J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “” North”

Antietam (Sharpsburg) Remembered

Today marks the 157th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. It was a game changer in many ways. Mostly, it gave President Lincoln a vehicle to bring his Emancipation Proclamation to life and give it authenticity. Prior to the battle, slavery wasn’t the prominent reason for the onset of the Civil War. But by September 1862, Lincoln realized he needed a more poignant excuse to fight the South and thus recruit more Union soldiers. However, at that time, neither North or South had any interest in fighting to preserve or end slavery. It was about economics, westward expansion, and the invasion of the South by Union troops. Slavery at that time was an underlying issue. Even Lincoln didn’t care about setting slaves free. That’s why the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t apply to Northern slave-holding states.

The Battle of Sharpsburg (Antietam) was, and still is, the bloodiest day of fighting in American history. Terrible casualties occurred, and Antietam Creek ran red with blood, literally, from all the dead soldiers bleeding along its banks into the water.

Antietam Battle Page Hero_0

Dead Confederate soldiers at Dunker Church (Alexander Gardner/Library of Congress)

At that time, most Americans didn’t have any comprehension about the carnage of war, especially if they were far removed from the battlefields. Enter Mathew Brady, as well as his field photographer, Alexander Gardner. These two men changed the way people would forever see war – not as the heroic and glamorous way previous wars were depicted in paintings, but as gruesome, in-your-face, black and white reality.

Two days after the battle ended, Garner ascended on the battlefield with his crew. It’s obvious that some of the photos were staged, but they would still prove to be shocking to naive Victorians, nevertheless. The photographs were displayed in New York at Brady’s studio, and the exhibit was titled “The Dead of Antietam.”

battle-of-antietam-1862-46582716

Burying the dead on the battlefield of Antietam (Alexander Gardner/Library of Congress)

These shocking photos were described by the New York Times, which stated that Brady was able to “bring home to us the terrible reality and earnestness of war. If he has not brought bodies and laid them in our door-yards and along streets, he has done something very like it…”

The American Battlefield Trust has preserved the epicenter of the battlefield, as well as 461 additional acres and over 2,000 acres of the Maryland Campaign, “ensuring that generations of today and tomorrow never forget the sacrifices made on this hallowed ground.”

If you would like to donate to this noble cause, please visit their website:

https://www.battlefields.org/?emci=43a144bd-2dd6-e911-bcd0-2818784d4349&emdi=61842fa2-57d9-e911-b5e9-2818784d6d68&ceid=315208

Reenactment Saved

1

As of last week, it seemed that a staple in the Civil War reenacting world, the annual Battle of Gettysburg reenactment, had been cancelled next year. The organization that has been sponsoring the event, the Gettysburg Anniversary Committee (GAC), posted on their website:

The Gettysburg Anniversary Committee (GAC) would like to extend their gratitude and appreciation to all the reenactors, visitors, and local staff that have participated in the Annual Gettysburg Civil War Battle Reenactments for the past 25 years; making those dusty old history books come alive. We are honored to have hosted over 100,000 reenactors, 500,000 visitors, and provided well over 1000 community staff positions. GAC has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to many worthy community organizations and supported our community economically. At this time, GAC does not anticipate organizing or hosting a 157th Reenactment.  Please refer to Destination Gettysburg’s Event Schedule for a wide array of historical, cultural and entertaining events in the Gettysburg and Adams County area throughout the year.”

How sad to end a well-participated event after doing it for 25 years. According to GAC’s Operations Manager, Randy Phiel, reeanactors’ aging demographic and varied visitor interest indicates “the hobby is declining somewhat.” He also said reenactments are most successful every five years, so spreading them out may build anticipation and visitor interest.

3

Fortunately, someone has come to the rescue. According to The Washington Times, a veteran Civil War reactor from Pennsylvania plans to take over the 2020 reenactment next July. Dustin Heisey, who has been participating in reenactments since he was 14 years old, says he wants to keep the tradition alive.

“My primary focus is, let’s bring honor back into our hobby and, we’re portraying these men who sacrificed so much for their country, I want them to be remembered and I think it should be done every year,” Heisey told The (Hanover) Evening Sun.

2

https://gettysburgreenactment.com

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/sep/8/gettysburg-reenactment-saved-reenactor-after-organ/

 

What You Didn’t Know About the WBTS

I recently came upon this article and wanted to share. So many myths and legends have surfaced in regard to the causes of the American Civil War, especially since the last veterans died around the 1930’s. Within the past few years, emphasis has been placed on the issue of slavery. Just to set the record straight, slavery was not the cause of the war, like so many believe today. Georgia has decided to put markers on all their Civil War monuments and memorials in an attempt to make a connection to slavery. I think this is completely inappropriate and inaccurate. Let me know what you think after you read this article. Thank you so much for reading my blog!

American-Civil-War-Battle-300x213

Why have many schools stopped teaching American history or cut back drastically on the curriculum? Does anyone care? Is this making kids dumber?

We have been taught, thru the previous rewrites of history, that the North was righteous and good, the South was evil, and all owned slaves and beat and raped them all the time…Lincoln was a saint, who lead troops into war to end slavery. I understand the hatred generated…but it was based on LIES. This propaganda was generated to justify what was done and the lives lost on American soil.

Falsehood: The reason for the war was slavery. Truth : It was MONEY! Excessive taxation (Morrell Tariff was the breaking point) had the South paying 96% of the nation’s taxes. Only 6% of the population of the South owned slaves. Some slaves were even owned by black people. According to the 1860 U.S. CENSUS There were MORE FREE BLACKS living in the SOUTH than in the north. There WERE also slaves in the north. (Grant said of the slaves which attended him throughout the war, that they were his wives. Sherman also had slaves.) The offered Crittendon Amendment, stated that slavery could be made PERMANENT INSTITUTION IF THE SOUTH DIDN’T SECEDE…This was preaching to the choir, in that these congressmen and legislators were of that elite group…BUT they still declined!!!! There had been an agreement with the previous administration to not fortify or send munitions and additional troops to Ft Sumpter, which was violated at night, under the guise of darkness but the moonlight and the close proximity of the Charleston Battery, revealed this to those watching in Charleston and shots which could easily target MEN, where instead issued as warning shots harmlessly across the bow. Our military STILL does this, upon occasion as a warning of a violation.

ALso, during the War, BOTH white and black women were robbed and raped by invading Union troops. The food that they had if not taken, was spoilt and they were left to starve. The city of Atlanta, WAS KNOWN not to be occupied by any TROOPS , but ONLY by women, children, and elderly people when it was decided to be burned. Lincoln was NO SAINT. He wanted Blacks deported to Africa, Or nearby Haiti, Cuba, or other tropical islands…and NOT mixing the races TOGETHER. He met with several black ministers during the war to discuss this plan. Slavery was NOT targeted UNTIL the North lost several battles, and in hopes that in asurrection might take place…but it didn’t. (The Emancipation Proclamation DIDN’T FREE ANYONE…as Lincoln didn’t control those territories. It took a Constitutional Amendment to make that happen. Etc.) And the Confederate Battle flag NEVER FLEW OVER EVEN ONE SLAVE SHIP, But Old Glory DID. IF these vandals had not been LIED to, I don’t think they would have done this. 

The emancipation proclamation only freed the slaves in the South. It was a tactic used to make Lincoln appear to have a moral reason for the destruction he caused.

Thanks to Sharolyn Hamilton for this article.

 

The Great General Lee

 

CivalWar_RobertELeeFull

One of my favorite people who lived during the Civil War is Confederate General Robert E. Lee. If Lee were alive, he would be celebrating his 209th birthday today. He came from a distinguished Virginia family, and his father, Harry “Lighthorse” Lee, fought in the Revolutionary War. Lee graduated at the head of his class at West Point, and served gallantly in the Mexican War. His integrity was unsurpassed, because he resigned his commission with the U.S. military to defend his home state of Virginia once the Civil War broke out. With reluctance, he did his duty, and performed it well up until the end of the war.

General Lee was deeply religious. He was a gentleman and a nobleman. He freed his slaves before the war started, unlike Union General Ulysses S. Grant, who freed his slaves after the war ended. Lee served as president of Washington and Lee University, but the war took its toll, like it did on so many soldiers. He only survived five years after the war ended.

images

Lee was revered  by his countrymen, both North and South alike, as one of the finest generals America has ever produced. Dwight D. Eisenhower, America’s 34th president, said of him:

“General Robert E. Lee was, in my estimation, one of the supremely gifted men produced by our Nation. He believed unswervingly in the Constitutional validity of his cause….he was thoughtful yet demanding of his officers and men, forbearing with captured enemies but ingenious, unrelenting and personally courageous in battle, and never disheartened by a reverse or obstacle.

Through all his many trials, he remained selfless almost to a fault and unfailing in his belief in God. Taken altogether, he was noble as a leader and as a man, and unsullied as I read the pages of our history.

From deep conviction I simply say this: a nation of men of Lee’s caliber would be unconquerable in spirit and soul.”

images (1)

When Franklin D. Roosevelt, America’s 32nd president, spoke at the unveiling of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Statue in Dallas, Texas, on June 12, 1936, he said: “I am happy to take part in this unveiling of the statue of Lee. All over the United States we recognize him as a great general. But also, all over the United States, I believe we recognize him as something much more than that. We recognize Robert E. Lee as one of our greatest American Christians and one of our Greatest American gentlemen.”

general_robert_e__lee_article_555

General Lee has always been highly regarded… that is, until recently. Now, certain interest groups have been striving to disparage his name. It is shameful that they want to remove the Confederate battle flag that he fought under from his gravesite, or do away with his statues. It is also shameful that they are defacing monuments with graffiti. Just because political attitudes have changed, which they are always bound to do, is no excuse for erasing the past and defaming such an important historical figure.

“Everyone should do all in his power to collect and disseminate the truth, in the hope that it may find a place in history and descend to posterity. History is not the relation of campaigns and battles and generals or other individuals, but that which shows the principles for which the South contended and which justified her struggle for those principles.”                                                                   – General Robert E. Lee

General Lee appears in my novel, A Beckoning Hellfire. Here is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Beckoning-Hellfire-Novel-Civil-War/dp/0595435319/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1453239012&sr=8-1&keywords=a+beckoning+hellfire

 

The Case for the Confederate Battle Flag

confederate-flag

Controversy surrounding the Confederate battle flag continues to escalate. Some feel that stashing away the flag is a solution, but I believe the flag should be reinvented as an historic symbol, rather than automatically being associated with racism. The flag has been used by certain hate groups in the past, but these groups have also used the American flag. The Stars and Stripes flew over slave ships, not the Confederate battle flag. If one element of our society is deemed offensive to particular groups, then it will inevitably lead to other banned elements. Removing the Confederate battle flag from government property and national parks is only the beginning. Certain groups are already calling for the removal of all things Confederate, including flags, school names, monuments, movies, books, and television shows. They even want to relocate Civil War soldiers’ bodies. To me, this is offensive, and it is also censorship. Although I understand how the flag might upset some people, to others, it is a sign of Southern pride and heritage. Either way, censoring items doesn’t do away with deeper issues.

Passing laws to remove the Confederate battle flag might seem like a perfect remedy, but in reality, it doesn’t accomplish anything. Racists will still find a symbol to use. People will still lay blame on inanimate objects, instead of blaming the true source of hate. Guns, flags, and photographs don’t commit atrocities. People do. That is why we need to change our attitudes toward these objects, or it will lead to far worse consequences down the road. I’m sure there are people who are offended by the Nazi flag, the Japanese flag, the rainbow flag, or whatever. If one flag is done away with, then all the others should be, too, including the American flag. It flew while thousands of Native American Indians were being slaughtered, after all. And while we’re at it, let’s get rid of Stone Mountain, Mount Rushmore, every statue in Washington D.C., and any reminder of Confederate soldiers or slave owners, including our founding fathers. Let’s rename all the streets, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s namesakes, because it’s only fair.

By taking away our symbols, this country is denying our freedom of speech and expression. In a recent Newsmax poll, 88% wanted to keep Confederate flags on government property. And in the small town of Gettysburg, South Dakota, the police chief has fallen under scrutiny for deciding not to change the officers’ uniform patches, which depict the American and Confederate flags crossing over a cannon.

Of course, someone will be offended by something sometime. I’m offended by numerous things, like those mud flaps with nude females on them and sexist lyrics in songs. But to deny their use is going against our Constitutional rights. As U.S. citizens, we need to take a stand against allowing this issue to elevate further, or we will end up having complete government rule, and that is exactly what Southerners fought against during the Civil War.

My upcoming novel, A Rebel Among Us, a novel of the Civil War, discusses this topic in-depth. It delves into the lives of two people – one from the North, and one from the South. Their opinions and differences repeatedly collide, making their relationship all the more compelling and complicated.

As it was in the past, we are facing these same conflicts today. We are one country with many different attitudes and backgrounds, which makes us diverse and unique. To take away just one element of expression opens us up to complete censorship and governmental control in the future.

Excerpt From My New Novel!

My new novel, A Rebel Among Us, will soon be released. It is the third book in the “Renegade Series” (the first two books are A Beautiful Glittering Lie and A Beckoning Hellfire). Here are the opening pages to my new book. I’ll let you know when it is officially released!

A REBEL-page0001

“Soldiers you know are born to suffer and they cannot escape it.”

  • Robert E. Lee, letter to his wife, April 5, 1863

 

Chapter One

“That isn’t right, Abigail. Try it again.”

The young girl looked up at her big sister and let out a sigh. “I can’t figure this out, Maggie,” she whined in frustration, flinging her long, blonde hair away from her face.

“I already showed you.” Maggie bent down over the two girls seated at the bench. She held out an index finger and struck it on a piano key. “It’s this one,” she instructed. She straightened, pulling her dark blonde hair back behind her shoulders. “You need to keep practicing until you learn it. You’re supposed to play this piece for our guests tomorrow, remember?”

The little girl next to Abigail laughed and swung her legs back and forth on the piano bench. She constantly played with her dark brown hair, which was tied up in a ponytail. “Start over, Abigail!” she insisted. “Maggie won’t leave you be until you learn it right!”

Abigail rolled her eyes and sighed again. “Why can’t it be something easier than ‘The Star Spangled Banner’?” she growled.

She turned to face the box piano, and spread her small fingers across the keys. Slowly, deliberately, she began to play. Reaching the troublesome note again, she struck the wrong key.

Maggie shook her head. She turned and walked out of the parlor. The two little girls heard her shoes clunk as she went up the stairs. They looked at each other and giggled.

“Let’s get our toys!” the brown-haired girl whispered, her amber eyes shining.

“We can’t, Claudia. She’ll hear that I’m not practicing.”

“Oh, all right. But do try to hurry.”

Suddenly, the family’s two dogs started barking outside.

“Hmm,” Abigail said, “I wonder what Colby and Floyd are so excited about.”

“Maybe it’s a rabbit,” Claudia replied, “or a skunk!”

The girls giggled again.

Abigail proceeded to play, making the same mistake over and over. Finally, she got past the problematic note. Staring intensely at the sheet music, she flawlessly played the rest of the piece. Upon producing the final chord, she threw her arms up in the air. Claudia applauded. The two little girls hugged.

A strange, grunting noise came from outside the front door. They whirled around to stare at it. Whatever it was on the other side started screaming and pounding against it. Claudia and Abigail looked at each other in horror.

“What do you think it is?” Claudia whispered.

“I don’t know,” said Abigail. “Let’s go see.”

They slowly crept over to the window, cautiously drew back the lace curtain, and peered out into the darkness, but they didn’t see anything unusual. Unexpectedly, a saddled horse galloped around from the side of the house, stepped up onto the porch, and pawed at the front door. The girls jumped back in surprise.

“It’s a horse!” exclaimed Claudia.

“What does he want?” Abigail asked.

Holding hands, they approached the front door, and stood staring at it. The crazed animal on the other side snorted, nickered, and thumped.

“Should we open it?” Abigail asked.

Claudia nodded, wide-eyed, in response.

Slowly, Abigail unlatched the lock, turned the knob, and pulled the door open. The horse stared back at them with strange, glowing, greenish-brown eyes. Both girls gasped in unison. He nodded his head up and down, and trotted toward the side of the house. The girls stood frozen in the doorway, watching as he came back to repeat his movements.

“I think he wants us to follow him,” said Claudia.

They slowly walked out of the two-story house and down the porch steps, still holding hands. With their eyes glued on the horse, they watched him continue to trot in circles, and followed the spotted equine around to the back of the house.

“Maybe he’s hungry,” Abigail said.

They followed the animal into the barn. The horse walked over to something heaped in the corner. They drew closer, holding their breath. Shaking his head, the horse whinnied. At once, the girls realized that the heap was a person. Claudia gasped.

“Go fetch my sisters!” Abigail exclaimed.

Claudia pulled her hand away from Abigail’s grasp and ran off.

“It’s all right, horsey,” Abigail cooed, trying to calm the animal. Warily drawing closer, she strained her eyes to see what was in the dark. The figure on the floor moaned. Stifling a scream, she clamped her hand over her mouth to suffocate the sound. She heard Claudia yell for her sisters, and stood frozen, watching the horse prance and frantically whinny. Colby, their black and white sheep dog, and Floyd, their sable collie, ran into the barn, but the horse charged at them, and sent them yelping back outside.

Abigail’s sisters arrived with Claudia.

“What is it?” asked Maggie.

Abigail pointed at the dark mound in the corner. Their older sister cautiously approached. The three other girls followed so closely behind that they all seemed to be attached.

“Who is it, Anna?” Abigail asked.

Maggie gasped. “It’s a Rebel!” she exclaimed.

“And he’s bleeding,” said Anna.

She drew closer. The horse allowed her advance.

The soldier moaned. He opened his eyes and gazed around at them, obviously confused, or delirious, or both. “Please …” he moaned, almost in a whisper. “Please, help me.”

“Come on, Maggie,” Anna commanded, kneeling down beside the soldier. “We’ve got to get him inside.”

Maggie resisted. “I don’t think we should touch him,” she said.

Anna glared at her, forcing her to give in under her stare, so Maggie pulled him up. Anna reached around his other side. The two girls hoisted him, causing the soldier to cry out in pain. Balancing the young man between them, they assisted him to the house, nearly dragging him across the barnyard, since he was so weak.

Abigail watched her sisters make their way across the yard, struggling with their load. She looked down and noticed a blood-soaked, yellowish-brown garment on the floor of the barn. Wrinkling her nose, she picked it up and shoved it between the wall slats, thinking that she’d managed to clean up quickly that way.

“Let’s feed the horsey,” she happily said to Claudia.

The two girls climbed into the loft, threw down a bale of hay, and clambered back down. Abigail poured a bucket of water into a trough.

“This will keep you busy for a while,” she said to the horse.

He nickered in response, and nosed his way over to the hay.

“Come on!” Claudia exclaimed.

The two friends ran across the barnyard and into the house.

“Where are we going with him?” Maggie asked as they carried the soldier through the kitchen.

“Upstairs to Father’s bedchamber,” replied Anna.

Maggie glared at her, but complied.

The older sisters carried him up the long wooden flight of stairs, and the two little girls followed. Reaching the top, Anna opened a bedroom door. Its hinges squeaked loudly. They led the wounded soldier over to the four-poster bed. Carefully, they eased him down, lifted his legs, and gently swung him up onto it. The young man moaned in agony. The girls noticed that he was too long for the mattress, as his feet hung over the end. While Anna lit a kerosene lamp on the bedside table, Maggie pulled the windows open to let out the warm, stale air. The flickering lamplight illuminated the soldier’s condition. The front of his shirt was covered with blood, and his right trouser leg was blood-soaked as well.

“Oh!” Claudia exclaimed at the sight. “He’s all leaky!”

Abigail drew closer to him. “Eew!” she reacted, pinching her nose shut with her thumb and forefinger. “He smells like a horse!”

Claudia giggled at the sound that her friend’s voice made.

Haunted Civil War Prisons

Since so much death surrounded Civil War prisons, it only makes sense that unsettled spirits still haunt these places. Thousands died, both North and South, from malnutrition, dysentery, and disease. We only have a few old reminders left, but in some places, there are other, more unworldly reminders as well.

One such place is, of course, Andersonville, Georgia, the site of the infamous prison camp. The suffering that took place within the barracks was immeasurable: men virtually starved to death, or died a slow, rotting death brought on by scurvy. They were forced to live in their own filth, eat raw birds and rats if they were lucky enough to catch any, and tolerate weather and overcrowded conditions. After the prison was finally closed, hauntings in the area began. It is said that some of the prison’s former inmates still wander the grounds, as does the ghost of Henry Wirz, Andersonville’s commandant. Some think that Wirz was wrongly accused and executed, so therefore, he still walks the road in search of retribution.

Another haunted prison is the Old Brick Capitol Prison. The prison was torn down in the 1920’s, and the U.S. Supreme Court building was erected on the site. But the ghosts still remain, although they were more prevalent when the Old Brick Capitol still stood. Ghosts that haunted the place included Henry Wirz, who was executed there, as was Mary Surratt, who some believe was innocent of conspiring in Lincoln’s assassination. She has appeared on the anniversary of her hanging. Moaning, weeping, and sighing echoed within its walls, as well as screams, cries, and phantom footsteps. Laughter and the sound of cell doors slamming, although the doors had been removed, also permeated the building.

Just outside of St. Louis in Alton, Illinois, strange sights and sounds occur where a Confederate penitentiary once stood. As in many prisons of the time, a small pox epidemic spread through the camp, killing thousands. A small portion of the prison’s wall amazingly still remains, as does an old building known as the “Blaske building.” Reportedly, strange things have occurred there, from apparitions appearing to doors slamming to things moving on their own inside the building. An eerie essence surrounds the area. Residual impressions have been seen by locals that resemble tattered Confederate prisoners.

Point Lookout, Maryland is also a famous prison that is said to be haunted. By the end of the war, over 4,000 prisoners had died there. Although the location is now a welcoming state park and recreation area, several buildings that housed the prison remain, and ghosts of Confederate soldiers still frequent it. Many visitors to the park have witnessed apparitions, as have the park rangers. Sounds of ghostly footsteps, slamming doors, and even snoring have been heard. Creepy voices have been recorded within the park, and it is a favorite place for seances and ghost hunters, because strange phenomena happens so frequently. Remarkably, the rangers keep a record of all the bizarre happenings that take place in the park, and hold a ghost tour every October.

Yankee Myths

MYTH– “Confederate symbols should not be tolerated because they represent a government that fought a war to keep blacks in bondage and to preserve the institution of slavery.”

This is one of the most commonly used arguments against Confederate Symbolism and one of the easiest to prove false.

Everyone knows that the South (and the North) had slavery until 1865. The north had slavery at least until 1866, due to some holdouts like future President Union General Ulysses S. Grant who refused to give-up his slaves until the passage of the 13th Amendment. Prior to 1866, slavery was completely legal. The Supreme Court had ruled favorably on the legality and constitutionality of slavery. Presidents Buchanan and Lincoln both promised many times, that they would not interfere with the practice of slavery. Even new laws were put on the books protecting slave owners from loss of slave property due to theft or runaways. Add to that, the fact that the Confederate States constituted the fifth wealthiest region in the world.

The slave owning states had all of these things and more. So why on earth would Southern States secede from the United States? Surely, no one believes that the South would have left the security of the Union and gone to fight a war for something they already had! Countries do not fight wars for the things they have, they fight wars to obtain the things they do not have.

To emphasize how secure the institution of slavery was in the United States, let’s look at what it would have taken to eliminate it. Since slavery was enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, it would require a Constitutional Amendment and that is very difficult to achieve. Two-thirds of the House and Senate must agree to the Amendment and then three-fourths of all the states must vote to ratify the Amendment before it can become part of the U.S. Constitution. This simply would never have happened as long as the Southern States stayed in the Union! That’s right; with the South in the Union, the northern and Southern slave states would have voted down any attempt to amend the Constitution, thereby guaranteeing that the immoral institution of slavery could continue almost indefinitely. So you see, it is quite easy to prove that the South did not secede and fight a war to maintain slavery; an institution they already possessed.

What the South did not have was financial freedom. Southerners were slaves to the industrial demands of the north, just as blacks were slaves to the agricultural demands within the bonds of an unjust labor system. Growth potential was severely limited in the South so long as the north continued to levy heavy Tariffs on things that Southerners needed to purchase; and heavy taxes on those things that Southerners produced.

(Article courtesy of the General William Barksdale Camp 1220, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Columbus, Mississippi, September 2014)

The American Civil War and Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

DSC04773

Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin is the largest in Ireland, with over one million burials since it first opened in 1832. Amongst the headstones are a number of graves and memorials to men who served far away from Dublin, representing both North and South in the American Civil War.

The Jesuit section of Glasnevin Cemetery, where many of that order are buried. Amongst those who lie beneath this cross is Father John Bannon (1829- 1913), the ‘Confederacy’s Fighting Chaplain’. He was sent to St. Louis following his ordination, and when war broke out he served as Chaplain to the First Missouri Confederate Brigade. He was captured with his unit following the fall of Vicksburg in 1863. He subsequently returned to Ireland in an attempt to assist in the disruption of Union recruitment efforts on the island.

Detail of the inscribed cross recording the names of the Jesuits buried in the order’s plot in Glasnevin. ‘P. Joannes Bannon’ can be seen second from bottom. Bannon never returned to America following the war, instead remaining in Ireland and becoming a Jesuit.

(This article courtesy of the Southern Comfort, Samuel A. Hughey SCV Camp 1452, Hernando, MS).

Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

Today marks the 151st anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The battle began on July 1, 1863, and lasted through July 3. Prior to the battle, Union forces, coming from the south, collided with Southern troops travelling from the north. After the first day of battle, General Robert E. Lee’s Confederates were victorious, but by the end of the third day, following Pickett’s famous charge, the battle was considered to be a draw. It wasn’t until several days later that Union General Meade’s Army of the Potomac learned they had won the fight. The battle was a pivotal one in that, from that time until April 1865, the Union army started winning battles, and ultimately won the war.

Every year, a large reenactment takes place in Gettysburg, and this weekend is no exception. Last year’s event was colossal, since it was the 150th anniversary of the battle. However, thousands of reenactors from all over the country are expected to participate in this year’s event, which is called “The Last Great Invasion.” Reenactors wearing authentic clothing and using authentic weaponry camp out over the weekend in Civil War tents. A period ball is held, complete with ladies dressed in beautiful gowns. Battles are staged, as well as living history demonstrations.

An estimated 100 cannons and 400 horses (cavalry) will be involved. And for the first time, “Traveling Tara” will be there, which depicts everyday life in a Civil War home. The name is taken from Tara, Scarlett O’Hara’s home in Gone With the Wind.  The battle reenactments will take place on the Yingling farm – the same site where the movie Gettysburg was filmed 20 years ago.

On Monday, July 7, the National Park Service has granted permission to stage a photo shoot on Little Round Top and Devil’s Den. This is the first time they have allowed it since 1992, when The Killer Angels was filmed there. Reenactors are invited to participate. All in all, the presentations during this weekend will be nothing less than spectacular, and will give spectators a glimpse of what fighting and living during a Civil War was really like.

For more information, check out

http://www.gettysburgreenactment.com/

Post Navigation