Friday, March 30, 2018

North Grove School in Sycamore, Illinois-- Part 1: Where Henry Beard's Children Attended

I have been writing about Henry Beard, the escaped slave who joined the 105th Illinois Infantry Regiment out of DeKalb County, campaigned with them and after the war relocated to Sycamore.

From the June 28, 2011, MidWeek  "School visitors take a trip through time."

There will be an open house and fun fair at North grove School (a one-room schoolhouse) hosted by the North Grove School Associates who keep the place going.  The school was built in 1878 by Swedish immigrants.

It is one of only two preserved one-room schoolhouses in DeKalb County.  At one time there were 130 of them.

--Old SeceshSchool

Thursday, March 29, 2018

National Vietnam War Veterans Day

I am sorry to admit that I was unaware of this holiday until I read the short article in the Chicago Tribune yesterday.

I regret that, but will remember it from now on and will write about it in all my blogs.

Thank You for Your Service  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Hunt for Buried Civil War Gold in Pennsylvania

From the March 17, 2018, Aol  "The FBI is overseeing a hunt for buried Civil War gold in Pennsylvania"  Jake Jones.

In Pennsylvania, a treasure hunting group called Finders Keepers are excavating a site in Elk County where there is a legend that 26 gold bars were lost by Union forces in 1863 when the convoy was ambushed and the gold buried.

This "stash" would be worth $27 million in today's money.  The treasure-hunters are accompanied by the FBI and the Department of Conservation and Natural resources.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

There Is Still a Brickville Road in Sycamore, Illinois

I looked it up and found that there was still a Brickville Road in Sycamore.  From DeKalb, you take Illinois Highway 23 north to Peace Road in Sycamore, turn left and then take that a ways north until you get to Brickville Road which goes in both directions.

You turn left again and go several miles and you will get to North Grove School, a one-room schoolhouse, where many, if not all of the Beard children attended school.  It still stands and is a museum.

Once a year in June, they have an open house.

--Old Secesh

Henry Beard-- Part 6: Family "Highly Respected"

"The Beard family was in the early days one of the only colored families living in the community, and they were highly respected by all who knew them..  They made their home about a mile from town on the Brickville Road.

"Reading from left to right those standing in the picture here are:  Raymond, Will, Ed, who is still living, and Frank.  Seated:  Mrs. Beard, Ella, Inez, Minnie, Georgiana, Mr. Beard and Fred.

"All are now deceased but Mrs. Beard and one son.  One child was born after this photo was taken.

"Photo through the courtesy of Mrs. Anna Schelk.

--Old Secesh

Monday, March 26, 2018

Henry Beard-- Part 5: Sycamore's First Black Family

Continued from March 16.

I am still doing research on Henry Beard, an escaped Kentucky slave, who joined the 105th Illinois in 1863.  After the war, he went with the regiment back to DeKalb County and settled there, raising a large family.

The Sycamore Historical Museum has an exhibit called General Dutton's America and part of it is on Henry Beard.  A picture accompanies it and "Sycamore's First Colored Family."

The picture shows the Beard family (but no date given, probably 1870s).

The text reads:  "So much interest was around recently when the True Republican (Sycamore, Illinois) published a picture of Mrs. Henry Beard, widow of a Civil War veteran and who is still living in this city, that another photo of the entire Beard family has been brought to this office for publication.

--Old Secesh

Friday, March 23, 2018

Civil War II-- 613: Deo Vindice and Battaglia

From the March 14, 2018, Google Alerts for Confederate Fort.

**  Mayor says new park will help Nashville 'atone' for slavery.

From the March 15, 2018, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Deo Vindice!  Some Confederate-friendly readers sound off on Judge Fred Battaglia.  (NC)  This is because the hateful people who tore down the Confederate statue in Durham and who were caught on camera were let off with no punishment.

**  State of Alabama fights local community over Confederate statue.

**  Madison mayor scoffs at offer to move Confederate remains from city cemetery.  (Wisconsin)

Will These Attacks Ever End?  --Old Secesh

Thursday, March 22, 2018

MCCWRT Discussion Group Meets Saturday, March 24: Arkansas and Missouri

The McHenry County (Illinois) Civil War Round Table discussion group meets this Saturday, march 24, 2018, at the Panera Bread restaurant at 6000 Northwest Highway in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Topic of discussion will be the war in Missouri and Arkansas.  I will talk about Confederate general Alexander Early Steen and the Battle of Prairie Grove in Arkansas in which the general was killed.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

Talk About It.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Civil War II-- 612: Five Things Learned From "Sixty Minutes"

From the March 13, 2018, Google Alerts for Confederate.

1.  Landrieu hasn't seen the statues since they were stored.  ((n)ew (o)rleans mayor)

2.  Still not clear where those statues will end up.

3.  Even liberal voices are divided on Confederate monuments.

4.  Richmond favors a new context for its statues rather than removal.

5.  Wynton Marsalis heard a family member deride the Lee monument in ((n)ew (o)rleans) since he was at least five years old.

(n)ew (o)rleans Lower Case Because of Its Shame.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Civil War II-- 611: "Sixty Minutes" on the Richmond Monuments

From the March 13, 2018, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Public hearing on Confederate monuments proposed next week.  (North Carolina)

**  Five things we learned about Confederate monuments from "60 Minutes."  I'll list the five things in the next post.

**  Public hearing set on moving Confederate monuments from North Carolina's Old State Capitol ground.

**  A different approach to the Confederate statue debate.

**  Opinion:  Confederate monuments issue complicated, emotional.  (No kidding)

**  Richmond's Confederate monument debate featured on '60 Minutes."


Monday, March 19, 2018

Civil War II-- 610: Attacks on Monuments in Battlefields Now

From the March 12, 2018, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Volunteers step up to clean defaced Confederate monument.  (South Mountain Battlefield)

**  Students, officials battle over Virginia school's'Confederate' identity.  (Lee-Davis High School)

**  Opinion/Letters  Confederate icons lack moral standing.

**  Historical Commission meeting on parameters for Confederate monument public comment meeting.

Old Secesh

Friday, March 16, 2018

Civil War II-- 609: And You Don't Think The Attacks Are Over?

From the March 12, 2018, Google Alerts for Confederate.

Just because you don't read about these horrible attacks every day does not mean they are over.  To get a real-time look at the incessant Confederate-Hate attacks, do a Google Alert for the word "Confederate."

Cities that have taken down their Confederate monuments are in lower case for  their shame.

**  How (n)ew (o)rleans mayor was inspired to take down Confederate monuments by a jazz great.

**  (b)altimore renames former Confederate site for Harriet Tubman.  (Loss)  No big surprise here.

**  The history and future of Confederate monuments.  (CBS  "60 Minutes")  This past Sunday.  More on this next week.

**  (b)altmore's Confederate history seen through the lens of intersectional feminism.  (What?)

--Old Secesh

Henry Beard-- Part 4: Service in the 105th Illinois

From the Illinoisgenweb.  105th Illinois.

Henry Beard   Company A   Cook of A.D.  (African Descent)  Date of Muster  August 6, 1863.  Absent, sick at Muster Out of Regiment,

--Old Secesh

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Henry Beard, Former Slave & Member 105th Illinois-- Part 3: After the War

After living at the two-room house for ten years and with an expanding family, Henry Beard and his wife moved to a larger house on another portion of land a mile west of Brickville Road.  The Beards eventually had fourteen children.

Henry Beard died at Glidden Hospital in DeKalb, Illinois, on December 11, 1924, hours after being clipped by a train at the age of 84.

By the time Judy Beard died in 1941, only two sons survived.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Henry Beard-- Part 2: A Cook With the 105th Illinois

From General Duttons's America by the Sycamore, Illinois History Museum.

Henry Beard was born a slave in Kentucky on January 1, 1831.  Described as a big, strong man and very dependable.  But, "like most colored men of the time, he could neither read nor write."  But he had an "ultra polite manner and deference to all of his acquaintances on the street."

He joined the 105th Illinois Infantry regiment in Kentucky and worked as a cook in Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Maryland.  This was dangerous because the regiment was often under fire and there was always the prospect of Confederate atrocities on black solders.

When the regiment was mustered out, he went along with them back to Illinois.  He met his wife, Judy Jones, at Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1871 and brought her back to Sycamore.

They lived in a two-room house in "The Big Woods" north of Sycamore.

There is a picture of his large family of 9 children.

--Old secesh

Henry Beard, Former Slave, Co. A 105th Illinois-- Part 1

Henry Beard was a former slave who mustered into Company A of the 105th Illinois Infantry Regiment in Tennessee in 1863.   He served as a cook for D Company.

After the war, he settled in Sycamore, Illinois,  with his wife, Judy Jones, also a former slave.

His daughter, Georgiana Beard, and her siblings attended the one-room North Grove School with neighboring Swedish children and learned to speak the language when it was the official language of the school.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The 44th and 12th New York Regiments At Gettysburg-- Part 2: 44th Casualties 111 of 460.

This is quite an impressive monument by looking at pictures of it.

The 4th New York was commanded at Gettysburg by Colonel James C, Rice who then took over command of the brigade at the battle.Freeman Conner then took command of the 44th.  It brought 460 men into the battle, losing 26 killed, 82  wounded and 3 missing.

Two companies of the 12th New York were in action at the battle:  Companies D and E and brought 116 men onto  the field, suffering no casualties.  Commander of the 12th was Captain Henry W. Ryder

--Old Secesh

The 44th and 12th New York Regiments At Gettysburg-- Part 1: A Butterfield Connection

From the Battle of Gettysburg site.

There is a monument to the 12th and 44th New York Infantry Regiments on the Little Round Top.  The castle-like structure was dedicated in 1893.  It is the largest regimental monument on the battlefield.

It was designed by Daniel Butterfield, the original commander of the 12th New York who was Meade's Chief of Staff at the battle.  Butterfield is the man who either wrote or rewrote the tune "Taps" for bugles which is so often played at funerals.

The monument is 44 feet high and 12 feet wide and has a spiral staircase going to the second floor observation deck.  The tower is not open these days.

There is a Maltse Cross on the monument which is the symbol of the Union's Fifth Army Corps.
--Old SeceshTaps

Monday, March 12, 2018

Got Books? Civil War That Is: March MCCWRT Meeting

This Tuesday, March 13, 2018, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table will meet at 7 p.m. at the Woodstock (Illinois) Public Library at 414 West Judd Street, just off historic Woodstock Square for the monthly meeting.

This month, instead of a speaker ion a subject, members and guests will discuss Civil war books they are reading.

I plan to talk about "Faces of Fort Fisher 1861-1864" by Chris E. Fonvielle Jr.. and "Firestorm at Peshtigo" by Denise Gess and William Lutz.

Whereas the second book tells the story of a huge fire that took place in Wisconsin in 1871, there were quite a few Union veterans involved, plus a huge Chicago connection in that William B. Ogden was involved in Peshtigo.  Also, more than 2,000 people were killed around this Wisconsin town in one night.  It is overlooked, though, because it took place on the same day as the Great Chicago Fire.

--Old Secesh

Roanoke's Last Confederate Veteran Dies in 1941

From the October 3, 2016, Roanoke (Va.) Times.

"James Washington Gwaltney, Roanoke's last surviving Confederate veteran and the city's oldest resident, died at 4:45 p.m. at his home."

He was 96 years old and lived in Roanoke's Virginia Heights neighborhood.

He enlisted at age 16 and fought at the Battle of Chickamauga.  Attended the veterans' reunion at Gettysburg in 1938, the 75th anniversary of the battle.

--Old Secesh

Friday, March 9, 2018

Col. Freeman Conner, 44th New York

From Find-A-Grave.

Lt. Colonel Freeman Conner

Born 22 March 1836, Exeter, New Hampshire

Died  28 March 1906, Chicago, Illinois

Buried at Graceland Memorial Park, Valparaiso, Indiana.

--Old Secesh

44th New York, Ellsworth's Regiment-- Part 2: Losses During War

Everyone reported to Albany where they organized under orders of October 21, 1861, mustering for three years' service.  They left the state on October 21, 1861.

They were honorably mustered out October 11, 1864, under Colonel Freeman Conner at Albany.

During the war they lost KIA:  Officers 5, 120 enlisted.  Of wounds received in battle: 1 officer and 62 enlisted.  Of disease and other causes:  2 officers and 145 enlisted

Fifteen men died at the hands of the enemy.

Total 335 deaths.

At the Battle of Gettysburg, they were on the left of the Union line at Little Round Top where they suffered their greatest loss with 111 killed, wounded or missing.

--Old Sexesh

Thursday, March 8, 2018

44th New York, Ellsworth's Regiment-- Part 1: An All-New York Unit

From the New York History Project.

They were sometimes called the Ellsworth Avengers or People's Ellsworth regiment.

Colonel Stephen W. Stryker recruited the regiment under the auspices of the Ellsworth Association of the State of New York.  The original plan was to get one man from every ward and town in the state but this was not adhered ro.

The counties of Albany and Erie each gave two companies and Herkimer County gave one.

--Old Secesh

Amanda Matilda Colburn Felch-- Part 2: Went to War With Her brother

From the Vermont Civil War Org.

Growing up on a farm as she did made her a very strong woman, one who could endure all the deprivations of military life as well as long marches.  She married at age 23 and became Mrs. Farnham and after the war married M.P. Felch.  But her honors serving as a nurse came under the name Colburn.

When her brother Henry enlisted in the 3rd Vermont she left her child at her parents and followed him into service.  She enrolled with the the regiment July 5, 1861 and was appointed hospital matron.  In the winter 1861-1862, there was much sickness in the Army of the Potomac.

From that winter to the Battle of the Wilderness she went from regiment to regiment as she was needed.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Amanda Matilda Colburn Felch-- Part 1: Served As Nurse

From Find-A-Grave.

12 November 1833 to 31 December 1893.

Buried at Greenwood Pioneer Cemetery in Canon City, Colorado.

From July 1861 to May 1865 was a nurse with the 3rd Vermont Volunteers with her brother Henry Colburn.

She was present and served at the Battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg and other engagements. Later served with Dorothea Dix.

Received a pension from the government 13 March 1891, by Special Act of Congress.

--Old Secesh

Civil War Trust 2018 Calendar, March: South Mountain

This calendar takes a look at some of the many Civil War sites the trust has bought land.


635 acres saved.

The Battle of South Mountain on September 14, 1862, is often overshadowed by the Battle of Antietam three days later, but the Union offensive here at several gaps helped push Robert E. Lee out of Maryland.

The Civil War Trust has saved 635 acres of crucial land here, with 100 acres alone saved in 2017, significantly expanding the boundaries of South Mountain State Battlefield.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Robert A. Cameron-- Part 4: Very Active in the Development of Colorado

Cameron finished the Civil War in command of the Department of the Gulf, based at Thibodeaux, Louisiana.  On March 13, 1865, he was brevetted to major general and resigned his commission June 22 of that year.

After the war, he went west and established farm colonies in Colorado where he promoted the economic development of Colorado and was very involved in its politics.  In 1870, he was influential in the establishment of Greeley, Colorado and then he became the superintendent of a new colony which became Colorado Springs.  He was also involved in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Later, he moved to San Francisco, but returned to Colorado where he served as a postal clerk in Denver. He died on his farm near Canon City, Colorado, and is buried there at Greenwood Pioneer Cemetery.

--Old Secesh

Monday, March 5, 2018

Robert A. Cameron-- Part 3: Western Theater

On February 3, 1862, he was transferred to the 34th Indiana and fought in Missouri at New Madrid and Island No. 10.  He was involved in the capture of Memphis, Tennessee.

On June 6, 1862, he was promoted to colonel and took over command of the 34th on June 15.

He was in the Vicksburg Campaign and was slightly wounded in the Battle of Port Gibson on May 1, 1863. Promoted to brigadier general August 11, 1863.

During the 1864 Red River Campaign, he led a division of the XIII Corps.

--Old Secesh

Robert A. Cameron-- Part 2: In the 9th and 19th Indiana Regiments

In 1857 he bought and began publishing the Valparaiso Republican newspaper and was a delegate to the Republican 1860 convention in Chicago and a big supporter of Abraham Lincoln.

When the Civil War began he was a medical doctor in Valparaiso and a member of the Indiana House of Representatives.  He enlisted in the 9th Indiana for three months and was elected captain of a company.  When that enlistment was up, he reenlisted for the duration of the war and was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 19th Indiana on July 29, 1861.

His regiment fought a skirmish at the Chain Bridge crossing the Potomac River into Washington, D.C. in September 1861.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Civil War II-- 608: Is This It For UNC's "Silent Sam?"

From the March 1, 2018, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Chasing the myth of Confederate gold.  Well, at least this is what I consider real Civil War history and not all these Civil War IIs.

**  Legislator opposes Confederate flag along I-95.  (Virginia)  She is a black person.  Of course.  You have to be very surprised when a black person doesn't like anything to do with Confederates.

I wish that the media would always tell us the race of people involved in this conflict.

**  Would UNC faculty actually tear down Silent Sam?  (North Carolina)

**  Burning Nazi/Confederate Flag, activist asks if racism exists in York.  (Pennsylvania)

**  February 28 inside the two decade fight to bring down a Confederate monument.

**  Jim Forsyth commentary:  Confederate statue controversy.

**  Confederate flag flies for now.

It Just Doesn't End.  --Old Secesh

Friday, March 2, 2018

Civil War II-- Part 607: Austin and Charlottesville

From the March 1, 2018, Google Alerts for Confederate.

Just in case you think all the Confederate-haters have taken a break from their desecrations.  They haven't.

**  Austin leaders debate Confederate names after AISD removes names.  (Texas)  (AISD is Austin Independent School District)    And, you know how any debate about this will end up.  Not favorable to the Confederacy.  The school district is changing names of schools.

Personally, I welcome the changing of any Confederate-named school which is primarily Black.

**  Shroud pulled from Charlottesville Confederate statues, following ruling.  (Virginia) (Win)  A circuit court judge has ordered it.  Lee and Jackson statues.  The city shrouded the statues after the August incident as a show of mourning.  The judge said the mourning period is over.

Wonder how long it will before certain groups "vandalize" the statues.

Vandalizing Confederate Statues Is Still a Hate-Crime and Nothing Less In My Book.  --Old Secesh

Gen. Robert A Cameron-- Part 1: From Indiana

From Wikipedia.

Last week (Feb. 26), I wrote about this man being buried in the Greenwood Pioneer Cemetery in Canon City, Colorado along with Amanda Matilda Colburn Felch, a Civil War nurse.

Robert Cameron was born in 1828 and died March 15, 1894.

American soldier, Union general, publisher and did a lot for the development of Colorado.

Born in Brooklyn, New York and family moved to Valparaiso, Indiana, in 1842.  Graduated from Indiana Medical College in 1849 and then went to Rush Medical College in Chicago, but gave up his medical career.

--Old Secesh

Napoleons By-the-Numbers-- Part 2: 1,692, That's A Lot

1,692--  Total number of Napoleons produced during the war, including 1,157 from five private foundries in the North and an estimated 535 from three private foundries and four government factories in the South.

1,227--  Weight in pounds of a standard Union Napoleon.

3,865--  Weight in pounds of the gun, carriage, limber, ammunition and miscellaneous implements required for service.

63.6--  Length of bore in inches.

4.62--  Bore diameter (caliber) of the Napoleon in inches.

1,619--  A Napoleon's range, in yards, when firing a 12-pound solid shot at 5 degrees elevation using a 2.5-pound powder charge.

1,128--  Weight in pounds of the Napoleon's two-wheel carriage.

1,620 Yards--  Where I'd Want To be Standing.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Napoleons By-the-Numbers-- Part 1: 8 Men, 6 Horses

From the Fall 2016, Civil War Monitor Magazine.

128--  Number of artillery rounds able to be carried in the Napoleon's caisson and limber.

8--  Number of men assigned to operate the Napoleon.

6--  Number of horses needed to move the Napoleon.

$565-$615--  Cost to produce a standard Napoleon in the North during the war.


About Those Napoleons-- Part 2: "They Were Beautiful, Perfectly Plain"

The Model 1857 12-pounder field cannons (12-pounder referring to the weight of a solid projectile they could fire) were popularly referred to as Napoleons.

It was created in response to U.S. Army officers' prewar demands for a lighter 12-pounder, and inspired by a design attributed to Emperor Napoleon III of France (hence the name), the Napoleon became the most widely produced and utilized cannon during the Civil War.

Its mobility, reliability and versatility -- it could fire solid shot (12 pounds), shell, case shot, and canister -- would earn the smoothbore weapon the praise of artillerists on both sides.

As one Confederate gunner noted of his unit's Napoleons,  "We would not have exchanged them for ... any other style of guns.  They were beautiful, perfectly plain ....  We are proud of them and felt towards them almost as if they were human ...."

--Old Secesh

About Those Napoleons (Cannons)-- Part 1: "Nothing Mortal Can Bear a Battery of Six Light Napoleon Guns"

From the Fall 2016 Civil War Monitor Magazine.

"There was one [Confederate] regiment that stood up before the fire of two or three of our long-range batteries and two regiments of infantry, and though the air around them was vocal with the whistle of bullets and screams of shells, there they stood, and delivered their fire in perfect order," wrote Inion Army surgeon Thomas Ellis in his diary about the Battle of Antietam in September 1862.

"[T]here they continued to stand until a battery of six light twelves were brought to bear on them, and before that they broke.  Nothing mortal can bear a battery of six light Napoleon guns...."

He was talking about the Model 1857 12-pounder field gun popularly known as "Napoleons."

A Mean Little Stinker.  --Old SecDuckandCover