Sunday, September 30, 2012


“The consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.”
Robert E. Lee

Saturday, September 29, 2012


"One thing they (Confederate Soldiers) had in common, a belief in Southern rights. That one of those rights involved the dark institution of chattel slavery is not pertinent because few of them owned slaves or hoped to own them.

That tariff and free trade entered into it is not pertinent, either: These were pastorals, and their economics were bounded by their fields and woodlots 

Those men believed in something. They counted life a light thing to lay down in the faith they bore. They were terrible in battle. They were generous in victory. 

They rose up from defeat to fight again, and while they lived they were formidable. There were not enough of them. That is all." John W. Thomason Jr. Lt. Col. USMC

Photo: Pvt. Hugh Lawson Duncan, 39th GA, Cumming’s Brigade, Stevenson’s Division

Duncan is listed as being from Walker County, GA at the time of his enlistment, March 4, 1862.

Forty-six years after the war Charles Stowe, son of Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," addressing a negro university in Nashville, Tenn., said: "It is certain there was a rebellion, but the Northerners were the rebels, not the Southerners."

Brig. Gen. Archibald Gracie III...may have saved Lee's life. 

He was born in New York the son of a very wealthy family, he received a West Point nomination from a New Jersey congressman who happened to be his uncle. He graduated from West Point in 1854; yet, when the war began, he promptly enlisted with the 11th Alabama, Confederate States of America.

Gracie had been in the same West Point class as several Southern officers, including Custis Lee and J.E.B. Stuart, John Pegram, and Dorsey Pender. Thus the start of the war saw his decision to join the Confederate States Army and in June of 1861 was made a major in the 11th Alabama Regiment.

One of his early commands in March and April of 1862 included a small band of sharpshooters during the Battle of Yorktown. Later that year the 43rd Alabama joined with the 12th and 55th Georgia Infantry troops, artillery regiment, the 1st Georgia as well as a dismounted regiment, the 1st Florida. It was his 43rd Alabama Infantry which would be known as “Gracie’s Pride.”

A low point of his career had to be the Battle of Chickamauga, where the final death toll showed he had lost 700 men. It was after this that his troops joined with Gen. William Longstreet at the Battle of Bean’s Station, which was just outside Knoxville, Tennessee.

It was about this time that Gracie was shot in the arm and elbow, resulting in a temporary paralysis of two fingers of his hand. After his arm had healed, he was sent to Richmond where he joined Gen. Pierre Gustav Toutant Beauregard. His luck did not improve there as he had his horse shot out from beneath him, but did not receive any serious wounds.

One story that has endured following Gracie’s participation in the Battle of Petersburg, or “the Crater,” was that he was reported to have saved the life of General Robert E. Lee. It seems that as Lee was inspecting Gracie’s defense line, the general raised his head to look at the Union troops, extending his head beyond the safety of the salient wall. 

When Gracie saw this, recognizing the potential danger to his leader, he instantly climbed up on the wall, standing in front of Lee. It is said that Lee then exclaimed, “Why, Gracie, you will certainly be killed,” to which Gracie replied, “It is better, General, that I be killed than you. When you get down, I will.”

His second child, a little girl, had been born on December 2, 1864. Gracie was fighting in the trenches of Petersburg two days later, and he was observing the Union troops through his telescope (or binoculars). 
Suddenly an artillery shell exploded in front of him, breaking his neck—some sources say it decapitated him. Two other soldiers were also killed in the incident. He would never know that a day later, his beloved mother had died at her home and apparently she went to her grave unaware of her son’s death.

I believe Gracie's son was a Titanic survivor...


Alabama notched up a notable first by becoming the only Confederate commerce raider to defeat a Union warship in open combat. 

Cruising off Galveston on January 11, 1863 while disguised as a British man-o'war, she fell in with the U.S.S. Hatteras and surprised her with a couple of well-timed broadsides. After a brief but ferocious engagement, the Yankee steamer sank.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Centralia Missouri on Sept. 27th 1864 had about a dozen homes, 2 small hotels and a couple of general stores. Most of the 60 or so citizens were Southern sympathizers.

On September 27, 1864, Captain T. William Anderson and about 80 of his men rode into Centralia to obtain information to the wherabouts of the Federal troops in the area. 

In the morning a train from the east coming through Centralia. The passengers on the train were robbed and 23 furloughed Federal soldiers from the 1st Iowa Calvary were taken off the train and all but one Sergeant was shot.

By mid afternoon Major A.V.E. Johnston with a company of 155 Federal troops of the 39th Missouri Mounted Infantry observed the smoke from the depot that was set fire by Anderson's men. Upon arriving in Centralia, Johnston saw the dead Federal soldiers still lying on the ground and became outraged. 

Later that afternoon Major Johnston left 35 of his men in Centralia and the rest headed for Anderson's encampment. Major Johnston saw Anderson and about 80 or so of his men at the bottom of a hill. To Anderson's back was a horseshoe shape wooded area, giving cover to both his right and left. Johnston had every fifth man hold four horses, so that the other men could dismount and take the line with their single shot muzzle loader Enfields. 

Anderson, seeing the Federals dismount, gave the command to attack. Firing their six-shooters they rode through the dismounted soldiers, right on through to the men holding the horses. On Anderson's right flank were Thrailkill and T. Todd. On his left were Gordon and G. Todd. Each commanded about 50 men. After Anderson's men had ridden through Johnston's dismounted infantry the others attacked from both sides. Within three minutes it was all but over. 

Those of the Federals that were able to mount and flee were chased by Anderson's men all the way to Centralia. Many were shot along the way. When Anderson's men arrived in Centralia most of the Federals were looking for a place to hide, or get away if they could. 

When it was all over it was uncertain as to how many of the 39th Missouri Mounted Infantry lived. The record shows that Major Johnston died that day along with 122 other Federal soliders, not counting the 22 from the train. Anderson lost only three of his men.

Photo: Bill Anderson…

I don’t think that there is much I agree with Karl Marx on but, in this case he is spot on…

The war between the North and the South is a tariff war. The war is further, not for any principle, does not touch the question of slavery, and in fact turns on the Northern lust for sovereignty. Karl Marx, 1861

Asians in the War…

Eng and Chang Bunker famous “Siamese twins,” 
married sisters, Adelaide and Sarah (Sally) Yates and between them fathered 22 children.

Two of their boys, Christopher Wren Bunker (Chang’s son) and Stephen Decatur Bunker (Eng’s son), enlisted in the Confederate Army and fought in several battles, both being wounded, but both surviving, although Stephen spent considerable time as a prisoner of war at Camp Chase, Ohio. Their service in the 37th Virginia Cavalry was apparently no more than that of the average brave soldier, but their parentage set them apart.

They were raised as brothers when actually they were cousins, but the fact that their fathers had married sisters, makes them, in some weird genealogical scheme of things double first cousins, we are told.

On the Union side…John Tommy, born in mainland China, one of the numerous “foreigners,” to whom a promise was made by the U. S. Government: service on behalf of the Union would be rewarded with full American citizenship when the war was over and if the Union won. But it never happened. In some cases there were whole Union regiments of men who could not speak English.

Remembering that there were few Asians in the U.S. at this period of time, it is easy to understand why a Confederate general inquired of the captured Tommy, “What are you--a Mulatto, Indian or what?”

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The 54th Massachusetts USCT was intentionally fired upon by Union Maine troops while assaulting Battery Wagner. The Federal Official Records and memoirs of the USCT document all of these war incidents.

Reporting on the assault on Battery Wagner] "Sergeant George E. Stephens of Company B described the scene to Captain Emilio: 

'Just at the very hottest moment of the struggle, a battalion or regiment charged up to the moat, halted, and did not attempt to join us, but from their position commenced to fire upon us. I was one of the men who shouted from where I stood, 'don’t fire on us. We are the Fifty-fourth.' I have heard it was a Maine Regiment.'" - "A Brave Black Regiment: History of the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry," Luis F. Emilio, Boston: Boston Book Company, 1894; Reprint, Salem: Ayer Company Publishers, Inc., 1990., 93

"A negro…with a rifle at full cock, leading along a barefooted white man, with whom he evidently changed clothes. General Longstreet stopped the pair and asked the black man what it meant. The Negro replied, "The two soldiers in charge of this here yank have got drunk, so for fear he should escape I have took care of him and brought him through that little town." The consequential manner of the negro, and the supreme contempt witch which he spoke to his prisoner, were most amusing. 

This little episode of a southern black leading a white Yankee soldier through a Northern village, alone and of his own accord, would not have been gratifying to an abolitionist. Nor would the sympathizers both in England and in the North feel encouraged if they could hear the language of detestation and contempt with which the numerous Negroes with the Southern armies speak of their so called liberators." Lt. Colonel Freemantle British Observer

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

In 1860 a man's loyalty was to his home State first and foremost. It was so for Lee and Cleburne...the terms State and Country are synonymous. 

"As to my own position, I hope to see the Union preserved by granting the South the full measure of her constitutional rights. If this cannot be done, I hope to see all the Southern States united in a new confederation and that we can effect a peaceable separation. If both of these are denied us, I am with Arkansas in weal or woe…” Patrick Cleburne

On January 2, 1904, Longstreet contracted pneumonia. Large quantities of blood began to flow from his mouth, and he hemorrhaged so badly that the throat wound he had received 49 years earlier was reopened. Delirious for some time, he eventually lost consciousness. 

James Longstreet died of pneumonia on the morning of January 2, 1904, just six days short of his 83rd birthday. 

On January 6th when the services began, a local guard unit and representatives of the Longstreet Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy attended the body. Two priests and Bishop Keiley, one of the general's old soldiers, conducted the services. All the Longstreet children except James attended. 

After services at the courthouse, pallbearers carried the casket to a hearse, which began the long procession to Gainesville's Alta Vista Cemetery. State and local dignitaries, militia units, Confederate veterans carrying flags, and other groups followed as church bells tolled. At the gravesite, Bishop Keiley gave a eulogy, after which guards fired their volleys, and Taps sounded its haunting notes. 

When the news of his death spread across the country, many newspapers had extolled his virtues as a man and his prowess as a general. Too bad they waited so long. As the pallbearers prepared to lower the casket, one of his old soldiers was moved to lay his uniform and enlistment papers on the lid of Longstreet's coffin, saying nothing, but speaking volumes. 

Despite all the accusations, he still commanded the respect of thousands both North and South, both Blue and Gray. As Longstreet himself had said: 

Error lives but a day. Truth is Eternal. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On September 8, 1897, at the age of 76, James Longstreet married Helen Dortch at the Governor's mansion in Atlanta, much to his children’s disapproval. He and his 34-year-old bride honeymooned briefly near Atlanta and later took a trip to Mexico. 

Helen would be instrumental in the effort to salvage her husband's reputation. She outlived "Old Pete" by fifty-nine years, spending much of that time defending his reputation. Helen Longstreet was "as combative as Old Pete himself when responding to a slight against his good name," according to the historian Carol Reardon. 

When she visited the Gettysburg battlefield for a fiftieth-anniversary commemoration, she insisted that Pickett's Charge, in fact, "was Longstreet's." Mrs. Longstreet wrote in the New York Times of imagining her husband's feelings of "dumb agony as he looked upon the marching columns and knew that it was their death march." 

During World War II (1939–1945), Helen Longstreet, then in her eighties, worked as a riveter, and in 1950, she ran unsuccessfully for governor of Georgia.

As the years passed, Longstreet became bitter, and his attempts to "set the record straight" made the situation worse. He was naive in many ways. He failed to follow his uncle's advice not to anger people by submitting controversial letters to newspapers. He didn't anticipate extreme, long-lasting Southern hatred toward him, nor that there would be consequences for supporting Grant, becoming a Republican, and accepting political appointments.

In defense of his criticism of Lee's tactical offensive at the Battle of Gettysburg, which Longstreet maintained resulted in the needless death of thousands of Confederate troops during Pickett's Charge, the former general published his memoirs, From Manassas to Appomattox: Memoirs of the Civil War in America, in 1896.

After the war, Longstreet got involved with the Republican Party and became known as a traitor to the South. In November 1865, Ulysses S. Grant petitioned President Andrew Johnson to restore Longstreet's citizenship. When Longstreet and Johnson met, Johnson said, "There are three persons of the South who can never receive amnesty: Mr. Davis, General Lee, and yourself. You have given the Union cause too much trouble." 

In 1867, Longstreet wrote letters to the New Orleans Times, which were reprinted widely. In them, he advised Southerners, as a "conquered people," to cooperate with the North and the Republicans, as the war was fought upon "Republican ideals." Southerners were furious. When he officially joined the Republican Party, supported the Grant administration, and accepted Republican political appointments, they were outraged.

The blame for the heavy losses suffered at Gettysburg was placed squarely upon Longstreet's shoulders, and he was excluded from Confederate circles, even military reunions, and there are few monuments to Longstreet in the South. Such criticism chafed Longstreet, but he was unable to defend himself well in writing. 

More on this series of posts on Longstreet to come.

As Lee rode toward Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, Longstreet said, "General, if he does not give us good terms, come back and let us fight it out." But General Grant, Longstreet's best friend at West Point and in the antebellum army, offered generous terms, and it was over, at a cost of more than 620,000 American lives. 

At Appomattox, Longstreet was warmly received by Grant, and their friendship from before the war continued. Longstreet never saw Robert E. Lee again, although they did exchange letters prior to Lee's death in 1870. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

On the second day of fighting at the Battle of the Wilderness– almost exactly one year later, and three miles away from where Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded by his own men during the Battle of Chancellorsville – Longstreet was shot by his own men in the thickets of the Wilderness on May 6, 1864. Many believe the battle wouldn't have ended in a draw if Longstreet had been able to direct his counterattack in person.

Longstreet was struck by a minie ball in the throat and exited through his right shoulder, severing nerves. As a result of his wounds, his once clear voice was now husky and his right arm was paralyzed. He was put on leave until his wounds healed. Longstreet's fall was recognized as a great blow to the South and a stroke of luck for the North. 

Longstreet rejoined Lee in October 1864, with his right arm paralyzed and in a sling, initially unable to ride a horse. He had taught himself to write with his left hand; by periodically pulling on his arm, as advised by doctors, he was able to regain use of his right hand in later years. For the remainder of the Siege of Petersburg, he commanded the defenses in front of the capital of Richmond, including all forces north of the James River and Pickett's Division at Bermuda Hundred.

It was Longstreet's actions at the Battle of Gettysburg, fought in Pennsylvania in July 1863, that haunted him after the war. That battle marked the first major campaign for the army without Jackson, who died in May 1863, and the beginning of problems within the army's high command.

Prior to the summer of 1863, Longstreet offered a plan to the Richmond government designed to relieve pressure on Vicksburg. His proposal was not adopted in favor of Lee's plan to invade the North. Lee's plan was designed to relieve Virginia of Union troops, giving farmers time to bring in their crops; to threaten Northern cities, convincing the Union government that a continued war was useless; and to relieve other parts of the Confederacy by causing Union armies in the west to move east. 

Longstreet told Lee that offensive attacks on the Federal position along Cemetery Ridge were doomed to failure. He preferred to flank the Union line and establish a defensive position somewhere between the Union Army and Washington DC. He felt that Meade would then be forced to attack a well-established Confederate line. 

Lee's refusal to fight defensively rankled Longstreet, who barely concealed his displeasure. Still, his assault in the afternoon on July 2 virtually destroyed the Union Army's III Corps, but failed to capture the prominent Round Tops that dominated the Union position. Lee refused to relinquish the initiative, however, and issued plans for a massive frontal assault on the Union center the following day. 

With the shells screaming and exploding all around him, he was observed by Brigadier General J. L. Kemper of Pickett's division: 

Longstreet rode slowly and alone immediately in front of our entire line. He sat his large charger with a magnificent grace and composure I never before beheld. His bearing was to me the grandest moral spectacle of the war. I expected to see him fall every instant. Still he moved on, slowly and majestically, with an inspiring confidence, composure, self-possession, and repressed power in every movement and look, that fascinated me.


Longstreet's wife and children had returned from Texas, his last duty station prior to the war and were living with friends in Richmond, Virginia.

Early in 1862, during a scarlet fever epidemic in that city, three of the four Longstreet children (Mary Anne, James, and Augustus Baldwin) died within eight days. The blow was almost too much for Longstreet; he hurriedly went to Richmond. It was some days before he could leave his wife and 13-year-old son Garland, who were devastated by the tragedy.

The loss affected the general greatly. An aide noted that his "grief was very deep," while others commented on his change in personality. Because the Longstreets were too grief-stricken, General George Pickett and his fiancée LaSalle Corbett made the burial arrangements.

In addition to sons Garland, Robert Lee, and James Jr., Longstreet had an additional son and daughter after the war. They were Fitz Randolph born in 1869, and the couple's tenth and last child Maria Louisa born in 1872. Although Louise and James had lost five children during their years together, the five living in 1872 all lived to adulthood.

In January 1890, Maria Louise Longstreet died at the age of sixty-two at Gainesville, Georgia. 

Photo: Maria Longstreet and Sons 
Photograph taken at Hall County, Georgia, 1870

First in a series of posts on Longstreet...

James Longstreet was born in Edgefield, South Carolina on January 8, 1821, son of James and Mary Anne Dent Longstreet, his father nicknamed him Pete.

James gained several friends whom he would retain throughout his adult life: one of these was a young man named Ulysses Simpson Grant, who was in the class behind James. At the time he graduated from West Point as part of the class of 1842, he ranked 54th in a class of 56, sixteen of whom would go on to be Civil War generals.

A year later, to Longstreet's delight, Ulysses S. Grant survived West Point and reported for duty at Jefferson Barracks. The two soon became constant companions. It was there that he introduced his cousin Julia Dent to Grant, and the two were soon married. 

James Longstreet fell in love with Maria Louise Garland – called Louise by her family –his commanding officers daughter. The couple honored her parents' request that they wait until Mary was older and were married in Lynchburg, Virginia, on March 8, 1848.

The War defined Longstreet's life. When Alabama seceded from the Union in January of 1861, Longstreet, like many other officers with ties to the south, felt the pull of his allegiance to his home in Georgia. He resigned his commission in the U.S. Army in May and joined the forces of the Confederacy as a lieutenant colonel. He traveled to the Confederate capitol at Richmond, Virginia, was appointed brigadier-general in June, and was sent to Manassas Junction, Virginia, to head a brigade of Virginia infantry.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lest we forget…(no hate no racism...only honor)

"I must not forget our old flag — though torn & tattered & faded. In the three days of fighting, although about 18 inches was torn off the end & lost 

— there is fifteen bullet holes through the flag & three through the staff — & besides this a large rent made by a piece of a bomb. 

Three color bearers were shot down & the fourth now carries it. If I should live through the war I would want no brighter monument than this faded flag to decorate my parlor walls — (Provided I ever have a parlor)." James C. Bates CSA

The honorable men of the South, why did they fight…(response to the Dick Morris video I posted yesterday evening…

“They are about to invade our peaceful homes, destroy our property, and inaugurate a servile insurrection, murder our men and dishonor our women. 

We propose no invasion of the North, no attack on them, and only ask to be left alone." Major General Patrick Cleburne

We have all been taught a very selective, distorted and politically correct version of history distributed by the victors in order to claim some moral high ground for an unjust war. The Morris video is more of the same.

The invaders did just as the general predicted…

Saturday, September 22, 2012

It is a fact, Southern troops numbering several thousand would not cross the Potomac into Maryland in September of 1862. It was of grave concern for General Lee, so that he issued strict orders on desertion and straggling, which included execution. 

Confederate soldiers refused to join in the invasion because they declared that they were fighting to defend their homes and not to go north and take war to other men’s homes, they did not wish to leave Virginian soil. 

This also happened to a lesser degree during the Gettysburg campaign. 

“To defend your birthright and mine, I exchange with proud satisifaction a term of six years in the Senate of the United States for the musket of a soldier.” John C. Breckinridge former Vice President of the U.S. 

His address in Sept. 1861 after resigning his newly elected office as U.S. Senator. (This remark revealed his deep resentment of Lincoln’s plans for invading Kentucky.)        

By the summer of 1861, Lincoln had placed into motion his plan to isolate the secessionist Southern States by imposing a blockade of their shipping ports. The South's economy was based on "King Cotton" and trade with England and other countries. 

Four million English textile jobs relied on the importation of southern cotton, and in turn southern leaders would need immense amounts of arms and equipment from Europe to defeat the oncoming threat from the north. Blockade runners would become the lifeline of the Confederacy.

Before the Federal blockade was fully in place in the latter part of 1861, supplies were primarily carried across the Atlantic on sailing ships able to handle large quantities of goods. One ship could supply thousands of Enfield rifles and enough ammunition for 30 thousand troops in the field. As the blockade became more fully implemented, newer, faster and smaller steamships were utilized to elude Union vessels.

On May 28, 1861 Charleston received notification that it's port was to be blockaded and that any ship approaching the city would be warned off or seized. A fifteen day grace period was to be given to neutral ships to leave the harbor. 

Undeterred, Confederate leaders went into action and readied war ships and privateers to counter the threat. The exploits of these bold sailors serving in the Confederate Navy, on privateers and supply ships became greatly romanticized in the newspapers as "Cavaliers of the Sea".
"I came here as a friend...let us stand together. Although we differ in color, we should not differ in sentiment." - LT Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA, Memphis Daily Avalanche, July 6, 1875

Yet he is always accused of being a racist...

Friday, September 21, 2012

“Our fathers valued liberty, but the liberty for which they contended was each person’s privilege to do those things and those only to which God’s law and Providence gave a moral right.” Robert Lewis Dabney

Photo: Chitwood Brothers, Bartow Yankee Killers-23rd Georgia Infantry Volunteers

At the Battle of the Crater white Union soldiers bayoneted retreating Black Union soldiers.  The Federal Official Records and memoirs of the USCT document all of these war crimes.

"George L. Kilmer, an officer of the Fourteenth New York Heavy Artillery, went into the Crater with the first wave and reported afterward that when the USCT moved forward to charge the fort, some of White soldiers refused to follow them. Pandemonium broke out when the Black soldiers could not continue the assault and started to retreat and come back into the Crater. 'Some colored men came into the Crater and there they found a fate worse than death in the charge . . . It has been positively asserted, that White men [Union] bayoneted Blacks who fell back into the Crater.'" - "The Sable Arm."  Dudley T. Cornish, New York:  Longman, Green & Co., 1956, p 274

We always hear about the false accusations regarding General Forrest at Fort Pillow but we never hear the other side.

There are documented incidents of USCT engaging in organized murder of White Confederate soldiers in Florida and at Ft. Blakelely, Alabama on April 9, 1865, where they shot, bayoneted, and bludgeoned unarmed surrendered Confederate soldiers and shot two of their own White USCT officers who tried to stop them, killing one Union officer and permanently crippling the other.

“Instead of friends, I see in Washington only mortal enemies. Instead of loving the old flag of the stars and stripes, I see in it only the symbol of murder, plunder, oppression, and shame.” Rose O’Neal Greenhow.

She was a renowned Confederate spy. As a leader in Washington, D.C. society during the period to prior the War, she traveled in important political circles and cultivated friendships with presidents, generals, senators, and high-ranking military officers, using her connections to pass along key military information to the Confederacy at the start of the war.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


On September 17, 1862 General John Bell Hood was asked at Sharpsburg, Maryland (Antietam).
“Where is your division?”

“Dead on the field!”…was his reply. 


After the Franklin and Nashville campaign, he could have said the same about the Army of Tennessee…

There have been approximately 60,000 books written on the “Civil” War and another 16,000 about Lincoln alone. 

A lowly confederate private sums up all the books and narratives ever written when asked by his Union captors “What are you fighting for anyhow?” and he replied…

“I’m fightin because you’re down here.” 

Victory at Chickamauga…at a heavy price.

Breckenridge placed his men to the right of General Patrick R. Cleburne’s division and consequently became the extreme right flank of the Confederate line of battle; the Kentucky Brigade forming the left, the division moved forward in search of the enemy. “We charged their works, but receiving a very heavy enfilading fire from both artillery and musketry on the left and severe fire from the front. 

The 6th and 4th Kentucky and several companies from the 41st Alabama were successful and passed to the right and clear of the works. Steadily they drove the enemy back to within 100 yards of the Chattanooga road. 

The left-hand regiments reformed and made a second charge that drove the first line of the enemy from their entrenchments. The advanced position could not be maintained, however, due to heavy fire from their left, and they were forced back. For the third time the Confederates advanced to the charge, under heavy fire. Word was received that General Helm was mortally wounded, and that Lt. Colonel Lewis of the Second Kentucky would take over the Brigade.

Late in the evening, reinforced by several additional brigades, the shattered remnant of the 1st Kentucky Brigade charged once more. This time they drove the enemy from their fortifications towards the Chattanooga road taking a considerable number of prisoners. As darkness fell, a welcome halt was called to this bloody day of fighting.

ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE ARISTOCRATIC SLAVE OWNERS...fighting to preserve slavery (stated with abundant dose of scarcasm).

An old tin print of Alfred Harrison Craig and wife Nancy Cannon. Look closely and you will see the patch on his cheek that hides his wound from the Battle of Chickamauga. 

Alfred was born 25 Dec 1840 in Caldwell County, NC.
He enlisted for the war in Caldwell County on May 12, 1862. Probably a recruit for Vance’s Legion. He mustered in as a private in Company H, 58th North Carolina Troops, on July 29, 1862. Reported present January through June 1863. Wounded in the right check at Chickamauga, Georgia, on September 20, 1863. Reported absent wounded through August 31, 1864. Reported in the hospital at Montgomery, Alabama, on November 15, 1864.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Emilie Hardin Helm (Mary Todd Lincoln’s half-sister) Widow of Confederate General Benjamin Hardin Helm. 

Emilie Helm became very active after the war as a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). She also took part in many of the military reunions and was named “Mother” of the Orphan Brigade.

She served as postmistress in Elizabethtown from 1883 to 1895, having secured the post in a Republican administration with the aid of her nephew, Robert Lincoln. Helm later moved to a colonial mansion near Lexington once owned by her ancestor, General Levi Todd. She died there at the age of 93 on February 20, 1930.

Samuel Jackson, grandson of former president Andrew Jackson was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga 149 years ago today. 

One of 30,000 casualties as a result of this two day battle in Northern Georgia so that Lincoln could collect his taxes.

“There will be no invasion accept to collect taxes.” A. Lincoln March 4 1861 inauguration speech…

Lincoln’s brother in law killed at Chickamauga…

Born in Bardstown, Kentucky, he was called Ben Hardin Helm and graduated 9th in the West Point class of 1851. He resigned his Lieutenant's commission in 1852 after duty at the Carlisle, Pennsylvania, cavalry school and at Fort Lincoln, Texas, and became a law student, a 1 term Kentucky state legislator, a state attorney for Kentucky's 3rd District, and a prosperous lawyer. 

At the start of the War he recruited the 1st Kentucky Cavalry for the Confederacy. He received his promotion to Brigadier General on March 14, 1862. On April 6, at the end of the first day of fighting in the Battle of Shiloh, he incorrectly sent word from his post in north Alabama that Union Major General Don Carlos Buell's force was pressing for Decatur, Alabama, instead of moving to Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant's aid. 

General P.G.T. Beauregard, who assumed command after General Albert Sidney Johnston's death at Shiloh, later claimed that he disregarded his message, yet he did not press his advantage on the 6th. Posted to Vicksburg in summer 1862, he took part in Major General John C. Breckinridge's expedition to Baton Rouge but missed the battle because of injuries in a fall from his horse. In January 1863 he joined the Army of Tennessee and served in the Tullahoma and Chickamauga Campaigns under Breckinridge. 

On September 20, he was mortally wounded at Chickamauga and died that night with his final word being "Victory!". He is remembered less for his Confederate service than for marrying Emily Todd in 1856. Before the war, she, Mary Todd Lincoln's half sister, brought her husband into President Abraham Lincoln's family circle. Lincoln offered him a Union commission with the rank of Major in 1861, which he declined to raise the 1st Kentucky. 

After his death, his widow passed through Union lines to visit her sister at the White House in December. She later recalled that Lincoln himself met her at her carriage with tears in his eyes. Her stay would later cause a furor in the Northern press. 

 After the Tullahoma Campaign, Rosecrans renewed his offensive, aiming to force the Confederates out of Chattanooga. The three army corps comprising Rosecrans’ s army split and set out for Chattanooga by separate routes. 

In early September, Rosecrans consolidated his forces scattered in Tennessee and Georgia and forced Bragg’s army out of Chattanooga, heading south. The Union troops followed it and brushed with it at Davis’ Cross Roads. Bragg was determined to reoccupy Chattanooga and decided to meet a part of Rosecrans’s army, defeat them, and then move back into the city. 

On the 17th he headed north, intending to meet and beat the XXI Army Corps. As Bragg marched north on the 18th, his cavalry and infantry fought with Union cavalry and mounted infantry which were armed with Spencer repeating rifles. 

Fighting began in earnest on the morning of the 19th, and Bragg’s men hammered but did not break the Union line. The next day, Bragg continued his assault on the Union line on the left, and in late morning, Rosecrans was informed that he had a gap in his line. 

In moving units to shore up the supposed gap, Rosencrans created one, and James Longstreet’s men promptly exploited it, driving one-third of the Union army, including Rosecrans himself, from the field. George H. Thomas took over command and began consolidating forces on Horseshoe Ridge and Snodgrass Hill. Although the Rebels launched determined assaults on these forces, they held until after dark. Thomas then led these men from the field leaving it to the Confederates. The Union retired to Chattanooga while the Rebels occupied the surrounding heights.

Abolitionist Fredrick Douglas gave a scathing indictment of Lincoln’s racial policies in an April 14th 1876 speech, at which President Grant was in attendance. 

“He was preeminently the white man’s President, entirely devoted to the welfare of white men. He was ready and willing at any time during the first years of his administration to deny, postpone, and sacrifice the rights of humanity in the coloured people to promote the welfare of the white people of this country.”

They call him the Great Emancipator when he freed no one, somewhat like the current occupant of the White House who received a Nobel Peace prize he did nothing to earn…

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

...I hope we never have another president this good!

Let’s try to get some perspective on the enormous casualties produced by the war.

We just finished a 9-year war in Iraq and lost just over 4000 outstanding Americans. At Cold Harbor alone, Grant lost 7000 killed in a half an hour. 

At Sharpsburg 24,000 casualties in one day, Chickamauga over 30,000 in two days, Gettysburg over 54,000 in three days. 

The latest research estimates 750,000 soldiers killed and “conservatively”, another 50,000 Southern civilians. That’s more than all other American wars put together from the Revolution to today. 

The current US population is ten times greater than it was in 1861. A perspective of how those casualties look in today’s numbers, we would have had eight (8) million dead Americans and multiple millions more maimed for life. 

Ya gotta be a damn good president to do that and save the Union too, without any attempts at diplomacy…maybe the best ever…or the most arrogant. 

Photo: Dead Soldiers in the Wheatfield Near Emmittsburg Road - Gettysburg PA, July 1863

While leading his troops at the battle of Baton Rouge, Allen rode within 50 feet of the enemy's cannon and received a round of canister, crippling his legs so badly that he used crutches for the rest of his life.

"I cannot ask a pardon. A parole I would gladly accept. Perhaps a general amnesty may come-if not, I cannot with honor go back and ask pardon for what I don’t consider a crime." Henry Watkins Allen

Former wartime governor of Louisiana on being asked if he would accept a U.S. pardon


Photo: Although a colonel of the 4th Louisiana Infantry at the battle of Shiloh where he fought with the 5th Company of the Washington Artillery, Allen would later become brigadier general and eventually governor of Louisiana.

Only the studious cultivation of the myth of Abraham Lincoln, coupled with his timely death have caused him to be raised to the level of a sacred cow in American history.

Lincoln was nearly defeated in his reelection attempt in 1864, by that summer, Lincoln himself feared he would lose. His Emancipation Proclamation was still a problem for many Northern voters.

Despite Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg a year earlier, the Southern armies came back fighting with a vengeance. During three months in the summer of 1864, over 65,000 Union soldiers were killed, wounded, or missing-in-action. In comparison, there had been 108,000 Union casualties in the first three years. General Ulysses S. Grant was being called The Butcher. At one time during the summer, Confederate soldiers under JUBAL EARLY came within five miles of the White House.

“Our women were all heroines; everything like dress, amusement, or frivolity was abandoned until Providence in His wisdom decided against us.” Eugena Yates Philips

Below is Philips reply to General Ben Butler, who banished her to prison on Ship Island after she reportedly laughed during the funeral procession of a Yankee soldier in the occupied city of New Orleans in 1662.

“It has one advantage over the city sir, you will not be there.”
Eugenia Yates Phillips

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The great principle enunciated in the Declaration of Independence that "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" was overturned by force of arms. 

By destroying the states’ right to secession, the invaders opened the door to the kind of unconstrained, despotic, arrogant government we have today, something the framers of the Constitution could not have possibly imagined.

States should again challenge Washington’s unconstitutional acts through nullification. But you tell me where we can find leaders with the love, courage and respect for our Constitution like Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John C. Calhoun.

The worst form of idolatry is that which is manufactured by the aggressors and SERVED UP AS HISTORY.

Sic Semper Tyrannis


"On July 5, 1875, Forrest became the first white man to speak to the Independent Order of Pole-Bearers Association, a civil rights group whose members were freedmen. 

In his short speech, he stated blacks had the right to vote for any candidates they wanted and that the role of blacks should be elevated. He ended the speech by kissing the cheek of one of the daughters of one of the Pole-Bearer Memphis Appeal members, evinces Forrest's racial open-mindedness that seemed to have been growing in him. As reported in the contemporary pages of the Memphis Appeal.

N. B. Forrest thanked Miss Lewis for the bouquet and then gave her a kiss on the cheek. Such a kiss was unheard of in the society of those days, in 1875, but it showed a token of respect and friendship between the general and the black community and did much to promote harmony among the citizens of Memphis."

The General’s alleged involvement in the KKK is the product of someone’s over active imagination…FACTS PROVE CONCLUSIVELY THIS IS A FALSE ACCUSATION…

Do you think they’re going to be happy when they have outlawed the Confederate Battle Flag? 

Do you think they will be satisfied when all the monuments to Forrest, Lee and Jackson are removed as proposed earlier this year? Even now in Selma they are protesting a monument ON PRIVATE PROPERTY and falsely associating Forrest with the KKK. 

Do you think they will be content when every child in the South is taught in school to be ashamed of their ancestors? 

Well, think again, the photo below is of an NAACP gathering where they covered the statue of George Washington so that it would not be seen by those in attendance.

“I am nothing but a poor sinner, trusting in Christ alone for salvation.”

Robert E. Lee

On this day in 1864 Nathan Bedford Forrest leads 4,500 men out of Verona, Miss. to harass Union outposts in northern Alabama and Tennessee.

Because of its location on the railroad, Verona played an important part in the war. Verona served as a recruitment camp and a loading point to ship soldiers and supplies to Virginia and other places as the Army needed them. 

In 1864, Nathan Bedford Forrest had his headquarters camp at Verona, and many of his important battles were launched from here. It was in Verona that Forrest was promoted to General of all the cavalry in the Department of Mississippi, Alabama, and East Louisiana. 

General Forrest had a large supply depot in Verona. He had accumulated seven warehouses of ammunition, 34 boxcars filled with supplies, 300 captured wagons, several blacksmith shops, and thousands of weapons. It’s exact location is still a mystery today. 

Ya just gotta love this quote…

“A written constitution is dangerous to us in the North. The South is using it as a shield.” Lincoln’s Secretary of State William Seward 

Photo: Col George Smith Patton, 22nd Virginia Infantry - KIA Battle of Opequon 1864, Grandfather of George S. Patton, Jr. (III)

Saturday, September 15, 2012


“Let us die here my men, let us die here!” General Maxcy Gregg

These words were shouted by the general as he brandished his ancestor’s Revolutionary War sword, while resisting an attack upon his unit by five Yankee Brigades at Second Manassas August 30 1862…

Gregg was mortally wounded on December 13, 1862 at the battle of Fredericksburg. The bullet went through his back into his spine while he was mounted on his horse and rallying his troops. Gregg died of the wounds on the 15th and is buried in Columbia's Elmwood Cemetery

"General Gregg was a brave and accomplished officer, full of heroic sentiment and chivalrous honor. He had rendered valuable service in this great struggle for our freedom, and the country has much reason to deplore the loss sustained by his premature death." - Thomas J. Jackson