Category Archive 'Civil War'
03 Jul 2021

Pickett’s Charge

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Today is the 158th Anniversary of the Third Day of the decisive Battle of Gettysburg.

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Crossing the Emmitsburg Road

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“Give them cold steel.” — Brigadier General Lewis Armistead (February 18, 1817–July 3, 1863)

——————————————————–

Dr. Joseph Hold of the 11th Mississippi, Davis’s brigade, anticipated that the afternoon would be busy and set up his dressing station early in a shelter behind Seminary Ridge. . .When the cannonade opened and the Federals’ guns replied, stretcher bearers, crouching low, began bringing in the wounded. Among the first was an athletic young man with reddish golden hair, “a princely fellow,” the doctor called him, with a calm manner and a delightful smile, one of that gay, turbulent company that had left with the University Greys of Oxford to form Company A of the 11th Mississippi.

The physician examined the left arm, cut off at the elbow, and offered encouragement.

“Why, doctor, that isn’t where I am hurt.” The boy pulled back a blanket and showed where a shell had ripped deep across his abdomen, carrying away much that was vital. “I am in great agony,” he said, still smiling. “Let me die easy, dear doctor.”

But before the lad had drunk the cup containing the concentrated solution of opium, the doctor held up his right arm so he could write: “My dear mother. . .Remember that I am true to my country and my regret at dying is that she is not free. . .you must not regret that my body cannot be obtained. It is a mere matter of form anyhow. . .Send my dying release to Miss Mary. . .” He signed, JERE S. GAGE, Co. A, 11 Miss. By that time, the letter was covered with blood.

Then he raised his cup to a group of soldiers. “I do not invite you to drink with me,” he remarked wryly, then with fervor, “but I drink a toast to you, the Southern Confederacy, and to victory.”

* * *

Then Pickett stood in front of his division and gave the final word: “Charge the enemy and remember old Virginia!” His voice was clear and strong as he spoke the order: “Forward! Guide center! March!” . . .

“I don’t want to make this charge,” Longstreet declared emphatically. “I don’t believe it can succeed. I would stop Pickett now, but that General Lee has ordered it and expects it.”

Further remarks showed he wanted some excuse for calling off the whole attack.

But Longstreet and Alexander had lost control. As they talked, the turf trembled about them and the long line of grey infantry broke from the woods. First came Garnett’s Virginians, the general in front, his old blue overcoat buttoned tightly around his neck. Abreast was Kemper’s trim line marching majestically into the open fields, the fifes piping “Dixie,” the ranks in nearly perfect alignment. Far to the left could be heard the drum rolls of the Carolina regiments — Pettigrew and Trimble were in motion. The hour of the generals had passed. The infantrymen from the Richmond offices and Pearisburg farmlands, the “Greys” from the halls of “Old Miss” and the “flower of the Cape Fear section,” had taken the Confederate cause into their hands.

* * *

The assaulting column consisted of 41 regiments and one battalion. . .Nineteen of the regiments were from Virginia, 15 from North Carolina, 3 each from Tennessee and Mississippi, and one regiment and one battalion from Alabama.

* * *

Garnett, with a big voice issuing from his frail body, rode ahead of his line regulating the pace, admonishing his men not to move too rapidly. From the skirmish line, Captain Shotwell obtained one of the rare views of the Confederate advance: the “glittering forest of bright bayonets,” the column coming down the slope “in superb alignment,” the “murmur and jingle” and “rustle of thousands of feet amid the stubble” which stirred up a cloud of dust “like the dash of spray at the prow of a vessel.”

In front of Pickett flew the blue banner of the Old Dominion with the motto, “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” and the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy (the red battle flag with its blue cross not yet being in general use). The regimental flags flapped. A soft warm wind was blowing from the land they loved.

Glenn Tucker, “High Tide at Gettysburg.”

03 Jul 2021

Lee’s Gamble

, , ,

For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstance which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago.

—William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust, 1948.

24 May 2021

Confederate-Carved Enfield Bullets

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From the Tennessee State Museum collection: Pattern 1853 Enfield .577 bullets carved as trench art by a Confederate soldier. (As usual, click on image for larger version.)

Metal detectors find vast quantities of Civil War bullets. Bullets bitten on during surgeries are not rare. Also, bullets whittled into game pieces for checkers and chess are frequently encountered. These expressions of war-time animosity are extraordinary and very amusing.

Hat tip to Chelius Carter.

02 Apr 2021

A Bit of History From Our Mississippi House

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“Cedarhurst”.

A neighbor forwarded a newspaper item involving some of our new house’s Civil War history.

Grant occupied Holly Springs in late November or early December of 1862. He made the town his new supply base for the Siege of Vicksburg.

On December 18th, Confederate General Earl Van Dorn raided the Union base at Holly Springs with 3500 cavalry, capturing 1500 Union troops and burning Grant’s supplies.

Lacking supplies, Grant was compelled to retreat for a time, and Vicksburg remained uncaptured until the following July.

The fiery rebel was Catherine Sherwood Bonner, who later became secretary and muse to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and a successful novelist and regional author in her own right.

Many thanks to Bobby Mitchell!

03 Jul 2020

Lee’s Gamble

, , ,

For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstance which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago.

—William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust, 1948.

03 Jul 2020

Pickett’s Charge

, ,

Today is the 157th Anniversary of the Third Day of the decisive Battle of Gettysburg.

——————————————————–


Crossing the Emmitsburg Road

——————————————————–


“Give them cold steel.” — Brigadier General Lewis Armistead (February 18, 1817–July 3, 1863)

—————————

———————————————————

“Dr. Joseph Hold of the 11th Mississippi, Davis’ brigade, anticipated that the afternoon would be busy and set up his dressing station early in a shelter behind Seminary Ridge. . .When the cannonade opened and the Federals’ guns replied, stretcher bearers, crouching low, began bringing in the wounded. Among the first was an athletic young man with reddish golden hair, “a princely fellow,” the doctor called him, with a calm manner and a delightful smile, one of that gay, turbulent company that had left with the University Greys of Oxford to form Company A of the 11th Mississippi.

“The physician examined the left arm, cut off at the elbow, and offered encouragement.

“‘Why, doctor, that isn’t where I am hurt.’ The boy pulled back a blanket and showed where a shell had ripped deep across his abdomen, carrying away much that was vital. ‘I am in great agony,’ he said, still smiling. ‘Let me die easy, dear doctor.’

“But before the lad had drunk the cup containing the concentrated solution of opium, the doctor held up his right arm so he could write: ‘My dear mother. . .Remember that I am true to my country and my regret at dying is that she is not free. . .you must not regret that my body cannot be obtained. It is a mere matter of form anyhow. . .Send my dying release to Miss Mary. . .’ He signed, JERE S. GAGE, Co. A, 11 Miss. By that time, the letter was covered with blood.

“Then he raised his cup to a group of soldiers. ‘I do not invite you to drink with me,’ he remarked wryly, then with fervor, ‘but I drink a toast to you, the Southern Confederacy, and to victory’

* * *

“Then Pickett stood in front of his division and gave the final word ‘Charge the enemy and remember old Virginia.’ His voice was clear and strong as he spoke the order: ‘Forward! Guide center! March’ . . .

“‘I don’t want to make this charge,’ Longstreet declared emphatically. ‘I don’t believe it can succeed. I would stop Pickett now, but that General Lee has ordered it and expects it.’

“Further remarks showed he wanted some excuse for calling off the whole attack.

“But Longstreet and Alexander had lost control. As they talked, the turf trembled about them and the long line of grey infantry broke from the woods. First came Garnett’s Virginians, the general in front, his old blue overcoat buttoned tightly around his neck. Abreast was Kemper’s trim line marching majestically into the open fields, the fifes piping ‘Dixie,’ the ranks in nearly perfect alignment. Far to the left could be heard the drum rolls of the Carolina regiments – Pettigrew and Trimble were in motion. The hour of the generals had passed. The infantrymen from the Richmond offices and Pearisburg farmlands, the ‘greys’ from the halls of ‘Old Miss’ and the ‘flower of the Cape Fear section,’ had taken the Confederate cause into their hands.

* * *

“The assaulting column consisted of 41 regiments and one battalion. . .Nineteen of the regiments were from Virginia, 15 from North Carolina, 3 each from Tennessee and Mississippi, and one regiment and one battalion from Alabama.

* * *

“Garnett, with a big voice issuing from his frail body, road ahead of his line regulating the pace, admonishing his men not to move too rapidly. From the skirmish line, Captain Shotwell obtained one of the rare views of the Confederate advance: the ‘glittering forest of bright bayonets,’ the column coming down the slope ‘in superb alignment,’ the ‘murmur and jingle’ and ‘rustle of thousands of feet amid the stubble’ which stirred up a cloud of dust ‘like the dash of spray at the prow of a vessel.’

“In front of Pickett flew the blue banner of the Old Dominion with the motto, ‘Sic semper Tyrannis,’ and the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy (the red battle flag with its blue cross not yet being in general use). The regimental flags flapped. A soft warm wind was blowing from the land they loved.”

–Glenn Tucker, “High Tide at Gettysburg.”

21 Dec 2019

Civil War Veteran, Scranton, Pennsylvania, 1935

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The Civil War veteran above wears the cap of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)—the largest Union veterans’ organization—founded in 1866. The number on his cap signals that his post was 139, located in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

This prize-winning amateur photograph from the 1935 Newspaper National Snapshot Awards was taken by Mrs. Nathan Klein of Wyoming, Pennsylvania. The note on the back reads: “Old soldier talking to bootblacks.”

Source : Picture Archive: American Soldiers, National Geographic.

via: Anthony DeCrescenzo.

03 Jul 2019

Pickett’s Charge

, ,

Today is the 156th Anniversary of the Third Day of the decisive Battle of Gettysburg.


Crossing the Emmitsburg Road

——————————————————–


“Give them cold steel.” — Brigadier General Lewis Armistead (February 18, 1817–July 3, 1863)

———————————————————

“Dr. Joseph Hold of the 11th Mississippi, Davis’ brigade, anticipated that the afternoon would be busy and set up his dressing station early in a shelter behind Seminary Ridge. . .When the cannonade opened and the Federals’ guns replied, stretcher bearers, crouching low, began bringing in the wounded. Among the first was an athletic young man with reddish golden hair, “a princely fellow,” the doctor called him, with a calm manner and a delightful smile, one of that gay, turbulent company that had left with the University Greys of Oxford to form Company A of the 11th Mississippi.

“The physician examined the left arm, cut off at the elbow, and offered encouragement.

“‘Why, doctor, that isn’t where I am hurt.’ The boy pulled back a blanket and showed where a shell had ripped deep across his abdomen, carrying away much that was vital. ‘I am in great agony,’ he said, still smiling. ‘Let me die easy, dear doctor.’

“But before the lad had drunk the cup containing the concentrated solution of opium, the doctor held up his right arm so he could write: ‘My dear mother. . .Remember that I am true to my country and my regret at dying is that she is not free. . .you must not regret that my body cannot be obtained. It is a mere matter of form anyhow. . .Send my dying release to Miss Mary. . .’ He signed, JERE S. GAGE, Co. A, 11 Miss. By that time, the letter was covered with blood.

“Then he raised his cup to a group of soldiers. ‘I do not invite you to drink with me,’ he remarked wryly, then with fervor, ‘but I drink a toast to you, the Southern Confederacy, and to victory’

* * *

“Then Pickett stood in front of his division and gave the final word ‘Charge the enemy and remember old Virginia.’ His voice was clear and strong as he spoke the order: ‘Forward! Guide center! March’ . . .

“‘I don’t want to make this charge,’ Longstreet declared emphatically. ‘I don’t believe it can succeed. I would stop Pickett now, but that General Lee has ordered it and expects it.’

“Further remarks showed he wanted some excuse for calling off the whole attack.

“But Longstreet and Alexander had lost control. As they talked, the turf trembled about them and the long line of grey infantry broke from the woods. First came Garnett’s Virginians, the general in front, his old blue overcoat buttoned tightly around his neck. Abreast was Kemper’s trim line marching majestically into the open fields, the fifes piping ‘Dixie,’ the ranks in nearly perfect alignment. Far to the left could be heard the drum rolls of the Carolina regiments – Pettigrew and Trimble were in motion. The hour of the generals had passed. The infantrymen from the Richmond offices and Pearisburg farmlands, the ‘greys’ from the halls of ‘Old Miss’ and the ‘flower of the Cape Fear section,’ had taken the Confederate cause into their hands.

* * *

“The assaulting column consisted of 41 regiments and one battalion. . .Nineteen of the regiments were from Virginia, 15 from North Carolina, 3 each from Tennessee and Mississippi, and one regiment and one battalion from Alabama.

* * *

“Garnett, with a big voice issuing from his frail body, road ahead of his line regulating the pace, admonishing his men not to move too rapidly. From the skirmish line, Captain Shotwell obtained one of the rare views of the Confederate advance: the ‘glittering forest of bright bayonets,’ the column coming down the slope ‘in superb alignment,’ the ‘murmur and jingle’ and ‘rustle of thousands of feet amid the stubble’ which stirred up a cloud of dust ‘like the dash of spray at the prow of a vessel.’

“In front of Pickett flew the blue banner of the Old Dominion with the motto, ‘Sic semper Tyrannis,” and the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy (the red battle flag with its blue cross not yet being in general use). The regimental flags flapped. A soft warm wind was blowing from the land they loved.”

–Glenn Tucker, “High Tide at Gettysburg.”

03 Jul 2019

Lee’s Gamble

, , , ,

For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Longstreet to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet, it not only hasn’t begun yet but there is still time for it not to begin against that position and those circumstance which made more men than Garnett and Kemper and Armistead and Wilcox look grave yet it’s going to begin, we all know that, we have come too far with too much at stake and that moment doesn’t need even a fourteen-year-old boy to think This time. Maybe this time with all this much to lose than all this much to gain: Pennsylvania, Maryland, the world, the golden dome of Washington itself to crown with desperate and unbelievable victory the desperate gamble, the cast made two years ago.

—William Faulkner, Intruder in the Dust, 1948.

27 May 2019

Confederate Veteran Poses With Fighter Jet, 1955

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“Uncle Bill” Lundy claimed to be the last living Confederate Civil War veteran in Florida, and spent his 107th birthday at Eglin AFB, Florida in January 1955.

Rare Historical Photos:

It should be noted that Lundy’s actual age and military service have been heavily disputed over the years. William Lundy was allegedly born near Troy, in Pike County, Alabama, on January 18, 1848 (also reported at Coffee Springs, Coffee County). He is said to have enlisted in the last days of March 1864, at age 16; Company D (Brown’s), 4th Alabama Cavalry Regiment (Home Guard) at Elba; and to have been honorably discharged at Elba in May 1865, on account of the close of the war. He moved his family to Laurel Hill in 1890, where he and his wife, Mary Jane Lassiter, raised ten children. He was granted a Confederate soldier’s pension in Florida, no. 8948, of $600 per annum to be paid effective from June 12, 1941.

HT: Vanderleun.

05 Apr 2019

Unreconstructed and Unrepentant

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10 Mar 2019

That the Civil War Was Fought to End Slavery Is a Myth

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ConradWiseChapmanFlagofSumt
Detail, Conrad Wise Chapman, The Flag of Sumter, Oct 20 1863

At Medium, Jonathan Clark explains that the Civil War was not really fought to end Slavery.

Viewing the Civil War as a crusade to end slavery is simply not correct; abolitionists never accounted for more than a sizeable minority in the North. The cause of war in 1861 wasn’t slavery. It was about the loss of millions in tax revenues.

RTWT

Lincoln ultimately annexed Abolitionism to the War in order to cover a war of conquest with a nobler justification and to make it harder for European countries to recognize or ally with the Confederacy.

“The Confederate soldier did not go to war to perpetuate slavery. Most of them never owned a slave, and our hero, Gen. Robert E. Lee, said that if he owned every one of the slaves in the South he would give them for the preservation of the Union. It was not for the slaves they fought, but for principle, for their homes and native land.”

–T.F. Goode , Confederate Banquet, January 19, 1893.

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