“Stories of the South”: An Interview with Dr. K. Stephen Prince

By Logan Tapscott ’14

This summer’s Annual Civil War Institute Conference will focus on the War in 1864. Dr. K. Stephen Prince, an Assistant Professor at University of South Florida in Tampa, is conducting a concurrent session during the conference on southern ruins and their influence on Reconstruction. He is also conducting a dine-in session on Frederick Douglass’ “Mission of the War” speech. Dr. Prince’s book entitled Stories of the South: Race and Reconstruction of Southern Identity, 1865-1919, will be released right around the time of the conference.

K. Stephen Prince

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A Civil Rights Icon?: Edmund Pettus, From 1861 to 1965

By Logan Tapscott ’14

During my immersion trip to Alabama over the winter break, a group of students and I visited Selma, a city which was the center of the Civil Rights Movement in March 1965, and decided to walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. On March 7, 1965, about 700 demonstrators, including Rev. Hosea Williams and John Lewis, attempted to march to Montgomery, the first capital of the Confederacy, to protest the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson and the lack of voting rights for African-Americans. Upon entering the bridge, Selma sheriff Jim Clark and state troopers stopped and then, a minute later, attacked the marchers. The attack known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ resulted in the death of a white minister. Seventy others were injured, including seventeen of whom were hospitalized. Two weeks later, on March 21, with protection from the federal government, about 8,000 demonstrators, including those from ‘Bloody Sunday,’ trekked from Selma to the former Confederate capital, arriving there four days later. While the bridge’s name evokes memories of the Civil Rights Era, the name Edmund Winston Pettus has a specific place in Civil War memory. Local residents decided to dedicate the bridge to him because of both his Civil War and post-Civil War career.

Edmund Pettus Bridge

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Controversial Commemoration: Remembering the Varied Legacies of Nathan Bedford Forrest

By Logan Tapscott ’14

Over the winter break, I participated in an immersion trip to Alabama to learn about the Civil Rights Movement and visited cities like Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma that played an important part in the movement. Despite the past, I did not expect to encounter such a racially charged atmosphere fifty years after the push for desegregation and equality in the South. I also did not anticipate a controversy over a statue dedicated to Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest was born in 1821 in Tennessee and, with no military education, was later promoted Lieutenant General and became a controversial figure in the American Civil War. Historians and Civil War scholars continue to debate Forrest’s complex legacy. While famous for sending a Confederate division to what is referred to as the Fort Pillow Massacre in 1864, Forrest was regarded as an important commander for his guerilla warfare-style tactics and for creating and practicing the doctrine and tactics of mobile warfare. Throughout the former states of the Confederacy, mostly throughout Tennessee, people have erected statues of him and named public spaces after him. In the past ten years, people have debated about Forrest’s legacy and whether a commemoration is suitable, especially in Southern cities with a predominately black population, including Selma, Alabama.

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The Welsh Wizard at Gettysburg

by Logan Tapscott, ???14 The Gettysburg National Military Park has garnered nationwide and international fame since its inception. One particular foreign dignitary that toured the battlefield was former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George on O…

By Logan Tapscott ’14

The Gettysburg National Military Park has garnered nationwide and international fame since its inception.  One particular foreign dignitary that toured the battlefield was former British Prime Minister David Lloyd George on October 27, 1923.  Lloyd George was a Liberal British politician from Wales who had a distinguished career in Britain.  He served as Chancellor of Exchequer, Minister of Munitions, Minister of War in a long parliamentary career that culminated with him becoming Prime Minister in 1916 after ousting his party leader, Herbert Asquith.  During the war he maintained an aggressive war policy which contributed to an allied victory against the Central Powers. In 1919, Lloyd George was a principal negotiator at the Paris Peace Conference, along with French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau and U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.  His tenure as prime minister ended in 1922 after Conservatives withdrew their support from his coalition government.

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Bravely on the Battlefield: 1st Lieutenant George A. Woodruff

Throughout the Civil War, many West Point graduates chose either to fight for or against the United States. In the first days of July 1863, many of these West Pointers fought against each other on the battlefield in Gettysburg, and many of them lo…

This post was first published on the Civil War Institute’s previous blog901 Stories from Gettysburg.
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Throughout the Civil War, many West Point graduates chose either to fight for or against the United States. In the first days of July 1863, many of these West Pointers fought against each other on the battlefield in Gettysburg, and many of them lost their lives. One particular West Point graduate, 1st Lieutenant George A. Woodruff, fought bravely during the battle but lost his life on July 4th after being mortally wounded during Pickett’s Charge on July 3rd. He was a member of Battery I, 1st United States Light Artillery. While he never saw the end of the Civil War, Woodruff contributed to the Union’s victory through his actions on those three days in Gettysburg.

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The Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama in Philadelphia

Following the first two days of fighting at Gettysburg between Union and Confederate troops, Robert E. Lee believed that his gray-clad veterans had nearly achieved victory and was determined not to leave Gettysburg without it. He also believed tha…

Following the first two days of fighting at Gettysburg between Union and Confederate troops, Robert E. Lee believed that his gray-clad veterans had nearly achieved victory and was determined not to leave Gettysburg without it.  He also believed that his army had weakened Meade’s center.  Thus, Lee’s plan for July 3rd was to open with a massive artillery barrage, and then strike the Union center with three divisions, including that of General George Pickett.  Then, according to Lee’s calculations, General Jeb Stuart would circle around the Union rear and General Ewell would assail the right flank to clamp the pincers when Pickett broke through the front.

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From Playing Music to Healing the Wounded: The 26th North Carolina Infantry Band’s Role in the Battle of Gettysburg

Click on the arrow to hear the musicMusic was important to the military life of the Civil War, as it bolstered spirits, broadcasted commands, kept a marching beat, and accompanied military ceremonies. In the Battle of Gettysburg, field musicians a…

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Music was important to the military life of the Civil War, as it bolstered spirits, broadcasted commands, kept a marching beat, and accompanied military ceremonies. In the Battle of Gettysburg, field musicians and regimental bands played at various times and performed various tasks. The field musicians sounded the calls that announced the hours and duties of the day and transmitted orders while in camp or on the battlefield. The drummer boys, who mostly were under the age of eighteen, were responsible for the order of the camps: camp formations and regulating meals and other daily events. The bandsmen served primarily as noncombatants and were exclusively ceremonial and recreational and were detailed to assist the surgeons during the battle. Nevertheless, their music provided a moral boost for their comrades. The regimental bands were regarded as so essential to the war effort that they routinely took part in the most unlikely of circumstances. Ten marching bands were at Gettysburg including the 26th North Carolina Infantry Band.

The 26th North Carolina Infantry Band was one of the few Confederate bands due to the lack of musicians and brass instruments in the Confederacy.  It was, however, considered one of the best.  The band was composed of Moravian pacifists from Salem, North Carolina, who had had a band since 1831.  Moravians were German Methodists who were well respected for their musical abilities.  The Salem Brass Band enlisted into Confederate service as regimental band for the 26th North Carolina Infantry in March 1862.  Cornet player Samuel T. Mickey led the band which originally consisted of eight brass players and no drummer.  The other original seven players were: A.P. Gibson, 1st Bb cornet; Joe O. Hall, 2nd Bb cornet; Augustus Hauser, 1st Eb alto; William H. Hall, 2nd Eb alto; Daniel T. Crouse, 1st Bb tenor; Alexander C. Meinung, 2nd Bb tenor; and Julius A. Lineback, Eb bass.  (At various points of the war, the band reached the full complement of 12, adding both snare and bass drummers, like the one above.)

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Pennsylvania College During the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

Nineteen thirteen was an eventful year in the United States, as Woodrow Wilson was sworn in as President of the United States, Congress established the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor, the 16th and 17th Amendments were ratified,…

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Nineteen thirteen was an eventful year in the United States, as Woodrow Wilson was sworn in as President of the United States, Congress established the Department of Commerce and the Department of Labor, the 16th and 17th Amendments were ratified, and the nation celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.  Between July 1st and 4th, in 100-degree weather, more than 53,000 Civil War veterans from 46 of  the 48 states visited Gettysburg where they lived in tents located southwest of the town, about 200 yards from the High Water Mark Monument on the battlefield.  The average age of the participants was 72, with New York veteran Micyah Weiss at 112 the oldest, and Colonel John Lincoln Clem, aged 61 (who had run away from home at the age of 10 to serve as a drummer boy in the Union Army of the Cumberland), the youngest.

The first time that Union and Confederate veterans reunited in Gettysburg was in 1887.  In 1906, another small reunion occurred in Gettysburg when Union veterans from the Philadelphia Brigade and Confederates from Pickett’s Division met.  In April 1908, Brigadier General H.S. Huidekopper, a Civil War veteran who lost his right arm in the battle, suggested to then Pennsylvania Governor Edwin Smart that the state host a 50th anniversary event at the battlefield. Smart used Huidekopper’s idea and organized a special legislative committee to plan the first major reunion of the Blue and Gray.  On May 13, 1909, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania created the 50th Anniversary Battle of Gettysburg Commission to consider and arrange for a proper and fitting recognition and observance at Gettysburg.  In June 1910, the United States Congress created a Joint Special Committee on the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg to confer with the commission and recommend proper actions to be taken by Congress.  The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania contributed $450,000 toward the cost of the event.  In August 1912, Congress passed a bill that appropriated $150,000, along with the use of Army troops to set up and operate a massive tent city to house the veterans.  Altogether, the individual states contributed $1.75 million toward the reunion.
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Winfield Scott Hancock: From Soldier to Politician

From July 1st to 3rd, 1863, Union and Confederate forces clashed in the small Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. At the end of the third day, Union men rejoiced as they prevented Confederate troops from attacking further north. Unfortunately, more c…

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From July 1st to 3rd, 1863, Union and Confederate forces clashed in the small Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. At the end of the third day, Union men rejoiced as they prevented Confederate troops from attacking further north. Unfortunately, more causalities were incurred in this battle than any other Civil War battle. Nevertheless, Union soldiers displayed heroism on the battlefield, risking their lives to hopefully preserve the United States. Among the thousands of brave Union soldiers that July, one in particular stands out – Major Union General Winfield Scott Hancock.
The lithograph above shows Winfield Scott Hancock and his staff on their horses overseeing the fighting of the battle. While the lithograph does not indicate which day of the battle is depicted it is likely the third day of battle. The lithograph shows only the Union side of the battlefield. While Hancock and his staff are sitting on their horses, the Union soldiers are on the attack, charging toward Confederate soldiers. What was the purpose of this lithograph? Why did the artists decide to focus on Hancock?

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