The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

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.


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 bit 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.


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