Mercy Street Premiers on PBS

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Civil War Drama, Mercy Street, Premiers on PBS this Sunday, January 17, 2016

Based on real events, Mercy Street goes beyond the front lines of the Civil War and into the chaotic world of the Mansion House Hospital in Union-occupied Alexandria, Virginia. 

Mercy Street follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposing sides of the Civil War — New England abolitionist Mary Phinney and Confederate supporter Emma Green. The Green family’s luxury hotel in Alexandria, VA, has been transformed into Mansion House, a Union Army hospital tending to the war’s wounded. The series, being shot in the Richmond and Petersburg, VA areas, is inspired by memoirs and letters from real doctors and nurse volunteers at the hospital in Alexandria, the longest occupied Confederate city of the war.

Visit the Mercy Street site.


Restoring the Texas

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The Texas, made famous in a 1950s Disney movie, was one of the players in the war's Great Locomotive Chase in April 1862. Its crew, running the locomotive backward, caught up with Union raiders who tried to destroy track between Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The raiders achieved little success, and eight of the nearly two dozen captured participants, disguised as civilians, were later hanged in Atlanta as spies. 

"We want to show it as the hard-working engine that it was, not just as one of the engines in the Great Locomotive Chase," Gordon Jones, the history center's senior military historian, said in a statement.

Read the full story here:

Do the locomotion: Famous Civil War engine taking ride on highway


Missouri Civil War Monument

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Associated Press

COLUMBIA, Mo. • Missouri lawmakers have set aside $375,000 to make repairs to a Civil War monument at a Mississippi historic site, but state Department of Natural Resources officials say the money is coming from the wrong fund and can't be used for that purpose.

The Missouri monument at the Vicksburg National Battlefield needs stone and metal work, which heritage groups want to be finished in time for an October 2017 rededication ceremony on the 100th anniversary of its unveiling, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported.

Missouri's monument is the first — and for nearly 100 years the only — memorial honoring Confederate and Union soldiers who fought at Vicksburg, Miss.

Lawmakers appropriated money from the State Parks Earnings Fund, which consists of cash donations and revenue from contracts and concessions at state parks.

The DNR "doesn't oppose" efforts to restore the monument, acting general counsel Marty Miller wrote on Friday to Dale Crandell, commander of the Sons of Union Veterans Westport Camp 64 in Kansas City.

"However ... the State Parks Earnings Fund is simply not an appropriate funding mechanism for this project, which is located outside of Missouri on land neither owned nor controlled by the department," Miller wrote.

That decision could endanger the timeline for completing work before the centennial, Crandell said.

State legislators return to work on Jan. 6, but if a new funding source is needed, no money can be spent until after July 1 unless Gov. Jay Nixon requests it in a supplemental appropriation.

DNR's decision requires more explanation once budget hearings begin, said Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer, a Columbia Republican.

"I think it would be appropriate to find another source of funds if that is the problem," Schaefer said.

Missouri was deeply divided over the issue of slavery and which side to take in the Civil War. More than 100,000 men fought for the Union in federal and state units, while more than 40,000 fought for the Confederacy.

Missouri taxpayers paid $40,000 to install the monument in 1917.

"I think the legislature wanted to see Missouri represented well in that monument," Schaefer said.


Minie, Buck and Ball test

 

Comparing the accuracy of the Minié ball fired from a rifle musket, and the buck and ball and single ball cartridges of the Civil War time fired from smooth bore muskets. All done at 50 and 100 m distances.


Capt. Joseph Ogle

 

Joseph Ogle, the son of Benjamin Ogle and Rebecca Browner, is believed to have been been born 17 June 1737 on Owens Creek, Frederick Co., Maryland.
 
Joseph served in 1775 as a Lieutenant in the Company of George Mcculloch.
 
In 1802 he moved to Ridge Prairie (near Modern O'Fallon, Illinois) and helped build the Shiloh United Methodist Church.
 
The Ogle/Ogles Family dedicated a memorial to his legacy in the Shiloh Valley Cemetery in Shiloh, Illinois, on September 27, 2015.
 
The ceremony was present by the Ogle/Ogles Family Association, The Lewis and Clark Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, and the Belleville Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. 


Confederate prisoners at Belle Plain Landing, Va.

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Confederate prisoners at Belle Plain Landing, Va., captured with Johnson’s Division, May 12, 1864

Series probably taken by an unknown photographer of Matthew Brady’s firm on May 16th or 17th, 1864. The "Punch Bowl" was the informal name for a series of ravines at Belle Plain, Virginia, that became a temporary holding area for Confederate’s captured during the Overland Campaign. 

Arguing against their identity as Johnson’s Division is the fact that one of the other shots taken on this visit to the Punch Bowl shows a group of prisoners around a dugout. Historian William Frassanito was able to enlarge the image to show a hat insignia reading “AL 4”, presumably the 4th Alabama of Field’s Division, Longstreet’s Corps.  About 7500 prisoners from both the Wilderness and Spotsylvania were moved through this holding area between May 13th to 18th. Only about 3000 of those were from Johnson’s Division.

http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/showthread.php?16158-High-res-selections-from-Confederate-prisoner-groups

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr


Drumming out

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Are you familiar with the historical military practice of drumming a soldier out of the army?

This process of dishonorably discharging a soldier had its origins in the British army in the 17th century and was later picked up by the American military. Soldiers could be drummed out for a variety of reasons, from thievery to desertion. 

Usually, during a drumming out, the guilty man’s head was shaved, the insignia and buttons taken from his uniform, and a sign detailing his crime hung around his neck. Sometimes he was dressed in felon’s clothes or white feathers were placed above his ears, and other times a rope was put around his neck and he would be led by the smallest drummer boy. The convict would then be marched between the lines of his fellow soldiers to the tune of “Rogue’s March,” and he would be taken to the entrance of the camp, where he was sent on his way with orders to never return. 

“Rogue’s March” was often played by drums and fifes, though if they couldn’t be found, a trumpet was sometimes substituted and the process was called being “blown out” of the army. During the Civil War, “Yankee Doodle” was sometimes played instead of “Rogue’s March.” 

The point of drumming out a soldier was to make his departure from the military humiliating enough that others would be discouraged from committing the same crime. So in addition to being drummed out, the local newspaper would sometimes write about the man’s crime to make it public. However, drumming out eventually fell out of favor as a punishment, and by World War II it had largely been dropped altogether in the U.S.

From Fold3


Coffee Grinder Sharps Carbine

 

 

 

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Missouri History Museum 

Look what we unpacked last week! This Civil War carbine was loaned to us by the National Park Service’s Springfield Armory site in Massachusetts for our upcoming exhibition on the history of coffee… but this isn’t just any gun. During or after the war, a clever soldier retrofitted the butt of the gun with a coffee mill for grinding on the go! Beans went in a small hole at the base, the crank was turned, and out fell fresh ground coffee. See this and many other incredible artifacts on display in COFFEE: The World in Your Cup & St. Louis in Your Cup opening the weekend of October 3 and 4. ‪#‎STLcoffee‬


When Union Troops Saluted Confederates

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On the occasion of Union General Joshua Chamberlain’s birthday, it seems fitting to honor him not just for his admirable courage and leadership throughout the Late War, most notably in his defense against incredible Southern opposition at Gettysburg, but for the way he perceived and treated his adversaries.

Of course today, many Americans would like to pretend that a war over slavery, beloved by Southerners and despised by Northerners yielded two armies that loathed each other, but as surely as the War was more complex than that, so too were the competing militaries’ relations. This was well exemplified by an account, written by General Chamberlain, of the surrender at Appomattox.

As Confederate General John Brown Gordon approached Chamberlain and his men on horseback, leading his troops, his head bowed, his appearance downcast, Chamberlain recounts:

The momentous meaning of this occasion impressed me deeply. I resolved to mark it by some token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms…

In a description of his Confederate adversaries, the words of Chamberlain, who had lived through a brutal war and had as much right as any to hate the Confederates, would be deemed treasonous by many today.

Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect.

Undoubtedly, General Chamberlain would be as outraged by today’s denigration of Confederates as Lee would be.

 Originally published:

New York, N.Y.
SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS