Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Walt Whitman worked in Federal hospitals during the Civil War caring for the 2000 wounded and dying men per week that were being delivered until it overwhelmed him.

An Army Corps on the March
"With its cloud of skirmishers in advance,
With now the sound of a single shot snapping like a whip,
and now an irregular volley,
The swarming ranks press on and on, the dense brigades press on,
Gliterring dimly, toiling under the sun --- the dust-cover'd men,
In columns rise and fall to the undulations of the ground,
With artillery interspers'd --- the wheels rumble, the horses sweat,
As the army corps advances."

walt whitman

The Civil War began at 4:30 in the morning on April 12 1861. Confederate batteries opened fire on Fort Sumter, a man-made island in Charleston Harbor. Commanding the Confederate attack was Brigadier General Gustav Pierre Toutant Beauregard (whew), a West Point graduate who had done so well in his Artillery classes he had been invited to stay on as an Assistant by his Instructor, Major Robert Anderson.
Ironically, it was the very same Major Robert Anderson who was now commanding Federal Batteries inside the fired upon Fort Sumter.
Thirty-Eight hours later, having been under a constant barrage of Artillery fire, Anderson displayed a white flag of surrender. The only casualty had been to a Confederate horse. It was a bloodless begining to the Country's bloodiest War.

The signal to fire the first volleys had been given by a Civilian, , who had preached secession for years.
"Of course" he said "I was delighted to perform the service"
Four years later, upon hearing Lee had surrendered, he would drape himself in a Confederate flag and blow his brains out.
Southerners are very funny about that War.

From the Ken Burns Documentary 'The Civil War":
"The Civil War was fought in 10,000 places, from Valverde, New Mexico, and Tullahoma, Tennessee, to St. Albans, Vermont, and Fernandina on the Florida coast. More than 3 million Americans fought in it, and over 600,000 men, 2 percent of the population, died in it.

American homes became headquarters, American churches and schoolhouses sheltered the dying, and huge foraging armies swept across American farms and burned American towns. Americans slaughtered one another wholesale, right here in America in their own cornfields and peach orchards, along familiar roads and by waters with old American names. (Winchester Va. changed hands 72 times)

In two days at Shiloh (April 6, 1862), on the banks of the Tennessee River, more American men fell than in all the previous American wars combined. (24,000)
At Cold Harbor, some 7,000 Americans fell in twenty minutes.
Men who had never strayed twenty miles from their own front doors now found themselves soldiers in great armies, fighting epic battles hundreds of miles from home.

Between 1861 and 1865, Americans made war on each other and killed each other in great numbers — if only to become the kind of country that could no longer conceive of how that was possible. What began as a bitter dispute over Union and States' Rights, ended as a struggle over the meaning of freedom in America. At Gettysburg in 1863, Abraham Lincoln said perhaps more than he knew. The war was about a "new birth of freedom.""

Greatest use of television I have ever seen.

In Hebrew, Shiloh means "Place of Peace"
On April 12 1861, 1 out of every 7 Americans was owned by another American.
(4,000,000 of 32,000,000)


GEWELS said...

Just returned from Charleston, S.C.. And I saw Fort Sumter while there. I had no idea we were so near the aniversary date of that war.
Also, walking through the slave quarters at Boone Plantation- sobering to say the least.

steve said...

I'm getting a bit of a late start on this series....a very busy week this was in Civil War history...

Anonymous said...

Steve - awesome post.....truly! I am looking forward to the next is so relevant to what our country is facing today...I know you will put those connecting pieces together for us!

Carry onward!


Barbara said...

Is this what's happening in Iraq today -- the new birth of freedom? Civil war always reminds me of hamsters eating their young, such a senseless thing to do!

nothing said...

No, the US is not supporting any freedom whatsoever in Iraq, that is the problem.

The various groups in Iraq are fighting against each other over just different types of oppression.

No one is trying to achieve any sort of freedom in Iraq.

Rod's Duck FArm said...

People think it is OK to divorce each other. But let the South try to divorce the north ... Different ball game.
General Sherman burned a path ... one mile wide, 100 miles long from Atlanta to the ocean.
Some of the southerners and their posterity took it personally. There was NO civil war. There was a war between two soverign entities:
The United States of America and the Confederate States of America. The Confederate States lost.
Find some good American history books written before 1860 .... you won't find many because most of them were destroyed is a censorship/rewriting of history. Fortunately, none of that matters because it has very little to do with ducks!
Quack, Quack!

GrizzBabe said...

There is a Shiloh in the state where I live that was the site of a civil war battle. I have visited the place twice and I still can't tell you a whole lot about it. Shame.

steve said...

"History has the same relation to Truth that Religion does to Theology; that is to say...none at all." Lazarus Long

Grizz...its the same. actually its a chuchhouse I believe. Soldiers who fought in that one said later the most you could say of any battle was that "I was almost as scared as I was at Shiloh"