JEWISH SOLDIERS IN BLUE & GRAY a first-of-its-kind film that reveals the little-known struggles facing American Jews both in battle and on the home front during the nation’s deadliest war, Recently unearthed personal narratives shed new light on this fascinating chapter in American history and powerfully illustrate the unique role Jews played on the battlefields and the home front.
Chronicles Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s infamous 1862 mandate to expel Jewish residents from Union-controlled land and shares the story of President Lincoln’s doctor-turned-Union spy.
General Order No. 11 was the title of an order issued by Major-General Ulysses S. Grant on December 17, 1862, during the Civil War. It ordered the expulsion of all Jews in his military district, comprising areas of Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky.. The order was issued as part of a Union campaign against a black market in Southern cotton, which Grant thought was being run “mostly by Jews and other unprincipled traders.”
Following protests from Jewish community leaders and an outcry by members of Congress and the press, President Lincoln ordered this revoked a few weeks later. During his campaign for the presidency in 1868, Grant repudiated the order, saying that it had been drafted by a subordinate and that he had signed it without reading it during warfare.
RICHMOND, Va.—When the turret of the USS Monitor was raised from the ocean bottom, two skeletons and the tattered remnants of their uniforms were discovered in the rusted hulk of the Union Civil War ironclad, mute and nameless witnesses to the cost of war. A rubber comb was found by one of the remains, a ring was on a finger of the other.
Now, thanks to forensic reconstruction, the two have faces.
In a longshot bid that combines science and educated guesswork, researchers hope those reconstructed faces will help someone identify the unknown Union sailors who went down with the Monitor 150 years ago.
The facial reconstructions were done by experts at Louisiana State University, using the skulls of the two full skeletal remains found in the turret, after other scientific detective work failed to identify them. DNA testing, based on samples from their teeth and leg bones, did not find a match with any living descendants of the ship's crew or their families.
MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (AP) — It was the Civil War's "Kitty Hawk moment," and it happened here when balloons manned by Confederate and Union aeronauts floated above a field of battle — the first time warring armies sent their air ships aloft simultaneously over U.S. soil.
The historic encounter in the skies occurred on June 27, 1862, when two Union balloons — the Intrepid and the Washington — rose aloft only miles west of Richmond while their Southern counterpart, Gazelle, floated over the capital of the Confederacy. These balloons were the unarmed drones of war, collecting intelligence on rival troop movements from a vantage of 1,000 feet above the earth.
This circa 1863 photo provided by the U.S. Library of Congress shows a repairman working on a telegraph line in the United States. One hundred fifty years ago, as the nation was being ripped apart by Civil War, it was being knitted together electronically by what was arguably the world's first high-tech gadget, the humble telegraph. On Oct. 24, 1861, with just the push of a button Stephen J. Field would send a message from a telegraph office in San Francisco to President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, telling him the first transcontinental telegraph line was up and running. (AP Photo/Library of Congress)
(AP) LOS ANGELES — Long before there was an Internet or an iPad, before people were social networking and instant messaging, Americans had already gotten wired.
Monday marks the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental telegraph. From sea to sea, it electronically knitted together a nation that was simultaneously tearing itself apart, North and South, in the Civil War.
Americans soon saw that a breakthrough in the spread of technology could enhance national identity and, just as today, that it could vastly change lives. "It was huge," says Amy Fischer, archivist for Western Union, which strung the line across mountains, canyons and tribal lands to make the final connection. "... With the Civil War just a few months old, the idea that California, the growing cities of California, could talk to Washington and the East Coast in real time was huge. It's hard to overstate the impact of that."
An injured Union solder is taken from the battle field during during the reenactment of the Battle of Bull Run at Brawner Farm in Manassas, Virginia on July 24, 2011. This event marked the 150th anniversary of the the first major battle of the Civil War. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
BINGHAMTON, N.Y., Sept. 21 (UPI) -- An analysis of historic census figures reveals the death toll in the U.S. Civil War was higher than previously estimated, a historian says.
J. David Hacker of Binghamton University in New York says the war's dead numbered about 750,000, an estimate 20 percent higher than the commonly cited figure of 620,000, a university release reported Wednesday.
Many historians agree the 620,000 estimate is flawed, as neither the Union nor the Confederacy kept standardized personnel records.
"There are also huge problems estimating mortality with census data," Hacker said. "You can track the number of people of certain ages from one census to the next, and you can see how many are missing," but people are routinely undercounted, he said.