The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Monday, July 30, 2012

New-Old Monument Dedicated at Cave Hill-- Part 2

The original monument was made of soft St. Genevieve limestone and it had decayed considerably over the years.  The replica is made of much sturdier Bedford limestone.

The Bloedner Monument is important not just because it was the first Civil War memorial erected, but it also shows the role of new immigrants to the United States during the war.  Alice Bennett, historian for the National Cemetery Administration said, "While they came from the Old World, they fought to protect the New World."

The original Bloedner Monument is in the Frazier History Museum after being restored by the University of Louisville.

The cemetery administration at Cave City paid $330,000 for the three-year project with the replacement being carved by the John Stevens Shop in Newport, Rhode Island.  Much of the inscription on the original had long ago worn away, but it was able to be recreated through an old photo and a German-language newspaper from the 1870s that had the inscription written out.

The inscription on the front of the new one is in German with a translation on the back.

Louisville has a large German community.

Always Good to Preserve Something from the Past.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, July 28, 2012

New-Old Monument Dedicated at Cave Hill-- Part 1

From the Dec. 16, 2011, Louisville (Ky) Courier-Journal "Replacement of historic Civil War monument at home in Cave Hill" by Joseph Lord.

"The newest Civil War monument looks an awful lot like the oldest."  A 21-gun salute my men dressed in Union uniforms announced the dedication of the replica of the Bloedner Monument at Cave Hill Cemetery on the eve of the battle it commemorated.

The original monument was carved by Pvt. August Bloedner of the 32nd Indiana, a unit made up entirely of German immigrants in 1862.  he did it to honor his comrades who died at the Battle of Rowlett's Station near Munfordville, Kemtucky.

It had originally been placed near the graves of 13 killed, but moved to Cave Hill in 1867, along with eleven of the bodies.

This monument is regarded as the oldest Civil War monument.  Most of which were erected after the war.

More to Come.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Groundhog Civil War Culprits

From the July 9th Chronicle.

OK, Bill Murray was sure his groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil (actually Woodstock Willie) was the reason he was stuck forever in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (actually Woodstock, Illinois).  But these groundhogs, AKA woodchucks, are real crooks...and the police have proof!!

The people running a cemetery in Hudson, New York, (population 7,000 on the Hudson River about 30 miles south of Albany) were wondering who was responsible for a recent rash of flag thefts from Civil War graves.  Around 75 went missing leading up to and following the 4th of July.

It turns out that the flags were coated with a substance that attracts groundhogs. Police used cameras that confirmed that the flags were now in woodchich burrows.

How Many Flags Can a Woodchuck Chuck?  --Old Secesh

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cincinnati's Washington Park's Civil War Connection

Just got back from a series of concerts in the newly redeveloped Washington Park in downtown Cincinnati.  Originally a series of cemeteries to 1855, the area was turned into a park.  In recent years, it had become unsafe and run down, but the city invested millions of dollars in its redevelopment which has been accomplished.

It did play a role during the Civil War when it was a center for recruitment for Ohio Irish, German and regiments black regiments.  One of these blacks was Powhatan Beats who won the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Chaffin's Farm in September 1864.

Bringing It Back.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Tarheel Civil War Connection

From the July 8th Keeping It Heel "So Want Is a Tarheel?" by Bryant.

In my Cooter's History Thing Blog of today, I gave a story about the origin of the name from the Revolutionary War.  This is its Civil War possible origin.

During a battle, North Carolina soldiers were giving soldiers from other states a hard time because of withdrawing during tough times.  They threatened to put some of the states multitude of tar  on their feet to keep them from retreating.

It is said that when General Lee heard of the incident, he said, "God bless the Tar Heel boys."

Nothing About Blue Devils Though.  Must be a Yankee Thing.  --Old Secesh

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hangings in Kinston-- Part 3

General Peck was outraged and would not let the hangings drop.  He reported them to his superior, General Benjamin Butler, who approached Grant, who was reluctant to act.  Farther deliberations determine that General Pickett alone is culpable for the hangings (many of the men had not sworn allegiance to the Confederacy and had been in state militia units.

After the war, George Pickett flees to Montral, Canada, where he lives with his wife under the name Edwards.  His case goes before Congress, but Grant intercedes saying his surrender terms at Appomattox exonerates any criminal acts done during the war.  However, some Confederate officers were tried.  Some believe it was Grant's friendship with his fellow West Pointer that saved Pickett.

Pickett returns to Virginia where he lives until 1975, selling insurance.  He is snubbed by Robert E. Lee.  Noted for his hard-drinking, Pickett died at age 50 in a Norfolk hospital.  His body was brought to Richmond where he was interred at Hollywood Cemetery.

A Sad Thing.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Hangings in Kinston, NC-- Part 2

On Feb. 15, 1864, another 13 are hanged.  Six more are put on tial .  Two are sentenced to have the letter "D" for deserter branded on their left hip and sent to hard labor with ball and chain.  Another avoids the death penalty and is sentenced to hard labor for "extreme youth...physical disability and mental imbecility."  A fourth, William Clinton Cox is found not guilty because he was a railroad guard in the North Carolina Bridge Guard Company and technically never in the Confederate Army (he had also betrayed many of his fellow soldiers).

Two more receive death by hanging.  In all, Pickett has 22 hanged.  Their Union Army careers are cut short.  None lived 90 days past enlistment and none received the promised bounty for signing up og $300.

The remaining 31 prisoners captured at Batchelder's Creek end up in Confederate prisons in Richmond and Georgia.  Twenty-five die of disease and malnutrition within two months.  Three eventually receive a parole and three are accounted for.  The railroad guard dies of fever at Andersonville Prison in Georgia.

A Sad End to North Carolinians.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Medal of Honor Created 150 Years Ago Today

One hundred and fifty years ago today, President Lincoln signed a bill passed by Congress creating the nation's highest military honor, the Medal of Honor.

It continues on today.  However, today, the level of bravery has to be extremely verified, much more than it was during the Civil War.

A Fitting Honor.  --Old Secesh

Hangings in Kinston, NC-- Part 1

From the July 2012 North Carolina Our State Magazine "A General's Fatal Anger" by Philip Gerard.

Fifty-three Union soldiers of the 2nd NC Union regiment had been captured in the failed Confederate attack on New Bern in February 1864 and it was discovered that two of its members had formerly been in Confederate units.

Confederate commander Major General George Pickett, angered about his loss, was further antagonized about this new discovery and held a court-matial that found the men guilty of desertion and sentenced to death by hanging in Kinston.  No rope could be found so a coil from the CSS Neuse ironclad was used and the two met their death.

After that, Union Major General John J. Peck, in charge of the Department of North Carolina, found out about it and sent a letter to Pickett reminding him that Lincoln had ordered that for every Union soldier executed in a manner not keeping with the laws of war, that a Confederate captive would then be executed.  Pickett responds that he then will hang ten Union soldiers for every Confederate thus executed.

More Confederate deserters are found amongst the captured 2nd NC infantry until a total of 18 were now under sentence of death.  Five are hung in Kinston on February 12th.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

Monday, July 9, 2012

Unearthing Chicago's Civil War History-- Part 3

The Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation hopes to one day build a replica of one of the long-gone barracks and have a museum commemorating the camp as well as the black experience in the war.  (The camp site is located in a heavily-populated black area.)

Last week's efforts marked the first-known excavations at the camp.  Three holes were dug deep enough to stand inside with eyes below the grass line.  Two of the holes were mostly empty with some artifacts and pipes turning up but nothing that could be linked directly to Camp Douglas.

The third hole, a 6-by-6-foot excavation was more promising.  Using period maps of the camp, they knew they were near the site of the old headquarters building.  On one end of it, the earth was deep black and bordered by a line of bricks, which bordered limestone.

The black area and line of bricks were likely the remnants from now-demolished homes built around 1900.  But the limestone, which they believe to have survived unscathed in a side yard between the two houses, appears to be the foundation of the Camp Douglas headquarters.

restoration leaders want to have more digs, perhaps on the grounds of nearby John J. Pershing Elementary or Olivet baptist Church.  They would like to get the Chicago Public schools involved in the project.

You can see a video of the dig at

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Unearthing Chicago's Civil War History-- Part 2

By the end of the war, about 6,000 Confederates had died at the infamous prison Camp Douglas.  The final resting place for most is Oak Woods Cemetery which has their names on plaques and an impressive monument.  Famed blacks such as Chicago's Mayor Harold Washington, Olympic champion Jesse Owens and Ida B. Wells are also buried there.

Camp Douglas was demolished after the war with the remaining wooden posts and limestone foundations gradually sinking  into the Near South Side earth.

Now, a small group of academics and volunteers is trying to bring the camp back into the city's consciousness.  Historian Robert Girardi said, "This is probably the most significant Civil War site in Chicago."

I agree completely.  And most Chicagoans are completely unaware of its existence or the horrible conditions the prisoners had to endure.  Many people are aware of Andersonville, the infamous Confederate prison in Georgia, but not this one.

There is even a camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans named after Camp Douglas to salute those poor victims.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

Friday, July 6, 2012

Unearthing Chicago's Civil War History-- Part 1

From the July 1st Chicago Tribune by Mitch Smith.

Excavations were being made last week east of 32nd Street and Rhodes  Avenue near some Near South Side parkland that hasn't been disturbed for generations.  There is nothing there to indicate that, just a few feet down, is a camp where about 30,000 captured Confederate soldiers were held during the war.

One hundred and fifty years worth of accumulated dirt has to be removed.  They came across limestone that probably served as the foundation of one of the camp's buildings.  The team is from Northern Michigan University, Loyola and the Camp Douglas Restoration Foundation and they are digging in what is today the Lake Meadows Park.

Camp Douglas was named after US Senator Stephen A. Douglas, who owned the 60-acre site where the camp's 200 buildings stood.  Before being a prison, some 25,000 Chicago-area Union soldiers trained here.

After training, the camp became a prison in 1862. In 1864, anti-war activists staged the "Camp Douglas Conspiracy," a failed attempt to free prisoners in hopes of disrupting that year's presidential elections.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

John Philip Sousa's Civil War Connection

In my Cooter's History Thing Blog, I was doing an entry on John Philip Sousa and his marches and came across his experience with the civil War.

As a boy, he lived in Washington, DC, during the Civil War, and, naturally heard lots of marches being played.  His father played trombone in the Marine Band and provided music at Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

He Came By the Marches Naturally.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Confederates Form Unholy Alliance with Vampires

The alliance was a win-win for both sides.  The vampires became the South's secret weapon and almost won the battle.  And, of course, the vampires got to gorge themselves with the possibility of having their own country for their sort.  And then, Abraham destroys the whole thing by getting silver bullets and cannonballs to Gen. Meade at Gettysburg to negate big wins the first two days.

Yesterday, I went to the movies and saw "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer."  First thing I have to say is to never go to the theater during a holiday, especially a hot one like we're having.  Way too many people getting into that ac from the sweat any movement outside produces.

Poor Confederates.  Besides the forever curse of having slaves and essentially fighting the war to keep them (although there were sure other reasons).  Now they are entering an alliance with the unholy.  And supposedly most of the slave owners were vampires who used slaves as a ready supply of blood.  At least according to the movie.

However, I found this new look at the war of great interest.  Many of the characters were based on actual persons in Lincoln's life.

Plenty of blood and action moves as well for those of you who like that sort of stuff.

I have printed a blog entry already saying part of the movie was filmed at Fort Pulaski in Georgia, but I recall no scenes looking like the place.

Good Movie.  Go See It.  --Old Blood-Sucking Secesh

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Doing My Own Little Civil War Thing-- Part 2: Faraway Battle

Along with those neat "1862" tags, Saturday and last night, I sat out on the front porch and deck and listened to lots and lots of fireworks, sounding a whole lot like a battle being fought at a distance.

Must have something to do with this 4th of July thing on about now.

Wonder how the holiday was celebrated back during the Civil War days?

Old Secesh

Monday, July 2, 2012

Doing My Own Little Civil War Thing-- Part 1: "1862"

This past weekend, I went to the Civil War and never left the area here in northeastern Illinois/southeastern Wisconsin.

Saturday, I put the new Extended Antique tags on the '85 Firebird.  You can get antique tags if your vehicle is twenty-five years or older.  They are cheaper than the regular tags.  This is the first year for extended tags on which you can drive anywhere as often as you like from April to November (which is when I drive it anyway).  Regular antique tags allow you just to go to shows and get gas or repairs.

My old regular tags expired June 30th, so it was a good time to take the old ones off.

The best part of my new ones is that they are just four numbers:  "1862."  That is this year's sesquicentennial of the war.  I proudly drive around with those numbers.

A Coincidence, A Civil War Nut Getting 1862?  --Old Secesh