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March 2012

Fall of Confederate Statue Ignites Civil War in Its Home

Residents of a small North Carolina town are at odds over whether to replace a damaged statue that honors Confederate war veterans. WSJ's Cameron McWhirter reports from Reidsville, North Carolina.


REIDSVILLE, N.C.—Mark Anthony Vincent says he was tired and distracted as he drove his van through this city early one morning last May to deliver auto parts, and dozed off. Mr. Vincent says he looked at his GPS just before 4:47 a.m., when the 1999 Chevrolet ran off the road and slammed into a 101-year-old Confederate veterans monument in Reidsville's central roundabout.

The van struck the 32-foot-tall granite pillar, jostling a 6-foot marble statue of a Confederate soldier, which toppled onto the van and broke into at least 10 pieces. The soldier's head slammed through the van's hood, crushing the engine.

"He still had some fight in him," a shaken Mr. Vincent told a television news crew at the time.

The monument's destruction shocked this factory town of 15,000, once called "Lucky City" because it was a major producer of Lucky Strike cigarettes, owned by the former American Tobacco Co.

It also has ignited a civil war of sorts.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal


Brett F. Warner (1960 - 2012)

Compatriot Brett Warner, a member of the Lt. George E. Dixon Camp 1963, Sons of Confederate Veterans, was laid to rest Monday, March 26, 2012. Members of the Camp, and the Knights and Ladies of the Golden Circle were there to pay respects.

Brett Warner

Brett F. Warner, 51, of Mascoutah, Ill., born Sept. 29, 1960, in Belleville, Ill., died Wednesday, March 21, 2012, at Memorial Hospital, Belleville, Ill. 

Brett was a retired police officer from the Mascoutah Police Department. He was a member of St. John United Church of Christ, Mascoutah, Sons of Union Veterans, and Sons of Confederate Veterans. He was an avid genealogist and a law enforcement Purple Heart recipient.

Continue reading "Brett F. Warner (1960 - 2012)" »

This week in the Civil War - March 25, 1862


A battle unfolded out West 150 years ago this week during the Civil War. On March 26, 1862, a Confederate force of about 300 Texas fighters camped near Glorieta Pass in New Mexico Territory — a strategic location at the southernmost end of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the Santa Fe trail. Several hundred approaching Union soldiers led by Maj. John M. Chivington went on the attack, pressing in on the Confederates until artillery fire threw the federal fighters back. Chivington split his force into two groups on each side of the pass and put the Rebels in a crossfire before fighting halted for the day.

The next day both sides regrouped and fighting wouldn't resume again until March 28, 1862, with the Union side swelled by hundreds of reinforcements. Confederates held their ground as the battle surged back and forth in the coming hours. Eventually a wearied Confederate force retreated to Santa Fe — and eventually back to Texas — securing a strategic Union victory in a key point of the conflict out West. Elsewhere Union Gen. George B. McClellan has begun a long-awaited step of moving thousands of troops, heavy artillery, armaments and supplies to Fort Monroe off Virginia as he prepares for a major federal assault on Richmond, capital of the Confederacy.

For weeks and even months, McClellan had come under criticism for not waging an all-out offensive sooner. But now he was on the move. Nonetheless, retThe Springfield Daily Republican in Massachusetts, indicates McClellan had already lost some element of surprise ahead of what would be his ill-fated Virginia peninsula campaign. A dispatch in the paper reported: "The latest accounts from Richmond show that the rebels are crowding troops down upon the York and James River, showing they know where to expect Gen. McClellan."


Lincoln Presidential Library Decides To No Longer Sell John Wilkes Booth Bobble Head Doll. Good Move or Denial of History?


The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield Illinois announces it will no longer be selling The John Wilkes Booth bobble head dolls according to Museum spokesperson Dave Blanchette.

The decision came after the Gettysburg National Military Park pulled the dolls from its stores earlier this week. 

Blanchette told the Chicago Tribune that even though the museum’s administrators had not received any complaints about the dolls that they agreed that they were in bad taste and not appropriate for sale. He went on to say that they took a hard look at having these items for sale. The dolls with Booth holding a handgun were removed from the Shelves of the Gettysburg shop on Saturday. 

The Booth Dolls, Which are about 7 inches tall and are packaged in boxes that look like the inside of the theater which Lincoln was killed in. The Dolls were sold online for $20.00 each. The Doll is oddly popular having already sold 150 of the 250 that had been made. According to Sales Manger or BobbleHead LLC Matt Powers more of the doll will be made at the Kansas City, Mo. Plant. The company sells dolls of many controversial figures, for example Kim Jong-il Powers went on to say “There’s a market out there, We like to let the customer decide if it’s a good item or not.”

From: Sodahead

This week in the Civil War - March 18, 1862

Jerfferns cabinet

Confederate Cabinet Shake-up, Stonewall Attacks.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis, beset by recent military setbacks, orders a major Cabinet reshuffle this week 150 years ago in the Civil War. The Confederate leader orders on March 18, 1862, that George W. Randolph — a Virginia native and grandson of Thomas Jefferson — take charge as Confederate war secretary. Randolph succeeds Judah P. Benjamin. Benjamin, who was criticized for his handling of the department and now moves to secretary of state.

Randolph will go on in the next eight months to reorganize and bolster the Confederate war machinery for the battles ahead. Despite recent reversals for the Confederacy, the war is still young. An Associated Press dispatch in early March speaks of growing federal worries about a vexing Confederate commander, Maj. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, now ranging about the Virginia countryside. AP's correspondent reports: "Intelligence from Winchester leads to the belief that General Jackson is there in full force."

Indeed, some 3,400 Confederate troops commanded by Jackson will clash with a far larger Union force of about 8,500 troops on March 23, 1862, not far away at Kernston, Va. Federal forces stop Jackson's daring drive, but his campaign sounds alarm bells in Washington.

President Abraham Lincoln, wary of Jackson's threat to the capital from Virginia's neighboring Shenandoah Valley, redirects defensive forces to protect Washington's back door just when Union Gen. George B. McClellan is pressing for all the troops the federal War Department can spare him. McClellan argues a huge force is needed for an all-out attack on Richmond he is planning for his upcoming Peninsula Campaign. And after his campaign fails later in 1862, McClellan will claim he could have captured the seat of the Confederacy if he had had those extra troops at his command.

The Associated Press

Sedition Animation

Does war justify laws against sedition if they also curtail freedom of speech? A new traveling exhibit circulated by the Virginia Historical Society explores these and a host of other timely concerns in "An American Turning Point." Harvest Moon Studio designed and produced "Civil Liberties and Civil War" for this new exhibit marking the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War.