More On Handcuffs

29 12 2011

Chief Historian John Hennessy of Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park sent Bull Runnings a note and newspaper clipping image yesterday, shedding a little more light on the origins of the Handcuffs Myth:

I recently came across this little notice from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which offers the only explanation I have ever seen for the handcuff legend. I haven’t looked into the details, but it seems plausible to me. Dunnell was colonel of the Fifth Maine:

The Mystery of the Hand Cuffs

The rebel reports of the Bull Run battle gave, among the list of articles taken, great numbers of hand cuffs. We always thought this entirely bogus, but, it appears it was true except as to numbers, and the explanation has finally leaked out. This is the story:

A Mr. Brady, of Maine, raised a company and was chosen Captain. The Governor however would not appoint him Captain, the election by the company not being binding. This incensed the company. The Adjutant General, Hodson, advised the Colonel  of the Regiment, Dunnell, by letter, to procure several dozen handcuffs, as he might want them, insinuating that there might be a bolt in his disaffected company. This letter fell into the hands of the rebels at Bulls Run and was published. They also state that they captured several thousand handcuffs. It probably all grew out of this singular letter, though the Portland (Me.) Argus says it was understood at the time that six dozen handcuffs were purchased for the 5th regiment, in which Mr. Brady’s company was.

Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8/20/1861

Clipping Image





“Wait For the Wagons”

27 12 2011

FOBR (Friend of Bull Runnings) Richard Holloway, who provided us with the Jackson Barracks Collection, has passed along these lyrics. The rebels were riding pretty high in September ’61, in the wake of the big win at Manassas. I’ve highlighted the Bull Run parts. Pay particular attention to the Louisianans and their bowie knives:

Written for the Shreveport News

Abe’s Wagons.

Air – Wait for the Wagon

By P. M.

Come all ye sons of freedom and join our Southern band,

We’re going to fight the Yankees and drive them from our land.

For justice is our motto and God is our guide,

So jump up in Abe’s wagons, and all take a ride.

So wait for the wagons,

Abe’s Yankee wagons;

Wait for the wagons,

And we’ll all take a ride.

Secession is our watchword, our rights we will demand,

And to defend our firesides, we pledge our heart and hand.

Jeff. Davis is our president, with Stephens by his side,

When Beauregard and Johnson, will join us in a ride.

Wait for the wagons.

Our wagon is plenty big enough, the running gear is good,

Tis stuffed with cotton around the sides, and made of Southern wood.

South Carolina is our driver, with Georgia by her side,

Virginia holds our nag up, and we’ll all take a ride.

Wait for the wagons.

There’s Tennessee and Texas are also in the ring,

And wouldn’t have a government where cotton isn’t king.

Alabama too, and Florida have long ago replied,

Mississippi’s in the wagon and anxious for a ride.

Wait for the wagons.

Missouri, North Carolina, and Arkansas were slow,

They must hurry or we’ll leave them, then where would they go.

There’s old Kentuck and Maryland, each can’t make up their mind,

So I reckon after all, we’ll take them up behind.

Wait for the wagons.

Louisiana’s just and holy, her men are brave and true,

She’s joined with us to whip them, is all she’ll have to do.

God bless our little army, in Jeff. Davis we do confide,

So come boys in the wagon, and all take a ride.

Wait for the wagons.

We met them at Manassas, all formed in bold array,

And the battle was not ended when they all ran away.

Some left their guns and knapsack, in their legs they did confide,

We overhauled Scott’s carriage, and his epaulets besides.

Wait for the wagons.

Louisiana’s Tiger Rifles, they rushed in for their lines,

And the way they slayed the Yankees, with their long Bowie knives.

They laid there by the hundreds, as it next day did appear,

With a countenance quite open, that gaped from ear to ear.

Wait for the wagons.

The battle being ended, and Patterson sent back,

Because he did not fight us, for courage he did lack.

Abe Lincoln he got so very mad, when his army took a slide,

And we jumped into his wagons, and we all took a ride.  

Wait for the wagons.

The Shreveport (La.) Weekly News

Volume 1, Number 22

Monday, September 16, 1861

Page 1, Column 1





“W”, 2nd Vermont Infantry, On the March to Manassas

23 12 2011

Resting Place, two miles from Centreville, July 19, 1861.

Messrs. Editors of the Free Press:

As we are having a few hours rest to-day, I will give you a short description of our march to this place, and whatever I may have of interest to write.

On Monday last we had orders to have three days’ rations cooked, and to be ready for light marching; that is, with rubber and woolen blankets, haversacks, and canteens – all our other camp equipage to be left in camp. Our boys went to bed Monday night, quite happy at the prospect of an advance. The long roll beat, and the regiment was called out, just before daylight next morning, and the first four companies – being A, I, D, and G – were led off a short distance from camp, where they awaited further orders. We had heard that our pickets were attacked and the telegraph wire cut, but after waiting an hour we went back to camp, rather down in the mouth, the alarm proving a false one. We soon received orders to march at twelve o’clock, but did not get started until nearly two. There were two brigades front in and two in the rear of us; and as we came upon an eminence now and then, and saw the long line of glistening bayonets, we could not but feel a sense of security and imagine ourselves a match for the whole rebel army. We came on in a westerly direction, by steady marching, until about sundown, when we had a hard march until about ten o’clock, moving in that time only about two miles. It seems the rebels, upon our advance, had burned the bridges across a stream some forty feet wide, and our whole division were obliged to cross in single file, upon a log, hardly wide enough to cross in the day time, much less in the night. You may imagine that it took some time for so many thousand men to  cross in this way. We marched along a couple of miles, where we found the brigades encamped.

It was one o’clock before our regiment arrived, and I think I never saw men so completely tired out. Many a poor fellow fell out by the roadside, preferring to be left behind in a hostile country than to go forward without rest. We were allowed only three hours sleep, and started again next morning at eight o’clock. We marched through  a country heavily wooded; indeed, we had to travel in the woods almost all the way, with the exception of the last three or four miles. Our journey was very much impeded all day Wednesday by trees which the rebels had felled across the road, and in some places our pioneers were obliged to build new roads entirely. On account of these obstructions, our march was rather slow.

About noon we reached a point in the road where we found a regiment drawn up in line of battle. The sight cheered us up, as we were told that an Alabama regiment of riflemen had crossed the road only a few moments before, on the retreat. They succeeded in escaping, however, leaving their camp with provisions enough to supply our whole division for two or three days. The rebels did not suffer from hunger, as they had all kinds of vegetables, with the necessary apparatus for cooking. We stopped for the night about a mile South of their camp, and men were immediately sent for provisions, as our three days’ rations had nearly run out. Two or three men from Company B succeeded in taking a prisoner, who had been out as picket guard and had been left. He was armed with a rifle and revolver, but gave himself up willingly. He seems to be quite intelligent, and says he volunteered thinking it was his duty to do so. He appears to be confident that we cannot get possession of Manassas Gap, and reports a great concentration of rebel forces at that place. He says that Gen. Beauregard has visited their camp several times within the past week. – We spent the day, yesterday at rest, within hearing of the cannonading, at Bull’s Run.

Our men were of course enraged when they heard the news of our repulse at that place, and are longing for a chance to blot out the disgrace of the disaster.

We did not start until five o’clock, when we moved on in a westerly direction towards the scene of the day’s conflict. Companies B and G, under Major Joyce, were left behind with the baggage and ammunition wagons as a rear guard. We did not have a very pleasant march, as we were obliged to carry our load of cartridges up a steep hill, the horses being too tired to do so, having come all the distance from Washington without feed. Our pleasure was not at all heightened when we learned that we were two miles in rear of the main body, with 800 rebels hanging upon our rear. We caught up with the main body at ten o’clock, having marched about six miles. We are about four miles from Bull’s Run, and six miles from Manassas Junction. An advance upon these places is expected to-night or to-morrow.

We have several brigades about us, with artillery and cavalry. I have been out a little ways, and come across our old friends the Minnesota and N. Y. Sixteenth regiments. Both regiments are in good spirits and enjoy general good health. Lieut. Pierce of the Sixteenth, Capt. Stetson’s Plattsburgh company, is quite sick in their camp, and is not expected to live. Our own regiment is enjoying first-rate health, with the exception of a few who are sick in our camp. We have come through without a single accident; while one of the Maine regiments has had two killed and two seriously wounded – all the results of carelessness. I hear somebody has sent home word that Capt. Drew is sickly. This is not near as bad as some have made it. He was quite unwell while we were at Camp Fairbanks, but only for a short time, and is now as well as ever. He will be found all right when we come upon the battlefield. As for “Father Sharpley,” (as he is called through the regiment,) he is as young and boyish as any of us, and is the life of the whole camp. Lieut. Weed had gone back to our camp with a strong guard for our wagons. We are awaiting orders to march to Centreville, but I hear we are to have reinforcements before we go on to Manassas Junction. I have no doubt but that we shall have a warm time there; but I imagine the rebels will find out that “the Yankees” will fight. We were visited today by Messrs. Canfield, Shaw, and Page, and a few days ago by L. G. Bigelow, Esq. Of course, we were much pleased to see Vermonters. I hope they will report us all right.

Yours Truly,

W.

Burlington Free Press, 8/2/1861

Clipping Image

Contributed by John Hennessy





Northern Press Reaction to Beauregard’s Proclamation

21 12 2011

Baltimore American, June 18, 1861

The most objectionable of all the pronunciamientos of the Secessionists that has come under our notice, since the beginning of the conflict, is the Proclamation of Gen. Beauregard to certain “good people” in Virginia. How any man of his standing could put his name to such a production we are at a loss to conceive. We would fain hope that it is not genuine. We would fain believe that so gross and unwarranted a misrepresentation of the purposes of the United States Government must have been foisted upon the public by some enemy of Gen. Beauregard. The publication is credited, however, to the Richmond Enquirer, and therefore leaves no doubt of its being official. Without venturing any lengthy comments upon it, we beg leave to suggest that if the prominent leaders of that side are driven to such methods of widening the breach between the sections, the cause must be low down which requires such disreputable and untruthful means to “breath into it the breath of life.”

The particular passage to which we would call the especial attention of our readers is a tolerably fair parallel to a paragraph we gave the other day from a speech made by ex-Gov. Wise, in which he invites the people of Virginia to “wade through a path of blood.” Gen. Beauregard says: “A reckless and unprincipled tyrant has invaded your soil. Abraham Lincoln, regardless of all moral, legal, and constitutional restraints, has thrown his Abolition hosts among you, who are murdering and imprisoning your citizens, confiscating and destroying your property, and committing other acts of violence and outrage too shocking and revolting to humanity to be enumerated. All rules of civilized warfare are abandoned, and they proclaim by their acts, if not on their banners, that their war-cry is “Beauty and Booty.” All that is dear to man – your honor, and that of your wives and daughters – your fortunes, and your lives, are involved in this momentous contest.”

We cannot avoid contrasting with the above the offer of General Butler to put down “servile insurrections” in his first landing at Annapolis, and the subsequent address of General Patterson to the Pennsylvania troops, that it might be their duty to “suppress servile insurrections.”

Can the people of Virginia be imposed upon by such productions as this of General Beauregard? Can any intelligent community in the South be thus cheated into madness? Surely if they can be, they are to be pitied, and we have only to say that so poor a compliment paid by any high functionary to the intelligence of the people of Maryland, would receive their scorn and reprobation.

Rebellion Record, Volume I, Documents, p 339

Beauregard’s Proclamation





@#&*ing ‘Droid!

20 12 2011

The new Civil War Trust Bull Run Battle App for ‘Droid is here. Half a yippee, or maybe a yip. I can’t find it on my phone in the ‘Droid app marketplace. I also can’t get my phone to download the new version of WordPress for ‘Droid. And yes, my phone runs on ‘Droid, wiseacre.





Proclamation of Brig. Gen. G. T. Beauregard

19 12 2011

O.R.– SERIES I–VOLUME 2 [S# 2] — CHAPTER IX, p 907

CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.–#4

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF ALEXANDRIA,

Camp Pickens, June 5, 1861.

To the good People of the Counties of Loudoun, Fairfax, and Prince William:

A reckless and unprincipled tyrant has invaded your soil. Abraham Lincoln, regardless of all moral, legal, and constitutional restraints, has thrown his abolition hosts among you, who are murdering and imprisoning your citizens, confiscating and destroying your property, and committing other acts of violence and outrage too shocking and revolting to humanity to be enumerated. All rules of civilized warfare are abandoned, and they proclaim by their acts, if not on their banners, that their war-cry is “Beauty and booty.” All that is dear to man, your honor, and that of your wives and daughters, your fortunes, and your lives, are involved in this momentous contest.

In the name, therefore, of the constituted authorities of the Confederate States, in the sacred cause of constitutional liberty and self-government, for which we are contending, in behalf of civilization and humanity itself, I, G. T. Beauregard, brigadier-general of the Confederate States, commanding at Camp Pickens, Manassas Junction, do make this my proclamation, and invite and enjoin you by every consideration dear to the hearts of freemen and patriots, by the name and memory of your revolutionary fathers, and by the purity and sanctity of your domestic firesides, to rally to the standard of your State and country, and by every means in your power compatible with honorable warfare to drive back and expel the invaders from your land. I conjure you to be true and loyal to your country and her legal and constitutional authorities, and especially to be vigilant of the movements and acts of the enemy, so as to enable you to give the earliest authentic information to these headquarters or to the officers under my command. I desire to assure you that the utmost protection in my power will be extended to you all.

 G. T. BEAUREGARD,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Northern Press Reaction 





Spin Ain’t Nothin’ New, Just Ask the Carthaginians

18 12 2011

Carthage

If you’re not already familiar with the rumors of Yankee handcuffs at First Bull Run, go here and get caught up (this article will be at the top of the page since it also carries a “handcuffs” tag – scroll down to the first article and read forward, if you get my drift). If you’re already hip, read on.

A little more fuel on the fire comes from Forgotten Valor: The Memoirs, Journals, & Civil War Letters of Orlando B. Willcox – thanks to Jim Rosebrock for jarring my memory on this. On page 301, Willcox describes an encounter with the enemy some days after his capture at First Bull Run:

Among our visitors who were numerous & mostly for curiosity, were a few of my old Army friends, generally polite but not one of them did me any good & some were insulting. Almost every stranger inquired, “What di you come down here for? Do you expect to subjugate us?” But, after all, it was from strangers that I experienced the most courtesy & most tangible comfort. Col. Lay, from the U.S. Army but now on Gen. Beauregard’s staff, came to inquire about the handcuff story which [had] created so much noise in the South. The story was that 30,000 handcuffs designed for the rebels were brot by Gen. McDowell & were captured. Both Ricketts & I denied it point-blank, & offered, if they could find them, to be the first to wear them. Lay afterwards came back & expressed Gen. Beauregard as satisfied, but to this day the tale never has been corrected, but has been kept alive to foment the passions of the South.

So, this story of handcuffs seems to be just that, a story, one likely propagated to further demonstrate the dastardly nature of the Northern opponent. It seems unlikely that so many handcuffs could, first, be carried on to the field (they were big, heavy, bulky things and would have required dozens of wagons to transport) and second, have been completely lost to history, physically speaking.

But what is the source of the story? How did “Gossip Zero” come up with the idea in the first place? Well, I may have stumbled across a clue in the book I’m reading right now. I picked up Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization, by Richard Miles, because I had a hankering to learn about the Punic Wars. 142 pages into a 373 page book and the first of the three Punic Wars hasn’t even started yet. The Carthaginians are still going at it with the Hellenic cities of Sicily, mostly Syracuse. Hannibals and Hamilcars abound – what, are there only two names in Punic? It’s all very confusing, and the long string of Scipios haven’t even been introduced by the Romans. Needless to say, I’m learning a lot, but If you’re into ancient history you’re better served by Elektratig.

So, back to the handcuffs. Miles lays out a compelling case that for several millenia, first the Greeks, then the Romans, and then those who followed in the study of classical history have conducted a very effective smear campaign against Carthage. In this case – but for sure not in the case of our Civil War – the history was written by the victors. And as we know, educated men in the 19th century were by and large educated in the classical sense: one attended university to become a gentleman, not an engineer or a journalist, or even an accountant or attorney. So learned folks – the kind of folks who made officers – were typically well schooled in Greeks and Romans. We often run across mentions of folks like Cicero and Cato in their writings. So I wonder how well the following anecdote was known at the time, and if it was perhaps the genesis of the Yankee Handcuffs myth. On the aforementioned page 142:

In [Sicilian Greek historian] Timaeus’ account of the later wars between Carthage and Syracuse, the complex strategic reasons why it was important for Carthage to intervene militarily in Sicily, like those of the Persians in Greece, were reduced to little more than a wish to enslave Hellas [Greece], beautifully articulated in one episode by an apparent discovery of 20,000 pairs of manacles in the Carthaginian camp after a victory [by Agathocles of Syracuse, I'm guessing], or simply a hatred of all Greeks.

Is this where the Confederates got the idea? Makes sense to me. It wouldn’t be the first time history was plagiarized in an attempt to stir up support. P. G. T. Beauregard had borrowed liberally from the rhetoric of the defense of New Orleans some 45 years earlier in his “Beauty and Booty” proclamation (the word then was that Sir Edward Pakenham had promised both to his men if they would take the city). Proving it, on the other hand, is problematic.








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