Monday, December 31, 2018

Slumdog Millionaired Myself to Some Answers

Last Saturday, December 22, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table discussion group had a trivia meeting.

I answered two hard ones, because of Slumdog Millionaire.  They asked questions that I had just recently come across or just knew.

One was, "What was the name of Abraham Lincoln's sister?"  I had just recently finished reading Carl Sandburg's "Abraham Lincoln Grows Up" taken from his "Abraham Lincoln:  The Prairie Years."  Otherwise there would be no way I would have known.  The answer is "Sarah."

Then, when I was asking about the USRC Harriet Lane, someone wanted to know for whom it was named.  Well, since I have just recently been researching it because of an article in Naval History magazine, I knew that one as well.  It was named for President Buchanan's niece who played hostess at the White House during his administration.

I Ain't As Smart As I Am Lucky.  --Old Luck

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The American Battlefield Trust-- Part 2: From APCWS to CWT to AMT

A second non-profit battlefield presentation group, the Civil War Trust, was created in 1991.  This group was able to acquire and preserve 6,700 acres of land in the eight years of its existence.

On November  19, 1999, the APCWS and Civil War Trust merged to form a single organization, the Civil War Preservation streamline and  strengthen efforts.  On January 11, 2011, the name was shortened to just the Civil War Trust (CWT)

On Veterans Day, November 11, 2014, the CWT partnered with the Society of Cincinnati (hereditary group of officers of the Continental Army) to save endangered American Revolution and War of 1812 battlefields.

So, Now You Know.  --Old Secesh

The American Battlefield Trust-- Part 1: Originally the APCWS and CWT

From Wikipedia.

The Civil War Trust (CWT) is now the American Battlefield Trust, a charitable organization whose primary focus is the preservation of American battlefields.  The reason for the change of name is that in 2014, the CWT expanded is goal to save American Revolution and War of 1812 battlefields.

The American Battlefield Trust is now the umbrella organization for the CWT and the Revolutionary War Trust.

But, the history of this new organization goes back farther than this.

With the creation of the founding organization, the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites (APCWS) in July 1987, the modern Civil War preservation movement began.  The APCWS acquired thousands of acres of battlefield land.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

The Civil War Trust Is Now the American Battlefield Trust

As alluded to in the last post, the Civil War Trust has expanded its scope to saving battlefields from the American Revolution and the War of 1812.  As such, it has changed its name to the American Battlefield Trust.

All battlefields are sacred and worthy of saving as much as possible.

So, Welcome ABT.  --Old SeceshTrust

War of 1812 and American Revolution Battlefields Saved By the Civil War Trust

Theses are War of 1812 and Revolution battlefields saved by the Civil War Trust, or American battlefield Trust as it is now known.  These are in the Civil War Trust 2018 Calendar.

From December 14, 2018.

June:   SACKETS HARBOR   War of 1812    24 acres saved.  The successful acquisition of Horse Island near Sackets Harbor, M.Y., in 2017 marks a significant achievement for the Civil War Trust's Campaign 1776 initiative, as the 24 acre island was the first War of 1812 battlefield land to be preserved by the Trust.

Sackets Harbor is the site of the 1813 American victory that prevented a British invasion via Canada.  Not to mention its being a major American naval base.

Of course, I have a whole blog devoted to the War of 1812, so I am kind of interested in it.

September WAXHAES, South Carolina   American Revolution

December  BRANDYWINE, Pa.    American Revolution

Glad They Are Saving All American Battlefields Now.  --Old Sec1812Rev

Friday, December 28, 2018

MCCWRT Discussion Group Dec. Meeting-- Part 1: Trivia, Too Easy, Too Hard

This past  Saturday, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table met at Panera Bread in Crystal Lake, Illinois, with the topic being Civil War Trivia.  We all took turns asking questions.  I mostly asked naval questions that were fairly easily answered.

(My questions are in my Civil War Navy blog, Running the Blockade.)

The only three that they couldn't answer was the name of the man who surrendered three forts during the war.  One was Fort Johnston which he surrendered twice to Confederate while he was still a U.S. ordnance sergeant and the other, Fort Fisher, he surrendered to Union forces as a Confederate major.  This man was James Reilly.

Another was which battle took place Christmas Eve and Day 1864.  And that was the First Battle of Fort Fisher.

The third one was the Union admiral who made $109,689 for his cut on captured blockade runners, S.P. Lee, a distant relative of Robert E. Lee.

Of course, like with so many Civil War buffs, there is not a lot of knowledge about the Navy part of the war.

--Old Secesh

William P. Black-- Part 6: His Role In the Haymarket Square Riot Case

In 1886, William Black agreed to lead a defense team for the Haymarket Square Riot conspirators.  His co-counselors included William Foster, Moses Salomon, and the radical attorney Sigmund Zeisler.  In 1887, Black led an unsuccessful appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Former Major General Benjamin Butler and former Confederates John Randolph Tucker and Brigadier General Roger Atkinson Pryor were co-counsels.

On November 13, 1887, Black delivered a compassionate eulogy at the funeral of the executed defendants.

Zeisler said of Black's association with the case as "nothing short of an act of heroism" which had a negative impact on Black's career.  Black was inspired by a desire to  uphold the ideals of legal principle of due process rather than sympathy for the anarchist politics of the defendants.

His role in the case brought about the dissolution of his partnership with Dent.  Afterwards, he established the law firm of Black and Fitzgerald and also practiced separately.

Originally a Republican, he switched parties in 1872 to support the candidacy of Horace Greely.  He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Congress on the 1882 Democratic ticket.

He was a longtime member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

--Old Secesh

William P. Black-- Part 5: Arkansas Post, Vicksburg, Red River

William Black also was at the capture of Arkansas Post, the Vicksburg Campaign and the Red River Expedition.  He received an honorable discharge on September 29, 1864, and returned to Danville, Illinois.

After the war, he moved to Chicago and studied law at the firm of Arrington and Dent.  He passed the Illinois bar exam in 1867 and established a successful law practice with Thomas Dent, with clientele that included the Chicago Board of Trade.

He married Hortensia Mary MacGreal of Galveston, Texas, on May 28, 1869, and they had one son.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 27, 2018

William P. Black-- Part 4: Medal of Honor for Battle of Pea Ridge

Continued from December 20.

William Black earned a Medal of Honor at the Battle of Pea Ridge on March 7, 1862, when he single-handedly checked the Confederate advance against his company's position and prevented the capture of  Battery A of the Second Illinois Light Artillery.  Black was severely wounded on his left side during this action.

As with many of the Medals of Honor awarded for action in the Civil War, he did not receive his until more than thirty years later, on October 2, 1893.  His brother John received his October 31, 1893, making them the first of five pairs of brothers to both receive the medal for Civil War service.

I was unable to find out the other four pairs of brothers.

--Old Secesh

William and John Black-- Part 3: On to the 37th Illinois

The 11th Indiana, of which the Black brothers were members, was a 90-day regiment and after their enlistments expired, they were discharged.  Most of the regiment reenlisted retaining the number, but this time for three years.  At this time the brothers left Indiana and returned to their home in Danville, Illinois, where they organized what became Company K in the 37th Illinois Infantry, comprised of men from Danville and Vermilion County.

With the experience they gained in the 11th, the brothers became officers in the new unit.  William became its captain.  John became the major of the 37th.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

William and John Black In the 11th Indiana Under Lew Wallace-- Part 2

From Wikipedia.

The 11th Indiana Infantry Regiment was a three-month unit, enlisting at Indianapolis, Indiana, to serve for 90 days.  Its commander was Colonel Lew Wallace. and George McGinnis was its lieutenant colonel.

It was sent to Western Virginia (now West Virginia) and saw only minimal action on the raid into the town of Romney.  It then returned to Indianapolis where it was mustered out, having served its three months.

It was then reorganized as the 11th Indiana with Wallace and McGinnis again commanding.  This time the service was for three years.

So, William and John Black did serve under Lew Wallace.   It was on their return to Indianapolis that the Black brothers left the unit.  They went back to Danville and organized what became Company K of the 37th Illinois Infantry.

--Old Secesh

Monday, December 24, 2018

William and John Black-- Part 1: Were They In a Regiment Commanded by Lew Wallace?

OK, so both William and John Black were enrolled at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.  I have been through the town many times, well, by  it on I-74, and usually stop southeast of town at the Pilot station for gas, usually one of the lower prices around.

There is a sign by the exit for a Civil War general's house, Lew Wallace (also famous for writing "Ben Hur").  This was his home

Both of the Black brothers enlisted in the 11th Indiana for three months.  Perhaps that regiment has something to do with Lew Wallace?

I'll have to do some further research.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 22, 2018

154rd Anniversary of First Battle of Fort Fisher Fast Approaching.

One hundred and fifty-four years ago, Union naval and army forces were underway for the attack on the huge sand fort protecting Wilmington, North Carolina, the last major Confederate port still open.

--Old Secesh

Here's a Trivia Question for You: It's A Family Affair

Since the McHenry County Civil War Round Table is having a trivia contest today at Panera Bread in Crystal Lake, Illinois, here is one of my questions for you:

Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright commanded the USRC Harriet Lane and was killed in action January 1, 1863, when the ship was captured.  He had two sons who served in the military.  I was thinking that his name sounded very familiar from another war, so I had to look it up.

One of his sons, Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright III was killed battling pirates off Mexico as an ensign in the Navy in 1870.  Another son, Robert Powell Page Wainwright, was in the Army and served in the Indian Wars and the Spanish-American War, eventually reaching the rank of major.

His son, Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright, rose to the rank of general.  With what World War II event is he associated?

Answer below.

A Very Military Family.  --Old Secesh

General Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright surrendered the Philippines after General MacArthur was ordered away.

Friday, December 21, 2018

MCCWRT Discussion Group Meets Saturday: Topic: Civil War Trivia

The McHenry County Civil War Round Table will meet Saturday, December 22, 2018, at Panera Bread in Crystal Lake, Illinois, from 1- a.m. to noon.

This month's topic is Civil War Trivia.  Since I am a big Navy buff, U'll be asking questions about that aspect of the war and will be posting some of my questions in my Running the Blockade: Civil War Navy blog (at right).

Panera Bread is located in US-14 (Northwest Highway) by Main Street.

All are welcome.  You don't have to be a member to attend.

--Old QuizMaster

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Illinois' William P. Black-- Part 3: Born in Kentucky, Moved to Danville, Illinois

The following information is from The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.


Born in November 11, 1842, in Woodford County, Kentucky.  After his father, the Reverend John Black died, his mother, Josephine Culbertson Black,  moved the family to Danville, Illinois, to be near her brother.  James Culbertson.  Soon thereafter, she married Dr. William Fithian.

Fithian served in the Illinois legislature in 1834 with Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln successfully represented Fithian in a lawsuit in 1850.  During the 1858 campaign for U.S. Senate, Lincoln stayed at the Fithian home in Danville and spoke  briefly to a crowd of well-wishers.  This was not the site of a Lincoln-Douglas Debate, however.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, William Black was enrolled as a ministry student at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana.  Along with his brother, John C. Black, he enlisted in the 11th Indiana Infantry Regiment and fought at the Battle of Romney, Virginia (now West Virginia) on June 11, 1861.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Illinois' William P. Black-- Part 2: Received MoH 2 October 1893

As a lawyer, William Black was best known for being defense counsel to the people charged with the Haymarket Square Riot of 1886.


Captain, Company K, 37th Illinois Infantry.

At Pea Ridge, Arkansas,  7 March 1862.

Entered service at Danville, Illinois.

Born 11 November 1842, Woodford, Kentucky.

Date of Issue:  2 October 1883.

"Single-handedly confronted the enemy, firing a rifle at them and thus checking their advance within one hundred yards of the lines."

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

William P. Black, Medal of Honor Recipient and Brother of John C. Black-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.


(November 11, 1841-January 3, 1916)

Lawyer and recipient of America's highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, in 1862.  He gained national prominence as the lead counsel of the defense of the accused bombers of Haymarket Square Riot.

He was the brother of John C. Black, Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic and also a recipient of the Medal of Honor.  They are one of only five pairs of brothers to receive the award.

Born in Woodward County, Kentucky.  His family moved to Danville, Illinois.

In 1867, he formed the law firm of Dent & Black with Thomas Dent.

--Old Secesh

Monday, December 17, 2018

Illinois' John C. Black-- Part 8: A Very Busy Postwar Life

In 1867, he passed Illinois' bar exam and set up a thriving practice in his hometown, Danville, Illinois. Throughout his life, John C. Black held a variety of positions in governmental and veterans organizations.  He ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 1872 and declined nomination for governor in 1884.

In 1884, he declined being vice president of the U.S. on the ticket of Grover Cleveland. he then held the position of Commissioner of Pensions from 1885 to 1889.  He was defeated in bids for Congress and Senate four times,  but then won for one term in Congress 1893-1895.

In 1895, he was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois where he served until 1899.

He was an active member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion and Grand Army of the Republic and served as the national commander of the latter group 1903-1904.

From 1904 to 1913, he was president of the U.S. Civil Service Commission and also a frequent speaker on the extremely popular Chautauqua Circuit.

John Charles Black died on August 17, 1915, and is buried in Spring Hill cemetery in Danville.

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 14, 2018

Battle of Brandywine, American Revolution

From the December Civil War Trust 2018 calendar.

The Civil War Trust, long preserving Civil War battlefields, has expanded its mission to preserve all American battle fields.  They now strive to save battlefields of the American Revolution and the War of 1812.


10.4 acres saved.

On September 11, 1777, the rolling hills of the Pennsylvania countryside along Brandywine Creek became the scene of the largest battle of the American Revolution in terms of men engaged.

To date, the Trust's Campaign 1776 initiative has preserved 10.4 acres at the Brandywine battlefield, marking our first Revolutionary battlefield land saved in Pennsylvania.

--Old secesh

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Illinois' John C. Black-- Part 7: First of Five Pairs of Brothers Receiving Medals of Honor in the War

As with many Medals of Honor earned during the war, he did not receive it until more than 30 years later, October 21, 1893.  His brother was also a Medal of Honor recipient, also receiving his much later, October 2, 1893.

This made them the first pair of five pairs of brothers to receive the Medals for Civil War service.

John Black, or Charlie as he was called, was promoted to colonel on December 31, 1862, and participated in the capture of Arkansas Post, the Vicksburg Campaign and the capture of Fort Blakely, Alabama, near the end of the war.

He also frequently held command of various brigades in the department of the Gulf.  At the end of the war, he resigned hos commission and received an honorable discharge on August 15, 1865.  In recognition of his years of meritorious service, particularly at Fort Blakely, Black received a brevet promotion to the rank of Brigadier General of Volunteers in March 1866, with rank dating to April 9, 1865.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

John Charles Black-- Part 6: In the 11th Indiana and 37th Illinois

At the outbreak of the Civil war, he was enrolled at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana,   Along with his brother William Black, Charlie initially served three months with the 11th Indiana Infantry, a three month regiment.  They fought at the Battle of Romney, Virginia (now West Virginia) on June 11, 1861.

In August 1861, he mustered out as a sergeant major and along with his brother, joined Company K of the 37th Illinois Infantry and was made captain.  He quickly earned promotion to major during regimental elections for officers on September 5, 1861.

Severely wounded in the right arm during the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, on March 7, 1862, he earned promotion to lieutenant colonel.  He never regained the use of his right arm.

Black received the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Prairie Grove in Arkansas on December 7, 1862, when he led his regiment in a charge uphill  against the Confederate position at the Borden House.  He was wounded in the left arm this time, but he and his regiment captured an enemy artillery battery.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

John C. Black-- Part 5: Lincoln Slept There

From the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture.

A Medal of Honor recipient for valor at the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, and brevet major general of volunteers.  John Charles (Charlie) Black later served as U.S. Congressman and national commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).

He was born January 27, 1839, in Lexington, Mississippi, to the Reverend John Black and Josephine Culbertson Black.  He was the eldest of four children.  After the Reverend Black died in 1847, his widow  moved her family to Danville, Illinois, to be near her brother James Culbertson.

Soon afterwards, she married Dr. William Fithian who served in the Illinois General Assembly with Abraham Lincoln in 1834.  Lincoln successfully represented Fithian in a lawsuit in 1850.  During the 1858 campaign for U.S. senator, Lincoln stayed at the Danville home of John's parents during his travels for the Lincoln-Douglas Debates and spoke briefly to a crowd of well-wishers on September 21.

--Old Secesh

Monday, December 10, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial: John C. Black, MoH Recipient-- Part 4: Post War

He was a member of the Illinois Commandery of the Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States.

He set up a law practice and became U.S. District Attorney in Chicago.  Between 1885 and 1889, he was U.S. Commissioner of Pensions.  Running as a Democrat, he was elected to the 53rd U.S. Congress, serving between 1893 and 1895.

In 1903 he became Commander-In-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic and served 1903-1904.  Lastly, he was president of the U.S. Civil Service Commission. 1904-1913.

He died August 14, 1915, in Chicago, Illinois, and is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Danville, Illinois.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Illinois Medal of Honor Recipient John C. Black-- Part 3: Received It in 1996

Am 1896 review of numerous actions of the war resulted in his being awarded the medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Prairie Grove.  Black's brother William also received one, making them the first of five pairs of brothers to both receive the Medal as of 2005.

The citation read:  "Gallantly  charged the position of the enemy at the head of his regiment, after two other regiments had been repulsed and drive down the hill, and captured a battery, was severely wounded."

--Old Secesh

Friday, December 7, 2018

Not Forgetting, Pearl Harbor: Survivor Hiram "Pete" Carter Turns 95

I put my United States flags out today (well, actually I had them out since Wednesday because of the funeral of George H.K. Bush).

From the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle  "Pearl Harbor vet celebrates his 95th birthday in Arizona."

Hiram "Pete" Carter celebrated his 18th birthday in Pearl Harbor back in 1941, seven weeks before the attack.

He was a native of Metter, Georgia, and enlisted in the Navy in Orlando, Florida, as his friends were being drafted.

Pete is one of Augusta's last Pearl Harbor survivors

The brother of his future wife was on the USS Arizona.

In 1945, he was on the USS Stembel (DD-644)

--Old Secesh

Thursday, December 6, 2018

President George H.W. Bush

From Wikipedia.


(June 12, 1924 - November 30, 2018)

American statesman and Republican Party politician.  Served as the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993.  Prior to becoming president, he served as the 43rd Vice President from 1981 to 1989.  He also had previously been  a U.S. Congressman, ambassador and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

He will be buried today at College Station, Texas, where his Presidential Library and Museum is located.

Illinois Medal of Honor Recipient John C. Black-- Part 2: Battle of Prairie Grove

Now we know that the two Blacks in the 37th Illinois, John C. and William P., were brothers.

After three months in the 11th Indiana, the two brothers were mustered out (it was a three-month regiment) and joined what became Company K in the 37th Illinois.  The 11th had been commanded by Lew Wallace.

John became a major in the unit and was wounded in the right arm at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, on March 7, 1862.  On July 12, 1862, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and became the commander of the 37th Illinois.  He led his regiment against fortified Confederate positions at the Battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, on December 7, 1862.

The 37th suffered heavy casualties and was forced to retreat.  John C. Black was seriously wounded.

--Old Secesh

Illinois Medal of Honor Recipient John C. Black-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.


(January 28, 1839 - August 17, 1915

Democratic U.S. Congressman and received Medal of Honor as Union Army lieutenant colonel and regimental commander at the Battle of Prairie Grove December 7, 1862.

Born Lexington, Mississippi and moved to Danville, Illinois, in 1847.  His father was a minister in the Presbyterian Church.  He attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and became a lawyer.

Entered Union Army on April 14, 1861, along with his brother, William P. Black.  They mustered into the 11th Indiana Infantry Regiment.  He enlisted as a private  but was made sergeant major in April 25, 1861.

Well, that answers that question.

The Black Brothers from Danville.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

More Illinois Medals of Honor: Two Men Named Black, Four In the 37th

The second and third men on the list of 91 men from Illinois who received Medals of Honor made me look twice.  Both men had Black as a last name and both served in the 37th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.  They were John C. Black and William P. Black.

The next man on the list, Welis H. Blodget also was in the 37th.  There was also a Thomas H.L. Payne in the 37th.  That is four Medal of Honor recipients from the same regiment and two with the same last name.

Might the two with the same last name be brothers?  Very often, during the Civil War, companies were made up of men from the same area.  Regiments were that way as well.

Thanks to Wikipedia, I found out that the two Black boys were brothers.

Must Have Been A Very Proud Family.  --Old Secesh

Monday, December 3, 2018

Illinois Bicentennial: Medal of Honor Winner: Richard H. Wood

Born 15 November 1833  Died 8 March 1903  Buried Woodburn Cemetery, Woodburn, Illinois.

U.S. Army, captain

Company A, 97th Illinois

Born Canton, New Jersey.  Entered service at Woodburn, Macoupin County, Illinois.

Received Medal of Honor  for action at Battle of Vicksburg May 22, 1863.

Led a volunteer storming party which made a gallant attack upon the enemy's works.

--Old Secesh

Illinois Bicentennial: 91 Medal of Honor Winners From Illinois

From the Illinois Civil War site.

Illinois Civil War Medal of Honor Recipients.

Alphabetically from Abner P. Allen to Richard H. Wood.

ABNER P. ALLEN  (Oct. 9, 1839 to August 22, 1905)

Allen was color bearer of the 39th Illinois and got his at the Battle of Petersburg during the assault on Fort Greg on April 2, 1965.  He also had the honor of carrying the Illinois flag at the Appomattox surrender a week later.  He also traveled to Washington, D.C. with General Gibbon with 76 captured Confederate colors.  He received his Medal of Honor there from Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.

He died in 1905 and is buried in Centerburg Cemetery in Centerburg, Ohio.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Fort Wood, N.Y. Harbor-- Part 2: Its Troops Used to Quell New York Draft Riots

In January 1861, the fort was regarrisoned as war loomed.  It continued to serve as an ordnance depot but took on added duty as a recruit center.  Fort Wood itself never fired a shot during the war, but troops stationed there were called upon to quell the New York City draft riots in 1863.

Following the war, Fort Wood was placed under caretaker status and in the 1880s was chosen as the site of the Statue of Liberty.

Several people who wrote to the Civil war Talk Forum said they had visited the Statue of Liberty but had no knowledge of the base having been a fort.

One person said Robert Anderson and Henry Halleck served there.

--Old Secesh