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.


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.


New on the Blogroll

1 02 2007

I’ve added another to my blogroll (in the right hand margin). The 48th Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteer Infantry belongs to John Hoptak, an interpretive ranger at Antietam.  I’m impressed with the stuff he’s been doing.  If you think of Bull Runnings as a micro-blog on one battle, John’s is a micro-blog on one regiment, and he’s compiling some really interesting documentary and statistical information.  Check it out if you get a chance.

While I’m sure he doesn’t remember, I think I spent some time on the field at Antietam with John this past September 17.  It was a 7 AM tour of the morning phase of the battle with Ranger Keith Snyder.  The conditions were eerily similar to those of 144 years (to the day) before: a little cool with heavy fog that would burn off.  I took a little detour and snapped this image, which should give you an idea of what those black hat fellers saw that day (from where I was, on the western edge of the Miller Cornfield and looking south, this would have been the perspective of the 6th Wisconsin):

Miller’s Cornfield


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