St. Louis Civil War Roundtable May 2015
1. On 11 June 1861 a meeting took place at the Planter’s House Hotel in St. Louis which had massive repercussions for the state of Missouri. Who were the attendees?
Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon; Col. Frank P. Blair; Maj. H. L. Conant (Lyon’s staff officer); Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson; General Sterling Price; Col. Thomas L. Snead (aide to the governor) and Maj. H. L Conant (aide to Col. Blair).
2. On 6-7 April Confederates battled to protect the High Bridge in Prince Edward County, Virginia, over what water course?
The Appomattox River Bridge was about 2400ft across and 100 feet above the river.
3. Who was Fanny McCullough, recipient of one of the most famous condolence letters written by President Lincoln during the war?
She was the very distraught daughter of Lincoln friend Lt. Col. William McCullough, 4th Illinois Cavalry, killed in action near Coffeeville, Mississippi on 5 December 1862. McCullough was a veteran of The Black Hawk War and had lost a leg in a farming accident. McCullough was Sheriff of McClean County and he became a friend of Lincoln from his days in the 8th Circuit which Lincoln travelled in McClean County. His unit was at Ft. Henry, Ft. Donelson, and Shiloh. He was killed when he vehemently refused to surrender and taking his reins in his teeth and sword in hand he road defiantly among his regiment urging them to resist. He was shot down by a Confederate volley.
4. What US Presidential administrations served under the 35-star US flag?
Two. Lincoln and Johnson. The 36-star flag became official on 4 July 1865 with the admission of the State of Nevada on the prior 31 October 1864. The US flag does not change officially until the July 4th following admission.
5. How many stars were on the official US flag at the Battle of Gettysburg?
The 35-star flag was officially recognized on 4 July 1863 with the admission of West Virginia on 20 June 1863. The Battle of Gettysburg occurred 1-3 July 1863. It is possible some Federal units had new US flags during the battle but the official US flag had 34.
6. What is the proper protocal for superceeded flags?
They may be flown or displayed as long as they are physically intact. The proper disposal procedures are outlined in Title 4 US Code which suggests burning in a dignified manner.
7. Who was the only journalist to be court-martialed in US history?
Thomas Wallace Knox was court-martialed by Gen. Sherman for violating an order banning journalists from the 1862-63 Chickasaw Bayou/Arkansas Post expedition. He filed an unflattering and inaccurate account of Sherman’s leadership as a reporter for the New York Herald. He offered a retraction but Sherman wanted him tried as a spy and given a death sentence. He was acquitted on the espionage charge but convicted for disobeying orders and given a verdict of “expulsion from Union lines”. Knox was well known for his written attacks on Sherman and his force, which reintroduced into the public debate the issue of Sherman’s sanity. He was controversial for its publishing of important information pertaining to the Campaign. “Colonel” Tom Knox, as he was known, was a favored special correspondent who was described as going “into action with a revolver in one hand, his notebook in the other and a pencil in his teeth and he telegraphed to his paper the news of every battle before the smoke of combat had fairly cleared away”(from Offhand Portraits of New Yorkers by Stephen Fiske, 1884). He was a world traveler and as an author Knox wrote over 45 books, including a popular series of travel adventure books for boys and in 1887 he published Decisive Battles Since Waterloo.
8. Where was the first Memorial Day celebration held and when?
Loyal Order of Oddfellows’ Friendship Cemetery in Columbus, Mississippi on 25 April 1866. Both Union and Confederate graves were decorated by local ladies-hence the original name Decoration Day.
Copyright© 2015 John A. Nischwitz