The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Decoration Day

That is the original name of the day we celebrate the veterans who have risked so much to enable us to enjoy the lives that we have.

According to Wikipedia, Decoration Day was set up shortly after the Civil War by Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) National Commander general John Logan to honor Union soldiers who had died in the conflict. The GAR was an association of former soldiers (and sailors?).

By the end of the war in 1865, the practice of decorating the graves of soldiers was widely practiced in the North and South as well. The general called for every GAR Post to celebrate Decoration Day May 30, 1868. That year there were events held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states and the number of cemeteries rose to 336 the following year.

Michigan made it an official state holiday in 1871 and by 1890 every Northern state had done the same. Generally, the 100,000 member Women's Relief Corps ran the events.

By 1870, the remains of nearly 300,000 Union soldiers had been moved to 73 National Cemeteries, mostly in the South near battlefields.

A Day Linked Deep in Our History. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Running the Blockade: Kappa Alpha-- Fortress Monroe-- KA Again

Some New News About an Old War.

1. KAPPA ALPHA-- The May 3rd CBS 42 News reports the KA Order House at Jacksonville State University has been asked to remove the Confederate flag from the inside of its fraternity house. KA National Executive Director Larry Weise says fraternity bylaws prohibit the depiction of the Confederate Battle Flag inside or outside of KA fraternity houses because of the controversial symbolism of it.

2. FORTRESS MONROE-- The Army expects to spend between $60 and $70 million to remove munitions, pollutants and other debris from Fort Monroe which will soon be closed. Part of this money will go to clean up the firing ranges in Chesapeake Bay. Virginia will assume ownership when cleanup is finished. The fort will be used in a historical context, perhaps with a Civil War emphasis.

3. KA AGAIN-- It seems this fraternity has come under particular fire by black groups because of its Confederate affiliation. The KA chapter of the University of Alabama came under fire last year after they marched by a black sorority during their Old South Days. members were dressed as Confederate soldiers.

Now the KA National has banned uniforms being worn to parties and in parades. The KAs at Auburn and Georgia have already stopped wearing their uniforms.

For Some Reason, I Feel My heritage Is Under Major Attack. --Old B-Runner

Friday, May 28, 2010

You Tube Featuring the Engines of Civil War Ironclads

Came across a video clip on You Tube which showed the operation of the "USS Monadnock Trunk Steam Engine in animation form. You can find it by typing in that name.

There are also videos of the engines of the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia.

The Monadnock participated in both Battles of Fort Fisher, taking up a position 1200 yards from the fort and pounding away at the fort's walls with the four other ironclads.

Hey, it was what moved the ships.

You Move Me Baby. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What Should Certain Groups Be Worried About

Every time you hear about people paying homage to their Confederate ancestors, you immediately hear from one group who comes completely unglued about the affront to their heritage. I mean, these folks really lose it. They call my ancestors Nazis and terrorists. Today I read one national columnist in the Chicago Tribune referring to the Confederate Battle Flag as the "American Swastika."

On Monday, May 24th, I found these headlines in the Chicago Tribune.

Teen shot near South Side Beach

Two shot in legs in separate incidents in South Side

Three men shot on the South Side

Man fatally shot at Washington Park

That was just stuff happening on the previous night. For those of you who don't know, this particular group tends to dominate the South Side. I didn't read the stories, so am not sure about what group might have been involved in the Washington Park incident.

Perhaps one group should be making the effort to address other problems than a piece of cloth no matter how much it represents the "S" word to them. I respect their heritage, but they certainly won't do the same for mine.

What's the World Coming To? --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Two Union Veterans at Fort Fisher-- Part 11

Alaric Chapin retired from farming after 30 years and traveled to Canada to visit his oldest son and later moved to Oregon to be near his two youngest sons. There, he joined the GAR Post 21 in Portland. Thanksgiving Day in 1924, he died at his home at 1452 Cleveland Avenue and his funeral notice did not mention his Medal of Honor.

His burial took place at Rose City cemetery. Many years later he had notification of his Medal of Honor placed on his marker. His granddaughter donated his Medal of Honor, his musket and bayonet to the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I have to wonder why to there.

Chapin and Lamson never met in life, but both were on that narrow spit of land by Fort Fisher for several days back in 1865. It is too bad they didn't as I'm sure they could have really swapped some stories.

Quite a Story. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Two Union Veterans at Fort Fisher-- Part 10

This article originally appeared in the January 2009 Oregon Magazine by Randy Fletcher called "Storming the Ramparts." It was about two Union veterans whose lives converged at the Second Battle of Fort Fisher, although they didn't know each other.

One was in the Army and from New York and the other from Oregon and in the Navy. Both performed their duties at the battle with the utmost of courage and bravery. One was badly wounded and the other won a Congressional Medal of Honor.

Both eventually ended up in Oregon and are buried near each other.

A really amazing story and one I'm thankful that Mr. Fletcher was able to find.

Let's talk about your coincidences.

You can find the full article along with pictures at

Heroes, Both. --Old B-Runner

Monday, May 24, 2010

Confederate Ironclad at Tarboro, NC

I had an alert from the HMdb about the Union assault on Tarboro, NC, in 1863. The enemy force destroyed a Confederate ironclad on the stocks where it was being built. I had never heard of this one.

Doing some research, I found out that it was to be a sister ship to the CSS Albemarle with similar dimensions. It might have been named the CSS Pamlico had it been completed.

There was another one being built in Tarboro but it was destroyed to prevent capture in April 1865.

Of course, I am familiar with the CSS Neuse, CSS Albemarle, CSS North Carolina, CSS Raleigh and CSS Wilmington which were all North Carolina-built ironclads.

There was another one being built at Edward's Ferry which was to be an improved and larger version of the CSS Albemarle and to mount four guns, but it was destroyed to prevent capture April 7, 1865. The author of the Civil War Ironclads and Blockade Runners site believes it might have been named the CSS Roanoke had it been completed.

Most info from the Civil War Ironclads and Blockade Runners site.

Some Stuff I Didn't Know. --B-R'er

Some More on Nashville's Fort Negley

From Wikipedia.

The fort was a star-shaped limestone structure on a hill south of Nashville (this is different from Saturday's post). It was named for Union General James S. Negley and built by slaves with the understanding that they would become free at the completion of their service.

After the war, the fort was abandoned and fell into ruins. During Reconstruction, it was sometimes used by the Ku Klux Klan for gatherings.

In the 1930s, the WPA made its restoration a major project, but that was dropped with US entrance into World War II.

After the war, the site continued to decline and became a place for drinking, minor crime and vandalism. Then the fort's remains and surrounding grounds became a municipal park and the visitors center built.

Definitely have to stop by there the next trip that way. I wonder how far it is from Loveless Cafe?

Da Fort, Da Fort. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nashville's Fort Negley

From the December 24, 2008 Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Fort Negley is located on St. Cloud Hill and from it you can see the battle sites at Shy's Hill and Peach Orchard Hill, two parts of the Battle of Nashville. Downtown Nashville is two miles to the north and cars hurtle by on nearby I-65. The fort has become part of Nashville's efforts to preserve what is left of the Battle of Nashville, which has been largely lost to growth.

The fort was built by Union forces who took over the city in February 1862 and held it for the remainder of the war. It was a 600 by 300 foot stone, log, iron and earth work built by blacks. The outer walls zig-zagged in a v-shape for crossfire. It was never attacked but its cannons fired at Confederates during the December 15-16, battle.

It was closed and abandoned in 1945. Brush and trees soon overtook it and it began to crumble. In 2004, it was reopened as a historical park after the city spent $1 million stabilizing the remains and building walkways and trails. Another $1 million was spent on a visitors center which has displays and an 18-minute film on the Battle of Nashville. The center gets an average of 20 visitors a day and as many as 600 on occasion.

The Bureau of US Colored Troops opened a recruiting office in Nashville in 1863 and by the end of the war, some 20,000 black Tennesseans were wearing Union blue.

I must admit that I am unfamiliar with the site, although I have heard of Fort Negley. Next time through Nashville, I'll have to stop by and take a look.

A Little-Known Civil War Site. --B-R'er

Two Union Veterans at Fort Fisher-- Part 9

Sixteen US Sailors were honored with Medals of Honor at Fort Fisher, but none for Lt. Roswell Lamson as Naval officers were ineligible for the award until World War I.

He returned to Oregon and worked on his father's farm. His fame and service to his country enabled him to get good government positions and jobs. He was county clerk of Yamhill County in 1973, and taught at Pacific University. In 1877 he was Clerk of the US District Court in Portland.

He and Kate had seven children of which only two survived into adulthood. Kate died in 1893 at age 49. Lamson's health begin to deteriorate from his old wound and he retired from the court in 1894 and applied for military disability in 1895 and began receiving his pension. He was an active member of Portland's GAR Post 13 and died in 1903.

His death made the front page news in the Morning Oregonian. At his funeral, his coffin was covered with the bullet-riddle flag of the USS Mt. Washington which he had commanded (while it was the USS Mount Vernon) and he was buried in Portland's River View Cemetery next to his wife and four children.

A collection of his war-time correspondence was published in the book "Lamson of the Gettysburg: the Civil War Letters of Lt. Roswell H. Lamson."

Three US Naval ships, including a World War II destroyer have been named for him.

Quite a US Naval Officer. --Old B-Runner

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Marine Corps Retraction-- Sort Of

The May 18th World Net Daily reports that the Marine Corps has announced that the recruiter had an "unclear understanding of the policy." A Confederate flag tattoo is not an automatic bar to USMC enlistment according to a Corps spokesman.

A potential recruit with the tattoo must get a waver from the regional commanding general. "We're not saying that a Confederate flag tattoo is racist, but it can potentially be. So we call that an "exception-to-policy tattoo."

However, the fact that the flag would even be on the list of racist things shows the success certain groups have had in their crusade to get the Confederate flag entirely removed from the country.

This is why it is so necessary for groups like the SCV and UDC to defend the heritage of the Confederate soldier. I certainly wish that this defense was not so necessary., but let's face it, "We are under an all-out attack."

These Are Times That Try Men's Souls. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Two Union Veterans at Fort Fisher-- Part 8

Lamson recovered and went back to command the USS Gettysburg. In 1866, he resigned from the US Navy and married Kate Buckingham (with whom he had become engaged Christmas Day 1862. The couple moved to Oregon.

Alaric Chapin was mustered out of service June 7, 1865, 18 days shy of his 18th birthday. He returned to New York and moved west. He bought a farm near River Falls, Wisconsin and, on April 6, 1871, married Mary Smith and later had three sons and two daughters.

Thirty years later, he moved to Workman Township in Minnesota.


More Medals of Honor were awarded after the war than during it. Forty-nine years after the war, Bruce Anderson, one of the 13 volunteers with Chapin who had cut open the palisades, hired a lawyer and petitioned Congress for the Medal of Honor that General Ames had recommended after the battle.

A search of archives was made and Ames' letter found. A search was made for survivors and Chapin was found. he received his medal at age 67 and a grandfather. He proudly wore it to GAR meetings for the rest of his life.

Better Late Than Never, But the Story Is Not Over Yet. --B-R'er

The Shame of the Marine Corps

I never thought I'd have to use these words in connection to this fine group.

According to Fox Nation, an 18-year-old high school graduate wanted to join the USMC, but was turned down because of his Confederate flag tattoo.


Marine Corps policy says that applicants whose tattoos are sexist, nude, racist, eccentric, offensive, have illegal drugs or usage, vulgar or anti-American, will be turned down.

The Marine Corps recruiting station stated, "The policy is is a tattoo can be construed by anyone as being racially biased, then we can't accept them." That means if SOMEONE decides that they don't like US foreign policy, and since the flag represents the country, then anyone with a US flag tattoo should be turned down.

I can tell you that I am getting REALLY tired of these attacks on my heritage.

Time to Let Up. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Getting "Real Tired" of the Attacks on the Flag

It seems that every day those intent on taking my heritage away are having more success. Getting "real tired" of this affront. And the sad thing is that powers and owners are acquiescing to those who are offended.

Today, I read about two things in Virginia and Tennessee.

The May 19th (Va) reports that the Muvico Theatre by the Spotsylvania Towne Centre is removing part of a mural showing a Union and a Confederate flag because of complaints. A Virginia state flag is being superimposed on the Confederate one.

The May 18th Time News Net (Tn) reports that Sullivan South High School in Kingsport, Tn, has a nickname Rebels and a mascot sometimes referred to as Col. Reb. Confederate flags are waved at home games and from vehicles on game days, but soon, the flag may be banned because some are offended.

Of course, the reason the one group is offended is that whenever there is a racial confrontation, the idiot groups wave the Confederate flag and that has come to signify racism. It is too bad, but the idiots also wave US flags. Should that be banned as well?

Hey, I am offended by a lot of things like the use of the "N" word in rap as well as the language and depictions of women. As a result, I don't listen to that music whenever possible. However, in traffic, that is not always possible nor in bars where patrons can choose any type of music they want. When that happens, I roll up the windows, turn up my music or, if in a bar, leave or ignore it as much as possible.

This group needs to find a way to deal with the flag besides attacking my heritage. I don't attack theirs.

Time to get Over It. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Look at the Union Navy in the Civil War

Taken from a series of post by Steve Hesson on the Civil War Navy and Marine Yahoo e-mail group.


Some 16-17 year-olds enlisted as powder monkeys, but the practice was dying off. Young boys enlisted mostly to be servants to officers. Running powder for the guns was their battle station. Contraband slaves enlisted as the war progressed and they were made powder monkeys because it was thought they were not bright enough to do anything else.

Boat crews were made up of a Coxswain, Bow Hook and Oarsmen. The coxswain was in charge and usually held the rank of petty officer. The rest of the boat crews were from the deck department.

The Bow Hook sailor was the second most important person on the boat. He had to be able to handle the bow hook which was a long pole with a hook on it used to push away.

For a Better Understanding of the Navy in the War. --Blockade-R

Fort Fisher After the War

From the Cape Fear River Steamers Blog.

The July 7, 1880 Wilmington Star reported that an excursion boat touched at Fort Fisher, Smithville for a few minutes and then steamed to Fort Caswell where many got off the boat and walked the grounds and the beach. A band was along as well and they had a dance.

Others went to the Blackfish Grounds which was a hot fishing spot. The sea was rough and the decks had to be cleaned.

On the return, they stopped at Fort Fisher again to pick up those who had gotten off to fish at the "Rocks."

On June 30, 1882, there was a military excursion consisting of mostly the Wilmington Light Artillery, over 200 men thought not in uniform. They visited the various Cape Fear River forts.

Even back Then, Fort Fisher was Popular. --Old B-Runner

Monday, May 17, 2010

USS North Carolina

The commissioning ceremony for the USS North Carolina SSN-777 was Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 11 am in the Cape Fear River at the State Port of Wilmington in North Carolina. It is the fourth US Navy fast attack Virginia Class Submarine,

It was launched in 2007 and underwent sea trials.

It was in close proximity to two other North Carolinas, the World War II battleship and the wreck of the CSS North Carolina, whose wreck was passed at Southport.

The CSS North Carolina was a 150 foot class Confederate ironclad that sunk at its moorings at Smithville, NC (now Southport) on 27 September 1864 as its hull was thoroughly riddled with toredo worms. It was partially salvaged by Confederates during the war and again in 1868. The hulk was burned 7 September 1871. Fragments of the ship still rest on the river bottom.

It was 165 feet long, 33 foot beam, 600 tons and mounted six 8-inch and one pivot gun.

The submarine North Carolina also passed the wreck of the CSS Raleigh, another Confederate ironclad, which ran aground in the Cape Fear River by New Inlet 7 May 1864. The wreck was salvaged by Confederates during the war and fragments remain at the bottom of the river.

History Lives Again. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Alfred Holt Colquitt at Fort Fisher-- Part 2

From June to July Colquitt helped General Beauregard stop Grant at Petersburg, Virginia in one of the "Miracles of the War." In January, Colquitt, now a major general, and his brigade were sent along with General Hoke's division to the aid of Fort Fisher.

However, the commanding general at Wilmington, Bragg, refused to allow the division to help the fort. After Colonel Lamb and General Whiting, the fort's commanders were both wounded, Colquitt was ordered by Bragg to go to the fort and take command.

When he and his staff arrived at the fort in their small rowboats, they found the garrison had evacuated the fort and were about to surrender at Battery Buchanan. There was nothing to do but return to Confederate lines north of Fort Fisher.

He is buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia.

An Interesting Career. --B-R

Two Union Veterans at Fort Fisher-- Part 7

Lamson rose to his feet and continued to fight, but later said that armed with pistols and cutlasses "we might as well have had broom sticks." He was one of the few to make it to a rise in the beach near the fort's walls and was pinned down there. Confederates in the fort taunted them to "come up and fight."

Thought the Naval attack failed, it enabled the Army's assault to succeed by drawing defenders away from the west end of the fort.

Chapin's friend Jimmy Spring was shot in the head and died on the spot. Alaric Chapin continued on to the palisade and proceeded to open holes in it for the attacking federals.

For his bravery, Chapin and thirteen others were recommended by General Adelbert Ames for Congressional Medals of Honor. However, his report was misplaced and Chapin and the others never received the great honor.

Aftermath. --Old B-Runner

Friday, May 14, 2010

Alfred Holt Colquitt at Fort Fisher-- Part 1

General Braxton Bragg appointed him commander of Fort Fisher just before it fell Jan. 15, 1865, but he was never able to get to his command before it surrendered. Before and after that, he led quite and interesting and influential life.

This is taken from the good folks at HMdb (Historical Markers Database) December 13, 2009.

After the war, he was governor of Georgia from 1877-1882 and served two terms as US Senator from Georgia and died in office in Washington, DC.

He was born in Walton County, Georgia, April 20, 1824 and died in Washington, DC, March 26, 1894 and is buried in Macon, Georgia.

Before the war, he graduated from Princeton in 1844, served as a major in the US Army during the Mexican War and was a US Representative from 1853-1855. After that, a member of the Georgia legislature and member of the secession vote.

At the outbreak of the war, he became colonel of the famous 6th Georgia regiment and on September 1, 1862, promoted to brigadier general, commanding Colquitt's Brigae, Army of Northern Virginia. he acquired the name "Rock of South Mountain" when he withstood furious federal attacks at that battle in Maryland on September 14, 1862.

he was at Charleston, SC, in 1863-1864 and on Feb. 20, 1864, commanded Confederate forces at the Battle of Olustee, Florida, which saved that state from Union control and he got yet another name "Hero of Olustee."

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

The New York Times Reports the Destruction of the Blockade-Runner Vesta-- Part 2

The Vesta had outrun the blockaders, one of which was the USS Keystone State. According to the Confederate officer, the captain and first officer Mr. Tickler, in celebration, proceeded to get "outrageously drunk after the affair was over and the night had fallen."

At 2 am, the captain directed the pilot to take the ship into the Cape Fear River, telling the pilot the Vesta was ten miles above Fort Fisher, when, in actuality, it was 40 miles south of Frying Pan Shoals.

Fifteen minutes later, the ship was hard aground at Little River Inlet (I've seen it called Tubbs Inlet). All attempts to get it off failed and the passengers were landed without their luggage.

Even though there were no Union vessels in sight, Captain Eustace ordered the ship burned without trying to get the cargo off, three-fourths of which was on government account including army supplies and shoes. Also, there was a "splendid uniform, intended as a present for General Lee from some admirers in London."

The first blockaders to the scene did not arrive until 2 pm, attracted by the smoke from the burning.

I haven't been able to find out if Captain Eustace was ever brought up on charges, which, if this account is true, he surely should have been. The blockaders were unable to get anything off the Vesta.

It is pretty remarkable that the New York Times would be publishing this account from the enemy, but such was the nature of the war.

Running That Blockade, Sometimes. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Joseph Fry, CSN and CSS Maurepas

After the fall of Island No. 10, the CSS Maurepas, under Lt. Fry was sunk in the White River near St. Charles, Arkansas, June 16th. to obstruct it, The battery was placed ashore.

He was attacked by two ironclads and five gunboats and after a two hour battle, drove them off and destroyed the USS Mound City.

Then 1,500 troops attacked and captured him after he was severely wounded.

From Louisiana Military History.

The CSS Maurepas was built as the side-wheeler, wooden-hulled packet ship Grosse Tete in New Albany, Indiana, in 1858.

In 1861, it was purchased by the Confederate Navy and operated in the lower Mississippi under the command of Flag Officer G. N. Hillins, CSN. From March 12 to April 7, 1862, it was at Island No. 10 and then steamed up the White River with the CSS Pontchartrain. On June 16th, it was sunk along with the stern-wheeler Mary Patterson and the small packet Eliza G.

The Maurepas was 399 tons, 180 ft long, 34 foot beam, 7 foot draft and mounted 5 to 7 guns.

I also came across a mention of Joseph Fry where it mentioned that he commanded the CSS Ivy, which in October 1861 made an attack on Union vessels off the Head of Passes of the Mississippi River. No damage was done, but the long range of the Ivy's guns bothered US Naval officers.

The CSS Ivy is listed as a sidewheel river steamer burned in 1863.

A Little-Known battle. --Old B-Runner

The New York Times Reports the Destruction of the Blockade-Runner Vesta-- Part 1

From the February 2, 1864, New York Times "The Blockade.; Wreck of the Steamer Vesta"

This report was taken from the January 20, 1864 Richmond Examiner. Interesting that northern newspapers would be using their southern counterparts for the news.

This concerns the destruction of the Vesta "one of the finest steamers in the blockade-running line" and is based on the account of a Confederate officer on board.

On board, as passengers were five Confederate Naval officers, a man from Bermuda, a man from England and a woman and her two daughters. This was the Vestas's first trip from England and it was under the command of Captain R. H. Eustace of that country.

The ship left Bermuda Jan. 3rd and was spotted by a blockader and chased for seven days. On Jan. 10th, they arrived off Wilmington, NC and the chase was joined by eleven other Union vessels.

Some tried to block the Vesta's escape and all fired at the ship. Though surrounded, the Vesta nimbly ran the gauntlet despite heavy shelling. The Confederate flag was raised in defiance. Fortunately, only one shell struck the Vesta, but did no major damage.

Not Home Yet. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hawaiians Serving in the Civil War

The May 11th Honolulu Advertiser had an article that I never thought about, but according to one group, there were people from Hawaii who served in the Civil War. "Group seeks funds for memorial honoring Island sons in the Civil War."

The Hawaii Sons of the Civil War Memorial Committee is looking for money to purchase a bronze plaque mounted on a granite base to honor those from the state who served. It will be placed at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Hawaii's Civil War Round Table says the exact number in service is difficult to determine because native Hawaiians were given names when they went to sea with whaling ships that went to join Union and Confederate navies.

Some Hawaiians known to have served:

** JAMES BUSH-- Native Hawaiian served in the US Navy.

** Twelve Hawaiians who served aboard the CSS Shenandoah.

** SAMUEL CHAPMAN ARMSTRONG-- son of Hawaiian missionaries who became a Union brigadier general and founded Hampton University.

Sure Never Thought of Hawaiians As Serving in the Civil War. --B-R

Two Union Veterans at Fort Fisher-- Part 6


Lt. Roswell Lamson led 70 sailors and marines from the USS Gettysburg in the Naval Column which attacked the northeast salient of Fort Fisher. The sailors were armed with pistols and cutlasses and were ordered to "board" the fort in a sailorly manner. The marines had rifles to provide covering fire.

All officers were in full dress uniforms. Lt. Preston led a group from the USS Malvern.

Sailors were not trained for this sort of action and the attack soon became disorganized, even more so when the Confederate defenders climbed out of their bomb proofs when the fleet stopped the bombardment and opened a withering fire on the Federals. Most of the 2,000 soon broke and retreated back across the beach. Only some 200 made it up close to Fisher's walls, but that was as far as they got.

Officers in those uniforms became special targets for the Confederates. Lt. Preston, running alongside Lamson was shot in the groin and went down. twenty steps later, Lamson was hit in the left shoulder and arm and went down himself. He crawled back to Preston and found that a musket ball had severed his friend's femoral artery in his left thigh and he had bled to death immediately.

One Bloody mess. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Running the Blockade: Illinois SCV Ceremony-- Culp's Hill Trees-- Florida Confederate Flag

Some New News About an Old War.

1. ILLINOIS SCV CEREMONY-- The April 28th Medill Reports had a nice slide and video presentation on the Camp Douglas Sons of Confederate veterans Illinois Division honoring the 6000 southerners who died at Chicago's Camp Douglas. April 25th was a rainy day.

2. CULP'S HILL TREES-- The April 28th Gettysburg Times reported that missing trees are to be planted by the National Park Service as efforts continue to return the battlefield to its 1863 appearance. These tress have "disappeared" in the last 147 years.

Two historical orchards along Taneytown Road are also being replanted in May. Plams are also to remove dozens of non-historical trees.

3. FLORIDA CONFEDERATE FLAG-- The huge Confederate Battle Flag at the intersection of I-4 and I-75 in Tampa, Florida has been tattered by wind and rain, especially from the April 25th storm. The Tampa SCV General Jubal A. Early Camp 556 is having it repaired and in the meantime is flying a big Betsy Ross flag.

Now, You Know. --Old B-R

Two Union Veterans at Fort Fisher-- Part 5

Alaric Chapin was from upstate New York and enlisted at the age of 16 in 1864 after he lied that he was 18. He had blue eyes, brown hair, fair complexion, stood 5'10" (quite tall for the time as most men stood around 5'6". He was promoted to corporal in Co. G, 142nd New York Infantry and fought at Cold Harbor, Petersburg and New Market.

Chapin volunteered to cut a hole in the palisades along with Jimmy Spring from Co. G. Personally, I am surprised any of the fence was still standing after that horrific Naval bombardment.

At 2 pm, the Navy guns stopped firing and Chapin, Spring and eleven other volunteers ran across 300 yards to the palisades. They used axes to cut the binding ropes and then shovels and battering rams to open holes and came under a withering fire as they did this.

At this time, the Naval column charged along the beach aimed at the fort's northeast salient. Lt. Lawson was among them.

At this time, Chapin and Lawson were probably no more than 500-700 yards apart and each with a definite task at hand.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

Monday, May 10, 2010

The 5th Ohio Infantry

The previous post mentioned that Abraham Galloway had been involved with the formation of the 5th Ohio.

Given its low number, I'd have to say it was one of the earliest regiments from Ohio and definitely before black units were enrolled.

I found out the 5th Ohio here referred to the 5th USCT, also called the 127th Ohio Infantry. I was unable to find out anything about the 1st African Brigade.

There is not much on Abraham Galloway either, but I did find a short article on him in North Carolina in the Civil War, so will do an entry on him. Quite a fascinating man.

A Little-Known Aspect. --B-R'er

New Bern, NC's "Remembering the War" Features Role of Black Soldiers

From the May 7th New Bern Sun-Journal.

Most history texts give little information about the role blacks played in the Civil War. The Civil War Days program in New Bern over this past weekend featured a three-day US Colored Troops National Symposium. Members of the US Colored Troops Living History Association from all across the country were expected to attend as well.

Han Jones, curator of the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, DC, was one of the scheduled speakers. He has done extensive research on military intelligence in Eastern North Carolina, much of it from blacks which led to Federal successes in the area.

Also, David Cecelski, author of a book on Abraham Galloway, a Wilmington-native who later lived in New Bern. he was a fugitive slave and considered a top black Union spy in the Civil War. he fought at Harper's Ferry with John Brown and also spent time in Haiti. Galloway was also instrumental in the formation of the First African Brigade and the 5th Ohio.

An Under-Reported Aspect of the War. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, May 8, 2010

USS/CSS Water Witch

From the November 25th Columbus (Ga) Ledger-Enquirer.

A full-sized replica of the ship is nearing completion. In the past, people complained that they couldn't find the National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, Georgia, but that would be difficult now.

This past weekend, the museum had their "Cool History" program on "The Capture of the USS Water Witch (quite a name for a ship). It was captured June 3, 1864, on the Vernon River south of Savannah in the middle of the night. Confederate Lt. Thomas Pelot boarded the ship with a band of soldiers.

Two Union sailors and six Confederates were killed.


side wheel, steam-powered, wooden-hulled, fully sail rigged gunboat. Length- 163 feet, beam- 24.4 feet, 464 tons, 4 cannons.

Launched at the Washington Naval Yard in 1851. Used mostly for surveys. Fired on by Paraguay in 1867. Had 65 crew when captured, usually had 90-95. In Civil War used as a supply and mail boat, then as a blockader off Savannah.

It is not known how much the original ship cost, but the replica costs $1.2 million. The original plans were used and it has taken more than a year.

Looking Forward to Seeing It. --Old B-Runner

Battle of Rowlett's Station

Yesterday, I wrote about the Bloedner Monument, the oldest surviving Civil War monument, erected in January 1862 to commemorate the stand of the 32nd Indiana, a German regiment.

I'd never heard of the battle, so thanks to Wikipedia, I now know more. It is also called the Battle of Woodsonville or the Battle of Green River and was fought December 17, 1861 in Hart County, Kentucky and was inconclusive, but the Federal troops retained control of the railroad bridge over the Green River they were defending so could be called a Union victory.

It was the 500 men of the 32nd Indiana vs. 1350 Confederates including Terry's Texas Rangers. Lt.-Col. Henry von Treba had his men form a hollow square and lost 10 killed and 22 wounded. Confederates had 33 killed including Col. Terry.

As a result of this victory over an enemy that outnumbered them, the 32nd gained national recognition.

Twelve who died were originally buried on a hilltop near the battle site. Christian Frederich August Bloedner was a private at the battle and decided the men should be honored, so by January had a monument for them. In 1867, the men and the monument were moved to Cave Hill National Cemetery in Louisville.

The years wore the limestone monument until it could no longer be read, but has now thankfully been saved.

Stuff You Didn't Know. --Old B-Runner

Friday, May 7, 2010

Oldest Civil War Monument Relocated

From the December 1,2009, Louisville (Ky) Courier-Journal.

The Bloedner Monument, considered to be the oldest-surviving Civil War monument is going to be moved to the Frazier International Historical Museum and will be in the lobby so can be viewed without paying admission. This monument commemorates the 1861 Battle of Rowlett's Station near Munfordville, Kentucky.

It was recently rescued and restored after almost being destroyed by the elements at Cave Hill Cemetery where it had been since 1867. A replica will be placed back at he cemetery sometime this year. However, the back of it will have the English translation and the front the original text in German.

It was carved in 1862 by August Bloedner to commemorate the members of the 32nd Indiana Infantry, made up of all German immigrants, who died in the hour-long battle. It was originally at the site of the battle, but when the remains of the soldiers were moved to Cave Hill Cemetery, the monument went along as well.

Always Great When Preservation Takes Place. --Old B-Runner

Two Union Veterans at Fort Fisher-- Part 4

Back on April 24th and 26th, I started this rather lengthy account taken from the January 2009 Oregon Magazine "Storming the Ramparts" by Randy Fletcher. I especially liked it because it detailed the lives of two men who grew up in different sections of the country, had widely different military careers, both were at one battle, probably within several hundred yards of each other, and whose lives took different paths after that, but who came to spend their last years in the same state and town.

We left the story with Roswell Lamson having breakfast with Samuel Preston and Admiral Porter in board the USS Malvern after the experiment blowing up the USS Louisiana.

The explosion didn't work and General Benjamin Butler landed his troops, but withdrew saying the fortifications were too strong. This drew the ire of General Grant who removed Butler from command and replaced him with General Alfred Terry.

Terry's plan of attack on Fort Fisher was to land at the same spot, have the USCT hold off Hoke's troops north of the fort, have an amphibious assault by US Naval and Marine forces along the seafront and Army attack the land front.

Across the front of the fort, a nine-foot high palisade fence had been constructed for more protection. It had been a focus of the bombardment, but a lot of it still remained, especially the part closest to the river where the soldiers intended to attack. It would be necessary for someone to go forward and breech it.

Dirty Work, Bit Somebody's Got to Do It. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Twelve-Pounder Napoleon Smoothbore Cannon

The Dec. 3, 2009 HMDB (Historical Marker Database) featured this cannon and said ut was developed in France in 1853 and made in the US after 1857. It was a "mainstay" of both Confederate and Union artillery because of their maneuverability, ruggedness, dependability and effectiveness at both long and short range.

The tube (barrel) was a mixture of bronze, copper and tin and it fired a 12 pound cannon ball.

the one they were spotlighted was made in Savannah, Georgia by H. N. H. & Co. in 1863, their 178th gun.

The tube weight was 1230 pounds and it was 66 inches long. It took a charge of 2.5 pounds of gunpowder to fire it and a good crew could fire 3-4 rounds a minute. Crews usually consisted of seven men. A total of 1156 were made for the Union and 501 for the Confederacy.

Now You Know. --B-R

New Bern, North Carolina's Re-enactment

The good folks at the Civil War Interactive Newswire alerted me to this story, so they must have bailed out from all that water Tennessee recently received.

From the May 3rd ENCToday.

The actual Civil War Battle of New Bern took place in March of 1862 and resulted in a Union victory and the city's occupation for the duration of the war,

this weekend, a Naval and artillery re-enactment is planned. This is rare for Civil War re=enactments as usually they are strictly land-based battles. Three ships will be in the Neuse River and 200 soldiers will be on shore and shots will be traded. This is sort of a dry run for the 150th anniversary of the battle coming up in 2012.

During the weekend, the United States Colored Troops will be featured in seminars, re-enactors and a symposium. Also there will be surgical and yellow fever demonstrations, a torpedo display, tours of the original battlefield, slave quarters and a self-guided Civil War walking tour.

Sounds Like Quite an Even, But, Unfortunately I Live Too Far to Go. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Running the Blockade: Albemarle-- Water Witch-- Maine

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

1. ALBEMARLE-- April 12th WITN NBC News-- a group of Civil war re-enactors on board the replica CSS Albemarle heading for a re-enactment saved three people whose boat had capsized, but were unable to locate the fourth.

Fortunately for the boaters, the Albemarle was running behind schedule because of mechanical problems when screams were heard.

2. WATER WITCH-- A short film about this ship, produced by the University of Georgia, will be presented for the first time at Columbus, Georgia's River Blast in April. It will detail the capture of the ship by a band of Confederate commandos and will consist of interviews and animated sequences.

3. MAINE-- The efforts of Maine's Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee has led to a new website at which details every known Civil War statue and memorial in the state. One was erected in Bangor while the war was still going on. The last was put up in Lisbon in 1999.

Now, You Know. --Blockade-R


And You Thought the First Shots of the War Were Fired at Fort Sumter?

From Dale Cox's April 20th Southern History Blog:

The night of Januray 6, 1861, Federal soldiers at Pensacola, Florida's Fort Barrancas saw several shadowy figures approaching and after challenging them, opened fire. The shadowy figures quickly skeedaddled.

Fort Barrancas was the only fortification to be occupied by troops at the time. Nearby Fort Pickens only had a caretaker and no one was at the other fort.

Official reports of January 3rd showed Fort Barrancas as well-armed with 44 seacoast and garrison cannons along with 20,244 pounds of gunpowder.

The "shadowy figures" were soldiers from Alabama who had heard that Fort Barrancas was unoccupied. The shots alerted them that it wasn't.

So, the first "victory" in the war went to Union forces.

The Great Skeedaddle. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Ten Notable Civil War Coincidences-- Part 3

Back on April 20th and 21st, IO started the list. These are from the March 4th List Universe.

3. IF HE VISITS, THEY FIGHT-- Confederate President Jefferson Davis took a tour around the South from November to December, 1862. He visited Army camps at Fredericksburg, Va., Murfreesboro, Tn., and Vicksburg, Ms.. Within a few months, every site would have action: Fredericksburg Dec. 13th, Murfreesboro Dec. 31st-Jan. 2nd, and Chickasaw Bluff Dec. 28th.

2. SAME PLACE, SAME THING-- Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet were shot a year apart in the same manner about a half mile apart. Both were shot by friendly fire, Jackson at Chancellorsville and Longstreet at the Wilderness. However, Longstreet recovered.

1. LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON-- Junius Booth, father of John Wilkes Booth, sent a death threat to President Andrew Jackson in 1835. He wanted Jackson to commute the sentences of two men accused of piracy. However, he never carried through on the threat.

Who's Have Figured? --B-R'er

Now, That's Funny Stuff

The April 26th Listicles had the "12 Funniest Items of a Confederate Flag" in honor of the states celebrating Confederate Heritage month in April. This was essentially a put-down, but a funny one.

It's time for both sides to loosen up and get off the pc-bandwagon some.

1. Confederate Keds tennis shoes.
2. Confederate flag toilet paper "for wiping the South clean."
3. Confederate Civil War cannon toy.
4. Confederate flag rear-view mirror dice.

5. Confederate PSP decal for the Civil War game. (Play Station?)
6. Confederate flag gay pride tee shirt.
7. Confederate flag hermit crab shell.
8. Confederate flag guitars for those defiant Southern Rock solos.

9. Confederate flag with the silhouette of a beautiful girl.
10. Dukes of Hazzard digital watch
11. Confederate flag bow-tie.
12. Confederate flag bikini.

I have seen some of these items.

Time to Loosen Up. --Old B-Runner

Monday, May 3, 2010

115th New York Infantry

From the April 22nd North Carolina and the Civil War Blog by Michael C. Hardy.

Michael Hardy reviewed a regimental history by Mark Silo "The 115th New York in the Civil War: A Regimental History." I will write some about what Mr. hardy had to say since the regiment was at Fort Fisher and for seven weeks were garrisoned at Raleigh, of great personal interest to me.

This regiment could be called the hard-luck unit of the Civil War. It was mustered in in August of 1862, just in time to get captured when the Union Army at Harper's ferry, Virginia, surrendered to Confederate forces. They were paroled and while waiting for exchange at the Chicago Fairgrounds, a fire broke out, destroying their quarters.

When the unit reached Hilton Head, South Carolina, they were arrested for the barracks' destruction, but were later absolved of guilt.

In 1863, they served in Georgia and South Carolina. In 1864, they were in Florida and suffered heavy casualties at the Battle of Olustee. Then they were assigned to Butler's Army of the James and participated in the First Battle of Fort Fisher. At the Second battle of Fort Fisher, the unit lost 15 men.

They were camped close to the fort's magazine the night of the fort's capture, when it wxploded, leaving 11 more dead and 41 wounded.

An Interesting Unit History. --Old B-Runner

Confederate Statue Destroyed

Old news from the May 23, 2008, Franklin News Post.

A statue of a Confederate soldier which had stood nearly 100 years in front of the Franklin County, Virginai, courthouse was destroyed by John Ozmore who crashed his Chevy S-10 into it. He was fined $40 for improper driving.

Since then, efforts have been made to raise the $163,000 needed. Osmon's insurance company is expected to pay out $100,000 and the county has kicked in $62,000.

They are finding it hard to find someone who will be able to restore it.

It was originally put up by the General Jubal A. Early Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

FOLLOW UP: The October 22, 2009 Franklin News Post reports that all the pieces will be transported to Graniteville, Vermont, where the pieces will be used to duplicate a new statue. Good news.

I Tell You, We Can't Get Any Respect. --Old B-Runner

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rededications in Niles, Michigan

From the April 30th South Bend (In) Tribune.

Two Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War events are planned for May 8th in Niles, Michigan.

One will be the marker to Brigadier General Henry A. Morrow, who as the colonel of the 24th Michigan (a part of the famous Iron Brigade for which US-12 is named) was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg. He was wounded twice more in the war at the battles of Wilderness and Petersburg. After the war, he married a Niles girl and moved there before dying at age 62 in 1891. He was buried in Silverbrook Cemetery.

The same day, there will be a rededication of a Civil War cannon, which appears in a photo to be a Parrott gun, at Riverfront Park.

No one knows much about its early history or even whether or not it was fired during the war. At one point it was in front of the old Niles Central School. At some point, it ended up in the city dump before being found by Orin Cain, who had it placed in front of the local American Legion which no longer exists.

Hopefully This Will Become a Permanent Spot for the Cannon. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Naperville, Illinois, Civil War Cannon

A couple years ago, restoration took place in Naperville's Central Park of Civil War monuments located there. Among then were the DuPage County Centennial Marker, Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the Naperville Centennial Marker and a 964 pound iron cannon.

This cannon was manufactured in Rome, Georgia, in 1861 or 1862 and captured. In 1871, it was given to Naperville and used in 4th of July celebrations until 1909 when the City Council gave it to the Public Buildings and Grounds committee to work with the local Grand Army of the Republic post to mount it in concrete in Central Park.

Some Illinois Civil War History. --B-R

Union Soldiers from McHenry County, Illinois

Since I now live in McHenry County, I have become interested in its role in the Civil War.

These Illinois regiments had companies composed largely of men from the county.

15TH ILLINOIS-- Companies A, C and F. Company A was organized April 22, 1861, in Woodstock, Illinois, and entered service May 24, 1861.

36TH ILLINOIS-- Co. A, from McHenry and Kane counties, Co. H from McHenry Co.

95TH ILLINOIS-- Companies A, C, D, E, F, H and I

153RD ILLINOIS-- Company K


8TH ILLINOIS-- Company G from McHenry and Cook counties.

17TH ILLINOIS-- Company G from McHenry County

A Fair Number of Men. --Old B-Runner