Selected News Briefs from        
Recent Issues of Civil War News

View our archives to read articles from previous issues.

Subscribe and get ALL the Civil War News!

(updated 3/20/14)

Bookmark and Share

 

 


ALBF Awards 5 Grants, Honors James McPherson

NEW YORK — The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation (ALBF) recently authorized funding grants to programs and projects in some of the key cities associated with the 16th President’s life and accomplishments: Springfield, Illinois, Gettysburg and Philadelphia, Pa., and Washington, D. C.

The awards were approved at the foundation’s Jan. 26 board meeting which followed its annual co-sponsorship of a Lincoln symposium at HistoryMiami in Florida attended by 300 participants.

Historian James M. McPherson, the keynote speaker, received the first Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation Award of Achievement for his contributions to the public understanding of Lincoln, the war for the union, and the battle for black freedom.

For more information go to www.lincolnbicentennial.org


 

89th Ohio Flag Given To State Collection

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A flag carried by the 89th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) Regiment was transferred to the Adjutant General’s Battle Flag Collection during a Jan. 17 ceremony hosted by the Ohio Historical Society.

The Ohio Society, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) transferred the flag. The group received it in 2001 for display at the DAR’s Camp Dennison Civil War Museum near Cincinnati.

The 6-by-6-foot blue silk flag will be housed at the Ohio History Center in Columbus. Curators will determine if it is a candidate for conservation.

While The Adjutant General’s Department owns them, the Ohio Historical Society in the 1970s took responsibility for maintenance and care of the collection’s 554 flags, three-quarters of which are from the Civil War.

For more information about the flag collection visit, http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/exhibits/fftc/


 

Graveside Service Honors Soldier In 29th Connecticut Colored Inf.

AVON, Conn. — The grave of Pvt. Leverett Allen Holden, 29th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Colored), was rededicated in a Feb. 22 ceremony at East Avon Cemetery.

The Avon Historical Society hosted the ceremony and a program by Tom Acri, author of an upcoming book about the regiment. The event was part of the “Pioneers of the Liberty of Your Race” exhibit at the Avon Free Public Library. It highlights the more than 900 men from Connecticut who served in the 29th.

The memorial service was adapted from a 1917 Grand Army of the Republic service. Ben Hawley, portraying his ancestor, Pvt. Orrin Hawley from Woodbury, led the service as commander. Descendants took other roles, laying a small American flag, evergreen and laurel wreaths and a single rose on the grave. President Lincoln (Howard Wright) said a few words.

Hawley, a member of Co. B, 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment of Washington, D.C., later said it was a great moment for descendants to realize that their ancestors had been friends and their relationships transcended time.


 

Richmond, Ky. Installs New Display On Battle

RICHMOND, Ky. — The Madison County Courthouse recently installed a Civil War display highlighting the Battle of Richmond.

The 7 foot by 4 foot permanent display is part of an overall campaign to educate the public about the battle, an overwhelming Confederate victory fought on Aug. 29 and 30, 1862. It was the state’s second largest battle.

Battlefield superintendent Phillip Seyfrit said the display gives visitors an idea of the battle and the significance of the courthouse in the following days.

It is located in the  west side of the building’s first floor foyer.


 

Guelzo & Johnson Share Lincoln Prize For Books

NEW YORK — The 2014 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize of $50,000 will be given April 24 to co-winners Allen C. Guelzo, for Gettysburg: The Last Invasion (Alfred A. Knopf), and Martin P. Johnson for Writing the Gettysburg Address (University Press of Kansas).

Steven Spielberg will receive the prize’s first Special Achievement Award for the movie “Lincoln,” released in 2012, which won two Academy Awards and grossed over $275 million worldwide.

Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History award the prize. The winners were chosen from 114 nominations. Guelzo and Johnson will each receive $25,000 and a bronze replica of Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ life-size bust, “Lincoln the Man.”

The prize was co-founded in 1990 by businessmen and philanthropists Richard Gilder and Lewis Lehrman, co-chairmen of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York and co-creators of the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the country’s largest private archives of documents and artifacts.


 

Wilderness, Spotsylvania Parks To Open Campaign Anniversary

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — The National Park Service (NPS) will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House from May 3-26.

The observances at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House will kick off the larger NPS commemoration of Gen. U.S. Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign — an NPS signature Sesquicentennial Event.

From Spotsylvania, the commemoration will then follow the armies southward, to Richmond National Battlefield and Petersburg National Battlefield. The Overland Campaign observance will span nearly 90 days, three NPS areas, several local and regional sites from Culpeper County to Dinwiddie.

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park will host the Opening Ceremony on May 3 at 10 a.m. at the Bloody Angle, Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield. Civil War historian James I. Robertson, Jr. will be the keynote speaker.

For updates and information, visit www.nps.gov/frsp/sesquicentennial.htm


 

April Park Day

April 5 is Park Day, a preservation event hosted by the Civil War Trust, History, and Take Pride in America. Thousands of volunteers will turn out at more than 100 sites.

Last year’s 17th annual event saw nearly 8,000 volunteers donate more than 36,000 hours of work at the parks.

For information go to www.civilwar.org/parkday


 

N.C. Surrender

DURHAM, N.C. — On April 26 and 27 Bennett Place State Historic Site will commemorate the war’s largest surrender of Confederate forces. Gens. William T. Sherman and Joseph E. Johnston met at the Bennett Farm to work out terms that were accepted on April 26, 1865.

Nearly 90,000 soldiers in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina surrendered.

Speakers include Patrick Schroeder, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park; Bert Dunkerly, Richmond National Battlefield Park; Eric Richardson, Museum of the Confederacy; and John Hairr, North Carolina Maritime Museum.

They will talk about the seven surrenders: Appomattox Court House, Va.; Bennett Place, N.C.; Citronelle, Ala.; New Orleans, La.; Galveston, Texas; Doaksville, Okla., and Liverpool, England.

The weekend will include living history demonstrations, exhibits and genealogical assistance from Confederate and Union heritage groups. Information is at www.bennettplacehistoricsite.com


 

Salisbury Symposium

SALISBURY, N.C. — The 17th Annual Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium will be held April 4-6, sponsored by Robert F. Hoke Chapter 78, United Daughters of the Confederacy.

It begins with the Friday Friendship Banquet, lecture, music and recognition of veterans. Speakers for Saturday’s six lectures include author Peter Carlson of Maryland on civilian prisoners Junius Browne and Albert Richardson; historian Gregg Cheek of North Carolina on Commandant Capt. George W. Alexander;

Also, history professor Dr. Gary Freeze of North Carolina talking about the Salisbury prison; historian Dr. Lawrence Lohr of Michigan on USS Union sailors sent to Salisbury; and historian Bill Weidner of Pennsylvania on the 1865 exchange of Salisbury POWs at the Northeast Ferry.

On Sunday the public is invited to a 10 a.m. memorial service for prisoners at Salisbury National Cemetery and an 11 a.m. service for guards at the Old Lutheran Cemetery. Confederate and Union reenactors will comprise the Honor Guard. Symposium registrants will have a prison site tour after lunch.

For information contact symposium chairman Sue Curtis at 704-637-6411, southpaws@fibrant.com.


Technology Symposium

ATLANTA, Ga. — “Technology and the American Civil War” is the topic for a free April 12 symposium from 8:30 to 3 at the Georgia Institute of Technology Student Center Theatre.

Aspects of the war changed by technology, including weapons, equipment, communications and transport, will be considered. Topics include agricultural mechanization, growth of industries, steam-powered transport, food preservation, medical care, photography, telegraphy and aerial observation.

The day will include exhibits relating to curating and preserving technological artifacts and an optional tour of nearby fortifications.

Symposium hosts include three Georgia Tech schools and its library, the Georgia Battlefields Association, Atlanta History Center, National Civil War Naval Museum and the Civil War Round Table of Atlanta.

See www.hts.gatech.edu/civilwar or contact John Miller for registration at canoe4ever@gmail.com


 

Commander Cushing

WASHINGTON — Wisconsin Sen. J. James Sensenbrenner and Rep. Ron Kind have asked U.S. Navy Secretary Raymond Mabus to support naming a Freedom (LCS-1) class Littoral Combat Ship in honor of Cmdr. William Barker Cushing, USN (1842-1874).

They told Mabus that Cushing, a native of Delafield, Wis., and a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, volunteered for a number of dangerous missions during the Civil War.

“His heroism was legendary and Cushing has been praised for sinking the CSS Albemarle [on the Roanoke River] during a courageous nighttime raid on October 1864. In fact he received a Thanks of Congress for his actions,” the Congressmen wrote.

Five Navy ships have been named for Cushing, including the first torpedo boat ever launched. The LCS class ships are built in Wisconsin where some of their components are made.

William was the brother of 1st Lt. Alonzo Cushing, Battery A, 4th U.S. Artillery. The Wisconsin lawmakers are part of the effort to secure a posthumous Medal of Honor award for Lt. Cushing’s action on July 3, 1863, at Gettysburg where he died.


 

Ford’s Programs

WASHINGTON — Ford’s Theatre Society spring daytime programs have resumed. They include include performances of “One Destiny” and History on Foot walking tours led by costumed actors.

In the one-act play, actor Harry Hawk and Ford’s Theatre co-owner Harry Ford revisit the events of April 14, 1865. The play is given Monday-Saturday through May 17.

The “Investigation: Detective McDevitt” tours follow events and sites leading up to the assassination and plot against Cabinet members. Tours continue through October. Virtual tours are also available.

Ticket and schedule information is at www.fords.org


 

Harrisburg Talks

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The National Civil War Museum will host three April talks in its spring lecture series. The 1 p.m. programs are:

April 5, “U.S. Colored troops in the Virginia Theater” by Hari Jones, Assistant Director and Curator of the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and Museum in Washington.

April 12, “The 48th Pennsylvania & The Battle of the Crater” by John Hoptak, author and Interpretative Park Ranger at Antietam National Battlefield and Gettysburg National Military Park.

April 26, “Monocacy: The B&O’s Battle” presented by Maryland author and historian Dan Toomey.

The museum recently received a $30,000 grant from the Kunkle-Rutherford Foundation. The funds will allow the museum to refurbish the gallery audio systems throughout the entire second floor. The work should be completed by April 1.

Additional information is at www.nationalcivilwarmuseum.org.


 

Guidon Found

LOWELL, Mass. — The Lowell Sun reported that a guidon flag carried, and possibly worn as a sash, by Lt. Solon Perkins of the 3rd Regiment, Massachusetts Cavalry has been found.

Workers in the Lowell Memorial Auditorium basement found the worn flag in a frame labeled “Under this flag at Clinton, La., on June 3,, 1863, Solon A. Perkins was killed.”

Perkins enlisted as a first lieutenant in October 1861 and died at 27. His monument in Lowell Cemetery is inscribed on four sides with text about his life and military service.

The Greater Lowell Veterans Council plans to have the flag conserved for display in the auditorium’s Hall of Flags. The heavy wooden frame with glass was given to the auditorium in 1929 and was put in storage and forgotten during a renovation.


 

 Eastman Images

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The traveling exhibit “Between the States: Photographs of the American Civil War from the George Eastman Collection” is at The Mariners’ Museum through April 27.

It features  photographs of Civil War battlefields, fortress interiors, prisons  and portraits by George Barnard, Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner and others.


 

Photo Ebooks

The Center for Civil War Photography’s new ebook versions of 99 Historic Images of Civil War Charleston, 99 Historic Images of Gettysburg, and 99 Historic Images of the Civil War in the West can be downloaded from the Amazon Kindle store.


 

Carnegie Program

CARNEGIE, Pa. — The Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall’s annual Civil War program on April 5 will focus on the Gettysburg battle’s impact on the town and the Petersburg Battle of the Crater.

The library houses Capt. Thomas Espy Post 153, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). Veterans made the library room their post in 1906. When the last veteran died in 1937 the room full of memorabilia was locked for 50 years. It was restored and opened in 2010.

The day will feature Espy Post tours, authors, living history scenarios, exhibits, artillery drill, book sales and tours of the Chartiers Cemetery GAR section.

For information call 412-276-3456 ext. 5, email klinefelterd@einetwork or visit www.CarnegieCarnegie.org


 

Virginia Travel App

The new Virginia Civil War Field Guide app for iPad, which provides interactive format for more than 65 sites, is available on the Apple App Store.

It includes national Civil War parks at Manassas, Fredericksburg, Richmond, Petersburg, Appomattox and Cedar Creek.

Lesser-known sites include Star Fort in Winchester, the Yellow Tavern battlefield near Richmond and the James River Confederate forts in Isle of Wight County.

Each site listing gives basic information such as brief history, street address, hours, fees, a website link and an interactive map plus modern and historic images.

The guide is edited by Don Pierce of CivilWarTraveler.com and designed by Bil Cullen of Communication Design in Richmond. Pierce is editor of the Guide to Virginia’s Civil War, now in its 22nd year of publication. Cullen is the lead designer for the Civil War Trails program that operates in six states.


 

Booth Escape Tours

CLINTON, Md. — The Surratt House Museum has scheduled 12-hour John Wilkes Booth Escape Route Tours in April, May and September. The route is from Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., to Booth’s death site near Port Royal, Va.

Tour dates are Saturdays April 12, 19 and 26, May 3, Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27. For reservations call 301-868-1121 or visit www.surratt.org.

 


New Geo-Trail

WINCHESTER, Va. — The Winchester-Frederick County Civil War Geo-Trail recently opened. It features 20 sites that are part of the Virginia Civil War Trails program. Information is at www.visitwinchesterva.com


 

War’s Emotional Toll

FREDERICK, Md. — The National Museum of Civil War Medicine has a new traveling exhibit, “The Emotional Toll of War.”

R. Gregory Lande, D.O. wrote the exhibit which uses period newspaper articles, soldier letters and surgeons’

accounts to talk about homesickness, melancholy, insanity and suicide — conditions that today are known as post-traumatic stress disorder.

For information contact David Price at strategy@civilwarmed.org, 301-695-1864, ext. 1004.


 

154th N.Y. Map

An interactive map, “A Geography of the 154th New York,” has been added to the regiment’s website at www.hardtackregimen.com.

Regimental historian Mark Dunkelman said the map allows visitors to follow the regiment from its organization at Camp James M. Brown in Jamestown, N.Y., through the end of the war. Professional geographer William Spiking of Columbia, Mo., great-great-grandnephew of Pvt. Thomas D. Spiking Jr. of Co. F, produced the map.

Dunkelman is president of the descendants association that meets annually. Next year, for its 30th reunion, the group will meet at St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure where the Mark H. Dunkelman and Michael J. Winey Collection on the 154th New York will be formally inaugurated.


(updated 3/20/14)