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Recent Issues of Civil War News

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(updated 11/9/15)

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Burnside Bridge Is Closed For Repairs
SHARPSBURG, Md. — The Burnside Bridge at Antietam National Battlefield has been closed for major repairs to be undertaken this fall and next spring. The 1836 bridge was made famous during the Sept. 17, 1862, Battle of Antietam.

Last January a section of stone facing on the upstream side of the bridge collapsed into Antietam Creek. Temporary repairs and an engineering assessment of the structure were undertaken. Deterioration of the wall, water infiltration and voids in bridge piers were found.

The $1.7 million preservation project to ensure the bridge’s long-term structural stability will be completed in two phases. Phase 1 will primarily focus on in-stream work to strengthen the stone piers and arches. Portable dams will be installed in the creek to divert the water during this phase and work will continue through fall.


New Gettysburg Exhibit On Barksdale & Surgeon
GETTYSBURG, Pa. — An exhibit titled “Firmness, Endurance, and Vigor: Brigadier General William Barksdale and Dr. Alfred Hamilton at Gettysburg” is open at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center Exhibit Spotlight gallery outside the book store.

The free exhibit, which runs through March 2016, features artifacts from General Barksdale and Dr. Hamilton, the Pennsylvania native who treated Barksdale before he died on July 3, 1863. Assistant surgeon of the 148th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Hamilton saw Barksdale at the Jacob Hummelbaugh farm field hospital.


USCT 150th Review
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The 150th anniversary of the Nov. 14, 1865, Harrisburg parade of U.S. Colored Troops will be commemorated Nov. 13-14.

The weekend events will include a Friday dinner honoring USCT descendants, a two-day showcase of exhibits and living historian displays at Strawberry Square, and the Grand Review procession starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday from Grace United Methodist Church.

Black troops were not included in the two-day May 1865 Grand Review of the armies, so one was organized for them in Harrisburg. The soldiers marched through the city to the home of Simon Cameron who reviewed them. He was a U.S. Senator before and after the Civil War and Lincoln’s first Secretary of War, serving until January 1862.

Information is at


Arkansas News
LITLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission is near its goal of having at least one Civil War 150th marker in each of the state’s 75 counties. With 123 markers approved, only four counties do not have markers installed or in process.

The commission awarded its final grants to five projects, making a total of 84 grants totaling $137,912.76 awarded for 150th commemorative programs.

One of the last projects to receive funds was the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture on the Central Arkansas Library System. It received $2,000 to put Civil War entries in the online encyclopedia.
Information about Arkansas Civil War activities is at


‘Mourning Lincoln’ Book
NEW YORK — Martha Hodes’s Mourning Lincoln (Yale University Press) was on the Nonfiction Longlist, but is not a finalist, for the annual National Book Foundation’s 2015 National Book Award for Nonfiction. The winner will be announced Nov. 18.

Hodes’s book was one of 10, and the only Civil War title, selected from the 494 books submitted for the award.


Hancock Tribute
GETTYSBURG, Pa. — The W.S. Hancock Society will host its annual Remembrance Day tribute to Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock on East Cemetery Hill, Gettysburg National Military Park, at 11 a.m. Society historian Bruce Stocking will give a narrative and a wreath will be laid.

This year’s Nov. 21 tribute focuses on the end of the Civil War and death of Abraham Lincoln. It also celebrates the society’s 20th anniversary and its continuing recognition of Hancock.

For more information call 610-630-0912 or visit the W.S. Hancock Society on Facebook.


Clara Barton Site
GLEN ECHO, Md. — Clara Barton National Historic Site is closed to the public during a rehabilitation project that will last about a year.

The work will include replacing the metal roof and improving the fire suppression system. Historic furnishings and many collection items were moved last fall to a museum collections facility in Maryland.
The site includes Clara Barton’s last home, where she died in 1912, which was an early headquarters of the American Red Cross which she founded in 1881 and led as president until 1904.


Island Mound Film
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — “The Battle of Island Mound” documentary film about the history of Battle of Island Mound State Historic Site near Butler, won two awards at the recent 2015 National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Mid-America Emmy Awards.

It was honored for cinematography and as Best Historical Documentary.

Missouri State Parks commissioned the work by St. Louis-based filmmaker Brant Hadfield. It tells about the Oct. 27-29, 1862, battle which was the first time black troops engaged in Civil War combat. The 1st Kansas was the first African-American regiment recruited in the North and the first to see action, at Island Mound.

Earlier this summer, Gov. Jay Nixon included a DVD copy of “The Battle of Island Mound” in the Missouri State Capitol’s Centennial Time Capsule.


Moccasin Bend Plan
FORT OGLETHORPE, Ga. — Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is accepting comments through Nov. 13 on a general management plan for Moccasin Bend Archeological District near Chattanooga.

The planning effort will amend the national park’s 1988 General Management Plan and guide decisions about future natural and cultural resources and visitor experiences at Moccasin Bend.
During the Civil War, Union artillery was entrenched on the bend and periodically exchanged fire with Confederate batteries on Lookout Mountain. The peninsula was part of the Union army’s main supply line, the Cracker Line.

The National Park Service has developed three preliminary alternative management concepts for public review and comment. They can be viewed at Comments can be submitted electronically through the website.


Holiday Mail
RICHMOND, Ky. — The Battle of Richmond Visitors Center again is participating in the Holiday Mail for Heroes and Operation Stars & Stripes programs.

Last year more than 700 Christmas cards were collected. This year the park is also taking new DVDs of a family nature for military service personnel to receive year round.

Donations are welcome from Nov. 4-25. Cards do not need envelopes. They should be signed, addressed generically, such as “Dear Service member,” and be free of glitter. No inserts, photos, email addresses or letters will be accepted.

For information call 859-624-0013.

Virginia Artifacts
RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Association of Museums’ annual Virginia’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts included Civil War items.

The 1863-1865 POW journal of James Risque Hutter, kept while he was a prisoner at Johnson’s Island, is at Historic Sandusky Foundation in Lynchburg. The Confederate jacket of Capt. Cary F. Grimes, 1861, is in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum collection.

The Top 10 program aims to convey awareness of the role that museums and cultural organizations play in caring for artifacts. It has resulted in conservation support and sharing of information about the provenance of artifacts.

Additional information is at


Historic Newspapers
WASHINGTON — The 10 millionth page has been posted on Chronicling America, a free online searchable database of historic U.S. newspapers.

Launched by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2007, Chronicling America ( provides enhanced and permanent access to newspapers published from 1836-1922. It is part of the National Digital Newspaper Program.

More than 1,900 newspapers in 38 states and territories and the District of Columbia are represented. The site averaged nearly 3.8 million page views per month last year. Since 2005 more than $30 million has been awarded in grants to identify and digitize historic newspaper content.


Sandusky Parlor
LYNCHBURG, Va. — Historic Sandusky recently opened the East Parlor, its second room restoration, which reflects the 1850s.

The restored West Parlor opened last year during the Battle of Lynchburg Sesquicentennial. It was restored as a formal and elegant receiving and entertaining room, while the East Parlor is a more private family space.

Paint analysis showed that the East Parlor had forest green walls with mustard woodwork. It is furnished with original pieces and portraits.

Executive Director of the Historic Sandusky Foundation Greg Starbuck said it took more than six years to restore the exterior before interior preservation could begin. The entry hall will be the next room to be done.

Historic Sandusky is operated by the non-profit foundation in partnership with Lynchburg College.