Saturday, 10 May 2014 23:26 | Written by Compiled by James Johnson
The Iron Brigade was engaged in the sharp affair which occurred at the crossing of the North Anna River on Monday, the 23d ult. The New York Herald publishes the following list of the wounded:
D. Moriarty, 7th; M. Bennett, G, 7th; S. C. Waterman, I, 7th; Silas Ware, I, 7th; S. J. Longin, K, 6th; J. Heidorf, F, 6th; A. Hughes, B, 7th; Isaac Adams, C, 6th; D.C. Smith, H, 7th; J.R. Wilson, A, 7th; O. Wieman, C, 6th; G.W. Miller, D, 6th; Jacob Miller, F, 6th; Corp. E. Wallace, C, 7th; A. Mahoney, K, 7th; Jas. Grant, H, 7th; W. Caloun, C, 7th; Corp. J. W. Corpell, K, 7th; C.G. Culpenna, K, 6th; Sergt, A. Dyer, B, 7th.
Saturday, 19 April 2014 20:24 | Written by Susan Johnson
During this Holy season it seems appropriate to note some information retative to Easter during the Civil War. To begin with Easter traditions that are not Civil War related, The Easter Bunny, Painted eggs and the Easter Parade are not period traditions. Easter and the dates the early church set for it largly conform to pagan (particularily British) Spring celebrations. Even the name is somewhat derivitive as Eostre, an Anglo Saxon goddess, and the prolific rabbit and eggs link to the tradition of Spring and rebirth, Even earlier is new clothes display which generally attributes to Rome in the 4th century when it was decreed that fine clothing should be worn to celebrate with the Ressurection. Combined with the tradition of processions of people greeting Christ on Palm Sunday and following to the Crucifiction and celebrating the Ressurection, in the 1870's the religious parades blossemed into secular events that became known as Easter Parades.
The notebooks of Daniel Chisholm of Co. K of the 116th PA in 1864 shares that The beautiful Easter Sunday finds us all O.K. for it is as pretty and warm day, but we The Army of the Potomac, allowed morning and afternoon services so troops could attend when not on duty.
They could, however, enjoy a snack comperable to the M & M from World War II, the Jelly Bean. Developed based on Turkish Delites, Boston confectioner left no mess on one's hands.
On the other side, The egg roll which Dolly Madison had instituted in Washington was suspended during the War and not reinstated untill Rutherford B. Hayes became President.
The dates of easter during the war were March 31, 1861, April 20, 1862, April 5, 1863 , March 27, 1864 and April 10, 1865. Lincoln was killed on Good Friday. On Easter Sunday, parishioners were dressed in black and ministers gave sermons based on the dates.
On Palm Sunday, the rector of St James', Chicago, the Rev. Dr. Clarkson, preached to his congregation on the subject of giving to God's Church out of the abundance wherewith He was blessing them, and especially called upon them all to bring an offering; on Easter Day, sufficient to pay the.entire debt of the Church. On Easter Sunday every man, woman and child that could come out were present each one bringing an offering, and the sum of thirty-one thousand two hundred dollars was laid upon the altar
Sunday, 06 April 2014 20:01 | Written by Compiled by James Johnson
Petersburg, April 10, 1864 My Dear Mary: I got ready to come to Richmond, but was not permitted to do so. The Provose-Marshall refused to allow civilians to take the trains, saying that every inch of car room was required for the transportation of men and military stores; so I had to go home egain. T received a letter lst Wednesday from Henry dated at Dalton. He writes that William Griffin died on the 27th of March. Henry says that half of the Yankee troops in West Tennessee are nrgroes, and that Gen. Johnston is determined that if they fall into our hands, to show them no mercy, and if the Yankees retaliate upon our men who fall into their hands, to hoist the black flag at once. Henry said the question was put to a vote in his brigade, whether they preferred to give negroes no quarter and take the risk of being retaliated on, or to treat them as prisoners of war, and that every man voted to give them no quarter. I hope General Johnston will keep his word, I would like to see the black flag hoisted at once.I love my husband as fondly as a wife can love , but I would rather he die under the black flag than that the insult of the detestable Yankees in sending negro soldiers against us, should not be repented by putting every one to the sword who may fall into our power. I do wish Mr. Davis and his cabinet would resign in favor of their wives and leave the direction of affaires for one year to the women, and my word for it, the pusillanious Yankeed would soon have no negroes, and would have to get some Hessians to fight for them, or give up the war. Wouldn't you and I make good Generals, Mary? If the wretches make an attack on this city, I will show you what I can do; you will hear of another Joan of Arc. Colonel Owens was here last evening and he said the Yankees are making great preparations to take Richmond, and that equally extensive preparationa are made to defend it, and, what is more, to take Washington. Gen. Stuart told him the other day that Gen. Lee was going to Baltimore, and thento Washington, and he therefore availed himself of a chance to visit his family before starting, Thank God, we know Gen, Lee never Braggs and never lies. If you regale our friends with this intelligence, do not mention that it came from Colonel Owens, for he gave it to me confidentially. But a word to my own sex. I want you to send me by the first mail after you recive this, six yards of white point lace, in a letter. Don't forget it, as I need it at once, Affectionately, Carrie
Sunday, 06 April 2014 19:42 | Written by Compiled by James Johnson
A correspondent of the New York Evening Post with the army before Vicksburg sends the following description of the soldiers graveyard: "Perhaps one of the first things you would notice in the vicinity of Vicksburg would be the long lines of graves on the river slope of the levee, boarding our path with a foot of it for a considerable portion of our walk.
The do not lie side by side, there is searcely room on the top of the levee for two abreast but are buried head to foot a long single file of dead that crowd upon the path of the living. Every regiment carries its dead to that portion of the levee immediately in front of it: and if no one guides you, the rude head-boards would tell you what regimental camps you are passing. The best of these head-boards are only pieces of box lids. Somethimes those that belong to one regiment or to one battery present an appearance and similarity of execation that betrays the workmanship of the same handsome one who has been tacitly elected by his conrades carver of the grave boards; some kindly soul that with deftly handied jacknife carves the name of comrade after comarade on those frail materials to guide the friends that may sometime come to take them home. In the majority of cases however the name is only written with a pencil on a small piece of board and in many instances only a stick or small bough is stuck into the ground at eith end of the grave to warn the throng that passes to withhold their feet.
Nearly all of these graves are below the level of the river, but it is the only place where the dead can find a rest. The ground where the camps are pitched is too wet, and the narrow top of the levee must be reserved as a thououghfare for the living. The sight of these graves so slightly marked, and whose borders encroach upon the only highway shocks one at first but in a day or two one becomes accustomed to it. Solders lunge among the graves and smoke their pipes sitting on the ground regardless of the fact that only a couple of feet beneath lies one who perhaps a few days belore lounged and smoked there as unconcerned as they.
Ripon Weekly Times Ripon, Wisconsin Friday, April 15 1863
Sunday, 16 March 2014 18:45 | Written by Susan Johnson
Celebrating St. Patrick's Day, which has been done in the United States in one form or another since it's inception, it's time to share a story of one of Wisconsin's Medal of Honor recipients, Sgt. Dennis J. F. Murphy. He was born in Ireland in 1830 and hailed from Green Bay prior to the War and joined the De Pere Rifles, Co. F of the 14th Wisconsin. He received his Medal of Honor January 22nd, 1892 for his service at Corinth on October 3rd, 1862 He had already been through the horrors of Shiloh and on that morning in October was a color bearer for his regiment. Major General Rosecrans ordered three of his divisions to leave Corinth and occupy the old rifle-pits of the Confederacy north and north-west of the city as CA General Van Dorns Army of West Tennessee prepared to try to retake the town. One of the regiment's was the 14th Wisconsin commanded by the recently promoted, due to illness and subsequent death of Col. Wood, Col. John Hancock. They were among those who were holding the left of the line at 10AM when Major-General Lovell's troops attacked their position. Waves of Southern troops attacked. The 14th, were in the old rifle pits at the top of a hill, Co. E and K were forward as Skirmishers, and were taking substantial fire. Sgt. Murphy stated, from the first, "to come out a dead Sergeant or a live Lieutenant." As the Mississippi Sharpshooter battalion attacked up the hill, the advance skirmish companies pulled back and with their comrades unleashed a devastating fire that sent the Confederates falling back. The Confederates attacked again with the CA Sharpshooters joining the 22nd Mississippi. This charge found the two sides within yards of each other and they began to exchange fire. Suddenly the 15th Michigan, at the Wisconsin right, fell back at the onslaught of the 1st Missouri and the 33rd Mississippi. This left Sgt. Murphy and his comrades facing a crossfire that was devastating. As men began to fall to the left and the right, the entire Color Guard was injured. In ensuing terrible hand to hand fighting, the soldier carrying the Regimental Colors was bayoneted and the flag was almost lost. Dennis Murphy was hit over and over, but retained the flag, albeit covered in his blood. Eventually the 14th had to withdraw, too late for some of their men who were captured.
The 14th took heavy casualties, and were called on again later in the day. Their brigade commander, commenting of their involvement at Corinth, said "though suffering more losses than any regiment is his command, they maintained their lines and delivered their fire with the coolness and precision which could have been maintained upon drill." Sgt. Murphy was wounded three times and received his commission. On November 13 1862, he was discharged with disability and later received a lieutenancy of Co, B of the 24th WI.
His heavy price was being crippled for life due to the wounds received at Corinth. The Medal od Honor he received 30 years later contains the citation "although wounded three times, carried the colors throughout the conflict." He died June 19, 1901 and is buried at Alloez Cemetary, Green Bay. The color he carried is now preserved at The Wisconsin Veteran's Museum in Madison.