St. Louis Civil War Roundtable
1. What state had the most citizens arrested without the protection of writs of Habeas Corpus during the Civil War and how many?
Missouri with about 4000 had the most of any state during the war. On September 17, 1861, the day the Maryland legislature was to reconvene, Lincoln imprisoned one third of the members of the Maryland General Assembly without charges or hearings in further defiance of a ruling of Chief Justice Taney. Thus, the legislative session had to be cancelled and Maryland remained in the Union. President Jefferson Davis also suspended Habeas Corpus and declared martial law. President Grant suspended the writ in 1874 during Reconstruction in nine South Carolina counties. It was suspended by the Governor-General in the Philipines in 1905. President Franklin Roosevelt suspended it after Pearl Harbor and President Clinton suspended it after the Oklahoma City bombing. President George W. Bush suspended it after the Twin Towers attack on 9-11-2001.
2. Chief Justice Roger B Taney, in writing his opinion in the Scott vs. Sandford decision, said Dred Scott had no standing in the courts for what reason?
He said no black could be a citizen and therefore did not have access to US courts. His finding ignored the many free men of color in the United States who were citizens. The decision was strictly written along political lines and was not released until after James Buchanan was inaugurated as 15th President.
3. Who is the only Confederate serviceman who died on duty and was promptly buried abroad?
Third-Assistant Engineer Lt. Simeon W. Cummings, of the Crew of the CSS Alabama, died from an accidental gunshot wound from his own weapon on 4 August 1863. He was buried in Kliprug Farm, Saldanha Bay, South Africa and returned to the United States for re-burial in Elm Springs, Columbia, Tennessee in 1994. Others died and were returned to foreign homes for interment after the war.
4. What was the first battle where RE Lee commanded Confederate troops in the field?
Cheat Mountain, Virginia (now W. Virginia) 12-15 September 1861. He lost to Union Generals Joseph J. Reynolds and Nathan Kimbell by employing complicated uncoordinated attacks with six brigades of green troops of Brigadier General William W. Loring’s Army of the Northwest.
5. When Gen. Sherman’s army left Savannah and headed into South Carolina, the worst obstacle to the advance was what river in South Carolina? This river obstacle was considered impassable by Confederate Generals Hardee and Joe Johnston.
The Salkehatchie River was 50 miles north of Savannah with its many tributaries bordered by seemingly unfordable swamps. The river basin encompasses eleven (11) watersheds and 1,021 square miles in South Carolina. It originates in the Upper Coastal Plan and flows to the Coastal Zone region. This river basin covers approximately 653,606 acres. There are roughly 1,012 stream miles and 2,928 acres of lake waters in the Salkehatchie River Basin. On his way to capture Columbia, SC the crossing included winning the Battle of Rivers’ Bridge on 3 February 1865, defeating a Confederate force led by Major General Lafayette McLaws. The southern force was out flanked by two brigades of Gen. Francis P. Blair’s Division, who waded
chest deep through the swamp chasing snakes and alligators out of their way. Sherman’s force moved at the rate of ten miles a day building bridges, causeways and corduroyed roads averaging six miles a day during twenty-eight days of rain. Joe Johnston said, “I made up my mind that there had been no such army in existance since the days of Julius Caesar”.
6. What general was said to be described by R. E. Lee as “all lion and none of the fox”?
John Bell Hood on the occasion of his replacing Joe Johnston as commander of the Army of Tennessee at Atlanta.
7. What two munition items were produced in Federal arsenals and armories in quantities greater than 1 billion between 1861 and 1866?
Small arms cartridiges (1,022,176,474) and precussion caps (1,220,555,435. ( Source: Encyclopedia of American Civil War as extracted in Feb 2015 Civil War Times.
8. In what 1864 confrontation did Union cavalry attack enemy pickets by wading chest deep through a river and firing on the enemy from underwater?
Troopers of McPherson’s cavalry waded through the Chattahoochee River north of Atlanta and cocked their Spencer carbines while underwater, rose up from the water, poured the water from the muzzle, fired and dropped back down into the water. Confederates wanted to know “what kind of critters were these men?”
Copyright© 2015 John A. Nischwitz