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August 2014

This week in the Civil War for August 31 1864

06B8A2520A97FA4A89CA7AB589E0E27EF9E114A1_largeThe Confederacy's prized Southern city of Atlanta fell to Union Maj. Gen William T. Sherman and his troops 150 years ago this week in the Civil War. Sherman slashed the supply lines of rival Confederate commanders, hitting at points south of the Georgia city. Confederate attempts to drive back the Union invaders stumbled and the Confederate forces were forced to retreat from Atlanta on Sept. 1, 1864. Sherman's army began occupying the city the following day.

"From Sherman's Army, GLORIOUS NEWS, Atlanta has Fallen" read one of the early headlines dated Sept. 3, 1864, informing the North, in the Cleveland (Ohio) Leader. "General Sherman is reported to have entered Atlanta at nine o'clock yesterday morning," the newspaper added. "The movement by which he entered the place must have been a very bold one." It reported Sherman's forces once heavily arrayed on the northwest side of Atlanta had relocated in large numbers to the southwest side of the city to battle the Confederates there and cut off vital supply lines needed by the rebel army. Another news dispatch dated Sept. 2, 1864, said "General Sherman's advanced Atlanta this morning at 11 o'clock. "The whole Federal force will enter today." The Evening Star of Washington, D.C., said the Confederate defenders had been driven off and the enemy was set to fleeing at night.

From the Associated Press and Yahoo News

Alonzo Cushing to receive Medal of Honor

The White House has announced that a Union Army officer killed at the Battle of Gettysburg will receive the Medal of Honor next month in a White House ceremony. 

The decision to honor 1st. Lt. Alonzo Cushing, originally of Wisconsin, brings a successful end to a campaign by Cushing's descendants and Civil War buffs that began in the late 1980s with a series of letters to then-Wisconsin Sen. William Proxmire. 

Congress granted a special exemption last December for Cushing to receive the award posthumously since recommendations normally have to be made within two years of the act of heroism and the medal awarded within three years.

Continue reading "Alonzo Cushing to receive Medal of Honor" »

William Died Waving His Sword And Shouting “Victory”

Thomas Issac Duvall & William Duvall-
 William Died Waving His Sword And Shouting “Victory”

Thomas Duvall (left) and William Duvall (right), along with brother Henderson, enlisted in Company C, 3rd Missouri Infantry on December 10, 1861, at Richmond, Missouri, after prior service in the Missouri State Guard. William was promoted to lieutenant on May 8, 1862.

The Duvalls fought at Carthage, Wilson’s Creek, Lexington, Pea Ridge, Farmington, Iuka and Corinth. On October 4, 1862, Lieutenant William Duvall was killed during the Confederate attack on Corinth, trying to plant the Confederate flag on the Union fortifications. Lieutenant Colonel Finley L. Hubbell, 3rd Missouri Infantry, recorded in his diary that William died waving his sword and shouting “Victory.”

Thomas Duvall and his brother Henderson were later killed at Champion Hill, Mississippi, on May 16, 1863.

Image Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield; WICR 30171

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

This week in the Civil War for August 24 1864

Confederates bent on control of the railroad supply line near Petersburg, Virginia, fought back against Union forces destroying tracks in the area 150 years ago in the Civil War. A Confederate force on Aug. 25, 1864, outgunned Union forces holding Ream's Station in Virginia, taking prisoners.

The hard fighting near Petersburg, Virginia, over a period of weeks would lead to thousands being wounded, killed or missing in action. The Associated Press reported on Aug. 24, 1864, that Union probing attempts north of Richmond, Virginia, had been called off at the heavily defended entrances to the Confederate capital. Instead, AP said, "nearly all the troops engaged in that movement have been withdrawn to reinforce the Federal lines in front of Petersburg." AP added that the huge Union force was now arrayed south of Petersburg, Virginia, and was attempting "to cut off Gen. (Robert E.) Lee's communications."

 From the Associated Press and ABC News.

Herman Haupt: Locomotives and Bridges

by General Herman Haupt.

I made the following report on how to destroy bridges and locomotive engines expeditiously:

Washington, D. C, November 1, 1862.

A simple and expeditious mode of destroying bridges, and rendering locomotive engines useless to an enemy, is often a desideratum. Cavalry may penetrate far into an enemy’s country, may reach bridges forming viaducts on important lines of communication, which, it may be desirable to break effectually; or, in retreat, the destruction of a bridge may be essential to the safety of an army, and yet time may not be sufficient to gather combustibles, or they may not be accessible, or the fire may be extinguished, or the damage may be so slight as to be easily repaired.

What is required is the means of certainly and effectually throwing down a bridge in a period of time not exceeding five minutes, and with apparatus so simple and portable that it can be carried in the pocket or a saddle-bag.

Continue reading "Herman Haupt: Locomotives and Bridges" »

Robert E. Lee and his Generals

General Lee and his Confederate officers in their first meeting since Appomattox, taken at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, in August 1869, where they met to discuss “the orphaned children of the Lost Cause”. Left to right standing: General James Conner, General Martin Witherspoon Gary, General John B. Magruder, General Robert D. Lilley, General P. G. T. Beauregard, General Alexander Lawton, General Henry A. Wise, General Joseph Lancaster Brent Left to right seated: Blacque Bey (Turkish Minister to the United States), General Robert E. Lee, Philanthropist George Peabody, Philanthropist William Wilson Corcoran, James Lyons (Virginia)


This week in the Civil War for August 17 1864

Sharpshooters in the Petersburg Campaign-600

While Union Maj. Gen. William Sherman's forces were trying to outmaneuver Confederates defending Atlanta 150 years ago in the Civil War, the fighting also continued near Petersburg, Virginia. Union soldiers sought to seize a key railroad route near Petersburg in mid-August of 1864 but Confederates in that city, not far from the secessionist capital of Richmond, Virginia, fought back. Ultimately, Union forces gained the momentum and began tearing up the tracks.

The Baltimore Sun of Maryland, meanwhile, cited The Associated Press on Aug. 17, 1864, as saying Union forces had pressed at one point within nine miles of the outskirts of Richmond. According to the report, two groups of Union soldiers had stealthily landed on the north side of the James River in Virginia not far from the Confederate capital, managing to overrun two defensive lines of Confederate earthworks before they could go no further. AP reported that the fighting involved artillery and musket fire that raged for hours before subsiding.

From Yahoo News and the Associated Press

Loaded cannon at the Cabildo


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 Bill Capo / Eyewitness News WWL

NEW ORLEANS - Work is already underway at the historic Cabildo to prepare for a special celebration in January to mark the bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans.

"Well, this is going to be the keystone exhibition for the country about the Battle of New Orleans," said state museums executive director Mark Tullos.

The exhibit will contain artifacts and descriptions of General Andrew Jackson leading American troops to victory against a far superior British force.

"This was the most important battle, I believe, in our country's history," said Tullos. "We would not be a free nation if we had lost the Battle of New Orleans."

The first thing you see is a large cannon that sits at the Cabildo entrance, a naval cannon from the Spanish Colonial era that was used at the Battle of New Orleans. 

Continue reading "Loaded cannon at the Cabildo" »

Headstones for veterans unmarked graves

(Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer)

By Brian Albrecht, The Plain Dealer 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The recent introduction of a bipartisan bill by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) to provide headstones for historic unmarked veterans graves came as welcome news to state and local historians.

The "Honor Those Who Served Act of 2014" would enable veterans service agencies, military researchers, historians or genealogists to request a free headstone or marker from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a veteran's grave.

Until 2012 the VA provided headstones for unmarked veterans' graves based on documentation of that vet's identity and service provided by these groups or individuals.

Continue reading "Headstones for veterans unmarked graves" »

Ciil War Treasure


Anna Hider

You don't have to head all the way out to the Wild West if you're in search of buried fact, there are reports that there is a cache of Civil War-era valuables worth upwards of $350,000 buried deep in the woods of Fairfax County, Virginia. That's a lot of booty!

It all started when Confederate Colonel (and notorious guerilla fighter) John Singleton Mosby launched a daring night raid one rainy night in early March of 1863. Mosby and his men captured 42 Union soldiers who were camping out at the Fairfax County Courthouse without firing a single shot. The Confederate army also, according to legend, found a burlap sack containing family heirlooms and treasures taken from the homes of Virginia's wealthiest planters in Brigadier General Edwin H. Stoughton's room. Jewerly, candlesticks, coins and more were reportedly among the booty that was on its way to Union authorities. Mosby and his men rounded up their captives, packed up the treasure and headed back towards Confederate lines.