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October 2011

September 2011

New estimate made of Civil War dead

Published: Sept. 21, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Reenactment of the Battle of Bull Run marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil Way in Manassas
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.

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Students rededicate Civil War Monument at BUHS


Posted: 09/22/2011 03:00:00 AM EDT

Members of the American Legion Post 5 Color Guard unveil the Civil War Monument with the help of students during the rededication ceremony. (Zachary P. Stephens/Reformer)

Thursday September 22, 2011

BRATTLEBORO -- On Sept. 21, 1861, a group of Brattleboro's children gathered on what is now the Brattleboro Union High school property.

They were sworn in as members of the 4th Vermont Regiment and soon left to fight in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

On Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011, some of the town's children met again, on the same patch of land, to honor the men and women from the area who served in the Civil War, and to rededicate a granite monument which was unveiled on the same grounds 105 years ago, on Sept. 21, 1906.

A George Houghton image from A Very Fine Appear­ance by Donald Wickman. Sitting: Sergeant Nelson H. Cole, Larkin Mead, Corporal Frank G. Paddleford, Sergeant Henry H. Prouty, Private Charles J. Stockwell. Standing: Private John P. Ripley, Private Albert D. Kendall. All from Brattleboro, Gaines House. (Courtesy of The Vermont Historical Society)

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Sampling the Tastes of the Civil War


Daniel Mowles preparing roasted rabbits for a tasting of Civil War-era food at the Roger Smith hotel on Monday.Photographs by Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times


Beef Jerky

Prepare the dishes yourself.

Daniel Mowles preparing roasted rabbits for a tasting of Civil War-era food at the Roger Smith Hotel on Monday. The chef, it turned out, was from southwest Virginia and grew up in a household that, he said, had inherited some of Robert E. Lee’s silverware.

Those were just coincidences at a tasting of dishes from the Civil War era, prepared according to recipes adapted from cookbooks published between 1861 and 1865.

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The Monday After: Music of the Civil War

Monday After (main) Civil war music.jpg

Among the songs that M.J. Albacete, executive director of Canton Museum of Art, took from his personal collection for a program about “Music of the Civil War” is “The Conquered Banner,” a melody lamenting the South’s loss of the war.

By Gary Brown staff writer

Posted Sep 20, 2011 @ 07:00 AM

Music, it seems, was almost as important to Civil War soldiers as their muskets.
“Both North and South used music extensively during the Civil War to rally troops, as recreation, to march by, and many other reasons,” notes the introduction to a lesson plan on Civil War Music, adapted from Ken Burns’ documentary “The Civil War,” that PBS makes available at its website.

“Frequently both sides would borrow each other’s tunes or lyrics,” the website continues. “It was not uncommon for each side to serenade the other, or for battle to stop while an impromptu concert was held.”

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Robert E. Lee photo

Courtesy of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc., and Richard Schaffer. - A recent discovery of what appears to be a lost image of the famous Confederate General, Robert E. Lee.

By Michael E. Ruane, Published: September 18
The Washington Post 

Richard Schaffer was only looking for a violin this month when he stumbled on a Civil Warphotograph up for auction on the Goodwill Industries Web site.

It was an elegant image of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in his uniform, with a white beard, furrowed brow and circles of fatigue under his eyes.

Schaffer, a veteran collector who pilots a D.C. fireboat and runs a restaurant inHarpers Ferry, had never seen the image before. Was this a lost photo of Lee? Could it be a blockbuster discovery, a treasure among odds and ends?

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Re-enactors thrill as Lexington battle is re-created


The Kansas City Star

In camp before the Battle of the Hemp Bales, Union re-enactors received instructions.

Mike Ransdell

In camp before the Battle of the Hemp Bales, Union re-enactors received instructions.

It looked and sounded a lot like September 1861 on Sunday just northeast of Lexington, Mo., where re-enactors playing the role of Confederates used  bales as a shield. The re-enactment had the same result as the original; the Confederates won. It was all part of the celebration of the battle’s 150th anniversary.

LEXINGTON, Mo. | The first cannon boomed at 2:06 p.m. Sunday.

Six thousand spectators huddled under umbrellas and ponchos. There were grandparents and grandkids, veterans in wheelchairs and mothers carrying infants. People showed up in hiking boots, and a few wore sandals.

Everyone here was waiting to see the Johnny Rebs whup the Yankees. This was the 150th remembrance of Lexington’s Battle of the Hemp Bales, where Confederates used the hemp as a shield before they overtook the Federalists.

Rain had soaked Charlie Owen, but that didn’t stop the Higginsville man from speed-dialing his girlfriend in Iowa. Each volley of cannon fire had him nearly jumping up and down like a schoolboy with glee.

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A Union Divided: South Split on U.S. Civil War Legacy

By CLAIRE SUDDATH Thursday, Mar. 03, 2011

Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans fire rifles in celebration in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 19, 2011, following a re-enactment of Jefferson Davis' presidential inauguration of the Confederate States of Americ
Kevin Glackmeyer / AP

In 1867, former Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest became the first Grand Wizard of a newly formed organization called the Ku Klux Klan. Forrest had been a slave trader before the Civil War; he was also the commanding officer during a battle known as the "Fort Pillow massacre" in Tennessee at which some 300 black Union troops were killed in 1864. (Whether they died in combat or were killed after they surrendered is still a matter of dispute.)

Now, in honor of the Civil War's 150th anniversary, the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) are seeking to put Forrest on a Mississippi license plate. But the state government opposes it. When asked to comment on the proposal, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, a Republican, told the Associated Press, "It won't become law because I won't sign it."(See a history of photographing the nation's war dead.)

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The American Civil War


The American Civil War
A popular illustrated history of the years 1861 - 1865 as seen by the artists-correspondents who were there

By Earl Schenck Miers

Published 1961 by The Ridge Press, Inc
(Golden Books)

Original purchase price: $15.00

Purchased from the O'Fallon, Illinois, Public Library for $1.00

handwritten note inside margin, "High School Library Book Club 10/1/65"