Yankees Feed

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.

Chinese Yankee

Chineese Yankee

Ruthanne Lum McCunn, chronicles Thomas Sylvanus' story in her latest book, “Chinese Yankee

Born in Hong Kong as Aw Yee Way, Sylvanus was orphaned and lived in the care of an American woman who decided to bring him to the United States to be educated at age eight. She was in poor health and turned the child over to Dr. Sylvanus Mills, who was on board the same ship. 

Rather than being educated, Sylvanus was kept as a slave. When the Civil War broke out, he was 15. While in Baltimore running errands, he escaped and lied about his age so he could enlist in the 81st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. 

In “Chinese Yankee,” McCunn tells of the boredom and the battles Sylvanus saw while also describing the conditions and disease that blinded him. He was sent to a hospital to recover and eventually regained some of his sight, but his vision varied from poor to non-existent for the rest of his life. 

In spite of being almost blind and having been discharged with a disability, Sylvanus reenlisted twice. He served with the 51st Regiment, cleaning up after the battle of Gettysburg, then enlisted in the 42nd New York Infantry as a paid substitute for George Dearborn, who was buying his way out of the draft. In both cases, Sylvanus managed to hide the fact that his vision was so limited.

Read the full article by Jeanette Wolff: http://triblive.com/news/indiana/7135595-74/mccunn-sylvanus-chinese#ixzz3JBtaVuil 

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" »

Civil War Canteen Stops Bullet

Swain Reeves credited his canteen for deflecting the bullet that struck him at Petersburg and preventing an even more severe injury.

Swain Reeves was a corporal in Company A, 7th N.J. Volunteer Infantry and was wounded at Gettysburg in July, 1863 and again at Petersburg in June, 1864. The last wound confined him to Lincoln Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Swain Reeves enlisted as a Private on 23 August 1861, and then joined Company A, 7th Infantry Regiment New Jersey on 23 Aug 1861. Promoted to Full Corporal on 18 Jun 1864, and mustered out Company A, 7th Infantry Regiment New Jersey on 7 Oct 1864 at Trenton, NJ. (Historical Data Systems, comp., American Civil War Soldiers [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999)


This, and other artifacts from the U. S. Civil War, can be seen at The Macculloch Hall Historical Museum

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

A Confederate soldier's Easter

Easter dinner from USA and CSA soldiers.

April 20, 1862 USA
“This is Easter and a pretty day. We had 2 eggs a piece this morning” Alexander Gwin (Campbell, Joseph, Judy Gowen. Marching Orders: The Civil War Diary of Alexander)

April 5, 1863 CSA
“The snow is about seven or eight inches deep. I don’t think we will have a very gay Easter today, as game is skearce, and we can get no eggs.” Jer Coggin (Taylor, Michael. The Cry is War, War, War. Winston Salem: Morning Side Press)

March 27, 1864 USA
“The beautiful Easter Sunday finds us all O.K. for it is as pretty and warm day, but we have no eggs. We could have them at 40 cents per doz. but I guess we will do without this time- Daniel Chisholm (Menge, W. Springer Menge, J. August Shimrak. The Civil War Notebook of Daniel)

From: Civil War Talk

Gustav Koerner House

Members from the Col. Hecker Camp #443 (SUVCW) participated in a living history day at the Gustav Koerner House in Belleville, Illinois, on Saturday April 5, 2014.

Gustav Philipp Koerner, also spelled Gustave or Gustavus Koerner (20 November 1809 –  9 April 1896) was a revolutionary, journalist, lawyer, politician, judge, and statesman in Illinois and Germany and a Colonel of the U.S. Army who was a confessed enemy of slavery. He married on 17 June 1836 in Belleville Sophia Dorothea Engelmann (16 November 1815 – 1 March 1888),[5] they had 9 children.[6] He belonged to the co-founders and was one of the first members of the Grand Old Party; and he was a close confidant of Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd and had essential portion on his nomination and election for president in 1860.

The event was held to celebrate the City of Belleville's 200th anniversary. More living history event are scheduled throughout the year.

Koerner's House is currently under renovation by The Belleville Heritage Society.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Koerner



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


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: http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/decades-long-quest-to-honor-civil-war-hero-alonzo-cushing-nears-success-b99170796z1-237192961.html#ixzz2wYdXhX2q  WIKI http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alonzo_Cushing


From The Civil War Parlor in Tumblr

Powder Boy James Johnston

“Powder Boy” James V. Johnston, 1864. Young Jimmie Johnston was aboard the U.S. gunboat Forest Rose with his mother when it was attacked by a Confederate force in Feb. 1864. When the gunboat’s regular powder monkey, who carried powder to the gunners, was killed early in the battle, Jimmie took his place until the Confederates were repelled. The crew presented this uniform to the six-and-a-half-year-old boy they called “Admiral Johnston” for his bravery. Missouri History Museum.

From Peer into the past on Tumblr

Medal of Honor approved for Civil War veteran


Alonzo Hersford Cushing was an artillery officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He died at the Battle of Gettysburg while defending the Union position on Cemetery Ridge against Pickett's Charge, for which he earned the Medal of Honor 147 years after his death.

More than 150 years after he gave his life at Gettysburg leading the effort to repel Pickett’s Charge, 1st Lt. Alonzo H. Cushing is finally on track to get the Medal of Honor after Congress last month approved waiving the time limit for the nation’s top military honor.

The waiver was one of a half-dozen included in the massive defense policy bill — legislation that also began to tweak the Medal of Honor system, standardizing the amount of time a nomination may be considered and removing a cap that, in recent years, had said nobody could win the medal more than once.

In the case of Cushing, Congress‘ approval puts him over a major hurdle. Now he must clear a review by the Defense Department, which has expressed support, and then one by President Obama.

“Having members of both parties in both Houses coming together to recognize Lt. Cushing’s valor is amazing,” said Dave Krueger, one of those who has picked up the banner to fight for Cushing. “It has not, nor should it be, an easy process. The story of Lt. Cushing is so compelling that our legislators have cleared the way for the president to award him this nation’s highest military honor.”

It’s unclear why Cushing wasn’t awarded the medal in the 1800s.
Those above and below him in rank both earned it, including Gen. Alexander S. Webb, who led the overall defense against Pickett’s Charge and gave permission for Cushing to advance, and Cushing’s own trusted Sgt. Frederick Fuger, who held up the wounded Cushing so he could see the battlefield and served as the lieutenant’s megaphone, calling out the orders Cushing could only whisper because of his two injuries.

Cushing died on the Pennsylvania battlefield of a third injury.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/6/medal-of-honor-approved-for-civil-war-and-vietnam-/?page=1#ixzz2ppzUNtqL