Thursday, May 31, 2018

Newport News (Va.) Where the Name Comes From-- Part 2

There are several versions of where the name came from.  Probably the best goes back to the earliest days of the colony in the 1600s.

An early group of colonists left Jamestown to return the England after the Starving Time during the winter of 1609-1610 aboard the ship of Captain Christopher Newport.  They encountered a supply ship coming from England off Mulberry Island.  The new royal governor was aboard, Thomas West, the 3rd Baron De La Warr (from whose title the name Delaware came from).

He ordered them to turn around.

Of course, the name might come from the English captain.

The name Newport means "Good News."  Another possibility of the Newport News name is that the olde English word "News" which means "New Town."

So, There You Have It.  --Old Seceshport

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Newport News (Va.): Where the Name Came From?-- Part 1

I have been writing a lot about the defenses of Newport News during the Civil War of late.  Not just in this blog, but also in my Running the Blockade Civil War Navy blog.  It came to mind that the name Newport News was not a real common name for a city with the word "News."  Newport, of course could mean that it was a new port.

Where did it get that name?  Well, Wikipedia to the rescue.

Newport News is a city in Virginia with a population of 180,412, the 5th most populous city in the state.  It is included in the Hampton Road Metropolitan Area at the southern end of the Virginia Peninsula.  Many residents are employed at the Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

The area was referred to as Newportes Newes as early as 1621.

However, the way it got its name is not known for sure.

Next, the best explanation.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Markers and Remains in Newport News, Va.-- Part 4: An Arch and A Mill


25th Street and West Avenue.  Originally built in 1919.  Returning World War I veterans disembarking from ships marched through it in victory parades.  Today, it is a memorial to the men and women of our Armed Forces.

It hosts Newport News' annual Memorial and Veterans Day ceremonies.


13055 Warwick Boulevard.  Earthwork located adjacent to this 1820 tide mill was western location of Magruder's first line of defense in the 1862 Peninsular Campaign.

Stuff to See for the Civil War Buff in Newport News.  --Old Secesh

Monday, May 28, 2018

Markers and Remains of Newport News-- Part 3: Skiffes Creek and Lowe's Balloon


22 Enterprise Drive.  Earthwork that was part of the Skiffes Creek Line built to defend Mulberry Island and the James River during the 1862 Peninsular Campaign.


1401 Old Courthouse Way.  1810 courthouse was Union General Erasmus D. Keye's IV Corps Army headquarters.  Professor Thaddeus Lowe's gas balloon Constitution provided reconnaissance of Confederate troop movements from here.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Markers and Remains of Newport News-- Part 2: The Sea Battles

CONGRESS AND CUMBERLAND OVERLOOK--  26th Street and West Avenue.  Scene of the March 8, 1862, engagement between the CSS Virginia and these two Union ships which were destroyed.

MONITOR AND MERRIMACK OVERLOOK--  Anderson Park.  16th Street and Oak Avenue.  Site of the famous Battle of the Ironclads which forever changed naval architecture.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Markers and Remains of Newport Defenses-- Part 1

From the Newport News (Va.) Department of Parks site.


BATTLE OF DAM #1:  Newport News Park at 13564 Jefferson Avenue.    On April 16, 1862, this engagement was Union Gen. George B. McClellan's only major attempt to break attempt to break through the Confederate lines constructed by Gen. John B. Magruder.  Five miles of earthworks remain.

BATTLE OF LEE'S MILL--  180 River's Ridge Circle.  Earthen fortifications were the scene of an April 5, 1862, engagement that prompted McClellan to besiege the Confederate Warwick-Yorktown Defensive Line during the 1862 Peninsular Campaign.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Confederate Defenses at Newport News, Va.-- Part 2

From North American Forts.

Confederate forces fortified around Newport News before the Peninsular Campaign started.

Union works opposing Dam #1 Battery still exist.

WYNN'S MILL REDOUBT--  and supporting earthworks in the upper Warwick River in York County.  (about 3000 yards south of the RED REDOUBT in Yorktown) are still extant and well-preserved.

YOUNG'S MILL REDOUBT--    (4 guns) on Deep Creek, at 13055 Warwick Boulevard, near Oyster Point Road, was part of the Poquoson River Line.


HARWOOD'S MILL REDOUBT--  (1 gun)  These last two were near Tabb in York County.  (Both may no longer exist.)  Confederates evacuated this line in April 1862.

--Old secesh

Monday, May 21, 2018

Confederate Defenses of Newport News-- Part 1

From North American Forts.

There are about ten miles of preserved Confederate earthworks from the 1862 Peninsular Campaign are located along the Warwick Line in various city parks.

These include:

Dam #1.  Battery (1 gun) at Newport News Park on Constitution Way.

Lee's Mill Redoubt  (3 guns) at River's Ridge Circle (Lee's Mill Park).  There is a Confederate "Lee's Mill Earthworks" state marker at Warwick Boulevard at Lee's Mill Drive.

Lee Hall mansion (built 1858) on Yorktown Road (admission fee).

Skiffe's Creek redoubt (3 guns) at 22 Enterprise Drive.

--Old Secesh

Mulberry Island Point Battery and Land's End Battery

These are by Fort Crafford, Virginia.

The Confederate Engineer Bureau was asked in 1862 to compile a list of fortifications in the Confederacy.  Part of their March 12, 1862, report to Secretary of War Judah Benjamin said  that the Mulberry island Point Battery had five 42-pdr. guns mounted en barbette and two 8-inch Columbiads enroute to the site.  Fifteen casemates building rapidly and a large covering work nearby (Fort Crafford) nearly completed.

There is also a map of Fort Huger & Mulberry Point Battery with soundings.  This was made by  Confederate Engineers.  This is available at Amazon for $15.

I have been unable to find out anything about the Land's End Battery, the 2-gun battery that North American Forts mentions might have been built.

--Old Secesh

Friday, May 18, 2018

Fort Crafford, Va.-- Part 5: Built to Cover the Water Battery

From North American Forts.

Built 1862 in Newport News, Confederate 16-gun earthwork fort near Mulberry Point in modern Fort Eustis military reservation.  Built to cover the four-gun water battery built in 1861, Mulberry Island Point Battery, (no remains).

Abandoned to Union forces who never did use it afterwards.

Three magazines and two bombproofs remain today within existing earthworks.

The foundation of the 1749 Crafford House (demolished 1924) are also within the fort's walls.

Another small 2-gun battery may have been located at the southern end of the island (Land's End Battery) to cover the mouth of the Warwick River.

Public access to the site restricted.  require at the gate of Fort Eustis.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Fort Crafford, Va.-- Part 4: Never Saw Action

The Mulberry Point Battery, on the north side of the island, was a water battery erected to guard the Swash Channel on the James River.  It was a complement to Fort Huger on the south side of the river.

In 1862 and enclosed earthwork covering approximately eight acres was constructed near the battery to protect it from land attack and to be a refuge in case the Minor Farm Line was overrun.

This new fort was eventually called Fort Crafford (sometimes confused with the name Crawford) after the name of the family that owned the land.  The house itself was inside the fort.Since this new fort was about a half mile from the Warwick Line, it was not considered a part of it

Confederates withdrew from the fort in May 1862 with the approach of McClellan's troops.  The fort never saw action.

The foundation of the Crafford House was investigated in the 1970s.  The brick and mortar foundation is now surrounded with a fence.  Other archaeological investigations have found three sites within the fort with artifacts dating to the 1600s.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Fort Crawford (Va.)-- Part 3: Fort Crafford?

The first place I read about this fort referred to it as Fort Crawford, but I was unable to find out anything about it in search other than a Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien in Wisconsin.  Evidently, it is actually Fort Crafford, taking its name from the family that owned the land where the fort was built.

From Wikipedia.

Fort Crawford was a pentagonal earthwork built 1862 and became part of the Confederacy's Warwick Line established to thwart Union soldiers coming up the Virginia Peninsula from Fort Monroe.  It was the James River terminus of the line and included fortifications at Lee's Mill as well as Dam No. 1 and Wynne's Mill in Newport News Park.  This line extended to the York River to the north.

--Old Secesh

Fort Crawford (Va.)-- Part 2: Evacuated With McClellan's Approach and the Stolen Commission

From various sources.

Confederates under Gen. John B. Magruder fortified the James River shore to deter Union ships from proceeding upriver and attacking Richmond.

In 1861 they built Fort Crawford on Mulberry Island and it was abandoned a year later as Union Gen. McClellan and his 125,000 troops approached.

One of the families on the island were the Greens.  Their son Bennett Green had become a surgeon in the Confederate Navy.  Homes left abandoned by Southerners on the island were ransacked by Union troops.  One man found Bennett's commission and took it as a souvenir, but years later returned it to the Green family.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Fort Crawford, Virginia (Fort Eustis Now)

I wrote about Fort Crawford, a Confederate fort, in my Not So Forgotten War of 1812 blog today.  Today the fort is part of Fort Eustis Army Base, which was named after Abraham Eustis, a War of 1812 veteran and first commander of Fort Monroe.  It was also used during both world wars.

For more information go to the site on My Blogs List to the right of this and click on Not So Forgotten.

--Old Secesh

Monday, May 14, 2018

10th Wisconsin Infantry-- Part 4: Field Officers

Field Officers


Alfred R. Chapin
John G. McMynn
Duncan McKercher


Joshua J. Guppey
John G. McMynn
Dincan McKercher


John G. McMynn
Henry O. Johnson  (Killed at Battle of Perryville)
John H. Ely
Duncan McKercher
Robert Harkness

--Old Secesh

Friday, May 11, 2018

10th Wisconsin Regiment-- Part 3: Just the Facts

From Genealogy Trails.

The regiment was organized October 14, 1861 at Camp Holton, Milwaukee in Wisconsin.  They signed up for a three-year enlistment.  The 10th mustered out October 25, 1864 at Milwaukee.

At muster in 1861, they had 1,049 commissioned and enlisted and one drafted.

Killed or Died of Wounds During War:  5 officers, 91 enlisted

Died of Disease:  1 officer, 147 enlisted

Prisoner of War:  191   Died While POW:  77

Disabled:  212

Missing:  7

Deserted:  16

Discharged:  109

Mustered Out:  298

Transferred Out:  133

--Old Secesh

Daughters of Union Veterans-- Part 2: Local Groups Called Tents

Local groups of the organization are called Tents.  They are named for Army nurses or any loyal woman whose patriotic deeds during the war are recorded.

There are three Tents in Minnesota:

#1  Mary Starkweather Tent in Minneapolis

#2  Juline Barr in Minneapolis

#24  Barbara Buril in Montgomery.

Current state officers:

Department President Marreen Minish

Department Senior Vice President Jennifer Parker

Department Junior Vice President Anita Platt

--Old Secesh

Daughters of Union Veterans in Minnesota Holding State Convention-- Part 1

From the April 14, 2018, Press & News (Minnesota)  "Daughters of Union Veterans to host 103rd annual convention."

The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Department of Minnesota, will host its 103rd annual convention April 20 and 21 in Maple Grove, Minnesota.

The national organization was organized on May 30, 1885, in Massilion, Ohio, with the first meeting June 3, 1885.  In order to belong, a woman has to be a direct descendant of a man who served in the Union Army or Navy and must be at least eight years of age.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, May 10, 2018

10th Wisconsin Infantry-- Part 2

From Wisconsin

Over 100 Burlington residents were in Company C, 1st Wisconsin.

Burlington men were also in Company F, 2nd Wisconsin at the Battle of Bull Run.  One Burlington man was killed there.  In 1880, his body was moved to Burlington Cemetery where more than 250 Burlington residents are buried who served during the war..

Burlington's original name was Foxville in 1837.  In 1839 it was changed to Burlington.

--Old Secesh

10th Wisconsin Infantry Regiment-- Part 1

 From Family

I have been writing about the Battle of Perryville in which many men from the Burlington / Walworth County, Wisconsin, died.

The 10th Wisconsin mustered into service October 14, 1861 and mustered out October 25, 1864.  Then, Veterans (those who re-enlisted) and recruits transferred to the 21st Wisconsin.

Company A came from Walworth and Lafayette counties.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Illinois Regiments At the Battle of Perryville

While researching the Battle of Perryville for the Wisconsin Regiments and Burlington, Wisconsin, I noticed there were a whole lot of Illinois regiments at the battle as well.


Definitely a Lot of Illinois Troops At This Battle.  --Old Secesh

DeKalb's Fairview Park Cemetery

Henry Beard is buried here as is his wife.

Henry Beard, 1941-1924.  "This former slave was mustered into Company A of the 105th Illinois Infantry Regiment while in Tennessee in 1863.  he served as a cook with the DeKalb Country troops.

"When the war was over, he settled north of Sycamore with his wife who was also a former slave."

The cemetery is located at 1600 S. First Street in DeKalb.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

105th Illinois Veteran Henry Beard's Carriage Ride to Sycamore in 1916

I wrote a lot about this man in March and April.  He was an escaped slave who joined the 105th Illinois in 1863 and fought with them the rest of the war and followed them back to DeKalb County, settling north of Sycamore and sending his children to a Swedish-speaking school.  He is buried in DeKalb's Fairview Park Cemetery

From the February 24, 2016, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1916, 100 Years Ago.

"While going from DeKalb to visit their sons who live near Sycamore, Mr. and Mrs Henry Beard encountered serious difficulties.  Their horse stumbled and fell and broke a thill.

"It could not rise and the aged couple could not raise the animal.  So waiting with patience till assistance came along, the animal at last was raised and sent on the journey."

A thill is part of how a horse is hitched to a wagon or carriage.

Evidently, Henry Beard and his wife had moved to DeKalb and some of their children still lived in Sycamore.

--Old Secesh

Gen. Meade's Presentation Revolver

While looking up things about  General George Gordon Meade's spurs at auction (see April blog entries), I found mention that a presentation revolver given to him is in the Autry Museum.  Why not find out a little more about it while I'm on the subject.

The Autry Museum of the American West is located in two places in Los Angeles.  It was established in 1988 by Gene Autry.

The Western Frontier: Stories of Fact and Fiction exhibit features Remington, Colt, Smith & Wesson, Colt and Winchester firearms.

One of  these is a Winchester used by Teddy Roosevelt.  There is also Annie Oakley's gold-plated handgun.  And, a presentation Remington Revolver once used by Gettysburg hero George Gordon Meade.  It is cased with a Serial Number 40113, manufactured by E. Remington & Sons, 1864.

--Old Secesh

Monday, May 7, 2018

(n)ew (o)rleans Mayor Considers Presidential Run

I saw on TV yesterday that the mayor of that sad city is contemplating running for president.  I sure hope so.  He will never get my vote after what he did to those statues.

As a matter of fact I will contribute money and work for any of his opponents.

He definitely will get no  support from me.

(n)ew (o)rleans because of the city's shame.

How Can You Support A Guy Who Desecrates Statues for Political Gain?   --Old Secesh

Ground Breaking Ceremony for New Museum in Fayetteville, N.C.

From the April 18, 2018, Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer  "Ground broken for $65 million Civil War history center in Fayetteville."

The North Carolina Civil War and Reconstruction History Center next to the remnants of the old Fayetteville Arsenal (destroyed by Sherman) is now underway with ground breaking.  It on Arsenal Avenue on Haymount Hill.

So far, $27 million has been raised from governmental bodies and private donations.

The first phase now under way consists of the rehabilitation of three historic buildings on the site.  One will be a support center, one for digital education and the third for studying the period.

It is hoped that this first phase will be completed in twelve months.

Always Good When a New Museum Comes.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, May 5, 2018

MCCWRT Meeting This Tuesday, May 8

The McHenry County Civil War Round Table will hold its monthly meeting this Tuesday, May 8, at the Woodstock Public Library at 414 W. Judd Street, just a couple blocks off the historic Woodstock Square.

The meeting is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m..

This month's speaker is Mary Abroe who will talk about "The Preservation of Antietam."

Looking Forward To It.  --Old Secesh

Friday, May 4, 2018

Civil War Trust May 2018 Calendar. Shepherdstown, West Virginia

Along with a really nice photo of each battlefield, the Civil war Trust highlights a battlefield where it has preserved acreage of hallowed ground for future generations.


343 acres saved

The Battle of Sherpherdstown occurred when, following the Battle of Antietam, Union forces sought to pursue the Confederate Army across the Potomac River.

Today, in partnership with the Jefferson County Historic Landmarks Commission, the Land Trust of the Eastern Panhandle and the Jefferson County Farmland Protection Board, the Trust has preserved more than 340 acres of this battlefield.

Again, Thanks Trust!!  --Old Secesh

Wisconsin Regiments at the Battle of Perryville

These were the Wisconsin regiments that participated at the Battle of Perryville.  The men listed on yesterday's post most likely came from these regiments since a regiment during the war was often one made up mostly of companies from a particular county.

1st Wisconsin--  Lt.Col. George B. Bingham
10th Wisconsin--  Col. Alfred Rose Chapin

15th Wisconsin--  Col. Hans Christian Heg
21st Wisconsin--  Col. Benjamin Jeffrey Sweet

24th Wisconsin--  Col. Charles Hatthaway Larrabee

--Old Secesh

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Burlington, Wis. Civil War Deaths on October 8, 1862

While researching the role played by Burlington, Wisconsin, in the Civil War, I came across a list of men who died in the war from Burlington and the surrounding area.  I noticed that there were a lot of men killed on one particular day, October 8, 1862.

That date would be the Battle of Perryville in Kentucky, also called Chaplin Hills or Chaplin's Hill.  It was the end of the Confederate Heartland Offensive.

Same means killed Chaplin's Hill, Perryville, Kentucky.

Field, Charles A (of Rochester), killed Chaplin's Hill, Perryville Ky.
Hill, Daniel (of Waterford)     same
Hunt, Daniel corporal  (of Wheatland)    same
Johnson, Henry O. --  major--  10th Wisconsin

Johnston, James              Perryville
Lueck, Julius Jr.    same
Manning, Frank E,  (born 1843) (of Elkhorn),  KIA  Buried Hickory grove Cemetery.
McKesson, Andrew J.  (sergeant)   same

Sutton, Edward (of Waterford/Rochester)   same
Weinborn, John  (of Burlington)    same

Heavy Losses for One Day.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Plinny Perkins, Burlington, Wis.-- Part 2: Abolitionist

Plinny Perkins was one of the early residents of Burlington.  He and others were attracted to the area in southeast Wisconsin because of the fertile fields for agriculture and the availability of water power from the Fox and White rivers.

He was a shareholder in the abolitionist newspaper The American Free Man which was published in Milwaukee and later Waukesha.

He died 21 August 1889 and is buried at Burlington Cemetery in section E.

His house still stands at 565 W. State Street.

Quite the Entrepreneur.  --Old Secesh

Plinny Perkins of Burlington, Wis.-- Part 1: A Saw Mill and Woolen Mill

From Find-A-Grave and other sources.

On April 24, 2018, I mentioned the woolen mill in Burlington, Wisconsin, which supplied wool cloth for Union uniforms during the Civil War.  The mill was owned by Plinny (also spelled Pliny) Merrick Perkins.

He was born in Oneida County, New York on January 24, 1812.  At age 22 he rode a horse from there to Joliet, Illinois, in 1834.  He moved from there to Burlington, Wisconsin, where he bought a half section of Government land from Moses Smith and built a saw mill..

In 1843, he expanded to include a woolen mill, the first in Racine County, if not the whole state.  This is the one that provided the cloth for the uniforms.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Hate Crime On the Grave of Andrew Jackson

I was shocked to find out that those radicals on the far left have struck again.  This time they desecrated the grave of President Andrew Jackson in Nashville.  Obscenities, anarchist symbols and the work "Killer" was written on his grave and other things were directed at the grave of his wife Rachel.

This is a carry over from the horrible things they are doing to Confederate monuments.

At least the media is not referring to it as vandalizing, but they are not calling it a hate crime, which it is.

And, he wasn't EVEN in the Civil War fighting for the Confederacy.

Confederate Haters every bit as bad as white supremacists.

Some How, Some Way, This Needs to Stop.  --Old Secesh

Henry Beard, One of First Blacks in Sycamore-- Part 1

Continued from April 27, 2018.

From the March 15, 2011, DeKalb County New Values Magazine  "Henry Beard -- One of the First African Americans to Settle in the Area."

He was born a slave in Kentucky in 1840.  In 1862, the Union Army controlled most of the state and he got his freedom.  He was hard-pressed to find work and a new life, but fortunately for him, the Union regiment stationed in his area was the 105th Illinois Infantry from the DeKalb and Sycamore area.

The unit's commander hired Henry as a laborer and eventually he became cook for the adjutant general of the area.

After the war, he followed his original regimental commander back to Sycamore.  In a 1924 story in the True Republican, Henry Beard was reported as "the original colored citizen of Sycamore."

--Old Secesh