The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Freeman Conner of the 44th New York-- Part 1

The next person our Ellsworth presenter mentioned was Freeman Conner, who he said was lieutenant colonel of the 44th New York eventually.  He was wounded twice during the war at the battles of Fredericksburg and the Wilderness.

He commanded a brigade in the valiant defense of the Little Round Top on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.

At this point in the presentation, Doug Dammann was just showing pictures of these men and saying a few things.  I am doing a more involved research.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Lt. Knox Carries On His Friend's Legacy-- Part 3: "Remember Ellsworth"

Two months later, at the Battle of Bull Run, the 11th New York charged the Confederates with the fierce cry "Remember Ellsworth!"  Two weeks after that, Lt. Knox left the 11th to join the new 44th New York Infantry.

On the battlefield, Knox was very brave, receiving three brevets, including one for gallantry at the Battle of Gettysburg where the 44th played a key role in the defense of Little Round Top.

After the 44th mustered out in 1864, Edward Knox joined the regular Army until wartime wounds caused his retirement in 1870.  He returned to Chicago and joined the Illinois National Guard.  One day in late 1889, while walking door-to-door to raise money for his guard unit, he suffered a stroke and collapsed.

He died at the age of 52 on April 9, 1898, the 25th anniversary of Lee's surrender at Appomattox.  His funeral was held in the drill room of his unit's armory and he is buried at Hillside Cemetery in Eastport, Maine.  He was born in Eastport in 1838.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Lt. Knox Carries On His Friend's Legacy-- Part 2: How Knox Met Ellsworth

"I could scarcely credit my own senses.  There lay one whom I had seen only a few minutes before full of life and the vigor of early manhood, cut down without a moment's warning by the hand of an assassin.  His face wore a very natural expression and excepting its pallor, his countenance looked the same as in life."

In the 1850s, both Elmer Ellsworth and Edward Knox had moved to Illinois from different states.   Knox joined the National Guard Cadets militia in Chicago.  In 1859, Ellsworth took over the group and really turned it into one of the crack drill units in the country.  They even went on tour of the United States to show their prowess.

Accompanying Abraham Lincoln to Washington, D.C., Ellsworth went to New York City and raised the 11th New York Infantry.  The captains of the regiment were elected by the men, but Ellsworth appointed the first lieutenants.  Close personal friend Knox was 1st lieutenant of Company A.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Wofford College in the Civil War (Defeated UNC in Basketball Last Week)

Everything is still buzzing about that incredible upset that little Wofford College in Orangeburg, South Carolina, pulled over defending National Champion and #5 rated North Carolina last week!!  I am a big Tarheel fan, but believe me, I always love it when one of the little guys knocks off one of the big guys.

I also learned some facts about Wofford College during the war:

**   Baseball was introduced by Yankee soldiers.

**  Trustees of the school invested their entire endowment fund in Confederate bonds, which proved to be worthless.  However, you can still see those bonds in the school vault.

**  Many of the students and alumni fought for the Confederacy.

--  Old Secesh

Friday, December 22, 2017

Lt. Knox Carries On His Friend's Legacy-- Part 1: Friend of Elmer Ellsworth

From the May 24, 2011, New York Times Opinionator by Ronald S. Coddington.

Edward Knox was a trusted lieutenant and good friend of Elmer Ellsworth.

Minutes before he died, Ellsworth had dispatched a sergeant with the request for Knox and his men to come immediately.  Knox was just blocks away when Ellsworth was shot and didn't hear the shotgun blast.

Knox was  told to go in quickly to see his friend.  He recounted:  "Stepping over the body of Jackson who still lay where he had fallen, I entered the room where all that was mortal of my beloved friend and comrade lay in silent death.

"I will not attempt to describe my emotions while gazing at the sad scene."

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Major Edward B. Knox, One of Ellworth's Men

Doug Dammann also mentioned the name of Edward Knox as being one of Elmer Ellworth's men from the 11th New York and 44th New York regiments.

From the New York Unit History Project.

At age 23, Edward Knox was first lieutenant in Co. A, 11th New York.

After he left the 11th, enrolled August 8, 1861, at Albany, New York and mustered into Co. I, 44th New York as a first lieutenant, September 23, 1861,  for a three year tour of duty.  he became adjutant of the regiment September 25, 1861.

He was wounded in action on May 27, 1862, at Hanover Court House, Virginia.

Promoted to captain of Co. D on July 4, 1862 and mustered in as a major July 14, 1862.  Wounded in action May 8, 1862 at Laurel Hill, Virginia.

Mustered out with the rest of the regiment on October 11, 1864.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Stephen W. Stryker-- Part 6: Battle of Yellow Bayou

Took place in Louisiana May 17-18.

The 18th's casualties for this battle were:

1 enlisted killed, 3 enlisted died.

Missing: 3 officers, 32 enlisted.  This would be Stryker's group.

Yellow Bayou was the last battle in Gen. Banks' ill-fated Red River Campaign.

Also, one officer and 23 enlisted men died in the foundering of the steamer North America on December 22, 1864.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Stephen W. Stryker-- Part 5: What Happened

Also included was part of a journal about comings and goings in the regiment.

Captain Van Slyck resigned March 29 along with lieutenants Keats and White.  Why did all these men resign at the same time?  Another good story, probably.

Captain Palmer severely wounded at the Battle of Compta and gone to New York for ten days leave of absence.  Captain Bacon was wounded at the Battle of Sabine Crossroads and taken prisoner.

On the 16th, the first squadron commanded by Captain Haratzpha, Cos. B & I and the whole under the direction of of Lt. Col. Stryker were caught in a trap and captured wholly including Lt. Col. Stryker, Capt. Haratzpha and Lts. Paine and Glass.

This could be the event that brought about Stryker's downfall.

--Old Secesh

Monday, December 18, 2017

Stephen W. Stryker-- Part 4: The 18th New York Cavalry

I came across a reason why Lt.Col. Stryker may have been dismissed from service in the 18th New York Cavalry.

From Unit History Project, the 18th NY Cavalry.

On May 11, 1863, Col. James M. Bryne received authority to raise the Corning Light Infantry.  On June 24, their designation changed to cavalry.  They organized in New York City for three years service.  After first serving in the defenses of Washington, D.C., they spent the rest of their service in the western part of the war, including the Red River Campaign, where Stryker's fate may have been sealed.

The regiment was honorably discharged and mustered out on May 31, 1866 at Victoria, Texas.

During the 18th's service:  KIA 1 officer and 8 enlisted,  mortally wounded 8 enlisted and 6 enlisted from disease and other causes.

Old Secesh

Friday, December 15, 2017

MCCWRT Discussion Group Meets Saturday, Dec. 16

The McHenry County Civil War Round Table will meet this Saturday at Panera Bread in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The place is located on Northwest Highway (US-14) and Main Street.  Starting time at 10 a.m. and goes to noon.

Everyone is welcome to attend,even non-members.

The topic will be Sherman's capture of Savannah.

I am hoping to be there if this cold/flu or whatever gets over.  I have not been out of the house since Sunday.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Stephen W. Stryker-- Part 3: Buried in Chicago

After the war, Stryker was a member of GAR Post #5 (George H. Thomas) in Chicago, Illinois.  He died May 9, 1917.

From Find-A-Grave.

There is a mystery as to why he resigned on June 29, 1862 (shown as being discharged July 4, 1862.  The answer is put forth as to possible regimental politics.

He is buried at Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.

--Old Secesh

Stephen W. Stryker, One of Ellsworth's Boys-- Part 2

On October 13, 1863, he was commissioned into the Field & Staff of the 18th New York Cavalry Regiment.  On October 30, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and dismissed November 1, 1864.

Of two high ranking positions in regiments, he was  discharged from command of the 44th New York Infantry July 4, 1862, and dismissed from the 18th New York Cavalry on November 1, 1864.

I bet there is a story there but haven't found it.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Stephen Stryker, 11th and 44th New York Infantry-- Part 1

The speaker, Doug Dammann,  also talked about this man at the November 14, 2017, McHenry County Civil War Round Table meeting on Elmer Ellsworth.

I did some more research on him.

From Unit History Project for 11th New York Infantry Regiment.

He was 24 years old when he enlisted on April 20, 1861, in New York City as a first lieutenant.  On May 7, 1861, he was commissioned into "B" Company , 11th NY Infantry, raised and commanded by Elmer Ellsworth, and resigned July  29, 1861.

Promoted to captain on August 8 and major on August 12.

On October 12, 1861, he was commissioned into the Field & Staff of the New York 44th Infantry. and promoted to colonel the same day to command the regiment.  He was discharged from the 44th on July 4, 1862.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

44th New York Infantry: "Ellsworth's Avengers"

Formed in mid-1861 and wore Americanized zouave uniforms in honor of Col. Elmer Ellsworth.  Its first commander was Colonel Stephen Stryker, who formed it and was a former lieutenant in Ellsworth's 11th New York.  In his honor, they were known as the "Ellsworth Avengers."

Several other members were formerly in Ellsworth's Chicago Cadet Zouaves, including Col. Freeman Conner, Major Edward B. Knox and Captain Lucas Larrabee, who commanded Company B. and was killed at Gettysburg.

--Old Secesh

Civil War II-- 598: Confederate Statues and Plaque Still Going Up

From the October 23, 2017, Yahoo! News "New Confederate monuments are quietly appearing across the U.S."

Statues and plaques are going up and Blacks and the Super Left hate it.  This is some of thier reporting on it.

"The white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August inspired a wave of revulsion toward monuments honoring the slave-owning Confederacy.

"But those who honor the Confederacy have been quietly working to preserve, and even increase the number of Confederate monuments."

This according to the super-racist Southern Poverty Law Center who keeps watch on such things.Two recent honors went up in Orange, on the Texas-Louisiana border and Chickamauga, Georgia.  More than 30 more statues, monuments and plaque honor the Confederacy have gone up since 2000.

--Old Secesh

Monday, December 11, 2017

Civil War II-- 597: (b)altimore Shames Self

From the September 18 and 20, 2017, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  While you were sleeping, (b)altimore quietly removes all its Confederate statues.  (Loss)  Big shame on the city.  They now go lower case for their shame.

**  NAACP pushes to remove Battle of Chickamauga monument in Tennessee.  (Loss)  A petition going around with 2000 names.  They want to remove a statue of Confederate Lt. General Alexander P. Stewart.

Next (b)altinore Will Have To Tear Down Fort McHenry Because Of That Racist Anthem Written About It. --Old Secesh

Civil War II-- 596: Confederate Monuments Still An Issue

From the October 8, 2017, Yahoo! News.

**  Tribute to Confederate and Union troops in the same Florida park reflect an ongoing war over the monuments.

The Union monument was constructed first.

There have been at least 50 Confederate monuments put up since 1990.

There have been two in Iowa in the last 12 years.

These figures provided by the Southern Poverty Law Center which takes a leading role in the purge of all-things Confederate.

Sorry that they don't work on ways to prevent their people from running afoul of the law.

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 8, 2017

Elmer Ellsworth-- Part 12: Edwin Mortimer Coates

I am listing some of the U.S. soldiers that Elmer Ellsworth, though he died very early in the war, had an effect on.

Frank Yates, 11th New York

From the Arlington National Cemetery Site.

Edwin Mortimer Coates-- served in U.S. Army until 1900.  Appointed from Illinois as lieutenant in Ellsworth's 11th New York Infantry.

Resigned 4 August 1861 and became 2nd lt. in 2nd U.S. cavalry and transferred to 12th U.S. Infantry 20 September 1861 and served with them through the Civil War.  Was brevetted to captain for his service at the Battle of the Wilderness and captain on April 11, 1865.

He was involved in the Big Horn Expedition in 1876.

Continued serving in the U.S. Army with the 4th, 19th and 16th.  Became colonel of the 7th U.S. Infantry in 1893.  Retired 19 January 1900 and promoted to brigadier general on the Retired List.

Died September 13, 1913 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery alongside his wife.

--Old Secesh

Elmer Ellsworth-- Part 11: People Associated With Him

George Fergus--  Wrote 40 volumes on the early history of Chicago.

From Scots Great and Small, People and Places Blog.

George Fergus' father was Robert Fergus, born in Glasgow, Scotland, who arrived in Chicago July 1, 1839, and was a pioneer printer and publisher.

His oldest son was George Harris Fergus who became a partner with his father.

When Lincoln called for troops in 1861, he was appointed first lieutenant in Company K of the 11th New York Infantry, under the command of his old friend Col. Elmer Ellsworth.  The 11th was detailed to protect Abraham Lincoln and George was present at the death of Ellsworth May 24, 1861.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Pearl Harbor Timeline-- Part 2: Airfields and Battleship Row Under Attack

All posts in all blogs today commemorate the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.

All times a.m..

7:15:  Japanese carriers turn east and launch the second wave of the attack planes.

7:48:  Japanese planes begin bombing aircraft at the Naval Air Station Kaneohe Bay.

7:50:  Japanese planes bomb Hickam Field.

7:55  Japanese planes bomb Ewa Field and ships in the harbor, including the battleship USS West Virginia.

7:57:  Japanese planes bomb aircraft on Ford Island.  Others attack ships along Battleship Row.

Continued in today's Running the Blockade Civil War Naval blog.

--Old Secesh

A Pearl Harbor Timeline-- Part 1: Flying In

All of my blogs today commemorate Pearl Harbor

From the December 7, 2016, USA Today  "How Japan Struck in Two Waves."

Timeline of the First Wave:

December 7, 1941.  FIRST WAVE:  AIRFIELDS  All times a.m..

6:05  The Japanese launch a wave of 183 aircraft -- fighters, bombers and bomber-torpedo planes -- from their carriers and divide into groups.  Their targets are planes on airfields and ships at anchor in the harbor.
The attack starts at 7:48.

7:02:  U.S. radar operators at Opana mobile radar site on the northernmost point of Oahu, report a large number of incoming aircraft.

The planes are believed to be a group of 11 U.S. B-17 bombers flying in from California.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

December Civil War Chronology-- Part 2: Battle of Nashville

Dec. 15, 1864: The Battle of Nashville, Tennessee, begins.

Dec. 16, 1773:  Boston Tea Party, Massachusetts

Dec. 18, 1865:  The Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery becomes a part of the U.S. Constitution.

Dec. 24, 1814:  The Treaty of Ghent is signed  (War of 1812)

Dec. 29, 1812:  The USS Constitution defeats the HMS Java.  (War of 1812)

Dec. 31, 1862:  The Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro) Tennessee, begins.

--Old Secesh

Elmer Ellsworth-- Part 10: Death

Was removing the Confederate flag an opportunity to take a trophy back to the White House as a present for his friend Abraham Lincoln?  Was it a burst of patriotism?  In either case, Elmer Ellsworth ended up dead.  Within seconds, the shooter, James Jackson, was also dead.

The Union had its first officer killed and Ellsworth became an instant hero.

Francis Brownell who accompanied Ellsworth up to the roof then immediately killed Jackson.  He later got the Medal of Honor for his action that day.

The flag Ellsworth had cut down ended up cut into many pieces as souvenirs.

--Old Secesh

December Civil War Chronology-- Part 1: 13th Amendment

From the 2017 Civil War trust calendar.

Dec. 6, 1865:  13th Amendment officially ending slavery is ratified.

Dec. 7, 1862:  battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas.
1941:  Pearl Harbor Day

Dec. 11, 1862:  The Battle of Fredericksburg begins

Dec. 12, 1862:  The USS Cairo sinks in the Yazoo River, Mississippi.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Elmer Ellsworth-- Part 9: Going to Alexandria

On May 23, 1861, Virginia seceded from the United States.  Alexandria, Virginia, across the river from Washington, D.C., became a serious threat to the nation's capital.  The 11th New York was sent across the Potomac to take control of the city the next day.

They were also to secure the B&O Railroad and cut the telegraph lines going to the south.

On King Street, there was a hotel known as the Marshall House.  The owner, James Jackson, an ardent backer of secession and the new Confederate States of America, had hoisted a large First National Confederate flag atop his building.  It was said that Abraham Lincoln could see this flag from the White House, but that is not likely.

--Old Secesh

Elmer Ellsworth-- Part 8: Raises a New York City Regiment, The Fire Zouaves

Continued from December 1.

Elmer Ellsworth went to New York City and raised what became the 11th New York Infantry.  Most of the men were firemen.  The men elected their captains, but Ellsworth appointed the lieutenants who were mostly men from his famous tour.  A popular name for them was the Fire Zouaves.


According to Wikipedia, the 11th also was called many names:

Ellsworth Zouaves
First Fire Zouaves
First Regiment  New York Fire Zouaves
United States National Guard

By May, the regiment was in Washington, D.C., a very tense place with Virginia getting ready to secede as well as Maryland.  The city was surrounded.

--Old Secesh

Monday, December 4, 2017

Events From the Civil War, December-- Part 2: Clara Barton Born 1821

13--  Battle of Fredericksburg 1862

13--  Fort McAllister, Ga. surrenders, 1864

15-16--  Battle of Nashville, 1864

20--  South Carolina secedes, 1860

25--  Clara Barton born, 1821   Yesterday, December 3, our McHenry County Civil War Round Table had our Christmas dinner at the 1966 Grand Old Mill in Wonder Lake, Illinois, and we heard Clara Barton speaking about her very interesting life.

31--  Union Gen. George Meade born, 1815

31--  Second Battle of Murfreesboro, aka the Battle of Stones River begins, 1862

--Old Secesh

Strategy In the Snow: Mort Kunstler's Dec. 2017 Calendar


Fredericksburg, VA, November 28, 1862.  In late November of 1962, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia held a long line through the city of Fredericksburg and along the south side of the Rappahannock River.  Across the river lay the federal Army of the Potomac.

Lee was left to wait on the inevitable Northern attack, while trying to predict where and when it would come.  On the evening of November 29, 1862, General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson arrived at Lee's headquarters.  Jackson had been summoned by Lee to help plot a defense against the impending Northern attack.

Amid the silently falling snow of a severe winter storm, Lee and Jackson left to prepare for the battle to come.  The strategy plotted in the snow would again thwart the Northern advance on Richmond, destroy the ambitions of another Federal commander and earn Jackson and Lee greater reputations for invincibility.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction

In the last post, I mentioned December 8, 1863, as being the date of Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction.

This was a plan to reunite the country after the Union victory, which was looking more and more likely.  Large parts of the South were now  in Federal hands.

The Proclamation was divided into three main parts:

1.  Full pardon and restoration of property (except former slaves) to all engaged in the rebellion except for the highest Confederate officials and military leaders.

2.  New state governments could be formed when 10% of eligible voters has taken the Oath of Allegiance to the United States.

3.  Newly admitted Southern states would be encouraged to enact plans to deal with the freed slaves so long as their freedom was not compromised.

This was Lincoln seizing the initiative from Congress.

--Old SecAmnesty

Friday, December 1, 2017

Events From the War in December-- Part 1: 13th Amendment Passed

From Mort Kunstler's Civil War 2017 Calendar.

Dec. 3, 1826:  Gen. George B. McClellan, US, born.

Dec. 5, 1839:  Gen. George Custer, US, born.

Dec. 6,  1833:  Col. John S. Mosby, CS, born.

Dec. 6, 1865:  The 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, passed.

Dec. 7, 1941:  Pearl Harbor

Dec. 8, 1863:  Lincoln makes Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction.

--Old Secesh

Fredericksburg's Slaughter Pen Farm

In the last post, I mentioned that the Civil War Trust had bought acreage to preserve this important part of the December Battle of  Fredericksburg.  I'd never heard of it.

This is where the main Union attack took place south of town against Stonewall Jackson's Confederates.  It was on a slope, but not as high as Marye's Heights further north.

Union troops crossed the field and 4,500 casualties took place, hence the name Slaughter Pen Farm.

Before the land was bought, the area had only been partially preserved.

The Emerging Civil War blog site has a very interesting series of photos showing how the battle here evolved.

It is from the December 23, 2011 entry "A December Walk Across Slaughter Pen Farm."

--Old Secesh

Civil War Trust 2017 Calendar-- Part 12, December: Battle of Fredericksburg

FREDERICKSBURG, VA.  247 acres saved.

A photo of the Slaughter Pen Farm.

The Civil War Trust purchased the Slaughter Pen Farm for $12 million in 2006 -- the most expensive private battlefield effort in American history.

Five Union soldiers earned the Medal of Honor for their actions on this 208-acre property.  Recent efforts by the Trust and its allies have greatly enhanced preservation and interpretive opportunities at the southern end of this battlefield.

--Old Secesh

Civil War II-- 595: (d)allas Thinking of Shaming Itself Again In Dealey Plaza (Where JFK Was Shot)

From the September 18, 2017, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Winston-Salem's Confederate monument remains controversial 100 years after dedication.  (North Carolina)  Imagine a Confederate monument being controversial these days.  Who'd have "thunk?"

**  (d)allas' Dealey Plaza has a Confederate monument.   The Bryan Pergola. John Neely Bryan, the founder of (d)allas served a short time in the Confederate Army.  Dealey Plaza is called the "Birthplace of (d)allas."  It is also where JFK was assassinated.  Famed filmer Abraham Zapruder was standing at the Bryan Pergola when he filmed the Kennedy's assassination.

(d)allas spelled lower case because of its shame with another Confederate monument.

Well. It Just Will Have To Go Then.    --Old Secesh

Elmer Ellsworth-- Part 7: The Lincoln Connection

Ellsworth and his Zouave Cadets returned to Chicago on August 15, 1860 and were greatly welcomed.  The pride and joy of the city.

Elmer Ellsworth already knew Abraham Lincoln in Illinois.  He got Ellsworth to come to Springfield during the 1860 presidential election where he got a job as a clerk in Lincoln's law office and the favor was returned as the young man worked hard for Lincoln's election.

After winning, Lincoln asked Ellsworth to organize his security detail in his trip to Washuington, D.C..  Once there, Lincoln got him a clerkship in the War Office.  But, Ellsworth's days in the capital were short as he got a commission and left for New York City to raise a regiment of troops as the war approached.

A Chance to Lead Troops in Battle.  --Old Secesh