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HENRY CLAY THURSTON

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HENRY CLAY THURSTON - THE TALLEST REBEL - 4TH MISSOURI CAVALRY
7 FEET 2 INCHES.
BORN ON 4 MAY 1830 IN GREENVILLE, S.C.
ALTHOUGH OFTEN A HEIGHT OF UP TO 7 FOOT 7 AND A HALF INCHES IS ATTRIBUTED TO HIM STORY TOLD BY HENRY AT THE 1909 REUNION:

The  Rebel Army Company was lined up for “dress parade” somewhere in northern Arkansas. The ranks were in perfect alignment; troops were at attention, as the commanding officer, Colonel Preston, inspected the men.

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Handmade Confederate Playing Cards

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Handmade Confederate Playing Cards,  The Perkins Gallery, Duke University

During the fair-weather campaign season, soldiers could expect to be engaged in battle one day out of 30. Their remaining days were filled with almost interminable drilling, punctuated with spells of entertainment in the form of music, cards and other forms of gambling. -The Civil War Trust Life of the Civil War Soldier in Camp 

Cards from the St. Clair Dearing Papershttp://blogs.library.duke.edu/rubenstein/2012/01/17/gallery-talk-for-memories-of-the-civil-war/

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150-year old Confederate diary gives up its secrets to volunteer code breaker

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James Gandy, libarian for the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. displays the text of the 150-year old diary kept by Confederate Army Lt. James Malbone. Malbone wrote parts of the diary in a home-made code to keep private...

Eric Durr, New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs

From www.army.mil

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (Oct. 8, 2014) --A university professor who is also a former government code breaker, and a retired college financial aid director teamed up to transcribe and decode the secrets in a 150-year-old Confederate diary discovered in the collections of the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York.

The Military Museum is administered by the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs, the state agency which oversees the New York Army and Air National Guard.

Written in 1863 and 1864, by Confederate Army Lt. James Malbone, an officer in Company B, 6th Virginia Infantry, the diary records information about Soldiers in his unit, items he's bought and sold, his African-American slaves, the faithlessness of other officers' wives, Confederate deserters, women, and military movements.

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Nathan Bedford Forrest

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Colorized photo by Stacey Palmer thecivilwarparlor tumblr.com


Nathan Bedford Forrest 
"The Wizard Of The Saddle” His tactics on the battlefield are still studied by military academies today

“I wish none but those who desire to be actively engaged. Come on boys, if you want a heap of fun and to kill some yankees” 

  •  29 horses shot from under him, killed or seriously wounded at least thirty enemy soldiers in hand-to-hand combat, and had been himself wounded four times.
  • In the motion picture Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks’s character Forrest Gump states that he was named after a “General Forrest”
  • Forrest’s victory at Brice’s Cross Roads became the subject of a class taught at the French War College by Marshal Ferdinand Foch before World War I. 
  • His mobile campaigns were studied by the German general Erwin Rommel, who as commander of the Afrika Korps in World War II, emulated his tactics on a wider scale, with tanks and trucks.

Not only did he lack formal military training, but had very little formal education in his youth. Forrest was the eldest, and the head of seven brothers and three sisters. His father, a blacksmith, died while Forrest was still a young man, necessitating that he forego a formal education and help to raise the family. As a young business man, Forrest overcame his lack of schooling, entering the war as a private with an estimated wealth of a million and a half. During the war, he was an avid reader, scanning the newspapers daily to keep abreast of military information.

Years after the war, General Sherman said, "I think Forrest was the most remarkable man the civil war produced on either side. His opponents were professional soldiers, while he had no military training. He was never taught tactics yet he had a genius for strategy that was original and to me incomprehensible. I couldn’t calculate what he was up to, yet he always knew my intentions."

His lack of education became most noticeable in his poor spelling and punctuation of personally written dispatches and reports. The words such as “skeer,” “git” and “thar” were some examples. Described as urbane and polished in his mannerisms, most of the grammatical distortions in his speech were products of his staff officers and their leg-pulling tales of Forrest. However, in anger or excitement, his no nonsense approach to the English language would become evident. Once, having received a soldier’s repeated request for leave, Forrest responded in writing: “I have told you twict goddamit No!” 

He continued to be surrounded by controversy for the remainder of his life. He continued to be active in civic and political events until his health declined prior to his death. On May 14, 1875 he presence was conspicuous at a reunion of the Seventh Cavalry in Covington. Requested to make a speech, he did so from horseback. “…Comrades, through the years of bloodshed and weary marches you were tried and true soldiers. So through the years of peace you have been good citizens, and now that we are again united under the old flag, I love it as I did in the days of my youth, and I feel sure that you love it also….It has been thought by some that our social reunions were wrong, and that they would be heralded to the North as an evidence that we were again ready to break out into civil war. But I think that they are right and proper, and we will show our countrymen by our conduct and dignity that brave soldiers are always good citizens and law-abiding and loyal people.”

Colorized photo by Stacey Palmer thecivilwarparlor tumblr.com

http://www.civilwarinteractive.com/ArticleJekyllHyde.htm

http://www.historynet.com/nathan-bedford-forrest


North Carolina Confederate Stephen Dodson Ramseur

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North Carolina Confederate Stephen Dodson Ramseur-  I Was Mortally Wounded In The Battle Of Cedar Creek

He graduated from West Point at age twenty-three in June 1860. And went on to command the Ellis Light Artillery. On May 20, 1861, Ramseur’s artillery was posted on the State Capitol grounds during North Carolina’s secession debate. When the convention approved secession, Ramseur’s battery announced the historic moment by firing its cannons.

He served with distinction in 1862 and 1863, received a promotion to brigadier general, and suffered wounds three times. He also fell in love with his cousin Ellen Richmond and they married in 1863. During their months of separation, the couple wrote many loving letters to each other. Ramseur earned a promotion to major general for leading an attack that saved the Confederate army at Spotsylvania Courthouse in May 1864. While he was fighting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in the summer and fall of 1864, Ellen was at home awaiting the birth of their first child. On October 16, Ramseur received news that his wife had given birth and that all was well. But the message did not say whether the baby was a boy or a girl. Three days later, Ramseur was mortally wounded in the Battle of Cedar Creek, without knowing that he had a daughter.

He died of battle wounds on October 20, 1864, after sending his love to his family and requesting that a lock of his hair go to his wife. Federal troops returned his body to a boyhood friend, Confederate major general Robert F. Hoke. Ramseur’s body lay in state briefly in the capitol at Richmond, then went by train home to Lincolnton. Ramseur’s family was crushed by the news of his death. His widow, Ellen, and three-week-old daughter, Mary, could not travel from Caswell County for the funeral. Ellen Ramseur never remarried and wore black mourning clothing for the rest of her life. She remained with her family in Caswell County until she died in 1900 at the age of fifty-nine. Mary Ramseur never married and died at the age of seventy-one in 1935.

Reposted from http://moh.ncdcr.gov/exhibits/civilwar/explore_section4n.html

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Capt. Frank W. Nelson

Capt. Frank W. Nelson, Now 93, Vividly Recalls The Charge That Made Immortal The Names Of Those Gallant Men In Gray Who Dared The Impossible 

  • Richmond Times Dispatch  September 28, 1936

Fifteen thousand men took part in Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. Today, so far as is known, only one of those men is living. He is Captain Frank W. Nelson of A Company, Fifty-sixth Virginia Infantry, Colonel W. D. Stewart, Garnett’s Brigade, Pickett’s Division, Longstreet’s Corps.

Captain Nelson is 93 years old (he was born Christmas Day, 1843), but he is erect, and he can still tell in thrilling detail the story of that glorious display of bravery on July 3, 1863, that ended in wanton bloodshed. “My division is almost extinguished,” Pickett wrote his wife a few days after the battle. “I was ordered to take a height, which I did, under the most withering fire I have ever known, and I have seen many battles.”

Although he spent much time defending his chief, General Longstreet, Captain Nelson’s account of the famous charge is graphic and awe-inspiring: The deadly stillness of the hours of waiting before a battle, “when the men lay in the tall grass in the rear of the artillery line, the July sun pouring its scorching rays almost vertically down upon them … the awful silence of the vast battlefield was broken by a cannon shot that opened the greatest artillery duel of the world.” All the horror of this losing battle with death can be felt as one listens to this aged man tell his story.

"Had we taken Cemetery Hill (the object of the attack), we could never have held it. Those who reached stone wall saw the Federal reserves in countless thousands in the rear of the defending line. Our failure to a great extent can be laid to General Lee’s one fault—he left too much to his subordinate officers. Our brigade reached Gettyburg at twilight of the 2d, and orders were issued for us to cook three days’ rations. It did not take this to tell us that a great battle impended. We had breakfast before daylight on the 3d and by dawn were in line, ready for whatever came.

"We were in Peach Orchard by 5 o’clock, and lay there for many hours. The Federal cannon on Culp’s Hill and Little Round Top, which we could have taken the previous evening without firing a shot, enfiladed [sic] our column, doing much damage. Of course we had no way of replying to these shots. The three Virginia brigades of Kemper, Garnett and Armistead were touching each other. The first named contained about as many as the other two combined. The absence of General Stuart and his cavalry had much to do with our failure.

http://www.mosocco.com/va.html

http://richmondthenandnow.com/Newspaper-Articles/Pickett%27s-Last-Man.html

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Choctaw Confederates

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Historic preservation workers install the headstone of Tecumseh King at the King Cemetery near Kinta, OK.


By BRANDON FRYE

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

DURANT, Okla. – Choctaw Nation Historic Preservation employees worked for two months to prepare for the May 24 ceremony honoring two full-blood Choctaw Civil War confederate soldiers at their discovered gravesites in King Cemetery near Kinta.

“I was doing family research and discovered the cemetery,” Karrie Shannon, Choctaw Nation employee in McAlester, said. “In November, I made a trip to Kinta, Oklahoma to locate the King Cemetery. I found the cemetery unmaintained and abandoned. No one might have entered there for 121 years, it was so thick you had a hard time making your way through the area.”

Private Henry Cooper and 2nd Lieutenant Jerry Riddle received military government issued headstones and were honored during the cemetery dedication in May. Both were descendents of Chief Mosholatubbee, who had seven sons with the surname King and one daughter surnamed Cooper.

Skyler Robinson, Cemetery Restoration Coordinator with Historic Preservation, said his crew works to preserve and protect abandoned Choctaw cemeteries like King Cemetery. “It was in really bad shape, thick with briars and bushes,” Robinson said. “We went in and cleaned it up, put a new fence around it with a gate, and then placed a couple of headstones.”

District 5 Tribal Council Member Ron Perry was in attendance and spoke to dedicate King Cemetery during the event. Gene Arpelar said the prayer and blessing. The Choctaw Nation Color Guard sent members, led by Herbert Jessie, to give the 21-gun salute and play Taps. The Color Guard, while honoring the veterans, also showed gratitude to their relatives. “We were there to do the honors,” Harlan Wright, Color Guard member, said. “They folded a flag and presented it to the next of kin.”

Karrie Shannon and Cheryl Stone-Pitchford, King descendants, were there to receive the flag. Stone-Pitchford, who had also researched Choctaw genealogy, aided Shannon in uncovering King Cemetery. She said it was a very sacred moment; everyone was there to remember and honor the cemetery and its buried that were too long forgotten.

“When it became apparent who was buried there, it became a real significance in our family. I also believe it is significant to the Choctaw Nation and history overall,” Stone-Pitchford said.

Dena Cantrell, also a King descendant in attendance at the ceremony, said she appreciated the genealogical research that had been done and how it was bringing the family history together. “Learning and knowing we are descendents of ancestors who played a great part in the history of the Choctaw Nation and the United States… is very gratifying,” she said.

There are approximately 50 gravesites at King Cemetery. Some were identified by grave depressions, bases of headstones or bases of footstones. There are a handful of existing headstones still standing. Approximately 15 out of 50 buried individuals have been identified. Two of Chief Mosholatubbee’s children are buried in the cemetery, and five military veterans.

Shannon is working to obtain military monuments for all five veterans within the cemetery. She received the monument for the grave of Tecumseh King, youngest son of Chief Mosholatubbee, on July 21. “There’s a lot of Choctaws in that cemetery,” Shannon said. “We’ve got to remember our Choctaw soldiers and what they have done for us. And if we can do anything to give back to them, that’s what this is all about. It’s for them.”

Robinson, with Historic Preservation, said his department gets calls informing them of abandoned Choctaw cemeteries periodically, occasionally multiple within one week. He said if anyone knows of an abandoned Choctaw cemetery, it would be appreciated if the individual calls (580) 924-8280 ext. 2236. Additionally, Shannon offered to aid anyone researching family genealogy and can be contacted at n13113jme@yahoo.com.

From ChoctawNation.com


William Died Waving His Sword And Shouting “Victory”

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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

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Texas Jack Vermillion

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Texas Jack Vermillion-Civil War Enlistment Photo- Well known for his participation with Wyatt Earp in the Earp Vendetta Ride after the Clantons had killed Morgan Earp in 1882.

He was a Confederate civil war veteran and fought under the command of General J.E.B Stuart 

Jack eventually wound up in Kansas in the late 1870s. He went to Tombstone, Arizona, from Dodge City, Kansas, where he possibly previously knew the Earps and also perhaps Doc Holiday He was listed by Virgil as special policeman (i.e., deputy city policeman) June 22, 1881. This is the day of the large Tombstone fire of 1881, with which Virgil had to cope as acting city marshal; the date suggests that Jack is one of the extra men Virgil hired to help cope with looting, during and after the disaster.

The origin of Texas Jack, Vermillion’s nickname, is unknown, but he is first listed by this moniker on a wanted poster, for shooting a man during an argument at cards. When asked about why he was called Texas Jack, he replied “Because I’m from Virginia.”

Vermillion did not accompany Virgil Earp as a member of the protective squad which escorted him to Tucson, March 20, 1882. Instead, Vermillion joined the vendetta posse March 21, 1882 in Tombstone, a day after the killing of Frank Stilwell in Tucson, thus Vermillion was not one of the 5 men indicted for Stilwell’s killing. Vermillion may have participated in the Earp posse more as friend of Holliday, who was also a Methodist and fellow southerner. Note that Holliday’s father had also served as a Confederate soldier. 

He returned to Virginia 1890. Being a Virginian it is believed he got the nickname Texas Jack because he preferred to ride horses from Texas. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_Jack_Vermillion

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Remains of 40 Confederate soldiers discovered in Virginia cemetery

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By , Fox News

Their remains sat, unmarked, in shallow graves at the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, Va., for decades. Now, two centuries after the Civil War, the bodies of 40 Confederate soldiers discovered over the past two months will receive a proper memorial. 

"It's been very meaningful to us to find these spots, identify these soldiers and bring closure to families," said Ted Delaney, the cemetery's assistant director, who, along with a team of archaeologists, uncovered the exact resting place of some 40 Confederate soldiers as well as the plots where Union soldiers were once buried and later exhumed.

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