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Archive for the month “July, 2014”

Some Thoughts ERS Canby and His Interesting History

While writing quizzes for the Roundtable I stumbled upon this historical sidelight on Canby. I hope you enjoy!

What two US Army proteges served together in the West prior to the Civil War, one sitting on the court-martial board for the other; the accused was aquitted and latter submitted a design for a camp tent he devised based on the teepee style which was accepted by the army in some part based on the recommendation of the other? One went south and they met up again in New Mexico.
ERS Canby and his friend Henry Hopkins Sibley. Sibley defeated Canby at Glorietta Pass but Canby forced the Confederates to retreat to Texas taking the strategic victory. Canby was appointed as custodian of the California Archives in 1850 and was instrumental in unravelling the complicated Mexican and Spanish land titles. He sometimes signed his name Edwardo (sic) Ricardo S. Canby in this position. He was called Richard in his childhood and “Sprigg” by his West Point classmates and army friends.

What two battles sealed the fate of Mobile 1865? Lee’s surrender ended resistance but not before these two battles occurred involving many US Colored Troops.

Spanish Fort on 8 April and Ft Blakely on 9 April. Although the port was closed the city held out defiantly circled in defensive fortifications. Gen. ERS Canby commanded the Union effort. Canby has the distinction of being the only US general killed in the Indian Wars. He was assasinated during negotiations with the Modoc tribe 11 April 1873 at Tule Lake, California.

At one time, Grant sent Canby an order to “destroy [the enemy’s] railroads, machine-shops, &c.”[citation needed] Ten days later, Grant reprimanded him for requesting men and materials to build railroads. “I wrote… urging you to… destroy railroads, machine-shops, &c., not to build them,” Grant said. Canby could be a destroyer but appeared to prefer the role of builder. Today, he might be considered a “policy wonk” because he was expert in policy and law. If someone had a question about army regulations or Constitutional law affecting the military, Canby was the man to see. Grant came to appreciate this in peace time, once complaining vigorously when President Andrew Johnson proposed to assign Canby away from the capital where Grant considered him irreplaceable.

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Union Leaders in Southern States

What role did these gentlemen play during the War of the Rebellion? Isaac Murphy, Beriah Magoffin, James F. Robinson, Thomas Elliott Bramlette, George F. Shepley, Michael Hahn, James Madison Wells, Hamilton Rowan Gamble, Willard Preble H. Hall, Thomas Clement Fletcher, Edward Stanly, Andrew Johnson, E. H. East, William G. Brownlow, and Francis H. Peirpont.

They were all loyalist governors of states affiliated with the Confederacy. Murphy (AR); Magoffin, Robinson & Bramlette (KY); Shepley, Hahn & Wells (LA); Gamble, Hall & Fletcher (MO); Stanly (NC); Johnson, East & Brownlow (TN), and Peirpont (VA). They were elected or appointed after their states fell under Federal control.

Upon reflection this may not have been a cushy assignment. Condiser the population that might consider them as traitors or turncoats.

It is interesting to reflect on the Revolutionary War and the roughly three segments of the population then. One third were loyal to the British Crown, one third were rebellious patriots and the last third didn’t care they just wanted it over.

My recent readings showed that there were significant area in the Confederacy that were not happy to have seceded. The Quaker areas of North Carolina were readily immigrating to Indiana. and helping escaped Union POW’s to escape. Much of East Tennessee was Unionist from the beginning. We know what happened to West Virginia! So I assume that there wre silent elements of the population that were led by the nose to the War. And then these men assumed the leadership of restoration.

Logan House Governor’s Conference & Governor GW Johnson

Junkie has been travelling and just returned with sonme interesting stuff. I am always looking for interesting trivia questions for our Roundtable quizzes and always come upon stuff interesting to me. Here are two that I recently found and I plan to post these type questions and answers in the future.

What state governor was killed in battle during the War of Northern Aggression?

Kentucky Governor George Washington Johnson at Shiloh while serving as aide to General John C. Breckinridge. He had his horse shot out from under him, and then insisted on being sworn in as a Private in Company E, 4th Kentucky Infantry. In the fight the next day Johnson was wounded in the abdomen and right thigh, he was left on the battlefield overnight. The next day Union General Alexander M. McCook recognized him and had Johnson taken aboard the Union hospital ship Hannibal where despite medical care he died 8 April 1862. McCook and Johnson became friends the 1860 Democratic National Convention and both were Freemasons. Friends in the Union army, including packed Johnson’s body in salt and shipped it to Louisville, then on to Georgetown for burial.

What historic meeting occurred at the Logan House Hotel in Altoona, Pennsylvania on 24-25 September 1862 and what were the major topics of discussion?

The Loyal War Governors Conference convened to discuss the war effort, state troop quotas, support for President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, in light of the victory at Antietam, and suggested the removal of Gen. George B. McClellan. The location was selected because of its convenient location on the Pennsylvania Railroad and the luxurious accommodations of the town. Thirteen governors attended. The day before the conference the governors made a side trip to Horseshoe Curve courtesy of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Altoona was considered by RE Lee as a potential target during the Gettysburg Campaign.

I found reading about the Horsehoe Curve to be very interesting especially if you are a railroad enthusiast or just a US history afficianodo.

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