Category Archive 'Civil War'
20 Dec 2015

Ken Burns: The Galactic Civil War

, , ,

23 Nov 2015

Ouch!

,

CivilWarSkull
Skull from Civil War battle. Fatal wound inflicted by exploding 12 pound artillery shell. National Museum of Health and Medicine.

25 Jun 2015

Confederates

, , ,

BlackConfederate1
“Sergeant A.M. Chandler of the 44th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, Co. F., and Silas Chandler, family slave, with Bowie knives, revolvers, pepper-box, shotgun, and canteen.” Handwritten label on back of frame: “Andrew Martin Chandler, born 1844, died 1920. Servant Silas Chandler. 44th Mississippi Regiment, Col. A.K. Blyth. Wounded in battle of Chickamauga.”

In 1861, A.M. Chandler enlisted in the Palo Alto Confederates, which became part of the 44th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. His mother, Louisa Gardner Chandler, sent Silas, one of her 36 slaves, with him. On Sept. 20, 1863, the 44th Mississippi was engaged in the Battle of Chickamauga, where Chandler was wounded in his leg. A battlefield surgeon decided to amputate but, according to the Chandler family, Silas accompanied him home to Mississippi where the limb was saved. His master’s combat service ended as a result of the wound but Silas returned to the war in January 1864 when A.M.’s younger brother, Benjamin, enlisted in the 9th Mississippi Cavalry Regiment.

Via vanderleun.

24 Jun 2015

Put Out More Confederate Flags!

, , , , , , ,

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

We live in a contemptibly stupid society in a loathsome time in which bigoted morons and moon-maddened fanatics occupy the most prominent and influential establishment positions in the land and get to call the shots nearly all the time concerning our laws, institutions, history, and culture.

Americans have been living under a Second Reconstruction regime for roughly 50 years now. The first Reconstruction affected only the states which had seceded, been defeated in the war, and were under military occupation, and lasted only 12 years. The Second Reconstruction has been national in scope, has already lasted five decades, and shows no signs of ever coming to an end. No Knights of the White Camelia are coming riding to the rescue as they did at the end of D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (1915). (How’s that for an un-PC reference?)

The national establishment has been taken over by radicals and fanatics whose opinions and philosophies are typically somewhere to the left of those of Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, and Benjamin Butler.

Currently, pretty much the entire national media, all of the left and quite a number of Quislings on the right, are busy mau-mau’ing the public display of the Confederate flag and are even demanding the removal and/or replacement of public monuments to Southern military leaders and statesmen. The Southern Confederacy, and all its heroes and leaders, must be ostracized for the crimes of Racism and a belief in White Supremacy.

Of course, by contemporary standards, everyone alive in 1860 and 1865 and not as fanatically Afrophiliac as Thaddeus Stevens, was a “Racist” and a “White Supremacist.” The list of guilty parties can hardly be held to be restricted to members of the Confederate Government, like Jefferson Davis, or generals in the Confederate Army, like Nathan Bedford Forest. Ulysses Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Abraham Lincoln himself were all, by current standards, indisputably racist believers in the intellectual and cultural inferiority of the Negro race and –worse, yet!– White Supremacists bent upon a vision of a future United States comprised of an overwhelmingly white population of European descent and governed by white men.

Be sure to send the bulldozers over to the Lincoln Memorial, as soon as they finish crushing the statue of former Secretary of War Jefferson Davis.

This little exercise in sarcasm is intended to be funny, but it really is not a joking matter. Rush Limbaugh and some other commentators have already warned that, if the radical left is permitted to succeed in defining the Confederate Flag as a hateful emblem of Slavery, Racism, and White Supremacy and get it pulled down from every public display and banned like the swastika in post-WWII Germany, they are next going to come after one more American historical icon after another. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slave-owners! Get their names and faces off our currency and out of our public buildings. The American Flag flew over a once White Supremacist and Segregated America. Looking at the Stars-and-Stripes snapping in the breeze is bound to be painful to Ta-Nehisi Coates as a reminder of the days when Slavery even flourished in Northern states. We need to tear that flag down as well, and adopt the Gay Rainbow Banner as our national colors.

We’ve obviously reached a point where we need to draw the line and say: Enough! The Civil War ended 150 years ago. Segregation ended more than 50 years ago, and we’ve had 50 years since of Affirmative Action, Federal supervision of Americans’ hearts and minds, national grovelling to victim groups, self-hatred, and reverse racism. Enough. The Civil Rights era should be declared over and the era of Political Correctness and of National Rule by Rancid Radicals should be over, too.

There were, all rational adults should recognize, complexities in the politics of the 19th century. There was more than one possible legitimate point of view on how, when, and by whom slavery ought to be ended. Slavery was not somehow mystically forgivable when practiced before 1783 in Massachusetts, before 1841 in New York, or before 1848 in Connecticut, but a crime against Humanity when practiced in South Carolina or Alabama in 1861.

Secession was undoubtedly constitutionally problematic, but it is necessary to reflect that when sectional passions were uncontrollably inflamed, and overwhelming majorities of state conventions and votes in state-wide referenda confirmed that political course, the best, the most intelligent, the most honorable and patriotic men of Southern states, many of whom had always opposed secession, accepted the decision of the citizens of their own states and supported the cause of Southern Independence.

The preservation of the Union by forcible conquest and armed invasion of fraternal states was, I think it is very easy to argue, rather more problematic legally and constitutionally even than secession. Several former presidents, including two Northerners (Pierce & Buchanan), opposed and condemned Abraham Lincoln’s decision to wage war on fraternal states, and one former president (John Tyler) actually served in the Congress of the Confederacy.

It is simply not the case that the sectional conflicts leading to Civil War are reducible simply to being for or against Slavery. And the generation of Americans residing in Southern states in 1861 were not personally responsible for institutions and economic circumstances inherited over the course of two centuries.

History, Fate, and God (if you believe in God) decided against the cause of Southern Independence. The South was conquered and forcibly reunified, but Abraham Lincoln, and Grant and Sherman, his leading generals, all believed in generosity on the part of the victor toward the vanquished. The country was successfully reunited, within the lifetimes of many men who served in the Confederate Army, precisely because Northerners rejected the policies of the Northern radicals, allowed Reconstruction to be ended, and in general took the position that Southerners had fought gallantly and honorably, if perhaps misguidedly, and treated their former adversaries with affection and respect. There is a touching film clip of a 1913 (50th Anniversy) reunion at Gettysburg. Old men who decades earlier had faced each other as enemies met this time as friends, and as aged Confederates limpingly tried reenacting a portion of Pickett’s Charge, their former adversaries stood atop Cemetery Ridge cheering for them.

The American left is utterly and completely intoxicated with the pleasures of racial politics and is carried away with its success in obtaining any and all demands it cares to make after applying the moral jiu-jitsu of pointing to some pitiable victim. It’s long past time to declare the Civil Rights Movement and politics of the 1960s over and done with. We need to tell the leftists and their craven conformist establishment allies we’ve had enough and we are putting out more Confederate flags.

23 Jun 2015

My First Reaction

, , , ,

OldRebel2

My initial reaction to the demands of the radical left, the professional race baiters, and conservative and Republican sell-outs like Spengler, Max Boot, Victor Davis Hanson, Nikki Haley, Lindsey Graham, Jeb Bush, and Mitt Romney that the Confederate flag be declared politically incorrect, banned from public display, and consigned to ignominious oblivion as a nasty symbol of improper attitudes and opinions is to reaffirm my recent local loyalty to the Commonwealth of Virginia (where I hunted and resided for several years until quite recently), to tell the lot of those Yankee bigots and Holier-Than-Thous to get stuffed, and to post good old Major Innes Randolph’s irredentist ditty:


Oh, I’m a good old Rebel, now that’s just what I am;
For this “Fair Land of Freedom” I do not give a damn!
I’m glad I fit against it, I only wish we’d won,
And I don’t want no pardon for anything I done.

I hates the Constitution, this “Great Republic,” too!
I hates the Freedman’s Bureau and uniforms of blue!
I hates the nasty eagle with all its brags and fuss,
And lyin’, thievin’ Yankees, I hates ’em wuss and wuss!

I hates the Yankee nation and everything they do,
I hates the Declaration of Independence, too!
I hates the “Glorious Union” — ’tis dripping with our blood,
I hates their striped banner, I fit it all I could.

I followed old Marse Robert for four years, near about,
Got wounded in three places, and starved at Point Lookout.
I cotched the “roomatism” a’campin’ in the snow,
I killed a chance o’ Yankees, I’d like to kill some mo’!

Three hundred thousand Yankees is stiff in Southern dust!
We got three hundred thousand before they conquered us.
They died of Southern fever and Southern steel and shot,
I wish we’d got three million instead of what we got.

I can’t take up my musket and fight ’em now no more,
But I ain’t a’gonna love ’em, now that’s for sartain sure!
I do not want no pardon for what I was and am,
I won’t be reconstructed, and I do not care a damn!

How’s that for politically incorrect?

22 Apr 2015

Mort Kunstler’s Last Civil War Painting

, , , ,

LaGrangevLaGrange
Mort Kunstler, LaGrange vs. LaGrange, 2015.

The Atlanta-Constitution reports that the 87-year-old Kunstler’s last painting honors the female militia that save a small Georgia town in 1865.

For his final major painting before retiring, famed history artist Mort Künstler selected a fairly obscure Civil War event that occurred 150 years ago in LaGrange.

And, in the town a little more than an hour southwest of downtown Atlanta, the Troup County Historical Society will celebrate both the artist and the subject of his painting, the all-female Nancy Hart Militia, with a benefit event on Friday, April 17.

Guest of honor Künstler, a resident of Oyster Bay, N.Y., will unveil the painting, “LaGrange vs. LaGrange,” and sign canvas-printed reproductions.

The tribute marks the 150th anniversary of the day when the arms-toting Nancy Harts marched to the edge of town to meet invading Union troops, led by the ironically named Wisconsin Cavalry commander Col. Oscar LaGrange. The face-off occurred about a week after the Appomattox surrender, but before word had traveled to the town. LaGrange pledged that if the women would put down their guns, he would not burn their houses.

“The Nancy Harts story is unique not just to LaGrange, but also to the United States,” Troup County Historical Society President Jake Jones said. “ The charming town we enjoy today would not be the same if not for the bravery of these women.”

25 Feb 2015

How Accurate Was Artillery During the American Civil War?

, , ,

Pretty darned accurate.

Whitworth breechloading rifle

04 Jan 2015

Civil War Photos

, , ,

WilliamTBiedler
William T. Beidler

Kuriositas looks at Young Faces of the American Civil War. Apparently, some people collect Civil War photographs and devote considerable research into trying to identify the individual soldier who is the subject of the photograph.

Somehow we expect their faces to be different, not so staggeringly modern looking. Place them in contemporary clothing and all of these young men would not look out of place in a mall or a high school yearbook. Yet these extraordinary ambrotype and tintype photographs were taken during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Almost 150 years separates their lives from our own yet their youthful faces retain a powerful resonance and an immediacy which brings that dreadful conflict in to our imagination.

Who were these young men? What sort of lives did they live during and (one hopes) after the Civil War? The names of many of the young men pictured here are unknown, their fates a mystery. Yet despite the century and a half gap between their careful posing for the camera, some can still be identified. Astonishingly, names can still be discovered, as well as insight in to their character and personality.

Above is William T. Beidler, photographed with an already-archaic flintlock musket. Young Beidler, along with two of his brothers, served in Mosby’s 43rd Virginia Cavalry Battalion. He was born 9 December 1845 and enlisted from Fauquier County 10 February 1864. He served as a 4th Sergeant (not a Captain) in Captain William H. Chapman’s Company C.

He is recorded as having participated in actions: 12 March 1865 at the “Hague” near Kinsale, Westmoreland County, 21 March 1865 at Hamilton, and 4 May 1865 at Charles Town. West Virginia.

After the war, he worked in the wholesale drygoods business in Baltimore, where he died 7 August 1897 (aet. 53).

22 Dec 2013

“A Rebel’s Recollections, Part 1”

, , , ,

Seven articles by George Cary Eggleston published in the Atlantic, June-December, 1874.

Part 1, The Mustering:

With all its horrors and in spite of the wretchedness it has wrought, this war of ours, in some of its aspects at least, begins to look like a very ridiculous affair, now that we are getting too far away from it to hear the rattle of the musketry; and I have a mind, in this chapter, to review one of its most ridiculous phases, to wit, its beginning. We all remember Mr. Webster’s pithy putting of the case with regard to our forefathers of a hundred years ago: “They went to war against a preamble. They fought seven years against a declaration. They poured out their treasures and their blood like water, in a contest in opposition to an assertion.” Now it seems to me that something very much like this might be said of the Southerners, and particularly of the Virginians, without whose pluck and pith there could have been no war at all worth writing or talking about. They made war upon a catch-word, and fought until they were hopelessly ruined for the sake of an abstraction. And certainly history will not find it to the discredit of those people that they freely offered themselves upon the altar of an abstract principle of right, in a war which they knew must work hopeless ruin to themselves, whatever its other results might be. Virginia did not want to secede, and her decision to this effect was given in the election of a convention composed for the most part of men strongly opposed to secession. …

Why, then, the reader doubtless asks, if this was the temper of the Virginians, did Virginia secede after all? I answer, because circumstances ultimately so placed the Virginians that they could not, without cowardice and dishonor, do otherwise; and the Virginians are brave men and honorable ones. They believed, as I have said, in the abstract right of any State to secede at will. Indeed, this right was to them as wholly unquestioned and unquestionable as is the right of the States to establish free schools, or to do any other thing pertaining to local self-government. The question of the correctness or incorrectness of the doctrine is not now to the purpose. The Virginians, almost without an exception, believed and had always believed it absolutely, and believing it, they held of necessity that the general government had no right, legal or moral, to coerce a seceding State; and so, when the President called upon Virginia for her quota of troops with which to compel the return of the seceding States, she could not possibly obey without doing that which her people believed to be an outrage upon the rights of sister commonwealths, for which, as they held, there was no warrant in law or equity.

She heartily condemned the secession of South Carolina and the rest as unnecessary, ill-advised, and dangerous; but their secession did not concern her except as a looker-on, and she had not only refused to be a partaker in it, but had also felt a good deal of indignation against the men who were thus endangering the peace of the land. When she was called upon to assist in reducing these States to submission, however, she could no longer remain a spectator. She must furnish the troops, and so assist in doing that which she believed to be utterly wrong, or she must herself withdraw from the Union. The question was thus narrowed down to this: Should Virginia seek safety in dishonor, or should she meet destruction in doing that which she believed to be right? Such a question was not long to be debated. Two days after the proclamation was published Virginia seceded, not because she wanted to secede, – not because she believed it wise, – but because, as she understood the matter, the only other course open to her would have been cowardly and dishonorable.

Read the whole thing.

03 Jul 2013

The Other Greatest Generation

, , ,

03 Jul 2013

If Only…

, , ,

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 2013

Pickett’s Charge

, ,

Today is the 150th 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)

Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted in the 'Civil War' Category.

















Feeds
Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark