The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Burgaw, NC, On Civil War Trails Now

The Nov. 19th Wilmington (NC) Star News reports that the historic train depot in Burgaw will be officially plaqued as part of the Civil War Trails Program at a ceremony December 4th. Research was prepared by Chris Fonvielle of UNC-Wilmington with the help of Mike Taylor.

Burgaw's location on the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad, sometimes called the lifeline of the Confederacy and it was the staging area for a large prisoner of war exchange.

Civil War Trails, Bringing History to the Masses. --Old B-Runner

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fort Sanders-- Knoxville, Tennessee

The November 26th Knox News had an article about finding Civil War artifacts at the site of Fort Sanders.

There is a newspaper account of the first Blue-Gray Reunion members walking the grounds of the former fort and picking up spent bullets 27 years after the Nov. 29, 1863 battle.

The manager of the Fort sanders Hospital, which was built on the grounds after World War I, who kept a collection of unexploded artillery shells on his desk in the 20s and 30s until someone suggested that this might be dangerous. The staff secretly reburied them.

A crew digging a basement on Ailor Avenue in 1946 uncovered a cannonball and a coffee pot. Owner Margaret Stewart kept them as souvenirs, but said the pot could not be used as it was battered and with holes and a missing spout.

Finding Momentos of a By-Gone Era. --Old B-Runner

Hopkins Stonewalls Dixie

Back on the 25th, I mentioned in Running the Blockade that the annual January SCV and UDC Maryland observance of the Lee-Jackson Birthday at the statues of those two in Baltimore will continue, but not with the usual get-together afterwards at Johns Hopkins University for coffee and refreshments.

Hopkins spokesman Dennis O'Shea said, "We're not legally required to rent rooms to anybody who asks, and in this case we have chosen not to rent a room. We choose not to have the Confederate battle flag carried across our campus, particularly at that time of the year, so very close to the Martin Luther King holiday."

Members of the Confederate groups say they are victims of political correctness. In the past twenty years, there have been no problems using the Johns Hopkins facilities. I'd say a lot of this has to do with the current anti-Confederate movement that primarily revolves around the Confederate battle flag.

To their credit, the January 17th event will still go on as proper city permits were obtained, but, EXTRA EFFORT will be made to ensure that no one steps on Johns Hopkins property. My thoughts are that this degradation might lead to arrest.

From the Baltimore Sun.

Sad to See History Discriminated Against Like This. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Running the Blockade: Dixie Stonewalled Again-- The 54th Mass. is Back

Some new news about an old war.

1. DIXIE STONEWALLED AGAIN-- For the past 20 years, members of the Maryland's Sons of Confederate Veterans and Daughters of the Confederacy adjourned across the street from where they sang Dixie and laid wreaths at the monument to Lee and Jackson and had coffee and refreshments at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, but not any more.

The university will not rent space to them because the even t is planned for a few days before Barack Obama's inauguration and the NAACP complained about it.

Shame on that institution.

2. THE 54TH MASS. IS BACK-- The unit made famous in the movie "Glory." the 54th Massachusetts is back. This past Friday, the unit was reactivated in Boston as the state's ceremonial unit of the Massachusetts National Guard. They will conduct military honors at state functions and veterans funeral services.

Good to have that storied-unit, which overcame all sorts of obstacles during the Civil War to prove that black soldiers indeed could fight for their freedom, back.

Now, You Know. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Running the Blockade: Water Witch Commissioning-- Middle School Gettysburg Re-Enactment-- Freedom Park in Louisville

Some New News About an Old War.

1. WATER WITCH COMMISSIONING-- The Civil War Navy and Marine Forum discussed the April 4-5th, 2009 commissioning of the reconstructed USS/CSS Water Witch at the National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, Georgia, in conjunction with River Blast.

It is a full-scale waterline replica which is expected to draw a lot of tourists to the museum. You can view the progress of the ship at The 18-foot tall paddle wheels were set August 18th.

2. MIDDLE SCHOOL GETTYSBURG RE-ENACTMENT-- The Nov. 7th Arizona Republic reported that nearly 400 seventh graders at Desert Shadows Middle School in Phoenix re-enacted the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg. This was the cumulation of a three-month study of key battles, people, and military and medical technology. This is the fifth year social studies instructors have organized it. Definitely a way to get young people interested in history.

3. FREEDOM PARK IN LOUISVILLE-- The November 18th Louisville (Ky) Courier-Journal reports that the city and University of Louisville officials have announced intentions of building Freedom Park around the site of the 1895 Confederate monument. Freedom Park will honor the Civil Rights Movement.

The city approved plans for the $2 million project back in 2002. The park, about an acre in size, is near where Second and Third streets come together.

As you would expect, there are lots of comments to this story.

Sounds Like a Strange Pairing to Me. Is Someone Doing an End-Run? --B-R'er

Fort Huger, Virginia

From the Virginia Pilot Online of Jan. 6th by Linda McNatt.

The fort is well-preserved as it was on private property and far from populated areas. It is located on Hardy's Bluff overlooking the James River. Fort Huger is not a well-known Civil War fort.

James Brown, a member of the Isle of Wight County Board said that at least three of his ancestors helped build it. "I couldn't help but think what it must have been like for them. Today, we think it most ironic that African-Americans participated in the building of a Confederate fort, but in the 1861 south, it was the order of things. The Confederate engineering records contain the names of many of the slaves and free Negroes who labored on the fort's construction." They connect the names of free blacks of Surry County like Brown, Bailey, Johnson, and Newby who worked at the fort.

The fort is named after a Confederate general and built to fight wooden ships with a "hot shot" furnace to heat cannonballs to set ships afire on contact. The furnace is still visible and will be restored.

It was abandoned in 1862 after being shelled four times in ten months, once by the USS Galena, and at least once by the USS Monitor.

The county, which now owns the site, has been restoring it for months. Fiberglass cannons will be placed at the artillery positions. The flagpole site has been identified and a new flagpole will be erected in the center of the fort. A 34-star US flag will fly on it with a First National Confederate flag under it.

Old News, But Always Good to Preserve a Bit of Civil War History. --Old B-R

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Iowa Flag Follow Up

In yesterday's Running the Blockade, I mentioned about the flag of the 15th Iowa being returned to the Iowa State capitol rotunda after preservation.

Here's some more information about it.

The Nov. 15th Des Moines Register described the 56 inch by 100 inch flag as being damaged by sunlight, temperature and humidity changes, tobacco smoke, and general wear and tear during the 100-plus years it was on display.

It is among 390 flags from the Civil War, Spanish-American War, and World War I. The state museum is preserving all of them.

The 15th Iowa flag is missing a star and was made in 1861 by women in Polk County. The 15th was formed in 1861 and became part of the Iowa Brigade participating at the battles of Shiloh, Vicksburg, Jackson, and the Atlanta Campaign in 1864.

The Valiant 15th. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Confederate Documents Acquired in Texas

WMC TV reported Jan. 18th that the Texas General Land Office acquired the correspondence of Texas Confederates who died of yellow fever in 1864. These have been added to their 35 million-plus historical documents in their archives.

Included in these were 34 letters of Private Dudley Ward which were purchased at auction for $11,000, the money coming from private donations from the Save Texas History Program.

Ward joined Co. G, 2nd Texas Infantry at 17 and was captured at Vicksburg in 1863. He was paroled and eventually served on Galveston Island. He died In the 1864 yellow fever epidemic there.

The Jan. 18th Houston Chronicle had a quote by Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson: "I am honored to preserve this important glimpse into Texas Confederate history. Whether or not you agree with the causes of the war, Ward put his life on the line for his family and for Texas, and his story should be shared with future generations of Texans."

Always Great to Save ANY Part of History. --Old B-Runner

Running the Blockade: Michigan Graves-- Iowa Flag-- 3rd Battle of Winchester Preserved

Some New News About an Old War.

1. MICHIGAN GRAVES-- The Nov. 18th Battle Creek (Mi) Enquirer reports that in Kentwood, a suburb of Battle Creek, historian Eloise Haven has identified 16 more Civil War veterans buried at Pine Hill Cemetery. She and her group of volunteers have been locating veterans in eight area cemeteries. Their efforts last year have raised the number of Civil war veterans buried at Oakhill Cemetery in Grand Rapids to more than 720.

They will not confirm a veteran until they have at least one piece of paperwork. Most of the ones buried at Pine Hill are from out-of-state, mostly New York. They are putting up GAR flag holders at the graves.

2. IOWA FLAG-- On Nov. 13th, WOI TV in Des Moines, Iowa, reported that a newly-preserved Iowa Civil War flag is being returned to display in the state capitol rotunda where it was from 1894 to 2004. There will be a ceremony for the 34-star US flag carried by the 15th Iowa.

3. 3RD BATTLE OF WINCHESTER PRESERVED-- The Nov. 13th Washington Times reports that a 209 acre section called the Middle Field of the 3rd Battle of Winchester, Virginia, will be preserved after $3.35 million was spent by the Shenandoah Valley battlefields Foundation, Civil War Preservation Trust, State of Virginia, and private individuals. This brings the total acres preserved to 575.

On September 19, 1864, the Union 19th Corps lost 40% of its men and every regimental commander was killed or wounded. A total of 54,000 fought here on both sides.

Now, You Know. --Old B-Runner

Monday, November 17, 2008

No Confederate Flags Here

WSFA News 12 Montgomery, Alabama, reports that yet another high school is no longer allowing students to wear Confederate flags on their tee shirts because of racial tension.

The high school ineastern Alabama started having problems after black students started taunting whites about Obama's election. The following day, whites showed up with flags and Confederate tee shirts, and racial slurs took place on both sides.

The principal banned the Confederate flag, but can't ban Obama tee shirts, but urged students not to wear them until things calm down.

Seems What's Fair For the Goose Isn't Exactly Fair to the Gander. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cape Fear River-- Fort Caswell--

The Triangle Naturalist took a boat trip along the Cape Fear River in North Carolina on November 8th. It was mostly a nature tour from the mouth of the Cape Fear River from Oak Island to Carolina Beach. Lots of pictures were taken and informative text.

Some items I found of particular interest were Fort Caswell being built from 1826-1836, captured by Confederates in 1861 and held until after the capture of Fort Fisher. On January 17, 1865, retreating Confederate forces exploded over 10,000 pounds of gunpowder resulting in the total destruction of one whole wall. It was used off and on by the navy and army until after World War II.

Sunny Point, on the west shore of the river by Southport is the largest munition port in the world.

"Confederate blockade runners have been replaced by deluxe yachts and commercial vessels."

Worth Checking Out at Old B-R'er

Friday, November 14, 2008

Running the Blockade: Youngest Illinois Soldier-- Dead Confederate Band-- Most Amazing Photos

Some New News About an Old War.

1. YOUNGEST ILLINOIS SOLDIER-- In The January 22nd Bloomington (Il) Pantagraph's "How Time Flies" column, it reported that 100 years earlier, Joseph Ingram of Colfax had died January 22, 1908, and that he was believed to have been Illinois' youngest soldier.

2. DEAD CONFEDERATE BAND-- I have been coming across this name a lot in my searches, and, yesterday, I got the chance to hear them for the first time. I just might have to go out and buy their new album Wrecking Ball based on some of their songs and especially one called "The Rat." They hail from Athens, Georgia, as did REM and the B-52s, and remind me a lot of Nirvana. The lead singer with his hair hanging down in front of his face even reminds me of Curt Cobain.

They were on the Conan OBryan show and you can check them out on youtube.

3. MOST AMAZING PHOTOS-- The November 12th blog entry on STL Essays was a subjective look at the "Most Amazing Surviving Photographs from the American Civil War." The author gave a history of it and you could click to see the photo.

Top three were

#3-- Confederate dead at Antietam
#2-- US Grant after Cold Harbor
#1-- Confederate troops on the march in Frederick, Maryland, 1862.

You can view them all at

Now, You Know. --B-Runner

Still Denied to March With Flag

Well, according to the Nov. 11th WVLT TV in Knoxville, the SCV group showed up at Knoxville's Veterans Day parade, with their flag, and were still denied to march in it. H. K. Edgerton, the black man who belongs to the SCV and heads the Southern Legal Resource Center was also there. He said, "For these folks in the City of Knoxville to deny the SCV and here in the Southland of America the right to the worst thing I've ever known in my life."

As you can guess, there were quite a few comments and even a poll as to whether the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) should have been allowed to march with their flag. That ended with 88.1% saying yes.

One good comment from Shauna in Atlanta, "As an African-American, I think it was unreasonable to not allow the soldiers to fly the flag. They are "CONFEDERATE SOLDIERS." I'm able to distinguish what's racist and what's not and this is clearly denying these soldiers exercise their 1st Amendment rights. I don't agree with everything a confederate flag stands for, but give these soldiers a break, dang!"

The American Legion stands by its rule that only American or Tennessee flags can be flown in the parade.

It's Just Too Bad. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Steamer Replica at Vicksburg

Back in January, the Vicksburg Post ran an article about the replica of a Civil War steamer being added to the Vicksburg Battlefield Museum.

Back during the war, President Jefferson Davis asked Thomas P. Leathers, a steam boater, to head up the South's naval operations on the Mississippi River. He declined, but did transport troops and supplies in his vessels.

One of these was known as the Natchez No. 5. Now, almost 150 years later it is back, only smaller.

Bill Atteridge built it at the museum's request after the discovery of its likely remnants in the Yazoo River where it was scuttled in March, 1863.

It joins about 250 other boat and ship models at the museum and is the fifth ship by that name (as the name implies). It was named after the Natchez Indians, not the city by that name.

It's successor, the Natchez No. 6 lost a famous 1870 Mississippi River race with the Robert E. Lee.

The No. 5 ferried Jefferson Davis to Vicksburg after he learned of his election as president of the Confederacy. It rested undiscovered until last summer when its wreckage was discovered.

Old B-Runner

Running the Blockade: No Pumping Here-- No Flag Here-- Flag Here

Some New News About An Old War.

1. NO PUMPING HERE-- The Hunley's crew was not pumping water out when the submarine sank. The valve on the recovered pump was not set to bilge water. It would have been if water was coming in.

This disputes the common belief that it was damaged and took on water in the attack on the USS Housatonic. WBTV Charlotte, NC.

2. NO FLAG HERE-- WVLT in Knoxville, Tn, reports that members of the local SCV camp will not be allowed to march in the Veterans Day parade through downtown if they carry the Confederate battle flag/naval jack. This is the ruling by the American Legion PostTwo. Lots of comments both ways on the site.

3. FLAG HERE-- Dale Cox in his Arkansas in the Civil War blog reports that the flag of the CSS Arkansas is on display at the Port Columbus National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, Georgia.

Now, You Know. --B-Runner

Running the Blockade: Lee-Grant Twice-- Gettysburg Grand Opening-- Train Wreck-- William Butler, CSN

Some New News About an Old War.

1. LEE-GRANT TWICE-- Came across the fact that Lee and Grant only met twice in their lives. Once near the end of the Mexican War and at Appomattox.

2. GETTYSBURG GRAND OPENING-- September 27th and 28th was the Grand Opening of the new $103 million Museum and Visitor Center. It opened in April, however. The 139,000 square foot building is designed to accommodate 2 million visitors a year and is very interactive.

There are 12 themed galleries, one of which is on the Gettysburg Address. Only 7% of the museum's 300,000 artifacts and 700,000 documents are on display at any given time.

Also, the 377 foot long, 42 foot high canvas "The Battle of Gettysburg" has been restored to look just as it did when French painter Paul Philippoteaux first showed it in Boston in 1884.

3. TRAIN WRECK-- A marker commemorating the July 15, 1864 train wreck, is at the north end of the town of Shohola, Pennsylvania. An Erie Railroad train carrying 833 Confederate prisoners and 128 Union guards to prison in Elmira, New York, collided with a coal train. Forty-eight prisoners and 12 guards were killed. Many of the survivors were cared for in Shohola.

The crash took place at a blind curve called King and Foller's Cut.

4. WILLIAM BUTLER, CSN-- The September 10th Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus about the local Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp, the Goldsboro Rifles, doing research and finding out about William Butler's grave in Willowdale Cemetery. All it had on it was his name and "He served his country."

They found out he had been a sailor aboard the CSS Neuse, a 158 foot Confederate ram built at Seven Springs and burned by her crew when Union troops took Kinston in March 1865.

Butler died 47 years later. The camp has put up a new military headstone.

Now, You Know. --Old B-R

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Raid at Combahee Ferry-- Part 2

Continuing from yesterday.
From Wikipedia.

After Beaufort County was mostly taken over by the Union Army, most plantation owners fled and thousands of slaves ended up free. Several regiments were organized from them, including the 2nd SC Infantry under Col. James Montgomery, a Kansas Jayhawker who had been in many clashes with pro-slavery groups during Bleeding Kansas.

He later led a raid on Darien, Georgia, which he ordered to be looted and burned even though it wasn't defended and had offered no resistance. Col. Shaw of the 54th Massachusetts as featured in the movie "Glory" condemned the action. He later wrote that Montgomery's reason "that the Southerners must be made to feel that this was a real war, and that they were to be swept away by the hand of God, like the Jews of old" was a "satanic action." Col. Montgomery definitely did not come off very well in his depiction in the movie "Glory."

Following the war, Darien was rebuilt with some of the funds coming from Robert Gould Shaw's family.


On June 1, 1863, three Navy ships: the Sentinel, Harriet A. Weed, and the John Adam left Beaufort headed for the Combahee. Three hundred men of the 2nd SC and Co. C of the 3rd Rhode Island Artillery accompanied were on the ships as was Harriet Tubman.

To Be Continued. --Old B-R

The Sentinel ran aground and the two remaining ships arrived at the mouth of the river and landed a small detachment.

Battle of Honey Springs

Back on October 9th, I mentioned this battle and that I didn't know anything about it. Just like that, Dale Cox in his Civil War Arkansas blog started doing a series of entries about it.

Even though it took place on Oklahoma, it had a big impact on Arkansas. It is also called the Battle of Elk Creek. The Union's victory there assured control of the Cherokee Nation and opened the door for Federal advances that led to the permanent possession of Fort Smith.

The battle took place July 17, 1863 along Elk Creek which flows through the Creek and Muscogee nations in Oklahoma. It is sometimes referred to as the "Gettysburg of the West."

Union general James Blunt learned of a Confederate assembly at Honey Springs Depot near Checotah and decided to strike Confederate General Douglas H. Cooper first. Blunt moved 3000 men and 12 cannons across the Arkansas River and attacked.

Both sides were multi-racial. Blunts army had white, black, and Indians. Cooper's had whites and Indians.

To see the original articles, go to He ended up with 14 entries on the battle along with pictures. A whole lot of information on a little known, but important battle of the Civil War.

More to Come. Thanks Mr. Cox.--Old B-Runner

Monday, November 10, 2008

Harriet Tubman at Combahee Ferry Raid

Back on October 22nd, I had an entry about the bridge in SC being named after Harriet Tubman for her role in the raid at that site.

Here is some more information:

An account in a July 10, 1863, paper claims that Tubman actually led the raid.

Tubman had come to the Beaufort area in 1862 to work with slaves on the sea islands who had been left behind when their masters fled the Union Army. The next year, she set up a network of spies and scouts in the Low Country.

The Combahee River bordered and supplied water for some of the largest and most-productive rice plantations.

The article also mentioned Colonel James Montgomery who was a character in the movie "Glory." He was the one who later commanded the Union expedition against defenseless Darien, Georgia, which led to its destruction. I'll have to do some more research on this.

Remarkable Woman. --Old B-Runner

"Old Val Verde" Returns

On October 26th, KWTX (Texas) Channel 10 News reported that a celebration was held at the Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site in Limestone County to mark the return of the Civil War cannon called "Old Val Verde." It had been for almost a year for restoration work at Texas A&M.

It was originally part of the Union Army's Chicago Mercantile Battery and captured by the 12th Texas Artillery, Val Verde Battery, at the Battle of Mansfield, Louisiana. Another cannon from the Mercantile Battery is at the Freestone County Courthouse in Fairfield.

Confederate Civil War veterans gathered at the grounds from 1889 to 1948. Today, the grounds also have an 1893 dance pavilion. The site has 77 acres with big trees and crystal springs along a bend of the Navasoto River.

"Old Val Verde" was fired at dawn and dusk each day of the reunions. In 1889, the vets first met at the then Pen Camp Meeting Grounds and were so impressed with what it had to offer, that they formed a group and in 1892 purchased the first 20 acres. The land was divided into lots with Lee and Jackson streets as main thoroughfares.

One More Time for "Old Val Verde." --Old B-Runner

Friday, November 7, 2008

Running the Blockade: Mistrial on Confederate Flag-- Davis Statue Accepted-- DUVCW-- SUVCW

Running the Blockade: Some New News About an Old War

1. MISTRIAL ON CONFEDERATE FLAG-- After a 13-hour deliberation, the all-white jury ended up with a mistrial in the suit to allow the school to allow students to wear Confederate flags. The school board says they will continue their anti-flag ban.

2. DAVIS STATUE ACCEPTED-- The Civil War Center in Richmond, Virginia, accepted the $100,000 life size statue of Jefferson Davis given to it by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The center is located in the former Tredegar Iron Works that produced so many munitions for the Confederacy. The 10,000 square foot center has no statues and mainly interactive stations.

There are no conditions as to display and it could just end up in storage. August 6th Hometown

3. DUVCW-- Seven Union Civil War veterans buried in La Vista Cemetery in National City, Ca, near San Diego, will be honored November 11th by the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War 1861-1865 Nancy Hanks Lincoln Tent No. 5 of San Diego County.

They are F.H. Richel, 112th Il; John O. Darville, 11th Il. Cavalry; Capt. J.W. Heath, 10th Mn; Julius N. McFarland, 17th In; Capt. Francis Moore, 2nd Il Cav; Johnson Winters, 102nd Ohio; and Lt. Col. T.R. Palmer, Mi Volunteers.

Kind of interesting that so many of these Midwesterners end up in California.

4. SUVCW-- The Nov. 6th Haverhill (Ma) Gazette reports that 111 Union veterans buried in Elmwood Cemetery in Bradford will now all have a brass marker thanks to the William Jenkins Camp #129 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

A short history on four of them: John A. Manley died June 11, 1929, at age 86. He was captured and sent to Andersonville Prison in Georgia. He weighed 155 when captured and 90 when released.

Brothers Charles, Benjamin and Jacob Bickum enlisted March 19, 1862 and served together in Co. A 19th Mass. All three survived the war.

Old Blockade-Runner

Re-enactor Really Shoots Re-enactor

Well, sort of, and there was an injury, and a police charge.

The November 6th Hanover (Pa) Evening Sun reports that Paul J. Sproesser, 44, of Frederick, Md, was charged with two felony counts of reckless endangerment and one count of simple assault for shooting a 17-year-old re-enactor in the foot at an August 3rd re-enactment.

Sproesser shot his .69 caliber black powder rifle at point-blank range at a piece of canvas tarp over the teenager's foot and inflicting powder burns on two toes and a partial amputation of another. His gun was not loaded with a bullet.

He just walked up and fired. Sproesser could not be reached for comment.

Sounds Like This Was One of the Spur-of-the Momet Things That Went Awry. --B-Runner

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Running the Blockade: CSS Atlanta Cannons-- Don't need This-- Forrest High School

Some New News About an Old War

1. CSS ATLANTA CANNONS-- The "To the Sound of the Guns" blog wrote about and had plenty of pictures of the four cannons from the CSS Atlanta on display at the US Naval Museum at the Washington, DC Navy Yard. They are Brooke Rifles cast at Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, Virginia. All have inscriptions on their breeches concerning the capture.

There are also several captured Brookes from the CSS Tennessee.

2. DON'T NEED THIS-- Some other news we don't need. The November 1st New Times reports that Cal-Poly University officials have spoken with the residents of Crop House where agricultural students live. They had a recent party with a sign reading "No n*****s." Plus, there was a Confederate flag flying near a hangman's noose hanging from a balcony as well as a table in the yard painted with a Confederate flag.

These students should be punished in some way. This sort of behavior is unacceptable.

3. FORREST HIGH SCHOOL-- The October 30th Orlando (Fl) Sentinel is calling for the renaming of Forrest High School in Jacksonville. In their editorial, they mentioned that some Florida schools are named for Confederate figures like Lee, "but their names and legacies aren't tainted by membership in one of the most despicable groups ever formed in the US."

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

Battle of White Hall and CSS Neuse Marker dedication

The Nov. 3rd Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus reports that a Civil War marker honoring Confederate Marines and soldiers killed at the Battle of White Hall December 15-16, 1862 and crewmembers aboard the ironclad CSS Neuse will be dedicated December 13th at the White Hall Confederate Memorial Park on Budd Fields Road near Seven Springs.

The Battle of White Hall took place between Union forces heading to Goldsboro and Confederates guarding the Neuse.

The park is owned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Marking the Heritage. --B-R

Some More Old News on Fort Fisher Re-enactment Jan. 12th

Andrew Duppstadt, in his blog, had two pictures of the Fort Fisher re-enactment January 12th.

Michael Scercy attended the Fort Fisher re-enactment and said the highlight of the day was the firing of the 32-pdr. from Sherherd's Battery. He had pictures of the gun's firing, but they weren't very clear.

There was another blog entry about the Fort Fisher Hermit on January 15th. A picture as well.

On January 16, 1865, the day after Fisher's fall, 40 Union soldiers died in a bunker explosion.

Better Late Than Never. --B-Runner

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

143rd Anniversary of Fall of Fort Fisher/Plein Air Demo

This is very old information from January 16th, but...

Bernie Rossage, Jr, attended the anniversary celebration at the fort, which "included artillery and infantry demonstration, period music, fort tours,and a living history/plein air demo by yours truly. I have migrated from a soldier to a civilian in my hobby of Civil War reenacting...actually I have taken on the role of a period artist. My impression is based on a combination of two artists...Alfred Waud (probably the most noted period sketch artist) and Winslow Homer who painted scenes from the war." Probably one of the most noted was "Sharpshooter on picket duty.

Rossage said that after the rain, he set up his French easel and painted Shepherd's Battery with the palisade fence in front of it. Pictures were included with him and a reenactor in the battery and several of him painting it.


In case you're wondering, and I was. "The inventor of the metal tube in the mid 1800s made it possible for painters to go outside and pain 'en plein aire' for the first time. A French term meaning 'in plain air."

I don't know if it is sold are not, but he was offering his painting "Shepherd's Battery" a 9 X 12 inch oil on gallery-stretched canvas on e-Bay for a starting bid of $29.95 at the time. He did a great job on it.

also, Bernie Rossage's own site.

Go to January 16, 2008 of the last blog to see pictures and the full blog entry. I'd like to see that picture of the reenactors and Rossage made into a painting. That would be impressive.

Mighty Impressive Piece of Art Done On Site. If I Had Anywhere to Put It Up, I'd Have Bid on It Myself. --Old B-Runner

Fort Fisher Medal of Honor

The May 2nd Enid News & Eagle from Enid, Oklahoma, had an about Robert M. Blair who served aboard the USS Pontoosuc during the capture of Fort Fisher and the Wilmington Campaign. He received a Medal of Honor for 'Carrying out his duties faithfully throughout the period 24 December, 1864 to 22 January 1865." And for "Gallantry and skill and for his cool courage while under fire."

He died April 2, 1899 in Enid and is buried there.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Running the Blockade: More Old News-- Graves Marked-- $30 Million for Monitor-- Ironworks Demolished

Some Really Old News About an Old War. We're talking about May here.

1. GRAVES MARKED-- Ed and Carla Briggs marked the graves of Confederates, Hamilton Barrow and G.W. Slack, in their hometown of Gibson City, Illinois.

2. $30 Million FOR MONITOR-- The Mariners Museum raised the last of the $30 million needed for the USS Monitor Center.

3. IRONWORKS DEMOLISHED-- And speaking of the USS Monitor, the Rennsselar Ironworks building on Madison Street in Troy, New York was demolished after an arson fire. It had sat vacant since the 1990s.

Mayor Tutunjian wants the turbine saved and hopes for a memorial to the building. During the Civil War, the ironworks produced millions of horseshoes for the Union Army and iron plates for the USS Monitor.

In the 1860s, it became the first factory in the US to use the Bessemer Process that enabled steel to be produced faster and more cheaply. May 27th Albany Times-Union.

So, Now You Know. --Old B'Runner

Man Arrested for Stealing Jefferson Davis Documents

Old news, but of interest. The May 21 Lexington (Ky) Herald-Leader reported that a seventy-year-old man was arrested for stealing Jefferson Davis documents valued at $15,000 from the Transylvania University Library back in 1994.

Eugene Zollman is described as a big-time Jefferson Davis collector. The school hadn't inventories its items for over 40 years. He was caught when he recently tried to auction them off on line. A Texas collector recognized the documents and contacted Transylvania.

A 1994 sign-in sheet showed he visited the library on April 11, 1994, and again a month later.

Curses, Foiled by the Internet. --B-Runner

Sailor and Marine Re-enactment in North Carolina

WNCT Radio in Greenville, NC, reports that there will be a Civil War sailors and Marines re-enactment at the CSS Neuse State Historic Site on the Neuse River in Kinston November 15-16th.

Members of the several North Carolina and Virginia re-enactment groups will be demonstrating aspects of naval life including navigational techniques, daily shipboard living, and other nautical skills.

A highlight of the two days will be a rare night time artillery firing demonstration. Visitors are asked to bring flashlights to get to the demonstration area.

Sure Would Have Liked to See This Since My Major Civil War Interest is Naval. --Old B-R'er

A Real Big Surprise-- Forrest High School Retains Name

Last night, in a 5-2 vote, Duval County School Board members voted to retain the Nathan Bedford Forrest name at the Jacksonville High School. I was sure it would be changed in today's anti-Confederate climate that seems to be so pervasive. Especially since Forrest was in on the early formation of the KKK. Even I might have drawn the line here.

The two votes to change it came from the two black school board members and the five whites voted to keep it. So, it was definitely a racial vote.

One black member said that Forrest was a "terrorist and a racist."

Forrest High School was originally all-white, but today is half black. It has failed the state's assessment test the last two years.

Sure Had Mixed Feelings on This One. --Old B-Runner

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sabotage in the Florida Keys?

The August 27th BBC News reports that Anne Corscadden Knox is leading a dive in the Florida Keys to the wreck of the steamer Menemon Sanford which was carrying Union soldiers when it hit a reef near Key Largo. To this day, there is belief that it was sabotage by the ship's pilot.

The crew and the 156th New York escaped, but lost all of their gear and supplies.

The pilot, Captain A. W. Richardson was a southern sympathizer.

Ms. Knox was also involved with finding what is believed to be Blackbeard's flagship, the Queen Anne's Revenge.

I Doubt that They Will Find Any Proof of Sabotage. Hey, Where'd That reef Come From? --Old B-Runner

CSS Virginia-- Is the Wreck Still There?

Carl Fisher is a member of the Yahoo Group Civil War Naval and Marine Forum and lives in Norfolk, Virginia. He keeps up with all things Elizabeth River.

Since 2003, the Maerk Shipping Company has built a large container terminal on Carney island and dredged most of the offshore area where the Virginia was blown up.

Before doing that, they had to have extensive magnetometer surveys and found no metallic objects of any significance in the area.

Fisher's opinion is that there is little of the Virginia left.

Another posting in the same group from Tom Apple said that the CSS Virginia's remains were raised in May 1876 and floated to dry dock where the machinery was removed and wood broken up. A Norfolk company made 200 canes and other souvenir pieces out of the remains. This according to the Norfolk, Virginia May 30th and May 31st, 1876 papers.

So Much for That Ship. --Old Blockade-Runner

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Proposed Snow's Cut-Fort Fisher Ferry Bike Path

There has been a lot of arguing over the route this proposed trail is to take near Wilmington, NC.

Those who want it along Dow Road are attacked for it being too far out of the way.

The Pleasure Island Greenway Committee has mapped out a north-south route almost exclusively on public land. But some homeowners believe it would be too close to their homes.

Great idea though, and one that might increase attendance at Fort Fisher State Historic Site.

Riding on Mt Two-Wheeler. --Old B-R

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Strange Things to Be Together

I recently wrote about the home in Martinsville, Indiana, which has been drawing a lot of attention because a Confederate flag is flying from the flagpole and an Obama sign is in the yard. Definitely not what you'd expect to see.

The October 311st Martinsville (Ind) Reporter-Times reports that the homes owner, Howard Livingston, was wondering why so many people were coming by and taking pictures.

He put the Confederate flag up (under the Stars and Stripes) and is wife is an Obama supporter. He is aware that some believe the Confederate flag to be racist, but Howard believes that those who do are probably racist themselves.

By the way, he doesn't vote himself.

Well Said, Mr. Livingston. --Old B-Runner

Coat "Witnessed" History at Appomattox

The October 2008 Civil War News reports that the coat of Confederate Major Frederic Robert Scott, who was at Robert E. Lee's April 9, 1865, surrender at Appomattox Court House, is being returned to the scene.

Site Director Richard Rambo of the Confederate Memorial Park in Marbury, Alabama, came across a tag sewed in the collar of it saying "Coat worn by Maj. Frederic R. Scott at the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox April 12, 1865." and it piqued his interest.

Less than a half dozen Confederate officer sack coats remain. Scott Stadium of the University of Virginia was dedicated to him October 18, 1931.

The Coat's A-Coming Home. --B-Runner

Lincoln Museum Director Fired for Shoplifting

Quite a Story here.

Rick Beard, 61, the head of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, was fired this past week--for SHOPLIFTING $40 worth of DVDs.

Now, you'd think at 61, he'd know better, AND, this wasn't the first time he'd gotten in trouble for shoplifting. Earlier, he had lifted $300 worth of silk ties.

It gets even better. Mr. Beard was earning just shy of $250,000!!! Can you believe that, $250,000!!!! And he blew that for $340.

The Charlotte, NC newspaper summed it up very well, "Library Head Fired for Not Being Honest Like Abe."

Hey, I'd Take the Job for Half of That AND Promise Not to Shoplift. I'm Not Saying Anything About Horseshoes Though. --B-Runner

Farragut Was Born Here or Here or Here

The September 17th Knox reports that the search is on for the site of the cabin where noted Civil War Admiral David Glasgow "Damn the Torpedoes" Farragut was born.

A development is planned for the five acres at Stony Point on Fort Loudon Lake near Knoxville, Tennessee. It was delayed back in July for an archaeological survey with an aim of marking the exact spot where the cabin stood.

Farragut was born in 1801 and lived until 1806 when his father moved the family to New Orleans after receiving a naval commission. His father operated a ferry at the site. The young Farragut entered the US Navy as a midshipman at age 9, fought in the War of 1812 and commanded a ship at age 12.

The Bonny Kate Chapter of the DAR marked the cabin's approximate site with a stone monument in 1900.

David was born as James, but changed his first name to David in honor of family friend David Dixon Porter.

Let's Hope They Find It. Quite a Naval Officer. --Old B-R'er

Forrest's Name May Come Off Florida School

As I reported last month, Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville may have a new name as of November 3rd when the Duval County School Board will meet to make a determination. It would be changed to Firestone High School after the street it is on.

According to Ron Word of AP in "Southern general's name may come off Florida school" is is part of the south's never-ending soul-searching. Steven Stoll, a sociology professor at Florida Community College: "This guy was a brutish monster. Why would you want to keep honoring a person like this? It is an insult to black people."

Efforts to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary School and Jefferson Davis Middle School in Hampton, Virginia, have failed.

Forrest High School opened in the 1950s during the Civil Rights era and was all-white at the time. Now, blacks make up half the student body. Two seniors say that the general consensus at the high school, whose athletic teams are called Rebels, is to leave the name alone.

Jacksonville has three other schools named for Confederate generals.

I'm Thinking it Will be Firestone High. --Old B-Runner