Civil War Profiles


Civil War Profiles: They died at Fort Delaware; buried at Finns Point

Of the more than 400,000 Union and Confederate soldiers imprisoned during the four-year Civil War, 1861 to 1965, some 55,000 would die in captivity. These prisoners faced the likelihood of contracting terminal illnesses due to harsh conditions in...

Thursday, December 4, 2014 - 2:14pm

Civil War Profiles: Eastern Shore spy devises a military plan

Anna Ella Carroll is a member of the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame. She earned this recognition because of her political savvy, service to President Abraham Lincoln and work as a spy during the Civil War.

Carroll was born in Kingston Hall...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - 2:55pm

Civil War Profiles: The Georgetown connection: ‘Gath’ memorializes Gen. Torbert

When the casket with the general’s body arrived in Milford, having traveled through Jacksonville, Fla., New York and Philadelphia, with solemn ceremonies and high-ranking officials in attendance at each location, members of the Philadelphia City...

Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 8:35am

Civil War Profiles: Winnie Davis: A Civil War ‘Romeo and Juliet’ story

The birth of President Jefferson Davis’s and his wife Varina’s youngest child, Varina Anne “Winnie” Davis, occurred on June 27, 1864. The “War Between the States,” as it was known in the South, was moving inevitably toward its conclusion.

...

Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 7:54am

Civil War Profiles: The general’s wife: Mary Currey Torbert

Alfred T.A. Torbert resigned from the United States army in 1866 after serving with distinction, including the four years of the Civil War. He held the rank of brevet major general of volunteers until the end of the war in 1865. The citizen of...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 4:17pm

Civil War Profiles: Delaware’s Civil War military statistics

Every soldier who served during the Civil War became a statistic in one respect or another. All states that participated in the conflict, including Delaware, are documented according to their level of involvement and the casualties they suffered...

Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 9:38am

Civil War Profiles: The First Lady of the Confederacy’s Delaware connection

The Howell family, described as impulsive and hard-driving, emigrated from Wales to the Newark, Del., area in the early 18th century. The ambitious Ebenezer and Mary Bond Howell moved across the Delaware River to Shiloh, N.J., where they...

Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 9:29am

Civil War Profiles: Mark Twain during the Civil War era at the Dickens

The actor entered the Dickens Parlour Theater from the side door and described his infatuation with Mark Twain — the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, born in Missouri in 1835. He stepped onto the stage and sat at a period dressing table with...

Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 10:16am

Civil War Profiles: The 1st Delaware’s ‘torn and tattered’ flags

The 152nd anniversary of the bloodiest day of the Civil War took place on Sept. 17. On that date in 1862 at Antietam Creek in Maryland, when the 1st Delaware Regiment charged “Bloody Lane,” a strong Confederate position in a sunken road, the...

Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 2:46pm

Civil War Profiles: Arlington House: A memorial to R.E. Lee

The trauma of the oncoming Civil War caused Southerners in active military service to the United States to make, in many cases, a heart-wrenching decision: To honor their oath of allegiance to their country, or join the rebellion and pledge...

Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 6:21am

Civil War Profiles: Researching Delaware graves at Arlington National Cemetery

The endless rows of white headstones that spill across the rolling hills of Arlington National Cemetery are a startling reminder of the costliest four years in our country’s military history. One of the main areas for interment of Civil War...

Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 9:02am

Civil War Profiles: The Delaware Military Academy controversy

The state legislature approved the creation of a military school for young men in Wilmington in 1859, but its contribution to education in Delaware was short-lived. It could not survive the increasingly confrontational political atmosphere...

Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 6:20am

Civil War Profiles: Burton, Cannon & Saulsbury: Delaware’s wartime governors

During the four tumultuous years of the Civil War, 1861-1865, three men held the reins of government in Delaware. It was William Burton’s fate to be in the office of governor when secession was under consideration at the outset of the war....

Thursday, September 4, 2014 - 8:42am

Civil War Profiles: The education of Quaker brothers in wartime

Albert Smith, treasurer of the Wilmington Savings Fund Society, and his wife, Elizabeth, lived with their six sons in the upper floors above the bank at the corner of Eighth and Market streets. They were Quakers and part of Wilmington’s old-line...

Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 8:08am

Civil War Profiles: The admiral’s wife: Sophie Madeleine DuPont

The strategy, tactics and horror of the Civil War have been thoroughly documented over the nearly 150 years since it came to an end. While most the writings have been about the men who fought the war, the role of women has received attention, as...

Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 9:17am

Civil War Profiles: Townsend’s ‘mysterious estate’ on South Mountain

It is human nature to seek a refuge from life’s daily routine, a place that fulfills our craving for relaxation and privacy. Few, however, can afford a place that is secluded yet a reasonable distance from their work environment. A Delawarean by...

Thursday, August 7, 2014 - 3:03am

Civil War Profiles: Jordan Norris, 48th Georgia: ‘I was never touched by a Yankee bullet!’

Mary Ann Norris Welsh, who lives in Ocean Pines, Md., is interested in genealogy. In 1970, while checking birthdates in the family Bible during a reunion at a relative’s home in Eastover, S.C., she found a brief letter, in the form of a memoir,...

Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 10:27am

Civil War Profiles: Jordan Norris, 48th Georgia: ‘I was never touched by a Yankee bullet!’

Mary Ann Norris Welsh, who lives in Ocean Pines, Md., is interested in genealogy. In 1970, while checking birthdates in the family Bible during a reunion at a relative’s home in Eastover, S.C., she found a brief letter, in the form of a memoir,...

Thursday, July 31, 2014 - 10:27am

Civil War Profiles: ‘Dead heroes’ of the 2nd Delaware

After the outbreak of hostilities between the states in 1861, authorities in Washington soon acknowledged that the war would last longer than originally believed. Consequently, they called for men to join the Union army for a three-year...

Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 9:31am

Civil War Profiles: ‘Dead heroes’ of the 2nd Delaware

After the outbreak of hostilities between the states in 1861, authorities in Washington soon acknowledged that the war would last longer than originally believed. Consequently, they called for men to join the Union army for a three-year...

Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 9:31am

Civil War Profiles: Gettysburg campaign ends anti-climatically

In the words of Carl von Clausewitz, “War is … a continuation of political activity by other means.” Following the defeat of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army at Gettysburg in July 1863, President Abraham Lincoln visualized an end to the rebellion of...

Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 7:54am

Civil War Profiles: Gettysburg campaign ends anti-climatically

In the words of Carl von Clausewitz, “War is … a continuation of political activity by other means.” Following the defeat of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army at Gettysburg in July 1863, President Abraham Lincoln visualized an end to the rebellion of...

Thursday, July 17, 2014 - 7:54am

Civil War Profiles: Post-Gettysburg pursuit of Lee’s army

When the Army of the Potomac, under the command of Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, gained its first victory on the battlefield against Gen. Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg in early July 1863, the people of the North and the authorities in Washington were...

Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 5:16am

Civil War Profiles: Post-Gettysburg pursuit of Lee’s army

When the Army of the Potomac, under the command of Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, gained its first victory on the battlefield against Gen. Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg in early July 1863, the people of the North and the authorities in Washington were...

Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 5:16am

Civil War Profiles: Secret agent provides timely report on Lee’s invasion

In an increasingly apprehensive search for Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army, Union Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, from his headquarters in Fairfax, Va., sent his cavalry to the west and an intelligence agent to the north, to pinpoint the Army of Northern...

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 10:37am

Civil War Profiles: Secret agent provides timely report on Lee’s invasion

In an increasingly apprehensive search for Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army, Union Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, from his headquarters in Fairfax, Va., sent his cavalry to the west and an intelligence agent to the north, to pinpoint the Army of Northern...

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 10:37am

Civil War Profiles: Lee’s shadowy invasion through the Shenandoah Valley

Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s Army of the Potomac were operating in a cat-and-mouse mode on their march northward away from the Rappahannock River in early June 1863. Hooker was in pursuit of Lee,...

Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 11:02am

Civil War Profiles: Lee’s shadowy invasion through the Shenandoah Valley

Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker’s Army of the Potomac were operating in a cat-and-mouse mode on their march northward away from the Rappahannock River in early June 1863. Hooker was in pursuit of Lee,...

Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 11:02am

Civil War Profiles: ‘Here come the Rebels! — The march to Gettysburg begins

The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia fought and won the battle of Chancellorsville in early May 1863. Gen. Robert E. Lee’s outnumbered army defeated its Union opponent; however, it sustained nearly 13,000 casualties in the process.

...

Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 6:36am

Civil War Profiles: ‘Here come the Rebels! — The march to Gettysburg begins

The Confederate Army of Northern Virginia fought and won the battle of Chancellorsville in early May 1863. Gen. Robert E. Lee’s outnumbered army defeated its Union opponent; however, it sustained nearly 13,000 casualties in the process.

...

Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 6:36am

Civil War Profiles: A post-war lynching in Delaware

The end of the Civil War did not bring a complete halt to the massive loss of life that took place during four years of conflict. Animosity between the races frequently led to unbridled mob rule and lynching of African-Americans, as well as...

Friday, May 23, 2014 - 8:04am

Civil War Profiles: A post-war lynching in Delaware

The end of the Civil War did not bring a complete halt to the massive loss of life that took place during four years of conflict. Animosity between the races frequently led to unbridled mob rule and lynching of African-Americans, as well as...

Friday, May 23, 2014 - 8:04am

Civil War Profiles: A Delaware POW returns from captivity

Survival during the Civil War was not an easy task, especially given that the risk of being killed, wounded or a victim of disease was constantly present. For many soldiers, an even less-desirable fate was incarceration as a prisoner of war....

Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 8:17am

Civil War Profiles: James Tilton, M.D. — ‘Delaware’s greatest physician’

Tilton General Hospital in Wilmington, named after the first Surgeon General of the U.S. Army, was the primary medical facility in Delaware during the Civil War (see “Tilton General Hospital, a haven for Civil War casualties,” Coastal Point, Aug...

Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 8:16am

Civil War Profiles: Pea Patch Island in history and myth

As a heavily-laden ship made its way up the channel of the Delaware River around 1770, it foundered and broke apart on a mud shoal, dumping its cargo of peas into the water. When the peas sprouted, an island eventually emerged. Ergo, the legend...

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 9:56am

Civil War Profiles: The arrest and imprisonment of the Rev. Isaac Handy

When Civil War came to the United States in 1861, it brought along with it a fear of sedition, which prompted limitations in the freedom of expression. Officials in Washington were concerned that the language or conduct of citizens would...

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 7:19am

Civil War Profiles: ‘The end has come’ for Lincoln conspirators

There was no mystery as the trial of the seven men and one woman linked in a plot to kill President Abraham Lincoln concluded. As expected, it resulted in their conviction. Four sentenced to pay the ultimate penalty; three others jailed “for the...

Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 5:13am

Civil War Profiles: The Lincoln conspirators on trial

Lewis Thornton Powell, George A. Atzerodt, David E. Herold, Samuel Arnold, Michael O’Laughlin, George Spangler, Dr. Samuel Mudd and a lone woman, named Mary Surratt, sat for some 50 days before a military commission that was hearing testimony...

Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 9:38am

Civil War Profiles: Recollecting Lincoln ‘The Martyr’

“I am sitting in the President’s office. He was here very lately, but he will not return…”

With these somber sentiments, written on May 14, 1865, the perceptive New York World reporter George Alfred Townsend reminisced about Abraham...

Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 11:05am

Civil War Profiles: Townsend pens tribute to Lincoln assassination sleuths

In a “letter” published in the New York World, George Alfred Townsend identified the conspirators engaged in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. On May 2, 1865, in “The Detectives’ Stories,” the journalist from Delaware lauded the...

Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 9:03am

Civil War Profiles: Unraveling a ‘dark and bloody plot’

George Alfred Townsend’s “letter” to the public titled “A Solution of the Conspiracy,” published in the New York World newspaper on May 2, 1865, concerning President Lincoln’s assassination, announced that “Justice and fame are equally and...

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 9:32am

Civil War Profiles: The pursuit, capture and death of Lincoln’s assassin

The controversial head of the National Detective Bureau, Col. Lafayette C. Baker, was instrumental in tracking down the man who shot President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865, at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Officially, Baker was the...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - 2:03pm

Civil War Profiles: Who was John Wilkes Booth?

On April 27, 1865, George Alfred Townsend, serving as the Washington-based correspondent of the New York World, wrote the third of his “letters” to the public about the death of President Abraham Lincoln. Having previously reported on the...

Thursday, January 2, 2014 - 6:06am

Civil War Profiles: George Alfred Townsend reports on ‘The Murder’

An earthshaking event occurred at 10:13 p.m. on April 14, 1865, at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. A popular actor named John Wilkes Booth assassinated the president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.

In that pre-electronic age,...

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 8:21am

Civil War Profiles: Sussex County’s ‘Gath’ investigates the real Lincoln

One of the finest literary talents Sussex County has produced over the years is George Alfred Townsend of Georgetown. During the mid- to late 19th century, Townsend — who signed his writings “Gath” — enjoyed celebrity as a political columnist,...

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 7:23am

Civil War Profiles: Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation: The 150th anniversary

Although it is generally believed that the idea of offering thanksgiving originated with the Pilgrims who settled here from England in the 17th century, it was not until the 18th century that days of thanksgiving were promulgated in this country...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 7:02am

Civil War Profiles: Fighting their last battle: The Delaware regiments at Ream’s Station

Following the Union Army of the Potomac’s nightmare at Cold Harbor, Va. on June 3, 1864, where thousands of men became casualties in less than an hour of fighting, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant continued to pursue the strategy he had adopted at the...

Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 9:41am

Civil War Profiles: In the front line of the attack: Delaware at Cold Harbor

Marching southward from Spotsylvania toward Richmond and avoiding a trap Gen. Robert E. Lee set for the Union army near the North Anna River, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant sent a message to Washington, “Lee’s army is really whipped.”

Grant’s...

Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 8:41am

Civil War Profiles: Upholding a reputation for valor: Delaware at Chancellorsville

Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside’s tenure as commander of the Army of the Potomac ended soon after the fiasco at Fredericksburg that caused many thousands of Union casualties. President Abraham Lincoln appointed Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker in his stead....

Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 10:12am

Civil War Profiles: The bloodiest day: Delaware at Antietam

Older senior citizens well remember gathering around the family radio to hear alarming reports of the attack on Dec. 7, 1941, that took the lives of 2,400 Americans. Most of us alive today witnessed the trauma of Sept. 11, 2001, unfolding on...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 1:58pm