The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Canada Returns Col. Tew's Sword-- Part 6: How the Silver Cup Was Returned

In 1873, a traveler aboard a boat in New York met a man, J.W. Bean, from New Hampshire and talked about the Civil War.  The traveler knew Col, Charles Tew and mentioned the story of Tew;s father going to Dry Totugas near Key West while looking for the sword.

Bean had been at the Battle of Antietam and had come across Col. Tew's body.  he had the silver cup and then returned it to Tew's family.

That cup was given by Caroline Sloan's mother to her son, Charles Courtenay Sloan.  She said she had polished it as the family intends to make the trip to the Citadel to loan it for a year.  She kind of thinks her son will eventually loan it to the school on a permanent basis.

--A great Story.  --Old Secesh

Canada Returns Col. Tew's Sword-- Part 5: Coming Home

Michael martin had much difficulty "alienating" Col. Charles Tew's sword, but stayed true to his purpose and this past March got the go ahead to return the sword.

Not much is known for sure about how the sword got from the Antietam battlefield to the Blythe family.  But evidence shows that it was likely acquired by Captain Francis J. Sauter of the 55th Ohio who might have had it shipped home before he was killed at the Battle of Chancellorsville in March 1863.

On Wednesday, the Citadel will send 9 cadets, 4 faculty members and other supporters to the Antietam battlefield to receive the sword from Canada.

The sword will eventually go to the Citadel's Daniel Library for display where it will be reunited with Tew's silver cup.  The library also has Tew's diploma, some of his letters and other documents.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Canada Returns Col. Tew's Sword to Citadel-- Part 4: Sword in Canada

A New York native by the name of Amelia Blythe had moved to Ottawa, Canada, in 1963 and donated the sword to the 763 Communications Regt. of the Canadian Army, now the 33 Signal Regt..

Caroline Sloan, of Portland, Oregon, the colonel's great-great granddaughter.  Her father, Edward Sloan graduated from the Citadel in 1950 and started his own search for the sword.  He got a precise description of the sword and began distributing it and received responses.  Then came the internet.

For a generation, the  sword had been on display inside the Mess at Wallis House, a landmark building in Ottawa that eventually fell into disrepair.  The sword's nameplate read "The Cadets of the Arsenal Academy to Capt.  C.C. Tew, November 25, 1858."  The regiment had the sword and other items appraised in 2009 when they were moving to a new home.

Genuine Civil War swords like it sell for between $20,000 to $30,000, but its connection to Charles Tew made it even more valuable.

Michael Martin,chairman of the 33 Signal Regt. Foundation worked to have it "alienated" from Canada as not having any value to the country.  This was necessary before it could be returned.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Canada Returns Col. Tew's Sword to the Citadel-- Part 3: Searching for the Sword

The Citadel had a cadet and 25 alumni at the Battle of Antietam in 1862.  Two were killed and four wounded.

Charles Tew was shot in the head and among the hundreds of Confederates buried in mass graves.  Their bodies were eventually relocated to cemeteries in Maryland and West Virginia.  His final resting place is unknown and age at death was 34.

After the war, his father began searching for the sword, cup and pocket watch his son had with him at his death.  All they knew was that he was shot along the Sunken Road.

Sometime in 1870, his father got a letter from Ohio saying the sword was hanging at the Odd fellows Hall in Norwalk.  A family friend went there, but it was gone.

Then, there was nothing new for 145 years.

--Old Secesh

The Confederacy Still Under Attack

But I am taking a break to do what I enjoy much more.

All That Is Sure Getting Me Down.  --Old Secesh

Monday, December 28, 2015

Canada to Return Col. Tew's Long-Lost Sword-- Part 2: Military Academies

The return of Col. Charles Tew's sword to the Citadel will be celebrated with three days of activities.

Col. Charles Courtenay Tew was a Charleston native and among the Citadel's first 26 cadets, reporting to the school in 1843.  He graduated in 1846 and later taught at the Arsenal, a Columbia, S.C. military school that was the Citadel's sister institution.

The cadets there gave him the sword when he left to establish the Hillsborough Military Academy in North Carolina.

During the Civil War, Col. Tew led the 2nd North Carolina and carried the sword along with him, along with a silver cup given him by the Hillsborough cadets.  Later, he decided that he could be of more use to the Confederacy by returning to teaching and submitted his resignation.  before it was accepted, there came the Battle of Antietam.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Canada to Return Colonel Tew's (CSA) Long-Lost Sword to the Citadel-- Part 1: A Sword With Many Connections

From the September 13, 2015, Charleston (SC) Post & Courier "Canada to return Civil War commander's lost sword to the Citadel" by Robert Behre.

"A single sword unites the Citadel with the South Carolina's Governor's Mansion, the 33 Signal Regt. of the Canadian Army and the single bloodiest day in U.S. military history."

And, it's coming home soon.

Confederate Colonel Charles Courtenay Tew was killed at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.  His sword was lost and his descendants have been searching for it ever since.

Charles Tew was the Citadel's first valedictorian and the first president of its alumni association.  The sword was given to him by the cadets at the Arsenal, a Columbia, S.C., military academy that was the Citadel's sister institution.    The Arsenal was burned by Sherman's troops in the closing days of the war and never reopened.  Its sole surviving building is the state's Governor's Mansion.

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 25, 2015

Remnants of Possible Civil War Cedar Log Highway Found in Virginia

From the Dec. 23, 2015, Chicago Tribune  "Remnants of Cedar-Log highway could date to Civil War era, historians say" by Jonathan Hunley, Washington Post.

They logs were found along Ox Road in Fairfax County, Virginia, on ground now occupied by George Mason University.  They were found below ground level on October 14th by a road shoulder/sidewalk project.  Work shifted to another part of the project while the logs were photographed and analyzed.

They would constitute what would be called a "corduroy road" because of its close resemblance to the cloth  Since the logs were buried, there was not a lot of deterioration.

A member of the Bull Run Civil War Round Table said that during the Civil War a "corduroy road ran from the Occonquo River to the Fairfax Courthouse and most likely these logs were a part of it.  The road was built in 1862 as a link to get supplies from the railroad's Fairfax Station to the Fairfax Courthouse which was a significant Union supply depot.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Confederate Prison at Rock Island, Illinois-- Part 2: George Fowlkes, 19

Union guards were also susceptible to the diseases plaguing their Confederate prisoners.

Of some 12,000 Confederates interred at Rock island Prison, just less than 2,000 died.and are buried at the Arsenal's Confederate Cemetery,.  Their bodies were placed in wooden boxes and a wooden slab used to mark their final resting place.

George Fowlkes, 3 Arkansas Cav., Co. B,  arrived shortly after the prison opened and died three months later of illness, just a couple days shy of his 19th birthday.

Sgt. Martin Sims, Co. E (Russell) Alabama Cavalry,was  transferred to Rock island from another cam and died a month later of small pox.

"They did not live to see their country reunited.  Still, they are American soldiers.  Each with their own story, and in row after row, they are respectfully remembered."

That last remark rings hard in these days of dishonoring everything Confederate.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Confederate Prison at Rock Island, Illinois-- Part 1: Rampant Diseases

From the Nov. 19, 2015, Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa) .com.  "Rock Island Arsenal Inside the Gates:  Confederate Cemetery" by Chris Langlors.

The first Confederate POWs arrived in December 1863.  Many had small pox/variola and there was a very large number of deaths in the first month.  Officials from the U.S. Surgeon General's office came and ordered a hospital complex built to separate the sick from the healthy, then ordered a drainage system and the camp cemetery to be moved further away from the prisoners.

The three most common causes of death among the prisoners:  small pox/variola, diarrhea/dysentery and pneumonia.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

North Carolina's Civil War Story Project Gets Under Way

From the Dec. 15, 2015, Mountain XPress (Asheville, N.C.) "North Carolina History Center launches statewide Civil War story project, seeks oral histories" by Max Hunt.

The North Carolina Civil War History Center plans to collect 100 family Civil War stories from each of the state's 100 counties.  It is one of the largest public history projects ever attempted in North Carolina.  Every family has handed-down stories and this will be an attempt to collect them in the project, entitles "Our State, Our Stories" before they are lost.

The center has now employed "Story Specialists" to assist and plans on canvasing local SCV, UDC and SUVCW groups.

They will be using three  methods of collecting the stories:

1.  Online submission
2.  Oral histories recorded by the "story specialists"
3.  Printed forms

The History Center will cost $85 million when completed and is in Fayetteville, right next to the ruins of the Fayetteville Arsenal which was destroyed by Sherman in March 1865.

--Old Secesh

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 143: Kutztown University Ban Revoked

From the Dec. 14, 2015, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Kutztown University (a public school) bans Confederate Flags even from students' own dorm rooms.  [Update: The ban has been revoked.]  (Pennsylvania)  (Win)  Never thought this would happen.

**  Confederate Flag-waving gun nut targets black neighbor with months-long campaign of racial harassment.  (Lake Linganore, Md.)  (Loss)  Again, we do not need this kind of behavior.  It hurts the cause.

**  The Civil War ended a long time ago, but the battle rages on.  No kidding.  We are now in the midst of the Second Civil War.

--Old Secesh

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 142: Confederate Flags Classified "Distatsteful: at Kutztown University

From the Dec. 12, 2015, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Sons of Confederate Veterans participate in Christmas parade.  (Roanoke, Va.)  (Win)

**  University Bans 'Distasteful' Decor in Residence Hals' Common Areas.  (Kutztown University in Pa.) (Loss)  That would be the Confederate Flag which is considered the same as a Swastika.  The ban extends to dorm rooms.

**  Citadel students suspended as furor grows over KKK-type photos.  (Charleston, S.C.)  (Loss, and not because they were suspended)   Pictures taken of them wearing pillow cases with eye holes.  Very KKKish.  Stupidity such as this certainly hurts the cause.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 19, 2015

"new orleans" city council Pulls a Racist Move

I found out that the vote of the city council in "new orleans" a few days was 6-1 to remove three Confederate statues as "nuisances.".  Two of the members are white and one of them cast a "no" vote.  The other five are black and all five voted for removal.

Who's racist now?

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 18, 2015

Shame on "new orleans"

The "city of new orleans" (and I am not using capital letters for this DISGRACE) has disgraced itself as of yesterday when the city council voted 6-1 to remove the three Confederate monuments as nuisances.  There are actually four monuments under the gun, but the fourth one is not honorable.

Supposedly, "new orleans" is a southern town, but I don't think so anymore.

This vote, however, was what I expected.

I had been considering going there on vacation within the next year.

"new orleans" now joins "natchitoches" on the disgraced list.  However, there is at least one Louisiana town that has the fortitude to stand up for its heritage, well, at least the mayor, and that would be Many, Louisiana.

Guess Not Now.  --Old Secesh

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 141: Many, Louisiana, Allows Flag in Parade

From Dec. 11-12 Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Dems want Confederate Flag removed at Citadel.  (Loss)  These are the democratic candidates for president.

**  Raucous debate in New Orleans over Confederate monuments.

**  Clinton links Confederate Flag to KKK-like.  (Loss)  As in presidential candidate Hillary.  No help for us here.

**  Confederate Flag issue for students, school in Seneca.  (Maine)  A student flew a Confederate Flag in back of his pickup truck at high school.  It always seems the flag is flown onthe back of a pickup truck.  Why is that?

**  Confederate battle flag controversy migrates to Many, La.  ((Win)  After Natchitoches refused to allow the flag in their parade, the flag was not banned here.  The mayor had the fortitude to allow it.

Finally.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 140: Natchitoches Sued Over Flag Ban

From the Dec. 10, 2015, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Charleston lawmaker:  Use private donations, not taxpayer money, for Confederate Flag display.  (South Carolina)  (Good idea.)

**  Winona juvenile charged with assault in Confederate Flag incident.  (Minnesota)  (This whole thing goes much deeper.)  The 14-year old black kid was charged with attacking an 18-year-old white kid who had struck a four-year-old black kid in August.  The white boy had reported his Confederate Flag stolen earlier.

**  Portsmouth city council discusses Confederate monument in closed meeting.  (Virginia)  (Draw at this point)

**  City of Natchitoches sued over Confederate Flag ban.  (Louisiana)  (Win, but I'm sure it will get thrown out of court.)

**  Protesters display Confederate Flag outside New Orleans City Hall hours before discussion.  (Win)  About those four monuments.

**  Greenfield public forum set on Confederate Flag controversy.  (Massachusetts)  (At least the police officer has not been fired yet for having the flag up in his garage.

--Old Secesh

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 139: Lee High School Keeping Name

From the Dec. 7-8, 2015,  Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Lee High School Renaming Issue to Come Before NEISD Board Tonight.  (San Antonio, Tx.)  (Anticipating a loss and name change.)

**  Roanoke again says it can't ban Confederate Flag from Christmas parade.  (Virginia)  (A surprising win)

**  Monumental Task Committee to make announcement on Confederate monuments.  (New Orleans)  (Expecting a win as they say they have thousands of signatures wanting the monuments left where they are.)

**  Museum director says $5M cost of Confederate Flag display will come down.  (South Carolina)  That flag again.  Let's hope the cost comes way down.  I'll do it for free.

**  Confederate pride flag and noose cause upset in Springfield.  (Missouri)  (Loss)  Displaying the flag ok, but not along with a noose.  The lynchings were a sad part of history.

**  NEISD votes to keep Robert ER. Lee High School name.   (San Antonio)  (A very surprising win.)

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 138: Confederate Flag Sidelined in Louisiana

From the Dec. 6, 2015, Gioogle Alerts for Confederate.

**  Sidelined Confederate Flag supporters expect to be in 2016 parade.  (Natchitoches, La.)  (Loss) The SCV was not allowed in the town's Christmas Festival parade.  They stood on the sidewalk and waved Confederate flags.  They think they will be back in the parade next year and will work toward it, but I doubt they will.

**  NAACP leaders do not want Confederate Flag flown during Roanoke Christmas parade.  (Roanoke, Virginia)  (Loss)  I'm sure they will get their way.  No public officials want to stand up against them.

**  Corley wants voters' input on Confederate Flag.  S.C.)  (Win)  South Carolina representative Christopher Corley.  At least he wants input on it.

**  No decision on Confederate Flag ban at fair.  (Wooster, Ohio)  (Win)  These days no decision is better than just losing.

**  Klan presence at Confederate Flag rally.  (Stone Mountain, Georgia)  (Loss)  Definitely not the group we needed to be connected with.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Battle Against the Confederacy Hits Louisiana-- Part 2

The New Orleans mayor's proposal is bold as it takes aim against some well-known landmarks that have stood where they are for a century or more.  They are the monuments honoring Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard (a native Louisianan) and the Crescent City White League who were a group of white supremacists who sought to topple the biracial government after the Civil War ended.  (It would be ok with me if the last one was removed.)

Earlier this week, a volunteer group that looks after monuments said it had collected the signatures ofabout 31,000 people opposed to the statue removals.

Pierre McGraw, president of the Monumental Task Committee, says, "It looks like we are sanitizing history.  Where does it end?"

The City Council will hear what citizens have to say and are supposed to vote on it December 17th.

Like I said, there is no way they will vote to keep the statues where they are.

This Will Be  Great Shame on the City of New Orleans.  --Old Secesh

Monday, December 14, 2015

Battle Against Confederacy Hits Louisiana-- Part 1

From the December 11, 2015, Chicago Tribune by Cain Burdeau, AP.

"Prominent Confederate monuments long taken for granted on the streets of this Deep South city may be coming down as allegiance to Confederate symbols slowly erodes in the South and African-Americans across the nation demand an end to racism."

The New Orleans City Council will be taking up the removal of four Confederate monuments this week and it appears that a majority are in favor of removal.

Mayor Mitch Landreau first called for it after the June massacre in Charleston, S.C..  This set off a firestorm against any and all things Confederate.

In South Carolina, the Confederate flag was removed from the Capitol grounds.  In Mississippi, colleges have stopped flying the state flag as it incorporates the Confederate flag.  The University of Texas has removed the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from its grounds.

Across the South, allegiance and veneration to Confederate symbols is rapidly eroding, especially among younger whites.

It Will Happen and Be a Sad Day.  --Old Secesh

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 137: Rename Those Confederate Schools

From the Dec. 4, and 5, 2015, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Demonstrators speak out against racism after Confederate Flag incident.  (Greenfield, Mass.)  (Loss)  Still about the police man having the Confederate Flag up in his garage.

**  School Board Approves Renaming Schools With Confederate References.  (Austin, Texas)  (Loss)

**  Lawmakers question $5.3 million price tag on proposed Confederate Flag display.  (Columbia, S.C.)  This was the proposed cost by "consultants" to display the flag taken down at the State House this past summer.  I'm glad someone thought the price was a "bit" excessive.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 136: Confederate Flag Christmas Cards

From the Dec. 3, 2015, Google Alerts for Confederate.

Lawmakers receive Christmas cards with Confederate Flag picture from colleague.  (South Carolina)  (Win)  Rep. Chris Corley, R-Graniteville, sent a Christmas card out to other lawmakers showing the Confederate Flag that once flew at the state house.

In it, he wrote, "May your Christmas be filled with memories of a happier time when South Carolina leaders possessed morals, convictions and principles to stand for what is right."

More Power to Him.  --Old Secesh

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 135: Neighbors Are the Real Racists

From the December 3, 2015, Google Alerts for Confederate.

Consultants propose spending $5.3 million on Confederate Flag display in Relic Room.  (Columbia, S.C.)  (Big Win for their wallets)  This is the flag that was removed from the S.C. state house grounds this past summer.  Ridiculous to want that much money.

Confederate "flaggers" fight for twisted history.  (Loss)  A very anti-Confederate article by Art Cook in People's World.

Neighbors who complained about Massachusetts cop's Confederate Flag are the real racists: residents say.  (Win)  This is regarding the policeman who has a Confederate Flag up in his garage.

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 134: Take a Vote on Businesses Flying Confederate Flag

From the Dec. 2, 2015, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**Commission to meet on how to display Confederate Flag at SC Relic Room.  (South Carolina) (Loss)  This is the famous "Statehouse Flag."

**Would a Confederate Flag Flying Outside a business make you: (Hampshire Review)  This was a chance to vote.  I did.

More likely to shop there--  48.8%  (My vote)

Less likely to shop there--  26.6%

Praise the proprietot--  12.2%

Admonish proprietor for insensitivity--  .8%

Shrug your shoulders--  11.4%

Definitely some interesting votes.  --Old Secesh

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 134: UNLV President Says Keep "Rebel" Name

Frpm the December 2, 2915, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**Ordinance to remove four Confederate monuments introduced at City Council.  (New Orleans) (Loss)  I'm sure it will pass.  Wants to declare the monuments a "nuisance."  These "nuisances" have sure been around for a long time.

**Confederate Flag Controversy at Greenfield.  (Massachusetts) (Loss)  About the police sergeant who has a Confederate Flag on the wall of his home.  What a person puts up in their home or on it should not come under attack.

**UNLV president says keep the Rebel name, no Confederate roots.  (Univ. of Nevada Las Vegas)  (Win, sort of)  That is the school's nickname and they have a mascot called "Hey Reb."  The president says the name reflects the school's entrepreneurial spirit.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 10, 2015

John Hildt, Co. K, 1st Michigan Infantry

I was trying to find more information about this man who Tony Horwitz wrote about in his "PTSD: The Civil War's Hidden Legacy" in the January 2015, Smithsonian Magazine.

At first I just knew he was from Michigan so figured he probably was in a Michigan regiment.  However, I found that there were quite a few regiments from the state involved in the Seven Days Battles in 1862.  Then. later in the article I found he was in Company K of the 1st Michigan.

This really helped, but I still could not find out at which of the battles he was wounded.  However, Union casualties during the battles were 1,734 killed, 8,066 wounded and 6,055 missing/captured.  The Co. K roster lists a John Hilt from Ann Arbor, Michigan, but mention was also made that he might be John Hildt because of a spelling error.

--Old Secesh

PTSD in the Civil War-- Part 9: Corp. John Hildt, Co. K, 1st Michigan

They returned to a society without a Veterans Administration, a G.I. Bill or modern pharmaceuticals.

PTSD didn't enter the language until 1980, but Civil War soldiers certainly were afflicted with it.  They had flashbacks, panic attacks, insomnia and suicidal thoughts.

Historian Eric Dean has examined the records of 291 veterans admitted to the Indiana Hospital for the Insane and found cases like Elijah Boswell who "Sobbed & cried & imagined that someone was going to kill him" and that "the rebels was after him."

Another one, who survived a horrific artillery bombardment, would shout at his wife, "Don't you hear them bombarding?"  Another one considered suicidal and sleepless was convinced he was "bleeding to death from imaginary wounds."

The brother of John Hildt, the Union soldier described in the first post after losing his arm in the Seven days Battle, wrote a letter in his native German in hopes "he will recognize anything I say to him.  He is John Hildt Corporal Co K 1st Michigan Vol."

Hildt's family also sought a pension for both his physical and mental disability.  The latter was denied, the pension office wrote, due to "lack of proof" that Hildt became insane due to his wartime service and wounding.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

PTSD in the Civil War-- Part 8: "The Vicious Nature of Combat"

Another book on the war "Living Hell: The Dark Side of the Civil War" by Michael Adams describes the "vicious nature of combat, the terrible infliction of physical and mental wounds, the misery of soldiers living amid corpses, filth and flies."

Some historians do not like new scholarship which include subjects such as rape, torture and guerrilla atrocities.  They say that these were on the margins of the war and don't reflect the mainstream of Civil War experience.

Gary Gallagher at the University of Virginia is one of these and adds that the vast majority of soldiers weren't traumatized and went on to have productive postwar lives.

One thing he and others warn against is viewing 1860s Americans as though they were like modern Americans.  As a rule, Civil War soldiers were more religious, more imbued with notions of honor and glory and less inclined to share their pain or seek help for it.

--Old Secesh

PTSD in the Civil War-- Part 7: The 16th Connecticut, "Broken Regiment"

Another former member of the 16th Connecticut, Wallace Woodford flailed in his sleep, dreaming that he was still searching for food at Andersonville.  He died at age 22 and was buried beneath a headstone that reads "8 months a sufferer in Rebel prison; He came home to die."

Others managed to live longer, before killing themselves or being committed to insane asylums.  Lesley Gordon, in his research on the 16th, was amazed at how many times the members returned to the twin horrors of Andersonville and Antietam in their diaries and letters.  "They're haunted by what happened until the end of their lives," she says.

She wrote a book on the 16th Connecticut called "Broken Regiment."

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

PTSD in the Civil War? You Betcha. --Part 6: The 16th Connecticut

Historian Lesley Gordon followed the men of the 16th Connecticut from home to war and back again and found that "the war had a very long and devastating reach."

The men of this regiment had just been mustered in and barely trained when they fought at the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day of combat in U.S. history.    They rushed directly into a Confederate crossfire and then broke and ran, suffering 25 percent casualties in a matter of a few short minutes.  One soldier wrote, "We were murdered."

In a later battle, nearly the whole regiment was captured and sent to the infamous Confederate prison at Andersonville, where a third of them died from disease, exposure and starvation.  Upon return to home, many became invalids, emotionally numb or abusive of family.

Alfred Avery, traumatized at Antietam, was described as "more or less irrational as long as he lived."

William Hancock, who had gone off to war  as "a strong young man" returned so "broken in body and mind" that he didn't even know his own name.

--Old Secesh

PTSD in the Civil War? You Betcha.-- Part 5: Away From Home "Nostalgia"

Though the Civil War soldiers were less distant from home than today's soldiers, many were farm boys who had never been far from home.  They didn't have phones or Skype to keep in touch with loved ones back home .

This caused the condition Civil War doctors referred to as "nostalgia," an old term for despair and homesickness so severe that soldiers became listless and emaciated and sometimes died.  It was recognized as a serious "camp disease," but generally blamed on "feeble will," "moral turpitude" and inactivity in camp.  Few who had it were discharged or granted furloughs to go home.  Recommended treatment was drilling and shaming.  An even better cure was active campaigning.

After the war, the veterans faced not only wounds but also lingering ailments such as rheumatism, and chronic dysentery.

--Old Secesh

PTSD in the Civil War? You Betcha.-- Part 4: Aftermath of Battles and Disease

Many soldiers regarded the aftermath of battles to be even more disturbing than the battles themselves.  Some described landscapes so bloody that you could cross them and never touch the ground, walking only upon bodies and body parts.  When over 5,000 Confederates fell in the failed attack on Malvern Hill in Virginia in 1862, a Union colonel wrote: "A third of them were dead or dying, but enough were alive to give the field a singularly crawling effect."

Those wounded then faced the horrors of pre-modern medicine, including tens of thousands of amputations with unsterilized instruments.  Contrary to popular belief, however, that soldiers often bit down on bullets as surgeons did their amputations, opiates were available and widely dispensed.  This caused drug addictions.

Nor were bullets and shells the greatest threat to soldiers.  Diseases were a lot worse,  killing twice as many.  Long stretches in crowded and unsanitary camps brought about these deadly diseases, especially dysentery.

--Old Secesh

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Day of Infamy-- Part 2: Western Michigan Man Killed Later in the World War II

Commemorating the Day of Infamy in all my seven blogs today.

This Western Michigan men were killed later in the war:

JOSEPH A. BUTOR--  From Hesperia, USN Torpedoman's Mate Chief Petty Officer, lost with all hands on submarine USS Golet off Japan on June 14, 1944.


The Day of Infamy: Muskegon Men Killed on USS Arizona

Every year, all my blogs are devoted to the story of Pearl Harbor on this date.

From M Live!, 12-3-12.  Michigan.

Western Michigan area men killed in action at Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941:

HOMER HOPKINS--  20, of Muskegon, Seaman 1st Class on USS Arizona.

STANLEY MALINKOWSKI--  17, of Muskegon, USN Signalman on USS Arizona.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

PTSD in the Civil War? You Betcha-- Part 3: World War I's "Shell Shock" and "Gas Hysteria"

All wars are scarring.  The relentless trench warfare and artillery bombardments in World War I led to "shell shock."  The fear of gas attacks led to "gas hysteria."  Long campaigns in later wars brought the realization that all soldiers have a breaking point, causing "combat fatigue" and "old sergeant's syndrome."

In Vietnam, the line between civilians and combatants in that country blurred, drug abuse was rampant and veterans returned home to an often hostile public.  Improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan makes for a constant risk of death.

Civil War combatant was different from later wars in that battles were concentrated and personal.  Bullets rather than bombs accounted for over 90 percent of the carnage.  Most troops fought on foot, marching in tight formation and firing at relatively close range.

By the 1860s, they had new and more accurate, longer range rifles as well as improved cannons.  As a result, units were often cut down in mass, showering survivors with blood, brains and body parts of their comrades.

--Old Secesh

PTSD in the Civil War? You Betcha-- Part 2

The Civil War killed and injured over a million Americans, roughly a third of all those who served.  That, however, doesn't include its psychic wounds.  Military and medical officials in the 1860s had little grasp of how war could scar minds as well as bodies.

However, that is changing as conditions such as post-traumatic  stress disorder are becoming more well known.  medical officials are looking back for it in the Civil War.  Corporal John Hildt would certainly qualify as a sufferer.

Men back then who suffered psychic problems were thought to have character flaws or underlying physical problems.

An example would be of a soldier suffering from constricted breath and palpitations, a condition referred to as "soldier's heart" or "irritable heart" back then, was blamed on exertion or knapsack straps being drawn too tightly across the chest.  Asylum records frequently listed soldier problems as being the result of "masturbation."

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 4, 2015

Mort Kunstler Civil War Calendar-- December "My Friend, the Enemy"

The last monthly calendar for 2015 is "My Friend, the Enemy."  It shows a Confedrate and a Union soldier standing on stones along the river, talking and the Union soldier enjoying a smoke from his pipe and the Confederate having a cup of coffee.  There are other soldiers way off in the background and a town, probably Fredericksburg, in the background.

"RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER, VA., December 25, 1862.  Fraternization was ever-present in the Civil War.  This was not remarkable.  Johnny Rebs and Billy yanks spoke the same language, had the same backgrounds and cultures, possessed the same likes and dislikes.

"While it was easy to hate the enemy in abstract, sometimes individual feelings overcame sectional animosity.  A regular reason for fraternization was the federals' wish for tobacco and the Confederates' desire for coffee.

"This swapping of hard-to-get items is shown here as two enemy soldiers meet in the Rappahannock River.  |They had declared a truce by long-distance shouting.  Now they stand in no-man's land and silently enjoy luxuries for a few moments.

"Winston Churchill once dubbed the American Civil War "the last war between gentlemen."

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 133: Massachusetts Police Officer Criticized for Hanging a Confederate Flag in His Garage

From the Nov. 30, 2015, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**Guest: Why we shouldn't erase Confederate Memorial Hall's history.  (Vanderbilt University0 (Win)

From December 1, 2015.

**Greenfield police sergeant criticized for hanging Confederate Flag in garage.  (Greenfield, Mass.)  (Loss)  A person shouldn't be hassled for something they hang in their garage.

**Milton replacing Confederate Flag.  (Milton, Fla.)  (Loss/Win)  But they are replacing the battle flag with the First National flag.

**Trump Supporters Wave Racist Confederate Flags At Georgia Rally.

**UNLV President Says Keep Rebel Name; No Ties to Confederacy.  (Win)

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 132: About Those Farmingham State "Snowflakes"

From Nov. 28 and 29, 2015, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**Stone Mountain monument at center of racial tension over Confederate tributes.  (Georgia)  (Loss)  Those carvings again)

**Still Trying To Rid Itself of Confederate Flag, Enter 21st Century.

**University offers counseling to delicate snowflakes offended by Confederate Flag sticker in laptop.  (BizPac Review)  (Win)  OK, I already mentioned this, but it was too good to pass up.

--Old Secesh

The Confedracy Under Attack-- Part 131: Framingham Students Need Counseling Over Confederate Flag Sticker

From the Nov. 27, 2015, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**Mass. School Offers Counseling For 'Victims' of Confederate Flag Sticker.  (Daily Caller)  (Framingham State University)  (Loss, but this is really funny)

**I see the Austin, Texas, school board decision allows schools named after Confederates to have their names changed.  (Loss)  Kind of what I was figuring.

**Today could be the last time Georgia celebrates Robert E. Lee's birthday.  (Loss)

--Old Secesh