The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Confederacy IS STILL Under Attack!!!

As you can see in the last three posts, even though your local news source does  not always have something about this desecration, it continues.

Again, if you want to keep up with it, get Google Alerts for Confederate and Confederate Fort.

It is too bad that our president, with his great love of confrontation, doesn't take the bull by the horns  and edict that no more Confederate monuments will be removed and that all desecrations of those monuments will be classified as Hate Crimes instead of vandalism.

This would be a real tweak at their ultra left, the ones we saw at Charlottesville and Chapel Hill.

Come on, Mr. President, time for an Executive Order.

And, if we're going to be taking down all things that offend someone, does it go both ways?

What If It Offends Me?  I Can Think Of Some Things.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 3: More Attacks

**  Atlanta's Confederate Avenue fades into history.

**  Tomah, Wisconsin, School Board to consider banning Confederate flag displays.

**  City of Lakeland, Florida, files motion to dismiss federal lawsuit by group seeking to stop relocation of Munn Park Confederate monument.

**  Protesters take  a stand against Confederate memorial in Orange, Texas, in honor of MLK, Jr. Day.

**  On MLK Day, descendants of Lee and Jackson urge Virginia to halt Confederate tributes.

**  Chapel Hill (NC) takes another step to remove Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway marker.

It Just Keeps Going On and On.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Confederacy Under Attack Again-- Part 2: The S.C. Flag Again

I have not been writing about these as I had in the past as I get way too angry at the desecration these people do.

**  Mayor:  No decision on Confederate owners.  Winston-Salem, N.C.  The UDC own the statue and the city has told them to remove it as it has had two "vandalism" incidents and is a public nuisance.  The city has offered to pay for moving it to a cemetery.

**  Confederate flag from South Carolina statehouse put on display at museum.  This was the flag that flew over the statehouse in Columbia that stirred up so much controversy after the Charleston murders.  The Confederate relics room had originally asked for $4 million to display it.  Now it is in a $1,400 viewing case.  A lot more reasonable.

**  Library of Congress apologizes for MLK Day tweet that also mentioned Stonewall Jackson's birthday  on Jan. 21.  This was part of their Today in History series.

**  Franklin, Tennessee, offers settlement in dispute with UDC over the Confederate monument in a square.  Blacks want markers in the square and UDC refuses to allow them to do so.

Won't It be Nice When "Vandalism" of Confederate Monuments Is Labelled Hate Crimes Which Is What It Really Is.   --Old Secesh

Monday, January 28, 2019

The Confederacy Under Attack-- Part 1: Confederate Troops Are American Veterans

Even though I have not been writing about these attacks, believe me, they are still continuing.  These are headlines for Wednesday to Friday, January 23-25 this year from my two Google alerts for Confederate and Confederate Fort.

**  Push to remove Confederate statue stalls after panel's vote.  Statue of John B. Castleman in Louisville, Kentucky, who was a Confederate soldier and later a U.S. general.  It has been "vandalized" multiple times since 2017.

**  Arkansas high schoolers sent home for wearing Confederate flag clothing to school.

**  Interim UNC  system president says campus calm is priority.  Chapel Hill on "Silent Sam" statue.

**   Confederate troops were American veterans too.

**   New York High School District bans Confederate flag and swastikas.

**  MAGA hats are the new Confederate flag.

--Old Secesh

Friday, January 25, 2019

MCCWRT Discussion Group Sat., Jan. 26: Hood's '64 Campaign

The McHenry County Civil War Round Table discussion group will be meeting this Saturday at Panera Bread (back room) to discuss Confederate General Hood's 1864 Campaign against Nashville, Tennessee that led to the destruction of his army, the once vaunted Army of Tennessee.

The meeting is 10 a.m. to noon and Panera Bread is by the intersection of Main Street and Northwest Highway (US-14) in Crystal Lake.

It is open to everyone, no charge, just an interest in the Civil War and the chance to interact with others of like interest.

I have been reading two books on the subject, one on the Battle of Franklin and the other on the Battle of brush up on it.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ed Bearss Off the Cuff

Next, we had a question-answer segment.

Some general observations of Mr. Bearss:

McClellan lacked the killer instinct.

Picketts Charge had 15 Virginia regiments in it and they were certainly not the Pride of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Had not Jackson been killed at Chancellorsville, Lee probably would have won the first day at Gettysburg.  By the third day, there was no way Lee had a chance to win the battle.

Meade made a huge mistake when he did not actively pursue Lee's army after Gettysburg.

In his wounding by the Japanese at Cape Gloucester.  They shot the s-h-i-t out of us because they had the terrain advantage.  I was fortunate not to be killed.  Was in the hospital for 72 months and did a real lot of reading while there.  One book that moved him was "Lee's Lieutenants."

A Most Memorable Evening With, In My Opinion, The #1 Civil War Guy In the Country.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Ed Bearss On Public Speaking

Up to now, Mr. Bearss had not read any of this far-ranging talk.  He did have a few notes to keep him on target which he'd glance at every so often, but this was not simply a "read" talk.  He says he doesn't write out his talks so he won't be looking at the words and instead keeps eye contact with the audience.  he gets his feedback from their eyes.

He is more effective when doing this.  He learned to "Look'em in the eye" in Washington, D.C..  Give the talk verbally, don't read it

Excite their emotions.

He also stood the whole talk up until the near the end when he sat down.  That is quite remarkable as, remember, Mr. Bearss is 95 years old.

If You Get A Chance To See Him, Do It Soon.  --Old Secesh

Monday, January 21, 2019

Ed Bearss On Understanding Battlefields

Illinois regiments played a very prominent role at the Siege of Vicksburg.  Every regiment there has a marker.

Ed did his masters degree thesis on Confederate General Patrick Cleburne.

One thing Mr. Bearss really believes in is that the only way to understand a battlefield is to walk it and note the vegetation cover and landscape.

As he continued to drift toward what became his lifelong occupation he said that he knew battlefields and their Smokey Bear rangers, but not historians.  The eastern U.S. battlefields were more prestigious, but there were no openings there, but there was one at Vicksburg and this is where he went to work in 1966.

One of the first things he did was walk the military park to study the vegetation and landscape.  He said of himself that he was a Big Fish in a Little Pond at Vicksburg.  He later became a Big Fish in a Big Pond.

--Old Secesh

Friday, January 18, 2019

Ed Bearss On Mines and T.J. Higgins "If I Had Known What I Know Now"

The 45th Illinois was known as the Leadminer regiment.  At the Siege of Vicksburg they supervised and dug a mine under the redan of the 3rd Louisiana and exploded it.  However, compared to the mine explosion at Petersburg, the one at Vicksburg was just a pimple.

The one at Vicksburg was 45-feet deep, compared to the 505 foot depth at Petersburg.

The 99th Illinois was also famous in the XIII Corps, especially because of one incident at Vicksburg when Grant's Army attacked the Confederate defenses.  The regiment's color bearer, T.J. Higgins carried the flag at a run  toward the enemy lines.  Of course, color bearers always received heavy fire, but he never wavered.  On he came, waving the flag and exhorting his regiment and the other supporting troops to follow.

What he didn't know, however, was that everyone else had halted and fallen back.  He was a one-man charge.  He did not become aware of his solo attack until at the Confederate lines when he was captured.  When asked why he had made the solo attack, he replied, "If I had known what I know now."

--Old Secesh

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Ed Bearss On Orvil Grant and Grant the Disciplinarian

Orvil Lynch Grant was a younger brother of General U.S. Grant and was at Galena, Illinois, when Grant was there and later, when Grant was president one of the ones that led to a scandal.

Governor Richard Yates of Illinois was tasked by Lincoln to raise regiments of volunteers.  Grant was a volunteer aide to the governor.  The 21st Illinois Infantry Regiment was regarded as a unit with particularly bad discipline and Grant was given the task of structuring them out.  He marched them from Springfield to Ottawa and then to Hannibal, Missouri.  All this marching made them a little more amenable to discipline.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Ed Bearss On Albert Cashier and U.S. Grant's Confederate Connection

Next Mr. Bearss talked about one interesting Union soldier named Albert Cashier, who actually was a woman by the name of Jennie Hodgers.  She was able to keep her sex secret until 1911 when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver and was hospitalized.

Then, it was back to Vicksburg where he said there were more Illinois units participating than any other state.  Their numbers came to about 40,000  (Wikipedia quotes a total of 77,000 men in Grant's army).  The Illinois monument has three medallions on it:  Lincoln is in the center, flanked by Grant and Civil War Governor Yates.

U.S. Grant was a good friend of Confederate General James Longstreet who stood up at Grant's wedding before the war.  When Grant got out of the Army before the war in New York City he was dead broke he borrowed money from future Confederate General Simon Bolivar Buckner.

--Old SecGrant

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Ed Bearss On Illinois In the Civil War, Vicksburg

Illinois has the biggest monument at Vicksburg Battlefield.  It is a copy of the Pantheon in Rome.  William Le Baron Jenney was the architect   During the Civil War, he served as the Chief Engineer of the 15th Corps and designed the world;s first skyscraper in Chicago, the Leiter Building.

Illinois has the biggest monument because that state furbished the most troops to the Vicksburg Campaign.  The monument has 49 steps which represent the 49 days of the siege.

U.S. Grant's son, Frederick Dent Grant, was with his father at Vicksburg and on the general's staff.  He was struck by a shell fragment when the fleet ran by Vicksburg.s defenses.

--Old Secesh

Monday, January 14, 2019

Ed Bearrs On Chicago Baseball and the Biograph Theater

Mr. Bearss said he had seen the very first All-Star game in Chicago because of famed Chicago Tribune sports editor Arch Ward.  It was played July 6, 1933, at Comiskey Park in Chicago and was Arch Ward's idea.  It was held to be a boost to Chicago and something to get people's minds off the Great Depression.

He saw it also because Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis who was baseball commissioner at the time and also  kept his office in Chicago.

He believes he may be the only person alive who saw that game.The wort seats in Comiskey Park were in the extreme right field which is where Babe Ruth played.  But he did see the Babe make a great catch and of course, hit a home run to right field.

He was also at this year's All-Star game played at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., compliments of the Civil War Times.

In his two days being driven around Chicago a highlight was seeing the Biograph Theater where John Dillinger was killed thanks to the "Lady In Red."  He also wanted to see as many Chicago mob sites as possible.

It Would Appear That Our Mr. Bearss Is Interested In More Than Just the Civil War.  --Old Secesh

Ed Bearss: Pronounced "Barrs," On Chicago

I found out his name is pronounced "Barrs" not as the animal as I thought.

I was the first person into the room where he was to speak and sat right up in the front row.  I want every bit of this.  When Mr. Bearss arrived, he took a seat right next to me.  Wow!!  Had the meeting not started right away I would have really enjoyed talking to him.

This being the 77th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and Ed Bearss being in that war and a badly wounded Marine, that was going to be one of his topics, along with, of course, the war.

He had been in the Chicago area for two days already and escorted around by the president of the Northern Illinois Civil War Round Table.  He is a big fan of all things Chicago.  He said he had been associated with the very first Civil War Round Table in Chicago for 54 years, saying he had been in it longer than even Marshall Krolick.

Plus his grandparents had lived in Chicago.

It Was a Chicago Thing.  --Old Secesh

Friday, January 11, 2019

Ed Bearss-- Part 4: An Experience

Beginning in 1951, he began leading Civil War tours for the prestigious Chicago Civil War Round Table.  Today, even well into his nineties, he is on the road as many as 200 days a year speaking or giving tours.

He lives in Arlington County, Virginia.

The Northern Illinois Civil War Round Table getting him to speak was quite a feat.  I thank them for giving me another chance to see  him.

I saw him in Smithville, North Carolina, where he was keynote speaker of a Battle of Bentonville/Carolina Campaign symposium.

This Was Quite An Experience for Me.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Ed Bearss-- Part 3: "You Can't Describe A Battlefield Unless You Walk It"

Ed Bearss then worked for three years with the U.S. Navy Hydrographic Office in Maryland where he used his spare times to tour Civil War battlefields in the East.  (Careful, Mr. Bearss, that's a good way to get hooked.)

In 1955, he received his MA in History from Indiana University.  He wrote his these on Confederate General Patrick Cleburne and visited the battlefields Cleburne fought on, telling friends, "You can't describe a battlefield unless you walk it."  He lives still by these words, even at age 95

Afterwards, he became the historian at the Vicksburg National Military Park.  The hook was set.  While there, he and two friends did research that led to their finding the long-lost Union gunboat USS Cairo.  He also discovered the location of two "lost" forts at Grand Gulf, Mississippi.

In 1958, he was promoted to Southeast regional historian and spent most of his time visiting battlefields around the country.  In 1981, he was promoted to Chief Historian of the National Park service.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Ed Bearss-- Part 2: In the Marines in World War II, Badly Wounded At "Suicide Creek"

Mr. Bearss enlisted in the Marine Corps on April 28, 1942, and by July was on a troop transport to the Pacific Theater.  In the invasion of Guadalcanal and the Russell Islands, he was in the 3rd Marine Raider Battalion.  In New Britain, he was in the 7th Regiment, 1st Marine Division.

On January 2, 1944, Bearss was severely wounded at "Suicide Creek" (Cape Gloucester, New Britain). by Japanese machine gun fire.  He was evacuated to California and spent 26 months in various hospitals before being discharged as a corporal March 15, 1946.

He returned to Montana.

Then, it was on to Georgetown University for college using his G.I. Bill. and earned a degree in Foreign Service studies.

--Old Secesh

Monday, January 7, 2019

Ed Bearss, Mr. Civil War-- Part 1: From Montana

From Wikipedia.

I decided to do some of Mr. Bearss' background before writing about what he said December 7, 2018 in Arlington Heights.

Born June 26, 1923, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of WW II, military historian and author known for his work in the Civil War and World War II eras.  Served as Chief Historian of the National Park Service from 1981 to 1985 and currently is Chief Historian Emeritus.

Born in Montana and grew up on his family's cattle ranch.  His father was a Marine in WW I and used to read accounts of military campaigns to his son.

He graduated from high school in May 1941 and hitchhiked around the United States visiting and visited his first Civil War battlefields.

After that he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.

--Old Secesh

Friday, January 4, 2019

Ed Bearss Speaks on Chicago, WW II and the Civil War

The Northern Illinois Civil War Round Table hosted none other that noted Civil War Guy, Ed Bearrs, at their meeting on December 7, 2018, at the Arlington Heights History Museum.  I had heard about him being there at the McHenry County Civil War Round Table.  If you're into the Civil War, this is a guy you definitely do not want to miss.

I can't help believe that he was there when the war was fought in a past life.

He has written many books about the war as well as made many talks to groups and led many a battlefield tour.  Again, you get total immersion with him.

For years he was chief historian at the Vicksburg National Battlefield.  He really came to the public attention because of his work with the Ken Burns Civil War documentary.

Plus, at age 95, he won't be with us much  longer.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, January 3, 2019

MCCWRT Trivia-- Part 3: What Were Hub Wafers?

**  Give the names of four Civil War leaders who have had their picture on U.S. current or past currency.  (The first two are easy, but man those last two.)

**   How many Confederate generals were killed and wounded at the Battle of Franklin?

**   Hub Wafers were eaten by Union soldiers.  What are they known as now?

**  Name the four Lincoln conspirators who were hanged.


**  Lincoln on the $5 bill, Grant on the $50 bill, McKinley on the $500 and Salmon Chase on the $10,000 bill.   In case you're wondering, the biggest bill, $100,000 had the face of Woodrow Wilson on it.

**  6 died, 7 wounded

**  Necco Wafers   In case you're wondering, Neeco stands for the New England Confectionary Company.

**  Lewis Powell, Mary Surratt, David Herold and George Atzerodt.

Just All Sorts of Learning Going On.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

MCCWRT Trivia-- Part 2: Who Was Lucy Hale?

More things I learned:  (Answers below)

**  Who was Lucy Hale?  (A Frank C. question.)

**  How many Illinois regiments were at the Battle of Gettysburg?

**  Who was the only woman commissioned as an officer in the war?

**  Why was Ducktown, Tennessee, so important to the Confederacy?


Lucy Hale was/might have been the girlfriend of John Wilkes Booth

There were three regiments from Illinois at Gettysburg:  82nd Inf., 8th Cav., 12th Cav.

Sally Tompkins

Ducktown was the only source of copper in the new country.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

MCCWRT Trivia, Things I Learned-- Part 1: What Was Different About the Confederate States Naval Academy?

These were just some of the things I learned from the December 22, 2018, McHenry County Civil War Round Table Trivia discussion group meeting.

**  Frank C. ought not be allowed to e-mail in his questions.

**  We'll have to do it again next year.  Lots of discussions ensued.  We were even more on target than usual.

**  The Confederate Navy wore white uniforms during the summer months.

**  The Confederate Navy's Academy was unique in that all learning was done on a ship (the CSS Patrick Henry) and at times the ship was engaged with the enemy.

**  Four Union generals ran unsuccessfully for president over the years.  We all knew, of curse, McClelland.  But also Hancock, Fremont and Butler.

--Old SeGuess