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Fractional Currency and Civil War Currency Trivia

The recent St Louis Civil War Roundtable Trivia Quiz by Edward W. Rataj was entitled Paper Money. Ed included several items I had gathered as a result of a presentation made by a speaker Robert J. Kravitz at the Roundtable in 2012 which I particularly enjoyed as I had some specimens of fractional currency that my dad gave me when I was a boy. I never understood what I had until that presentation.

I wrote the “Fractional Currency” summary as a possible inclusion of a second trivia book which I contemplate publishing during moments of delusion. I include it here for your enjoyment as well as a few of Ed’s trivia items that are just too good to let go of. Like much of my postings I enjoy gathering Civil War information of similar content. Of course this material is available on-line and in various references and sources…but who has the time to pursue it? I do and I enjoy it. I hope you do to.

                      Fractional Currency and the Civil War

Fractional currency is a paper note of less than one dollar face value that was issued by both sides in order to alleviate the shortage of coinage. Early in the Civil War populations on both sides began to recognize the value of hard coins. Gold, silver and copper coins, in denominations of 3, 5, 10, 15, 25 and 50 cent denominations, began to be hoarded and quickly disappeared from the market place. Merchants had difficulty making change. Prices in the 1860’s for common foods and other necessities were sold for a few cents and a small amount of change was a necessity of commerce.

Several individuals minted private tokens between 1862 and 1864 to overcome the problem of the shortage of coins. These tokens contained patriotic and commercial images. One and two-cent token coins became illegal 22 April 1864 by Federal law. In August 1864 a law was passed prohibiting all private coinage. One of the best known tokens was the 1-cent of New York barkeep Gustavus Lindenmueller, who minted over one million tokens. These tokens have become very collectible.

Paper currency was available but was not centralized under the Federal government. Any entity could issue specie for commerce and cities, banks and states printed paper notes. However, bank notes from one area may be difficult to exchange in a distant city. As coinage disappeared, the need for fractional currency in denominations of 3, 5, 10, 25 and 50-cents became apparent. The 3-cent fractional note is the smallest denomination of currency ever issued in the Civil War. The United States Government printed and issued the smaller denomination notes through the National Currency Bureau under the first superintendent Spencer Morton Clark (1862-68). These smaller value notes were redeemable by the Post Office for postage stamps and at banks for coin. $368 million in notes was issued from August 21, 1862 to February 15, 1876.

Salmon P. Chase, Secretary of Treasury, and President Lincoln’s close advisor on financial matters, proposed to authorize the use of postage stamps as a currency substitute. Much of the public were using stamps in lieu of change due to the severe shortage of coins. Postmaster General Montgomery C. Blair did not like selling stamps for currency and would not provide refunds for soiled stamps. The Postage Currency Act on July 17, 1862, authorized an issue of 5, 10, 25, and 50 cent notes. The first issues became known as Postage Stamp Currency because they bore facsimiles of the then current 5 and 10 cent postage stamps. Postage Currency (1st Issue) were never legal tender but could be exchanged for United States Notes in $5 lots and could be used in payment of all dues to the United States, up to $5. Early postage currency sheets were perforated like stamps. These sheets were sold to banks and the public in sheets so you could tear off the notes needed in the denominations desired. The perforating machine could not keep up with the heavy demand so the banknote company started producing plain sheets that were cut with scissors. In 1863, Secretary Chase asked for a new Fractional Currency that was harder to counterfeit than the Postage Currency. The new Fractional Currency notes were different from the 1862 Postage Currency issues. They were more colorful with printing on the reverse.
Postmaster General Blair also took an interesting and aggressive stand to protect US interests regarding the use of valid postage in the hands of the Confederacy. Fearing that Confederates would sell their stocks at a discount in order to raise funds for armament purchases, Blair declared all stamps issued before 1861 invalid. The 1861-62 issues are the oldest stamps in the world valid for postage today.

Paper for the fractional notes was provided by the Crane Paper Company of Dalton, Massachusetts which still provides paper for all US currency, now called Federal Reserve notes. The original fractionals were legal tender which meant that they could be redeemed for hard coin. The use of identifying parallel silk fibers in the paper was invented by Crane & Co during the Civil War and continues in use today. Other anti-counterfitting processes and techniques have been devloped by Crane & Co in order to thwart the ever ending efforts of illegal counterfitting operations.

During the Civil War the first US Comptroller of Currency, then called the Superintendent of the National Currency Bureau, was appointed in 1863. Hugh McCullock served from 1863 to 1865. He was succeeded by Freeman Clarke from 1865-1866. The 6th Comptroller was William L Trenholm, son of George Alfred Trenholm a founding partner of Fraser, Trenholm & Co of Liverpool, England. Trenholm was the firm that operated a fleet of sixty blockade runner packet ships in service between Liverpool and Charleston, SC. They were the financial agents for the Confederacy in Europe shipping out cotton, tobacco and turpentine to Europe in exchange for coal, iron, salt, weapons and ammunition. William Trenholm was the first southerner appointed to such a post after the war and had served as a Confederate cavalry officer from South Carolina from 1861 to 1865.

The Confederate government also issued fractional currency for the same reasons as the United States. The Confederate government only made 50 cent notes but southern states also printed fractional notes. They imported paper with Confederate watermarks from Europe. One shipment was seized 27 April 1862 when the blockade runner Bermuda was taken off Charleston by the USS Mercedita. Watermarked paper was made by Hodgkinson & Co at the Wooley Hole Mill located near Wells, Somerset, England. The confiscated paper was used by the Union for proof notes and some US notes bear the CSA watermark.

Fractional currency was succeeded by postal notes that were issued from Monday, September 3, 1883 to Saturday, June 30, 1894.

On the third series of 10-cent notes, Comptroller Spencer M. Clark placed his own image on the face and this caused a major issue. A policy was instituted in 1866 that prohibits the image of a living person being placed on any postage stamp, or piece of currency. The image of Jefferson Davis on the 1861 5-cent Confederate postage stamp was the first time a living person’s picture was printed on a stamp

Here is some trivia from Ed Rataj’s February quiz.

The Union government in Missouri printed in 1864, $20 bills with the picture of Major General John Pope, an unusual selection, it seems, from this point in time.

Missouri printed currency entitled Defense Bonds in denominations of $1, $3, $4.50,$20, $50, and $100. Why no 2’s and 5’s?

In 1862, the US treasury issued legal tender notes as follows: $1 with face of Secretary Salmon P. Chase; $2, $5 and $50 notes with Alexander Hamilton, and $10 with Abraham Lincoln.

Only one Confederate general’s image in on Confederate States of America currency that being Stonewall Jackson on the 1864 $500 bill. Robert E. Lee is not depicted on any currency issued by the US, CSA or any Confederate state.

Andrew Jackson was a favorite of both US and CS currency engravers. His face is on the 1861 Confederate $1000 note and the February 3, 1861 US interest bearing note-from the same portrait!!

Thanks to Ed Rataj for his interesting trivia.


Civil War Icons

I had been thinking about some items, places, and concepts and I began making a list of unique concepts that seemed to be recognizable by Civil War students or buffs. I am sure that these are not all and some may even be a stretch, but, when one of these is mentioned it is almost always recognized and the story understood. I hope you agree and if you are aware of others I would like to add them to my list.

a. Tin Cup; Held by Gen A. S. Johnston while directing troops at Shiloh prior to his wounding.
b. Red Wool Shirt; AP Hill’s battle shirt
c. Cloak and new plumed hat, haversack and cape; JEB Stuart’s possessions were captured at Verdiersville 17 Mar 63 when he left them on the porch of the Rhodes House where he had been sleeping. Stuart had to leave in a hurry to avoid capture.
d. Bandana head cover; worn by Stuart until he could get a hat
e. Personal baggage and papers, money box containing $500m in currency and $20m in gold, fancy hat and dress uniform; John Pope’s trains were captured by JEB Stuart at Catlet’s Station 22 Mar 63
f. Umbrella and Beaver hat; Extra Billy WS Smith
g. Milk White Horse: Gen Joe Hooker at Chancellorsville
h. Plug hat: Gen Sherman’s regular hat
i. Porkpie hat: Gen Sheridan’s usual hat
j. Forage cap: Stonewall Jackson’s favored hat
k. One pound sack coffee; Fitz Lee’s prize from Gen Averell at Kelly’s Ford
l. Sword rusted in scabbard: Jackson’s at Cedar Mountain
m. Lunch basket: brought by Union Generals Crawford, Hartsuff and Bayard and shared with Confederate classmate JEB Stuart during a burial truce after Cedar Mountain
n. New Plumed hat and copy of NY Herald: Bet won by Stuart with Gen. Hartsuff that the paper would credit the south with a victory even though it was clearly a northern victory.
o. Two discarded wooden Union hardtack boxes: Used by Lee and Jackson to plan flanking movement for Chancellorsville
p. Three cigars: lost at Fredericksburg and found wrapped in Lee’s lost order No. 191 on Best Farm by soldiers of the 27th Indiana
q. Carpet slippers: Worn by Longstreet as he directed his corps at Antietam. He rodes side saddle with his feet in the slippers to protect a boot-chaffed heal
r. Catch of Shad: meeting of Generals Fitz Lee, Geo Pickett and Thom Rosser who missed out on the Battle of Five Forks while enjoying a lunch of planked fish on 1 Apr 1865. Rosser bought a large catch of shad and invited the others.
s. Kepi: A French style cap favored by Gens. Geo McClellan, B. Bragg, Ben Butler and many others as it was the issue head gear of the Union Army
t. Perfumed hair: Gen. Pickett perfumed his long ringlets to favor the ladies.
u. Bugle call: Butterfield and his bugler created the call “Taps”.
v. Black Velvet fatigue Blouse: Custer’s iconic uniform with golden braids on the sleeves. Also he wore velvet trousers tucked in his boots. He wore a blue navy-issue shirt with stars embroidered on the collar.
w. Enlisted sack coat with shoulder boards: Grant’s field uniform devoid of all markings except the shoulder boards
x. Hemp bales; First Battle of Lexington Missouri, 18-20 September 1861 used by attackers for cover.
y. Green uniform coats: US sharpshooter uniforms of Hiram Berdan’s 1st US Sharpshooters
z. Catholic cleric in religious vestments: Father William Corby, CSC, saying Mass for Irish Brigade
aa. White crossed-belts: worn by US Marines. Army gave up white belts due to health concerns related to whiting with lead pigment.
bb. Song “Home Sweet Home; played by band of both sides before the battle of Stones River.
cc. Fire Engine House: Final retreat of John Brown’s “army” at Harper’s Ferry
dd. John Brown Pikes: 954 long handled steel headed pikes were made by Charles Clair of Collinsville & Co and sold for $1 each for Brown and delivered to him in Chambersburg, PA which he forwarded to the Kennedy Farm.
ee. Red baggy pants, shell jacket, and fez: Especially designed uniforms worn by zouave units in armies of both sides. Patterned after Moroccan infantry under French colonial rule.

Craig L Symonds’ “Civil War at Sea”

We recently returned from a cruise in the Caribbean and while at sea I enjoyed reading Symonds’ book. I had read it before and this time was taking the time to study in detail his wonderful stories.

Hear are a few trivia questions that I thought you might enjoy and that I did not want to forget. Again the numbers only refer to my most recent list.

20. General Winfield Scott Hancock, hero of Gettysburg and Spotsylvania Courthouse, was only significantly defeated in one battle. The destruction of his II Corps was the objective of Confederates in what battle which was his only personal loss?
On 25 August 1864, Generals Harry Heth and William Mahone from AP Hill’s Corps attacked and overran Hancock’s faulty disposition at Reams Station, Virginia. Along with Wade Hampton’s flank attack the II Corps was routed and many guns lost. Hancock’s painful thigh wound from Gettysburg had never healed. That and the humiliation of Reams Station caused him to give up his field command in November. At the Battle of Burgess’ Mill Confederates again targeted Hancock’s Corps for destruction by again failed.

21. What two American presidents have had US revenue cutters named in their honor?
Jefferson Davis and U S Grant USRC Jefferson Davis patrolled the West Coast of the United States during the war.

22. What unique distinction is held by US Revenue Cutter Service Captain Thomas M. Dugan?
He is the only person in the Revenue Marine Service to lose his life in the Civil War. He was killed by small arms fire off Point Lookout, MD so on 12 August 1864 while on board the Revenue Cutter Reliance.

23. Who was the first Union general to respond to a Confederate request for surrender terms by using the term “unconditional surrender”?
Brigadier C. F. Smith, one of Grant’s division commanders was the first to receive the communication from General S. B. Buckner at Ft Donelson delivered by Maj. Nathaniel Cheairs. Smith replied gruffly that he would “make no terms with rebels with arms in their hands–my terms would be Unconditional and immediate surrender”. Smith had been Commandant of Cadets at West Point when Grant was a cadet. He was a beloved officer and when he died of infection from a foot injury he was mourned by many officers on both sides.

24. Where was the first confrontation between a riverine gunboat and Confederate forces ashore?
At Commerce, Missouri the timberclad gunboat Tyler under Commander John Rodgers fired on rebel gunners along the Mississippi River bank. In August 1861 Confederates under Gen. M. Jeff Thompson occupied the Union leaning town looting and terrorizing the population. They were also firing on riverboat traffic.

Questions Inspired by Ralph Peters’ book The Damned of Petersburg

Ralph Peters’ historic novel was a joy for me to read, yea study. I am constantly amazed how much more there is to know about the Civil War than what paltry amount I have discovered to date. Peter’s novel describes the misery and dedicated sacrifice experienced during the period of the summer of 1864. Severe Virginia heat and humidity, lingering wounds and maladies, and rain and mud. I can speak personally about the torment of those conditions since I lived them in Vietnam.

Here are some questions that stimulated my interest and allowed me to research a bit further for my enjoyment. I hope you find them enlightening as well.

9. Who was the first Confederate officer killed in combat during the Civil War?
Captain John Quincy Marr, commander of the Warrenton Rifles at Fairfax County Court House on 1 June 1861. He was an 1846 graduate of VMI. He was shot with a carbine by Lt. Charles Henry Tompkins on the courthouse steps. Tompkins received the Medal of Honor in 1893 for the first action of a Union officer.

10. What is the name of the third earthen fort built to protect the northern border of the Confederacy and defend the Tennessee River and Cumberland River approaches to the Confederacy?
Fort Heiman, was across the Tennessee from Ft. Henry. It was captured by the US Navy in February 1862.

11. What was the primary union objective of Phelps’ Riverine Raid of 6-10 February 1862?
The destruction of the strategically important Big Bear Creek Bridge on the Memphis & Charleston RR line

12. In what battle did the longest period of hand-to-hand combat in the Civil War occur?
At the Mule Shoe at Spotsylvania, Union General Francis Barlow’s Division, part of Upton’s quick assault, was engaged for 21 hours in brutal hand-to-hand before it could disengage.

13. What was the noteworthy event that the barge J.E Kendrick precipitated on Saturday, 5 August 1864 at City Point, Virginia?
It was the loaded ammunition barge that was detonated by John Maxwell who designed the “torpedo” that caused massive destruction at City Point and could have killed Gen. Grant, who was sitting outside his tent. His orderly standing nearby was killed by a shard of debris.

14. General Francis Barlow was known to wear a lumberjack flannel shirt and carried an enlisted cavalryman’s saber in deference to the standard officer’s saber. Why did he chose the heavier side-arm and to what use did he frequently employ it?
He hated stragglers. He used the sword to swat the laggards. He employed a detached company of infantry on line with fixed bayonets behind his division to control straggling.

15. The battles north of Petersburg in July and August 1864 saw Union sharpshooters specifically target what interesting target that had a large effect on Confederate morale?
It was so hot in Virginia that summer that the parched troops were in dire need of water and runners laden with canteens were a desired target of opportunity for Union snipers.

16. Who was the only Confederate to be raised in rank from captain to brigadier as a battlefield promotion?
Brigadier General Victor Jean Baptiste Girardey for his gallantry was a hero at the defense of the Crater. He had been Gen. Mahone’s aide and at a propitious moment drew his sword and led the Virginia Brigade in the counterattack that halted the Union penetration. He was promoted on 3 August and was killed leading the Georgia Brigade on 16 August.

17. What event in the early life of General William Mahone in Southhampton County, Virginia caused him to react so strongly at the Battle of the Crater?
As a 5-year old he survived the Nat Turner rebellion in August 1831 in Southhampton County, hiding in the swamp with his mother to avoid the killing.

18. What Union corps commander commanded his older brother who led a division in his corps?
Major General David B. Birney, commander of the X Corps at the 2nd Deep Run Battle of August 1864 commanded Brigadier General William Birney who led the Third Division. David Birney died in October 1864 of malaria (possibly typhoid or dysentery) in Philadelphia after having been ordered home due to illness.

19. Who was the youngest major general in the Confederate Army?
William Henry Fitzhugh Rooney Lee, a cavalry leader and the second son of RE Lee, was promoted in April 1864. He owned the White House Plantation and served under his cousin Fitz Lee at Antietam. He successfully sued the US government to recover the value of his mother’s plantation at Arlington.

Red River Campaign and Others

Gary Joiner’s wonderful book “Mr. Lincoln’s Brown Water Navy” was the source of the following trivia questions. I was referring to the book at fill in on some of Shelby Foote’s narrative and just became excited about these interesting historical tidbits.

(Note: the numbers are my reference numbers for gatherings I am collecting for a second book which may never be published but forces me to stay organized)

1. Where did the first black nurses serve in the US armed forces?
Five African-American women were enlisted as first class boys (and paid accordingly) and served as nurses aboard the USS Red Rover. The best known is Ann Bradford Stokes, an escaped slave from Tennessee who was enlisted in January 1863 and served until late 1864.

2. What were the names of the two hospital ships were lost during the Civil War?
The USS Hospital Boat Woodford was lost on the Red River at the falls near Alexandria, Louisiana and the US Hospital Ship North America off Florida Coast 22 December 1864 with a loss of 194. No loss of life occurred on the Woodford.

3. Wellington W. Withenbury was an experienced riverboat pilot who may have been considered a double agent-aiding the Union fleet and also informing the rebel defenders. What was the interesting conflict of interest he had?
He owned several hundred bales of cotton and did not want the US Navy to steal it or have the Confederates burn it if it got close to capture. He was able to send General Banks on a round-about march route that saved his cotton. He changed the course of the campaign in a single night.

4. In what combat action was the first periscope used in battle?
On 12 April 1864 the monitor USS Osage aimed an 11-inch gun at a Confederate General Tom Green’s cavalry regiment at Blair’s Landing, Louisiana. From a range of 20 yards he broke up a shoreline ambush and killed Gen. Green by firing a point blank canister round.

5. During the Red River Campaign Admiral Porter lost his largest and most powerful ironclad warship. What was the name of the warship?
USS Eastport, a captured southern ironclad taken at Cerro Gordo, Tennessee on 7 February 1862 by the timberclad fleet

6. What tragic event occurred aboard the pump boat Champion #3 on 26 April 1864?
One hundred refugee slaves being transported to freedom were scalded to death below deck when the boiler was pierced by artillery fire and exploded. Interestingly, Admiral Porter gathered some of the refugees that had been rescued aboard the USS Cricket and trained them and formed a gun crew to suppress the rebel fire from the shore.

7. What was the final episode of the Civil War in the Mississippi Valley?
The surrender on 3 June 1865 of the final warship on inland waters at Shreveport-the greatly feared ironclad CSS Missouri under LT Jonathon Carter, CSN

8. How did the Confederate defenders of the Red River in 1864 create a dam to block the advancing US Fleet?
They took the huge river steamer New Falls City and wedged it across the channel at the mouth of the Scopini Cut-off (about 45 miles south of Shreveport) such that it extended 15 feet onto both shorelines. Then they filled it with sand and rock and broke its keel. When Admiral Porter saw the obstruction he decided to retreat back down the river.

Some Interesting Trivia Questions from Shelby Foote

After many years writing Trivia questions for The Civil War Roundtable of St Louis I turned over the responsibility. But I still read a lot and enjoy finding facts and incidents that amaze me. I have been reading Shelby Foote’s Civil War trilogy and his narrative style is great because it causes me to fill in the blanks. Here are a few questions that I recently uncovered and wanted to share.

74. Why did Commodore Andrew Foote have serious concerns about employing the Eads’ gunboats against Island No. 10 and New Madrid when he had no such concerns at Forts Henry and Donelson?
Foote knew that had the South captured one of the gunboats it would be able to defeat all the riverine forces of the Union on the upper Mississippi and threaten all the cities and towns on the river. When the gunboats’ engines were damaged or had their steering out of action on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers they floated back into Union controlled territory due to the direction of the current. However, in the decent of the Mississippi, similar damage to steering would risk putting them in Confederate hands as they would float down into Confederate territory. Due to the river stage and current flow the gunboats’ could not hold station under reverse power even with the help of anchors which would not be able to hold them back as they could not get purchase on the river’s slimy bottom. The armor of the vessels was oriented toward the bow with little or no protection to the aft sides or stern. The curves of the river required the slowing of the vessels in the bends and made the unarmored portions extremely vulnerable.

75. Why did Commodore Andrew Foote refuse to order his ironclad gunboats to go down river to assist General Pope in his attack on Island No. 10?
Foote refused to order his officers to undertake a mission he considered impossible and foolhardy. He was, however, willing to allow a volunteer to make the run past Island Ten. Commander Henry Walke and the USS Carondelet volunteered to make the attempt on a moonless night with special preparations made to his boat. Upon his successful run Foote allowed the USS Pittsburg to make the run two nights later. The two gunboats escorted Pope’s transports across the river and captured the fortified island and its garrison, guns and provisions without the loss of a single man in combat.

76. What Union general was fond of smoking a long-stemmed meerschaum pipe and changed his smoking habit and trimmed his beard, which reached his second coat button, when he received a fast promotion?
US Grant began smoking cigars because he received many boxes after Ft. Donelson and he decided to improve his command image by the shorter beard.

77. What Union general went into action at Shiloh with a crutch strapped to his saddle like a carbine?
US Grant’s leg was injured when his horse fell on him due to the very wet ground. When the battle broke out at Shiloh Grant went directly to Pittsburg Landing accompanied by the crutch.

78. Who was the Confederate general who gave the order to end the fighting at dark on the first day at Shiloh just as a major push against Grant’s force might have ended the battle with a Southern triumph?
PGT Beauregard gave the order from the rear Headquarters without knowing the immediate situation at Dill’s Branch.

Ft Craig, New Mexico and The battle of Valverde

The Battle of Valverde Crossing south of Albuquerque was the site of the 1862 clash between the Union garrison of Ft Craig and Confederate forces of Gen HH Sibley. The action occurred because Sibley, moving north along the Rio Grande River, had planned to capture supplies from the Union garrisons and outposts along his northward march. He had visions of taking for the Confederacy the gold fields of Colorado and eventually cutting his way through to California.
He launched his campaign from El Paso, Texas and having achieved success in capturing several Union posts in the early going planned to take Ft. Craig. But seeing the recently improved the log and earthen fort he decided to by-pass it. He knew he did not have sufficient strength to assault the works and was further dissuaded by the numerous Quaker Guns and soldiers’ caps filled with rocks placed along the fort’s outer defenses.
When the commander of the fort, Col ERS Canby, decided to come out and fight at the Valverde site, Sibley realized that he had a good chance at success.
The fight took place on and at the base of Black Mesa, now known as El Mesa Contadero which was so named because it was the base of a volcanic cone which was covered with the black lava from the last eruption. The top of the vent is still clearly visible today as a small rise in the center of the mesa.
Ft Craig was sited at the junction of the Rio Grande and the old 1000-mile Camino Real used as a major trade route from Mexico City and Santa Fe. There is a ninety mile section of the route that transits the desert stretch referred to as the Jornada del Muerto, or “journey of death” because of the lack of watering sites and the attacks of marauding Apaches, who could watch for the travelers from mountain peaks and then ride down on the unprotected groups. Ft Craig was placed to protect the travelers and played an important role in the Apache Wars of the late 1800”s
The site of the Battle of Valverde is now on private land belonging to the 1810 land grant of Pedro Armendaris 33 Ranch now owned by Ted Turner. The 385,000 acre ranch now is home to Turner’s personal bison herd and other species that he is raising for various reasons.
Should you ever be traveling on I-25, south of Albuquerque, a visit to the fort only nine miles East of the highway is worth the time.

May 2016 St Louis Civil War Roundtable Quiz Answers

St. Louis Civil War Roundtable – May 2016
1. What were the “omnibus promotions”?
On 13 March 1865 many Union Volunteer officers were summarily promoted to brevet grades due to their wartime meritorious service. The lowest rank to be promoted to Brevet Brigadier General was captain and these few were staff officers. Many officers advanced from Brigadier to Major General and Colonel to Brigadier. There were additional dates for other omnibus promotions at the end of the war.
2. In what speech did President Lincoln say, “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong”?
Former President Ronald Reagan ascribed the quote to Lincoln but it was not a Lincoln quote at all but was written by Presbyterian Minister William Boetcker in a 1916 pamphlet in the Lincoln style. This is not a rare occurrence.
3. On the morning of 4 April 1865 President Lincoln arrived at what southern city to tour the vicinity? On what conveyance did he arrive? What horse did he ride on the tour?
He visited Petersburg after the Confederates left, he arrived on the US Military Railroad and he was provided Grant’s favorite horse Cincinnati.
4. Many are familiar with the story of the Confederate horse artilleryman Gallant Major Pelham. Who was the Union horse artilleryman who rode to the aid of the assaulting Federals? He was memorialized by an 1886 ink drawing entitled Fall of the Leaders?
Captain John G. Hazard, Rhode Island Light Artillery Battery. He later became the commander of the Artillery Brigade of the II Corps (US). At Gettysburg 1LT Alonzo Cushing commanded the battery.
5. Who are buried in the only two mausoleums in Arlington National Cemetery?
Lt. General Nelson A. Miles, Commanding General US Army 1895-1903 and MOH for Chancellorsville; and Commissary General of Subsistence Brigadier Thomas Crook Sullivan. Sullivan was brevetted Major and Lt. Col. at end of Civil War.
6. Which is larger Ft Jefferson or Ft Sumter?
Ft. Sumter covers 2.35 acres and Ft. Jefferson covers 47.125 acres. Sumter was built for 135 guns Jefferson for 1000. Ft Jefferson is the largest masonry structure in the US and was constructed of 16,000,000 bricks.
7. On 20 October 1863 Col. Frank Wolford’s “Wild Riders” of the 1st Kentucky (Union) Cavalry was bested by Confederate cavalrymen of the 8th Tennessee under Col. George Dibrell and Col. J. J. Morrison at Philadelphia, Tennessee. What was the interesting logistical reason that this Federal defeat?
They ran out of ammunition because of the difficulty in supplying nine different types of ammunition for Sharps, Gallager, and Cosmopolitan carbines; Colt revolving and Henry Rifles, Springfield and Enfield muskets and .36 and .44-caliber colt revolvers. The haphazard arming of western cavalry regiments with a wide array of weapons and the questionable quality of some of the weapons was a not unusual situation. For example: the Gallager carbine was described as not equal to a bar of iron because of the difficulty with frequent vent clogging and extraction of poorly designed spent cartridges. Troopers were issued a special wrench and screwdriver to remove jammed spent lipless cartridges. Great fun to use on horseback!
8. Who was Robert Walter Weir and what influence did he have on Civil War officers?
He was Professor of Drawing at West Point for 42 years and instructed Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Seth Eastman, James McNeill Whistler and many others. The techniques he taught were of use in map making and the appreciation of terrain features. Design and construction planning of seacoast fortifications and strategic defensive positions was the domain of the Engineer Corps and water color renderings were the norm for the period. Weir painted the famous oil on canvas hanging in the rotunda of the US Capitol entitled Embarkation of the Pilgrims. Weir painted famous portraits of Winfield Scott, James Monroe, Denis Hart Mahon, Sylvanus Thayer and Robert E. Lee (one of only two made before the war).

9. St Andrew’s Bay, Florida was the site of 1862-63 raids and amphibious assaults to destroy a Confederate production site of what strategic commodity?
Between 1861 and 1865, the St. Andrew Bay Salt Works was one of the largest producers of salt in the South, a necessary preservative in those times. Salt sold for as much as $50 per bushel, and was produced in wood-fired salt works throughout the area. An estimated 2,500 men, primarily from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, were exempted from combat duty to labor in the salt works. The salt was transported to Eufaula, Alabama, then to Montgomery, for distribution throughout the Confederate States. Because of the importance of St. Andrew Bay Salt Works to the Confederacy, acting Master W. R. Browne, commander of the USS Restless, was instructed to commence a series of assaults beginning in August 1862. By December 1863, additional Union attacks occurred, which Confederate home guards could not resist. The attacks resulted in the destruction of more than 290 salt works including 466 salt pans, kettles or cauldrons each over a crude bricked furnace. About a thousand bushels of salt were destroyed, as well as some fifty wagons and several score shacks, cabins, and rough store houses…“We had to knock down all the brick work, destroy the salt already made, and to knock in the barrel heads and set fire to barrels, boxes, and everything that would hold salt. 50 of them under sheet iron boilers of near 1,000 gallons capacity each were broken up. 250 houses and a quantity of provisions were burned valued by Master Browne at more than $3,000,000. The St. Andrew Bay Salt Works employees promptly rebuilt them, and they remained in operation through February 1865. At the beginning of the war the US was the largest user of salt in the world and the southern states used more than any other region. The antebellum south used 450 million pounds of salt a year most imported from England and Wales. There were six salt production regions in the south: The Kanawha Valley in West Virginia; Goose Creek Kentucky; Mobile, Alabama region; New Iberia, Louisiana; Saltville in southwestern Virginia’s remote highlands and St. Andrew’s Bay.
10. What two very high ranking Confederate generals shared a Southern cavalry nephew?
Robert E Lee and Samuel Cooper were both uncles to Fitzhugh Lee. Cooper’s sister-in law was Fitzhugh’s mother and was married to Robert’s Brother Sidney Smith Lee.
11. What was the name of the Lincoln Funeral Train rail car?
United States. It was built at the US Military Railroad Shop in Alexandria, Virginia between November 1863 and February 1865 and was intended to serve as the President’s private railcar.
12. How many Confederate officers or soldiers received brevet promotions?
None. Confederate policy allowed for such promotions but none were ever awarded.
13. What was the name of the vessel Admiral D. D. Porter sent to rescue the USS Indianola from rebel forces on the Lower Mississippi River in March 1863?
The USS Dummy!! It was a 300-ft wood hoax that cost $8.63. It frightened the Confederates into scuttling the recently captured Indianola. The only thing salvaged was the contents of the liquor locker.
14. What Civil War families provided more than one family member who became a general, admiral or a recognized Civil War hero? (I have 15 there are probably more. How many can you list?)
• Lee: Robert E, and sons G. W. Custis, W. H. Fitzhugh “Rooney”. All were Confederate Generals and Captain Sydney Smith Lee, CSN, hero of Gosport Navy Yard, Drewry’s Bluff and father of Confederate General Fitz Lee.
• Sherman; Union General brothers William Tecumseh and Francis T. and half-brothers Charles, Hugh B. and Thomas Ewing Jr.
• Semmes; Confederate BG Paul and Confederate Admiral Rafael (Captain of CSS Alabama)
• Rains: Confederates Gabriel J. (first use of Land Mines) and brother G.W.(Commander and founder of Augusta Powder Works).
• Cushing; Union Army Captain Alonzo H (MOH Gettysburg) and brother Navy Lt. William B. (the original SEAL).
• DuPont: Union Admiral Samuel F. DuPont and cousin Henry Algernon (Union artillerist and MOH for Cedar Creek, VA) later Major General.
• Porter: Brothers Admiral David Dixon Porter, Commodore William D. Porter and their adoptive brother Admiral David G. Farragut
• McCook: father Maj. Daniel, Sr., sons MG Alexander M., BG Robert Latimer, MG Edwin Stanton, BG Daniel, and cousins BG Edward M. and BG Anson G.
• Blair: Union Major General F. Preston Jr. and Montgomery (US Postmaster General)
• Hill: Confederate Generals AP Hill and cousin DH Hill.
• Drayton: Union Navy Flag-Captain Percival Drayton and General Thomas F. Drayton CSA.
• Terrill: BG William R. Terrill USA, (KIA Perryville) and BG James B Terrill, CSA (KIA Bethesda Church). Also two other brothers died in the war one serving on each side.
• Cooke: Union general Philip St. George Cooke and son-in-law Col. John Jacob Sharp and Confederate son General John Rogers Cooke and son-in-law JEB Stuart.
• Howard: Union generals Oliver O. Howard and brother Charles H. Howard went to Bowdoin College and West Point
• Dahlgren: RAdm. John A Dahlgren naval weapons pioneer; Capt (USN) Charles B. Dahlgren neutralized Vicksburg batteries; Col. Ulrich Dahlgren killed leading a famous raid on Richmond; and CS BG Charles G. Dahlgren (brother of John A.) raised and funded 3rd Brigade Army of Mississippi until relieved by Jeff Davis in a personal dispute.
• Ellet: Col Chas Ellet, Jr.; hero of Battle of Memphis(only KIA in the battle), brother BG A.W Ellet who seceded to command; son Col Chas R. Ellet took command after his uncle’s death.

Copyright ©John A. Nischwitz 2016

May 2106 Quiz ST Louis Civil War Roundtable

St. Louis Civil War Roundtable – May 2016
1. What were the “omnibus promotions”?

2. In what speech did President Lincoln say, “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong”?

3. On the morning of 4 April 1865 President Lincoln arrived at what southern city to tour the vicinity? On what conveyance did he arrive? What horse did he ride on the tour?

4. Many are familiar with the story of the Confederate horse artilleryman Gallant Major Pelham. Who was the Union horse artilleryman who rode to the aid of the assaulting Federals? He was memorialized by an 1886 ink drawing entitled Fall of the Leaders?

5. Who are buried in the only two mausoleums in Arlington National Cemetery?

6. Which is larger Ft Jefferson or Ft Sumter?

7. On 20 October 1863 Col. Frank Wolford’s “Wild Riders” of the 1st Kentucky (Union) Cavalry was bested by Confederate cavalrymen of the 8th Tennessee under Col. George Dibrell and Col. J. J. Morrison at Philadelphia, Tennessee. What was the interesting logistical reason that this Federal defeat?

8. Who was Robert Walter Weir and what influence did he have on Civil War officers?

9. St Andrew’s Bay, Florida was the site of 1862-63 raids and amphibious assaults to destroy a Confederate production site of what strategic commodity?

10. What two very high ranking Confederate generals shared a Southern cavalry nephew?

11. What was the name of the Lincoln Funeral Train rail car?

12. How many Confederate officers or soldiers received brevet promotions?

13. What was the name of the vessel Admiral D. D. Porter sent to rescue the USS Indianola from rebel forces on the Lower Mississippi River in March 1863?

14. What Civil War families provided more than one family member who became a general, admiral or a recognized Civil War hero? (I have 15 there are probably more. How many can you list?

Copyright ©John A. Nischwitz 2016

March 2016 CW Roundtable Quiz Answers

1. Who appointed George Pickett to the United States Military Academy Class of 1846?
Representative John T Stuart (D-Illinois) in 1842. Pickett was in Springfield studying law with Lincoln and Stuart who arranged the appointment. Pickett would never allow harsh comments about Lincoln in his presence. It is rumored that when Lincoln was in Richmond after the fall, he called upon Pickett’s home and met his wife, Sally, and kissed his baby boy. He introduced himself as “Abraham Lincoln, a friend”. Lincoln was a US Representative from 1847-49
2. What two brothers attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in the 1850’s? One went on to attend the US Military Academy the other didn’t. One became a general in the Civil War and the other was his aide. Both brothers were wounded during the war.
Oliver Otis Howard (USMA 1854) and his younger brother Charles Henry were from Leeds, Maine. Oliver lost his right arm at Fair Oaks. Charles was wounded in the leg at Fair Oaks and again at Fredericksburg. Charles was discharged as a brigadier general being promoted 15 April 1865.
3. What was the common name normally used for the “Griffin Gun”?
The three-inch Ordnance Rifle, invented by John Griffin and manufactured at the Phoenix Iron Company in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. This durable wrought iron rifle was considered the favorite of the cannoneers and was deadly accurate at anything under a mile.
4. What anti-emancipation Democrat was a frequent visitor to the White House?
Representative John T. Stuart was a favorite cousin of Mary Todd Lincoln and as a member of Congress after his election in 1862 over Republican Leonard Swett was a frequent visitor at the White House even though he was opposed to some Lincoln policies. He was defeated in 1864 by Republican Shelby Moore Cullom, a Lincoln ally.
5. When the 1st Maryland (CS) Infantry Regiment assaulted Culp’s Hill on 3 July 1863 at Gettysburg it reported 31 and 1 killed. Who was the one?
It was the regiment’s black mascot dog, Grace. Union General Thomas Kane recalled, “He licked someone’s hand, they said, after he was perfectly riddled.” Kane ordered the dog given decent burial “as the only Christian minded being on either side.” The charge is memorialized by Peter Frederick Rothermel’s 1870 oil painting. It was the first Confederate monument at Gettysburg and met a great deal of resistance from the battlefield commission authorities. It was finally allowed to be erected and was dedicated in 1884. But the commission required it to be designated as the “2nd Maryland Infantry” even though the unit was known as the First Maryland Battalion at the time of the battle. The reason given was there were already two Union regiments designated as the First Maryland and the Confederate 1st Maryland Battalion had been re-designated as the Second Maryland Regiment in 1864. This is not to be confused with the 11th Pennsylvania’s famous mascot “Sallie”.
6. Who was the Pennsylvania born Illinois music teacher that as an 8-year old child had been kicked by a horse and nearly killed thereby developing a fear and hatred of horses? He became a famous Union cavalry leader and ultimately a major general.
Benjamin Henry Grierson, he organized the US 10th Cavalry, Buffalo Soldiers and served on the frontier until retiring in 1890.
7. Who wrote the bestselling “anti-Tom” novel Aunt Phillis’s Cabin or Southern Life As It Is?
While in Washington, D.C. Mary Henderson Eastman, wife of Seth Eastman, wrote the counter to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s history changing book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Life Among The Lowly. Defending slavery, her novel was one of the most widely read at the time and sold 20,000-30,000 copies.
8. What were the names of the two main company streets at Camp Jackson in May 1861?
Davis and Beauregard
9. Whose name was the last uttered by Gen. Thomas J. Jackson on his deathbed?
Major Wells Joseph Hawks, Jackson’s commissary officer. After Jackson died he was staff for Ewell, Early and in Pennsylvania Lee. Per Shelby Foote, “Shortly after 3 o’clock, a few minutes before he died (Jackson) called out: “Order A. P. Hill to prepare for action! Pass the infantry to the front…Tell Major Hawks…” He left the sentence unfinished. Seeming to put the war behind him he calmly said “Let us cross over the river, and rest in the shade of the trees”, the quintessential compliment to military logisticians including Grant, Sherman, Hancock and many others.
10. What Southern officers and personalities were honored throughout the Confederacy upon their deaths? (I have six. How many can you name?)
MG James Ewell Brown Stuart
LTG Leonidas Polk
BG John Hunt Morgan
Major John Pelham
Mrs. Rose O’Neal Greenhow
LTG Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson

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