The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Friday, November 29, 2019

John G.B. Adams-- Part 2: Wounded at Gettysburg, Captured at Cold Harbor, Nine Months a Prisoner

The Medal of Honor that Adams won was one of 18 awarded Union soldiers at the Battle of Fredericksburg.  And seven soldiers in the 19th Massachusetts  received them as well.

John Adams was later commanded to captain and commanded Company I of the 19th at Chancellorsville and was severely wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 2.  Returning in time o be at the battle of the Wilderness and then Spottsylvania, and Cold Harbor, where the entire regiment was captured June 22, 1864.

Over the next nine months, he was held at Libby Prison and later Macon, Georgia, and Charleston, S.C., where he was placed on Morris Island to stop the naval bombardment.

The last place he was held at was Columbia, S.C., where he managed to escape, but was recaptured.  He was a prisoner for nine months.

Adams is buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Lynn, Massachusetts.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, November 28, 2019

John G.B. Adams, Medal of Honor Recipient at Battle of Fredericksburg- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

This was my "Frank" question I gave in yesterday's post.


Enlisted as a private and eventually rose to the rank of Captain.  Fought at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville,Gettysburg.  He, along with his entire regiment was captured at the Battle of Cold Harbor and he was held in various Confederate prisons for nine months.

He was from Massachusetts and enlisted with the 19th Massachusetts Infantry.

Adams was one of 18 Union soldiers receiving Medals of Honor at the Battle of Fredericksburg, when as a corporal he recovered both the regimental and national flags after their bearers were mortally wounded.  With a flag in each hand, he advanced toward the Confederate positions on Marye's Heights. The regiment reformed around him.

Of course, flag bearers were a natural targets in battles.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Here's Your Quiz on the Battle of Fredericksburg-- Part 2: What Doomed Burnside?

5.  Name the town on the north bank of the river that played an important role in the battle?

6.  Failure of these to arrive on time helped doom Burnside's chances of victory?

7.  Lee had two corps and a division of cavalry under him at the battle.  Who commanded them?

Here is the Frank question. So named because Frank really comes up with really, really hard questions.

8.  Who was John G.B. Adams?

Answers below


5.  Falmouth

6.  pontoon bridges

7.  Longstreet, Jackson and Stuart

8.  Recipient of a Medal of Honor   I'll write about him next.

--Old Secesh

Monday, November 25, 2019

Here's Your Quiz on the Battle of Fredericksburg-- Part 1

This past Saturday, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table discussion group met at Panera Bread in Crystal Lake to talk about the Battle of Fredericksburg and to start off the meeting, I gave them a quiz.

1.  What were the dates of the battle?

2.  What river played a major role in the battle?

3.  How many Grand Divisions did Union General Burnside have and who commanded them?

4.  Who said, "My God, General Reynolds, did they think my division could whip Lee's whole Army?"



1.  Dates will vary, but anything between December 11 to15.

2.  Rappahannock River

3.  Burnside had three Grand Divisions, commanded by William B. Franklin, Edwin V. Sumner and Joseph Hooker.

4.  Major General George G. Meade.

There Are Four More Questions.  --Old Secesh

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Battle of Fredericksburg: The 14th Connecticut and Sad Case of Oliver Dart, Jr.

Tomorrow, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table will have its monthly discussion group meeting about the Battle of Fredericksburg at Panera Bread in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

I was doing some catch-up reading in the February 2018 Civil War Times magazine recently and came across an article about Oliver Dart, Jr. whose face was essentially destroyed by the explosion of a Confederate shell "Mangled By a Shell."

He was in the 14th Connecticut, a regiment that fought in most every battle of the Army of the Potomac after its organization in August 22, 1862.  His regiment participated in the Union charge upon Marye's Heights, but he wasn't in it.  While waiting to attack, his unit and others came under heavy Confederate cannon fire and a 3-by-two-inch shell fragment blinded his brother-in-law and had it not then struck a four-inch square fence post, probably would have killed another soldier.

His comrades thought that Dart was going to die, but he somehow recovered, but had a ghastly wound on his face from his nose to jaw. for the remainder of his life.  he partially covered it with a full beard.

I will be talking about him and the 14th Connectcut's service at the meeting.

--Old Secesh

McHenry County Civil War Round Table Meets Sat., Nov. 23: Topic is the Battle of Fredericksburg

The McHenry County (Illinois) Civil War Round Table (MCCWRT) will meet this Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to noon at Panera Bread in Crystal Lake.  This month's topic is the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Panera Bread is located at Route 14 (US-Highway 14, Northwest Highway) and Main Street.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The 8th USCT: The Men of the 8th

The unit's enlistees mostly were free Northern blacks who came from Pennsylvania, some were Southern contraband as well as inhabitants of border states of Maryland and Delaware.  Some even came from Indiana and one was even from Jamaica.  Little is known of these soldiers as the overwhelming majority were illiterate and fewer still left personal recollections of their service.

Service records, however, do provide some detail of these men.  Private Richard D. Duryee was drafted in Brooklyn, NY, on 2 September 1863.  Thirty-four years old, he stood 5 feet 4-1/2 inches and had black hair, eyes and complexion.  He was born in Pennsylvania and listed his pre-war occupation as "coachman."

Promoted to corporal on 1 January 1864, and served as a non-commissioned officer in Company I.

Another member was Elijah Little, 25,  5 feet 7-1/2 inches tall, yellow complexion.  Enlisted in Philadelphia 3 December 1863 and had been a farmer.

--Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The 8th U.S. Colored Troops-- Part 2: Its Officers Were All White and From Other Regiments

The Eighth's commander was Colonel Charles W. Fribley of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.  He had risen from being a non-commissioned officer to captain in the 84th Pennsylvania Volunteers..  On 18 November 1863, he was appointed colonel of the Eighth by the Secretary of War.

Fribley's inexperience with higher rank is apparent  from the fact that soon after assuming command, charges were brought against him  by the commandant of Camp William Penn, Lt. Col. Louis Wagner, who accused Fribley  of "obeying my orders when it suits him and disobeying when it does not suit him."

The army's judge advocate general office, however, eventually ruled that the charges were not sufficient to warrant a court martial.

Most of the other officers of the Eighth were also veterans of other regiments who had appeared before examining boards selecting officers for the new U.S.C.T. regiments being formed.  One example was First Lieutenant Oliver Willcox Norton, formerly a private in the 83rd Pennsylvania and its bugler who reportedly played the first "Taps."  He had also fought at the Battle of Gettysburg and many other eastern battles.

The Eighth's lieutenant colonel was Nelson B. Bartram, formerly of the 70th New York and Major Loren Burritt had been with the 56th Pennsylvania.

Again, officers in the new USCT regiments were all whites.

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Eighth United States Colored Troops-- Part 1: Oliver Norton Was a Lieutenant in This Unit

In the last post, I mentioned that Oliver Willcox Norton the man given credit of playing "Taps" for the first time, was a lieutenant in the 8th United State Colored Troops (USCT).  Many white enlisted soldiers and officers saw that commanding in the black units was a chance to be officers and so many volunteered for this service.

The first action this unit saw was at the Battle of Olustee in Florida and despite not being trained yet for battle, they exhibited great courage.

From the Battle of

This regiment was in Hawley's Third Brigade at the Battle of Olustee.  This was a new unit and completely untrained for combat, having been organized between September 1863 and January 1864 at Camp William Penn near Philadelphia.

Several companies were also raised at Wilmington and Seaford, Delaware.

--Old Secesh

Saturday, November 16, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

He died in 1920 at the age of 81.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, November 14, 2019

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

I wrote about him in yesterday's post.

From Find-A Grave.


Birth:  17 December 1839   Angelica, New York

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

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

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

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

--Old SecTaps

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Birth of Taps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--Old SecTap

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

MCCWRT Meeting Tonight: Elections and Grant at Chattanooga

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

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

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

Be There.  --Old Secesh

Monday, November 11, 2019

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 9, 2019

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


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

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

Intra Regimental Company Transfers:

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

Other Information:

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

--Old Secesh

Friday, November 8, 2019

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

From March 18, 2014, Civil War Talk Forum.

George Clark Rogers Military Career

Residence Waukegan, Illinois, age 21

Enlisted on 4-25-1861 as 1st lieutenant

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

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

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

He was mustered out on 9-16-1865.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, November 7, 2019

George Clarke Rogers-- Part 2: For Meritorious Service

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

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

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

--Old Secesh

Hard to Research George Clarke Rogers

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

Wonder how that happens?

Just Wondering.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

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

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

From Find A Grave.

Born  22 November 1839 in Piermont, New Hampshire.

Died 28 February 1915 lake Forest, Illinois

Buried in Waukegan, Illinois, Oakwood Cemetery

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

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

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

--Old Secesh

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

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

From Wikipedia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He is buried in Chicago's Rosehill Cemetery.

--Old Secesh

Monday, November 4, 2019

Elijah Haines Tasted the Ups and Downs of Politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

--Old Secesh

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Elijah Middlebrook Haines, His Wife and Son

From Find A Grave


Born 21 April 1822  Oneida County, New York

Died 25 April 1889  Libertyville, Lake County, Illinois

Burial Oakwood Cemetery, Waukegan, Illinois

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


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

Birth:  18 February 1825  Herkimer, New York

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

Burial:  Oakwood Cemetery, Waukegan, Illinois



Birth:  14 February 1850  Illinois

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

Burial:  Lake View Cemetery  Seattle, Washington

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

--Old Secesh

Oakwood Cemetery in Waukegan, Illinois

From Find A Grave

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

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

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

The four people listed as famous::

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

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

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

Alson Smith Sherman  (1811-1903)  Chicago mayor.

--Old Secesh

Friday, November 1, 2019

Some More on Elijah M. Haines

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

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

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

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

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

--Old Secesh