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Archive for the month “February, 2017”

Civil War Icons

I had been thinking about some items, places, and concepts and I began making a list of unique concepts that seemed to be recognizable by Civil War students or buffs. I am sure that these are not all and some may even be a stretch, but, when one of these is mentioned it is almost always recognized and the story understood. I hope you agree and if you are aware of others I would like to add them to my list.

a. Tin Cup; Held by Gen A. S. Johnston while directing troops at Shiloh prior to his wounding.
b. Red Wool Shirt; AP Hill’s battle shirt
c. Cloak and new plumed hat, haversack and cape; JEB Stuart’s possessions were captured at Verdiersville 17 Mar 63 when he left them on the porch of the Rhodes House where he had been sleeping. Stuart had to leave in a hurry to avoid capture.
d. Bandana head cover; worn by Stuart until he could get a hat
e. Personal baggage and papers, money box containing $500m in currency and $20m in gold, fancy hat and dress uniform; John Pope’s trains were captured by JEB Stuart at Catlet’s Station 22 Mar 63
f. Umbrella and Beaver hat; Extra Billy WS Smith
g. Milk White Horse: Gen Joe Hooker at Chancellorsville
h. Plug hat: Gen Sherman’s regular hat
i. Porkpie hat: Gen Sheridan’s usual hat
j. Forage cap: Stonewall Jackson’s favored hat
k. One pound sack coffee; Fitz Lee’s prize from Gen Averell at Kelly’s Ford
l. Sword rusted in scabbard: Jackson’s at Cedar Mountain
m. Lunch basket: brought by Union Generals Crawford, Hartsuff and Bayard and shared with Confederate classmate JEB Stuart during a burial truce after Cedar Mountain
n. New Plumed hat and copy of NY Herald: Bet won by Stuart with Gen. Hartsuff that the paper would credit the south with a victory even though it was clearly a northern victory.
o. Two discarded wooden Union hardtack boxes: Used by Lee and Jackson to plan flanking movement for Chancellorsville
p. Three cigars: lost at Fredericksburg and found wrapped in Lee’s lost order No. 191 on Best Farm by soldiers of the 27th Indiana
q. Carpet slippers: Worn by Longstreet as he directed his corps at Antietam. He rodes side saddle with his feet in the slippers to protect a boot-chaffed heal
r. Catch of Shad: meeting of Generals Fitz Lee, Geo Pickett and Thom Rosser who missed out on the Battle of Five Forks while enjoying a lunch of planked fish on 1 Apr 1865. Rosser bought a large catch of shad and invited the others.
s. Kepi: A French style cap favored by Gens. Geo McClellan, B. Bragg, Ben Butler and many others as it was the issue head gear of the Union Army
t. Perfumed hair: Gen. Pickett perfumed his long ringlets to favor the ladies.
u. Bugle call: Butterfield and his bugler created the call “Taps”.
v. Black Velvet fatigue Blouse: Custer’s iconic uniform with golden braids on the sleeves. Also he wore velvet trousers tucked in his boots. He wore a blue navy-issue shirt with stars embroidered on the collar.
w. Enlisted sack coat with shoulder boards: Grant’s field uniform devoid of all markings except the shoulder boards
x. Hemp bales; First Battle of Lexington Missouri, 18-20 September 1861 used by attackers for cover.
y. Green uniform coats: US sharpshooter uniforms of Hiram Berdan’s 1st US Sharpshooters
z. Catholic cleric in religious vestments: Father William Corby, CSC, saying Mass for Irish Brigade
aa. White crossed-belts: worn by US Marines. Army gave up white belts due to health concerns related to whiting with lead pigment.
bb. Song “Home Sweet Home; played by band of both sides before the battle of Stones River.
cc. Fire Engine House: Final retreat of John Brown’s “army” at Harper’s Ferry
dd. John Brown Pikes: 954 long handled steel headed pikes were made by Charles Clair of Collinsville & Co and sold for $1 each for Brown and delivered to him in Chambersburg, PA which he forwarded to the Kennedy Farm.
ee. Red baggy pants, shell jacket, and fez: Especially designed uniforms worn by zouave units in armies of both sides. Patterned after Moroccan infantry under French colonial rule.


Craig L Symonds’ “Civil War at Sea”

We recently returned from a cruise in the Caribbean and while at sea I enjoyed reading Symonds’ book. I had read it before and this time was taking the time to study in detail his wonderful stories.

Hear are a few trivia questions that I thought you might enjoy and that I did not want to forget. Again the numbers only refer to my most recent list.

20. General Winfield Scott Hancock, hero of Gettysburg and Spotsylvania Courthouse, was only significantly defeated in one battle. The destruction of his II Corps was the objective of Confederates in what battle which was his only personal loss?
On 25 August 1864, Generals Harry Heth and William Mahone from AP Hill’s Corps attacked and overran Hancock’s faulty disposition at Reams Station, Virginia. Along with Wade Hampton’s flank attack the II Corps was routed and many guns lost. Hancock’s painful thigh wound from Gettysburg had never healed. That and the humiliation of Reams Station caused him to give up his field command in November. At the Battle of Burgess’ Mill Confederates again targeted Hancock’s Corps for destruction by again failed.

21. What two American presidents have had US revenue cutters named in their honor?
Jefferson Davis and U S Grant USRC Jefferson Davis patrolled the West Coast of the United States during the war.

22. What unique distinction is held by US Revenue Cutter Service Captain Thomas M. Dugan?
He is the only person in the Revenue Marine Service to lose his life in the Civil War. He was killed by small arms fire off Point Lookout, MD so on 12 August 1864 while on board the Revenue Cutter Reliance.

23. Who was the first Union general to respond to a Confederate request for surrender terms by using the term “unconditional surrender”?
Brigadier C. F. Smith, one of Grant’s division commanders was the first to receive the communication from General S. B. Buckner at Ft Donelson delivered by Maj. Nathaniel Cheairs. Smith replied gruffly that he would “make no terms with rebels with arms in their hands–my terms would be Unconditional and immediate surrender”. Smith had been Commandant of Cadets at West Point when Grant was a cadet. He was a beloved officer and when he died of infection from a foot injury he was mourned by many officers on both sides.

24. Where was the first confrontation between a riverine gunboat and Confederate forces ashore?
At Commerce, Missouri the timberclad gunboat Tyler under Commander John Rodgers fired on rebel gunners along the Mississippi River bank. In August 1861 Confederates under Gen. M. Jeff Thompson occupied the Union leaning town looting and terrorizing the population. They were also firing on riverboat traffic.

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