HMDB Civil War Updates – Week of 12 January

Another big week in the Civil War category at Historical Marker Database.  Just over one hundred marker entries (and a few updates) this week.  But diversity is down – Georgia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia this week.  But we’ll take what we can get.  Here’s the highlights:

– We have a marker from Hinesville, Georgia describing a skirmish between the 7th Illinois Cavalry and Confederate Cavalry under Brig. Gen. Alfred Iverson.  This occurred as Kilpatrick and Mower were raiding south of Savannah, having stopped in nearby Midway, and sent forces out as far west as the Altamaha River.

– Uncle Billy didn’t burn Mrs. Beall’s Mill.  According to the marker, “Natural forces brought about its physical destruction.”

– The Tuscarawas County Civil War memorial in New Philadelphia, Ohio rivals those placed at Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Vicksburg or Shiloh.  At the monument base are a couple of 8-inch Rodman Guns.  Someone certainly had some pull to first get those from the War Department, then later to keep them safe from the scrap drives.

– Speaking of Gettysburg, this week forty markers, tablets, and monuments from the battlefield.  The Devil’s Den area is completed, including the Sharpshooter monuments near the Slyder Farm.  A couple of entries detail the June 26 activities of the 26th Pennsylvania Emergency Infantry.  And the First Shot Marker is now tallied.  Because I like to trace the flow of the battle in a regiment by regiment format, I found a set of position markers for the 95th New York interesting – four in addition to the main monument.

– Nine new interpretive markers help explain the Chantilly (or if you prefer Ox Hill) Battlefield, which was lost to development.  Now I would not say one can have staff rides over the battlefield with meaningful results, but interpretation is better than nothing.

– Not all the markers on the Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail are “Civil War”.  The June 21, 1864 battle was fought as General Hunter fell back from Lynchburg, opening up the Shenandoah for General Jubal Early to mount his raid on Washington.

– Many of the markers this week for Virginia were from around Richmond.  Those from Mechanicsville detail three different battles – Mechanicsville, Gaines Mill, and Cold Harbor – and Sheridan’s May 1864 raid toward Richmond.  Another eight markers were added to those already in the system for Malvern Hill.

– From the Shenandoah Valley, the death of Lt. John Meigs and the burning of Dayton, Virginia is interpreted by four different markers.  Robert Moore (Cenantua) covered the monument to Lt. Col. Wildes, who according to accounts, convinced General Sheridan to spare the town of Dayton, on one of his many blogs (!).  As Robert and I discussed the accounts further, I mentioned a marker further down the valley (that’s north to those unfamiliar with the Shenandoah) at Stephens City detailing a very similar event.  That of course feed into a good blog entry from Robert.  Sort of a good example of how these blog thingys just feed themselves over time.

– Lastly, yet another “retro” marker from Chancellorsville.  One of the now “replaced” Happel Panels stepped out of the old photo albums to allow documentation.  Look at the nearby markers to see the changes in interpretation over time.    At the bivouac site, interpretation started with a simple “stone” marker; then expanded to include a panel, campaign map, and painting;  Presently a couple of full color waysides with maps, photos and illustrations orient visitors.

All in all another heavy work week at HMDB.