Category Archives: Military Matters

mechanics of war

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“annihilated by their own stomachs”

Captain James H. McDonald of the 50th New York Engineers has already served in the war for over three years. He recovered from being wounded in the arm at Fredericksburg. In this recruiting letter he promoted the Engineers as being … Continue reading

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grounded steamers captured

From a Seneca County, New York newspaper in 1863: A Rebel Raid into Illinois.   CAIRO, ILL., Aug. 13 [sic?]. About 500 rebel [c]avalry, under Col. Jonson [sic], crossed the Ohio river into Illinois, at Saline Bar Saturday. The steamers … Continue reading

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‘accidental explosion’ … City Point

150 years ago today a huge explosion occurred at the wharf at City Point, a major Union supply depot and General Grant’s headquarters. At the time most people assumed it was an accident. It was later learned that Confederate saboteur … Continue reading

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the bugs of August

150 years ago tonight Walter Taylor began another letter to his girlfriend. “Lee’s Adjutant” didn’t have to endure life in the trenches, but the intense heat and omnipresent insects were getting on his nerves. Camp at Violet Bank: Sunday night … Continue reading

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blackberry brandy

a “sovereign balm” Diarrhea/dysentery was one of the major killing diseases for Civil War soldiers . 150 years ago this week New Yorkers were urged to contribute whatever blackberry products they could to help hospitals fight the sickness. From The … Continue reading

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“literally strewn with dead negroes”

The negroes fought quite well to-day, and charged, crying, “No quarter — remember Fort Pillow.” It appears that 150 years ago today Richmond had more up-to-date information about the Battle of the Crater than New York. From the Richmond Daily … Continue reading

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retaliation, reprisals

150 years ago today a rebel force burned much of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Here’s the intro from an article at the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission: On July 30, 1864, Confederate troops entered the south central Pennsylvania town of Chambersburg. Their … Continue reading

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pardon from the pres

Here’s a bit more about the New York First Veteran Cavalry from 150 years ago today. The commander-in-chief telegraphed Colonel Platner. From The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Seven: TO COLONEL, FIRST N. Y. VETERAN CAVALRY. EXECUTIVE MANSION, … Continue reading

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raise ya 200,000

I kinda felt like I was at a card table with the most vigorous prosecutors of the war. From The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Seven: TELEGRAM TO GENERAL U.S. GRANT. EXECUTIVE MANSION, WASHINGTON, July 20, 1864. 4.30 … Continue reading

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