Preserving History Feed

Confederate veteran recognized by first of its kind organization in Nebraska

Thomas Campbell Sexton was told he would face certain death if he refused to allow a doctor to amputate his leg after a Minie ball tore through it during the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863.

But as the story goes, Sexton being a stubborn man, told the doctor he would rather die than live without his leg. And live he did, almost to the age of 100 before he died of a heart attack in Dodge County in 1943.

Sexton was a private in Company D, 4th Virginia Infantry, in the army of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. The brigade is probably one of the most famous Confederate brigades because it was commanded by Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, said Jim Arbaugh.

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Civil War Shipwreck in the Way of Ga. Port Project


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By RUSS BYNUM Associated Press
SAVANNAH, Ga. May 5, 2012 (AP)

 Before government engineers can deepen one of the nation's busiest seaports to accommodate future trade, they first need to remove a $14 million obstacle from the past — a Confederate warship rotting on the Savannah River bottom for nearly 150 years.

Confederate troops scuttled the ironclad CSS Georgia to prevent its capture by Gen. William T. Sherman when his Union troops took Savannah in December 1864. It's been on the river bottom ever since.

Now, the Civil War shipwreck sits in the way of a government agency's $653 million plan to deepen the waterway that links the nation's fourth-busiest container port to the Atlantic Ocean. The ship's remains are considered so historically significant that dredging the river is prohibited within 50 feet of the wreckage.

So the Army Corps of Engineers plans to raise and preserve what's left of the CSS Georgia. The agency's final report on the project last month estimated the cost to taxpayers at $14 million. The work could start next year on what's sure to be a painstaking effort.

And leaving the shipwreck in place is not an option: Officials say the harbor must be deepened to accommodate supersize cargo ships coming through an expanded Panama Canal in 2014 — ships that will bring valuable revenue to the state and would otherwise go to other ports.

Continue reading at the Associated Press

National Park Service launches Civil War website

EBB3FCA5-155D-4519-3E28D3FD225C08FBWASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of its commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial and coinciding with events marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh, the National Park Service has launched a Civil War themed website that provides an overview of the war, with special emphasis on the Civil War sites administered and preserved by the National Park Service.

The website features a wide range of richly-illustrated content, including stories of the Civil War, ranging from causes of the conflict to its consequences; biographies of notable individuals associated with the war, both military and civilian; places within the National Park System that interpret the Civil War; and information on the ways in which the National Park Service preserves Civil War battlefields, objects, landscapes and other historic resources. New content will be added regularly, so visitors are encouraged to check back to the site often.

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Jefferson Davis Final Home


Presentation by Commander Mark Morgan at the George E. Dixon Camp 1962, March 2, 2012 Camp Meeting. Mark discusses the final home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis located in Beauvior, Mississippi. He covers the purchasing of the home, it's history, the Davis family, and it's restoration as the result of Hurricane Katrina.

See: Louise Desporte

Civil War's 150th stirs a trove of memories

This photograph provided by the Library of Virginia William Henry Taylor, left, and Stephen Stewart, members of the 11th Virginia Infantry. The photograph is among the 25,000 mementoes the Library of Virginia has scanned as archivists travel the state seeking documents, letters and diaries dating to the Civil War. Virginia is among a number of states attempting to collect Civil War documents that are in the possession of families, tucked away in trunks and attics. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the Library of Virginia)

By STEVE SZKOTAK, Associated Press 

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A diary with a lifesaving bullet hole from Gettysburg. An intricate valentine crafted by a Confederate soldier for the wife he would never see again. A slave's desperate escape to freedom.

From New England to the South, state archivists are using the sesquicentennial of the Civil War to collect a trove of wartime letters, diaries, documents and mementoes that have gathered dust in attics and basements.

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Preserving History on 150th Anniversary of Civil War


150 years ago today, Cincinnati was no doubt abuzz with news of the Battle of Ivy Mountain ... a Civil War battle in Eastern Kentucky a few days before. The 150th anniversary of the Civil War is a chance to re-examine the conflict which ultimately would define the United States. Local 12 News reporter Jeff Hirsh shows us one man who has a closer connection to that war than most-his great-great-grandfather was a Union soldier who is buried in Cincinnati.

Spring Grove Cemetery is the final resting place for hundreds of Civil War veterans, some of whom fought and died in the war, others who survived like John L. Jeffries "That's a picture of him in the 17th Pennsylvania. This is a U.S. Army officer's square belt buckle. It's the standard American eagle. Back in the day the leather would have been black and shiny. This would have been a nice polished brass. It is what it is after 150 years."

And that's not all Jeffries carried into battle:"So this is the 1850 model U.S. Infantry sword. Basically captains and above would carry something like this. The higher the rank the more ornate the sword would get, and they also had presentation swords. This is what they would use to actually command their company."

It was a difficult life-breaking camp, marching for miles and once you got wherever you were going ... hoping you would come back alive. Jeffries was shot through the hand, returned to the war, and was shot again, in the arm. Jeffries was 32 years old when he signed up in 1861, as a 90-day volunteer in his native Pennsylvania. The father of four children, Jeffries rose through the ranks to captain. "The picture on the wall is him in his officer's uniform."

John Jeffries fought in battle after battle, and witnessed things he could never forget, no matter how hard he tried: "I would imagine after being wounded twice and seeing your brother killed in combat he had what we now call post traumatic stress. I'm sure that was a factor in why he wanted to leave the east behind and move to Cincinnati."

Jeffries lived in the East End and then moved to Madisonville, where he died in 1901. But his legacy lives on.

From WKRC Cincinatti

Missouri's Civil War experience depicted at History Museum

BY TIM O'NEIL • [email protected]

'The Civil War in Missouri' opens Saturday

Mike Takaki, an art installer with Ely, Inc. carries a reproduction of a Confederate guerrilla shirt while building a display for the Missouri History Museum's 'The Civil War in Missouri' exhibit Tuesday November 8, 2011. The exhibit, marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and curated from artifacts in the museum's permanent collection, opens Saturday to visitors. Photo by Robert Cohen, [email protected]

ST. LOUIS • The Missouri History Museum's special exhibit on the Civil War opens this weekend with old artifacts and fast-moving interactive panels depicting this state's own convulsive, bloody divisions.

The exhibit is the museum's contribution to a four-year national commemoration of the Civil War's 150th anniversary. Missouri, a slave state, shakily remained in the Union. But it was deeply divided by sentiments that played out in harsh social conflict and brutal guerrilla warfare.

The exhibit runs through March 2013. It is in the museum's main building in Forest Park, at Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue. Spread across 6,000 square feet of floor space are 187 artifacts, 251 images, 56 storyboards of explanatory text and 12 touch-screen panels. The images include old drawings, portraits, maps and original documents.

At the entrance, a jumbo TV screen cycles through the portraits and conflicting thoughts of 12 Missourians, six from each side, as war began. They include Jessie Benton Fremont, the influential and ardently Unionist senator's daughter and general's wife; and Sterling Price, a former governor who joined the rebel army.

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Civil War Trust Reaches Goal To Save Part Of Wilderness Battlefield Near Fredericksburg And Spotsylvania National Military Park

Submitted by NPT Staff on November 7, 2011

This Google-generated map shows the location, in green, of the 1.4 acres the Civil War Trust acquired to preserve as part of the Wilderness Battlefield. The darker landscape, and the light-colored tracts, mostly lie within the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

Another vital piece of the Wilderness Battlefield -- the site of the daytime field headquarters of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant -- has been preserved near Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park thanks to the efforts of the Civil War Trust.

The Trust last week announced that it had reached its fund-raising goal to acquire the 1.4-acre tract, which is surrounded by the military park. Private donations to the Trust, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting Civil War battlefields, were augmented by matching funds from the Commonwealth of Virginia, notably a $108,000 Transportation Enhancement Grant.

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