Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Marking His Spot-- Part 1

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

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy July 2-- Part 2: Why the 4th and Not the 2nd?

John Adams correctly predicted a lot about how our nation's birthday would be celebrated, all these 243 years later.  But he was incorrect as to the day, which he figured would be July 2, the day the Congress voted on a resolution to form a new country out of British control.

"The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epocha, in the history of America, Adams wrote.  "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival."

So, our day of celebrations, not the six days before or two days after July 4, should actually have been celebrated this past Tuesday, not today on Thursday.  How did this come to be?  Why for two centuries has our country's birthday been celebrated on the 4th instead  of the 2nd?

Go to My Running the Blockade: Civil War Navy to Find Out Why on Part 3.  Also there you will find parts 4 and 5.  --Old Secesh

Happy July 2nd-- Part 1: John Adams Sees Into the Future.

This was the day that John Adams predicted that Independence Day would be celebrated.  But, he was wrong.

From the July 4, 2019, Chicago Tribune  "John Adams predicted an Independence Day on July 2 but fate interceded" by Bianca Sanchez.

"On July 3, 1776, the day after the Second Continental Congress voted on a resolution to declare independence from the British, John Adams sent a letter to his wife, Abigail, back home in Massachusetts.  In the letter, the Founding Father prophesied a grand celebration  of America's independence.

" 'It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of the continent to the other from this time forward forever more,' he wrote expectantly."

Well, this is what has been happening since last Saturday.  Only, he was thinking all this would occur on July 2, not July 4 as it turned out to be.

--Old Rebel (Because That's What They Were.  Rebels.  Someone Else Was Called Rebels during the Civil War.)

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Threats Over Civil War Days Investigated-- Part 4: Mr. Peterson's View: "Glorifying the White Man"

Matthew Evans said he was also taken aback by comments made by Ralph Peterson Jr. where he called for protests against the Civil War Days event.  Mr. Peterson is a self-acclaimed community activist.  He said that the "re-enactment was culturally insensitive and had no place in Lake County," and added that the spending of taxpayer money was an insult to him.

"The reenactment was just glorifying the white man.  It's whitewashing history to glorify the white man," and further the slaves were not really freed because of subsequent Jim Crow policies, a point also made by Kyle.

Evans says Peterson is racist for the comments.

Have you been able to guess what race Mr. Peterson is yet?  I looked him up on the internet, and found that Mr. Peterson is a black man.  Does Mr. Peterson know that a whole lot of the white men who fought and died in the war were fighting for the Union?  Also, as the war continued, a whole lot of the soldiers were also Blacks:  the USCT.  Wouldn't he want them honored?

What he meant to say is that he has a problem with re-enactors who play the part of Confederates.

Where Have We Heard This Before?  --Old Secesh

Threats Over Civil War Days Investigated-- Part 3: Another View of the Situation

Matthew Evans, 35, of Genoa, Illinois, suggested that Civil War re-enactors should show up at the Lake County Forest Preserve District's board meeting.  He is the captain of the 154th Tennessee Company K, Confederate re-enactor group who goes by the nickname Johnny Reb.  He thinks the cancellation is a power play on Kyle's part.

"I think what the president (Angelo Kyle) did was wrong," Evans said about the abrupt cancellation, reinstatement and now cancellation again and added that Kyle should resign because he is pushing his own agenda.

Evans said he has 16 or 17 ancestors who fought in the war, one for the Union and the rest for the Confederacy.  He is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (and also camp commander of the Camp Douglas Camp based in the Chicago area).

He started re-enacting in high school.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Civil War People Buried At Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery-- Part 4

Thomas Edwin Greenfield Ransom   Union brig. general

John Blake Rice    Chicago mayor 1865-1869

William Bennett  Scates   Union brevet brig. general

Caleb Chase Sibley  Union brevet brig. general

Andrew Barclay Spurling   Union brevet brig. general

Joab Arwin Stafford   Union brevet brig. general

William George  Stephens   Medal of Honor recipient

John Howard Stibbs  Union brevet brig. general

Lots and Lots O' Brevets.  --Old Secesh

Monday, July 1, 2019

Threats Over Civil War Days Investigated-- Part 2: Fears for Public Safety

In announcing the cancellation of the Civil War Days re-enactment event, John Tannahill, the Lake County Forest Preserve's chief of ranger police and director of public safety said that reaction to the announcement were very concerning.

He did not respond earlier to a request for his safety concerns

Forest preserves President Angelo Kyle released a statement saying that safety concerns had come up, nothing specific.  "We cancelled it because of the unknowns -- there was potential for (people from) both sides of the issues (showing up), and we don't know their intent, Executive Director Ty Kovach said.

A petition to protest the cancellation on and Civil War re-enactors who participate at the annual event went on social media.

Civil War Days has been held at Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda for 27 years.

The forest preserve president is a black man which probably explains his distaste for the event as Confederates and their flag are at it.

Something Smells Out in Lake County.  --Old Secesh

Threats Over Civil War Days Investigated-- Part 1: Something Amiss In Lake County

From the June 26, 2019, Chicago Tribune by Frank S. Abderholden.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that it has requested information from the Lake County Forest Preserves about threats related to this week's cancellation of the annual Civil War Days event.

They are willing to conduct the investigation, but needed a request from them to start the investigation.  The Forest Preserve initially did not make one and this past Monday June 24, put out the announcement that they were cancelling because of "public safety concerns" after consulting with local and state law enforcement agencies.  They evidently did not consult law enforcement.

However, Tuesday, June 25, Forest Preserve District Commissioner Dick Barr did request a criminal investigation  to find out who made the threats.

There is a whole lot of opposition to the cancellation but I doubt that anything went further to threats and if they did, those responsible should be fully prosecuted.

--Old Secesh

Friday, June 28, 2019

Confederate Heritage Under Attack-- Part 4: Of Flags and Monuments

From the June 28, 2019, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  County rejected by state for Confederate monument historical marker.

**  Virginia official ousted:  voted to remove Confederate names.

**  Altamont Fair should ban sale of Confederate flags.

**  VA secretary visiting Dayton military cemetery criticized for pro-Confederate comments.

**  Caves Escape:  Lake-area cave where Confederate guerrillas once camped now hosts escape room.

**  Couple charged in racial incident in NC leaves note and flag at Summerville Center.

**  "I thought the whole Confederacy had fallen on me": A story of the death crater at Vicksburg.  (Well, this is real Civil War news.)

**  David Ramsay:  Readers respond to recent Gazatte columns.  (About the Civil War)

Think It's Over?  --Old Secesh

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Confederate Heritage Under Attack-- Part 3: Bow Ties?

From the June 27, 2019, Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Fired MLGW worker with pro-Confederate views to get $223,000 judgement.

**  In Your Opinion:  Fly American flag, not Confederate one.

**  Archaeology magazine features Salisbury Confederate prison dig.   (Now, this is the type of article most often in the Confederate Google Alerts before Charleston, SC.  I sure wish we could go back to those days.

**  Beaufort County councilman under fire for bow tie.  (Certain people believe it is a Confederate flag.  See photo in article and you decide.)

**  Jefferson Davis monument lacks context to stand alone.

**  Inaugural Junetenth celebration in Tazewell hindered by rain, rumor.  (There was rumor it might be part of an attempt to take down a Confederate statue.)

**  Adam Scott is in a Twitter war with Mitch McConnell.  Part was a photo of McConnell standing in front of a Confederate flag.

Watch Those Bow Ties.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Confederate Heritage Under Attack, June 26, 2019-- Part 2

I could make some comments about these, but I'm not.

**  Ornithologists consider changing "Confederate" name of bird.  (McCown's Longspur, named after John P. McCown.)

**  Activist feels "unsafe" after Confederate flag, note are left for him at community center.

**  Pros and cons of relocation sites for Manatee Confederate monument.

**  Virginia Dems hope to change state law, remove Confederate statues.

**  Why I Fly a Confederate flag.

**  Phillip Tutor:  Standing atop the Confederate flag.

**  Flagler County officials disavow Confederate flag that flew at Princess Place Preserve caretaker grounds.

It Just Keep Going On and On.  Really, Birds?   --Old Secesh

Confederate Heritage Under Attack, June 26, 2019-- Part 1

So, just because you don't read about it or see on media, if you think these despicable attacks on Confederate heritage are over, THEY ARE NOT!!

Theses come from today's Google Alerts for Confederate.  I used to try to follow these every day, but they anger me way too much, so I only look at three days toward the end of the month.  I much rather research and write about the first war on the Confederacy, not the second which we have going on right now.

As a matter of fact, I was going to put these attacks in a separate blog which appears at the bottom of the Blogs I Follow list:  The Second Civil War, but I couldn't get that blog to take the news and, I already have way too many blogs with the seven I already write.

From the June 26, 2019, Google Alerts for Confederate headlines.

**  Confederate flags placed on lawn of Independence City hall.  (Missouri)

**  Tyler Perry says he converted Confederate base into film studio to inspire black youths.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Civil War People Buried At Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery-- Part 3

A brevet brigadier general would be a colonel who was advanced a rank at the end of his service.

Orrin Lorentna Mann   Union brevet brig. general

John McArthur   Union brig. general

Buckner Stith Morris   Chicago Whig mayor 1838-1839.  He opposed the war against the Confederacy and was arrested in 1864 for attempting to free Confederate prisoners being held at Chicago's Camp Douglas.

Nelson Morris   Businessman  Established  the Nelson Morris Company in Chicago in 1859 and became rich selling cattle  to the Union armies.

Peter O'Brien  Medal of Honor recipient

LeGrand Winfield Perce  U.S. Congressman.  Union colonel

--Old Secesh

Monday, June 24, 2019

Civil War People Buried at Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery-- Part 2

Brevet means promoted at end of military career to the next higher rank.

John Charles Haines   Chicago mayor 1858-1860

James Robert Huguenin  Union brevet brig. general

Joseph Blackburn Jones  Union brevet brig. general

Josiah Holcomb Kellogg  Union officer

Edward Needles Kirk  Union brevet brig. general

Philip Knopf--  Private, Co. I, 147th Illinois.  U.S. Congressman

George Kretsinger--  Medal of Honor recipient

Herman Lieb   Union brevet  brig. general

A Whole Lot of Brevets.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, June 22, 2019

MCCWRT Discussion Group Today: The Navy at Vicksburg, the Canal

Grant's campaign against Vicksburg, Mississippi, will be the topic today of the McHenry County (Illinois) Civil War Round Table's discussion group meeting at Panera Bread in Crystal Lake, Illinois, at 10 a.m..  I will write more about it in my Running the Blockade: Civil War Navy blog today.

But one aspect of the campaign involved some 3,000 troops and something they did with water in an attempt to bypass the Confederate batteries guarding the town.  That was the construction of a canal, which is now called Williams' Canal and Grant's Canal, as both Union generals were involved with its construction at different times.

This took place June 27 to July 24, 1962.

During the summer of 1862, Farragut's fleet bombarded Vicksburg's defenses with little success.  It was decided to build a canal to accomplish a bypass.  Three thousand Union troops under Brigadier General Thomas Williams were put to work on it.

They suffered hugely from disease and eventually called the effort off.

Then, in January 1863, Grant took another shot at building that canal, but that too failed.

--Old Secesh

Friday, June 21, 2019

Civil War People Buried at Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery-- Part 1

From Find A Grave for Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum.  All are Union unless otherwise noted.

George Buchanan Armstrong--  Proposed sending mail over the railways for faster service.  In 1864 Postmaster General Montgomery Blair implemented this.

George S. Bangs--  Postal service, worked with George Buchanan Armstrong.  Helped raise  36th Illinois Infantry and served as colonel on staff of Governor Richard Yates.

John Lourie Beveridge--  brevet brig. gen.

George Royal Davis--  officer and later U.S. Congressman

Arthur Charles Ducat--  brevet brig. gen.

Charles Truman Hotchkiss--  brevet brig. gen.

Charles Henry Howard--  brevet brig. gen.

And, a Lot More Coming.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Gen. Martin Reuben Merritt Wallace Buried at Rosehill Cemetery-- Part 2

Continued from June 10, 2019.

From Find a Grave for Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago.

Quite a few famous folks are buried at this cemetery, along with a lot of Civil War brevet brigadier generals, who I will list in an upcoming post.

Charles Frederick Gunther--  created Cracker Jacks
John D. Hertz--  Founder Yellow Cab and Hertz Rent-A-Car
Otis Hinckley--  Co-founder of Hinckley & Schmitt

Jerome Holtzman--  famous sportswriter
Oscar Ferdinand Mayer--  Founded Oscar Mayer
Ignaz Schwinn--  bicycles

Julius Rosenwald--  Part owner of Sears &Roebuck Co., philanthropist, Rosenwald Schools.
Richard Warren Sears--  Founded Sears, Roebuck and Company
John Graves Shedd--  Second president and chairman of the board of Marshall Field& Co.  Philanthropist Built Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.

George Joseph Schmitt--  Co-founder of Hinckley & Schmitt
Reinhart Schwimmer--  Gangster killed at Chicago;s St. Valentine's Day Massacre, February 14, 1929.
Aaron Montgomery Ward--  Founded Montgomery Ward and Co.
Henry Haven Windsor--  Founder of "Popular Mechanics" magazine

I'll be listing folks from the Civil War who are buried at Rosehill in my next post.

This Is Quite a Lineup of Notables for this Cemetery--  Old Secesh

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Death of Gen. William Wallace-- Part 3: With His Wife By His Side

And, then things turned for the worse.

Ann Wallace recalled the end of the general's life:

"He seemed so happy and satisfied to have me so near him, but lay in calm self-control, even in death, conscious that  his moments of life were continued only by this rest.  Hope with us grew brighter until a periodical delirium, caused by excessive inflammation, passed away and his pulse began to fail; we knew his moments with us were few.

"My darling knew he was going and pressed my hand long and fondly to his heart.  Then he waved me away as aid, 'We meet in Heaven."

"They were the last words upon those loved lips., and he faded away gently and peacefully and hopefully."

I wonder if any other Civil War soldiers died with their wives at their side?

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Death of Gen. William H.L. Wallace-- Part 2: Found Alive the Next Day, Meets Wife

A Federal counterattack on April 7th turned the tide at the Battle of Shiloh and the Confederates were driven from the field.  The Union had won.

About 9 a.m., that morning, a Union soldier found William Wallace where he had been left.  Incredibly, despite the severe head wound and the fact that he had lain outside in heavy rains,. Wallace was still alive.  He was placed aboard a river steamer and taken to Cherry Mansion, general Grant's headquarters in Savannah.

Also on board that transport was the general's wife, Ann Wallace.    She had arrived for a surprise visit just prior to the battle, but the two had not gotten together.  She had been told already that her husband was dead and was elated to see him still alive.

The gravely wounded general recognized her and was able to speak with difficulty.  She cared for him and he seemed to be getting better.

Kind of a Coincidence That His Wife Would Be There.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Death of Gen. William H.L. Wallace-- Part 1

From the Iron Brigader blog.  "The Death of General W.H.L. Wallace at the Battle of Shiloh"  by Mark.

Wallace's division was farther back from the main Union line, nearer to Pittsburg Landing on April 6, 1862, as the Battle of Shiloh commenced.  He moved two of his brigades up to what became known as the Hornet's Nest.  As the Confederates continued attacks, eventually they got around the flanks of the Union soldiers there.

William Wallace decided to have his men fight their way out.  As this was happening, Wallace's aide-de-camp, Lt. Cyrus E. Dickey (who was also Wallace's brother-in-law) pointed out some advancing Confederate troops.  The two were on horseback and when Wallace rose up from the saddle for a better view a bullet hit him in the head behind his left ear and exited out his left eye.

The general immediately dropped to the ground.

Dickey believed Wallace was dead and with three others attempted to remove him from the field.  After a quarter of a mile they encountered heavy fire from both sides and were nearly overrun by Confederates so they left Wallace near some ammunition boxes hoping he wouldn't be trampled.

--Old Secesh

Monday, June 10, 2019

Funeral of William H.L. Wallace-- Part 1

From Facebook Page:  Gen W.H.L. Wallace.

The remains of General W.H.L. Wallace, who so bravely sacrificed his life his life at the late battle of Pittsburg Landing, arrived in this city Sunday evening about nine o'clock on a special train from Cairo furnished by direction from General Strong.

The body was in charge of Colonel T. Lyle Dickey of the Fourth Illinois Cavalry (father-in-law),  accompanied by  Major M.R.M. Wallace of the Fourth Cavalry, brother of the deceased.  Lieutenant Cyrus E. Dickey (brother-in-law and son of T. Lyle Dickey), Lieutenant I.P. Rumsey, Aides-de-Camp to General Wallace, Captain C.Y.  Hotchkiss, Acting Adjutant-General.

The wife of General Wallace, who arrived at Pittsburg Landing  the same day that her husband received his death wound, also accompanied his remains.

At the depot, they were met by a detachment of about fifty men composed of Companies D and H of the Irish brigade.  The detachment was in charge of Captain Simpson, Company D.

--Old Secesh

Martin R.M. Wallace Buried at Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery-- Part 1

Back in May I had quite a few posts about William H.L. Wallace,  Union general from Illinois who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Shiloh.

His brother, Brigadier General Martin R.M. Wallace, is buried along with his wife Emma Wallace at Chicago's largest cemetery, Rosehill.  The entry gate is impressive and was built in 1864.  Many notables are buried there.


Several early Chicago mayors including Levi Day Boone  (Know-Nothing Party)  Related to Daniel Boone.

Jack Brickhouse (1916-1998)  Sports announcer
Leo Burnett (1891-1971)  Founded the advertising agency
Albert Blake Dick (1856-1934)  Founded A.B. Dick Co.
Milton S. Florsheim  (1868-1936)  Founder of the shoe company
Bobby Franks (1909-1924)  Famous murder victim
Elisha Gray  (1835-1901)  Founded Western Electric Co.

--Old Secesh

Funeral of William H.L. Wallace-- Part 2: Arrival in Ottawa

The body was placed  in the hearse  which had been provided by order of Mayor Rumsey and about half-past nine the procession started from the depot in the following order:  Two files of soldiers with reversed arms.  Hearse attended by six commissioned officers, four from the Irish brigade, and to from the Scotch  regiment, as pall bearers.  A rear guard of six men with fixed bayonets.

The procession proceeded up  Lake Street to Clark, Up Clark to  Van Buren and thence to the Rock Island depot, and not withstanding the lateness of the hour, was attended by a large concourse of citizens.

The tolling of the Court House bell as the procession passed through the streets startled the whole city, many not being aware of the death of the General.

From the Chicago Tribune.

--Old Secesh

Sunday, June 9, 2019

MCCWRT Meeting Tuesday, June 11: The Leeds Cannon at Boone County Historical Museum

Tuesday, June 11, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table will hold its monthly meeting at the Woodstock, Illinois, Public Library at 414 West Judd Street (just a couple blocks west of the historic 1840s Woodstock square where the movie "Groundhog Day" was filmed.

This month's presentation will be by Frank Crawford on the "Leeds Cannon at the Boone County (Illinois) Historical Museum."

Everyone is invited and the meeting starts at  7 p.m..

--Old Secesh

Saturday, June 8, 2019

D-Day 75th Anniversary: Canadians At Juno Beach Captured the Most Territory That Day


Canadian soldiers at Juno Beach also suffered terrible casualties, battling heavy seas before landing on a heavily defended strip of shoreline.  Similar to the Americans at Omaha Beach, the first waves of Canadian troops were mowed down en masse by German artillery.   Estimates put the losses then at nearly fifty percent.

The Canadians persisted, however, and pushed on beyond the beachfront and pursuing retreating Germans inland.  In the end, the Canadians at Juno Beach captured more towns and territory than any other battalions in Operation Overlord.

You can read all fifteen D-Day facts in this blog and my June 6-8 Civil War Navy and RoadDog's RoadLog blogs.

D-Day 75th Anniversary: Toughest Fighting on Omaha Beach


At Omaha Beach, bombing runs had failed to take out heavily fortified German positions.  The first waves of Americans going ashore were cut down in droves by German machine guns as they crossed the mine-riddled beach.

But, U.S. forces persisted in the day-long slog, pushing forward to a fortified seawall and then up steep bluffs to take out the German artillery posts by nightfall.  All told, about 2,400 American troops were killed, wounded or unaccounted for after the fighting on Omaha Beach

Friday, June 7, 2019

D-Day 75th Anniversary: Dress Rehearsal Was a Disaster


Two months before D-Day, Allied forces conducted a disastrous dress rehearsal of the Normandy invasion  on an evacuated  English beach called Slapton Sands.  Known as "Exercise Tiger,"  749  U.S. troops lost their lives after a fleet of German E-Boats caught wind of the mock invasion and torpedoed American tank landing ships.

Survivors described the "Exercise Tiger" fiasco as more terrifying than the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

D-Day 75th Anniversary: The "Phantom Army"


The idea behind the ruse was to trick the Germans into thinking  that the invasion would occur at Pas-de-Calais, the closest French coastline to England.    The Allies used fake  radio transmissions, double agents and even a "phantom army," commanded by American general George S. Patton, to throw the Germans off what was really going to happen.

Many of the tanks, cannons and vehicles German reconnaissance spotted were actually blow up balloons.

D-Day 75th Anniversary: What Does D-Day Actually Mean?

Seventy-five years ago, Allied forces attacked German defenses along the French coast at Normandy.  This was a major turning point of World War II and world history.

I  will be writing about this in the next three posts in all of my blogs.

From the History site. "D-Day:  Facts on the epic 1944 invasion that changed  the course of WW II" by Dave Roos.

On June 6, 1944,  more than 156,000 American, British and Canadian troops stormed fifty miles of Normandy's heavily defended beaches.


Unlike V-E DAY  (Victory in Europe) and V-J DAY  (Victory Over Japan), the "D" in D-Day isn't short for "departure" or "decision."  As early as World War I, the U.S. military used the term D-Day to designate the launch date of a mission.

One reason was to keep the date questionable for the enemy and another was to be a place-holder until an actual date was chosen.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Jacob "Howling Wilderness" Smith-- Part 6: Appointments Revoked, Legal Problems and a Court Martial

Jacob Smith then wrote a letter to the secretary of  war painting himself as a gullible dupe, explaining the recruiting ploy in detail and saying the only thing he was guilty of was using other people's money for his own profit.  All of his creditors, though, had been repaid and no recruits had not received their bounties.

But, unfortunately, all of the witnesses to his story were either dead or had left the country.  Also, he had destroyed or lost all of his bank accounts for the period in question.

The secretary of war did not buy Smith's story and Smith's temporary  appointment as judge advocate was revoked.

There were other Smith-related problems throughout the rest of the century, including a run-in with a colonel and several legal problems with creditors.  He was court martialed in  in 1885 "for conduct unbecoming an officer" for deeds done at the "Mint Saloon" in Texas.

Then came the Spanish-American War and occupation of the Philippines.  For this story go to my May Cooter's History Thing blog.

Quite a Character.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Jacob "Howling Wilderness" Smith-- Part 5: Judge Advocate Joseph Holt Gets Involved

At the time of his father-in-law's bankruptcy case, Jacob Smith had been given  a temporary judge advocate  assignment with the army that he hoped he could turn into a permanent position.  One of the parties in the bankruptcy case informed Joseph Holt, Judge Advocate of the U.S. Army, about Smith's bounty brokerage scheme and he began checking into  it.

Smith wrote a letter to Holt attempting to cast the scheme in a sympathetic light.  He said he had been in seven engagements and wounded at the Battle of Shiloh, wrapping himself in the flag.

Furthermore, he stated that he was "one who took  upon himself all the odium that the rebels and conservatives of Louisville, Kentucky, heaped upon him, by being the first officer, to my knowledge, who commenced  mustering into service the colored man in Kentucky during the year 1863."  Smith went on to say that he had scoured the  prisons, jails and workhouses to find recruits.  His only aim was to serve God and his country properly.

He did admit to speculating, but said that others had made three times as much money as he had and that he had not defrauded anyone.

Holt did not accept Smith's story and submitted papers to the Secretary of War with recommendations that it be turned over to the United States Senate Committee on Military Affairs.who had the authority to confirm the permanent judge advocate position that Smith sought.

The Secretary of War at the time was either Edwin M. Stanton, John M. Schofield or John A. Rawlins as the article didn't give a date for this.

Find out what happened in the next post.

Imagine Smith As A Judge Advocate With This Record.  --Old Secesh

Jacob "Howling Wilderness" Smith-- Part 4: About That Bounty Brokerage Scheme of Jacob's

Was this how Jacob Smith made all his new-found wealth?  You mean it didn't come from his father-in-law trying to hide his money and declare bankruptcy?

Here is Jacob Smith's bounty brokerage scheme:

During the war, eastern Union states offered bounties of up to $700 for recruits.  Midwestern states offered up to $300.  Wouldn't it be something to recruit in Kentucky, pay the recruit the $300 then send him out to recruiters in the east, get paid $700 and then split the $400 with those people.  Evidently, Jacob Smith saw an opportunity and took it.

Mr. Smith said he at first thought what he was doing was perfectly legal.

But, he took $92,000 from the eastern recruiters to cover the scheme.  Instead of using it for the intended purpose, he took that money and started making investments in side ventures of his own with it. Those included whiskey, gold and diamonds.  When the eastern recruiters found out and demanded their money back, Smith noticed that they did not engage the law to get it and decided that he wouldn't give the money back.  Then, their little scheme must have been illegal.

His investments were highly profitable and he claimed he had paid the easterners back all the money.

Verrrry Interesting As the Guy on Laugh-In Used to Say.  --Old Secesh

Monday, June 3, 2019

Jacob "Howling Wilderness" Smith-- Part 3: A Recruiting Scheme

He was not a general during the Civil War, but attained rank of brigadier general during the Spanish-American War and the Philippines Insurrection.

While a member of the Invalid Corps, due to his wound at the Battle of Shiloh, he served as an officer in recruiting and mustering in Louisville, Kentucky.  He was reported as being especially good at recruiting black soldiers.

However, this si also when some questionable activities arose.  In the last post I said that he met and married Emma L. Havrety, daughter of a very rich and important man in Louisville.  By 1869, Smith's father-in-law, Daniel Havrety was being sued for fraud in connection with bankruptcy.    Creditors looked into his finances, thinking that he had secretly transferred money to others.

And, guess what, Jacob Smith's assets had risen from $4,000 in 1862 to $40,000 in 1865.  Smith claimed ignorance  of any fraud on the part of his father-in-law, and explained that his sudden wealth came as a result of a bounty brokerage scheme.

And Then.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Jacob "Howling Wilderness" Smith's Civil War Service-- Part 2

Smith had a scar  from a saber cut  on the head which he received in July 1861 in Barboursville, Virginia. Since April 7, 1862, he had been carrying a Minie ball in his hip from the Battle of Shiloh.  He was disabled because of this wound, though he tried to return to duty that summer.

However, the wound would not heal properly.  As such, he became a member of the Invalid Corps where he served for the rest of the war.  In that capacity, he served as a recruiting/mustering officer in Louisville, Kentucky.  Word had it that he was especially good at recruiting colored troops.

While in Louisville on this duty, he met and later married Emma L. Havrety.

--Old Secesh

Jacob "Howling Wilderness" Smith's Civil War Service

From the Arlington National Cemetery site.

He was an officer during the Civil War for awhile, was wounded twice and then provided questionable service after that.  He got somewhat rich from it.


Brigadier General, United States Army

Appointed from Illinois, First Lieutenant, 2nd Kentucky Infantry, 5 June 1861

Captain, 28 January 1862

Honorably mustered out 29 June 1863.

Captain Volunteer Reserve Corps, 25 June 1863

Honorably mustered out 21 October 1865.

At this point, his service looks good.

But Wait.  --Old Secesh

Friday, May 31, 2019

Heritage Attacks on Confederacy-- Part 4: May 30-31

From the Google Alerts for Confederate for May 30 and 31, 2019.

**  University clarifies flower removal policy for Confederate monuments.

**  Confederate flags will be sold but discouraged at county fair.

**  Confederate flag at community gardens in Concord removed.

The May 31, 2019, Google Alerts for Confederate were mostly about the Confederate flag in the high school yearbook, but there were two others.

**  Parade vehicle with Confederate flag draws criticism.

**  Letter:  Artifacts support out alternative history of the Confederacy.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Heritage Attacks on the Confederacy-- Part 3: May 30, 2019

From the May 30, 2019,  Google Alerts for Confederate.

**  Tennessee town's plans for Confederate statue draws controversy.  (Franklin)

**  High school yearbooks recalled over Confederate flag photo.

**  Vendors banned from selling Confederate flags at Gouveneur & St. Lawrence County Fair.

**  Kemp signs bill to protect Confederate monuments.

**  Neighbors furious after person hangs mannequin from tree next to Confederate flag.

And You Think It's Over?  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Heritage Attacks on the Confederacy-- Part 2: May 29, 2019

**  Tony Horwitz's greatest book "Confederates In the Attic," seems even more crucial today.

**  Md's divided loyalties during the Civil War complicate its memory.

**  Charleston lab restores Civil War cannons pulled from the Pee Dee River.  (South Carolina)  Now, this is the kind of Civil War articles I want to read about.  These are the cannons from the CSS Pee Dee that were discovered in the river in 2015.

**  And Water So Wet:  Study shows whites from former slave states more likely to be biased against Blacks.

--Old Secesh

Heritage Attacks On the Confederacy-- Part 1: May 29, 2019

I am only writing about these attacks three days in a row.  To read them really sends my blood pressure up.

Just to let you know that these  attacks are continuing and will so  until we can get something to stop  them.

These are Confederate Google Alerts from May 29, 2019.

Fortunately, most of these listed  today do not require the removal of a statue or memorial to the gray.

**  The best e-mails I've received about Dallas' Confederate Memorial.

**  Letter:  Removing Confederate flags does not erase history.

**  Debate continues over Confederate statue 'Fame' in downtown Salisbury (N.C.).

**  Sims:  We shouldn't honor the worst of traitors.

**  Letter:  Proud of my Confederate ancestors.

More From Today.  --  RoadDog

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The Indy 500 Salute to the American Military

I just got back from what probably is the biggest Memorial Day commemoration, the Indy 500.  This is why there have been no posts since Thursday.

Each year, thousands of fans go to this race, billed "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."  Much of the pre-race ceremonies revolve around the salute to the American military.

All military are honored for their service, as well they should be.

Without them, we wouldn't be enjoying the lives we are living.

Old Secesh Salute to the American Military.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, May 23, 2019

MCCWRT Discussion Group Meets Saturday

The McHenry County (Illinois) Civil War Round Table (MCCWRT) will meet Saturday, May 25 at Panera Bread in Crystal Lake, Illinois, by US-14 and Main Street.

We start at 10 am and go to noon.

This month's topic:  Union Prisons.

We all know about how bad Confederate prisons were, especially Andersonville.  But, Northern prisons were as bad.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Road Trippin' Through History, or How I Ended Up with Gen. Jacob "Howling Wilderness" Smith

And, you might be wondering where Jacob Smith got the nickname (actually derisive) and I can tell you it was because of his role in Philippine Insurrection.  Read my Cooter's History Thing blog from this month to find out about it.  It was what he did after the Belangiga Massacre and you can also find out about that in that blog.

I ended up there as a result of one of my Road Trippin' Through History tours which started with an article about a new SUVCW camp in Wyoming in this blog on March 29 of this year.  It was named after Francis E. Warren of Massachusetts who received a Medal of Honor for his action at the Battle of Port Hudson and later moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and became a big deal out there, eventually ended up as the first governor and a long-serving U.S. Senator.

After his death in 1928, the Army post at Cheyenne was renamed in his honor.  But before that, men from Fort Russell had served in the Indian Wars and in the Spanish-American War and the Philippines Insurrection (now called the Filipino-American War evidently).  You can read about these in the April and May Cooter's History Thing blog.

This is when I switched over to the Cooter's History Thing blog and wrote about the fort, the Belangiga Massacre, the Belangiga Bells and the general.

With Road Trippin' Through History, I start in one spot and follow it to wherever it ends, often with surprising and interesting events.

This was all stuff I didn't know about

And Very Interesting.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Gen. Jacob "Howling Wilderness" Smith's Civil War Service

I have been writing a lot about this man this month in my Cooter's History Thing blog.  He was not a general during the Civil War, but an officer.  After the war he continued off and on in the military and then fought in the Spanish-American War, especially during the so-called Philippine Insurrection.  What he did there earned him the nickname "Howling Wilderness" especially when he gave orders to kill all Filipino males over the age of ten after the Belangiga Massacre of American troops.  "I want no prisoners," he ordered.  He also ordered that all of the island of Samar be laid to waste.

You should read about him.

Anyway, I'll talk a little about his Civil War service here.

At his 1902 court martial, Jacob Smith said that he had been wounded in battle three times:

**  Scar on his head from a saber cut he received July 1861 in Barboursville, Virginia.

**  Since April 7, 1862, he had been carrying a Minie ball in his hip from the Battle of Shiloh.

**  Smith also had a bullet  in his body from a wound  at El Caney, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War.

And, Some More.  --Old Secesh

Monday, May 20, 2019

Theophilus Lyle Dickey-- Part 2: Commanded the 4th Illinois Cavalry

In August 1861, the State of Illinois authorized Dickey to raise a company of cavalry which became the nucleus of the 4th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry.

In this process Dickey  and Illinois Governor Richard Yates over commissions of officers.  Both wanted to appoint the officers.  The governor especially liked to have  political patronage of those he would appoint.  In the end, Dickey got to appoint the officers.  (Usually the men in regiments voted on officers.)

Theophilus Dickey became the regiment's commander with the rank of colonel and its organization completed and mustered in September 26, 1861.

He commanded the regiment during Grant's advance on Fort Henry where it served as scouts and screening force and then again led the advance on Fort Donelson.  The regiment was then shipped to Pittsburg Landing where it participated in the Battle of Shiloh.

After the war as assistant attorney general for the United States and often argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.  In 1875, he was elected a justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, a position he held until his death in 1885.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Theophilus Lyle Dickey-- Part 1: Lawyer and Mexican War Captain

This man was quite involved with the lives of all four of the Wallace boys who I have been writing about this month.  He also commanded the 4th Illinois Cavalry for awhile and three of the Wallace's were in that outfit.

From Wikipedia.

THEOPHILUS LYLE DICKEY  (October 4, 1811-July 22, 1885)

Illinois jurist and military leader.

Born in Paris,, Kentucky,  moved to Macomb, Illinois, to study law and was admitted to the bar in 1835.  The next year he moved to Rushville, Illinois, and worked on his law practice and was editor of a newspaper and worked in real estate.  In 1839, he moved to Ottawa, Illinois, where he continued his legal career.

During the Mexican War, he raised a company of soldiers (which included William H.L. Wallace) and received a captain's commission.

After the war, he returned to Ottawa, continued his legal career and  was elected judge of Illinois'  Ninth Judicial District in 1848.  He resigned in 1851 and continued with his legal career.  He was a big supporter of Stephen A. Douglas and made many speeches for him in 1858 and 1860.

--Old Secesh