St. Louis Civil War Roundtable
1. What tradition, that still exists in the south today, about a New Year’s Day culinary delicacy which owes its origin to Sherman’s March through Georgia?
Eating black-eyed peas is thought to bring prosperity and good luck. Sherman’s bummers took everything edible and left the population virtually destitute, except black-eyed peas or cowpeas, which they considered inedible by humans and only fit for livestock. The southern population subsisted on the abandoned stocks of this legume until they could get new crops planted and harvested after the war was over.
2. Muppet master Jim Henson may have inherited some of his artistic talent from what Confederate cartographer, who was a protégée of Jedediah Hotchkiss in Jackson’s Corps, a veteran of the US Coast Survey organization, and his grandfather?
Captain Oscar Hinrichs, the Prussian born surveyor and map maker, who worked for the US Coast Survey from 1855 to 1860 along the southeast US coast. He defected after the fall of Ft. Sumter and prepared maps for General Thomas J. Jackson.
3. What Confederate state capitals were ransacked and burned by General Sherman and his armies during the war?
Jackson, Mississippi in 1863; Columbia, South Carolina and Milledgeville, Georgia were burned. Raleigh, North Carolina was also taken by Sherman but was not burned due to Sherman’s belief that North Carolina was a reluctant rebel state. His army also marched through Richmond en-route to the Grand Review.
4. What Confederate unit attacked in white uniforms and routed the enemy?
Gen. Sterling Price’s 1st Missouri Guard Division at Pea Ridge in the evening of 7 March 1862. They were wearing un-dyed cotton uniforms which appeared eerily white coming out of the forest. The 2d Texas also wore un-died uniforms at Shiloh.
5. The Union Army of the West was effectively constituted twice during the Civil War. Who were the two commanders and where did the armies come together each time?
At Shiloh for the move against Corinth under Gen. Henry Halleck was the first. At Chattanooga under General Grant for the relief of that city was the second. Sherman made it official and took it south to Atlanta. There was also a Confederate Army of the West under Gen. Earl Van Dorn. Lyon’s Union Army at Wilson’s Creek was referred to as Army of the West.
6. What is unique about colored Union Private J. R. Kealoha, who recently was given a civilian tombstone for his unmarked grave?
Private Kealoha was a member of the 41st Infantry Regiment USCT, Army of the James. He is buried in Oahu Cemetery. He was one of some 119 native Hawaiians who served in the Civil War. Most served the Union but a few were part of the Confederate Navy. Most served under false names and therefore are difficult to trace. They used nome d’guerre because they were in fact citizens of a foreign nation at the time with sympathy for the South. The 41st was recruited and organized in the Philadelphia area. Hawaiians and Indians were considered colored.
7. What were the national political parties of the Confederacy?
No parties were established to avoid the political wrangling experienced by the United States. Two factions ultimately emerged, one was pro-Davis Administration and was universally opposed to it on almost every issue. There were some local and regional parties for favorite son candidates and issues.
8. What company invented the first automated candy making machine and advertised their product for families to send to Union servicemen during the Civil War?
The New England Confectionary Company first produced NECCO Wafers in 1847. Oliver Chase, an English immigrant, invented a lozenge cutting machine with which he produced the wafers. At the time of the Civil War, these were called “hub wafers” and were popularly carried by Union soldiers.
9. What Civil War battles included a forced river crossing against an enemy actively defending the far shore?
• Burnside at Fredericksburg
* Custer at Chickahominy 24 May 1862
• Grant at Bruinsburg
• Burnside at Antietam
• Byram’s Ford I and II over the Big Blue River 22Oct64 (US Gen. Blunt defended
against Jo Shelby) and 23 Oct 64(CS Gen.Marmaduke defended against Pleasanton)
• Grant deferred at North Anna do to the strength of Lee’s defensive position.
* Balls Bluff
* Stones River
AND MAYBE MORE!!
Copyright ©John A. Nischwitz 2015