The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Fort Wood in NY Harbor During the Civil War-- Part 1: Dating From the War of 1812

I have been writing a lot about this fort and its connection to the War of 1812 in my Not So Forgotten: War of 1812 blog.  Today, I also posted about it in my Tattooed On Your Soul:  World War II and Cooter's History Thing blogs.  You can see what I wrote by clicking on My Blogs to the right of this.

Now Fort Wood serves as the base of the Statue of Liberty.

From Civil War Talk  Forgotten Forts.

Fort Wood was used intermittently from the War of 1812 to the Civil War.  And it wasn't always as a fort.  At times it was an ordnance depot for the harbor's defenses as well as an immigration station.

The fort was also updated to add more cannons.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Camp Hobson, Kentucky-- Part 1: Union Recruiting and Training Camp

I have been writing about Colonel Ethelbert Ludlow Dudley of the 21st Kentucky Infantry Regiment (U.S.) who died of disease two months after his regiment was mustered in, Feb. 20, 1862.  Since the regiment did its initial training at Camp Hobson in Kentucky, he would have been on command then.

One source said Camp Hobson was located near Greensburg, Ky., along the Green River.  Another source had it listed  by Glasgow in Green County.

The Historical Marker Project has the camp bu Campbellsville in Taylor County.  This is probably the more correct location.

The site goes on to say that the camp operated December 1861 to February 1862 and that it was a Union recruiting and training camp named for Edward H. Hobson and on the farm of James Allen Sublett.  Between December 1861 and February 1862, U.S. Mustering Officer  Captain S.M. Kellogg mustered nearly 2,000 recruits into service there.  They became the  13th and 21st Kentucky Infantry regiments.

--Old Secesh

21st Kentucky Infantry (Union)-- Part 1: "The Old Infantry"

From Wikipedia.

The 21st was organized at Camp Hobson, near Greensburg, Kentucky, and Camp Ward, Kentucky, and mustered in for a three-year enlistment on December 31, 1861, and January 2, 1862, at Green River Bridge, Kentucky, under the command of Colonel Ethelbery Ludlow Dudley.

Before the war, most of the regiment's men were members of "The Old Infantry," a state guard unit commanded by Captain Samuel Woodson Price, who would later command the regiment.

The regiment mustered out of service December 9, 1865.

All of its duty was in the Western Theater.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

MCCWRT: The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal-- Part 3: Capture of Generals Kelley and Crook

One way of disabling the canal was to breach it.  This meant putting a hole in a side of it and letting the water out.

After it was determined that Maryland was not going to join the Confederacy, frequent raids were made on it.

Union Brigadier General Benjamin Franklin Kelley and Major General George Crook were captured along the canal by a small group of Confederate partisans near the end of the war, on February 21, 1865.  They were taken to Richmond but were released by a special exchange on March 20.

His Army career didn't last long after that as he resigned on June 1.

--Old Secesh

4th Kentucky Cavalry: Col. Green Clay Smith's Short Command

Continued from November 13, 2018 blog entry.

Green Clay Smith was the commander of this regiment for a short time in 1862.  Its first commander was Colonel Jesse Bayles.

While in Tennessee, Colonel Green Clay Smith took command in May 1862.    While he commanded the regiment, they were involved in several engagements with with Confederate cavalry in Tennessee.

Lebanon, Tennessee, was an especially hard fought engagement with the Confederates under John Hunt Morgan.  For gallant service, Smith was made a brigadier general the same month he took command.

--Old Secesh

Monday, November 26, 2018

MCCWRT: The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal-- Part 2: Severely Damaged in Antietam and Gettysburg Campaigns

The C&O Canal was the only direct route in Washington, D.C., for coal.

The Confederates, despite the strategic importance of the canal, did not attack it early in the war because of hopes that Maryland would join the Confederacy. but did develop plans of attack in case that didn't happen.  Prime spots to attack would be aqueducts and culverts where the canal crossed water.

Jackson destroyed the C&O Railroad Bridge

While the CSS Virginia was still a threat to Washington, canal boats were taken and sunk downstream on the Potomac River to prevent its approach.

During the Confederate incursions northward ending in the Battles of Antietam and Gettysburg, the C& O Canal was heavily damaged.

--Old Secesh

Friday, November 23, 2018

MCCWRT October Meeting: Charlie Banks on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal-- Part 1

This important canal was located along the Potomac River and was a major target of Confederate raids during the war.  Let's just say, parts of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal (C&O Canal) were destroyed at times.

It was built and ran alongside the Baltimore & Ohio Rail Road.

As important as this canal was, it is surprising that the North did not do more to protect it.  It was a major supply route to Washington, D.C..   Nor did they do much to defend the Northern Railway from Baltimore to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The C&O Canal dates to the American revolution.  The Point of Rocks section of it was a particularly narrow spot along the Potomac River.

Charlie Banks used a slide presentation to make his points.  They included source photos and ones he had taken himself.

--Old Secesh

McHenry County Civil War Round Table October Meeting

The McHenry County Civil War Round Table meeting was held Tuesday October 9 at the Woodstock Library in Woodstock, Illinois,   We meet here every second Tuesday of every month except January and February.

Elections to be held at next month's meeting.

Again we will be offering a $1,000 scholarship to students from McHenry County   They will be writing an essay on a Civil War-related theme.  Volunteers needed for a committee which will have two meetings.

The discussion group topic for October will be "Divided Loyalties" about families who sent soldiers to both sides.  I have been doing research on the Clay family in Kentucky which is one of those families.

Our Christmas party will be held December 2 at the Pinecrest Golf Club in Huntley.  It will be a buffet which a special appearance by Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln.

Charlie Banks gave a presentation on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal during the war.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

MCCWRT Discussion Group Meets This Saturday: Civil War Special Forces

The discussion group of the McHenry County Civil War Round Table will meet this Saturday at Panera Bread at 6000 Northwest Highway in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  We'll meet at 10 a.m. to noon.

The topic this month is Civil War Special Forces like scouts, spies and sharpshooters.

I plan on talking about John Yates Beall and James Duke as I have written a lot about the first one in this blog and my Civil War Navy blog.

Everyone is welcome, even non-members.  All you need is an interest in history.  (We do not always stay on topic and often get side-tracked.)

Come On Down!!  --Old Secesh

Col. Ethelbert Ludlow Dudley-- Part 2: Medical Profession

From Find-A-Grave.

Born 1818 in Fayette County, Kentucky.

Died 22 February 1862

Buried in Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Kentucky.

Educated at Harvard  and the Transylvania Medical School.  He served as professor of Anatomy at Transylvania and at the time of his death had also joined the new Kentucky Medical School in Louisville.

The GAR Post in Lexington, Ky. is named for him.

From the  Feb. 26, 1862, Observer and Reporter:

Remains of Col. Ethelbert Dudley arrived 24th and funeral held today..  Big parade and burial in Lexington Cemetery.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Colonel Ethelbert Ludlow Dudley-- Part 1: Died of Typhoid Fever

I have been writing about a Col. William Dudley in my Not So Forgotten Blog:  War of 1812 blog.  His command was involved in what is now called Dudley's Massacre when it came to the relief of Fort Meigs in Ohio in 1813.  I came across some other Dudleys in my research.

Theses are some Civil War Dudleys.  I am not sure if any are related to him.


1818 to February 20, 1862

Prominent Kentucky physician.  Educated at Harvard and Transylvania (Kentucky) colleges.  Graduated in 1842.

In 1862, at the age of 45, he died of typhoid fever in Columbia, Kentucky,   At the time of his death, he was commander of the 21st Kentucky Infantry.  He was interned at Lexington Cemetery.

--Old Secesh

Monday, November 19, 2018

Dr. Ezra Read-- Part 5: Some More About the 21st and 11th

From Civil War Index, 21st Indiana officers.


Ezra Read of Terre Haute, Indiana.      Commissioned July 23, 1861.  Mustered in July 24, 1861.  Resigned December 15, 1862;  Re-entered service  as Surgeon 11th Cavalry.

The 21st Indiana Infantry became the 1st Indiana Heavy Artillery in February 1863.

Ezra Read of Terre Haute  Commissioned March 1, 1864.  Mustered March 1, 1864.  Resigned April 26, 1865.

The 11th Indiana Cavalry was formerly the 126th Indiana Infantry.

--Old Secesh

Dr. Ezra Read-- Part 4: Service With the 21st Indiana Infantry and 11th Indiana Cavalry

In 1837, he married Lovilla Young and three years later founded a medical practice in Paris, Illinois (by the central Illinois-Indiana line).  In 1847, he moved his practice to nearby Terre Haute, Indiana.

For eighteen months in the Civil War, he was surgeon of the 21st Indiana Infantry and later of the 11th Indiana Cavalry.

Initially during the war, he was  an anti-Lincoln Democrat, but afterwards made impassioned pleas to support the Union cause.

--Old Secesh

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Dr. Ezra Read-- Part 3: The Texas Revolution

When the Texas Revolution started in 1836, he quit his Cincinnati medical practice and  volunteered his services to an Ohio  military company heading for Texas.

At the Battle of San Jacinto, he treated Mexican leader and general  Antonio  Lopez de Santa Anna.  In 1837, he was attending physician at an infamous duel  between Gen. Felix Huston, for whom he was staff surgeon, and  future Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnson.

Ezra Read was named "acting surgeon-in-chief" of the Texas army and navy, and afterwards commissioned Surgeon General of the Texas Navy, the only person to ever serve in that capacity.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Dr. Ezra Read-- Part 2: In U.S. Navy, Became a Doctor

Surgeon General of the Texas Navy (Texas Revolution).  Treated the captured  prisoner of war  General  Antonio Lopes Santa Ana (of Alamo infamy) and doctor in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Also in U.S. Navy and surgeon in Union Army.

Well liked and admired in Terre Haute and many attended the funeral.  Friend of the poor and often gave free treatment to them.

Born in Marietta, Ohio.  Attended  college in Athens, Ohio, now University of Ohio, for three years before accepting appointment as midshipman in the U.S. Navy and helped escort controversial John Randolph to posting as U.S.  Minister to Russia in 1830.

Resigned from the Navy and studied medicine, graduating with high honors in 1836.

--Old Secesh

Dr. Ezra Read Union Army (Brother of Abner Read, USN)

I have been writing a lot about Abner Read, a Union Navy officer killed in action in 1863 in my Running the Blockade: Civil War Navy blog.  I got with him while doing my Tattooed On Your Soul: World War II blog.  A destroyer named after him had its stern blown off by a Japanese mine while operating in the Aleutian Islands.  It did not sink, was repaired, but later sank after being hit by a kamikaze plane.

From Find-A-Grave.

Click on my Running the Blockade: Civil War Navy blog on My Blog List section to find out more about Abner Read.  I wrote about him last month and this month.

Abner Read had one brother in the Union Army and three half brothers who also served the United States.

Dr. Ezra Read was his older brother.born 2 August 1810 in Marietta, Ohio.  Died  10 May 1877 in Terre Haute, Indiana.  Buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in that city.

He Led Quite An Interesting Life.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Clays of Ky.-- Part 9: Col. Green Clay, U.S. Army

From Find-A Grave

Attended Transylvania University then transferred as a sophomore to Yale where he graduated.  Graduated from Harvard Law School in 1861.  Married Janie Rhodes.

Served  a year abroad as secretary to the United States minister to Russia, who was his uncle, Cassius Marcellus Clay.

Served as colonel of the 3rd Kentucky Cavalry Regiment 1862-1865.  I can not find any source where he is listed as colonel of this regiment.  I did find one roster of the regiment that listed Green Clay Smith as a major in the unit.  Perhaps there is a mix up here.

His father, Brutus Junius Clay and uncle were sons of Green Clay of Kentucky, his namesake.

There is more to wrote about the Clay family in the Civil War, but I am going to take a break from that and write about the Read family.

--Old Seclay

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Clays of Kentucky--Part 8: Col. Green Clay U.S. Army

From Find-A-Grave

He was the grandson of Green Clay of Kentucky.  His father was Brutus Julius Clay.

Born 11 February 1839 in Bourbon County, Ky.

Died 31 October 1912  in Mexico, Missouri.

Buried Paris Cemetery in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

--Old Secesh

The Clays of Ky-- Part 7: Green Clay Smith: Buried at Arlington National Cemetery

From Find-A-Grave.


Born 4 July 1826 in Richmond, Kentucky

Death 29 June 1895 in Washington, D.C.

Buried at Arlington National Cemetery  Section 1 Site 667.

Grave has him listed as Brevet Major General U.S. Volunteers.

"Wise in State Craft; Brave in War;  Zealous in Church."

His daughter Eliza Clay Smith Hawkins  (1857-1891) married James B. Hawkins 1846-1901.  He was Co. E 9th Regt. Ky. Cav. Confederate States Army.  You have to wonder what Green Clay Smoth felt about this wedding.

Kentucky a divided state.

--Old secesh

Monday, November 12, 2018

MCCWRT Meeting Nov. 13, 2018: Fort Pulaski

This Tuesday, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table will be meeting at the Woodstock Public Library in Woodstock, Illinois, at 414 Judd Street (just off the historic Woodstock Square (1840s).  The meeting and talk goes from 7 to 9 PM.

Gloria Swift will give a talk about Fort Pulaski.

Of course, with me being such a buff on any naval or coastal action, this is right up my alley so am greatly anticipating it.

Some of us will be gathering at the Three Brothers Restaurant on Illinois Highway 47 from 5:30 to 6:30 for friendly banter and not just the Civil War either.

See You There.  --Old Secesh

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Armistice Ends World War I Today, 100 Years Ago

NOVEMBER 11, 1918

Armistice Ends World War I

2,171,569 Americans serve in Europe (1.39 million see active service on the front).

U.S. casualties:

53,513 combat deaths

63,195 other deaths (mostly due to pneumonia and influenza)

204,022 wounded in action

58,000 gas casualties (2,000 fatal)

Horrible losses for a little over a year's action.

Today, we honor all veterans on this day.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

USMC 243rd Birthday: "Come On, You Sons Of..."

Today marks the 243rd birthday of America's U.S. Marine Corps.

Here's a World War I quote about them.

"Come on, you sons of botches!   Do you want to live forever?"

Gunny Sgt.  Daniel J. "Dan"  Daly, USMC.
Near Lucy-'le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918, during World War I.

And, tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and, of course, Veterans Day.

To the Corps!!  --Old SeceshMarine

Friday, November 9, 2018

Civil War Trust Nov. 2018 Calendar: Battle of Chicamauga

Civil War Trust 2018 Calendar.

Picture of two cannons somewhere out on the battlefield.


141 acres saved

Site of the second bloodiest battle of the Civil War, the Chickamauga battlefield today encompasses more than 5,300 acres.

Here, Union General George Thomas earned his sobriquet "The Rock of Chickamauga."

The Trust has preserved 141 acres at this landmark place, including land at the site of Reed's Bridge -- one of the battle's opening actions.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Clays of Ky., Green Clay Smith, Congressman and Montana Territorial Governor Ky.-- Part 6: An Unconditional Unionist, C

In 1862, he was elected as an Unconditional Unionist to the 38th Congress and resigned his military  post on December 1, 1863.  In Congress, he served on the Committee of Militia.  He was brevetted to major general of volunteers in 1865.

He resigned from Congress in 1866 after President Johnson appointed him to be Territorial Governor  of Montana.  During his tenure, he helped moderate tensions between the white settlers and Indians.

After he resigned from that, he returned to D.C. and became  an ordained Baptist minister and got involved in the temperance movement.

In 1876, the National Prohibition Party nominated him for president but he didn't receive but a little more than 9,000 votes.

He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

--Old Secesh

Clays of Ky.-- Part 5: Green Clay Smith Became Union General

His maternal grandfather was Green Clay.  His uncles on his mother's side were also politicians and had involvement in the Civil War, Brutus J. Clay and Cassius M. Clay.   I'll be writing about them next.

As a young man he was a second lieutenant in the First Regiment of Kentucky Volunteer Infantry in the Mexican War.

Was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1861 to 1863.    On April 4, 1862, he was commissioned colonel of the Fourth Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry and then was appointed brigadier general of volunteers on June 12, 1862.

Like his uncles, Brutus and Cassius Clay, he joined Kentucky's Unionist Party.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Clays of Kentucky-- Part 4: Green Clay Smith

From Wikipedia.


July 4, 1826 to June 29, 1895

Politician and soldier from Kentucky.  Elected to Kentucky statehouse before the Civil War.  Commissioned a Union officer and rose to rank of major general before he resigned to go to the U.S. Congress in 1862 as a leading member of the Unionist Party.

Served as territorial governor of Montana 1866 to 1869

Returned to Washington, D.C. and became a Baptist minister and active in the temperance movement.

--Old Secesh

Monday, November 5, 2018

Kentucky's Clay Family-- Part 3: Henry Clay "The Great Compromiser"

Henry Clay and Illinois Senator Jesse  B. Thomas were authors of the Missouri Compromise, averting a slavery-non-slavery showdown in 1820.  He proposed that Maine and Missouri enter the Union at the same time with Maine a free state and Missouri  a lave one.  But slavery would be prohibited north of the  36 degrees 30 parallel.  This temporarily, at least, solved tensions over the issue.

Clay also played a big role in what is known as the Compromise of 1850 which helped soothe tensions between the North and South over the increasingly tense slavery issue.  This helped delay secession and the Civil War until the 1860s

--Old Secesh

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Kentucky's Clay Family: Henry Clay

Henry Clay was dead by the time the Civil War started, but he had a lot to do with the events leading up to it.  Green Clay was a cousin of his.

From Wikipedia.

April 12, 1777 to June 29, 1852

Was an American lawyer, planter and statesman who represented Kentucky in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.  Also served three terms as Speaker of the House.  Ran for presidency three times  He was one of the few politicians involved with the years from 1811 to 1850 where he defined issues,  proposed national solutions and created the Whig Party.

He was born in Virginia and moved to Kentucky.  In 1810, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and became Speaker of the House.  As a leading War Hawk, he helped guide the United States into the War of 1812.

--Old Secesh

Kentucky's Clay Family in the Civil War

I have been writing about Green Clay in my Not So Forgotten:  The War of 1812 blog last month and this month.  He was a veteran of the American Revolution and a Kentucky militia general during the War of 1812 as well as one of the richest men in the state.  He owned thousands of acres of land, many slaves and several distilleries.

In addition to other Clays, including the famous Henry Clay, who were involved in both the American Revolution and War of 1812, there were Clays playing roles in the Civil War.

I'll be writing about the Clays with a Civil War connection here in the next several posts.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, November 1, 2018

John Beall's Hangman's Noose-- Part 4: Gordon Found Guilty, Sentenced to Hang

Of the 897 slaves,  172 were grown men and 162 were women.  The rest were children, preferred by Gordon because they were too young to rise up against him for his cruelties.

The Erie was captured by the USS Mohican on August 8, 1860.  The slaves were taken to Liberia, the American colony established in West Africa by the American Colonization Society.  It was a settlement of free Blacks from the United States.

Nathaniel Gordon was taken to New York City to stand trial for slave trading and piracy.  After one hung jury, he was found guilty November 9, 1861, and  sentenced to death by hanging on February 7, 1962.

After his sentence was announced, his supporters appealed to President Lincoln for a pardon.  Lincoln was known for his compassion and issued many pardons during his presidency, he refused to grant one to Gordon, even refusing to meet with his supporters.

What Lincoln Said Next.  --Old Secesh