Updates are running late this week do to some technical issues on my end. Past that now and can report.
Of the 400 or so marker entries at the Historical Marker Database this week, 59 were related to the Civil War. Once again a good ratio, representing sites in Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Here are some highlights:
– The New Milford, Connecticut Civil War Memorial lists members of the community who served in the War.
– In Dahlonega, Georgia, the Old Mustering Grounds served as a rally point for volunteers for the Texas War of Independence, campaigns against the Cherokees, the Mexican-American War, and the Civil War. Men of White, Dawson, and Floyd Counties met there during the war and helped form five companies.
– Two markers for Sherman’s March to the Sea this week. One in Wadley, Georgia marks the passage of the Left Wing of Sherman’s Army. The other notes the passage of the Right Wing near Wrightsville.
– A memorial in Baxter Springs, Kansas lists the names of soldiers, and some civilians, buried nearby who were casualties from the Battle of Baxter Springs (October 8, 1863) and other nearby engagements. The units represented on the inscription include several Kansas infantry and cavalry regiments, a Kansas artillery battery, two Wisconsin infantry regiments, and two U.S.C.T. regiments – the 79th and 83rd.
– A marker in Osawatomie, Kansas provides information about the Battle of Osawatomie, an episode in the “Bleeding Kansas” conflict leading up to the Civil War, fought on August 30, 1856. John Brown led the anti-slavery forces.
– Before leaving the Trans-Mississippi, let me mention the “trail head” marker for the battle of Westport tour. More to follow on the markers interpreting the September 1864 battle near Kansas City. Nearby is McCoy’s Trading Post, a landmark for the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails, which was used by General Samuel Curtiss during the battle as an observation post.
– In June 1862, General U.S. Grant maintained a headquarters in Corinth, Mississippi, during the slow motion pursuit of the Confederates after the battle of Shiloh.
– A marker and a memorial in Florida, New York indicate the birth site of William H. Seward, Lincoln’s Secretary of State.
– A state marker in Cashiers, South Carolina notes the summer home of Confederate General and U.S. Senator Wade Hampton.
– Nineteen entries this week complete a set along the Ruggles’ Batteries trail in Shiloh National Battlefield Park.
– Two entries this week note the locations where Confederate brigades fought at Murphreesboro, Tennessee during the battle on December 31, 1862. Chalmers’ and Donelson’s Brigades advanced on the Federal Positions near the Round Forest from points near the markers. The location is one of the “lost” portions of the field, which has not been preserved.
– A new Civil War Trails marker in Fairfax, Virginia interprets the graffiti left by Union soldiers on Blenheim (Willcoxon Farm).
– Several new entries this week interpret the Civil War activity in Portsmouth, Virginia. The USS Merrimack was burned at the US Navy Yard near Craney Island at the start of the war. The ship, as most recall, was rebuilt by the Confederates and became the CSS Virginia. Other Civil War Trails markers relate details about the Portsmouth Navy Hospital and the Old Towne with respect to the Civil War.
– Two marker entries this week trace Lee’s journey after Appomattox back to Richmond. The first near Buckingham, Virginia indicates where the general camped on April 12-13, 1865. The second near Cartersville, Virginia indicates Lee stopped the following night near Flannagan’s Mill.
– A new Prince William County marker notes the location of Stony Lonesome, General Richard Ewell’s boyhood home.
– Another marker from the recently reopened armory grounds at Harpers Ferry features a moulding simulating artifacts found on site during recent archaeological excavations. I owe you a trip report on the newly opened exhibitions there.
– A Civil War Trails marker in Fairmont, West Virginia notes a battle there during the Jones-Imboden Raid of April 1863. The B&O Railroad Bridge was destroyed by the raiders, but repaired shortly afterwards.
– And saving a gem for last, eleven markers interpret the Civil War Preservation Trust’s Slaughter Pen Farm section of the Fredericksburg Battlefield. The trail there is roughly 1 3/4 mile, and offers views of the Federal side of the battle we just didn’t get a good appreciation for, in my opinion, due to the park boundaries. At the Slaughter Pen, one can see ground contested during the critical phases of the battle, and where five Medals of Honor were earned for heroism. I’ll post a trip report on this trail shortly.