Wednesday, December 31, 2014

N.C.'s Barnes Family-- Part 4: Captain Jesse Barnes

Jesse Barnes spent the months after the Battle of Manassas, until March 1862 at Camp Pickens in Manassas, Virginia.  The regiment saw its first major action at the Battle of Seven  Pines when they attacked and carried Casey's Redoubt.  Jesse was killed leading his men into action there.

He had  made out his will just six weeks earlier and he had requested that if he was killed that his body be returned home for burial next to his father Elias.

His younger brother William remained with the 4th North Carolina and later became its adjutant on the Field and Staff as aide-de-camp for General Bryan Grimes.  he survived the war and later was in the Wilson Camp of the United Confederate Veterans.

Later the Sons of Confederate Veterans.in Wilson was named after Captain Barnes.  Jesse's name also appears on the memorial for Confederate dead at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

--Old secesh

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

North Carolina's Barnes Family: Captain Jesse Barnes-- Part 3

From Find-A-Grave site.

Jesse Barnes was born June 18, 1838, in Edgecombe County, N.C., the son of Elias and Mahola Barnes, plantation owners.  He attended the University of North Carolina at age 16 and graduated in 1858.

By 1860, he was a practicing attorney in Wilson County displaying a lot of political ambition and a staunch supporter of secession.  He helped recruit members of the Wilson Light Infantry in the spring of 1961, even before his state seceded.  The unit became Co. F of the 4th North Carolina and Jesse was elected its captain.

--Old Secesh

Monday, December 29, 2014

North Carolina's Barnes Family: Capt. Jesse Barnes-- Part 2

Captain Jesse Sharpe Barnes, Co. F, 4th North Carolina Infantry.  Enlisted as a soldier, but eventually became a captain.  Born 1838 and killed at the Battle of Seven Pines on May 31, 1862.

According to an article in Find-A-Grave, Jesse Sharpe Barnes is buried at the Barnes Holloman Cemetery at Saratoga in Wilson County, N.C..  The cemetery is still being used with the most recent burial dating to 2013.

The cemetery is on Stancil Town Road, on private property..

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 27, 2014

150 Years Ago-- Part 2: Peace Overture

On December 30th, Francis Preston Blair, Sr.  --a native of Abingdon, one of the founders of the Republican Party, and supporter of Lincoln, received permission from the president to travel to Richmond for a visit with Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Blair suggested his hopes of submitting "...to your consideration ideas which...may turn to good & possibly bring practical results that may not only repair all the ruin the war has brought upon the Nation but contribute to...the welfare of other nations that have suffered from it."

As the year ended, Blair was awaiting a reply from Davis.

It is too bad that the South didn't surrender then as the war was already lost by now.  Sherman's march had clearly shown he Confederacy as being unable to defend itself any longer.

--Old Secesh

150 Years Ago This Week-- Part 1: Hood's Retreat and Lincoln's Gifts

From This Week in Civil War History by Michael K. Shaffer.

Besides the First Battle of Fort Fisher, Confederate General John Bell Hood was retreating from his resounding defeat at the Battle of Nashville.  His Army of  Tennessee began crossing the Tennessee River on December 26th.

Hood's defeat by General Thomas and Sherman's taking of Savannah were great gifts for President Lincoln.  On December 26th, Lincoln wrote Sherman expressing "...many thanks for your Christmas gift...."  He continued, "Now, the undertaking being a success (March to the Sea), the honor is all yours; for I believe none of us went further than to acquiesce."  But, Lincoln also wanted to know "what next?"

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 26, 2014

It Happened Christmas 1868: Confederates Pardoned By Johnson

From December 25, 2014, Yahoo! News "Three other big historical events that happened on Christmas Day" by NCC Staff.

President Andrew Johnson pardoned most Confederate soldiers in 1868, in one of the most controversial moves of his presidency.  He had just fought a hard and long battle against his own party, i.e. Radical Republicans.  Earlier in 1868, he had survived a trial in the Senate after he had been impeached in the House.

He issued a general pardon for the Confederates on Christmas Day in 1868 for all who had fought for the Confederacy, provided that all eligible had applied for a pardon.

Actually, this was his 4th amnesty for Confederates and restored civil and property rights and provided immunity from treason charges.  But, it didn't allow former Confederate officials to vote or hold office.

In 1872, the Amnesty Act was amended to allow almost all former Confederates, except a few hundred high-ranking officials (such as Jefferson Davis, to hold public office and vote.

--Old Pardoned Secesh

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

North Carolina's Barnes Family: Captain Jesse Barnes-- Part 1

Earlier this year I was writing about Confederates from North Carolina buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.  Until this past year I was unaware that any Confederates were buried there, considering how the cemetery came about as a slap in the face to Robert E. Lee and his family for joining the Confederacy.

There was some questions as to whether Jesse Barnes of the 4th North Carolina Infantry Regiment was buried there.

He wasn't.

Jesse Barnes is buried in the family cemetery on land that was once part of his parents' plantation.  It is located near Stantonsburg in Wilson County, North Carolina.  Today, it is a small cemetery in the middle of a tobacco field.  There is a picture of it in Find-a-Grave that Virginian Summer has posted.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

U.S. Highways With a Civil War Connection

That would be U.S. Highway 6 (Grand Army of the Republic Highway) and U.S. Highway 12 (Iron Brigade Highway).

I wrote about these two roads yesterday and today in my RoadDog's Roadlog blog.

--Old Secesh Dog

Final Battle of Sherman's March at Fort McAllister-- Part 3: An Alamo Comparison

Some compare Fort McAllister to Texas' Alamo.  At both, it was a small garrison against a much larger enemy.  In both cases, that small group of defenders were in a very difficult-to-defend fortification.  In the case of Fort McAllister, it was an earthen fort.

Both groups of defenders knew they had little chance of success.

In Union hands, the fort was used to house Confederate prisoners.  After the war, it was abandoned and fell into disrepair and stayed that way until the 1930s when Henry Ford bought the property.  In 1935, he had the earthworks cleared of underbrush and the ramparts repaired.

It was later sold to the International Paper Company who deeded the site to the Georgia Historical Commission in 1958.

--Old Secesh

Final Battle of Sherman's March at Fort McAllister-- Part 2: To Protect Savannah's Back Door

Sherman's troops crossed a narrow causeway between the marshes and the river and arrived at Fort McAllister about noon.  Just before sunset, they advanced on the fort and it was theirs in fifteen minutes.  Just around 200 were defending the fort so it wasn't much of a fight.

Fort McAllister was built on Genesis Point, on the plantation owned by Lt.Col. Joseph McAllister, near the mouth of the Ogeeche River.  Its purpose was to protect Savannah's backdoor and defend the rice plantations in the area.  From 1862-1863, the fort had fended off seven Union attacks.

On December 13, 2014, hundreds of re-enactors were at the old fort to mark the 150th anniversary of its fall.

--Old Secesh


Monday, December 22, 2014

Final Battle of Sherman's March at Fort McAllister-- Part 1: To the Sea

From the December 7, 2014, Savannah Now "Final battle of Sherman's March to the Sea to be recreated at Fort McAllister Saturday.

Saturday December 13 marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort McAllister.

On the night of December 12th, 1864, 4,000 Union soldiers camped on the north side of the Ogeechee River near where Love's Restaurant is today.  They crossed the river early in the morning of December 13th on a makeshift bridge and marched toward what is today Richmond Hill.

When they reached the intersection of what is today US-17 and Ford Island, they turned east.  A few miles later they moved north along today's Fort McAllister Road.

Bringing it to an End.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Bearss Comes to New Bern-- Part 2

Edwin C. Bearss, 90, served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II and is a noted historian known for his work with the Civil War and World War II.  He was badly wounded by the Japanese during the war and hospitalized for two years before his honorable discharge.  After that, he returned home to his native Montana.

He was chief historian of the National Park Service from 1981 to 1994 and is now chief historian emeritus.  Even at his age, he still does tours and talks as if he were actually there.

His lecture on Jan. 11th is being sponsored jointly by the New Bern Civil War Round Table and the New Bern Historical Society.

--Gone a Bearss'n.  --Old Secesh

The Bearss Comes to New Bern-- Part 1

From the December 17, 2014, New Bern (NC) Sun-Journal "Bearss to return to New Bern for ninth Civil War program."

"An American treasure, Civil War historian Edwin C. Bearss will again appear in New Bern early next year.

On January 11, 2015, at 2 p.m., he will present "Lincoln and His Cabinet" at the North Carolina History Center in town.

The cost is $10 with all proceeds going to the New Bern Battlefield Park.

I finally was able to see him back in 2013 at a Bentonville Battlefield symposium in Smithville, N.C..  I'd wanted to see him for a long time as he is quite a treat to listen to, I doubt if anyone knows more about the war than he does.  And, at his advanced age, he will not be with us forever.

Better take your opportunity to see him now.  If I didn't live so far away, I'd sure be there.  He evidently will speaking the next week at the 150th anniversary of Fort Fisher near Wilmington.

Must Be a Bearss Tour.  --Old Secesh

What the Well-Dressed Woman Wore-- Part 4: Between Mauve and Arsenic

By 1859, William Henry Perkin's new dye color was being called mauve in England and chemists later called it mauveine.  The color came into vogue in 1851, when Queen Victoria wore a mauve gown.

Another gown of Paris green is in the collection.  This dye was made of arsenic.  At the time the dress was made, the arsenic was stable, but caution is used in handling it today since current stability is not known.  I sure wouldn't touch it.

The exhibit ended at the end of August and an entrance fee of $5 was charged.

--Old Secesh Won't Wear That Green Dress.

Friday, December 19, 2014

What the Well-Dressed Woman Was Wearing-- Part 3: The Color Purple

Color was very important to mid-19th century ladies.  Chemists in Germany and France were busy developing new dyes, all of which were made from natural fibers.  And, some of those colors from 150 years ago were quite bright but have faded with the passage of time.

Royalty and the very rich were the ones who got to wear purple clothes as they were made from mollusk shells and were quite expensive.  In 1856, a less expensive purple dye was discovered by William Henry Perkin, quite by accident.

At age 18, he was challenged by his professor to synthesize quinine.  Perkin oxidized aniline using potassium dichromate which yielded a black solid.  Apparently a disaster, but when Perkin cleaned the flask with alcohol, he noticed portions of his solution had turned purple.

--Old Purple Secesh

Thursday, December 18, 2014

What the Well-Dressed Woman Was Wearing-- Part 2: Autograph Books

Also included in the Society's exhibit is an autograph book which were popular especially in private schools.  The book on display has several pictures, including one of President Abraham Lincoln.  Often these photos were carte de visites.

Some of the shoes are made of silk and some of leather.  But all shoes were made for much narrower feet than those found on today's women..  Shoes in the collection also include those for babies, children and men.  Others were for every day wear and there is even a pair for ballroom dancing..

Some of the dresses have shortcuts.  One has two bodices and a detachable skirt that allowed the woman to go from daytime to evening events easily.  Another had sleeve extensions and a shawl that could be removed as the lady went from the banquet to dance floor where dresses had lower necklines and shorter sleeves than today.

Sashay 'Round the Dance Floor.  --Old Secesh

What the Well-Dressed Woman Was Wearing During Civil War Era-- Part 1

From the August 13, 2014, Hi-Liter (Lake County, Il) "Lakes Region Historical Society Showcases Civil War Era Ladies Attire" by Gail Peckler-Dziki.

Historian-actress Jessica Michna traveled from Racine to the Lakes Region Historical Society in Antioch, Illinois, and was highly impressed with its "Ladies Attire of the Civil War Revisited" exhibit, saying, "It is a rare thing to see so many genuine items and in such pristine condition and wide variation."

And, she would know her ladies clothing as she has developed programs for 11 historical female figures including Helen Keller, Abigail Adams and three programs about Mary Todd Lincoln.  As such, she does her research on period clothing.

One interesting item on display is a "hat" made of hair.  In the mid-1800s, a woman with thinning hair might have such a hat with curling tendrils of hair down the sides.  Wearing a knit white morning cap and she would seem to have hair.  Ah, vanity.

And What About Those Big Old Hoop Skirts?  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 15: A Christmas Present

Sherman claimed to have inflicted $100 million in physical damage ($1.3 billion in today's dollars) though historians call this figure a guess.

The psychic damage done to the Confederacy was incalculable.  He made Southerners feel that the war and individual ruin were one in the same.

The March to the Sea took barely a month and then Sherman offered Savannah to his president as a Christmas present.

Quite the Story.  --Old Secesh

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 14: "War on the Confederate Mind"

Sherman was cloaking his movements so well that this served to heighten his reputation as a crazed leader of a ruthless army.  They could be anywhere and heading for anywhere..  It could be termed a "war on the Confederate mind."

Some Georgians will claim that Sherman burned their ancestor's barn.  Often, it turns out that Sherman was never anywhere near it.

Said John Marszalek, "He got into people's psyche.  That's exactly what he wanted to do.  And it's very much there."  Along Sherman's route today, you can see signs advertising for an "antebellum trail."  This features many unburned plantations.  If Sherman had burned them all, would there be any left?

Just the other day, I was talking with my mother who recounted that she had heard that Sherman's army, while in North Carolina a few months after the March to the Sea, had killed cattle and sheep and tossed their carcasses into the Neuse River to poison it for the Southerners.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 13: "We Know What Hole"

Rumors of Sherman's atrocities spread rapidly among those in his path.  Even worse, his exact path was a point of conjecture.  Where exactly was he going.  Most everyone were sure they were in his path.  Making it worse was the fact that his army was moving along in there different columns, cutting a 60-mile wide swath of destruction.

Twice in the last month, I drove through Sherman's hometown of Lancaster, Ohio.  I couldn't help but think what he was up to exactly 150 years ago.

Sherman had cut his telegraph connections when he set off and even Lincoln, when asked what was going on in the march or where it was heading,  would say:  "We know what hole he went in, but we don't know what hole he'll come out."

I imagine there was great relief among Southerners when they found they had been bypassed by "Uncle Billy's" mostly Midwestern army.

--Old Secesh

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 12: "Clean the Concern Out"

The diary of Adjutant James Royal Ladd, 113th Ohio, said that on Nov. 23rd, his unit camped outside Milledgeville and learned that "the Rebs captured and shot some of our foragers."

The next entry begins: "Nov. 24 --  Thanksgiving in Milledgeville.  Well, we had the roast turkey."  Then he and others were detailed to the home where the foragers had been taken and ordered "to clean the concern out.  It looked wicked to see such splendid furniture go to pieces.  ... Crash followed crash, and after all the comforts and luxuries of a splendid home were soon in ruins."

--Old Secesh

Monday, December 15, 2014

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 11: "Sherman's Neckties"

One letter home from his army described the spoils that a team of designated foragers returned to camp with one night: "Pumpkins, chickens, cabbages" for the evening meal, but also "a looking-glass, an Italian harp..., a peacock, a rocking chair," and more.

Much destruction was formally ordered.  Whatever might benefit the Confederacy--  cotton gins, barns, factories, Confederate leaders' homes-- could be set ablaze.  Teams were assigned to wreck rail lines made bonfires of torn-up ties, heated the iron rails red hot and then twisted them around trees.  these were known as "Sherman's neckties."

Resistance could trigger instant punitive wreckage.  Sherman's men torched towns that harbored snipers and guerrillas hindering his advance.

--Old Secesh

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 10: "Forage Liberally"

In his orders for the march, Sherman noted that without supply lines his army would need to live off the land.  They would need to take whatever they needed.  Sherman even had census maps to show output of counties along the way and he made sure he directed the various parts of his army to places with the most.

"Forage liberally," he famously ordered  he did note that the poor should be spared and that private homes shouldn't be entered and that stealing was forbidden.  It definitely didn't work that way.  His troops went way beyond just getting food.  His troops took the order to read as a license to pillage..

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 9: What to Do When Your Leaders "Skedaddle"

As Sherman approached, political and military leaders urged bold resistance by civilians.  But, then those leaders decided to "skedaddle" in the words of an AP dispatch from back then.  In Milledgeville, the governor packed off rugs, curtains and silverware, leaving his official residence "almost completely stripped" when Sherman arrived and had to use his own cot to sleep on.

The unprotected public naturally developed an intense terrifying feeling of vulnerability.  Just what Sherman had intended.

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 8: "I'd Follow Uncle Billy to Hell."

By 1864, Sherman was Grant's trusted right hand man and his troops loved his quirky, unkempt style, his intelligence that some felt converged on craziness.  Then, there was his truly fighting spirit.  One soldier wrotw, "I'd follow Uncle Billy to hell."

From Atlanta, Sherman sent his force, divided into parallel columns, southward through the center of Georgia, keeping a fairly straight course, feinting east and west toward major cities and pinning Confederate defenders, what few of them there were, but not attacking.

His forces easily swept aside resistance at Griswaldsville and other places.  Militarily, Sherman's march was a stroll in the park.

Despite its bloody reputation, "There was little death or injury to anyone, friend or foe,: said Matt Davis.

The very ease of it made a statement.  Southerners were now undefended, helpless.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 7: Shock and Awe

According to historian John Marszalek, author of "Sherman: A Soldier's Passion for Order," said, "Shock and awe.  That's really what Sherman was talking about."

"Cump" Sherman had had a hard childhood.  His father died penniless while he was young and his mother sent him to be raised by another family.  Coming from this rough childhood, Sherman had a lifelong passion for order and stability according to Marszalek.

Central to this was the restoration of the Union and the rule of law.  That meant, the Confederacy had to be destroyed and the sooner the better.

Sherman had wept aloud in 1861 when he read that South Carolina had seceded, which he knew would start a war.  At the time he was superintendent of a military school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which would eventually become Louisiana State University.  He resigned and later accepted a commission in his former U.S. Army, knowing that he would eventually face the cadets he had trained.

Ironically, Sherman always considered himself a friend of the South.

"Cump" a Form of His Middle Name, Tecumseh.  --Old Secesh

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 6: "Make Georgia Howl"

"If we can march a well-appointed army right through his territory, it is a demonstration to the world, foreign and domestic, that we have a power that (Confederate President Jefferson) Davis cannot resist," Sherman wrote to General Grant when he proposed the march.  "I can make this march and make Georgia howl."

Lincoln worried that if Sherman made a misstep, it might destroy his army.  President Davis promised that Sherman's army by itself in the middle of Confederate territory would be crushed.

Of course, it would take another Confederate Army to do that, and there simply wasn't one with General Hood's Army of the Tennessee in the process of being destroyed outside of Nashville.  There simply wasn't much the South could do to stop Sherman's march.

But Grant trusted Sherman whose decisions, even at the cost of many of his men, previously showed he was one to attack.  And now, he wanted to accomplish victory in a different way.

No One Around to Stop Him.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 5: The Singing Soldiers

On November 16, 1864, Sherman watched his army pull out of Atlanta which he had captured two months earlier, a tremendous morale boost for the North that helped ensure Abraham Lincoln's re-election on November 8th, for a second term.

Sherman wrote, "Behind us lay Atlanta, smoldering and in ruins."  Watching his troops with pride, he continued "the gun barrels glistening in the sun, the white-topped wagons stretching away to the south."  The troops sang as a band played.  "Never before or since have I heard the chorus of 'Glory, glory, hallelujah! done with more spirit, or in better harmony of time and place."

With 62,000 veteran troops, Sherman planned to drive to the Atlantic coast at Savannah, conquering territory but also making a point to the enemy, whom he now saw as both the Confederate Army and the unyielding, enabling Southern population.

--Old Secesh

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 4: "The Devil Incarnate"

Amy Wright's grandfather loved to take a Sunday drive and would often stop at the family's old property which brought out the old tales: "The family was unprotected.  ...Truly it was the devil incarnate.  The focus of all their suffering was focused at Sherman.  And the message, "Never forget."  But as she grew older, she couldn't help but notice that the tales became more and more violence in repetition.

Some of the stories were verifiable, but others were exaggerated and many even baseless.

Was Sherman truly a sadistic Satan?  Or, after years of carnage without resolution, was he driven to test a hard and fiery new way to bring about peace?

--Old Secesh


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Shorpy Photo of 1913 Gettysburg Reunion

From the November 11, 2014, Shorpy "Civil War Veterans: 1913.

July 1913. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  "Gettysburg reunion: G.A.R. & S.C.V. veterans at the encampment.  Some of the 53,000 Civil War veterans of either group, who reunited at Gettysburg for the 50th anniversary of the battle.

GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) and UCV (United Confederate Veterans).  These were veterans groups.

One comment was about a readers' ancestors who lived near Gettysburg who had their home ransacked by Confederates a couple days before the battle.

The photo shows about ten of the veterans standing around with two playing instruments.  I could not tell if this was a mixture of Confederates and Union soldiers.  Perhaps the light and dark hats was an indicator

Of course, 1913 was before the Confederates became demons for fighting to keep slaves.

--Old Secesh

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 3: "Dinner With Uncle Billy"

The next big event in Milledgeville's old legislative chamber will be where locals gather there for a commemorative "Dinner With Uncle Billy" with 19th-century fare, finished with buttermilk pie (never heard of that).  I wonder if you want your steak well done, can you get it "Shermanized?"

In addition, there will be an original drama  created from the words of those who were here when Sherman, including rank-and-file soldiers, shopkeepers, slaves and even Sherman himself, noted for his usual unsmiling self.

Amy Wright is director of the capital museum in Milledgeville where this will take place.  She has a doctorate plus five generations of personal history from the area.

She was told while a girl that Sherman's men ransacked houses, stole property and set fires.  It was an unusually cold winter and the bummers took or destroyed harvests "and there was no making up a crop."  People were left to starve.  Animals that couldn't be carried away were simply killed.

Mean Old Yankees  --Old Secesh

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sherman's March to the Sea Still Vivid-- Part 2: Devil or War Criminal?

"Their racous laughter soon gave way to rampaging -- and then to tears and fury among local people, including Wright's forebears, and countless others along the path of destruction Sherman slashed from smoking Atlanta to trembling Savannah and beyond.  For many, even a century and a half later, Sherman's name still evokes epithets -- villain, war criminal, devil -- for te horrors he countenanced, and even commanded.

"Still, if his reputation for mayhem remains firmly intact, the passage of time has allowed for his march and indeed his own complex character to receive a more nuanced assessment.  And, it's not just historians who are looking anew."

Will the Real W.T. Sherman Please Stand Up.  --Old Secesh

Marking the March: Sherman's March to the Sea Still Vivid-- Part 1

From the November 19, 2014, Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus, AP.

It was the death throes of the Confederacy 150 years ago as Grant had Lee pinned at Petersburg in Virginia and Union General William T. Sherman was in the midst of his scorching march through Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah.

Sherman's first objective on the march was Georgia's capital at the time, Milledgeville.  Stories of Sherman's "foragers" sweeping through are still told in this part of te country.  They are generally just referred to as "Sherman's men."

Amy Wright gestured to the spot where in 1861, Georgia's leaders had voted to secede from the United States. in the legislative room of the old capitol.    Sherman's me burst into the room when they arrived and drunkenly convened a mock assembly and "repealed " secession.

A Hard Time in the State of Georgia 150 Years Ago.  --Old Secesh

Sunday, December 7, 2014

73 Years Ago This Morning, Surprise Attack

Bob Stroud just mentioned on his Rock and Roll Roots Show on WDRV, "December 7, 1941, A Day That Will Live in Infamy."  Had Harry Chapin still been alive, he would have been having a birthday today and played "Cat's in the Cradle."  He was born the year after Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1942.

I don't usually post on Sunday, but this is one of the days that I do if it falls on a Sunday.

PART 1

Today, Gayle Vyskocil will be sharing her late husband James' speech he gave a few years ago at a Pearl Harbor Remembrance in Whidbey, Washington.  On December 7, 1941, he was a signalman third class on a 90-foot tower as he watched the events unfold.

This story will be continued on my Saw the Elephant and Roadlog blogs.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Civil War's "Greybeards"

From the August 10, 2014, Listverse "10 Oldtimers Who Kicked Ass in Wartime."

This is just one of the ten, the one that applied to the Civil War.

The 37th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment was known as the "Greybeards."  They were made up of men who were past the age of military service but fir and healthy enough to serve.

The regiment was the brainchild of George Kincaid, a 50-year-old farmer.  By 1862, the number of Iowa's volunteers was dwindling..  Kincaid's idea was to raise a regiment of men of a certain age to show "a wonderful experience of loyalty and patriotism."  The hopes were that these "Greybeards" would shame the young into volunteering.

Many on the original roster were in the 60-70 age range and one was even 80.

Their primary task was garrison duty and guarding prisoners.  They did have deaths, but that came from disease.

One of them was Anton Busch, a German immigrant who was 52.  (Part of the Anheiser-Busch folk?)

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 5, 2014

Christmas at Bentonville in 1864-- Part 3

New this year will be Christmas bags made of tissue paper and during the Civil War era would have been filled with sugarplums (Visions of) These will be filled with candy and toys.  (What is a sugar plum anyway?)

It is similar to a pinata and children will try to hit them with a stick to break them open so the goodies will spill out.  It is expected the kids will have a great time doing this (and perhaps a short video on AFV).

Just three months later the next year, the Battle of Bentonville was fought around the Harper House March 19-21, 1865.  It was the last full-scale action in the Civil War where the Confederate Army was able to mount a tactical offensive.  It was the largest battle fought in North Carolina and the only significant attempt to stop the army of William T. Sherman during his March Through the Carolinas.

Union forces occupied the Harper House the first day of the battle and it served as a field hospital for Sherman's XIC Corps.

Wish i Could Be There.  --Old Secesh

Christmas 1864 at Bentonville-- Part 2

Continued from last week.

A small decorated tree will be at the Harper House kitchen and a larger one will be decorated outside.  It will be decorated with strands of popcorn and other natural items that would have been available back in 1864 such as holly, magnolia, fruits and cotton.

Many of the activities have been done in the past, but new ones will be added.

Everything is free and free-flowing.

Normally, there are no weapon demonstrations as it does not fit with the essence of soldiers home on furlough.

A Yule log was burned at the end of last year's program and one will be burned this year.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Long-Lost Civil War Diary Returned to Tennessee-- Part 2

Randal McGavock was a Harvard educated lawyer who served one term as the mayor of Nashville in 1858 when he was 32.  He had earlier taken a 20-month European tour and wrote a book about titled "A Tennesseean Abroad."

He was Lt.-Col. of the 10th Tennessee Infantry regiment and killed in 1863 at the Battle of Raymond in Mississippi.

Ms. Sheam contacted the Tennessee State Library and Archives which had received 8 volumes of his diaries in 1960,.but was missing the one from his early Civil War years.  She and her husband flew to Nashville to donate the diary to the archives and visit historic sites associated with McGavock and his prominent family, including the Two River Mansion in Nashville and Carnton Plantation in Franklin.

--Old Secesh

Long-Lost Civil War Diary Returned in Tennessee-- Part 1

From the August 23, 2014, Tri-Cities.com, AP.

Randal McGavock, one-time mayor of Nashville, wrote a diary during the war and it has been returned now after 152 years.  It was found by a Union captain when they captured Fort Henry in 1862.

It was found in Cincinnati by retired teacher Andrea Sheam while helping her parents move into an assisted living facility.  Her parents told her that her grandmother had placed it in a wooden box in 1963.

The inscription on the diary said that it was captured by Captain Myndert Wemple of the 4th Illinois Volunteer cavalry on February 6, 1862.  Sheam's research show that Wemple was an ancestor and the diary was passed down through the generations for the next hundred years before it was forgotten.

A Piece of History Recovered.  --Old Secesh


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"Cotton" Reynolds' Civil War Collection Gone in a Matter of Hours-- Part 2

James Carlos "Cotton" Reynolds was a renowned historian and story teller and was considered a walking encyclopedia of the Civil War who could tell specific stories behind each and every artifact in his collection.

The biggest item was the clothing and equipment that had belonged to Union Naval Captain William Turner which went for$4,700.  It was sold to collector Mayo Cameron, who plans to display it as his museum in North Carolina.

Some items sold for less than $10 while others brought in thousands.  A sword owned by W.J. McEloy, an officer from Georgia, went for $3,250.  (It is stamped CS, W.J. McEloy, Macon, Georgia.)  Another sword
 from the Confederate 1st Cherokee Regiment went for $2,350.

A highlight of the auction was a rare collection of John Primble knives that went for $7,500.

Reynolds' stories about the artifacts were also included in the purchase.

--I Would Have Liked To Have Had the Money to Bid.  --Old Secesh

Cotton Reynolds' Civil War Collection Gone in a Matter of Hours-- Part 1

From the August 21, 2014, Advocate Messenger "Cotton Reynolds' Civil War collection gone in a matter of hours, but his legacy lives on" by Pam Wright.

James Carlos "Cotton" Reynolds of Perryville, Kentucky was a lifetime Civil War collector and had amassed one of the finest ones in the nation.  It was auctioned off on August 21st from 10:30 to 8:30.

There were 537 registered bidders from 47 states and foreign countries.  His children and grandchildren were there to see it go.  Reynolds died in April at age 84.

A plumber by trade, Cotton began collecting the items at an early age in the fields around his Perryville home.  A major battle was fought there..  Often, he would trade plumbing work for artifacts.

--Old Secesh


William Gray Hollowell, Confederate Soldier

From the May 21, 2014, Goldsboro (N.C.) News-Argus.

Picture on the front page of a large photograph of William Gray Hollowell taken at the Confederate Burial Mound at Willowdale Cemetery in Goldsboro.

Caption under the picture reads: "Glenn Fields of the Sons of Confederate Veterans unveils a portrait of Civil War soldier William Gray Hollowell during a Confederate Memorial Day Service at Willowdale Cemetery on Sunday.

"Hollowell was a private in the Goldsboro Rifles who enlisted at the age of 21.  He was wounded at the Battle of Bristoe Station, Va., in the fall of 1863 and had his left leg amputated.

"The nation is observing the 150th anniversary of the war.  A photography exhibit made available by the state Department of Cultural resources is on display at the Wayne County Public Library through June 28."

My family is related to the Hollowells.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas 1864 at Bentonville-- Part 1

From the Nov. 20, 2014, Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus "Bentonville historic site demonstrates a Civil War Christmas" by Steve Herring.

The war was raging in other parts of the country this Christmas season 150 years ago, but here in North Carolina around the Harper House, things were peaceful (the battle took place in the middle of March 1865).

On Saturday, December 6th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the public will be able to gain an idea of what life was like back then  Visitors will be able to enjoy cookies and hot cider while listening to period music.  Costumed military interpreters will discuss the life of a common soldier on furlough from the Army.  Furlough was when they would be given permission to be away from their units and visit family and friends back home.

Re-enactors from the 27th North Carolina, Co. D will participate

--Old Secesh

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Confederate Color Guard at Slave's Daughter's Funeral-- Part 2

Mattie Rice was 91 when she died this past September in High Point, North Carolina, and will be buried this Saturday in Monroe's Hillcrest Cemetery.  She spent much time confirming her father's Confederate service.

Tony Way, a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) lead the push for a marker honoring the Civil War service of nine slaves and one free black.  It was unveiled in 2012.  Before that, Mattie Rice dismissed Black Confederates as a myth.

A 1930 obituary for her father, Weary Clyburn said he was buried in his Confederate uniform, but referred to him as "Uncle Weary Clyburn" and described him as "a white man's darkey."  His grave remained unmarked until the SCV lobbied the Veterans Administration for a headstone which was placed in 2008.

--Old Secesh

"Gone With the Wind" Premier Actually December 15, 1939

I looked this up in Wikipedia and found that the movie actually premiered about three weeks later at the Loewe's Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ticket prices were about $1 at the time, which was double what most movies cost back then.

--Old Secesh


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Gone With the Wind" 75th Anniversary

Right now I am watching "Gone With the Wind" on AMC and believe this to be the 75th anniversary of the movie's release in 1939.

And, this also being the 150th anniversary of Sherman's March Across Georgia which was shown in the movie with the Union soldier being killed on the steps of Tara.

And, here I am in North Carolina.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Confederate Color Guard at Burial of Slave's Daughter-- Part 1

From the October 19, 2014, Goldsboro (N.C.) News-Argus, AP

Mattie Clyburn Rice Wanted to be Buried in Her Father's Grave.

When her ashes were buried Saturday in her father's grave in North Carolina, there was a color guard of Confederate re-enactors, representatives of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) as well as members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

What made this ceremony really interesting was that Mattie Clyburn Rice's father had been a slave.

"That the daughter of a man enslaved in the 1800s should live toi see the 21st century seems almost extraordinary enough-- but equally remarkable is the record of her father, who went to war to cook for his master, saved the man's life and ended up drawing a pension for his wartime service."

Her father was in his 80s when Mattie was born.  Members of the SCV, who knew her very well, said that Mattie always considered her father a Confederate soldier., but historians say that is not necessarily true because he went to war to serve his master.

Of Course, There Were Others Who Were Drafted to Go Off to War, Often Against Their Will.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Union Medal of Honor Winner Frederick Fuger-- Part 2: The Medal and Service After the War

Fuger assumed command of the battery after the death of Alonzo Cushing and fired the remaining rounds of cannister then fought Pickett's men hand-to-hand.

For his gallant action, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and later received the Medal of Honor.

By his figuring, he was present at 63 Civil War battles and minor engagements and was slightly wounded twice: once in the head at the Battle of White Oak Swamp June 30, 1862 and in the left arm at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.He was brevetted  to 1st Lt., U.S. Army for meritorious service at the Battle of Dinwiddie Court House.

Other promotions:  1st Lt. 4th Artillery December 1865
Captain 4th Artillery March 1887
Major 4th Artillery 1899

Retired at age 64 in June 1900.  In April 1904 promoted to Lt. Colonel.

Lt. Col. Frederick Fuger died in Washington, D.C. on October 13, 1913 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Quite a Life.  --Old Secesh

Union Medal of Honor Winner Frederick Fuger-- Part 1: Alonzo Cushing's Sergeant

From Wikipedia.

Born June 18, 1836  Died October 13, 1913.

Received his Medal of Honor for his part in the action on Cemetery Ridge during Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863, at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Emigrated from Germany in 1853 and joined the 4th U.S. Artillery in 1856, Battery A.

Served in Florida against the Seminoles in 1856, in Kansas in 1857, Utah in 1858 against the Mormons and Nevada in 1860 against the Paiute Indians.

His enlistment was set to expire in 1861 when the Civil War began and he reenlisted in the same outfit, 4th Artillery, Battery A as sergeant under Lt. Alonzo Cushing.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 2: Five Things

The March began on November 16, 1864.

3.  DID SHERMAN DESTROY EVERYTHING?  The answer to this is a firm "No!"  But, cut off from his supply lines, he did allow his men to :forage liberally."  Plus, he was determined to destroy anything that could even remotely be used by the Confederates.  That included cotton gins, barns, factories, Confederate leaders' homes and railroads.

Sherman's neckties were rails heated in the center and twisted around trees and poles.  In some parts of georgia, even today, if you want your steak well done (or burned) you ask that it be Shermanized.

Sherman claimed he had done $100 million of physical damage to the Confederacy during his march.

4.  HOW IS SHERMAN'S MARCH REMEMBERED TODAY"  In some parts of the South he is "The devil Incarnate."  Even considered a war criminal.  He took the chivalry out of war, fighting as the first modern general whose tactics were to do whatever was necessary to end a war as quickly as possible.

5.  WHY TECUMSEH?  His middle name was after a famous Indian warrior chief.

I Prefer My Steaks Medium rare.  Perhaps It Should Be Butlerized.  --Old Secesh

Sherman's March to the Sea-- Part 1: Five Things About It

From the November 15, 2014, Yahoo! News "Sherman's March at 150: 5 questions and answers" by Christopher Sullivan, AP.

WHY MARCH TO THE SEA?  Sherman had captured Atlanta in September 1864.  This greatly helped Lincoln's reelection that November.

Part of the reason for the march was to relieve pressure on Grant at Petersburg, but it also was to split the Confederacy and provide a "Shock and Awe" kind of a campaign.

WHO WAS WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN"  He was from a very poor family and later a West Point graduate.  Superintendent at a military school in Louisiana when South Carolina seceded and joined the Union Army even though he always considered himself friendly to the South.

He also knew that the Southern will to fight had to be broken and that was a huge reason for his March to the Sea.  The march took barely a month (there wasn't a lot of opposition.

On December 22nd, he telegraphed Lincoln, "I beg to present to you as a Christmas gift the City of Savannah."

Quite a Thrust.  --Old Secesh

Cushing Brothers Burials

Milton Cushing is buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.

Howard B. Cushing is buried at Fort Lowell in Arizona.  He was later reinterred at the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio.

Alonzo Cushing is buried at the USMA at West Point, New York.

William Cushing is buried at the USNA at Annapolis, Maryland.

--Old Secesh

Cushing Memorial Park in Delafield, Wisconsin

This inscription is on the memorial:  "So long as such men can be produced in the republic there is no danger of its decline and fall."

That pretty well sums up the Cushing Brothers.

--Old Secesh

Alonzo Cushing's Sergeant, Frederick Fuger

At the Battle of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863, Alonzo Cushing was wounded and unable to yell his commands.  Alonzo relayed them through his sergeant, Frederick Fuger and after Cushing's death, Fuger continued operating that one cannon left in the battery.

Fuger was commissioned second lieutenant for his actions that day and, in 1897, received a Medal of Honor for it.

--Old Secesh

Monday, November 17, 2014

Howard B. Cushing, U.S. Army-- Part 2

After Texas, he went to southern Arizona where he and his command  reportedly killed more Apaches than any other troop.

In May 1871, Howard Cushing and 22 troopers were ambushed by  Chiricahui Apaches under Cochise on May 5th and in fierce hand-to-hand combat, Cushing and several of his men were killed.

Their bodies were recovered and he is buried at Fort Lowell, southwest of Tucson.

--Old Secesh

Howard B. Cushing, US Army-- Part 1

The fourth of the Cushing brothers, he was born in Delafield, Wisconsin in 1840 and was a West Point graduate.  Alonzo also graduated from the USMA and William graduated from the USNA.  The only Cushing brother who did not attend a service academy was Milton.

Howard served in the artillery as was his brother Alonzo during the war and reportedly attained the rank of colonel.  He resigned after the war, but came back to the Army in 1867 and was commissioned a second lieutenant.

By the end of 1867, he was first lieutenant of Troop F of the 3rd Cavalry in western Texas.

--Old Secesh

The Cushing Brothers-- Part 2: Milton Cushing

Three of the four sons of Milton Birmingham and Mary B. Cushing achieved fame in the Civil War and beyond.

The oldest brother, Milton, born in 1837 in Ohio served in the U.S. Navy, as did brother William, during the war as a paymaster from August 1864 into 1866.  he died in 1877 in Dunkirk, New York.  Buried at Forest Hill cemetery in Columbus, Ohio.

The Records of Living Officers of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps gives this information on Milton Cushing:

Born Ohio.
Appointed from New York Aug. 20, 1864
Entered service as Acting Assistant Paymaster
Attached to steam gunboat USS Seneca, North Atlantic Blockading Squadron 1864-1865.  The USS Seneca was one of the 90-Day Gunboats built in that amount of time in 1861 and took part if the attacks on Fort Fisher in 1865, when Milton Cushing was on board.  I imagine at some point he got together with brother William while on station off Wilmington.
Assigned to steam gunboat USS Chicora, Gulf squadron 1865-1866
Appointed Passed Assistant Paymaster, U.S. Navy July 23, 1865.
Assigned to steamer USS Suwanee, North Pacific Squadron 1866-1868
Commissioned Paymaster in 1869.

It's a Navy Brother.  --Old Secesh






Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Cushing Brothers-- Part 1

From the May 6, 2012, North Against South blog "The Four Cushing Brothers" by Richard Billies.

The last three posts, I wrote about Alonzo Cushing receiving his Medal of Honor for his heroic action at the Battle of Gettysburg, but he also had three other brothers who served during the war.  Two were in the Navy and one other in the Army.

One of these other three, in my opinion should also receive a Medal of Honor for his actions on sea and land, and particularly for leading the expedition that sank the powerful Confederate ironclad ram CSS Albemarle.

I am referring to William Barker Cushing who led many courageous reconnaissance missions as well as being in the naval brigade that attacked Fort Fisher.

This last month I have written a lot about his sinking of the Albemarle in my Running the Blockade blog.  Go to it and click on his name in the labels.

--Old Secesh


Gettysburg Hero Finally Awarded Medal of Honor-- Part 3: Alonzo Cushing

Alonzo Cushing was commander of an artillery battery on the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg, during what is now known as Pickett's Charge, according to an account provided by the White House.  After Confederate cannon fire ripped into his position prior to the charge, he personally took over firing his single remaining artillery piece.  Most of the rest of his men were either killed or wounded.

During the close-in fighting as Confederates approached, he was wounded in the shoulder and then in the stomach, but refused to be taken to the rear for treatment and continued directing firing of the artillery piece until he was mortally wounded by a bullet.

Cushing was buried with honors at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., from which he had graduated just two years before his death.  He was posthumously promoted to lieutenant colonel.

A monument to his honor stands on the Gettysburg battlefield.

Previously this year, President Obama awarded Medals of Honor to veterans who fought as long back as World War II when he recognized 24 Army veterans who had been passed over for the recognition because of bias.

Well-Deserved Honor.  --Old Secesh

Gettysburg Hero Finally Awarded Medal of Honor-- Part 2

Proponents of Cushing's medal fought opponents, including former U.S. Senator James Webb, a Virginia Democrat who served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam.  He stripped legislative language authorizing the award in 2012, saying more than 150 years later it was impossible to verify the circumstances of battle to determine whether the highest military honor was merited.

U.S. law requires recommendations for the Medal of Honor to be made within two years of the event.  Also, I have my doubts about some of the Civil War Medals of Honor as that was when they were first given and nowhere near the paperwork required no took place. There were instances when a whole unit would receive them.

Of course, perhaps Webb's opposition might have come from Cushing being a Union soldier.

New legislation to award Cushing the honor was passed in December 2013.

--Old Secesh

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gettysburg Hero Finally Awarded Medal of Honor-- Part 1

From the November 7, 2014, Chicago Tribune by Angela Greiling Keane, Bloomberg News.

Wisconsin lawmakers began pushing for it thirty years ago for a Medal of Honor for a soldier who died 151 years ago, 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing.  he finally received it.

Cushing was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania on the climatic final day of the battle, July 3, 1863, and at the climatic point during Pickett's Charge.  He was 22 years old.

The fight, along with the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi the following day were pivotal victories for the Union Army during the Civil War.

While presenting it, President Barack Obama said, "This medal is a reminder that, no matter how long it takes, it is never too late to do the right thing," as he bestowed the nation's highest military honor on Cushing at a White House ceremony on November 6th,

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Further Breakdown of N.C. Confederates Buried at ANC-- Part 4

North Carolina Confederates buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  Battles in which these men were captured:

Chester Gap July 21, 1863--  1

Bristoe Station October 14, 1863--  12

Rappahannock Station November 7, 1863--  6

Williamsburg May 5, 1863--  3

Fredericksburg--  1

Mine Run November 28, 1863-- 2

Spottsylvania May 12, 1864--  1

Chancellorsville May 3, 1863--  2

Kelly's Ford, November 7, 1863--  5

Falling Waters July 14, 1863-- 1

Sharpsburg September 17, 1863

--Old Secesh

Further Breakdown of N.C. Confederates Buried at ANC-- Part 3

North Carolina Confederates buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  These are what was listed as cause of death:

Died of wounds--  4
amputations-- 2
diarrhea chronica/diarrhea--  7
typhoid pneumionia-- 1
disease--  1
pneumonia--  1
erysipelas--  1
phthises pulmonalis-- 1
died in hospital--  5
variola--  1
typhoid fever--  2

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day: Civil War Trust Expanding Mission to Save Revolutionary and War of 1812 Battlefields

From the November 10, 2014, Washington Post "Civil War Trust to preserve battlefields from Revolutionary War and War of 1812."

The Civil War Trust, the nation's largest Civil War battlefield protection group is enlarging its mission to cover these, often overlooked, battlefields.

Jim Lighthizer, the group's president said this is a strong and logical connection between the three wars.  "The Revolutionary War created the country, and the War of 1812 affirmed that creation.  The Civil War defined who we are."

The announcement for this expanded mission will come today in honor of Veterans Day at the Princeton Battle memorial in New Jersey.

There are many fewer Revolutionary and War of 1812 sites.  Civil War battlefields cover between 200,000 and 250,000 acres.  The other two combined somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000.

Since its inception 27 years ago, the Trust has preserved over 40,000 acres of Civil War battlefields.

--Old Secesh

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Further Breakdown of N.C. Confederate Buried at Arlington National Cemetery-- Part 2

A Breakdown By Regiments.  All are North Carolina Regiments:

2nd NC-- 2
3rd-- 1
5th NC-  2
6th NC-- 2

11th NC--  1
13th NC-- 1
15th NC--  2
17th NC--  1

20th NC-- 1
23rd NC--  2
24th NC--  2

30th NC--  2
33rd--  1
28th NC--  1

43rd  NC--  2
44th NC--  6
46th NC--  2
47th NC--  1
48th NC--  1

52nd  NC--  1
54th NC--  1
57th NC--  4

Probably not surprising about the most being from the N.C. regiments in the 40s as that would have been the ones arriving on the battlefield around 1863, when the majority of them were captured in action.

--Old Secesh

Confederates Buried at Arlington National Cemetery

From the ANC website.

Arlington National Cemetery was conceived as a "Union" burial ground, but Confederates are buried there as well.  Most died in battle or from wounds received in battle.  Some were prisoners of war who were brought to Washington, D.C. either for prison or to be hospitalized.

Some were "rehabilitated" Confederates whose service later in life authorized their burial there.

The list of Confederates buried there was compiled by Roxsane Wells-Layton.  Thanks.

In addition, and not surprisingly, a large number of of Civil War medal of Honor recipients (and other wars as well) are buried there.

--Old Secesh

A Further Breakdown on N.C. Prisoners Buried at Arlington National Cemetery-- Part 1

My count shows that 41 North Carolina Confederates are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Seventeen of them died of disease after incarceration at Washington, D.C.'s Old Capitol Prison.

Twelve were wounded in battle and died in Washington, D.C.'s hospitals.

--Old Secesh

Lincoln's Home Gets an Energy Update

From the November 2, 2014, Chicago Tribune by William Hageman.

Henson Robinson Co. of Springfield, Illinois, recently undertook a job on a very famous house in town, the one where Abraham Lincoln and family lived in from 1844 to 1860 when they left to take up quarters in an even more famous house.

The 153-year-old firm replaced a 25-year-old heating and air conditioning system and they had to be "inordinately careful."  They did it in April-May at a $150,000 cost.

They have also worked on Lincoln's Tomb, the Capitol dome and the Dana-Thomas (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright) House.  They also restored the home of the firm's founder, Henson Robinson, which is located three houses south of Lincoln's.

I'm Guessing Abe Would Have Approved.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, November 8, 2014

N.C. Prisoners Who Died of Disease at Old Capitol Prison-- Part 3

WILLIAM SINK--  Cap. 10-14-63, Died 2-9-64 of chronic diarrhea

WILLIAM STRAHORN--  Cap. 10-14-63, Died 1-21-64 of diarrhea chronica.

SIMEON SWANSON--  Cap. 10-14-63, Died 1-12-64 of variloa.

JAMES (JESSE) BARNES--  Cap. 11-7-63, Died 2-11-64 of typhoid fever.

JAMES BAUNDY--  Cap 7-14-63, Died 4-20-64 of typhoid fever.

Just an Interesting Look at a Prison Located in the City of Washington, D.C., Capital of the United States.

-Old Secesh

Friday, November 7, 2014

N.C. Prisoners Who Died of Disease at Old Capitol Prison-- Part 2

These soldiers arrived at Old Capitol Prison and weren't wounded or injured.  They just went to OCP and most died within two months.


ROBERT JOHNSON: cap. 7-21-63, Died  of chronic diarrhea.

CLARK KINSTON:  Cap. 10-14-63, Died of chronic diarrhea

ARMSTEAD KING: Cap. 11-8-63, Died 2-2-64 of pneumonia

WILLIAM POLLARD:  Cap. 10-14-63, Died 11-19-63

OBED  REEP:  Cap. 11-28-63, Died 2-2-64 of phthisis pulmonalis

NATHAN ROGERS:  Cap. 10-14-63, Hospitalized 12-7-63.  Died of chronica diarrhea

And, TheySaid That Andersonville Was Horrible.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, November 6, 2014

N.C. Prisoners Imprisoned at Old Capitol Prison Who Died of Disease-- Part 1

Getting sent to Old Capitol Prison (OCP) in Washington, D.C., was a death sentence for many captured Confederates who arrived healthy but soon died from diseases.  Old Capitol Prison got its name from the fact that it served as the nation's Capitol while the one destroyed by the British in 1814 was being rebuilt.

I compiled this from the list I got from the Confederates buried at Arlington National Cemetery.  These were those that were sent to OCP.  I will also include date captured, dare of death and disease

NATHAN CRAFT--  10-14-63, 1-11-64, diarrhea chronica

JAMES DEAN--  12-3-63, 1-2-64, typhoid pneumonia

JOHN FINCH--  10-14-63, 11-26-63, disease

WILLIAM GUPTON--  10-14-63, 4-21-64, diarrhea chronica

SAMUEL HILL--  10-14-63, 12-20-63, diarrhea chronica

--Old Secesh

William W. Corcoran-- Part 3: America;s First Lobbyist and Peddler of Political Influence?

Today, William Corcoran is known mostly for his art gallery museum across from the White House, but he is a  very important character from American history.

He played a significant role in the transformation of the United States financial and banking systems and held a huge influence on everything that went on in Washington, D.C..  Some regard him as America's first lobbyist and peddler of political influence.

Corcoran influenced and befriended almost every U.S. president from Andrew Jackson to Rutherford B. Hayes.

He included among his friends quite a diverse group, including Edward Everett, Robert E. Lee and John Slidell.  He maintained close business and social relationships with financiers and bankers ranging from Elisha and George Riggs, George Peabody and Junius Morgan.

One day I might look up the Lincoln-Corcoran relationship during the Civil War as this man, though retired, still continued to wield a lot of clout.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

William W. Corcoran, Financier and Banker-- Part 2

In 1837, he established a brokerage firm on Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th Street in Wasgington, D,C. and was very successful.  Corcoran entered into a partnership with George Washington Riggs as the firm of Corcoran and Riggs (taken over by PNC Bank recently).  .  In 1845, they bought the United States Bank.

With his fortune made, William retired in 1854 and devoted himself to collecting art and philanthropy.

It was around this time that Simon Sommers starting working for him, taking care of his considerable land interests out west.

Since William Corcoran was so wealthy and lived through the Civil War, I'm sure he must have had some role in it, but Wikipedia did not mention it.

--Old Secesh

William W. Corcoran, Financier and Art Collector-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

I have been writing about Simon L. Sommers, a Confederate officer who, before and after the war, worked for W.W. Corcoran and as such ended up living in Macomb, Illinois.  I'd never heard of this W.W. Corcoran, but found out that Sommers was raking care of his real estate holdings in the Macomb area which was why he went there.

WILLIAM W. CORCORAN (Dec. 27, 1798-February 24, 1888)  American banker, philanthropist and art collector.  He started the Corcoran Gallery of Art across from the White House in Washington, D.C., in 1869, one of the first art galleries in the United States.

William was the son of well-to-do parents in D.C. and eloped and married the daughter of Commodore Charles Morris who fought in the War of 1812.  (I wrote about him in my War of 1812 blog yesterday.)

He entered the business world at age 17, working for relatives and opened his own store two years later.  he then established a wholesale auction and commission business that failed in a depression in 1823.   In 1828, he took control of a large amount of real estate that had belonged to his father.  (I have to wonder how a man in Washington, D.C., could acquire large amounts of land out west?)

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Charles A. Newton, CSN?

Simon Sommers married Margaret Newton, the daughter of Charles A. Newton.  He was listed as being formerly in the U.S. Navy.  Since the marriage took place in 1863, when Sommers were in the service of the Confederacy, I have to assume it was in the South.  Perhaps Charles Newton had offered his services to the Confederate Navy, which always was in need of people with experience?

I did come across the name of a Charles A. Newton who was an Acting Master in the CSN at the Richmond Station and is listed as dying 11 August 1862.

I was unable to find out any more information on him.

--Old Secesh

Simon L. Sommers-- Part 4 War Service and Return to Virginia

Simon Sommers became an Assistant Engineer in the Confederate Corps of Engineers, receiving his commission in 1864 after serving two years in the Corps in the defense of Petersburg and Lynchburg.

He returned to Arlington County in the early 20th century and died there on November 13, 1913.  He was buried with the other Southerners in the Confederate Section of Arlington National Cemetery.

His wife Margaret died January 29, 1923, and is buried alongside him.

--Old Secesh

Simon L. Sommers-- Part 3: From Virginia to Illinois

During the remainder of the war, Simon Sommers was in the South and served as a civil assistant engineer.  He married Margaret Maria Newton on March 17, 1863.  She was the daughter of Charles and Sarah Ann A. Newton, formerly of the U.S. Navy.

In July 1865, he was reappointed as land agent for William W. Corcoran and went to Macomb, Illinois where he resided for many years.  While there, he and Margaret had 7 children, six of whom survived.  He was a Master Mason of the Macomb Lodge No. 17 and served five years as a member of  the town's board of education.

--Old Secesh

Monday, November 3, 2014

Simon L. Sommers-- Part 2: Early Life and Confederate Service

In 1844, Simon Sommers became a school teacher and taught in Charles County, Md., and Montgomery County, Ala., until 1847 when he returned to Alexandria County.  He remained there until 1855 serving as a county surveyor.

In 1855, he became an agent and attorney for W.W. Corcoran of Washington, D.C., and came west to look after his employer's vast land interests.  He continued in this capacity until December 1859 when he returned to Virginia.

He strongly espoused the Southern cause in the tense years leading up to the Civil War.  In the spring of 1861, he raised a company of soldiers and was elected captain.  But, before they could be mustered into service, the company was captured at their homes by Union troops.

The company was disbanded.  At the time of the capture, Simon was at Fairfax Court House and was not captured.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

Simon L. Sommers-- Part 1: Confederate Engineer and School Board Member in Macomb, Illinois

From the Macomb County, Illinois Genealogy.

The subject of my previous post, Simon Lafayette Sommers, was from Virginia, but somehow ended up living in Macomb, Illinois, after the war and then was buried at Arlington National Cemetery back in Virginia.  I was wondering how he came to be in Illinois so did some more research and after awhile came across this nice account of his life.

He was born October 23, 1823, in Alexandria County, Virginia.  His father was John A. Sommers who was a civil engineer with the Chesapaeke & Ohio Canal.  His grandfather was Simon Sommers, who was a captain in the Revolutionary War.

His mother was Sussana Young, daughter of Abram Young whose farm was located about a mile east of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C..  The government purchased his farm and laid out lots, streets, avenues and reservations and deeded 1/3 of the lots to him in consideration.

Young Simon Sommers, at age 16,  went to an academy in Farquier County, Virginia, for four years.

--Old Secesh


Confederates Buried ar Arlington National Cemetery: Simon L. Sommers

SIMON L. SOMMERS, Captain on Engineers born in Virginia in 1824.  In 1880, he was living in Macomb, Illinois where all six of his daughters were born.  He was listed as a real estate agent.  Died on November 13, 1913, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery alongside his wife Margaret M. who died Jan. 29, 1923.

From the Arlington National Cemetery site.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Confederates Buried at Arlington National Cemetery--Part 2: Julian Godwin Moore

The major of the new unit was John W. Moore and Julian Moore, now a captain, commanded the Hertford County company.

They were sent to Virginia without cannons and served with Lee's Army for several months, still without guns.  They finally received their cannons.  During the winter of 1862-1863, they went back to serve in North Carolina.

However, now they were once again without guns for all but two batteries.  They served near Wilmington and finally again were equipped.  They then spent the next year near Wilmington.

After the war, he moved to Washington, D.C. and became a guard at the U.S. Treasury.

--Old Secesh


Confederates Buried at Arlington National Cemetery from North Carolina-- Part 1: Julian Godwin Moore

JULIAN GODWIN MOORE, Captain.

Born 20 October 1840 at Murfreesboro, Hertford County.  Married Emily Bland Southall 12 October 1865 at Murfreesboro.  Died 1929.  Married three times.

In the spring of 1861 he was in the Hertford Light Infantry, a group equipped with uniforms and guns provided by a county bond issue.  The group elected him as their lieutenant.

Marched to Raleigh where they became Co. C, 17th N.C. and were assigned to the incomplete defenses on the Outer Banks.

His company was captured at Fort Hatteras and remained in prison until paroled in the spring of 1862  They became the Third North Carolina Battalion Artillery later that spring.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

Confederates Buried at Arlington National Cemetery: John C. Tennett

From the Arlington National Cemetery Site.

A large number of Confederates are buried at the cemetery, despite its establishment as a final resting place for Union soldiers.  Most of these Confederates died during the war, many in Washington D.C.'s Old Capitol Prison, but others were buried there going into the early 1900s.

I have listed in the last few months all the North Carolina ones (Use the label Arlington National Cemetery) except for two.  This one was in the Confederate Navy, so i will also make an entry on him in today's Running the Blockade blog.

JOHN C. TENNETT, N.C. First Assistant Engineer, CSN

Appointed from North Carolina.  Served aboard the CSS Fredericksburg in the James River Squadron in 1864.  Resigned in late 1864 and joined the Confederate Army as chap[lain.

Died July 11, 1913.

--Old Secesh

Friday, October 31, 2014

Yadkin County Confederate to Be Honored

From the August 21, 2014, Yadkin (NC) Ripple by Kitsey E. Burns.

On August 30th at 2 p.m. at the Speer Family cemetery in Boonville, William Henry Asbury Speer will be honored.  he started out the war as captain of Co. I and later became major, lt.col. and colonel of the 28th N.C, Infantry regiment.

He was mortally wounded at the Battle of Reams Station on August 25, 1864 and died four days later.  His remains were brought home in September and buried in the family cemetery.

The 28th N.C. and 7th N.C. Cavalry re-enactment groups will be on hand for the ceremony and the special guest will be Dr. Allen Paul Speer, author of the book "Voices from Cemetery Hill" will tell Col. Speer's story.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, October 30, 2014

N.C. Family Cemetery Reveals History-- Part 3

 Further Research on JACOB HANES.

Member of 21st N.C. Regt. Onfantry.  Organized at Danville, Virginia and recruited from Davidson, Surry, Forsyth, Stokes, Reddington and Guilford counties in North Carolina.

Fought at Bull Run, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.

BRYAN JARVIS also listed as Bryant.  Private in the 15th N.C..  Buried in mass grave of 3,384 Confederates at Point Lookout Prison camp.  I imagine there is a marker for him in the N.C. cemetery.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

N.C. Family Burial Ground Reveals Historic Gems-- Part 2

Among those buried at the cemetery:

THOMAS HANES:  December 26, 1803-Feb. 19, 1879.

Two small white stones with no inscriptions.  Possibly babies.

JACOB HANES: Born Dec. 28, 1828.  Confederate soldier.  Died Richmond, Virginia March 19, 1863.

BRYAN JARVIS SR.:  Feb. 16, 1829-March 16, 1864.  Confederate soldier buried at Point Lookout, Maryland.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

North Carolina Family Burial Ground Reveals Hidden Gems of History-- Part 1

From the June 3, 2014, Fox 8 News WGHP (Winston-Salem, N.C.).

There is a small plot of land, just .11 of an acre, just off Loop Road in Clemmon, behind a rusting waist-high chain link fence.  Weeds and a thick canopy of trees seal out sunlight on the plot.

It is a small family burial ground that contains the bodies of two Confederate soldiers.

Joan Schlicher, a transplant from Pennsylvania, discovered the graveyard after moving across the street six years ago.  She says there are maybe a dozen headstones in it.

--Old Secesh

Monday, October 27, 2014

Raid On Linnville Falls, N.C.-- Part 2

The 3rd N.C. Mounted Infantry (Union) led by Col. George W, kirk, was composed of North Carolina Unionists.  Their primary target was Morganton, N.C., the location of a railroad head and the Camp Vance Confederate training facility.  After capturing them, they would proceed to Linville Falss on their way back.

They encountered Confederates led by William Waightstill Avery, grandson of Waightstill Avery, namesake of Avery County.  The Confederates were defeated and Avery died from his wounds.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Raid on Linville Falls, N.C.-- Part 1

From the June 3, 2014, High Country Press "Living History Event Held for the 150th Anniversary of the Raid on Linville Falls, Saturday June 28th" by Travis Miller.

June 29th will be the actual day of the 150th anniversary of the raid, but the NPS is hosting a Civil War living history event in the Blue RidgeParkway at MP 316 on June 28th.

During the Civil War, Linville Falls was an important Confederate manufacturing facility the government had created to take advantage of local resources and manufacture of war materials.  A rifle component manufacturing plant was at Linville Falls which used waterwheels to harness power and iron ore mined in nearby Cranberry.

--Old Secesh

Friday, October 24, 2014

There Are Still Bodies Buried on Gettysburg Battlefield-- Part 2: Just in Time for Halloween

Eventually, the bodies of Union soldiers were removed from their battlefield burial sites to the National Cemetery, dedicated in November 1863 with that famous speech.  Even a few Confederates were buried there as the markers on the original graves were becoming illegible.

All of the remaining soldiers buried on the battlefield are most likely Confederate.  Their families and states had to wait until after the war to do anything about recovering their dead.

After the battle, crews took only the larger bones of the more decomposed bodies, leaving the smaller ones.

Somewhere around 51,000 Americans, Union and Confederate, were casualties over that three-day period in 1963.  That would include killed, wounded and missing.  Union casualties: 3,155 killed, 14,531 wounded and 5,369 captured or missing.  Confederate casualties are harder to determine, but best figures indicate 4,708 killed, 12,693 wounded and 5,830 captured or missing., but some say the numbers were much more.

The day before the battle commenced, June 30th, was payday.

Today the bodies of over 6,000 veterans are buried at the Gettysburg National Cemetery.  These include veterans of the Civil War, Spanish-American, World War I, World War II, Korean and Vietnam.

--Old Secesh


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

There Are Still Bodies Buried on the Gettysburg Battlefield-- Part 1

From the July 7, 2014, Gettysburg 150 "Yes, there are still bodies buried on the battlefield at Gettysburg" by Marc Charisse, Evening Sun.

There is a Confederate mass burial trench at Culp's Hill and the National Park Service estimate that there are still 100 to 200 Confederates buried there in the telltale depression easily seen during the winter.

They don't tell tours of the battlefield or visitors for fear of vandalism and stealing.  Disturbing hallowed ground such as this is illegal and even having a metal detector on the battlefield is against federal law.

In the days after the battle, Union and Confederate dead were buried near where they fell.  Some were buried by comrades and others by burial crews in the weeks following the battle.  The Union also mapped the graves.

--Old Secesh


Medal of Honor Winners Buried in Milwaukee-- Part 2

Continued from October 13th.

Lewis Rounds was a private in an Ohio regiment at the Battle of Spottsylvania in Virginia and at Bloody ngle which was a killing ground as both sides were firing at point blank.  He captured a Confederate flag on May 12, 1864.

Each regiment in both armies carried their unit and state flags and had a 12-man unit whose main job was to defend the flags.  Of course, defending or attacking a flag was quite a dangerous undertaking.  The capture of a flag was considered to be a great honor.  Many Medals of Honor were given out during the Civil War for capturing enemy flags.

Rounds later moved to Wisconsin where he lived at Boscobel and West Allis.  His last years were spent at the sprawling Milwaukee Soldiers Home on the current VA grounds.  He died in 1916 and was buried at Wood National Cemetery.

Three other Union Medal of Honor recipients are also buried there.  Michael McCormick also has a marker at Wood Cemetery, though he is not buried there.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Failure in the Saddle: Confederate Cavalry at Chickamauga-- Part 6: Not All Bragg's Fault

Braxton Bragg has often been accused of having lost one of the greatest opportunities of the war at the Battle of Chickamauga and considering his record, that probably has a ring of truth to it.  But, at the same time, his two cavalry corps commanders, Joe Wheeler and Nathan Forrest also need to take their shar of the blame according to David Powell.

Bragg himself admitted that he had achieved as big of a victory as might have been because his cavalry let him down.

And, also his Army commanders let him down because of their incessant squabbling among themselves.  The Army of Tennessee had a major reorganization after the battle.

Prior to Chickamauga, Bragg had a high opinion of Forrest,  That opinion is no longer there afterwards.

As for Joe Wheeler, despite his failings at the battle, he got promoted, partly because he refused to criticize Bragg and remained a Bragg loyalist throughout the war.  He ended up in command of all Confederate cavalry in the West.

This was a very interesting and enlightening presentation.  I sure never thought Forrest to be a military failure, ever.  But he sure did not shine at Chickamauga.

--Old Secesh

Monday, October 20, 2014

Failure in the Saddle, Confederate Cavalry at Chickamauga-- Part 5: 3rd Failure

s both sides attacked and counterattacked.  .  On September 20th, a miscommunication among the Union command made a hole in the Union lines just as Longsteet's corps from the Army of Northern Virginia commenced an attack at that very spot.  This resulted in the collapse of the Union line and a general retreat.

THE THIRD CONFEDERATE CAVALRY FAILURE

On September 21st, Forrest sent out cavalry patrols to Missionary Ridge, south of Chattanooga.  he thought the Federals were in complete disarray and rapidly abandoning Chattanooga, but did nothing.  Actually the part of Missionary Ridge that the Confederates got to was the one spot where Union troops were not.  It was soon found that Rosecrans held a very strong defensive position on Missionary Ridge.

So, Forrest Misreported.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Failure in the Saddle: Confederate Cavalry at Chickamauga-- Part 4: Second Failure

So, Joe Wheeler's failure to cover and obstruct the Union Army crossing the Tennessee River southwest of Chattanooga was the first Confederate cavalry failure in the campaign.

Once the Union Army was across the river, Bragg was forced to leave Chattanooga without any fight. Rosecrans entered the city the following day and the Union held this strategic point for the rest of the war.  It served Sherman ably as a key supply link in his drive on Atlanta the following year.

 Bragg retired to Lafayette, Georgia and over the next week the two armies spent maneuvering.

Then, on September 18th, came the second great Confederate cavalry failure on the first day of tyhe Battle of Chickamauga.  This time it was Forrest's turn to blunder.

The Union Army launched a flank attack at Lee & Gordon Mill and Forrest did not report the move despite the massive amounts of dust put up as the Union Army moved and the myriad of fires used to light their way the night before.

David Powell believes that Forrest should have seen and reported this, but Forrest was not used to cavalry operations with an army where they were to screen and locate the enemy.

--Old Secesh

Friday, October 17, 2014

Failure in the Saddle, Confederate Cavalry at Chickamauga-- Part 3: Battle of Chickamauga

In the summer of 1863, Union General William Rosecrans decided to capture Chattanooga.  He determined a direct attack on the city, considering how easily it could be defended and the close quarters his troops would have to operate in to do so, was not in his best interest so decided to flank attack it.

Braxton Bragg had his Army of Tennessee at Chattanooga, but had his cavalry guarding his flanks. Joe Wheeler was guarding the Tennessee River to Chattanooga's southwest.  Forrest was northeast of the city.

Wheeler had only left about a thousand troops to guard the area nearest to Chattanooga while he and the rest of the corps was at Rome, Georgia, some 60 miles away. His command was having rest and recuperation, preparing for the upcoming campaign.

On August 28-29, 1863, Rosecrans began moving his troops across the Tennessee River to the southwest of the city.  This was easily accomplished with the token cavalry Wheeler had left behind.  Wheeler did nothing to stop it like hurry his command northward and also didn't report the Union move.  Bragg was completely in the dark as to what his enemy was doing.

--Old Secesh

Failure in the Saddle: Confederate Cavaly at Chickamauga-- Part 2: Joe Wheeler

The other Confederate cavalry corps commander, Joseph Wheeler was essentially the complete opposite of Forrest.  He had graduated from West Point (and Bragg preferred West Point grads for his officers, in 1859 after five years.  The additional year was added for extra training in tactics, and Wheeler received him in cavalry.  After commissioning, he spent time at the Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania which was the headquarters for U.S, cavalry and then, in the time before the Civil War served in the cavalry in the Southwest.  No doubt about Wheeler having the knowledge.

Bragg picked him for cavalry command.  Wheeler was just 26 in 1863.

He immediately started having conflicts with the older, self-taught cavalryman Forrest.  Plus, Wheeler had other problems with his division commanders, especially John Wharton.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Failure in the Saddle: Confederate Cavalry at the Battle of Chickamauga-- Part 1: Nathan Bedford Forrest

David Powell's presentation at the McHenry County Civil War Round Table in Woodstock on October 14, 2014.

At the Battle of Stones River, Union General Rosecrans realized that he had a serious lack of cavalry when compared with that of the Confederates he faced.  The Union cavalry was outnumbered two to one.  Before that, there had been much emphasis among the Southerners on their cavalry in the West.  But, by the Battle of Chickamauga, that Confederate advantage had shrunk to 9-10,000 Union troopers to 14,00 Confederate.

Regardless of the side, the role of cavalry before a battle was to screen and locate the enemy.

But, the Confederate cavalry had their own problems.  Its two cavalry corps were commanded by two generals who couldn't have been more different and even worse, they didn't like each other.

One corps was commanded by Nathan Bedford Forrest.  Though he was excellent at independent raid command, regular cavalry operations were not to his liking or strong suit.  He was quarrelsome and violent and about as bad of a subordinate as you could get.  He also wasn't much of and effective disciplinarian.  His troops pretty much did as they wanted.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

McHenry County Civil War Round Table Oct. 14th Meeting

I gave them one of my old college Civil War books to raffle off.

Upcoming events for the organization:

NEXT MONTHS PRESENTATION:  November 11th:  The presentation will be on Raids on the B&O Railroad.

BATTLEFIELD TOUR:  Some members will be gone on the 11th for a four-day tour of the Red River Campaign.  It looks like someone would have attempted to have the tour at a different time.  It looks like most of the tour will revolve around land activity.  Too bad as there was a whole lot of naval maneuvering, and, of course, the dam.

CRYSTAL LAKE DISCUSSION GROUP:  On October 25th (always the last Saturday of the month) at Panera Bread.  This month's topic will be political generals.  I wonder if there will be talk about Gen. Ben Butler?

CHRISTMAS PARTY:  Sunday, December 7th at Pinecrest Golf Club in Huntley.

LINCOLN TRAIN SESQUICENTENNIAL:  Members have been visiting Elgin, Illinois, where the funeral car Lincoln's body was in is being built.  The train will be at its final stop in Springfield, Illinois, during the first weekend in May, May 1-3rd where a lot of activities are planned.  Some members already report that some hotels are already booked for those days.

Getting Route 66 and Lincoln at the Same Time.  --Old Secesh


David Powell on Technology and Why He Chose Chickamauga

At the beginning of the presentation, David Powell apologized for no power point or av in his presentation saying he doesn't trust technology.  I'm like him.  I don't trust it and surely don't much understand it.

He did have a four map handout that was very informative.

When asked at the end of the presentation how he came to get so involved with the Battle of Chickamauga, he said he used to be big into the Battle of Gettysburg and made yearly trips there, sometimes more than once.  However, there is such a preponderance of material and books on that battle he decided there was nothing he could add.

Chickamauga, on the other hand, has had very little written about it, despite its size and scope and casualties (some 35,000 on both sides).  He cited three, including Glenn Tucker's great book that came out during the Civil War Centennial in 1961.  It's a wide open field.

--Old Secesh

Chickamauga Expert David Powell at McHenry Civil War Round Table Last Night

Last night, October 14th, we were treated to a presentation by David Powell, who wrote the book  "Failure in the Saddle: Nathan Bedford Forrest, Joe Wheeler, and the Confederate Cavalry in the Chickamauga Campaign."  I sure know a whole lot more about the campaign, battle and aftermath of what Powell regards as the second biggest battle of the war (after Gettysburg, of course).

David Powell is a recognized authority on the Battle of Chickamauga whose battlefield tours of it are considered exceptional by those who have been on them.  (Something for me to think about in the future.)

He is a 1983 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute with a BA in History and owns and operates a delivery company in Chicago.  We even had a couple of members of the Chicago Civil War Round Table in attendance.

I was greatly tempted to buy his book, which he had for sale, but didn't as I really should be starting to get rid of stuff instead of buying more (isn't working though).

I will be writing about his presentation beginning tomorrow.

If You get the Chance, Definitely See Him.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

McHenry County Civil Round Table Meeting Tonight

In a little bit I am leaving for Woodstock, Illinois, to attend the Round Table meeting at the Woodstock Library.

Tonight's topic will be "Failure in the Saddle" and apparently will be about Confederate cavalry generals Nathan Bedford Forrest and Joseph Wheeler.

Personally, I'm not sure Nathan Bedford Forrest can be classified as a military failure even though he has certainly come under a lot of attack in these vehement slavery days because of his pre-war career as a slave trader, the massacre at Fort Pillow and his post-war heading up of the Ku Klux Klan.

I have read some about Joseph Wheeler and been to a Battle of Bentonville presentation day where Wheeler's role was a bot questionable.

I look forward to getting some information on these two men.

--Old Secesh

Monday, October 13, 2014

Medal of Honor Winners Honored in Milwaukee-- Part 1

From the May 7, 2014, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Two Medal of Honor recipients from Civil War honored at Wood Cemetery" by Meg Jones.

A ceremony was held at the cemetery by the local chapter of the Sons of Union veterans of the Civil War and ladies auxiliary.

Lewis Rounds  was buried at the cemetery as was Michael McCormick who was probably buried at Calvary Cemetery.

Rounds' Medal of Honor citation just reads "Capture of Flag."

--Old Secesh

Saturday, October 11, 2014

H. Treadwell, Co. G, 61st N.C.

From the Beaufort County Historical Resources Consortium.

Some information on the unnamed Confederate soldier from the previous post.

H. TREADWELL. CO. G, 61st N.C.

Had been a married turpentine farmer in Sampson County, N.C..  he was wounded and captured at the Battle for Fort Wagner at Charleston Harbor, S.C.,  and died at  Union Hospital No. 4 in Beaufort, S.C. and was buried September 12, 1863.  He died of a gunshot wound to his right thigh and is buried in section 53, Site 6359.

Some of his descendants from North Carolina and Alabama will be attending the dedication ceremony.

--Old Secesh

Friday, October 10, 2014

Confederate Unknown Grave Is Named: H. Treadwell, Co. G, 61st N.C.

From the April 4, 2014, USAV 3 NBC "Civil War Mystery Solved As Unmarked Confederate Grave is Named" by Ashleigh Holland.

An unidentified Confederate soldier buried at Beaufort National Cemetery in South Carolina has been identified after much research by Penelope Holme Parker.  He had been misidentified by the Union as Hayward instead of Haywood Treadwell, a soldier from North Carolina.

This was accomplished by using papers from the William Wigg Barnwell house which was used as a Union hospital during the occupation.  Treadwell was treated there before he died.  He now has a new marker with his name on it instead of the previous one marked with "Unknown."

A special service is planned for May 10th in which he will be honored with a traditional Confederate funeral service.

--Old Secesh

Fort Beauregard, Louisiana

From Wikipedia.

The fort was located on a hill overlooking the Ouachita River protecting Monroe, Louisiana.

Four Union gunboats attacked it on May 10, 1863.  They demanded the fort's surrender and when refused, opened fire.  At least 150 shells fired at Fort Beauregard.

The fort held out, but was evacuated September 4, 1863 and destroyed.  It was reoccupied in 1864.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Confederate General Camille Polignac

From the April 7, 2014, News-Star (Louisiana) "Presentation of Confederate General Camille Polignac.

Will be given by Daniel Frankognoul of Brussels, Belgium. The general was a Frenchman who commanded a brigade of Catahoula and Concordia parishes men and defeated six Union gunboats attacking Fort Beauregard at Harrisonburg, Louisiana, on the Ouachita River.

The presenter has done extensive research over the past 35 years and has met with descendants of participants in the Red River Campaign.  By using diaries, he has come up with new descriptions of the fight at Vidalia, the repairing of Fort Beauregard and other activities in the area.

--Old Secesh

Ghosts of the Confederacy Tour-- Part 3: Four Sons for the Confederacy

Also buried at the St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Cemetery in Hillsborough, N.C.:

Rebecca Edwards Long Jones, 1795-1881, who had four sons who served in the Confederate Army.

Col. Allen Cadawallander Jones, born 1811, commander of the 5th Alabama.

Col. Cadalander Jones, III, born 1813 commander of 12th South Carolina Regiment.

Captain Halcott Pride Jones, born 1815.  Commander Co. G, 27th North Carolina.

Captain Robert Allen Cadwallader Jones, born 1826.  Captain of Co. H, 1st South Carolina Cavalry.  Killed at the Battle of Brandy Station, June 3, 1863 at the age of 34 and buried at St. Matthew's.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"Ghosts of the Confederacy" Tour in Hillsborough, N.C.-- Part 2: The Short Military Career of Willie Hardee

One of the Confederates buried at the cemetery is Private William Joseph "Willie" Hardee, Jr..

From a Find-a-Grave.  Private William Joseph "Willie" Hardee, Jr., the son of Confederate Lt. General William Hardee, was born in St. Augustine, Florida in 1847 and died March 23, 1865.  He had been tutored by Oliver O. Howard before the war while his father was commandant of the cadets from 1856-1860.  The Howards and Hardees were close personal friends.

Young Willie was mortally wounded after just a few days in Confederate service at the Battle of Bentonville in North Carolina by troops led by his former tutor and was brought to Hillsborough where he died.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Restoration Continues on Woodstock (Il.) Civil War Monument

From the September 25, 2014, Northwest (Il.) Herald.

There was a picture taken in historic Woodstock Square of Mark Greenleaf, building manager of the nearby Woodstock Opera House, cleaning the broken anchor the day before after making a mold of the area on the Civil War monument.

The monument has been there over 100 years and the elements have worn on it.

Maintenance on the statue along with a repair to the broken anchor is an ongoing project that is expected to be finished by this spring.

This monument was featured in the movie "Groundhog Day" which was filmed in Woodstock.  This is where they made the snowman and had the snowball fight with local kids.

Definitely Something Worth Saving, Even If it Is for the Union Side.  --Old Secesh


Hillsborough (N.C.) "Ghosts of the Confederacy" Tour of Gravesites-- Part 1

From the April 12, 2014, Columbus (Ind) Republic, AP.

Confederate dead are buried at St. Matthews Episcopal Church Cemetery in Hillsborough, west of Raleigh.

The Alliance for Historical Hillsborough is hosting a graves tour, including that of a general's son killed on his first day as a member of the cavalry; sons of a tailor and governor who entered the war together.  One survived the single bloodiest day in American history, Antietam.  The other didn't.

There was also a rector who was too grief-stricken to officiate his son's funeral in the last days of the war.

--Old Secesh


Monday, October 6, 2014

Johnson Island Prison Camp in Ohio Being Surveyed-- Part 2

The island was farmed after the war until 1950, then abandoned and trees began growing there.

It was located on the island because it was easier to defend and harder to escape.  Close proximity to Sanduskey made it easier to get supplies.  It was originally intended for use of officer and enlisted Confederates, but eventually it just housed officers.

Prison population peaked at 3,200 later in the war.

--Old Secesh

Johnson Island Prison Camp in Ohio Being Surveyed-- Part 1

From the April 5, 2014, Met Regional News.

From 1862-1865, 10,000 Confederates were held there at the island in Lake Erie near Sanduskey.  Today, very little of the prison camp remains other than 250 grave markers for Confederates from Mississippi, North Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee and other states.  Many of them are unknown.

There is also a modest plaque saying the site is a National Landmark but little else concerning the history of the 17 acres.

School children, college students and researchers will begin a detailed archaeological excavation of the site this summer, though work there began twenty years ago.

The camp is partners in the Civil War Trust's Park Day to be held the first Saturday in April.  Branches and debris from this past harsh winter will be removed.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Appomattox Expecting Huge Crowds for 150th Anniversary of Surrender

From the April 13, 2014 Richmond (Va.) Times Dispatch "Appomattox preparing for Civil War spotlight" by Katrina Koerting of the News and Advance.\

Appomattox is expecting big crowds for the 150th anniversary of General Robert E. Lee's surrender to General U.S. Grant on April 9, 1965.

The National Park Service will be having a commemoration April 8-12, 2015.  Also other organizations like the Museum of the Confederacy (well, used to be Museum of the Confederacy), Friends of Appomattox and the county historical society are involved.

Planning is now 76% completed and work still being done on traffic control, shuttle service and logistics.

Parking at local schools will be used as they will be on spring break

A Civil War ball is planned for April 10, 2015, at the Appomattox Primary School.Work on plans began in 2011.

--Old Secesh

Friday, October 3, 2014

Wisconsin's War Governor: Alexander Williams Randall-- Part 2

After the war began, Randall raised 18 infantry regiments, 10 artillery batteries and 3 cavalry units. He also created a training camp on the former state fairgrounds in Madison which was named after him.  According to Find-A-Grave, Randall activated the 2nd Wisconsin on his own because the legislature was not in session.

In 1861, Lincoln appointed him as U.S. Minister to the Papal State in Rome.  In 1863, he became the assistant U.S. Postmaster General.  He remained loyal to Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, during the entire impeachment proceedings.

Upon leaving the government, he moved to Elmira, New York, and again practiced law.  He died in 1872 and is buried at Elmira's Woodlawn Cemetery.

Doing some research on Elmira's Prison camp during the Civil War where a lot of Confederate soldiers captured at Fort Fisher on January 15, 1865, died, I found they were also buried at Woodlawn Cemetery which evidently also is a National Cemetery.

--Old Secesh

Wisconsin's War Governor: Alexander Williams Randall-- Part 1

Back in March of this year, I was writing about Madison, Wisconsin's Camp Randall (now the home of the University of Wisconsin Badgers) which was named for the governor of the state during the Civil War.

Here is a follow up on him.

ALEXANDER WILLIAMS RANDALL   (1819-July 26, 1872)

Sixth governor of Wisconsin.  Lawyer, judge and politician.  Instrumental in raising and organizing Wisconsin'd first troops in the war.

Born in Ames, New York and moved to Wisconsin where he opened a law practice in Waukesha in 1840.  Elected governor in 1857 and reelected in 1859 as a Republican.  He was an ardent abolitionist and even suggested that Wisconsin secede if Lincoln wasn't elected in the 1860 election.

To Another secesh?  --Old Secesh


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Follow Up on Vietnam Veterans Trying to Save Civil War Cannon in New York

On Tuesday, I wrote about Kevin and Bill Farrell trying to raise money to preserve a 13-inch Union "Dictator" mortar located on the grounds of Bronx Community College in New York City.

The article made it sound like this cannon was a "forgotten" piece of ordnance.  I did some more research on it and saw a photo of it.

The Civil War Re-Enactors Forum says that the brothers have a letter from 1948 saying that the mortar was donated to New York University on March 25, 1925, and that the mortar had been on the USS Albany.    A number engraved on the barrel shows it to have been made at Fort Pitt Foundry, which was known to have made 13-inch mortars.

There are also two Krupp cannons at the school.  Krupp made cannons for Germany, so were probably captured during World War I

Bronx Community College  was established in 1957, on the grounds of what had been New York University.

--Old Secesh

Confederate Shell/Grenade Turns Up at Richmond 150 Years Later-- Part 2

In late 1864, Grant and lee were busily entrenching around Pertersburg, Virginia and Grant determined to make Lee stretch his already hard-pressed lines even further and sent Union troops north of the James River to attack the defenses of Richmond itself.

Eventually the lines of the opposing forces extended 37 miles.

On September 29, 1864 the Union assault occurred in Henrico County and resulted in the capture of Confederate Fort Harrison, but failed to capture Fort Gilmer.  The victories at Fort Harrison and New Market Heights gave Grant a position just a few miles south of Richmond.

On Monday, September 29th, National Park Service rangers and Henrico County Recreation and Parks personnel will conduct tours of the New Market heights, Fort Harrison and Fort Gilmer battlefields at the exact time events unfolded there 150 years previously.

Then, the next day, September 30th, tours of the next day's unsuccessful Confederate attack to retake Fort Harrison will be given.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Confederate Shell/Grenade Turns Up 150 Years Later at Richmond-- Part 1

From the September 24, 2014, National Parks Traveler "150 Years Later, Confederate Shell Turns Up At Richmond National Battlefield Park."

Crews clearing a moat at Fort Gilmer in the park's Fort Harrison Battlefield Unit in preparation for a tour of it on the 150th anniversary (September 29th) of the battle, found a shell thought to be a makeshift hand grenade.  It still had an intact fuse in it and was removed by the County of Henrico Police Bomb Disposal Unit and destroyed at the county's firing range.

The 12-pound explosive shell, one of several that had improvised into a hand grenade and used in the fort's defense.  They were rolled down the front of the fort's earth walls and used against the 7th USCT (United States Colored Troops) in the later stages of the Battle of Fort Harrison.

The Confederate defense of Fort Gilmer was successful and of the 198 members of the 7th USCT who went into the battle, only one returned safely.  The other 197 were either killed, wounded or captured.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Vietnam Veterans Trying to Save a Civil War Cannon

From the March 4, 2014, New York Daily News "Vietnam veterans trying to save school's damaged relics from WWI, Civil War" by Jennifer H. Cunningham.

Three historic cannons and a British naval deck gun are at the Bronx Community College in New York.

Brothers Kevin and Bill Farrell, both 61, are trying to secure the $200,000 needed to restore the World War I-era German cannons, a Civil War Dictator Mortar and another gun rusting away outside on the campus since 1920.

There is also a mast donated to the school by Sir Thomas Lipton to commemorate the site of Fort No. 8 (1776-1782)  The mast is an 89-year-old flagpole from the Shamrock IV which sailed in the America's Cup competition.

--Old Secesh