Confederate units often had ranged freely up and down the Shenandoah Valley in mountainous areas of Virginia but fought a bruising fight against Union forces at Winchester in that state 150 years ago this week in the Civil War. Both the Union forces under Philip Sheridan and Confederates led by Jubal A. Early saw high casualties in the Third Battle of Winchester, which was waged on Sept. 19, 1864.
The fighting that led to thousands of casualties on both sides was fierce. It resulted in a Union victory and marked the beginning of the decline of the Confederate threat along the strategic corridor running from south to north. Elsewhere in Virginia, The Associated Press reported in a dispatch dated Sept. 14, 1864 that Robert E. Lee's Confederate army was reportedly being reinforced.
"It is stated by deserters that Lee's army has been strengthened by reinforcements from various points and by large numbers of conscripts." AP also reported that shelling continued around Petersburg, Va., this week 150 years ago in the civil war: "The Confederates have kept up a brisk artillery firing ... The result of is that five or six Federal soldiers are brought into the hospital every day."
Carried By Charles E. White- Seige of Port Hudson 1861 & ‘62D
Diseases contracted during the Civil War killed over twice as many men as bullets. Infections spread rapidly in overcrowded camps. Measles, mumps, rubella, and chicken pox ran rampant, particularly among newly-enlisted soldiers from rural areas who lacked immunities from prior exposure. But even more fatalities resulted from dysentery and diarrhea contracted due to unsanitary conditions.
North Carolina Confederate Stephen Dodson Ramseur- I Was Mortally Wounded In The Battle Of Cedar Creek
He graduated from West Point at age twenty-three in June 1860. And went on to command the Ellis Light Artillery. On May 20, 1861, Ramseur’s artillery was posted on the State Capitol grounds during North Carolina’s secession debate. When the convention approved secession, Ramseur’s battery announced the historic moment by firing its cannons.
He served with distinction in 1862 and 1863, received a promotion to brigadier general, and suffered wounds three times. He also fell in love with his cousin Ellen Richmond and they married in 1863. During their months of separation, the couple wrote many loving letters to each other. Ramseur earned a promotion to major general for leading an attack that saved the Confederate army at Spotsylvania Courthouse in May 1864. While he was fighting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in the summer and fall of 1864, Ellen was at home awaiting the birth of their first child. On October 16, Ramseur received news that his wife had given birth and that all was well. But the message did not say whether the baby was a boy or a girl. Three days later, Ramseur was mortally wounded in the Battle of Cedar Creek, without knowing that he had a daughter.
He died of battle wounds on October 20, 1864, after sending his love to his family and requesting that a lock of his hair go to his wife. Federal troops returned his body to a boyhood friend, Confederate major general Robert F. Hoke. Ramseur’s body lay in state briefly in the capitol at Richmond, then went by train home to Lincolnton. Ramseur’s family was crushed by the news of his death. His widow, Ellen, and three-week-old daughter, Mary, could not travel from Caswell County for the funeral. Ellen Ramseur never remarried and wore black mourning clothing for the rest of her life. She remained with her family in Caswell County until she died in 1900 at the age of fifty-nine. Mary Ramseur never married and died at the age of seventy-one in 1935.
"Deliverance Creek" is a revenge drama centering on a widow and mother of three who is determined to protect her family and land at any cost during the Civil War.
Two years into the Civil War, Belle Gatlin Barlowe (Lauren Ambrose) faces uncertainty in the life before her as she attempts to defend her family’s land by any means necessary. When the corrupt bank that runs their town pushes Belle into becoming an outlaw, the stakes become personal, setting off a chain of events that force her to question whether it’s better to be good or to survive.
The Union's capture of Atlanta, one of the most important of Southern cities, immediately buoyed President Abraham Lincoln's re-election prospects — 150 years ago in the Civil War. Lincoln would ultimately be returned to office by voters with an ample victory. A North wearied by long years of grinding warfare suddenly had major news to rejoice over — even as the Confederacy and many in the South despaired. From the fall of Atlanta until the end of the war would just be a matter of months of heavy fighting to follow.
Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, days after his forces had entered the city, ordered its civilians to evacuate. Meanwhile, newspapers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer in the North reported Sherman's forces were still "in pursuit" of the fleeing Confederates. The Associated Press reported from Virginia on Sept. 9, 1864, that some Confederate forces in their defense works there had begun cheering after hearing a false rumor spread that Atlanta had been retaken." The AP report said those overly optimistic and mistaken Southern soldiers "were very jubilant for a time, indulging in loud cheering."
Fifteen thousand men took part in Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. Today, so far as is known, only one of those men is living. He is Captain Frank W. Nelson of A Company, Fifty-sixth Virginia Infantry, Colonel W. D. Stewart, Garnett’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, Longstreet’s Corps.
Captain Nelson is 93 years old (he was born Christmas Day, 1843), but he is erect, and he can still tell in thrilling detail the story of that glorious display of bravery on July 3, 1863, that ended in wanton bloodshed. “My division is almost extinguished,” Pickett wrote his wife a few days after the battle. “I was ordered to take a height, which I did, under the most withering fire I have ever known, and I have seen many battles.”
Although he spent much time defending his chief, General Longstreet, Captain Nelson’s account of the famous charge is graphic and awe-inspiring: The deadly stillness of the hours of waiting before a battle, “when the men lay in the tall grass in the rear of the artillery line, the July sun pouring its scorching rays almost vertically down upon them … the awful silence of the vast battlefield was broken by a cannon shot that opened the greatest artillery duel of the world.” All the horror of this losing battle with death can be felt as one listens to this aged man tell his story.
"Had we taken Cemetery Hill (the object of the attack), we could never have held it. Those who reached stone wall saw the Federal reserves in countless thousands in the rear of the defending line. Our failure to a great extent can be laid to General Lee’s one fault—he left too much to his subordinate officers. Our brigade reached Gettyburg at twilight of the 2d, and orders were issued for us to cook three days’ rations. It did not take this to tell us that a great battle impended. We had breakfast before daylight on the 3d and by dawn were in line, ready for whatever came.
"We were in Peach Orchard by 5 o’clock, and lay there for many hours. The Federal cannon on Culp’s Hill and Little Round Top, which we could have taken the previous evening without firing a shot, enfiladed [sic] our column, doing much damage. Of course we had no way of replying to these shots. The three Virginia brigades of Kemper, Garnett and Armistead were touching each other. The first named contained about as many as the other two combined. The absence of General Stuart and his cavalry had much to do with our failure.
Historic preservation workers install the headstone of Tecumseh King at the King Cemetery near Kinta, OK.
By BRANDON FRYE Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
DURANT, Okla. – Choctaw Nation Historic Preservation employees worked for two months to prepare for the May 24 ceremony honoring two full-blood Choctaw Civil War confederate soldiers at their discovered gravesites in King Cemetery near Kinta.
“I was doing family research and discovered the cemetery,” Karrie Shannon, Choctaw Nation employee in McAlester, said. “In November, I made a trip to Kinta, Oklahoma to locate the King Cemetery. I found the cemetery unmaintained and abandoned. No one might have entered there for 121 years, it was so thick you had a hard time making your way through the area.”
Private Henry Cooper and 2nd Lieutenant Jerry Riddle received military government issued headstones and were honored during the cemetery dedication in May. Both were descendents of Chief Mosholatubbee, who had seven sons with the surname King and one daughter surnamed Cooper.
Skyler Robinson, Cemetery Restoration Coordinator with Historic Preservation, said his crew works to preserve and protect abandoned Choctaw cemeteries like King Cemetery. “It was in really bad shape, thick with briars and bushes,” Robinson said. “We went in and cleaned it up, put a new fence around it with a gate, and then placed a couple of headstones.”
District 5 Tribal Council Member Ron Perry was in attendance and spoke to dedicate King Cemetery during the event. Gene Arpelar said the prayer and blessing. The Choctaw Nation Color Guard sent members, led by Herbert Jessie, to give the 21-gun salute and play Taps. The Color Guard, while honoring the veterans, also showed gratitude to their relatives. “We were there to do the honors,” Harlan Wright, Color Guard member, said. “They folded a flag and presented it to the next of kin.”
Karrie Shannon and Cheryl Stone-Pitchford, King descendants, were there to receive the flag. Stone-Pitchford, who had also researched Choctaw genealogy, aided Shannon in uncovering King Cemetery. She said it was a very sacred moment; everyone was there to remember and honor the cemetery and its buried that were too long forgotten.
“When it became apparent who was buried there, it became a real significance in our family. I also believe it is significant to the Choctaw Nation and history overall,” Stone-Pitchford said.
Dena Cantrell, also a King descendant in attendance at the ceremony, said she appreciated the genealogical research that had been done and how it was bringing the family history together. “Learning and knowing we are descendents of ancestors who played a great part in the history of the Choctaw Nation and the United States… is very gratifying,” she said.
There are approximately 50 gravesites at King Cemetery. Some were identified by grave depressions, bases of headstones or bases of footstones. There are a handful of existing headstones still standing. Approximately 15 out of 50 buried individuals have been identified. Two of Chief Mosholatubbee’s children are buried in the cemetery, and five military veterans.
Shannon is working to obtain military monuments for all five veterans within the cemetery. She received the monument for the grave of Tecumseh King, youngest son of Chief Mosholatubbee, on July 21. “There’s a lot of Choctaws in that cemetery,” Shannon said. “We’ve got to remember our Choctaw soldiers and what they have done for us. And if we can do anything to give back to them, that’s what this is all about. It’s for them.”
Robinson, with Historic Preservation, said his department gets calls informing them of abandoned Choctaw cemeteries periodically, occasionally multiple within one week. He said if anyone knows of an abandoned Choctaw cemetery, it would be appreciated if the individual calls (580) 924-8280 ext. 2236. Additionally, Shannon offered to aid anyone researching family genealogy and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Confederacy's prized Southern city of Atlanta fell to Union Maj. Gen William T. Sherman and his troops 150 years ago this week in the Civil War. Sherman slashed the supply lines of rival Confederate commanders, hitting at points south of the Georgia city. Confederate attempts to drive back the Union invaders stumbled and the Confederate forces were forced to retreat from Atlanta on Sept. 1, 1864. Sherman's army began occupying the city the following day.
"From Sherman's Army, GLORIOUS NEWS, Atlanta has Fallen" read one of the early headlines dated Sept. 3, 1864, informing the North, in the Cleveland (Ohio) Leader. "General Sherman is reported to have entered Atlanta at nine o'clock yesterday morning," the newspaper added. "The movement by which he entered the place must have been a very bold one." It reported Sherman's forces once heavily arrayed on the northwest side of Atlanta had relocated in large numbers to the southwest side of the city to battle the Confederates there and cut off vital supply lines needed by the rebel army. Another news dispatch dated Sept. 2, 1864, said "General Sherman's advanced Atlanta this morning at 11 o'clock. "The whole Federal force will enter today." The Evening Star of Washington, D.C., said the Confederate defenders had been driven off and the enemy was set to fleeing at night.
The White House has announced that a Union Army officer killed at the Battle of Gettysburg will receive the Medal of Honor next month in a White House ceremony.
The decision to honor 1st. Lt. Alonzo Cushing, originally of Wisconsin, brings a successful end to a campaign by Cushing's descendants and Civil War buffs that began in the late 1980s with a series of letters to then-Wisconsin Sen. William Proxmire.
Congress granted a special exemption last December for Cushing to receive the award posthumously since recommendations normally have to be made within two years of the act of heroism and the medal awarded within three years.