Thursday, October 30, 2008

A New Civil War Battlefield Site

Good news on the Civil War preservation front. We have a brand new old battlefield in Resaca, Georgia. And one that is long overdue, but thanks to the hard work of a small group of devotees, it is here.

The October 28th Calhoun (Ga) Times reports that ground was broken on the 27th for the Resaca Battlefield Historic Site marking the successful end of a twelve year effort by the Friends of Resaca. In addition, the Friends presented a $10,000 check to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for the new visitors center.

The site is located near I-75, so many tourists are expected. Between 2000 and 2003, the Georgia DNR purchased 512.85 acres and they also have a conservation easement on the Chitwood Farm where annual reeanctments take place.

The Battle of Resaca took place over May 13-15, 1864 anf marked the only time both sides fought in open battle during the Atlanta Campaign.

Over 5,500 men on both sides lost their lives, about 10% of the total losses during the entire campaign.

This is Something Long Overdue. Congrats to the Friends of Resaca!! --Old B-Runner

Running the Blockade: Battle at Dollinger Farm-- Hate Crime-- Strange Picture

Some New News About an Old War.

1. BATTLE AT DOLLINGER FARM----They called it the Battle of Cedar Creek, but it was strictly fictitious. According to the October 21st Morris (Il) Daily Herald, it took place at the Dollinger Family Farm southwest of the Village of Chinnahan. Over two days, some 700 reenactors viewed by between 6,000 and 7,000 visitors did battle in some great weather, a far cry from the September Civil War Days in Lake Villa, Illinois, near me. That turned into the monsoon season.

2. HATE CRIME-- And in Canada, too. Last November 2007, York Regional Police in Georgina, Ontario, noticed Luke Granados, 26, had a skeleton painted black hanging by noose from a flagpole flying a Confederate flag.

He pleaded guilty this past week to a hate crime and was sentenced to 45 days in jail.

When will they ever learn?

3. STRANGE PICTURE-- Ben Smith's Blog had a picture of a house in Martinsville, Indiana, with an Obama sign in front of it. What was of interest is that the flagpole next to it had a Confederate flag flying under the Stars and Stripes. That is something you wouldn't expect to see.

The entry sparked 114 comments. The best one was "It's a halloween set up. It's meant to be scary."

It's a Flag Thing, You Wouldn't Understand. --Old B-R'er

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cushing, Now There's a Scary Guy If You're a Confederate

William Cushing, the US Naval Daredevil, sank the CSS Albemarle ram on this date in 1864 in a daring attack via a launch with a torpedo mounted on a spar. The Albemarle had put Union forces in eastern North Carolina in turmoil with its attack earlier on the Union fleet.

Cushing was noted for other reconnoiters along the rivers and sounds of that area. You never knew when you'd run into him.

He also participated at the battles of Fort Fisher.

Boo, I'm Cushing!!! --No, I'm the Old Blockade-Runner

Is Fort Fisher, NC, Haunted?

In keeping with this scary season, the Carolina Beach Today blog wanted to know if the fort was actually haunted. After all, a big battle took place here with lots of deaths. Prime haunting grounds if you ask me.

The conclusion is that it might very well be.

First you have the still unanswered death of Robert Harrill, the famed Fort Fisher Hermit. Was it murder? Good haunting here.

Some also believe that the ghost of Confederate General W.H.C. Whiting can be seen wandering the remaining traverses and grounds. He later died of wounds received at the fort's defense. Perhaps still accusing Bragg of lack of action.

There are also those who say they've seen Confederate soldiers standing among the trees to the north of the fort.

The Haunted North Carolina Paranormal Research and Investigations have conducted a four hour investigation and believe the fort is haunted. They took photos and movies at the site.

You can see the photos and movies at October 26th entry.

Strange Things Happen This Time of Year. Like, BOOO!!! --Old B-Runner

Running the Blockade: Re-enactor Shot-- Don't Need This-- Bash at the Clash

Running the Blockade: Some New News About an Old War.

1. RE-ENACTOR SHOT-- Authorities believe they now know what dirty-rotten Confed shot 73-year-old former New York City police officer this past September. He was shot in the shoulder. Re-enactors are reported to be "freaked out" over the incident. No charges have been filed, but it is suspected that the culprit was one of several non-affiliated Confederate re-enactors who showed up for the event.

2. DON'T NEED THIS-- The Oct. 25th Green Bay Gazette reports that a man in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin took down his Halloween decorations that had black-faced scarecrows hanging from trees in his yard.. They are now leaning against a tree and their faces have been painted white. He also had a Confederate battle flag in his yard. Definitely something we don't need in today's charged anti-Confederate flag climate.

3. BASH AT THE CLASH-- The October 3rd re-enactment of the Battle of Fort Sanders in Knoxville, Tennessee, was also a fund-raiser for the McClurg Museum and McNabb Center called the "Bash at the Clash."

Fort Sanders was a clash between Union General Burnside and Confederate General Longstreet's forces. It was the final; attempt of Confederate forces to dislodge the Federals from Knoxville and took place November 29, 1863.

Fort Sanders was considered to be a weak link in Union defenses, but the Confederates didn't know about the wide, deep ditch in front of the fort. Confederate losses were 780 while Union was 100.

Now, You Know. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, October 25, 2008

USS Adela-- Hillsborough River Raid-- Part 2

Continuing with the history of the Adela with big thanks to Wikipedia, that great font of knowledge.

Shortly after fitting out in the New York Navy Yard, the Adela took part in the search for the Confederate raider CSS Clarence. The Clarence was captured by the raider CSS Florida A crew was put on board and that ship began raiding along the US coast. It captured the Tacony and the crew deemed this a better ship and transferred to it while burning the Clarence.

Then, the USS Adela participated in the Hillsborough River Raid on October 17, 1863. After that, it was stationed at East Pass where the Confederates had a plan to capture her. Nothing came of it. She captured the blockade-runner Badger and then was assigned to the Potomac River Flotilla at the end of the war before being sold November 30, 1865.

Interesting Ship's History. --Old B-R'er

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nathan Bedford Forrest High School Under Attack

The October 22nd Miami Herald reports that the Duval County School Boardwill vote November 3rd on whether or not to rename Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Florida.

There have been several years of criticism from groups and a push for it to be renamed. Last year, an advisory boarded voted 8-6 to rename it.

The article closed with this, "Forrest was a 19th century slave trader and planter who rose through the Confederate armyranks to lieutenant general and later became the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan."

Any bets as to the name change? Especially after that last bit.

Just Wondering Who Would Be Against This Name? --Old B-Runner

Another Big Confederate Flag in Dyersville, Tennessee

The October 22nd Dyersville (TN) State Gazette reports that the Dyer County Board of Zoning Appeals will be meeting October 28th in to consider a permit for a Confederate monument at Cemetery Ridge Memorial Park.

The local Sons of Confederate Veterans camp has already erected an 80-foot-flagpole on the site from which a 20 X 30 foot flag flies. They now would like to continue with a circular memorial plaza consisting of the flag, a granite marker, seating area, and appropriate landscaping and lighting.

So far, there has been one comment from ExPatDyerburgian, "Yes, please let us preserve our slave-loving heritage, even in death.

SPEAKING OF CONFEDERATE FLAGS-- Tampa Bay Online, has lots of comments about the huge Confederate flag in Tampa by the interstates under "Confederate Flag Causes a Flap." Pretty good name.

Keep the Flag Flying. --Old B-Runner

USS Adela-- Hillsborough River Raid

Still on the destruction of the Blockade-Runner Kate Dale. Yesterday, I wrote about the USS Tahoma, one of the two Union warships that participated in the raid on Tampa, Florida, that resulted in the Kate Dale's destruction.

The Tahoma was a ship constructed specifically for the Union Navy. The USS Adela, on the other hand, was a captured blockade-runner. What better way to capture a blockade-runner than to use a former one?

The 211 foot long, 23 foot beam Adela mounted 4 cannons and was capable of speeds up to 12 knots. This fast, iron-hulled sidewheeler originally operated out of Belfast, Ireland, before running the blockade and being captured by the Union Navy.


On July 7, 1862, she was spotted by the USS Quaker City and USS Huntsville off Great Abaco Island and given chase. Four warning shots were fired and when the Adela didn't stop, a 5th and 6th shell hit her, causing the captain, James Walker, to surrender the ship. He was a former Cunard Line commander and had captained the Great Eastern. The Adela was towed to Key West and turned over to the Admiralty Court.

The British government protested because the Adela was carrying two bags of Royal mail and this delayed proceedings, but in the end, the Adela was condemned and purchased by the Navy and fitted out for its new role at the New York Navy Yard.

More to Come. --Old Blockade-Runner

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

USS Tahoma-- Hillsborough River Raid

On the 14th and 20th of this month, I wrote about the Hillsborough River Raid on Tampa, Florida, and Fort Brooke and the Blockade-Runner Kate Dale.

I found this information about the USS Tahoma, one of the two Union ships involved.
This comes from Wikipedia, a great source for Civil War information.

The USS Tahoma was a 507-ton, 158 foot long, 28 foot beam Unadillo class screw steam gunboat built by the Union Navy in Wilmington, Delaware and launched October 2, 1861 and commissioned in December. She carried five cannons and could steam at 10 knots.

She was assigned to the East Gulf Blockading Squadron and raided St. Marks, Florida, and burned a barracks and destroyed a Confederate battery. Later, the Tahoma chased a blockade-running schooner aground and destroyed it. One funny thing happened when the blockade-runner Uncle Mose sailed up to the ship and anchored resulting in the capture of 115 bales of cotton.

Land attacks on Confederate saltworks along the Florida coast resulted in the destruction of three of them during one operation involving eight boats carrying 111 men from the Tahoma.

During the first six months of 1863, the Tahoma captured seven blockade-runners and engaged a Confederate battery.

On October 17, 1863, the Tahoma was involved in the operation in the Hillsborough River that ended with the destruction of the Kate Dale and Scottish Chieftain.

On February 17, 1864, a landing party from the Tahoma marched 7 miles inland and destroyed salt works at St. Marks, Florida and ten days later, another saltworks were destroyed.

After the war, the USS Tahoma served in the Gulf Squadron from 1866-1867, before being decommissioned in 1867.

One Busy Ship. --Old B-R'er

Let's File This Under Things We Don't Need

Recently, a large Obama for president sign was removed in Chesterfield, Virginia, and replaced with a Confederate flag.

The October 16th Daily Gamecock of the University of South Carolina, reports that recently the "League of the South descended on campus Wednesday afternoon and sang Dixie with a Confederate flag in the background," according to Josh Dawsey.

Leader Robert Lampley wants South Carlonia to secede so freedom can be returned to SC citizens. "We are Confederate, and we believe in the South."

The group's website doesn't refer to the United States and lists its headquarters in Abbeville, CSA.

The students mostly just ignored the group and walked by,laughed, or took pictures on their cell phones.

One student said, "The North kicked your ass. Get over it."

Again, These Are Things We Don't Need in These Racial Days. --Old B-Runner

Harriet Tubman Bridge in South Carolina

The October 20th Myrtle Beach Sun News had an article by Meghann Ackerman on the dedication of the US-17 bridge over the Combahee River as the Harriet Tubman Bridge.

Most people know her as a former slave who escaped to the North and was very active in the freedom of slaves after that.

I didn't know that she spent several years in Beaufort County, SC, working with newly freed slaves. She went along with Union forces in an expedition that became known as the Combahee Ferry Raid or Combahee River Raid which occurred on June 2, 1863.

This attack by two Union warships caused the destruction of several plantations and freedom of some 750 slaves.

State Representative Kenneth Hodges said, "Some say she may have led it; there are others who say it was inspired by her. It freed 750 slaves. I think it is a phenomenal pursuit.

Battle of Dug Springs, Missouri

The October 21st Springfield, Mo, News-Leader reports that a marker was dedicated September 31st to this little-known battle at the west end of the parking lot of Clever Middle School.

Groups involved in getting the marker, re-enactors, local historians, the Clever school system and government officials were in attendance.

The battle occurred August 2, 1861 along Old Wire Road between the Union troops of General Nathaniel Lyons and Confederate forces under Generals Sterling Price, Ben McCullough, and N.B. Pierce. Union losses were 4 killed and 37 wounded. Confederates had 29 killed and 50 wounded.

This served as a prelude to the Battle of Wilson's Creek 8 days later.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Looking for Lincoln in DuPage County, Illinois-- Part 2

October 13th, I wrote about DuPage County's role with Abraham Lincoln. Here's more:

There has been a rumor that Lincoln slept at Stacy's Tavern in Glen Ellyn, but it is not true. He was only in town while aboard a train.

Mary Todd Lincoln was placed at Bellevue Sanitarium after the death of her son Robert and stayed there 5 months.

The wife of the owner of the Howard House Hotel in St. Charles was a medium and Mary Todd Lincoln wanted to speak with her dead husband and sons. She stayed at the hotel under the assumed name of Mrs. May.

Lincoln once visited Aurora, Illinois and went to the Hoyt store on River Street and stayed at Wilder House on North River Street.

While an Illinois legislator, Lincoln joined with Naperville founder Joseph Naper, in supporting legislation to split DuPage County from Cook County.

Local legend has Lincoln giving a speech from the roof of the Pre-Emteon House in Naperville, but he probably did not.

From September 1st Daily Herald.

So, There You Have the Lincoln-DuPage County Connection. --B-Runner

Fort Brooke-- Tampa, Florida

While reading about the blockade-runner Kate Dale, I read about a Fort Brooke in Tampa and realized I'd never heardof this fortification before. So I looked it up in Wikipedia.

It was located on the current site of the Tampa Convention Center which was named after Col. George Brooke who established a military post there in 1824. It was amajor outpost during the Seminole War and the Civil War.

It received enemy fire during the October 1863 attack on the blockade-runners and was captured by the Union Navy along with Tampa on May 6, 1864.

Nothing remains of the fort except two cannons located on the campus of the University of Tampa. However, they are not marked as being from the fort.

While the city was building the Fort Brooke Parking Garage, an unknown cemetery was uncovered with the remains of soldiers and Seminoles.

They were reinterred elsewhere, which is better than I can say for the poor folks at Fort Fisher in Waco, Texas.

Blockade-Runner Kate Dale

On the night of October 16,1863, a hundred man Union naval landing party landed at Ballast Point along Tampa's Hillsborough River and marched north along the bank to what is today Lowry Park where they found the Kate Dale, a sloop made of live oak and pine, loaded with cotton and preparing to run the blockade to Cuba.

This ship was owned by maritime pioneer and future Tampa mayor Captain James McKay.

The USS Tahoma and USS Adela first shelled Confederate Fort Brooke near present downtown Tampa as a diversion.

The force captured and then burned the Kate Dale and nearby Scottish Chieftain, sinking both.


For years, the Kate Dale's wreck stayed right there, with its ribs exposed sometimes at low tide. Most people thought it was an old dock. According to legend, the Scottish Chieftain was towed downriver where its engines were taken for use on another ship.

About a third of the Kate Dales 80 foot length remains in anywhere from a few feet to 15 feet of water. The rest has either rotted, been swept away by currents, or salvaged by local residents.

Two years ago, the Florida Aquarium started an underwater mapping project and "found" the Kate Dale again. For two weeks in May, a team of divers led by marine archaeologist Billy Morris, carefully mapped the remains in zero visibility water. There are no plans to raise the wreck.

In 1982, the Tampa Tribune had an article about Calvin "Poppa" Taylor, a local treasure hunter who got inside information from a McKay descendant. He posed with a steering wheel from either the Kate Dale or Scottish Chieftain.

From May 22nd Tampa Bay Online by Keith Morelli of the Tampa Tribune.

And, I Never Thought of Blockade-Running From Tampa. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Today, the 150th Anniversary of Final Lincoln-Douglad Debate

And it is also the last presidential debate between Barack Obama and John McCain.

I wonder if they planned it that way? What do you think?

Even though Lincoln ended up losing the race for the US Senate, we all know what happened two years later.

Could this be the first part-black man elected to the presidency? We'll know in a few weeks.

I'd sure like to know their plans as to punishment for the CEOs and their ilk for getting the country into this current economic mess. And what about those idiots on Wall Street and the commodity traders? These folks are BAD for America.

Still Haven't Completely Made Up My Mind.

Alton, Illinois Highlighting Lincoln and Civil War Heritage

The October 15th St. Louis had an article about Alton's new Lincoln and Civil War Legacy Trail which was unveiled today, the 150th anniversary of the final debate between Lincoln and Stephen Douglas which occurred in Alton on today's date.

This effort came together thanks to community volunteers, city officials and employees and a $65,000 grant from the Illinois Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

The Trail was dedicated at Lincoln-Douglas square, the site of the debate during their 1858 US Senate campaign.


Other sites on the trail are the site of a Confederate prison, Confederate monument, and Confederate cemetery. Two others are at the former home of Lincoln friend Lyman Trumball and the old Franklin House Hotel that was Lincoln's campaign headquarters during the debate.

This weekend, there will be all sorts of festivities in Alton to mark the sesquicentennial.

Way to Go Alton. --B-Runner

Running the Blockade: CW Trails in Tennessee-- Fort Fisher ferry to Shut Down-- Fort Warren

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

1. CW TRAILS IN TENNESSEE-- The first Civil War Trails marker was erected in Franklin at a dedication September 17th. The program, which already operates in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland uses interpretive signage to highlight lesser-known aspects of the war.

2. FORT FISHER FERRY TO SHUT DOWN-- This ferry service will be shutting down for the months of January and February while the ramps are redone at both ends. This is the easy way of getting from Fort Fisher across the Cape Fear River to Southport. About 150 to 200 residents use this daily as a commute to work. Now, they'll have to drive all the way to Wilmington to cross the river.

In December 2007, the ferry carried 7,662 vehicles and 15,576 passengers.

Liz and I crossed over it on our way from Carolina Beach to Myrtle Beach

3. FORT WARREN-- Is it haunted? As Halloween approaches, every one wants to know. It is located on Georges Island, one of 34 islands in Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area. It is supposedly haunted by "The Lady in Black" who was supposedly hung as a Confederate accomplice, but there is no evidence of an execution taking place. However, Confederate soldiers were imprisoned there, so who knows?

Fort Warren, which is accessible by ferry, was active from 1833 until World War II and deactivated in 1951. There are spectacular views of Boston light from the ramparts. This is the nation's oldest light station.

So, Now You Know. --Old B-R'er

Bigger is Better?

Well, if it really burns them at one size, get a bigger one and really roast them.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans camp in Tampa is replacing the old 30 by 50 foot Confederate battle flag with an even bigger one, this one measuring 30 by 60.

Plans are to cut the old flag into pieces to sell to raise money for the memorial park surrounding the pole. Construction of the 1.9 acre park is expected to be finished in six weeks.

As usual, there were lots of comments in the Tampa Bay Online site. Almost more interesting than the story.

But as the author of the Civil War Memory blog points out, if these guys are just showing respect to the flag, why are they cutting it up?

A Good Question. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hillsborough River Raid Commemorated

This past weekend, an 1863 Union navy raid on Tampa, Florida, Ballast Point, Fort Brooke, and Hillsborough River was celebrated at Hillsborough County's Veterans Memorial Park.

On October 18, 1863, a Union raiding party landed while the USS Tahoma and USS Adela fired at Confederate Fort Brooke and Tampa. They marched along the Hillsborough River to what today is Lowry Park where they burned the Scottish Chieftain and Kate Dale, two Confederate blockade-runners. They were owned by future Tampa mayor James McKay.

Confederate forces pursued the landing party and a battle took place at Ballast Point. There were 18 Union casualties and a total of 13 for the Confederates.

Never Heard of the Battle of Ballast Point. --Old B-Runner

Monday, October 13, 2008

Looking for Lincoln in DuPage County, Illinois

The September 1st Daily Herald had an article about the upcoming bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth and provided a list of Lincoln-related sites in DuPage County on the outskirts of Chicago.

AURORA HISTORICAL SOCIETY-- has a letter from Lincoln written while he was a lawyer.

BATAVIA DEPOT MUSEUM-- has the dresser and bed of Mary Todd Lincoln used while she was at Bellevue Sanitarium.

BELLEVUE PLACE SANITARIUM-- converted to apartments at 333 S. Jefferson Street in Batavia.

BENEDICTINE UNIVERSITY-- in Lisle has a copy of a NY paper from the day Lincoln died, a photo album of Lincoln and his generals and a chair from ther train that took the newly-elected president to Washington, DC.

CAPTAIN MARCELLUS E. JONES HOME-- at 221 E. Illinois Street in Wheaton- With 8th Illinois Calvary. Fired first shot at Gettysburg.

HOWARD HOUSE HOTEL-- Mary Todd Lincoln rumored to have stayed here under an assumed name. Now apartments at 123 S. Third Street in St. Charles.

The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Coalition of DuPage County has lots of activities planned for this upcoming year.

Get Your Lincoln Here. --Old B-Runner

Some More on Johnson's Island

It is still there, so evidently efforts to save it from development have been successful. There is also another group to protect it called the Johnson's Island Preservation Society.

You can get to the Friends and Descendants site at

From Wikipedia. After the war, the camp was abandoned and the former owner took over again. Most of the buildings were auctioned off, but some fell into disrepair and were razed. The majority of the Civil War-related sites have been destroyed or built over after decades of farming and quarrying. In 1897, an effort was made to turn the island into a seaside resort, but it failed.

In 1990, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark and a causeway was built to connect it to the mainland. Heidelberg College conducts an annual archaeological did at the site. There is also a museum at Marblehead on the mainland.

Let's Not Forget That Wonderful Marblehead Lighthouse Either. --B-R

Johnson's Island, Ohio

The Spring 2005 Hallowed ground Magazine of the Civil War Preservation Trust had an article by David R. Bush on the Confederate prisoner of war camp at Johnson's island in Sanduskey Bay, Lake Erie, in the northwestern part of Ohio.

This was primarily a camp for Confederate officers captured in the western theater of the war, There were twelve housing blocks, two large mess halls, a hospital and several outbuildings enclosed within a 15-foot high stockade wall.

More than 10,000 prisoners were taken here during the course of the war. Some were exchanged soon after arrival while others spend months and years planning escape. There were lots of letters, diaries along with thousands of artifacts buried on the site.


In 1989, Johnson's Island Prison Depot was optioned for development of a housing complex, but the Friends and Descendants of Johnson's Island were able to save the site by obtaining a mortgage for it., but, as of spring 2005, they were about to lose the 17-acre lakefront area to the highest bidder. And being lakefront, you know developers are eying the site intently.

I'll have to follow up and see what happened.

Hope They Saved It. --Old B-Runner

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Shippensburg, Pennsylvania Gets Civil War Signs

The August 28th Sentinel Reported said that seven new interpretive signs have been placed in downtown Shippensburg. They include historical photos, illustrations, and information of the Confederate occupation of the town in the days preceding Gettysburg.

Among the signs:

UNION HOTEL-- whose name was changed to Sherman House as the Confederates approached.

GENERAL SAMUEL STURGIS HOME-- A Shippensburg native and hero of Antietam.

McPHERSON & COX HARDWARE STORE-- Whose owners outsmarted Confederate plunderers.



CAPTAIN JAMES KELSO HOME-- Looted, but family escaped.

WIDOW AGLE HOME-- supported self and three children by sewing and tailoring after husband killed in Georgia.

There are also two other signs at Dykman Spring and McLean Tannery that were erected by the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails program.

The More You Know. --B-Runner

H.L. Hunley Replica

The famous Confederate submarine Hunley was shown at the end of August at the 5th Annual Virginia City, Nevada, Civil War Days. John Dangerfield, a shipyard worker from Charleston, SC, built it out of scrap metal. It measures 40 feet long, 4 feet high, and 3 and a half feet wide.

The August 30th Nevada Appeal went into some detail on the Hunley and its successful attack on the USS Housatonic. Dangerfield used his own funds to make the vessel because he felt it should be a mobile exhibit. Right now, he is touring the west with it.

Very Appreciative of Your Effort Mr. Dangerfield. --Old B-R'er

Friday, October 10, 2008

More Civil War Trails to Drive

The September 29th Tennessean reports that southeast Tennessee is making an effort to attract tourists for the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association has put together a driving tour and a brochure showing 47 sites in the ten-county region called "Civil War Trails: Fighting for the Rails."

Nearby North Georgia already has "The Blue and Gray Trail Guide for Northwest Georgia."

Hopefully, between the two trails, they will get some much-needed tourism dough.

A Driving the Civil War I Go. --Old B-Runner

More on the SS Republic

Thanks to Wikipedia.

The ship was launched as the SS Tennessee in 1853 and, among other things, carried California gold rush 49ers to the eastern shore of Panama. At the outbreak of the Civil War, the 210 foot long, 33 foot 11 inch beam ship was captured by the Confederacy in New Orleans.

They planned to use it as a blockade-runner, but it never ran the blockade and was captured by Union forces when they took the city. It then became a part of the Union navy as the USS Tennessee. It served for awhile as Admiral Farragut's flagship and took part in the bombardment of Fort Morgan at the Battle of Mobile Bay.

After the capturee of the CSS Tennessee, its name was changed to USS Mobile so the ironclad could continue with the name.

Badly damaged by a hurricane in October 1864, it was decommissioned and sold. Its name was then changed to SS Republic.

To Be a Tennessee or Not to be a Tennessee, That is the Question. --B-R

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Running the Blockade: Out West and Close to Route 66

Running the Blockade. Some New News About an old War.

Came across two articles in papers about the dedication of a marker and a re-enactment at two lesser-known Civil War engagements.

1. BATTLE OF DUG SPRINGS, MISSOURI-- A historical marker memorializing the Battle of DugSprings was dedicated October 7th in Clever, Missouri. They had speeches and re-enactors. The battle took place August 2, 1861 on the Old Wire Road outside Clever and was apart of the campaign to control the western part of the state of Missouri. It was a prelude to the Battleof Wilson's Creek a week later. I couldn't find much on this battle. Springfield, (Mo.) News-Leader September 28th.

2. BATTLE OF HONEY SPRINGS, OKLAHOMA-- The September 28th Tulsa (Ok) World reported that the 21st re-enactment of the Battle of Honey Springs took place. The first one was on the 125th anniversary of the July 17, 1863 engagement. This one drew nearly 600 re-enactors and 400 spectators.

The original fight featured black soldiers from the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry.

Both of these took place near another favorite place of mine, the Mother Road, Good 'Ol Route 66.

I Have never Heard of Either Engagement, and Will Have to Look Them Up. Must be a Spring Thing. --Old B-Runner

Fort Sanders Re-enactment

The September 27th Knoxville Trivia Blog had an entry on the Fort Sanders re-enactment. Sure wish I'd seen it before this past weekend as we were in Knoxville all weekend long. We heard about the kids getting sick, but not that it was going on all weekend, but I should have figured it would be.

Anyway, the author said that Fort Sanders was the single bloodiest day in Knoxvile history when Confederate General Longstreet lost 800 men assaulting the fort. The northwest bastion of the fort has been reconstructed to scale, but not on the actual site which is near the University of Tennessee campus as I saw a monument and marker to it as we were walking up and down those numerous hills.

This reconstruction can be reached by going on Rutledge Pike about 12 miles from Knoxville, turning left onto Circle Road and taking it to the end and turning right onto Washington Pike.

The blog had a picture of it. Hopefully, this part of Fort Sanders will remain standing.

Still haven't heard anything more about the sick students.

I Wonder If the Attacking Confederates Were Listening to "All Summer Long" on Their Ipods this Past Weekend? Hey, "Sweet Home Alabama." --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Running the Blockade: Fort Sanders-- Who Shot the Yankee?

Some New News About an Old War.

1. FORT SANDERS-- No Scarlet Fever, in her blog, talked about being at the Fort Sanders re-enactment in Nashville, Tennessee, this past weekend. She said that over 1000 school children attended it Friday, but made no mention of the ones who got sick. She said that the Fort Sanders earthwork has been completely recreated. It was originally called Fort Louden and started by Confederates before being finished by Union troops.

2. WHO SHOT THE YANKEE-- Ok, some unreconstructed Rebel has done and gone shot a Yankee soldier at a re-enactment in Isle of Wight, Virginia. Thomas Lord, playing the part of a Union soldier was shot in the back of the shoulder by a .45 calibre bullet. He was taken to a local hospital, treated, and released. Lord says proper safety procedures were not followed.

Hey, Reb, Get Over It. --Old B-R'er

Monday, October 6, 2008

SS Republic Exhibit

The September 5th Pensacola, Fl., papers reported that the oOysseys Shipwreck Treasures from the SS Republic opened at the Balwin County Heritage Museum in Elberta, Alabama. It was originally scheduled to open Labor Day, but Hurricane Gustav put a kabosh on that.

It includes video of the shipwreck which lies in 1,700 feet of water in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Georgia where it sank in an 1865 hurricane while carrying a huge treasure trove of $400,000 in gold and silver coins, the largest in Civil War era shipping.

There are also photos of the wreck, interactive exhibits, and a large number of the 51,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts recovered from it.

During the Civil War, it participated as a Union ship at the Battle of Mobile Bay as the USS Tennessee. It's wreck was located by Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc, in 2003.

Give me the Money. --Old B-Runner.

Gatlinburg's a Rebel Kind of Town

Even as the Confederate flag comes under increasing attack, you'd never know it here in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Although, there is more of that oppressive Tennessee orange Vols color and lots of Smoky Mountains stuff for sale, you will find lots of items with the Confederate flag on them, including hats, stickers, tee shirts and the actual flags ranging from 3 by 5 footers to small hand-held ones.

"Southern by Grace of God," "If This Offends you, then it's good," "Proud of my Southern Heritage" and so forth are often emblazoned on them.

Keep it Flying. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Running the Blockade: Maurice's BBQ-- Students Get Sick--

Running the Blockade. Two items from our recent trip South.

1. MAURICE'S BBQ-- While approaching Columbia, South Carolina, on our way from Myrtle Beach to Knoxville, we were getting hungry and I saw a sign for a Maurice's BBQ at the next exit, so got off I-20.

I always try to get bbq whenever possible on our travels. As a big fan of eastern Carolina-style bbq, I just have to compare, but should add that I always like bbq.

Maurice's had a much different sauce than I'd ever had before and was good, but a bit on the expensive side. I didn't much care for their hush puppies, but the Carolina hash was excellent.

This restaurant was a shrine to the Confederacy with pictures of southern heroes and the flag waving above the capitol that caused all the controversy. Maurice is one person very proud of his heritage and even has a book about it as well as other pro-Confederate booklets. I doubt that he gets much business from the NAACP.

2. STUDENTS GET SICK-- On our way into Knoxville for the UT-NIU football game, we heard on the radio that 40 middle school students had gotten sick while watching the re-enactment of the Battle of Fort Sanders which happened near Washington Pike and Circle Road. Now, I understand that the study of history can put young folks to sleep, but SICK?

Oh, well, at least they GOT OUT OF CLASS. Never heard any follow up on the subject.

Some New News About an Old War. --Old B-R'er

Friday, October 3, 2008

Name That Ship, But Do It Fast!!!

That ship that was uncovered by Hurricane Ike near Fort Morgan, Alabama, may soon be gone. And, we're not talking about the elements. Large parts of it have been disappearing because of souvenir hunters.

They still don't know what its name is, but soon that will be a gone deal, as there won't be anything left to identify.

They are still saying it might be the Confederate battleship Monticello, or the rumrunner. I still say the Confederacy, unfortunately, had NO BATTLESHIPS>