We don’t count the Siege of Corinth as 1st Corinth

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At the Double Quick, a bronze relief at the Corinth Interpretive Center, Corinth Ms.

It was a long drive from Nashville today to get to Corinth Mississippi. For our battlefield excursion we have based ourselves out of Nashville as being a little more central to a few of the other places we intend to visit.

One of the rangers at Corinth said this line as we chatted in the bookstore over my purchases of two maps of the area, one of the siege operations and one of the confederate attack on Corinth. I mentioned that we were there to take photos for novel covers and that one was about 1st Corinth and the second about 2nd Corinth. I can see their point, there really wasn’t a battle per se the first time, just some fighting here and there as Halleck maneuvered around Beauregard’s forces to try to cut him off from his rail supply. Beauregard abandons the city and there is no bloody battle. Apparently they must get this a lot as she was quick on the draw. I still prefer to call it 2nd Corinth, but I won’t split hairs.

There is practically nothing left at Corinth but the remnants of the earthworks at Battery Robinette. Everything has been bulldozed for the city to grow over. It is fitting, though, that this one area was not churned to nothing due to the lone confederate unknown graves that are resting on a hill (the real earthwork (the interpretive center is built just a little beyond the real battery) and where the grave of Colonel Rogers used to be before being reinterred elsewhere.

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These grave markers were just a few of those killed from the 2nd Texas who stormed the parapets at Robinette and took the battery, if only briefly, before being forced to retreat after suffering galling losses.

There is also a walking tour through the site of a former contraband slave camp, established soon after the failed assault on Corinth and organized by several charitable organizations to socialize and educate former slaves into industry and self sufficiency. It was run for less than a year but was apparently used as a model for other camps to be set up elsewhere. The park is filled with bronze statues and this was one that caught my eye (though I do not believe the site was related to any USCT training or recruiting)

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It was a full day and we still had Shiloh to stomp around at. I met the person who runs the Shiloh Bookstore and gave her the Sell Sheet and bookmark we’d produced for They Met at Shiloh. We still do not know if the lead historian will approve the book or not, but Winston Groom’s novel on Shiloh was in prominent display (this person had informed me the historian only approves “classic” fiction to be sold in the store, Foote’s novel on Shiloh was also on display). It is their choice, but the person in charge of the bookstore is a pleasant person to chat with (several times on the phone and now in person). The bookstores are managed by a third party contractor but the content is up to the park historian. I’m not losing any sleep over it, but I did find it interesting seeing the other fiction works already on the shelves, and not all were “classic”.

They Met At Shiloh

The Eagle has landed

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We landed in Tennessee this evening, Nashville to be exact and right away trouble; my wife’s laptop, an old Dell XPS that has had multiple motherboards replaced just six months ago, the same laptop that was working at the Albuquerque Airport suddenly will not boot once we were settled in our room.

This was one of the first trips where I did not bring my own laptop, choosing to do everything from my iPad. This is only an issue as my wife intended to offload her photos to her laptop so that her camera’s memory cards would not fill up. So, this was unexpected but not entirely disastrous. The Dell is out of warranty by several weeks now. Annnnd, I left my iPad’s HDMI converter as we were planning on watching movies from my iPad on the flatscreen in the room, also not a big disaster and the local Apple store did not have one in stock.

One thing that I am going to hunt for is an iPad to USB keyboard adapter (if one exists). Bluetooth is disabled while in flight, so my Apple bluetooth keyboard, something that I use to type with when I write (I almost exclusively use my iPad for writing) is really tough using the soft keyboard for any length of time. I did manage to get in 1K+ word count in during the first hour of our flight on book #3. So it is not impossible to do serious writing on the soft keyboard, but is a little annoying as I often miss hitting the “n” key most often or I hit the spacebar instead of the n.

But, we are going to leave tomorrow morning for the Corinth Interpretive Center and Shiloh as our first day out. We have all day to revisit sites at Shiloh and get lots of photos of the bronze relief and the Battery Robinette reconstruction. Then we’ll be back at Shiloh to close the park down, drop off a Sell Sheet at the bookstore and try to say “Hi” in person to the lady who runs the bookstore (I’ve talked with her several times on the phone after I mailed her the book and other materials). Will be a long day of driving, however.

The Martial days of ’61

90 day volunteers from Mass. at Camp Cameron Mass, 1861
(click on image to enlarge)

I chose this image because I was fascinated by what it does not tell you. Who were these men? How many answered the call once the 90 day enlistments expired? How many survived the war? How many went back home to leave the war to a younger generation?

A brief history of Camp Cameron can be found here: Camp Cameron.

The following is a brief history of the 1st Mass.

Organized at Boston and mustered in Companies “A,” “B,” “G” and “H” May 23; Companies “D,” “F,” “K” and “I” May 24; Company “E” May 25, and Company “C” May 27, 1861. Left State for Washington, D.C., June 15, arriving June 17. Attached to Richardson’s Brigade, Tyler’s Division, McDowell’s Army of Northeast Virginia, to August, 1861. Hooker’s Brigade, Division of the Potomac, to October, 1861. 1st Brigade, Hooker’s Division, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1862. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to March, 1864. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 2nd Army Corps, to May, 1864.

SERVICE.–Duty at Camp Banks, Georgeton, D.C., until July 16, 1861. Advance on Manassas, Va., July 16-21. Occupation of Fairfax Court House July 17. Battle of Bull Run July 21. At Fort Albany until August 15. Moved to Bladensburg August 15 and duty there until September 7. Expedition to Lower Maryland September 7-October 7. Moved to Posey’s Plantation October 25-27. Duty there and at Shipping Point until April 5, 1862. Affair at Mattawoman Creek November 14, 1861. Ordered to Fortress Monroe, Va., April 7, 1862; thence to Yorktown. Siege of Yorktown April 16-May 4. Affair at Yorktown April 26 (Cos. “A,” “H” and “I”). Battle of Williamsburg May 5. Battle of Fair Oaks, Seven Pines, May 31-June 1. Seven days before Richmond June 25-July 1. Battles of Oak Grove June 25; Savage Station June 29; White Oak Swamp and Glendale June 30; Malvern Hill July 1. At Harrison’s Landing until August 15. Movement to Fortress Monroe, thence to Centreville August 15-26. Bristoe Station or Kettle Run August 27. Catlett’s Station August 28. Battles of Groveton August 29 and Bull Run August 30. Duty in the Defences of Washington until December –. At Fort Lyon until Sep tember 13. Near Fairfax Seminary until October 20 and at Munson’s Hill until November 1. Duty at Fairfax Station November 2-25. Operations on Orange & Alexandria Railroad November 10-12. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. “Mud March” January 20-24, 1863. At Falmouth until April 27. Operations at Rappahannock Bridge and Grove Church February 5-7. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 11-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3. Pursuit of Lee until July 24. Moved to New York July 30-August 1. Duty at Governor’s Island Ricker’s Island and David’s Island, New York Harbor until October 15. Moved to Washington October 15 thence to Union Mills, Va., and rejoin Corps October 17. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Kelly’s Ford November 7. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Payne’s Farm November 27. Duty near Brandy Station until May, 1864. Demonstration on the Rapidan February 6-7. Rapidan Campaign May 3-20. Battles of the Wilderness May 5 7; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient at Spottsylvania Court House May 12. Harris Farm or Fredericksburg Road May 19. Ordered home for muster out May 20 Veterans and Recruits transferred to 11th Massachussetts Infantry May 20. Mustered out May 25, 1864. Expiration of term.

Regiment lost during service 8 Officers and 134 En listed men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 78 Enlisted men by disease. Total 221. 1st Massachusetts Infantry

By the date of this image and the information from the above article it is safe to assume these men were either of the 1st Massachusetts Regiment of militia, and part of the 90 day call for volunteers, or the 1st Massachusetts Infantry prior to leaving Camp Cameron for Washington DC. (See comments section, there was apparently more than one Camp Cameron and these men may not be from Massachusetts but posed at a location in Georgetown, DC and from a NY militia unit, thank you Rob Gray for pointing this out)The 1st was the first three year regiment organized in Mass. The timing of this image and the muster of the 1st Mass. would indicate to me a probability that they are part of that muster and still decked out in their state issued militia uniforms or, as with many of the states who sent volunteers to Washington DC in the early days of the war, issued militia equipment to put some semblance of uniformity to their new units. At this stage in the war, these men have seen little of active service and the age range for enlisted men is also remarkable. For officers, depending on the rank, age was mitigated by an easier lifestyle. They were allowed more comforts, more baggage, a horse, and did little in the way of fatigue duty. There is an air of cockiness in their poses and expressions, of martial spirit that is not seen much in later images.

These uniforms will have been discarded by the time of the battle of First Bull Run or shortly thereafter (though units on both sides answered the call equipped with a dazzling array of state militia colors including militia grey, a popular overall color for state militias prior to the war) and these men, if they stayed in long enough to have seen action at 1st Bull Run (1st Manasass for all of my southern brethren) they may have already turned in their state issued clothing for federal issue.

The negro boy in the front is an interesting add to the image. Plenty of images taken of federal units in the southern states show contraband slaves performing various duties about the camp, but this is Massachusetts, this is where the one of the North’s largest free black population lives, where the African Methodist Episcopal Church started, where there had been a population of free blacks since before the revolution. So, it is hard to tell what the photographer (Brady by the left corner) was intending. Could very well have been in the camp shining boots for two bits. It is a fitting topic to be in the image; Massachusetts would be one of the first northern state to raise regiments of all black troops (they were not the first to raise black regiments but the first northern state). The boy was a free black (assumption by virtue of location of image and of the time) and is wearing all civilian attire and looks rather put out that he has to hold a brush and a boot!

Again, I look at each face and wonder what they did in the months to come. How many survived the war and how many continued to serve. Who succumbed to disease (the biggest killer by far than battle wounds) or who was discharged for ill health (many do not look like they would have lasted long under the rigors of campaign life). As far as I have been able to turn up, these men are unidentified. They did have a history and for one brief moment they posed for a photograph and we are fortunate enough today to have that image, displayed here on fading paper stock.

These men had no inkling of what was ahead of them, only that there was a call for volunteers to put down the rebellion. These men cut a fine appearance in their militia grey, posed with their bayonets fixed and ready to take on the nearest rebel horde. The first battle has not yet been fought at the time of this image. The war at this point is still an adventure, something exciting. Young and old were caught up in patriotic fervor and the thought of death was far from every mind. Battles where thousands would would fall are fantasy; the enemy will melt away before the marching columns. Few believe the war will last but a few months. These men are ready for that vision of war, a vision that faded fast after 1st Bull Run and Wilson’s Creek, two battles that showed both sides that neither was going to back down from their goals. The real serious battles are a year away yet, where casualties at Shiloh April 6/7 1862: Union casualties were 13,047 (1,754 killed, 8,408 wounded, and 2,885 missing) and Confederate casualties were 10,699 (1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded, and 959 missing or captured) would become common place leading to the single bloodiest day of combat at Antietam in September of the same year: Union casualties (12,401 wounded, captured, missing with 2,108 dead) and Confederate casualties (10,318 wounded, captured, missing with 1,546 dead).

These men cannot fathom what lies ahead for their cause. They are caught up instead in the martial adventure that all hope lays ahead.

Famous last words

Civil War battle of Shiloh chromo-lithograph by Thulstrup

War of the Rebellion, dispatch from Grant to Halleck April 3, 1862

(click image to go to other pages of the text)

I have scarcely the faintest idea of an attack …

Not exactly the most famous of famous last words, but significant nonetheless regarding what was to happen a few days later.

Grant’s entry to Halleck and the preceding reports chronicle a scene in my upcoming novel, release for later this year, where the 1st Alabama Cavalry becomes inadvertently embroiled in a running fire fight with Federal infantry and cavalry as they reconnoiter forward from Michie’s cross roads tavern, up the Corinth Road, dangerously close to the federal camp at Pittsburg Landing. The action is limited and small, but one of those missed opportunities to take in all available data. The Confederate Army of the Mississippi has marched out of Corinth and though it has been fraught with tension, poor logistical planning, rain, and inexperienced soldering at all levels they succeed in creeping forward undetected up until this point.

That the 72nd Ohio Infantry and 5th Ohio Cavalry scrapped with a combined force of cavalry, artillery, and infantry so close to their camps was alarm enough, but the incident was chalked up to aggressive patrolling by Grant. A costly error.

In this skirmish, the Colonel of the 1st Alabama would lose his horse, saddle, and equipments and the 72nd Ohio a few prisoners.

What’s in a title?

I suppose not in a title, but behind it that I mean. What does the title say to the reader? I know what it tells me as the writer and the creator of that title that houses the innards of a literary jaunt into fantasy (not Fantasy, I enjoy watching it and occasionally reading it but do not write it) I called Two Struck Images.

First, some background.

I had the treat one fall weekend in 1999 to host my younger brother at the 135th reenactment of the Civil War battle of Chickamauga. I had enough uniform parts and an extra rifle to fully outfit him (save for the shoes, I to this day still apologize for having to wear my old, worn out brogans that need re-soled). I was always the history buff and he went along for reasons of his own. I’d been away to college and then permanently settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico afterwards and married while he was in Atlanta, Georgia. I think he was glad for some company.

With my reenacting battalion, the Army of the Pacific, we portrayed Heg’s 15th Wisconsin as our guiding impression and for the first day’s scripted battle. The 15th Wisconsin was part of the bloody action that took place on the Viniard Farm and suffered heavily on that first day’s combat. At the event was a period photographer and he and I sat for two images to be struck. Two different poses, two different images and we each kept our favorite to take home. Some time later I was looking at my own image and penned this short story of two brothers and the images they possessed. I titled it Two Struck Images for the story told of the battle and the tie one boy finds with that past when found he finds one of the images 150 years later.

Today I have commissioned someone to edit the story and someone else to do the cover image and for the first time I was confronted with the difficulty of my title. I conceived of it and titled it and to me it ties things together. From here on out, however, I need to step away from it as the writer and approach it as a reader who knows nothing of what I know about the two images and the role they play in the story. Hard to do. I only get one shot to appeal to someone, I want to toe that line between engaging mystery and confusion.

Two Struck Images, original title but brightened

Image in Time title, brightened

Please leave other thoughts in the comments section. If you have other title suggestions leave those too. Short story to be released on Kindle in May.

93rd New York in camp, 1863 contrast of uniforms

Civil War Federal NCOs enjoying a repast

(click image to enlarge, 93rd NY Volunteer Infantry Bealton, VA 1863)

The first thing that stands out in the image is that this is a long term camp or the term being long enough to afford some common comfort as these chairs and folding table. A constant argument in reenacting today is what level of camp presence do you portray when at a battle event. This image is proof that this level of equipage was used in camps, but what was common for a campaign? There are two camps (pardon the pun), one that wishes to portray as much of the comfort (for themselves) by using implements such as this table and chairs, tents, cooking and eating utensils etc. The common reply is “if they used them, why can’t I”. The problem is that they would not travel well requiring a large baggage train. The other camp are those who wish to portray a campaigner impression. My own reenacting battalion, The Army of the Pacific – a western reenactor group, does a campaign impression whenever possible. A motto is use only what you can carry on your back as being representative of what the common infantryman was allowed to carry with him. NCOs and officers were allowed more baggage, but an infantryman was only allowed what he could stuff into his knapsack. Tents such as what are in the background were cumbersome and necessitated a long and vulnerable baggage train to transport, meaning more animals to feed and more wagons to haul stuff around in.

I find it interesting that the photographer chose to arrange the men in rank order, the Corporals being in the middle flanked by the two Sergeants. Also note the booze on the table, at least what I’m guessing is probably alcohol. This was not uncommon to purchase from sutlers or from civilian sources. The army did allot a whiskey ration to their quartermasters, the higher the rank the more you were allotted and there are stories of soldiers breaking into Sutlers tents or pilfering the Officer’s allotment of whiskey at times, but for the enlisted men this would amount to barely a mouthful per man per day. This would have been a regulated allotment and kept under tight control.

From the uniforms, the federal Sack Coat or fatigue blouse is what is in evidence. This was a four button coat that is obsequious with the view of the common federal soldier.Original Sack Coat image This fatigue blouse was what the soldier wore for all normal duties as opposed to dress format for parade and other official functions. Volunteer units when raised were issued state level equipments and uniforms and once federalized would then often be issued federal kit that would have included the Sack Coats. But, this was not a universal issue as Ohio and New York in particular issued state militia jackets, a shorter waist and many more buttons on the front.

Another feature of this image is the forage cap dangling from one of the support legs of the foldable table. For the federal armies, this was the most common head ware used. Deriving its name from the deep, pocket like top of the hat that falls down unto the brim, the hat was used for gathering forage when sent out on such patrols where the goal was to by hook or by crook gather in as much food stuffs as the men could carry. Original Federal Forage CapForage caps were common issue as opposed to the head gear being worn by the sergeant to the far left of the image. He is wearing a Kepi, a shorter crown cap that is probably more synonymous with civil war headgear but less often worn by the enlisted men and NCOs. Kepis were most often worn by private purchase. Officers in the Federal army were given a clothing allowance as part of their pay and not issued uniforms, having the freedom to make their own. The most famous example of this is George Armstrong Custer whose uniforms were hyper customized. To this day it is the prerogative of Generals in the army to customize their own uniform wear. It is probable that this sergeant has privately purchased this Kepi for his own use. A close look at the Corporal second to the right shows the common look of a forage cap.

Another view of some of the variety evinced in this image is the wide NCO stripe down the trouser legs of the sergeant to the left of the table. NCOs were allowed to wear a distinction to their trousers denoting rank, a thinner stripe for corporals. The sergeant to the far right has not affixed any to his trousers.

The corporal third from the right is wearing, as near as I can tell from the research of other images for this unit, his NY militia frock coat and black rank. This is not the federal issue Frock coat as can be see here:
93rd NY, Bleaton VA 1863

The difference here can be clearly seen by the man standing second from the left. He is wearing the Federal Frock, high standing collar and infantry piping on the cuffs. There are other NY Frocks evident in this image as well sporting a traditional collar. The black chevrons on the above image on the man in question are of militia vintage for NY pre-war units. At the date that this these images were taken, the preponderance of militia uniforms is interesting as three years of campaigning had either not worn them out or that the state of New York was still suppling her regiments with materials.

If there are other items of interest I’ve missed or tidbits I’ve gotten wrong, please pitch in and let’s mine these images for what they tell us.

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Deadly Teepee: Musket stack in Petersburg, VA 1865

Musket Stack with accouterments

(click image to enlarge)

Image is from Petersburg, 1865 after the city was finally in Federal hands by April 3rd, after ten months of siege.

One can see the devastation the siege wrought on the city by the rubble and buildings in the background. The image was taken in a residential area with a gas lamp to the far left of the frame. It is still cold and the leaves have yet to return on the trees. Oringinal Federal Greatcoat Another indication of time of year is the great coat slung over the musket stack in the foreground. A big indicator of this is the arm with its french cuff visible as pictured here. Greatcoats sported a long rear cape and a high collar made of thick kersey blue wool. The wearer obviously did not need it at this moment and chose to disrobe.

I have found that the cape works well for a face covering when sleeping out if one needs an additional layer. Enlisted men were allowed limited baggage and would often mail home such articles of clothing once campaign season returned as they would have to carry everything with them otherwise, greatcoats being heavy and cumbersome to pack in the two compartment knapsack. Or, they would simply discard the extra impediments once winter weather was over hoping to draw new by next winter.

The rifle stacks themselves are another facet of soldier life. Formed of three central muskets whose bayonets have been intertwined to form a teepee, the formation was devised as a way of keeping soldiers from losing their weapons while halted and on rest, for allowing a formation of four men, two in front and two in back, to intertwine and remove their pieces while in company front (two files), and for quick breaking down of the stack when ready to move on. These stacks are made whenever a unit is at rest after a halt and when in camp but on other duties and a musket is not required. You can see the ghost of a soldier on the upper left side of the frame and several others barely visible on the hillside.

Another common feature of the musket stack is the hanging of a soldier’s basic kit or “traps” as they were called by the soldiers. Original Federal Cartridge Box w/SlingA soldier’s traps would consist of his leathers: cartridge box with sling, belt and brass buckle, haversack, water bottle, and bayonet and frog. You can see that several leathers have been wrapped over the stacks. These would belong to the individuals who would line up behind that stack in the company formation. On the ground are several bundles of blankets and other personal gear. If this were a permanent movement, the privates would also have grounded their knapsacks in front of the rifle stacks or some distance beyond also in formation or if they expected to be in close contact with the enemy. What is more probable, is that this is not a permanent movement of troops but a patrol into the city 9though the blanket rolls do indicate a possible anticipation of a longer sojourn). The length of the stacks width wise indicates a company sized unit. A regiment or battalion sized stack would have extended much further down the street and would have been broken down into companies with the center or left most having the regimental flag rolled up and laid across the stacks lengthwise. None is clearly visible.

The stacks of rifles out in front of the formation would be those of the non commissioned officers who would act as file closers when in company front (two files standing shoulder to shoulder) and whose position in line of march is to the right flank of the marching column or in company front are in the rear of the formation. It is probable that we are looking at the rear elements of the stack and the soldiers would have faced to the right when in company front to stack their muskets and then been released from formation by which most have found a place to sit or lie on the hillside behind them. One can barely make out men in the upper right quadrant of the image by a house with a fence, possibly officers.

If you attend any civil war reenactments, these stacks are as ubiquitous as tents, but know that they served a specific purpose in the life of the soldier and not just for spectator show.

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Contraband Slaves in Union Camp, 1863

Contraband Slaves in Union Camp, Culpepper VA 1863

(click photo to enlarge)

There are several things to glean from this image.

It is winter time or late fall given the lack of leaves in the tree, the buttressing of the tent with planks for heat retention and a wind break, and a chimney visible at the left of the tree trunk. They are also in a permanent fortification given the planking that makes the high wall that their tent rests against.

They are wearing decommissioned federal army clothing, most clearly visible in the state of the trouser leg on the right. Army quartermasters had to account for everything, even articles of clothing that were changed out when an enlisted man’s clothing allowance allowed for replacement. Both men are wearing military issue foot ware, cavalry boots of rough out leather. The military vest, the shell jacket of the man on the right (short coat that comes to the waist with up to 8 buttons on the front without piping or epaulettes) and the sack coat and hat hanging on the tree to the left further indicate that these men have been fully furnished from military stores.

The wall tent is another curiosity as it is crammed with a table and other cookware. Wall tents were supplied to officers as their quarters. Enlisted men at this time would still be living in Sibley tents or would have at this time of year constructed a winter hut made of logs and covered in canvass. From their attire they are both being paid by the army as cooks or teamsters, my guess being cooks.

The refuse in front of the tent also seems to signify what role they played in the camp as cooks. The other thing to note is that in this time frame, the thought of a candid shot is unknown. One does not whip out a camera and just shoot. The table inside the tent was probably outside for normal use but stashed away. The cans on the ground splayed out by the photographer (these men, though not inducted into the military would still have had to follow decorum), the ladle given to the man on the left to hold, and the man on the right with his forage cap on the ground by his feet told to sit in a relaxed manner, the cigar being an interesting addition if posed.

As long as the army was stationary, these men had a home and or an income if they were hired to perform specific duties. Once an army or unit moved on, these men would have been homeless unless they could hire themselves to another unit. The campaign season was one of hardship for the many former slaves who managed to escape or were liberated by Union forces as the army promised no protection for families and those who could not perform some needed duty. When on the march, they would follow and camp nearby, but unless they were being utilized in some form or fashion they were on their own.

Have fun noting other things from this image, it is remarkably clear and focused.

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Women of the American Civil War Soldiers and Nurses

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AGO records also reveal that on August 3, 1862, a nineteen-year-old Irish immigrant named Albert D. J. Cashier, described as having a light complexion, blue eyes, and auburn hair, enlisted in the Ninety-fifth Illinois Infantry. Cashier served steadily until August 17, 1865, when the regiment was mustered out of the Federal army. Cashier participated in approximately forty battles and skirmishes in those long, hard four years.

After the war, Cashier worked as a laborer, eventually drew a pension, and finally went to live in the Quincy, Illinois, Soldiers’ Home. In 1913 a surgeon at the home discovered that Albert D. J. Cashier was a woman. A public disclosure of the finding touched off a storm of sensational newspaper stories, for Cashier had lived her entire adult life as a man. None of Cashier’s former comrades-in-arms ever suspected that he was a she. Apparently, neither did the commandant at the Soldiers’ Home. She died October 11, 1914, in an insane asylum.(12) [A deposition from a fellow soldier taken in 1915 revealed that her deception was quite complete.]

via Women of the American Civil War Soldiers and Nurses.
I ran across this and the following, leaving good meaning to those wives, daughters, girl friends who want to join their husbands, boyfriends, brothers out in the field for reenacting, if you can’t do the above, then don’t do this:

from the TV show Warehouse 13

My first thought was, he’d better hope that dueling pistol aint loaded. My second was, they should fire their costume and prop guy. I’ve been on a movie set before as I was a german reenactor for the Malmedy Massacre scenes in the Indie film Saints and Soldiers, but they had their act together authenticity wise, so I can imagine the reenactors here having a grumble about how these two look.

Civil War News News Briefs

Historic Checks

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A box found during a bank vaults inventory turned up 70 checks signed by 24 U.S. presidents. The treasure trove was acquired by Huntington Bancshares during a 1983 hostile takeover of Union Commerce Corp.

Wall Street Journal writer David Benoit said the box included what perhaps was the last check Abraham Lincoln wrote — to “self” for $800 on April 13, 1865.

Prof. Richard Sylla of New York University, chairman of the Museum of American Finance, said, “This is a classic example of one bank acquiring another and coming up with some old records as a result.” He worries that many such records are thrown away.

The Huntington had the documents appraised and exhibited them in Pittsburgh before a planned auction. However, public response caused the bank to cancel the sale. The check collection was donated by a former director of Union Commerce and was displayed during the U.S. Bicentennial.

via Civil War News News Briefs.