The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Hainesville, Illinois: Abraham Lincoln Slept Here?

From Wikipedia.

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

I will give information not previously recorded in this blog.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

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

From the Hainesville Village Site.

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

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

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

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

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Elijah M. Haines-- Part 3: Into Politics

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

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

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

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

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

Quite the Man of Illinois Politics.  --Old Secesh

Monday, October 28, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

--Old Secesh

Sunday, October 27, 2019

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

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

From Wikipedia.

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

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

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

--Old Secesh

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Southern Abolitionist Preacher, William Irving Kirk

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

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

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

I was unable to find out any more about him.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, October 24, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Story.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Hainesville Civil War Encampment: A Mortal Wound and Embalming

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

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

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

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

He had died on the operating cot.

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

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

Just Don't Get Wounded.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--Old Secesh

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

As sung by Burl Ives.

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


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

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


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


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


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

--Old BoiledPeanutsHater

Monday, October 21, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

As part of the song goes.

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

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

What Was His Name?  --Old Secesh

Sunday, October 20, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

That would be making the best of a bad situation.

A Big Ol' Log.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, October 19, 2019

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

Well, this was a new one on me.

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

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

That is, the rank of colonel.

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

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

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

Friday, October 18, 2019

Hainesville Civil War Days-- Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4:00--  Event closes

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

Maybe See You There.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, October 17, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Small Battles, Big Results at Pamplin History Park

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

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

Other battles presented will be:

Mine Run
Ball's Bluff
Champion Hill
Fort Pillow

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

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

From Official Roster 98th Ohio Infantry.

James M. Shane


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

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

--Old Secesh

Monday, October 14, 2019

The 44th New York at the Battle of Gettysburg

From the New York Unit History Project.

The inscription of the Gettysburg monument:

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

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

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

A Hard Fight.  --Old Secesh

Friday, October 11, 2019

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

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

After that the building stood vacant and was frequently vandalized.

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

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

"Yes, children.

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

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

Hard to Believe.  --Old Secesh