Family Ties – Kilpatrick Part VI

19 03 2009

I received a couple of notes today from a reader who is a living Kirkpatrick family tie.  She’s also descended from a Bull Run participant, among others (reader SusanSweet take note).  I’ve received a few other notes from descendants of participants, and I’m going to see if I can get permission to post them here.  The following is stitched from a couple of notes.

Hello,

I just found your bull runnings website, and really enjoyed reading the history, some of which I was already aware, in connection with Philip Hicky Morgan, and his descendants (Harry Hays, Consuelo, Thelma and Gloria, etc.).

I dabble in genealogy.  I am a descendant of Philips’ father, Judge Thomas Gibbes Morgan of Baton Rouge, which is why I enjoyed your web site.  Judge Morgan had 8 more children after he married his second wife, Sarah Fowler Morgan.  Their first born child was Lavinia Marie Morgan, born 1832.  Lavinia was my great-great grandmother.  Lavinia is not as well known as her youngest sister, Sarah, the civil war diarist, or her youngest brother, James Morris Morgan.  But Lavinia’s influence may have been one of the reasons why she and her husband, General Richard Coulter Drum, spent the civil war years at the Presidio in San Francisco, keeping the peace in California, since the state had strong Confederate sympathizers.  A cousin of mine told me that Lavinia reportedly told her husband’s superiors, “I don’t want mah husband killin’ my relatives.”

Sincerely,

Robyn L. Hunt

Desert Hot Springs, California

(originally from Washington, D.C. – Bethesda, Maryland)

P.S.:  Another great-great grandfather of mine was General Henry Jackson Hunt, Chief of Artillery, Army of the Potomac

———–

Unfortunately, my family does not have any letters or papers of Lavinia’s or Gen. Drum’s.  Most of their belongings and possessions were destroyed when their home in Chevy Chase, Maryland burned in February 1901.  All I have are a few photos of Lavinia and Gen. Drum with their two grandsons, circa 1886), and one of their only daughter, Henrietta Drum, who everyone referred to as “Blossom.”  I also have one piece of furniture that belonged to Blossom.  It is a small mahogany table that opens up to store silverware.  Even though I don’t know for sure, I believe that this table may have been a wedding gift from President Chester Arthur to Blossom when she married Henry J. Hunt, Jr. in Washington in 1882.  (President Arthur was a personal friend of General Drum.)  I know for a fact that Pres. Arthur attended the wedding.  The table was made by Louis Comfort Tiffany.  Also in 1881 or 1882, Pres. Arthur did not like the existing antiques in the White House, so he got rid of much of the old furniture and commissioned Louis Tiffany to redecorate the public rooms of the White House.  Louis Tiffany’s company designed and made furniture several years before he became famous for his beautiful stained glass work.

I know some of the folks at the Drum Barracks museum also – Kathy Ralston and Susan Ogle, the Director.  Its location is only about a 2 hour drive from my home. 

Thank goodness for the people who wanted to preserve it and not let it be torn down in the 1960s, and also thank goodness for the City of Los Angeles for maintaining it.

Robyn





That’s Montgomery Clift, Honey!

29 01 2009

I received the following comment on this post from my friend Sam Elliott.  Sam is the author of a fine biography of A. P. Stewart, Soldier of Tennessee.

Harry, Montgomery Clift was also the descendant of Col. William Clift, a famous (or notorious, depending on which way you shot) Southeast Tennessee Unionist who had sons serving on both sides. A. P. Stewart, who, as an old man lived in Chattanooga in accordance with his duties relative to Chickamauga Chattanooga NMP, lived with one of Clift’s sons after his wife died.

Pretty cool!  I’ve always felt a little sorry for Clift, such a tragic figure, physically broken and internally conflicted.  But all this time I thought his only claim to fame other than the movies was on The Clash album London Calling.  The song is The Right Profile.





A Few Washington, DC Civil War Sites

28 01 2009

A couple weeks ago my son received an invite to tour the White House, so on the spur of the moment we headed on down that way (see here).  We didn’t have any time to visit with any friends, but we did manage to squeeze in some sightseeing.  Click smaller images for great big giant ones.   First up was the Blair House, across Pennsylvania Ave from the White House:

dscn0077

This was the home of publisher Francis Preston Blair, Sr., adviser to Presidents back to Andrew Jackson, and father of Montgomery (Lincoln’s Postmaster General) and Frank Jr. (Union Major General who commanded a corps under Sherman during the March to the Sea and Beyond).  Frank Sr. was also the great-great-great grandfather of actor Montgomery Clift, who served in the Union Army in Raintree County:

raintree1

The Clift-Blair relationship is murky – Clift’s mother claimed to be the illegitimate child of Montgomery’s son Woodbury, but it was never proven beyond a shadow.  Photos show a strong resemblance between an older, beat-up Clift and Great-Grandpa Montgomery Blair.  At least, I think so:

clift blair 

It was here in the Blair House that Colonel Robert E. Lee, prior to his resignation from the United States Army, was “felt out” for command of a Union army (not “the” army, as is commonly said, but as Lee himself said, the army that was to take the field – probably either Patterson’s or McDowell’s army) by Frank Sr.

Today, the complex of houses (four, I think) makes up the President’s guest house, used by visiting heads of state.

After that we took a walk around the White House…

white-house

…via the Treasury Building, behind which is this monument to Uncle Billy:

sherman

We took a long walk to the Mall and the Lincoln Memorial, which was the one place other than the White House my son wanted to see (there’s a good boy):

lincoln

I’m always better for visiting the memorial.  This time I had a nice conversation with the ranger on duty, while my wife and son were in the gift shop. 

We returned to the White House via 17th St., and stopped briefly at F to take a picture of The Winder Building.  Today the building serves as the headquarters of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).  When it was built in 1848, at five stories it was the city’s first skyscraper.  In 1854, it was purchased by the Federal government, and during the war served as the headquarters of Winfield Scott, Henry Halleck, the Quartermaster General, the Army Ordnance Department, and the Bureau of Military Justice.  This is where the President lamented that “the bottom is out of the tub”, and where JAG Holt conducted the investigation into Lincoln’s assassination.

winder1

The Winder building plays a prominent role in the often used account of First Bull Run written fifty years after the battle by Peter Conover Hains, whose 30 pdr Parrott opened the fight.  At the beginning of the Cosmopolitan Magazine article Hains recounted that his June, 1861 West Point class mustered into Federal service “in the old Wilder [sic] Building, opposite the war department” on June 25th, 1861.  He wrote that there President Lincoln shook hands with each member of the class.  I’ve been annotating the article – very, very slowly – and have found a number of problems with it, including this otherwise innoccuous episode.  More on that later, but keep in mind that Cosmo published much of the writings of one Sally “LaSalle” Pickett.  The army also had its central signal station on the roof of the building:

signal

I’m hoping to get down to Washington in the spring or summer, and hope to have a few days to spend sightseeing and visiting friends and e-quaintances.  So much to see, so little time.





Family Ties – Kilpatrick Part V

15 10 2008

Here’s an update to the Kilpatrick Family Ties series.  I found this site the other day, which has confirmed some of the information I already had and also alerted me to a few other tidbits.  To quote the Dude: Lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous, lotta strands to keep in my head, man.

You’ll notice some stuff that expands a bit on Part II and Part III.  I found it really interesting that Kilpatrick granddaughter Consuelo Morgan’s husband Benjamin’s father, Benjamin Thaw, Sr, Harry K.’s half brother, was married to a woman named Elma Ellsworth Dows, born in October, 1861.  Elmer Ellsworth, the first Colonel of the 11th NY Fire Zouaves, was one of the war’s first martyrs (see here), and there was a multitude of babies born across the North in following years named for him.  This is the first time I’ve run across what appears to be a female namesake!

You’ll also see that Consuelo is buried in the Thaw plot in Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Cemetery.  I didn’t notice her grave when I made my trek there (see here), and didn’t think to look for her because she remarried after the death of Benjamin Thaw, Jr.  It turns out that she is buried not far from her other grandfather, Philip Hicky Morgan.  I guess I need to go back there.

The site has lots of interesting stuff about the Thaws that I didn’t know – though you can probably fill a thimble with the stuff I do know about them.  For instance, the family supplied two aviators to the American forces in WWI, one of whom died in action.  It seems a shame they’re remembered almost exclusively for nutcase Harry Kendall Thaw – of Pittsburgh.





Two Whitings at Bull Run

8 10 2008

I’m a slave to sounds.  If I hear something and it provokes that Jeez, that sounds familiar sensation in my brain, I have to figure out why it sounds familiar.  Then I have to reconcile my findings – OK, it sounded familiar because A is sonically associated with Z, so what’s the practical connection, if any, between A and Z? Such is the case with the author of report #55, Col. Henry Whiting of the 2nd VT infantry regiment.  And no, I don’t know what’s up with that report – it reads like a fragment, it’s not  dated, and it doesn’t indicate to whom it was sent.

This itch was easy to scratch – Col. Henry Whiting’s name sounds familiar because Confederate Army of the Shenandoah commander and ranking rebel at Bull Run General Joseph E. Johnston’s staff engineer was Major William Henry Chase Whiting.  The Confederate Whiting was the guy who actually transcribed Beauregard’s whacked out orders on the evening of July 20-21, Bory’s man Colonel Thomas Jordan, who would normally handle such things, having been laid out with the help of a prescribed narcotic.

The Yankee Whiting (left, from Hunt’s New England volume of Colonels in Blue, click the thumb for a larger image) was born in 1818 in Bath, NY, and graduated from West Point in 1840.  It doesn’t look like he ever lived in Vermont, and according to Cullum was in fact regent of the University of Michigan when the war broke out, so how he wound up colonel of a Vermont regiment is a little murky to me.  A Wikipedia entry says that the command was initially offered to Vermont native Israel B. Richardson, who turned it down and recommended his classmate Whiting.  Although Whiting in fact graduated West Point one year ahead of Richardson, the two did enter the academy in the same year, and Richardson also lived in Michigan, so this sounds plausible.  He rose to brigade command but resigned over his failure to gain rank in early 1863.  He died in Ypsilanti, MI in 1887.

The rebel Whiting (left, from this site) was born in 1824 in Biloxi, MS.  But he went to high school in Boston, MA, so maybe there is a New England family connection there.  He graduated from West Point in 1845 (after first graduating first in his class from Georgetown University in DC in 1840), having established the highest academic marks ever attained by a cadet, a record that would stand until broken by Douglas MacArthur in 1903.  He died a prisoner in New York harbor in 1865, from wounds received at Ft. Fisher in North Carolina.  Fort Fisher was named for the colonel of the 6th NC, who was killed at Bull Run.

If anyone out there can connect these Whitings, please let me know.





Family Ties – Kilpatrick Part IV

4 09 2008

Here’s an update on the Kilpatrick Family Ties series (see here for all of them, including this one).  When I was writing Part II, I learned that Evelyn Nesbit, The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing, had also posed for the artist Charles Dana Gibson and was one of his popular Gibson Girls.  That’s Evelyn as a Gibson Girl up top.  One thing led to another – as it usually does – and I noticed at one point that Gibson’s father was named Charles deWolf Gibson, and was a lieutenant in the Civil War.  While I couldn’t nail him down, wouldn’t you know the search for Charles deWolf Gibson turned up this guy:

That’s right, newscaster Charles deWolf “Charlie” Gibson.  As I couldn’t verify a relationship, I filed this away in the back of my noggin.  But today I did a Google search of Charles+deWolf+Dana+Gibson, and turned up a bit from an August 27, 1997 broadcast of ABC’s Good Morning America, in which Gibson describes himself and co-star Elizabeth Vargas as “The Gibson Guy and the Vargas Girl” and notes that Charles Dana Gibson was his great-uncle.  I couldn’t get the whole transcript as I’m not a subscriber to Highbeam Research, but if any of you have the service you can find the Good Morning America transcripts here.  And for any of you not old or lecherous enough to remember Vargas (or the earlier Varga) Girls, here’s one:

Hubba hubba.





Family Ties – Kilpatrick Part III

4 05 2008

This should be the last is the 3rd entry in the Kilpatrick thread (see Part I, Part II, Part IV and Part V).

The fact that Philip Hicky Morgan is buried in Pittsburgh’s Allegheny Cemetery was bugging me, so last week I drove down to Lawrenceville to check it out.  I suspected that since Morgan’s (and Kilpatrick’s) granddaughter married into the wealthy Thaw family, he might be buried in the Thaw plot.  But that really didn’t make much sense, since Morgan died in New York City in 1900, long before the marriage (and subsequent divorce) of Consuelo Morgan and Benjamin Thaw, Jr.

To make a long story short, I found Philip in a Morgan family plot, in a different section of the cemetery than the Thaw plot.  Surprisingly, I also found Philip’s wife Beatrice, and his half brother James Morris Morgan.  In the same family plot was Algernon Sidney Morgan, one-time Colonel of the 63rd PA Volunteer Infantry.  Before and after the war, he was successful in the coke business.

Philip’s father Thomas Gibbes Morgan was born in New Jersey and grew up in Washington County, PA, south of Pittsburgh, in an area known then and today as Morganza.  This area was home to Col. George Morgan, who was the first to alert President Thomas Jefferson to the machinations of Aaron Burr, and his grandson George W. Morgan, who participated in the Texas war for independence and was also a Brigadier General in the Civil War, commanding the 13th Corps under Sherman during the Vicksburg campaign.  I’m not positive how Thomas is connected to the Washington County clan, but he married a local girl named Eliza Ann McKennan and moved with his brother Morris to Louisiana, where Philip was born.  After the death of Philip’s mother Thomas started a new family, which included Sarah and James Morris.

The connections between the Kilpatrick, Morgan, and Thaw families are more than simply blood and marriage.  All three families served in the US diplomatic corps, Kilpatrick and the Morgans achieved distinction in the military, and the Thaws and Pennsylvania Morgans made their fortunes in coke (for those of you not from Western PA, where we’re born with this knowledge, coke is a critical ingredient in the steel making process).  But precisely how these Louisiana Morgans wound up here in Pittsburgh after their deaths is a mystery to me.

I’ve taken this about as far as I wish to, at least as far as the Morgans and Thaws are concerned.  But I know there are genealogical junkies who read Bull Runnings, so if you find out any more let me know.  Here is some info on Washington, PA, and here is a link to the regimental history of the 63rd PA that includes a biographical sketch of A. S. Morgan.  Below are some images I recorded at Allegheny Cemetery of Morgan headstones (click on the thumbnail for larger image):

   

As a bonus, here is the marker to Harry K. Thaw in a different section:

  








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