Civil War

Gettysburg Stands Firm: Battlefield Says All Monuments Staying Put

Officials at the Gettysburg National Military Park said Wednesday that the monuments at the expansive Pennsylvania battlefield will stay despite unrest over Confederate memorials. “These memorials, erected predominantly in the early and mid-20th Century, are an important part of the cultural landscape,” battlefield spokeswoman Katie Lawhon told the Hanover Evening Sun. Gettysburg was the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, from July 1-3, 1863. There are more than 1,300 memorials at the park- ranging in size from tiny stone markers for smaller regiments’ positions, to the massive Pennsylvania State Monument that includes a cupola for visitors. The park also has several streets named after soldiers on both sides, including the Union’s Daniel Sickles and Winfield Scott Hancock, and the Confederacy’s Ambrose Wright. The National Park Service’s policy on battlefield monuments states that the feds are “committed to safeguarding these unique and site-specific memorials in perpetuity, while simultaneously interpreting holistically and objectively the actions… they commemorate.” Farther south in Richmond, Va., gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam (D-Accomac) said he will press for several Confederate statues along the city’s Monument Avenue to be taken down. However, Northam said he would “defer to the city” on how to proceed in doing so, according to the Richmond Post-Dispatch. Democratic Mayor Levar Stoney said a commission established to “add context” next to the monuments is preferable to taking them down, the paper said.

Glad to see the National Park Service and the Dept of the Interior aren’t jumping on this frightening band wagon of sanitizing our country of our history.

The Civil War General from Illinois Who Gave Us Memorial Day

Only three years after the Civil War, as our nation started upon its long road toward reconciliation, rebuilding, and healing, the wife of a union general noticed a touching scene of devotion in the South. She saw Confederate mothers, widows, and children coming together each year to place flowers and little flags at the graves of their loved ones who had fallen in battle. This general’s wife thought it was an edifying experience the whole country could emulate. Moved by the devotion she witnessed, Mary Simmerson Logan urged her husband, Illinois General John A. “Blackjack” Logan, to look into creating what was to become Memorial Day. So, at the urging of his wife, Logan became instrumental in creating Decoration Day, the celebration of the nation’s war dead that eventually became Memorial Day. Today, thanks to that gracious and energetic lady, America takes time each year to remember those who served and died for our country, and it is fitting that the holiday was born of both a re-united South and North after our bloodiest war. The man at the heart of the commemoration was a leader in his day but is now largely forgotten. General Logan was a Senator from Illinois and eventually became the candidate for Vice President on the 1884 Republican ticket, losing to Grover Cleveland and another Illinoisan, Vice President Adlai Stevenson. Perhaps no other Federal Army general was as suited as Logan to be the one to launch Decoration Day. Certainly, Logan was a state politician, a political general who successfully transitioned to federal service and continued to hold rank after the war, and also his party’s vice presidential nominee. What many don’t know is that “Blackjack” Logan was aiming to be a Confederate general when the war first started. Thus his sympathies for both sides make him a particularly good fit for the father of Decoration Day. Logan was born in February of 1826 in Murphysboro, Illinois, an area rich with émigrés from Kentucky. His home was near the river bottoms once called “Little Egypt.” The area was a hotbed of Southern sympathy during the early days of the civil war. The genus of the region’s nickname is not entirely known, but what is known is that a company of nearly 40 Illinois men from Williamson and Jackson Counties gathered together in 1861, crossed over into Kentucky, and joined the Confederate Army of Tennessee, becoming Company G of the 15th Tennessee Infantry. Heading up that company was one Captain Hilbert A. Cunningham. He led his men across the river to the Confederacy and served in the C.S. Army for nearly two years. Co. G has the distinction of being the only company of men from a northern state to fight as a group for the Confederacy. A small number of them fought throughout the war for the rebel forces. Captain Cunningham, though, was not one of those stalwarts, for in May of 1863 he quietly went AWOL from the Confederate army and ended up a captain on General John Logan’s staff. This sudden turn may not be so surprising, as Capt. Cunningham was Gen. Logan’s brother-in-law. What may be more surprising is that Logan himself was initially supposed to lead Co. G across the river and into the waiting arms of the Confederacy. Rumors from his family were that the Illinois politician had accepted a Colonel’s commission from the Southerons and intended to make his military mark under the banner of the Southern Cross. But ambition was greater than ideology, at least that early in the war, because Logan was casting a wide net for his officer’s commission and was able to cajole his way into General U.S. Grant’s favor. Logan was soon commissioned as Colonel of the 31st Illinois Infantry shortly after the Battle of Bull Run and so wore the blue for the whole of the war. Many in the 15th Tennessee held a grudge against Logan for the rest of their lives, feeling that he betrayed them for his personal ambitions.

Fascinating!!  While Memorial Day was yesterday, it doesn’t hurt to post such relevant, historical articles.  To read the general order that Logan issued in 1868, click on the text above.

Gettysburg park ranger: Don’t take our rocks, they’re ‘cursed’

The National Park Service is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and the folks at Gettysburg National Military Park want to remind you not to take any stones from the park. Why? Well, for one reason, they’re cursed. That’s according to a blog post by Maria Brady, a park ranger at Gettysburg. Brady writes that the park sometimes gets packages in the mail with people returning rocks they took— which is a violation of federal regulations and can result in $130 worth of fines and fees, she points out— and those packages usually have letters. In one letter, sent to Gettysburg in May, a man admits that he and his wife took three stones. “We didn’t know then how the removal of those stones would affect our lives and we didn’t know they were cursed,” he wrote. The man then explained that he lost his wife, son, his job, and then went to prison. In another letter, received last year, a repentant person explains that he or she is sorry for taking stuff from the site in 2006. “Since then I’ve had nothing but horrible times, injured on the job, several surgeries, relationship failures, etc…” the person writes. So, don’t take any rocks, Brady writes. It’s wrong, and could affect the park, since over a million people visit it annually, she says, and if everyone took something, that would be a real problem, especially for the place’s historic stone walls. Also, you might get cursed, she warns.

Fun!!   🙂

Civil war-era wreck tentatively identified as blockade runner Agnes E. Fry

Experts have tentatively identified a shipwreck discovered off Oak Island, N.C. in February as the Civil War blockade runner Agnes E. Fry. Three blockade runners – the Agnes E.Fry, Spunkie and Georgianna McCaw – are known to have been lost in the area. Citing its location, size, and the missing pieces of the vessel, archaeologists with the N.C. Office of State Archaeology now suspect that the ship is the Agnes E. Fry, the state’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources announced Monday. Deputy State Archaeologist Billy Ray Morris explained that the vessel remains are 225 feet in length, similar to the Agnes. E. Fry, which was 236 feet long. Spunkie and Georgianna McCaw are both considerably shorter and also a much earlier design than the Agnes E. Fry, he added. “The boiler type, as well as the hull design of the wreck are both indicative of a more modern vessel than either McCaw or Spunkie,” said Morris. “The difference in the lengths has to do with the damage to the bow and stern.” Detailed analysis of a sonar image generated on Feb. 27 shows a 225-foot vessel structure with both engines and the paddlewheel shaft missing. “This fits precisely with salvage records and the March 22 underwater site inspection,” notes the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “Every piece of evidence we have examined to date, from sonar images to primary documentation, points directly to this shipwreck being Agnes E. Fry,” said Institute for International Maritime Research (IIMR) Director Gordon Watts, in the statement. “We look forward to working with the Charlotte team to confirm our suspicions.” Initial side scan sonar images of the vessel were generated during remote sensing operations aboard the IIMR survey vessel, Atlantic Surveyor, on Feb. 27. The Charlotte Fire Department is also supporting archaeologists’ efforts, and will deploy a sophisticated 3D sonar device to help confirm the ship’s identity. Capt. J.D. Thomas of the Charlotte Fire Department Special Operations/EMS Command and a team of five search and rescue divers will assist the state’s maritime archaeologists next week. Brian Abbott, president of Nautilus Marine Group International and the 3D sonar equipment’s owner, will accompany the dive team to operate equipment.

Cool!!  🙂

Civil War Trust wins preservation for Battle of Brandy Station’s Fleetwood Hill

On a wide grassy knoll in Northern Virginia 152 years ago, about 20,000 soldiers armed with rifles and sabers charged at one another on horseback, regrouped and charged again and again in a daylong, pitched battle of the Civil War — the largest clash of cavalries in North America’s history. It was the Battle of Brandy Station, and Virginia officials on Monday announced the successful end of a preservation campaign for the battlefield’s Fleetwood Hill. Since 2013, a nationwide campaign to restore the site by the nonprofit Civil War Trust collected $3.6 million in donations from trust members and matching funds from the Virginia Battlefield Preservation Fund and the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, state and trust officials said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Brandy Station in Culpeper County. “The preservation and restoration of Fleetwood Hill is a first-class example of the conservation successes the Commonwealth can achieve through public-private partnerships,” Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell said during Monday’s ceremony. “Working with groups like the Civil War Trust, Virginia has been able to preserve thousands of acres of hallowed ground that serve as living memorials to those who wore the blue and the gray.” Mr. Howell was joined by state Sen. Bryce Reeves, Delegates Michael Webert and Ed Scott, and trust President James Lighthizer, among others. As many as 200 people attended Monday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, organizers said. “The trust has saved more land at Brandy Station than at any other battlefield in the country,” Mr. Lighthizer said. “Along with the trails we’ve already opened at St. James Church and Buford’s Knoll, it is especially gratifying to have restored such a key landmark of this battle to its wartime appearance and to be interpreting Fleetwood Hill for the public.” In restoring the 56-acre battlefield to its Civil War glory, preservationists had to remove two houses, a garage, a pair of in-ground pools and a pool house. They relied on historic photos, topographic maps and digital imaging to re-create the area’s wartime look, trust officials said. What’s more, the preservation effort included a paved, “interpretive” trail with markers to give visitors historical information about the battle and its place in the war. The Battle of Brandy Station marked a turning point because it was the start of the Union’s Gettysburg offensive that eventually led to the end of the Civil War. Though it ended mostly in a stalemate, the battle bolstered Union cavalrymen who had long been outmatched by their Confederate counterparts. Led by Gen. Alfred Pleasonton, about 11,000 Union troops surprised an encampment of about 9,500 Confederates, led by Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, on Fleetwood Hill on June 9, 1863. In the ensuing battle, a total of more than 1,400 men were killed, wounded or missing in action. Union forces pitched camp at Fleetwood Hill in the winter of 1863-1864. The Civil War Trust now is raising funds to acquire and preserve a 10-acre plot near Fleetwood Hill. “The continued restoration and enhancement of these lands help draw thousands of people who learn of the events that occurred during the Civil War, while visiting local attractions and Virginia Main Street communities,” said Paige Read, director of economic development and tourism for the city of Culpeper.

Very cool!! 🙂

Pandora’s Box: New Orleans prof says Confederate purge would target Andrew Jackson, too

If New Orleans intends to purge all symbols of the Confederacy, it must take down its famous statue of Andrew Jackson, too, according to a Big Easy professor, who says his tongue-in-cheek demand is meant to show the absurdity of measuring historical figures by contemporary standards. With rebel symbols under fire around the nation in the wake of the mass shooting in June of black worshipers at a Charleston, S.C., church by a white supremacist who embraced the stars and bars, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has called for the removal of statues of Confederate stalwarts Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and PGT Beauregard. But a local university dean says a longstanding city ordinance being invoked by Landrieu would just as easily apply to the seventh president, known as “Old Hickory” and famous for defeating the British in the War of 1812’s pivotal Battle of New Orleans. The ordinance allows city officials to remove any statue or monument deemed a nuisance if, among other things, it “honors, praises, or fosters ideologies which are in conflict with the requirements of equal protection for citizens as provided by the constitution and laws of the United States.” Taken at its word, and without the benefit of historical context, the ordinance would mandate the removal of the statue of Jackson on horseback that has marked Jackson Square since 1856, said Tulane University Prof. Richard Marksbury. “I don’t want to see any statues taken down,” Marksbury told FoxNews.com. “I’m trying to prove a point.” Marksbury, who has called New Orleans home for more than 40 years, said he is dismayed at the calls for removal of historical statues. Jackson owned slaves, battled fiercely against Seminole Indians in Florida, ordered the Cherokee nation onto reservations and signed the Indian Removal Act, all actions that could put his statue at odds with the ordinance. But he was of a different time, and a significant historical figure, said Marksbury. Monuments may be seen as marking history, not necessarily venerating individuals, he said. Last week, a public commission in the French Quarter voted to remove a 124-year-old obelisk monument dedicated to the White League’s brief, and bloody, overthrow of a biracial Reconstruction government after the Civil War. The fate of 35-foot-high monument, which stands on the edge of the old historic district, now awaits a decision from the City Council, as do the Confederate statues. “If they [keep] going down this route, they will open Pandora’s box,” Marksbury said, explaining why he proposal, first made in a letter to local newspaper The New Orleans Advocate in late July. “My position is that if you remove one, you have to remove them all.” Landrieu’s office in New Orleans did not immediately return requests for comment. Jackson died 16 years before the Civil War but made military history in the War of 1812. When New Orleans was under threat, Jackson took control of the defenses, including militia for various western states and territories. In the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, his 5,000 troops successfully fought off nearly 8,000 British troops, saving the city. Next on the chopping block is an engraving of the Confederate flag that is part of a mural near the entrance of City Hall according to local TV station Fox8. “Across our state and our country, there has been broad consensus that confederate flags should not fly over government buildings,” Landrieu said. “Staff is currently researching the history of the etched marble at the entrance of City Hall to determine the process for removing the Confederate flag crest, as well as alternatives to represent the Civil War period of our city’s history in this mural.” Orleans Parish Councilman James Gray is in favor of taking down the Confederate monuments in the city, but he does not believe the Confederate engraving should be removed.

This who purging of anything Confederate is offensive.  It’s the sorta thing we’d expect from the Nazi in WWII, or in N. Korea; NOT in the United States of America.  The fascist speech police and pc police have gone TOO far.  It’s time people fought back against this crap.

Memphis mayor wants Confederate general’s grave removed

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. announced a proposal last week to remove the statue and grave sites of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife. “These relics, these messages of this despicable period of this great nation, it’s time for those to be moved,” the Democratic mayor, who is black, said in a news conference, a local NBC affiliate reported. Mr. Wharton told The Associated Press that he wants the statue removed from Health Sciences Park and “returned to Forrest Monument Association that had it placed there.” He said the graves of the noted KKK leader and his wife, which are in the park, should be relocated to Elmwood Cemetery. “I despise whatever the Confederacy stood for,” Mr. Wharton said. “This is not just an ordinary monument. This is a monument to a man who was the avowed founder of the organization that has as its purpose the intimidation, the oppression of black folks.” Councilman Myron Lowery said he is in discussion with Council Attorney Allan Wade to draw up an ordinance to move the proposal along, NBC reported. Councilman Harold Collins and Councilman Jim Strickland are running for Memphis mayor against Mr. Wharton, but reportedly support the mayor’s proposal. The Sons of Confederate Veterans said Forrest was a “revered member of society in Memphis” and argued that racists like the alleged Charleston church shooter are misusing the Confederate flag, NBC reported. “He was just a nut case basically and a white supremacist,” representative Lee Millar said of the alleged gunman. “That certainly is not what the Sons of Confederate Veterans is about.”

What a self-righteous, fascist, self-serving nazi!! What is this? Nazi Germany in the late 1930s? Kristallnacht?!?! History is what happened; NOT what we wish had happened. Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest was a 3-star general in the CSA (Confederate States of America), of which Tennessee was a part. Those are just FACTS. And, he was apparently well liked and respected. But, this self-rightous, entitlement-minded, black, Democrat nazi of a mayor is jumping on the anti-southern heritage band-wagon (with the purging of the “Stars and Bars” Confederate flag). Yes, Mr. Forrest was one of the founding members of the original Klan. That’s true. But, pretty much any white man of any stature (i.e. lawyer, doctor, former senior CSA military officer, etc.) in the south during Reconstruction was! And this putz of a major wants to dig up the graves of Forrest and his wife. How insane is that?!? This is beyond outrageous!! Hopefully Gov. Haslam (R-TN), or some court in Tennessee will halt such ridiculousness. Again, history is what happened. Nazis like the mayor of Memphis need to get the heck over it.