The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Battle of Vicksburg Crater

Yesterday, while writing about Joseph beavers and the 56th Illinois, I mentioned that they were at the Battle of Vicksburg Crater.  At first, I didn't recognize the name,but then it came to me that there was also a mine exploded under Confederate lines at Vicksburg (as well as the better known Battle of the Crater at Petersburg).

A quick look at Wikipedia provided this information.

The section of the Confederate lines at Vicksburg referred to as the 3rd Louisiana Redan had a mine dug out to and under it.  Some 2,200 pounds of gunpowder was placed under it and on June 25, 1863, it blew a mighty hole in the Confederate defenses at that point.

Infantry from Gen. Logan's XVII Corps poured into the hole.  The 45th Illinois, called the "Lead Mine Regiment under Col. Jasper A. Maltby charged into the 40-foot diameter, 12 foot deep crater, but stopped and were pinned down by Confederates above them who also rolled artillery shells with fuses lit.  They were forced to retreat

A second tunnel was dug nearby and the powder ignited, but no infantry attack was risked.

Pioneers then worked July 2-3 to expand the initial crater for a future attack, but was called off with Vicksburg's surrender on July 4th.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pvt. Joseph M. Beavers, 56th Illinois: Victim of SS General Lyon-- Part 3

They participated in the Vicksburg Campaign and were at the Battle of Champion Hill on May 16, 1863 and the Battle of Big Black River on May 17.  They survived Grant's two disasterous attacks on Vicksburg May 19th and 22nd.

They were also at the Battle of Vicksburg Crater (I've never heard of it before) on June 26th and at the surrender of the fortress city on July 4th.

In October and November 1863 they were in the Chattanooga Campaign and fought at the Battle of Missionary Ridge.  Then, it was the Atlanta Campaign and Sherman's March to the Sea.

On February 1, 1865, they left Savannah, heading northward on Sherman's Carolina's Campaign.  At this time, their enlistments were now just 26 days away.

--Old Secesh

Pvt. Joseph M. Beavers, 56th Illinois, Victim of SS General Lyon Disaster-- Part 2

Enlisted as a private in Co. C., 56th Illinois.

The 56th Illinois was an all Egyptian unit (Little Egypt comprised of the very Southern Illinois counties).  Almost all of its members were from the counties of Massac, Pope, Gallatin, Saline, White, Hamilton, Franklin and Wayne, with a few from Hardin County.

They were sent to Camp Mather in Shawneetown and then had their first military duty guarding Paducah, Kentucky.  Even though they weren't directly involved in the fighting, they were at the Siege of Corinth in April 1862 and "Saw the Elephant" at the Battle of Corinth October 3-4, 1862.

After that, their history was the history of the major fighting in the west and then with Sherman.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Private Joseph M. Beavers, 56th Illinois: Victim on the SS General Lyon-- Part 1

From the March 8, 2015, Southern (Southern Illinois) "Civil War Timeline: Pvt. Joseph M. Beavers and the 56th Illinois Infantry" by P.Michael Jones, Director of the General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro, Illinois.

On June 20, 1860, the census taker visited Joseph M. Beavers at his farm.  Mr. Beavers was 21, a farmer, and was living there with his wife Elizabeth, 20, their son James, 2, and a housekeeper.

He had married Elizabeth three years earlier and had a daughter named Dora (who evidently was not listed on the 1860 census, so might have died).  He did not own his farm, but had acquired a sizable (for then) $250 worth of personal property.  I would also think some wealth was indicated by the presence of a housekeeper unless she was a relative.

He did not join the Union Army after Fort Sumter.  Like many others in the southern Illinois area known as Little Egypt, he had been born in the South (Kentucky).  However, he did enlist for a term of three years on November 12, 1861.  (However, he and others did not muster out until nearly four months after that date in 1865 because of campaigning.)

He became Private Joseph M. beavers of Co. C, 56th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.

--Old Secesh

Check Out the General Lyon Comments for the Last Week

The person doing the research on the General Lyon Disaster has been making some great comments.  For a better understanding of the disaster, read them.

It is clear that he has done a lot of research on the subject.

I look forward to the book.

--Old Secesh

Friday, March 27, 2015

54th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment

I was looking up Robert Simpson of the 54th Ohio who survived the General Lyon Disaster and was listed as being in Co. S of the 54th Ohio.  I know of no other Company "S"'s in the service so imagine this must have been a mistake.

That he would have been on the General Lyon is no surprise as his regiment was part of General Sherman's March Through the Carolinas and had taken part in the Battle of Bentonville March 20, 21, 1865.

The regiment organized at Camp Dennison, by Cincinnati, in 1861 and saw its share of hard fighting, including Vicksburg, the Atlanta Campaign, March to the Sea, then Carolinas Campaign.

It was at the Battle of Bentonville March 20-21, Occupation of Goldsboro, N.C. March 24th, Advance to raleigh April 10-14 and  Johnston's surrender at Bennett House April 26th.

I was unable to learn how Private Simpson came to be on board the General Lyon, but it might have been after Bentonville.  Perhaps he was wounded?

--Old Secesh

List of Survivors of the General Lyon-- Part 2

RICHARD CLARKE, Co. F, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery
JOHN KREUSEN, Co. F, 3rd Pennsylvania
IRAH LEWIS, Co. A, 89th New York

ROBERT SIMPSON, Corporal, Co. S, 54th Ohio  (Co. S most likely a misprint)
THOS. FARRAR, refugee, Wilmington
JAS. EDWARDS, Sgt. 99th New York

GEO. MURPHY, Co. H, 6th New York Heavy Artillery

ISAIAH CLEOLLY, Co. K, 5th Ohio Cavalry
CYRUS P. WILLIAMS, Co. F, 3rd Pennsylvania Artillery
CHAS. A BRADY--  refugee

It would be interesting to find out about the refugees who were on board the general Lyon.  Why were they refugees.  Perhaps they were blacks?

--Old Secesh

Thursday, March 26, 2015

List of Survivors of the General Lyon-- Part 1

From the New York Times.

Mate James Gibbs
John Fitzgerald, 56th Illinois
Barney Losey, 5th Virginia

M.H. Arment, Co. E, 56th Illinois
Michael S. Brockett, Co. F, 56th Illinois
George W, Williams, Co. G, 56th Illinois

George Goole, Co. F, 144th New York
C.M. Dodson, 3rd Pa. Heavy Artillery
Jos. Fitzpatrick, Co. K, 52nd Illinois

Jas Dempsey, fireman Gen. Lyon
Thomas Cooney, sailor Gen. Lyon
Nicholas Brown, sailor Gen. Lyon
Pat Bryan, coal passer, Gen. Lyon

John Peoples, oiler, Gen. Lyon
James Gibbs, first officer, Hen. Lyon
William Cranston, chief engineer, Gen. Lyon

More to Come.

I see that a lot of the Gen. Lyon's crew made it off alive, including the first officer and chief engineer.  Seems a bit of a coincidence to me.

I Think An Investigation Would Certainly Be In Order.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Alabama Town Commemorates 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Battle of Newton

From the March 22, 2015, AP.

The Battle of Newton in Alabama was actually more of a skirmish than it was battle.  Even so, at least three Union soldiers were killed and at least two others were wounded.

A handful of re-enactors gathered at Heroes Memorial Park this weekend near where the actual skirmish occurred to mark it.

Company E of the 15th Alabama, known as the Beauregards, had a reputation as a fighting unit after being formed at nearby Westville, where Fort Rucker is now located.  The Union forces marched north from Mariana, Florida, with intentions of ransacking Newton and burning the courthouse.  This is where the Home Guard laid an ambush.

The re-enactors marched a slightly different route this weekend to avoid traffic and arrived in the town square where the action took place.  The actual battle in 1865 took just around ten minutes.

--Old secesh

Escape From Salisbury Prison Camp in December 1864

From the March 21, 2015, Statesville (NC) Record & landmark "Column: Escape route from Salisbury Confederate Prison led through Iredell" by O.C. Stonestreet.

When I first started reading this article, I thought perhaps this man accompanied Barney Losey who escaped from this prison camp at some point before he boarded the ill-fated General Lyon for his trip home.  However, as it turns out, they didn't.

Albert D. Richardson (1833-1869) was a native of Massachusetts and a correspondent of tye New York Daily Tribune, captured by Confederate forces at Vicksburg, Mississippi, on May 3, 1863.  he was held at several Confederate prisons, including Libby Prison in Richmond.  Finally, he ended up at the 16-acre Confederate Military Prison at Salisbury, N.C., on February 4, 1864.  Altogether, he spend twenty months in Confederate prisons.

On December 18, 1864, he and four others escaped and traveled 400 miles very carefully to Union lines in eastern Tennessee.  Part of their escape route took them through Wilkes County, N.C..

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Confederate Flag Dispute Goes to Supreme Court

From the March 23, 2015, Yahoo! News, AP  "Justices hear free speech dispute over license plates" by Mark Sherman.

The U.S. Supreme Court is weighing a free speech challenge concerning the state of Texas' refusal to issue license plates to the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) because of the Confederate battle flag which is part of the organization's emblem.

Specialty plates in Texas is big business and drivers there spend $17.6 million to choose from more than 350 license plate offerings.  The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles says 877,000 vehicles out of the 19 million cars, trucks and motorcycles   have them.

But, the state turned down a request by the Texas Division of the SCV.  Eight other former Confederate states, including Maryland, already have SCV plates.

Justices are hearing the arguments today which revolve around the First Amendment.  Texas claims the plates offend some.

The case is called Walker v, Sons of Confederate Veterans 14-144 and a late June decision is expected.

This is a very big case, but hopefully will once and for all settle the flag problems that have been plaguing both sides.

--Old Secesh

Heritage Attacks

Just because I don't write about them doesn't mean they are not happening.  And, of course, we have the really big one that is either going to destroy the Confederate flag or stop the incessant attacks upon it.  I am talking about the case involving the Confederate flag on the Texas license plate which is being heard in the U.S. Supreme Court right now.

Here are some others:

JUNE 3, 2014:  The Citadel University in Charleston, S.C. is under attack because of the Confederate flag in its chapel.

Also, this date, the Virginia Flaggers raised a huge Confederate flag in I-95 near Fredericksburg.

AUGUST 1, 2014:  That flag near Fredericksburg at mm 134 is on a 90-foot pole and measures 30X22 feet.  The Virginia Flaggers is considered an "Activist Group."  They formed after the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond removed Confederate flags from the Confederate Memorial Chapel and Lexington banned Confederate flags from city light poles.

Most recently, Confederate flags were removed from the chapel where Robert E. lee is buried at Washington-Lee University.

--Old secesh

Monday, March 23, 2015

Someone Is Researching for a Book of the SS General Lyon

I was happy to get two comments from MajGenMeade who says he is researching for a book on the Gen. Lyon disaster.  I am not aware of a book about the subject, but it certainly begs to be written.

MajGenMeade made two comments on my last post on Saturday.

As I have said before, I was completely unaware of this disaster which cost at least 500 lives before this month, and I am a Civil War buff.

To read his comments, go to that last blog and hit the comments label.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, March 21, 2015

SS Gen. Lyon Disaster-- Part 9: Barnet Losey of the 5th West Virginia

At this point, I am sure that Barney Losey must have been a member of the 5th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment, not the 5th Virginia.

The 5th West Virginia Regiment was organized at Ceredo, West Virginia and mustered in October 18, 1861.

Veterans of the 5th who chose to reenlist were almagamated with the 1st West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment on November 9, 1864, to form the 2nd West Virginia Veteran Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

However, I have seen another source that said the 2nd West Virginia Veteran Volunteer Regiment was a combination of the 1st and 7th West Virginia.  The 1st West Virginia Veteran Infantry Regiment was made of of the 5th and 9th West Virginia Volunteer Regiments.

Either way, it appears that Barney Losey did not re-enlist as both regiments served the remainder of the war in West Virginia.  How Mr. Losey came to be in Wilmington, North Carolina, is anybody's guess.

I have been unable to find out anything about Barney Losey after his survival of the SS General Lyon Disaster.  

--Old Secesh

Friday, March 20, 2015

The SS Gen. Lyon Disaster-- Part 8: Who Was Barney Losey?

Again, Barney Losey was listed as being a member of the 5th Virginia Infantry regiment.  there was also a 5th West Virginia Infantry regiment, this one in Union service.  It was mustered into the Army in 1861, while still a part of Virginia, which may have had something to do with his being listed as being in the 5th Virginia.

I came across a full roster of men serving in the 5th West Virginia and there was a Barnett Losey listed as a private in Co. G.  Was this the Barney Losey in the New York Times article?  It said he was discharged as a private

Joining the regiment might also have been a family affair as there was also a John P. Losey in Co. D of the regiment listed as being a corporal, but discharged as a private.  Joshua P.Losey was also a corporal in Co. D, discharged as a private.  William S. Losey was a private in Co. D.

I have to wonder why Barnett Losey wasn't in Company D with his relatives, if that was the case.

So, Most Likely Barney Losey was Barnett Losey of the 5th West Virginia Infantry regiment.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The SS Gen. Lyon Disaster-- Part 7: Who Was Barney Losey?

Thta last entry was a bit short as I was going through the list of survivors and right off the bat, there was a Barney Losey of the 5th Virginia.  he survived, but I'd have to think the 5th Virginia would have been a Confederate unit.  There was a 5th Virginia Confederate regiment.  Was he a prisoner on his way north that had been captured in Wilmington or at Fort Fisher?

There were also regiments in the southern states who were organized to fight for the Union.  Was this 5th Virginia a Union regiment?

I then came across a 5th West Virginia Infantry Regiment.  If he was a Union soldier that would make for a better answer.  Perhaps the 5th Virginia was a mistake.  Maybe it should have read 5th West Virginia.

Looking up the regiment, I found that it was mustered in at Ceredo, West Virginia in 1861.  However, at the time, West Virginia was a part of Virginia and continued to be until 1863.  Maybe this is where the confusion set in?

Wikll the Real Barney Losey Stand Up?  --Old Secesh

The SS General Lyon Disaster-- Part 6:

The sad and largely forgotten story.

A few of the ship's passengers and crew were able to jump overboard.  Isaiah C. Colby of the 5th Ohip Cavalry grabbed a galley door and jumped into the water with it.  He ended up floating for three hours before he was rescued.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Burning of the SS General Lyon-- Part 5: The Captain Among First to Abandon Ship

The Gen. Lyon began launching its boats, but they weren't able to survive long in those horrible seas.

Ten men were on the first boat away, including the Lyon's captain.  Now, this is very shocking as the captain is, by tradition supposed to go down with his ship.  The Captain, however was reported as having "lost all control of himself and evidently crazed with fear."

This boat was swept into the still turning screw propeller and went right down.  "Irah Lewis, a private in the Eighty-ninth New York Regiment, who was on the boat at the time, states that he saw the Captain sink."  he and two others survived.

The second boat off had 27 people, including First Mate John Hayden (who should have taken over after the captain left) was able to reach the Gen. Sedgwick where a wave dashed it violently against the side of the steamer.  It quickly filled with water and went down, including the mate, , James Gibbs, Barney Losey of the 5th Virginia and John Fitzgerald of the 56th Illinois.

You'd have to question the role played by the crew of the Gen. Lyon.

--Old Secesh

The Burning of the SS General Lyon-- Part 4: The Fire Spreads

By 10 a.m. Friday morning, off Cape Hatteras, the storm had reached hurricane proportions and high seas were running.  The Gen. Lyon was tossed about.  Some sixty miles off land the fire alarm was given. and a few minutes later, fire was seen at the rear of the pilot house..

The passengers were mostly below decks suffering from seasickness.  Efforts to put out the flames with fire pumps were unable to keep up with the rapidly growing fire.  Making matters worse was the fact that the hatches were all closed to keep water from cascading in from the heavy seas.

Alarmed by the smoke, passengers began making their way to the deck but were driven back by the flames.

Meanwhile, the SS Gen. Sedgwick, commanded by Captain Starkey, arrived on the scene and a schooner also hove to the stricken ship.  The storm was too violent to attempt rescue, but the flames were spreading.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Burning of the General Lyon-- Part 3: Former Blockade-Runner?

Continuing with the New York Times article from April 3, 1865.

"It appears from the statements of these men that the Gen. Lyon, a screw steamer which had formerly been a blockade runner, sailed from Wilmington to Fortress Monroe on Wednesday."  I found no mention of it being a former blockade-runner, although many were used by the Union Navy after capture.  Wikipedia has the ship being built in Haddan, Connecticut in the spring of 1864 and being chartered by the Federal government in March 1864.

It had nearly 600 aboard including discharged and paroled soldiers, escaped prisoners and refugees (of whom 30 were women and children) as well as two negroes and the crew.

The weather was fair when leaving Wilmington and the Gen. Lyon spent the first night at Smithville (by the mouth of the Cape Fear River and then continued the next day.  After that, the wind picked up and eventually reached violent and stormy, greatly slowing the ship's progress.

--Old Secesh

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Burning of the General Lyon-- Part 2: News Reaches New York

Taken from the newspaper.

The steamer Gen. Sedgwick, which arrived at this port at noon yesterday, brought as passengers twenty-nine persons saved from the wreck of the transport steamer Gen. Lyon, which took fire off Cape Hatteras on the morning of Friday last, and was totally destroyed.

The Gen. Lyon had on board from five hundred and fifty to six hundred souks.  The twenty-nine who arrived here yesterday are believed to be all that were saved.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Burning of the General Lyon-- Part 1: "Dreadful Fire At Sea"

From the April 3, 1865, NY Times headlines.

Dreadful Fire at Sea

Five Hundred Lives Lost

The U.S. Transport Steamer General Lyon Burned Off Cape Hatteras

Invalid Troops, Refugees and Women and Children On Board.

--Old Secesh

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Army Transport SS General Lyon Disaster-- Part 3: Two More Illinois Deaths On It

From the Jefferson County, Illinois, "USS Steamer general Lyon Disaster.  Two Jefferson County residents were listed among the dead from the ship's burning and sinking on March 31, 1865>

  PRIVATE MATTHEW HUMPHRIES--  Private in Co. F, 56th Illinois Regt.  of Lynchburg, Jefferson County.  Enlisted Feb. 27, 1862, corporal.  Lost on the Lyon on March 31, 1865>

PRIVATE JAMES DODSON--  Private in Co. F, 56th Illinois Regt., of Lynchburg, Jefferson County.  Enlisted Feb. 27, 1862.  Lost on the Lyon on March 31, 1865.

To have fought that long and then lose their lives so close to home.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The SS General Lyon Disaster-- Part 2

On March 31, 1865, the vessel encountered rough water off Cape Hatteras, N.C. and a fire broke out in the engine room and quickly spread throughout the ship.  Approximately 500 passengers lost their lives, including all but five of the 205-man contingent from the 56th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

There were just 29 survivors with 28 being listed in the New York Times.  Isaac White of the 56th Illinois also survived.

This was a huge disaster, but it was completely overshadowed with the news of Lee's surrender nine days later and, of course, Lincoln's assassination.

--Old Secesh

The SS General Lyon Disaster-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

The U.S. Army transport General Lyon (not to be confused with the USS General Lyon, a Navy sidewheel steamer, was a screw steamer of 1026 tons built in East Hadden, Connecticut, in the spring of 1864.  It was chartered by the Federal government in March 1864 and took part in the battles at Battery Wagner, S.C., Bermuda Hundred in Virginia and both battles of Fort Fisher.

Late in the war it was used extensively to carry Federal troops from Wilmington, N.C., to Fortress Monroe or New York.  It sailed from Wilmington on March 28, 1865 with a large number of discharged soldiers returning from war, paroled prisoners (as in the case of James O'Rorke), 120 refugees and civilians.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

No One Had Heard of the SS General Lyon Disaster

Last night I attended the McHenry County Civil War Round Table meeting in Woodstock and before the meeting talked with several members and mentioned the SS General Lyon tragedy.

Like me, no one had ever heard of it either.  And these people are avid Civil War buffs.

Now that the Sultana's story is becoming better known (they had all heard of it) perhaps this would be a good time for someone to write a book about it.

I was unfamiliar with it myself until yesterday.

--Old Secesh

The General Lyon Disaster

From Wikipedia.

We are coming up on the 150th anniversary of this tragic sinking off North Carolina's Cape Hatteras.  The Army Transport steamer was loaded with Union soldiers and evidently some former prisoners as in the case of James O'Rorke who was listed in one source as being from Andersonville prison camp.

One recently discharged Illinois regiment, the 56th Illinois,  lost all but five of its 205 members.  Deaths are put at 500, making it one of the worst U.S. maritime disasters.

Another ship returning former Union prisoners is a little more famous, the SS Sultana,  It sank a few weeks later in the Mississippi River resulting in even more deaths.

Just imagine yourself looking forward to returning home and reuniting with family and loved ones and being this close, having survived the harsh conditions of war, and then dying.

Of course, these two disasters were quickly overshadowed by Lee's surrender and Lincoln's assassination.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

McHenry County Civil War Meeting Tonight

In just a few minutes I will be heading out for the 17 mile drive to Woodstock, Illinois, for the meeting at the Woodstock Library.

Tonight's talk will be "Colonel C.R. Ellet and the Sage River of the Queen of the West and Ironclad Indianola."  Presenter will be Ed Urban.

We rarely get a presentation on a naval aspect of the war so I will really be looking forward to this one.

--Old Secesh

Family Locates Ancestor Who Died on the General Lyon Disaster in 1865-- Part 2

James O'Rorke's  name was probably misspelled throughout his service.  His relatives decided to give him the funeral he never had.  The dedication ceremony was held at St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery in Rochelle, Illinois.

The O'Roark's were given a headstone on James O'Rorke's behalf.  The Sons of Union veterans of the Civil  War conducted the service.

The 92nd Illinois organized in Freeport with members from Carroll, Stephenson and Ogle counties.  James O'Rorke was born in Ireland.  In 1859, he and his family moved to Rochelle and numerous descendants still live in the area.  Many were present at Saturday's ceremony.

Upon his death, James' mother received $8 a month survivor's pension from the government.

I'd never Heard of the General Lyon Disaster Before This.  --Old Secesh

Family Effort Results in Finding a Civil War Ancestor: Victim of General Lyon Disaster

From the October 4, 2014, Ogle County (Illinois) News "Family Effort results in service for Civil War victim" by Andy Colbert.

At a Memorial Day service at Oregon's Riverside Cemetery, John and Sandy O'Rorke learned of Civil War veteran James Butterfield of Rochelle who died on the S.S. Sultana disaster at the end of the war.  They already knew that they had a Civil War veteran from Rochelle who had died on a sinking ship.

Could this be him?

Local historian Otto Dick researched and found that O'Roark's relative was on a different ship that sank off of Cape Hatteras.  That relative was James O'Roark of the 92nd Illinois who served 1862-1865.  In the final year of the war, he was at the Confederate prison Andersonville.

Upon release, he was put on the steamer General Lyon bound for New York.  It exploded and all aboard died, including O'Roark.

More to Come.  --Old secesh

Monday, March 9, 2015

Raleigh's Confederate Cemetery-- Part 3

The bodies of over 400 Confederates were disinterred from the Rock Quarry Cemetery.  Over the years, numerous dead in the Raleigh area were relocated to Oakwood Cemetery's Confederate section.  Even soldiers from far away were brought to this final resting place.  One hundred and thirty-seven Confederates were brought in from Gettysburg in 1971 and 107 from Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia in 1883.

The North Carolina legislature appropriated funds and land was donated on the corner of New Bern Avenue and Tarboro Road on February 16, 1891, for a Confederate Soldiers Home.  This was the former site of Pettigrew Hospital.

Oakwood's Confederate Section was maintained by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans took over in the 1980s.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Raleigh's Confederate Cemetery-- Part 2

In 1866 local women began to worry about the condition of the Confederate graves at Rock Quarry Cemetery and formed the Ladies memorial Association of Wake County.  Their mission was to locate a spot for a Confederate cemetery that would be "sacred to our heroic dead."

By February 1867, they had the plans for the first Confederate cemetery in the South.  Earlier in February, the North Carolina legislature had set aside funds for a monument to fallen soldiers to be erected in the new cemetery. Two and a half acres of land was acquired from Henry Mordecai and the massive task of reburying the Confederate dead began in late spring.

--Old Secesh

Raleigh's Confederate Cemetery-- Part 1

From the Feb. 15, 2009, Raleigh Public Record by Kate Pattison.

I was looking for some more information on the Confederates from Arlington National Cemetery buried in Raleigh.

Raleigh, North Carolina, served as a medical hub for Confederate forces during the Civil War because of its rail connections and the fact it was a considerable distance from the front lines in Virginia.The Battles of Averasboro and Bentonville caused even more Confederate wounded to be brought into the city in 1865.

By April 1865, Pettigrew Hospital, just off New Bern Avenue was taken over by the Union forces of Sherman.  Dead from there had been buried at Rock Quarry Cemetery, now the Raleigh National Cemetery located off Rock Quarry Road.  Union dead were buried along with Confederates.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"General Orders 100" Painting by Mort Kunstler

"LINCOLN AND THE LIEBER CODE, April 1863.  On May 27, 1863, President Lincoln instructed Union General John M. Schofield: 'Let your military measures be strong enough to repel the invader and keep the peace, and not so strong as to unnecessarily harass and persecute the people.'

"His message invoked the recently reacted Liever Code, the first formal codification of behavior for the U.S. Army during the war.  Officially titled Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, General Order No. 100, it became the basis for all international treaties and forever changed the behavior of militaries worldwide.

"Lincoln considered an official code of conduct an absolute necessity to maintain order and a sense of decency among the ranks.  He commissioned Francis Lieber to develop policies for martial law, military jurisdiction, punishment of spies/deserters and the treatment of prisoners of war.

"The Lieber Code was adopted on April 24, 1863, before Lincoln's pertinent cabinet members and military. including Brigadier General Joseph Holt, the Judge Advocate General of the Army."

I'd never heard of this before.  Thanks, Mr. Kunstler.  When I first saw the print on the calendar, my first thought was of that famous painting of Lincoln and his cabinet discussing the Emancipation Proclamation, perhaps the greatest political move in history.  I wonder how it was used in occupied territory and at Camp Douglas in Chicago?

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

"Capitol Farewell" Painting by Mort Kunstler

From the february 2015 Civil War Calendar.

A soldier and his wife/sweetheart saying goodbye in front of the North Carolina state capitol in Raleigh.

"RALEIGH, N.C., FEBRUARY 5, 1863.  During the Civil War, North Carolina's Capitol building in Raleigh became a fixture in the hearts and minds of the soldiers and civilians who busily occupied its halls and grounds.  The Confederate Army used the grounds as an encampment, while the building itself served as a supply depot and a gathering place for town ladies who met in the rotunda to fashion uniforms, haversacks and bandages.

"The First National flag and the North Carolina state flag fly over the building as a young couple say goodbye, perhaps for the last time.  Scenes of this sort took place all over the North and South.  They still take place today as loved ones bid our servicemen and women goodbye as they depart to do their duty to country.

"In this scene depicting romance and fortitude, I have attempted to capture the drama of the moment, and show the difficulties of the soldier's life even hundreds of miles behind the lines."--  Mort Kunstler.

And the Building Is Still There.  --Old Secesh

"The Mud March" Painting by Mort Kunstler

This is the print for January 2015.

"FREDERICKSBURG, VIRGINIA, JANUARY 21, 1863:  They were the soldiers of the Union's Army of the Potomac and they were advancing against  the enemy as General Ambrose Burnside attempted to flank Robert E. Lee's army.  The march was conducted in the midst of a brutally fierce winter storm.

"The weather caused the road to be churned into an ocean of mus.  It was "an indescribable chaos of pontoons, vehicles and artillery," a federal officer would later recall, "wagons upset by the roadside, guns stalled in the mud--horses and mules buried in the liquid mud."

"Driving rain flailed man and beast alike -- and yet these men in blue did not yield.  Onward they pushed, led by Lieutenant Colonel Joshua Chamberlain of the 20th Maine.  They were determined to have another contest with the enemy who had prevailed so many times before.  But it would not be here and now.  Battle would not come at this time."

Of course, Chamberlain made quite a name for himself some six months later at this battle fought near the town of Gettysburg.  Burnside was trying to atone for his disaster at the Battle of Fredericksburg the previous month.

You see the lightning and driving streams of rain as the men trudge through knee high mud trying to pull a cannon.  A place I wouldn't want to be.

--Old Secesh

Mort Kunstler, Premier Civil War Artist

From the Lang 2015 Kunstler Civil War Calendar, 22nd Edition.

I was able to buy one of these calendars at Half Price Books in Columbus, Ohio, for, like they said, half price.  The usual $16-17 price is a bit more than I like to spend, so I normally don't buy these, but have always liked them.  This man goes into detail tremendously and researches a whole lot for every painting he does.

According to the calendar, he began his emphasis on the Civil War in the 1980s after a commission from CBS-TV had him do a painting for their mini-series, "The Blue and the Gray."  He devoted much time to making sure his painting "The High Water Mark" was as correct as it could be.  The painting was unveiled at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum on July 2, 1988, in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the battle.

Even before his concentration on the Civil War, he had already established himself as "the premier historical artist in America."

Beginning in 2011, the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, an exhibit of his original paintings has traveled to museums in seven states.

And, he has done a painting of Fort Fisher.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

About the Kenosha Civil War Museum-- Part 4

This museum started from a very thorough Civil War collection that used to be housed at Carthage College in Kenosha.  I saw it there and have also been to this new museum and really should go more often as it is only about 40 miles away.

They also have many lectures and presentations.

It is open 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

It is located at 5400 1st Avenue in Kenosha.

Tickets are $9 for adults.

For more information:

--Old Secesh

A Midwest Perspective on the Civil War at Kenosha Museum-- Part 3

The unique story of the Upper Midwest's Civil War experience is shown in "The Fiery Trail" exhibit, a series of environmental displays spanning 1850 through the end of the war that take visitors from the home front (a fictional town called Fairfield) to supply depots, campsites and battlegrounds.

Another exhibit is the Veterans Memorial Gallery, a contemplative space honoring America's citizen soldiers and symbolizes the commonality of soldier experience through the centuries.  Veterans from all wars are commemorated on a circular series of monoliths.

Other artifacts in the museum are a Kenosha militia flag and a first-hand documentation of a slave who fled north on the Underground Railroad.  Of particular interest, visitors can follow the fortunes of dozens of actual participants in the Civil War including a nurse, soldier and abolitionist.

--Old Secesh

A Midwest Perspective on the Civil War at Kenosha Museum-- Part 2

A temporary exhibit, "On the Way to War" ran through March 1st and conveys "the universal experience of the citizen soldier," according to Dan Joyce, director of Kenosha museums.  "Take away the technology and the experience is the same; the training, camaraderie, frustration, boredom and fear."

Anchoring the exhibit are watercolor paintings done on the way to war in 1862 by soldier John Gaddis.

Too Late for This One.  --Old Secesh

A Midwest Perspective on the Civil War at the Kenosha Museum-- Part 1

From the Feb. 19, 2015, Chicago Tribune by Donald Liebenson.

The Civil War Museum is located on the Lake Michigan lakefront in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  It opened in 2008 and attracts 75,000 visitors annually.  What makes it even more special is that it focuses on how the entire upper Midwest, not just Kenosha, was impacted by the war.

Among the museum's newest attractions is "Seeing the Elephant," a ten-minute, 360-degree movie that begins with the buildup of the war and follows a young adventurer, an abolitionist and a family man as they enlist, experience battle and reflect on how the war has changed them.  This surrounds viewers with the sight and sound of the battle and is shown on the hour.

Hey, Seeing the Elephant Is My Blog name.  Well, Past-Tense Anyway.  --Old Secesh

Monday, March 2, 2015

Arlington Confederate Dead Reburied in North Carolina-- Part 4

The military units were drawn up on three sides of the square and rendered salutes and a band played a dirge.  Governor Jarvis spoke and called them "patriot soldiers."

The four caskets with the remains were laid in two graves immediate south of the Confederate Monument.  Volleys were fired over the graves and full military honors given.  Markers stating "Arlington Dead" were placed on the graves.

On May 2, 1993, the SCV erected a two-ton granite marker over their final resting place.

The bronze plate on the granite has the names, rank, dates and units of 102 soldiers and 5 unknowns.  Since then, two of the unknowns have been identified and a smaller granite marker has been placed for them at the base of the larger marker.

The honor guard for the 1993 ceremony was by the Fayetteville Independent Light Artillery., the same unit that participated in the 1883 ceremony.

--Old Secesh