Previous month:
February 2014
Next month:
April 2014

March 2014

Benjamin Henry Grierson


  • Grierson_stone
  • Grierson_Home
  • Grierson_sign
  • BenjaminGrierson&staff
  • Horse soldiers book
  • Col_Grierson_on_Horseback_Harpers_Weekly_1863

 Benjamin Henry Grierson (July 8, 1826 – August 31, 1911) was a music teacher, then a career officer in the United States Army. He was a cavalry general in the volunteer Union Army during the Civil War and later led troops in the American Old West. He is most noted for an 1863 expedition through Confederate-held territory that severed enemy communication lines betweenVicksburg, Mississippi and Confederate commanders in the Eastern Theater. After the war he organized and led the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry Regiment from 1866 to 1888.

Colonel Grierson is a prominent figure in Turner Network Television’s documentary, "Buffalo Soldiers".

The part of Colonel Marlowe, played by John Wayne in the movie The Horse Soldiers, is loosely based on Grierson. 

Horse Soldiers was based on a novel by Harold Sinclair.

Grierson’s Home and grave are in Jacksonville, Illinois

Civil War: The Untold Story on PBS

NEW!! Great Divide Pictures Civil War: The Untold Story (Trailer) from Great Divide Pictures onVimeo.

The struggle between North and South was shaped by events in what was then called the West, the land between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. The region saw some of the conflict's bloodiest encounters (Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chickamauga) and featured iconic leaders from both sides. Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey) narrates a revealing new documentary that takes a fresh look at the Civil War. 

The series premiers this week on many PBS stations

This week in the Civil War for March 30, 1864

Photo Source:

Forces of legendary Confederate cavalry leader Nathan Bedford Forrest swept into Paducah, Ky., on March 25, 1864 and briefly occupied the city — forcing a Union garrison of hundreds of troops to relocate to a fort there. The Union garrison, backed by two gunboats on the nearby Ohio River, refused surrender and shelling of the Confederates by the gunboats ensued.

Forrest's raiders destroyed supplies and rounded up horses, generating panic among civilians before they withdrew. The Associated Press reported on the raid in a detailed dispatch dated March 26, 1864. AP said an estimated force of 5,000 Confederates captured Paducah at 2 p.m. a day earlier, sacking the place and firing weapons. AP reported that a Union officer in charge of the garrison occupied the fort below the city with about 800 men. "The rebels made four assaults on the fort, and were repulsed each time. Three of our gunboats opened on the city during its occupation by the enemy, much of which was burned,"

The AP reported. Some 3,000 civilians had fled the Confederate advance, AP noted, adding they returned home to considerable damages once the raiders pulled out. AP added "Twenty-five houses around the fort were destroyed .. as they were used by the rebel sharpshooters as a screen" during the incursion.

From The Associated Press and Yahoo News

Alonzo Cushing - Medal of Honor

He Was Killed At The Battle of Gettysburg And May Now Be Close To Receiving The Medal Of Honor in 2014! - 
Holding His Intestines With One Hand, Cushing Refused To Leave His Cannons And His Men

  • (As of March 2014, the nomination awaits review by the Defense Department before being approved by President Barack Obama)

Margaret Zerwekh thought Alonzo Cushing deserved the Medal of Honor. So she wrote a letter to her congressman to correct what she thought was an injustice. That was more than three decades ago. Zerwekh is now 93, and Cushing appears to be on the verge of receiving the nation’s highest honor for valor. Tucked deep in the defense bill passed is a provision to posthumously award the Medal of Honor to Cushing, an artillery officer from Delafield killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. Zerwekh can’t remember when she wrote her first letter on behalf of Cushing to then-Sen. William Proxmire, but it was sometime in the 1980s.

Among the many men who died in the nation’s bloodiest battle was Cushing, a first lieutenant in charge of an artillery battery of six cannons and 110 men. On July 3, 1863, the third and final day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Cushing and his soldiers in Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery, were stationed near a small grove of trees in a spot known as “the Angle” because of a nearby stone fence.

The Angle bore the brunt of the tragic and misguided gamble known as Pickett’s Charge. Before Confederate soldiers were sent to their deaths in the charge, Confederate artillery launched a ferocious bombardment that decimated Cushing’s unit. When it stopped, Cushing had only two working cannons and a few soldiers still standing. In the cannonade, a shell fragment pierced Cushing’s shoulder and shrapnel tore through his abdomen and groin. Holding his intestines with one hand, Cushing refused to leave his cannons and his men.

Battery A moved the two remaining guns to a stone wall and blasted away at the charging Confederates. A few seconds after he yelled “I will give them one more shot,” Cushing was struck in the mouth by a bullet that killed him instantly.

He was 22.

Cushing’s body was returned to his family in Delafield, and they buried him at West Point beneath a tombstone inscribed “Faithful until death.”

Read more from Journal Sentinel:  WIKI

From The Civil War Parlor in Tumblr

General Julius Howell, CSA

A Rare Recording At The Library Of Congress- J
ulius Howell, Civil War Confederate General 

Recording of Julius Howell, -Recorded in Washington, DC. Premiered April 15, 2005, on Morning Edition.

—Julius Franklin Howell joined the Confederate Army when he was 16. After surviving a few battles, Howell eventually found himself in a Union prison camp at Point Lookout, Maryland.

In 1947, at the age of 101, Howell made a rare recording at the Library of Congress, in which he described his enlistment, sudden capture, and his experience in the Union prison camp on the morning of April 15th, 1865, the morning Abraham Lincoln died. First photo age 19.

Listen to recording here

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

This week in the Civil War for March 23, 1864

President Abraham Lincoln, on March 26, 1864, issued a proclamation refining his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction issued in December 1863. Originally, Lincoln had offered a full pardon to all who had engaged in rebellion but had desisted and subsequently sworn an oath of allegiance to the Union — with the exception of ranking Confederate leaders and military officers. He also had said a new state government could be formed in areas reclaimed by the Union once a tenth of eligible voters in those areas had taken such a loyalty oath.

The initial proclamation came after federal forces had begun recapturing several areas of the Confederacy. With his new proclamation of March 1864, the president made clear that his 1863 amnesty did not apply to anyone under military or civil confinement, nor to prisoners of war and those detained for crimes of any sort. Lincoln wrote: "On the contrary, it does apply only to those persons who, being yet at large, and free from any arrest ... shall voluntarily come forward and take the said oath, with the purpose of restoring peace and establishing the national authority."

From The Associated Press and Yahoo News

Confederate submariner


This photo may be that of Joseph F. Ridgaway, who served as second in command aboard the Confederate submarine HL Hunley. It may be the only known photograph of any of the 21 men who died serving on the submarine. Purchase Image This photo may be that of Joseph F. Ridgaway, who served as second in command aboard the Confederate submarine HL Hunley. It may be the only known photograph of any of the 21 men who died serving on the submarine. / photo by Brice Stump
Written by Brice Stump

SALISBURY — After 150 years, Joseph Ridgaway, one of the eight crewmen aboard the Confederate submarine HL Hunley, who went down with the sub soon after sinking a Union war ship in 1864, may have a photograph to go with his name and remains.­

A copy of a 2½-by-3½-inch tintype photograph, believed to date to about 1860, is in the process of being examined by members of the Friends of the Hunley in Charleston, S.C., where the submarine, raised in 2000 off the coast of Charleston, is being conserved.­

Kept for almost 25 years in small cardboard box, owner Mark Jeffrey of New Bedford, Mass., said he didn’t know the names of the four men in the tintype, but believed they were his ancestors. The photograph came down through the family to him from Mary Elizabeth Ridgaway, the crewman’s sister. Jeffrey is the great-great-nephew of Joseph Ridgaway.

Years later, that photo ended up in my hands.

Continue reading "Confederate submariner" »

The Fenian Brotherhood

The Fenian Brotherhood favored the Irish or Fenian Sunburst Flag as its emblem in the Civil War

In the mid-19th century the Sunburst motif was widely adopted by Irish Republicans in Ireland and beyond as a symbol of their movement and of their revolutionary ideology. 

Fenian flags tended to conform to the green of Irish nationalist banners rather than the traditional blue and usually showed a pictorial golden sunburst emerging from behind a cloud instead of from below the horizon (with or without the traditional gold Harp). Most Sunbursts were centred in the middle of the flag but some placed the image at the bottom or top-right.

During the American Civil War (1861–1865) many Irish-American regiments and units made use of the Sunburst in their flags (invariably combined with the more conventional Harp). Those that did so normally had large numbers of Fenians in their ranks or were based on previously existing Fenian organisations or groupings (this phenomenon was largely confined to the armies of the Union: for reasons of geography and ideology Confederate forces tended to attract far fewer Fenians from the Irish-American communities).

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

John Singleton Mosby

Group Portrait Showing Col. John Singleton Mosby And Some Members Of His Confederate Battalion-The Confederacy had its share of heroic cavalry officers, including J.E.B Stuart and Nathan Bedford Forrest, but none had quite the mystique of “The Gray Ghost.”

John Singleton Mosby was an unlikely hero. Born in 1833 in Powhatan County, Virginia, he was a sickly child and was often picked on at school. Being bullied did not seem to bother Mosby, however, as he had exceptional self-confidence, and he learned to fight back at an early age.

  • In 1849, he attended the University of Virginia, excelling in Classical Studies, but once again he ran up against bullies. During a confrontation with a fellow student, Mosby pulled a pistol and shot his adversary in the neck. He was promptly arrested, sentenced to one year in jail, and issued a $500 fine. He was also expelled from the university.

After the war, Mosby became the target of ridicule and even received death threats from some Southerners, as he became not only a Republican, but also a campaign manager for President Grant. The two men became great friends.  In 1878, Rutherford B. Hayes appointed Mosby as the U.S. Consul to Hong Kong. Later he worked for the Department of the Interior and as assistant Attorney General.

John Mosby died in 1916 at the age of 82. Of his exploits in the war, he wrote “It is a classical maxim that it is sweet and becoming to die for one’s country; but whoever has seen the horrors of a battlefield feels that it is far sweeter to live for it.”

From The CIvil War Parlor on Tumblr

Fighting Irishman, Patrick Cleburne

Happy Birthday To Fighting Irishman Patrick Cleburne-

Birthday March 17th 1828- And Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Patrick Ronayne Cleburne was born on March 17, 1828, in Ovens, County Cork, Ireland. He was an Anglo-Irish soldier who served in the 41st Regiment of Foot of the British Army. He is, however, best known for his service to the Confederates States of America.

He sided with the Confederacy at the outbreak of the War Between the States and progressed from the rank of private of the local militia to major general.

Cleburne, like many Southerners, did not support the institution of slavery but chose to serve his adopted country out of love for the Southern folks and their quest for independence. In 1864, he advocated the emancipation of Black men to serve in the Confederate Armed Forces. In early 1865, his dream became a reality but it was then too late—the war was lost.

Cleburne participated in the Battles of Shiloh, Richmond, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Ringgold Gap and Franklin. He was killed at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, on November 30, 1864.

Due to his brilliant strategy on the battlefield Gen. Patrick R. Cleburne was nicknamed “Stonewall Jackson of the West.”

Cleburne said before his death at the Battle of Franklin:

“If this cause, that is dear to my heart, is doomed to fail, I pray heaven may let me fall with it, my face is toward the enemy and my arm battling for that which I know is right.”

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr