Oddities Feed

The Memoirs Of General Ulysses S. Grant

Tumblr_mxbc1lNRJh1rd3evlo1_500
Mark Twain approached Grant about publishing the war hero’s memoirs with a plum deal that would give Grant 75 percent of the profits as royalties.

Cash-strapped Grant had little choice but to accept Twain’s offer, and the Civil War-focused “Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant” hit stores in 1885.

Grant’s memoirs were an instant runaway hit. Twain’s company made the clever choice of employing former Union soldiers in full uniform as salesmen, and the book became one of the best sellers of the 19th century.

Today, the book is considered by many to be the best presidential memoir ever written, but there’s some controversy over who actually did the bulk of the writing. Twain always claimed that he had only made slight edits to Grant’s text, but the prose was so strong that many suspected Twain himself had ghostwritten the book.

Sadly, Grant didn’t get to see the success of his book; he died shortly after its completion. But his widow Julia banked over $400,000 in royalties from the memoir.

Photo By Alexander Gardner Mammoth-Plate Albumen Print Circa 1865

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ulysses_S_Grant_by_Gardner,_c1865.jpg

http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/09/20/mf.history.of.presidential.memoirs/

From: The Civil War Parlor


Why Are These Soldiers Reading The Atlantic During a Cockfight?

  • Bafbe1e71
  • 823e35307
  • Bc15c9c2a
Bc15c9c2a
(Timothy O’Sullivan/Library of Congress)

GARRY ADELMAN , The Atlantic

NOV 15 2013

In June 1864, Union General Ulysses S. Grant launched a 10-month siege of the strategically important railroad hub at Petersburg, Virginia. Throughout that time, Civil War photographers were on hand to capture hundreds of battlefield and camp scenes on glass plates. Washington-based Alexander Gardner sent two photographers into the field—Timothy O’Sullivan and David Knox.

As the siege was getting under way, O’Sullivan and Knox took two photos of a cock fight about to begin. Here, Union General Orlando B. Willcox (seated, center) and his staff gather around to watch as camp servants prepare to release the fowl for a fight to the death. Two of the soldiers hold small whips. Alcohol and cigars round out the brutal but genteel scene. A young soldier smiles broadly—a rare occurrence in Civil War photographs.

By zooming into the original glass plate negatives, another refinement emerges: Staff officer Levi C. Brackett, serving on General Willcox’s staff, is displaying a copy of The Atlantic in both cock-fighting photos. It is the latest issue: July 1864.

It is entirely fitting that the content of the July 1864 issue of The Atlantic addresses things relevant to the scene— alcohol, cigars, chickens, whips, and soldiers. The issue concludes with a summary of the military operation in which the soldiers pictured here are engaged. General Willcox’s troops are themselves mentioned in print. We can only guess whether Brackett so deliberately displayed the periodical because of unit pride.

Whatever their motives, time moved for Brackett and the other soldiers just as it does for us today. Eight months and seven Atlantic issues later, the survivors among these men would see the capture of Petersburg, the fall of the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia, and a return to peacetime life. But here in the pages of the magazine, and in the camp scenes captured on that warm August day, time is forever frozen, allowing us to contemplate a small part of American history. Using these primary sources, a century and a half seems a whole lot shorter.

Source: The Atlantic


CIA Codebreaker Reveals 147-year-old Civil War Message About The Confederate Army’s Desperation

Tumblr_muz9462eLp1rd3evlo1_1280
The piece of paper with a message for a Confederate leader was rolled up, tied with string and sealed along with a bullet in a glass vial. It remained a mystery for 147 years, until a CIA codebreaker cracked the message after a museum had the vial opened

The message is from a Confederate commander on the west side of the Mississippi River across from Pemberton.

'He's saying, 'I can't help you. I have no troops, I have no supplies, I have no way to get over there,' ' Museum of the Confederacy collections manager Catherine M. Wright said of the author of the dispiriting message.

'It was just another punctuation mark to just how desperate and dire everything was.'

The bottle, less than two inches in length, had sat undisturbed at the museum since 1896. It was a gift from Capt. William A. Smith, of King George County, who served during the Vicksburg siege.

The code is called the ‘Vigenere cipher,’ a centuries-old encryption in which letters of the alphabet are shifted a set number of places so an ‘a’ would become a ‘d’ — essentially, creating words with different letter combinations.

The code was widely used by Southern forces during the Civil War, according to Civil War Times Illustrated.

The source of the message was likely Maj. Gen. John G. Walker, of the Texas Division, who had under his command William Smith, the donor of the bottle.

The full text of the message to Pemberton reads:

'Gen'l Pemberton: You can expect no help from this side of the river. Let Gen'l Johnston know, if possible, when you can attack the same point on the enemy's lines. Inform me also and I will endeavor to make a diversion. I have sent some caps (explosive devices). I subjoin a despatch from General Johnston.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1341666/CIA-codebreaker-reveals-147-year-old-Civil-War-message-Confederate-desperation.html#ixzz2iHcjjnvs 


Mosby's Treasure

Buriedtreasure-e1375411056379
Confederate Commander Colonel John Singleton Mosby was one sneaky fighter during the Civil War. He and his men were known as Mosby’s Raiders for their lightning-quick raids of Union camps and their ability to elude the Union Army by blending in with the local townspeople. He was essentially like Mel Gibson’s character in The Patriot, but without all of the drama.

After one of his many raids, which took place about 75 kilometers (46 mi) south of the Confederate line at Culpeper, Virginia, Mosby took Union General Edwin Stoughton prisoner, as well as a burlap sack containing $350,000 worth of gold, silver, and family heirlooms. The problem was, Mosby had also captured 42 other men during the raid and had to take them back through Union territory and across the Confederate line.

Following a route that parallels today’s US 211, Mosby’s Raiders traveled south until they ran into a large contingency of Union soldiers. Unwilling to part with his treasure, Mosby instructed his men to bury the treasure between two large pine trees in case of a battle. Mosby marked the trees with his knife, and the Raiders headed back along their route and across the Confederate line without any trouble from the Union.
Unfortunately for Mosby, when he sent back seven of his most trusted men, they were all caught and hanged. Mosby never returned to look for the treasure.

http://listverse.com/2013/08/03/10-real-life-hidden-treasures/

The Confederates of Brazil,

 

  • Tumblr_mssd3kb2MQ1rwjpnyo1_500
  • Tumblr_mssd3kb2MQ1rwjpnyo2_500
  • Tumblr_mssd3kb2MQ1rwjpnyo3_500
Tumblr_mssd3kb2MQ1rwjpnyo3_500

 

The Confederates of Brazil,

Every year in the State of Sao Paolo, in the City of Americana, Brazil, the locals host a festival called the Festa Confederada.  The women wear American Antebellum style dresses while the men often dress as Civil War Era Confederate soldiers.  They eat Southern food, they dance to Southern music, and they fly the Stars and Bars (Confederate flag).  On occasion they may even have a Civil War re-enactment.  The only thing they lack is a heavy Southern drawl as most of the people are native speakers of Portuguese.

An oddity to find in South America for sure, there is a logical explanation to this madness.  It all goes back to April of 1865, when Union forces occupied the South and forced the Confederacy to surrender, there were many who were not willing to give in to the Union.  Many others had their land confiscated or their property totally destroyed by the war.  Many had nowhere to go.

That year Emperor Dom Pedro of Brazil wanted to encourage the cultivation of cotton in Brazil, and he knew of thousands of people with the resources and expertise to do it.  He began to offer special insentives for immigrants from the former Confederacy to move and settle in Brazil.  This included subsidies on travel, cheap land, and tax breaks.  More importantly in Brazil slavery was still legal and would not be abolished until 1888.  

Between 1865 and 1875 ten to twenty thousand former Confederates made a home at Americana, Brazil.  There they set up a community that was an almost exact copy of the pre-Civil War antebellum South.  Because of their culture and heritage, they became known as the Confederados. At first the Confederados were a very insular group, interacting little with the Brazilians and fiercely maintaining their own culture.  However the third generation descendants of the Confederados began to break with tradition, intermingling with the Brazilians and eventually intermarrying with them.  Today Confederado decedents are little different from regular Brazilians, except perhaps when they host their Festa Confederada.  

From: Peashooter85 on Tumblr

Hawaii Sons Of The Civil War

 

  • Tumblr_mtj76f89JM1rd3evlo2_1280
  • Tumblr_mtj76f89JM1rd3evlo1_1280
Tumblr_mtj76f89JM1rd3evlo1_1280

 

Forgotten History- Hawaii Sons Of The Civil War - 119 Soldiers From Hawaii Participated In The Conflict, Many In The Union Army And Some In The Confederate Navy~ 
Many Hawaiians Served Under Different Names That Were Easier To Pronounce

When the first shot of the American Civil War was fired at Fort Sumter off the coast of South Carolina, nearly six thousand miles away, the Kingdom of Hawaii was a sovereign, developing nation. Hawaii’s close relationship economically, diplomatically, and socially with the United States ensured that the wake of the American Civil War reached the Hawaiian Islands. Diplomatic decisions were required and domestic politics took a major turn. Hawaiian property and citizens became casualties of war, sugar began its rise as the economic king, and hundreds of people from Hawaii and elsewhere in the Pacific world served in the Armies and Navies of the Union and Confederacy.

Henry Ho‘olulu Pitman was the son of High Chiefess Kino‘ole-o-Liliha of Hilo and Benjamin Pitman, originally from Boston.  Pitman mustered into the Union Army as a private in 1862.  He was captured near Fredericksburg, Virginia and sent to Libby Prison then Camp Parole where he died of an illness in 1863.  He was only 17 years of age.

Allan Brinsmade was raised in Koloa, Kaua‘i and enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army in 1861.  He fought at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 and was discharged later the same year as a 2nd lieutenant.  He temporarily served as Captain and may have lost a hand during the war.

http://worldhistoryconnected.press.illinois.edu/9.3/vance.html

Documentary: Fund Raiser For Sons Of The Civil War 

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hawaii-sons-of-the-civil-war-a-documentary-film

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/23490890/hawaii-and-the-civil-war

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr


BLOODY FRACAS IN BEAUREGARD'S ARMY ABOUT A PINT OF WHISKY

Whiskey
"BLOODY FRACAS IN BEAUREGARD'S ARMY ABOUT A PINT OF WHISKY.--A fight occurred in Beauregard's army between the Border Guards and the Wise Artillery, when a number were wounded, including Capt. John Q. A. Nadenbush of the Berkley Guards, and Capt. E. G. Albertis of the Wise Artillery. The fracas arose in consequence of a woman named Bella Boyd refusing to sell a bottle of whisky to a soldier. She demanded two dollars for a pint bottle; soldier offered one; Mrs. Boyd refused to sell; soldier seized bottle; woman drew a knife; soldier did the same; Wise Artillery interfered in behalf of woman, and Border Guards Artillery for soldier. It was a fierce conflict, and was only ended by the interference of general officers. Twenty or thirty were badly wounded."


http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038121/1861-11-21/ed-1/seq-1/ (lower right-hand corner)


Cuba Libre

Tumblr_mt4x7hdvMG1rd3evlo1_r1_500

“Cuba Libre,” 1898-Union and Confederate Soldiers Shaking Hands-uniting the country against a common enemy and healing post–Civil War wounds-Photographed By Former Civil War Soldier Fitz Guerin 

Guerin fought under Generals Sherman, Lyon, and Grant and won the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery in combat on April 28 & 29, 1863. During the war he came into contact with photographers and developed a fascination with the art.

Published in America’s Yesterdays, p. 247, this photo, which looks opague and surreal to modern audiences, is actually a piece of propaganda for the Spanish-American War. In the late 19th century, newspapers praised this “splendid little war” for uniting the country against a common enemy and healing post–Civil War wounds. Born in Dublin, Guerin emigrated to New York as a child and became deeply patriotic; he joined the Union army at the age of 15 and fought for the duration of the war. At 17, he volunteered for what was thought to be a suicide mission aboard “a cranky little Steamer, the Cheeseman,” which broke apart in the Mississippi. He and his comrades stood on what was left of the deck, shells and grapeshot flying around them, holding their position until backup arrived. They received Medals of Honor from Congress for their bravery.

During the quarter century of Guerin’s time in business, the majority of his income came from society portraiture. He and J.C. Strauss dominated the St. Louis market. Celebrity portraiture was a sidelight to his business and an opportunity to experiment with posing. Because of the survival of trove of Guerin’s popular genre images in the Library of Congress, however, this component of his business has recently taken on a particular importance among historians of photography.

http://broadway.cas.sc.edu/content/fitz-w-guerin

From: The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr