A Tale of Two Peytons

12 02 2007

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Wow!  I’m still getting responses to the Peyton Manning posts; and good, productive responses at that.  Over the weekend I was contacted by an individual who had just attended a program at the Chicago Civil War Round Table in which the presenter showed a photo of James Longstreet staffer Peyton Manning.  That led me to the Bull Run Civil War Round Table and Dan Paterson.  It turns out Dan is a direct descendant of General Longstreet, and was giving a presentation based on ‘Ol Pete’s photo album (if you’re interested in booking Dan for your RT let me know and I’ll drop him a line).  Dan directed me to the photo in Volume 5 of William C. Davis’s The Image of War – The South Beseiged.  And another comment was sent by a member of the Longstreet Society which implies that the testimony of Francis Dawson quoted in A 100 Pound Quarterback may be tainted.  She also mentioned that the Society has attempted to contact the Manning family to clarify any relationship but has never received a response.  Please see the comments section of that post for these messages.

Up top you see comparative images of the two Peytons.  I don’t know if I see the resemblance because I want to see it, or because it really exists.  You decide. Click on the b-w photo for a larger image.

Peyton Manning is not the first NFL quarterback with a (possible? potential?) connection to a historical figure.  Steve Young and his great-something-grandfather Brigham look uncannily alike to me.  See below (the color photos are from Google images and attributable to several different sites).

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The Battle Monument

9 02 2007

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I took this photo of the First Bull Run monument in April 2005.  This monument sits hard by the reconstructed Henry house.  Here’s how close – click on the thumbnail to view the full size image:

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According to Harper’s Weekly for July 1, 1865:

The battle of Bull Run was the first great battle of the war.  It was proper that upon the field where it was fought should be erected the first monuments.  The movement to erect such monuments on the field was quite impromptu.  The idea was conceived by Lieutenant Callum, of the Sixteenth Massachusetts Light Battery, and under his superintendence the structures were erected in four days, being completed June 10.  The next day, the 11th, was chosen for the observance of appropriate dedicatory ceremonies.  The party engaging in the performance of these services set out from Washington on an early train.  In the President’s car were several distinguished officers, among whom were Generals Heintzelman, Meigs, Wilcox [sic], and Benham.  One who accompanied the expedition gives the following account of the proceedings of the day:

“Arrived at Fairfax Station, about fifty ambulances and a large number of army wagons, tastefully shaded by evergreens, were found to have been placed in readiness by General Gamble, in command of that post, to convey the party to the battle-field.  The morning was lowery, the air rather chilly, and the prospect of a pleasant trip rather unfavorable; but at ten o’clock the sun had dispelled the sombre clouds, and gave to nature a bright and cheerful aspect.

“The ride from the station to Fairfax Courthouse, and thence to the battle-field, was delightful; and as the long procession moved over the hills and through the valleys of this once fertile now desolate region, all appeared to be deeply impressed with the interesting scene and the solemn occasion.

“Passing Centreville at about ten o’clock, we arrived at Bull Run bridge but a few minutes before eleven.  About three-fourths of a mile beyond the bridge, on the hill, is the site of the first monument.  Arrived at the spot we found Colonel Gallup, with his regiment of the Fifth Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery, dismounted, a squadron of the Eight Illinois Cavalry, and Captain Scott’s battery of the Sixteenth Massachusetts Light Artillery drawn up in line near the monument, with a fine brass band at their head.  Soon afterward the band struck up a solemn dirge, and the troops, with reversed arms, marched up to the monument.  A most impressive prayer and the solemn burial-service of the Episcopal Church was then read by Rev. Dr. McMurdy, specially invited to officiate on the occasion.  A hymn, written for the occasion by the poet Pierpont, was sung, a salvo fired by the artillery, and addresses by Judge Olin, Generals Wilcox [sic], Farnsworth, and Heintzelman, closed the exercises.”

Below is the engraving that accompanied the story, and also two LOC photos from the event.  (Click on the thumbnails to view the full size pictures.)  You can see how both photos were used as a basis for the engraving.  In the center of the middle photo, the short officer in the kepi is Samuel Heintzelman; on his left is Orlando Willcox.  The gentleman in the top hat in center of the last photo is District of Columbia Supreme Court Judge Abraham Olin. 

 

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The article goes on to mention that much of the party then proceeded to Groveton, where another, similar monument was dedicated to the memory of the soldiers who fell in the Second Battle of Bull Run.  Interestingly, the author notes that the monument on Henry Hill is about twenty feet in height, and is a pointed column, built of red sandstone ornamented with 100-pound elongated shells.  This shaft will not, we are inclined to believe, last many years.  It bears on its surface the inscription, “Erected to the memory of the patriots who fell at Bull Run, July 21, 1861.” 

Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the American Civil War, in Vol. II of which yet another photo of the dedication is plate #100, states that both monuments are of chocolate colored sandstone, twenty-seven feet high, and were erected by the officers and men of General Gamble’s separate cavalry brigade, camped at Fairfax Court-House. The Monument on the first Bull Runfield is situated on the hill in front of the memorable stone house, on the spot where the 14th Brooklyn, 1st Michigan, and 1st and 2d Maine were most hotly engaged, and where Ricketts and Griffin lost their batteries. The shaft is twenty-seven feet high, and bears upon its top a hundred pound shell. On the pedestal at each corner is a shell of similar size. On one side of the shaft is inscribed, “To the memory of the patriots who fell at Bull Run, July 21st, 1861,” and on the reverse, “Erected June 10th, 1865”.





The Tag Line

8 02 2007

You may have noticed that I’ve added a new piece of text above the “About” widget on the right.  “Dulce bellum inexpertis” is a Latin phrase which loosely translated means “War is delightful to those who have not experienced it”.  The quote has been variously attributed to Erasmus (1466 – 1536) and Pindaros (c520 BC – c440 BC).  This used to be my signature on several online bulletin board discussion groups back when I was an active participant on them.  I started using it when folks on these groups would ask “If you could be present at any event of the Battle of XYZ, which one would it be?”  The first time I saw this question all I could think of was Max California (Joaquin Phoenix) in the film 8 MM: There are some things that you see, and you can’t unsee them.  Know what I mean?

It’s easy to view the Civil War romantically.  The portraits, the clothes, the nostalgia for a simpler time.  To fight off such temptation, I keep The Photographic Atlas of Civil War Injuries within easy reach.  It fixes me right up.  Every time.

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Rowland E. Ward, a 46 year old private in the 4th NY Heavy Artillery, was struck by a shell fragment during the fight at Reams’ Station on August 25, 1864.  The result was the complete destruction of the floor of his mouth.  The above is a photo taken before two surgeries to reconstruct – somewhat – his face.  That’s not a salt-and-pepper beard or a defect in the negative; it’s a gaping hole where the lower portion of Ward’s face once was.  By the standards of the day, the operations were successful.  See the Photographic Atlas of Civil War Injuries, pp. 150-151, 164.

 





Order Up!

8 02 2007

I have added the Confederate Order of Battle to the “Pages” section in the right hand margin of this page.  I will add some links to articles on this blog related to the units and individuals listed.  I have also added a page that explains how to use the OOB’s to find related information.  If you see anything that looks wrong, or have any questions, leave a comment.





Bee Redux

6 02 2007

I got some more info on the Bee monument, courtesy of the ever helpful Jim Burgess at Manassas NBP.  The granite monument was erected by the Mary Taliaferro Thompson Southern Memorial Association (MTTSMA) of Washington, DC.  It was dedicated at 2 PM on Friday, July 21, 1939, the 78th anniversary of the battle, nearly a year before the establishment of the Park.

The guest speaker at the dedication was Col. J. Rion McKissick, president of the University of South Carolina.  Miss Anna Rives Evans, president of the Children of the Confederacy of the District of Columbia, unveiled the eight-foot-plus monument.  Mrs. Norma Hardy Britton of the MTTSMA made the presentation and state senator John W. Rust, president of the Manassas Battlefield Association, made the acceptance speech.  A descendant of J.E.B. Stuart, Dr. Warren Stuart, delivered the invocation.  The program also included a recitation by Mrs. Edward Campbell Shield, president of the Stonewall Jackson Chapter of the U.D.C. of Washington.  The last surviving Confederate veteran of Prince William County, Robert Cushing, and another vet, Peter B. Smith of Arlington, were honored guests.

Thanks, Jim!

Also, from the Richmond Dispatch for July 29, 1861:

The following is from the Richmond correspondence of the Charleston Mercury:

The name of this officer deserves a place in the highest niche of fame. He displayed a gallantly that scarcely has a parallel in history. The brunt of the morning’s battle was sustained by his command until past 2 o’clk. Overwhelmed by superior numbers, and compelled to yield before a fire that swept everything before it, Gen. Bee rode up and down his lines, encouraging his troops, by everything that was dear to them, to stand up and repel the tide which threatened them with destruction. At last his own brigade dwindled to a mere handful, with every field officer killed or disabled. He rode up to Gen. Jackson and said: “General, they are beating us back.”

The reply was: “Sir, we’ll give them the bayonet”

Gen. Bee immediately rallied the remnant of his brigade, and his last words to them were: “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Follow me!”

His men obeyed the call; and, at the head of his column, the very moment when the battle was turning in our favor, he fell, mortally wounded. Gen. Beauregard was heard to say he had never seen such gallantry. He never murmured at his suffering, but seemed to be consoled by the reflection that he was doing his duty.





Affirmation, Baby?

3 02 2007

Today I listened to Pete Carmichael, author of Lee’s Young Artillerist and The Last Generation, on carmichael200.jpg Gerry Prokopowicz’s Civil War Talk Radio program recorded Feb. 2.  (That’s Pete’s photo from the UNC Greensboro site to the left.)  During the idle banter preceding a fascinating interview on aspects of southern society before and after the war, Gerry asked Pete where his loyalties lay for Super Bowl XLI.  Pete – a fellow Penn Stater whom I met on an alumni tour of Fredericksburg a few years ago – plead allegiance to the Colts.  He also said that Colt quarterback Peyton Manning was indeed named for the James Longstreet staffer featured in A 100 Pound Quarterback?

Pete’s statement was made with no qualifiers, no “may have beens”.  I hope that he may stumble across this blog one day and see fit to expound on this.  While I find the circumstantial evidence highly suggestive, I stop short of being certain.   I looked for an autobiography authored by Archie and Peyton when I was at Barnes & Noble the other day, but had no luck.

I do agree with Pete in his assertion that many modern studies of Civil War soldiers’ motivations inappropriately downplay the role of ideology.  In fact, at the end of the above referenced tour a discussion in Fredericksburg National Cemetery along these lines became a little heated, with Pete taking the minority position that the role of Union soldiers in “sacking” the town in December, 1862 was in large part politically, or ideologically, motivated.  I found his argument convincing, but I admit to a predisposition to do so – I thought those arguing against his position were perhaps too hung up on the motivations of 20th century American soldiers.  I guess I’ll have to move The Last Generation up on my “to read” list.





Barnard Bee Monument

2 02 2007

I love to take pictures.  A visit to any battlefield typically yields dozens of images.  In photography I subscribe to a theory similar to that which I follow in boating: if you can’t tie good knots, tie lots of knots.  So, every once in awhile I take a nice picture, but it is purely by accident.

My plan is to post one or two of my photos here every Friday.  I will try to use photos with some Bull Run connection, but will only promise that they will all be associated with the American Civil War.

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First up is the monument to Brigadier General Barnard Bee at First Bull Run, erected in 1939.  I took this in April 2005.  The monument sits on Henry Hill at the site where Bee uttered to the 4th Alabama the immortal words: “There stands Jackson like a stone wall.  Let us determine to die here and we will conquer.” Or perhaps it was “Come with me and go yonder where Jackson stands like a stone wall.”  There are several versions.  Shortly thereafter, between 2:00 and 3:00 PM, Bee was wounded in the abdomen and exclaimed “I am a dead man; I am shot.”  He died the next day at Manassas Junction, and is buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, SC St. Paul’s Episcopal Churchyard in Pendleton, SC.

Coverage of the “stone wall” incident in an article that first appeared in the Charleston Mercury on July 25 would be reprinted and adapted throughout the Confederacy.  The article was intended to elevate the martyred Bee to “a place in the highest niche of fame”, but in spite of that, and regardless of what Bee meant by them (whether or not they were laudatory, and whether or not Bee said them, is debated to this day), his words as reported would elevate Thomas Jackson and his brigade to legendary status.

 








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