St. Louis Civil War Roundtable
1. After the Battle of Aquia Creek, Virginia, 29 May-1 June 1861, the officer commanding the Navy Flotilla was killed. Who was he and what is unique about his death and his legacy?
Commander James Harmon Ward was the first Navy Officer killed in action in the Civil War, 27 June 1861. The destroyer USS Ward (DD139) was named in his honor and fired the first retaliatory shots at the Japanese attacking Pearl Harbor.
2. Dr. D. Willard Bliss was the surgeon for the 3rd Michigan Vol. Infantry Regiment in the Civil War and ran the Armory Square Hospital, located across the street from the Smithsonian Institution. He had the respect and admiration of his staff including Walt Whitman. What was his given first name?
Dr. Bliss was named “Doctor” by his parents in anticipation of his future vocation. He is the namesake of Ft. Bliss, Texas. He was one of the surgeons who treated Pres. Lincoln and was selected by Secretary Lincoln to treat the wounded President Garfield. He was considered an expert in ballistic trauma. Bliss also invited Alexander Graham Bell to test his metal detector on the President, hoping that it would locate the bullet. The device’s signal was thought to be distorted by the metal bed springs. Later the detector was proved to work perfectly and would have found the bullet had Bliss allowed Bell to use the device on Garfield’s left side as well his right side. After Garfield’s death, Bliss submitted a claim for $25,000 (approximately $550,000 in 2010) for his services to the President. He was offered $6,500 instead, an offer that he refused. Bliss did not accept Lister’s theory on sepsis which caused considerable pain and probably Pres. Garfield’s death. He is the source for the expression “Ignorance is Bliss”. 3. Who succeeded the following generals after their battlefield death or serious wounding?
g. LT General T J Jackson Confederate II Corps Commander wounded at Chancellorsville
h. Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick VI Corps Commander killed at Spotsylvania
i. LT Gen. James Longstreet Confederate I Corps Commander seriously wounded at Wilderness
j. General Joseph E. Johnston CS army commander when he was wounded at Seven Pines
k. Maj. Gen John B. Hood CS division commander wounded at Little Round Top Gettysburg
l. Maj. Gen. John B. Hood CS division commander wounded at Chickamauga
m. LT General A. P. Hill CS commander of III Corps killed at the Third Battle of Petersburg
ANSWERS g. MG JEB Stuart; h. MG Horatio G. Wright; i. MG Richard H. Anderson; j. Gustavas Smith then Robert E Lee; k. BG Evander Law (Micah Jenkins); l. BG Evander Law; m. MG Henry Heth.
4. In the Battle of Olustee what unusual casualty evacuation process was out of necessity employed and why was it considered necessary?
On the morning of 22 February, as the Union forces were still retreating to Jacksonville, Florida the 54th Massachusetts was ordered to counter-march back to Ten-Mile Station. The locomotive of a train carrying wounded Union soldiers had broken down and many wounded colored soldiers were in danger of capture which at Olustee might have meant death. When the 54th Massachusetts arrived, the men attached ropes to the engine and cars and manually pulled the train approximately three miles to Camp Finnegan, where horses were secured to help pull the train. After that, the train was pulled by both men and horses to Jacksonville for a total distance of ten miles. It took forty-two hours to pull the train that distance.
5. Why was Col. Randolph Casey, who had been captured and with a noose around his neck in his front yard in Mountain Home, AR, taken down and released by his Union captures?
He flashed a Masonic signal to the Union captain, a fellow Mason, who rode away without burning the cabin which is still standing to this day!
Copyright© 2015 John A. Nischwitz