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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
- 7 September. Confederate forces give up their attempt to hold Fort Wagner outside Charleston S. C. after months of siege. One factor involved is the lack of fresh water as the hundreds of decaying bodies buried around the fort [see July 1863] pollute the water supplies. Shortly after Union forces take over the fort, drunken soldiers set off stored gunpowder and 300 men die.
- 8 September. At Sabine Pass, Texas a Union fleet carrying 15,000 men attempts a landing. They are held off by Captain Richard Dowling, age 19, and his 43 men. With rifles and 6 small cannon, they account for 3 gunboats and capture 400 men. Every man in the unit is listed in the official report (the only unit this is done for during the war) and every man receives a special medal.
- 9 September. A mob of Confederate soldiers attack the home and office of William W. Holden, editor of the Raleigh Standard who opposes the war. [See previous month.] Governor Zebulon Vance gets to the scene too late to prevent the destruction, but in time to deliver a lecture on freedom of the press.
- 9 September. From the Moravian records at Salem, North Carolina: "The 21st Reg't N.C. Troops, in the Confederate States Service passed through Salem on their way into the western part of the state, probably to put down the Union demonstration in the counties of Yadkin and Wilkes, etc. Dinner was served to the regiment, numbering between 300 and 400, in the square. Many of the men being from this neighborhood, there were affecting meetings and sad partings with friends." . The diarist is correct. General Robert F. Hoke has indeed been sent home to North Carolina to hunt deserters and to deal with Unionist uprisings in the mountain counties which are fast falling into anarchy. However the harshness of Hoke's methods will lead to further protest and discontent.
- 11 September. Lieutenant James Lineberger of the 49th North Carolina writes home about their chaplain's plan to teach the men in the regiment to read and write. "He gives them choice to study all branches from the alphabet up. He laid in spelling books grammar & paper. He says he thinks he can do some good and learn them to read & write.
- 16 September. Willie Johnston, an 11 year old drummer boy from Vermont, is awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Seven Days Battle.
- 19-20 September. In Tennessee, Union forces under General William Rosecrans fight Braxton Bragg's Army of Tennessee at Chickamauga near Chattanooga. The stubborn resistance exhibited by Federal forces under General George H. Thomas, even as they run out of ammunition, earns him the nickname, "the Rock of Chickamauga." A Confederate victory that successfully stops a Union advance, still has a high price -- this battle is second only to Gettysburg in casualties. The place is ironic -- Chickamauga is a former battleground and the name is Cherokee for "river of death".
This Month's Fiction
Call Number: FIC PRI N.C.
Publication Date: 1996-06-01
As the Civil War progresses, the woods of western North Carolina grow thick with deserters, impostors, and bandits. At the Curtis family farm, the oldest son, Andy, a wounded Confederate soldier, must go into hiding when a gang of plundering Union soldiers rides through looking for any excuse to maim and kill. Two younger Curtis boys take part in the Battle of Chickamauga in Georgia. Only soldierly friendship keeps these Carolina boys sane. Reading almost like an exposé of life in the Confederate army, Hiwassee is that rare thing: a short Civil War novel. The intensity is high, however, and we begin to care for these authentic characters very quickly. Readers will be impressed to learn that Price concocted this first novel from his family's historical records.
Young Adult Fiction
Mr. Lincoln's Drummer, G. Clifton Wisler, pub. 1995, 131 p. A novel based on Willie Johnston's story. (See above.)
Keeping secrets, by Joan Lowery Nixon, pub. 1995, 163 p., call #: J Nix. In Nixon's latest Orphan Train adventure, which is set in Missouri during the Civil War, 11-year-old Peg Kelly finds herself unwittingly involved with a Union spy, Miss Violet Hennessey, who has been using Peg as a cover when visiting her "sister" to pass on information about Confederate troop movements. When Peg and her brother Danny unravel the mystery surrounding Miss Hennessey, Peg agrees to continue helping her, knowing she faces danger from both unscrupulous Union patrols and Confederate bushwhackers. The tension and danger are palpable in Nixon's exciting mystery-adventure, and readers won't be able to put this one down. The suspense builds steadily to a dramatic but startling conclusion that may require a hanky or two. As always, Nixon provides a clue to the next adventure, which will take place on the Kansas plains. Gr. 5-8.
This Month's Non-Fiction
Gate of Hell by
Call Number: 973.734 WIS
Publication Date: 1994-06-01
Wise paints a dramatic picture of gruesome, dreary trench warfare; ironclad ships; petty squabbles between commanders; and the heroism of many. He captures it all, from the taste of battle to the pounds of shot fired per skirmish.
General Robert F. Hoke by
Call Number: 923.573 Hoke BAR N.C
Publication Date: 1996-06-01
A biography that stresses its subject's modesty may be implying that he or she has a good deal to be modest about. Perhaps it was his modesty that made Robert F. Hoke (1837-1912) the last major Confederate general to warrant a full-length biography, but the fact is that Hoke established himself as one of the finest subordinate commanders in the Confederacy's eastern theater. Though not a professional soldier (he'd managed his family's manufacturing businesses before the war) Hoke served admirably with the Army of Northern Virginia as a regimental and brigade commander. Transferred to his home state of North Carolina after Gettysburg, he mounted a series of small but successful operations against Union forces. When he returned to Virginia in 1864 as a division commander, he came into his own, handling his command with skill and success in the siege of Petersburg. In the war's last months, Hoke made a final stand against Sherman's army. Barefoot, a North Carolina attorney from Hoke's home town (Lincolnton, N. C.), has produced this first full-length biography of Hoke as a labor of love, and some of his judgments about Hoke's place in the war are somewhat exaggerated, but his research is impressive and his prose clear and straightforward.
A Deep Steady Thunder by
Call Number: 973.735 WOO
Publication Date: 1998-01-01
Woodworth presents a brief, fast-moving, and colorful account of the Battle of Chickamauga, one of the biggest and bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
This Terrible Sound by
Call Number: 973 .735 COZ
Publication Date: 1992-09-01
The Battle of Chickamauga, fought in September 1863, was the last major Confederate victory of the Civil War and nearly reversed the course of the Tennessee campaign. It was also the second-bloodiest battle of the war (34,000 casualties) and in the suffering of the wounded, one of the grimmest. This massive volume is likely to remain the definitive account of the battle for a generation or more, for it includes profiles of the leaders (Braxton Bragg's will give his ghost another migraine), a virtually regiment-by-regiment account of the fighting, and numerous anecdotes that serve to inform readers about the military art of the time and also remind them that every one of those casualties was a living human being before he became a statistic. It cannot be too highly recommended for Civil War collections.
The Split History of the Civil War by
Call Number: j973.7 FIT
Publication Date: 2012-07-01
In this novelty item that describes the opposing viewpoints of the North and South during the American Civil War, the contents are printed back-to-back and inverted. Each side has its own index, glossary, and time line. With its colorful covers and illustrations and the unusual format, this may intrigue a more reluctant reader.
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