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September 2015

Capt. Joseph Ogle


Joseph Ogle, the son of Benjamin Ogle and Rebecca Browner, is believed to have been been born 17 June 1737 on Owens Creek, Frederick Co., Maryland.
Joseph served in 1775 as a Lieutenant in the Company of George Mcculloch.
In 1802 he moved to Ridge Prairie (near Modern O'Fallon, Illinois) and helped build the Shiloh United Methodist Church.
The Ogle/Ogles Family dedicated a memorial to his legacy in the Shiloh Valley Cemetery in Shiloh, Illinois, on September 27, 2015.
The ceremony was present by the Ogle/Ogles Family Association, The Lewis and Clark Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, and the Belleville Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. 

Confederate prisoners at Belle Plain Landing, Va.

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Confederate prisoners at Belle Plain Landing, Va., captured with Johnson’s Division, May 12, 1864

Series probably taken by an unknown photographer of Matthew Brady’s firm on May 16th or 17th, 1864. The "Punch Bowl" was the informal name for a series of ravines at Belle Plain, Virginia, that became a temporary holding area for Confederate’s captured during the Overland Campaign. 

Arguing against their identity as Johnson’s Division is the fact that one of the other shots taken on this visit to the Punch Bowl shows a group of prisoners around a dugout. Historian William Frassanito was able to enlarge the image to show a hat insignia reading “AL 4”, presumably the 4th Alabama of Field’s Division, Longstreet’s Corps.  About 7500 prisoners from both the Wilderness and Spotsylvania were moved through this holding area between May 13th to 18th. Only about 3000 of those were from Johnson’s Division.

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

Drumming out

Are you familiar with the historical military practice of drumming a soldier out of the army?

This process of dishonorably discharging a soldier had its origins in the British army in the 17th century and was later picked up by the American military. Soldiers could be drummed out for a variety of reasons, from thievery to desertion. 

Usually, during a drumming out, the guilty man’s head was shaved, the insignia and buttons taken from his uniform, and a sign detailing his crime hung around his neck. Sometimes he was dressed in felon’s clothes or white feathers were placed above his ears, and other times a rope was put around his neck and he would be led by the smallest drummer boy. The convict would then be marched between the lines of his fellow soldiers to the tune of “Rogue’s March,” and he would be taken to the entrance of the camp, where he was sent on his way with orders to never return. 

“Rogue’s March” was often played by drums and fifes, though if they couldn’t be found, a trumpet was sometimes substituted and the process was called being “blown out” of the army. During the Civil War, “Yankee Doodle” was sometimes played instead of “Rogue’s March.” 

The point of drumming out a soldier was to make his departure from the military humiliating enough that others would be discouraged from committing the same crime. So in addition to being drummed out, the local newspaper would sometimes write about the man’s crime to make it public. However, drumming out eventually fell out of favor as a punishment, and by World War II it had largely been dropped altogether in the U.S.

From Fold3

Coffee Grinder Sharps Carbine




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Missouri History Museum 

Look what we unpacked last week! This Civil War carbine was loaned to us by the National Park Service’s Springfield Armory site in Massachusetts for our upcoming exhibition on the history of coffee… but this isn’t just any gun. During or after the war, a clever soldier retrofitted the butt of the gun with a coffee mill for grinding on the go! Beans went in a small hole at the base, the crank was turned, and out fell fresh ground coffee. See this and many other incredible artifacts on display in COFFEE: The World in Your Cup & St. Louis in Your Cup opening the weekend of October 3 and 4. ‪#‎STLcoffee‬

When Union Troops Saluted Confederates

On the occasion of Union General Joshua Chamberlain’s birthday, it seems fitting to honor him not just for his admirable courage and leadership throughout the Late War, most notably in his defense against incredible Southern opposition at Gettysburg, but for the way he perceived and treated his adversaries.

Of course today, many Americans would like to pretend that a war over slavery, beloved by Southerners and despised by Northerners yielded two armies that loathed each other, but as surely as the War was more complex than that, so too were the competing militaries’ relations. This was well exemplified by an account, written by General Chamberlain, of the surrender at Appomattox.

As Confederate General John Brown Gordon approached Chamberlain and his men on horseback, leading his troops, his head bowed, his appearance downcast, Chamberlain recounts:

The momentous meaning of this occasion impressed me deeply. I resolved to mark it by some token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms…

In a description of his Confederate adversaries, the words of Chamberlain, who had lived through a brutal war and had as much right as any to hate the Confederates, would be deemed treasonous by many today.

Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect.

Undoubtedly, General Chamberlain would be as outraged by today’s denigration of Confederates as Lee would be.

 Originally published:

New York, N.Y.

Marriage And The Civil War

Unidentified Soldier In Union Uniform With Family-Marriage And The Civil War

Nearly 620,000 men were killed in the war, a number approximately equal to the deaths in all other American wars from the Revolution to the Korean War combined. The deaths of huge numbers of men, rendered “the assumption that every woman would be a wife … questionable, perhaps untenable.” 

As young American women watched the death and destruction from war surround them, they began to face a very real fear that marriage for their generation might not be as assured as it had been for their mothers. These fears were grounded in the reality that the war was leaving the number of marriage-age men and women dramatically unbalanced. The desire of women to marry quickly led to a wartime marriage boom.  Richmond, the Confederate capital, hosted hundreds of wartime marriages, leading observers to marvel at the “marriage frenzy.”

The 1890 census, taken about 20 years after the war, confirmed that marriage age had increased slightly. Most women who married post-war did so at the age of 23, while most men married at 27. In the hard-hit South, the 1860s saw a lag in marriage rates, but 92 percent of the women who came of marriage age during the war eventually married. 

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

P.O.W’s And The Civil War


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P.O.W’s And The Civil War - Psychological Disorders-PTSD

One of the most intense contributing factors to psychological effects and disorders were the prisoner of war (P.O.W) camps. 

Some of the most detestable incidences in the war occurred inside these camps. Psychologically, people are put in situations with numerous traumas, such as ubiquitous death, fighting and abuse, making P.O.W camps a minefield for psychological disorders. Camps like Salisbury, Libby, Douglas and the most notorious Andersonville were overpopulated and did not have proper supplies for the number of prisoners it contained. At one point, Andersonville detained thirty-two thousand men but the original capacity was for only ten thousand men. When Sherman’s soldiers liberated Andersonville, they found some prisoners completely emaciated. The fight to survive in hellish places like Andersonville, Libby, Salisbury and Douglas was exceedingly stressful. Witnessing the intense trauma of death on a daily basis was more than enough to produce PTSD. -SARAH A. M. FORD Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Photo: Corporal Calvin Bates of Co. E, 20th Maine Infantry, reminds us that not all amputations resulted from bullet wounds. A prisoner at Andersonville, Bates suffered inhumane treatment at the hands of his prison guards. His maltreatment resulted in illness, decay, and ultimately the amputation of his feet.

Buck and Ball in the Civil War


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Buck and Ball — Smoothbore Muskets during the Civil War

The invention of the minie ball and the rifled musket in the mid 19th century was one of the great advances in firearms technology which caused much bloodshed during the Civil War.  The rifling (grooves) in a gun barrel cause the projectile to spin, giving it more accuracy and a flatter trajectory.  It much like how a quarterback “rifles” a football.

However before the introduction of the minie ball and rifled musket, soldiers used smoothbore muskets, which lacked such rifling.  This means that that smoothbore musket has significantly less range and accuracy than a rifled firearms.

During the Civil War most soldiers were issued either the Springfield 1861 rifled musket (Union) or the Enfield 1853 musket (Confederacy).  Unfortunately there were not always enough modern weapons to go around, especially in the Confederacy which suffered chronic weapons shortages during the war.  As a result many old and obsolete smoothbore muskets were taken out of retirement from old armories and warehouse, refurbished, and pressed into action.  An example would be the Springfield Model 1842 (2nd photo from above) which was the last smoothbore Springfield model.  Even some Springfield 1795 muskets (top photo)were issued to troops in the early months of the war, weapons that were antiques made when George Washington was president!

Of course, it would have sucked big time for soldiers who were given old and inferior weapons.  Because of their smoothbore muskets, which typically only had an effective range of around 100 yards, they were greatly outclassed by rifled muskets which had an effective range of hundreds of yards.  To help even out the playing field, many soldiers loaded their smoothbores with a special load called buck and ball, a technique which dates back to the 1700’s and was common during the Revolutionary War and Napoleonic Wars.  Rather than load the musket with one .69 caliber bullet (.69 caliber because they were using older muskets, standard Civil muskets were typically .58 caliber), they loaded them with a .69 caliber bullet as well as 3 or 4 pieces of .30 caliber buckshot.  In way they had turned their smoothbore muskets into shotguns, .69 caliber is similar to a 20 gauge shotgun.  In theory they were trying to make up for their lack of accuracy with firepower by throwing more pieces of lead at the enemy.  

The effectiveness of buck and ball, however, was often marginal.  To be effective soldiers had to get within at most 100 yards.  At even closer ranges, such as around 50 yards, it could be devastating.  Unfortunately a buck and ball shot at less than 100 yards was only effective for the brave and lucky few  who could survive volleys of rifle musket fire at longer ranges.

From: Peashooter85 on Tumblr