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March 2012

Confederate Conscription

Civil War - Conscription Animation from Mark Lindquist on Vimeo.

A new traveling exhibit circulated by the Virginia Historical Society explores 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. "Civil Liberties and Civil War" presents two animated movies about hotly debated issues—anti-sedition laws and tough conscription enforcement.

Client: Virginia Historical Society
Production Company: Harvest Moon Studio


Bullet Casting


Spent the morning at a friend's place casting bullets. We used a variety of moulds including two 19th Century Winchester moulds for .45 Long Colt and .45-70 Government. The .58 Cal. Minie Ball was made from a modern Lyman mould that duplicates the Civil War era bullet. 

Sherman's March: Was It a War Crime?


Presentation by Walter Hall at the George E. Dixon Camp 1962, March 1, 2012 Camp Meeting. Walter Hall discusses several war crime charges and specification brought against Sherman and contrast them against the laws of war. Camp members vote on each specification in this mock trial.

This Week in the Civil War - March 11, 1862


McClellan's demotion, River shelling.

This week in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln relieves Major Gen. George B. McClellan of his title as general-in-chief of all federal armies. McClellan is a greater organizer who whipped once-disorganized Union troops into a veritable fighting force. But Lincoln and others in Washington are growing impatient after repeatedly urging McClellan to attack Confederate foes.

Despite Lincoln's action, McClellan still commands the Army of the Potomac, a key cog in the federal war machine. Yet Lincoln will have to wait weeks for McClellan to finish preparations to marshal n elaborate campaign against Richmond, capital of the Confederacy, that will later be waged — unsuccessfully — from the Virginia coastal peninsula.

Elsewhere this week, Union forces occupy New Madrid in Missouri but frequent shelling continues nearby on the Mississippi River. An Associated Press reporter in a dispatch March 16, 1862, reports he is aboard a federal flagship in a flotilla patrolling the river and sporadic artillery firing has erupted near the Confederate stronghold at Island No. 10. "The flotilla got under way at 5:30 a.m. this morning and dropped down slowly till about 7 o'clock where the flag ship, being about 27 miles ahead and six miles above the island, discovered a stern wheel steamer run out from Shelter Point on the Kentucky shore, and started down the river.

Four shells were thrown after her, but the distance, however, was too great for the shots to take effect." The AP correspondent reports a day later that Confederate forces at Island No. 10 have formidable encampments, large enough to hold thousands of troops. He notes "46 guns have been counted" and adds that more than tension fills the air: "Firing was heard in the direction of New Madrid all day."

The Associated Press

Forever stamps issued for the sesquicentennial

  • Stamp_Fort_Sumter
  • Stamp_first-bull-run

VIENNA,Va., March 7, 2012 — The first stamps of the four year Civil War sesquicentennial have been unveiled by Post Office officials in Charleston, S.C.  Stamps will be issued annually in commemoration of the 150-year anniversary of the Civil War, which raged from 1861–1865, beginning when the opening shots were fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

The site of the new stamps is within earshot of the place where the attack took place, having the honor of being the first stamp. Its companion stamp shows the fighting at the Battle of First Manassas or Bull Run as it was called in the North. The accompanying description of the battle fails to state that the Southern troops won the battle, saying only that while the Northern Army had hoped to “crush the rebels,” instead they witnessed “fierce resistance from Southern troops and a preview of the long war to come.” Translation: the South won.

The stamps will be issued on a two-sided sheet, six of each design on the front, and a description of what they portray on the reverse. It is anticipated that a large number of the stamps will not be used for postage, but will become collectors’ items.

Read more at the Washington Times

The Real John Carter


I've waited 50 years for this movie.

This weekend Disney releases, John Carter, the first movie adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars.  As a young reader in the 1960s I was intrigued by the main character. John Carter was one of the few Confederate heroes in adventure fiction.  

Carter, a Confederate captain is transported to Barsoom (Mars) where he becomes embroiled in another Civil War; not one of his choosing. But like our Civil War, the war on Barsoom  could be rightly called, "a rich man's war and a poor man's fight." Carter becomes embroiled in a struggle that changes the future of his new world.

As unique as John Carter is there have been a hand full of Confederate movie heroes.  from Cold Mountain, The Outlaw Josey Wales, and even Birth of a Nation, Confederate soldiers have been portrayed as both noble and broken.  see more at  Screen Junkies.

But lets not forget the real John Carter:

Continue reading "The Real John Carter" »

Jefferson Davis Final Home


Presentation by Commander Mark Morgan at the George E. Dixon Camp 1962, March 2, 2012 Camp Meeting. Mark discusses the final home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis located in Beauvior, Mississippi. He covers the purchasing of the home, it's history, the Davis family, and it's restoration as the result of Hurricane Katrina.

See: Louise Desporte

This week in the Civil War - March 4, 1862



New Madrid besieged, battle of ironclads.


This week 150 years ago in the Civil War, Union forces besiege New Madrid, Mo., seeking to gain control at this juncture of the Mississippi River. The attackers march overland, arriving near New Madrid on March 3, 1862.

The siege will last for days and only after heavy Union guns are brought in will the Confederate defenders retreat. Union forces will occupy the recently deserted city on March 14, 1862. Now the fight for control of the Mississippi will shift to other areas of the river — with The Associated Press reporting the Confederates "have a very strong position" on Island No. 10, not far from New Madrid.

This week also sees a new era of naval warfare open when ironclad ships — vessels sheathed in stout armor — clash near Hampton Roads, Va. On March 8, 1862, the Confederate ironclad CSS Virginia attacks a squadron of Union naval forces at Hampton Roads, destroying two ships and stranding a third, the Minnesota. The Monitor arrives the following day and the battle is on. The two ironclads circle and fire at each other for several hours that morning, neither sinking or seriously damaging the other.

At midday, the Monitor attempts to ram the Virginia but a steering malfunction leads the Monitor to miss the Virginia's fantail. As the Monitor passes the stern of the Virginia, the Monitor's pilothouse is hit by a shell and breaks off action. Soon the Virginia retreats to the nearby Elizabeth River, unable to finish off the damaged Minnesota. The outcome is indecisive. Union forces still dominate Hampton Roads and the Confederates still control several rivers and nearby Norfolk, Va. But history has been made. Though French and British fleets had begun building ironclad ships by the time the American conflict opened, the new naval technology hadn't been tried in battle until now.

The Associated Press

Faces of 2 USS Monitor crewmembers reconstructed


By Steve SzkotakAssociated Press 

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.

Read the full article at