Tuesday, November 29, 2016

American Civil War Battlefields
East Crest Drive
Missionary Ridge
Chattanooga, Tennessee

 Photos and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore

Mebane’s Tennessee Battery was part of John. C. Breckinridge’s Division, Daniel H. Hill’s Corps of the Army of Tennessee. Because of their location away from most of the action during the Battle of Chickamauga, Sept. 18-20, 1863, Captain John Mebane’s battery of four guns fired only 75 rounds and suffered just two casualties.  His four Napoleon 12 pounders were eventually moved to this position atop Missionary Ridge.  On Nov. 25, 1863, they were engaged in the Battle of Missionary Ridge, where his guns could not be sufficiently depressed to command the slope of the hill.  Even so, the battery was able to fire off 543 rounds during the battle, though doing little damage to the Union troops coming up the steep hill toward them.  The battery suffered 3 casualties, 2 wounded and 1 missing.  They were however, successfully able to retire with all four guns and proceeded to Dalton, Georgia where they encamped until William T. Sherman began his Atlanta Campaign.  Capt. Mebane was killed on June 18th, 1864, while participating in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, Georgia.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

American Civil War Monuments
Andrews’ Raiders Monument
Chattanooga National Cemetery
Chattanooga, TN  

Photo and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charles Moore

The Andrews’ Raiders Monument, dedicated by the State of Ohio in 1890, honors Union spy James J. Andrews of Ohio, and 24 of his men who struck deep into Confederate Territory on a mission to cut rail and communication lines.  On April 12, 1862, the men boarded “The General” a wood-burning locomotive, at Marietta, Georgia, while the passengers and conductor enjoyed breakfast.  The raiders took off in the engine, heading north, cutting telegraph wires and tearing up the rail tracks along their way.  The train’s conductor and others gave chase, commandeering two other trains as they encountered broken tracks.  When the raiders reach Ringgold, Georgia, 80 miles northwest of Marietta, they jumped from the train, scattering in the forests.  Andrews was captured and eventually hanged in Atlanta.  He and eight others from the mission are buried in the immediate rear of the monument.  Four of Andrews’s men buried here received the Medal of Honor, although, Andrews, as a civilian, was ineligible.  The monument to these daring raiders consists of a granite pedestal topped with a bronze replica of  “The General”.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

American Civil War Monuments
96th Ohio Volunteer Infantry 
Vicksburg National Battlefield
photo courtesy of LCWRT Member Paul Fridell

The 96th Ohio Infantry was a three years service regiment organized in 1862 at Delaware, Ohio under Col. Joseph Vance, and commanded by him until his death at Sabine Pass in April of 1864. 
It's battle actions include Sherman's expedition against Vicksburg, Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, (with a loss of 36 men), and the Siege of Vicksburg. The regiment also participated in the battle of Grand Coteau, Louisiana, the Red River campaign, and fighting at Sabine Cross Road. Later actions were the siege operations which resulted in the fall of Forts Gains and Morgan and the capture of Mobile. Mustered out July 7, 1865, the 96th Ohio had traveled over 9,000 miles in its term of service.
The regiment's casualties were: 2 officers and 46 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, 5 officers and 286 enlisted men died of disease.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

American Civil War Monuments: 
14th CT Vol. Infantry 
Battle of Antietam, 
North of the Bloody Lane
Photo courtesy  of LCWRT member Paul Fridell
This monument was erected by the State of Connecticut on Oct. 11, 1894, with the surviving veterans present. The regiment was mustered in August of 1862. Antietam was their first battle. The 14th CT is also memorialized at Gettysburg with a monument.

The inscriptions: 
“Advanced to this point in a charge about 9:30 A.M., September 17th, 1862, then fell back eighty-eight yards to a cornfield fence and held position heavily engaged nearly two hours; then was sent to the support of the first brigade of its division at the Roulette Lane two hours; then was sent to the extreme left of the first division of this Corps to the support of Brooke's Brigade and at 5 P.M. was placed in support between the Brigades of Caldwell and Meagher of that Division, overlooking "Bloody Lane", holding position there until 10 A.M. of the 18th when relieved."
" This monument stands on the line of companies B and G, near the left of the regiment. The regiment mustered August 23, 1862 with 1015 men Recruits 697 men, total 1712. In this, their first battle, the 14th CT lost 38 killed and mortally wounded, 88 wounded and 21 reported missing.”

The 34 battle actions of the 14th CT from Antietam to Appomattox: 
Antietam Md., Fredericksburg Va., Chancellorsville Va., Gettysburg Pa., Falling Waters Va., Auburn Va., Bristoe Station Va., Blackburn's Ford Va., Mine Run Va., Morton's Ford, Va., Wilderness Va., Laurel Hill Va., Spotsylvania Va., North Anna River, Va., Totopotomy Va., Cold Harbor Va., Cold Harbor Va. (three days later), Petersburg Va., Deep Bottom Va., Ream's Station Va., Boydton Plank Road Va., Hatchers Run Va. Feb 5. 1865, Hatchers Run Va. March 25, 1865, Highbridge, Farmville Va. and Surrender of Lee's Army March 30 to April 10, 1865.
And their casualties:
Killed and mortally wounded 202, died of disease 186, wounded 549, and discharged for disability 319. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Amercian Civil War: Battlefields
Old South Mountain Inn
Turner’s Gap 
Boonsboro, Maryland

The Old South Mountain Inn is located on the south side of the Old National Pike (Alt.US 40) as it passes over South Mountain at Turner’s Gap.  Historically known as the Mountain House, it was impacted by the Battle of South Mountain which occurred on September 14, 1862.  The inn was Confederate General D.H. Hill’s headquarters during the battle.  It was also the command center for the action that took place at Turner’s and Fox’s Gap as rebels tried to hold the passes over South Mountain.  The Old National Pike, which passes in front of the inn, was of great importance to both armies because it provided access to one of the few crossings through the mountains.  The superior quality of its surface could handle large numbers of men, horses, artillery, and supply trains.  Turner’s Gap was the main objective for the Union Army as it attempted to follow the Rebels into the Hagerstown Valley to capture a divided Confederate Army.

Photo and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fall Bourbon Tasting Fundraising Event!

On November 6 twenty-four lucky folks got to taste a variety of Civil War themed bourbons, enjoy some tasty food, and hear one of the great Civil War historians of our time, Richard McMurry. The star attraction of this event was a bottle of 1960 circa Rebel Yell. This unopened bottle was given to long time member Lowell Griffin, by the founder of the LCWRT, Frank Rankin in about 1975.  This vintage Rebel Yell was distilled by the former Stitzel-Weller distillery owned and operated by the Van Winkle family as in ”Pappy Van Winkle” fame. It did not disappoint! It had a rich dark straw appearance and a great nose (fragrance or smell) for those who appreciate bourbon tasting talk. Everyone agreed this was the best tasting bourbon of the lot and maybe the best that many had tasted in a long time. Our tasting guide and host, Mike Veach, commented that it tasted better than today’s very expensive Pappy Van Winkle. High praise indeed!

Attendees also tasted the current Rebel Yell distilled product and though good, nothing like the vintage bottle. Our thanks go to Lowell for donating this bottle and inspiring this event. We also tasted “Battlefield Bourbon”- Small Batch distilled with “fresh spring water from the battlefield in Franklin. Tn.”, “Johnny Drum” Private Stock - a Willett distilled product from Bardstown, Ky.; “Burnside Double Barreled” An Oregon state distilled product; “Rebellion”- a Willett distilled product from Bardstown, Ky.; and “Cassius Clay”- 100-proof whiskey aged for around 8 years in charred American oak.

Richard McMurry treated us to a humorous and informative talk on four Confederate generals from the Western theater of the war of whom opinions have changed in the last 50 years or AC, ‘after Thomas Connelly”. Historians now evaluate Generals Braxton Bragg and John Bell Hood much higher than previously and Leonidas Polk and Joe Johnston lower than before. Richard pointed out that this is primarily because historians now look at all contemporary sources and do not rely solely on the memoirs of the Generals who always cast themselves in the most positive light possible.

Richard McMurry
photo and text courtesy of LCWRT Member, John Davis

Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran’s Day
November 11th, 2016
Cave Hill National Cemetery

Louisville, Kentucky

photos and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charles Moore

 Approximately 6,000 Civil War soldiers are interred at Cave Hill National Cemetery.  The cemetery covers 4.1 acres and is totally enclosed by the 296 acres of the privately owned Cave Hill Cemetery.
2016 Fall Field Trip to Richmond Kentucky
Oct. 23, 2016

Phil Seyfrit pointing to the historic ravine used by Confederate forces to flank the Union defenders  saved by money from the Civil War Trust.
Photo and text courtesy of LCWRT Member John Davis

 The Louisville Civil War Round Table met at the historic Rogers House for our tour of the Richmond, Kentucky battlefield with guide Phil Seyfrit, battlefield historian and preservationist. The weather was perfect as  Phil took us to the ground where the August 29-30, 1862 battle took place and described in his own down home way what transpired here. His goal was to give us a big picture overview of what happened and he interjected lots of humor and interesting stories about the personalities that were involved. To further our understanding of the battle, he had us act out the battle by placing us in formations and moving us around to simulate the positions of the armies and how the battle unfolded. We learned that flanking movements were the key to the Confederate victory and time after time Kirby Smith’s troops were able to maneuver and launch overwhelming flank attacks that eventually sent Union forces fleeing from the field. The battle was the second largest Civil War battle in Kentucky and was one of the most decisive and complete Confederate victories of the war. We made the short journey over to White Hall, home of abolitionist Cassius Clay for a brief lecture by Phil about White Hall and the very interesting life of Clay. We ended our day by going to Hall’s on the River for a time of good food and fellowship at this historic site on the Kentucky River. Our thanks to Phil Seyfrit who gave us a great tour and entertained us all day long. He and other key individuals have done a fantastic job in helping preserve the Battle of Richmond sites and everyone in the Civil War community owes them a debt of gratitude for the work they have done and are continuing to do.  

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Announcing Our 514th Meeting “The Four Legged Soldiers” 

 Presented by James I. Robertson 

“The Four Legged Soldiers” 

The horse was the basic form of transportation at the time of the Civil War. Some 1.5 million died in that war, not only from wounds but also from, neglect, abuse, disease, and starvation. I will focus on the plight of those poor animals, then move to mascots who gave love to regiments and too often gave themselves in the call of duty.

DATE: Sunday, November 20 
Location: Big Spring Country Club

We are once again honored to have our longtime friend and Life Member of our Round Table, James I. ‘Bud’ Robertson Jr. visit us. He is without question one of the preeminent Civil War scholars and lecturers of our time. So many times in the past he has enlightened our members with informative and entertaining talks. ‘Bud’ has written and edited over 20 books and countless articles and reviews during his distinguished career. His latest book is “CIVIL WAR ECHOES--Voices from Virginia 1860 – 1891” . His magnificent biography of Stonewall Jackson won eight national awards and served as the basis for the movie ‘Gods and Generals’. 

James I. Robertson Jr. is a native of Danville, Virginia and a great grandson of a Confederate veteran of the Army of Northern Virginia. He received his B.A. and Litt.D. degrees from Randolph-Macon College and M.A. and PhD degrees from Emory University, where he studied under famous Civil War historian Bell Wiley. He served as Executive Director of the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission working with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. He has been honored with several major awards including the 1987 Fletcher Pratt Award, the 1988 Jefferson Davis Medal and the Freeman-Nevins Award. Bud continues to speak at seminars and other venues around the country and has finished ‘A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary: J. B. Jones’ that was recently published. Dr. Robertson recently retired from being the Alumni Distinguished Professor in History at Virginia Tech. Since our founding in 1961, Bud Robertson has been a frequent and favorite speaker and we welcome him back once again for what will be a very special evening.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

American Civil War Monuments:
Amos Humiston Monument
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The monument to Union Sergeant Amos Humiston is in Gettysburg beside the fire station on Stratton Street between York Street and the railroad.  It was erected in 1993 and is the only monument to an enlisted man on the Gettysburg Battlefield.

photos and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore

Sunday, November 6, 2016

American Civil War Monuments:
Antietam National Cemetery
The Private Soldier Monument 

This monumental statue dominates the National Cemetery at Antietam.Simply inscribed  "Not For Themselves, But For Their Country September 17, 1862", it is also known as The American Volunteer or The American Soldier, its nickname is Old Simon. 
This 44' monument was designed and sculpted at a cost of $32,000 and depicts a colossal 21'-6" Union infantryman at parade rest facing northward. It first stood at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876, then was transported onto Antietam ,where it was dedicated in 1880. 

photos courtesy of LCWRT Member Paul Fridell

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Civil War Battlefields and Monuments: 
Antietam National Battlefield
The Bloody Lane
 The 132nd PA Monument

 Photos courtesy of LCWRT Member Paul Fridell

The 132nd Pa was a nine-month regiment that mustered in August of 1862 They were engaged at the Bloody Lane at Antietam, where their commander, Colonel Richard A. Oakford, was killed in action.  Casualties there: Killed 30, wounded 114. Missing 8.  They later fought at Fredericksburg Dec. 13, 1862 and Chancellorsville, Va. Apr. 30 -May 3, 1863. They were mustered out in May of 1863. 
This monument was erected by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and dedicated September 17, 1904 on the 42nd anniversary of the battle of Antietam.