The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Civil War Deaths

From the April 19th Civil War Gazette "Casualties in the Civil War."

Historians know that at least 620,000 Americans on both sides died during the Civil War.  Recently studies have put the number as high as 750,000.  The exact number will never be known.

The Gazette came up with some interesting stats on the deaths, on average:

**  At least 500 lost their lives every day, 21 an hour, 1 every 3 minutes.

**  Every six days, the equivalent of those lost on 9-11 died, for a total of 245 9-11s during the course of the war.

**  At the typical battle, between 1-2% of those engaged would die.

**  At the November 30, 1864, Battle of Franklin, almost 2,000 were killed in five hours.

Some Striking Numbers.  --Old Secesh

Friday, April 27, 2012

147th Anniversary of SS Sultana Disaster

Overlooked back then and still overlooked now, especially with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, is the explosion and sinking of the SS Sultana in the Mississippi River near Memphis.  More than 1800 died, 300 more than the Titanic.

And what makes it even more sad is that the ship was loaded with Union soldiers returning from Confederate prisons (many from Andersonville).  these men had to live through that ordeal and were just days from seeing loved ones again.

I'll be writing about it tomorrow on my Naval Blog.  And a big thanks to the Minneapolis Star Tribune to alerting me to it.

A Sad Anniversary.  --Old Secesh

Iowa Flag Returns-- Part 2

The story goes that at Champion Hill, the color-bearer was wounded and clutched the flag to his bloody body to protect it, leaving a stain at the top right of the blue field.  Shortly after the battle, James T. Sargent, a Master Mason who organized the unit and later became a first lieutenant (Lt. Sargent) resigned and returned to Marengo and brought the flag with him.

Later, he moved to Yankton in the Dakota Territory where he flew the flag every Memorial Day parade.  After his death, his son, William F. Sargent, a Past Grand Master of South Dakota, presented the flag to the Oriental Consistory which stored it in the Masonic Temple at Yankton, SD.

In 2004, it was presented to the Grand Lodge of Iowa by Charles Kauffman, Past grand Master of SD who wanted it located closer to where it was made.

The flag has a circle of stars around 5 in the middle and others outside the circle.

The Iowa Masonic Library also has the drum used by Henry C. Thompson of Linn County and his 1917 pension certificate for $27 a month (raised to $30 a month in 1921.

The Story of a Flag Before and After War.  --Old Secesh.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Iowa Flag Returns...and a Little of Flagmaking-- Part 1

From June 8, 2011, Eastern Iowa Life.

Regiments marched off to war under battle flags, often made by groups of local women.  In 1861, the women of Marengo, Iowa, gathered and sewed a 34-star flag and presented it to Co. B 28th Iowa who carried it into battle.

Today, after a circuitous route, decades of storage, the flag is in a custom-made wooden glass case at the Iowa Masonic Library in Cedar Rapids. 

Back in 1861, there were no regulations as to star arrangement, other than 13 stripes and 34 stars.  Even though the Southern states had left the Union, Lincoln would not allow their stars to be removed. 

The 28th Iowa mustered in at Camp Pope in Iowa City, Iowa, October 1862.  Then, they went on to Davenport and Helena, Arkansas where they joined Grant's Army for the Vicksburg Campaign.  On May 16, 1863, at the Battle of Champion Hill the unit suffered 99 casualties and many bullets pierced the flag.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Confederate General Buried in Brooklyn

From the May 22, 2011, New York Times.

Not exactly where you would expect to find a Confederate general buried, but Robert Selden Garnett, the first general killed during the war, is buried at Brooklyn New York's Green-Wood Cemetery where he is buried at the family plot.  His grave was unmarked at first at the family didn't want visitors to know.

He was made a brigadier general in 1861 and briefly commanded Confederate troops in western Virginia until he was killed at the Battle of Corrick's Ford July 13, 1861.  Reportedly, his last words were, "Three cheers for Jeff Davis."

Union forces turned his body over to his family.  Four years later, his family decided that he should be buried alongside his wife and son, who had died before the war, in Brooklyn.  His remains were exhumed and secretly re-interred in Green-Wood.  They left the grave unmarked, however, for fear of anti-Southern sentiment.

Earlier in May, his grave was marked, one of 75 Confederate soldiers buried in the cemetery.  Many of these ex-secessionists had economic ties in New York City after the war and some had come looking for jobs.

A project to identify Civil War graves began in 2002 in the cemetery which has about 600,000 burials.

Embarrassed By a Confederate in the Attic.  --Old Secesh

Heritage Attacks

I need to do some serious catching up with the heritage attacks.  From March to now, I count eleven attacks on Confederate heritage.  Obviously, it's just the flag thing and what it represents to some people.  Unfortunately, those "some people" are now the ones calling the shots on the national scale.

These are just a brief accounts.

MARCH 4TH, BARABOO, WISCONSIN--   A high school student got in trouble for honoring his dead friend with a Confederate flag.  The principal called it the "symbol of hatred and slavery."  UW-Madison Professor Stephan Kantrowitz, "That flag represents evil, hatred and bigotry."  You have to wonder how a person can get to be a college professor making statements like that?

MARCH 6TH, NASCAR--  Ben Jones, a star of "The Dukes of Hazzard" is waging war with NASCAR over its decision not to allow the General Lee car to be on the track.  "It's political correctness run amuck and I'm outraged."  And NASCAR started out as a Southern thing.  Sure forgetting its roots.

MARCH, MUSEUM OF THE CONFEDERACY--  The Confederate flag will not be displayed with other flags outside the new Museum of the Confederacy at Appomattox.  Only the flags of the Confederate states and the U.S. flag will be flying outside.  The director's rationale, "The Confederacy never unified with the government, the individual states did."

This attack really hurt, especially considering the name of the museum, but I imagine that will be changed soon for fear of offending.  I wonder if they even allow Confederate flags inside or pictures of them.

MARCH 27TH, DELAWARE-- An employee at the Department of Transportation was threatened with a one-day suspension because his personal truck has a Confederate license plate on its front bumper.  The ACLU is getting involved on his side.

Just Makes Me Mad.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Forgotten Part of Fredericksburg Battlefield: Franlin's Crossing

From the May 23, 2011, Fredericksburg (Va) Star "Tour sheds light on rarely seen piece of battlefield."

Franklin's Crossing is a forgotten part of Fredericksburg Battlefield.  On May 21st, 80 persons braved poison ivy, bug bites and slippery slopes.  They might be the first people to visit it since veterans did so in the early 1900s.

This is where the Union Army crossed the Rappahannock River on four different campaigns and the site of pontoon bridges off State Routes 2 and 17 east of Fredericksburg.  The bridge landings are between a lumber yard  and Stafford County's Washington Square Wal-Mart on the north side.  On the south side, Spottsylvania County, the landing is bordered by a sweage plant and the Sylvania Heights subdivision.

The crossing site is named for Union General William Buell Franklin, who graduated at the top of his West Point class of 1843, but who lost his job because of his failure to break through Stonewall Jackson's Confederate troops on the south side.

He crossed the Rappahannock here on December 12, 1862.  It was swung into place, anchored and span planked between 7 and 11 AM while six Union soldiers were wounded.  This one was in place before the now much more famous middle crossing bridge at the town of Fredericksburg was built, the first U.S. Army bridge ever to be built under enemy fire.

This same crossing was also used in late-April to early May 1863, June 1863 and again May 1865 after Lee surrendered as Union forces were heading for the Grand Review in Washington, D.C.

Lost But Found?  --Old Secesh

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Follow Up to the Bechtel Family from Reading, Pennsylvania

I was wondering how the two Bechtels ended up serving in the Confederate Army when they were from Pennsylvania.  Were they Southern sympathizers?

I did a little more research on Find-A-Grave.

Samuel Bechtel worked for the Wilmington Railroad and must have been in the South at the outbreak of war and was conscripted into the Confederate Army as a railroad guard as was his son Richard (1837-1864).

Another son, Aaron Bechtel died in 1837 and served in the Union Army as a private.  Marks Bechtel was in the 7th Pa. Infantry and died Sept. 17, 1865.

The Story of a Family At War.  --Old Secesh

Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery and Alsace Cemetery, Pennsylvania


Approximately 8,000 Civil War veterans are buried there.  The Saturday before May 27, 2011, flags were placed on all 4,500 Civil War veterans buried there, including the graves of 75 Confederates (hopefully it was the Confederate flag).

The first Civil War casualty interred was 12-year-old Clarence McKenzie killed in an accidental shooting in Maryland in 1861.  About 200 burials in the cemetery were deaths that occurred in the war.  Thosands more died later.

Volunteers and staff have spent decades identifying the Civil War graves and so far have a list of some 4,600.


From the May 27, 2011, Reading (Pa) Eagle.

The Bechtel family plot in the Muklenberg Township cemetery has one grave of a soldier who died at Antietam and another lost a leg at Gettysburg.  They fought on two different sides.  Richard for the Confederacy and his father Samuel may have fought for that side. 

Another soldier, John Keller, enlisted at age 15 and later died at Andersonville. 

Sixty-eight Civil War soldiers are buried at the cemetery

Berk County raised 87 companies of troops and 85 companies.

It's a Burying Thing.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, April 21, 2012

What Has South Carolina Learned Since the Centennial-- Part 2

Of course, the hotel refused to accommodate her.  The NAACP and national media jumped in and an obscure commission became a national incident.  It even reached the White House where the Kennedy staff moved the meeting from the hotel to the desegregated Charleston Navy Yard.

Some Southern delegates then seceded from the convention and held their own.

Accordingly, the events of the last two weeks in Charleston with the secession commemoration might be a glimpse of what was going to happen the next four years from 2011 to 2015.

I am glad to see that the NAACP and black activists have backed off on the sesquicentennial considerably and allowing it to take place without incident other than the continued attacks on the Confederate Naval Jack.

Worthy of Commemoration.  --Old Secesh

What Has South Carolina Learned Since the Centennial-- Part 1

From the Dec. 15, 2010, Charleston City Paper by Will Moredock.

Robert Cook has written a book "Troubled Commemoration: The Civil War centennial, 1961-1965."

Back then, the Centennial nearly collapsed because of poor leadership and marginal enthusiasm according to Cook.   It also coincided with the early Civil Rights Movement. I don't know myself as I lived through it back then and it seemed great at the time with no problems, but, I was just ten in 1961, but a big Civil War buff.

According to Cook, "The centennial was built on a racially exclusive interpretation of the Civil War era.  This interpretation denied a role to blacks and downplays the significance of those events, notably emancipation and Lincoln's use of African-American troops."

South Carolina raised the Confederate flag over the statehouse in Columbia in 1961 for the centennial, but it remained even after it was over, staying up there until 2006. 

In April 1961 the Civil War Centennial Commission held its national meeting at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston.  One member of the New Jersey delegation was a black woman, appointed to the job to bring about a confrontation.

Things Have Definitely Changed Since 1961.  --Old Secesh

Friday, April 20, 2012

Great Locomotive Chase Medal of Honor Donated

From the April 5th Sacramento (Ca) Bee "Civil War Medal of Honor Donated to Kennesaw, Georgia, Museum" by The Southern Museum.

A ceremony was held April 12th when a rare Civil War-era Medal of Honor was donated to Kennesaw's Southern Museum of the Civil War and Locomotive History.  The Waggoner family of Ohio, descendants of Sgt. John M. Scott, a participant in the April 12, 1862 Great Locomotive Chase of Andrews' Raiders.

Union soldiers seized the Confederate locomotive General and headed for Chattanooga, tearing up tracks along the way.  The Medal had previously been on loan to the museum and now will go on permanent display in the museum's extensive collection of the event.

Someone Stop That Train.  --Old Secesh

The Col. Elsworth Shooting

From the May 11, 2011 Sarasota (Fl) Herald Tribune "New York honoring first Union officer killed in the Civil War" by Chris Carola.

I originally started this in another year, in this blog, May20th and 23rd, 2011.

Union Col. Elmer Ellsworth and James Jackson died witching few feet of each other and within seconds.  Ellsworth had just gone to the roof of Jackson's hotel and as he was coming down the stairs, Jackson killed him firing point blank into his chest with a shotgun  Corporal Francis Brown then killed Jackson.

Lincoln, a close friend of Ellsworth's was devastated and had the young officer laid out in the White House.  Ellsworth was buried back in Mechanicsville, NY and in the 1870s, a 40-foot obelisk was erected at his grave.  Jackson's burial had much less fanfare.  First buried in an unmarked grave in his family's cemetery in McLean, Virginia.  He was later reinterred at a cemetery in Fairfax, Virginia.

The North vilified Jackson while he was a hero to the South.  Jackson's hotel, the Marshall House was torn down in the 1950s.  In the 1920s, the SCV put a plaque at the site.

A Nation Divided.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bits 'O War: Last Shot-- New NPS Site-- Lee's Sword

Bits 'O War--  New News About an Old War  This Used to be Running the Blockade before that blog broke away, seceded if you will, from this blog.

1.  LAST SHOT--  Waynesville, NC, erected by local Confederate group in 1923.  It was fired May 6, 1865.  This disputed by many other "Last Shot" sites across South. It was originally surrounded by Sulphur Springs Park, now gone, The monument now on corner of someone's yard.

 2.  NEW NPS SITE--  It gives an overview and guide to more than 1700 sites and 100 National Parks with a Civil War Theme.

3.  LEE'S SWORD--  The general's sword at Appomattox surrender at the new 11,700 square foot Museum of the Confederacy at Appomattox.

Just Some New News.  --Old Secesh

Some Things You Might Not Know About the Civil War-- Part 3: "Cow Cavalry"

**  Mounted Confederate units called "Cow Cavalry" rounded up and guarded wild "scrub" cattle in southern Florida.  They helped herd them to the Confederate armies and skirmished with Union landing parties that frequently came ashore.

**  Confederate forces kept a small Union fleet from capturing Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1862 by setting up cannons in earthworks built by the U.S. Army at the beginning of the Mexican War in 1845.

**  Confederates under Adam Johnson got troops guarding the federal arsenal at Newburgh, Ind., to surrender in July 1862 by threatening to bombard them with artillery fire.  But, his "cannon" was only a length of black stovepipe ;aid across a wagon carriage.

**  The Battle of Memphis in June 1862 was an entirely naval battle while residents watched from the shore.  All but one of the Confederate riverboats were sunk or captured.  This left only Vicksburg remaining as a Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River.

Interesting Stuff, Maynard.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Some Things You Might Not Know About the Civil War-- Part 2

** Despite Confederate troops and guerrillas around, in 1863 workers began work on the Union Pacific Railroad out of Kansas City, Missouri, heading west to Lawrence, Kansas. Six years later, it connected in Utah with the railroad being built east from California and the United States had its transcontinental railroad. Transportation would never the the same.

** Phoenix, Arizona was founded in 1865 by former Confederate officers who had started farming there after the Confederacy collapsed. They tried to name their new community Stonewall after Thomas Jackson, but were overruled by others.

** Cherokee leader Stan Watie, became a Confederate general, and was the last officer of that rank to surrender which he did in Oklahoma in June 1865, two months after Lee did the same at Appomattox.

Another Four to Come. --Old Secesh

Monday, April 16, 2012

Some Things You Might Not Know About the Civil War-- Part 1

From the San Angelo Standard Times.

** Federal authorities in Baltimore imprisoned the mayor, police chief and others suspected of Southern sympathy, including the grandson of Francis Scott Key in May 1861 after the attack on Union troops moving through there to protect Washington, DC.

** Texan Albert Sydney Johnston commanded the US Department of the Pacific in California in early 1861. He refused to join in a Southern plot to capture the state, but resigned his commission when he learned Texas had seceded.

He went to Los Angeles where he enlisted as a private in the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles, a pro-Southern group and rode with them across Arizona and New Mexico into Texas. He joined the Confederate Army and rose eventually to the second-highest rank before being killed at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862.

** Union General Lew Wallace later wrote "Ben Hur," but organized thousands of volunteers to defend Cincinnati when it was threatened by Confederates in 1862.

More to Come. --Old Secesh

Looking for Civil War Documents

From the May 11, 2011, "Civil War legacy preserved."

The 150th Anniversary Virginia Sesquicentennial Civil War Commission and Library asked the Eastern Shore Historical Society to join in a statewide search of original documents in private hands.

Two locations, Accomack and Northampton, have been set up to preserve your private collection and make it available to the world without leaving your premises.

It is called The Civil War Legacy Project and goal is to locate, identify, scan and digitalize artifacts and original source materials.
Scanned documents will be kept at the archives of the Library of Virginia and available on its on-lone data base.

Old Secesh

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Rochester Goes to War-- Part 3

Nolte and Taylor were fairly unique among officers. Many companies were recruited by lawyers, politicians and others whose only qualification to lead were their ability to recruit. Some of these "recruiters" turned out to be good; others not so good.

Monroe County had a population of 100,000 and so was able to raise its own regiment. This did not apply to other counties and outlying areas who would raise a company, send it to Elmira. Once there, it would be put into a regiment with companies from other areas.

The 27th and 33rd New York Infantry were from the western part of the state and were "melded" regiments. The 27th had regiments from Rochester, Lima, Mt. Morris, Albion,Lyons, Binghamton, White Plains and Angelica.

The Lyons County company was recruited by Alexander Duncan Adams, principal of Lyons Academy. Of the 105 who eventually served in his company, 41 were under the age of 20. That included 26 who claimed to be 18. Of those, it is believed some were actually more like 16 or 17.

The 33rd had companies from Seneca Falls, Palmyra, Waterloo, Conandaigua, Geneseo, Nunda, Geneva, Penn Yau and Buffalo. After Fort Sumter fell, State Assemblyman Joseph W. Coming returned to Palmyra and turned his law office into a recruiting one.

Getting Ready for War. --Old Secesh

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rochester Goes to War-- Part 2

Nine of the ten companies of the 13th had 77 men, which was standard at this date. Later, the number of soldiers in each company was expanded to 100. They were from both Rochester and surrounding Monroe County towns.

They represented a cross-section of trades and organizations from the bustling metropolitan area surrounded by agriculture.

Sheriff Hiram Smith's company had 30 farmers, 25 mechanics, 5 clerks, 5 lawyers, 2 jewelers, a minister, a professor, a naturalist, artist, sailor, furrier and a professional soldier.

Volunteer fire companies were well represented. Thirty-four from the Red Rover Fire Co. 3 joined Francis Schoefel's company.

The local militia regiment, the 54th, remained behind, but some of the officers resigned to raise companies for Quinby's regiment and were joined by many of the militiamen.

Adolph Nolte, editor of the German-language Genessee Onserver and also a veteran of the french Army, organized a company of German immigrants from the area.

More to Come. --Old Secesh

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rochester Goes to War-- Part 1

From the May 9, 2011 Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle "For those called to serve in Civil War, a heartfelt sendoff" by Bob Marcotte.

The May 3, 1861, the Rochester Daily Democrat and American reported the big sendoff of 600 "gallant fellows" from Monroe County's first volunteer regiment,mustered in at the 13th New York Infantry. This even though they did not yet look like soldiers as they hadn't yet been issued uniforms.

One company of mostly volunteer firemen wore red shirts and had their hair close shaven.

They took the train from the station to the recruit depot at Elmira.

The regiment's commander was Col. Isaac Quinby, a University of Rochester math professor, West Point graduate and Mexican War veteran. He was later described as a "heavily built man with a General Grant beard and a logarithmic mind" and an "inveterate chewer of tobacco" who could sit tilted back against the classroom wall and launch an occasional spit "that was a marvel of precision" as it landed in the cuspidor.

More to Come. --Old Secesh

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Passing of a Real Son of the South

From the Jan. 30th Washington, DC Examiner Civil War Heritage "The passing of a real son of the South" by Gregg Clemmer.

Lucas L. Meredith, Jr., of DeWitt, Virginia died Jan. 28th. He was born on 1924 to the late Lucas L. Meredith and Mary Francis Gregory Meredith. Mr. Meredith was a World War II veteran in the Pacific and a member of the Camp A.P. Hill Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #167. His father died in 1927 and he was also a veteran...of the Confederate Army.

His father was born March 15, 1842, in DeWitt, Virginia, and enlisted in the Confederate Army May 23, 1861 at Dinwiddie Courthouse. His brother had taken the family's strongest horse and joined the 3rd Virginia Cavalry and served under Jeb Stuart as a corporal.

Lucas Meredith joined Co. C, 3rd Virginia Infantry, Kemper's Brigade. He was in Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg and was captured at Five Forks in April 1865, walking back home from prison a few weeks after the war ended.

He returned to farming and eventually became a veterinarian.

Both brothers survived the war

The Civil War Comes to the Kansas City Area

From the Visit KC 2011 Magazine.

When you think of Kansas City, most don't think of the Civil War, but this article says otherwise.

In observance of the 150th anniversary of the war, several observances are planned, plus several museums harken to it. You can take Civil War driving tours through several battlefields, including the largest one fought west of the Mississippi River where 12,000 Confederates battled in October 1864 into what became known as the Battle of Westport, also known as the Gettysburg of the West.

This site is also one of the most popular KC area, home to lively bars, shops and restaurants. This 32-mile-tour takes visitors through Westport, the historic Country Club Plaza and finally to Loose Memorial Park where much of the battle took place. There is also a Battle of Westport Visitor Center and Museum.

Jackson County has the Lone Jack Battlefield Museum and Soldier's Cemetery, one of the few battlefields where soldiers who died there are buried.

Back in September 2011, the Battle of Lexington was re-enacted in Lexington, Missouri. There was also a Battle of Blue Mills Landing (also known as the Battle of Liberty).

There were about 1,000 skirmishes and battles fought in Missouri, making it the third most fought state behind Virginia and Tennessee.

I Sure Didn't Know This. --Old Secesh

Saturday, April 7, 2012

OK, the Seven Confederate Generals Buried at Augusta, Georgia's Magnolia Cemetery

Thanks Wikipedia. The first one was the only one I've ever heard of.

Edward Porter Alexander
Goode Bryan
Victor Girardey
John King Jackson
William Duncan Smith
Marcellus A. Stovall
Ambrose Wright

I addition, Revolutionary War soldier John Martin is buried there who died at age 105. Was he the oldest veteran of that war to die? Perhaps the last one?

Who Knows. --Old Secesh

Seven Confederate Generals Buried in Augusta's Magnolia Cemetery

From the April 1, 2012, "Magnolia Cemetery serves as resting place for seven Confederate general" by Rob Pavey.

Land for the cemetery was bought in 1817 and today consists of 60 acres on the east side of Augusta. There are over 35,000 graves, the exact number being unknown as fires and floods have destroyed many records.

The cemetery's brick walls were modified during the Civil War in anticipation of a visit from Union General Sherman. You can still see where bricks were removed for cannons.

One section was dedicated to 183 Union POWs who died in the Augusta area, most of whom were reinterred at the National Cemetery in Marietta, Georgia. However, fifteen still remain.

This being April 7th, I should mention that today was the conclusion of one of the war's bloodiest battles at Shiloh in Tennessee 159 years ago.

Kind of Strange That They Didn't List the Seven Confederate Generals. --Old Secesh

Friday, April 6, 2012

2000th Post!!

I see by the post counter that this is the 2008th post since I began this blog back in 2007 as an outgrowth of my history blog, Cooter's History Thing. Then, the Running the Blockade Naval Blog grew out of this one.

Saw the Elephant was the expression Civil War soldiers used when getting into a battle. As far as I know, it was used on both sides. The Old Secesh sign off I now use (used to be Old B-Runner or Old B-R'er) uses the name many in the Union derisively called Southerners because of their seceding, secesh.

This one now covers any aspect of the war I find interesting and occasionally gives vent to what I consider attacks on my heritage.

I've Really Got to Get a Life. --Old Secesh

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Shiloh Confederate You Might Now Know

With the upcoming 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh tomorrow, here is an interesting story about a man who led quite an interesting Civil War career, but obtained his greatest notoriety for something that happened six years after the war.

From the April 3rd Examiner "A Shiloh may not know" by Gregg Clemmer.

Shiloh is known for many things:

** The loss of Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston.
** Will S, Hays, a correspondent with the Louisville Democrat was inspired to compose "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh" which turned Johnny Clem into a household name.

Nor so well-known at the time was a Confederate private in the "Dixie Grays," Company E., 4th Arkansas Regiment. He was captured April 7th, and rather than go to a Yankee prison, became a "Galvanized Yankee" joining the Union Army. After just 18 days, he was discharged with a severe case of dysentary.

He then served on merchant ships before enlisting in the Union Navy where he was assigned to the USS Minnesota as a record keeper.

He definitely was one of the few, if any, who could claim to have served in the the Confederate Army, the Union Army and the Union Navy.

This private's name was Henry Morton Stanley who became much more famous six years later in Africa where he uttered the words "Dr. Livingston, I presume."

How's That for a Piece of History? --Old Secesh

Hoosiers Answer the Call-- Part 2

For the first ten months of the war, most Indianans trained at Camp Morton.

But, other camps were needed.

CAMP CARRINGTON-- at 15th and Missouri became the primary training center after Camp Morton became a Confederate prisoner of war camp.

CAMP FREMONT-- near Fountain Square, trained the first black regiment, the 28th.

CAMP ROBINSON-- One of only two camp sites remaining. Marked by a grove of trees on White River just north of the Municipal Gardens on Cold Springs Road.

The other remaining site is at the military park.

A State At War. --Old Secesh

Hoosiers Answer the Call-- Part 1

From the May 6, 2011, Indianapolis Star "Hoosiers stepped up to Civil War cause" by James Glass.

On April 16, 1861, Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton, called for 18-45 year-olds to form Indian's quota of six militia regiments. He met that quota in a week and in early May, another five were formed. He appointed Crawfordsville native Lew Wallace, a Mexican War veteran to be state adjutant general to run the whole mobilization.

On April 17th, the state opened the main training center at the new state fairgrounds at 19th and Delaware streets and named it Camp Morton.

In May, General George B. McClellan, commander of the Ohio State Militia, addressed Indiana's troops in a field (now part of the IUPUI campus).

The 13th Indiana Regiment organized and trained at the former military reservation under Col. Jeremiah Sullivan and it was renamed Camp Sullivan, training Indiana troops for the rest of the war.

More to Come. --Old Secesh

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rowan County and the 6th North Carolina

From the May 9, 2011, Salisbury (NC) Post.

A total of 2,834 soldiers served in the Confederate Army from North carolina's Rowan County, more than from any other county. The Rowan Rifles Camp 405 SCV held a memorial service May 7th and read the names of all 2,834 in front of the 1954 Rowan County Courthouse which was spared during Stoneman's 1865 raid.

Company G of the 6th North Carolina Infantry was formed and paid for by Charles Fisher, who became the regiment's commander. They trained in Charlotte and at the First Battle of Manasas, Fisher was killed. The new Confederate fort at Confederate Point guarding Wilmington, NC, was named for him, Fort Fisher.

Most of the regiment was captured at Remington, Virginia, on November 7, 1863, and held prisoners for the rest of the war.

The 49th and 57th NC regiments trained at Camp Fisher east of Salisbury near Crane Creek and Stokes Ferry roads.

Some 700,000 men served in the Confederate Army, with North Carolina sending 125,000, more than any other state.

A Fort Fisher Connection. --Old Secesh

New Visitors Center for US Grant Memorial in New York City

From the May 6, 2011, New York Daily News.

A brand new visitors center has opened in Morningside Heights at the old Overlook Pavilion, the highest point of elevation along the Hudson River in the area. The pavilion was built in 1910 as a comfort station and closed by the city in the 1970s.

In 2004, the city gave a permanent easement to the site to the National Park Service to rehabilitate the site and turn it into a visitors center for the burial spot of former President and First Lady, Ulysses and Julia Grant. Grant died in New York in 1885 of cancer at the age of 63.

In 2010, 120,000 visited the memorial at West 122nd Street and Riverside Drive.

The dedication coincided with Grant's 189th birthday and Ulysses Grant Dietz, his great-great-grandson was in attendance.

About Time They Did Something With the Grant Memorial. --Old Secesh

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A CSI Moment at Bentonville

From the March 29th Canada Free Press "Search for Blood Stains Conducted at Bentonville Battlefield Civil War Hospital.

For years, it has been told visitors to the battlefield's Harper House that the stains on the floor of the structure are from the blood of the wounded and dying operated on at the site. It was the Union's XIV Corps' hospital in March 1865.

Nearly 600 Union and Confederate soldiers were treated in and around the home, many dying.

Recently, a forensic team took multiple samples from the 1850s floor and the crevices between the boards. By July it is hoped they will be able to verify the existence of blood.

Is It, Or Isn't It. I'm Thinking It Is. --Old Secesh

Heritage Attacks

Being an account of news I consider to be an attack on my heritage which happens way too often these days. Usually these involve the Confederate flag, more specifically the Naval Jack.

FEB. 23-- Complaints about the flag on the CSS Neuse II in Kinston, NC, even though it is the Second National.

FEB. 24-- NASCAR cancels the General Lee car from "Dukes of Hazzard" from the parade lap in Phoenix because of the flag on the roof. Didn't NASCAR start out in the South. How can they turn their back on their heritage.

FEB 24-- Clemson Tiger (SC) editor Jenny Tumas, "We cannot ignore the immorality of our ancestors." The flag represents racism and is an "unacceptable symbol of remembrance." This really hurts as this is a Southern School.

FEB. 28-- Socorro, New Mexico, mayor wary of a Confederate Memorial, "...certain things in the Confederate reasoning that in my mind are not just distasteful, they're not right." The New Mexico SCV own the land, so fortunately, there is not much he can do.

It is sad that certain groups have painted my heritage as being akin to Nazism. It wasn't.

Things That Just Burn Me. --Old Secesh

Monday, April 2, 2012

Civil War Trading Cards-- Part 2

The information on the back of the cards was presented newspaper-style with headlines.

The packs came with five cards and were accompanied by a facsimile of Confederate paper currency (I don't remember the money and seem to remember gum in the packs, but maybe not).

The original price was a nickel a pack. (Let's see, skip the 25 cent school lunch and buy four packs of those wonderful cards.) Later, they were issued in cellophane-wrapped packs.

Since 1989, there has been a monthly newspaper "Civil War News" published by Historical Publications, Inc. of Turnbridge, Va.

#27 Massacre. White Oak, Va. June 20, 1862, which featured a Confederate soldier on the ground firing a pistol into the face of a Union soldier and another Confederate soldier about to bayonet a Union one on the ground.

Dean's Cards says the set was released in 1962. Cards sell for between $2.25 for #11 good to $60 for #3 grade near mint/mint. Most are over $10. They were also a hit in England.

Wish I Had Kept Mine. I Could Have Retired. Wait, I Am retired. Oh, Well. --Old Secesh

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Civil War News Trading Cards-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

These were put out by Topps in the early 1960s to mark the centennial of the Civil War and you could get some great blood and gore, 5 cards for a nickel along with that super hard piece of gum.

These featured the colorful artwork of Norman Saunders and other artists, characterized by vivid color, graphic depictions of violence and death and blood. Card #21 "Painful Death" is a prime example. These scenes were an exaggeration of war.

On the reverse, each card had a brief history of campaigns, battles and persons.

There were a total of 88 cards, including a checklist.

Sure Wish I Could Find Mine. --Old Secesh