Civil War Profiles

Civil War Profiles: The Civil War in Selma, Ala.

As discussed in the previous article (Coastal Point, July 20, 2018), the birth of the Confederacy took place in Montgomery, Ala., in 1861. Four years later, one of the final nails in its coffin was hammered home in the not-too-distant town of...

Thursday, July 26, 2018 - 3:17pm

Civil War Profiles: The Civil War in Montgomery, Ala.

The crowd standing below the capitol building portico in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 18, 1861, listened as Jefferson Davis spoke: “I enter upon the duties of the office to which I have been chosen with the hope that the beginning of our career as a...

Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 3:24pm

Civil War Profiles: The Civil War in Wilmington, N.C.

When the newly formed Confederacy provoked a fight with the North by attacking Fort Sumter, S.C., in April 1861, both sides were aware that the South lacked the manufacturing capacity to sustain a war. Knowing the Rebels would have to rely on...

Monday, July 16, 2018 - 5:50pm

Civil War Profiles: The Civil War in Jacksonville, Fla.

The adage “War is hell!” is applicable to Jacksonville, Fla., where divided loyalties led to violence during the mid-19th century. Compatible in peacetime, a regionally and racially diverse population proved volatile when hostilities began...

Monday, July 9, 2018 - 1:58pm

The Civil War in Gettysburg, Pa.

This coming week we celebrate the 155th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Civil War’s deadliest and most renowned battle. My innumerable visits over the years have formed an enduring admiration for those who fought there, as well as...

Thursday, June 28, 2018 - 2:04pm

Civil War Profiles: The Civil War in Hanover, Pa.

The citizens of Hanover, Pa., were elated when Union cavalry rode into town the morning of June 30, 1863. The sight of Brig. Gen. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick’s 4,000-man 3rd Cavalry Division relieved their concern about the proximity of Gen. Robert E...

Friday, June 22, 2018 - 3:02pm

Civil War Profiles: The Civil War in Aiken, S.C.

Following the fall of Atlanta, Georgia, to Union forces in September 1864 and the capture of Savannah in December, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman directed his attention toward South Carolina — the so-called “Cradle of the Confederacy.”

...

Friday, June 15, 2018 - 3:45pm

Civil War Profiles: The Civil War in Wrightsville, Pa.

The vanguard of the Army of Northern Virginia reached Pennsylvania in June 1863 after marching from the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg, Va. With orders from Gen. Robert E. Lee to capture Harrisburg, the state capital on the east bank of...

Friday, June 8, 2018 - 6:11pm

Civil War Profiles: The Civil War in American cities and towns

As a special contributor to the weekly Civil War page of the Washington Times newspaper from 1997 to 2009, I traveled to many locations to discover what occurred during the tumultuous years of 1861 through 1865. The conflict affected communities...

Friday, June 1, 2018 - 1:57pm

A Civil War trip of a lifetime: Winding up in New Orleans

Realizing that three weeks on the road and a steady diet of visiting Civil War sites may be more of a test my wife and traveling companion may wish to endure, I had arranged to end our 1995 escapade with a mini-vacation in New Orleans’ French...

Friday, May 25, 2018 - 3:06pm

A Civil War trip of a lifetime, Part 14

Having been on the road for more than two weeks while visiting nine states from West Virginia to Louisiana, the intrepid Civil War travelers soldiered on. The itinerary called for a drive from Port Hudson, La., south and west into Texas.

...

Friday, May 18, 2018 - 12:04pm

A Civil War trip of a lifetime: Part 13

The gods that sanctioned good weather continued to cooperate in October 1995 as the Civil War travelers headed south through Mississippi toward Louisiana. The odometer had spun past the 2,000-mile mark since this adventure began.

We...

Friday, April 20, 2018 - 11:32am

Civil War Profiles — A Civil War trip of a lifetime: Part 12

As this whirlwind tour of Civil War-era sites continued, the explorers left Vicksburg, Miss., and drove 70 miles south to the pleasant town of Natchez. Along the route, we stopped at Port Gibson where a battle took place on May 1, 1863, as Maj....

Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 7:51am

Civil War Profiles — A Civil War trip of a lifetime: Part 11

Ending the second adventurous week on the road, the roving travelers pursued new Civil War vistas in Mississippi. We drove south on the Natchez Trace from mid-Tennessee for more than 200 miles to Jackson, Miss., and exited the Trace heading west...

Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 9:24am

Civil War Profiles — A Civil War trip of a lifetime: Part 10

The travelers, continuing on their quest for Civil War lore in October 1995, drove 10 miles west on Route 96 from Franklin, Tenn., to the Natchez Trace — having clocked 1,750 miles on the odometer since this journey began. The Trace, an old...

Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 7:39am

Civil War Profiles — A Civil War trip of a lifetime: Part 9

During our trip to Civil War sites more than two decades ago, discovery of our nation’s Civil War battlefields and sites continued after leaving Murfreesboro, Tenn., heading west for 35 miles to Franklin. It was there that a senseless and tragic...

Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 9:07am

Civil War Profiles — A Civil War trip of a lifetime: Part 8

Our amazing trip continued in October 1995, blessed with near-perfect weather. Leaving the Dover area of Tennessee, we drove southeast about 110 miles to Murfreesboro, with a stop in Clarksville to visit the antebellum Smith-Trayhern Mansion....

Thursday, March 8, 2018 - 7:23am

A brief trip through the Civil War on videos

By Tom Ryan
Special to the Coastal Point

Learning about individual states that engaged in the Civil War in four minutes or less is a novel program the Civil War Trust created as a service to the public. Using videos to convey the...

Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 7:29am

Civil War Profiles — Thomas Garrett goes on trial as UGRR stationmaster

Prior to the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865, slavery was prevalent throughout the American South, including the state of Delaware. Slavery in the First State, however, had gradually declined...

Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 6:30am

Civil War Profiles — The metamorphosis of Ulysses S. Grant

A person who failed at most things in life until he passed the age of 30 would not be expected to become president of the United States. Yet, that is what happened in the case of a young man from Point Pleasant, Ohio, whose parents, Jesse Root...

Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 7:02am

Civil War Profiles — A bloody day for Delawareans at Antietam

During the Civil War, there were a number of events that occurred that were considered “turning points,” or indicators that one side or the other had taken a significant step toward victory. One such event was a battle in Maryland in September...

Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 10:29am

Civil War Profiles — Mapping during the Civil War

In this age of GPS (global positioning system) sophistication regarding the pinpointing of locations worldwide, it is difficult to contemplate the rudimentary nature of topographical engineering in the mid-19th century. To the detriment of Civil...

Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 11:08am

Civil War Profiles — On this date in Civil War history

After war erupted between the states in 1861, it lasted four long — and for tens of thousands of people — heartbreaking years. Given the extensive scholarship directed toward this conflict over the past century and a half, it can be said with...

Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 9:27am

Civil War Profiles — Preserving Civil War lands for future generations

Three decades ago, a number of concerned citizens gathered together to address the problem of urban sprawl in Northern Virginia. The focus of their attention was the fast disappearing Civil War battlefields that were being turned into housing...

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 10:29am

Civil War Profiles — Jefferson Davis’ role in the Lincoln assassination

In 1988, two members of the U.S. intelligence community, William A. Tidwell and David Winfred Gaddy, along with James O. Hall, an expert on the Lincoln assassination, published “Come Retribution: The Confederate Secret Service and the...

Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 8:31am

Civil War Profiles — The Koch brothers during the Civil War

In today’s political environment, the Koch brothers, Charles and David, are well known as the owners of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately-owned companies in the United States, and contributors to conservative candidates for political...

Thursday, August 3, 2017 - 9:51am

Civil War Profiles — IR Life Saving Station keeper was a Confederate veteran

Driving north over the Indian River Bridge and continuing for about 3 miles on Route 1, you reach the restored and open-to-the-public Indian River Life Saving Station. It is preserved as a museum to educate visitors about the living and working...

Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 12:41pm

Civil War Profiles — Divulging military intelligence is rewarded

The Confederate prisoner population at Fort Delaware more than doubled following the three days of battle at Gettysburg beginning July 1, 1863. An estimated 6,000 Rebel soldiers captured on those bloody fields were processed at POW “depots” near...

Thursday, July 6, 2017 - 8:52am

Civil War Profiles — Why a battle was fought at Gettysburg

On the morning of June 30, 1863, two brigades of Union cavalry rode into a small town in southcentral Pennsylvania. None of the horse soldiers suspected their names would go down in history for what they accomplished that day, and on July 1, just...

Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 10:07am

Civil War Profiles — ‘The Red Badge of Courage’ Delaware connection

Jeremiah Millspaugh Crist was born in Montgomery, N.Y., near West Point, in 1843. He joined the Union army in 1862 and served in the 124th New York Volunteers, known as the “Orange Blossoms,” from Orange County. The 124th’s role in the Battle of...

Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 9:59am

Civil War Profiles — Lee and Grant meet again at the White House

The beginning of the end of the Civil War dated from March 1864, when President Abraham Lincoln promoted Ulysses S. Grant to the rank of lieutenant general and placed him in charge of the entire Union army. Grant’s single-minded goal from that...

Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 9:12am

Civil War Profiles — The strange case of Provost Marshal Edwin Wilmer

In 1863, as the Civil War progressed into its second year and casualties mounted in the Union army, the federal government decided to institute a draft. To organize Delaware’s portion of the draft, U.S. Provost Marshal Gen. James B. Fry...

Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 9:52am

Civil War Profiles — A retrospective on the past six years

In May 2011, this column was born as the result of a discussion over lunch at the Bethany Diner with the editor of the Coastal Point, Darin McCann. The agreed-to proposal was writing a series of articles for the newspaper titled “Civil War...

Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 9:33am

Civil War Profiles — Robert E. Lee’s resounding victory at Chancellorsville

When Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker took command of the Army of the Potomac in January 1863, these Union forces were in disarray following a crushing defeat at the hands of the Army of Northern Virginia at Fredericksburg the previous month.

...

Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 9:56am

Civil War Profiles — The pre-Civil War plot to assasinate Lincoln

The outcome of the 1860 presidential election was a foregone conclusion before voters went to the polls. The Democrats had split asunder over how to handle the slavery issue, thereby ensuring their candidates would lose to the Republican nominee...

Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 8:34am

Civil War Profiles — President Jefferson Davis’ refusal to surrender

Gen. Robert E. Lee’s capitulation to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the Virginia town of Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, is widely regarded as the dramatic event that brought the Civil War to a close. Yet, the president of the Confederacy...

Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 11:02am

Civil War Profiles — April 14: Requiem for a day of ‘horror & grief’

On April 18, 1865, the New York Times reported that abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher had delivered an “eloquent and impressive” oration at Fort Sumter, S.C., on April 14, 1863, in commemoration of the American flag once again flying from its mast...

Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 10:08am

Civil War Profiles — Delawarean Wilson defeats Forrest at Selma

Selma, Ala., is well-known as the starting point of Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent march to the capital at Montgomery in 1965 to gain voting rights for African-Americans. A century earlier, in a precursor of this struggle for freedom, Selma...

Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 10:10am

Civil War Profiles — Back to Gettysburg: A personal memo

Nearly 30 years ago, while attending a course at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., I had the good fortune of participating in a “staff ride” at Gettysburg National Military Park. This was part of a leadership training program that featured...

Friday, March 31, 2017 - 5:40am

Civil War Profiles — When spring arrives, combat is renewed!

Weather conditions played a significant role in the progress and outcome of military operations during the Civil War. This was particularly true in the eastern part of the country, and especially in Virginia, where a number of major battles took...

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 2:27pm

Civil War Profiles — Out of Ireland, into the Union army

St. Patrick’s Day is an appropriate time to recognize the more than 200,000 men born in Ireland who fought on behalf of the North and South during the Civil War. By far, however, the predominant number of Irish served in the Union army.

...

Friday, March 17, 2017 - 7:52am

Civil War Profiles — The Northwestern secession conspiracy

Stories out of California these days describe a secession movement under way in response to the outcome of the recent presidential election. One group would like to “peaceably, legally transform the West Coast of the United States into a ‘...

Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 8:12am

Civil War Profiles — P.W.A. reports the war for Southern newspapers

Civil War documentation, such as letters, diaries and memoirs, frequently surface after being forgotten over the past 150 years in trunks, attics and official archives. Such is the case for the collection Peter Wellington Alexander produced...

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 8:43am

Civil War Profiles — The demonization of President Abraham Lincoln

Since the inauguration of Donald John Trump as the 45th president of the United States on Jan. 20, members of the opposition have endeavored to cast him in an unfavorable light. The typical “honeymoon” period for a new president has been short-...

Thursday, February 16, 2017 - 8:37am

Civil War Profiles – African-Americans in 19th-century Delaware

Black History Month prompts a review of significant historical events affecting African-Americans in Delaware during the Civil War era. This includes antebellum years, the North-South conflict of 1861-1865 and Reconstruction.


...

Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 8:19am

Civil War Profiles – Before ‘Glory’: 1st S. Carolina U.S. Colored Troops

The 54th Massachusetts U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) is generally recognized as the first black regiment to serve in the Union army. Free blacks made their way from many different states, including Delaware, to muster into this unit soon after...

Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 8:34am

Civil War Profiles – Chronicling events on the Delaware homefront

Beginning in April 1961, the Delaware Historical Society commemorated the 100th anniversary of the war between the Northern and Southern states. The society commissioned historian Norman B. Wilkinson for this project, titled, “The Brandywine Home...

Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 7:27am

Civil War Profiles – January: The Civil War’s cruelest month

Maj. Gen. Ambrose Everett Burnside commanded the Union Army of the Potomac from late 1862 until early 1863 and presided over the disaster that occurred at Fredericksburg, Va., on Dec. 13, 1862. Formidable Rebel positions on Marye’s Heights...

Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 8:21am

Civil War Profiles – ‘You’re in the Army Now,’ Mr. Locke

Eufaula, Ala., native William Herrod Locke wrote his wife from Fort Barrancus near Pensacola, Fla., on May 10, 1861, that he anticipated combat against Federal troops would soon begin. Locke was a member of a militia unit the Eufaula Minute Men...

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 8:00am

Civil War Profiles: ‘I heard the Bells on Christmas Day’

The 19th century American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow experienced tragedy during his lifetime. His beloved wife Fanny died in a fire, and his son Charles sustained a devastating wound as an officer in the Union army during the Civil War....

Thursday, December 29, 2016 - 8:02am