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September 2013

Grierson's Raid marker

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) — The city of Starkville has a new marker for Civil War enthusiasts to enjoy.

This historical marker was unveiled Saturday in a ceremony for Mississippi's recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

This new marker represents Union General Grierson's raid that started in Tennessee and ended in Starkville in 1863.

The sign stands on the corner of Highway 12 and Louisville Street in Starkville.

One organizer says this dedication helps people to remember the importance of the Civil War.

"The Civil War is one of those events that made us who we are today," Golden Triangle Civil War Round Table member C.J. Johnson. "Before the civil war we were considered individual states joined together."

Johnson says Grierson's Raid is the only significant civil war event that happened in Starkville.
From: WTVA

Boston Tiger Fire Zouaves

Zoeth Knowles -  Company K of the 19th Massachusetts Regiment of the Infantry, known as the “Boston Tiger Fire Zouaves.” 

A history of the regiment noted that members of this company wore light blue baggy trousers, dark blue jackets with buttons and dark blue fez caps. Despite the successes of the Zouave in the Crimean War, it was not until 1859 that the first widely publicized American Zouave unit was formed. The first Zouave regiment in the Civil War, the 9th New York Volunteer Infantry or Hawkin’s Zouaves, was mustered in on April 23, 1861. Other cities and states in the North and the South also saw the creation of Zouave units. One French language newspaper commented “Ils pleut des Zouaves” (It is raining Zouaves) because there were so many of the units formed in 1861. There were Zouaves present at every major Civil War battle from First Manassas or First Bull Run to Appomattox.

Source: Zouaves the First and the Bravest by Michael J. McAfee (Thomas Publications, 1991.) 

Photo credits: Theodore Cloues, ca. 1864. Unidentified Photographer, Probably Boston. Gift of the Cloues Family, 96.045.3.

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

This week in the Civil War for September 29 1863

Engraving from:

The armored Union warship USS New Ironsides came under attack the night of Oct. 5, 1863, while patrolling near Charleston, S.C. The attack by the Confederate steam-powered torpedo boat CSS David inflicted damage on the warship but it manage to escape worse fate and remained active in enforcing a Union blockade of Confederate ports well after the attack.

Charleston Harbor, where the Civil War had begun with the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, was a major target of Union warships seeking to enforce the blockade against gunrunners and other smugglers seeking to transport supplies to the secessionists. But the last major Union attempt to take Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor went down in failure in early September 1863. At the time, about 500 Union soldiers and Marines in small boats had approached Sumter in an unusual nighttime operation only to see five Union troops killed, several wounded and more captured.

Though the Confederates suffered no loss of life, the blockade that brought USS New Ironsides to waters outside Charleston would only be solidified through the rest of the war — creating no real imperative for the Union to try further to take Charleston militarily.

From: ABCnews.go and the Associated Press

Who fired the first shot?

In answer to a captured Yankee Colonel’s question, “Who fired the first shot?” An unidentified Confederate private responds in May 1862 after Jackson’s liberation of Winchester VA.: 

“John Brown at Harper’s Ferry, sir, he fired the first gun and Mr. Lincoln, in attempting to reinforce Sumter, fired the second gun. And the Confederates have acted on the defensive all of the time. We did not invade your country, but you invaded ours, you go home and attend to your own business and leave us to ours and the war will close at once.”

From Defending the Heritage on Face Book

Battle Cry of Freedom - Confederate Version


Our flag is proudly floating on the land and on the main,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Beneath it oft we've conquered, and we'll conquer oft again!
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Our Dixie forever! She's never at a loss!
Down with the eagle and up with the cross
We'll rally 'round the bonny flag, we'll rally once again,
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Our gallant boys have marched to the rolling of the drums.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
And the leaders in charge cry out, "Come, boys, come!"
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
They have laid down their lives on the bloody battle field.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Their motto is resistance – "To the tyrants never yield!"
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
While our boys have responded and to the fields have gone.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!
Our noble women also have aided them at home.
Shout, shout the battle cry of Freedom!

Battle of Chickamauga reenactment


McLEMORE'S COVE, Ga. — Choking clouds of dust swallowed up Civil War soldiers 150 years ago at the Battle of Chickamauga.

That wasn't a problem at Saturday's battle reenactment at Mountain Cove Farms, where it rained from the middle of the night until about 2 p.m.

Still, many of the 5,000 reenactors and 6,500 spectators seemed to have a good time, despite torrential rain that made a muddy mess of things.

"I've been to worse. I've been to much worse," said Scott Bloodworth, a Confederate infantryman reenactor from Jackson, Tenn.

Read more at the Times Free Press

Continue reading "Battle of Chickamauga reenactment" »


"BLOODY FRACAS IN BEAUREGARD'S ARMY ABOUT A PINT OF WHISKY.--A fight occurred in Beauregard's army between the Border Guards and the Wise Artillery, when a number were wounded, including Capt. John Q. A. Nadenbush of the Berkley Guards, and Capt. E. G. Albertis of the Wise Artillery. The fracas arose in consequence of a woman named Bella Boyd refusing to sell a bottle of whisky to a soldier. She demanded two dollars for a pint bottle; soldier offered one; Mrs. Boyd refused to sell; soldier seized bottle; woman drew a knife; soldier did the same; Wise Artillery interfered in behalf of woman, and Border Guards Artillery for soldier. It was a fierce conflict, and was only ended by the interference of general officers. Twenty or thirty were badly wounded." (lower right-hand corner)

This week in the Civil War for September 22 1863

General Ben Hardin Helm, Commander of Kentucky's Orphan Brigade and brother-in-Law of President Lincoln, leads the 2nd Kentucky against George Thomas' Federals at Chickamauga. Source:

Union fighters who had previously occupied Chattanooga, Tenn., would see Confederate opponents pushing back this month 150 years ago in the war in hopes of retaking lost ground.

Confederate fighters under the command of Braxton Bragg clashed with Union forces in late September of 1863 in northwest Georgia, amid a Confederate aime to recapture nearby Chattanooga, Tenn. The fighting erupted in earnest at Chickamauga in extreme northwest Georgia on Sept. 19 of that year. Combat raged for hours with the Union line stubbornly holding.

But a Union general's attempt to shore up a perceived gap in his lines created an opening for Confederate James Longstreet to break through during a two-day battle before Union forces regrouped and stopped Longstreet's strike force. In the end, Confederates won a costly but critical battlefield victory. By Sept. 20, 1863, the secessionists had gained enough ground to begin positioning themselves on mountain heights around Chattanooga, menacing Union forces holding the city. All told, some 16,000 Union and 18,000 Confederate casualties were reckoned as the toll at Chickamauga — some of the bloodiest fighting in the so-called Western theater.

The Confederate achievement would allow Bragg's army to besiege Union troops occupying Chattanooga enough to throttle the federal supply line for weeks. Fresh Union forces would begin arriving in the coming weeks and the Union's William T. Sherman would arrive by November before fighting later in 1863 would drive Confederates from the region.

From ABC News and the Associated Press

Stonewall Jackson's Death Bed


Let Us Cross Over The River, And Rest Under The Shade Of The Trees”

After being wounded at Chancellorsville, Stonewall Jackson was carried behind the lines to the Wilderness Tavern, where Doctor Hunter H. McGuire removed his injured left arm just two inches below the shoulder. The general was then taken by horse-drawn ambulance a distance of 27 miles to Guinea Station on the R. F. & P. Railroad, where be would rest before continuing on to Richmond. For six days he remained at Guinea, occupying the farm office of Thomas Chandler’s home, “Fairfield.” At first, he showed signs of recovery, but later in the week pneumonia set in and by Sunday, May 10, doctors gave up all hope of his recovery. In the following account, Dr. McGuire recalled the general’s quiet faith and courage in the final hours of his life.

His mind began to fail and wander, and he frequently talked as if in command upon the field, giving orders in his old way; then the scene shifted, and he was at the mess-table, in conversation with members of his staff; now with his wife and child; now at prayers with his military family. Occasional intervals of return of his mind would appear, and during one of them, I offered him some brandy and water, but he declined it, saying, ‘It will only delay my departure, and do no good; I want to preserve my mind, if possible, to the last.’ About half-past one, he was told that he had but two hours to live, and he answered again, feebly, but firmly, 'Very good, it is all right.' A few moments before he died he cried out in his delirium, ‘Order A. P. Hill to prepare for action! pass the infantry to the front rapidly! tell Major Hawks’—then stopped, leaving the sentence unfinished. Presently, a smile of ineffable sweetness spread itself over his pale face, and he said quietly, and with an expression, as if of relief, ‘Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees;’ and then, without pain, or the least struggle, his spirit passed from earth to the God who gave it.”

From: The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

Future of Civil War re-enactment events rests on the young

Laura Garcia | Laker Weekly Richard Jennings, 12 (from left), Nathan Jennings, 14, Matthew Furr, 14, Doug Camper and Jacob Jennings, 9, relax Friday outside of Jubal A. Early Homeplace.

It’s doubtful that Nathan Jennings’ knowledge of the Civil War can be matched by many his age .

Last weekend, he camped out at LakeWatch Plantation in a field with friends and kin for Franklin County Civil War Days. They slept under makeshift tents and wore uniforms fit for a soldier.

“I do it for the fun and to educate people,” the Rocky Mount teen said. “How many people do you know who actually get to do this?”

Nathan started participating in re-enactments about two years ago, and at 14 , he’s not far from the age of some Civil War soldiers, especially those fighting toward the end of the war. Nathan, along with his two younger brothers, Richard and Jacob, and their mother, Kim Jennings-Valerga, participated in the weekend events.

On Sept. 7, Nathan and his friend Matthew Furr, 14, sat on the lawn of Gen. Jubal A. Early’s homeplace and talked about how to get authentic-looking wooden canteens for future Civil War re-enactments. The next day, he could be seen leading a group of boys in formation for drills.

Nathan said his sense of duty and seriousness about history was inherited from his uncle, Doug Camper, a Civil War re-enactor for 23 years.

Most re-enactors are Camper’s age and older, which will create problems for both authenticity and the future of Civil War re-enactments if young people keep losing interest.

Camper said this event had fewer re-enactors than in previous years, but the volunteers made it work, although some had to change coats mid-battle to play the opposition. Camper said despite luring his nephews into his favorite hobby, recruitment of all ages is difficult, in part because of the equipment expense; a brand-new replica of a Civil War-era rifle can cost $1,000.

He said re-enactors take their roles seriously .

“It’s about learning the history and teaching the history,” Camper said.

David Palmer of Boutetourt County, who played Gen. Robert E. Lee during the event, said that for many children, watching living-history re-enactments could be their only exposure to the Civil War.

“It does concern me,” he said. “So many people are so ignorant of our history. That’s why we do what we do.”

Palmer said participants sat around the campfire at the encampments and discussed politics and social issues .

Having enough participation on the battlefield is one thing, but the re-enactments wouldn’t be complete without the women of the Order of the Confederate Rose in their Civil War-era dresses. Paula Meador of Roanoke said that unlike the men’s groups, members don’t have to prove lineage to participate.

“You just have to love the South,” she said.

Ditty Speed of Wirtz chimed in, “And we do love the South.”

Both locals and visitors attended the Civil War Days, which included vendors and a view of battle re-enactments complete with loud cannons and rifles. The spirit of the South could be heard after the battle on Saturday when a Confederate soldier yelled out to a large crowd of spectators, “Virginia!”

Curtis and Brandi Cornell of Moneta said it was their first time attending a Civil War re-enactment. They brought their daughter Ashtyn, 9, and her friend, Emily Newman, 10, who enjoyed seeing the horses used by the cavalry.

“I thought it was a good way to learn about it,” Emily said.