The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Friday, July 25, 2014

General Adams' Flag in Bad Shape

From the July21, 2014, Daily Reporter "Battle of Franklin flag losing fight with time, donors seeking funds to save it."

FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE"  The Sons of Confederate Veterans are seeking $6500 to conserve a 2X3 foot flag last flown by Confederate General John Adams during the disasterous Battle of Franklin in Tennessee.

He, along with five other Confederate generals were killed there on November 30, 1864.

The flag was made by an unknown Mississippi woman in 1863 and served as Adams' headquarters flag, used to mark where his headquarters was located.

It was donated by Adams' widow to the Tennessee Historical Society in 1907.  It is kept today at the Tennessee State Museum.

It is made of wool and silk with its silk fringe deteriorating a lot in the last ten years.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Clark's Regimental Histories-- Part 2

North Carolina newspapers also participated in the project.

The series is illustrated with wartime pictures, selected by the authors of the regimental histories and veterans.

Maps were especially prepared for the series.

The final volume contains accounts of accounts of numerous battles, many written by officers in command.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Clark's Regimental Histories-- Part 1

From the Encyclopedia of North Carolina.

The popular title of a 5-volume "Histories of the Several Regiments and battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861-1865" Edited by Walter Clark and published by the state in 1910.

In October 1894, the North Carolina Confederate Veterans Association in Raleigh that there should be a history of every regiment and organization that served in the Confederacy.  This was 30 years after the war, but men from every group were found to work on the assignment.

The only group who were not represented were the Senior Reserves, who would have been 45+ during the war and quite old, id still alive by 1894.

The NC General Assembly of 1899 provided funds for the project, but those who prepared the regimental histories received no compensation.

As histories were submitted to Clark and his advisers, they were reviewed and then submitted to newspapers in the communities from which the unit was organized.  This gave veterans and locals the opportunity for revision.

More to Come.  Old Secesh

Sunday, July 20, 2014

NC Confederates Buried at Arlington National Cemetery-- Part 5

Continued from June.

ALEXANDER A. BETHUNE, private, Co. A, 63rd North Carolina.  Born in Cumberland County, farmer, enlisted at age 29 on May 14, 1862, for war.  Wounded and captured near Brandy Station, Virginia, September 23, 1863.

Admitted to Staunton Hospital, Washington, D.C. Sept. 25th.  Died of "gunshot wound, left side" on October 22, 1863.

ANDREW A. BASTIAN, corporal, Co. K, 57th North Carolina.  Farmer from Rowan County where he enlisted at age 35 (very old), for war on July 7, 1862.  Mustered in as a private and promoted to corporal Dec. 20, 1862.  Hospitalized Richmond, Virginia on July 11, 1863 with debility.

Furloughed 40 days July 19, 1863.

Returned to duty prior to September 1, 1863.  Wounded right side and captured at Rappahannock Station, Virginia, on November 7, 1863.

Hospitalized in Washington, D.C. where he died about November 13, 1863, from the wound.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Unusual Weapons of the War

From the July 5, 2014, Waxahachie Daily Light "Spotlight on History: Unusual weapons of the war" by Dr. Gary Loudermilk.

Firearms during the war were evolving from muzzleloaders to metallic cartridge repeaters and hundreds of designs were used.  Some of them were Smith & Wesson revolvers and the Henry rifle, prototype of the famous Winchesters of the West.

At the beginning of the war, soldiers were even being armed with War of 1812 flintlock muskets.

Some of the more unique guns were made by  J.P. Lindsay who sold 1,000  "Double Rifle": rifles to the U.S. War Department.  They were a 2-shot, .58 caliber rifle which had one charge loaded on top of the other, ignited by two percussion caps conducting flame through separate channels.

The idea was to have the bullet in the rear load that would seal the flash of the forward one..

Samuel Colt established his firearms company in 1836.  he had his .56 caliber Model 1855 Revolving Rifle.  Several hindred were issued to Col. Hiram Berdan's 1st U.S. Sharpshooters in 1862.  Even though they fired five rapid-fire shots, they were not very well liked.

There were more weapons discussed in the article.

--Old Secesh

Other McHenry County GAR Posts

On December 29, 1882, the Harley Wayne GAR Post 169 was organized in Marengo, Illinois.

On April 7, 1883, the J.B. Manzer GAR Post was organized in Harvard.

On April 23, 1883, the Nunda GAR Post 226 was organized.

--Old Secesh

The G.A.R. in McHenry County

As stated before, the first G.A.R. Post in McHenry County was Post No. 108, organized in 1880.  The initial source did not give the name of the post and, the G.A.R., Grand Army of the Republic posts were named after Civil War veterans.  I later came across the name of their post as being the A.S. Wright Post No. 108.

Looking at its list of commanders, I see one was Adelbert S. Wright, who was also adjutant of the group for its whole history up to 1915.

In 1915, the post had 34 members.

--OLd Secesh

Sons of Veterans in Woodstock, Illinois

Continuing with the GAR in McHenry County, Illinois, after the war.

The Woodstock, Illinois Camp No. 257 of the Sons of Veterans, Illinois Division, was organized June 14, 1889 with 25 members.

Of course, the Sons of Union and Confederate Veteran groups became increasingly more important as the years depleted the ranks of the veterans.

--Old Secesh

Friday, July 18, 2014

G.A.R. Women's Group in McHenry County

Same source as last two entries.

The Women's Relief Corps, No. 223, organized January 1893 to aid the G.A.R. veterans.  They have much of the credit for the statue in Woodstock Square (the one featured in the snowball fight in the movie "Groundhog Day" which was filmed in Woodstock).  It took them years, but they final;ly raised over $3,000 for it.

Its meetings were held each month in the G.A.R. Hall and they were still active as late as 1938.

I found no mention of where the G.A.R. Hall was.

--Old Secesh

The G.A.R. Post No. 108 in McHenry County, Illinois-- Part 2

Former commanders of the post:
Col. Wm. Avery
Benjamin N. Smith
Gardner S. Southwork
George Eckert (not sure of spelling)
Wm. H. Munroe
Adelbert S. Wright
Lathrop H.S. Barrows
Frank E. Hemford
Abram Stell

A.S. Wright was adjutant for the post's whole history up to that point.

It went on to say, "No Memorial Day observation would have been complete without members of the post having charge and marching to the cemeteries to decorate the graves until depletion by death caused the dissolution of the post."

Much like today's loss of our World War II veterans.

--Old Secesh

The G.A.R. in McHenry County, Illinois-- Part 1

From the "A Historical Geography of McHenry County" a DAR Bicentennial Gift to McHenry Co. Residents.

While awaiting the beginning of the McHenry County Civil War Round Table earlier this month, I perused the Woodstock Library's local history area and found this interesting and informative booklet.  Since I was there for a Civil War meeting, let's see what it had to say about that event.

Of course, there were no battles in McHenry County during the war, but the county was the home of many of the soldiers from the 95th Illinois Infantry Regiment.  But, there was a Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Post 108 located in Woodstock.  The GAR was an organization of former Union soldiers that was set up after the war.


Woodstock Post No. 108 was organized in 1880, the first post in McHenry County.  No mention of a name, though.  GAR posts, besides the number, also were named for a Union soldier.

The post numbered 80 members in 1895.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Civil War Homefront-- Part 2: Mourning Dress and Salt

Mourning customs, especially as economic ability and social status stood, could go on for as much two years.  I remember Scarlett O'Hare in "GWTW" saying how unhappy she was to be still wearing mourning clothes for her first husband (of course, anything more than a couple days would be too much for her).

Re-enactor Linda Humphries wore a dress of mourning with fabric that she made and said was "no longer made. It made a very sturdy, dull fabric- you didn't want to wear things that were bright."

Her dress was dark, but not black.  Black dye was an imported good and homemade creations to produce the color were unstable.

Eating in the Confederacy became a big problem.  Saltworks on the coast were under heavy demand to produce enough to preserve meat, especially when it could be had.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Civil War Homefront-- Part 1: Okra Seed Coffee and Taxes

From the June 15, 2014, (NC) "Struggle, innovation typified Civil War homefront" by Wes Wolfe.

They made coffee from okra seed  They ate dried green beans in December that had been dried months earlier.

Food was often a problem as the Confederate government was taking 10% of the land's production and passing soldiers often just helped themselves to anything they could get their hands on, especially when they were those of the Union.This Saturday, the Tarheel Civilians living history group was at the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center in Kinston.

Said one member, "Many (civilians) couldn't pay in script, money, so the Confederate government had a tax-in-kind.  If you produced 100 bushels, they took 10."

The Tax Man, then as now, was well-liked.  Some Tax Men were in that position to avoid front-line service.  Others had been soldiers, but disabled.  One had been an officer, wounded and discharged..  He served the rest of the war as a revenue agent and became the county's tax assessor after the war.

Hardships Aplenty  --Old Secesh

Civil War in North Dakota? You Betcha

From the June 17, 1814, Bismarck (ND) Tribune "Civil War in North Dakota to be Commorated at June 28 event."

A free day-long conference "Place, Property and Power: Pre and Post North Dakota Civil War Story" was held June 28th at the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum in Bismarck.

There was no fighting against Confederates in North Dakota, obviously, but fighting did take place against Native Americans at five sites: Big Mound, Dead Buffalo Lake, Kildeer Mountain, Story Lake and Whitestone Hill.

Whites battled the Dakota and Sioux to drive them from the Dakota Territory

Focus of the conference will be the Northern Plains before 1850, the aftermath of the battles and how they affect the state today.  The event will set the context for the 150th anniversary commemoration of the Kildeer Mountain Battlefield, Battle of the Badlands and Fort Dills.

It is sponsored by the State Historical Society of North Dakota, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and Fort Peck tribe.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Washington Arsenal

From "Lincoln's Citadel: The Civil War in Washington, D.C." by Kenneth Winkle.

The Washington Arsenal was the largest one in the Union and located a mile south of the Capitol at the Potomac and Eastern Branch rivers (I had read it was by the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers).  There were many "cavernous buildings filled with workshops" at the site.

Every week it produced 6-12 cannons and every day 100,000  minie cartridges, 36,000 minie balls along with hundreds of cannon shot, shells and grape cannister.

It didn't produce rifles, but generally had a quarter million stand at any given time.

Because of its importance, it was heavily guarded.  The nearby Navy Yard Arsenal also produced cannons, shot and shells.

The June 1864 explosion , wasn't the first one.  That occurred April 1862 where 6-8 workers were seriously burned or injured, but there were no fatalities.

Both arsenals began employing women in October 1862, to free up men for military service.

There had been a long series of fatal accidents prior to the June 1864 one.

--Old Secesh

Monday, July 14, 2014

Washington, D.C.'s Fort McNair/Arsenal-- Part 2

After the war, land was purchased north of the arsenal/fort for the first federal penitentiary.  The Lincoln conspirators were imprisoned here and four of them, including Mary Surratt, were hanged.

Civil War wounded were also treated here.

The arsenal was closed in 1881 and the post was transferred to the Quartermasters Corps.

In 1948, the post was renamed to honor Lt. General Lesley J. McNair who was killed at St. Lo, France, 25 July 1944 by friendly fire.

Today, the National defense University, Inter-American defense College and U.S. Army Center of Military History are located here.

--Old Secesh

Washington D.C.'s Fort McNair/Washington Arsenal-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Fort Lesley J. McNair is a U.S. Army post at the tip of Greenleaf Point, the peninsula formed at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers in Washington, D.C..  It is the third-longest existing Army post  after the USMA and Carlisle Barracks.

It was established in 1791 as a major site of defense for the new U.S. capital.  An arsenal first occupied the site and defenses were commenced in 1794.

The fort/arsenal did not, however, make much of a difference when the British troops came a-calling in the War of 1812.  They arrived in 1814 after American troops had evacuated northward carrying what powder they could and dumping the rest into a well.  The British troops found the powder magazine empty, but at one point a lit match was tossed into the well, causing a tremendous explosion where about 30 of their soldiers were killed and the rest mangled.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, July 12, 2014

More On the Washington Arsenal Explosion-- Part 4: A Heroes' Burial

The girls and young ladies were given a heroes' burial.  The next day the men of the arsenal adopted a resolution for their burial to be at the Congressional Cemetery.  They marched from the arsenal to the cemetery where Catholic and Protestant clergy conducted the service.  They also had a "new and noble monument" erected.

Secretary or War Edwin M. Stanton ordered the government to pay for all funeral expenses.  Stanton and  President Lincoln served as "chief mourners" for the thousands who marched to the cemetery where  they joined other thousands.

The next year, a 25-foot monument with a female figuring symbolizing grief and inscribed with the names of the 21 known victims was erected in the western border of the cemetery.  seventeen are buried there and two others are buried at Mount Olive, Washington, D.C.'s Catholic cemetery.

A Sad Event.  --Old Secesh

Friday, July 11, 2014

More on Washington Arsenal Explosion-- Part 3: Arsenal Explosions During the War

Arsenal explosions were common.  Besides the Washington and Pittsburgh explosions, the Confederacy had two major ones at Richmond in 1863 and Augusta, Georgia, in 1864.  At each event, most of the dead were girls and young women.

Like in later conflicts when previously male jobs were filled by women because the men were off fighting. "Government Girls"  worked at the arsenals as well as held jobs as clerks, printers and even sewer work.  Their ranks swelled during the war.

They had to work hard, especially the married ones who often had wounded or disabled husbands as well as children to care for.  The made good wages for back then.  Arsenal workers made$50-60 a month, but even with the good wages, it was hard to keep up with the rampant inflation which reached 76% at one point.

Rent, even in poor, remote suburbs like Georgetown, ate up at least $25 a month (though single women often boarded together and some lived with family.  A cord of wood cost between$12 and $16.

A large number of the female workers were of Irish descent.

--Old Secesh

More on the Washington Arsenal Explosion-- Part 2

The final death count from the explosion will never be known, as many of the young women fled the scene and never returned.

One sad aspect of the fire was that government regulations at the time required them to wear the large, bulky hoopskirts at work for reasons of modesty and so as not to distract the male workers.  This restricted their movement and also contained much flammable cloth.

The remains of 17-19 bodies were laid out in five-foot boxes, with as many as five sets of remains inside each.  Other body parts were placed on boards or tin pans in the grass waiting for identification from friends and family.

Some identification was achieved by bits of clothing, jewelry or shoes.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, July 10, 2014

More On the Washington Arsenal Explosion-- Part 1

From the June 15, 2014, New York Times Opinionator "An Explosion in Washington" by John Grady.

On June 17, 1864, a letter was read thanking the girls and young women at the Washington Arsenal for their large donation to the victims who had died at the 1862 explosion in the Pittsburgh Arsenal.  Hours later, an explosion ripped through their place of work as well.    It was described as being like "a sudden flash of lightning" destroying the 100-foot long laboratory by one survivor.
Fire almost immediately engulfed where the women worked.  The arsenal's 1500 other men and female workers raced to the fire to put it out.  Some ran from the scene for fear the flames would spread to gun powder stored on the arsenal grounds.

Women working on the east side of the laboratory mostly escaped, but those on the west side, who were charging artillery shells, died immediately or were killed in the blaze.  A dozen or so escaped,  badly injured or burned, escaped to the tugboat wharf and were treated at the Armory Hospital.

The Arsenal was located on "The Island," actually a peninsula on the Anacostia River, south of the Capitol.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

NY Times Reports Washington Arsenal Explosion-- Part 4: Inquest

An inquest was held tonight and found Superintendent Brown "guilty of most culpable carelessness and neglect in placing highly inflamable substances so near a building filled with human beings, indicating a most reckless disregard for life, which should be be severely rebuked by the government."

--Old Secesh

NY Times Reports Washington Arsenal Explosion-- Part 3: The Dead and Injured

This was a remarkably accurate bit of reporting considering how soon it was posted after the explosion, the next day.

Eight of the women were badly injured and taken to the hospital.  Parents of the girls rushed to the scene to see what had happened to their loved ones.

"The nineteen dead bodies taken out were so terribly charred as to be almost beyond identification."  Three more were mortally injured and 13-20 had severe contusions.

Nearby magazines held several tons of powder and it would have been much worse had the fire gotten to them.  Fortunately, the fire was put out before that happened.

The first two bodies identified were those of Iona Connor and Margaret Horan.  Four badly injured were Mr. Moulton Clark, Miss McElfresh, Elizabeth Hunt and Anna Bache.

--Old Secesh

Ancient Order of Hibernians

I got to wondering what this organization was since it is the first time I've seen the name.   They , along with the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, were the ones that paid for the new gravestone listing the names of those killed at the Washington Arsenal Explosion.

I had noticed that many of the names appeared to be Irish.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is an Irish Catholic fraternal organization.  You must either be Ireland-born or of Irish descent to belong to it.

It formed in New York City in 1836, around the Five Points neighborhood.

Now I Know.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New York Times Reports the Washington Arsenal Explosion-- Part 2

The initial reason for the explosion were red stars which were set out in black pans to dry.  Temperatures over 200 degrees would cause them to explode and the hot sun soon climbed over that mark.  It caused one to go off and that set off the others.

The occupants of the building were all female and in addition, in the yard were another 1200 men and 300 women at work.  Some of them were also burned and bruised from the explosion and ensuing fire.

After the fire was put out, 18 bodies were found "burned to a crisp.  It was impossible to recognize them.

--Old Secesh

Monday, July 7, 2014

The NY Times Reports the Washington Arsenal Explosion-- Part 1

From the June 18, 1864 New York Times "TERRIBLE EXPLOSION.; The Laboratory of the Washington Arsenal Destroyed Eighteen Persons Killed and Many Injured,  Further Particulars."

A Special Dispatch to the New-York Times--  Washington, Friday, June 17.

At 12, 17 working girls lost their lives and several others badly injured.  They were working in a one-story, four room building.  The girls in the east rooms managed to escaped by jumping out windows and running out the doors.  But, the ones in the western rooms were nearly all killed in the explosion.

Just before the blast, the girls had been read a letter thanking them for the $170 they'd raised to erect a memorial for victims of the arsenal explosion in Pittsburgh who had died in a similar event the year before.

--Old Secesh

Arsenal Explosion in Washington, D.C.

From the June 23, 2014, The Hill is Home D.C. "Lost Capitol Hill: Arsenal Memorial Rededication" by Robert Pohl.

This is an incident that is new to me.

On June 17, 1864, there was a huge explosion at the D.C. Arsenal which killed 21 young women putting together rifle cartridges.

Within a year a memorial to them over their tomb was erected in Congressional Cemetery, but a planned dedication never came about because of the death of Lincoln.

Last Saturday, June 22nd, that dedication finally took place and a more permanent stone added.

Despite blustery weather, the Ancient Order of Hibernius and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War chipped in for a new stone listing the names of the victims.  A descendant of Kate Brosnaham was there.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Chicago Tribune Reports the Gettysburg Address-- Part 6

Asa far as Lincoln's own hand-written version, Johnson said that the president evidently extemporized on the text he held in his own hand, a document referred to as the Nicolay copy or the battlefield draft.  In addition, he later wrote out several other longhand copies and while doing so improved here and there on his wording -- what he wished he had originally said.

Johnson's research shows that he also used the published versions in the newspapers as well as his own text.

As far as the "Good God" that appears in the first line of the Tribune version of the speech and in no other place, he believes it was a telegraph error and that the reporter intended to relate the shouts from the crowd, "Good! Good!"

Both the Tribune and AP versions were interspersed with notes of when the crowd interrupted the speech to clap.  The Tribune reporter said "Great applause" and "Immense applause" at times.

Definitely More Than I Knew.  --Old Secesh

Chicago Tribune Reports the Gettysburg Address- Part 5

Finally, at the very bottom of the page came an attempt to reproduce Lincoln's words.  Ohio State University professor Martin Johnson, author of the new book "Writing the Gettysburg Address" said, "We don't know if it was an independent transcript or just a corrupted version of The Associated Press."

he also added that telegraphy was so bad in those days "sometimes too many birds sitting on the wires could generate mistakes in the text."  he found many small differences in the text even printed by newspapers who used AP.

AP sent a trained stenographer to the ceremony.  It is likely that his version most closely reflected what Lincoln said that day. and the version printed in the nearby Philadelphia North American was the most accurate published transcription.

--Old Secesh

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fighting Continues July 4, 1864

Even as the nation was observing the Fourth of July, the war went on this date.

**  Confederate General Early's troops operated near Harper's Ferry, W. Va. preparatory to crossing the Potomac and moving on Washington, DC.  Fighting broke out at South Branch bridge, Patterson's Creek Bridge and Frankfort, W. Va.

**  Fighting continued at James Island, near Charleston, SC.

**Federal lines continued to move forward toward Johnston in Georgia.  Sherman's right flank was now closer to Atlanta than Johnston was, actually at the Chattahoochie River.  Confederates pulled back again as a result, to prepared fortifications on the Chattahoochie.

**  Other action took place in Clay County, Mo.; Cross Bayou, La.; and in Searcy County, Ark.

Freedom Comes At Cost.  --Old Secesh

July 4, 1864: Reconstruction Controversy-- Lincoln and Congress

"From The Civil War Day By Day: An Almanac, 1861-1865" by E.B. Long.

July 4, 1864, Monday

The first session of the 38th Congress of the United States adjourned amid new tensions over what would be the policy of reconstruction of the seceded states and who would control it--  Congress or the President.  Lincoln signed many bills, including one setting up the Office of Commissioner of Immigration and one repealing certain  exemption clauses of the Enrollment Act.

He did not sign the controversial Wade-Davis reconstruction bill, enraging radical members of Congress (Republicans).  Big pressure was applied, but the President pocket-vetoed the bill backed by Sen. Benjamin Wade of Ohio and Representative Henry Davis of Maryland.

The bill called for the recognition of the seceded state only after a majority of its enrolled white male citizens (key word here, white) had taken an oath of allegiance and adopted a constitution acceptable to Congress and the President.  No one who had held any Confederate state or national office or who had voluntarily borne arms for the South would be able to vote on or serve as a delegate to the convention whether he took the oath or not.

More to Come Tomorrow.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Chicago Tribune Reports the Gettysburg Address-- Part 4

In the style of the day, it read more like a letter from a friend, beginning with an apology: "My dispatch last night concerning the exercises yesterday, by occupation of the wires, was made necessarily brief," he wrote.

Daniel Weinberg, owner of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop in Chicago has an original copy of the Tribune from that day for sale and says the phrase "occupation of the wires" was a dig at the Associated Press, with which the Tribune and other Midwest newspapers had a feud..

Much of the article was about the speech that proceeded Lincoln's by Edward Everett: "The crowd was packed so densely that the marshals who sat on their horses amidst the multitude, could not move toward the desired quarter; but at length an impressive passage of the orator, contrasting the importance of the Grecian struggle at Marathon, which was like that of our republic, on which spot where he stood, the dense crowd gave way, and a breathless attention was maintained throughout."

I doubt that would happen today as Everett spoke for over an hour.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Chicago Tribune Reports the Gettysburg Address-- Part 3

The story appeared in the third of nine columns on the front page of what was then the Chicago Daily Tribune, and began under a stack of seven headlines:

From Gettysburg
The Consecration of the Battle Cemetery
50,000 Persons in Attendance
Impressive Exercises at the Occasion
Dirge by Hon. D.B. French--Oration by Hon. Edward Everett
Dedicatory Address by President Lincoln
A Grand National testimonial to Our Fallen Braves

Interesting that Lincoln got the sixth headline.

--Old Secsh

The Chicago Tribune Reports the Gettysburg Address-- Part 2

The Lincoln Gettysburg Address we know ends with the declaration "that the government of the people, by the people and for the people, shall not perish from the Earth."

The Tribune article had it "that the government the people founded, by the people shall not perish."

The reporter got the general idea correct, but not as striking as Lincoln's actual  word usage.

Eric Zorn says that the reporter's effort wasn't really too bad, especially considering he didn't get an advance copy like reporters today do.  Back then, they had to rely on notes, most likely taken while standing up and, then, there were the transcription skills of various telegraph operators with their relay equipment who would be relaying the story back to Chicago.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Problems Reporting During the Civil War: Oops, Tribune Got It Wrong-- Part 1

From the November 17, 2014, Chicago Tribune "Dateline Gettysburg: The Tribune regrets the (minor) error" by Eric Zorn.

Reporting during the Civil War had hardships that today's journalists could hardly imagine.  And, the unknown reporter from the Chicago Tribune assigned to go out to Gettysburg Battlefield in November 1863 could hardly be blamed for getting a few words wrong.  After all, this was in the time before loudspeakers and recorders.

We know the beginning words to be: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

But the Tribune correspondent (no byline appeared) had it: "Four score and seven years ago, our fathers established upon this continent a government subscribed in liberty and dedicated to the fundamental principle that all mankind are created equal by a good God."

Not Quite the Version We Know,  --Old Secesh