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October 2011

The Boys of War

Johnny Clem, perhaps the most famous drummer boy of the war, shot a Confederate officer who had ordered him to surrender.

Massachusetts Commanders Military Order of the Loyal Legion and the U.S. Army Military History InstituteJohnny Clem, perhaps the most famous drummer boy of the war, shot a Confederate officer who had ordered him to surrender.

By CATE LINEBERRY

Disunion follows the Civil War as it unfolded. 

With hopes of adventure and glory, tens of thousands of boys under the age of 18 answered the call of the Civil War, many of them rushing to join Union and Confederate troops in the earliest days of battle. Both sides had recruitment rules that barred underage men from enlisting, but that didn’t stop those who wanted to be part of the action: some enlisted without their parents’ permission and lied about their ages or bargained with recruiters for a trial period, while others joined along with their older brothers and fathers whose partisan passions overwhelmed their parental senses. Most of the youngest boys became drummers, messengers and orderlies, but thousands of others fought alongside the men.

As each side scrambled to get troops into the field in the early days of the war, many of these boys went to battle with just a few weeks of training. It didn’t take long for them to understand what they’d gotten themselves into. Elisha Stockwell Jr., from Alma, Wis., was 15 when he enlisted. After the Battle of Shiloh in April 1862, he wrote, “I want to say, as we lay there and the shells were flying over us, my thoughts went back to my home, and I thought what a foolish boy I was to run away and get into such a mess as I was in. I would have been glad to have seen my father coming after me.”

Continue reading  The Boys of War at the NYTimes


Civil War flag from La. recovered in Va., headed home

Flag

Credit: BOB BROWN/TIMES-DISPATCH
Michael Morehart, special agent in charge of the Richmond FBI  office, spoke in front of the flag at the Museum of the Confederacy today.

By: TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF 
Published: October 05, 2011

A Civil War battle flag said to have been stolen from aLouisiana museum more than two decades ago is headed home after the FBI found the item at a house in Caroline County last week.

The flag of the 14th Louisiana Infantry Regiment was turned over to the Memorial Hall Museum of New Orleans in a brief ceremony this morning at the Museum of the Confederacy in downtown Richmond.

Authorities said the flag was stolen in 1980 by a then-volunteer at the New Orleans museum. The volunteer, who later died, was not prosecuted, authorities said.

The flag's whereabouts remained a mystery until late last month, when the FBI's National Art Crime Team received a tip that the item may have been at a home in Caroline County.

Agents with the FBI's Fredericksburg office went to the house in Caroline on Thursday and found the flag among a collection of a man agents today described as a Civil War aficionado but not a professional collector. The man told the FBI he had purchased the flag in 2004 without knowing it had been stolen.

"He was immediately cooperative" and turned over the flag to the FBI, Special Agent Brad Gregory of the Fredericksburg office said today. "As far as we know, he was an innocent purchaser."

Authorities declined to say how much the man paid for the flag, which is to be transported to the museum inNew Orleans this weekend.

_ Joe Macenka

From Richmond Times-Dispatch


Opinion - Civil War Politics, The Tea Party, And The Decisions That Await Us

The Civil War at 150: The Past In The Present?, David W. Blight, Kansas City Star, October 3, 2011.

Why can’t we just get over the Civil War in America? Why does it still have such a hold on our imagination, on our political habits and rhetoric, on the stories through which we define ourselves as a people and a nation? Why is the Confederacy, a mere four-year experiment in revolution to preserve a slave holding society, still so interesting to so many people? Haven’t we had at least two “Reconstructions” — the first of the 1860s and ’70s, the second the civil rights movement a century later — to solve those issues at the war’s roots?

As we commemorate this most pivotal and transforming event — at the same time the country descends into some of the worst political polarization in modern times — it is important to visit these questions. The stakes are very high. And, ideologically, many of the issues of 2011 are much the same as in 1861. Given the hold the tea party seems to have on the base of the Republican Party, we should take notice when some in the group invoke the Confederate constitution as a model for anti-tax, anti-centralization libertarianism.

First, it was modeled closely after the U.S. Constitution. Second, its advocates may need a reminder of just how desperately the Jefferson Davis administration struggled to forge a centralized government out of the chaos of war, jealous localism, states’ rights and homegrown greed and individualism. Indeed, yesterday’s secessionists and today’s nullifiers have much in common. Both are distinct minorities who have suddenly seized an inordinate degree of power.

Continue reading : Civil War Politics, The Tea Party, And The Decisions That Await Us from the Kansas City Star


From Necessity to Honor: The Evolution of National Cemeteries in the United States

Rock_ilsand_Illinois

Rock Island National Cemetery

Originally created to honor Union soldiers killed during the Civil War, national cemeteries have become national memorials to all United States veterans.  About a dozen national cemeteries and numerous soldiers' lots were established in 1862, more than a year after the war began with Confederate troops firing on Fort Sumter.  By 1870, almost 300,000 Union soldiers and sailors lay buried in 73 national cemeteries.  These cemeteries were first set aside for burial of those who died during the conflict, but by 1873, any Union veteran of the Civil War could receive burial in a national cemetery.  Today, the nation has more than 175 national cemeteries, soldiers’ lots, government lots, and Confederate cemeteries. Three federal agencies manage them: the National Cemetery Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); the Department of the Army of the Department of Defense; and the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior.   

Continue reading "From Necessity to Honor: The Evolution of National Cemeteries in the United States" »


Civil War license plate approved for NC

Civil War license plate approved for NC

Submitted by WWAY on Tue, 10/04/2011 
civil_war_plate.png

RALEIGH, NC (NCDCR) -– A license plate commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War has been designed.

"The 'Freedom, Sacrifice, Memory' theme of the North Carolina Civil War Sesquicentennial observance soon will grace vehicle license plates," explains North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Linda Carlisle.

Funds from the sale of the plate will be directed to the NC Department of Cultural Resources' Division of State Historic Sites and Properties to benefit Civil War commemorative activities and battlefield preservation, acquisition and interpretation.

The Division of State Historic Sites includes 24 state historic sites and commissions all across North Carolina that tell the story of North Carolina's past through living history programs, recreating period settings, and offering you-are-there experiences. To learn more visit http://www.nchistoricsites.org.

from WWAYTV3.com


Characters tell of Civil War

MARY ANN FORD, The (Bloomington) Pantagraph

Monday, October 3, 2011

In this photo taken Sept. 23, 2011, Gwen de Veer and Nick MeBurney, portraying Frances Harriet Rowell Ela and George P. Ela, prepare for the 2011 Evergreen Cemetery Discovery Walk at the McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington, Ill. The walk commemorates the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Photo: Pantagraph, Carlos T. Miranda / AP

In this photo taken Sept. 23, 2011, Gwen de Veer and Nick MeBurney, portraying Frances Harriet Rowell Ela and George P. Ela, prepare for the 2011 Evergreen Cemetery Discovery Walk at the McLean County Museum of History in Bloomington, Ill. The walk commemorates the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Photo: Pantagraph, Carlos T. Miranda / AP

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) — During the Civil War, McLean County resident and Union soldier Lewis Ijamstook a musket ball to his gut that left him in such bad shape the guards at a makeshift Confederate hospital left him for dead and went out for a night of drinking.

While the guards were gone, Ijams, who still had a gaping hole in his abdomen, and several other wounded Union soldiers escaped on foot.

It was the coldest winter on record and their destination — the nearest Union outpost — was 100 miles away.

"He literally was picking bones out (of his wound) as he went," said Rhys Lovell, a Twin City actor who will portray the soldier in this year's Evergreen Cemetery Discovery Walk in Bloomington. The walk will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

Continue reading "Characters tell of Civil War" »


Memoir Revealed of Influential Pastor during Civil War

Author’s grandson preserves history, releases 110-year-old book

Quote startI felt his story should not remain untold.Quote end

Chattanooga, Tenn. (PRWEB) October 03, 2011

A 110-year-old memoir is now revealing the life, courage and faith of one man during the Civil War.

Edited by his grandson, THM: A Memoir (published by WestBow Press) follows the captivating time period embedded in the life of influential Chattanooga pastor Thomas Hooke McCallie. Touching on what he knew of his ancestral immigration and his education, the detailed memoir provides insight into McCallie’s life in Chattanooga during the Civil War and his prominent role in the church, which was during the war years was the city’s only church and served as a temporary hospital after the Battle of Chickamauga.

“I felt his story should not remain untold,” says editor and grandson David McCallie.

Continue reading "Memoir Revealed of Influential Pastor during Civil War" »


Thoughts on the Civil War's 150th anniversary

Civil-War-150x150
By MATT DIAZ

Updated: 09/30/2011 
One hundred and fifty years ago our nation plunged into a struggle that exacerbated fissures in our union which plague us still today. Growing up, we tended to reduce the cause of the war to slavery. This was certainly one of the last open chapters from our nation's birth, but this was not the only one.

It seems that I do not hear many people talking about this anniversary much, and I wonder why. I suspect that it has something to do with the unresolved issues and lingering disparities in socioeconomic status among various minority groups. More importantly, I think that one of the reasons is an underlying discomfort with discussing our differences in an open and honest manner.

Think about it. Some Northerners argue that what the South fought for was indefensible -- that if they had won, this nation and its original intent would have been abandoned. By contrast, many who live south of the Mason-Dixon Line revel in the concept of Southern pride. Was it slavery or states' rights that pushed us over the edge?

Continue reading "Thoughts on the Civil War's 150th anniversary" »