located about 20 miles from the Wisconsin border.

The Rockford Library and Museum are bringing Lincoln and the Civil War to the area.

The Library has a temporary exhibit titled "Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln's Journey to Emancipation."

The TINKER SWISS COTTAGE will have a presentation on "Lincoln in Rockford, and Rockford in the Civil War." Abe came to Rockford for one day in the Manny Reaper trial.

MIDWAY VILLAGE is hosting a Jeopardy-style game on Winnebago County during the Civil War, plus having School Days program for students during April and May. This willl include an introduction to Lincoln, Harriett Tubman, and Union and Confederate soldiers.

The ETHNIC HERITAGE MUSEUM is hosting "The Civil War and Rockford's African-American Experience." Among displays will be a uniform from the 54th Massachusetts, the "Glory" movie soldiers.

This past Saturday, there was a re-enactment of "Civil War Life on the Rock River" by Battery G on the library grounds.

On April 19th, 130 people saw the re-enactment of the Lincoln-Douglas debate in Freeport. This was the site of one of them.

May 21st, "A New Look at Uncle Tom's Cabin" will be presented at the library. Rockford College professor Mary Weaks-Baxter will give it.

LENA-- the library there will be hosting Civil War author Gordon Damman who will be signing copies of his new book May 17th.

Lots Going On Up in My Neck of the Woods. --Blockade-Runner

It's Big, It's Proud, and It's Rebel

Motorists will soon be seeing a mega-Confederate Battle Flag in western Tennessee near Trimble.

Hamilton Parks, a life member of the SCV , donated a 50 by 50 foot plot for the flag memorial. An 80 foot flagpole will fly a 20 X 30 foot Confederate flag. A memorial will also be built around it and it will be lighted at night.

This is part of a project to put mre flags at prominent locations across the South. This one, sitting on a promontory, will be easily visible from the future I-69.

Hoist Up That Flag. --Old B-Runner

April 19th Illinois Division SCV-- Part 5

The United Confederate Veterans had camps in Illinois with the largest being Camp 8 in Chicago. I've heard there were also SCV (Sons of Confederate Veterans) camps in the state as well, but all were no longer in existence when I joined the SCV in the early 1980s. Then Andy Wilson wrote me and said he wanted to start one and I was only too happy to join.

BLANKENSHIP CAMP 1802 is not having regular meetings but keeping in touch via e-mail. Discussed five books of intereest.

GEORGE DIXON CAMP 1962 has 26 members and has plans to increase membership by 78%. Have several retention activities. Major projects are Confederate Memorial Dayin Alton, the Lee-Jackson Ball, and Jefferson Davis Picnic..

RICH GALE-- gave a Confederate grave report. Located 931 graves of former Confederate vets in the state, not counting those buried at prisons. Expects that there are at least 20,000 so we definitely have Confederate heritage right here in Illinois. This grave locating effort started in 2000 with the goal of making sure they're marked.

CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS ERECTED BY ILLINOIS SCV-- three of them at Rock Island, Mound City, and Camp Butler (Springfield). Two years ago the Division went to the dedication of it after the general meeting.

Confederately. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

USS Signal

I went to Wikipedia and did some research on the USS Signal, a ship I was unfamiliar with in the Civil War.

It was launched in 1862 and burned April 19, 1864. At 190 tons, 157 feet, 30 ft beam, it carried an armament of two 30-pdr Parrots, four 24-pdr howitzers, and two 12-pdr Dahlgren rifles.

It was called Tinclad #8 and at first used as a dispatch vessel. She was involved in the Yazoo River operations in November and Dec. 11, 1862, went up the Yazoo River to get information for a joint Army-Navy operation to outflank Vicksburg. She and the Marmosa discovered mines. Returned the next morning with the Cairo, Pittsburg, and Queen of the West to destroy them. The Cairo hit one detonated by Confederates onshore and sank in twelve minutes.

On January 4, 1863, the USS Signal went up the White River and took part in the attack on Fort Hindman which surrendered after a three day battle. From February to July 4th, the Signal probed the Yazoo River until Vicksburg fell. After that, she served as a dispatch vessel and stopped Confederate commerce on the Mississippi.


RED RIVER EXPEDITION

On April 19, 1864, she was ordered up the Red River to protect the coal and provision barges for Porter's Red River Expedition. On May 4, while taking dispatches from General Banks downriver when, 20 miles away, she was attacked by Confederate cavalry and continued fighting another four miles when it reached the USS Covington and army transport John Warner. The two ships continued the fight the rest of the day and into the night.

At daylight, the ships got underway and while rounding Dunn's Bayou, artillery and small arms fire disabled the transport. The Signal became disabled and ran aground. The crew set fire and escaped to shore where they were captured. The Covington and Warner were also burned to escape capture. About half of the Covington's crew escaped.

Quite a Loss for the US Navy That Day. --Old Blockade-R.

Boatswain's Mate Washington Foster Judd, USN

Miriam, in her Ance Stories: The Stories of My Ancestors Blog, did some research and her great grandfather, the second husband of her great garndmother Cornelia McClellan.

He divorced his first wife in 1873 and was known to use an alias.

He enlisted 15 September 1861 at Buffalo, NY and served on the USS Signal, a gunboat operating in Western waters. He was discharged Jly 29, 1863. He was 5'8", light hair and complexion, blue eyes.

In December, 1862, the USS Cairo hit a mine and sank. The Signal and another ship had already duscovered the mines. While helping to get the Cairo's crew off, Judd slipped and fell, rupturing his right side. He was treated but discharged. By 1890, he was still suffering from the injury.

He was fortunate was later forced aground and burned by its crew, who then were captured and spent the rest of the war as prisoners at Camp Ford near Tyler, Texas.

Judd died of chronic diarrhea May 23, 1896 in Arcadia, Michigan. The burial site is unknown, but probably in the Arcadia Township Cemetery.

One of Those Stories That make Up the Larger Story. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Running the Blockade-- Va. Celebration-- CW Marker in Ky-- Gettysburg Cyclorama Building-- Gloucester, Va. Conf. Monument

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

1. VIRGINIA CELEBRATION-- the state is planning a "commemoration, not a celebration" for the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Will kick off 6 year retrospective April 29th, 2009.

A 15 member commission has been set up to plan it. July 1st, they will begin offering sesquicentennial license plates with a commission-approved logo and initials "CW."

www.VirginiaCivilWar.org


2. CIVIL WAR MARKER in KENTUCKY-- dedicated in Thweatt Cemetery, Benton, Ky to William Frederick "Fed" Thweatt who served 18 months in the Confederate Army. I imagine he took some grief with a nickname like that.

One hundred people gathered for the dedication, mostly his descendants from as far away as Michigan, Iowa, and Colorado. A volley was fired by the Col. Alfred Johnston Camp 276, SCV.

In 1884, at age 45, he married Leona, 15, and they had 8 children, 39 grandchildren, 93 great grandchildren, 179 great great grandchildren and 126 great great great grandchildren. Of the 13 grandchildren still alive, the oldest is 89 and youngest 53. Interesting age difference there.


3. GETTYSBURG CYCLORAMA BUILDING-- Compatriot Ed Briggs sends this announcement. The new Gettysburg National Park Museum and Visitors Center has opened, but the question remains as to what will happen to the Cyclorama Center.

It currently is slated for destruction next year, It was built in the area known as Ziegler's Grove and is to be returned to its 1863 appearance. Union batteries poured fire on Confederates from here on the second and third days.

The son and partner of architect Dion Neutra is suing the National Park Service to prevent the destruction of the 45 year-old-building.

It was dedicated by President Eisenhower in 1962 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Cyclorama painting itself has been cleaned and restored and scheduled to reopen in new quarters at the visitors center.



4. GLOUCHESTER, VIRGINIA CONFEDRATE MONUMENT-- dedicated 1889 and has 132 names and 8 officers who died from the county in the Civil War.

And the War Goes On. --Old Blockade-Runner

Petition to Remove Denton, Tx. Confederate Statue

On April 28th, Dallas-Ft. Worth's WFAD ran a story about two University of North Texas students who have a petition out calling for the removal of the Confederate statue by the county courthouse. Besides the fact it is a Confederate soldier, they object to the fact that there are two drinking fountains, once for blacks and whites.

Said student Aron Duhon, "A Confederate soldier who took up arms in defense of a regime based on slavery is the farthest thing from a hero possible." The statue has the word "HERO" etched into its base.

This is the third attack on the statue.

One person commented that Confederates were terrorists and "nothing more than a standing ovation to the use of violence against innocents."

You can view the petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/confederatemonumentdentontexas/

One person has an anti-petition up and running at www.texasconfederateveterans.com/keepsouthernhistory.

Can You Believe Another Attack on the Confederacy? --Old B-Runner

Friday, May 9, 2008

Access to Complete 1860 Census Now Available

But, it will cost you if you search beyond a free introductory period.

I was completely unaware of this site, but it boasts what they claim to be the largest-collection of primary Civil War documents anywhere.

The name of the organization is Footnote.com. Using the census, you can find out if your ancestors could read or write, had attended school, marital status, occupation, and if they were insane, idiotic, or a convict.

It is a subscription website but you can get a free trial.

www.footnote.com

You might Just Find Out Your Ancestor was Quite a Scamp. --Blockade-R

April 19th Illinois Division Mission--SCV-- Part 4

The Illinois Division currently has 143 members spread to all corners of the state. Camp Douglas Memorial Camp is the largest at 59 members spread all around the Chicagoland area. The great distances involved in the state make getting members to meetings a problem, especially in these days of super-inflated gas prices.

There are six camps with one, Nichols Camp 2021 inactive and now disbanded. The other camps are

Lt. Col. Thorndike Brooks Camp 1606
Pvt. Spince Blakenship Camp 1802
Lt. George E. Dixon Camp 1962
Camp Douglas Memorial Camp 1507
John Kempshall Camp 1534
Lt. Col. Wm. H. Fulkerson Camp 1659


Camp Reports

CAMP DOUGLAS--

Had booths at three area re-enactments.
Cmdr. John Jeffers gave talk to geneaologists society meeting in Mundelein.
Five new members joined the camp at the Lee-Jackson Dinner.
Camp Douglas is the only camp in all of SCV with college scholarship to high school seniors.
Have a Shop and Share program going on with Jewel Food stores in the Chicagoland. Participants raise 5% of all purchases to the camp.
Also. there's a trinkets for federal dollars where items are sold to raise money.

JOHN KEMPSHALL CAMP--

Based in Monroe, Illinois.
Forty members
May 12 have thr Woodlawn Cemetery Ceremony and a picnic in July.
This camp is spread all over as well so there is no central meeting place. Meetings are held in different places in the area.

More to come...

Always Good to get-Together with Some Fellow Compatriots. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, May 8, 2008

April 19th Illinois Division SCV Meeting Springfield, Ill-- Part 3

MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONIAL-- 1918

Our handouts for the meeting had a facsmile of the 1918 United Confederate Veterans Camp 8 of Chicago, Illinois, ceremony at the Confederate Monument to the 6000 dead of Camp Douglas at Oakwoods Cemetery. They were assisted by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Daughters of the Confederacy.

I had never thought of there being a UCV camp or SCV camp in Illinois. I'd always thought that Camp Douglas 1507, founded in the 1980s, was the first such camp in Illinois.

The monument had been dedicated by General James Longstreet on May 1895.

Listed Camp 8 UCV officers in 1918 were Commander Edward Rose, Adjutant W.C. Vaughn, and Treasurer Ramsey H. Stewart. The UDC Illinois Division consisted of the Chicago, Stonewall Jackson and Raphael Semmes chapetrs. State President was Miss Ida F. Powell of 1447 E. Marquette Road and Corresponding Secretary was Miss Ada Grantham of 7750 South Shore Drive.

Order of Exercises started with Reveille-Assembly. "Comrades: We gather today to pay tribute of our love and the homage of our tears to thge memory of our heroic dead."

Then, a prayer by the Reverand George D. Wright, Chaplain, an address, and singing of "Nearer, My God, To Thee" and "America."

Then, another address, singing of "Sweet By and By", Lord's Prayer--Benediction and Taps.

I certainly didn't know there was a Confederate presence in Chicago back then. Blockade-R.

Confederate Soldier Honored in Pennsylvania

Here is a refreshing bit of news in these days of attacks on our Confederate ancestors.

The May 3rd Times-Leader News, serving northeast Pennsylvania, had an article about a Confederate soldier buried in Wyoming, Pa., who was honored Saturday with a 21 gun salute, patriotic songs,a deposit of Southern soil, and a Confederate flag posted on his grave. Members of the Sons of Veterans Reserves dressed as Union soldiers for the ceremony.

His name is unknown. After the Battle of Gettysburg, captured Confederate soldiers were marched through northeast Pennsylvania on their way to prison at Syracuse. One prisoner died between Forty Fort and Wyoming and was buried at the cemetery of Wyoming.

This was a project of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and similar services were held in Georgia and Florida for Union soldiers.

And Yet, the Graves of Confederate Soldiers in Corpus Christi, Texas, Can Not Be Marked Because of Offending Some Church-Goers. Doesn't Make Much Sense. --Old Blockade-Runner

Memorial to CSS Chattahoochee Sailors

Dale Cox, in his Civil War Florida blog had an entry about the monument to the Confederate sailors who died aboard the CSS Chattahoochee in the boiler explosion on May 27, 1863.

The memorial is located near Blountstown, Florida just off the shoulder of the road one block south of the main entrance to the Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee.

The Chattahoochee was on its way down the Apalachicola River to confront a Union Navy raid along the coast. After docking for the night, the boiler exploded the next morning while getting underway and 18 sailors were killed or later died from injuries.

The dead were carried by steamboat to Chattahoochee and were buried not far from the arsenal complex. The location of the cemetery was lost over time, but discovered a few decades ago during a construction project.

The Chattahoochee was raised and repaired. It was plagued by engine problems throughout its career. It was later sunk to prevent capture when Columbus, Georgia fell.

http://civilwarflorida.blogspot.com

I saw that Catesby ap Roger Jones was commander of the Chattahoochee from July 1862 to February 4, 1863. He was the executive officer of the CSS Virginia and took over temporary command after Captain Franklin Buchanan was wounded in its fight against the USS Monitor.

Don't Go Near the Boiler. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

CSS Jackson Photo

Dale Cox, in his January 2nd entry on his Civil War Florida blog had a rare photo of the CSS Jackson shortly after its launch at Columbus, Georgia. It was captured in April of 1865.

Also, the CSS Chattahoochee was constructed on the river with the same name. A third vessel, the CSS Viper was operational at the time of Columbus' capture and was designed to ram a torpedo into the side Union ships. It was hoped to be used in an attack on Union ships off Apalachcola.

The wrecks of the Jackson and Chattahoochee are at the Port Columbus Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, Ga..

The Viper was captured, but was lost in a storm while being towed to Key West.

Now, You Have Some Information of the Confederate Navy on Inland Waters. --B-Runner

Huge Gettysburg Troop Movement Map to be Dismantled

The National Park Service is planning to pull the plug on the 1960s era battlefield map that showed troop movements. It is a 30 by 30 foot map with 625 lights and is regarded as being too technologically backward to fir in with the new $103 million visitors center.

Jon Dekeles of Post Falls, Idaho, visited the center recently and is so upset that he set up his own website to gather support for the old map. It is at http://www.savetheelectricmap.com.

The NPS calls it the "Electric Nap. It was good in its day, but the light bulb concept just doesn't cut it anymore."

It was originally designed and constructed 1937-1938 after a huge amount of research. A new map was constructed for the Civil War Centennial 1962-1963 with miles of wire and 250 switches.

File Under Old Things Being Sent Out to Pasture Such as Myself. --Old B-Runner

Running the Blockade-- Antietam Hospital-- Civil War Tour in Kansas City-- CW Trails Signs in Pa.

Running the Blockade-- New News About an Old War.

1. ANTIETAM HOSPITAL-- The May 2nd Herald-Mail reports that a barn used as a field hospital for 400 wounded soldiers is the latest addition to the battlefield. It is located at the Philip Pry home and the Historic Antietam Foundation donated $10,000 to assist in in its restoration. Some of the money also went to the Joseph Poffenberger farm. The National Park Service matched the funds.

2. CIVIL WAR TOUR IN KANSAS CITY-- The May 6th Kansas City Star reports that a Civil War tour of Jackson County sites is scheduled for this Saturday. It is sponsored by the Civil War Round Table of Western Missouri and will leave from the Blue and Grey Book Shoppe at 106 E. Walnut Street in Independence. Cost is $15 apiece for the morning and afternoon tour, or $30 for both.

3. CIVIL WAR TRAIL SIGNS IN PENNSYLVANIA-- The May 6th PRN Newswire via Yahoo News announced that the state of Pennsylvania was erecting its first six Civil War Trails signs. It will be the first state in the union to "significantly interpret the Civil War from a northern state's point-of-view.

The first sign was dedicated at Gettysburg National Military Park and by Labor Day there will be approximately 200 "history-on-a-sticks" throughout the Dutch Country Roads region.

The state has invested $49,500 and the federal government $830,000.

The Civil War Trails program is an excellent organization devoted to bringing the Civil War to America's public.

Who Says This is a Dead War. --Old Blockade-Runner

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Some More on Lt. Walsh, Defender of Raleigh, NC

I went to the site of the 11th Texas Cavalry Re-enactment group to see if I could find out some more on Lt. Walsh, and perhaps even his first name.

They have quite a site with a large amount of information on all the companies. I went through each one and found no mention of a Lt. Walsh. I also sent an e-mail to the site and hopefully someone will get back to me on it.

I did see that Private H. K. Montgomery of Co. E died near Raleigh in April, 1865. Perhaps Walsh was with this group.


RALEIGH RAMBLES BLOG

The Raleigh Rambles blog by John Dancy Jones says he knows who the person is who puts the black sash on Walsh's grave, but won't tell other than he is "a beloved private historian who has performed rituals in the city cemetery and performed last rites for bridges quite out in the open for all these many years." Not quite sure what Jones meant about bridges though.

Jones also said that about a dozen people gathered at 4 pm April 13th to listen to the story of Lt. Walsh. Before that, they had a delicious bbq dinner and black eyed peas.

And the Mystery Continues. --Old B-Runner

Monday, May 5, 2008

Rather Walk Than Foresake the Flag

This brings new meaning to Fats Domino's "I'm Walking" and Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line."

The May 2nd News 13 station serving central Florida had a report on Bobby Tillett, an employee at the BJ's store in Jacksonville who is walking to work now so as not to take down the Confederate flag from his truck bed.

BJ's informed him that he would no longer be able to park on store property as long as kept flying the Confederate flag. He is now parking in a public lot a half mile away and walking the rest of the way, about ten minutes.

Said Tillett, "It's about heritage; it's about pride. I don't look at it as much different than the American flag. There's been a lot of blood spilled over that flag, and I love that flag, and I'll fly it 'till the day I die!"

No one at BJ's would comment.

Of course, parking at a public lot could become a problem if someone complains to the powers that be, and he is "requested" not to fly it here either.

I think it would be something if he were joined by flag supporters for his walk to work.

Mighty Proud of Bobby Tillett!! --Old B-Runner

UDC Chaper "Unrequests" Money

The May 2nd Leesburg (Va.) Today had a story about the United Daughters of the Confederacy vs. the board memebers regarding the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the statue of a Confederate soldiet on the court house grounds.

As a result, the formal request for $3,300 to help fund the estimated $6,300 cost of the celebration, was UNREQUESTED. The group says that since the public negative comments by board members Stevens Miller and Kelly Burk, donations have come in so they don't need the public funds.

The board members did not vote on the request and sent it to the finance committee for debate. A discussion was slated for May 7th. The planned celebration is for May 31st.


WHAT THEY SAID

Miller said that a Confederate soldier pointing a gun at him was not what he wanted to see when walking into the court house.

Burk said that the celebration should be for soldiers from both sides, not just Confederates.


SILENT SENTINEL

The 1906 board of supervisors appropriated $500 for the purchase and installation of the stutue, called the Silent Sentinel to honor Confederate soldiers from Loudoun County who had given their lives in defense of their homes. It was designed by William Sievers of Richmond and unveiled May 29, 1908.

Way to Go Ladies!!! --Old Blockade-Runner

The Confederate Flag Under Attack in Corpus Christi

On May 1st, Corpus Christi's (Tx) Kiii TV had a report on the Confederate flags that were placed on the graves of veterans as part of the Confederate Heritage Month at Old Bayview Cemetery.

The members of the nearby mostly-black St. Matthews Baptist Church had a problem with that. As one parishioner said, "I understand its part of history but not a history they want to remember. They are asking that the organization that placed them there take them down.

Kiii TV news was looking for the other side of the story since they didn't know who put them up.

LOOKS LIKE WE LOST THIS ONE

I see that they were put up by the local Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp and the flags were taken down Friday by Corpus Christi workers. The reason given was that some had been inappropriately put on non-Confederate graves.

This is a Sad Episode. If it Offends, Do Not Look. -- RoadDog

Some More on Lt. Walsh, Defender of Raleigh

On May 3rd, I blogged about the unknown person who decorates the grave of Lt. Walsh, Raleigh's last defender, every April 13th, the anniversary of his execution. This continues the story.


WHAT DID LT. WALSH DO?

Raleigh surrendered to General Kilpatrick on April 13th, who accepted it and said it would be a peaceful occasion unless there was resistance.

As the last Confederate troops fled, Walsh remained, drew his pistol and waited until Kilpatrick's advance guard was 100 yards away. He fired three times and galloped up Morgan Street with the Union cavalry in hot pursuit. His horse fell turning the corner, Walsh remounted, but was overtaken.

He was brought back to Capitol Square where General Kilpatrick ordered his immediate execution. Walsh requested five minutes to write his wife and was refused.

THE EXECUTION

He was hung at a grove of trees (the corner of Lane and Bloodworth streets) and the body was buried immediately but in a shallow grave so that the feet were left sticking out. Miss Nannie Lovejoy asked Kilpatrick if her family could rebury Walsh.

He agreed and the grave reopened, dug deeper, and the body re-interred.

It remained at the base of what became known as the "Hanging Tree" near the Lovejoy home until the spring of 1867 when the body was exhumed and re-interred in the Confederate Section at Oakwood Cemetery.

From Carolina Confederate Vol. XII No. 3, May/June 1997.

Very Interesting Story. --Blockade-R

April 19th Illinois Division SCV Meeting--Springfield, Illinois-- Part 2

This occurred on the same day, Saturday, that the State Journal-Register had two items about the Civil War. In keeping with the upcoming 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, the paper has been running a daily account of what Lincoln did on that date.

On April 19, 1861, Lincoln ordered a blockade of all the ports in seceded states. At the time, that would be SC, Ga, Al, Fl, Ms, La, and Tx. "The aforesaid states are involved in an insurrection against the Government of the United States, a situation which impedes the government's ability to collect duties as required by the Constitution."

In the same paper, there was a picture of a group of fifth graders at Northpoint Elementary School in Normal, Illinois, about 40 miles north of Springfield. They were participating in the annual echoes of Blue and Gray. They dressed as Union and Confederate soldiers or in civilian costumes and saw presentations by local Civil War buffs and re-enactors.

Just a week earlier, MOLLUS, the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, a Union group had had a ceremony at the Lincoln Tomb. Thought this would ave been neat if both groups were in town the same day.

I'll Get to the Meeting the Next Entry. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Cannonball Kills Virginia Relic Hunter

This actually happened back on February 18th, but several newspapers had the story yesterday. I had the story back then. Sam White spent much of his life looking for Civil War relics and became an expert at defusing ordnance. He was trying to disarm a 75 pound, 9 inch naval cannonball.

This is a follow up on the story. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will not complete their investigation until later this month. Two dozen nearby homes were evacuated for two days after the explosion while experts collected ordnance and detonated the live ones.

I should also mention that he had a website at the time of his death where he sold defused shells. I went to it that day, but, by the next day it was no longer in operation.

You Better Think Twice About Messing Around with These Old Relics. --Old B-Runner

Friday, May 2, 2008

Who Dun It?-- Who's Been Decorating the Grave of Raleigh's Last Defender?

While visiting family in North Carolina, I came across this article in the April 1st Raleigh News & Observer, or Disturber as my cousin Graham calls it.

"April brings mystery tribute to rebel grave" by Josh Shaffer.

This has been happening for at least 20 years according to Chuck Gooch, Oakwood Cemetery's superintendent. At sometime during the night of April 13th, a stranger creeps into the cemetery, places a black sash over the gravestone and lights a candle to honor Lt. Walsh of Texas, who fired the last shots at the Union occupiers of Raleigh and was hanged for his efforts by order of Union General Judson Kilpatrick (he of Kilpatrick's Skidaddle a month earlier). Evidently, the good general was a lot braver when he had his army with him and the Confederate was handcuffed.

Lt. Walsh's first name is not known.

There is a small, but growing group of folks fascinated with this tribute.

According to the article, on April 13, 1865, Walsh fired six shots at Union Cavalry as they entered the just-surrendered Raleigh.


WHY DID HE DO IT?

Exactly why he did that is not known. Perhaps hr had been drinking in a Fayetteville Street saloon, and the liquor made him do it.

Perhaps he was looting downtown stores as some of the Confederates were doing. Or perhaps the sight of Yankee blue coats entering the city might have spurred one last act of defiance.

There are even those that think he might have been drawing a bead on Union General Kilpatrick.

All stories agree that he was captured while fleeing and order to be immediately hanged. He was led to a grove of trees and hanged.


SCV Lt.-Cmdr NC Division Thomas Smith says, "They strung him up right there. He was only doing what thousands of other troops were doing and that was firing at the enemy. He may not even have heard that there was a truce."

Lt. Walsh became an instant martyr. Raleigh women put down flowers at his grave for six months.

I was not able to find out if the "Decorator" struck again, or if his identity has become known.

Something Else I Didn't Know. --Old B-Runner

Battle of Blair's Landing-- Close Quarters-- Navy vs. Army

This is from the April 13th report of Lt. George M. Bache, who commanded the USS Lexington, to Admiral David Dixon Porter. Evidently, this was fighting at extremely close quarters at times.

The Confederates attacked the rear of the three vessel Union fleet with a three gun battery. The Lexington steamed toward the battery and engaged it with 8 inch Dahlgren bow guns, driving the Confederates off in a few minutes and disabled one of the guns.

"When within 600 yards of the battery, we encountered a very heavy fire of musketry from the fiftenn hundred men, whom we passed at a distance of 20 feet. The enemy came boldly up to the bank, yelling and waving their side arms, so close that as a portion of the bank caved in from our fire, one of the rebels tumbled down within a few feet of the vessel.

I now got our port broadside to bear on the enemy's line, and while the Osage poured in a front fire of grape and canister, we raked them with shell and shrapnel."

The Confederates retreated into the woods and had a loss of 150 killed and wounded. General Green and a colonel were killed.

The Lexington fired 76 rounds of canister, shell, and shrapnel and had one casualty, Phillip Dudley, a colored landsmen, whose arm had to be amputated.

USS LEXINGTON

From wikipedia. Third ship to bear the name. Built as a sidewheel steamer iat Pittsburgh, Pa, in 1861. Purchased by the War department and converted into a gunboat. Joined Western Flotilla August 1861.

Mounted four 8-inch Dahlgren guns and two 32-pdrs.

I'd Never Heard of This Battle Before, But Now I Know.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Running the Blockade-- No Third Movie-- Confederate Memorial Day-- USS North Carolina-- Jewel Does It's Bit

Running the Blockade-- New News About an Old War.

1. NO THIRD MOVIE-- The hoped for third movie of the Gettysburg trilogy is not likely to see the light of day. The famous movie "Gettysburg" based on Michael Schara's "Killer Angels" was to have a prequel, which it did with 2003's "Gods and Generals" and a sequel, "Last Full Measure" was planned. But the poor showing of "Gods and Generals" making just $12.9 million on a $56 million investment has caused Ted turner to drop the third one. This is not to say that someone else might not pick up the project.

2. CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY-- This past Monday, state offices in Alabama and Georgia were closed in observance of it.

3. USS NORTH CAROLINA-- The US Navy's newest submarine will be christened this Saturday in Southport, NC, near the mouth of the Cape Fear River. What should be a great event for the public has caused some major problems in that, for security reasons, it will be by invite only. Only important folks get to view it and there are a lot of angry comments on site.

Southport also saw the battleship USS North Carolina pass by in 1961 on its way to final mooring at Wilmington. The submarine also passed by the wreck of the CSS North Carolina, a Confederate ironclad.

4. JEWEL DOES ITS BIT-- Here in the Chicagoland, area, Jewel Food Stores are one of the largest chains. This May 12-14th, Camp Douglas Camp 1507 SCV will be getting 5% of all purchases made at the stores when the customer uses a voucher. Always good for camp funds. Well, you gotta eat anyway, why not support the cause.

And Who Says This is a Dead War? -- Old Blockade-R

Confederate Flag Banned

The Confederate flag has been banned from display at Independence High School in Williamson County, Tennessee, evidently near Nashville. As of this week, all students have been banned from wearing or carrying Confederate flags. The reason was that it could lead to racial tension.

Now, just looking at this, that got my Confederate dander up. Just one more example of pcing my heritage.

BUT, ON FURTHER INVESTIGATION...


This all started this past Friday when a student showed up on school grounds with two large Confederate flags flying from his vehicle and a rope tied to look like a noose on the cab. He was given five days in school suspension.

The flags would be alright with me, but not the noose. Then, I found out that the student calls himself Cooter and, on his MySpace page says that he is a racist. This is NOT someone we need furthering the cause.

Monday, ten students were called into the office for "inappropriate clothing." I take that to mean Confederate flags on shirts.

There have been threats of fights on campus since then.

Williamson County schools have also been the scene of racial tension four other times this year. Racial graffiti has been found in two different middle schools.

This whole affair is sad. It only makes defending the flag that much more difficult when we have people like the student defaming it.

As If We Didn't Have Enough Problems. --B-Runner

Battle of Blair's Landing Part 2

Interesting to note that Lt. Cmdr Thomas O' Selfridge of the Osage did not take credit for Gen. Green's death or for using the telescope in his official report to Admiral David Dixon Porter.

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 26, page 49.

Selfridge said that he was protecting the transport Alice Vivian when he was attcked by two brigades of dismounted cavalry and three pieces of artillery under the command of General Green. He estimated Green's command at not less than 2,500 men.

"I waited till they got into easy shelling range, and opened upon them a heavy fire of shrapnel and canister. The rebels fought with unusual pertinacity for over an hour, delivering the heaviest and most concentrated fire of musketry that I have ever witnessed.

They finally broke in great confusion, leaving the ground covered with their dead and wounded, muskets, knapsacks, etc., for many yards from the bank."

He received orders to rejoin Porter so wasn't able to inspect the battlefield, but estimated Confederate losses at 200. General Green had been killed.

The Lexington, under Lt. Commanding Bache also contributed a "most destructive enfilading fire" on the Confederates.

"General Green will prove a great loss, he standing as one of the best rebel generals this side of the Mississippi."

Dated April 16, 1864.

I Wonder Why Selfridge Would Not Have Mentioned the Periscope and Personal Killing of Green? -- Old Blockade Runner

General Beauregard

An item of interest from the 2008 Civil War Calendar.

PIERRE GUSTAVE TOUTANT DE BEAUREGARD-- Now there's quite a name. I sure would have hated to have signed the whole name all the time. No wonder we see it more often as P.G.T..

The calendar says he was born in Louisiana and was the first prominent Confederate general because of his defenses at Charleston, SC, Fort Sumter, and command at the First Battle of Bull Run a few months later.

Of interest, I was in the Wilmington cemetery looking for the graves of blockage-runner John Newland Maffitt and Gen. W.H.C. Whiting, when I came across a grave of Pierre Gustave Beauregard Walker. I though, hey, that's the name of a general. Upon further investigation, I saw he was born a few days after Fort Sumter. I guess his parents were quite impressed with the general.

I highly recommend this calendar. All sorts of interesting tidbits.

How Many of You Named a Child After a Civil War Personage? --Old B-Runner