The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gettysburg Address Returns to Display in Springfield, Illinois

The June 26th State Journal-Register of Springfield reports that Illinois' original manuscript of this important speech will be back on display next week at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential library.

It had been removed from view last year. The Library and Museum regularly rotates its collection to help preserve the valuable items, where they are able to rest in a controlled environment.

But, you'll have to hurry if you want to see it, as it will again removed on August 20th.

An Important Piece of History. --Old B-R'er

Springfield, Illinois-- Civil War

Everyone knows of the Lincoln heritage here in Springfield, but, there are other Civil War-related places here as well. Some of then are...

1. GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC MEMORIAL MUSEUM-- which pays tribute to Union veterans of the war. There are many items donated by the vetrans and their relatives.

2. CAMP BUTLER NATIONAL CEMETERY-- where many Civil War veterans on both sides are buried. At one time during the war, it was a training camp for Illinois veterans and later was a prison camp for Confederates, many of whom died there. A few years ago, the Illinois Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans dedicated a monument in their honor.


4. Once a year, the Sons of Union Veterans has a ceremony at the Lincoln Tomb in April, and, usually a week later, the Illinois Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has its annual convention at the Hilton

So, Springfield is not all Lincoln. --Old B-R

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Running the Blockade: --Shell Found at Fort Morgan --Not-So-Nice SCV Article

Some New News About an Old War.

1. SHELL FOUND AT FORT MORGAN-- A 100 pound Parrot shell was found buried atop Fort Morgan's parapet in Alabama at the mouth of Mobile Bay. It had been there over 100 years and had been fired in 1864. It was determined to be harmless and will undergo preservation.

2. NOT-SO-NICE SCV ARTICLE-- This past weekend,the Chicago Sun-Times ran an article that did not paint the Sons of Confederate Veterans in the best of light. It portrayed the organization as being divided between those interested in honoring their ancestors and those trying to stir up trouble. I would imagine this is referring to the SCV camp in Tampa that occasionally flies that huge Confederate flag.

I'll go more into depth on these two stories later.

Shells and Nasties. --Old B-R'er

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fort Fisher

Two new plaques have been proposed for mounting south of the visitors center. One will be about the Mound Battery and the second one about the Confederate retreat from the fort.

According to maps I've seen, the site of the Mound Battery has not been covered by the ocean, but it no longer exists. It would be something if it was reconstructed. That was quite an engineering feat.

For a long time, there were no books published dealing with Fort Fisher. My goal at one time was to correct that and I spent a lot of time gathering information about it.

HOWEVER, since 1991, there have been four books published, so I think it has been pretty-well covered, so I no longer have to do it.

The books:

Confederate Goliath-- by Rod Gragg, 1991
Last Rys of Departing Hope: The Wilmington Campaign-- by Chris Fonvielle, Jr., 1997
The Wilmington Campaign and the Battle for Fort fisher-- Mark A. Moore, 1995
Hurricane of Fire-- by Charles M. Robinson, 1998

I have the first three books and am unfamiliar with the last one.

I met Chris Fonvilelle when he was director of the Blockade Runner Museum in Carolina Beach.

At Least I Don't Have to Write a Book. --Old B-R'er

Confederate Cannon in Petoskey, Michigan

Here's the story of had, lost, found, and preserved. A "lost"Confederate cannon, perhaps given to the City of Petoskey by an ex-Confederate cannon wikll once again be on public display.

The June 16th Petoskey News-Review reports that this Saturday, the Robert Finch Camp 14 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War will unveil the the preserved Confederate cannon that was unearthed downtown 12 years ago. The barrel will be mounted on a replica carriage.

It is called the "Iron Napoleon Howitzer" and was dug up near Stafford's Perry Hotel in 1996. Of interest was that it was cast at the Augusta, Georgia arsenal. Until this one was found, it was thought that these cannons were all manufactured at the Tredegar Foundry in Richmond, Virginia.

No one is sure exactly how the cannon got to Petoskey, perhaps it was given to the town at the 1899 Michigan Grand Army of the Republic Encampment. US Major General Joe Wheeler attended and had been a Confederate general during the Civil War.

No mention was made as to how the cannon was lost and buried, but I'm sure that would have been an interesting story as well.

Lost and Found inPetoskey. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Running the Blockade: SCV Protests Black Cemetery Desecration-- No Flags on Your Caps-- New Civil War Museum-- Cannonball Found

Some New News About an Old War.

1. SCV PROTESTS BLACK CEMETERY DESECRATION-- The Sons of Confederate Veterans have joined the protest against the Virginia Commonwealth University's decision plan to repave a parking lot in Richmond that covers a burial ground for slaves and free blacks. VCU recently purchased the 400 space lot. The SCV would also like an archaeological study done. This is a bit confusing. Is the parking lot already existing, or is the added area where the burial ground is located?

2. NO FLAGS ON YOUR CAPS-- Graduates at Wolfe County Middle School in Williamson, Kentucky, were told that they could not wear Confederate flags on their mortarboards because the principal finds the flag to be offensive.

Students were originally told they could decorate their caps anyway they wanted.

3. NEW CIVIL WAR MUSEUM-- June 14th was the grand opening of the Kenosha, Wisconsin Civil War Museum, eventhough most of the displays are not yet completed. Both Confederate and Union re-enactors were there for the festivities and cannons were fired.

The museum starts in the 1850s at one end and continues to the 1870s at the other.

4. CANNONBALL FOUND-- A Civil War cannonball was found on the beach of a South Carolina community after being dredged up in a beach nourishment project at the Wild Dunes on the Isle of Pines.

Explosive experts have determined that it is not dangerous and it was probably fired from a 10-inch Columbiad. The dredge was diggingup sand about two miles offshore.

This is close to Charleston, SC, the site of a 600 day siege.

Who Says It's an Old War?

188th New York Infantry

Dec. 31st Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle "188th helped usher in the end of the Civil War."

The 188th hailed largely from Rochester and surrounding area.

They participated in the Petersburg campaign and were in the thick of the fight at the First Battle of Hatcher's Run Oct. 27-28th where 3,400 Union soldiers were killed. The 188th lost 54 and there was little to show for it as the Confederate4s continued to hold their line.

Then, it was in the Hicksford Raid in Dec. 1864 where the unit tore up railroad tracks all the way to NC.


In February 1865, another attempt was made at Hatcher's Run, this time resulting in 1,500 Union casualties., 34 from the 188th. This time, Lee's army was forced to extend their trenches, something they could ill-afford to do with its dwindling manpower.

On March 29th, the 188th was among two army corps supporting Sheridan's cavalry in actions at White Oak Road, Gravelly Run, and Five Forks. Here, the 188th had another five casualties, the last the regiment would lose in the war.

Lee surrendered April 9th.


The 188th returnedto Rochester by special train and arrived July 4, 1865. They marched to the courthouse and had speeches and a wonderful dinner.

They had been on the frontlines for less than six months and during that time, had lost 90 killed or died of disease and another 99 wounded.

Guess We Could Call Them the Fightin' 188th. --Old B-R'er

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another Flag Story-- Medal of Honor and Flag Reunited

Private Richard Beddows received a Medal of Honor for saving his artillery battery's guidon (type of flag) from Confederates during the May 1864 Battle of Spottsylvania. However, he did not receive it until 1896 and he died in 1922 and is buried at New Rochelle, New York's Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

He was born in Liverpool, England June 27, 1843 and was a member of the 34th New York Battery.

A descendant, Michael Resnick of Long Island, presented the medal of Honor to the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs. They have the original guidon that Beddows saved and the two will be put on temporary display.

From his Medal of Honor Commendation: "Bought his guidon off in safety under a heavy fire of musketry after he had lost his horse becoming furious from the bursting of a shell."

June 13th, AP.

Talk About TWO Important Things in a Man's Life. --Old Blockade-Runner

AND...Speaking of Flags-- Tennessee Wants to Know Where Its Union Flags Are

Many Tennesseeans sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War, but many also remained loyal to the Union. While the state has a lot of its Confederate regimental flags, there aren't many from the Union units.

The June 13th Nashville Tennesseean ran an article about the Tennessee State Museum which is asking residents to look into their attics and private collections for these rare items. They also want pictures of ancestors with nthe flags.

Greg Biggs, a noted Civil War historian, said only 8 of the 60-70 Union regimental flags have been found.

The museum, located in downtown Nashville has some 500 artifacts from the Civil War, including three Union flags that can't be displayed because they are in pieces. Currently, they are trying to raise or get funds for their conservation.

Come on Folks, Turn Those Old Flags Over. -- Old B-R'er

Confederate Flag Flap in Tampa, Fl/ --Part 3

Evidently that huge 30 x 50 foot Confederate battleflag that has been causing so much controversy by the interstates in Tampa is not flown 24 hours a day, or even every day; just occasionally.

One source said it has been raised twice and another said three times.

Most recently, it went up for flag day. The Sons of Confederate Veterans camp flies it on certain occasions and it is never left unattended (and for good reason). I was wondering if it was to fly 24-7. Security issues aside, that has to have been one mighty expensive piece of fabric so I'm not surprised they don't leave it up all the time.

I saw a picture of people raising it on the 139 foot pole and that is one B-I-G flag and it has definitely stirred up a lot of favorable and unfavorable controversy.

Gettin' Lots of Publicity. --Old Blockade-Rn'er

CSS Georgia

While researching Fort Jackson by Savannah, the article mentioned that the old Confederate ram/floating batter CSS Georgia had been sunk by it.

Looked it up in Wikipedia and found out it had been permanently moored by Fort Jackson and burned and scuttled December 21, 1864, to prevent capture. It was 250 feet long with a 60 foot beam, mounted 4 to 9 guns, and manned by a crew of 200.

It was also sometimes called the State of Georgia and Ladies Ram (build by funds raised by the women of Savannah. It was built during 1862.

In 1866, it was dynamited to clear the channel. At low tide, it is covered by 11 feet of water and sand is rapidly gathering around it. Since then, the US Corps of Engineers has extensively damaged it while dredging and expanding the channel so that today, only a portion of the forward and aft case mate along with remnants of the engine, boilers, and propeller remain. Several cannons have been recovered from the wreck.

So Much for the Undistinguished Career of the CSS Georgia. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, June 14, 2008

More USS Monterreys

While on the subject of the USS Monterrey. There were two other Naval ships with that name.


The very first USS Monterrey was a steamer purchased by the Union Navy in the Civil War and used on the west coast as a tugboat. It was built in 1862 as a steam screw tug and purchased in 1863 and renamed the USS Monterrey.

It towed ships until 1892 when it was scrapped the following year. It mounted two guns.


BM-6 and commissioned 13 February 1893. Mounted 2 x 12 inch, 2 x 10 inch, and 6 6-pdrs. with a crew of 210.


CVL-26. A WWII light aircraft carrier. Originally laid down as a light cruiser. Participated in the Pacific Theatre. Decommissioned 1956 and scrapped. It carried 45 aircraft and had a crew of 1,569.

From Wikipedia

Confederate Flag Flap in Tampa, Fl.-- Part 2

Continuing with the story from June 6th.

The only way the flag will come down is if the Sons of Confederate veterans camp decides to take it down.

Black county residents have vowed that the flag will come down and some are even calling for an economic boycott.

Commissioner Rose Ferlita asked the county's legal staff to closely examine the permits, but Assistant County Attorney Adam Gormley said it complies with all codes.

Ferlita acknowledges the SCV's right to honor ancestors, but it needs to be done in such a way as to respect black feelings.


The Confederate flag has been removed from the county seal.

Last year, the county commission refused to endorse Confederate memorial Day, which has been a long-standing tradition.

There are lots of interesting comments as you might imagine. Nothing stirs up controversy like that flag.

Take Away Our Memorial Day, Then We'll Fly the Flag. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Students Suspended for Waving Confederate Flags

June 4 Pioneer Press "Bloomington students suspended after waving Confederate flags" by John Brewer.

Three seniors at Bloomington's Kennedy High School (by Twin Cities, Minnesota) were suspended and missed graduation ceremonies after waving Confederate flags in a school parking lot Tuesday.

The mother of one says the boys didn't know the racist message the flag carries. She said they're just fans of racing and the Dukes of Hazzard.

District spokesman Rick Kaufman said, "The Confederate flag is seen as a symbol of hate and bigotry and racism." The district has had issues with it before and has made efforts to educate as to the flag's offensiveness. One of the boys was suspended last year for the same reason.

All three will get their diplomas.

The comments were quite interesting and as of yesterday there were 133. Something like this always gets lots of comments. Four of interest:

"So much for 12 years of lessons about 'Free Speech.'"

"I'm curious to know which flag they actually flew..." and continued to tell the difference between the flags.

"Confederate flag means one thing, Slavery and Treason."

One person who said she was black on Southerners, "...I can understand their clasping the flag in honor and memory of their brave ancestors. I understand it and I withhold judgement about its use unless I see it being paraded around by klansmen or being used as a symbol of white supremacy."

This last person made a good point. Unfortunately, during the Civil Rights Movement, the Confederate Battle Flag often showed up against the efforts and has been used by enough hate groups to make it viewed as the symbol many now attach to it. I can certainly understand it.

However, people do need to know that this flag also means pride in one's ancestors and not the hate so often it is blames for.

I'd have to say the mother wasn't telling the truth. These boys knew exactly what they were doing.

And the Controversy Goes On. --Old B-R'er

Friday, June 6, 2008

USS Monterrey-- Here a Monitor, There a Monitor

An article in the Dec. 28, 2007, Carmel Pine Cone "USS Monterrey-stealthy predecessor of the modern battleship" by George Sabato discussed this second-generation of monitors in the service of the US Navy.

When folks think of the name "monitor" they immediately think of the USS Monitor which fought the CSS Virginia in 1862. That battle opened a whole new chapter in naval architecture. The Monitor class of Union ironclads too its name from the original vessel.

USS Monterrey

The USS Monterrey was the second generation of monitors. Like the originals used in the Civil War, it was mastless, steam-powered, low-in-the-water, and had powerful gun turrets.

It was completed in 1893 and had the honor of being the first ship in the United States' new "Steel Navy."

It weighed 4.084 tons, steamed as fast as 13.6 knots and cost $2 million and was built at the Oakland Union Ironworks. It's mission was to patrol the US west coast.

During the Spanish-American War it was order from San Diego to join Admiral Dewey in the Philippines. It took part in other operations in the area.

It was decommissioned in Dec. 1904 and recommissioned in WW I as a submarine tender. It was again decommissioned in Pearl Harbor in 1921 and later scrapped back in Oakland.


The Monterrey was 260 feet long, 57 feet beam and had a crew of 210. It mounted 2 x 12 inch, 2 x 10 inch, and 6 x 6-pdrs.

It joined Dewey's fleet in the Philippines after the victory to provide big-gun support. It sasiled from the US to the Philippines despite the fact it was not designed for extended ocean cruising because of its low freeboard.

So, Monitors Didn't End After the Civil War. --Old B-Runner

CSS Tennessee

Still following the Confederate industries at Selma, Alabama. The CSS Tennessee was built there.

Only two crew members were killed during its fight with the Union Fleet at the Battle of Mobile Bay. After its capture, it was commissioned into the US Navy as the USS Tennessee and it participated in the attack on Fort Morgan on August 23, 1864.

That autumn, it went to New Orleans for repairs and served in the Mississippi Squadron until the end of the war.

On August 19, 1865, it was placed out of commission and laid up in New Orleans before being sold at auction Nov. 27, 1867 and later scrapped.

A 7 inch Brooke Rifle was preserved and kept on display at the Washington Naval Yard. I think this is probably the one in Selma.

Old Blockade-Runner

Confederate Flag Flap in Tampa, Fl.-- Part 1

No big surprise here, but the NAACP does not like that great big Confederate flag now standing proud by I-4 and I-75 in Tampa. They want it taken down. Said NAACP Hillsborough Co. president Curtis Stokes, "It is huge and obnoxious."

It was put up by the local Sons of Confederate Veterans camp and raised June 3rd to mark the 200th anniversary of President Jefferson Davis' birthday.

The Hillsborough County Commissioners are asking that the SCV camp voluntarily remove it and the local black community is mobilizing against it. The debate is over Southern heritage, racism, and private property rights.

Around 200,000 people a day on the interstates have a clear view of the 30 by 50 foot flag on the 139 foot pole.

Right now, it stands that it will only come down if the SCV camp does it of their own accord.

Keep it Flying. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Great New Blog

And right up my alley. Today, I came across this new blog titled Wilmington and the War by Jonathan J. Anderson, and it wowed me. It is onlt two months old and has six posts, but I couldn't be more interested.

Jonathan said his interest in the Civil War started on the sand mounds of Fort Fisher when he was 5 back in the 1970s, much the way my Civil War interest started, but only in the 1950s.

The blog made for interesting reading with entries about 6.4 inch Whitworth shells and Whitworth guns, Wilmington's Upland River Defense, Pt 1, sand, and Marines looking for unexploded shells at Ft. Anderson. I'll have a blog entry about this last item. Thanks, Jonathan.

The website is at

Well Worth a Look as a History, Civil War, or Civil War Naval Person. Old B-Runner

CSS Tuscaloosa

Favorite ship of the University of Alabama?

In connection with the research on the Confederate industries at selma, Al., I found out that the CSS Tuscaloosa was made there. It was classified as an ironclad floating battery and launched in Selma on Feb. 7, 1863.

It went under its own power to Mobile for completion and served in and around Mobile until it was sunk in Spanish River, 12 miles north of the city upon the city's surrender.

It was 152 feet long, 34 foot beam, carried 120 crewmembers and was armed with a 6'4" rifle and three 32-pdrs.

The CSS Huntsville, also built at Selma, was also scuttle in the Spanish River at the same time.

Too Bad I Haven't Come Across any Pictures of These Two Ships. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

So, You Want to get Into Civil War Collecting?

Buying and selling Civil War relics can be lucrative. Don Armstrong of Atlanta bought a Civil War sword 25 years ago for $200 and figures that it is worth at least ten times as much today.

The 15th Annual Charleston Civil War Show as held in Gaillard Auditorium back in January. "Wall Street is in the doldrums. Confederate stuff is the best value because there is so much less that survived.."

More than 1300 had eneterde the auditorium by noon Saturday. There was even a KKK robe from the 1920s selling for $1,500. One Confederate-made pistol was selling for $27,500.

Gun-seller Fred Edmunds of Florida said , "I'd say better than the stock market." Values of these items occasionally go down, but usuallythey go up. Confederate collectibles are "a hedge against inflation."

One shortfall is that getting into it can be expensive and time-consuming. At least one vendor said it is not very lucrative.

From Jan. 13th Charleston Post and Courier "Civil War items better with age" by Schuyler Kropf.

After Losing So Much in the Stock Market This Last Quarter, Perhaps I Should Have Considered This Venue. --Old Blockade-Runner

Mark Twain's Civil War Service

"Lt. Clemens reflects" a book review in the Jan. 13th Lexington Herald-Leader by Marshall Myers.

Mark Twain's Confederate service amounted to two weeks, but he wrote a lot about it in later years. "Mark Twain's Civil War" edited by David Rachet says that he joined a small band of rowdy and undisciplined Missourians and "we couldn't tell which side we were on."

He had answered the call of Missouri Governor Claiburne F. Jackson to "drive all invaders from her soil, not necessarily to support the South in its quest for independence."

Twain's account of his two week service is detailed in his "The Private History of a Campaign That Failed." He then joined his brother Orion who had been appointed secretary to the territorial governor of Nevada.

What Would Huck say? --Old B-Runner

More on Confederate Operations in Selma, Alabama

The Selma Naval Works and Foundry was on 50 acres of land. Besides the CSS Tennessee, the CSS Huntsville and CSS Tuscaloosa built here. Brooke cannons were also made here and were used on the CSS Virginia as well as the Tennessee. Brooke cannons were also at Fort Morgan during the Battle of Mobile. The Tennessee was towed down the river from Selma to be outfitted for action at Mobile.

The central location, facilities, and railroad connections amde this an ideal locarion for Confederate armaments and munitions.

There was also a Selma Arsenal with 24 machine shops and a Confederate Powder and Nitre Works on five acres which had up to 3000 workers by 1865. Such items as cartridges, saltpetre, powder, shot, shell rifles and cannons were made in Selma. Perhaps as many as 10,000 worked in these factories.

It became a major Union target and the Battle of Selma was fought with the Union capturing the city. Three miles of fortifications protected the city.

Still, I Had No Idea That So Much Was Going On During the War at Selma. --Old B-R'er.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Locating Confederate Graves in Alabama

The Thomas Hubbard Hobbs Camp 768 SCV has spent the lasttwo years placing493 stones on the graves of every known Confederate veteran in Athens and Limestone County, Alabama.

Manyhours of research and physical searching have been involved. Some private cemeteries have changed hands and present owners are no longer taking care of them.

The camp has placed 150 pound footstones and a few headstones in 93 cemeteries so far.

They celebrated Confederate Memorial Day April 20th with a ceremony to dedicate and mark the last stone and a marker at the Hobbs Street entrance to the Athens City Cemetery.

They are sure that there are other unknown and unmarked Confederate graves so will continue their search.

No mention was made of how much money the'd spent, althought I'm sure it was considerable as nothing is cheap anymore, especially footstones.

(From May 26th Athens (Al) News Courier.)

That's the Old Confederate Spirit. -- B-Runner

Happy Birthday, Mr. President-- Part 2

Today, being the 200th anniversary of Confederate President Jefferson Davis' birth in Kentucky, not too far from where Abraham Lincoln was born eight months later, I take some time to look at his lfe.

Heattended college in Kentucky before going to West Point. After that, he served two times in the army and married the daughter of his commander and later President Zachary Taylor. She died a few months later and Davis remarried into Mississippi's plantation aristocracy.

He served in the US House and Senate and was Secretary of War. He resigned from the Senate when Mississippi left the union even though he opposed secession.

I see that state offices in Alabama are closed today in observance of his birthday.

Again, Happy Birthday Mr. President. --Old Blockade-Runner

Monday, June 2, 2008

Civil War Talk Forum

This past weekend, I joined up with another Forum (like I don't belong to enough forums, e-mail groups, these four blogs, and my journal I've been keeping since 1977 aren't enough to wear my fingers out).

I came across it from another blog that linked it.

Only took me about ten minutes to figure out the numbers and letters in the anti-spam blocker. Now, that was some oblivious placements and colorations, migty hard on these old eyes. I perservered and am now a member at he Cadet level. I'm using the name RoadDog and used the great picture Liz found for me of the dog running down the dirt road as an avatar for the first time on a forum. I may switch all of the others to it.

Lots of interesting threads and members. I've already personally corresponded with several, including Ole from Kankakee, Illinois.

I'm going to enjoy this one. Already have done postings about Thomas O. Selfridge, USN and the river war. He was also at Fort Fisher.

If you're a fan of the Civil War, you might want to visit the Civil War Talk forum.

I must admit that my interest in the war was flagging until I started my original blog, and started posting about the Civil War so much it became necessary to start this blog.

Here a Type, There a Typle, Everywhere a Type-Type. --Old Blockade-Runner

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Almost lost in all the celebration for the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln next year is the 200th birthday of his Confederate counterpart, Jefferson Davis who was born tomorrow back on June 3, 1808.

The Sons and Confederate Veterans and Daughters of the Confederacy are planning events all year.

BEAUVOIR-- One of the most important stories is the restoration of Davis' postwar home of Beauvoir in Biloxi, Mississippi, one of the hardest hit victims of Hurricane Katrina. It has now reopened and tomorrow there will be a program held there.

FAIRVIEW, KY-- This weekend, there will be a big celebration in Fairview, Kentucky, where Davis was born. There will also be access to the historic Bethel Baptist Church which stands on the exact spot where he was born. This is where he gave his famous "This is my own, my native land" speech at the church's dedication in the 1880s.

Again, Happy Birthday, Mr. President. The Soth's One and Only President. --Old B-Runner

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Running the Blockade: Daughters of Union Veterans Meet-- Lawsuit Dropped-- Giant Confederate Flag

Some New News About an Old War.

1. DAUGHTERS OF UNION VETERANS MEET-- The May 31st Norman (Ok) Transcript reported that the Oklahoma Department of the National Society Daughters of the Civil War, 1861-1865, met in OKC on the 24th of May for their 83rd convention. I'd never heard of them and looked them up. After some difficulty, it turned out to be the Daughters of Union Veterans.

Good to see that organization still active. They formed on the national level in 1885 with five members. I couldn't find out how many are now members.

The Department's president's project is Quilts of Valor.

2. LAWSUIT DROPPED-- Moral to this story is to pay off your debts before big-time interest kicks in. I reported on this earlier, see March 20th.

Joan Kennedy Biddle dropped her $22 million suit vs. the City of Tampa for a Civil War debt owed her great grandfather dated June 28, 1861. He operated Tampa's biggest store and items were taken for the defense of the city.

The original note was for $299.58, but Ms. Biddle figured interest on it at 8% a year, hence the $22,718,400 sums. I wonder if there were any cents here.

Not only will she drop it, but will also pay Tampa $4,000 in legal fees and turn over the promissory note. (From May 31st Tampa Bay Online)

3. GIANT CONFEDERATE FLAG-- Also, from Tampa, we go from old debts to giant flags. The local SCV group plans on having a huge 50' by 30' Confederate flag flying on private property near the intersection of interstates 4 and 75. They have the permits, but still need to raise $30,000. Wonder whose feathers this WILL ruffle?

Save Your Confederate Money, It Might Be Worth $22 Million Smackeroos. --Old B-R

Brooke Rifled Cannon in Selma, Alabama

The May 27th Selma Daily Photo blog had a picture of the Brooke cannon on the grounds of the Selma City Hall. It has undergone extensive restoration in the last year and was cast August 24, 1863 in Selma at the Confederate Naval Gun Foundry under the command of Cmdr. Catesby ap R. Jones (always like that name).

It was the first gun shipped from the Selma Foundry and was a pivot gun on the Selma-built CSS Tennessee. (Sure didn't know the Tennessee was built in Selma. I always assumed it was built in Mobile. To tell the truth, I didn't even know they had a navigable river at Selma. But upon further thought, I remembered the Civil Roghts confrontation at he Selma Bridge.)

During the Battle of Mobile Bay, Admiral Buchanan and the two crew members killed on the Tennessee were standing by this gun.

It was designed by Lt. John M. Brooke, CSN (I thought the Brooke guns were Union. Sure finding out a lot in this article.) and weighed 15,300 pounds, was 12'3.5" long and could throw a shell 7900 yards, 4.5 miles. That is one powerful weapon.

It was captured by the Fedral Navy Aug. 5, 1864, with the capture of the Tennessee. It was later taken off and removed to the Washington Naval Yard and since returned to Selma in loan.

I'd Want to Be Standing 7901 Yards Away, If It Didn't Explode. --Old B-Runner