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February 2013

Confederate pinfire revovler


Confederate Brass Pinfire Revolver,

Made by Confederate factories during the American Civil War, this interesting revolver is almost entirely made of brass.  The reason for this was because the South was not as industrialized as the North, and lacked the skills and machinery to forge small iron parts.  This was also confounded by the shortage of iron in the South due to Union blockades.  Many arms makers attempted to produce pistols out of alternative metals such as brass.  This example here is a 9mm pinfire revolver.  Surviving brass Confederate revolvers today are very rare.

Sold At Auction: $6,000

from iCollector

General Hooker's men

Rare Gallery Card-Staged Civil War Roughhousing Scene w/ General Hooker’s Men

3 x 4” photo by Gardner & Gibson, 1862 copyright. This scarce image pictures General Hooker’s staff in a “staged roughhousing” scene. The men are identified from left as “unidentified, Col. Benjamin C. Ludlow, Lt. Col. Joseph Dickinson, Captain Ulric Dahlgren, Lt. Ronald S. Mackenzie, Lt. Col. Edward R. Warner, Major Daniel Webster Flagler, Captain Henry Russell, and Captain John R. Rose. Source : Railsplitter

The week in the Civil War for Sunday February 24, 1863

Fig37Art  from the National Parks Service

The USS Indianola, an ironclad that joined the Union's Mississippi River squadron in early 1863, had run the gauntlet of Confederate artillery at Vicksburg, Miss., on Feb. 13, 1863.

But the recently built gunboat with armored plating and 11-inch Dahlgren guns would soon meet an early demise. While patrolling the Mississippi near the mouth of the Red River, the Indianola came under attack Feb. 24, 1863, by two enemy rams. Pursued and rammed several times, the Union ironclad lost power and ran aground.

Its crew had no choice but to surrender. The loss of the Indianola struck a major blow to the Union Navy in its struggle to gain supremacy over the lower Mississippi. Days afterward, The Mobile Advertiser & Register in Alabama reported on the Indianola's surrender in a dispatch from Port Gibson, Miss. The report quoted Confederate Lt. Col. Fred B. Brand as saying vessels under his control pursued the U.S. ironclad and "engaged her for an hour."

Some of the fighting was at close quarters before it was quickly over. "We went alongside, when Commander Lieut. Brown, U.S.N., surrendered to me. As all credit is due to (Confederate) Major Brent, I have turned over to him, in a sinking condition, the prize which we hope to save. Only five were hurt."

Confederate forces, hoping to claim the partially sunk river gunboat as their own, did try to salvage the Indianola but detonated the ship's magazine when another Union vessel approached. Badly damaged by the blast, the Indianola would never be restored to service even after the Union took Vicksburg in July 1863. Elsewhere this week 150 years ago in the war, Confederate fighters seized and destroyed Union supplies being carried by mule train through Tennessee.

From ABC News Go and the Associated Press

The First Virginia Militia

The 1st Virginia Militia or the “Richmond Grays” This image is one of the most misidentified photographs published about the Civil War. Usually referred to as ‘young Confederates off to war’ it actually shows members of Company A, First Virginia Infantry, the “Richmond Grays,” at John Brown’s execution in 1859. The Valentine Museum They posed for this famous photograph while on guard duty in Charles Town, VA (now Charlestown, WV) during the trial and execution of John Brown. The ‘Grays,’ like the “Continental Morgan Guard” is perpetuated in the Virginia Guard today, as a element of the 276th Engineer Battalion. Virginia National Guard Historical Collection

from The Civil War Parlor

The Typical Confederate Soldier

With his trusty gun in hand - an Enfield rifle, also captured from the enemy and substituted for the old flint-lock musket or the shotgun with which he was originally armed - Johnny reb, thus imperfectly sketched, stands in his shreds and patches a marvelous ensemble - picturesque, grotesque, unique - the model citizen soldier, the military hero of the nineteenth century. 

 There is none of the tinsel or trappings of the professional about him. From an esthetic military point of view he must appear a sorry looking soldier. But Johnny is not one of your dress parade soldiers. He doesn't care a copper whether anybody likes his looks or not. He is the most independent soldier that ever belonged to an organized army. 

Continue reading "The Typical Confederate Soldier" »

Personal items of Stonewall Jackson

Personal Items of Stonewall Jackson-
Jackson in death became an icon of Southern heroism and commitment, joining Lee in the pantheon of the “The Lost Cause”

Personal items of General Stonewall Jackson include an old high-topped forage cap, spurs which were on his boots when he was fatally wounded and the cloth showing blood from his wound. (Photo Credit: Tria Giovan/CORBIS)

This week in the Civil War for February 17, 1863

Union ironclad Indianola threatens lower Mississippi. From Ozark Civil War

This week 150 years ago in the Civil War saw Union and Confederate gunboats vying for control of the lower Mississippi River and its tributaries.

The winter of 1863 brings a formidable new player into play: a powerful ironclad riverboat called The USS Indianola. The fortified city of Vicksburg, Miss., atop bluffs lining the Mississippi River, remained in Confederate hands at this stage of the war. But Union forces have eventual hopes of wresting Vicksburg and other points downriver from the Confederacy to gain supremacy over the entire river. If the entire waterway could be seized by the Union, it would effectively split the Confederacy in two. To that end, the Union in mid-February 1863 sent the Cincinnati-built Indianola down the Mississippi.

On Feb. 13, the Indianola rushed passed Confederate guns firing from Vicksburg. None of the rebel shots struck the Indianola. But Confederate gunboats and rebel rams still plied the river nearby and posed a danger that would doom the Indianola within days.

Elsewhere, winter has prevented major fighting. Both sides await better weather and passable roads. Soldiers trade letters with loved ones back home, where many worry about those missing or lost to combat or disease.

One commanding officer wrote in a note from Tennessee — published Feb. 23, 1863, in the Daily Illinois state Journal in Springfield, Ill. — that loved ones could rest assured that soldiers who recently died had been buried with proper tombstones near Memphis. "Each grave is marked with a head and foot board, on which is inscribed the name, age and place of residence — so that the last resting place of each one may be readily identified," wrote col. N. Niles.

From ABC News and the Associated Press

Horrible death of Confederate prisoners.

The Daily Dispatch: February 17, 1863.

The death by freezing of twelve Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas, Ohio, has been noticed. The 65th Illinois (Scotch) regiment, on guard there, held a meeting and protested against the condition of the camp and barracks. The Chicago Times has the following particulars of the death of the prisoners:

Word was brought to the city last evening that during the night of Sunday, twelve of the Confederate prisoners confined in the pens at Camp Douglas were frozen to death. It is asserted that on Mondaymorning they were found in the miserable handful of hay in their bunks frozen stiff, though to all appearances in the enjoyment of perfect health the day previous. The barracks at Camp Douglas are well known to be totally unfitted during the prevalence of such weather as the present, for the use of anything, scarcely cattle. These in which these prisoners are confined are many of them destitute of stoves; the windows in some of them are broken out, and through the holes and the cracks in the sides and the apertures in the roof the cold wind freely enters.

It is said that the local officers at the camp, actuated by a humanity their superiors might pattern after with profit, have done all in their power to make the condition of the prisoners comfortable. But there are those above them who have a terribles in to answer for. It were mercy that, after their capitulation, our cannon had been turned upon these prisoners, and butchred them where they stood, than that from a far Southern clime, without any preparation being made for their comfort or protection they should be transported hither, to meet with scarcely anything worthy the name of shelter, the fierce rigors of a Northern winter-- to be murdered by neglect — to endure the tortures of a death by cold.

From The Richmond Daily Dispatch

Cairo, Illinois, February 16, 1863

Cairo, Ill., February 16, 1863. 

SIR: We beg to remind you that Marcus A. and John L. Jones, late residents of Chicot County, Ark., having first procured your verbal permission to remove 23 bales of cotton on 3d instant, caused the same to be placed on board gunboat Tyler and reported to you, and it was afterwards by your order transferred to naval transport New National, and by her brought to this port and delivered to Captain Pennock, U. S. Navy, who, in the absence of your written instructions, does not feel at liberty to surrender the cotton to the owners, as was contemplated by you. One of the owners of the cotton was allowed to accompany it, with your verbal assurance that your official orders would place it at his command on arrival here. This, however, we presume you omitted to direct to be done, as Captain Pennock claims to have no authority from you for its delivery. 

You will not fail to appreciate the disappointment of the owners, when we assure you that they are here in great destitution and distress, with a family of 10 persons and without a dollar in the world, and depending upon this remnant of their property to relieve them. It is a case appealing so directly to our sympathies that we could not refuse, at their urgent request, to call your attention to the facts, and ask you to direct that their property, against which there is not a pretext of complaint, be restored to them. 



Acting Rear-Admiral D. D. PORTER, 
U. S. Navy, Commanding Mississippi Squadron.

From The American Civil War