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06/16/16

The Eastern Theater: Graveyard of Generals (Part One)

This entry is part 3 of 17 in the series Union General Officers

Union Generals-The Eastern Theater: Graveyard of Generals (Part One)The Eastern Theater was the graveyard of generals for the Union Army. Initially, it was simply a matter of inexperience with large formations of troops by the field commanders. None of them had ever commanded more than a regiment of 600 to 1,000 men while they now commanded tens of thousands. After the Battle of Seven Pines the gravedigger became Robert E. Lee with Stonewall Jackson and James Longstreet as the principal pallbearers.

The first Union commander of a major Union army was Brig. Gen. Irvin McDowell who commanded the Army of Northeastern Virginia. McDowell was an inexperienced officer whose command consisted of 90-day enlistees with even less experience. He was pressured by the Washington politicians and major newspapers who had coined the phrase “On to Richmond.”

With an army of 35,000 men he initially outnumbered the 20,000 Confederates under Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard at Manassas. The second major Confederate force of 12,000 men under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston in the Shenandoah Valley, was to be held in place by Maj. Gen. Robert Patterson with 18,000 men menacing Harpers Ferry, preventing the two Confederate armies from combining against McDowell.

McDowell’s major mistake was to put in place a complex battle plan that his inexperienced field commanders were incapable of executing. Initially, the Union forces had the advantage but Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson stout defense coupled with the timely reinforcements from the Valley turned the tide in the Confederates’ favor. McDowell’s retreat turned into a rout.

McDowell was superseded by Maj. Gen. George McClellan who was summoned to Washington and given command of the newly-formed Army of the Potomac. McDowell was initially given command of a division and later a corps. He would later serve under the equally unsuccessful John Pope at the Second Battle of Manassas. McDowell was shelved for two years after that battle and was eventually given command of the Department of the Pacific.

Maj. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was the next Confederate general to wreak havoc among the Union high command in the Shenandoah Valley in 1862. Jackson had acquired his famous nickname at the First Battle of Manassas when he held of repeated Union attacks on his lines. In the Valley, he would whip a much larger Union force in a lightning campaign that is still studied at West Point.

After an initial tactical defeat against Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks at the First Battle of Kernstown (March 23, 1862), Jackson turned his force and defeated elements of the Union Mountain Departments of Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky of Maj. Gen. John C. Frémont‘s army in the Battle of McDowell on May 8th.

Both Banks and Frémont were ‘political’ generals. Banks had been the Democratic Governor of Massachusetts while Frémont was a prominent Republican having been their first Presidential candidate.

Jackson joined forces with Maj. Gen. Richard S. Ewell and captured the Federal garrison at Front Royal on May 23, causing Banks to retreat to the north. On May 25, in the First Battle of Winchester, Jackson defeated Banks and pursued him until the Union Army crossed the Potomac River into Maryland.

Bringing in Union reinforcements from eastern Virginia, Brig. Gen. James Shields recaptured Front Royal and planned to link up with Frémont in Strasburg. Jackson was now threatened by three small Union armies. Withdrawing up the Valley from Winchester, Jackson was pursued by Frémont and Shields. On June 8, Ewell defeated Frémont in the Battle of Cross Keys and on the following day, crossed the North River to join forces with Jackson to defeat Shields in the Battle of Port Republic, bringing the campaign to a close.

Jackson had defeated the larger forces of three Union generals. After the subsequent Battle of Cedar Mountain, Banks was criticized for his numerous tactical errors before and during the battle, including poor placement of troops, inadequate reconnaissance, and failing to commit reserve resources when he had a chance to break the Confederate line. He was removed from command an assigned to organize a force of thirty thousand new recruits, drawn from New York and New England.

When the Army of Virginia was created June 26, to include General Frémont’s corps, with John Pope in command, Frémont declined to serve on the grounds that he was senior to Pope and for personal reasons. He then went to New York where he remained throughout the war, expecting a command, but none was given to him.

Brig. Gen. James Shields was yet another ‘political general’. Although he was the only general who defeated Jackson in the campaign, his career did not benefit from his victory. The day after Kernstown, he was promoted to major general, but the promotion was withdrawn, reconsidered, and then finally rejected. His overall performance in the rest of the Valley Campaign was poor enough that he resigned his commission, and his departure was not resisted by the War Department.

 

12/22/15

The Background of the Fredericksburg Campaign

This entry is part of 1 in the series The FRedericksburg Campaign

Initial movements to FredericksburgThe Fredericksburg campaign was one of the first campaigns to be fought in the winter. Now, Stonewall Jackson had maneuvered in the Shenandoah Valley during the winter but up to this point in the war no one had fought a full-fledged battle yet. The campaign took place from December 11 to December 15th 1862.

The Union Army was a massive force of some 114,000 men. They were positioned on the north side of the Rappahannock around the town of Falmouth. The army was commanded by Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside, who had succeeded Maj. Gen. George McClellan. He had been removed by President Lincoln after failing to aggressively pursue the defeated Confederates after the bloody Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.

Burnside’s force was divided into three Grand Divisions plus a Reserve. The Army of the Potomac was comprised of 120,000 men, of whom 114,000 would be engaged in the coming battle:

Opposing the Union Army of the Potomac was the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert Robert E. Lee. His army had nearly 85,000 men, with 72,500 engaged. His organization of the army into corps was approved by an act of the Confederate Congress on November 6, 1862.

The two armies at Fredericksburg represented the largest number of armed men that ever confronted each other for combat during the Civil War.

Burnside’s plan called a crossing of the river using pontoon bridges. His original plan called for a crossing in mid-November but because of bureaucratic bungling the bridges didn’t arrive according to his plan. On November 14, the 50th New York Engineers reported the pontoons were ready to move, except for a lack of the 270 horses needed to move them. Unknown to Burnside, most of the bridging was still on the upper Potomac. Communications between Burnside’s staff engineer Cyrus B. Comstock and the Engineer Brigade commander Daniel P. Woodbury indicate that Burnside had assumed the bridging was en route to Washington based on orders given on November 6.

Meanwhile General Sumner strongly urged an immediate crossing of the river to scatter the token Confederate force of 500 men in the town and occupying the commanding heights to the west. Burnside became anxious, concerned that the increasing autumn rains would make the fording points unusable and that Sumner might be cut off and destroyed, ordering Sumner to wait in Falmouth.

Robert E. Lee in March 1861Meanwhile, the Confederate defenders arrived in force and fortified key positions above and around the town. By November 23, all of Longstreet’s corps had arrived and Lee placed them on the ridge known as Marye’s Heights to the west of town, with Anderson’s division on the far left, McLaws’s directly behind the town, and Pickett’s and Hood’s to the right.

He sent for Jackson on November 26, but his Second Corps commander had anticipated the need and began forced-marching his troops from Winchester on November 22, covering as many as 20 miles a day. Jackson arrived at Lee’s headquarters on November 29 and his divisions were deployed to prevent Burnside crossing downstream from Fredericksburg: D.H. Hill’s division moved to Port Royal, 18 miles down river; Early’s 12 miles down river at Skinker’s Neck; A.P. Hill’s at Thomas Yerby’s house, “Belvoir”, about 6 miles southeast of town; and Taliaferro’s along the RF&P Railroad, 4 miles south at Guinea Station.

The pontoons did not arrive until November 25th, much too late to steal a march on the Confederates. However, Burnside was only facing half of Lee’s army. He might have been able to attack Longstreet and defeat him before Jackson arrived. Once again he squandered his opportunity. The full complement of bridges arrived at the end of the month, but by this time Jackson was present and Longstreet was preparing strong defenses.

Thus, the stage was set for for a bloody winter battle.

10/28/15

The Last Campaign of the Army of Tennessee (Part Two)

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series The Confederate Surrenders

battle of averasboroOn February 23, Confederate general-in-chief Robert E. Lee ordered Johnston to take command of the Army of Tennessee and other Confederate units in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida, and to “concentrate all available forces and drive back Sherman.” Johnston managed to concentrate in North Carolina the Army of Tennessee commanded by Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart, Maj. Gen. Robert Hoke’s division from the Army of Northern Virginia, troops from the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida commanded by Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee, and cavalry under the command of Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton. Johnston’s army was called the Army of the South.

Click to enlarge

The Battle of Averasboro (alternately Averasborough)

Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman was moving his army north towards Goldsboro in two columns. The right column (Army of the Tennessee) was under the command of Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard and the left column (Army of Georgia) was under Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum. Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston sent Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee’s corps to attack Slocum’s left wing while it was separated from the rest of Sherman’s forces. Slocum’s troops had crossed the Cape Fear River at Fayetteville and were marching up the Raleigh plank road.

On the afternoon of March 15, Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick’s cavalry came up against Lt. Gen. William Hardee’s corps—consisting of Taliaferro’s and McLaw’s infantry divisions and Wheeler’s dismounted cavalry—deployed across the Raleigh Road near Smithville. After feeling out the Confederate defenses, Kilpatrick withdrew and called for infantry support.

During the night, four divisions of the XX Corps arrived to confront the Confederates. At dawn, March 16, the Federals advanced on a division front, driving back skirmishers, but they were stopped by the main Confederate line and a counterattack. Mid-morning, the Federals renewed their advance with strong reinforcements and drove the Confederates from two lines of works, but were repulsed at a third line.

By late afternoon, the Maj. Gen. Jefferson C. Davis’s Union XIV Corps began to arrive on the field but was unable to deploy before dark due to the swampy ground. Outnumbered and in danger of being flanked Hardee withdrew during the night after holding up the Union advance for nearly two days.

The Confederates had not held up the Union Army as long as they had hoped. Each side suffered about 700 casualties; however, these were losses the Federals could afford while the Confederates could not.It should be noted that the Confederates were outnumbered five to one.

The Battle of Bentonville

After the Battle of Averasboro the Union Army continued to move the short distance north. Sherman continued to have his army group divided into two wings. Confederate maps erroneously showed that the two wings were twelve miles apart, which meant each would take a day to reach the other. Johnston planned to concentrate his entire army to defeat Slocum’s wing and to destroy its trains before it reunited with the rest of the Union column; the attack was planned for “as soon after dawn tomorrow [March 19] as possible”

The Confederate attack commenced on March 19, as Slocum’s men marched on the Goldsboro Road, one mile south of Bentonville. Hoke’s division under Bragg’s command deployed on the Confederate left facing west, while Stewart’s army deployed on the Confederate right facing south. Slocum was convinced he faced only enemy cavalry and artillery, not an entire army. In addition, Sherman did not believe that Johnston would fight with the Neuse River to his rear. Therefore, Slocum initially notified Sherman that he was facing only light resistance near Bentonville and did not require aid.

Slocum attempted to brush aside the Confederates by attacking with the 1st Division of Brig. Gen. William P. Carlin with support from the 3rd Division of Brig. Gen. Absalom Baird, both from the battle of bentonville-overviewXIV Corps but this attack was driven back. Slocum then deployed his divisions in a defensive line, with Carlin’s division on the left, Baird’s division in the center, Brig. Gen. James D. Morgan‘s 2nd Division on the right, and a XX Corps division in support, in order to delay the Confederates long enough to allow the rest of his wing to arrive.

Click to enlarge.

None of the divisions, except for Morgan’s, constructed strong breastworks, which were further compromised by a gap in the center of the Union line. Lafayette McLaws’ division from Hardee’s command was approaching the Confederate positions at the time of the Union attacks. Due to Bragg’s concern about a flanking attack on Hoke’s left, McLaws was ordered to deploy on the Confederate left flank. About noon, Hardee arrived with the division of William B. Taliaferro, which was deployed behind the Army of Tennessee. Hardee was then took command of the Confederate right wing.

At 3 p.m., Confederate infantry from the Army of Tennessee launched an attack and drove the Union left flank back in confusion, nearly capturing Carlin in the process and overrunning the XIV Corps field hospital. Confederates under Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill filled the vacuum left by the retreating Federals and began enfilading the Union troops remaining along the front.

Morgan’s division was nearly surrounded and was being attacked from three sides, but the Confederate attacks were uncoordinated and therefore unsuccessful in driving them from the position. Hardee, using Taliaferro’s division and Bate’s corps from the Army of Tennessee, attacked the Union positions near the Harper house but were repulsed after multiple assaults. McLaws arrived after Taliaferro and Bate were repulsed and attacked but was repulsed as well. After a heated engagement, Union reinforcements arrived and checked Hill’s assault. Fighting continued after nightfall as the Confederates tried without success to drive back the Union line. About midnight, the Confederates withdrew to their original positions and started entrenching.

Slocum had called for aid from Sherman during the afternoon attacks, and Howard’s wing arrived on the field late on the afternoon of March 20, deploying on Slocum’s right flank and extending the Union line towards Mill Creek. Johnston responded to Howard’s arrival by pulling back Hoke’s division so it ran at a right angle to Stewart’s left flank, and deploying one of Hardee’s divisions on Hoke’s left. Confederate cavalry protected the Confederate flank to Mill Creek in a weak skirmish line. Only light skirmishing occurred on this day. Johnston remained on the field, claiming that he stayed to remove his wounded, but perhaps also in hope of enticing Sherman to attack again, as had happened at Kennesaw Mountain.

On March 21, Union Maj. Gen. Joseph A. Mower, commanding the division on the Union right flank, requested permission from his corps commander to launch a “little reconnaissance” to his front, which was granted. Mower instead launched an attack with two brigades on the Confederate left flank, which was defending Mill Creek Bridge. Mower’s men managed to come within one mile of the crossing before Sherman peremptorily ordered them to pull back. In his memoirs, Sherman admitted that this was a mistake and that he missed an opportunity to end the campaign then and there, perhaps capturing Johnston’s army entirely. Among the Confederate casualties was Hardee’s 16-year-old son, Willie. Hardee had reluctantly allowed his son to attach himself to the 8th Texas Cavalry just hours before Mower’s attack.

The Confederates suffered a total of nearly 2,600 casualties: 239 killed, 1,694 wounded, and 673 missing. About half of the casualties were lost in the Army of Tennessee. The Union army lost 194 killed, 1,112 wounded, and 221 missing, for a total of 1,527 casualties.

During the night of March 21 until the following dawn, Johnston withdrew his army across Mill Creek and burned the bridge behind him, leaving behind a cavalry detachment as a rearguard. The Union army failed to detect the Confederate retreat until it was over. Sherman did not pursue the Confederates, but continued his march to Goldsboro, where he joined the Union forces under Terry and Schofield. Johnston cancelled any movement to Petersburg with the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. Johnston and Sherman sparred with each other through the rest of March and to the middle of April.

 

 

10/22/15

The Last Campaign of the Army of Tennessee (Part One)

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series The Confederate Surrenders

General Joseph E. JohnstonContrary to popular belief the American Civil War did not end with the surrender of Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia. In fact, the war did not end with a bang but rather it ended with no less than five surrenders that stretched from Appomattox to Galveston.The second surrender was that of the Army of Tennessee by General Joseph E. Johnston at Bennett Place near Durham Station, North Carolina.

Joseph Johnston resumed command of the Army of Tennessee on February 25, 1865. He had been relieved by Jefferson Davis of the very same army on July 17, 1864. Johnston may not have been the most daring commander of the war but he didn’t throw away his soldiers like his successor John Bell Hood.

He was given command of two military departments: the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, and the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia; he assumed command of the latter department on March 6.

These commands included three Confederate field armies, including the remnants of the once formidable Army of Tennessee, but they were armies in name only. The Tennessee army had been severely depleted at Franklin and Nashville, lacked sufficient supplies and ammunition, and the men had not been paid for months; only about 6,600 traveled to South Carolina. Johnston also had available 12,000 men under William J. Hardee, who had been unsuccessfully attempting to resist Sherman’s advance, Braxton Bragg’s force in Wilmington, North Carolina, and 6,000 cavalrymen under Wade Hampton.

Facing him were the armies of General William Tecumseh Sherman who had defeated him at Atlanta and was responsible for his subsequent firing by Davis. After The March to the Sea and the successful capture of the port of Savannah, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman set out on his final march: the Carolinas Campaign. His goal was to link up with the armies of General-in-chief Ulysses S. Grant around the besieged city of Petersburg. Sherman’s army would close the back door of a possible escape for the Army of Northern Virginia.

Sherman had reconfigured his force into three wings.  The Army of the Tennessee, under Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard, the Army of the Ohio under Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield, and two corps, General William T. Shermanthe XIV and XX, under Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum, which was later formally designated the Army of Georgia, comprised his command. Reinforcements arrived regularly during his march north, and by April 1 he commanded 88,948 men.

The Confederate forces opposing Sherman’s veteran formations would be unable to do anything but slow him down in local fighting. They were unable to stand up to the vastly superior Union force. It does them credit that they even made the attempt, testifying to their courage and determination to defend their home states.

Sherman divided his army into separate columns as he did on the March to the Sea. In this way he hoped to confuse the Confederate defenders as to his initial objective which was Columbia, South Carolina. At the start of the campaign the wings commanded by Slocum and Howard set off by land from Savannah. Slocum was to the west of Howard and protected his left flank from the Confederate armies that hovered along their route. Schofield’s force was to join them for the North Carolina phase of the campaign.

Sherman’s plan was to bypass the minor Confederate troop concentrations at Augusta, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, and reach Goldsboro, North Carolina (also spelled Goldsborough), by March 15. The town was a major rail junction and because of that, Goldsboro played a significant role, both for stationing Confederate troops and for transporting their supplies. The town also provided hospitals for soldiers wounded in nearby battles.

As Sherman’s force moved north their goal of destroying the Confederacy’s base of supplies became clearer. If Sherman made Georgia howl, as he had promised, South Carolina was punished as a nest of traitors. Their advance on the state capital of Columbia had a clear reason. For many Union soldiers it was a matter of personal vengeance. A Federal soldier said to his comrades, “Here is where treason began and, by God, here is where it will end!” The Union forces set out from Savannah at the end of January. The march through the Carolinas would be for 425 miles and take 50 days.

On February 17th Sherman accepted the surrender of Columbia after General Wade Hampton’s cavalry withdrew from the city. The victorious Union troops were overwhelmed by throngs of liberated Federal prisoners and emancipated African Americans.

The Union troops consumed the ample supplies of liquor in the city. Fires were started and the high winds spread the flames throughout the center of Columbia. Most of the central city was destroyed, and the city’s fire companies found it difficult to operate in conjunction with the invading Union army, many of whom were also trying to put out the fires.

The Burning of Columbia, SCThe burning of Columbia has been a divisive issue ever since. Sherman said that his troops did not burn the city but he wasn’t sorry that it happened. On the following day, Union troops finished the job by destroying virtually anything of military value in Columbia, including railroad depots, warehouses, arsenals, and machine shops.

Meanwhile, along the North Carolina coast, the city of Wilmington, the Confederacy’s last ocean port fell on February 22nd to Union troops under Maj. Gen. Jacob Cox. The city fell about a month after the fall of Fort Fisher. This freed Maj. Gen. John Schofield to join Sherman’s army for the final push in North Carolina. The Union armies in North Carolina planned a converging attack on the key rail junction of Goldsboro (also spelled Goldsborough).

The first battle took place on March 7, 1865 at what became known as Wyse Fork. Confederate General Braxton Bragg commanded 8,500 men who were entrenched along Southwest Creek near Kinston, North Carolina. Bragg has positioned his force not only to block Cox’s force of 12,000 but also to threaten a vital cross road and the New Bern-Goldsboro Railroad.

Cox understood the importance of the position and moved forward the divisions of Brig. Gen. Innis N. Palmer to protect the railroad and Maj. Gen. Samuel P. Carter to protect the roads. Bragg’s forces were also reinforced by veterans from the Army of Tennessee and the North Carolina Junior Reserves, all under the command of General D.H. Hill.

Reinforced, Bragg went on the offensive and sent a division under North Carolina native Robert Hoke into the Union left flank. Hoke’s attack hit a New England brigade in Carter’s division, capturing an entire regiment. Hill joined the advance with the Junior Reserves but they panicked and refused to go any further. Hill left them behind and moved on with his veterans, hitting the Union brigade and defeating it.

Disaster threatened the Union flank when Bragg stopped Hill’s advance and sent him far to the north to counterattack a Union threat. When Hill arrived he found no Federals in sight. At this time Cox, who had been away from the front lines, returned and moved up his reserve division under Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Ruger to plug the gap between Palmer and Carter.

On March 10th, Hoke again threatened a flank attack but this time the Union forces were prepared for it with artillery and repulsed it within an hour. Hill attempted an attack against the Union center but it to was repulsed by the strong Union artillery. Meanwhile, the remaining elements of the XXIII Corps had arrived from Wilmington and Bragg order a general withdrawal. Once all of the Union forces arrived they then began to move on Goldsboro.

The Battle of Wyse Fork is considered a Union victory because they held the field. Total Union casualties were 1,101 while Confederates sustained 1,500 total casualties. This was a minor battle but it proved to both sides that the Confederates were still capable of offensive maneuvering. It is considered the second-largest land battle to be fought in North Carolina.

Like many battles in the American Civil War, the Battle of Monroe’s Crossing has several names. It is alternately known as the Battle of Fayetteville Road. The most interesting name given to this engagement is Kilpatrick’s Shirttail Skedaddle. It is also known as the Battle of Kilpatrick’s Pants.

The Union cavalry commander on the scene was Brig. Gen. H. Judson Kilpatrick. He was a dashing cavalry officers in the mold of his West Point classmate, George Armstrong Custer. The 28-year old Kilpatrick had the distinction of being the first United States Army officer to be wounded in the Civil War, struck in the thigh by canister fire while leading a company at the Battle of Big Bethel, June 10, 1861.

Kilpatrick had camped his division at Monroe’s Crossing, in Cumberland County, North Carolina. His force of 1,850 men had set up a poorly guarded camp with many of the troopers sleeping. Kilpatrick himself was was in bed with a young Southern woman he had met while going through Columbia.

The Confederate force of 3,000 cavalrymen consisted of  Lt. Gen. Wade Hampton‘s and Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler‘s Divisions, who were joined together for the first time. One of there objectives was the capture of Kilpatrick himself. They had selected a squad of troopers for this task. Kilpatrick managed to flee the chaotic scene in his nightshirt, hiding for a period in a nearby swamp before regaining his composure and reorganizing his troops.

The Union cavalry was initially routed but quickly recovered and counterattacked. They eventually forced the Confederate cavalrymen to withdraw from their camp, recovering all of their captured equipment and supplies. THe Union force sustained 183 total casualties, while the Confederate had 80 casualties.

The Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads gained the additional time needed for the Confederate infantry to conduct an organized crossing of the Cape Fear River at Fayetteville unmolested by the advancing Federals. With their troops and equipment east of the Cape Fear, the Confederates burned the bridges as Union forces entered the city.

Map of the Carolinas Campaign

 

 

 

 

07/23/15

Our Visit to Pamplin Historical Park

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Battlefield Visits

Last Friday, my wife and I visited Pamplin Historical Park in Petersburg, Virginia. The part was established by the Pamplin family on the site of the Boisseau family, direct ancestors of the Pamplins.

The park originally opened in 1994. At the time the site encompassed 103 acres. Today, Pamplin Historical Park has grown to 424 acres. Within the site there are two museums, a number of reconstructed period buildings and the site of the Breakthrough by the Vermont Brigade on April 2, 1865. The Breakthrough led to the withdrawal of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia from their fortifications around Petersburg and Richmond west where Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865.

The Museum of the Civil War Soldier is located in the beautiful main building. Perhaps 750,000 soldiers died from wounds or disease in the four years of war. More than one million were wounded. If the United states were to sustain the same proportion of casualties today the numbers would be around 17,500,00. Almost all soldiers were volunteers. I am the proud great great grandson of two such men: Michael Patrick Murphy of the 61st New York Volunteer Infantry and Asa H. Dykeman of the 46th New York State Militia.

The museum uses a unique way of educating its visitors. You pick a soldier and are given a compact CD player that has the descriptions of what you are viewing. I certain points personal stories of your soldier are given in the first-person. The museum gives the visitor a thorough view of how the Civil War soldier experienced their military life.

I don’t think that modern Americans can understand what these men went through while serving their country whether it was the North or the South.This museum gives you a flavor.

The park has a recreation of the Boisseaus’ Tudor Hall Plantation. It includes their home which during the siege was the headquarters of Brigadier General Samuel McGowan‘s 1,400-man brigade. He commanded a brigade in A.P. Hill‘s famous “Light Division” and was wounded several times. Ezra Warner‘s book, Generals in Gray, claims that “McGowan’s career and reputation were not excelled by any other brigade commander in the Army of Northern Virginia.” Prior to the Civil War, McGowan practiced law and served in state politics. He also served in the Mexican-American War with the Palmetto Rifles. He was commended for his gallantry near Mexico City and rose to the rank of staff captain.

The various rooms of the house reflect the occupancy of General McGowan and his staff. The Boisseaus moved into Petersburg during the siege. When they returned their land had been devastated. Fences and outbuildings had been torn down. The wood was used for fires and winter quarters. Fortifications had been constructed by both sides complete with moats, pointed wood stakes and cheval de frise. During the Civil War, the Confederates used this type barrier more often than the Union forces. A reconstruction of the fortifications is on the grounds.

The present-day plantation consists of the main house, detached kitchen building and a variety of barns and other outbuildings. Live goats and chickens are raised on the plantation. There are well-maintained walking trails with audio stops along the way. The second museum is the Battlefield Center that primarily focuses on the events that led to the April 2, 1865 Breakthrough. There is a military encampment with several reenactors. Finally, there are extensive walking trails for the athletic. They wend their way through the original Confederate earthworks.

Pamplin Historical Park represents the very finest Civil War experience for the visitor. It is well worth a visit if you’re in the Richmond-Petersburg area.

Here are some images of various sites within the park.

 

06/22/15

The Union Destroyers: William Tecumseh Sherman

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series The Union Destroyers

General William T. ShermanTo many Southerners then and now, Major General William Tecumseh Sherman was and is considered the Devil Incarnate. To his troops he was affectionately known as ‘Uncle Billy’. The truth lies somewhere in between.

Sherman began the war as an infantry brigade commander. After the Battle of Bull Run (or Manassas to the Confederate victors) Abraham Lincoln saw that Sherman was one of the few officers who distinguished himself and promoted him to brigadier general of volunteers (effective May 17, 1861, with seniority in rank to Ulysses S. Grant, his future commander). He was assigned as second-in-command of the Department of the Cumberland but succeeded to command of the entire department in October 1861 when Robert Anderson (of Fort Sumter fame)  retired due to failing health.

Within a month Sherman asked to be relieved when he had a breakdown. By December he was sufficiently recovered to return to duty under Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck. Operating from Paducah, Kentucky, he provided logistical support for the operations of Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to capture Fort Donelson. Grant, the previous commander of the District of Cairo, had recently won a major victory at Fort Henry and been given command of the ill-defined District of West Tennessee. Although Sherman was technically the senior officer at this time, he wrote to Grant, “I feel anxious about you as I know the great facilities [the Confederates] have of concentration by means of the River and R Road, but [I] have faith in you — Command me in any way.”

Grant had been promoted to the command of the Army of the Tennessee on March 1, 1862. This partnership of the two was to lead to the ultimate Union victory in the Western Theater. They were severely tested at Shiloh in early April. but retrieved victory from the jaws of defeat on the second day of fighting. Grant’s and later Sherman’s Army of the Tennessee had nothing but victories.

They captured Vicksburg on July 4, 1863 splitting the Confederacy in half. Jefferson Davis had called the Mississippi River town, ” Vicksburg is the nail head that holds the South’s two halves together.” The Army of the Tennessee, now commanded by Sherman, participated in the defeat of Braxton Bragg at Chattanooga in November 1863.

When Grant was promoted to General-in-Chief Sherman succeeded to the overall command of the Western Theater. Sherman proceeded to invade the state of Georgia with three armies: the 60,000-strong Army of the Cumberland under George Henry Thomas, the 25,000-strong Army of the Tennessee under James B. McPherson, and the 13,000-strong Army of the Ohio under John M. Schofield.

He fought a lengthy campaign of maneuver through mountainous terrain against Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s Army of Tennessee, attempting a direct assault only at the disastrousThe Burning of Atlanta Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. In July, the cautious Johnston was replaced by the more aggressive John Bell Hood, who played to Sherman’s strength by challenging him to direct battles on open ground. Meanwhile, in August, Sherman “learned that I had been commissioned a major-general in the regular army, which was unexpected, and not desired until successful in the capture of Atlanta.”

Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign concluded successfully on September 2, 1864, with the capture of the city, which Hood had been forced to abandon. This success made Sherman a household name and helped ensure Lincoln’s presidential re-election in November. Lincoln’s defeat could well have meant the victory of the Confederacy, as the Democratic Party platform called for peace negotiations based on the acknowledgment of the Confederacy’s independence. Thus the capture of Atlanta, coming when it did, may have been Sherman’s greatest contribution to the Union cause.

After ordering almost all civilians to leave the city in September, Sherman gave instructions that all military and government buildings in Atlanta be burned, although many private homes and shops were burned as well. This was to set a precedent for future behavior by his armies.

Meanwhile, after the November elections, Sherman began a march with 62,000 men to the port of Savannah, Georgia, living off the land and causing, by his own estimate, more than $100 million in property damage. It was a huge sum for 1864. Sherman called this harsh tactic of material war “hard war,” often seen as a species of total war. At the end of this campaign, known as Sherman’s March to the Sea, his troops captured Savannah on December 21, 1864. Sherman then dispatched a famous message to Lincoln, offering him the city as a Christmas present.

If the march through Georgia was devastating Sherman’s March through the Carolinas was even more so. He persuaded Grant that he should march north through the Carolinas, destroying everything of military value along the way, similar to his march to the sea through Georgia. Sherman was particularly interested in targeting South Carolina, the first state to secede from the Union, for the effect it would have on Southern morale.

Sherman’s army commenced toward Columbia, South Carolina, in late January 1865. His 60,079 men were divided into three wings: the Army of the Tennessee, under Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard (who succeeded to command after James McPherson was killed during the Atlanta Campaign), the Army of the Ohio under Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield, and two corps, the XIV and XX, under Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum, which was later formally designated the Army of Georgia. Reinforcements arrived regularly during his march north, and by April 1 he commanded 88,948 men.

The Confederates were hopelessly outnumbered. The primary force in the Carolinas was the battered Army of Tennessee, again under the command of General Joseph E. Johnston (who had been relieved of duty by Confederate President Jefferson Davis during the Atlanta Campaign against Sherman). His strength was recorded in mid-March at 9,513 and 15,188 by mid-April. The army was organized into three corps, commanded by Lt. Gen. William J. Hardee, Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart, and Lt. Gen. Stephen D. Lee. Also in the Carolinas were cavalry forces from the division of Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton and a small number in Wilmington under Gen. Braxton Bragg.

The Burning of Columbia, SCHis army proceeded north through South Carolina against light resistance from the Confederate troops Upon hearing that Sherman’s men were advancing on corduroy roads through the Salkehatchie swamps at a rate of a dozen miles per day, Johnston “made up his mind that there had been no such army in existence since the days of Julius Caesar.”

Sherman captured the state capital of Columbia, South Carolina, on February 17, 1865. Fires began that night and by next morning most of the central city was destroyed. The burning of Columbia has engendered controversy ever since, with some claiming the fires were accidental, others a deliberate act of vengeance, and still others that the retreating Confederates burned bales of cotton on their way out of town. One Union soldier wrote,”Here is where treason began and, by God, here is where it will end!”

The Union Army destroyed everything of military value in its path. They burned barns, government buildings and warehouses. They paid special attention to the railroads. Sherman’s men removed the rails, softened them over fires made from the sleepers and wrapped them around poles and trees. They came to called Sherman’s neckties or bowtie’s.

Sherman’s Carolina Campaign, in which his troops marched 425 miles (684 km) in 50 days, had been similar to his march to the sea through Georgia, although physically more demanding. However, the Confederate forces opposing him were much smaller and more dispirited. When Joseph E. Johnston met with Jefferson Davis in Greensboro in mid-April, he told the Confederate president:

Our people are tired of the war, feel themselves whipped, and will not fight. Our country is overrun, its military resources greatly diminished, while the enemy’s military power and resources were never greater and may be increased to any extent desired. … My small force is melting away like snow before the sun.

On April 18, three days after the death of President Abraham Lincoln, Johnston signed an armistice with Sherman at Bennett Place, a farmhouse near Durham Station. Sherman got himself into political hot water by offering terms of surrender to Johnston that encompassed political issues as well as military, without authorization from General Grant or the United States government. The confusion on this issue lasted until April 26, when Johnston agreed to purely military terms and formally surrendered his army and all Confederate forces in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.

Sherman's March to the Sea

Carolinas Campaign

05/1/15

Surrender at Bennett Place

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series The Carolinas Campaign

The final chapter in the Carolinas Campaign and coincidentally in the Civil War in the East took place at Bennet Place (also known as Bennett Farm), near Durham, North Carolina over the space of ten days in mid to late April 1865.

After the Battle of Bentonville which took place in eastern North Carolina from March 19th to the 26th, the defeated Confederate Army of the South retreated to Raleigh, the North Carolina State Capital. Unable to secure the city, Lt. Gen. Joseph E. Johnston ordered his army further west to Greensboro.

Bennett Place Historic SiteBy April 13th, Confederate cavalry under Generals Wade Hampton III and Joseph Wheeler clashed with Union cavalry commanded by General Judson Kilpatrick in the area of Morrisville, North Carolina, about 20 miles south of Durham. The Confederate force was frantically trying to transport their remaining supplies and wounded by rail westward toward the final Confederate encampment in Greensboro.

Kilpatrick, an aggressive young commander, used artillery on the heights overlooking Morrisville Station and cavalry charges to push the Confederates out of the small village leaving many needed supplies behind. However, the trains were able to withdraw by the 15th with wounded soldiers from the Battle of Bentonville and the Battle of Averasboro.

After the engagement at Morrisville, Johnston sent a messenger through the Union lines with a message for Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, the Union Army Group commander. In it Johnston requested a meeting with Sherman in order to discuss a truce between the armies.

Johnston had met with Confederate President Jefferson Davis who wished to continue the struggle, even to disbanding the army and continuing with guerrilla warfare. It is believed that Johnston, like Robert E. Lee, was not interested in fighting on under that basis. Both men felt that the South would suffer greater if that occurred.

The two men met at Bennett Place on April 17th. Johnston was escorted by a detachment of about 60 troopers of the 5th South Carolina Cavalry Regiment, traveled east along the Hillsborough Road toward Durham Station. This unit had been in near continuous combat since June of 1862.

Sherman road west from Morrisville with an escort of about 200 cavalrymen from the 9th and 13th Pennsylvania, 8th Indiana and 2nd Kentucky Cavalry. Like their Southern counterparts, the Union units all had a long list of battles fought both in the Eastern and the Western Theaters.

The two generals met near the farm of James and Nancy Bennett. It being the most convenient place with the most privacy, the two men availed First meeting between Joesph Johnston and William Shermanthemselves of the Bennett’s hospitality and sat down to discuss a truce.

James and Nancy Bennett were like many families who suffered tremendously during the four years of war. They lost three sons: Lorenzo, who served in the 27th North Carolina, buried in Winchester, Virginia; Alphonzo, who is currently unaccounted for in the family history; and their daughter Eliza’s husband, Robert Duke, who died in a Confederate Army hospital and is buried in Lynchburg, Virginia.

The first day’s discussion (April 17) was intensified by the telegram Sherman handed to Johnston, informing of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. They met the following day, April 18, and signed terms of surrender. Unfortunately, they were not only more generous than those that General Grant gave to General Lee but they also included non-military conditions that were not under the purview of a purely military surrender.

Sherman’s original terms matched those of that Grant gave to Lee but Johnston, influenced by President Davis, pressed him for political terms, including the reestablishment of state governments after the war. The authorities in Washington immediately rejected them. Sherman notified Johnston that the truce would expire on the 26th if there was no formal surrender in the interim.

Johnston responded by agreeing to the purely military terms and signed the surrender document on April 26th. The surrender disbanded all active Confederate forces in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, totaling 89,270 soldiers, the largest group to surrender during the war.

After the surrender, Sherman issued ten days’ rations to the hungry Confederate soldiers, as well as horses and mules for them to “insure a crop.” He also ordered distribution of corn, meal, and flour to civilians throughout the South. This was an act of generosity that Johnston would never forget; he wrote to Sherman that his attitude “reconciles me to what I have previously regarded as the misfortune of my life, that of having you to encounter in the field.”

 

 

 

04/23/15

The End of the Army of Northern Virginia

This entry is part of 8 in the series Appomattox Campaign

Grant and LeeThe end of the war for the Army of Northern Virginia came after a series of disastrous defeats in late March and early April of 1865. The Confederate soldiers were tired, outnumbered and hungry. They had very little hope in achieving victory.

The battle of Five Forks was immediately preceded by two battles on March 31, 1865. At the Battle of White Oak Road, infantry of the Union Army’s V Corps of the Army of the Potomac pushed back the main line of Confederate defenses on the right flank of the Army of Northern Virginia southwest of Petersburg.

The V Corps blocked two important roads as well as taking a better position for an attack on the Confederate line. At the Battle of Dinwiddie Court House, Sheridan’s cavalry tactically lost a battle to Pickett’s combined force but had fewer casualties and averted being dispersed or forced to retreat from the area. At nightfall, Sheridan’s troopers still held a defensive line 0.75 miles north of Dinwiddie Court House.

At Five Forks on April 1st the Confederates were  savaged by the forces of General Phil Sheridan who told his officers to bust up the Confederates. The Union forces sustained 830 casualties while the Confederates suffered 2,950 total casualties.

The Confederate officers were at a shad bake and were unable to hear the noise from the battle. An acoustic shadow in the thick woods and heavy, humid atmospheric conditions prevented them from hearing the opening stage of the battle. Pickett and Lee had not told any of the next ranking officers of their absence and that those subordinates, in particular Major General W.H.F. “Rooney” Lee, were temporarily in charge.

Robert E. Lee ordered his forces to leave Petersburg and head west. This began the retreat of the Army of Northern Virginia and ultimately defeat. The two armies fought a series of engagements large and small: Grant and Lee

The engagements were a mixture of infantry and cavalry actions. The Union forces continued to push the Confederates to the west. Whenever they approached supplies they were pushed back. Lee wanted to get to Lynchburg where he hoped to get some relief from the constant Union attacks.

But Grant’s armies began to enclose the Army of Northern Virginia from the rear, the front, the north and the south. Lee launched an attack to break through the Union force to his front, assuming the Union force consisted entirely of cavalry. When he realized that the cavalry was backed up by two corps of Union infantry, he had no choice but to surrender.

04/13/15

The Fall of Richmond

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Appomattox Campaign

The Burning of RichmondThe American Civil War ended in stages as various Confederate armies and the members of the government surrendered across the South.

By early spring 1865 the citizens of Richmond had become used to the threat of capture by the Federal army whose soldiers the Richmond newspapers described with great imagination as the vilest of humanity. Its inhabitants had grown accustomed to the sound of artillery fire from just ten miles outside the city. Their faith in Robert E. Lee was so complete that they knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that he would never allow Richmond to be taken.

 

But General Lee knew that there would come a time that his army would have to leave the Confederate capital or be crushed by the superior Union armies. His army had put on a heroic defense but in the process they had been worn to the nub.

The catastrophic Confederate defeat at Five Forks on April 1st convinced Lee that it was time for his troops to leave Petersburg and Richmond, moving west. He hoped to join up with the army of General Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina to continue the fight. At this point Lee had between 43,000 and 46,000 men.

As soon as the civilian populations of the cities discovered the imminent departure of their protectors panic ensued. Frank Lawley, the correspondent for London newspaper, The Times, observed:

“The scene that followed baffles description. During the long afternoon and throughout the feverish night, on horseback, in every description of cart, carriage, and vehicle, in every hurried train that left the city, on canal barges, skiffs, and boats, the exodus of officials and prominent citizens was unintermitted.”

President Davis’ train was set to depart on April 2 at 8:30 Sunday night. He kept hoping that somehow Lee would send news of a reversal of fortunes and that the government would not have to abandon the city. Finally, at 11 o’clock, he boarded the train and began the sad trip to Danville.

Richmond’s officials ordered all of the liquor to be destroyed. In the need for haste, however, those men charged with going through the stocks of every saloon and warehouse found the most expedient way was to smash the bottles and pour the kegs into the gutters and down the street drains. The stench attracted crowds. They gulped the whisky from the curbstones, picked it up in their hats and boots, and guzzled it before stooping for more. So the action taken to prevent a Union army rampage started a rampage by the city’s own people.

Meanwhile back in the city Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell, Richmond’s military commander, was under orders to destroy the city’s tobacco, cotton, and foodstuffs before the Yankees got to them. To destroy the tobacco, Ewell had it moved to buildings that he believed could burn without setting the rest of the city on fire and asked the fire department to stand by to keep the fire from spreading.

In a city that had been suffering from scarcity, where high officials held “Starvation Balls,” no one believed there could be much food left to destroy. But they were wrong. The crowd, seeing the commissaries filled with smoked meats, flour, sugar, and coffee, became ugly. LaSalle Pickett wrote

“The most revolting revelation was the amount of provisions, shoes and clothing which had been accumulated by the speculators who hovered like vultures over the scene of death and desolation. Taking advantage of their possession of money and lack of both patriotism and humanity, they had, by an early corner in the market and by successful blockade running, brought up all the available supplies with an eye to future gain, while our soldiers and women and children were absolutely in rags, barefoot and starving.”

Enraged, they snatched the food and clothing and turned to the nearby shops to loot whatever else they found. They were impossible to stop. Ewell tried, but he had only convalescent soldiers and a few army staff officers under his command at this point. Not nearly enough men to bring order back to the streets. The fires, though, grew out of control, burning the center of the city and driving the looters away.

Embers from the street fires of official papers and from the paper torches used by vandals drifted. The wind picked up. Another building caught fire. The business district caught fire. Worse, as Admiral Raphael Semmes wrote,

“The Tredegar Iron Works were on fire, and continual explosions of loaded shell stored there were taking place….The population was in a great state of alarm.”

Frank Lawley reported that as he walked toward the railroad station he saw a column of dense black smoke. Semmes had set his ironclads on fire to keep them out of Union hands. Moments later, the warships’ arsenals exploded blowing the windows out for two miles around, overturning tombstones, and tearing doors from their hinges.

The Union cavalry entered town. By 7:15 Monday morning, April 3, two guidons of the Fourth Massachusetts Cavalry flew over the capitol building. Not long after, two officers of the 13th New York Artillery took down the little triangular flags and ran up the great United States flag. Union General Godfrey Weitzel sent a telegram to General Grant: “We took Richmond at 8:15 this morning. I captured many guns. The enemy left in great haste. The city is on fire in two places. Am making every effort to put it out. The people received us with enthusiastic expressions of joy.”

Weitzel ordered his troops to put out the fire. The city’s two fire engines worked, bucket brigades were formed. Threatened buildings were pulled down to create firebreaks. Five hours later the wind finally shifted, and they began to bring it under control. All or part of at least 54 blocks were destroyed, according to Furgurson. Weitzel wrote “The rebel capitol, fired by men placed in it to defend it, was saved from total destruction by soldiers of the United States, who had taken possession.” And the city rested.

 

 

 

03/2/15

Sheridan’s Raid on Scottsville, Virginia and Commemoration

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series The James River Campaign

If you live in central Virginia and are available this coming weekend visiting Scottsville and the commemoration of Sheridan’s War in ScottsvilleRaid. Scottsville is a small town at the big bend of  the James River. Sheridan’s force of cavalry and infantry raided the town in early March of 1865. Among his commanders were George Armstrong Custer, Wesley Merritt and Thomas Devin.

Sheridan led a force of 10,000 soldiers which marched down the Scottsville Road from Charlottesville, about a 20 mile march. His goal was Scottsville’s tobacco warehouses and other military supplies. He also wanted to destroy the James River and Kanawha Canal, a key transportation link with Richmond.

After four long years of war, the enemy and devastation came to Scottsville.  On March 6, 1865, Major General Philip H. Sheridan’s expedition of nearly 10,000 Union soldiers departed Charlottesville.  Their mission was to destroy the James River Canal and the Virginia Central Railroad.

The expedition separated into two columns with Sheridan and Brevet Major General George A. Custer leading the 3rd Cavalry southwest through North and South Gardens to destroy the railroad.  Brevet Major General Wesley Merritt and Brigadier General Thomas C. Devin headed south to Scottsville with the 1st Cavalry and orders to destroy the canal, bridges, mills, manufactories, and rebel food stores.

The destruction of Scottsville began at 3 p.m. on that March day, as noted in General Devin’s official report:

At this point, three canal boats were captured, one loaded with shell (9600) and two with the Government commissary stores and tobacco. These were totally destroyed and burned, together with a large cloth mill, a five-story flouring mill, candle factory, machine shop, and tobacco warehouse. Each of these buildings was crammed with products of its manufacture to a surprising extent, and all were totally destroyed.

The intense heat of the flour mill fire charred nearby homes, although no loss of life occurred. Canal locks and bridges above and below town also were destroyed or severely damaged. The last of Devin’s men departed Scottsville on March 7th and headed west up the towpath to continue their canal destruction duties and join Sheridan’s column at New Market (Norwood).

On March 8th, Sheridan’s united command moved back down the James River towards Columbia, arriving in Scottsville on Thursday night, March 9th.  The roads were horrible due to the spring thaw and heavy rains, and the soldiers were tired and hungry.  Legend has it that Sheridan and Custer rested the night at Cliffside while Merritt commandeered Old Hall. (These homes still exist.)

By this stage of the expedition, Sheridan’s men were down to their last ‘coffee and sugar’ rations, and their horses suffered from fatigue and hoof rot.  They relied on the Scottsville countryside for ‘subsistence and forage’ and ransacked and looted homes, barns, and any potential hiding place for food, horses, and valuables.  Cliffside’s carriage house and barn were torched, although the jewelry, which Mrs. John O. Lewis buried earlier near their chicken house, went undiscovered.

Yankees stuffed hams in their knapsacks and strapped dead chickens to their saddles.  At age 5, Fannie Patteson stood at a second floor window and watched her backyard fill with strange men, who upset their beehives and crammed honey into their mouths.

As the Yankees snatched up every horse they spotted, twelve year-old Luther Pitts hid two local horses in the basement of the Barclay House on Main Street.  Miletus Harris and his son, Charles, beat back the flames on their Main Street store as the nearby Columbian Hotel went up in smoke.

Finally on March 10th, Sheridan’s army departed Scottsville and continued along the James River to Columbia, leaving Scottsville charred and hungry.  It would take forty years for the town’s economy to recover.

You can read about the entire James River Campaign here.

Sheridan’s Raid on Scottsville, 6-8 March 2015
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You are invited to attend:

SHERIDAN’S RAID ON SCOTTSVILLE

Friday-Sunday, March 6-8, 2015

The weather was cold and rainy, and the James River was high when Union troops under General Phillip Sheridan came to Scottsville in 1865.  The town was undefended, and the Union troops stayed for a few days, appropriating supplies (food and horses), setting fire to several buildings and canal boats, and destroying the James River and Kanawha Canal.

On this 150th anniversary of Sheridan’s Raid, please join us in Scottsville onMarch 6-8, and learn more about the long-lasting impact of this raid on our town and its citizens.  We’ll see a procession of mounted Union soldiers riding through town to Canal Basin Square, a new Civil War exhibit in the Scottsville Museum, and presentations about Sheridan’s raid, the James River and Kanawha canal, and the African-American community in Scottsville

All events are free and open to the public.

Schedule of Events:

History Mobile:  A traveling museum of the Civil War in Virginia. Friday and Saturday (March 6-7), 9am-5pm.  Location: Village Square Shopping Center in Scottsville.
Museum Exhibits: Featuring artifacts of Sheridan’s raid, the lives of African-American families, and women in mourning after the war. Friday (March 6),10am-5pm; Saturday (March 7), 10am-4pm.  Sunday (March 8), 1-5pm.  Location:  Scottsville Museum, 290 Main Street.
Union Cavalry Reenactors Parade: 2nd U.S. Cavalry, Saturday (March 7),11am.  Location: From old Uniroyal Tire Plant on Bird Street, south on Valley Street to Main Street, east on Main Street to Canal Basin Square.
Living History Encampment – Union Army: Saturday (March 7), 11:30am-3pm. Location: Across from Scottsville Museum on Main Street.
Sheridan’s Raid & Scottsville: Saturday (March 7), 4pm.  Presentation by Richard Nicholas, author of Sheridan’s James River Campaign. Location: Victory Hall, 401 Valley Street.
African-American Families in War and Reconstruction:  Sunday (March 8),3pm.  Presentation by historians, Sam Towler (“The Families of Liberty Corner”) and Regina Rush (“The Rush Family of Chestnut Grove”).  Location:  Victory Hall, 401 Valley Street.
James River and Kanawha Canal:  Sunday (March 8), 4pm. Presentation by Roger Nelson and Brian Coffield of the Virginia Canals and Navigations Society.  Location: Victory Hall, 401 Valley Street.
Walking Tour: Pick up a free map and guide to Civil War sites in Scottsville.  Maps and information available at Victory Hall and the Visitor’s Center on Main Street, Scottsville.

For more information, see:
www.smuseum.avenue.org and www.SheridansRaid.org

See you in Scottsville!
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