Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Confederates buried at the Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

    Recently, Dana Shoaf, editor at Civil War Times, did a live stream from the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. When the guide was asked about the row of Confederate tombstones, he did not really seem sure how they came to be buried in what is considered the nation’s first “national cemetery.” Likewise, the self-guided tour brochure for the Congressional cemetery, states that “Historians believe that these wartime burials were Confederate soldiers who succumbed in nearby hospitals.” Let’s clear this up: these are the graves of Confederate soldiers who died at either the Old Capitol Prison or the Old Capitol Prison Hospital during the war. There are also more graves than the ten tombstones all lined up in a row. According to records, there are at least twenty-five Confederate soldiers interred at the Congressional Cemetery, along with three (or more) civilians.

   The Old Capitol Prison has an interesting history. Located right behind the U.S. Capitol, where the U.S. Supreme Court building now sits, the structure was constructed in 1815 to house Congress after the British burned the capitol building in August 1814. It would take time to reconstruct the U.S. Capitol. Congress met in the building until 1819, and President James Monroe was inaugurated here on March 4, 1817. After 1819, the building served as a private school, then as a boarding house until 1861. (John C. Calhoun died here in 1850.)

   At the start of the war, the property was acquired by the Federal government and turned into a prison for captured Confederates, spies, political prisoners, prostitutes, and Union officers. Among those incarcerated here were Rose Greenhow, Belle Boyd, John Mosby, Henry Wirz, Dr. Samuel Mudd, Mary Surratt, Louis Weichmann, and John T. Ford. Originally, the building could house up to 500, but the acquisition of adjoining buildings pushed the number to 1,500.

   The Old Capitol Prison often served as a funneling spot for other prisons. Most of the prisoners were captured in the eastern theater of the war. Officers passed through and went to Johnson’s Island in Ohio, while privates were sent to Fort Delaware (usually, but not always). According to the official Records, 5,761 prisoners of passed through the Old Capitol Prison. It is unclear if that number covered just Confederate prisoners, or all prisoners. Like other prisons, The Old Capitol Prison had a hospital, although information about this structure (or room), seems to be lacking. At least 457 prisoners died while incarcerated at the prison. Some of these men were buried a mile away at the Congressional Cemetery. (see the Official Records, series 2, volume 8, 990-1004 for additional numbers.)

   In 1807, the Congressional Cemetery was established by a private association. In 1812, once the purchase was paid off, the cemetery was turned over to Christ Church and officially named the Washington Parish Burial Ground. According to the cemetery’s web site, if a member of Congress died in Washington, he was likely interred in this burial ground. The first was Connecticut senator Uriah Tracy, who passed in 1807. Congress soon began purchasing plots, eventually owning almost 1,000, hence the name, Congressional Cemetery, although the property is still owned by Christ Church. There are more than 60 members of Congress buried here, along with former mayors of Washington, Vice President Elbridge Gerry, the Choctaw Chief Push-Ma-Ta-Ha, and John Philip Sousa. There are supposedly more than 60,000 graves, although only about half are marked.

   It is unclear why the Congressional Cemetery was chosen for Confederate Prisoner of War burials. The first appears to be Thomas Chambers, 6th Alabama Infantry. It is unclear where Chambers was captured, but he was admitted to the “General Hospital, Capitol Hill,” on August 18, 1861 and died on August 22, 1861. (All information on Confederate soldiers was gathered from their Compiled Service Records, Record Group 109, National Archives). Most of the burials took place in 1863. Several who were captured at Hatchers Run in April 1865 died in the following weeks and were buried at the cemetery.

   There are undoubtedly more than those Confederates listed below buried within the Congressional Cemetery. There are also quite a few on this online list of burials, who are listed as Confederate soldiers, but who are, in fact, Federal soldiers. Maybe in time, more research can be done and this piece of forgotten history recovered.

Confederates buried at the Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

ANDRESS, SETH A, Company G, 41ST Virginia Infantry. Captured on May 3, 1863, Fredericksburg, Virginia. Arrived in Washington, D.C., May 4, 1863. Transferred to Old Capitol Prison. Died Old Capitol Prison Hospital, May 16, 1863.

 BARR, DAVID, Company I, 2ND Virginia Infantry. Captured August 3, 1863, at Chester Gap, Virginia, and confined at Old Capital Prison, Washington, D.C. Admitted to the Old Capitol Prison Hospital September 16, 1863, and Died December 11, 1863.

 BARRETT, LEVI, Company C, 15TH North Carolina State Troops. Captured October 14, 1863, Bristoe Station, Virginia. Confined at Old Capitol Prison, October 16, 1863. Admitted to the Old Capitol Prison Hospital November 23, 1863. Died November 27, 1863.

 BAXLEY, WILLIAM G. D., Pvt., Company A, 2nd Maryland Infantry. Wounded in right thigh and captured on April 2, 1865, at Hatchers Run Virginia. Confined at Old Capitol Prison, April 5, 1865. Died on April 22, 1865. [later removed and reinterred elsewhere]

 BEARD, WILLIAM S., Company B, 28TH North Carolina Troops. Captured December 3, 1862, Fredericksburg, Virginia. Confined at Old Capitol Prison January 27, 1863. Admitted to the Old Capitol Prison Hospital, March 25, 1863. Died of Fever, April 10, 1863.

 BROOKS J. M., Stafford County, VA, d. 5/--/1863

 CAMPBELL, A LORENZO, Company I, 11TH North Carolina State Troops Captured in hospital in Winchester, Virginia, July 21, 1863. Confined at Old Capitol Prison. Admitted to the Old Capitol Prison Hospital, July 30, 1863. Died August 5, 1863, of pneumonia.

 CARLTON, C WINSHIP, Company C, 44th North Carolina Troops. Captured at Brisoe Station. Died Old Capitol Prison of “pleurisy and pericarditis”

 CHAMBERS, THOMAS, Company A, 6TH Alabama Infantry. Unclear where he was captured.  Admitted to the General Hospital, Capitol Hill, August 18, 1861. Died October 14, 1862, of Variola.

 CHANEY J., Pvt., 6th Alabama, d.1/28/1862

 COCKRELL, BAILEY, Farmer, Loudon County, Virginia. d. 03/03/1864


 FOSDICK, HENRY A, PVT, Company I, 6TH Alabama Infantry. d. 09/19/1863.

 GASQUE, THOMAS, Company H, 1st SOUTH Carolina Rifles, d. 09/11/1862


 HARRINGTON, JOHN, Company E, 33RD North Carolina Troops. Captured October 18, 1863, Bristoe Station, Virginia. Confined at Old Capitol Prison October 22, 1863. Admitted to the Old Capitol prison Hospital, November 16, 1863. Died December 10, 1863, “chronic diarrhea.”

 HODGES, JOHN T, CPL, Company H, 61ST VA Infantry. Captured at Rapidan Station, Virginia, October 7, 1863. Listed as “rebel deserter.” Confined at Old Capitol Prison October 9, 1863. Admitted to the Old Capitol Prison Hospital on October 9, with a “gunshot wound of arm.” Died October 16, 1863.

 HUGHLETT, JAMES, CPL, Company F, 47TH Virginia Infantry. Date and place of capture unknown (Possibly Gettysburg). Admitted to Old Capitol Prison Hospital July 18, 1863. Died August 3, 1863, of pneumonia.

 JACKSON, JOHN C, Company H, 20TH North Carolina State Troops. Reported missing in September 1862. Admitted to the Capital Hospital, September 21, 1862, Transferred to the Capitol Prison Hospital, September 30, 1862. Died October 30, 1862, dysentery.


 MCMILLAN, WILLIAM, Company A, 14TH LOUISIANA Infantry. Captured November 7, 1863, near Brandy Station, Virginia. Confined Old Capitol Prison, November 8, 1863. Admitted Old Capitol Prison November 25, 1863. Died December 1, 1863, typhoid fever.

 MILLS, WILLIAM J, Company D, 12TH GEORGIA Infantry. Captured May 30, 1862, near Front Royal, Virginia. NFR.

 MILSTEAD, JAMES, Company H, 6TH Virginia Cavalry. Wounded left thigh and captured April 1, 1865, at Hatchers Run, Virginia. Admitted to hospital at City Point, Virginia, April 3, 1865. Transferred to the Lincoln General Hospital, Washington, D.C., April 11, 1865. Died May 23, 1865, of “Chronic Diarrhea.”

 MORAN, ROBERT, Farmer, Loudon County, Virginia. d. 02/29/1864.

 MURCHISON, CICERO, Company G, 44TH, Georgia Infantry. Captured on November 28, 1863, Mine Run, Virginia. Confined at Old Capitol Prison, December 5, 1863. Admitted Old Capitol Prison Hospital, December 6, 1863. Died December 11, 1863, pleurisy.


 NEALLY, ISIAH, Company D, 20TH North Carolina Infantry. Captured December 3, 1863, Mine Run, Virginia. Confined Old Capitol Prison, December 3, 1863.Admitted Old Capitol Prison Hospital, December 24, 1863. Died December 24, 1863, pneumonia.

 PIERCE, STEPHEN, Company D, 48TH Virginia Infantry. Captured in Front Royal, Virginia, May 30, 1862. NFR.

 POWELL, CHARLES, Company F, 35TH Georgia Infantry. Reported missing May 5, 1862. Reported in U.S.A. Hospital, Williamsburg, Virginia, May 9-11, 1862. NFR.

 RUCKER, JAMES S, Moorman’s Company, Virginia Horse Artillery. Captured September 13, 1863, near Culpepper, Virginia. Confined at Old Capitol prison September 14, 1863. Admitted to the Old Capitol Prison Hospital on October 3, 1863. Died on October 7, 1863.


 STONE, JOHN W, CPL, Company H, 4TH Virginia Cavalry. Captured near Brandy Station on February 23, 1863. Arrived in Washington, D.C., February 23, 1863. Assigned to Old Capitol Prison on February 23, 1863. Admitted to the Old Capitol Prison Hospital on March 9, 1863 Complaint: Pneumonia. Died on May 12, 1863. 

TRIGGER, ROBERT, Company E, 15TH Virginia Cavalry. Listed as a deserter on Federal prison records. Took the Oath of Allegiance February 19, 1863. Arrived in Washington D.C., February 21, 1863. Died Old Capitol prison, February 25, 1863, of Pneumonia.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Federal Prisoners and Southern Ministers and Chaplains

   Earlier this year, I started a series on prisoner of war camps in the South. One post was an overview of prisons (here), and another post looked at the different types of prisoners held at Salisbury (here). This post will examine the clergy who worked with the prisoners.

   The Confederate government apparently never appointed chaplains to prison camps. Instead, the work of the church, ministering to the spiritual needs of the prisoners, was undertaken by concerned clergy.

   At Salisbury, in 1864, Dr. A.W. Mangum began preaching to the prisoners inside the prison pen. Mangum tells us in his short history of the Salisbury Prison that some preaching had taken place in the post hospital by Dr. Richard O. Kurrie, and then by Dr. Wilson and a Dr. Rumple. Wilson recruited Mangum to preach in the hospital, but was discouraged by Major John Gee, the prison’s commanding officer, from preaching to the general prison population. Gee found the prisoners “generally foreign and Catholic” and did not believe that the Methodist Mangum would find a “kindly reception.” But at some point, Gee obviously softened his stance, for when Mangum entered the prison yard, he found a Baptist minister preaching to a large group of men. Mangum selected his own spot and began to sing. A crowd gathered, which Mangum found “respectful, earnest and solemn.” While Mangum goes on to talk about working on establishing a prison library, he does not go into much further detail of his preaching at Salisbury Prison.[1] 

Bishop John McGill

   It is interesting to note that Major Gee thought most of the prisoners were “foreigners and Catholics”; it was apparently the Catholics who ministered to prisoners at Camp Sumter in Andersonville.  There are a couple of mentions of Protestant ministers at Andersonville, including the Methodists Robert James Hodges and E.B. Duncan. There could be more whom history has forgotten. Andersonville was not Salisbury. It was in the middle of nowhere, served by a railroad not tied to a large city further south. When the Reverend William John Hamilton visited Andersonville in May 1864, he found a large number of Catholic prisoners. Hamilton lived in Macon, and southwestern Georgia was a part of his charge. He contacted the Bishop in Savannah who sent Father Peter Whelan to minister to the prisoners. Finding more men to minister to than he could handle, he asked for help, and Father H. Claveril was sent. The two lived in a shack not far from the prison. According to Peggy Sheppard, the pair “soon won the admiration and respect of most prisoners—Catholic, Protestants, Jews, and atheists alike.” They could often be seen crawling into dugouts to hear confessions or to administer extreme unction to dying men. Claveril was replaced by Father John Kirby, who was replaced by Father Hosannah, a Jesuit priest from Mobile who could speak several different languages.[2]

   Libby Prison, located in the Confederate capital, had the benefit of several religious gatherings each week. Chaplain Henry C. Trumball, 10th Connecticut Infantry, was captured during the assault on Battery Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina, in July 1863. He was held in several prisoner of war camps before being exchanged in November 1863. Trumball noted that there were prayer meetings held three evenings a week, and when chaplains were present, “sermons, twice each Sunday.” It seems in the case of Libby Prison, there was often some Federal chaplain incarcerated within who was able to provide religious meetings, i.e., Charles C. McCabe, 122nd Ohio, Louis N. Beaudry, 5th New York Cavalry, Joseph T. Brown, 6th Maryland Volunteers. There were some outside chaplains.[3] One prisoner at Libby noted that the Catholic Bishop of Richmond visited the prison. The Right Rev. John McGill was noted as “frequently” attending the Northern soldiers confined in Libby prison,” although McGill, Northern born, was “decidedly southern in his sympathies.” If McGill could not attend in person, he sent others, including Revs. Father Scully and Mahone, and the Jesuit Fathers O’Hagan, McAtee, and Tissot.[4]

   However, not all of these measures were appreciated. Historian George Rable noted that the Federal officers at Libby Prison debated, but did not pass, a series of resolutions against “Rebel ministers” conducting services. One Pennsylvania officer noted that the local pastors “had better teach humanity to their own people before attempting to preach Christianity” to the prisoners.[5] However, if the writings of Northern chaplain Henry S. White are to be believed, this worked both ways. White was appointed chaplain of a Rhode Island regiment in 1863 and was captured in eastern North Carolina on May 4, 1864. For a brief amount of time, White was quartered in a church in Andersonville. His request to preach to the prisoners was met with mixed support and was eventually denied. White was soon moved to the officer’s prison in Macon.[6]

   The work on Southern clergy among Federal prisoner of war camps is a neglected topic of study. Outside of a few brief mentions in Rable’s God’s Almost Chosen Peoples (2010) and Miller’s In God’s Presence: Chaplains, Missionaries, and Religious Space During the American Civil War (2019), the topic does not seem to merit any scholarly coverage. The role of local churches and prisons could be explored, as well as the attitudes of various denominations, like the Baptists, Presbyterians, and Methodists. (Or, if you know of a source that deals with this subject, please drop me a line.)





[1] Poteat, Confederate States Military Prison at Salisbury, NC, 27-32.

[2] Sheppard, Andersonville, Georgia, U.S.A, 33-37. See also Marvel, Andersonville: The Last Depot, 140-144, 163-164.

[3] Trumball, War Memories of an Army Chaplain, 297.

[4] Magri, “Catholicity in Virginia during the Episcopate of Bishop McGill, 1850-1872,” The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 2, No. 4 (January 1917): 422-423.

[5] Rable, God’s Almost Chosen Peoples, 367.

[6] White, Prison Life Among The Rebels, 42.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Site Visit Saturday: Fort Harrison


   The armies, both gray and blue, tore up the landscape wherever they went during the war. Thousands of acres of trees were felled, and in many places, the ground itself was overturned and reshaped into field fortifications. In many cases, those fortifications are really the only visual evidence that remains to remind us the carnage of the 1860s.

   Fort Harrison, near Richmond, Virginia, was a part of field fortifications constructed by Confederates beginning in June 1862. The fort was named after Lt. William Harrison, a Confederate engineer, and was the largest fort in a series of works that stretched from New Market Road to the James River. Parts of the fort and the abatis in front were constructed by 200 convicts from the state penitentiary, 300 black laborers, and the 17th Georgia Infantry. Fort Harrison and the corresponding lines were considered a critical link in Richmond’s defenses, and on September 29, 1864, the Federals launched an attack. Confederate forces near the Fort numbered just 800 men, with a mere 35 artillerists manning the actual fort. The artillery appears to be from John Guerrant’s Goochland Artillery.

   The Confederate defenders did not really stand a chance. Over 8,000 Federal soldiers attacked and carried Fort Harrison and the surrounding works. Seeing a potential threat to Richmond, Robert E. Lee ordered a counterattack on September 30. The attacking Confederate force consisted of Anderson’s Georgia brigade, Bowles’s brigade of Alabamians, and Bratton’s South Carolina’s brigade, under the command of Maj. Gen. Charles Field. In Hoke’s division were the brigades of Scales, Colquitt, Kirkland, Hagood, and McKethan. Confederate naval forces and land artillery shelled the Fort. Around 1:45, the attack commenced. While the plan of attack designed by Lee looked good, it fell apart from the beginning. An ill-coordinated attack by 10,000 Confederates failed to dislodge the Federal defenders. The Confederates fell back and established a new defensive line, while the Federals re-worked Fort Harrison and renamed it Fort Burnham, a Federal general killed during the first attack on September 28.

   The well-preserved Fort Harrison is a part of the Richmond National Battlefield Park. I last visited in March 2018.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Site Visit Saturday: Jefferson Davis’s Flight South, Fort Mill, SC


   For a week, Jefferson Davis and the Confederate cabinet had called Charlotte, North Carolina, home. Numerous meetings had taken place, including discussions about the ongoing negotiations between Confederate general Joseph E. Johnston and Union general William T. Sherman. If the negotiations did not favor the Confederates, then Davis directed Johnston to move his army towards Charlotte. The plan was to move toward the Trans-Mississippi department, to Texas, and continue the war.  Yet Johnston favored surrender. Davis, with no army left to command in North Carolina, prepared to move south.

   The last full meeting of the Confederate cabinet was held in Charlotte on April 26, 1865. About noon, Davis and some of the cabinet rode out of Charlotte. Left behind was Attorney General George Davis. He had already resigned. Davis and his cavalry escort crossed over the Catawba River at Nation’s Ford and moved into York County, South Carolina. That evening, Davis stayed at the Springfield Plantation near Fort Mill, while others stayed at the home of Col. William E. White. That evening, Secretary of Treasury George Trenholm, already ill, grew worse. Not able to continue with the group, Trenholm submitted his resignation, which Davis accepted. Davis held an impromptu “cabinet” meeting, probably with Stephen Mallory and John C. Breckinridge. At the end of the meeting, Post Master General John H. Reagan rode up, and Davis informed him that he was now acting Secretary of Treasury.

   Davis and his party continued to move south, spending the night of April 27 in York. He would eventually work his way into Georgia, where he was captured on May 10.

   The route of Davis is marked with various highway trail markers through South Carolina and Georgia. The marker pictured is located at the intersection of N. White Street and Horse Road. I last visited this site in 2014.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Charleston was NOT the “Cradle of Secession” and Calhoun was NOT its father.

   Recently, while reading the Spring 2021 issue of The Civil War Monitor, I came across an article entitled “Who is Buried in Calhoun’s Tomb?’ by Ethan J. Kytle and Brian Roberts. While the article concerns the removal of John C. Calhoun’s remains from his tomb at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church West Cemetery, the authors repeat a couple of misconceptions regarding the history of secession in the United States.

   First, the authors consider Charleston the “cradle of secession.” This is an oft repeated assertion. In 1888, Rossiter Johnson considered Charleston as much in his history of the War.[1] Robert N. Rosen had a chapter bearing that title in his 1994 history of the city.[2] William C. Davis wrote in 1996 that the destruction in Charleston wrought by the war was price the city paid for being the “cradle of secession.”[3] Yet that title of “cradle of secession” belongs to other places and times, well before historians and entrepreneurs of the tourist traded branded the city as such.

John C. Calhoun (Clemson University)

   Probably the title of first real “cradle of secession,” post-establishment of the United States and its Constitution, falls to east Tennessee. In 1784, the State of Franklin was created as an autonomous territory in land offered by North Carolina as a cession to Congress to help pay off debts related to the American Revolution. Franklin (named in honor of Dr. Benjamin Franklin), had a capital, a president/governor, a congress, a constitution, etc. When Congress did not act upon North Carolina’s cession of property, the state of Franklin once again became a part of the state, whereas the Franklinites then seceded from North Carolina.  In 1784, the residents of Franklin actually submitted a petition for statehood to Congress. Short version of the story – this all eventually failed. Yet its history was remembered by a few in the 1860s. In 1861, John S.C. Abbott, in an address in Cheshire, Connecticut, made mention several times of Franklin being the “cradle of secession.”  Abbott even went as far as to state that the state of Tennessee, as a whole was “born of secession, rocked in the cradle of revolution.”[4]

  There are, of course, many other places that discussed secession prior to Charleston in 1860. In 1794, U.S. Senators Oliver Ellsworth of Connecticut and Rufus King of New York appealed to John Taylor of Virginia for a division of the Union. Taylor believed that there were opportunities to settle inter-sectional issues, and refused to participate.[5] Taylor brought the issue up himself in 1789 with the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts.[6] Toward the end of Thomas Jefferson’s first term, there was a movement led by Timothy Pickering of Massachusetts to set up “a new confederacy” or “Northern confederacy” made up of New England states.[7] There are of course many other examples of the threat to secede: New England in 1809 over James Madison’s “Enforcement Act”; New England and New York during the War of 1812 (leading to the Hartford Convention in 1814); South Carolina in 1828 and again in 1832-33.  Throughout the 1840s and 1850s, the Abolitionists in New England repeatedly called for disunion.[8] At the same time, the topic again became popular in the South after the introduction of the Wilmot Proviso. While the act of secession came to maturity in South Carolina and the rest of the South in 1860 and 1861, a reading of American history proves that the Cradle of Secession was not Charleston, but New England.

   And what of John C. Calhoun being the “Father of Secession”? Once again, this is an often-repeated claim.[9] Yet the idea did not originate with Calhoun. Where did he learn the ideals and principles of secession? New England. In 1802, with financing from his brothers, Calhoun arrived at Yale College in Connecticut. He graduated in 1804 and moved on to law school, this time, in Litchfield, Connecticut. What was going on during Calhoun’s time in Connecticut? The people in the New England communities were angry over the Jefferson Administration’s perceived hostility towards New England. Timothy Pickering, Rufus King, Aaron Burr, and others wanted a new country that advanced their ideals of Federalism. Into that hotbed of secessionism rode the young John C. Calhoun. Calhoun biographer Margaret Coit argues that: “every principle of secession or states' rights which Calhoun ever voiced can be traced right back to the thinking of intellectual New England ... Not the South, not slavery, but Yale College and Litchfield Law School made Calhoun a nullifier ... [Timothy] Dwight, [Tapping] Reeve, and [James] Gould could not convince the young patriot from South Carolina as to the desirability of secession, but they left no doubts in his mind as to its legality.”[10] A close reading of Calhoun’s speeches and writings does not lead a person to the conclusion that Calhoun wanted secession. He didn’t. Over and over Calhoun expressed love and devotion for the Union. What he was warning the nation about was the dominance of one section of the country over another, the exact same thing that Pickering had written about in 1803 and 1804.

   Kytle’s and Roberts’s article in The Civil War Monitor is disappointing on many levels. Calhoun was not the “dogged defender of their [Charlestonian] culture.” He was a dogged defender of the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law. Calhoun wrote and spoke far more on banking, currency, protection, and free trade that he ever did on the issue of slavery. To be fair, Kytle’s and Roberts’s article deals with his grave in Charleston, a place where he never fit in and probably despised. The Charlestonians were not his people. Yet Kytle’s and Roberts want to take swipes at Calhoun, ignoring the person as a whole. “There was nothing groveling or low, or meanly selfish that came near the head or heart of Mr. Calhoun,” eulogized Daniel Webster from the floor of the senate in April 1850.[11] Maybe we could all learn a little from Webster or at least strive for a balanced approach.

[1] Johnson, A Short History of the War of Secession, 1861-1865, 307.

[2] Rosen, Confederate Charleston: An Illustrated History of the City, 38.

[3] Davis, The Cause Lost: Myths and Realities of the Confederacy, 27.

[4] Abbott, “An Address Upon our National Affairs,” 1861.

[5] Hunt, ed., Division Sentiment in Congress in 1794.

[6] Ford, ed., Writings of Thomas Jefferson, 7:263-265.

[7] Gannon, “Escaping ‘Mr. Jefferson’s Plan of Destruction,’” Journal of the Early Republic, Volume 21, pt. 3, 413-414.

[8] Mayer, All of Fire: William Lloyd Garrsion and the Abolition of Slavery, 327, 328.

[9] Botts, The Great Rebellion, 2008; Holmes, New School History of the United States, 198; Secor, Vice Presidential Profiles, 27.

[10] Coit, John C. Calhoun: American Portrait, 42.

[11] Webster, quoted in the Carolina Tribute to Calhoun, 11-12.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Site Visit Saturday: Bentonville Confederate Cemetery


   Bentonville, fought from March 19 to 21, 1865, was the largest battle fought in the state of North Carolina. In an attempt to stop or slow the advance of a Federal force under the command of General William T. Sherman, Confederate forces under the command of General Joseph E. Johnston launched an attack on one of the wings of the Federal army. Initially, the Confederate attack met with success, pushing back several lines of Federal troops. Confederate forces numbered 22,000, mostly from the Army of Tennessee. Federal forces numbered 60,000. At end of the fighting, Confederate losses amounted to 2,606: 239 killed, 1,694 wounded, and 673 captured.

Bentonville Confederate Cemetery

   Many of the Confederate wounded were evacuated to hospitals across the state of North Carolina. Over forty Confederate soldiers, too grievously wounded to be moved, were left behind at the Harper House, and after the Federal soldiers moved in pursuit of the Confederates, the Harper family was charged with their care. Twenty of them later died, and they were buried not far from the house. Over time, the location of those graves was lost.

   In 2007, the Office of State Archaeology and the Wake Forest University Archaeology Laboratories, as a part of the History Channel’s “Save Our History” program, began working on finding these graves. Using ground penetrating radar, and an old photograph from 1895, the graves were located. The Harper House/Bentonville Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy donated tombstones to mark the graves of these unknown soldiers.

   I have been to Bentonville numerous times over the years, and I have even spoken and signed books in their visitor center. This image dates from a 2011 trip.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Biographies on Kentucky’s Confederate Generals

Part of three of an infrequent series related to biographies on Confederate generals, this installment features the state of Kentucky. Other states covered include North Carolina and Florida. Like the posts on other states, this list only covers men born in Kentucky. Others who were born elsewhere but associated with Kentucky are not included on this list (such as John Hunt Morgan). This list includes only book-length biographies (and if I have missed any, please feel free to drop me a line with the title and author). There is a book, Kentuckians in Gray: Confederate Generals and Field Officers of the Bluegrass State (2008) by Bruce Allardice and Lawrence L. Hewitt that might be able to fill in a few holes. 

Adams, Daniel W. (1821-1872)

Adams, William W. (1819-1888)

Beall, William N. R. (1825-1883)

Bell, Tyree H. (1815-1902)

                Hughes, Moretti, and Browne, Brigadier General Tyree H. Bell, C.S.A. (2004)

Breckinridge, John C. (1821-1875)

                Davis, Breckinridge: Statesman, Soldier, Symbol (2010)

                Heck, Proud Kentuckian: John C. Breckinridge, 1821-1875 (1976)

                Stillwell, Born to be a Statesman: John Cabell Breckinridge (1936)

Buckner, Simon B. (123-1914)

                Stickles, Simon Bolivar Buckner: Borderland Knight (1940)

Buford, Abraham (1820-1884)

Churchill, Thomas J. (1824-1905)

Cosby, George B. (1830-1909)

Crittenden, George B. (1812-1880)

                Eubank, In the Shadow of the Patriarch: the John J. Crittenden Family in War and Peace                                  (2009)

Duke, Basil W. (1838-1916)

                Duke, The Civil War Reminiscences of General Basil W. Duke, C.S.A. (1911)

                Matthews, Basil Duke, CSA: The Right Man in the Right Place (2005)

Fagan, James F. (1828-1893)

                Luker, Mature Life of General James Fleming Fagan (1987)

Field, Charles W. (1828-1892)

Gano, Richard M. (1830-1913)

                McLaurin, Richard M. Gano: Physician, Solder, Clergyman (2003)

Gholson, Samuel J. (1808-1883)

Gibson, Randall L. (1832-1892)

                McBride and McLaurin, Randall Lee Gibson of Louisiana: Confederate General and New                              South Reformer (2007)

Grayson, John B. (1806-1861)

Hanson, Roger (1827-1863)

Hawes, James M. (1824-1889)

Helm, Benjamin H. (1831-1863)

                McMurty, Ben Hardin Helm: Rebel Brother-in-law of Abraham Lincoln (1943)

Hodge, George B. (1828-1892)

Hood, John B. (1831-1879)

                Brown, John Bell Hood: Extracting Truth from history (2012)

                Coffey, John Bell Hood and the Struggle for Atlanta (1998)

                Davis, Texas Brigadier to the Fall of Atlanta: John Bell Hood (2019)

                Davis, Into Tennessee & Failure: John Bell Hood (2020)

                Dyer, The Gallant Hood (1950)

                Hood, Advance and Retreat: Personal Experiences in the United States and Confederate                                  States Armies (1880)

                Hood, John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General (2013)

                Hood, The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood (2015)

                McCurry, John Bell Hood and the War for Southern Independence (1992)

                Miller, John Bell Hood and the Fight for Civil War Memory (2010)

                O’Connor, Hood, Cavalier General (1949)

Hughes, John T. (1817-

Jackson, Claiborne F. (1806-1862)

Johnston, Albert S. (1803-1862)

                Cook, Albert Sidney Johnston, the Texan (1987)

                Johnston, The Life of Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston (1878)

                Roland, Jefferson Davis’s Greatest General: Albert Sidney Johnston (2000)

                Roland, Albert Sidney Johnston: A Soldier of Three Republics (2001)

Lewis, Joseph H. (1824-1904)

Lyon, Hylan B. (1836-1907)

                Lee, General Hylan B. Lyon: A Kentucky Confederate and the War in the West (2019)

Marshall, Humphrey (1812-1872)

Martin, William T. (1823-1910)

Maxey, Samuel B. (1825-1895)

                Horton, Samuel Bell Maxey: A Biography (1974)

                Waugh and McWhiney, Sam Bell Maxey and the Confederate Indians (1998)  

Preston, William III (1816-1887)

                Sehlinger, Kentucky’s Last Cavalier: General William Preston, (2010)

Robertson, Jerome B. (1815-1890)

Shelby, Joseph O. (1830-1897)

                Bartels, The Man who wouldn’t Surrender, even in Death: General Jo Shelby (1999)

                Davis, Fallen Guidon: The Saga of Confederate General Jo Shelby’s March to Mexico (1995)

                Edwards, Shelby and his Men: Or, the War in the West (1867)

                Scott, The Forgotten Cavalier: Confederate Raider Joseph Orville Shelby and his Great Missouri Raid of 1862 (1900)  

Slack, William Y. (1816-1862)

Smith, Gustavus W. (1821-1896)

                Smith, Confederate War Papers (1884)

                Smith, The Battle of Seven Pines (1891)

                Smith, Generals J.E. Johnston and G.T. Beauregard at the Battle of Manassas (1892)

Taylor, Richard (1826-1879)

                Parrish, Richard Taylor, Soldier Prince of Dixie (1992)

                Taylor, Destruction and Reconstruction: Personal Experiences of the Late War (1879)

Williams, John S.  (1818-1898)