Tuesday, December 27, 2016

American Civil War Battlefield Monuments
Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren Monument
Little Round Top
Gettysburg National Military Park

  Photo and Text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore

Brig. Gen. Warren was Chief Engineer of the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Gettysburg.  His bronze statue stands atop the boulder he is said to have stood on during the second  day of the battle. When he arrived in the afternoon, he found only a small Signal Corps detachment.  Realizing the importance of this position, on his own authority, he diverted the brigades of Col. Strong Vincent and Col. Stephen Weed, to what became the successful defense of Little Round Top.  He was slightly wounded in his throat but remained on the battlefield. 

After Gettysburg, Warren was given command of the 5th Corps which he led successfully through the Overland Campaign and the siege of Petersburg.  He was relieved of command by Gen. Phillip Sheridan at the Battle of Five Forks, April 1, 1865, for being too late to the battle.  After the war he resigned his commission as a major general to protest  Sheridan’s action and returned to the Corps of Engineers.  He spent the rest of his career trying to exonerate his name.  A court appointed by President Rutherford B. Hays in 1879 found that Sheridan’s action had been unjustified.  Unfortunately Warren had died 3 months previously.  Per his wishes he was buried with no military honors and in civilian clothing.

Friday, December 23, 2016

American Civil War Monuments
John Breckinridge Castleman Monument
Cherokee Triangle
Louisville, KY

 Photo and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore
 John B. Castleman was born June 30, 1841, at Castleton Farm, Lexington.  He studied law at Transylvania University in Lexington before the start of the Civil War. During the war he recruited 41 men from his hometown to form the Second Kentucky Cavalry Company CSA under John Hunt Morgan. He was promoted to major in 1864 and led his guerillas in the attempted burning of supply boats at St. Louis, Missouri.  He was arrested later that year in Sullivan, Indiana.  He was convicted of spying and sentenced to death, but his execution was stayed by President Lincoln. Following the war, Castleman exiled himself from the United States, and studied medicine in France.  He was pardoned by President Johnson and returned to Kentucky in 1866. He revived the Louisville Legion, a militia unit in 1878 and became adjutant general of Kentucky in 1883.  The unit became the First Kentucky Volunteers in the Spanish-American War.  He was commissioned a colonel in the U.S. Army and his unit participated in the invasion of Puerto Rico. After the war he was promoted to brigadier general and served as military governor of the island.  He died May 23, 1918, survived by his five daughters.  The equestrian statue of Castleman is one of only two in the state, the other that of John Hunt Morgan in Lexington.  He is seen seated on his favorite horse Caroline clad in civilian clothing by his wishes.  It was erected in 1913.

Monday, December 19, 2016

American Civil War Monuments
Vicksburg National Military Park 
Illinois State Monument
Dedicated on October 26, 1906

Photo Courtesy of LCWRT Member Paul Fridell

Some states put up monuments to each regiment at a place on the field that was important to that unit.  Some put up small state monuments and regimental monuments both. With thousands of troops at Vicksburg, Illinois erected  a massive state monument, possibly the largest in the Western theatre, and  certainly in a league with the Pennsylvania Monument at Gettysburg in the East. At 62 feet in height, it is a commanding structure, designed in the Roman style with 47 steps to commemorate the 47 day siege of Vicksburg.

The interior is covered with bronze plaques that list every Illinois soldier at Vicksburg, all 36,325  of them, including, as the park guides will tell you, Albert Cashier. It's an interesting story - look him up. In addition, the names of generals and officers serving from Illinois are carved in the marble of the rotunda.
Even the floor is impressive. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

American Civil War Monuments
Wilder’s “Lightning Brigade” Monument
Dedicated September 20, 1903
Chickamauga National Military Park

Photo and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore

Col. John T. Wilder and his Lightning Brigade were near the site of Widow Glenn’s house when rebel forces broke through the Union line near the Brotherton Cabin during the battle of Chickamauga, Sept. 20, 1862.  Five regiments from  Illinois and Indiana armed with 7 shot repeating Spencer carbines laid down a barrage into the advancing Confederates under the command of Arthur Manigault forcing the rebels to retreat.  The effect of Wilder’s action is still debated.  Some say it slowed the Rebel army long enough for Maj. Gen. George Thomas, the Rock of Chickamauga, to form his line. Others say it was only one action in a chain of events including the wounding of Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood that slowed the Confederate onslaught. The Wilder Brigade went into the battle with 2,283 men of whom 12 were killed, 92 wounded and 18 missing.  Their percentage lost totaled 05%.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

American Civil War Monuments
North Carolina Monument
West Confederate Avenue
Gettysburg National Military Park

 Photo and text courtesy of LCWRT Member Charlie Moore

North Carolina provided 14,147 men to the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg, the second most after Virginia.  It suffered more than 6,000 casualties, over 40%.  It was the largest number of  casualties of any Confederate State and, as the monument states, over one fourth of all Confederate casualties at the Battle of Gettysburg.  The statue depicts a wounded officer pointing the way forward to the enemy while a veteran and younger soldier lead a color bearer in the charge.  The statue was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum of Mt. Rushmore fame.  The statue was dedicated July 3, 1929, and had major rehabilitation work done in 1999.

Monday, December 5, 2016

American Civil War Monuments
32nd Ohio Infantry 
Vicksburg National Military Park 
Photo Courtesy of LCWRT Member Paul Fridell

This monument was placed at Battery DeGolyer with two additional markers for the unit showing the locations of the assaults of May 19,1863, and May 2,1863. A three year regiment, the 32nd Ohio was organized at Mansfield, Ohio August 20-September 7, 1861 and mustered in under commander of Colonel Thomas H. Ford. Ford was charged with neglect and dismissed in Nov. of 1862. Col Potts succeeded him in command.  They lost 240 men during their service, with 143 dying of disease. The 32nd Ohio Infantry mustered out of service at Louisville, Kentucky on July 20, 1865.
Through the Vicksburg Campaign: 
Brig. Gen. John D. Stevenson's 3d Brigade
Maj. Gen. John A. Logan's 3d Division 
Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson's XVII Army Corps
Commander Col. Benjamin F. Potts.

3d BRIG., 3d DIV., 
17th CORPS. 

The Reverse Inscription:
In the Battle of Port Gibson May 1, 1863,Sustained No Casualties, 
In the Engagement at Raymond,May 12, Sustained No Casualties, 
In the Engagement at Jackson, May 14, Sustained No Casualties 
In the Battle of Champion's Hill, May 16, Killed 2, Wounded 18, Total 20, 
In the Assault, May 19, Sustained No Casualties 
In the Assault, May 22, Wounded 23, And During the Siege, Not Reported, 

Aggregate Reported Casualties in Regiment During the Campaign and Siege, Killed 2, Wounded 41, Total 43.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Announcing our 515th Meeting: 
“The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson
presented by Chris Mackowski
December 10, 2016

Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., is the editor-in-chief of Emerging Civil War and managing editor of the Emerging Civil War Series. He is a professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany,NY, and historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge, a historic property on the Spotsylvania battlefield in central Virginia. He has also worked as
a historian for the National Park Service at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, where he gives tours at four major
Civil War battlefields (Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania), as well as at the building where Stonewall Jackson died.

Chris has authored or co-authored a dozen books on the Civil War, and his articles have appeared in all the major Civil War magazines. Among
the books Chris has authored or co-authored are “The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson: The Mortal Wounding of the Confederacy’s Greatest
Icon-and the Birth of Its Greatest Legend”, “Fight Like the Devil: The First Day at Gettysburg July 1, 1863”, and “That Furious Struggle: Chancellorsville and the High Tide of the Confederacy, May 1-5, 1863”. He was a 2014 finalist for the Army Historical Foundations' Distinguished Book Award for “Chancellorsville's Forgotten Front: The Battles of Second Fredericksburg and Salem Church”. Chris has had six of his plays produced and and he serves on the national advisory board for the Civil War Chaplains Museum in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

“The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson”. 
Jackson’s loss has been called one of the major turning points.of the war. Follow his last days, from his famous flank attack at Chancellorsville and his accidental wounding by his own men, to the amputation of his arm and his final journey over the river to rest under the shade of the trees.