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CW - 150
The Civil War 150th Anniversary
Interesting facts, links, and suggested books for each month of the Civil War.
This Month's Events
- 3 August. Off the coast of Virginia John LaMountain, a Union naval officer, ascends in a tethered balloon from the Fanny to look at Confederate controlled Hampton Roads. It is the first balloon ascent from a ship in naval history. The same "aeronaut" also makes the first night aerial reconaissance; by counting tent lights he makes an estimate of enemy strength. This brings about the first "blackout", ordered by General Beauregard to keep the balloons from gathering information.
- 5 August. To encourage enlistments the pay of a private in the U. S. Army is raised from $11.00 to $13.00. Also flogging is abolished as a military punishment.
- 10 August. Union General Nathaniel Lyon is killed during the Battle of Wilson's Creek in Missouri, a Confederate victory.
- 15 August. In New York a play, Bull Run by Charles Gayler, opens today. Author of over 100 plays, Gayler had this on the stage less than a month after the battle and another play Hatteras Inlet ready within 3 months. A reference source describes his plays as "probably [not] performable today."
- 20 August. General George McClellan assumes command of the Union Army of the Potomac.
- 23 August. James Stone enlists in the 1st Fight Artillery of Ohio. James is an escaped slave, but so light-skinned that he passes for white and so gets by the rule that African-Americans can not join the Army. He is believed to be the first African-American Civil War enlistee. James will die in 1862.
- 28-29 August. Forts Hatteras and Clark on Hatteras Inlet are captured. The Federal occupation of the Outer Banks begins.
- 30 August. John C. Fremont, commander of the Union's Western Department, [see last month] on his own initiative declares martial law in Missouri and frees slaves of Missouri Confederates. Lincoln who is trying to avoid alienating the border states, first asks him to modify the order, and then, when Fremont refuses, will revoke the proclamation altogether and remove Fremont from his command.
- 31 August. The Confederate Congress appoints 5 brigadier generals: Samuel Cooper, Albert Sidney Johnston, Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, and Pierre Beauregard. Joseph E. Johnston, who had been the highest-ranking officer in the U. S. Army to resign his commission and join the Confederate army, is very hurt by this ranking of 3 other generals above him and writes an angry letter to Jefferson Davis. This is the start of a feud which will involve many others in both the civil and military branches and weaken the Confederacy.
This Month's Fiction
Love and War
Call Number: FIC JAK
Publication Date: 2000-06-01
From the first Union rout in Virginia to the last tragic moments of surrender, here is a gigantic five-year panorama of the Civil War. Hostilities divide the Hazards and the Mains, testing them with loyalties more powerful than family ties. While soldiers from both families clash on the battlefields of Bull Run, Fredericksburg and Antietam, in intrigue-ridden Washington and Richmond, strong-willed men and beautiful women defend their principles with their lives ... or satisfy illicit cravings with schemes that could destroy friends and enemies alike. This is the second volume in a trilogy. (See June 1861)
Young Adult Fiction
Girl in Blue
Call Number: YA RIN
Publication Date: 2001-04-01
Inspired by the war fever of 1861, and tired of her father's mistreatment, 15-year-old Sarah Wheelock determines to run away and join the Union forces to fight the Confederacy. The last straw comes when her father promises her hand in marriage to a man who is twice her age and has the manners of a bear. After she cuts her hair, changes clothes, and lowers her voice, Sarah has few problems passing as a boy: years of hard farm labor have toughened her physically, and she has a natural talent for impersonation. Soon, young Private "Neddy Compton" is on the road to Washington, DC, with the 2nd Michigan Infantry. Despite being a model enlisted "man," Sarah is unmasked, and is transferred into the Secret Service, part of Allan Pinkerton's network of spies. Her acting skills are tested in a new and dangerous disguise, as a servant to notorious Rose Greenhow and other Southern sympathizers who are being held under house arrest. Here, the young woman's patriotism, loyalty, and intelligence will be tested beyond anything she experienced as a soldier. Gr. 6-9.
Call Number: J PRY
Publication Date: 1999-06-23
For 11-year-old Joseph, 1861 brings unwelcome changes, both political and personal. His small town of Branson Mills, Kentucky, is divided on issues of slavery and secession. Having grown up in a slaveholding household, Joseph can't understand his new stepfather's abolitionist views. Then Joseph witnesses a slave auction, and is shocked by the slaves' inhumane treatment. And when he discovers two young runaway slaves in his barn, he must choose between the law and his heart. The story, from a youth's perspective, makes history more imaginable for a young audience. Simple prose, diverse characters, period details, and dramatic events will engage them in the emotions and lifestyles of "typical" towns and families in a time of unrest. Although issues are simplified for the target audience, Joseph is a likable, layered character who illustrates that things are not as simple as right or wrong--in friendships, family, and politics. Gr. 3-7.
This Month's Non-Fiction
The Civil War in Coastal North Carolina
Call Number: 973.7 CAR N.C.
Publication Date: 2001-01-01
From the drama of blackade-running to graphic descriptions of battles on the state's islands and sounds, this book portrays the explosive events tht took place in North Carolina's coastal region during the Civil War. Also discusses the strategic importance of coastal North Carolina, Federal occupation of coastal areas, and the impact of the war on civilians along the Tar Heel coast. Illustrated with 85 photographs, engravings, drawings, and maps.
Mr. Lincoln's Army
Call Number: 973.74 C
Publication Date: 1951
Volume I of The Army Of The Potomac trilogy, this is Bruce Catton's superb evocation of the early years of the Civil War when the army was under the command of the dashing General George B. McClellan.
Battle-Field of the South
Call Number: 973.7 BAT
Publication Date: 1984-01-01
Originally published in 1864, the unnamed writer served in a Mississippi regiment in the Virginia campaigns. Interspersed in the narrative are letters from correspondents giving their experiences in Missouri, the Mississippi Valley, etc.
Joseph E. Johnston
Call Number: 923.5 John ston SYM
Publication Date: 1992-03-01
The best biography yet written of one of the Confederacy's best generals. Symonds concludes, with good common sense, that Johnston was neither an unappreciated genius (as some writers then and since have held) nor an officious meddler (as other observers have maintained). Rather, he was "an old-style southern soldier who fought in a new-style war to the best of his considerable ability" while allowing himself to become entangled in the political snares of the Confederacy.
Soldiers of the Civil War
Call Number: j973.7 ROC
Publication Date: 2010-09-01
Each chapter poses a question and then answers it. Sepia and black-and-white photos, reproductions, a few color paintings, and simple maps appear in all of the volumes. Photo selection is good, but the captions, printed on a blue-gray background, are hard to read and repeated in the texts. Much of the appeal for the intended audience lies in the photographs. Gr. 4-6.
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