Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"Real Daughter" of the Union

From the March 19, 2011, (Mo.) News-Leader "Woman, 95, has close ties to Civil War past."

Lorene Miller Meadows, 95, is a "Real Daughetr" member of the Daughters of Union Veterans organization.  Her father was James Alexander Miller who was 17 when he enlisted April 4, 1864, in Nashville, Tennessee, and served in the war's last year.

By July 31st, he had been captured and held at Andersonville and remained a prisoner for the rest of the war.  Miller was paroled at Jacksonville, Florida, April 28, 1865, nineteen days after Lee's surrender.  He evidently had been moved from Andersonville as Union forces approached and very likely was held at the short-lived prison camp which was just located last year (can't remember the name, but I wrote about it).

On November 11, 1866, he married Angeline Shearer, and had seven children, moving to Missouri in 1872.  Angeline died in 1910 and Miller married Agnes Ward in 1913 and they had one child, Lorene Elizabeth, born in 1915. 

Her father, James, died of pneumonia April 5, 1920, when Lorene was five.  He is buried next to Angeline near Mt. Vernon, Missouri.  She has few memories of her father, but her mother told her stories her husband had told her about the horrors of Andersonville.

Those Old Guys, Both Blue and Gray, Were Having Children Way Late in Life.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Civil War Sites to See in Maryland-- Part2

5.  MONOCACY NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD--  Frederick.  Union forces under Gen. Lew Wallace delayed the Confederate march on Washington, DC, in 1864.


7.  POINT LOOKOUT STATE PARK--  Where the Potomac Rivers enters the Chesapeake Bay.  Confederate prison camp.

8.  SOUTH MOUNTAIN STATE BATTLEFIELD--  Middleton.  The clash of armies before Antietam.

9.  SURRATT HOUSE MUSEUM--  Clinton.  Former inn where John Wilkes Booth and others plotted killing Lincoln and other members of the government.

And You Thought There Wasn't Much to See in Maryland.  --Old Secesh

Friday, January 27, 2012

Civil War Sites to See in Maryland-- Part1

From the April 18, 2011, Baltimore Sun Travel Wires.

Just in case you thought there isn't much to see in the state involving the Civil War.

Of course, #1, there is the real biggie, one of the bloodiest days in American history, ANTIETAM NATIONAL BATTLEFIELD.

#2. FORT McHENRY, Baltimore.  used as a prison camp for Southern sympathizers and soldiers.

#3  MARYLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Baltimore.  largest and most comprehensive war exhibit in the state.

4.  SAMUEL MUDD'S HOUSE, Waldorf.  Where John Wilkes Booth had his leg set after assassinating President Lincoln.  Muss was imprisoned, but later released.

Five More to Come.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Confederacy's Only US President Buried 150 Years Ago-- Part 2

At the end of his presidency, John Tyler returned to his Virginia home just outside Richmond where he remained largely out of politics until the Virginia secession crisis of 1861.  A strong advocate of states rights, he nonetheless worked for a compromise to keep Virginia from leaving the Union.  And, he especially worked against Virginia going to war.

After he failed, he stood with his state and supported the Confederacy, even becoming a member of the House of Representatives shortly before his death.

Upon his death, he became the only US president whose death was not officially recognized in Washington, DC due to his allegiance to the Confederacy.

Despite his wishes for a simple funeral, the Confederate government gave him a state one with all the pomp and circumstance that entails.

After lying in state, the body was taken from the Capitol to St. Paul's Church where Bishop Johns gave an eloquent sermon to a packed house.  Then, the group went to Hollywood Cemetery where Tyler was buried near President James Monroe.  President Jefferson Davis, his cabinet, most of the Congress and many state officials attended.

The graves of both presidents are found in President's Circle at the cemetery.

A Leader in Two Countries.  --Old Secesh

The Confederacy's Only US President Buried 150 Years Ago-- Part 1

From the RVA News 150, Richmond, Virginia.  It is kind of strange that I would come across this article just a day after my wife forwarded me an article about how President Tyler still has two living grandchildren.  I will be writing about that on my history blog, Cooter's History Thing.

As the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia, was host to many state funerals in it streets during the course of the war.  The persons were often buried in the city's Hollywood Cemetery.

On January 22, 1862, the new country buried its first and only United States president, John Tyler.  Referred to by his opponents as "His Accidency" or "The Accidental President" John Tyler, the 10th president had ascended to that position upon the sudden death of William Henry Harrison a few weeks into his term, the first vice president to do so in the succession plan.

President Tyler died January 18, 1862, and his funeral procession was held Jan. 22nd after a full-fledged state funeral.  He had passed away at age 71 at the Exchange Hotel in Richmond.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Looking Into the Generals' Eyes

Frpm the Business Insider site.

Some really nice close up shots of the faces of notable generals on both sides, including:

1.  Robert E. Lee
2.  P.G.T. Beauregard
3.  A.P. Hill
4.  John B. Hood
5.  Stonewall Jackson
6.  Joseph Johnston
7.  Jeb Stuart

8.  U.S. Grant
9.  William Tecumseh Sherman
10.  Winnfield Scott
11.  Ambrose E. Burnside (if you can avoid staring at those huge sideburns)
12.  George McClellan
13.  Philip Sheridan
14.  George Custer (already a legend in his own mind)

I was guessing names before I saw the caption and got them all right.

I Are So Smart.  --Old Secesh

Monday, January 23, 2012

A "Rebel" Retirement Home for Yankees-- Part 3

Continued from the Jan. 3rd blog entry.

As Union veterans aged, retirement communities were built.  The first land offering in what is today Lynn Haven, Florida,  (Near Panama City) was January 11, 1911.  A five acre plot was offered for $150.

Seth Flint, the bugler, bought a five acre lot and built a home at what is now the corner of Fifth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

By 1913, the veterans were planning a memorial monument and plaque and by 1920 had raised enough money to build and dedicate it.  It is the only town Union monument south of the Mason-Dixon line.

The number of Union veterans began dropping by then and soon none were left. But the monument remains.

The Original Snowbirds?  --Old Secesh

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Tweren't Nary a Wild Hog to Be Seen

No wild hogs, but plenty of walkers, joggers and dog walks.

Yesterday, we visited Vicksburg National Military Park in Vicksburg, Mississoppi, amd, despite all the press about wild jogs being in the park, never saw any.

But,what we did see were lots and lots of the aforementioned, less wild, humans and domesticated animals.  Especially toward twilight.

Must Have "Skeered" the Varmints Away.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Alabama's Last Real Daughter

Some more information on the death of Norma Vivian Smith as reported on the last blog from the Jan. 9th Birmingham (Al) News.

She was buried January 9th. 

Her father, Thomas Jefferson Denney, was born in 1843 and about 18 when he joined the Confederate Army.  While in his 80s, he married Dora, his fourth wife, who was a widow in her 40s.  Dora was Norma's mother.  She was born Dec. 22, 1922, and her father died at age 91, in 1934.

The Real Daughters Club of the United Daughters of the Confederacy lists 16 living real daughters.  The Sons of Confederate Veterans lists 24 Real Sons.

Those Old Rebels Were Sure Virile into Their Old Age.  --Old Secesh

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Running the Blockade: Wild Hogs-- Real Daughter

Some New News About an Old War.

1.  WILD HOGS--  Wild hogs have been reported rooting around the 1,800 acre Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi after being forced there because of flooding in 2011.  They were first reported n May 2011.  Removal will be a problem and they can be dangerous, weighing in at as much as 200 pounds and then there are those tusks.

So, be careful out there.

2.  REAL DAUGHTER--  From Jan. 10th Cullman, (Al) Times--Norma Vivian Smith died Jan. 7th at age 88 and is believed to have been the last Real Daughter of the Confederacy in Alabama.

She was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Denney of Co. H 31st Alabama who was captured June 15, 1864, near Marietta, Georgia, and held prisoner in Rock Island, Illinois.

Her brother, Tyus K. Denney, 91, is believed to be the last Real Son and still lives.

Oink, Oink!!  --Old Secesh

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Some More on Lynn Haven

I got the photo of Roberts Hall, mentioned in the previous post.  Along with it came the information that it was built as a store with an upstairs meeting room used by the International Order of Odd Fellows and the local Grant Army of the Republic (GAR) for their meetings.The GAR was an organization of Union veterans formed after the war.  After all, these were Union veterans retiring to Lynn Haven.

Evidently, at least one church opened in 1911, the United Methodist Church, which is also celebrated its centennial last year.

I also believe that there is a monument to Union soldiers in Lynn Haven, something you don't often see in the South.

Stuff You Didn't Know.  --Old Secesh

Lynn Haven, Fl., Turns 100

From the Jan. 12th Panama City News Herald "Capturing Time" byAli Helgoth.

So, what does this have to do with the Civil War, which had been over 46 years when the town was founded?

I wrote about it last week in this blog about Union soldiers retiring to Lynn Haven starting in 1911.  These folks wouldn't be considered snowbirds since they did not return north when winter was over.  However, they could be considered the "First Wave" on northerners retiring south to escape winter.

A time capsule was buried in Lynn Haven (near Panama City) Wednesday to be opened in fifty years for the town's sesquicentennial.  Fourteen children were asked to be on hand for that future event.  When the capsule is opened, there will be coins from 1911, 1961 and 2011, a Florida commemorative coin and other items.

Resident Bobby Roberts has deep ties to Lynn Haven.  His great-great-grandfather, Andrew Jackson Gay, was one of the early investors in the St. Andrews Bay Development Co., which started the town in 1911.  Another great-great grandfather, William Martin, was a Union veteran who moved to the retirement city.

His daughter's family joined him and her husband, Lee Jay Roberts, who built Roberts Hall in 1912.

The ceremony marked the end of a years' worth of ceremonies commemorating the event, including a gala, Memorial Day celebration, block party, Christmas tree lighting, Heritage Trail Day and a run.

Way to Go, Lynn Haven!!  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


While in Mobile , Alabama's "The Bar" this past Saturday, getting ready for the Go-Daddy Bowl Mardi Gras parade, I happened to see a neat sign back behind the bar reading "A.S.A.P."
Underneath it, there were the words: "As Southern As Possible."

I had to admit it.  I really liked it.  The folks at the bar did not know where they got it, but I'll be keeping an eye open for it.

I did find some other ASAP signs listed around.

As Any SCVer Would Know.  ASAP!!  --Old Secesh

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What is a "Secesh?"

My brother Bob wanted to know what the term "secesh" means which I am using to sign off my entries, since Old B-Runner or Old B-R'er is now used in the Naval blog.

Secesh was a term used derisively by Northerners to call Southerners who had seceded from the Union.  If you seceded, you were a secessionist which they shortened to secesh.

I'd seen the term before, but it really struck home when a fellow teacher came up to me with some family letters from the Civil War in which her ancestors, fighting for the Union, continually referred to Confederates as the Secesh.  She had never seen the term before.

I explained it to her.  Case solved.

What's in a Name?  --Old Secesh

Mobile's Mardi Gras During the War

From the Museum of Mobile website.

In 1861, the first Mardi Gras group, the Bouef Gras Society, disbanded because so many of its young men were off fighting for the new Confederacy.

Evidently, the observance continued throughout the war years until the 1865 one was called off because of the Union victory at the Battle of Mobile Bay in August 1864, which gave Union forces entry into the bay.  It was decided that the time could better e put to use preparing the defense of Mobile which was still in Confederate hands.

The Mardi Gras celebration renewed itself in 1866, partly in defiance of Union troops occupying Mobile.

It's a War Thing.  --Old Secesh

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Real Civil War Shaping Up

Yesterday, we drove right through the heart of enemy territory, at first unaware, but Liz thought she saw a sign announcing a route right into the enemy camp.  We chose not to confront them at their home base, in Jonesboro, Arkansas, but rather to meet up with the rest of our army down at Mobile, Alabama, where the final showdown is expected.

These southerners, who call themselves the Red Wolves, must not have expected a bunch of northerners calling themselves Huskies from Illinois to come slipping through their country, Arkansas.  Other than the sign, we didn't even see any skirmish lines or even patrols, or even anyone wearing hats or uniforms with that stAte on them.

Maybe they were all grouping together down at Mobile awaiting our arrival. 

We were sliding by on a major route connecting our two countries, I-55.

We made it into Mississippi, where we went into encampment at the little town of Canton, right outside the state capital of Jackson.  Today, we plan to get to Mobile for our first encounter with these Red Wolves, who have won nine straight battles and are 10-2 so far this year.  They are confident, despite losing their general in the last battle.

Our forces, under command of Doeren, have won seven battles in a row and are 10-3 at this time, so it is a battle between two armies that have been winning of late.  Promises to be a real exciting and close battle.  The winner gets to take the battle championship, Go-Daddy, back home.

I did some major recon on the "enemy" via this contraption today.

Here's Hoping for a Northern Victory.  --Old Huskie for the Time Being.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A "Rebel" Retirement Home for Union Soldiers-- Part 2

So, I guess this could be considered the second Yankee invasion, if you count the first as the war itself.


Before the war, salt was imported to the South from the North or Europe.  It was more than just a seasoning, but also important for preservation in those pre-refrigerator days.  During the war, Confederate soldiers typically received a 1.5 pounds of salt monthly ration.

However, with the war and blockade, supplies were cut off.   The price of salt soared and by the end of 1861, salt-making was the biggest industry in St. Andrews (by present-day Panama City).  Salt prices went up to a dollar a pound in the first months of the war and continued to rise.  A salt maker could earn $180 a day getting salt from seawater through an evaporation process.

During the course of the war, it is estimated that some 5,000 in the St. Andrews area were involved in the slat industry in one fashion or another.

Of course, this drew the attention of Union vessels patrolling off shore.  Every so often they would lead raids onto the shore.

Must Be That Lost Chigger of Salt Jimmy Sings About.  --Old Secesh

A "Rebel" Retirement Home for Union Soldiers-- Part 1

From the Feb, 27, 2011, Panama City (Fl) News Herald "Southern City, Union Pride" by Ali Helgoth.

On April 9, 1865, Seth M. Flint played taps on the bugle for the Confederate surrender at Appomattox.  His account of the event was published in the Saturday Evening Post, 75 years later.

The town of Lyn Haven, Florida, was founded in 1911 as a retirement community for Union soldiers, along with other communities in Fitzgerald, Georgia, and St. Cloud, Florida.

Union soldiers were the first to receive their Civil War pensions and Grand Army of the Republic papers carried advertisements to return to the sunny south, this time, instead of conquerors, to live out their lives.  So it started even back then.

Florida's Panhandle was not the scene of major fighting during the war, but there was a lot of activity involving salt works and blockade-running.

Come to Sunny F-L-A.  --Old Secesh

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pittsburgh Goes to War-- Part 2

Only Philadelphia County supplied more Pennsylvania troops to the Union war effort than Pittsburgh.

The Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, brought quite a "war scare" to Pittsburgh.  The city could get no reliable information on the location of Lee's Confederate Army.  Construction on a series of forts began immediately.  Rumors spread rapidly by telegraph.

However, Pittsburgh did suffer some war-related casualties when, on September 17, 1862, the same day as the Battle of Antietam, an explosion at the Allegheny Arsenal (formerly located in Lawrenceville, killed 78 women and wounded 25.  Females replaced men who had gone off to war.

This was the largest-ever loss of women during wartime and some of them were as young as 14.

Today, it is the site of Arsenal Park in the Lawrenceville neighborhood.

Never Heard of This Explosion.  --Old Secesh

Pittsburgh Goes to War-- Part 1

From the April 7th Duquesne Duke student newspaper.

No fighting occurred in the city, but Pittsburgh became a major producer of arms and war materials as well as an importing shipping route due to river and railroad transportation.

The Fort Pitt Foundry produced the Union's largest cannons as well as iron plate for ironclads.

Pittsburgh was also the only major Union city with a direct river route to the Mississippi (what about Cincinnati?)

Duquesne archivist Tom White said, "Most of the city, most of the industrial base and every industry gearing for war.  The city was very involved in the war effort just like it was later in World War I and World War II.

The site of Duquesne University was also important.  The Administration Building is on the site of a former Union hospital which took care of both Union and Confederate soldiers who could not return South for care.

Pittsburgh also was a center for medical care because of river access.

During the war, 29,430 Allegheny County men served in the Union Army and Navy.  Of those, 4,000 were killed in action, died from wounds or disease.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh