The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Gettysburg's General Gibbon's Witness Tree

From the May 27, 2008, Gettysburg Daily.

This might be the only remaining "witness tree" along the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge.

Legend has it that Union Brigadier General John Gibbon was wounded near it during Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863.

Sadly, it doesn't appear to have many years left to live.

Old Secesh

Gettysburg Witness Trees

From the April 30, 2008, Gettysburg Daily.

Visitors often ask how many current trees on the Gettysburg Battlefield were there July 1-3, 1863. The best guess is between 100-200.

The War Department operated Gettysburg National Military Park before the National Park Service took over in 1933.

They thought some "witness trees" were important enough to mark and protect and small brass tags were placed on some of the trees along with lightning rods.

There are five witness trees in one section along Confederate Avenue.

This is a good photo essay and worth checking out.

Save That Old Tree. --Old Secesh

The Lincoln Burial Flag: "The Applegate Flag"

From Civil War Talk.

In preparation for Lincoln's state funeral, the U.S. Treasury Department telegraphed Annin & Co., and ordered 37 U.S. flags with 36 stars. The thing was, however, that there were just 35 states in April 1865, with Nevada slated to gain entrance to the Union in July 1865.

The flags were classified as "hasty flags," with stars sewed just on one side and not intended to fly. These flags were to be used just to drape the casket.  The Museum of Southern History in Jacksonville, Florida, has one of these flags called the "Applegate Flag."

 Major Lewis Applegate was a surgeon with the 102nd New York Regiment. It is dated April 15, 1865 though it is not known how it came into his possession. Lincoln was the first president to be embalmed and there is the possibility that Applegate might have been involved in the procedure. The flag had been passed down through the major's family for generations.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Top 15 Civil War Movies-- Part 2: "The Red Badge of Courage"

8. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) (You lookin' at me?)

7. Gettysburg (1993)

6. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1962)--    French adaptation of Ambrose Bierce story.

5. The Red Badge of Courage (1951)

4.  Birth of a Nation (1915)

3.  Gone With the Wind (1939)

2.  Glory (1989)

1.  The General (1926) about the Great Locomotive Chase.

There You Have the Top 15. --Old Secesh

Top 15 Civil War Movies-- Part 1: 'The Outlaw Josie Wales'

From the September 28, 2012, Washington Times "The List: Top 15 Civil War movies."

15. Cold Mountain (2003)
14. The Horse Soldiers (1959) John Wayne as Col. Benjamin Grierson's Raid and Battle of Newton Station 13. Gods and Generals (2003)

12. The Outlaw Josie Wales (1976)
11. Shenandoah (1965)
10. The Beguiled (made in 1970, released in 1971 (and I'm not familiar with this one at all)
9.  Andersonville (1996).

--Old Secesh

"Gone With the Wind" Items Displayed-- Part 3: Scarlett's Shantytown Dress

Jim Tumblin bought Scarlett O'Hara's shantytown dress first, after seeing it on the studio floor and learning it was going to be thrown away. He bought it and a rack of clothes from other movies for $20. (You have to wonder what these would be worth today?)

But, things got considerably more expensive and he had to pay $8,500 for Scarlett's straw hat from the Twelve Oaks barbecue and $50,000 for Vivian Leigh's Academy Award.

He also has a copy of the script Selznick gave Hattie McDowell, who became the first black to win an Academy Award.

Next year, 2014, will be the 75th anniversary of GWTW (that'd be "Gone With the Wind).

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 27, 2013

"Gone With the Wind" Items Displayed-- Part 2

David O. Selznick early on in the filming decided to avoid mentioning the name Ku Klux Klan, even though it was a "meeting" of this organization from which Rhett Butler had to rescue the wounded Ashley Wilkes and several others.

In addition, the "N" word was not used.

Hattie McDowell, Mammy in the movie, and Butterfly McQueen, Prissy, were three dimensinal characters, yet they were also stereotyped.

The exhibit also has the dress Scarlett O'Hara was wearing in the Shantytown scene, Bonnie Blue's velvet dress from her final scene and Belle Watling's burgundy velvet jacket and fur muff.

And, There Are More Things. --Old Secesh

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Gone With the Wind" Items Displayed-- Part 1: Segregation At the Premier

From the August 30, 2012, "NC museum displays 'Gone With the Wind' film items."

The North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh has a new exhibit "Reel to Reel: The Making of "Gone With the Wind" which has some 120 items. These are from the personal collection of Jim Tumblin, former head of Universal Studios makeup and hair department.

It includes costumes, Vivian Leigh's Academy Award and story boards.

There had been much segregation at the movie's set in Culver City and black actors had been banned from the December 1939 movie premier in Atlanta.

"Just like you can't talk about the Civil War without talking about 'Gone With the Wind' without talking about racism," said Steve Wilson, film curator at the University of Texas in Austin, home of producer David O. Selznick's papers.

Racism Sadly Was a Way of Life Back Then. It Was Just the Way It Was. People From Today Should Be Wary of Putting Today's Mores On People From Back Then. --Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Union Soldiers Buried at Hampton National Cemetery in Virginia

From the Dec. 16, 2013, Hampton (Va.) Daily Press "A landmark graveyard filled with poignant stories of sacrifices and courage" by Mark St. John Erickson.

This article originally attracted my attention because of 28 German U-boat sailors buried there after their U-85 was sunk during World War II. I wrote about them in my World War II blog. I have also used Mr. Erickson's articles on the War of 1812 on several occasions in that blog. He sure gets the interesting things to write about.

Alongside the Germans are several hundred Union soldiers who died on nearby battlefields and many additional who died at the vast Hampton hospitals. In addition, some 300 Confederates who died at the hospitals are buried at the Hampton National Cemetery as well.

Six of the Civil War dead were awarded Medals of Honor, including two sailors who received their medals for action at the Battle of Mobile Bay. In addition, Sgt. Alfred B. Hilton and Pvt. Charles Veale who served in the 4th USCT who were stationed at Yorktown and killed at the Sept. 29, 1864, Battle of Chapins Farm.

A 65-foot Union monument dominates the cemetery landscape and was erected partly as a result of the actions of Clara Barton.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Gettysburg's Electric Map

From the September 14, 2012, Evening Sun "Hanover businessman buys Electric Map for $14k" by Tim Stone Sifer.

The 12-ton Gettysburg Electric Map was bought by Scott Roland of Hanover for $14,010, on his final bid. He owns Blue Ridge Holdings. In May, he purchased the old Wachovia Bank building in Carlisle Street as part of his effort to create a heritage and conference center in Hanover.

Bids were received from two other people during the 7-day auction.

The map uses hundreds of miniature lights to depict troop movements at the Battle of Gettysburg. Roland hopes to use the map to draw people to downtown Hanover.

Glad the Map Was Saved. I Saw It As a Child and Was Quite Impressed. --Old Secesh

Information From Benjamin Lewis Blackford's Letter

I just recently finished transcribing this very informative letter. Some interesting points:

1. How bloody the Seven Days Battles were.
2. The poignant story of the wounded Union soldier.
3. Union doctors were able to stay on the battlefield to tend to their wounded.

4. The Confederate charge (evidently at Malvern Hill against the massed Union artillery.
5. Union General McClellan's report covering up the real losses.  From the Union letters he collected: 
6. That the enemy's soldiers weren't fighting because they loved the slaves, that they actually considered their freedom to threaten wages paid to northerners

7. They considered themselves fighting against aristocracy (and he admitted they were).
8. Getting coffee was very difficult and he would settle for rye coffee.
9. Mess mates shared in the expense of their food.

10. As an officer, he was getting $100 a month along with $25-30 for rations.
11. I wasn't sure who C. Minor was, who was with him at camp. Perhaps a slave, but Blackford mentioned paying him?

All in All, a Very Interesting and Informative Letter. --Old Secesh

Friday, December 20, 2013

"Saw Horrors Enough for a Century:" Seven Days Battles-- Part 6

"I saw Lanty day before yesterday and Eugene yesterday. both well. I wish I could see you all. I sent Mary a relic from the battle field Tuesday by Willy. If Charley M. is with you tell him I am anxious to have him.

"Please lay out [$3.00?] in [letter?] for Cousin May & send it by Expr.(express). She is most kind and hospitable. I will send you the money in my next.

"Oh, please prepare me some rye for coffee, a good deal, there are six in my mess, I do so need something hot in the morning. I have not had coffee for months.

"Our breakfast this morning was baked bread and onions! I hear your rye is as good as other's coffee.

"Let me know the expense, you know it comes out of six pockets. Please send this at once and by Express care C.A. Gwa?. Thank you much for your letter & Belle for her P.S. Does the latter ever write [to people?]

"My best love to Sister Sue & Nannie. I hope Pa is well again. How is Peggy. My love to her. I am important now & say unto people go and they goeth. Also my pay has been raised. that is I get $100 & my rations equal $125 or 130. Good bye.

" I so delight in C. Minor with me. I can & hope give him a much better pay that I promised him but I am not altogether certain.

"B. Lewis Blackford

A Very Informative Letter. --Old Secesh

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Saw Horrors Enough for a Century:" Seven Days Battles-- Part 5: About Those Letters

"One thing I want you to notice. During my survey I picked up and looked over at least 1000 letters. not a single one was correctly written or spelled, and they were rarely decent.

"They all instigated those they were written to murder & steal. they evinced neither love of this country nor sympathy for our slaves, indeed the working classes spoke of the negroes with murderous hate, as probable competitors to lower the price of labor.

"They hate us blindly & [?] they believe us to be an aristocracy (and so we are, thank God) and they hate us as the French canaille hated the noblesse in the revolution then."

-- Old Secesh

"Saw Horrors Enough for a Century:" Seven Days Battles-- Part 4

"Eugene lost 13 of his 23 men in that charge and had his pistol shot away by a grape shot. But to think of McClelland's report. Maj. Gen. Liar! A more utter & complete rout never disgraced a nation 25000 of their discarded muskets have been already turned over to our Gov. & not less than 60000 overcoats.

"He destroyed everything and fifty millions of dollars will not repay their losses in property and arms in nothing but the celerity with which his left wing took flight before they were saved them.. The centre & right of the Yankees fought well."

I imagine Blackford was referring to Union General McClellan's battle report.

--Old Secesh

"Saw Horrors Enough for a Century:" Seven Days Battles-- Part 3: The Wounded Yankee

"I myself found a Yankee in a thicket on Friday who had been shot through his lungs the previous Monday & was alive, lying as he had been shot without food or drink. I found a surgeon (Yankee, of whom numbers were around) for this poor fellow, but it was no use. the Dr. merely pulled open his shirt & said, "He'll die, no use to move him" & went away & he did die while I was looking at him.

"The desperate courage of our men was beyond any precedent. I have never heard or read anything like it. Tuesday, Magruder ordered a charge on a collection of 36 guns, there was more than a mile of perfectly open ground to be gone over, our men were unsupported by artillery & entirely exposed to this awful fire. the charge of the [600?] was nothing to it. but they went at it with a yell. before they had gone 2/3 of the way a thousand men were stretched on that awful field & the increasing darkness was all that saved the rest."

--Old Secesh

"Saw Horrors Enough for a Century:" The Seven Days Battles-- Part 2

Lt. Blackford continued: "I was ordered from my original survey here to the otherside after the fighting commenced to map the country vacated by the enemy, & the battlefield consequently I followed close along in the wake of the carnage, & saw horrors enough for a century.

"I have seen blood enough in that time to swim in, and dead and dying enough to people a city. The Yankees left all their dead and vast numbers of their wounded all along-- and many who were wounded in their fight and crept off in the woods died lingering deaths from starvation."

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Saw Horrors Enough For a Century:" Lt. Blackford Writes About the Seven Days Battles-- Part 1

From the July 12, 2012, Civil War Day By Day from the UNC Library.

A letter written by Benjamin Lewis Blackford July 12, 1862, to his mother from a camp near Chesterfield, Virginia, where he was serving as a topographical engineer for the Confederate Army. In it, he wrote about the carnage he had observed in the aftermath of the Seven Days Battles outside Richmond.

I have had extensive extracts from a couple letters he wrote in October 1863 concerning his transfer to Wilmington, North Carolina, in my Running the Blockade Civil War Navy Blog, including today. Blackford was a very literate and observant person.

"I could write you a very interesting letter if I was not so busy-- in fact I have been storing up the incidents of the last two days with a special view of spinning them them into a long yarn home, but this topographical business keeps me at work night & day, week days & Sundays."

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

The North's "Battle Hymn of the Republic"

"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" was written by Julia Ward Howe in 1861 as a poem and published in the Atlantic Monthly Magazine in 1862. Union troops had already been singing the song "John Brown's Body" as an unofficial anthem for the cause. Howe believed the troops needed a more uplifting tune and her words were set to "John Brown's" music.

Julia Ward Howe was born in New York City in 1819. At age 21 she married Samuel Howe, who believed a woman's place was in the home and shouldn't speak in public. Even so, he allowed his wife's poem to be published.

There is some belief that he helped fund John Brown's attack on Harper's Ferry, the real flame for the war.

--Old Secesh

You "Ain't" Just Whistlin' "Dixie." the Song-- Part 3: "We Have Fairly Captured It"

The song was a big hit both North and South and used at the the 1861 inauguration of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

After Lee surrendered, effectively ending the war, Union President Lincoln had this to say about the song: "I have always thought 'Dixie' was one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversarie over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted today that we had fairly captured it...I now request the band to favor me with its performance. It is good to show the rebels that with us they will be free to hear it again." Thus went another Lincoln gesture toward reunification.

Sadly, today the song is viewed by many in a very negative light despite the fact there are no racial words or slogans.

Just Because It Was a Confederate Song.  --Old Secesh

Monday, December 16, 2013

You "Ain't" Just Whistlin' "Dixie:" the Song-- Part 2: The Great Dixie Debate

As far as where the term Dixie came from, some believe it referred to Louisiana which had a large French population and still was using French currency. Their ten dollar bill was called a "dix" and the word was printed on the bill. Louisiana became known as Dix's Land and then Dixie Land.

Others (including myself) believe Emmett was referring to Dixon of the pre-Revolutionary War Mason- Dixon line, the boundary between Maryland (the South) and Pennsylvania (the North).

It has also been reported that Northern circus people had coined the phrase "I wish I was in Dixie" meaning that they wished the show would move down South when winter came.

The Great Dixie Debate. --Old Secesh

You "Ain't" Just Whistlin' "Dixie:" the Song-- Part 1: A Yankee Wrote It

From the September 15, 2012, Waxahachie Texas Daily Light. "Spotlight on History: Two Famous songs of the Civil War" by David Hudgins.

"Dixie" was also titled "Dixie's Land," "Dixie Land" and "I Wish I Was In Dixie's Land." David Emmett of Ohio wrote it and it was first sung in New York in 1859.

Emmett was a member of a minstrel stage show where white people performed in blackface. The owner of the show asked him to write an upbeat "walk-around" song for the show because the tunes they were using were getting old. At the end of the show, someone would come up on stage and start singing and try to get the audience to sing along.

The phrase "I wish I was in Dixie" was not a normal Southern statement. It was a Northern phrase used to describe the South.

Even to this day, no one is really sure exactly where Mr. Emmett's Dixie was (like Margaritaville or Kokomo).

More Dixie to Come. --Old Secesh

Lamar's Restaurant

I couldn't find out too much at the website for this place I mentioned Saturday in conjunction with the Chattanooga and Chickamauga battlefields in Tennessee and Georgia. The article Saturday said they were famous for cocktails, fried chicken, old school Rhythm & Blues, Christmas lights and velvet wallpaper.

Sounds like a great place to visit...maybe the next time NIU plays in the Orange Bowl?

Anyway, they are located at 1020 East Martin Luther King Boulevard in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Civil War and Eating, Two of My Favorite Things. --Old Secesh

Saturday, December 14, 2013

12 Fascinating Civil War Sites-- Part 4: Vicksburg and Andersonville

9. VICKSBURG, MISSISSIPPI-- Site of a 47-day siege can be seen on a 20-mile loop drive. Also the USS Cairo and its museum. DON'T MISS: Rusty's Riverfront Grill's Po' Boys and fried green tomatoes.

10. PETERSBURG AND APPOMATTOX, VIRGINIA-- Long siege and Robert E. Lee's surrender. DON'T MISS: Poplar Forest, President Thomas Jefferson's place to escape crowds visiting his Montecello after his presidency.

11. CHICKAMAUGA, GEORGIA AND CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE--DON'T MISS: LAMAR'S for cocktails, fried chicken, old-school R&B, Christmas lights and velvet wall paper.

12. ANDERSONVILLE, GEORGIA-- 13,000 died there in just 14 months. DON'T MISS: President Jimmy Carter and peanuts in nearby Plains, Georgia.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hagy's Fish House

This place located near the Shiloh Battlefield. From their website.

In 1825, Henry Hagy and his wife Polly docked their flatboat here and laid claim to serveral surrounding acres. They built a small house and later began selling food.

Their place of business was occupied by Union troops at the Battle of Shiloh and received its name in the early 1930s.

I bet the food is good, but prices from what I saw on their menu was considerably on the high side.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

12 Fascinating Civil War Sites-- Part 3: Stonewall's Arm

Places to see, but with something else above and beyond.

** 6. SHILOH, TENNESSEE-- 120 miles from Memphis and one of the biggest battles in the West. DON'T MISS Hagy's Catfish Hotel. A fish shack near the battlefield for some good-eatin'.

** 7. MOBILE, ALABAMA-- The battle that was a face-off between the Confederate admiral from the North (Buchanan) vs. the Union admiral from the South (Farragut). Forts Morgan and Gaines. Don't miss the Dauphin Island (Fort Gaines) Sea Lab and Estuarium. Plus those great oyster houses, mini Moon pies (and not the regular stuff), the birthplace of North American Mardi Gras and the battleship USS Alabama.

** 8. FREDERICKSBURG, VIRGINIA-- Big battlefield and Northern defeat. DON'T MISS Ellwood Farm where Stonewall Jackson's amputated arm is buried in its own marked grave.

Going Beyond the Usual. Stonewall's Arm Buried Here.  --Old Secesh

Monday, December 9, 2013

12 Fascinating Civil War Sites-- Part 2: Don't Miss

3. ANTIETAM, MARYLAND-- The barttlefield, of course, but Don't Miss the Pry House which is a medical museum on the battlefield grounds. During the battle it served as a hospital and Clara Barton worked there. Also, I might add not to expect the same sort of experience in regards to businesses associated with the battle.

HARPER'S FERRY, WEST VIRGINIA-- Of course, all the John Brown stuff, but, Don't Miss the two mile Cliff Trail loop hike.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA-- Of course, there is Monument Avenue, the Walking Tour of the African-American Experience, the American Civil War Center at the former Tredegar Iron Works which produced artillery and iron for the Confederacy, but, Don't Miss Hollywood Cemetery where U.S. Presidents Monroe and Tyler are buried as well as Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Also, Generals George Pickett and JEB Stuart.

Put Them On Your Itinerary. --Old Secesh

12 Fascinating Civil War Sites-- Part 1: Don't Miss

From the September 4, 2012, CNN by Ann Shields.

These are other sites that you might not have heard of, even Civil buffs.

1. GETTYSBURG, PA-- The battlefield, but, Don't Miss the 250-year-old Fairfield Inn, 8 miles west of town. They recreate a three-course meal eaten by Robert E. Lee during the Confederate retreat. I'll have the Lee Special.

2. WASHINGTON D.C.-- Of course, the Lincoln Memorial, Ford's Theatre and the Petersen House and the African-American Museum. But, Don't Miss Lincoln's Cottage at Soldier's Home where Lincoln and his family stayed from June to November during which time, Lincoln commuted to the Oval office daily. Located four miles from the White House.

More to Come. --Old Secesh

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Day of Infamy 72 Years Ago

December 7, 1941, Japanese plabnes and minisubs attacked US military objectives on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. This caused the United States to enter World War II.

 I am listing the name of one American who died there on that day in every one of my seven blogs.

 WILLIAM M. FINNEGAN of Bessemer and Dollar Bay, Michigan, was on the USS Oklahoma. He left behind a wife and five children. Later in the war, a Navy ship was named for him.

--Greatest Generation

How Technology Shaped the Civil War-- Part 2: Prosthetic Limbs

Communication facilitated the abolitionist movement. Americans got better access to war reports even though they were often wildly inaccurate. Weekly periodical/magazines like Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper and Harper's Weekly sent out artists and illustrators like Alfred Waud and Winslow Homer to bring the war to the people.

Scientific American also covered the war. Almost every issue had at least one article on the newest technological developments.

The thousands of men who were maimed and lost limbs inspired entrepreneurs to design new and improved prosthetic limbs. The Patent Office granted 133 patents for them from 1866 to 1873. Perhaps 60,000 men lost limbs.

--Old Secesh

How Technology Shaped the Civil War-- Part 1

From the September 7, 2012, Scientific American by James Marten.

An unbelievable amount of carnage was caused during the war by tactics that failed to take into account the new breech-loading rifled muskets and artillery pieces. It was also a war where armored ships, railroad networks, submarines and reconnaissance balloons were used. The Civil War is often called the "First Modern War."

Newspapers became tools of mass communication in the 1830s with the invention of the rotary press and steam powered printing. The 1840s saw the development of the telegraph. The Associated Press was founded in 1849.

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 6, 2013

Civil War Veterans-- Part 3: Still, Old Animosities

The veterans of both sides had complex attitudes toward each other and non-combatants. Wartime hatreds never completely went away. The GAR pressured President Grover Cleveland to retract the 1887 order to return captured Confederate battle flags. There was also a great controversy as to the proper telling of the Civil War.

They were prone to idealize at the expense of civilians.

From 1884 to 1887, Century's "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War" managed to avoid politics and sectionalsim and gave a balanced northern and southern viewpoint of the war by printing reports from both sides. That 4 volume set that resulted is still one of the great resources for historians.

Blue and Gray Reunions were held starting in the 1880s and reached a pinnacle with the huge Gettysburg Reunion of 1913, on the battle's 50th anniversary.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Civil War Veterans-- Part 2: Confederate Organizations

Confederate veterans organized later than their Union counterparts because of losing the war. The United Confederate Veterans, UCV, organization started in 1889 and had 80,000 members by 1903.

Before 1885, the exclusive Association of the Army of Northern Virginia, AANV, dominated Confederate veteran affairs. I belong to the UCV's offshoot, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, SCV.

At first, ex-Confederates were ineligible for federal pensions and hiring preferences, but individual southern states erected Soldiers' Homes to care for the wounded and indigent and some even provided modest pensions.

Much effort went into developing the Lost Cause mythology to cope with the sting of defeat and reintegrating into the nation.

Veterans On a Different Side. --Old Secesh

Civil War Veterans-- Part 1: Grand Army of the Republic


The Civil War produced 2 million veterans on both sides. The 1890 census showed 1,034,073 Union veterans still living and 432,6000 Confederate. When the war ended, the thousands returning home faced dim employment prospects, civilian indifference and many had the additional lingering aspects of wounds and diseases. Some 13.9% of Union and 20% of the Confederate veterans suffered from wounds.


Founded in 1866, it eventually grew to over 400,000 members and probably the most powerful political lobby of the Gilded Age. The organization helped bring about the Arrears Act of 1879 which doubled pension expenditures in less than two years.

The Dependent Pension Act of 1890, created a service pension system. The number of Union pensioners, including some women, reached a peak of 969,711 in 1901.

In 1874, Congress mandated preference for disabled veterans in federal hiring. New York and Kansas enacted general veteran preference laws.Twelve state Soldiers' Homes opened between 1879 and 1888.

Quite the Active Organization. --Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Two Civil War Museums in Virginia Teaming Up

From the Nov. 18, 2013, Yahoo! News, AP.

The Museum of the Confederacy and the American Civil War Center are joining forces to create a new war center in Richmond. Both are already located in Richmond, Virginia. The Museum of the Confederacy presents the Southern side of the war and the Civil War Center focuses on the lives of the Confederate and Union soldiers, freed and enslaved blacks and civilians.

The new museum resulting in the combining will be located along the James River by the former Tredegar Ironworks which produced so much Confederate ordnance. Groundbreaking on the new facility is expected to take place in 2014.

I like the idea, but am a bit worried about the Civil War Center dominating the new organization. In the past, they have really been anti-Confederate.

--Old Secesh

Civil War Photographer Timothy O'Sullivan

From the Nov. 23, 2013, Irish Central "150 years on: The haunting Civil War and Wild West photos of Timothy O'Sullivan."

Timothy O'Sullivan was Irish-born in 1840 and emigrated to the United States two years later. He died at age 42 of tuberculosis.

This article included eleven of O'Sullivan's photographs both from the Civil War and Wild West.

I knew about his Civil War ones, especially the ones he took shortly after the fall of Fort Fisher, NC, in January 1865. Chris Fonvielle of UNC-Wilmington has made a whole book of the O'Sullivan Fort Fisher photographs.

Definitely An Article and Book to Check Out, --Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Long Grabs" Tells It Like It Is-- Part 1

From the Nov. 23, 2013, Greenville (NC) Reflector "ECU librarian wins award for work" by Jane Dail.

Barry Munson is a librarian at East Carolina University in Greenville and one of his passions is the Civil War. In his free time he constantly is looking through old records and in old Civil War issues of the Fayetteville (NC) Observer, he kept coming across the name of a contributor to the paper who simply referred to himself as "Long Grabs."

"Long Grabs" was also a Confederate soldier. Munson said that few correspondents back then signed their real name and in that way essentially could say anything they wanted.

Munson was determined to learn just exactly who this man was. He found out that he was a member of the 26th North Carolina at the Battle of Petersburg and that he had been shot between the eyes. While examining the regiment's roster, he found that a soldier named Murdoch John McSween had been wounded in such manner, but had survived and there was also an obituary in 1880 in a Salisbury newspaper.

"In essence it said he was a popular writer for the Fayetteville Observer who was known as Long Grabs, said Munson. "Aha, I have it!"

So, What Did He Write About. --Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Monetary Innovation That Changed the Course of the War

From the August 29, 2012, Bloomberg by Franklin Noll.

In the summer of 1861, U.S. Secertary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase negotiated a loan of gold from banks. Until the gold's arrival in Washington, D.C. he issued $50 million on on demand notes to fund the military effort.

The Treasury back then had no facility to produce paper money. Bills were made by the American Bank Note Company in New York which produced them in sheets of four bills which would be sent to the Treasury Department where workers cut and trimmed them with scissors, some 7 million notes.

This led to the formation of the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing which today produces billions of dollars.

In early 1862, with the war dragging on and costs skyrocketing, the Treasury was going broke so Congress authorized $150 million in new currency which became known as Greenbacks. Workers still had to process 20 million notes by hand.

Treasury clerk Spencer M. Clark mechanized the process in separating the notes when he invented a hand-powered machine to separate and trim them. Later, the machine was modified to be powered by steam.

A Money-Making Process. Cut me Some.  --Old Secesh

A Prison Diary: 15 Months At Fort Delaware-- Part 9: Murder of a Confederate Officer

In July 1864, Isaac Handy recorded what he referred to as the murder of Colonel Edward Pope Jones who was lame from a disease that affected his feet and was killed by a guard at the prison latrine.

The guard shot Pope from the roof of the outhouse building apparently for not moving fast enough. The soldier was not punished for the shooting.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Those "Silly Remarks" at Gettysburg 150 Years Ago Today: Newspaper Makes Retraction

From the Nov. 15, 2013, Yahoo! News, Reuters "Pennsylvania paper retracts editorial panning Gettysburg Address" by Eric M. Johnson.

On November 24, 1863, the Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Patriot-News, had an editorial saying that the speech given by President Lincoln November 19th was full of "silly remarks" and was only worthy of the "veil of oblivion."

"We pass over the silly remarks of the President. For the credit of the nation we are willing that the veil of oblivion should be dropped over them and that they shall be no more repeated or thought of." Furthermore, Lincoln's remarks were just political overture.

Oops, missed that one.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's capital, is 40 miles northeast of Gettysburg.

In the paper retracted this editorial, saying: "Our predecessors, perhaps under the influence of partisanship, or of strong drink, as was common in the profession at the time, called President Lincoln's words 'silly remarks' deserving 'a veil of oblivion."

Oh Well, Even the Greatest Sometimes Get Panned. --Old Secesh

Monday, November 18, 2013

Civil War Statue in Wichita Undergoes Repairs

From the Nov. 5, 2013, Wichita (Kansas) Eagle "100-year-old statue atop Civil War memorial in Wichita comes down for repairs" by Dion Lefler.

The 13-foot "Lady Liberty" statue holding the banner of freedom on the south lawn of the Sedgwick County Courthouse at the pinnacle of the Soldiers and Sailors Civil War Monument has been taken to the Russell-Marti Conservation Service company in California, Missouri.

The monument was dedicated in 1913 for the dwindling number of Union survivors. It was last restored in 2000.

The Liberty statue was designed and built by W.H. Mullins Company of Salem, Ohio, which, during the late 1800s, early 1900s, specialized in Civil War memorials. Lady Liberty was one of their more popular statues, coming in 10-foot and 13-foot versions.

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was very influential in Wichita and even though the city already had two smaller Civil War monuments, they wanted a "lasting tribute."   Funds were raised by a local tax to cover the $25,000 memorial.

Wichita and Sedgwick County didn't even exist during the Civil War, the area being part of a trust for the Osage and other Indian tribes. After the war,veterans, mostly Union, began streaming into Kansas.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Prison Diary: 15 Months At Fort Delaware-- Part 8

A Confederate prisoner at Fort Delaware wrote: "We have not only been robbed of our money, clothes, and eatables; but of that also which the Government allows. Yesterday we were shoved out [of the barracks]; robbed of our clothes, and blankets, and even of boxes received on the same day, and the day before from our friends....

Just think!  Some mornings we get only three crackers; no meat; and even when a few delicacies are sent to us from home, they pilfer, and take them from us."

And You Think The Confederate Prisons Were Bad.  --Old Secesh

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Prison Diary: 15 Months At Fort Delaware-- Part 7: Starvation

In his memoir, Confederate Private George H. Moffett, while held prisoner at Fort Delaware, recalled seeing an order posted from the War Department in Washington, D.C., saying that "in retaliation for hardships imposed on Union soldiers confined in Rebel prisons...commanders of Federal prison posts to reduce the diet of Rebel prisoners under their charge to one-fourth of the regulation allowance for army rations, and to allow no luxuries nor permit surplus comforts. The order was signed 'E. Stanton, Secretary of War,' and was attested by 'A. Schoepf, Brigadier General Commanding' and G.W. Ahl, Assistant Adjutant General."

On August 10, 1864, Stanton ordered the elimination of package deliveries to prisoners.

In September 1864, Isaac Handy wrote: "Since the embargo on boxes, we have had a constant complaint of hunger. Some men require a great deal more food than others, and these are suffering more or less, all the time, as the Yankee allowance is barely enough, even for those whose appetites are not so keen."

The Starving Times. --Old Secesh

A Prison Diary: 15 Months at Fort Delaware-- Part 6: Prison Humor and Starvation

Even in a place as bad as Fort Delaware, it helped when the prisoners had a sense of humor. A standard joke among the POWs and political prisoners was about the sorry soup that often had dead flies and worms in it.

The joke was that the soup was so weak and devoid of nourishment that these creatures had not drowned in it, but had died of starvation.

However, the reality of starvation was not a laughing matter. A U.S. surgeon who inspected the fort reported that from November 1, 1863, to February 1, 1864, there were 365 cases of scurvy and that some prisoners had died of malnutrition.

Making matters even worse, in 1864, in retaliation for food scarcity in Confederate prisons, rations in Northern prisons were reduced drastically.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Prison Diary: 15 Months At Fort Delaware-- Part 5

Food scarcity was a problem, even more so with the elisted men. Political prisoners generally ate better than Confederate prisoners.

But, even so, on June 22, 1864, Handy wrote: "Our rations are now a small piece of bread and meat, each, and a cup of water at breakfast; and at about four o'clock P.M. the same quantity of bread and meat...with the addition of a cup of rice soup. The soup is so bad-- being often filled with flies and dirt-- that I never use it...."

Pretty Crummy Eating. --Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Prison Diary: 15 Months At Fort Delaware-- Part 5

Prisoners were grouped into administrative divisions numbering up to a hundred men. There was a larger adjacent pen for the private soldiers separated from the officers area by an alley and two plank fences topped by catwalks where sentries kept watch.

A number of drainage ditches ran in all directions across the prison yards. They served to remove waste and offal of the thousands of prisoners and were just barely adequate.

There were other Northern prisons with higher mortality rates, but Fort Delaware had its share. On September 20, 1863, Reverend Handy recorded: "Twenty-six bodies of Confederate prisoners were carried over to Jersey, this morning-- one of them being that of a man who attempted to escape by swimming the river. He was washed ashore with several canteens attached to his person. His eyes were eaten out, indicating that he had been drowned for several days." Because of the marshy ground of Pea Patch Island, bodies were buried in mass graves in New Jersey.

Fort commandant General Schoepf later claimed "The number of deaths rendered it impossible to dig a grave for each body separately."

Not So Good At Northern Prisons. --Old Secesh

A Prison Diary: 15 Months at Fort Delaware-- Part 3: Political and Military Prisoners

Fort Delaware was built in the 1850s in the middle of the Delaware River on a marshy island/mud flat called Pea Patch Island. It was a massive granite and brick five-sided fort surrounded by a wide moat built to mount 150 guns. This was essentially reclaimed land and when it rained or flooded it became an unhealthy quagmire.

It had been adapted for use as a prison. Rooms in the interior barracks housed higher rank Confederate officers and political prisoners. In the spring of 1863, additional wooden barracks to house 10,000 were built along with a 600-bed hospital. Prisoners from Gettysburg and Vicksburg started arriving in July.

In addition to the Confederate soldiers, Fort Delaware also housed a number of political prisoners, of which Isaac Handy was one. President Lincoln had suspended the writ of habeas corpus for the war, and during the course of it, thousands of mostly Northerners were arrested.

"Virtually anyone who opposed administration policies in any way was threatened with imprisonment without due process," according to Thomas J. DiLorenzo, author of the book "Lincoln Unmasked."

And You Thought Confederate Prisons Were Bad. --Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Prison Diary: 15 Months In Fort Delaware-- Part 2: The U.S. No Longer Represents Its High Ideals

The Reverend Isaac Handy's journal is over 600 pages long where he recounted almost daily the events in camp. He kept his writings carefully hidden and was able to smuggle out parts with his wife when she was allowed to visit.

During the war,Handy was pastor of a church in Portsmouth, Virginia, an area under Union control after its capture in 1862. In June 1863, he was given a pass to visit family and friends in Delaware. While there early one morning in July 1863, he was arrested and sent to Fort Delaware.

His crime was that in a private conversation he had made remarks critical of the government of the United States. These comments were overheard and sent to a newspaper and printed. What he had actually said was that the U.S. no longer represented the high ideals that it originally had.

Fifteen Months a Prisoner. --Old Secesh

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Prison Diary: 15 Months in Fort Delaware-- Part 1

From the September/October Confederate Veteran Magazine "Fifteen Months in Fort Delaware: The Prison Diary of Isaac Handy" by Karen Stokes.

Not just Confederate prisons were bad. Life at this northen prison was no bed of roses eaither.

"In 1863, Reverend Isaac William Ker Handy (1815-1878) a civilian clergyman was incarcerated as a political prisoner of the United States government. He was a middle-aged man close to 50 years old, and his health suffered during his confinement, but during the fifteen months he was held at Fort Delaware, he kept a diary in which he faithfully recorded his war experiences and observations.

After the war, it was published and now serves as a useful and reliable source of information on the conditions of the prison from July 1863 to October 1864."

--Old Secesh

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy 238th Birthday, USMC

Today, the United States Marines celebrate their 238th birthday which also honors the CSMC, the Confederate States Marine Corps.

Congratulations. --Old Secesh

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Other Union Veteran Organizations

I also came across two other Union organizations. One was the VRU which stood for Veterans Rights Union and the other MOLLUS standing for Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

I am unable to find anything about the VRU.

MOLLUS, despite having such a long name was very good at recording history, especially the speeches given at their meetings. Membership was open only to Union officers.

Fighting and Remembering. --Old Secesh

Union Veterans League

I came across this organization in my research and hadn't ever heard of them before. I found this in

Membership in this organization was open only to those who had served at least two years and those who had been wounded. Because of its limited membership numbers, its political and cultural significance was secondary to the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), which was the largest Union veterans group by far.

I have heard of the GAR many times.

Always Good to Remember, Especially This Time of the Year With November 11th Approaching. --Old Secesh

Civil War Photography

From the October 27, 2013, Chicago Tribune.

A new museum exhibition has just opened at the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, S.C., called "Photography and the American Civil War<' commemorating the 150th anniversary of that war.

It has more than 200 photographs and provides a detailed look at what the camera saw between 1861 and 1865. Its images show a contrast from the bloody battlefields (which sometimes had "posed" bodies) as well as formal portraits of soldiers. There are also panoramas of Gettysburg and Richmond and portraits of Abraham Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth.

There is a cart de visit of Confederate Captain Charles A. and Sgt. John M. Hawkins, of the Georgia Volunteer Infantry in an ambrotype with applied color, taken between 1861 and 1862 accompnying the article.

If You're In the Area. --Old Secesh

Friday, November 8, 2013

Not Enough Soap

From the Aug. 26, 2012, Fayetteville (NC) Observer "Civil War 150th Anniversary August 1862 Developments."

From the August 11, 1862, Fayetteville Observer. "The Manufacture of Soap-- One of the greatest wants of the Confederacy, and especially the Army, has lately been soap. A few days ago we were presented with a very creditable specimin of Turpentine Bar Soap made by a lady of this town under the direction of A.J. O'Hanlon, Esq. She can turn out 106 lbs per week."

A Washing Crime. --Old Secesh

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Submerged Civil War Relics Could Get a New Home-- Part 2

These 'sunken" weapons are still there. Divers occasionally look in the murky waters for items to sale and sometimes get arrested.

City councilman Greg Bjelke has gotten a $13,160 grant for Selma to study ways to protect the weapons above and below the water. Those recovered are sent to a museum.

Selma was a sleepy village before the war, but the Selma Ordnance and Naval Foundry (the CSS Tennessee was built here) grew to employ 10,000 workers producing pig-iron ingots from Alabama blast furnaces.

Union forces destroyed a million pounds of small arms, ammunition as well as 60,000 artillery shells and 15 siege guns. Another 8,000 pounds of horseshoes, five locomotives, 3 million feet of lumber and 10,000 bushels of coal also were destroyed.

--Old Secesh

Submerged Civil War Relics Could Get a New Home-- Part 1

From the August 21, 2012, Montgomery (Alabama) Advertiser by Alvin Benn.

The war was nearly over and Union troops in Alabama had two more missions to complete. Both gave them much pleasure. One was to burn Selma to the ground on April 2, 1865, and the second was to destroy as many weapons as they could by dumping them into the Alabama River.

Selma was one of only two major armament centers in the Confederacy.

It took a week to "sink" the weapons in the river near where the noted Edmund Pettus Bridge was dedicated 85 years later. (This bridge played a role in the Civil Rights Movement.)

Fun At the River. --Old Secesh

Two Major Petersburg Sites to be Saved

From the August 15, 2012, "Allies to save depot, attack site" by Clint Schemmer.

Two major Petersburg, Virginia, sites are to be preserved thanks to state grants, the city and the Civil War Trust.

$850,000 in funding will spent to restore the city's South Side Depot, the last railroad controlled by Confederates.

Another 81 acres on Cemetery Hill is also to be preserved. This is a critical site in three battles. This is located between Blandford Cemetery, home to a famous chapel that honors Confederate dead and the Fort Stedman portion of the Petersburg National Cemetery.

There were over 16 major battles in the 10-month long Petersburg Campaign, resulting in 80,000 killed, wounded and captured between the two sides.

Cemetery Hill was significant in the Union Army's initial assault on the city June 18, 1864, the July 30, 1864, Battle of the Crater and the March 25, 1865 Confederate surprise attack on Fort Steadman.

Always Good to Save Battle Sites. --Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

U.S. Coins Helped Fund Confederate Memorial-- Part 3

The lease to the side of the mountain ended in 1928 and the owner refused to extend it. Lakeman died in 1935 and then the project was further delayed by World War II. In 1958, the State of Georgia bought the mountain and in 1963 Walter Hancock was hired to finish it.

In 1964, the Civil War's Centennial, work once again began on the carving. A park at its base was also begun. Vice President Spiro Agnew dedicated the carving May 9, 1970, and the final touches were completed in 1972.

Yes, There Are Confederate Coins Still Around. --Old Secesh

Coins Helped to Fund Confederate Memorial-- Part 2: Stone Mountain Coin

In 1925, the Confederate half dollar, a legal U.S. coin, was minted and sold for $1 with 50 cents going to fund the project. The front of the coin has Lee and Jackson mounted on their horses with thirteen stars above their heads and the date 1925. The back has a large eagle.

The coin is still legal but definitely, with their value, not in general circulation, but can be bought at most coin companies. Current prices are from $30 to $200 depending on condition.

I have one that my dad bought for me when I was young.

Save Your Confederate Money. --Old Secesh

Coins Helped to Fund Confederate Memorial-- Part 1

From the August 11, 2012, "Spotlight on History: Coin helps fund Confederate memorial" by David Hudgin.

On the north side of Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta, Georgia, is a huge 90-foot by 190-foot carving of Confederate leaders Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

Work began on it in 1909. It was originally the idea of C. Helen Planc of the United Daughters of the Confederacy whose husband was killed in the war. It was her idea to honor Lee and the Confederacy.

Gutzon Borglum was hired as the sculptor in 1915. He is more famous for his work at Mount Rushmore. Work started in 1923 after being delayed by World War I. Borglum was given $250,000 and three years to complete it.

The head of Robert E. Lee was unveiled January 19, 1924, the anniversary of his birthday.

A Mighty Big Memorial. --Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Civil War Remnants Found at College of William and Mary-- Part 3

Slaves in Williamsburg and York County were not freed by the Emancipation Proclamation which applied to only those in states in rebellion and in areas not under federal control.

At the archaelogical dig, the area is small and only down two feet. Artifacts were initially found on campus last fall when the college was doing survey work for some new utility lines for renovations in a building dating to 1723.

At that time remains of a brick wall that was dug up and then covered over again by Union troops when they took over the abandoned campus. They demolsihed some of the buildings. For about three years, some 1500 Union troops were encamped on the school's campus.

--Old Secesh

Civil War Remnants Found At College of William and Mary-- Part 2

During the Civil War, most of the college of William and Mary's professors and students entered Confederate service. Confederate barracks and later a hospital were located in one building.

Union troops occupied the town and campus in May 1862, during the Peninsular Campaign. In 1865, they blocked up one campus building and placed cannons in it against a possible Confederate attack. Each end of the famed College Building had palisades.

--Old Secesh

Civil War Remnants Found At College of William and Mary-- Part 1

From the August 11, 2012,, AP.

The College of William and Mary claims that it is the "Alma Mater of a Nation" because of its role before the American Revolution. But it also played a part in the Civil War.

Archaeologists in recent weeks have probed a defensive position on the school's campus in downtown Williamsburg. Union troops occupied the town from 1862 to 1965. The archaeologists  found evidence of a fortification and many well-preserved artifacts.

George Washington received his surveyor's license from the school. Presidents Jefferson, Monroe and John Tyler received their educations at William and Mary which was charterd in 1693 and still has a building dating to 1700. It is the oldest college building in the United States.

An Education and a War Too. --Old Secesh

The Aftermath of the Battle of Chickamauga-- Part 4

The Receiving and Distribution hospital remained in Dalton until the end of April 1864, then moved to Griffin.

Living in Dalton from September-November 1863, was chaotic. Farmers and businessmen filed claims with the Confederate government for damage done by Longstreet's Army as it moved through there. Rail fences were taken by the thousands for campfires. Standing corn was taken.

Most of the claims were paid in full. With Confederate money I guess.  Well.

--Old Secesh

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Aftermath of the Battle of Chickamauga in Dalton-- Part 3

Surgeon James B. Murfree was ordered to gather all property of the Asylum Hospital that had been in Knoxville and proceed to Dalton. On September 23rd, he reopened the Asylum Hospital and treated patients for the next 69 days before moving to Madison.

On Oct. 28th, Surgeon James Meredith was ordered back to Dalton and placed in charge of all hospital operations. On November 15th, Surgeon Lunsford P. Yandell was ordered to move Stout Hospital back to Dalton and report to Meredith for assignment. On November 28th, after 30 days in Dalton, Surgeon Meredith instructed that various hospitals in the town be shut down as they were catching up with the wounded. With the exception of the R&D hospital, all Dalton hospitals were removed to other cities farther south.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Aftermath of the Battle of Chickamauga in Dalton-- Part 2

Ringgold was north of the burned bridge on the Western and Atlantic Railroad so many of the wounded were sent to Tunnel Hill and Dalton for the first three days after the battle. Once there, they were placed on box cars and sent to hospitals farther south.

W.L. Hilliard, surgeon, was among the first to arrive in Dalton from Knoxville on September 18th and was placed in charge of the hospital there.

Surgeon R.P. Bateman was ordered back to Dalton fromNewman and established a receiving and distribution (R&D). He set up his hospital in the Western and Atlantic Hotel and immediately began receiving hundreds of wounded.

--Old Secesh

The Aftermath of the Battle of Chickamauga On Dalton, Georgia-- Part 1

From the 10-20-13 Dalton (Ga) Daily Citizen "Civil War anniversary: The aftermath of the Battle of Chickamauga in Dalton" by Marvin Sowder of the Dalton 150th Civil War Commission.

The history of battles are always greatly covered, but what happens in their aftermath and in the areas surrounding them?

On September 7, 1863, with Union forces approaching northern Georgia from Chattanooga, all Confederate hospitals in Dalton and their some 300 patients were evacuated to safer points farther south. Many citizens also left. Longstreet's Confederate army was much welcomed as they arrived.

The Battle of Chickamauga was fought September 19-20 and special arrangements had to be made to care for the thousands of wounded from the battle. Medical director Samuel H. Stout reported that it became necessary to reopen hospitals in Ringgold and Dalton.

And the Tide of Wounded Came. --Old Secesh

Friday, November 1, 2013

Oshkosh's 21st and 32nd Wisconsin Regiments

From the Battlefield Wanderings Blog.

Back on Oct. 24th, I wrote about Camp Bragg in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where these two regiments trained.

The 21st Wisconsin fought at Perryville, Chickamauga, Chattanooga and were with Sherman until the end of the war. They lost 112 men in battle and 183 by disease.

The 32nd Wisconsin served mostly garrison duty earlier in the war and then finished with General Sherman in the Cartolinas, like the 21st. The regiment lost 27 men killed in battle and 259 from disease.

Camp Bragg in Oshkosh was named for Edward Bragg, then Lt. Col. of the 6th Wisconsin in the fall of 1862. He became brigadier general in June 1864 and is connected with the famous Iron Brigade. He was an Oshkosh attorney.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fond du Lac's 3rd Wisconsin-- Part 2: "The Common Man" Regiment

The company that was marching across the bridge in the mishap that I wrote about last week, was the Green County Volunteers which became Company C in the 3rd Wisconsin.

The 3rd Wisconsin was the second regiment raised in the state after Lincoln called for all those volunteers after the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter. It is often called the "Common Man Regiment" as its members represented a cross-section of Wisconsin's civilian men.

They fought at Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Gettysburg, Resaca, the March to the Sea and Carolinas Campaign. Additionally, they were involved in the war's biggest cavalry battle at Brandy Station in Virginia and even a naval battle when they captured the Confederate gunboat Resolute at Argyle Island, North Carolina.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Finding the Real "Old Glory"-- Part 12

That same year, the Peabody Essex also sent its "Old Glory" to the Smithsonian who regards Roland's flag as the real one for these reasons. It was directly descended from William Driver and there is documentary evidence in the Tennessee State Library and Archives suggests the one hidden in the quilt and presented to Union troops is Roland's.

Plus, it is common sense that Driver would have hoisted his largest flag over the dome.

So, Is "Old Glory" the One That Is Displayed? --Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Finding the Real "Old Glory"-- Part 11; Who Has the Real Flag?

Continued from October 22nd. After William Driver's death, this is when the family feud began. His niece, Harriet Ruth Waters Cooke, a Salem-born socialite claimed to have inherited it. She presented her flag to the Essex Institute of Salem, now the Peabody Essex Museum.

One has to wonder why Driver would have given "Old Glory" to a niece in faraway Massachusetts, unless he was worried about his pro-Confederate family in Nashville.

However, the Nashville-born daughter of Driver, Mary Jane Roland, came up with the history of the flag her father had given her and published it in 1918. In 1922, she presented her "Old Glory" to President Warren G. Harding, who, in turn, delivered it to the Smithsonian.

So, Whose "Old Glory" is Real? --Old Secesh

Monday, October 28, 2013

Fond du Lac's 3rd Wisconsin Infantry-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Last week, I was writing about Camp Hamilton/Wood in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, which served as a training camp and mustering camp for the 3rd Wisconsin Infantry which mustered into service June 19, 1861. They were the second regiment raised in Wisconsin.

They served throughout the war and participated in the Grand Review of the Armies in Washington, DC, on May 24, 1865, before mustering out at Louisville, Kentucky, on July 18, 1865.

Originally 979 men mustered in and later another 940 were recruited during the course of the war for a total of 1919 men.

Killed in Action or mortally wounded: 9 officers and 158 enlisted.
Died of disease: 2 officers and 113 enlisted.

Colonels commanding the unit were Charles Hamilton, Thomas H. Ruger and William Hawley.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, October 26, 2013

General Edward S. Bragg

From Wikipedia.

Earlier this week I was writing about Camp Bragg on Oshkosh, Wisconsin, named for General Edward S. Bragg (probably no relation to Confederate General Braxton Bragg from North Carolina.) . I'd never heard of him. Born Feb. 20, 1827. Died June 20, 1912.

Member of the US House of Representatives from Wisconsin 1877-1883 and 1885-1887 and foreign diplomat. Born in Unadilla, New York and one of the charter members of Kappa Alpha Society, considered the first collegiate fraternity formed at Union College in Schenectaty, NY.

In 1850, he moved to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.

When the Civil War started, he became a captain in the 6th Wisconsin which became a part of the famous Iron Brigade. Became a Lt. Col June 21, 1862 and colonel of the regiment March 10, 1863. Missed the Battle of Gettysburg because of wounds received at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

Became brigadier general of volunteers June 25, 1864. He is interred at Rienzi Cemetery in Fond du Lac.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Yes, It Was Probably That Rodman Who Inspected the Napoleons at Camp Bragg

Thomas Jackson Rodman, the man who inspected the Napoleons at Oshkosh's Camp Bragg Memorial Park, was the famed ordnance man and inventor of the Rodman guns.

From 7 February 1862 to 7 April 1864, the Revere Copper Co. in Boston built 433 bronze Napoleons. Some 245 are known to still survive today. Rodman probably did not work for the Revere Company, but inspected submissions for the federal government.

I have been writing about the Revere Company also casting the ship's bell for the USS Constitution in my War of 1812 blog this past week. That bell was destroyed in the battle with the HMS Guerriere.

So, Now You Know. --Old Secesh

Wisconsin's Camp Bragg in Oshkosh-- Part 2

From HMDB.

Photo of the Camp Bragg Memorial with a plaque on stone reading: "Near this spot in the autumn of 1862 the 21st and 32nd Regiments Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry were encamped for organization before proceeding to the front. Erected 1915."

Some more information: It was eracted in 1915 by the Camp Bragg Memorial Association on plans drawn by sculptor Karl Bitter. It is flanked by 4 smoothbore Napoleon cannons mounted in concrete. They were shipped by railroad to Oshkosh on June 15, 1915 from the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Illinois.

The muzzle loading cannon were made by the Revere Copper Company (yes, that Revere as in Paul) in Boston. Each barrel weighs 1216 pounds and were inspected by Thomas Jackson Rodman (was he the man of the Rodman guns?).

Just Some More Info.. --Old Secesh

Wisconsin's Camp Bragg in Oshkosh B'Gosh

From Iron Brigade: Wisconsin's Black Hat Brigade site.

The temporary organization and training center for the 21st and 32nd Wisconsin Infantry Regiments. Named in honor of Brigadier General Edward S. Bragg of the "Iron Brigade" 6th Wisconsin Infantry.

The site of the post us now within the Camp Bragg Memorial Park on the northwest corner of Hazel and Cleveland streets in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in Winnebago County.

We have been meaning to go back to the area and this will give me something to look for when we do. Oshkosh is about ten miles or so north of Fond du Lac which I have been posting about the last several entries.

 --Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Another Version of How Not to Cross a Bridge-- Part 3

Another version of this story had the whole bridge collapsing, "...there came a crash, a few yells, some swearing...and the proud military organization was floundering in the depths below, amid planks, joists, logs and their individual selves, while a few had clutched the boxed trusses upon either side of the roadway, looking down, horror stricken, upon their scrambling comrades below."

The men finally made it into camp, wet, bruised, and perhaps not quite so confident in their skills as soldiers. To add injury to insult, the only weapon in camp, Captain Martin Flood's Masonic Sword, was lost in the river."

You Have to Wonder If That Sword Is Still At the Bottom of the River? --Old Secesh

How Not to Cross a Bridge-- Part 2

The "Green County Volunteers" arrived in Fond du Lac on June 14, 1861, eager to show off their already-learned military prowess and show off for the locals.

Colonel Hamilton reported that when the group entered the city they crossed a wooden bridge "in a perfect step." Unfortunately, that much weight and in step like that proved too much for that bridge and its sidewalk broke and several men were thrown into the water.

One of them, William Carter "struck upon a saw log and was considerably injured. Thus was learned the military rule to march over bridges at route step."

Some Things You Learn the Hard Way. --Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Incident on the Fond du Lac Bridge: Or How Not to Move Across a Bridge-- Part 1

From the Iron Brigade Wisconsin's 'Black Hat' Brigade site. I did not come across what the 3rd Wisconsin had to do with the famed Iron Brigade. US Highway 12 through Illinois is called the Iron Brigade Highway, though. This is also the group that fought the Col. Leventhorpe and his 11th North Carolina so hard during the first day's fighting at Gettysburg.

While doing some research on Camp Hamilton/Wood in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, I came across this interesting account of the arrival of the first volunteers at the new military installation.

Camp Hamilton was named after Col. Charles S. Hamilton, commander of the 3rd Wisconsin, the first unit to train there. It was located on the west side of the city, between Johnson and Division streets and from Lincoln Avenue (then Waupun St.) to Hickory Street where it intersects with Forest Avenue.

The "Green County Volunteers" were the first unit to arrive in Fond du Lac on June 14, 1861.

Talking About Your Grand Entrance. --Old Secesh

Camp Hamilton/Wood in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Following up on the entries from earlier this month on Private Stockwell's gun and the 14th Wisconsin Infantry.

The 14th Wisconsin were mustered in on January 30, 1862, at Camp Wood in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, which was their training camp. The place was originally named Camp Hamilton after Charles S. Hamilton, the commander of the 3rd Wisconsin Infantry who trained there before mustering into Union service.

It became Camp Wood when the 14th Wisconsin trained there and was named after its commander, Col. David E. Wood.

During the war, it was outside of Fond du Lac, but now is inside the city. Only a small park marks its existence these days.

--Old Secesh

Finding the Real "Old Glory"-- Part 10: "I Have Always Cherished It"

William Driver spent the rest of the war as provost martial in Nashville and worked in hospitals.

According to his daughter Mary Jane Roland, several years before his death, he gave her "Old Glory" on July 10, 1873, saying, "This is my old ship flag Old Glory. I love it as a mother loves her child; take it and cherish it as I have always cherished it; for it has been my steadfast friend and protector in all parts of the world--savage, heathen and civilized."

William Driver died on March 3, 1886, and is buried in Nashville.

The Man Sure Loved His Flag. --Old Secesh

Monday, October 21, 2013

Finding the Real "Old Glory"-- Part 9

The confusion over which flag is the "Real Old Glory" began that night. A storm developed and threatened to tear "Old Glory" to pieces and William Driver apparently replaced it with a newer, stronger one and once-again took "Old Glory" home with him. There were also reports that Diver gave the flag to the Sixth Ohio when it left Nashville.

According to expert Rowand, the real one remained in the Driver home until December 1864 at the second battle of Nashville when Confederate General John Bell Hood destroyed his army trying to recapture the city.

During the battle, Driver hung his flag out of his third-story window "in plain sight" of the southerners. He then went to defend the city,saying "If Old Glory is not in sight, I'll blow the house out of sight too."

--Old Secesh

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Finding the Real "Old Glory"-- Part 8: Up High and Flying Proud

The bed quilt was carefully opened and the large American flag pulled out. William Driver handed it to Gen. Nelson saying, "This is the flag I hope to see hoisted on the flagstaff in place of the [damned] Confederate flag set there by that [damned] rebel governor, Isham G. Harris. I have had hard work to save it; my house has been searched for it more than once."

General Nelson accepted the flag and ordered it run up on the statehouse flagstaff, whereupon it was greeted with "frantic cheering and uproarious demonstrations by soldiers."

The Sixth Ohio especially enjoyed it and later would adopt the name "Old Glory" as its motto.

--Old Secesh

Friday, October 18, 2013

Finding the Real "Old Glory"-- Part 7: "Over My Dead Body"

Locals made another attempt to take the flag. When an armed squad arrived on his front porch, William Driver confronted them, "If you want my flag you'll have to take it over my dead body." They retreated.

Driver was now convinced that the flag was in imminent danger and with the help of Unionist women in the neighborhood, had it sewn into a coverlet where it remained until late February 1862 when Nashville was taken, the first Confederate capital to be captured.

Union troops led by the 6th Ohio entered the city. When Driver saw the Stars and Stripes and regimental flags go up on the flagstaff of the Capitol building, he made his way to General William "Bull" Nelson and introduced himself as a former sea captain and loyal Unionist and then produced his coverlet.

And the General's Sitting There Wondering, "What?" --Old Secesh

Finding the Real "Old Glory"-- Part 6: "Produce Your Warrant!"

As secession came nearer for Tennessee, not surprisingly William Driver's flag became a source of contention between him and his neighbors. Even his own family was bitterly divided. Two of his sons were fervent Confederates and enlisted in local regiments; one of them would die of his wounds at the Battle of Perryville.

In March 1862, a sad Driver wrote, "Two sons in the army of the South! My entire house estranged...and when I come one to soothe me."

Confederate authorities tried to get Driver's "Old Glory soon after the state seceded. A committee came to house to demand the flag and Driver met them at the door saying, "Gentlemen...if you are looking for stolen property in my house, produce your search warrant." The committee left.

Yes, just try to fly your Confederate flag ANYWHERE these days and see where it gets you.

Don't Mess With My Flag. --Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Finding the Real "Old Glory"-- Part 5: "My Staunch Companion and Protection"

Sea captain William Driver said, "It has ever been my staunch companion and protection. Savages and heathen, lowly and oppressed, hailed and welcomed it at the far end of the wide world. Then, why should it not be called Old Glory?"

He made his fortune in the tortoise-shell trade. His family tells of his seizing his ship's wheel in storms and even facing down a New Zealand tribal chief with pistol in hand and a dirk in his mouth.

He took a bit of his beloved America everywhere he went.

Driver gave up seafaring in 1837 after his wife died, leaving him with three small children. They all moved to Nashville where his three brothers had opened a store, and, at age 34, remarried a girl half his age and started another family.

"Old Glory" flew on every holiday, rain or shine. It was so large he'd attach it to a rope from his attic window and stretch it across the street on a pulley to a locust tree.

In 1860, he and his family repaired the flag, sewing on an additional ten stars and an anchor to signify his career.

But Secession Was Nearing and That's When the Famous History of the Flag Began. --Old Secesh

Finding the Real Old Glory-- Part 4

I knew that "Old Glory" refers to the U.S. flag in general, but I always thought if it referred to a specific flag that would be the Fort McHenry flag.

I did not know anything about this particular flag (and the Smithsonian Magazine has a picture of it where it appears quite worn).

Well, Now I know. Thanks Smithsonian. --Old Secesh

Monday, October 14, 2013

Finding the Real Old Glory-- Part 3: "My Ship, My Country, My Flag. 'Old Glory'"

The flag was originally made to fly from a ship's mast and was homemade with 24 stars in 1824, sewn by William Driver's mother and other Salem females to celebrate his appointment, at age 21, as a master mariner and commander of his own ship, the Charles Doggett.

Legend has it that when he raised the flag, he lifted his hat and said, "My ship, my country, and my flag. Old Glory."

However, historians have found no definite proof that he actually said it. Most likely, he named the flag when writing about his twenty-year seagoing career which took him all over the world. At one point he even ferried survivors of the HMS Bounty from Tahiti to Pitccairn Island.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Finding the Real Old Glory-- Part 2: The Importance of Flags

Civill-War folk were really passionate about their flags. After the fall of Fort Sumter, the U.S. flag that flew above it went on tour around the country for the duration of the war. Each regiment carried two flags into battle, the U.S. one and the regimental one, and it was considered a great honor to carry it. At the same time, color-bearers were major targets of the opposing side, so it was quite a dangerous "honor."

Poet and hospital attendant Walt Whitman lamented the amount of blood spilled to keep a simple, four-cornered regimental flag. "I have a little flag....It was taken by the Secesh (hey, that's me, secessionists) in a cavalry fight, and rescued by our men in a bloody little skirmish. It cost three men's lives, just to get one little flag, four by three."

Telling It Like It Is, Walt.  --Old Secesh

Friday, October 11, 2013

Finding the Real Old Glory-- Part 1: The Nashville, Tn. One

From the October 2013 Smithsonian Magazine "Glory, Glory" by Sally Jenkins.

"A tale of fidelity, family feud and argument over ownership is the subject of a new inquiry by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Old Glory, the weather-beaten 17-by 10-foot banner that has long been a primary NMAH artifact, is second only to Francis Scott Key's Star-Spangled Banner as a patriotic symbol, and is the source of the term now applied generically to all American flags.

"During the Civil War, no flag became a more popular symbol of Union loyalty than the worn and imperiled standard belonging to 19th-century sea captain William Driver, who was originally from Salem, Massachusetts. His defiant flying of it--from his Nashville, Tennessee household during the midst of the conflict--made national news."

And-I'd Never Heard of This Particular Flag Or Its Story Before. --Old Secesh

The New Lincoln-- Part 2: "That's Him!"

Christopher Oakley made his big "Lincoln Find" while studying an enlargement of one of the images of the crowd. To create the image, photographer Alexander Gardner employed a new technique creating photos simultaneously called a stereograph. These would yield a 3-D image when seen through an early version of a View-Master. (I've seen one at the Lincoln Home in Springfield, Illinois.)

While looking, Oakley came across the image of Secretary of State William H. Seward. He knew that Lincoln sat near Seward at the ceremony and figured he must be somewhere nearby. To Seward's left sat a vague outline of a bearded figure with a stovepipe hat. Zooming in tighter, Oakley sprang from his chair and exulted, "That's him!"

Well worth reading the rest of the article.

Will the Real Mr. Lincoln Please Stand Up. --Old Secesh

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The New Lincoln-- Part 1: Lincoln at Gettysburg

From the October 2013 Smithsonian Magazine "The New Lincoln" by Franz Ledz.

In the bleak hours before dawn of March 5th this year, Christopher Oakley "stumbled upon what looks to be the most significant, if not the most provocative, Abraham Lincoln photo find of the last 60 years."

Oakley taught New Media at UNC-Asheville and was in his home studio working on a 3-D animation of Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address. Using the Evergreen gatehouse, a flagpole and four photos taken at the time they have produced digital images of the event. They hope to be finished with the project in time for the 150th anniversary of the speech on Nov. 19th.

There are only 70-known photographs of Abraham Lincoln in all, and ones of him at Gettysburg for the address, just three and the two found in 2007 have been challenged.

Will the Real A. Lincoln Please Stand Up. --Old Secesh

Old Glory and the New Lincoln in the Smithsonian

From the October 2013 Smithsonian Magazine.

Two very interesting articles in this month's Smithsonian Magazine. The first is titled "The New Lincoln" by Frandz Lidz, about the very likely identification of Abraham Lincoln in the famous photograph of the Gettysburg Address. The other is on a famous flag named "Old Glory" by Sally Jenkins. I'll go into some more detail in the next two posts, but best if you get ahold of a copy of the artciles which will also have pictures.

I knew about the Lincoln photograph (but not the new image), but didn't know there was an actual flag named "Old Glory." I just thought it referred to the U.S. flag in general.

Always Interested In Anything Civil War. --Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cornwallis' Cave?

From Civil War Talk.

You might be wondering what a Revolutionary War English general would have to do with the Civil War? Passed down stories have it as being Cornwallis' hiding place during American and French bombardments while his troops were besieged at Yorktown, Virginia.

Whether he actually used it in 1781 is not known for sure, but during the Civil War, it was used to store powder by the Confederates. It is on Water Street by the James River.

Now, You Know. --Old Secesh

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fayetteville (NC) Female High School

From July 2013 to April 2014, I was unable to use paragraphs in any of my blogs.  Here in 2018, I am going back through them and inserting paragraphs.  This is how the non-paragraph entries looked.

From the July 29, 2012 Fayetteville (NC) Observer "Civil War 150th Anniversary--July 1862 developments." . The paper goes back to its editions printed back then for these stories. //// From the July 14, 1862 newspaper. "The all-absorbing war has not extinguished the interest of out citizens in this favorite institution (the Fayetteville Female High School).  ////  Its 7th Annual Commencement gave occasion last week, with diplomas conferred upon the following young ladies, members of the Senior Class of 1862: Irene McNeill, C. Myrover, Joanna McRae, Hattie Starr, Atilia Whitted, Olivia Stedman, E. Rose, E. Tillinghast, Joanna Watts, Alice Cook, Fannie Hinsdale and Hattie Kershaw." //// You have to wonder how the war impacted these young ladies. How many boyfriends were away in the service? --Old Secesh

What's the Smithsonian Doing for the War

From the September Smithsonian Magazine "From the Castle" by G. Wayne Clough.

There are exhibitions at many of the Smithsonian's 19 museums. For an overview, check out You should experiment with the interactive map of the Battleof Gettysburg, which has troop movements (great if you get confused by such matters and photographic displays of terrain as various military units would have seen them.

This month, Smithsonian will publish their new book "Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection" where historians have chosen 150 noteworthy and often moving objects such as weapons, uniforms, portraits and even a slave ship manifest. Three shows tied to it will be airing on the Smithsonian Channel (which, unfortunately,  I don't get).

Worth Checking Out. --Old Secesh

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Football in the Civil War? You Betcha, Well, Sort Of

In the last post, I mentioned a plaque at Camp Randall in Madison, Wisconsin, with the names of 27 men from the 14th Wisconsin who were wounded and died at the Battle of Shiloh on April 7, 1862. The only Camp Randall in Madison, Wisconsin, that I know of is Camp Randall Stadium where the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers play their home football games.

Could this Camp Randall have a connection?

Turns out it does. Camp Randall Stadium was actually a Civil War training camp where some 70,000 Wisconsin volunteers and draftees learned how to be soldiers during the war.

So there you have your Civil War- football Connection.

Wonder if Badger units marched off to the strains of "On Wisconsin?"

One Has to Wonder. --Old Secesh

The 14th Wisconsin Infantry: Private Stockwell's Regiment

From Wikipedia.

Four members of the 14th won the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Corinth, Oct. 3-4, 1862, including Color-Sergeant (carried the battleflag) Denis J.F. Murphy of Green Bay who was wounded three times.

The 14th organized in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, on January 30, 1862 and mustered out at Mobile, Alabama on October 9, 1965.

During the course of the war, 6 officers and 116 enlisted men were killed in action or mortally wounded. Another 3 officers and 194 enlisted died from diseases.

There is a small metal plaque at Camp Randall in Madison (where the University of Wisconsin plays football) that says 27 men of the 14th died of wounds received at the Battle of Shiloh (where Elisha Stockwell was wounded) on April 7, 1862.

It was sometimes called the Northwest Regiment (because most of the men were from the northern part of the state) or the Wisconsin Regulars. Private Stockwell's Company I was called the Black River Rangers.

The Story of a Regiment. --Old Secesh

Friday, October 4, 2013

A General's Journey From Goat to Hero: Thomas J. Word-- Part 2

After the defeat, Rosecrans accused Word of not moving his division as ordered. Then arose a question of whether he was following orders. Because of this, Confederates under Gen. Longstreet attacked where Wood's division had just been and were able to break the Union line and win the Battle of Chickamauga.

His reputation under fire, Word redeemed himself at the Battle of Chattanooga when his division was only supposed to make a feint at Confederate lines on Missionary Ridge, but continued on to force the Confederates to retreat and break the siege of Chattanooga.

Goat to Hero. --Old Secesh

A General's Journey From Goat to Hero: Thomas J. Word-- Part 1

From the September 22, 2013, Washington Post by Jeff Leen.

Union Brigadier General Thomas J. Word, a career Army officer and West Point graduate served in the Mexican War and had cavalry postings along the frontier. His worst time was at the Battle of Chickamauga, but he fully exonerated his name at the Battle of Chattanooga.

When Union General Rosecrans took Chattanooga from Confederate General Bragg, it opened the door directly on the Heart of Dixie, the Confederate military complex at Atlanta.

Confederates sent reinforcements to Bragg.

On September 19, 1863, the Confederates won a huge victory at the Battle of Chickamauga and forced Rosecrans back to Chattanooga and besieged the city.

General Word became a scapegoat.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The 69th Indiana

From Wikipedia.

The 69th Indiana was organized in Richmond, Indiana, and mustered in for three years service on August 19, 1862 under the command of Col. Thomas Warren Bennett. They mustered out July 5, 1865.

They fought at the Battle of Richmond, Kentucky, on August 30, 1862 and the regiment was captured and paroled.

Next they took part in operations against and around Vicksburg, Mississippi, including Sherman's Yazoo Expedition, Chickasaw Bluff, Port Gibson, Champion Hill and the Siege of Vicksburg. After that they were at the Siege of Jackson, Mississippi.

On December 18, 1863, they were sent to Matagorda, Texas, where the incident with the 23 men from the regiment drowning took place March 13, 1864. (See today's Running the Blockade Civil War Navy blog entry.)

During the course of the war, the regiment lost 331 men who died. Three officers and 77 enlisted were killed or mortally wounded in action. Three officers and 248 men died from diseases.

--Old Secesh

Private Stockwell's 1863 Springfield Rifle Musket

Indeed, the new rifle muskets used during the Civil War were a huge advancement over the muskets used during the Napoleonic Wars. Back then, opposing armies could stand within a hundred yards of each otehr and not many men would get hit, but not so with the new weapons with their rifling in the bores which increased the distance and accuracy the guns could be fired.

Merritt Roe of MIT said that the creation of tne technical know-how that could produce precisely tooled, interchangeable parts for hundreds of thousands of rifles essentially did in the South who couldn't match the industrial might of the North.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Some More On Private Stockwell

Elisha Stockwell's memoirs were put into a book in 1985 "Private Elisha Stockwell, Jr. Sees the Civil War," 224 pages, edited by Byron R. Abernathy.

Several sources said it was good reading, especially to get a teenager's view of service during the war. He enlisted in 1862 at the age of 15.

He was in Co. I, of the 14th Wisconsin, Infantry from Fon du Lac, Wisconsin.

--Old Secesh

Pvt. Stockwell's Rifle Musket

From the September 2013 Smithsonian Magazine "From the Castle" by G. Wayne Clough.

This 1863 Springfield rifle musket was once owned by Private Elisha Stockwell Jr, who lied about his age and enlisted in the Union Army at age 15. He took a cannister shot in the arm and a bullet in his shoulder at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862.

He recovered and was around for General Sherman's campaign to capture Atlanta.

Then, at age 81 and nearly blind, finally got around to writing about his wartime experience. As to the wounds at Shiloh, he wrote: "I thought my arm was gone, but I rolled on my right side and...couldn't see anything wrong with it."

Spotting ripped flesh, a lieutenant ordered Stockwell to sit out a charge which possibly saved his life.

Private Stockwell's rifle is part of the Smithsonian's American History Museum's 5,700 firearm collection.

--Old Secesh

General Collett Leventhorpe-- Part 2: Badly Wounded At Gettysburg and Captured

Took part at the Battle of Gettysburg as part of Pettigrew's Brigade, Heth's Division. On first day of battle he was badly wounded and then captured during the retreat to Virginia. Not exchanged for nine months.

After return, appointed by Governor Zebulon Vance brigadier general of state troops and operated on the Roanoke River and along the Weldon Railroad until end of war.

President Davis appointed him a brigadier general in Confederate service on February 18, 1865 and was confirmed by the Senate, but declined the appointment on March 6, 1865.

After the war, he made his home at his wife's sister and husband's homestead at "The Fountain" in the valley of the Yadkin (Wilkes County, NC) where he died Dec. 1, 1889. He is buried at the Episcopal Cemetery in Happy Valley, near Lenoir, NC.

So, There You Have It. --Old Secesh

General Collett Leventhorpe-- Part 1: Born in England

From "Generals in Gray" by Ezra J. Warner. I was a bit surprised that Col. Leventhorpe of the 11th NC, who I have been writing about the last month or so, became a general, figuring his injuries at Gettysburg would have ended his military career. But, not so, and I found a short article about him in this book.

Born in Exmouth, Devonshire, England, May 15, 1815. Received appointment to Her Majesty's 14th Regiment of Foot and served a number of years on colonial service. Later emigrated to U.S. and married into a prominent North Carolina family.

Offered services to that state at outbreak of war and elected colonel of the 34th NC in 1862 and then the 11th NC when it was organized from the old 1st NC, the "Bethel" regiment.

Mainly on duty in NC where he gained honor at several engagements. In 1863, the 11th sent to the Army of Northern Virginia.

--Old Secesh

Monday, September 30, 2013

Col. Leventhorpe & the 11th NC at Gettysburg-- Part 4

As Pettigrew approached Gettysburg, Longstreet's spy, Harrison, rode up to him and confirmed that there were indeed Federal troops near Gettysburg. Then Pettigrew and Leventhorpe halted the brigade and rode ahead. At a ridge, they could see that Gettysburg had ten roads coming into it, but still was unoccupied by Union troops.

Pettigrew sent skirmishers forward and was about to order his brigade forward when he spotted a long dark column on the Emmetsburg Road. With field glasses, he made them out to be Union cavalry. It was Buford's Division.

At that point, Pettigrew began withdrawing slowly. He went back to Cashtown to report to General Heth. There, with Gen. A.P. Hill, the decision was made to send in Heth's whole division to Gettysburg the next day.

--Old Secesh

The 47th NC at Gettysburg: Almost An Ambush

Also from Glenn Tucker's "High Tide at Gettysburg" Another one of Pettigrew's regiments was the 47th NC, which had a delaying episode as well as the 11th NC. They were eagerly anticipating shoes they expected to find at Gettysburg as many were shoeless. A civilian on horseback rode up to them and asked where he could find the commanding officer.

Some thought he might be a spy, but he was sent to the head of the column anyway. The regiment was halted and the men told to take cover. A minute later, several shots were fired at long range from the woods on either side of the road.

The farmer had not been a spy, but had come to warn them. And, as a result, they escaped ambush.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Col. Leventhorpe & 11th NC at Gettysburg-- Part 3: Yankees Ahead?

November 5, 2018.  I have been going back and putting in paragraphs for my July 2013, to April 2014 blogs as I was unable to do that during that period.  I am leaving this one in to show what they looked like the,.

So, we have the 11th NC leading Pettigrew's Brigade of Heth's Division toward the little town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on June 30th, in hopes of finding a lot of shoes there. Even this far into Union territory, they defibitely were not expecting to come across any enemy soldiers. //// Getting back to Glenn Tucker's book, about two miles from the town, the advance party arrested a civilian who said he was a doctor making a house call. Col. Leventhorpe questioned him personally and to his surprise found out there were between four and five thousand Federal troops in the vicinity, plus an even larger force a few miles away. //// Leventhorpe immediately stopped his march and he made a quick ride to find Pettigrew, who was further back in the column. This halt prevented the clash of Meade and Lee's armies until the next day. //// Otherwise, We'd be Comemmorating the Battle of Gettsburg from June 30th. ---Old Secesh

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Col. Leventhorpe and the 11th NC at the Battle of Gettysburg-- Part 2: Highly Admired

According to Glenn Tucker, "The 11th was one of the most highly regarded regiments in the service." The Confederate inspector general had written to General Lee that "the Eleventh Regiment of North Carolina troops is the best drilled, the best equipped and the best armed regiment in the Army of Northern Virginia."

Some of its members had belonged to the 1st North Carolina Volunteers, the "Bethel Regiment" that had fought at the first battle of the war at Bethel.

Its commander, Col. Leventhorpe, was looked on as "probably the best finished and equipped field officer in the Confederate servive." And, with his previous service in the British Army, he had a lot of prior knowledge to carry over to his new command.

They Had Quite the Name to Live Up To. --Old Secesh

Col. Leventhorpe and the 11th NC At the Battle of Gettysburg-- Part 1: Shoes

From "High Tide at Gettysburg" by Glenn Tucker.

Pettigrew's Quest for Shoes

In Cashtown, Pennsylvania, on the night of June 29th, Confederate General Heth recalled Jubal Early's report that there was a supply of badly needed shoes in Gettysburg.

He directed General Pettigrew's brigade to go and investigate.

Early morning June 30th, Pettigrew set off to do just that, stepping out with the 11th North Carolina, Col. Leventhorpe, in the lead and heading down the Gettysburg Road with skirmishers in the front.

--Old Secesh

North Carolina Civil War Seminar Earlier This Month

And, I was happy to be able to attend it. It was primarily put on by the Battle of Bentonville State Historic Site and Friends of the Battle of Bentonville and held at the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium at the Johnston County Community College.

For $25, you got to hear and see six noted Civil War authors and experts on events surrounding the Carolina Campaign of 1865 leading up to and following the Battle of Bentonville.

And one of them was a man I have been wanting to see for many years.

Speakers were BERT DUNKERLY The Confederate Surrender at Bennett Place; WADE SOKOLOSKY Battles of Wyse Fork and Averasboro; CHRIS FONVIELLE Union Naval operations in NC in 1865; MARK BRADLEY the Battle of Bentonville; ERIC WITTENBERG Cavalry in the Carolina Campaign and ED BEARSS.

Ed Bearss IS the foremost Civil War Scholar around these days and someone I've really been wanting to see.

Glad to Get to See These People. --Old Secesh

Some More on Collett Leventhorpe

From Wikipedia.

(Born May 15, 1815, Died December 1, 1889.) Born in England. Bought the rank of ensign in the British Army and later also bought rank of lieutenant. (Buying your rank?)

Posted in the West Indies and in Canada. He later rose to the rank of captain (Did he buy it?) and then sold it October 28, 1842, and went to South Carolina on business from a British company. He and his wife are buried at Chapel of Rest Cemetery in Happy Valley, Caldwell County, North Carolina.

His wife Louise, tbe reason he became a North Carolinian, is also buried next to him (1827-1908).

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

And, What Is Badinage?

In the last post, I mentioned that Captain Daniel Oakey of the 2nd Massachusetts regiment said, "The regimental wits were as ready as ever, and amid a flow of lively badinage we toiled on through the mud."

I'd never seen the word "Badinage" before, but in context figured it had to do something with joking around. I was correct.

As a noun, it means light, playful banter and repartee. As a verb it means to banter with or tease playfully., raillery (another word I am not familiar with). It is from the French word Badiner meaning to joke. It was first used around 1658 and Shakespeare's plays are full of badinage.

Now, You and I Know. --Old Secesh

Just How Muddy Was It?

I came across this humorous quote in Mark L. Bradley's book "Last Stand in the Carolinas: The Battle of Bentonville."

The night before the Battle of Averasboro, March 16, 1865, a Confederate attempt to slow down Sherman's Army marching through North Carolina, it rained very heavily, turning roads and the land into a regular quagmire.

As Union Colonel William Hawley's brigade fell in for the march, Captain Daniel Oakey of the 2nd Massachusetts wrote that "The men furnished themselves with [burning] pine-knots and our weapons glistened in the torch-light, a cloud of black smoke from the torches floating back over our heads.

"The regimental wits were as ready as ever, and amid a flow of lively bandinage we toiled on through the mud. When we give us an opportunity of drawing breath, I found Sergeant Johnson with one arm in the mud up to the elbow.

"He explained that he was trying to find his shoe."

How Muddy Was It? --Old Secesh

Monday, September 23, 2013

NC's Col. Collett Leventhorpe-- Part 5: 11th North Carolina Infantry

Continued from September 6th.

After his release, he resigned his commission and took command of a NC Home Guard brigade that hunted down Confederate deserters. He was later commissioned brigadier general of state troops and defended the Roanoke River, Fort Branch and the Petersburg & Weldon Railroad. ////

He defended Raleigh and surrendered at Greensboro.

The 11th NC's flag that they had at the Battle of Gettysburg is on display at the NC Museum of History in Raleigh. This flag was in bad shape, but was conserved with money raised by the 1st NC Volunteers/11th NC Regiment.

This organization is now raising funds to conserve Col. Leventhorpe's frock coat that he wore at Gettysburg when he was wounded.

Quite the Leader. --Old Secesh

Friday, September 20, 2013

Chamberlain's Medal of Honor Discovered at Church Sale

From the September 10, 2013, CBS News.

General Joshua Chamberlain received his Medal of Honor in 1893 for his heroism at the Battle of Gettysburg. It was recently given to the Pejepscot Historical Society, a town where he lived for fifty years.

It was given to his granddaughter and upon her death in 2000, her estate was donated to the First Parish Church of Duxbury, Massachusetts.

Someone found the Medal of Honor in a book bought from the church and was nice enough to give it to the historical society.

Always Good News to Hear Things Like This. That Medal Would Have Been Worth Big Money. ---Old Secesh

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Six Fascinating Civil War Battlefields Across the Continent

From the July-August AARP Magazine by Bill Newcott.

1.  PICACHO PASS, ARIZONA-- Westernmost battle.

2.  SAINT ALBANS, VERMONT--- Northernmost battle.

3.  CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA-- First submarine attack.

4.  FORT MYERS, FLORIDA--  Cattle Battle.

5.  GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA--  Deadliest Battle.

6.  PALMITO RANCH, TEXAS--  Final Battle.

Of course, the article went into more detail.

Firstest With the Mostest.   --Old Secesh

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Company-- Part 2: Last at the Spanish-American War

When the 1st NC Infanntry was reorganized as the 11th NC Infantry, the FILI (Fayetteville Light Infantry Company) remained as Co. H. and fought at the Battle of Gettysburg and some of the members were still with the unit when Lee surrendered it at Appomattox.

After the war, the unit's history was marked by controversy when it refused to retire the gray uniform it wore fighting for the Confederacy. This refusal kept the unit from being accepted into the State Guard.

During the Spanish-American War, the FILI entered national service as Company A, 2nd Regiment, commanded by Captain Benjamin Huske. Wearing their Confederate uniforms, the enlistees marched into Camp Dan Russell, where "they doffed the grays" and "donned the blues" of the United States.

So, was this another "last" for North Carolina?

Could Be. --Old Secesh

Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Company-- Part 1

From the Encyclopedia of North Carolina.

This unit also served in the 11th NC Infantry which I have been writing about.

The Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Company (FILI) was formed in Fayetteville, NC, on 23 August 1793 out of fears stemming from the French Revolution and partly because of fear that the Spanish in Louisiana would incite Indians to attack.  Recent scholarship point to fears rising from slave rebellions in Haiti.

There was no mention of service during the War of 1812, but in 1825, the unit attended the Marquis de Lafayette on his visit to Fayettevile (named for him in 1784). Construction of the Fayetteville Arsenal in 1838 increased the unit's importance.

At the onset of the Civil War, the unit became a part of the 1st North Carolina Volunteers, called the "Bethel Regiment," as Company H. It was the first regiment organized in the state and had a lot to do with the Confederate victory at Bethel, Virginia.

--Old Secesh

Sunday, September 15, 2013

NC's First, Farthest and Last-- Part 3: Last Shots At Appomattox


The men of Company D, 30th NC Regiment, fired the last shots on federal forces at Appomattox on 9 April 1865, when General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia.

There you have it: First, Farthest and Last.

North Carolina-Style. --Olod Secesh

NC's First, Farthest and Last-- Part 2


During the Battle of Gettysburg, North Carolina infantrymen advanced the greatest distance during Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863. The 11th NC participated in that attack.


The 58th NC is sometimes credited with the farhest penetration of enemy lines on Snodgrass Hill on 20 September 1863. Although, at least one historian contends that battle conditions that day would make it impossible to substantiate the claim.

--Old Secesh

Friday, September 13, 2013

NC's First, Farthest and Last-- Part 1: "First At Bethel"

From the Encyclopedia of North Carolina

"First at Bethel, Farthest to the Front at Gettysburg and Chickamauga, and Last at Appomattox" is a traditional saying in North Carolina honoring the gallantry and honor brought to the state by its soldiers. 

Personally, I always heard it as "First at Bethel, Farthest at Gettysburg and Last at Appomattox."

It was coined by Editor Walter Clark, later chief justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, as early as 1901.

The initial three words "First at Bethel" holds a double meaning. The First Regiment of North Carolina Volunteers was instrumental in winning a Confederate victory at Bethel, Virginia, on June 10, 1861, the first land battle of the war and a Confederate victory.

In addition, Tarboro resident Henry Lawson Wyatt became the first Confederate soldier to die in the war.

The First NC later became the 11th NC which I have been writing a lot about in connection to its colonel, Collett Leventhorpe and its role at Gettysburg.

"Farthest at Gettysburg" Next. ---Old Secesh