Friday, December 31, 2010

My Introduction to the Civil War All Those Years Ago-- Part 2

Earlier this month, December 15th, I wrote about how Fort Fisher was the inspiration for my being such a Civil War nut. That is why this blog is so heavily into that fort and Wilmington during the war.

Just three years later, we entered the centennial of the war, and that became hook, line and sinker. I was hooked.

We still lived in North Carolina until sixth grade when we moved to Illinois. There was that great American Heritage Illustrated book with those neat maps with little soldiers all over them.

It wasn't too hard to use our Davey Crockett rifles in Civil War battles as firing them with the ramrod was till the way to do it.

Plus, I must have gotten at least three of those Blue and Gray toy soldiers sets. We had some great battles over Burnside Bridge. Of course, my brother and I always argued as to who would get the rebels. Being oldest, I usually got them.

What I Am So Civil Warred. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fort Fisher Soldier Finally Returned Home

From the Nov. 14th Fayetteville (NC) Observer.

Private Edward Cashwell was 29-years-old when he enlisted in the Confederate Army and left his wife and five children to protect his home in North Carolina. He never saw combat, but contracted typhoid fever and died 15 months later, May 13, 1863, at a Fort Fisher hospital.

His remains were never returned to his family living in Cumberland and Bladen counties. Instead, he was buried in a mass grave near the hospital. Hopefully, his family was notified. I'm no sure that fear of the spread of the disease might have been the reason or perhaps the family was too poor to bring the body home or the Confederate government too busy with arracking Union armies.

However, on November 13th, the Sons of Confederate Veterans buried a casket containng dirt from the mass grave next to his wife, Elizabeth Riley Cashwell, who died in 1914. The grave is in a small cemetery east of Stedman, on NC-24.

Six more bodies (perhaps died of typhoid fever as well) are buried in that mass grave at Fort Fisher. The SCV intends to find their names and return them to their homes as well.

This is the first time I've ever heard about the mass grave and hospital at the fort. Guess I'll have to do some research.

A Fine Thing This Organization Is Doing. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Friends of Fort Fisher Elect Directors and Officers

From the Dec. 28th Wilmington (NC) Star-News.

This is an organization I definitely have to look into joining.

The friends of Fort Fisher, a nonprofit support group for the fort, held their first membership meeting recently.

Site improvements over this last year were highlighted.

Retiring Board members Gehrig Spencer and Henry Payne were recognized.

Two new directors were elected:

James Carper, a retired engineer of the US Army Corps of Engineers and retired NC National Guard brigadier general.

Kemp Burpeau, deputy New Hanover County attorney and former member of the NC Historical Commission.


Retiring Board Chairman Peter D'Onofrio was recognized for his many years of board and site volunteer service.

Gehrig Spencer, former Fort Fisher site manager (whom I met on several occasions), in recognition for his many years of service, was awarded the first-ever Honorary Life Membership.

Officers elected for 2011:

R. James MacLaren, chairman, Wilmington
Earl Lauz, secretary, Kure Beach
John Coble, treasurer, Wilmington

A Great Organization. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The First Battle of Fort Fisher's 146th Anniversary-- Dec. 28, 1864

In the morning, the blockade-runner Banshee runs the blockade into New Inlet.

At 5:30 pm, Lincoln asks Grant what he knows about the Fort Fisher Expedition. Grant replies the "expedition has proven a gross and culpable failure." many of the troops were already back in Virginia. delays and talk about it enabled Confederates to move troops to Wilmington.

Later, Grant removed Butler from his command of the Army of the James and the expedition was the subject of a hearing of the Conduct of the War.

Another attack was planned, this time with Ge, Alfred Terry in command. Admiral Porter returned as Naval commander.

Confederates began repairs on the firt.

The North No Longer Had Butler, But the South Still Had Bragg. Doesn't bode Well. --Old B-Runner

Monday, December 27, 2010

The First Battle of Fort Fisher's 146th Anniversary-- Dec. 27, 1864

Bragg is content to let the Union forces in the beach escape.

As Union fleet sails away, Col. Lamb orders a defiant last parting volley toward it.

At night, the blockade-runner steamer Wild Rovers runs the blockade into Mew Inlet. Business returns to as usual.

Lamb and Whiting are hugely irate at Bragg's failure to act against Union forces on the shore.

Union General Grant and Navy Secretary Gideon Welles are infuriated with news of the failure.

These last few days are compliments of the North Carolina Historic Sites http://www.nchistoricsites.org/fisher/battle-1.htm

Again, Why Bragg? --B-R'er

The First Battle of Fort Fisher's 146th Anniversary-- Dec. 26, 1864

Since I take a day off from blogging in Sundays, hey football time right now, this is what happened yesterday.

DECEMBER 26th

Fort Fisher still intact.

General Butler and most of his soldiers departs for Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Between noon and late afternoon Confederate General Braxton Bragg arrives at Sugar Loaf. Gen. Hoke with Hagood's brigade and the rest of Kirkland's men arrive as well.

No attempt is made to capture Union forces stranded on the beach (600 men). Probably because the Union Navy was still at battle stations.

I Still Think at Least Some Sort of Effort Should Have Been Made Against That Union Force. ButBragg Was There Now. Not Likely. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The First Battle of Fort Fisher's 146th Anniversary-- December 25, 1865

MORNING-- Union ships shell the beach north of Fort Fisher. The bombardment of the fort commences again and another 10,000 shells fired.

2 PM-- Union soldiers land.

3 PM-- Union troops to within a mile and a half north of Fort Fisher. eventually, some Union forces within 75 yards of Fisher.

Dusk-- Some Union forces thinking about attacking. Butler orders a withdrawal of the rest of landing party.

DARK-- Union bombardment ceases. Confederates man the ramparts and open fire on Union forces. Weather getting worse and 600 soldiers left on beach.

A Union Bungle. --Old B-Runner

Friday, December 24, 2010

The First Battle of Fort Fisher's 146th Anniversary

As I do every year at this time, I'll be following the anniversary of the two battles that took place at Fort Fisher, North Carolina.
This fort had a huge impact on my life as it was here that I first got interested in the Civil War and history. You might say it changed my life.

A large part of this blog is dedicated to Fort Fisher, the Confederate Navy and blockade-running.

Earlt this morning, Christmas Eve, the USS Louisiana was blown up. It was General Butler's belief that the explosion of the ship, which was loaded with gun powder, would cause the sand walls of the fort to be knock down. About all it did was awake the garrison who thought a blockade-runner or blockader had run aground and blown up.

It was foggy all morning as the 64 ship Union fleet took up its battle stations off the fort. That must have been some sight from the fort if it could be seem.

Right now, at 12:45 pm E.S.T. the USS Ironsides fired a shot. The whole fleet joined in at 1 pm and one of the heaviest bombardments ever took place until dusk at which time the fleet retired out to sea. Around 10,000 shells were fired at the fort with little damage.

Between 1-4 pm, about 1,300 Confederates under Gen. Kirkland arrived at Sugar Loaf, north of Fort Fisher and joined 1,200 Junior and Senior Reserves.

Late afternoon Confederate General W.H.C. Whiting arrived at the fort to confer with its commander, Col. William Lamb.

And, So it Began. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, December 23, 2010

CSS Peedee Found-- Part 1

From the December 21st WIS-TV Channel 10.

The CSS Peedee was destroyed by its crew March 15, 1865, to prevent its capture by Union forces. Until now, the exact location has not been known, but 18 months after underwater archaeologist Chris Ameri confirmed the presence of two of the three Peedee cannons (a Confederate Brooke Rifle and a Union Dahlgren smoothbore), near the Confederate Mars Bluff Navy Yard, he believes he has located it.

He notes that the Peedee is not resting as a complete wreck, but in many pieces across the namesake Peedee River.

Back in July 2009, he conducted an unsuccessful search for the missing third cannon.

The Peedee was built at the Confederate Mars Bluff Navy Yard, one of seven such warship construction sites built inland so as to be protected from US Naval incursions.

Always Good to Find Something You Lost. --Old B-Runner

Confederate Fort Huger-- Part 2

On May 8, 1862, in conjunction with McClellan's Peninsular Campaign, Commander John Rodgers led a naval squadron up the James River and shelled Fort Boykin. The ironclad Galena and gunboats Aroostock and Port Royal steamed to Fort Huger and began shelling it. The Galena steamed pass the fort seven times and was never damaged.

On May 12th, the USS Monitor and USS Naugatuck ascended the river and attacked Huger again, but caused no damage.

Five days later, US Marines and sailors occupied Fort Huger which had been abandoned. The guns were spiked, carriages burned and magazines destroyed

From a 2010 Virginia Civil War Trails marker.

Wonder Why the Confederates Abandoned the Fort. --B-R'er

Confederate Fort Huger-- Part 1

From the Historical Marker database.

In 1861, Confederate engineer Col. Andrew Talcott surveyed several defensive positions along the James River to protect Richmond, including Harden's Bluff and the nearby Fort Boykin. He selected Harden's Bluff and construction on Fort Huger, named for Confederate General Benjamin Huger, commander of the Department of Norfolk.

Slaves and free blacks constructed it under direction of the Confederate Engineer Bureau.

Detachments of Lt. Col. Fletcher Archer's 5th Virginia Infantry were posted here and by August 1861, several guns were in place. By March 1862, the fort mounted 13 guns: 1 ten-inch Columbiad, 4 nine-inch Dahlgrens, 2 8-inch Columbiads and 6 32-pdr naval hot shot guns.

Next, the Peninsular Campaign. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Running the Blockade: Thanks, Harper Girls-- Glory Enough for All-- Jumping the Gun

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


1. THANKS, HARPER GIRLS-- Four sisters known as the Harper Girls have donated three acres of land to the Battle of Kinston (NC) site near Highway 258 a few miles south of the town. They include Confederate earthworks.

The Kinston Historical Society intends to eventually build an outdoor museum and trails at the site.


2. GLORY ENOUGH FOR ALL-- The 146th anniversary of the Second Battle of Fort Fisher will be observed in a free, day-long observance at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site January 16, 2011. It is called "Glory Enough for All" and will focus on post-war reunions and efforts to make the fort a national site.

There will also be a temporary exhibit featuring a Confederate uniform and a 1907 blue-and-grey reunion badge.


3. JUMPING THE GUN-- The Brunswick/Fort Anderson State Historic Site south of Wilmington, North Carolina, will be hosting a talk by historian Jack Travis at the Southport Community Building on the Fort Johnston grounds January 18th..

North Carolina militia seized Forts Caswell and Johnston before the state seceded and the governor made them return it.

Always Something Going On. --B-R'er

Lincoln's Pre-Civil War Housekeeper Honored

From the Dec. 22nd Danville (Il) Commercial News. Thanks for the alert Civil War Interactive Newswire.

On. December 24th, the Ward Hill Lamon Civil War Round Table will hold a brief ceremony at the grave site of Mariah Vance. Afterwards, they will lay a wreath at the southwest section of Spring Hill Cemetery near the entrance off English Street.

Mariah Vance was laundress, maid and nurse for the Lincolns from 1850 until they left Springfield for the White House in 1860.

Her family moved to Danville in 1861 when her husband got a job as a miner in the area.

Her stories were written down by an Attica, Indiana, woman who went to her laundry in the early 1900s. They have since been printed in a controversial book "Lincoln's Personal Life: An Oral History."

Their is some debate as to how much she really knew about the Lincoln's, but their son, Robert Todd Lincoln came to Danville once and visited with Mariah.

She died in 1904 and was front-page news in Danville, but was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1964, the Round Table placed a marker at the grave.

Never Heard of Her. --Old-B-Runner

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SC Convention Leader's Grave-- Part 2

General David Jamison was president of the secession Convention and is considered to be the founder of Charleston's Citadel.

He was from Orangeburg, South Carolina in 1810 and his grave is in the Old Presbyterian cemetery behind the Orangeburg County Courthouse.

He died of Yellow fever in an epidemic in Charleston in 1864 and was buried in Orangeburg.

In his march through South Carolina, General Sherman swore he'd dig up Jamison's body and burn it, so his family had the marker removed. His home was burned down by Union troops, but Sherman didn't find the grave to carry through with his threat.

His grave remained that way for thirty years until funds were raised and the present memorial erected. The writing on it is now faded to where it is hard to read.

Soldier, Statesman and Scholar. --B-R'er

Upcoming South Carolina Secession Events

It was 150 years ago that the state seceded from the Union and was quickly followed by others and a new country, the Confederate States of America established.

Commemorations yesterday in Charleston, the seat of secession, involved the dedication of a state historical sign at the site of the Institute Hall,where the Ordinance of Secession was signed.

Later that day, the Secession Ball was held. At a $100 a pop, I sure wouldn't have gone. I wonder if they had a ball back then?

This January 8th, the firing on the Fort Sumter relief ship Star of the West will be reenacted by cadets from the Citadel..

And, So it begins. --Old B-Runner

Monday, December 20, 2010

Wilmington Reacts to South Carolina's Secession

Although North Carolina was one of the last states to secede from the Union, here was much support for the movement as shown by Wilmington's reaction to the news.

From the Dec. 19th Free North Carolina Blog.

When news of the event in Charleston reached Wilmington, a group called the Cape Fear Minute Men fired a 100-gun salute in honor of it.

The schooner Marine anchored in the Cape Fear River added its 100 guns.

This was also answered by Wilmington shipbuilder William Beery who "added another salvo."

The streets rapidly filled with cheering throngs showing their support.

So, It Had Come to This. --B-R'er

South Carolina Secedes 150 Years Ago Today

From the Dec. 20th Charleston (SC) Post and Courier "S.C. secedes: 'The Union is Dissolved' by Robert Rosen.

On Dec. 17th, the convention met in Columbia, but moved to Charleston for fear of an epidemic. They reconvened on the 18th. Almost all of the 169 delegates owned slaves. The group included five former governors, 40 former state senators, 100 former representatives, 12 clerics and many lawyers.

Almost half of then owned fifty or more slaves.

The convention was held at St. Andrews Hall (no longer standing) on Broad Street. There was no debate. A roll call vote was unanimous.

The Ordinance of Secession was signed at the Institute Hall (also no longer standing). It was larger and thousands viewed the two-hour signing ceremony.

The thread for comments was closed. I imagine it got quite heated.

Thus It begins. --Old B-Runner

Pro-Southern Newspaper Destroyed by Bloomington Mob-- Part 2

The Times fell into foreclosure in 1861, but a year later, in 1862, was up and running again.

On August 20,1862, the 94th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, organized in McLean County (on what became Route 66) was at the Courthouse Square in downtown Bloomington. After celebration and a ceremony where nearly a thousand men took the Oath of Allegiance and became soldiers.

A squad of soldiers escorted the Snow brothers from their office and placed them on boxes in the square and administered a similar oath to them. As the Snows departed, one was reported to have said an oath given under duress was no oath.

This was a pretext for the soldiers along with their rowdy and inebriated friends to rush the Times office, throw the contents out in the street and set fire.

One source said everything was removed including the press and even a coal shovel. Not a single piece of property was left in the office.

The Snows were run out of town on a figurative rail, but soon set up another paper in Paris, Illinois. They soon found themselves forced out of that town as well.

Then, they moved to St. Louis where they got out of the newspaper business altogether and began careers as farmers and in real estate.

Some Little-Known History. Thanks Mr. Kemp. --Old B-Runner

SC Convention Leader's Grave-- Part 1

On this day, December 20th, which marks essentially the beginning of the Civil War 150 years ago, delegates meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, voted to dissolve the state's ties with the United States and form their own country.

Thanks to the Civil War Interactive site for alerting me to this interesting story. If you want to know what is going on in today's new concerning the Civil War, this is the place to go. I have my own sources, but theirs is much larger.

From the Dec. 20th Orangeburg (SC)Times and Democrat "Convention leader rests in Orangeburg cemetery."

This is especially appropriate this day. General David Jamison served as the president of that convention that voted to leave the Union. He, and the others who signed the document believed they constitutionally had the right to do so, but others felt they were traitors and should be executed, much like the men who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Brave Men. --B-R'er

Pro-Southern Newspaper Destroyed by Bloomington Mob-- Part 1

From the September 19th Bloomington (Il) Pantagraph "Mob destroyed Bloomington's pro-South newspaper in 1862" by Bill Kemp, Archivist/Librarian of McLean Museum of History.

This is one of those interesting sidebars to the Civil War that you don't usually hear about.

Back in the early 1860s, Bloomington had three newspapers.

The Pantagraph, which still exists, was a daily paper firmly behind the new Republican Party and its main competitor was the the moderate weekly Illinois Statesman, the voice of northern Democrats. The two papers frequently clashed, but the Statesman supported the Republican war effort.

However, the Bloomington Times, was described as "a rabidly pro-southern, anti-Lincoln, anti-war" weekly published by Benjamin F Snow and D. Josiah Snow. They were originally from Maryland and arrived in Bloomington in the early 1850s.

One of their sisters became Bloomington's first librarian and Benjamin taught Latin at Wesleyan University.

They began publishing the Times in 1855 and for the next seven years "excelled inthe art of printed provocation."

Stop the Presses!! More Coming!! --Old B-Runner

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Shipwreck Diving in North Carolina" Calabash to Southport

A new book is out by local authors Fred R. David and Vern J. Bender. It is a 66-page paperback and can be bought for $14.95.

Just looking at the highlights, I find it interesting and may have to add it to my collection.

** Stories on the last voyages of ships that sank off Sunset Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, Holden Beach, Oak Island and Bald Head Island.

** Pictures of the ships including the Sherman, Hebe, Raritan, Governor and City of Houston.

** GPS of many of them.

** Color photos of wrecks and descriptions of marine life.

** Locations of local shark tooth beds.

** Links to YouTube videos.

** How and Where to catch spiney and slipper lobsters.

** Information on the wrecks, including depths, visibility, currents, types of artifacts and marine life.

** Shipwreck histories ranging from pirate ships, Civil War blockade-runners (Hey, that's me) and World War II U-boat victims.

** The Story of the Frying Pan Shoals Light Tower and Light Ships.

Nice and Short, Too. --Old B-Runner

A Book on Wilmington, Fort Fisher and the War

From the September 29th Back Then Column in the Wilmington (NC) Star News.

Madeline Flagler of Wilmington offered book suggestions in 1960. "An interesting source for the occupation of Wilmington is After the War: a Southern Town, May 1, 1865 to May 1, 1866 by Whitelaw Reid with notes by C. Vann Woodward.

Friday, December 17, 2010

US Colored Troops Represented in a Commemorative Ceremony

From the Dec. 14th Afro (Tn) blog.

The 1865 Grand review of the USCT (United States Colored Troops) was recently commemorated in Harrisburg, Pa., with over 100 re-enactors. Twenty-five of the those were members of the 13th USCT of Murfreesboro and the 44th USCT from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Back in 1865, the regiments of the USCT were not allowed to march with the whites in Washington, DC. Instead, Pennsylvania hosted their review.

Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Randall honored them, who proudly represented the 180,000 blacks who served in the USCT. Of these, 24,000 came from the Volunteer State, Tennessee.

Very Brave Soldiers. --B-R'er

Nashville's Fort Negley

On September 25th, more than 100 re-enactors were at Fort Negley doing an encampment. The fort is a very rare Civil War masonry fort and one of the few sites left of Civil War Nashville, even including the battle that took place there.

A battle, organized by the Col. Randall McGavock Camp 1713 SCV took place above the Nashville Sounds Stadium where cannons were positioned. Confederates attacked across Fort Negley Boulevard.

However, no battle ever took place at the fort.

This is a part of the kick-off to the 150th anniversary of the war starting April 12, 2011.

"What is remarkable is that it took the Sons of Confederate Veterans to breathe life into a Union fort, " said Krista Castillo, the Fort Negley museum coordinator.

The SCV commander, John Mertz was dressed in a Union blue uniform and said he has uniforms for both sides. He said there was no truth to the Confederate rumor that blue was itchier than gray. His ancestors on both sides of the conflict.

Country Music City. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Secession Ball Draws Contention

This coming Monday, December 20th, several organizations in Charleston, SC, are having a $100-a-ticket Secession Gala Ball and Dinner to commemorate the state's secession from the Union 150 years ago. It is a formal kick-off to the Civil War Sesquicentennial.

It will be held at the Galliard Municipal Auditorium.

Of course, the NAACP is planning to protest event, calling it the "Holocaust Gala" even though there are no-known Confederate Concentration Camps that I know of where millions of slaves were gassed.

I thought I knew a lot about the war, but guess I will have to research this.

With All the Other Problems Facing Our Black Citizens, I Am Surprised That This Organization Cannot Find Other More Worthy Things to Strive Toward. --B-R'er

Barbara Fritchie House for Sale

From the September 13th WJZ 13 CBS station.

The house, located in Frederick, Maryland, is now on the market for $185,000.

The two-story, red brick house is a replica of where the 90-something widow defiantly waved a US flag at Confederates under Stonewall Jackson in 1862 during the Antietam campaign.

Poet John Greenleaf Whittier came across the story and wrote a poem about it.

"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, but spare your country's flag," were her words according to the poem.

However, the incident was never documented and was based on several incidents Whittier had heard about.

Well, You own History, Or Maybe Not. --B-R'er

Original Gun from CSS Alabama in Mobile

From August 30th Mobile (Al) Press-Register "Original gun from CSS Alabama finds home at Museum of Mobile" by Amy Browning.

A nice photo of it on its carriage in the museum accompanies the article.

Other artifacts from the CSS Alabama are also in the museum.

This cannon is one of 8 original ones on the ship which was sunk June 19, 1864, off Cherbourg, France, by the USS Kearsarge. The Alabama sank in 200 feet of water in the English Channel.

Only three of the eight cannons have been brought up. Two of the others are in Charleston and one in Richmond.

The cannon weighs 5,000 pounds and is ten feet long. It was recovered in 2003 by French and American divers and then sent to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, South Carolina, where it spent seven years being restored before going to Mobile.

Even though the Alabama never entered Mobile, it has many connections to the city. Its commander, Raphael Semmes was born in Maryland, but lived his final years in and is buried in Mobile. Then, of course, there's the name.

When found on the wreck, the wooden carriage was completely rotted away, but a duplicate was made following the original plans by the City of Mobile Public Buildings Department.

Other items from the Alabama are the ship's bell, a toilet, dinnerware, sink, globe and sword belonging to Semmes and block and tackle.

The cannon is presented with a picture in the background that was enlarged and mounted from an original one taken in 1863 on board the Alabama. This makes visitors feel just like they were there.

Roll Alabama. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Two More Fort Fisher Medals of Honor

And in the Marines as well.


ISAAC N. FRY

Orderly sergeant USS Ticonderoga. Received it June 22, 1865.

Captain of a gun on board the ship. Performed duties with skill and courage directing well-placed fire upon the batteries to the left of the palisades, reducing fir power of Confederate guns firing on the Naval Column.


RICHARD BINDER (BIGLE)

Born 1840 in Philadelphia, Pa. on USS Ticondroga.

despite heavy return fire and the explosion of the 100-pdr Parrott Rifle which killed 8 and wounded 12, Sgt. Binder, as captain of the gun, performed his duties with skill and courage, directing his fire at the Mound which had turned its guns on the assaulting column.


Of 17 Civil War Medals of Honor presented to Marines, Six of them were at Fort Fisher.

One Hard-Fought Battle. --Old B-Runner

Medal of Honor at Fort Fisher

ANDREW J. TOMLIN

Born 1844 in Goshen, New Jersey. Received Medal of Honor June 22, 1865.

Corporal of the Guard on USS Wabash. He was one of 200 Marines holding a line of entrenchments when the enemy threatened to attack after the retreat in panic by more than two-thirds of the Naval Column attacking the northeast salient of Fort Fisher.

Tomlin took position in line and remained until the morning when relief troops arrived. When one of his comrades was struck down, he unhesitatingly advanced under fire on an open plain close to the fort and assisted the wounded man to a place of safety.

Heroism. --B-R'er

My Introduction to the Civil War All Those Years Ago-- Part 1

With the onset of the Civil War 150 years ago.

The Civil War Centennial Commemoration (1961-1965) had a huge impact on me.

I had just really become interested in the war three years earlier while in 2nd grade when my dad took me to Fort Fisher in North Carolina.

He said that we were on the side of the South. I had a hard time dealing with that concept. I knew from school that we lived in North America and North Carolina, and that there was also a South America and South Carolina.

As such, we had to be for the North.

It made perfect sense to a seven-year-old mind.

Poor Dad had a lot of 'splaining to do. He then got me a kid's book on the war and I read it. The more I read, the more I wanted to know.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Real Daughter" of the Confederacy Dies at Age 100

From the September 13th Daytona Beach (Fl) News-Journal.

Bushnell's Sadie Strickland died September 10th at age 100. She was a member of a prominent Flagler County family and was one of the 28 "Real Daughters" still living. With her death, Florida drops to 5 remaining and North Carolina has the most.

Her father, William Mitchell Stone, was 67 when Sadie was born October 27, 1909, in Pine Grove, Georgia. She remembers working behind him on the family's small farm.

She married Marcus Strickland while she was young and had her first child at age 15. She and her family moved from West Florida to Flagler County in 1927.

Her husband owned 30,000 acres and got wealthy harvesting turpentine to sell to the Army and Navy during World War II. They also had timber and cattle.

She donated land for numerous easements to widen US-1 and install telephone poles.

She was still young when her father was killed by poachers.

A Real real. --B-R'er

See Fort Fisher and the Cape Fear River in a Different Way-- Part 2

Continuing with the interesting trips from yesterday. This is where you really get up close and personal with nature, and, in this case, history.

Another trip is to the Fort Fisher Basin, known to locals simply as the Basin. departure for this trip will be from the Fort Fisher Ferry by Battery Buchanan.

The Cape Fear Basin is one of three original National Estuarine Research reserve Components established by the National Atmospheric Administration and the Division of Coastal management in 1985.

The Lagoon complex, formed with the building of the Rocks to block New Inlet (a favorite entry point to Wilmington for blockade-Runners, is one of the most unusual areas of the North Carolina coast. It consists of three islands (Zeek's, North and No name) and a beach barrier spit. There are also lots of marshes and tidal flats.

I Wouldn't Mind Going On This One at All. --Old B-Runner

Museum of the Confederacy to Break Ground on Appomattox Branch Part 1

From the September 9, 2010, Washington (DC) Post.

Lee's pen, sword and the uniform he wore that day on 1865 will be put on display on completion of this annex museum where the Civil War essentially ended. Hundreds of other items will be transferred from Richmond, Virginia to a new $7.5 million facility to be located about a mile away from where the surrender took place.

The Confederate Memorial Literary Society, better known as the Museum of the Confederacy held a ground breaking ceremony September 23rd with a target opening date of 2012.

This is the latest step being taken to broaden the geography and demographics serviced by the institution.

Current attendance is down to 45,000 a year from a high of 91,000 in 1991 when they had an exhibit on slavery.

At the moment, only 10% of the total collection is on display. Twenty thousand items out of 100,000. This includes 550 Confederate flags, 300 swords and a ten-foot long copy of the Confederate Constitution.

Other branches are also planned for Fredericksburg and Fortress Monroe

Sounds Like an Idea to Me. --Old B-Runner

Monday, December 13, 2010

See Fort Fisher and the Cape Fear River in a Different Way-- Part 1

From the Manhanaim Adventures website for kayaking, canoeing and backpacking adventures. http://manhanaimadventures.com/

This is called getting off the main roads.

Some of the tours they offer:

BLACK RIVER-- runs through largely undisturbed forest and black water swamps containing the oldest-known living trees in North America. Three float trips are available.


CAPE FEAR RIVER-- named for the dangerous Cape Fear Shoals off Bald Head Island. Italian explorer Verrazzano, backed by the French, was looking to discover a westward passage across North America to Asia came in 1524.

It is also the only major river in North Carolina that flows directly into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Lower Cape Fear River has much wild life and tidal influence along with numerous islands.

Two trips available:

**River Road Park-- explore Keg Island, Shark's Tooth Island and Campbell Island.

**Carolina Beach State Park and Fort Fisher Basin (this one would go by the back side of Fort Fisher). Seven mile trip from Sugar Loaf (a Confederate camp down to the Fort Fisher Basin New Inlet during the Civil War).

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

Ground Broken for Battle of New Bern's Visitors Center

From 2008 New Bern (NC) Sun Journal

On March 14, 1862, a force of Union soldiers and 14 gunboats from the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron attacked a badly outmatched Confederate force at New Bern, North Carolina, and captured the city which remained in Union hands for the rest of the war. This was part of the Burnside Expedition.

Union forces suffered 90 killed, 380 wounded and 1 missing. Confederate casualties were 64 killed, 101 wounded and 413 missing or captured.

Groundbreaking for the visitors center took place on the 25 acre battlefield near the entrance to Taberna on US Highway 70-East and is a major project of the New Bern Historical Society which got the battlefield through the Civil War Preservation Trust.

Total cost of the visitors center is $170,000 out of a total $900,000 project.

It was dedicated January 3, 2009.

Always Good to Preserve and Educate. --B-R'er
.

Route 66 Medal of Honor Graves

I came across a site that showed the graves of all Medal of Honor recipients who are buried in the state of Illinois.

These are Civil War veterans who are buried in towns along Route 66 in the state, not including Chicago. I'm working on it, but either the computer or site has just about stopped.


ELBURN

Theodore Hyatt at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.


DWIGHT

Henry Fox at Oaklawn Cemetery.


CHENOA

Edward Pike at the Chenoa Cemetery.


COLLINSVILLE

Ninevah McKeon at Glenwood Cemetery.

I'm hoping the Route 66 Association of Illinois spotlights these graves during their Motor Tours at least once in the next four years, the 150th anniversary of the war.

Brave Men, All. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Civil War Signs Installed in Pennsylvania-- When Confederates Come-A-Knocking

From the August 28, 2008 Cumberland County (Pa) Sentinel.

Seven signs were recently installed in and around Shippenburg which was briefly occupied by Confederates before the Battle of Gettysburg. All signs have photos and information.

** Former Union Hotel at the intersection of King and Earl Streets. It was repainted and renamed the Sherman House as Confederates approached (in fear that Union House might draw their ire).

** Former home of General Samuel Sturgis at 20 West King Street. Native of Shippenburg and hero of the Battle of Antietam.

** McPherson and Cox Hardware store where the proprietors outsmarted Confederates intent on looting their store.

** Confederate headquarters at 1 West King Street.

** Marker for the Cumberland Valley Railroad.

** Home of Captain James Kelso at 110 E. King Street. Looted by Confederates, but family escaped.

** Widow Agle home at 340 E. King Street. Supported herself and three children by sewing and tailoring after the death of her husband in Georgia.

Two more will be added by the Pennsylvania Civil War Trails program.

Lesser-Known History of the War. --Old B-Runner

Friday, December 10, 2010

Bottle of Lee & Perins Worchestershire Sauce Found on the CSS Neuse

As discussed in the Yahoo e-mail group Civil War Navy and Marine Forum awhile back.

When the hull was raised from the Neuse River bottom in the 1960s, along with many other artifacts, a bottle of this condiment was found.

This got someone to wondering what kind of meals were served on board Civil War ships.

The person was sure that the galley fires were not kept going all day. Plus, without refrigeration, fruits, vegetables and meats would go bad.

Pass the Sauce. --B-R'er

Lincoln Spent the Night Here-- Part 2

Lincoln spent the night of August 20, 1858, at the home of his friend Judge William T. Hopkins, part of a building that housed the former Morris Lincoln Nursing Home at 916 Fremont Avenue.

The next morning, Lincoln and Hopkins went to Wash's barbershop located in the basement of what is now The Fabric Center at 301 Liberty Street.

After they left, Wash closed his shop and went with others to see the debate.

Lincoln went to Ottawa by train and rode in a horse-drawn carriage to Washington Park in the town.

George Washington "Wash" Foster died at age 95 on September 17, 1917.

So, Old Abe Really Did Sleep here/There. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fort Fisher Projectile Found...100 Years Ago

From the Dec. 8th Wilmington (NC) Star-News Back Then column by Scott Nunn. He goes back over old newspapers for these stories.

From a December 8, 1910, Wilmington paper.

An 8-inch projectile weighing 100 pounds, evidently fired at Fort Fisher during the Civil War was brought up from the Cape Fear River bed by a powerful dredge that had been working in the area.

Other shells had also been recovered during the dredging, but this one was by far the largest of the lot.

It was placed on the steamer Madelene and brought up to the city wharf in Wilmington, where "it is attracting considerable attention."

Considering the massiveness of both bombardments, I'm sure many more pieces of shells and probably unexploded ordnance still are in the ground, marshes and river around the fort.

I've Probably Walked On Some of These. --Old B-Runner

Lincoln Spent the Night Here-- Part 1

It would seem in most places in Illinois of any age, that either Abraham Lincoln or Al Capone spent the night there.

Such is the case in the town of Morris, a town that I very often drive through on Illinois Highway 47 on my way either to North Carolina or Route 66.

From the August 22, 2008, Morris Daily Herald "Lincoln spent night before famed debate in Morris" by Jo Ann Hustis.

George Washington "Wash" Foster, a black man, shaved Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago just prior to his debate with Douglas in Ottawa. In a newspaper article from 1917, he recalled, "I knew that he was a big man. Not as big as he was afterward, but a mighty big man to be in Morris in those days." Referring to Lincoln's fame, not his size.

The first of nine Lincoln-Douglas debates for US Senate took place August 21, 1858.

Lincoln ended up losing the election, but gained national prominence as a result.


So, Where'd He Sleep Now That We Know Where He Got His Shave? --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

General Sheridan's Stuffed Horse

Rienzi was the war horse of Union General Phil Sheridan and you can still see him in a glass case at the Hall of Armed Forces History at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

In 1864, Sheridan rode Rienzi 12 miles at full gallop to held win the day at the Battle of Cedar Creek. In all, Rienzi was at 19 battles and after his death, was stuffed and put on display at the US First Army Museum in New York City. The museum burned down in 1922, but Rienzi was saved and given an Army escort to the Smithsonian.

Rienzi died in 1878. he had originally been presented to Sheridan by the officers of the 2nd Michigan Cavalry in Mississippi in 1862. On October 19, 1864, Sheridan rode Rienzi from Winchester to Cedar Creek, a ride immortalized in Thomas Buchanan Read's poem "Sheridan's Ride."

The horse's name was changed from Rienzi to Winchester after this battle.

During the war, Rienzi/Winchester was wounded four times and put out to pasture afterwards.

Quite the Horse. --B-R'er

Christmas at Fort Fisher

The Fort Fisher State Historic Site in North Carolina will be celebrating the Christmas season with a Holiday Open House on Thursday December 9th from 5 to 7 pm.

It is co-sponsored by the Friends of Fort Fisher and the Fort Fisher Chapter No. 2325 of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Seasonal refreshments will be served and discounts will be offered at the museum gift shop.

Sure'd like to be there, but way too far away. Of course, one Southern seasonal treat is something called ambrosia, something I've never much liked.

Give Me Some Fort Fisher, But, NO AMBROSIA!!! --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Salute to Pearl Harbor

Even though it was not the Civil War, I always pause on December 7th to reflect and honor those who died and who were there on that "Day of Infamy."

I have my flags flying both in front and in back of the house.

This year is especially sad as the ranks of Pearl Harbor Survivors thin with each advancing year. As a matter of fact, the Pearl harbor Survivors Association is meeting this year at the site to determine whether the time has come to fold the colors of the organization since all of them are in their upper 80s, lower 90s.

A Salute to You Pearl Harbor. --B-R'er

Iron Brigade Memorial Highway in Illinois

From the Chicago Daily Herald October 19, 2007.

The Illinois 93rd General Assembly introduced HR-688 calling for the establishment of the Iron Brigade Memorial Highway to honor one of the Union's "fightin'est" (is that a word?) brigades.

This designation will run along US-12 (my favorite non-US-66 road) through the state.

Bob Kurek and Cory Juscius of IDOT designed the sign and did a fantastic job. This is one striking sign. An example is close by us in Spring Grove at US-12 and State Park Road (Chain of Lakes).

Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan have already named their sections of 12 for the famous unit. Michigan did so in 1993.

The brigade consisted of the 2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin; the 19th Indiana and 24th Michigan. No Illinois regiments served in it, but Illinois connects the states and the 24th Michigan did serve in Springfield in 1865 as the honor guard at Lincoln's funeral.

I've read that Confederates were never happy to find they were facing this unit.

One Great Fighting Group Even If They Were Yankees. --Old B-Runner

Friday, December 3, 2010

Why I Have to Stand Up for My Heritage

April 10 New York Times.

"The Shame of the South." According to Mark Edelman, professor of anthropology at Hunter College, "Prominent monuments to the Confederate war dead are found in almost every town in the South, often with engraving that praises the 'cause'-- preserving slavery-- for which the rebel 'heroes' died." Someone should get his facts straight.



From Positively Nick Sloan in the Kansas City Kansan.

Today's poll: Do you agree with the State of Virginia for celebrating Confederate History Month?

Yes: although wrong, the confederacy is a key part of US history.

No: The confederacy represents treason, racism and hurt the United States.

Definitely a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't.

The Confederacy Was So much More Than These Fellows Can Understand. --Old B-R'er

Edenton, North Carolina's Bell Battery

The artillery battery was organized in March 1862 and consisted of local men. Various Edenton institutions donated bells ro be melted down at Tredegar Foundry in Richmond, Virginia.

The four cannons were named "Edenton," "Colimbia," "Fannie Roulbar" and "Saint Paul."

The battery served in the Army of Northern Virginia and were at the battles of Winchester, the Seven Days and Fredericksburg before being transferred back to North Carolina to oppose Foster's Raid against the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad and fought at Whitehall Bridge, Goldsboro and Kinston (all places close to my home when I lived there).

Later, they were garrisoned by the Cape Fear River and were at Fort Anderson, the Wilmington Campaign and Bentonville.

The 12-pounder "Saint James" 1533 foundry number, was captured at the battle of Town Creek near Wilmington and is back at Edenton on loan from Fort Niagara, New York. It was mostly made from the bell of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

The 6-piunder "Edenton, foundry number 1531, was surrendered at Greensboro, North Carolina on March 26, 1865, and is on loan from the Shiloh National Military Park. It was made primarily from the bell of the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse.

Both of these cannons are back in Edenton. The location or final disposition of the other two cannons is not known. According to Wikipedia, they are rumored to have been dumped in the Eno River.

Wonder Where Those Two Guns Are? --Old B-Runner

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Forums to Map Out Fort Fisher's Future

From the August 22nd Wilmington (NC) Star News.

Two public orums were held back then as part of a planning process for the Fort Fisher State Historic Site.

One was at the New Hanover County Arboretum and then another in the police training room at Carolina Beach Municipal Building.

Si Lawrence, Fort Fisher's public information officer wanted suggestions as per the site's future direction.

Charles Page, the president of the Cool Springs Center moderated the forums.

I did not hear what the results of the two meetings were.

Some Input is better Than No Input. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

GAR Hall in Aurora, Illinois

From the November 15th Aurora (Il) Beacon-News.

The GAR Hall is usually closed, but it was open on Veterans Day. In the last decade, there has been a constant battle to raise funds to preserve it. The Aurora Public Art Commission has plans to turn it into a museum. I know I voted quite often for it a few years ago when American Express held a contest for money for Chicago-area sites that needed preservation.

The cornerstone was laid July 4, 1877 and GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) Post #20 dedicated it July 4, 1878 at a cost of $7,187.54. It also functioned as the Aurora Public Library until 1904.

It was later declared structurally unsound and restoration began in 2000. Recently,t was awarded a $25,000 Illinois Department of Natural Resources grant.

Glad the Building is Being Saved. --Old B-Runner

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Effort to Preserve Blue Mountain, Georgia

From Nov. 15th Chattanooga Times-Courier.

Whitfield County, Georgia, preservationists are making an attempt to save as much of Blue Mountain from development as they can. During the Civil War, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman went to the top of Blue Mountain and from there had a perfect view of Confederate fortifications of Dalton, Georgia.

He was planning his advance on Tunnel Hill, a major obstacle on his way to attacking Atlanta. Today, there are a few areas of residential development. A rock wall dating to the war still exists on it.

The group is raising money to buy a 15-acre site at the top. So far $50,000, but need another $35,000.

Always Good to Save Something. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Brother Might Join SCV

While talking with my brother at the Thanksgiving table today, he mentioned that he might be ready to join the local Sons of Confederate Veterans camp, the Goldsboro Rifles. Now that he is retired, he has more time so he is considering it.

The Goldsboro Rifles was the name of the local unit from Goldsboro and Wayne County, North Carolina, during the war. The organization continued into World War I, where my great uncle was an officer in it.

I belong to the Camp Douglas SCV Camp in Illinois which is named for the infamous Union prison camp in Chicago where 6,000 Confederates died during the war.

Here's hoping that he joins.

SCV All the Way. --Old B-Runner

Friday, November 19, 2010

Living History at the CSS Neuse This Weekend

From the Nov. 18th Kinston (NC) Free Press.

Soldier/sailor re-enactors/living history people will be at the CSS Neuse State Historic Site in Kinston, North Carolina this Saturday and Sunday to give the public a good taste of what life as a sailor during the Civil War was like.

They will be demonstrating all aspects of naval life including navigational techniques and daily shipboard living.

There will be a special artillery firing at dark on Saturday.

Tours of the CSS Neuse will also be offered and I am sure the recreated CSS Neusee II will also be open, plus there is that great Carolina-style bbq at King's.

Unfortunately, I will not be in the area that until late Sunday so will not be able to be there. Otherwise, I would definitely be there.

A Real Slice of History. --B-R'er

One Civil War Marine's Story: James Burke

From the New York Genweb-- Civil War Profiles.

James Burke was a Marine who was born in Limerick, Ireland, July 4, 1836 and became a drillmaster in the English Army. He served in the Crimean War before immigrating to the United States.

When the Civil War started, he enlisted in the USMC and served under Col. John Reynolds, commander of the Marine Barracks, Brooklyn Navy Yard. One week later, he was appointed drillmaster of the battalion. During the course if the war, he participated in several engagements.

At the close of the war, he was master-at-arms for Admiral Farragut and went on a two-year cruise with the admiral aboard the frigate USS Franklin and met the kings and queens of most European countries.

he then served as Recorder of the Navy under Admiral Goldsborough at the Navy Headquarters in Washington, DC. later, he served 51 years as Chief Clerk inthe general Lighthouse Depot under Admirals Schley, Evans and Dewey.

He also founded the Col. Shaw GAR Post on Staten Island.

Burke died at age 92 in 1928.

Quite a Career and Life. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Whatever Happened to Lincoln's Chair at Ford's Theatre?-- Part 2

In 1893, the chair was sent to a museum at 516 10th Street, the house where Lincoln died where it was shown for four years before being returned to the Smithsonian. In 1902, it finally received an accession number, 38912, meaning it was officially logged in, and catalogued.

A celebrated legal case developed with Lincoln's stovepipe hat. The descendants of Phineas Gurley, the minister who gave Lincoln's eulogy, claimed that Mary Todd Lincoln had given the hat to him. This was apparently true, but the Smithsonian won and retained possession.

In the meantime. the chair remained in storage.

In 1928, Blanche Ford, the widow of Harry Clay Ford wrote the Smithsonian and asked if they had the chair and if so, why it wasn't on display. She added that if it was not in use, she'd like to have it.

The Smithsonian's curator, Theodore Belote, said it was not their policy to show objects "directly connected with such a horrible and deplorable event.' Some say he was no fan of Lincoln's and as such more than happy to get rid of it.

So, in the spring of 1929, Blanche Ford got it and by December sold it at auction for $2,400 to Isaac Sack, a Boston antiques dealer who conveyed it to Henry Ford for his new museum.

A Well-Traveled Chair. --B-R'er

Whatever Happened to Lincoln's Chair at Ford's Theatre?-- Part 1

From the Nov. 14th Washington Post "To arrive in Michigan's Henry Ford Museum, Lincoln's fateful chair took a circuitous journey" by John Kelly.

You'd think this chair, the one Abraham Lincoln was sitting in at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865 while viewing "Our American Cousin" when John Wilkes Booth shot him, would be in the Smithsonian in DC or at least back in the theater, but it is now at the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.

An interesting story as to how it got there.

Joe Simms, an employee of the theater, had moved his boss' plushly upholstered chair into what had become the presidential box a short time before the event. That owner was manager Harry Clay Ford.

The War Department seized the theater after the assassination. Guards were posted on 10th Street and outside the box.

On April 22nd, Assistant Secretary of War Charles Dana ordered the chair removed after finding out souvenir hunters had been taking pieces off it.

In 1867, the War Department sent it to the Department of the Interior along with the stovepipe hat Lincoln wore that night to be put on display at the Patent Office building where it remained for two years.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Back to Missouri and Route 66 for the Civil War-- Part 2-- Grant in Missouri

About time I got this in the blog. It originally dates from August 24th.


Back then, I was writing about the marriage of Julia Dent and U.S. Grant.

Julia's father, Col. Frederick Dent, owned slaves and 925 acres along Gravois Creek, ten miles southwest of St. Louis at the time.

Grant had roomed with her brother at West Point and found himself assigned to the Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis, five miles from the Dent home which was called White Haven.

In 1844, he gave her his West Point ring to seal their engagement.

After the marriage, Col. Dent gave Grant an 80 acre farm on today's Rock Hill Road where Grant built his famous cabin.

The wedding home on 4th Street was demolished in 1943 and is now a parking lot near Busch Stadium. The cabin, featured at the 1904 World's Fair, is now at Grant's Farm, the Busch family estate. White Haven is a National Historic Site.

There is a monument at St. Paul Cemetery on South Rock Hill Road marks where Grant tried unsuccessfully to be a farmer.

Getting Your Civil War and Route 66 Too. --B-R'er

Running the Blockade: Money-- Lee/Grant-- 6.3 Million

Some New (well, Newer) News About an Old War.


1. MONEY-- The National Parks Traveler reports that three battlefields have received money from the Land and Water Conservation Fund:

Richmond, Kentucky-- $29,500 to buy the Moody tract.
Franklin, Tennessee-- $492,000 for land purchase
Bentonville, North Carolina-- $306,000 for the Nell Howell tract and $150,000 for the Joyce Britt-Halliwell tract.


2. LEE/GRANT-- The Joplin (Mo.) Globe reported that a special traveling exhibit of Lee and Grant was at the Powers Museum (on Route 66) in Carthage from September 1 to Oct. 20th.

Featured were two full-sized tent replicas with belongings of both men including Grant's binoculars and Lee's Bible and glasses as well as letters from both. The September Missouri Route 66 Motor Tour stopped by for a look.


6.3 MILLION-- The Bangor (Maine) Daily News reports that during the war, 6.3 million soldiers and sailors served on both sides.

Now, You Know. --Old B-Runner

Some More on Newly-Located Camp Lawton

From the August 19th Natchez (Ms) Democrat.

Among the artifacts found so far is a corroded bronze buckle used to fasten tourniquets during amputations.

Finding Camp Lawton comes primarily from the efforts of Georgia Southern graduate student Kevin Chapman as his thesis project in archaeology.

Camp Lawton's dimensions were a quarter mile on each side and covered 42 acres, twice the size of Andersonville which it replaced.

Confederate General John H. Winder had the prison established and expected it to hold 32,000 prisoners and be the largest in the world.


THE Georgia PBS News said the camp's discovery might help Jenkins County's economy with incoming jobs and money. A museum is planned for the site.

We Owe a Big Thanks to Mr. Chapman. --B-R'er

Newly-Located Confederate Camp Lawton, Georgia

From the August 19th Washington Post.

Camp Lawton was built to relieve crowding at Camp Sumter at Andersonville and only occupied 37 days from October to November 1864 when Sherman burned it on his March to the Sea.

It was evacuated November 26, 1864, and the prisoners sent to other camps. During the time it was occupied, some 700-1300 Union prisoners died. It is assumed that the remains were removed but there are indications at the newly-relocated site that some bodies are still on site.

It has always been known where the general location of the camp was, but the exact spot has not been known until now.

While searching for the stockade remains, archaeologists found many belongings of former inmates.

The site was part of Magnolia Springs State Park but was turned over to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The artifacts will be on display at Georgia Southern University starting on October 10th.


From Georgia PBS Radio-- There is high security at Camp Lawton. A brand new 8-foot high fence topped with barb wire surrounds the site.

One of the artifacts found is a modified white clay pipe with a bullet melted down for the bowl. Talk about your getting baccy and lead at the same time. How can that not be healthy?

Always Neat When Something is Rediscovered. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ohio's Kellys Island in the Civil War

From the Nov. 15th Ottawa County (Ohio) Beacon

The new book "Kellys Island 1862-1865: The Civil War, the Island Soldiers & the Island Queen" by Leslie Korenko was reviewed.

By 1864, 100 of the total 600 residents of Kellys Island had enlisted in Union ranks.

One of these, Jacob Rush of the 3rd Ohio Cavalry lied about his age and enlisted at age 15. For his efforts, he was wounded twice and just before the end of his enlistment, was captured, accused of being a spy and sent to Cahaba Prison. While there, he helped organize an unsuccessful escape and survived a flood.

When he was released,he was one of over 2000 returning Union prisoners on board the Sultana when an explosion sank the ship. Of 550 survivors, 150 more died within 24 hours. This was one of the worst maritime disasters in US history.


Leslie Konerko also delves into the Confederate attempt in September 1864 to free the prisoners held on Johnson's Island. The steamers Philo Parsons and Island Queen were seized in Put-In-Bay with plans to seize the USS Michigan and turn its gins on the prison.

On the Island Queen were 25 soldiers of the 130th Ohio Volunteer Militia who were just returning from 100 days service.

Looks like a great read about Ohio's North Coast during the war.

A Little-Known Aspect of the War. --Old B-Runner

Monday, November 15, 2010

Was It the First Cannonball Fired at Fort Sumter?

A very interesting entry in the Civil War Picket blog http://civil-war-picket.blogspot.com.

Perhaps, the cannonball sitting outside this Georgia courthouse was the first shot of the Civil War. Perhaps not.

At 4:30 am, April 12, 1861, 66 year-old Southern firebrand Edmund Ruffin fired the first shot of the Civil War. Captain G. B. Cuthbert of the Palmetto Guards wrote, "The first shell from Columbiad No. 1, fired by the venerable Ruffin burst directly upon the parapet of the southwest angle of the fort."

Sumter surrendered 34 hours later.

P.W. Alexander, a correspondent from Thomaston, Georgia was there and got out to the fort as soon as he could with intentions of finding Ruffin's shot. He found it, or what he thought may have been that first shot.

"The big ten-inch ball fell within Fort Sumter without doing any damage," reported the Thomaston Times. Alexander got it and sent it along to his friend B. B. White.

Today, about 800,000 a year visit Fort Sumter with far fewer going to the Upson County courthouse in Thomaston, Georgia, 300 miles from Charleston and 60 miles south of Atlanta.

I doubt that it was the first shell. Picking one specific shell from the many fired during the siege would be hard and plus Captain Cuthbert reported that it burst. The one in Georgia is in one piece.

Either way, it was at Fort Sumter during these early days of the war.

I have written about a Confederate cannon that is believed to have been at the Battle of Fort Sumter located in Galena, Illinois at Grant Park. Check out the Galena Blakely label.

Something to Check Out If I Ever get Down That Way. --Old B-Runner

New Fort Fisher Book-- Part 3

Continued from November 10th.

Conditions at Elmira were horrible. Of 12,000 Confederates incarcerated there, 2,000 died. Of the 1,100 from Fort Fisher, 518 died, many buried in the Woodlawn National Cemetery.

Triebe said he was inspired by reading a letter home from captured Private Benjamin Kinlaw that was reprinted in a January 1865 Wilmington Daily News. He wanted to know if Kinlaw made it home. Unfortunately, the Bladen County farmer of the 3rd NC Artillery did not, dying of chronic diarrhea on April 16, 1865, just days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox.

Many a Tarheel soldier died of this as well as pneumonia, smallpox (or variola as it was often called in the records), measles, "periocarditis" and "remittant fever."

The book was compiled mostly from diaries and letters.

Richard Triebe argues that Elmira was used as a "retaliatory camp" because of the horrible conditions at Confederate prisons. The death rates at Elmira were twice that of most other Union camps. Point Lookout, Maryland had a 6.8% death rate.

One excellent source that Triebe provides is his list of the Confederate prisoners at Elmira including their name, rank, age if known, hometown, occupation if known, unit and ultimate fate.

Some were exchanged and most took the Oath of Allegiance after the Confederate surrender.

The book can be ordered through Amazon or in local bookstores

Looks Like a Good One. --Old B-Runner

Friday, November 12, 2010

Not Much Found in the Moat

From theNovember 11th Hampton Roads (Va) Daily Press.

The US Army is preparing to turn over Fort Monroe by September 11, 2011, but before doing so, they have committed to spending between $60 million and $70 million to remove munitions, pollutants and other debris from the fort and surrounding area. That includes the moat that completely wraps around the largest stone fort ever built in the United States.

An extensive search is being carried on right now by people chest deep in the water primarily searching for unexploded ordnance. So far the only "historic" thing found is a discarded early model of a color TV set circa 1960s.

However, previously they had discovered a cannon from the 1860s sticking up vertically in the ground and a 10-inch cannon ball.

I wasn't able to determine if it was in the moat or on land.

Wonder If the TV Still Works. --B-R'er

The Iron Brigade Highway

The state of Wisconsin named US Highway 12 the Iron Brigade Memorial Highway in 1993 with the Wisconsin Act 442. This road is named from one of the more famous units in the Union Army, the Iron Brigade which was also called the Black Hat Brigade.

They fought with the Army of the Potomac and earned their name because of their strong discipline, tenacious fighting ability and high casualty rate.

This Iron brigade Highway stretches from the Walworth County line at the Illinois border to St. Croix by Minnesota.

It serves as a living memorial to the whole brigade, but more specifically the 2nd, 6th and 7th Wisconsin regiments. The 19th Indiana and later the 24th Michigan were also in the brigade.

One Powerful Fighting Unit. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Unknown Soldier of the Confederate States of America Tomb

From Wikipedia.

This is about the one in Biloxi, Mississippi at Beauvoir, the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. There are two others with similar names in Kentucky at Horse Cave and Perryville.

The remains of a Confederate soldier were discovered in 1979, by Rick Forte, Chairman of the Combined Boards at Beauvoir, at one of the battlefields of the Vicksburg Campaign. The remains were reburied in a cypress casket at Beauvoir in 1980.

The tomb is inscribed "Known But to God" and was dedicated June 6, 1981.

The remains have been authenticated by artifacts by them, but his name, unit and place of origin are not known.

The Great Seal of the CSA is at the top of it and at the base is part of a poem by Father Abram Joseph Ryan, the poet-priest of the Confederacy.

Ah! fearless on many a day for us,
They stood in front of the fray for us,
And held the foeman at bay for us;
And tears should fall
Fore'er o'er all
Who fell while wearing the Gray for us.

Something to Think About On This Day dedicated to All Veterans Who have Defended Our Freedoms. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy 235th Birthday to the USMC

This date in 1775, Captain Samuel Nichols formed two battalions of Continental marines in Philadelphia to serve as naval infantry.

Thus begins the saga.

Congratulations United States Marine Corps, and let's not forget their grayclad brethren, the Confederate States Marine Corps.

The CSMC was established by act of the Confederate Congress March 16, 1861 and initially authorized for 45 officers and 944 enlested men.

A Salute. --Old B-Runner

The Civil War in St. Augustine, Florida

Dale Cox in his Civil War Florida blog in 2008 did a series on Civil War sites around this oldest city in the United States. This is from his June 16th entry.

His first two entries were on the Confederate water battery at Castillo San Marcos, then called Fort Marion.

Before the war, the east moat was filled in and twenty cannons mounted en-barbette. The fort was seized by state forces on January 7, 1861, even though Florida did not formally secede until January 10th. I'd say someone jumped the gun.

When the Union Navy reoccupied St. Augustine in 1862, five cannons remained. The others had been removed.

Cox reports that the water battery is still in good condition and you can still see the remains of the gun mounts.

http://civilwarflorida.blogspot.com

Well worth a visit to this site if you want to learn more about the actions in this little known Civil War state.

Wonder Where They Took the Other Fifteen Cannons? --B-R'er

New Fort Fisher Book-- Part 2

What is really good about this book is that it follows the lives of Confederate soldiers captured at Fort Fisher. There are lots of accounts of the battles and now, even books. I can think of three involved with the fort since Gragg's work in the 1980s. At one time, I had thought about writing a book on it, but now I don't have to, which, because of my paltry writing abilities is a good thing.

Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, I stockpiled information for the book project and have about ten notebooks of material, which I may put in this blog in the future.

But, here, is a book of a different sort.

And, if nothing else, with all the Confederate bashing leveled at Andersonville and other southern prisons, it is good to show that northern ones weren't any better and I have to believe they could have been as the north wasn't suffering from lack of supplies like the south.

And, there is always "Hellmira"'s western annex at Chicago's Camp Douglas, or "Eighty Acres of Hell" as it was called.

Remember, the Winners get to Write the History Books. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The State of the US Navy, October 1860-- Part 3

Continued from Oct. 28th blog entry.

With war looming on the horizon, it was apparent the US government wasn't doing too much to prepare for the possibility when you look at this report on what was going on at the naval yards.


PORTSMOUTH-- $10,000 allocated. Corvette CUMBERLAND in commission and will leave for New York in a few days. SANTEE on the stocks. Sloops MACEDONIAN and MARION recently returned from sea and are in the river.


WASHINGTON-- $17,000 allocated. Working on the PENSACOLA's machinery is the main business. Also busy working on the removal of the Naval Monument.


PENSACOLA-- $10,000 allocated. Not much going on other than the FULTON being laid up.


SACKETT'S HARBOR (western New York on Lake Ontario) AND MARE ISLAND (San Francisco) Not much going on.

So, there it is, the state of the US Navy on the eve of war.

Not Too Impressive. --Old B-Runner

Unexploded Ordnance at Fort Anderson, North Carolina?

It's kind of hard to do posting when the weather is as nice as it has been the last two days. Who'd ever expect temperatures in the upper sixties at this last date. I have to enjoy it while I can and have certainly been enjoying the deck. Well, the breeze just picked up and it got cloudy so a bit too cool, so here I sit "jest a typin' away" with my two little fingers.

From the May 19, 2008, Wilmington Star-News.

A chunk of a 166 pound 11-inch Civil War Union shell was found by Marines from Camp Lejeune, NC, who have been doing a thorough search of the fort and surrounding area to be sure nothing explodes while digging for a new handicap-accessible trail around Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site.

Some interesting items were excavated, but nothing explosive. Some Civil War-era shells, what appears to be an old drill, a piece of a wood stove, nails and carriage bolts.

But wait a minute, I have gone across those grounds many times in my youth. You mean it wasn't really all that safe?

Can't Have Visitors Blowing Up. It's Bad for Business. --B-R'er

New Fort Fisher Book-- Part 1

From the November 9th Wilmington (NC) Star-News Bookmarks column by Ben Steelman.

Author Richard H. Triebe has a new book out dealing with Confederate prisoners captured at the Battle of Fort Fisher January 15, 1865 titles "Fort Fisher to Elmira: The Fateful Journey of 518 Confederate Soldiers" by Coastal Books, paperback available on Amazon and soon local bookstores for $24.99.

He is also author of the Civil War novel"On a Rising Tide" and the pirate fiction "Port Royal."

The new book is based on what happened to 1,100 Confederate soldiers who, after capture, were shipped to Elmira prison camp in Elmira, New York, a camp that earned the nickname "Hellmira" from the inmates for the horrible conditions and treatment they received.

The town of Elmira was mostly a pastoral community in the 1800s. Mark twain made his home there after the war and wrote many of his best works from the place. His beloved wife Olivia was from there.

Elmira was originally built for Union soldiers in transit and the barracks were inadequate and poorly built. The buildings provided little protection from the winter of '64-'65 which turned out to be one of the coldest on record.

The prison camp opened in the summer of 1864 and soon became severely overcrowded reaching a peak of 12,000. And the prisoners in the barracks had it much better off than the ones housed in tents. To make matters worse, on St. Patrick's Day 1865, the Chemnung River flooded, depositing two feet of water in the tents and barracks.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

Monday, November 8, 2010

North Carolina Confederate Marine and Sailor Roster

From the August 15th News 14 Carolina "Historian to create Confederate Marine and sailor roster" by Andrea Pacetti.

Generally, very little is known about the Confederate Navy and Marines, but Sion Harrington, a historian with the North Carolina Department of Archives and History is making a complete roster of all North Carolinians who served in the two branches.

He figures around 2,500 out of the 135,000 to 140,000 were from the state.

One was Lt. Francis Hawkes Cameron of Hillsborough who later became North Carolina's Adjutant General.

The Archives and History department has what is considered to be the largest collection of enlisted Confederate Marine correspondence in the world written by two Washington County brothers.

One said he was going to be put in the Marines and he didn't even know what they were. He further even misspelled it "mariens." He considered serving in it a better deal as he got better clothes and food.

There were many transfers from the Army to the Navy because it was less strenuous. Some had been wounded and could no longer endure rigorous marching.

Even though the Confederate Navy and Marines were tremendously outsized by the Army and their Union counterparts, they still participated in many operations and battles.

If anyone has any information, they are urged to contact Harrington at 1-919-807-7310.

Making a Little-Known Aspect of the War More Known. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Battle of Wassaw Sound-- Part 2

With the Atlanta grounded and unable to use its guns, the fight did not take long to be over.

The USS Weehawken advanced and held its fire until 300 yards. It hit the Atlanta five times with its 350 pound shot and punched a hole in the casemate. The pilot house and port shutter were crushed severely wounding the pilot and several helmsmen.

Webb was forced to surrender his ship after only a few minutes.

The monitor Nahant did not fire a shot. Casualties aboard the Confederate ironclad were 1 killed and 11 wounded. Eleven officers and 124 men surrendered and were put on the USS Cimarron and USS Oleander.

The Atlanta was condemned in prize court September 1863. The US Navy bought it, repaired the ship and commissioned it the USS Atlanta February 2, 1864.

It spent most of its US career stationed on the James River, Virginia. It was sold at auction in 1869.

The Weehawken's commander, John Rodgers, became a national hero and was promoted to commander. He later became a Rear Admiral.

The Weehawken sank while at anchor in a gale off Charleston, SC, December 6, 1863 with a loss of 4 officers and 27 men. The Nahant was sold in 1904.

The CSS Isondiga was burned to prevent capture in 1864. The CSS Resolute was captured and taken into US naval service.

I Didn't Know the Fight Was Called the Battle of Wassaw Sound. --B-R'er

Colonel William Lamb-- Commander of Fort Fisher-- Part 2

William Lamb was wounded and captured at the fall of Fort Fisher on January 15, 1865. His imprisonment was near home, at Fort Monroe, before being released May 1, 1865.

The wound kept him crippled for seven years.

After release, he returned to Norfolk and was involved in several businesses and politics, serving three terms as mayor. While in office, he established public schools in the city for both white and black children.

A loyal supporter of the College of William and Mary, he gave of his time and money throughout his life. He also gave $50,000 to an organization that helped Confederate veterans.

He also became a good friend of Union General Curtis who had led the capture of Fort Fisher and been badly wounded himself. Lamb referred to Curtis as
"My Friend, the Enemy."

Lamb also became known as "The Hero of Fort Fisher. He died March 23, 1909, and was buried in Norfolk, Virginia.

The Hero of Fort Fisher. --Old B-Runner

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Battle of Wassaw Sound-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

The battle between the Confederate ironclad Atlanta and the two Union monitors Weehawken and Nahant.

Both monitors were of the Passaic-class.

On June 10, 1863, South Atlantic Blockading Squadron commander, Rear Admiral DuPont received word that the CSS Atlanta was getting ready to descend he Wilmington River to strike Union blockaders at Wassau Sound, Georgia.

Captain John Rodgers of the Weehawken was put in overall command of vessels at that place.

On June 15th, the Atlanta got underway, passing obstructions on the Wilmington River and coaling that night.

The Atlanta was accompanied by the CSS Isondiga and the CSS Resolute. They all got underway before daylight on the 17th. The Atlanta had also been fitted with a percussion torpedo at the end of a long spar to be used to explode under the Weehawken.

Unfortunately for the Atlanata, it ran aground and swayed to an angle that made it difficult to fire its guns.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

Colonel William Lamb, Commander of Fort Fisher-- Part 1

From the Salem Street gazette http://salemstreetgazette.com.

William Lamb was born September 27, 1835 in Norfolk, Virginia. He went to several academies before entering William and Mary College in 1852 where he graduated at age 20 with a law degree, but was too young to practice.

His father purchased half interest in a local newspaper, the Southern Argus, which folded in 1861 when most of the staff went off and joined the Confederate Army.

Lamb became captain of Co. C, 6th Virginia and was appointed major and transferred to Wilmington, NC, as head of the Quartermaster Department. He later became commander of Fort St. Phillips, below Wilmington.

When the 36th North Carolina was formed in 1862, he was chosen as its colonel. The 36th became the garrison of Fort Fisher and Lamb was appointed the fort's commander July 4, 1862, a post he retained for the duration of the war.

Under his command, the fort became the largest man-made earthen fort in the United States.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Running the Blockade: What We Should Do-- No End Boycott-- Union Officer Pictures

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


1. WHAT WE SHOULD DO-- The Nov. 3rd Augusta (Ga) Chronicle had a letter to the editor about the Oct. Klan/Nazi rally at Augusta State University and made a really good point. Of course, these hate groups usually fly the Confederate flag and that is a big reason certain groups equate all things Confederate with hate against them.

The writer urges the Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy to come out very publicly against the use of the flag in these circumstances. Good idea. It couldn't hurt but certainly wouldn't stop them.

But, these groups also fly the US flag. What to do about that?


2. NO END BOYCOTT-- Black South Carolina Senator Robert Ford has urged the NAACP to drop its 11-year boycott against state tourism, but the group refuses to do it.


3. UNION OFFICER PICTURES-- The Civil War Navy and Marine Forum Yahoo e-mail group has posted 58 era photographs of Union naval officers at its site. Check under photos.

So,e New News About an Old War. --B-R'er

USS Narcissus

I previously had two more entries on the USS Narcissus, but found spelling errors and was woking on them when I lost them.

Went to good old Wikipedia for this information.

The USS Narcissus was a screw steamer tug launched in July 1863 as the Mary Cook in East Albany, New York.

It was purchased by the US Navy and commissioned in February 1864 and joined the West Gulf Blockading Squadron at New Orleans. It was 82 feet long and mounted 1X20-pdr Parrott Rifle and 1Xheavy 12-pdr. I wonder if the guns are still on the wreck?

It was assigned patrol duty on the Mississippi Sound and captured one blockade-runner.

Then, it supported cleanup operations after the Battle of Mobile Bay. On December 7th, in a violent storm, it struck a Confederate mine and sank in just 15 minutes. The Narcissus was raised and repaired in Pensacola and then used as a dispatch boat.

On January 4, 1866, it struck a shoal off Egmont Key by Tampa, Florida. When the cold Gulf water hit the boiler, it exploded, killing all 19 or 23 men aboard.

There was a lighthouse on Egmont Key at he time, but the light had not yet been turned back on after the war. Had it been on, it is likely that the Narcissus would not have hot that shoal.

Interesting Story About a Little-Known Warship. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

USS Narcissus Wreck Might Receive State Designation

From the October 29, 2010 Tampa (Fl) Tribune.

There is not too much left of the tugboat USS Narcissus, located two miles west of Fort DeSoto. A photo of divers at the ship's 6.5 foot propeller accompanies the article. It lies in about 18 feet of water. It hit a shoal in 1866 and exploded, killing all 29 aboard.

By the 1990s, you could only see the steam engine, but the busy 2005 hurricane season and nearby dredging have exposed much more of the ship.

Now, the entire engine, propeller and part of the boiler can be seen.

Divers from the Florida Aquarium have been investigating it with the hopes that it will become Florida's 12 Underwater Archaeological Preserve.

A Ship I've never Heard of Before. --B-R'er

Marking the Civil War Veteran Gravesites

From the May 5th Fresno (Ca) Bee (not sure what year, probably 2008)

Bill Melton of Porterville, California, has been identifying, gathering and collecting personal and family histories of Civil War veterans since 2003 when he saw a re-enactment in Fresno and got bitten by the bug.

He is part of the ongoing National Civil War Burial Survey.

When new markers are needed, the Veterans Administration pay for the marker and the local veterans organization pays to set up the stone. So far, Melton has identified 206 Civil War graves, 166 Union and 40 Confederate.

The grave site of Harrison White of New York is located in old Porterville Cemetery. He joined the Union Army in 1861 at the age of 23 as a private. He rose through the ranks to captain and commanded an all-black infantry unit in Mississippi. Only white men were able to be officers in black units.

Many of the black soldiers went on to become the famous Buffalo Soldiers.

He came to California in 1870.

From the March 27th Historic Happenings: A Visalia History blog.

Bill Melton had by then located 216 Confederate and Union veteran gravesites in Visalia, Three Rivers, Exeter, Farmersville, Porterville, Lindsay and Strathmore.

An Admirable Calling. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Captain Armond LaMar deRosset

From the Feb. 1, 1910, Wilmington (NC) Star-News.

Captain deRosset died after a lengthy sickness.

He was born in Wilmington, NC, in 1842, attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and returned to Wilmington at the outbreak of the war. He served at Fort Caswell and at Confederate Point (which later became Fort Fisher).

He rose through the ranks and became a lieutenant in the 3rd North Carolina, serving under his brother-in-law Col. Gaston Mears in Richmond-area battles.

DeRosset was badly wounded at Antietam and again at the Battle of Averasboro, NC.

Never Heard of Him. --Old B-Runner

St. Albans Raid

From the March 12th St. Albans (Vt) Messenger.

Preparations are underway to mark the 150th anniversary of the famed St. Albans Raid which took place October 19, 1864. It is considered the northern-most action of the war.

Warren Hamm, a retire US Navy Rear Admiral believes the city has "been remiss by not pushing this for the past 50 to 60 years.

On October 19, 1864, Bennett Young led 21 Confederate soldiers into St. Albans from Canada with intentions to kill and rob banks. They held hostages on the city green and robbed $208,000 from three banks before fleeing back into Canada where authorities determined Young's group were acting on military orders and refused to extradite them back to the US.

Canadian courts ruled that the Confederates were not criminals, but the $88,000 they had on them was not returned to St. Albans.

Wonder What Happened to the Other $120,000? --Old B-Runner

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rotating the H. L. Hunley

From the August 6 Charleston (SC) Post and Courier.

Plans call for rotating the hull of the Confederate submarine Hunley so that it will sit flat instead of the 45 degree angle where it has rested since 1864. When it was raised, it was kept at that angle.

Rotating the hull is a very tricky process as some parts of the vessel are a lot weaker than others. There is concretion (hardened sand, sediment and shell) from its 136 years under the sea which needs to be removed. The delicate process of removal involves the use of chemicals and electric current.

"It's like pouring concrete on and egg and then trying to remove it without breaking the egg," said Paul Mardikan, the senior conservator at the warren Lasch Conservation center in North Charleston, where the ship is now.

The starboard side, where the Hunley has been resting, until now has been largely unseen. You can't even see it in Conrad Wise Chapman's painting of the sub from the war.

It is hoped that clues to the submarine's demise might solve the question.

I Sure Would Like to See That Sub. --Old B-Runner

New Smyrna, Florida in the Civil War

New Smyrna was once at the end of the King's Highway which began at St. Mary's River and then went to St. Augustine before ending in New Smyrna. It was cleared starting in 1632 and followed old Indian trails and was one of the first roads in the New World.

Colonists later widened it to 30 feet.

In New Smyrna, founder Dr. Andrew Turnbull had a coquina stone wharf built around 1768. A lot of trade took place from this spot. You can still see the Old Wharf at low tide at the foot of Clinch Street.

During the Civil War, there were numerous salt works in the area as well as blockade-running. The area was watched by blockaders USS Penguin and the USS Henry Andrews. On March 24, 1862, six small boats were seen coming toward New Smyrna after they had destroyed some slat works. The 3rd Florida, under Captain Strain, attacked the boats. No Confederates were killed, but eight Union sailors were. The next day, the Confederates returned the bodies and personal effects of two officers to the Union ships.

In July 1863, two Union warships bombarded New Smyrna for two days. The Old Stone Wharf and James Sheldon's 40 room hotel were destroyed.

Today, there is a Coquina Wharf B&B in New Smyrna.

A Little-Known Part of History. --B-R'er

The Fort Fisher-Southport Ferry

From the February 6, 1960, Wilmington (NC)Star-News.

A Wilmington delegation urged the Highway Commission to support ferry service between Southport and Fort Fisher near the mouth of the Cape Fear River. It was reported that it was the only missing link in North Carolina's All Seashore Highway.

Before the ferry, which exists today, if you wanted to go from Pleasure Island (Carolina Beach and Kure Beach) and Fort Fisher to Southport, the town on the other side of the river, you had to drive twenty miles back to Wilmington, cross the river and back another 25 miles to Southport.

Today, you just get on the ferry, pay a nominal sum and enjoy a pleasurable ride across the river. It sure saves a lot of miles and Wilmington traffic is no great fun.

I was not able to find out anything else about North Carolina's All Seashore Highway.

Sure Glad They Brought in the Ferry. Old B-Runner

Saturday, October 30, 2010

CSS Neuse Museum Plans Announced

From October 29th ENCToday.com "Plans unveiled for CSS Neuse Gunboat Museum" by David Anderson.

Kinston, North Carolina, architect Drew Dalton has spent more than ten years getting this museum off the ground. He moved to Kinston in 1999. This effort has now come to fruition as a 19,000 square foot building is close to starting. It will house the actual remains of the CSS Neuse ironclad and will also give the entire Kinston Civil War experience (including the two battles fought there).

The $3 million for construction comes from state funds and will cover construction of the building and moving costs for the Neuse. The new building will be climate controlled and will also feature a mezzanine for viewing.

Right now, the remains of the Neuse are open to the elements and the ship has been decaying at an alarming rate. Once inside, stabilization will occur.

Construction is scheduled to begin in February and last for 12 months.

The second and third phases are still unfunded.

If There is One Town in the United States More Aware of Its Civil War Heritage Than Kinston, I'd Sure Like to Know. --Old B-Runner

Friday, October 29, 2010

Some More Worst Civil War Generals

Earlier this month, October 21st, I posted a list of worst generals on both sides.

Here is another list. From the Georgia Blue and Gray Trail http://blueandgraytrails.com/features'worstgenerals.html.

Each general has a writeup beside hid nsme explaining how he made the list. I will just list them. The number behind the name shows where they ranked on the other list.

9. William Rosecrans USA (9)
8. Don Carlos Buell USA (8)
7. John Bell Hood CSA
6. Ambrose Burnside USA (3)
5. Braxton Bragg CSA (4)
4. George McClellan USA (2)
3. John A. McClernand USA
2. Benjamin Butler USA (1)
1. Gideon Pillow CSA (7)

Again, more US generals ranked as the worst than Confederate.

Interesting. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lincoln Museum Gets New Exhibit

Springfield, Illinois' Abraham Lincoln Museum and Library has a new exhibit called "Team of Rivals: Lincoln's Cabinet at the crossroads of War" which opened October 14th and will run to August 15, 2011.

It was inspired by the book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin's book "team of Rivals" and features original artifacts from Lincoln and the members of his cabinet displayed together for the first time.

The exhibit also consists of innovative video components and creative productions.

Of course, this coming April will commence the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the war. What better way to observe it than to look at the group of men who were to keep the country together.

Most of the cabinet members were men who could be considered as somewhat enemies of Lincoln. Definitely not "yes men."

I look forward to what it has to say about Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles.

Definitely Worth a Stop. --B-R'er

The State of the Union Navy, October 1860-- Part 2

Here we were just, as it turned out, a little over six months from the Civil War, and there obviously were no major preparations for war on the part of the US Navy.

This was evidently a Navy report, perhaps to the Secretary of the Navy, Isaac Toucey who held the position from March 7, 1857 to March 4, 1861.


PHILADELPHIA NAVY YARD

$15,000 funded.

Corvettes JAMESTOWN and SARATOGA. Four hundred men working at the yard.

ST. LAWRENCE, the flagship of the Brazil Squadron and streamer PRINCETON there as well.


NORFOLK NAVY YARD

$69,000 funded, the most of any yard.

The RICHMOND, PENSACOLA and GERMANTOWN afford work for a fair-sized force.

The steamer MERRIMACK and line-of-battle-ships COLUMBUS, NEW YORK (not Launched), PENNSYLVANIA, DELAWARE were all in ordinary. (I'm figuring that means drydock.)

Also frigates RARITAN and COLUMBIA in port.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tenth Anniversary of the Raising of the Hunley-- Part 2

Of the $22 million spent so far, $10.8 million came from the state and federal governments and the rest from donations, tour tickets and merchandise sales.

So far, 500,000 people have viewed the submarine (not me) in its tank of water.

The U-Haul corporation has painted pictures on the sides of 1200 of their trucks for some really great advertising.

It is still not known why the Hunley sank after sinking the USS Housatonic. Was it damaged by its victim? Did a separate Union ship cause its sinking? Was it the concussion from the explosion? The exact answer is still not known.

Clues indicate the crew died of anoxia, a lack of oxygen which must have come on fast as the crew was still at their stations by the crank. There was no rush for the escape hatch.

The Friends of the Hunley are hoping to have the ship preserved enough so that it can be displayed at a museum by 2015. But, the Swedish warship Vasa, which sank in Stockholm Harbor in 1628, was raised in 1961 and it wasn't ready for display for thirty years.

Looking Forward to That Museum. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tenth Anniversary of the Raising of the Hunley-- Part 1

From the August 7th Chattanooga Times Free Press "10 years on mystery of Confederate sub remains" by Bruce Smith, AP.

When the H.L. Hunley sank, it came to rest on the sea floor resting at a 45 degree angle to starboard. Ten years ago, when the vessel was lifted, it was kept at the same angle and remains so. August 8th marked the tenth anniversary of the Hunley's raising. Thousands watched then and thousands more witnessed the 2004 burial of its crew.

During the past 15 years, $22 million has been spent on excavating, raising and preserving the sub according to the Friends of the Hunley, a non-profit group that raises money for the project.

We visited the place in North Charleston where the Hunley is being preserved, but, unfortunately at the time, it was only open on the weekends. Maybe we'll get lucky next time.

More tomorrow.

The First Successful Submarine Attack. --B-R'er

The State of the Union Navy October 1860-- Part 1

It was pretty amazing that the US Navy was in such sad shape as the Civil War approached. Perhaps it was because the southern president was keeping war preparations to a minimum, realizing that the South would have to face more ships if he did.

I found this interesting blog entry in the Daily Observations from the October 25th Civil War--Prelude to War blog. http://dotcw.com

It was filed under Naval Intelligence, but did not say where the information came from.

The first thing I noticed was how little money was being spent at the various shipyards and there was some terminology I wasn't entirely clear on.


NEW YORK YARD

Received $20,000.

The VANDALIA and WABASH "occupies a large gang." WABASH still in dock.

ROANOKE, NORTH CAROLINA, PERRY, BRANDYWINE and POTOMAC on status quo.


BOSTON NAVY YARD

Received $15,000.

The MISSISSIPPI is in hands and ready for further orders in a few weeks.

COLORADO in state of thorough readiness and MINNESOTA nearly the same.

FRANKLIN waiting for the "conversion" process.

The OHIO and VIRGINIA remain as they have for years.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

Monday, October 25, 2010

USCT Grand Review in Pennsylvania

This blog entry was accidentally published in my Roadlog blog this date at http://roaddogsroadlog.blogspot.com.

This Nov. 4-7th, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is holding the 145th anniversary commemoration of of the Grand Review organized by the women of the city when they found out that the United States Colored Troops were not allowed to participate in the two-day Grand Review that took place in Washington, DC, at the war's conclusion, May 23 and 24, 1865.

You have to wonder why they were not allowed to march in the DC one.

Wanting to Know. --B-R'er

Virginia History Book Pulled

Loudon County Public Schools have pulled Our Virginia: Past and Present. It is a 160 page book written by Joy Masoff.

The reasons is because of two problems concerning the Civil War.

On page 122, the book states: "Thousands of Southern blacks fought in the Confederate ranks, including two black battalions under the command of Stonewall Jackson."

On page 123, it states: "For free African Americans, the choice was much more difficult. They had built homes and businesses in Virginia. Many felt their limited rights could best be protected by staying put and supporting the Confederacy."

Obviously, these statements are false and should definitely not have been included. This is not the first time errors have slipped by in the editing room.

But, I have to wonder if the fact these had something to do with blacks and the Confederacy might have caused its really early detection.

Oh, Well. --Old B-Runner

Friday, October 22, 2010

Some More on the James D. Bulloch Plaque in Liverpool, UK-- Part 3

From the 10-21 entry.

The Charleston House in Liverpool was also called the "Confederate Embassy."

The Bulloch House is at Number 10 Rumford Place. Plaques above these buildings have portraits of Jefferson Davis, James Bulloch and Raphael Semmes.

The Fraser Trenholm office is at the Alabama House which is also located by the other two. Fraser Trenholm owned a large fleet of blockade-runners.

During the war years, many Confederate Naval officers entered these houses, including John Newland Maffitt, James Iredel Waddell and John Wilkinson.

Quite the little hotbed of the Confederacy abroad.

So, you can visit Liverpool and get you Reb on as well as your Beatles.

She Loves You, Yeh, Yeh, Yeh. --B-R'er

Finally Got His Side Right-- Part 2

A follow up to my 10-19 entry on the grave of Samuel Brown, Sr. being marked incorrectly as a Confederate soldier even though he was an ex-slave and a member of the United States Colored Troops.

The marker said he died December 21, 1923, and was in Co. K 137th Regt. CLD Infantry.

The CLD probably stands for Colored and perhaps this confused whoever made the marker. It should have read USCT, United States Colored troops.

That still doesn't explain why his descendants didn't notice the word Confederate on the marker all those years.

I also came across mention of another soldier, Daniel Ryder who served in the same unite, Co. K 137th CLD Infantry.

The 137th USCT were organized i Selma, Alabama in April 1865, one of the last USCT units organized as the war essentially ended that month. It consisted mostly of farmers and laborers who were ex-slaves. Some of the unit were assigned to burial details at Andersonville Prison in Georgia.

Always Good to have the Correct Information on Grave Markers. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ten Worst American Civil War Generals

I came across this interesting list at www.toptenz.net May 24, 2008.

The list had the reasons, but I just wrote down the names.

10. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, USA
9. William S. Rosecrans, USA
8. Don Carlos Buell, USA
7. Gideon Pillow, CSA
6. Nathaniel Prentiss Banks, USA

5. Franz Sigel, USA
4. Braxton Bragg, CSA-- I'd put him at #1
3. Ambrose Everett Burnside, USA-- but at least he had those neat sideburns
2. George Brinton McClellan, USA
1. Benjamin Franklin Butler, USA

Of interest, eight of them were Union. Both Bragg and Butler were involved inthe battles of Fort Fisher.

You'll find their comments of interest.

W.H.L. Wallace: Grant's Greatest General?-- Part 2

Continued from October 6th.

The two Union generals with Wallace as both their last names causes a lot of confusion. When I first came across W.H.L. Wallace, I thought he was the one who wrote "Ben Hur." Lew Wallace himself, who also had commanded the 11th Illinois, wrote that the two generals probably caused "great profanity in the army post office."

Before the war, W.H.L. Wallace had planned to study law under one Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois, but ended up studying law and becoming a lawyer in Ottawa, Illinois.

At the onset of the Civil War, Wallace volunteered as a private in the 11th Illinois and soon was elected colonel of the regiment. For his conspicuous service at Fort Donelson, Wallace was appointed brigadier general.

At the Battle of Shiloh, Wallace's men were next to the Hornet's Nest and the Sunken Road and withstood six hours of Confederate attacks. Wallace was in command of the division there and was mortally wounded. Union soldiers found him barely alive and carried him to his wife in a home nearby. He died three days later on April 10, 1862.

He is buried in Ottawa, LaSalle County, Illinois, at his family cemetery at 815 LaSalle Street along with his war horse Prince. There is a mural of him in Ottawa.

It would have been interesting to see how he would have done in the war had he not been killed so early.

A Great, But Little-Known General. -B-R'er

Meet Fort Fisher's Daisy Lamb This Weekend

From the October 7th Carolina Beach Today "Celebration at Fort Fisher: Recalling the Parties of Daisy Lamb--October 23rd."

The event will take place Saturday, October 23rd from 10 am to 5 pm.

Sarah Anne Chaffin Lamb, better known Daisy, the wife of Fort Fisher's commander Col. William Lamb, was born in Rhode Island and lived at Fort Fisher from 1863 to its fall in 1865.

The experience coming this Saturday will be primarily from a woman's stand point. Music from the era, both traditional and popular, will be performed by the Huckleberry Brothers and, you can even learn how to dance.

Fort Fisher site historian Ray Flowers will give a talk on the Lambs, and, as a special treat, attendees will get the first chance to view a temporary exhibit of Lamb artifacts that the site has recently acquired.

If you're in a cooking mode, recipes used by Daisy and Wilmington women from that era will be given away. There will also be hands-on activities for the kids.

The 32-pdr. cannon atop Sheppard's Battery will be fired.

Sounds Like a Great Time. Wish I Could Be There. --Old B-Runner