The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How Much is That Civil War Item in the Window?

Two Civil War flags captured from the CSS Tennessee, by Lt. Cmdr. G.H. Perkins and later gifted to his friend Captain Noyes as a New Year's present are at auction and expected to bring between $15,000 and $25,000 for the pair. They are accompanied with a card reading:

Signal Flags
Captured from the Rebel
Ram Steamer Tennessee
Mobile Bay August 5, 1864
By the Monitor "Chickasaw"


One is made of white muslin with the main panel appliqued with three navy blue crosses. stencilled with CSS Tennessee on back. 18 by 55 and a half inches.

The second one is 18 by 40 inches and made of tree alternation red and white vertical muslin panels.

You can view the flags at

Sure Would Look Nice in My Civil War Room, But Not at That Price. --Old B-Runner

Monday, June 28, 2010

The 18th North Carolina at Chancellorsville-- Wounding of Jackson

Back in December, 2009, I had several posts about the 18th North Carolina and the wounding of Stonewall Jackson that led to his death.

COMPANY F was called "The Scotch Boys" and had 94 officers and men. Of that number, 60 were 6 feet to 6 feet four inches in height, a very tall group for that time.

Nine companies of the 18th moved to Camp Wyatt, named for H.L. Wyatt, the first Confederate soldier killed in battle during the war (who was from North Carolina).

Camp Wyatt was located on James Burris' land near the head of the sound about a mile from present-day Carolina Beach, North Carolina. I have also seen it located about two miles north of Fort Fisher, about where Kure Beach is today. There is a Camp Wyatt Court in Kure Beach today.

On July 1, 1861, the regiment elected officers and was reorganized April 24, 1862. At that time, Private John D. Barry was elected captain of Company I.


At Chancellorsville, Col, Purdie and Adjutant McLaurin were out in front of the 18th's lines when they heard a few shots fired. They headed back to the lines as fast as they could, when the 18th "fired a terrific volley. How we escaped was wonderful. Horses with riders and horses without, came into lines with us.

We are friends, Cease firing! rang out, but too late. Stonewall Jackson and some of his staff wounded and some two or three couriers killed, was the result of the volley. I pulled the cape of his overcoat over the head of one of Hill's couriers."

Report of Adjutant William H. McLaurin.

To Be Continued. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Taylor Doesn't Want Military Man Marrying His Daughter, So Davis Resigns

While posted at Fort Dixon, Illinois, in 1832, Lt. Jefferson Davis fell deeply in love with Zachary Taylor's daughter Sarah. Taylor was the commander of the fort. However, Taylor did not want his daughter marrying a military man so Davis resigned.

At least that's the impression I got yesterday at the Dixon Museum. However, Sarah Taylor never went to Fort Dixon. However, she was at Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin, with her father and fort commander Zachary Taylor when Jefferson Davis met and fell in love with her.

Davis married Sarah Taylor June 17, 1835, and while visiting with his family,both newly weds caught malaria. Jefferson survived, but Sarah died, only three months after marriage. Her loss devastated the future president of the Confederacy.

Her brother Richard Taylor eventually became a general in the Confederate Army. Sarah, then, was the daughter of a US president, wife of the Confederacy's only president and sister of a Confederate general.

Sarah Taylor was born March 6, 1814 and died September 15, 1835.
Richard Taylor Jan. 7, 1826-April 12, 1879.

How Davis Got Out of Army Has Illinois Roots. --Old B-Runner

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dixon and the Civil War: Some Famous People At Fort Dixon Before the War

I've been in Dixon, Illinois, since Tuesday and preparing to leave tomorrow with perhaps a Civil War encampment on the way home in Franklin Grove.

Today, we mostly had talks and one was on Dixon's history. Obviously no battles were fought here, but there were some Civil War coincidences going back to the Black Hawk War in 1832. A major staging and supply fort was located here called Fort Dixon, named after the town's founder and ferry operator John Dixon. It wasn't all that much of a fort, an earthen wall surrounding two wooden blockhouses.

The fort's commander was one Zachary Taylor who went on to become president. He was in command of the regular army troops and had a Lieutenant Jefferson Davis who went on to become president of the Confederate States. Others at the fort included Robert Anderson, the Union commander at the fall of Fort Sumter, Winfield Scott, W.S. Harney and future Confederate General Albert Sydney Johnson.

One other man was there as well, a lanky Illinoisan who was captain of the militia by the name of Abraham Lincoln.

Whether or not the two met while there is not known, but our speaker said that the regular army didn't have much to do with the militia, so probably not.

The only statue of a young Abraham Lincoln from his Blackhawk War days stands on the site of Fort Dixon on the Rock River. I believe at one time I heard it is the only statue of Lincoln in his younger days.

Wouldn't That Have Been Something Had Lincoln and Davis met? --Old B-Runner

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Flags Over Fort Sumter

The good folks at HMDB, Historical Marker Database have another good one, this time at Fort Sumter out in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. This marker concerns the flags flying at the fort. The general public might not know the significance of them. Of course, the tallest is that of the current US flag.

FIRST NATIONAL FLAG OF THE CONFEDERACY-- Also called the Stars and Bars, not to be confused with the common rectangular Naval flag that is so-often confused with the real Confederate flag. Raised over the fort after its surrender in April 1861.

SOUTH CAROLINA FLAG-- its color and symbols represent important events in South Carolina military history. A blue flag with a crescent moon flew over the palmetto log fort that fought the British in the American Revolution.

SECOND NATIONAL FLAG OF THE CONFEDERACY-- Adopted 1862 which had a white field with the square Naval flag in the union.

1860 UNITED STATES FLAG-- had 33 stars

1865 UNITED STATES FLAG-- had 35 stars after Kansas and West Virginia joined the Union. The Confederate states still had their stars on it.

These were all flags that flew over Fort Sumter at one time or another during the war.

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

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Museum of the Confederacy Considering Fort Monroe Satellite Location

From the May 19th Daily Press in Virginia.

Richmond's Museum of the Confederacy is considering opening a satellite unit at Fort Monroe by the Chesapeake Bay where it will have a focus on their naval artifacts. The famous battle between the CSS Virginia and USS Monitor took place near here. Two other locations are being considered at Appomattox and Fredericksburg which will have other emphasis.

The museum has a large naval collection of swords, uniforms and models currently in storage because of lack of viewing space. On group of interest is the uniform, documents and effects of Robert Dabney Minor who was on the CSS Virginia but wounded the first day of battle against the wooden ships, March 8, 1862. His uniform if blue and gray, the blue from his days in the US Navy before the war.

The museum also has belongings of Matthew Fontaine Maury, the famous cartographer, historian and astronomer of the Confederate Navy.

Another item of interest is the battle flag of the CSS Shenandoah which carried on the war after the South surrendered.

With Fort, or Fortress, Monroe soon to be turned over to Virginia from the US military, this would be a great way to exhibit these artifacts, so hoping the plan goes through.

Hopefully, certain groups won't be antagonized about the possibility of people seeing more Confederate stuff.

A Museum By Any Other Name. --Old B-Runner

Monday, June 21, 2010

Morgan's Raid-- Montgomery, Ohio-- Part 2-- How to Have Your Horses Stolen and Still Come Out Ahead

By the time the Confederates got to Montgomery, the two columns were desperately seeking replacement mounts and spread out across the countryside. Some horse were just taken and in other instances, a trade was made (the unarmed farmers didn't have much choice).

One farmer, Nicholas Todd was hit particularly hard, losing four horse and a buggy. But, after the Kentucky horses regained their strength, Todd found out that two were thoroughbreds. After the war, he and his son began racing the traded horses as trotters and won many races. After that, many of Todd's descendants gave up farming altogether and operated racing stables.

Not only that, but the state of Ohio paid Todd $650 for the horses and buggy the raiders took.

Not a bad case of horse trading under duress.

Another farmer, William W. Fletcher, had a similar experience and had two horses taken only to find one was an exceptional trotter. Afterwards, he took home lots of racing cups and money for his loss. AND, the state reimbursed him $300 for his claim.

Now, this is an interesting story.

This information from"The Longest Raid of the Civil War" by Lester v. Horowitz.

How Could You Say making the Best of a Bad Situation? --Old B-Runner

Morgan's Raid-- Montgomery, Ohio-- Part 1

I guess I'd better get around to doing this account which I take from "The Longest Raid of the Civil War" by Lester V. Horowitz. My buddy Denny lent it to me and I have to return it this week at the Lincoln Highway Association's National Conference in Dixon, Illinois.

So, I'd best get cracking.

I drove through Montgomery, Ohio, several times back in a visit in Match. The first time was when I found out there were TWO Buffalo Wild Wings on US-22, Montgomery Road, that goes through the town. I went to the one way south and Denny and his group were at the one way north.

Anyway, pretty town that has been around a long time, since 1795 with lots of landmarks including a church that is featured on a Mort Kuntsler painting of Morgan's Civil War Raid. The old "3-C Highway (Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland) goes through it and it is today US-22.

Confederate General John Hunt Morgan's raid passed through town during its three-week raid through Indiana and Ohio in July 1863. That makes the town one of the few northern ones occupied by Confederate troops during he war.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

Letters Provide Look at "Crewel War"-- Part 1

From the January 2, 2008 Muskegon Chronicle "Civil War letters provide rare look at "crewel war" by Terry Judd.

The envelope has a US flag flying and a cannon firing with the words "Sure Cure for Treason and Traitors." Was it a sign of the times?

A total of 292 letters were donated by Wally Ewing of Grand Haven, Michigan, to the state's archives. They are from his great grandfather Henry McKendree Ewing of the 2nd Michigan.

On December 18, 1864, Ewing was in a military hospital squinting through his left eye after a Confederate bullet ripped through his tent and struck him in the right side of his head. Doctors were unable to save the eye. "My right eye I supposed I will never have the use of it anymore. The DR says he thinks my face won't be disfigured any. Well if I should be I will never disown the Cause ...I Shall not be Shamed of it. yet life wood Seam Sweeter if I cood See out of two eyes."

Henry Ewing enlisted in the spring of 1864 along with his brother-in-law, Al Hank, in the 2nd Michigan. Of 1819 men serving in the regiment, 118 were killed, 100 died from wounds, 15 died in Confederate prisons, 109 from disease and 208 discharged from wounds-- a 30% casualty rate.

More to Come. Old B-Runner

Saturday, June 19, 2010

General Newton Martin Curtis-- Part 6

On February 25, 1866, Emiline gave birth to Phoebe, the first of four daughters. Newton Curtis held a string of political appointments during the next 18 years. In 1866, he was Collector of Customs, in 1867 a Special treasury Agent. May was born in February 1868, Florence in 1873 and Elizabeth in 1878.

Starting in 1884, Curtis served seven terms as state assemblyman in New York and was elected to Congress from 1890 to 1897. Then, he became inspector of Soldiers' homes.

he maintained a home at 417 Elizabeth Street in Ogdensburg and at Irving Place in New York City.

he died at the New York City residence while walking on June 8, 1910, at age 75.

He wrote a popular book named "From Bull Run to Chancellorsville" about the 16th New York and was working on "The Making and Welding of the Nation" when he died. Too bad as this one likely would have covered his service after Chancellorsville which would have included Fort Fisher.

The article had quite a few pictures along with it. Again, see "Times Gone By" by Dave Shampine "A homegrown patriot DePeyster farmer rises to Civil War hero and statesman" in the May 16th Watertown News for the full article.

Quite a Man. --Old B-Runner

Friday, June 18, 2010

General Newton Martin Curtis-- Part 5

Curtis was prominent throughout the day for his personally leading the First Brigade from traverse to traverse. After the battle, General Adelbert Ames, the Second Division Commander, cited his "bravery, coolness and judgement. His service cannot be overestimated."

In addition, Curtis received a Medal of Honor "for extraordinary heroism." Continuing, "The first man to pass through the stockade, Brigadier General Curtis personally led each assault on the traverses and was four times wounded."

Definitely a soldiers' general. No hanging out behind the lines for N.M. Curtis.

In 1899, the Fort Fisher's commander, Col. William Lamb, met on stage at Canton's old town hall to start a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. "Both spoke, paying one another splendid comments."

Curtis was not a brigadier general at Fort Fisher, but his "gallant service" prompted Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to elevate him to that rank.

After Appomattox, Curtis served as Chief of Staff of the Department of Virginia and later commander of the Department of Southwest Virginia before ending his military career January 15, 1866.

Not Over Yet. --B-R'er

Running the Blockade: Aryans at Gettsburg-- Lincoln Memorabilia

Some New News About an Old War.

A big thanks to the excellent Civil War Interactive Site for alerting me to these stories. If you're a Civil War buff, you really have to put this on your favorites or get the feed.

1. ARYANS AT GETTYSBURG-- The June 18th Gettysburg Times reports the Aryan nation and 4 Civil Rights groups will be holding a rally at the old Cyclorama Building Saturday and the NPS is getting ready for it.

Sadly, I am sure these hate groups will be flying Confederate flags which will just get certain people to connect the flag with racism even worse than they already do.

They have the right to rally like this, but we also have the right to ignore them.

2. LINCOLN MEMORABILIA-- The June 17th WANDTV NBC News reports that Springfield, Illinois' Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum has received a rare photo and two letters from the Robert E. Myers, Jr. Trust in St. Louis.

The photo is a rare (one of only two known) picture of son Tad Lincoln at age 8 with his father. The two letters are referring to Col. Richard Dawson Goodwin raising a regiment of troops.

Members of the Myers family are descendants of the Goodwin family.

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

Thursday, June 17, 2010

General Newton Martin Curtis-- Part 4

At the Battle of Chancellorsville, the 16th lost 20 killed, 87 wounded and 49 missing.

On May 22, 1863, the 16th was mustered out of service with most joining other New York regiments.

On Jan. 15, 1865, he and the 121st New York, which had many former members of the 16th. Curtis described the action that day at Fort Fisher as " a hand-to hand contest with swords and bayonets."

"We gained possession of the seventh traverse at 4:45 p.m. ...and shortly after 5:15 p.m. ...when the sun was just disappearing...while the volunteers were assembling, I went father into the fort and has ascended a magazine or sand dune for the purpose of looking onto the angle of the bastion I intended to attack, when I was struck and disabled by two pieces of shell, one destroying the left eye and the other carrying away a portion of the bone at the base of the brain."

It would have been interesting to find out whether it was a Confederate or Union shell.

Not Finished Yet. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Southern Illinois in the Civil War

From the May 14th Southern Illinois History Examiner by Haley Kochling.

There were no major battles fought in Illinois, but the war touched home just as well. Parts of southern Illinois actually had talk of secession themselves. Williamson County even had a rally calling for "Egypt" to secede and join the Confederacy. Egypt refers to the very southern part of the state around the Cairo area.

Over 250,000 men from Illinois served in the Union military.

Fort/Camp Defiance was hastily built at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to serve as a base of operations to expedite food, ammunition and other supplies to Union forces. U.S. Grant was there from September 1861 to February 1862.

Seven miles northeast of Cairo is the town of Mound City. A shipyard was built there. At least three Union gunboats were outfitted there including the USS Cairo and USS Mound City. Ships could often be repaired there as well.

In 1862, Lincoln gave the authorization to purchase land in Mound City and in 1864, the Mound City National Cemetery became one of the 12 original national cemeteries.

More Than You Thought Happening in Illinois. --Blockade-R

General Newton Martin Curtis-- Part 3

The 16th also fought at the Peninsular battles of Gaines Mill and Malvern Hill. At Crampton's Pass in Maryland, out of 270 men, the regiment suffered 17 killed and 43 wounded. They were also at Antietam and Fredericksburg.

On October 23, 1862, Curtis was transferred to the newly-formed 142nd New York where he served as lieutenant-colonel until taking command upon his promotion to colonel Jan. 21, 1863.

On a leave of absence, he married Emeline Clark of Springfield, Illinois. (I'm not sure how he came to meet her. Perhaps through the Lincolns?) Looking at his obituary in the Jan. 15, 1901 Utica (NY) Globe, it says that he married Phoebe Davis, a friend of the Lincolns and distant relative of Jefferson Davis.

Curtis wrote a book about the 16th NY from Bull Run to Chancellorsville, at the Battle of Chancellorsville the regiment was never "put in a hotter fight, and never did they show more valor and fortitude than in the Battle of Salem Heights (also called Salem Church, the final assault at Chancellorsville) when it contended against overwhelming numbers."

At the time, he was in the 142nd NY, so this is a bit confusing.

A Brave Man, Nonetheless. --Old B-R'er

General Newton Martin Curtis-- Part 2

Curtis and his group arrived in Ogdensburg and were given gingham caps to wear as a unit designation until they received their uniforms. Accompanied by two bands, they and others marched off to the Northern Railroad depots and boarded a train for Albany where they became Co. G of the 16th New York Infantry.

They trained in Virginia and took part in McClellan's Peninsular Campaign where Curtis was wounded May 7, 1862, at West Point, Virginia, an important objective with its rail and York River transportation routes.

Major Joel J. Seaver wrote, "Captain Curtis, while urging on his men, was struck by a ball in his left breast, directly over the heart. The ball struck a rib, glanced around and came out his back. Twice he rallied his men after the shot, and, by his presence of mind and bravery, doubtless saved many a valuable life."

This bravery in action along with reluctance to stop after being wounded were benchmarks of Curtis' service. He was really a soldier's officer who would be right there with his men in the front line.

A Brave Officer. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

General Newton Martin Curtis

From Times Gone By column by Dave Shampine, "A homegrown patriot DePeyster farmer rises to Civil War hero and statesman" in Watertown (NY)Daily News, May 16th.

Newton Curtis, all 6 foot 7 inches of him was 25 years old and postmaster of DePeyster. In April, 1861, he had a meeting where he said "Patriotism is of no party. The Union must be preserved." he and 14 others vowed to serve in the Union Army right then and there.

On May 2, 1861, Curtis was elected captain of a company and led 64 others from dePeyster and Macomb to Ogdensburg. He returned from the war in 1865 wounded, a hero and a general.

The "Hero of Fort Fisher, as he came to be known, was involved in politics in St. Lawrence County on both a state and national level.

He was born May 21, 1835, the son of Johnathan Curtis, a veteran of the War of 1812. After attending DePeyster School, he went to Gouveneur Wesleyan Seminary. he became a farmer like his father, but also studied law.

In 1857, he became DePester's post master after losing badly in a race for county assembly.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

Monday, June 14, 2010

Scurvy in the Blockading Fleet

From the November 29, 2008 Round the Chuckbox Blog.

An August 9, 1863 report from Rear Admiral Dahlgren showed he was upset about the disability of his men due to scurvy reaching major proportions.

he went on to add that this could be taken care of with fresh vegetables on a daily basis. It didn't matter if the meat was fresh or not.

Serve Healthy. --Old B-Runner

General Newton Martin Curtis Statue

There is a statue of Fort Fisher hero Union General Newton Curtis overlooking the St. Lawrence River in Ogdensburg, New York.

It was made by sculptor Roland Hinton Perry and dedicated in 1913. The general is buried at Ogdensburg Cemetery.

At one time, it stood by the post office, but had been moved to Morrisette Park by the river.

The general was born May 21, 1835 and died January 8, 1910.

After the war, he became a really good friend with Fort Fisher's commander, Col. William Lamb, who was also wounded at the second battle.

A Soldier's Commander. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What We Need is a Route 66 Civil War in Illinois Motor Tour

Right now, Liz and I are in Fenton, Missouri, getting ready to join the Route 66 Association of Illinois 2010 Motor Tour to cross the famous Chain of Rocks Bridge over the Mississippi River north of St. Louis.

Later, today, we will be in the Illinois towns of Collinsville, Edwardsville, Hamel, Mount Olive, Litchfield and Carlinville.

No major Civil War battles were fought in any of them, but I'm sure there were GAR posts as well as veteran burials in each of these towns. Probably even some Confederate veterans interred as well. Also there might be famous persons, other than, of course, Abraham Lincoln, from the area. I already know about a woman who secretly served in the Union Army as a soldier who is buried in Sauneman, near Pontiac.

I am going to talk to some association folk at the Route 66 Hall of Fame banquet and induction tonight about having next year's tour focus on the Civil War in honor of the sesquicentennial of it starting next year.

I am willing to do something I don't often do, and that is to volunteer to do something. I'd sure like to do the research for stops along next year's tour.

I'm sure no tour has ever had the Civil War as its focus. This would be combining two of my all-time favorite things.

Maybe I'll Get Lucky and They Won't be Interested. --Old B-Runner

Friday, June 11, 2010

Civil War Flags at Fort Sumter

Back on May 18th, the good folks at HMDB, had a marker at Fort Sumter explaining about the five flags flying from the smaller flagpoles. All flew over the fort during the Civil War. Of course, the current US flag is on the tallest pole.

FIRST OFFICIAL FLAG OF THE CONFEDERACY--Also known as the Stars and Bars. Raised April 1861 after Confederate troops took over Fort Sumter after the surrender.

SECOND NATIONAL FLAG of the Confederacy from 1863

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE FLAG-- Adopted 1861 shows military events in state history. A blue flag with a silver crescent flew over a palmetto fort during the American Revolution, now the site nof Fort Moultrie.

1860 US FLAG-- Flag at the fort before it was surrendered to the Confederates in 1861. Had 33 stars.

1865 US FLAG-- Flag raised at the fort after Union recaptured it in February 1865. Had 35 stars as West Virginia and Kansas had entered the Union.

Always a Big Thanks to HMDB (Historical Marker Database) for Their Excellent Coverage of History on a Stick. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, June 10, 2010

How About Those Confederate Holidays

The June 9th Huntsville (Al) Times had an article about southern states and their celebrations of Confederate holidays.

It said that Alabama and Mississippi lead the former southern states with three days of. Alabama celebrates Jefferson Davis' birthday, Confederate memorial Day and Robert E. Lee's birthday, which is on the same day as Martin Luther King's.

Four southern states: Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana and Kentucky do not celebrate any.

Arkansas combines Lee's and King's birthdays.

South Carolina celebrates Confederate Memorial Day. Georgia has Confederate Memorial Day and Lee's birthday.

Virginia combines Lee and Jackson's birthday on the same day.

Texas has Confederate heroes Day.

Alabama Representative John Rogers says his Black Caucus will not interfere with the state's longstanding Confederate holidays because state employees, including blacks look forward to the day off and could care less about their Confederate orientation.

That's the Way to Approach It. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Man's Mission to Honor Fort Fisher Heroes-- Part 2

Continuing with the list of men whose actions at Fort Fisher should be honored:


OSCAR R. KINGSLAND-- 112th NY after enlisting in the 28th NY Light Artillery. Wounded at Fort Fisher and died April 28, 1865. Buried at the Wilmington (NC) National Cemetery.

WILLIAM J. MCDUFFIE-- 142nd NY, promoted to corporal March 1, 1865.

DAVID H. MORGAN-- 142nd NY, born Feb. 29, 1844. Died Jan. 14, 1887.

SAMUEL L. PORTEOUS-- 142nd NY. Born Aug. 3, 1836. Died Feb. 17, 1880

JAMES SPRING-- 142nd NY Volunteer Infantry who lied about his age to enlist. He presented Curtis with a captured Confederate flag (probably at the first battle) and was later killed in the second Battle of Fort Fisher.

I mentioned his name back on in connection with Alaric Chapin on May 15th.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the attempt to get honors.

Heroes, All. --Old B-Runner

Monday, June 7, 2010

Man's Mission to Honor Fort Fisher Heroes-- Part 1

May 16th Watertown (NY) Daily News "Man's mission to honor Fort Fisher Battle Hero" by Dave Shampine.

Ted Stone of Warwick, Rhode Island is on a mission to see that a dozen veterans of Fort Fisher get recognized for their heroism.

*** EDWARD PETRIE-- 142nd NY. Promoted to corporal March 1, 1865. Born 1846. Died Nov. 29, 1930.

*** SILAS BAKER-- 142nd NY. Killed at Fort Fisher Jan. 15, 1865. Listed as missing.

*** JAMES E. CADMAN or CRAMER-- 142nd NY. Wounded at Fort Fisher Jan. 15, 1865.

*** WILLIAM D. CABE (could be a mispelling)-- 142nd NY

*** DEWITT C. HOTCHKISS-- 112nd NY-- Served on the USS Monitor as a member of the Infantry Marine Service. Lived in Poland, NY. Had three children. Died 1933. Buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Stockton, NY.

These are all members of a 12 man group who were recommended for a Medal of Honor for their actions at Fort Fisher Jab. 15, 1865.

Heroes All. --Old B-Runner

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cleveland's Soldiers and Sailors Monument Restored-- Part 2

From the June 2nd Cleveland Plain Dealer "Historic emblems restored in the gardens of Cleveland's Soldiers and Sailors Monument" by Susan Low.

The Gardeners of America of Greater Cleveland have been mighty busy lately bringing a part of history back to this honored monument in downtown Cleveland. They have been planting flowers in such a way as to represent Union Corps badges.

From the late 1800s to the 1940s, flowers were planted in three of the surrounding open areas to represent the 24 Union Army Corps badges.

On the fourth area, badges of postwar Union organizations were planted: The Grand Army of the Republic, The Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, Women's Relief Corps, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Daughters of Union Veterans, Society of the Army of the Cumberland and the Society of the Army of West Virginia.

By the 1940s, all of the plantings had been eliminated, probably because of war expenses.

The Gardeners planted some 17,000 annuals from 228 flats holding 72 flowers each.

Ooh My aching Back. --Old B-Runner

Cleveland's Soldiers and Sailors Monument Restored-- Part 1

From the June 4th Cleveland Plains Dealer. "Soldiers and Sailors Monument hosts grand reopening after $2 million restoration" by Brian Albrecht.

The 116-year-old Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Cleveland now has a much brighter interior with its new lighting system and other improvements both inside and outside after a two year, $2 million restoration. In addition, you can now see the battle flags of the 7th and 8th Ohio infantry regiments and the 10th Ohio Cavalry. The stained glass has been restored as well.

It was built in 1894 and stands 125 feet high in Public square honoring the 9,000 Cayahoga residents who served

Ceremonies took place June 4th and today when Governor Ted Strickland gives the keynote address.

Something Else to See in the Buckeye State. --Old B-Runner

Friday, June 4, 2010

Last Local Link to the Civil War-- Part 2

Hugh McCugh was promoted three times. On April 18, 1862 to 1st sergeant; 2nd lieutenant March 2, 1863; 1st lieutenant June 22, 1865. He was discharged in Cleveland June 22, 1865 and got his final pay and returned to Hanover and worked as a farmer for seven years.

He moved to Edwardsville, Illinois, in the early 1870s and farmed. Martha A. McTee became his wife on April 4, 1874 and they had five children.

In 1890, he moved to Collinsville and joined the Samuel T. Hughs Post 534 GAR and served as post secretary.

At age 83, McCugh and four other post members were in a parade for the unveiling of the Union Soldier monument at City Hall on June 14, 1926. They were guests of honor of the Daughters of Union Veterans Tent #14 who had raised the money for the memorial and organized the parade.

He died April 9, 1935, and his being the last member of the Grand Army of the Republic post, brought the end of the GAR's presence in Collinsville. His military rites were handled by the Sons of Union Veterans and the American Legion Post 365.

An Interesting Story. --B-R'er

A Last Local Link to the Civil War

From the May 26th Suburban Journals serving the St. Louis Metro Area "A last local link to the Civil War" by Gene Beals.

Hugh McCugh (kind of rhymes) was born in Hanover, Columbiana County, Ohio, May 6, 1843 and lived his early life there, entering Mount Union College before enlisting as a private in Co. H, 19th Ohio, on April 27, 1861 at Cleveland. The regiment was mustered in for 90 day's service on May 29, 1861 and carried out guard duty along railroads in what was to become West Virginia.

They fought at the Battle of Rich Mountain July 1, 1861 and returned to Columbus before being mustered out Aug. 18th.

McCugh then re-enlisted in Co. K, 115th Ohio, August 7, 1862, at Camp Massillon, Ohio. The 115th was assigned duty to protect blockhouses and bridges along the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad in Tennessee, partly because of the large number of mechanics and artisans in the unit.

They were also at the siege of Murfreesboro December 5 to 12th. They fought quite a few battles at the blockhouse which often came under attack as Confederates attempted to disrupt Union transportation. The regiment was spread out by companies at various sites along the railroad.

Some of the skirmishes/battles:

Block House 4 August 31, 1864
Block House #2 Dec. 2-3, 1864
Block House #1 Dec. 3rd
Block House #3 Dec. 3rd
Block House #4 Dec. 4th

There must have been a concerted Confederate attack going on in early December.

The regiment and McCugh were mustered out June 1865. During the war, one officer and 18 enlisted men were killed in action or mortally wounded. Four officers and 138 men succumbed to disease.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Fort Sumter

The good folks at HMDB give us this one regarding a marker located inside Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

While in Confederate hands, it really took a pounding, especially in 1863. These are taken from dispatches from the fort.

AUGUST 14th-- 470 laborers and mechanics working in two reliefs"day and night upon defenses of the fort>"

AUGUST 18th-- Enemy bombarded rapidly from 5 am to 7 pm: 876 "shots and shells were fired; 452 struck outside, 244 inside and 180 passed over."

AUGUST 24th-- "210 negros engaged all night in strengthening western magazine.... The flagstaff was shot away twice. The garrison worked all night."

SEPTEMBER 4th-- "There is now not a single gun en barbette (meaning on top of the parapet and not firing from an embrasure)....The northeastern and northwestern terre plain have fallen in....The greater portion of the southern wall is down. The eastern wall is very near shot away."

Before the war, the fort had three levels, but the fort was in ruins by the end of it. More of a pile of bricks than anything else. Partly rebuilt in the 1870s. Battery Huger was built in the fort during the Spanish-American War. The fort continued to be part of the US coastal defense system until after World War II.

Took a Pounding, But Kept on Ticking. --B'R'er

A Look at a Confederate Regiment-- The 18th NC-- Part 1

A look at the 18th North Carolina Infantry. From William H. McLaurin, adjutant.

Co. A from Wilmington
Co. B from Bladen County
Co. C from Columbus
Co. D from Robeson County
Co. E from new Hanover County (now Pender County)
Co. F from Richmond
Co. G from Wilmington
Co. H from Columbus
Co. I from Wilmington
Co. K from Bladen

Companies A, G and I were organized long before the war.

Company A was called the "German Volunteers" the only distinctly foreign citizenship unit in the regiment.
Co. C was also called the Wilmington Light Infantry.
Co. I was the Wilmington Rifle Guards. At one time it had 100 men between the ages of 16 and 22 and only one married one.

definitely a Southeastern North Carolina Unit. --Old B-Runner

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Four Groups of Union Navy Enlisted Men

Taken from the Yahoo Civil War Naval and Marine e-mail group. These were written by Steve Hesson who knows more about the day-to-day operations of the Union Navy during the war than most people.

BOYS--Usually officers' servants. First Class Boys could read, Second Class couldn't.

LANDSMEN-- unskilled labor with no prior service in the Navy. Essentially strong backs.

SEAMEN-- Skilled labor. Divided by skill and experience.


Only officers held rank. Enlisted sailors held rate. Today, it would be called pay grades.

ORDINARY SEAMEN-- had some nautical skills and had spent some time aboard ships. They were usually former landsmen.

ABLE SEAMEN-- knew their jobs well.


These groups made up the men who ran the ship's engine.

COAL HEAVER-- No skills, strong backs, Landsmen

WIPERS-- wipe up oil drips (that figures) and kept eye on moving engine parts.

OILERS-- oiled moving parts (figures). They also could make adjustments and repairs.

FIREMAN FIRST CLASS-- considered a petty officer.

I imagine this system would also be on Confederate ships since the CS Navy was based on the US Navy.

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

All Right, Who Stole the Colonel's Sword?

From the June 1st Boston Herald.

The sword of Col. Robert Gould Shaw on the 54th Massachusetts relief memorial in Boston is missing again. And, no one really knows who has it or where it is although everyone agrees it gets stolen all the time.

Some think it might be in some governmental office for safe-keeping and others think some fans took it in celebration of the Boston Celtics' 2008 basketball championship. It seems to go missing most often after a Boston team wins.

It was designed by famous sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens and dedicated in 1899 to honor the 54th Massachusetts and its white colonel, the first all-black Union regiment which served with distinction at Fort Wagner in Charleston and was shown in the movie "Glory."

I Don't Have It. At Least That's My Excuse. --Old B-R'er

The USS Underwriter

From Wikipedia.

Yesterday, I wrote about the capture of the USS Underwriter by John Taylor Wood.

Here's some information about the USS Underwriter:
341 tons, 170 feet long, 23'7" beam, built 1852 and mounted two cannons.

The US Navy bought it August 23, 1861 and sent it to serve in the Potomac River Flotilla before joining the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron where it operated in the sounds and rivers because of its shallow draft. It assisted in the capture of New Bern, NC March 13-14, 1862.

After its destruction, it was found that the boilers and engine was in good shape and was salvaged. Its exact wreck site was located in 1964.

Now, You Know. --Old B-Runner

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

John Taylor Wood, CSN and the USS Underwriter

From the May 10th HMDB covering a Civil War Trails marker regarding Wood and the capture and sinking of the USS Underwriter by New Bern, North Carolina.

In January 1864, Lee wrote Davis that he thought a "bold party" could go down the Neuse River at night and capture a Federal gunboat and use it in an assault on New Bern that was to take place with 5000 Confederates and 16 cannons under Gen. Pickett.

On Jan. 31st, a Confederate Navy raiding party left Kinston and rowed along the river. John Taylor Wood, nephew of Davis and grandson of former President Zachary Taylor was in command. He had experience, having been on several other "cutting out" expeditions" that had captured US ships.

With him he had between 250 and 300 men 25 Marines and 35 officers on 14 boats.

They found the 186 foot long USS Underwriter mounting four cannons. Wood divided his force into two divisions. At 2:30 am, Feb. 2nd, Wood boarded the ship and captured it after ten minutes of brutal hand-to-hand fighting captured it.

Unfortunately, the fires were banked and the ship came under fire from Union forts Stevenson and Anderson and Wood had to destroy the ship. At 4:30 am, the ship blew up.

Confederate losses were 5 killed, 15 wounded and 4 captured. The Union lost 9 killed and 20 wounded.

Lt. Benjamin Loyall was later promoted to commander of the CSS Neuse. Just sixteen days after the attack, one enlisted man lost his life in the H.L. Hunley's attack on the USS Housatonic.

The wreck of the Underwriter still lies at the bottom of the Neuse River.

The marker was erected by the Lenoir County Battlefields Commission in Kinston.

Kinston is one town that has done a lot with its Civil War heritage.

A Tale of Bravery. --Blockade-R

The 8th Iowa Cavalry Regiment

Since there wasn't a lot about John A. Reiber's military service in the earlier blog today, I looked up his regiment and found this information.

The regiment was mustered into service September 30, 1863. During the course of the war 1442 men served in the unit. A total of 15 enlisted men were killed in action or died from wounds. Many more, 3 officers and 176 soldiers died of disease.

They were sent to Tennessee and had to put up with a very hostile populace. Later, they took part in the Battle of Atlanta and Battle of Nashville. In 1865, they were along for an expedition into Mississippi and then Wilson's Raid against Macon, Georgia.

They were mustered out of service in August of 1865.

Those Hawkeye Boys. --B-R'er

Civil War Veteran's Grave Gets Marked

From May 7th Central Iowa Times-Republican "After 112 years, grave of local Civil War veteran marked" by Tammy R. Lawson.

For all those years, the grave of John A. Reiber lay unmarked in Marshalltown, Iowa. But, no longer. A 200 pound granite headstone has been places after much research and effort.

John Reiber was born December 28, 1823 in Pennsylvania. He eventually moved to Marshalltown where he joined the Army in 1863 as a private in Co. I, 8th Iowa Cavalry, one of the oldest at nearly 40 years of age, definitely old for soldier service.

He died suddenly at his home at 409 Union Street January 31, 1898, of heart disease, leaving behind a wife and six children.

A ceremony was held for the new marker consisting of Co. A 49th Iowa, The Governor's Own Iowa Rifles, the SUV Department of Iowa Color Guard Unit and the Iowa 7th cavalry.

Always Great to Have a Veteran remembered. --Old B-Runner