HMDB Civil War Updates – Week of 5 January

Postings have been in short supply as most of my spare time has been on working on the HMDB side of things.  For the week 117 Civil War related marker postings and updates.  The week’s work includes marker entries from California, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan.   Here’s some of the highlights (and with the numbers up, I’m skipping over many good entries):

– From Sacramento, California, an additional marker offers more detail about the Civil War Memorial Grove mentioned last week.  Leading the establishment for the grove were veterans from the “California Battalion” of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry.  Some background research by the contributor indicates the trees came from the Manassas, Harpers Ferry, Savannah, Five Forks, Yellow Tavern, and Vicksburg battlefields.

– A couple of Washington, D.C. markers this week.  First one from U and 10th Streets explains the “Shaw” section of D.C. was named in honor of Col. Robert G. Shaw, who commanded the 54th Massachusetts.  The neighborhood had been a Civil War encampment.  Then further into downtown, overlooking the intersection of Pennsylvania and 7th Street is a marker discussing the Grand Review at war’s end.  The same intersection, of course, has been witness to many historical marches, and shall be for another in a few weeks.

– A marker in my old stopping ground of Liberty County, Georgia was recently restored.  At the historic Midway Church, a marker again details the movements of Sherman’s many columns fanning out south of Savannah at the end of the March to the Sea.

– In Covington, Georgia, a marker discusses a Federal mounted infantry raid during the Atlanta campaign.  I found interesting that after a private citizen fired on the “Yankees”, the Federals “also executed George Daniel, a furloughed Confederate soldier suspected of resistance.”  Somewhat similar to other incidents in Virginia.

– A marker in Detroit, Michigan details the formation of the 1st Michigan Colored Regiment, which was later renamed the 102nd US Colored Troops.  The troops operated mostly in South Carolina, and some of their battles are covered by historical markers there.

– The Civil War Memorial in Woodlawn Cemetery in Ohio City, Ohio is a colorful testament.

– About a good hour’s drive north of Gettysburg, a marker in Herndon, Pennsylvania claims the “furthest north of the Confederates” honor for Port Trevorton on the Susquehanna.  According to the marker, Confederate scouts reached the opposite (west) bank of the Susquehanna before returning south.

– In the spirit of the Lincoln Bicentennial this week we have two markers (here and here) from Hanover, Pennsylvania discussing the President’s November 18, 1863 stop in the town.  Lincoln made a short speech referencing the June 30 battle in Hanover, asking the citizens to be loyal patriots, and then the train conductor cut the speech short by pulling out of the station.  After all, the President had some things to do that day!

– The majority of markers this week came from Virginia.  And the bulk of those are from around Richmond.  Roughly forty-five this week from sites related to the Peninsula Campaign, Seven Days, Defenses of Richmond, and Cold Harbor.

– Two markers (here and here) from this week’s batch discuss the fighting at Fort Whitworth, on April 2, 1865, as Federals began the final assault on Petersburg.

– Another pair in Hanover County, Virginia discuss the strategically important Hanover Junction and the action on the North Anna during the Overland Campaign.

– And, saving the best Virginia entry of the week for last, one of our frequent contributors located a marker in Centreville which brings our attention to a section of preserved earthworks.  These were built following First Bull Run, but were never tested.  Consider this one a preservation win, for with the development around that area, these works could easily have been plowed under.

– And most of the other half of the markers this week come from the Battlefield at Gettysburg, some Forty-nine.  Four from the South Cavalry Battlefield, several from the High Water Mark area, and the rest from around Little Round Top and Devil’s Den.  This weeks work completed the work on Little Round Top (map).  Yes, my fingers were sore transcribing the 12th/ 44th New York “Castle.”  And I think my camera angles for Gibbs Battery on the north slope of the hill turned out nicely, if I do say so myself.

That’s the week’s report.  For the year’s tally I don’t have exact numbers.  Probably something I should have taken note of this time last year was our raw numbers at HMDB.  As things stood at the end of the year there were about 13,500 entries in the system (compared to just 4,000 entries a year before).  Of those in the system at years end, over 4,275 were Civil War related markers.  So roughly one of every three markers.  I wouldn’t say that HMDB is the Civil War Marker Database, but we do seem to gather a lot of them.  Personally I’ve contributed over 1250 entries.  Sounds like a lot, but many of these were in the “hot spots” of Antietam and Gettysburg.  400 alone with a Washington County, Maryland location.

Looking into next year, I’ve got over three-quarters of the Gettysburg battlefield markers and monuments photographed and documented.  About half are entered.  With a good down-hill burst, I should have that project wrapped up by March.  One section I’ve yet to walk is Lost Lane (Neill Avenue), but I’m looking forward to that remote, less visited part of the field.

After Gettysburg, it’s time to look out west for a bit!