The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

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

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.


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.


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.


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


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.

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.


Theodore Hyatt at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery.


Henry Fox at Oaklawn Cemetery.


Edward Pike at the Chenoa Cemetery.


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