Levee and the $5 dollar bill

I always thought a LEVEE was just an embankment designed to hold back rising flood waters.  It is, but it is also a public reception– such as a presidential LEVEE  at the White House.

According to THE CIVIL WAR DAY BY DAY: AN ALMANAC 1861-1865 by E.B. Long…

It was on February 9, 1864 prior to attending one of the biggest Levees of the season that President Lincoln stopped to pose for some photographs and one of the images is the one we see today on the $5 dollar bill.

Published in: on February 8, 2014 at 11:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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Watch free American Civil War videos online

I’ve watched all of the Civil War movies available at the Internet Archive, and I can only watch Gettysburg so many times, the same is true for the parts (1, 2, 3, 5, 6) of Ken Burns’ The Civil War mini-series that are available online.

Today, I re-explored some old bookmarks:

Annenberg Media’s A Biography of America, chapters. 8 – 13.

Yale Open Courseware: The Civil War and Reconstruction Era 1845-1877.

Cspan.org Video Library (search: Civil War; Shelby Foote)

PBS:  History Detectives; American Experience.

Youtube: Scenes from Wicked Spring; The Battle of Aiken, Littlest Rebel, Little Colonel; Gray Ghost tv series, Gettysburg of the West.

The National Geographic Special: Civil War Gold was interesting.

Don’t forget to search for “Civil War” movies at Hulu every once in awhile… they just had GLORY recently.

Spend the day putting down the Rebellion with George

One of my most favorite Civil War “journals” is How Private George W. Peck Put Down the Rebellion, Or The Funny Experiences Of A Raw Recruit.  I read it over a year ago, and I still remember how fast, funny, engaging, and quick-witted it was.

It is definitely near the top of my “MUST READ” Civil War books list.

I just learned this morning from the George W. Peck website that George was in the 4th Wisconsin Cavalry, granted it was Union Cavalry, but you know how I feel about the Cavalry and George just earned another point with me.

Also of interest is the series of stories called “Peck’s Bad Boy”.  You can read the books or watch the movies for free at the internet archive.

Published in: on February 10, 2011 at 7:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Pennsylvania vs. Tennessee

I am so glad that my hobby is practically free.  Aside from the occasional no-to-low cost local ACW event, there is a wealth, a veritable treasure trove, of content and information available to me for free online.

I watch ACW programs on PBS.org (when are they finally going to post “U.S. Grant: Warrior” in full already!!?), spend literal hours watching/listening to Mr. Shelby Foote on Cspan.org, I voraciously consume ACW books at Gutenberg, the IA (movies too!), google books, (and the local library), I subscribe to several ACW pages on FB, I know of a few OCW (open course ware) sites, I visit the very active ACW community at CWDG (but I have yet to make a comment), The NPS is a great place to lose hours, as are the gold-mines at either “civilwar” site – .com or .org.

Today, I feel like getting lost in a good book…

So, should I read “Co. Aytch: Maury Grays, First Tennessee, or a side show of the big show“, or “Enemies in the rear: or A golden circle squared, a story of southeastern Pennsylvania in the time of our civil war” – since I am a Pennsylvania Dutch girl…?

Or maybe I should take the 4.4 pound, 744 page book: “The American Civil War – 365 Days from the Library of Congress” outside and spend the day under a shade tree.

Mr. Shelby Foote

I would never dream of either referring to or addressing the highly regarded Mr. Foote by his given name unless invited to do, and since I am unable to speak to ghosts – Mr. Foote it shall be. (However, in the interest of clarity: I refer to none other than prolific author and distinguished gentleman, Mr. Shelby Foote.) I am convinced that Mr. Foote must have been the among the finest of Confederate Generals in a past life to have effused such depth and breadth of understanding of such intimate knowledge in this one, therefore, he is my favorite Civil War “persona”. I could spend hours listening to him describe anything as mundane as paint drying, and if you could too – you will find more than 4 exquisite HOURS of Mr. Foote discussing more enthralling topics via the advanced search page on c-spanvideo.org.

Published in: on January 30, 2011 at 5:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Secession Question

Both have value, but which is historically more important –

The date when a State seceded from the Union, or when it was admitted to the Confederacy?

January 1861 was a hot and busy month, the following states passed Secession Ordinances:

Mississippi, January 9.

Florida, January 10.

Alabama, January 11.

Georgia, January 19.

Louisiana, January 26.

And on January 16, the “Legislature of Arkansas voted to submit the question of a State Convention to the people” 1, but… on January 30, the “Legislature of North Carolina passed a bill submitting the question of a State Convention to the people – the first recognition the the seceding States that people had any right to a voice in the matter“.  2


On January 2,”the Legislature of Delaware passed a joint resolution in opposition to Secession” 3, and on January 5,”Gov. Hicks, of Maryland, published a strong Union address to the people, refusing to call a Convention”. 4


Read a fascinating play-by-play of all the action in R. S. Fisher’s book, A Chronological History of the Civil War in America over at the Internet Archive.



1; 2; 3; 4: Fisher, Richard S., A Chronological History of the Civil War in America (Johnson and Ward, 1863) p. 14; 16; 11; 12.

Published in: on January 6, 2011 at 8:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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November 6, 1860 – And so it begins


Results aren’t announced until November 8, but the wedge has been driven.

On November 9-11, two US Senators from South Carolina, James Chesnut Jr. and James Hammond, resigned their Senate seats in protest.

I highly recommend reading Senator Chesnut’s wife, Mary Boykin Chesnut’s A Diary From Dixie if you ever get the chance.

James McPherson’s Ordeal By Fire (self-assessment quiz)

I recently took Ordeal By Fire out of the Library, I brought it home and decided to search around the internet before I read it for any tips on reading such a massive tome.

I found a FANTASTIC website about the book that includes a self-assessment quiz for every one of the 33 chapters by publishers McGraw-Hill.

I take the quiz, read the chapter, and then go back and take the quiz again to see how I’ve improved.  I am only on Chapter 4, but I am doing pretty well so far and have learned quite a bit, thanks for asking!


I also learned a new term: DOUGHFACE.

Published in: on October 15, 2010 at 10:23 am  Comments (2)  
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The LeMat Revolver

I’ve never been interested much in guns.  I grew up around them and they never much impressed me.  I learned how to fire a rifle at a very young age, and had a hunting license by the time I was in the fifth grade, but in the interest of full disclosure – our whole school got them, otherwise the area schools couldn’t close on the first days of Turkey, Buck and Doe seasons.

The point is I was watching R. Lee Ermey’s Mail Call Civil War Special and I saw something that made me sit up and take notice – and nearly pee my pants.

The 4 pound LeMat Confederate Cavalry double-barreled “Grapeshot” Revolver.

The LeMat Revolver

What caught my eye was the second, lower barrel – a shotgun barrel designed to fire buckshot/grapeshot in addition to the 9 bullets of the Revolver.

As I researched the LeMat Revolver, I came to learn that LeMat married P.G.T. Beauregard’s cousin!  I wish I could recall where I read that so I could credit them… But I read so many articles I lost track.

However, I did manage to bookmark two of the better write-ups and I encourage you to visit them to learn more about this amazing piece of Civil War Weaponry.

NRVO Fighting Iron: LeMat’s Revolver is simply OUTSTANDING and if you are into technical information johno.myiglou.com’s LeMat Revolver is well written.

SOURCE: The photo was taken from Curator’s Corner from Tulsa on nrablog.com and was used without permission.


~ Thank you very sincerely for visiting my blog.  I would like to  extend a very cordial invitation for you to take a look at The American Civil War Chronicles home page and read some of my other posts….

Published in: on October 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm  Comments (2)  
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Happy Antietam Day!

Yesterday, well 148 years ago yesterday on September 16, 1862, just four miles from Sharpsburg, Maryland , the invading Rebel Army made a stand on the banks of Antietam Creek.  There was much fighting, but the day closed without a victor.

Today, September 17, the two armies met in force, the Rebels (Lee, Jackson, Longstreet & Hill) were defeated and the Unionists (McClellan, Hooker, Porter & Burnside) controlled the field and moved towards Leesburg, Virginia while the Rebels were driven back by bayonet points.

Tomorrow, the 18th, was a day of fast and prayer and Rebels under the truce flag buried their dead.


Yesterday as I was looking around for information on the Battle of Sharpsburg I found a great book of photos of THE ANTIETAM BATTLEFIELD MONUMENTS, and some of the usual photos of Antietam from the LOC, you know, the famous dead soldier ones… But I found some group shots of the 93rd New York Infantry that I really liked and one (below) that is really good, I just wish it was larger… I wonder what they were thinking, and if they had any idea what was to befall them today?

The day before the Battle of Sharpsburg

Had they any idea what the morning would bring?

To improve upon that – the story of the men of the 93rd New York Infantry – (the men in the above photo) has been preserved at the Internet Archive, and here is what Robert Robertson says happened on September 16-17, 1862, in his book Personal Recollections of the War:

"On the next day we marched to Keedysville, near Antietam
Creek, on the other side of which was Lee's army. Heavy
cannonading was going on till noon, and in every direction
troops were marching and counter-marching to their positions.
In the early evening. Gen. McClellan's headquarters were established
well to the front, and it was determined to erect the tents
there for the night. Hardly had the lines been established and
the tents begun to be erected when a battery opened upon us, and
haste was made to locate in some more sheltered spot, which
was selected close to the little village of Keedysville. Gen.
McClellan, however, did not occupy his tent that night, but
slept with some of his aides on the line of battle. The scene
that night was one of splendor, and standing upon the high ground
we could trace the camps by the innumerable camp fires, as the
weary army sought to relieve its hunger before sinking to the
peaceful slumbers which preceded the dawn of a day of bloody

Before the sun of the 17th of September shone over the
beautiful hills and valleys through which coursed the Antietam,
troops were again in movement in every direction. Field guns
and the heavy guns of the Reserve Artillery were being put in
position on every available crest, and soon the air was
resounding with the roar of artillery, the bang and crackling of
musketry, and the cries of the contending armies. Our regiment
was kept under arms all day, not far from where lay the reserve
of the army, Fitz John Porter's splendid corps of some 10,000 men,
none of whom were called into the engagement, which lasted
throughout the day. Some of us obtained permission to go to
the hill where McClellan established his field headquarters, a
position commanding a fine view of most of the field. From
this advanced position we could see many of the movements,
and became such interested and absorbed spectators of the
inspiring scenes, the brilliant charges, the incessant volleys,
and the heroic scenes the great battlefield presented, that we
were unmindful of the scattering shots and occasional shells that
saluted our ears. To the right was Hooker's Corps, gaining
ground step by step, and nearly enveloped in smoke, out of
which, from time to time, irregular masses of blue would emerge,
as a dash was made on the enemy's line, culminating at last in
a grand sweep which turned the rebel left and brought Hooker's
men to the famous Shaker Church. In front of us, occupying
the centre, was Sumner's Corps fighting in the cornfields
near the Sharpsburg road, and every eminence was occupied by
field guns, belching shot and shell, and causing the earth to

Away to the left, hidden from our view by intervening woods,
heavy volleys of musketry and the roar of artillery indicated
where Burnside was struggling for the lower bridge of the Antietam
in the effort to turn Lee's right flank. It was an ever varying
panorama of battle, worth all the risk to witness. Night
finally put an end to the battle, only the skirmish lines which
were close together keeping up a continuous irregular fire. In
our front was the cornfield to the right of the bridge, through
which one of the charges were made, and where the dead and
wounded still lay thickly studding the ground. All night, work-
ing parties of both armies were busy gathering them in close to
the skirmish lines, and, occasional!)-, braving the shots of the
hostile skirmish line to relieve those outside the line, whose
groans and cries for help were irresistible. In the midst of such
surroundings, sleep was impossible to many. The calls of
humanity were too frequent and urgent, but many were so worn
out that they slumbered as peacefully as did the dead around

Early the next day we were under arms, and for some time
expected a renewal of the bloody work of the day preceding, but
no orders came. Men wondered and grumbled, for all believed
that victory must be ours if allowed to press onward. All day
we lay there, the discontent increasing, when long lines of
trains could be seen moving riverward in the rear of Lee's army.
Yet all was still, and we were told that we had but a few rounds of
ammunition per man, and that the artillery had but few cart-
ridges. The question could not but be asked: "Is it possible
that Lee's army can have any more than we?" And it was
freely asked, even among those of the rank and file. It was the
first time it had entered into the minds of his army to severely
criticize McClellan, and deplore what looked like timidity. Had
the question been submitted to the Army of the Potomac during
that idle day we can hardly doubt that it would have decided to
advance and to strike another blow upon its disheartened enemy,
which was now known to be preparing for, if not actually making,
a retreat from the bloody field where its impudent advance
had been so summarily checked. But it was not to be. 

All day numerous burial parties were engaged in the sorrowful
task of collecting the bodies of comrades, and burying them
in trenches near where they fell. 

The sunken roads common to that section had served as
intrenchments for many a charging force, and in these the dead
lay thickest, but many a swelling slope, which in yesterday's sun-
rise had been covered with corn or ripening harvests of grain,
were now thickly dotted with the silent forms of those who had
so gallantly dared and died under the shadows of the battlefield,
and the late green fields were torn and furrowed by the tramp-
ling of contending hosts, and the wheels of artillery. Desolation
had come in a moment to destroy the beauties of one of
the fairest spots of earth. 

The next morning we had the well-earned field of Antietam
to ourselves, Lee having crossed the river in safety during
the night.


WP doesn’t support the Iframe Bookreader, so you’ll have to click the link above if you want to read the rest of their story.  And I recommend it, some of the pictures of the 93rd from the LOC coincide with what Robertson wrote in his book, it’s so interesting to SEE exactly what he was referring to in his descriptions.  It really is.


Sources: LOC Civil War Photo Library (Search term: Antietam); Internet Archive’s copy of Robert Robertson’s book: Personal Recollections of the War.; and IA’s copy of Views of Historic Antietam.

Published in: on September 17, 2010 at 11:49 am  Leave a Comment