The Table of Contents alone makes for OUTSTANDING reading

A Pictorial History of the War for the Union, Volume 2, by Ann Sophia Stephens has an amazing FOUR PAGE table of contents which alone is well worth reading.

Volume One is well-written, easy to read and interesting, but the Table of Contents from Volume Two is really quite REMARKABLE….

Four years worth of Civil War history boiled down to four pages, remarkable – I say.

I am so impressed with this volume that I am going to let the fact that she dedicated the book to that so-and-so General William T. Sherman slide…

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The Outlaw Josey Wales

My Dad used to watch Clint Eastwood movies when I was a kid, and I had seen the Beguiled (a favorite!), but I had never seen The Outlaw Josey Wales before last weekend.

Actually, a few weeks ago I almost posted something about Stand Watie, and found a clip of the Outlaw Josey Wales with Lone Watie, but that's the first time I ever knew the movie was even about the Civil War.

Then last week, it was on tv… so I watched it.  And found that one of the Civil War tunes I'd recently found was featured throughout the whole movie. 

If you live in Marin – it's on again tonight at 830, on channel 16.

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Civil War Artists

Everyone has heard of Civil War era artists such as Eastman Johnson, Thomas Nast and Winslow Homer….

But what of other talented people who sadly aren't so well known?  Let me introduce you to two fine artists you may not have heard of.

I came across a series of paintings of the Battle of Antietam by Union Captain James Hope over at the NPS and they are well worth a look.  Scroll to the bottom of the linked page and you can view the series in an album (w/commentary notes) or a slide show.

They are all fairly similar and simplistic and don't look like much at first glance, but when you study them deeply you see quite a lot.  What struck me was how my eye was drawn upwards to the sky when there is so much happening on the ground.  They really are very impressive in their simplicity.

And my personal favorite – Gilbert Gaul.  I love the realism of his work and it almost reminds me of Norman Rockwell – well, at least the Between The Lines one does – ALMOST!  You can read a brief synopsis of Gaul's life at tennesseeencyclopedia and/or wikipedia.  And enjoy these painting I "stole/borrowed" from google images…

Sources used without permission:; the National Park Service;;; wikipedia; google images.

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Published in: on June 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm  Comments (1)  
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American Civil War Handicrafts

It’s Arts & Crafts time, kids.

For a long time now I have been wanting to make my own Secession Cockade (aka Rosette) to show my support for the history of the CSA, and I finally found the instructions I bookmarked, but then could not find, and then found again… and in searching, I found two other sites (*one & **two) with similar instructions.

*(OUTSTANDING and impressive!)
**(Kind of a mess, but still followable.)

I also found a site with an interesting and informative write-up on what these Rosettes were all about.  I encourage to take a quick visit to gazkhan’s site, it’ll take less than 2 minutes to read and you’ll learn a lot.

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Published in: on June 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm  Comments (2)  
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Happy Birthday Jeff

Happy 202nd Birthday Jefferson Finis Davis.

"I worked night and day for twelve years to prevent the war, but I could not.  The North was mad and blind, would not let us govern ourselves and so the war came." – Jefferson F. Davis

More words from Jefferson Davis

Sources: Wikipedia, America's Library, Southern Shelter, Gutenberg.

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Happy Birthday Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard

I wish I had better recall.  I just read a book in which a female character kept going on about "Bory".  I've been racking my brain all morning to no avail.

If you're wondering who he was… It was Beauregard who gave the order to fire on Fort Sumter against his former pupil, now on the inside of the Fort, Major Robert Anderson.

He is a very interesting person, and I encourage you to seek out one of the many biographies on him, as I could never do his story justice.

Cigarette card found at the Internet Archive, uploaded by/property of Herbert Hillary Booker 2nd of Tujunga, California.

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Published in: on May 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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General William Edmondson “Grumble” Jones, C.S.A.


I have a Civil War namesake!  I was reading about something I can’t even recall now, but I saw the name GRUMBLE, and it sure caught my attention.


William E. Grumble Jones was a Confederate Cavalry General under JEB Stuart, and they could NOT stand each other.  And if it be known, I blame Stuart for the loss at Gettysburg.


OH!  I remember.  I was looking to see how far the CSA made it into Pennsylvania.  They made it within 80 miles or so of my birthplace.  So close, yet so far.


Anyway, Jones skirmished at Hanover in the Summer of 1863, just south of where I was born.  He saw lots of action and was promoted a few times too.  He was in the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861, rode on Stuart’s famous ride around McClellan prior to the Seven Days Battles in the Summer of 1862, was slightly wounded at the skirmish of the Orange Courthouse during the Second Bull Run in August of 1862.  In the Spring of 1863, Grumble Jones and B.G. Imboden seized and laid waste to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Maryland, then in June he rejoined Stuart in Virginia for the largest cavalry battle of the whole war, the Battle of Brandy Station just prior to Gettsyburg.


I’ll never understand what Stuart was thinking leaving one of his best Generals out of the action at Gettysburg.  Stuart and Jones despised each other, sure, but Stuart had also said of Jones that he’s “the best outpost officer in the army”.  Way to let Lee & Ewell down, Harrisburg slip through your fingers and let pettiness ruin everything J.E.B..


That Fall, the fecal matter hit the fan and Stuart had Jones court-martialed for insulting Stuart (I wonder if that was when Jones called Stuart a young “whippersnapper”?  Or if Jones made a disparaging comment about Stuart’s dressing like a dandy Cavalier?), although guilty Robert E. Lee stepped in and transferred Jones to the Trans-Allegheny Division in West Virginia where he eventually joined up with Longstreet and made way into Tennessee in early 1864.  Jones took command of the entire Shenandoah Valley force in the Valley Campaigns of 1864 – the Lynchburg Campaign (May-June), Early’s Railroad Raids (June-August), and Sheridan’s Valley Campaign (August-October).


It was in Virginia, during the Battle of the Piedmont on June 5, 1864 that Jones was shot in the head and killed (at age 40) while leading an attack against far superior forces.  But, that was Grumble’s way – His old Railroad raiding compatriot, B.G. Imboden said of Jones that he “… was an old army officer, brave as a lion and had seen much service, and was known as a hard fighter. He was a man, however, of high temper, morose and fretful. He held the fighting qualities of the enemy in great contempt, and never would admit the possibility of defeat where the odds against him were not much over two to one”.


I almost forgot to tell you how he got his nickname of Grumble.  We’ll he’s just like me, a person with an irritable disposition.  I have an excuse too, but his disposition undoubtedly comes from him losing his wife as she was washed away from his arms in a shipwreck in 1852, that’d make me pretty grumbly too.

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Niagara by Louis Remy Mignot

What does this picture of Niagara Falls painted in Europe in 1866 have to do with the American Civil War?

Not much except that it was painted by a South Carolina native who turned his back on his State and his Country and moved to Europe when the American Civil War broke out.

I've been trying to find a biography for him that discusses his perceived need to flee, but am not finding anything concrete…  So I will leave it at that, but I do encourage you to check out some of his landscapes as he really did have a beautiful technique.

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I am a scrubbing bubble: I do the work so you don’t have to. (Movie List)

I've gone through the Internet Archive with a fine tooth comb over the past few days/weeks/months searching for ACW related items.  I've found books, images, audio, and a few videos, now in addition to the 12 Civil War themed movies available at the IA I posted about on my other blog – I am adding 12 more feature films.



The General




Abilene Town


Colonel Effingham's Raid


The Proud and the Damned




And my new favorite, Renegade Girl



We'll call these – Southern related:


Birth of a Nation


I'm from Arkansas


The Southerner




The Klansman




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May 18 was a busy day

1861: Poor old General William S. Harney didn't know whether he was a-comin' or a-goin' in the Show-Me state.  That Lincoln man just couldn't make up his mind what to do with him as Lincoln suspected Harney of being too tolerant of the Confederacy.  Harney was ousted on April 21, then given back his appointment on May 8, then another letter to staunch Unionist Frank Blair telling him to oust Harney again, THEN… on May 18, Lincoln again rescinded his last letter to Blair.  Lincoln knew he had acted like an ass and even admitted it later in saying that "the removal of General Harney was one of the greatest mistakes of his administration".

1862:  The U.S. 5th Army Corps is founded.  Battles, sieges, and blockades are taking place at the Cumberland Gap in Tennessee; Gavelston Harbor, Texas; and the Battle of Corinth in Mississippi.

Mississippi is not having a good day….

Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Union General Benjamin Butler and Officer David G. Farragut sent a message via the commander of the USS Oneida, S. P. Lee, to the commander of the Confederate forces at Vicksburg, General M. L. Smith requesting, no demanding, the surrender of the city.  Smith declined and the city was put under Union siege.

….and it follows them into 1863….

1863:  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  The Union "asks" again this year for the submission of Vicksburg.  This year however, it is General Grant is the backing Union force – and one to be reckoned with…  Confederate General Pemberton didn't stand a chance.  The siege is complete and Vicksburg will fall and surrender on July 4, 1863, and Vicksburg would not celebrate the Fourth Of July for nearly 80 years.

Mississippi really is not having a good day on May 18, with skirmishes near Island #82, and losing Hayne's Bluff.

Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia see some skirmish action today.

1864:  Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Virginia all see battles and skirmish action.

Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia.  Things had been quiet around Spotsylvania, until dawn of this day.  Hancock and Wright's corps' made assault on General Lee's left flank – that attack and several more failed and General Meade ordered a halt while General Grant renewed his campaign towards Lee's right flank.

William T. Sherman (allegedly insane from syphilis) is terrorizing the South in his "Atlanta Campaign", and Grant is spreading evil and destruction through Virginia in his "Overland Campaign".

Find out more things that happened on this day in the civil war at TODAY or THIS DAY.

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Published in: on May 18, 2010 at 8:19 pm  Comments (1)  
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