Sesquicentennial New Briefs
(as printed in the)
April 2012 Issue
Civil War News

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Shiloh Observance

SHILOH, Tenn. — From April 4-8 Shiloh National Military Park will host the premiere of the documentary "Shiloh - Fiery Trial," battlefield hikes, car caravan tours, a Bobby Horton concert and exhibit on the 14th Missouri Infantry at the battle.

The April 6 and 7, 1862, battle was a Union victory led by Gen. U.S. Grant at a cost of more than 23,000 casualties on both sides, including the death of Confederate commander Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston.

The park seeks volunteers to help place and light 23,746 luminaries for the April 7 Grand Illumination commemoration of the Battle of Shiloh 150th Anniversary.

Anyone interested in helping can call ranger Heather Smedley at (731) 689-5696 or email Details about sesquicentennial events are available at and on Facebook and Twitter.


Fort Pulaski 150th

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Fort Pulaski National Monument will offer six days of programming from Tuesday to Sunday April 10-15 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Siege & Reduction of Fort Pulaski.

The April 10, 1862, artillery attack began two months after Union troops began installing 36 guns in 11 batteries on the western shore of Tybee Island, over a mile away. After 30 hours the fort’s brick walls were breached and the fort surrendered.

The battle featured the first significant use of rifled artillery against a masonry fort and had international ramifications on the future design and construction of coastal forts.

Morning naval campaign boat tours and evening lectures will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday. At 7:45 p.m. on Thursday the Cosmos Mariner Productions documentary “Savannah in the Civil War” will premiere.

On Friday at 1:30 a program will commemorate Maj. Gen. David Hunter’s issue of General Order No. 7 that freed slaves at the fort and on Cockspur Island. This led to the formation of one of the first Union black regiments, the 1st South Carolina Infantry.

The observance will include a program by reenactors in the black 54th Massachusetts Regiment and representatives from the African American Civil War Memorial in Washington, D.C., will present a film and program on black soldiers.

Living history programs with hourly presentations will be held Saturday and Sunday with a Confederate camp inside Fort Pulaski, a Union camp at Camp Tybee and Union weapons demonstrations at Battery Park. Also on Sunday a wreath will be laid and military salute given at Fort Pulaski Cemetery.

For information, call (912) 786-5787 or visit


Roanoke Island

MANTEO, N.C. —  "The Civil War Comes to Roanoke Island: Fishers, Fighters and Freedmen" exhibit is at the Outer Banks History Center through December.

The free sesquicentennial exhibit tells the story of how the remote and sparsely populated island was the scene of a February 1862 battle, the part played by local residents, including blacks who sought protection, and the impact of military occupation through the end of the war. 

Letters, newspapers, art, loaned artifacts and a video are featured. The history center is a regional archives and research library administered by the North Carolina State Archives.

For information call (252) 473-2655 or go to


Richmond Events

RICHMOND, Va. — Nearly 30 historic sites and attractions are joining to host the third annual Civil War and Emancipation Day, April 14. Many admissions are free, as is transportation between the sites.

Programs include discussions with Civil War scholars, cannon firings, tours, song and dance performances and canal boat rides. Participating sites include the Virginia State Capitol, Museum of the Confederacy, Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia and American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar.

For information go to


Tennessee Records

PICKWICK DAM, Tenn. — The Tennessee State Library and Archives invites people to bring Tennessee Civil War manuscripts, artifacts and photographs to have the items digitally preserved free of charge on April 4 during the 2012 Sesquicentennial Signature Event at Pickwick Landing State Park.

The goal of the “Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee” project is to digitize records and artifacts from all 95 counties and promote public interest in the state’s Civil War history.

Many of the digital records can be seen online at Items already digitized include the diary of Moscow Carter, Gen. Felix Zollicoffer’s aide-de-camp and older brother of Tod Carter of the Franklin Carter House; the CSS Shenandoah surrender sword; a hand-drawn map of Fort Donelson and photo of the man who showed Gen. N.B. Forrest the way out of the Union encirclement of the fort.


Vermont 150th News

The Vermont Civil War Sesquicentennial website is frequently updated with additions to its multi-year calendar of events and exhibits, historical resources and membership opportunities in Civil War Round Table and reenactment groups.


Loudoun County Tours

LEESBURG, Va. — Copies of the self-guided tour through the Civil War-related sites in Loudoun County can be picked up at Morven Park’s visitor center. The park was the site of a Confederate encampment and 1862 skirmish that cleared the way for Lee’s army to cross the Potomac into Maryland.

At Morven Park visitors can get information about the area, watch videos and get a map of the county’s Civil War sites.

“Loudoun’s Civil War Rallying Point” tour starts at the park and includes the 1861 Battle of Ball's Bluff, the 1862 Loudoun Valley Campaign and battle of Unison, and the 1863 cavalry battles at Upperville, Middleburg and Aldie.

For information call (703) 777-2414, ext. 6625.


Maryland Events

HAGERSTOWN, Md. — The nonprofit Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is helping promote several Maryland Campaign of 1862 anniversary events this year.

Washington County’s kickoff will be First Call Weekend presented by Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area on June 16 and 17 in Hagerstown’s City Park. Emphasis will be on the Maryland Campaign 150th anniversary.

The event will include an encampment, reenactments, exhibits, artillery demonstrations, book signings, musical and dramatic performances, speakers and tours. Additional events will be held during the year.

Washington County’s five national parks include Antietam National Battlefield,, and South Mountain State Battlefield,

First Call Weekends will be held in Carroll County next year and in Frederick County in 2014. Information is at For more information about the Maryland Campaign of 1862, see


Virginia Stories

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Tourism Corporation has launched “Walk in Their Footsteps” at It tells the stories of eight Virginians who did extraordinary things during the Civil War. They are:

Henry V. Bird, Petersburg store clerk who served in the Confederate army and survived the war; Siah Clark, who escaped slavery by rowing to the USS Monitor and serving onboard; Sally Tompkins, the military hospital supervisor who was commissioned as an officer by the Confederacy;

James Hanger, who lost his leg in battle and founded a company that made prosthetic limbs; Jedediah Hotchkiss, the civilian who mapped the Shenandoah Valley for Stonewall Jackson; John Jasper, former slave and a black preacher who ministered to soldiers on both sides in Richmond;

And, Elizabeth Ann Lew, leader of a network of Union spies in Richmond; and Ann Gordon whose Fredericksburg home was hit by shelling, looted, used as a hospital and whose land was appropriated for use as a soldiers’ cemetery.


Laurel Hill Exhibit

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — The Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery are hosting an April 17 walking tour and reception for the opening of “April 1862: The Bloody Battles Commence,” the 1862 phase of its Civil War Sesquicentennial exhibit.

The cemetery is the burial place of prominent figures including Gen. George G. Meade, other generals, nurses, surgeons and supporters of the war effort.

Reservations for the free program are requested at (215) 228-8200 or More information is at


Missouri Flags

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri State Museum is showing its collection of Civil War flags online at and at the state capitol.

Every six months during the sesquicentennial seven of the museum’s 45 conserved flags will rotate through the “Civil War Missouri: A House Dividing” exhibit. The state’s funding of flag restoration began in 1984 and continues today with revenues from the parks and soils tax.


Arkansas News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., — The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission (ACWSC) awarded $22,164 in grants for 14 projects, including a symposium, diorama, events, a brochure and wayside exhibits.

The ACWSC has added sidebars to some of its cell phone tours of state sites at (501) 203-3015, also accessible from the site. Nine new podcasts about the state’s Civil War history have been added to the site.`

Ten new sesquicentennial historical markers have been created. Applications for markers are available on the website.

The Northeast Arkansas Civil War Trail unveiled its eighth and ninth markers for the Battles of Chalk Bluff and Cotton Plant.

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program publishes the Arkansas Battlefield Update, which is also available online at


Trust Land Transfer

DOVER, Tenn. — The Civil War Trust, the country’s largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization, transferred 15 acres it owned to Fort Donelson National Battlefield  at a 150th anniversary Battle of Fort Donelson commemoration.

Since 2002, the Trust has preserved 309 acres at Fort Donelson, including the 15 acres. The Trust plans to continue the process of fully integrating these lands into the park.

Following the surrender of Forts Heiman and Henry on the Tennessee River on Feb. 6, 1862, Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his naval counterpart, Flag Officer Andrew Foote, turned to Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River. The Union victory and fort’s unconditional surrender on Feb. 16 and Grant’s use of army and navy forces made him a rising star.