Saturday, November 16, 2019

Oliver Willcox Norton and "Taps"-- Part 2: Became Lieutenant in 8th U.S.C.T.

Whether "Taps was the handiwork of Norton or his commanding officer, General Daniel Butterfield is not known for sure.

But, it was on a night in 1862 that "Taps" was first played.  Shortly after it was heard, other Union buglers adopted it, and even Confederate buglers, to signal the end of the day.

As for Norton, he resigned from the 83rd Pennsylvania when he was commissioned as lieutenant in the 8th United States Colored Troops, on November 10, 1863.  He remained with that unit until 1865.  He also wrote "The Attack and Defense of Little Round Top" (1913) as his eyewitness  account of that part of the Battle of Gettysburg.

After the war, he became a New York banker and later moved to Chicago to invest in a company which produced cans.  From that, he eventually became one of the founders of the American Can Company.

Her died in 1920 at the age of 81.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Oliver Willcox Norton and "Taps"-- Part 1: He Played It First

I wrote about him in yesterday's post.

From Find-A Grave.


Birth:  17 December 1839   Angelica, New York

Death:  1 October 1920 aged 80    Cremated and ashes spread by his family.

He was teaching in West Springfield, Pennsylvania, when the war began and resigned and joined Co. K of the 83rd Pennsylvania as a private on September 1, 1861.  He was wounded at Gaines Mill, Virginia, on June 27, 1862.

Mr. Norton  likely had no idea the impact he had on the military, both its nightly routine and in honoring those who gave their lives.

That moment came when, as a the company bugler, he played a variation of a Scottish tattoo that would become known as "Taps."

--Old SecTaps

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Birth of Taps

From the November 8, 2019 Chicago Tribune  "Touching notes"

Bugles were first used by American armies during the American Revolution.

"Bugles were the way orders were communicated before there were electronic means," says bugler Tom Day.  "There were bugle calls to move to the left, move to the right, charge, fall back.  The bugler was right there with the commander sending the call."

Then, in 1862, during the Civil War, a new bugle call was established.  General Daniel Butterfield was in command of Union troops at Harrison's Landing in Virginia.  There was a tradition of firing a cannon at the end of the day to honor the fallen from that day's battles.

But General Butterfield didn't want to fire the cannon and give away his troops' location so he asked the bugler to play a tune he'd heard in France.  That bugler was Oliver Willcox Norton and he listened to the tune and wrote down the 24 notes and played them for the troops for the first time.

Other buglers began playing the tune, which is now known as "Taps" to mark the end of the day.  Although, there are some variations on the origin of "Taps" this is the best one.

"Taps" are still played on military bases for "lights out."

--Old SecTap

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

MCCWRT Meeting Tonight: Elections and Grant at Chattanooga

The McHenry County Civil War Round Table will hold its last general meeting until March tonight at the Woodstock (Illinois) Public Library at 414 West Judd Street at 7:00 p.m..  The next function will be the discussion group which will meet Saturday, Nov. 23, at Panera Bread at 6000 Northwest Highway in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  Discussion topic: The Battle of Fredericksburg.

Elections will be held tonight along with Dave Powell speaking about Grant at Chattanooga.

Several of us will be getting together before the meeting at 5:30 pm at 3 Brothers Restaurant on Illinois Highway 47 in Woodstock.

Be There.  --Old Secesh

Monday, November 11, 2019

In Honor of Veterans Day: Musicians Who Served and Chicago Veteran Memorials

From the METV Monday MeMail, Nov. 11, 2019.

They play a long list of artists who served in the nation's military, including Elvis Presley, Lou Rawls, Johnny Cash, and Bobby Vinton.

Chicago is home to Veterans. Memorial Park on the south side, the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in the Loop and the National Veterans' Art Museum on the northwest side.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

George Rogers Clarke-- Part 4: From Lieutenant to Brigadier General


Captain 9/5/1861
Lt. Col.  5/18/1862
Colonel 12/17/1862
Brig-Gen. 3/13/1865  by Brevet.

Of course, a whole lot of colonels were brevetted to brigadier generals at the end of the war.

Intra Regimental Company Transfers:

 5/18/1862  from Company I to Field & Staff  (As of 15th Illinois Infantry)

Other Information:

Born 11/22-1839 in Piermont, New Hampshire
Died 2/28/1915 in Lake Forest, Illinois.

--Old Secesh

Friday, November 8, 2019

George Clarke Rogers-- Part 3: Colonel, 15th Illinois Infantry

From March 18, 2014, Civil War Talk Forum.

George Clark Rogers Military Career

Residence Waukegan, Illinois, age 21

Enlisted on 4-25-1861 as 1st lieutenant

On 5-24-1861, he was commissioned into "I" Company Illinois 15th Infantry.  He was transferred out on 3-24-1865.

On 7-20-1864, he transferred into Field & Staff Illinois Veteran Battalion.  He transferred out on 3-24-1865.

On 3-24-1864, he transferred into Field & Staff Illinois 15th Infantry.

He was mustered out on 9-16-1865.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, November 7, 2019

George Clarke Rogers-- Part 2: For Meritorious Service

George Clarke Rogers was later promoted to full colonel and command of his regiment for gallant action at the Battle of the Hatchie.  At Champion Hill, he received three wounds, but continued to command a brigade in battles around Atlanta.

For meritorious service, he was brevetted to brigadier general of U.S. Volunteers on March 13, 1865.

After the war, he resumed his legal career and was three times a delegate to National Democratic Conventions.

--Old Secesh

Hard to Research George Clarke Rogers

Whenever I search for this man, I come up with a whole lot of information on Amerivan Revolution hero George Rogers Clark.

Wonder how that happens?

Just Wondering.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

George Clarke Rogers-- Part 1: Captain With the 15th Illinois Infantry

While researching Elijah Haines, I came across this man who is also buried at Waukegan's Oakwood Cemetery.

From Find A Grave.

Born  22 November 1839 in Piermont, New Hampshire.

Died 28 February 1915 lake Forest, Illinois

Buried in Waukegan, Illinois, Oakwood Cemetery

Civil War Brevet Brigadier General.  Born in Piermont, New Hampshire.  At the start of the Civil Warm he was a lawyer in Lake County, Illinois, where he enlisted and was commissioned  a 1st lieutenant with the 15th Illinois Volunteer Infantry.

As a captain at the Battle of Shiloh, he received four wounds, but refused to leave the field and led his company in the final charge.

Promoted to lieutenant colonel for his gallant conduct at the battle.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

John Charles Haines, Mayor of Chicago 1858-1860 and Brother of Elijah Haines

From Wikipedia.

John Charles Haines was the brother of Elijah Haines, who I have been writing about since last month.  He was a one term mayor of Chicago in 1858, the eve of the Civil War.

The Haines family was fairly powerful in Illinois politics, with Elijah serving in the Illinois General Assembly's House of representatives at the time.

Born May 26, 1818, in New York.  Died July 4, 1896, and is buried at Rosehill Cemetery.  Served as democratic mayor of Chicago 1858-1860.

He arrived in Chicago on May 26, 1834 and took on a job as clerk for George W. Merrill.  By 1846, he had formed a partnership with Jared Gage and acquired several flour mills.  Haines also organized the Chicago waterworks as the city was growing very fast.

In 1848, he was elected to his first of six terms in the city council.  Elected mayor in 1858 as a Republican and won reelection the following year.

Became a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and elected for two terms to the Illinois State Senate in 1874.  After he left that, he retired and lived near Waukegan in Lake County, to the north of Chicago.  His brother Elijah also lived there.

He is buried in Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery.

--Old Secesh

Monday, November 4, 2019

Elijah Haines Tasted the Ups and Downs of Politics

From the August 7, 1994, Chicago Tribune by Marc Davis.

This was one really busy man in the early days of Lake County, Illinois.  He was a lawyer, writer, book and newspaper publisher, surveyor, school teacher, politician, justice of the peace, state legislator, speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and Founder of lake County's first village, Hainesville (named after him).

He was also a historian and author of scholarly  volumes, including "The Past and Present of Lake County, Illinois, Illustrated," published in 1877.  Another of his books, "The American Indian," published in 1888 is a book on their character, languages and traditions which he studied extensively.

He also founded one of Lake County's first weekly newspapers, The Patriot, and one of the state's first legal newspapers, The Legal Advisor, were published by him.

Elijah Haines was born in Oneida County, New York, April 21, 1822,  and came with his family in 1835 to Chicago and then moved to Lake County a year later.  Admitted to the Illinois Bar in 1851, he practiced law in Waukegan and in 1860 opened an office in Chicago, but continued living in Waukegan.

Among his earliest publishing efforts was a compilation of Illinois township laws.  Elected to the legislature originally as a Republican in 1858,  he drifted from them and served several terms as an independent.  Served as Speaker of the House in Illinois in 1875 and 1885.

At that point, his political star began to fall with once-ardent supporters accusing him of "arbitrary and unjust"  decisions.  He died in Waukegan in 1889.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Elijah Middlebrook Haines, His Wife and Son

From Find A Grave


Born 21 April 1822  Oneida County, New York

Died 25 April 1889  Libertyville, Lake County, Illinois

Burial Oakwood Cemetery, Waukegan, Illinois

His gravestone mentions that he was the founder of Hainesville, Illinois.


Also buried at Oakwood, and by him, his wife, MELINDA GRISWOLD WRIGHT HAINES

Birth:  18 February 1825  Herkimer, New York

Death:  28 June 1881, Waukegan, Illinois (age 58)

Burial:  Oakwood Cemetery, Waukegan, Illinois



Birth:  14 February 1850  Illinois

Death:  2 January 1892 (age 41)  Seattle, Washington

Burial:  Lake View Cemetery  Seattle, Washington

I am so glad that Elijah and Melinda were not buried in the lost cemetery named Cranberry Lake Cemetery.

--Old Secesh

Oakwood Cemetery in Waukegan, Illinois

From Find A Grave

I looked up this cemetery to see what the site had to say about Elijah M. Haines being buried there.  He is not listed in Famous Memorials, which is surprising after what I have learned about him.

As of 2012, a photograph has been taken of every headstone in the cemetery.

The cemetery is located on the shores of Lake Michigan in Waukegan and has a wonderful view of it.  It is owned and maintained by the City of Waukegan and also shares land with St. Mary's but they are two separate cemeteries.

The four people listed as famous::

Winnifred Sprague Mason Huck--  (1882-1936)  U.S. Congressman

William Ernest Mason--  ( 1850-1921)   U.S. Congressman and U.S. Senator.

George Clarke Rogers  (1839-1915)  Civil War brevet brigadier general.  I will write about him in this blog.

Alson Smith Sherman  (1811-1903)  Chicago mayor.

--Old Secesh

Friday, November 1, 2019

Some More on Elijah M. Haines

I got together with my buddy Bob earlier today and figured this would be a good time to ask him about what he knows about Elijah Haines (he has played Elijah, the founder of Hainesville, Illinois and quite an important person in the early history, including Civil War, of Lake County, Illinois).

Elijah Haines never had a permanent home in Hainesville and lived in Waukegan where he taught school and studied law.  When he was in Hainesville, he stayed at his mother's.

He did meet Abraham Lincoln in Chicago where they both attended a meeting about improvements to Illinois harbors and rivers.  It is very likely that Lincoln stayed at Elijah Haines' home twice.

I wasn't sure about Haines' role in the Andrew Johnson movement and could find nothing on the internet about this movement.  However, I know there was a move to impeach Johnson that fell just barely short.  So this most likely was what that statement was about.  Since I knew that Haines was no longer a Republican by then, because of his dislike of the Radical Republicans, he would have been with the people opposing his impeachment.

Also, Haines is not buried at the lost Cranberry Lake Cemetery but at the Oakwood Cemetery in Waukegan, Illinois, which would have made sense since this is where he lived most of the time.  This is still there.  I couldn't find out any information about his grave though.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Hainesville, Illinois: Abraham Lincoln Slept Here?

From Wikipedia.

Village in Avon Township, lake County, Illinois.  1.88 square miles, 2010 population:  3,597.

I will give information not previously recorded in this blog.

It is reported that Elijah Haines  met Abraham Lincoln in 1847 and they became friends.  It is even mentioned that Lincoln spent the night in Hainesville a few times.

In 1847, construction on the Lake-McHenry Plank Road began and by 1851 was completed to Squaw Creek, west of Hainesville.

The village became a thriving community, but all but disappeared from the map until recent years.  In 1899, the Milwaukee Road railroad expanded to Lake County and provided convenient transportation from there to Chicago.

Local land owner and general store proprietor George Battershall asked for a lot of money for the railroad to built a station in Hainesville, but Amarias M. White, an early settler in what would become Round Lake (to the west of Hainesville) knew that a station would spark growth and attracted the station with free land.

This caused Hainesville businesses to move to Round Lake and neighboring Grayslake.  The Hainesville Post Office closed in 1919 and the school became part of the Round Lake system.

Hainesville essentially became little more than a crossroads.  However, in the last 30 years there has been a huge amount of suburban subdivision growth and the village is, as they say, back on the map.

So, Did Abe Sleep in Hainesville?  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Hainesville History: Elijah, Abraham, Plank Road and the Lost Cemetery

From the Hainesville Village Site.

In 1847, through special efforts by Elijah M. Haines,  a charter was granted to the town of Hainesville.  In 1902 an election was held and Hainesville was changed from a town to a village.  Elijah Haines made the first plat map of Lake County while working as a school master in the first county school at Little Fort, now Waukegan.

Hainesville's first school house was a wooden cabin built in 1846, in which church services were also held.  Hainesville also once had a post office and train station.

In 1847, Elijah Haines met Abraham Lincoln at a convention in Chicago.  In 1848, Hainesville became a toll road stop on the predecessor of  Belvidere Road (Route 120) between Waukegan and Belvidere, Illinois.  It was later called Old Plank Road.

Hainesville once had a small private cemetery on the south side of Cranberry Lake.  There have been many attempts to locate it, but all have been unsuccessful.  Village founder Elijah Haines is buried there.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Elijah M. Haines-- Part 3: Into Politics

Elijah Haines continued to be a popular person in the state of Illinois and was elected as an independent delegate in the 1870 Illinois Constitutional Convention.  There, he galvanized opposition to the Republican Party to such an extent that minority parties were able to to influence legislation as a combined majority.

He was reelected to the Illinois House in 1870 and again in 1874.   During the latter term he was elected to Illinois Speaker of the House.  later he was reelected to the House in 1882 and was Speaker of the House in 1884 and served until 1886.

During this term he served over the contentious Illinois 1885 U.S. Senate election.  This pitted Republican John Logan a Civil War Union general against  Democrat William Ralls Morrison and later Lambert Tree.

He was once again elected to the Illinois House in 1888, but died before his term was over on April 25, 1889.

He is buried in Cranberry Lake Cemetery.  This cemetery is no longer there.

Quite the Man of Illinois Politics.  --Old Secesh

Monday, October 28, 2019

Elijah M. Haines-- Part 2: Lawyer, Politician, Republican, Not-A Republican

Born April 21, 1822, in Oneida County, New York. At age 12, he and his brother John Charles Haines, moved west and settled in Lake County, Illinois.  In 1846, he surveyed and platted and named the town Hainesville in the western pert of the county.

He taught school in Waukegan, by Lake Michigan, and began studying law., admitted to the bar in 1851.    Opened a law office and began writing about the law.  From 1855 to 1860, he wrote three books on law and eventually two others after the war.

Early in his life, Haines was a Democrat, but in 1859 left that party and joined the Republicans because of slavery.  He was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1858 and reelected for two more two-year terms later

During this time he increasingly found himself at odds with the party and in 1865, joined the Andrew Johnson movement and became involved in the anti-monopolists against large chains of warehouses.

I am not sure if the Andrew Johnson Movement was people supporting President Johnson or wanting him impeached.


All of his 6 terms were in the House of Representatives where he also served twice as Speaker of the House (SoH)

The first number is of the General Assembly and second the year elected:

21st   1859   As the nation was careening toward the Civil War.
27th   1871
29th   1875  (SoH)

33rd  1883
34th  1885  (SoH)
36th  1889

--Old Secesh

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Elijah M. Haines of Lake County, Illinois--Part 1: Founder and Namesake of Hainesville

I wrote earlier this week about my friend Bob's playing the role of Hainesville founder Elija Haines.  He had a role in the Civil War as well.

From Wikipedia.

Elijah Middlebrook Haines (April 21, 1822 - April 25, 1889)  American politician and author.  Born in New York, he came to Illinois with his brother John Charles Haines (future mayor of Chicago)  Elijah established one of the first villages in Lake County, Illinois, Hainesville.  Admitted to the bar in 1851, he wrote several notable law books.

He was first elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1858 and served eight intermittent terms, including two as Speaker of the House.

Staunchly independent after 1865, Haines was a leader of the movement against the Republican Party in  Illinois until his death in 1889.

--Old Secesh

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Southern Abolitionist Preacher, William Irving Kirk

One of the presenters at the Hainesville re-enactment was Robert Kaplafka who was William Irving Kirk, a Southern abolitionist preacher.

I always thought most abolitionists were of the Northern persuasion, but here was a Southerner preaching against the evils of slavery.  He did not have much luck and was even wounded once and came close to other horrible things during the course of his preaching.

He was from Rowan County, North Carolina, and tried to convince slave owners they were wrong and figures he only got six of them in all his travels to change their mind.  However, he noted that the N.C. vote to secede was just barely passed.

I was unable to find out any more about him.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Met My Good Buddy Bob at the Hainesville Civil War Re-enactment: His Ed Bearss Story

Since the event advertised Elijah Haines, founder of Hainesville as being there, I figured that my good buddy and long time teacher friend, Bob, was there portraying him.  He was.

Sadly, almost the only time I get to see Bob these days is at this event.  We taught together at Magee Middle School in Round Lake, Illinois, for  31 years.  I usually taught 7th grade social studies and he 8th grade social studies.  He just turned 75 and has been retired 15 years.   Much of his time now is spent in theater.  Until this year he was the king at the famous Renaissance Faire on the Illinois/Wisconsin border.

He still belongs to The Civil War Round Table as the Chicago Civil War Round Table calls itself, but rarely attends meetings any more because they are at O'Hare and you have to drive your car.  He used to take the train downtown to Chicago before they moved meetings to O'Hare.

I told him about the McHenry County Civil War Round Table which I belong to and he says he might just get out to a meeting.

However, he has gone a lot of the Chicago Round table's Battlefield Tours and quite often Ed Bearss has been tour director.  A favorite story of Bob's is one time they were at a battlefield and it started raining and continued to get harder until everyone had retreated to cover, but there stood Ed out talking and pointing and gesturing with his arms, completely oblivious that he was the only one out there.

However, he soon had a new audience.  There was a cow pasture there and pretty soon, the cows all had meandered over to the fence and paying rapt attention to Ed.

Good Story.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Hainesville Civil War Encampment: A Mortal Wound and Embalming

The surgeon then began probing the wound and found... PUSS,  lots and lots of yellow puss.  He scooped it out and threw it down on the ground in front of the spectators drawing lots of yucks and  oooohhs and assorted groans.  Pretty gross.  He said that yellow puss was good as if it was black, that meant there was a gangrene problem.

Next he dug some and found a large sliver of a piece of wood which he also threw on the ground.

He also found that there were no broken bones or a shattered knee cap, which was also good as had he found those, amputation would have been necessary.

When he finished, they tried to bring the soldier back to being awake, but, unfortunately,he didn't revive.  He was dead.

He had died on the operating cot.

The undertaker was called in and the first thing he did was look to see if the soldier had paid for his services.  If he had (he did) then he would begin embalming.  If not, the body would be taken out back and buried in a shallow grave and hopefully a wooden marker put up.

Since this man had paid, he began draining the man's blood and putting in the embalming fluid.  Rather gross.

Just Don't Get Wounded.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

A Beautiful Day Out At Hainesville's Civil War Encampment-- Part 3: Surgery and Embalming in the Civil War

Like I said, it was an absolute beautiful day for this late in the season.  But, it wasn't so great for a Union zouave who had been wounded.  As a matter of fact, it turned out to be his last day on earth, as he died on the operating table.

The 17th Corps Hospital unit put on a demonstration of battlefield surgery.  And, the current, sterile operations of today it wasn't. A U.S. Army surgeon performed the operation on the zouave's leg, with assistance from a contract surgeon, orderly and nurse.  Surgeons were paid very well for their services, contract surgeons well, but not as much.

Contract surgeons were essentially part-timers, hired on for a certain length of time as needed.

The zouave begged for the surgeon not to take his leg as he was a farmer and needed it for that purpose.  If the surgeon found the knee cap had been fractured, this would lead to amputation.

The soldier was laid out on a stretcher and a nurse administered the anesthetic with a can.  She also used a funny-looking hearing devise to find his heartbeat.

 The surgeon began probing the wound with his finger and forceps.  No sterilization.  This man was found to have what the surgeon referred to as an aerial wound.  That would be one made by a shell exploding in the air by a tree and blowing pieces of wood on soldiers on the ground.

--Old Secesh

Lyrics to "Goober Peas" "Wearing Out Your Grinders Eating Goober Peas"

As sung by Burl Ives.

Sittin' by the roadside on a summer's day
Chattin' with my mess-mates, passing time away
Laying in the shadows underneath the trees
Goodness how delicious eating goober peas.


Peas, peas, peas, peas
Eating goober peas
Goodness how delicious
Eating goober peas.

When a horse-man passes, the soldiers have a rule
To cry out their loudest, "Mr., here's your mule"?
But another pleasure enchanting-er than these
Is wearing out your grinders, eating goober peas.


Just before the battle, the General hears a row
He said, "The Yanks are coming, I hear their rifles now"
He turns around in wonder and what do you think he sees?
The Georgia Militia eating goober peas.


I think my song has lasted almost long enough
The subject's interesting but the rhymes are mighty tough
I wish this war was over and free from rags and fleas
We'd kiss our wives and sweethearts, and gobble goober peas.


I may be from the South, but I find boiled peanuts disgusting.

--Old BoiledPeanutsHater

Monday, October 21, 2019

A Beautiful Day At Hainesville's Civil War Encampment-- Part 2: "Eatin' Goober Peas, Goodness How Delicious"

I met friends Rob and Tim out there and went to several places with them.  One was where two men were singing Civil War songs to the accompaniment of a guitar, banjo and harmonica. Tim, Rob and I had started talking about goober peas ( neither of them knew what they were).  They did know that there was a candy called Goobers which were chocolate-covered peanuts.

I told them there was also a rather humorous song about "Eatin' Goober Peas."

When we brought the term goober peas up to the musicians they talked about what they were and said that before the war, goober peas (which are peanuts, in case you're still wondering) was not a very popular thing with southerners, particularly those from Georgia where they were prevalent.  However, with food shortages prevalent in the army, Confederate soldiers soon developed a taste for them.

"Peas. peas, peas, peas
Eatin' goober peas
Goodness how delicious
Eatin' gooberpeas."

As part of the song goes.

I wonder if they had all the current warnings about peanuts back then?

And then thee was funny fellow, Gomer's cousin, from "The Andy Griffith Show."

What Was His Name?  --Old Secesh

Sunday, October 20, 2019

A Beautiful Day Out At Hainesville's Civil War Encampment & Battle-- Part 1: A Battle Log?

Saturday, October 19, I drove out to Hainesville, Illinois, for their annual Civil War encampment and it sure was a perfect day for it, especially after the horrible weather we had last weekend.  There was a good-sized crowd on hand and quite a few children and other young folks, most of whom were not on their cell phones.

There was plenty of educational and learning experiences available for young and old (like me).

I learned from a person describing Civil War ammunition about "Battle Logs."  He had one on hand and I'd never heard of the term.  It seems that after the war, people started touring battlefields.  Farmers who had suffered ruination from the battle would sell them pieces of fences or trees with bullets embedded in them as souvenirs.

The one he had with him had at least five bullets in it and he said it might have been from Shiloh.  At least that is what he was told when he acquired it.

That would be making the best of a bad situation.

A Big Ol' Log.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Why General Lee Wore a Colonel's Rank During the Civil War?-- Part 1

Well, this was a new one on me.

From the October 18, 2019, We Are the Mighty by  Blake Stilwell.

When Robert E. Lee left the Union Army for the Confederacy, he was a colonel in his former vocation.  Despite his promotion in the Confederate cause and eventual command of its main army, the Army of Northern Virginia,technically he still wore the rank of his former country.

That is, the rank of colonel.

He wore that rank even as he negotiated the surrender of his army at Appomattox.

When the Confederacy broke away from the Union, they didn't adopt every single  military custom and design.  They took on the color gray and did keep many of the customs, but they completely revamped officer ranking symbols.

Find Out Why in the Next Post.  --Old Secesh

Friday, October 18, 2019

Hainesville Civil War Days-- Part 2

Hainesville, Illinois, will be trying to upset all the Civil War Days setbacks we've been having this summer in the Illinois area.  First, the annual Civil War Days at Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda, Illinois, was cancelled because of the black man who is president of the Lake County Forest Preserve District because he didn't like the sight of Confederate soldiers with the Confederate flag.

Then, the big re-enactment in Naperville, Illinois, was cancelled because of declining attendance, or at least that is what they said, but I kind of doubt it.

Anyway, here is the schedule of events for tomorrow, Saturday, October 19.

10 a.m.--  Public entry
10:15-10:45--    Military drill
10:50-11:20--  Elijah Haines, Hainesville founder speaks

11:25-11:55--  Mary Todd Lincoln--  A day at the Lincolns' White House
11:30-1:00 p.m.--  Guided cooking tour of the Union and Confederate camps
12:00-12:30--  William Irving Kirk--  Southern abolitionist minister

12:40-1:20--  General Grant--  Rise of a general
1:15-2:00--  President Lincoln:  1864 Year of Destiny
2:10-2:40--  Clara Barton, Civil War nurse and founder of the Red Cross

2:10-2:40--  Officers call
2:45-3:15--  Battlefield surgery
3:15-3:30--  Assembly

3:30-4:00--  Narrated Battle  Prelude to Atlanta

4:00--  Event closes

Sunday, October 20 is essentially the same thing, only everything is an hour earlier.

Maybe See You There.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Hainesville (Illinois) Annual Civil War Event and Battle-- Part 1

Relive the Civil War at Hainesville, Illinois's annual Civil War Encampment and Battle where knowledgeable re-enactors, both civilian and military, will recreate the war in the rural setting of Hainesville, Lake County's oldest village.

There will be narrated battles, military and civilian camps, and presentations by such historical figures as Elijah Haines (founder of Hainesville), Abraham Lincoln, and others.  There will be souvenirs, period food, and music as well.

Admission is free, but there is a $10 per vehicle charge for parking.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and  Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m..

Hey, you can still catch Da Bears game at 3:20 p.m..

I am thinking of going to one of these days, depending upon the weather and whether I can getv started on my massive burn pile.  We can only burn on weekends in October and November here in McHenry County, which is just west of Lake County where Hainesville is located.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Small Battles, Big Results at Pamplin History Park

The 23rd annual seminar at Petersburg, Virginia's Pamplin History Park will take place this weekend, October 18-20 and will consist of seven presentations based along this year's theme "Small Battles, Big Results."

Of particular interest to me is Rod Gragg speaking about new perspectives on Fort Fisher which is my major interest in the Civil War and why I became interested in history and that war in the first place.  You can read more about him and his book "Confederate Goliath" in my Running the Blockade blog from yesterday.

Other battles presented will be:

Mine Run
Ball's Bluff
Champion Hill
Fort Pillow

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Lt.-Col. James M. Shane, 98th Ohio

From Official Roster 98th Ohio Infantry.

James M. Shane


Entered service at age 32, on July 14, 1862, period of service: three years.

REMARKS:  Promoted from Captain, Company A to date  Oct. 7, 1862: to Lieut. Colonel June 12, 1863, but not mustered:  killed  June 27, 1864, in Battle of Kenesaw Mountain, Ga.

--Old Secesh

Monday, October 14, 2019

The 44th New York at the Battle of Gettysburg

From the New York Unit History Project.

The inscription of the Gettysburg monument:

"The 44th under Freeman Conner held position about 100 feet in front of the monument from about 5 p.m. July 2 to about 11 a.m. July 3, 1863.

"313 engaged-  killed 2 officers, 24 enlisted; wounded 5 officers (one died) and 75 enlisted of which ten died.  Total loss 106.

"At noon July 3 placed in reserve where they remained to the end of the battle."

A Hard Fight.  --Old Secesh

Friday, October 11, 2019

Some More on Cape Girardeau's Fort D-- Part 6: Stabilized, Improved and In Use Today

In the late 1950s  and early 1960s the building was frequently used as a private residence.  From 1967 to 1975 the building and grounds  were used as a senior citizens center followed by use in the mid 1980s by the Junior Optimist Club.

After that the building stood vacant and was frequently vandalized.

Major stabilization and improvements of the site began in 2005 with new interpretive signs, guided tours and Civil War living history programs.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Four Real Children of Civil War Soldiers Still Alive in Virginia in 2013

From the April 28, 2013, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch  "Four children of Civil War soldiers still live in Virginia" by Bill Lohmann.

"As offspring of  soldiers who fought in the War Between the States, Virginia's  few 'real' sons and daughters of the long-ago conflict are a fascinating living link to history.

"They are rare living links to history, these children of Civil War soldiers.

"Yes, children.

"As we commemorate  the 150th anniversary  of the war, it is  amazing to consider that offspring of those who fought  are still among us.  It doesn't seem possible that the math  could add up.  But it does.

"There are no fewer than four children of Civil War veterans  living in Virginia; they are classified as 'real' sons and daughters, by the heritage groups who keep track.  Two 'real' Confederate daughters remain -- sisters, in fact, who live in Danville and Rocky Mount -- while a 'real' Confederate  son resides in Roanoke.  The only 'real' Union child, a daughter, lives in Varina in Henrico County."

Hard to Believe.  --Old Secesh

Monday, September 30, 2019

Marrying an Old Guy Was Way to Financial Security

I told my students about young girls marrying old Civil War veterans even when they were in their teens and early twenties and the vets in their sixties and the girls in the class issued forth a big "Yuck!!!"

I myself really wasn't aware of this until I read about the last Confederate widows dying around 2000.

These old men had financial security for poor girls in the form of pensions for their service.  And, quite a few of these old men became daddies at an advanced age.

This is why we now have the death of the last Real Son of a Confederate as well as all those Confederate Real Daughters and Union Real Sons.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, September 26, 2019

MCCWRT Discussion This Saturday; The Chickamauga/Chattanooga Campaign

This Saturday, September 28, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table discussion group will be meeting at Panera Bread in Crystal Lake from 10 a.m. to noon.  This month's topic; the 1863 Chickamauga / Chattanooga Campaign.

Panera Bread is located at 6000 Northwest Highway (by the intersection with Main Street).

All are invited, not just MCCWRT members, so come on by, get some coffee and a bite to eat and let's talk Civil War.  Well talk Civil War at least part of the time as we often get sidetracked.

Get You started teaser:  Who commanded the Confederate forces at both battles?

--Old Secesh

Calvin Crane, Last Living Confederate Real Son, Dies-- Part 4

Mr. Crane is survived by two daughters and a host of grand children, great grand children and a great-great grandson and another on the way.

The Crane family declined to be interviewed for this article.  However, in 2013, Crane's daughter Cynthia Crane  Jones, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that she has had difficulties convincing others of her Civil War connections.

"I know when I was in like third or fourth grade and we'd start studying the Civil War, I'd say, 'My grandfather was in the Civil War!' " she told the newspaper.  Her classmates and teachers would try to correct her by saying, " 'No, no, that was your great-grandfather.'  And I'd say, 'No, it was my grandfather.'  Mom even had to go to school one time and tell them that it was my grandfather."

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Calvin Crane, Last Confederate Real Son, Dies-- Part 3: Remaining Confederate Real Daughters and Union Real Sons

Mr. Crane was born on a farm near the White Oak  Mountain community of Pittsylvania County, barely two months before the United States entered World War I.  His family moved to Danville soon after his father's death so his mother could work in the Dan River Mills.  The Crane family financial situation was so desperate, Calvin had to leave school after the sixth grade.

He remembered, "I had a terrible time growing up."

He joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) in 1993 and attended meetings for over twenty years.  The SCV's national headquarters in Columbia, Tennessee confirmed that Crane was the last living son of a Confederate veteran.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy confirms that there are still five Real Daughters living, none of them in Virginia.David Demmy, executive director of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, says that  their organization knows about two living Real Sons and four living Real Daughters.

--Old Secesh

Monday, September 23, 2019

Calvin Crane Dies, Last SCV Real Son-- Part 2: His Father, James Crane, Married Twice and Had 21 Children

James Crane fathered 16 children with his first wife, who died around 1900.  He was in his 50s when he married his second wife, Annie Eanes, 18.  She had grown up an orphan and lived on a farm near Danville.  Calvin was her youngest of five children by James and was born February 27, 1917.

Gerald Via, a member of the Fincastle Rifles, Sons of Confederate veterans (SCV), confirmed that  Calvin was the last known living Real Son of a Confederate soldier.

I am a member of the SCV, but not as a Real Son.  I am in the organization because of my great great grandfather.

Mr. Crane served in WW II  and won two Bronze Stars while serving in North Africa and Europe in an armored division.  After the war, he moved to Roanoke and worked with an uncle in the dry-cleaning business before joining the maintenance department of the Roanoke post office.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Calvin Crane Dies, Believed to Be Last Remaining Confederate Real Son-- Part 1

From the September 19, 2019, Roanoke (Va.) Times "Roanoke man was last Real Son of a Confederate veteran" by Ralph Berrier Jr.

Calvin Crane served in the U.S. Army in World War II and received two Bronze Stars for valor in North Africa and Europe.  He is also believed to be the last Real Son of a Confederate soldier.He died Sunday, September 15, 2019, at the age of 102.

As the Real Son designation in the Sons of Confederate veterans designates that he is an actual son of a Confederate soldier.  And that is a really amazing thing to think about.

His father was James Anthony Crane, a Confederate soldier from Pittsylvania County, Virginia.  During the Civil War, he served with Ringgold Battery, Battery B of the 13th Battalion, Virginia Light Artillery.  He served through the whole war after enlistment.

After the war, he married twice and fathered  21 children before dying around 1918, when Calvin was just a year old.  Calvin never knew much about his father other than he liked to hunt  and that he was old when Calvin was born.

This Is A Real Connection With History.  --Old Secesh

Friday, September 20, 2019

George E. Albee-- Part 1: A Long and Varied Military Career and Medal of Honor Recipient

From Wikipedia.  After the last two days' posts, I decided to look up George Albee to see if there was anything else about him.  There was.  He was the one who took it upon himself to mark the position of his company of Berdan's Sharpshooters at the Second Battle of Bull Run, or do you say Manassas?

GEORGE EMERSON ALBEE  January 27, 1845 to March 24, 1918.

Officer in the U.S. Army who received a Medal of Honor for his actions in the Indian Wars.  During the Civil war, he fought with Berdan's Sharpshooters, the Wisconsin Light Artillery, the U.S. Colored Troops and the Regular U.S. Army.

George Albee was born in Lisbon, New Hampshire, on January 27, 1845, and died March 24, 1918, in Laurel, Maryland and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 2, Lot  850.  His wife, Mary Hawes Albee(848-1907) is buried with him

Albee enlisted in Co. G (Wisconsin) of Berdan's sharpshooters in June 1862.  After two months in the field, he was wounded at the Second Battle of Bull Run and discharged for disability while he was convalescing.

But, His Military Career Wasn't Over Yet.  Not By A Long Shot.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Marking His Spot-- Part 2: What His Sign Said

These are the words on George Albee's sign:


used many cartridges on this
spot, August 30, 1862-losing
1 man killed and 8 wounded.

Position marked by Geo. E. Albee, a private of the company."

An early history marker.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Marking His Spot-- Part 1: Hot Fight at Second Battle of Bull Run

From the July 2019 America's Civil War "One Shot, One Kill" by Doug Wicklund and Michael G. William.  It was one man's need to mark his spot at the Second Battle of Bull Run that led to a sign on that battlefield that still exists.

At the battle, Berdan's Sharpshooters rushed into an open field ahead of the main assault on Stonewall Jackson's troops at the Deep Cut.  They managed to repel skirmishers, which caused Jackson's men to open fire from the trace of an unfinished railroad.

George Albee of Company G, 1st Regt.of Berdan's U.S. Sharpshooters was wounded during this action, but returned after the war to place a signboard on a tall cedar post to mark his company's location during the fight.  That pole has been replaced  several times over the years, but a sign still occupies the same spot at the Manassas National Battlefield Park.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

What They Said About Berdan's Sharpshooters-- Part 3: The Battle of Gettysburg

**   At Gettysburg, a soldier in the 4th Alabama recalled the death of a comrade:  "Taylor Darwin, Orderly sergeant of Company I, stopped, quivered, and sank to the earth dead, a ball having passed through his brain."

By nightfall, July 2, federal forces had withstood repeated attacks on Little Round Top.  Berdan's Sharpshooters had disrupted the Confederates long enough for reinforcements to arrive..

**  According to Col. Hiram Berdan's after-action report, 450 of his men were involved during the battle and had fired off 14,400 rounds of ammunition while suffering fewer than 30 total casualties.

**  Gettysburg was the last time Berdan was with his men.  He was promoted to division command and the two regiments were merged into one.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, September 14, 2019

What They Said About Berdan's Sharpshooters-- Part 2: "Minnie Bullets and Grape Shot Were As Thick As Hail"

**  Civil War historian Jim Woodrick wrote of the Battle of Antietam that at the Cornfield, the 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters "returned fire and the Confederates started too break, leaving guns, knapsacks and everything that impeded their progress on the ground beside their dead and wounded comrades."

**  At the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, sharpshooters unleashed a quick and deadly salvo at a North Carolina battery under Captain James Reilly.  James Reilly, later as a major, was the officer who surrendered Fort Fisher.  A Confederate force of about 200 men were sent out to deal with them.

They had devastation visited upon them by the sharpshooters.  One of the Confederates wrote:  "We advanced through a field and about half a mile before we reached the...foot of the mountain (Big Round Top), our men tumbling out of ranks at every step, knocked over by the enemy's sharpshooters."

**  Private John C. West of the 4th Texas wrote:  When the command was given to charge we moved forward as quickly as we could....  Yankee sharpshooters were on the higher mountains, so as to have fairer shots at our officers.

"On we went yelling and whooping...minnie bullets and grape shot were as thick as hail, and we were compelled to get behind the rocks and trees to save ourselves."

Don't Mess With the Sharpshooters.  --Old Secesh

Friday, September 13, 2019

What They Said About Berdan's Sharpshooters: "One Shot, One Kill"

From the July 2019 America's Civil War magazine  "One Shot, One Kill" by Doug Wicklund and Michael G. Williams.

**  A sharpshooter on "California Joe":  "He is a craggy old monument from California and can shoot better than many as he was  a bear hunter."

**  A Confederate on how fast the sharpshooter Sharps bullets traveled:  "The bullet got to you before the report, but if it was a muzzleloader the report got to you before the report."  Report is the sound of the rifle firing.

**   A Confederate artillery gunner from the 1st Richmond Howitzers talking about the Battle of Malvern Hill where his battery faced off against the sharpshooters:  "We went in as a battery and came out a wreck."

**   Another wrote about the battle:  "[W]e came out with one gun, ten men and two horses, without firing a shot."

Pretty Effective Group Indeed.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, September 12, 2019

9-11 Disease Deaths Grow

From the September 11, 2018, Chicago Sun-Times "Deaths from 9/11 diseases will soon outnumber those lost on that day" by Nancy Cutler, USA Today Network.

In the 17 years since September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, nearly 10,000 First Responders and others who were at the World Trade Center in New York City have been diagnosed with cancer.  More than 2,000 deaths have been attributed to 9/11 illnesses.

And, this article was a year ago.

And, these figures will get worse.  By the end of 2018 some expect that more people will have died from their toxic exposure from 9/11 than from the attacks.

Robert Reeg of Stony Point, New York, is a retired New York City fireman who was seriously injured in the South Tower collapse.  In the past 17 years he's seen many fellow First Responders fall victim to those illnesses.

"You lose track, there's so many of them," he said.    As for his own health risks, he said he doesn't dwell on it.  "It's at the back of your mind.  But you can't let it control you."

Continued On My Running the Blockade Blog.  --Old Secesh

"Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)?"-- Part 5

This was supposed to have been posted yesterday on the actual anniversary, but unfortunately we lst our internet access, so I will go with it today.

I am doing the lyrics to the song that really sums up that day 18 years ago, "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)' by Alan Jackson.  I already had four parts yesterday on my blogs.


Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow

Go out and buy a gun?

Did you turn off that violent old movie you're watchin'

And turn on "I Love Lucy" reruns?

Did you go to church and hold hands with some strangers

Stand in line to give your own blood?

Did you stay at home and cling tight to your family

Thank God you had somebody to love?


When they put out the desperate calls for blood for the Twin Towers, I greatly doubted taht there would be any survivors from that catastrophe.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Berdan's Sharpshooters-- Part 7: Engagements

Berdan's Sharpshooters saw action at the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862.  There, in just ten minutes, they wrecked the Confederate 1st Richmond Howitzers regiment.

Again, they were prominent at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862 at the Cornfield, but with heavy losses where the 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters had 13 officers killed and wounded and 54 enlisted men killed, wounded or missing.

What probably was the Sharpshooters' defining moment came at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, during Longstreet's advance at the Little Round Top.

This was Hiram Berdan's last time with his group as he was promoted to division command and a year later resigned.    That December, 1863, the two regiments were merged, but never again used in the role for which they were created.

--Old Secesh

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Learn All About Yankee Buzzards at MCCWRT Meeting Tuesday

This Tuesday, September 10, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table (MCCWRT) will find out all there is to know about "The Yankee Buzzard Regiment."

The meeting takes place at 7 p.m. at the Woodstock Library in Woodstock, Illinois.  Our speaker will be Jerry Allen.  Everyone invited.

The library is located at 414 West Judd Street, just a couple blocks off the historic 1850s Woodstock square where much of the movie "Groundhog Day" was filmed.

Some of the members will be meeting at 5:30 p.m. at 3 Brothers Restaurant on Illinois Highway 47.  Grab a bite to eat and talk about whatever (not just Civil War).

Then Saturday, September 28, the MCCWRT Discussion group meets at Panera Bread in Crystal Lake, Illinois, 6000 Northwest Highway (US-14) at 10:00 a.m..  This month's discussion is about the Chickamauga/Chattanooga Campaign."

Come see  how long we stay on topic.

I Couldn't Find Anything About a Yankee "Buzzard Regiment" So This Will Be Interesting.--Old Secesh

Friday, September 6, 2019

Berdan's Sharpshooters-- Part 6: Their Weapon of Choice, the M-1859 Sharps Rifle

From the July 2019 America's Civil War magazine.

Three features made the M-1859 Sharps such a fine weapon:  loading design, action and ammunition.

It was the brainchild of Connecticut gunsmith Christian Sharps as an update to his 1848 concept for a percussion lock breechloader.  This was at the time when most firearms loaded through the muzzle.  A gun that could be loaded from the breech offered many advantages, especially to a sharpshooter.

Standing a rifle on its butt and fumbling with powder, ball and ramrod would give away a sharpshooter's position.  But a breechloader enabled him to reload effortlessly, no matter what position he was in.  They could load the single shot and shoot downrange up to ten well-aimed rounds a minute, nearly triple of what a muzzle loader could do.

The design of the rifle caused rounds to leave the barrel at 1,200 feet per second, compared to a muzzle loaders 900 feet.  This gave it a flatter long-range trajectory.

--Guns, Guns.  --Old SeceshBang

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Berdan's Sharpshooters-- Part 5: Joe's Eye Problems

Along about August 1862, Joe began to complain about eye problems he believed to be caused by his frequent use of the telescopic scope attached to his rifle.

He determined, as was his style, to take his complaint to the highest authority in the land, President Lincoln.  So he sent Lincoln a letter saying:  Mr.Lincoln:  -- I have done some service to the country, and my eyesight is ruined doing duty.  I would like to be discharged.  California Joe."

Shortly after that, he received his discharge.

Returning to California, he took the duty of  customs inspector for the port of San Francisco.  he died on November 24, 1875, and was buried  in the GAR plot  at Mountain View Cemetery with full military honors.  He was reinterred at the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio on January 31, 1933.

--My Eye.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Berdan's Sharpshooters-- Part 4: California Joe Shines at Yorktown

And, there were a lot of stories about Truman Head's prowess with a rifle during the war.  The first  stories about him came out at Yorktown during the Peninsula Campaign.  More than one publication claimed he scored "the first rebel slain" in the action.

A large 32-pounder cannon was brought to the field by the Confederates and in the morning, as they prepared to load and fire it, a cannoneer approached the barrel to swab it out and Joe killed him.  The swab remained in the barrel and for the rest of the day, any rebel seen trying to remove it  met a similar fate from Joe or one of his comrades.

Another tale has a small party of mounted Confederates "led by an officer wearing a white shirt" ventured outside their line and Joe commented that he was "best at a white mark."  He quickly fired and the man in the white shirt fell off his saddle to the ground, apparently dead.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Berdan's Sharpshooters-- Part 3: California Joe (Truman Head)

From Wikipedia under Truman Head, his real name.

Since I was writing about him in my last post, I decided to write some more about him.

Born 1808 in New York.  Died November 24, 1875 in San Francisco, California.

He left home after falling in love with a young lady but being rejected by her father.  Supported himself as a hunter and trapper for several years before heading to California after gold was discovered in 1849.

When the Civil war broke out, he headed wast to fight even though he was 52.  he originally wanted to join Colonel Baker's California regiment but didn't particularly like the drill and decided to join Hiram Berdan's Sharpshooters and easily passed the trials and enlisted in Company C of the 1st U.S. Sharpshooters on September 14, 1861.

While the regiment was at a camp of instruction in Washington, D.C., he purchased a Sharps Rifle during the winter of 1861-1862.  This became the main killing instrument of his regiment.  Since he had no family, he left his $50,000 gold mining fortune in a trust for his fellow soldiers in case he was killed.

--Old Secesh

Monday, September 2, 2019

Berdan's Sharpshooters-- Part 2: California Joe

While the sharpshooters were training at Fort Corcoran in Washington, D.C., Truman Head, a former gold miner and hunter joined their ranks.Since he was from that western state, the men quickly started calling him "California Joe."

"There is a new man here in my company that is all attention," one sharpshooter wrote in his diary.  "He is a craggy old monument from California, and can shoot better than many as he was a bear hunter.  He old Sharps and has told all that will hear that he will obtain a newer edition to fight the rebels shortly."

An outstanding marksman, Joe was disgusted with the guns the regiments were using.  True to his word, he bought a M-1859 Sharps and showed it to Hiram Berdan who was impressed and immediately ordered a thousand for his men.  But, the Sharps factory was backlogged and until they got that rifle, they received a consignment of M-1855 Colt revolving rifles which were not much-liked by the men.

--Old SeceshJoe

Berdan's Sharpshooters-- Part 1: Crack Shots

From the July 2019 America's Civil War magazine ""One Shot, One Kill" by Doug Wicklund and Michael C. Williams.

They were greenclad (to blend in with surroundings) to set them apart from regular Union troops and they were sharp shots.  A Confederate's worst nightmare.  And they hit their mark very often.  Probably their greatest two actions were Antietam and Gettysburg.

Organized by Hiram Berdan, a nationally-known marksmen, whose contribution was to organize a sharpshooting regiment made up of the best riflemen of the North.  (This man had quite the facial beard,)  The members came from six states and were given incentives to join, but had to pass rigorous sharpshooting trials.

Some 2,000 men qualified and in August 1861 they became the 1st and 2nd United States Sharpshooters.

And, they did prove their mettle.

--Old Secesh

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Confederate Heritage Under Attack-- Part 3:The Caddo Statue

August 31, 2019 Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Dismantling the myth of "Black Confederates."

**  Caddo Confederate statue's owners disappointed with parish leaders.

**  Daughters of the Confederacy ordered to move monument at Caddo.

**  Changing Hanover school names "won't change anything."

**  The KKK came to my town.  But hate has no home here.

**  Attorneys continue to argue finer points as lawsuit over Confederate statue nears.

**  Candidate used racially offensive terms on radio show.

--Old Secesh

Friday, August 30, 2019

Confederate Heritage Under Attack-- Part 2: Confederate Railroad Band

These are the August 30, 2019, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Maryland museum considers removing Confederate flag from logo.

**  Fair For All Campaign calls Cornel (University) 'uncooperative' in stopping Confederate flag sales at sponsored state fairs.  This group wants sales to stop.  Accompanied by photo of Confederate flags next to MAGA hats.

**  Confederate band to play at Chance.  (Confederate Railroad)

**  Confederate Railroad ready to play next week at Black Diamond Harley-Davidson in Marion (Illinois).

**  Students were punished for pro-LGBTQ t-shirts at a school that allows Confederate flags on clothes.

**  Wreck of paddle steamer throws light on British support for Confederate slave states during U.S. Civil War.

It Just Doesn't End.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Confederate Heritage Under Attack-- Part 1: Ole Miss To Embarrass Self

I receive Google Alerts for Confederate every day.  And every day there are more attacks on my heritage.  I usually don't read them as I get too angry.

But, just in case you think these attacks are over just because your local newspaper or media outlet doesn't talk about them, believe me that these are continuing.

These are the ones from August 29, 2019:

**  Early Confederate flag removed from Indiana war monument.  (They didn't realize what the first National Flag looked like.)

**  Ole Miss announces plans to relocate Confederate statue.

**  Federal lawsuit against Hanover schools to change Confederate named schools.

**  H2H Scott:  Should Confederate statues remain standing.

**  Confederate Railroad won't accept payment from fair that canceled their show.  (Guess why they were canceled?)

**  Daughters of the Confederacy said a year ago that they owned the Franklin Square.  Here's where the case stands.

See.  Not Over At All.  --Old Secesh

Some More on Cape Girardeau's Fort D-- Part 5: After the War

In 1911 the land around Fort D was subdivided for housing; the subdivision was to be called "Fort D Highlands".  Citizens of Cape Girardeau and the Southeast Missourian newspaper called for Fort D to be preserved (by then it was the only remaining Civil War fortification in the city).  It was preserved.

In June 1836, the Louis K. Juden Post 63 of the American Legion purchased the fort as a public park for the city.  The Works Progress Administration agreed to perform restoration and improvements in the form of a replica powder storehouse, while the City of Cape Girardeau agreed to maintain the  the fort in perpetuity.

The work on the fort and new powder house was completed on July 26, 1937, and the American Legion used  the building as a meeting house for several years.  However, eventually the Legion moved to another site.  From 1945 to 1948, the property was used by the Girl Scouts as a recreation center.

More Than You Ever Thought You'd Know About Fort D.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Some More on Cape Giradeau's Fort D-- Part 4: Powell Explored the Colorado River and Grand Canyon

In 1869, the now-retired Major John Wesley Powell got help from his old friend, now-president U.S. Grant.  Using a small flotilla of wooden row boats, Powell explored the Colorado River and  made the first descent of the Grand Canyon.

Powell went on to work at the Smithsonian Institution, founded the Bureau of Ethnology and became the second director of the United States Geologic Survey.

--Old Grandesh

Some More On Fort D, Cape Girardeau-- Part 3: Not Involved in the Battle of Cape Girardeau

Cape Girardeau was attacked by Confederate forces on April 26, 1863.  During the Battle of Cape Girardeau, Fort B was involved in much of the fighting while Fort D was not attacked at all.  The Confederate forces were easily turned back and Cape Girardeau remained in Union hands the rest of the war.

During the summer of 1864, companies of free black men and escaped slaves, part of the 18th USCT were stationed at Cape Girardeau, including some who garrisoned the forts.

In September 1864, Confederate General Sterling Price moved into  southeast Missouri with his army and three of Cape Girardeau's forts were manned and new cannons emplaced there.  Fort D was deemed too far away from the downtown area to be of use.  The Confederates did not come, however.

After the war, the Cape Girardeau forts were abandoned and all but one disappeared in the following decades.

Still Wondering Why the Forts Were Named After Letters and Not Names.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Some More on Fort D, Cape Girardeau-- Part 2: Company F, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery

On August 30, 1861, General Ulysses S. Grant arrived in Cape Girardeau and took command.  He visited again in October and authorized Captain John Powell to raise a company of local men to man the forts and guns around Cape Girardeau.

They became Battery F, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery and were organized immediately, but not mustered in until December 11, 1861.  Throughout the fall and  winter, Powell's men trained on the large cannons of the forts and did garrison duty.

In late March 1862, they were ordered to join the Union Army of the Tennessee at Pittsburg Landing in western Tennessee.    They were heavily engaged in the Battle of Shiloh a short time later on April 6 at a spot ever-after known as the Hornets' Nest for the fierce fighting that took place there.

It was there that Captain Powell was wounded in the wrist and forearm; later his  arm was amputated below the elbow.   His Battery F would go on to take part in the Battle of Corinth, Siege of Vicksburg and Atlanta among other battles.

--Old Secesh

Monday, August 26, 2019

Some More on Fort D, Cape Girardeau-- Part 1: Gen. Fremont Orders Defenses Constructed

From the John Wesley Powell's Fort D Historic Site.

Well, since I am writing about this heretofore unknown to me fort, I'll continue.

Construction work on Fort D in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, began August 6, 1861.

The first Union troops in Cape Girardeau were members of the 20th Illinois Infantry who landed July 6, 1861.  This was John Wesley Powell's (later famous for exploring the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon) regiment.

With the possibility that Cape Girardeau might be attacked by pro-Confederate forces General John C. Fremont ordered  Captain Franz Kappner of the Corps of Topographical Engineers there to construct fortifications.  August 2, Fremont visited the town and then ordered Captain Flad there to help design the forts.  A plan was submitted to the general on August 2.

On August 4, Colonel C. Carol Marsh ordered the fortification of the Windmill Hill which became known as Fort A.  Engineer troops of Bissell's Engineers of the West also arrived to help with construction.  These men were mostly German immigrants from St. Louis.

Two days later, under the supervision of Lt. John Wesley Powell of the 20th Illinois, construction began on what became Fort D.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, August 22, 2019

MCCWRT Discussion Group Saturday, August 24: Overrated/Underrated

The McHenry County Civil War Round Table (MCCWRT) group meets this Saturday at the usual place, Panera Bread Company at 6000 Northwest Highway (US-14) in Crystal Lake, Illinois,  from 10 a.m. to noon.

The topic will be "Most Overrated/Underrated  (Anything or Anybody).  Should be interesting.  Do you have anything along these lines?

Come On By.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Fort D, Cape Girardeau-- Part 4: Modern Preservation

The fort was saved from development in the early 20th century.  The earthworks were repaired in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), part of FDR's New Deal during the Great Depression.

The stone blockhouse was built by the WPA in 1936 and has been used for various purposes since.

The fort was listed on the NRHP in 2019.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Fort D, Cape Girardeau-- Part 3: Other Forts Guarding the Town

Fort D is the only surviving of four forts built to defend Cape Girardeau.  And, the reason they call it Fort D.  I guess they didn't want or couldn't decide on names for the forts.

FORT A--  located slightly north of the downtown on a high hill.  A grist-grinding windmill was included inside the fort.

FORT B--  Located where  Academic Hall now stands at Southeast Missouri State University.

FORT C--  built at the end of  Bloomfield Road east of Pacific Street.

Smaller earthworks included Battery  A at the corner of Henderson and New Madrid streets, Battery B on Whitener Street just east of  Sunset Avenue and rifle pits along Perry Avenue and on the hill where Southeast Missouri Hospital now stands.

--Old SeceshDeau

Monday, August 19, 2019

Fort D, Cape Girardeau, Mo.-- Part 2: Never Saw Action

The earthwork walls, as originally constructed in 1861 and restored in 1936 as part of a Works Progress Administration project.  A palisade wall made of sharpened upright wooden timbers, formed the rear of the fortification and had a gate.  The gap in the south wall may have been a "sally" port, where troops could access rifle pits below  the parapet.

The fort was armed with three 32-pounder cannons and two 24-pounder cannons.  A 32-pounder cannon  was a smoothbore one that could fire a 32-pound solid shot over a mile.

Fort D was garrisoned by soldiers from Missouri, Illinois and other Midwesterm states during the course of the war.  The fort never saw action, but the Battle of Cape of Cape Girardeau on April 26, 1863, took place west of the city.

--Old Secesh

Fort D, Cape Girardeau, Missouri-- Part 1: A Shiloh and John Powell Connection

From Wikipedia.

A Civil War fort along the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, about 115 miles southeast of St. Louis.  (It is 35 miles from Sikeston, home of the original Lambert's Cafe, home of the "Throwed Rolls".)

During the Civil War, it was the site of the Battle of Cape Girardeau on April 26, 1863.  The forces engaged in  a minor four-hour skirmish, each side sustaining casualties in the low double digits.  Fort D was not involved in it.

Work on Fort D began on August 6, 1861, under the direction of Lieutenant John W. Powell of Illinois.  He later recruited a company of Cape Girardeau men for service in the Union Army.  These men eventually became Battery F, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery (Powell was from Illinois)   After a short period of training, they were at the Battle of Shiloh on April 6, 1862.

As Powell raised his hand, a bullet shattered his wrist and the arm was later amputated to stop infection.  In 1868, a one-armed John Powell led the first successful  navigation of the Colorado River through what Powell named "The Grand Canyon."

--Old Secesh

Friday, August 16, 2019

Fort D Placed On NRHP-- Part 2: One of Only A Few Urban Forts Left in Missouri

John Wesley Powell got his career start at Fort D and other forts in Cape Girardeau during the war.  His friendship with Grant kindled at Fort D which helped him later to map the Colorado River and the American West.

Being recognized on the NRHP, however, doesn't carry with it any financial benefits.  Fort D is owned by the city of Cape Girardeau.

In fact, Fort D is one of only a very few urban forts left in the state if Missouri as others were often destroyed or built over by construction as the cities grew.

If things go as planned, the 1937 building in Fort D will likely receive a new roof.

The public is invited to visit Fort D on Labor Day when re-enactments take place there.

Go Fort D!!  --Old Secesh

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Fort D Placed On NRHP-- Part 1: A Redan and John Wesley Powell

Okay, I'd never heard of a Civil War fort named Fort D, but evidently there was one.

From the August 12, 2019, KCRU "A Civil War relic, historic Fort D is placed on National Register of Historic Places" by Clayton Hester.

Fort D historic site in Cape Girardeau, Missouri,  has been added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), a program run by the National Park Service.

Friends of Fort D coordinator, Scott House has spent much time working on the rather involved application process.  The drafts of this ranged from 75 to 90 pages.    Part of it pointed to the fort's significance in the Civil War as well as its architectural importance from its 1930s building on site and it is the only redan -- a v-shaped earthwork -- in the state.

Another significant fact about the fort is its connection with John Wesley Powell who went on to greater importance as a scientist in the American West.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

MCCWRT Meets Tonight at McHenry County History Museum in Union

Tonight, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table (MCCWRT) takes its show on the road and instead of meeting at the Woodstock, Illinois, Public Library, will travel to the McHenry County Historical Society's museum in Union.

The museum will show several objects from its Civil War collection and members will also have a Show and Tell.

It starts at 7 p.m. at 6422 Main Street, Union.

I am considering going.

--Old Secesh

Monday, August 12, 2019

Richard Sherwood Satterlee

From Wikipedia.

I have been writing about the hospital that was named after him.

(December 6, 1798 to November 10, 1880)

Union Army medical officer.  Obtained his medical license in 1818 and practiced in Seneca County, New York.  Joined the Army in 1822 and stationed at Fort Niagara, Fort Porter and Fort Mackinac.  In  1831 he transferred to Fort Winnebago in Portage County, Wisconsin.  While there he took part in the Black Hawk War.

After that, he was sent to Florida and campaigned against the Seminoles.

After that it was a tour of duty at Fort  Adams in Rhode Island and then participation in the Mexican War and took part in the battles of Molino del Rey and Chapultepec.  After that, he returned to Fort Adams in 1848 and survived the sinking of a steamship carrying  an artillery regiment in 1853.

He served throughout the Civil War and was brevetted to brigadier general and was a candidate for the command of the Medical Corps after the dismissal of Clement Finley.  That command went to William Alexander Hammond.  Satterlee retired in 1869 after a long career and Satterlee General Hospital was named after him.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Satterlee General Hospital-- Part 7: A Self-Contained City

In 1862, Satterlee added  military tents with beds to handle the influx of wounded after the second Battle of Bull Run.

The hospital was essentially a self-contained city by 1863.

After the Battle of Gettysburg "the greatest number of wounded were admitted to the hospital in a single month ... swelling the hospital population to more than 6000."  Along with this influx came what the clerks called "the greatest number of deaths  in any one month" in August -- an average of one a day.

By 1864, the hospital was surrounded by a fourteen-foot fence and included a barber shop, carpenter shop, clothing store dispensary, three kitchens laundry, library, post office, reading room and a printing office which printed the hospital's newspaper, The Hospital Register.

Over the course  of its operations, Satterlee treated some 50,000 wounded and deaths were remarkably low  260, quite notable considering the sanitary conditions and medical practices of the time.

After Lee's surrender, the number of wounded coming in dropped dramatically and it closed August 3, 1865.  The buildings were eventually razed and during the 1890s much of the site became residential housing.  The lower portion of the grounds today serves as Clark Park.

Quite A Remarkable Effort.  --Old Secesh

Friday, August 9, 2019

Satterlee General Hospital-- Part 6: The Largest Union Army Hospital

From Wikipedia.

Before I saw  the article in the Civil War Monitor, I had never heard of this place before.

It was the largest Union Army hospital and operate from 1862 to 1965 and rendered recovery to thousands of Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners.  It was originally called West Philadelphia General Hospital but renamed  in honor of Richard Sherwood Satterlee, a surgeon during the Black Hawk War and became a brigadier general during the Civil War for his success in the medical field.

It was founded in 1862 under the order of Surgeon-General William A. Hammond in a sparsely populated area of west Philadelphia by 45th and Pine streets on 15 acres.  The initial 2,500 bed facility was built in just 40 days.

Nursing duties were performed by the nuns of the Daughters of Charity.  Ultimately over 100 of them were at the hospital.

Dr. Isaac Hayes was the hospital's commander who was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and had gained some fame as a polar explorer before the war.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Satterlee General Hospital, Philadelphia-- Part 5: Food Consumed in One Year

Food consumed at Satterlee, September 1862 to September 1863

804,418--  pounds of bread

540,519--  pounds of beef and mutton

41,052--  pounds of pork

37,420--  pounds of chicken

95,250--  pounds of fish

490,388--  pounds of potatoes

283,123--  pounds of mixed vegetables

23,635--  pounds of coffee

4,425--  pounds of tea

74,325--  pounds of sugar

334,222--  quarts of milk

27,272--  dozens of eggs

Keepin' 'Em Fed.  --Old SeceshEat

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Satterlee General Hospital-- Part 4: By the Numbers

By the Numbers

40--  Number of physicians who worked at the hospital during the war.

91--  Number of nuns (Sisters of Charity) who volunteered as  nurses at the hospital during its existence

2--  Number of hours the hospital band performed every afternoon, weather permitting, from the observatory.

3--  Miles distant the band might be heard in favorable winds.

14--  Height in feet of the fence that surrounded the hospital

25--  The number of sentries posted in and around the hospital

177--  Number of men comprising the hospital guard

By the Numbers.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Satterlee General Hospital-- Part 3: By the Numbers

2--  Number of corridors  (each 775 feet long)

34--  Number of hospital wards (each 167 feet long by 24 feet wide) in October 1863.

150--  Number of hospital tents on the grounds

4,500--  Patient capacity of the overall hospital (including tents)

5,847--  Number of patients admitted from October 8, 1862, to October 8, 1863.

110--  Number of patient deaths during the above period

4,062--  Greatest number of patients admitted in any month during this period (July 1863).  The Battle of Gettysburg.

--Old Secesh

Satterlee General Hospital-- Part 2: Only a 2% Mortality Rate

The hospital occupied roughly 16 acres of high ground, which, according to one of its staff, contributed to it possessing "all that could be desired as to pure air, and other natural helps to the procurement of round health."

During its nearly three years of operation (the hospital closed in August 1865) Satterlee buzzed with activity, its well equipped and trained doctors, nurses and other workers catering to the needs of a rotating array of sick and wounded Union soldiers.

Their effort proved remarkably successful, resulting in a patient mortality rate of approximately two percent.

Coming up next is a number of figures about Satterlee and its operations.

By the Numbers.  --Old Secesh

Monday, August 5, 2019

Satterlee General Hospital-- Part 1: One Huge Hospital

From the Spring 2019 Civil War Monitor "Salvo  Figures.

Judging just from the picture, this was an absolutely huge hospital.

"I was learning to  love the place -- to love its kind of people, and even its scenery....  Days, months and perhaps years may roll on before I am permitted to see my second home again."  So wrote a grateful Union soldier in 1863 about Philadelphia's Satterlee General Hospital, where he had recently been a patient.

Opened in June 1862 as Western Philadelphia Hospital, it was renamed the following year for the Army's chief medical purveyor, Richard S. Satterlee, and became the Union's biggest hospital.

Designed in the "pavilion" style, with its multiple wards linked to two long central corridors and supplemented by tents.

--Old SeceshSick

Saturday, August 3, 2019

War's Hardening Ways-- Part 3: "No Idea of the Filth and Vulgarity"

**  "I had no idea of the filth and vulgarity of men in camp until I tried this little experiment."

--Colonel William Barksdale, 13th Mississippi Infantry, reflecting on his recent decision to join the army, in a letter to his brother.


**  "It seems to me I am quite callous to death now, and that I could see my dearest friend die without much feeling....  During the last three weeks ... I have witnessed hundreds of me shot dead, have walked and slept among them, and surely I feel it possible to die myself as calmly as any."

--  Union surgeon John Gardner Perry, in a letter home written during the Battle of North Anna.

--Old Secesh

Friday, August 2, 2019

War's Hardening Ways-- Part 2: "Waiting For This Fellow To Die"

**  "Am waiting for this fellow to die, so I can get his watch and ring."

--Confederate soldier Jim Randall after being asked by a comrade why he was sitting near a wounded Union officer after a battle.


**  "We passed the night high up the mountain, where we moved to reach our supply wagons.  A cold rain was falling, and before we found them ... I had lunched comfortably from the haversack of a dead Federal.  It is not pleasant to think of now...."

--  Confederate General Richard Taylor on an incident that occurred during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862, in his memoirs.


Thursday, August 1, 2019

War's Hardening Ways-- Part 1: "Cant Be Beat At Cursing, Swearing and Gambling"

From the Summer 2019 Civil War Monitor magazine  "Salvo:  Voices."

War has the way to harden-off its participants.  Here are some examples:

**  "I will be a perfect Barbarian if I Should Stay hear 3 years."

Recently enlisted Vermont soldier J.E. Hart, in a letter to his wife, June 16, 1861.


**  "If you think soldiering cures anyone of wild habits it is a great mistake, it is like Sending a Boy in the Navy to learn him good manners.  We have Drummer Boys with us that when they came at first could hardly look you in the face for diffidence but now could stare the Devil out of contenance and cant be beat at cursing, swearing and gambling."

Alfred Davenport, 5th New York Infantry, in a letter to his parents, March 9, 1863.


Civil War Days Canceled in Lake County, Illinois: Something's Mighty Rotten

The 2019 Civil War Days has been canceled by Lake County Forest Preserve District (Illinois) President Angelo D. Kyle.  He doesn't like it because it includes Confederates and that means the flag will be there.

He is a black man.

Talk about a racist move on somebody's part.  This has been going on for over twenty years and is a well-attended event.  And, it is also one of the biggest Civil War re-enactment events in the state.  People really got to see first-hand what it was like to be a soldier during that war.  But not any more.

And, Mr. Kyle probably did not know this, but the show is open to members of USCT re-enactment groups.  That stands for United States Colored Troops.  That means his people.  So, in effect, he was being racist against his own race, besides just whites and Confederates.

It sounds like he made this move without the support of the rest of the Forest Preserve Board.  Definitely grounds for removal from office.  He first canceled it, then, under pressure said this year's would go on, but then canceled it again because of security issues.  It is doubtful there were security issues and the Lake County Sheriff's Office has even offered to look into the issues, but Mr. Kyle evidently doesn't want that.

Something Stinks in Lake County.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Confederate Heritage Under Attack-- Part 4: July 31, 2019

These are the July 31, 2019, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Lake County commissioners back Confederate statue.

**  'You have  let us down':  Locals unhappy after vote to bring Confederate statue to Lake County.

These  first two all involve the same statue, that of Confederate General Kirby Smith which is being removed from the Capitol in Washington, D.C..

**  Bill would remove Confederate statue.

**  Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on Charlottesville, racism and Donald Trump.

**  Beauvoir's Instagram page hacked with pride flag, Bernie Sanders image.

**  Hispanic group, vets want Fort Hood renamed after Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient.

**  Castleman statue:  Why I decided to find out whether Gen. John Castleman was really racist.

And So It Goes.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Confederate Heritage Under Attack-- Part 3: July 30, 2019

**  Rebuilt car with Confederate flag on roof auctioned for $15K at Parkside demolition derby.

**  Lake commissioners should vote to bring Confederate statues to Tavares.

**  Confederate flag hoisted on phone tower near school grounds in Omaha.

**  Dallas voters poled about Confederate Monument, its fate tied up in court.

**  Petitions want Confederate Railroad  perform in Hudson Valley.

--Old Secesh

Confederate Heritage Under Attack-- Part 2: July 30, 2019

Theses are all newspaper articles headlines. You can look them up if you want to know more.

**  Virginia preservationist proposes Confederate design removal.

**  Half-American, half-Confederate flag flown near school sparks controversy.

**  Letter:  Move the Confederate memorial somewhere more appropriate.

**  Car draped in Confederate flag at Monroe County Fair parade draws criticism.

**  On this day:  Confederate spy Belle Boyd arrested.  (Well, what do you know.  Something about the First Civil War!)

--Old Secesh

Monday, July 29, 2019

Illinois' Gov. "Toilets" Bans Confederate Railroad Band

In the last post I mentioned this group being cancelled at a county fair.

The governor banned the country group Confederate Railroad from playing at the Illinois State Fair in August because of the name and Confederate flag on their logo.  He also banned them from the Du Quoin State Fair.

I guess, in truth, the governor, known for his love of toilets, was fearful that the overflow crowds who would come  out to see  the band would be too much for the state fair bathrooms and to avoid an unpleasant scene, he had them cancelled.

However, they will be playing at the Black Diamond Harley-Davidson party in Marion, Illinois, on September 5.

And, Liz and I had been considering going to the Illinois State Fair this year.

Not Now.  --Old Secesh

Confederate Heritage Under Attack-- Part 1: July 29, 2019

As I have been doing for several months, I am not doing a daily account of theses attacks on Confederate heritage, but just the last three days of the month.  Just because you do not read about the attacks in your daily newspaper or media, doesn't mean that they are not continuing.

These are the posts listed in the Google Search site for "Confederate" for July 29, 2019.

**  Confederate flag hoisted on cell pone tower.  (In Nebraska)

**  Felicia Brothers replace Confederate Railroad in Ulster County Fair lineup.  )Theses are bands.)

**  Letter:  Cancelling Confederate Railroad.

**  Confederate memorial vandalized

**  Charlottesville considering putting up historic markers  on Confederate memorials.  (Virginia)

**  Norfolk statues suit dismissal casts doubt  on Charlottesville defense.

**  CDA Chamber 'regrets' local company's Fourth of July parade entry.  Owner dismisses concern his floats' imply racism.

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.  One of the floats was a General Lee "Dukes of Hazzard" car.

It Just Doesn't End.  --Old Secesh

Friday, July 26, 2019

That Civil War Reading Thing-- Part 3: "With What Delight"

**  "No sooner did an army halt within reach of these enterprising fellows than they were to be seen galloping from brigade to brigade distributing daily newspapers to eager buyers ....   With what delight the veterans read descriptions of actions they had taken part in...."

--War correspondent George F. Williams, on the arrival of newspaper vendors in camp, in his reminiscences of the conflict.


**  "We opened one morning at nine o'clock with a stock of four thousand books and papers, and at two o'clock P.M. all were gone, and almost every one taken from the counter, -a book or paper to each man who presented himself."

--  Rev. William A. Lawrence  on the soldiers' reading room established by the U.S. Christian Commission in Savannah, Georgia, after the city's capture by Union forces in December 1864.

Where's My Book?  --Secesh

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Turning Point(s) of the Civil War for McHenry County Civil War Round Table Discussion Group This Saturday

The McHenry County Civil War Round Table (MCCWRT) Discussion Group will meet this Saturday, July 27, at Panera Bread on Crystal Lake, Illinois, at 6000  Northwest Highway (US-14) at 10 a.m..  This month's focus topic will be"The  Turning Point of the Civil War."

It should be interesting to see what folks think.

Obviously that double July 1863 catastrophe at Gettysburg and Vicksburg would receive considerable emphasis.

I'd like to add Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Union industrial might to the mix.

You don't have to be a member to attend.

Come On Down.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

That Civil War Reading Thing-- Part 2: "Would Become As Rusty As A Boy's Jack Knife"

**  "You see I must read something, or my mind would become as rusty as a boy's jack knife that has been lost in a rubbish pile for a year or two, and in the absence of anything better I devour every novel I get hold of."

Major Thomas A. Connolly, 123rd Illinois Infantry, explaining why he had read "David Copperfield" and "The Confessions of Con Cregan," in a letter to his wife, February 14, 1864.


**  "I wish I had some books.  The best I can do now is to repeat over and over such pieces of poetry as I have committed to memory."

Charles B. Hayden, 2nd Michigan Infantry, in his diary, June 21, 1861.

Read Them Books.  --Secesh

Monday, July 22, 2019

That Civil War Reading Thing-- Part 1: "Able To Go On With His Latin"

From the Spring 2019, Civil War Monitor "Salvo:  Voices."  The magazine goes into first hand accounts on a given subject.  This one is on the importance of reading to Civil War soldiers.

**    "Please Drop Papers."  --   Message on a sign made by Union soldiers on guard duty along the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, in hopes that passengers might toss them reading materials.


**  "While we were bringing water he sat down on the ground, and pulled from his bosom a copy of Andrews' Latin Grammar.  It was covered thick with his blood.  he turned to the fifth declension and began with res, rei.  He said that ... he found this book, and had carried it under his blouse in the fight, thinking if he was wounded or taken prisoner he would be able to go on with his Latin."  --  Rev. E.P. Smith, U.S. Christian Commission, on a wounded soldier he encountered after the Battle of Missionary Ridge.

Veni, Vidi, Vinca?  --Old SeCaesar

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Started With a Drunken Captain and Ended With a Mean Old Lady (But for Good Cause)

From the Spring 2019 Civil War Monitor  "Charley's Legacy" by Ronald S. Coddington, Military Images Magazine.

Captain Charles Gloyd served three years with the 118th Ohio Infantry and his war experiences turned him into a raging alcoholic.  His drinking buddies called him Charley.  Even so, he tried to live a normal life and took a wife named Carrie in 1867.

Their marriage, however, was short.  Charley drank himself to death in 1869.

His demise, left Carrie a widow at age 23 and with an infant daughter named Charlien, named after Charley. Carrie never forgot Charley.

As a matter of fact, this turned Carrie against the evils of drinking.  She eventually became a leading person in the temperance campaign and toured the country, making speeches, and, on occasion, wielding a famous hatchet smashing up saloons.

We have come to know her as Carrie Nation, her second husband's surname.

So, Now You Know.  --Old SeceshWatchOutForCarrie

Friday, July 19, 2019

Belknap, Illinois

From Wikipedia.

Back on July 8, I mentioned that Ann Stokes, Civil War nurse on the hospital ship USS Red Rover, lived in this town that I had never heard of before.

It is a village in Johnson County in the far southern part of Illinois.  In the 2010 census the population was 104.  Probably why I had never heard of it.  The population of Johnson County in 2010 was 12,582 with county seat at Vienna.  This is the area of Illinois known as "Little Egypt."

Belknap was established in 1873 as a stop along  what would become the Big Four Railroad.  It is likely it was named after William Worth Belknap, who was U.S. Secretary of War.  The village was incorporated in 1880.  (William Belknap was an interesting character as well as a Civil War officer.  I will write about him later.)

Of interest, Mermet Springs, which is listed as being in Belknap is a repository for all sorts of things for scuba divers to explore including vehicles, a rail car and a Boeing 727 which was used in the movie "U.S. Marshals."

I was unable to find out anything about Ann Stokes living there are being buried there.  Now, here is a woman deserving of a historic marker of some sort.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Threats Over Civil War Days Investigated-- Part 6: Who's a Racist?

Angelo Kyle also described the Civil War as "the most gruesome, pathetic, despicable war on American soil" and questioned why it should be reenacted.

My question to Mr. Kyle:  What about the Indian Wars and removal of Indians (Trail of Tears)?

Matt Evans explained on the Facebook post calling for people to show up at the July 10 forest preserve district board meeting what he thought about reenacting.

"This Mr.Kyle gentleman has used the Lake County Civil War Days to push his own agenda along with the help of a very racist black person.  Yes, I said it,"  Evans wrote.  "This isn't about race for us as a community, it's about family, it's about good friends that we made in this hobby, it's about the educational things we teach to boys and girls at these events."

Mr. Evans Had It Right.  Mr. Peterson and Mr. Kyle Are Very Racist People.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Country Band Confederate Railroad Canceled From Two Illinois State Fairs Because of Name

Just today I learned that a popular country band called Confederate Railroad were canceled from the DuQuoin State Fair in Illinois as well as the Illinois State Fair because of their name and logo.

This seems to be the work of Illinois Governor Toilets.

This is getting insane.

Liz and I were planning to visit Springfield this August and go to the Illinois State Fair.  I guess not now.

When Will the Insanity End?  --Old Secesh

Threats Over Civil War Days Investigated-- Part 5: So, What Is Mr. Kyle?

Continued from July 3, 2019.

Matt Evans said Ralph Peterson Jr was a racist for some of his remarks in local news stories and his Facebook live post.

Forest Preserve president is Angelo Kyle, who is a black man, originally called for the event to be canceled after describing  how he attended a past Civil War Days encampment at Lakewood Forest Preserve and saw  "a considerable number of Confederate flags and a number of other things" that concerned him.

Those other things would be Confederate re-enactors.

This makes Mr. Kyle a racist.

It Is So Sad Wgen Black racism Hits An Event Like This.  --Old Secesh

Monday, July 8, 2019

The Black Experience, Ann Stokes-- Part 2: A Very Dedicated Woman

She was on active duty on the hospital ship USS Red Rover until October 1864 when she resigned, citing total exhaustion.

She married Gilbert Stokes after leaving the Red Rover.  he was also working on the Red Rover.  They moved to Illinois where he died in 1866.  She remarried to George Bowman in 1867.

In the 1880s, she tried unsuccessfully to get a pension based on her marriage to Gilbert Stokes.  her big problem in this was that she was unable to read or write.

She reapplied in 1890 stating that she had piles (hemorroids) and heart disease after she had learned to read and write.  She asserted that she had served 18 months on the Red Rover and this time she was approved and received $12 a month.

She lived in Belknap, Illinois.  I was unable to find out where she is buried, but it was likely in or around Belknap.  Now, here is a woman whose grave needs to be located and a marker erected as she was an original.

Here's Hoping.  --Old Secesh

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Black Experience: Ann Stokes, Union Nurse-- Part 1

From the July 27, 2017, Southern Illinoisan by Marlene Rivero.

Ann Stokes was a slave and a volunteer nurse on the first U.S. Navy hospital ship, the Red Rover, stationed at Mound City, Illinois.

She was paid regular wages and rated as a first class boy.  She also became the first black woman to receive a military pension of her own accord.

She came aboard a Union ship in 1863 as a contraband who could not read or write.  She worked under the direction of the Holy Cross nuns.

She was born in Rutherford County, Tennessee i  1930 and enlisted in the U.S. navy along with several young black women.

--Old Secesh

Friday, July 5, 2019

MCCWRT Meeting Tuesday, July 9: "The B & O Railroad in the Civil War

The McHenry County Civil War Round Table will meet at the Woodstock Library in Woodstock, Illinois, this Tuesday at 7:00 pm.  It is located at 414 West Judd Street, just a couple blocks off the famous Woodstock Square (where the movie "Groundhog Day" was filmed).

Several of us will gather at 5:30 at 3 Brothers Restaurant on Illinois Highway 47 for dinner.

This month's presentation will be on the "B & O Railroad in the Civil War" and will be given by our own Charlie Banks.

See You There.  --Old Secesh

Happy July 2-- Part 7: The Opportunity to Grow Thanks to the July 2 Resolution

Gradually, the newer reading of the declaration as a document for equality "became the primary meaning that we remember today."

The virtue of the declaration, the debated definitions and practices of freedom, prosperity and fair government, shared internationally on July 4th, have taken on new life thanks to the independence declared on July 2.

David Hargrove, of Summerville, South Carolina, was visiting Chicago with his family.  On Wednesday, he was going to head back home, just in time for the Fourth.  And while he considers himself a bit of a fun-fact "buff," he had not heard of America's July 2 resolution.

He still plans to celebrate Independence Day the way he always does, on July 4 with a cookout and card games.  "Being an American, I still strive for those goals of protecting my family, prospering, being happy and having the opportunity to grow," he said.  "That's what I look at the American dream as and the Fourth of July as, celebrating that opportunity to grow."

Just An American.  --Old Yankee Doodle Dandy

Happy July 2-- Part 6: But What Does This Mean to the Slave?

Continued from today's posts on my Running the Blockade:  Civil War Navy blog.

After the War of 1812, this ushered in a new era for the Declaration of Independence as anti-slavery activists began using the rhetoric of the second sentence, "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Right" to advocate that there should be true equality and no slavery.

In a July 5, 1852, address commemorating the 76th anniversary of the declaration's public release, Frederick Douglas reflected on the July 2 resolution,  "Citizens, your fathers made good that resolution.  They succeeded; and today you reap the fruits of their success."  he asked,  "What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?  I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all the other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim."

--Old Secesh