HMDB Civil War Updates – Week of 18 May

Another week at HMDB, and another fifty-two Civil War entries.  Represented this week are the states of Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Also we have an international marker from Ontario.

–  Yes, a territorial marker in London, Ontario indicates British regulars returned to the town in 1862 to protect the Crown’s interests during the Civil War.  The troops later defended the border against Fenians.

– Our Southern Unionist marker for the week from Wedowee, Alabama honors William Hugh Smith.  Smith opposed secession and fled north during the war.  Returning after the war he served a term as the governor.  Two of his brothers served in the 1st Alabama Infantry, US.

– An interesting veterans memorial stands in Watertown, Connecticut.  The monument lists those from the town who died in the war, by regiment.  Note the 29th Colored Infantry Regiment’s list is sequenced into the plaque between the regular infantry units.

– Our Georgia markers this week include one near Fort Pulaski.  Battery Hamilton stood upriver and west of the fort.  It was built by the Federals to seal off the river channel to isolate the besieged fort in February 1862.

– The old Holly Creek Post office near Chatsworth, Georga saw much activity on May 16-17, 1864 as the left wing of Sherman’s Army advanced after the battle of Resaca.

– You’ve got to love the placement of some Georgia state markers.  A couple south of Atlanta are practically hidden in the trees, but stand on the wartime Flat Shoals Road.  The Shoal Creek Church, as indicated on the marker, stood at a strategic point between the armies in the later phases of the Atlanta Campaign.  General Jefferson Davis’ (I always like the irony of that name) 14th Corps occupied the church on August 30, 1864.

– Normally I’d have weighed against an entry from Brazil, Indiana.  But it is a war memorial, indicating the restoration of two cannon at the town center.  From the looks of things, the carriages of the two Napoleons may need some additional restoration!

– A Newburg, Maryland marker is another stop on the trail tracing John Wilkes Booth’s escape.

– Adding to the collection of impressive Ohio Veterans memorials is a new entry from Hocking County (Logan).

– Three other entries from Ohio relate the story of individuals who participated in Anderson’s Raid:  Captian Elihu H. Mason, Lieut. Wilson W. Brown, and Private Mark Wood.

– Also from Ohio, two markers detail the story of Johnson’s Island POW Camp.  The second of the two, located at the site of the camp, offers a long narrative history of the camp.

Three new markers from the town of Gettysburg (from one of our frequent Maryland contributors), offer views of the changes to the city and some ancedotes from the veterans reunions.

– From Charleston, South Carolina, we have a handful of entries from the famous “White Point Battery” park.  The artistic centerpiece of the park is the Defenders of Charleston memorial.  Of course around the battery are several artillery pieces of note:  13 inch Siege mortars, 10-inch Confederate Columbiads, and an 11-inch Dahlgren.  The Columbiads are both rare and historic in their own right, having seen action in Fort Sumter when in Confederate hands.  But the Dahlgren trumps that story.  It was salvaged from the USS Keokuk in 1863 as part of a daring operation.  I plan a set of posts about these later on.

– One of our frequent contributors from Virginia offers a story line stiched togather by way of markers.  The Midlothian coal mines in Chesterfield County are among the oldest in North America.  The Chesterfield Railroad brought the product to Richmond.  Bellona Arsenal was built nearby taking advantage of the ample coal supplies (and may have produced one of the 10-inch Columbiads mentioned above at Charleston).  Of course this industry made the area an wartime objective of a Federal raid in May 1864.   General Henry Heth was born nearby at Black Heth.   And also nearby is Salisbury who’s occupants included Patrick Henry, Thomas Randolph, and Confederate General Edward Johnson. (Thanks Bernard!)

– My Virginia contributions this week are from the Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania Battlefields – mostly new markers added in the last year.  At Chancellorsville new markers discuss the Memorials at the site of Jackson’s wounding and the terrain at Hazel Grove.   At the Wilderness, a new marker discusses Saunder’s Field.  Previously overlooked markers interpret the Chewning House, including a discussion of A.P. Hill’s near capture.  And over at Spotsylvania a new monument recalls the actions of McGowan’s Brigade at the Bloody Angle.   All of these of course are reflected in updates to the appropriate “Battlefields by Markers” pages.  Two additional entries from the area relate the story of Orange Grove, both before and after the war.

– Lastly a handful of new entries at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia added to round out the story of that significant site. With most of the sites now documented, I will be posting a “Battlefield by Markers” page shortly.

A good average week of work.  Plenty of interesting marker entries.

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