Daily Archives: 10 November 2009

HMDB Civil War Updates – Week of November 9

A good crop of marker entries for the Civil War category this week.  Forty-five entries from Civil War related sites and memorials in Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.  Here’s the rundown:

- A state marker in Shelby Springs, Alabama indicates the site of a Confederate cemetery, a reminder of nearby Camp Winn which operated a training site, hospital, and soldiers’ home.

- A memorial to the 24th Connecticut Infantry in Middletown, Connecticut cites battles in far away Louisiana, where the regiment served as part of the Federal 19th Corps.

- A Cultural Tourism DC marker in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC mentions wartime Wisewell Barracks and hospital which stood in the area.  The neighborhood later evolved with row houses, schools, and eventually a playground.

- Four entries this week from the Chickamauga Battlefield – 74th and 84th Ohio Infantry, VanDerveer’s Brigade, Whitaker’s Brigade, and a NPS wayside at the Brotherton Cabin.  On Missionary Ridge in the nearby Chattanooga Battlefield we have the tablet for the 10th Ohio this week.

- Two more markers from the Looking for Lincoln series, both from Clinton, Illinois.  One marker discusses the “Copperhead” or “Peace Democrat” activity in DeWitt County.  The other nearby relates the story of volunteers from the county who served the Union.

- A state marker in Brandywine, Maryland notes the passage of John Wilkes Booth during his attempt to escape after assassinating President Lincoln.

- In May 1864, a Confederate raid attempted to destroy the Blackistone Island lighthouse near Coltons Point, Maryland.  While the lamp and lens were destroyed, the structure was spared, as the lightkeeper’s wife was expecting child.

- A memorial in Riverdale, Massachusetts leaves no doubt about the communities sentiments concerning the war, calling its casualties “martyrs.”

- A memorial near La Russell, Missouri lists Union soldiers and civilians from the local communities who died during the “Terrible Civil War.”

- In Salisbury Mills, New York a memorial honors local heroes – Captain Richard Caldwell of 25th US Infantry from the War of 1812 era and Captain Isaac Nicol of the 124th New York Infantry who served in the Civil War.

- A Civil War Trails marker in New Bern, North Carolina conveys the story of William Henry Singleton, an escaped slave who served in the 35th USCT.  Singleton later wrote an autobiography – “Recollections of my Slavery Days.”

- Lebanon, Ohio was the home of Thomas Corwin, orator of note, congressman, governor, and Lincoln’s minister to Mexico during the war years.

- The Graham Post G.A.R. Memorial in Pottstown, Pennsylvania lists members of the 53rd and 68th Pennsylvania (as well as a few other regiments) from the community who served in the Civil War.

- Several new entries from Charleston, South Carolina within the Magnolia and St. Lawrence Cemeteries.  A memorial to the Charleston Light Dragoons lists members who died in the war and the engagements the unit fought.  A memorial to the Defenders of Charleston indicates the warships, batteries, and forts involved in the city’s defense during the war’s longest siege.  A simple stone with inscription indicates the final resting place for soldiers relocated from the Rose Farm at Gettysburg to Charleston.  Another memorial lists the generals from South Carolina who served in the Confederate army.

- Several markers from around Tullahoma, Tennessee.  A state marker relates that the Confederate Army of Tennessee wintered around the town in the first six months of 1863 after the battle of Murphreesboro.   Many of the 407 unknown dead in a cemetery near Tullahoma date to the that Confederate stay.  In June 1863, after actions to the north, the Army of Tennessee withdrew from Tullahoma.  Colonel James W. Starnes was killed leading a brigade of Confederate cavalry in a rear guard action during the retreat.  South of Tullahoma, a state marker indicates the birthplace of Isham G. Harris, Tennessee’s wartime governor.

- Near Beech Grove, Tennessee, to the north of Tullahoma, a marker indicates a position held by the 18th Indiana Battery during the battle of Hoover’s Gap.  That action opened up the Confederate defensive line in June 1863, precipitating the withdraw from Tullahoma mentioned above.  The battery’s position is today the site of a Confederate Cemetery.

- About half way between Tullahoma and Chattanooga, in Sewanee, Tennessee a marker relates more details of another rear guard action in the Confederate withdrawal from middle Tennessee, fought on July 4, 1863.

- Three markers from Nashville, Tennessee this week.  Federals used the Masonic Hall to store supplies during the war.  The nearby Maxwell House Hotel served as a barracks, hospital, and prison.  A marker just inside the US 440 bypass indicates the XVI line of departure during the Battle of Nashville.

- A wayside marker near the Montpelier Estate in Virginia discusses Confederate encampments during the winter of 1863-64.   Some traces of huts built by McGowan’s Brigade remain, and the marker relates details of archaeological excavations conducted in recent years.

- A memorial featuring a Confederate soldier with musket at the ready honors veterans from Pulaski County, Virginia.

- Eight markers, along the James River Walk, in this week’s collection interpret the site of the industrial complex which supported the Confederacy.  The most notable activity was the Tredegar Iron Works which produced guns for the Confederate Army and Navy.  The foundry was established in 1836, and had supplied weapons to the Federal government before the war.  During the war, one of the foundry’s notable products were Brooke Rifled cannon.  Shells were loaded with powder in a laboratory on Brown’s Island, to isolate the operation from Richmond proper.  Belle Island was the site of a Confederate prison.  Passing upstream from the industrial complex, the Kanawaha Canal brought supplies from locations as far as 200 miles from Richmond.  As such, late in the war the canal became the target for Federal raids.  Closing out the River Walk, a marker relates that during the Confederate evacuation in April 1865 more than 1000 buildings burned.

In all a busy week in the Civil War category at HMDB.