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July 2012

McLean House, Appomattox

 Ms. Novie Fuld as Martha Trent Ragland. The Ragland family bought the McLean House shortly after the surrender of General Lee's Confederate forces to the Union troops under the command of General Grant. In this clip Martha introduces her family. This is part of a longer program recorded on July 12, 2012, at the Lt. George E. Dixon Camp #1962, Sons of Confederate Veterans meeting in Belleville, Illinois.

Ms. Fuld is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. This was Ms. Fuld's first performance as Martha Trent.


Groundhogs Steal Flags at Civil War Cemetery


Police in Hudson, N.Y., have solved the mystery of who was stealing American flags from the tombstones of Civil War veterans in the Grand Army of the Republic section in Cedar Park Cemetery.

Around 75 flags were reportedly missing in the days leading up to the Fourth of July. In one night alone, 17 flags were swiped.  So the Hudson police set up cameras to catch the culprit.

Turns out it was an ambitious woodchuck snacking on Old Glory. Mayor Bill Hallenback said he’s glad the bandit didn’t turn out to be a resident of the area.

“I’m glad we don’t have someone who has taken it upon themselves to desecrate the stones and the flags in front of them,” Hallenback told the Register-Star.

Continue reading "Groundhogs Steal Flags at Civil War Cemetery" »

Las Cruces Tea Party flew Confederate flag on Fourth of July parade float


Bitter words are being exchanged between the Las Cruces mayor and the city's Tea Party over a parade float.

The Tea Party's float won best of show at the Las Cruces Fourth of July parade.

The float prominently displayed a Confederate flag.

Continue reading "Las Cruces Tea Party flew Confederate flag on Fourth of July parade float" »

This Week in the Civil War - July 8, 1862

This week 150 years ago in the Civil War saw Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedfort Forrest capture a Union garrison at Murfreesboro, Tenn., after a surprise attack by his cavalry. Forrest and his fighters staged a dramatic offensive against some 900 Union troops that July 13, 1862, and forced the surrender of the federal garrison.

At the time, Murfreesboro was a key Union supply point on the Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad. Before dawn on that date, Forrest's riders surprised Union pickets and then overran a Union hospital before more rebel troops attacked other Union camps around Murfreesboro. Forrest's daring not only led to the destruction of railroad tracks and supplies but also stopped Union forces intent on driving on to Chattanooga.

All told more than 1,000 casualties were reported. Forrest would not be able to hang onto the town for long, but his raid was the first of many bold strikes into Union-held territory that would make him one of the famous fighters of the war. The Associated Press was one of the first with news of Forrest's exploit on July 15, 1862.

One Northern newspaper reported then that "A special dispatch to the Associated Press says that Murfreesborough has been taken by the confederates, who are mostly Texan Rangers under Colonel Forrest, but was afterwards shelled by our battery." The dispatch reported two ranking Union officers were among those taken prisoner when the federal garrison fell. An AP dispatch a day later reported that rebels afterward spirited away captured officers but released privates in the ranks. "The citizens are taking good care of the wounded, and have buried the dead left by the rebels," AP added.

 From ABC News and the Associated Press

July 4, 1861, Richmond Virginia

From the Richmond Dispatch, 7/5/1861, p. 2

Public Guard. - This well drilled corps made its customary annual appearance on our streets yesterday, by way of celebrating the 4th. They were under the command of Lieut. Edward S. Gay, and were much admired for their soldierly bearing, as well as for the regularity of their movement and neatness of uniform.

They went through the evolutions and fired twelve rounds on Capitol Square, eleven being in honor of the Confederate States, and one for the Legislature of Maryland. The guard was accompanied by its splendid brass band, whose performance of the Marseillaise on the public square enthused many French volunteers from other States. Col. Thomas, the gallant Marylander, was also present in his Zouave dress, an interested spectator. He attracted much respectful attention.

This Week in the Civil War - July 1, 1862

Malvern Hill battle field
This week opened 150 years ago in the Civil War with the roaring finish to the Seven Days' Battle — that bloody, pivotal week of combat between Union and Confederate forces in swampy terrain outside Richmond, Va. The Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1, 1862, opened when Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee unleashed a flurry of brazen assaults on the virtually impregnable Union position atop the hill.

Union forces commanded by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan fired back, mowing down Southern soldiers trying to charge up the grassy slope toward them. All told, the Confederacy suffered more than 5,300 casualties in the day's fighting, defeated at Malvern Hill. But while the Union appeared to end the week of fighting on a strong note, McClellan was effectively withdrawing his massive army to the protection of federal gunboats on the James River.

And soon he would be pulling out of the area entirely, cutting short his long-planned Peninsula Campaign and its aim of taking Richmond. Lee would soon return to Richmond a hero, lionized in the South for successfully defending the capital of the Confederacy from the Union onslaught. Lee later wrote that his true aim at the time was to crush the federal army as a fighting force. "Under ordinary circumstances the Federal Army should have been destroyed," he wrote.

But he noted that Malvern Hill had afforded the Union army a "position of great natural strength" to retreat. And he said bad weather and the battle-weariness of his fighters stymied attempts to pursue the enemy army on its retreat. As The Richmond Examiner reported of the climactic week of fighting, Southern forces went into the battle "with coats off and sleeves rolled up, fighting like tigers."

The Associated Press and ABC News