Central Ohio Civil War Round Table, 4/12/2023

27 04 2023

A couple weeks ago I presented a talk to about 15 folks at the Central Ohio Civil War Round Table in Gahanna, OH (near Columbus). Interesting venue…two (s) screens for my video. It was a little rough because they wanted me to stay in frame for the YouTube, and I like to move around. But all in all I think a good show, even if I had a small foul-up referring to the 38th New York as the Harper’s Ferry Cowards (they were not) and to its Colonel John Hobart Ward as dying at Gettysburg (he did not). Sorry about that…it sounded wrong as soon as I said it. Getting old has been a blast. Being old, on the other hand…

Thanks to Round Table program guru Mike Peters for having me, and for a great trip to the Motts Military Museum, which should be on everyone’s list when they visit Columbus.

Mike Peters, his grandson Aedyn, and me. Oh, and a real, live, genuine Higgins boat.
A button taken from the coat of Elmer Ellsworth of the 11th New York Infantry
The place is chock full of cool stuff. This is my favorite – the lens and lens cap Matthew Brady used to take the iconic photo of Robert E. Lee in Richmond after Appomattox. The lens shows the marks from where Lee’s eyes burned a hole in it. That’s humor right there, folks. Thanks, I’m here all week.
Also the door from the cell block in which John Hunt Morgan was held in the Ohio State Penitentiary
And an audience with the great man Warren Motts himself in his sanctum sanctorum, which was filled to overflowing with really, really cool stuff. Warren’s son Wayne did not fall far from the tree.




New Rumley, OH – Birthplace of George Armstrong Custer

17 04 2023

On my way home from Columbus, OH (where I spoke to the Central Ohio Civil War Round Table) last week, I took a little detour to New Rumley, Ohio. It turns out this little spot is only about an hour from my house. New Rumley is famous as the birth place of Bull Runner George Armstrong Custer, who was attached to Co. G of the 2nd U. S. Cavalry there. The following images are I think self explanatory.

The humor here, while undeniable, was unintentional.




The Citadel, Charleston, SC

16 04 2023

Last month I was in Charleston, SC to speak to the Fort Sumter Civil War Round Table. The venue was Duckett Hall at The Citadel. While in town I took a little time to tour some of the campus with my brother. Lots of history there (though the campus moved here after the war – it was located on what is today Marion Square), including a WWII major and general of some note, vehicles, swords, flags, and Bull Runners. Here we go:

Stained glass in Alumni Hall
Big Red Alumni Hall
First Alumni Association president Charles Tew, killed at the head of the 2nd SC Infantry in the Sunken Road at Antietam.
Summerall Field. My brother and an F4 Phantom similar to those he worked on in Viet Nam. (This is an Air Force model, not the Marine model he worked on.)
Grave of General Mark Clark, also a former Citadel president.
The Howie Carillon, dedicated to the Major of St. Lo.
Tablet listing names of cadets killed in the Civil War #1.
#2
Bull Runner Micah Jenkins, Colonel of the 5th SC
Charles Tew, KIA at Antietam

In the Library

Charles Tew portrait in Library

Paintings of Cadet actions in the Civil War

Bull Runner Lt. Geroge D. Johnston of the 4th AL Infantry.
Johnston’s sword
Summerall Field




Ft. Johnson and Hampton Park, Charleston, SC

11 04 2023

While in Charleston, SC to present to the Fort Sumter Civil War Round Table last month, I took some time to visit a couple Civil War related sites. First up was Ft. Johnson, at the end of Ft. Johnson Road on James Island, not far from my brother’s house where I was staying. Per the American Battlefield Trust:

In September of 1775, the Council of Safety ordered William Moultrie, commander of the 2nd South Carolina Regiment [more on that regiment and one of its commanders later], to seize Fort Johnson on the northeast point of James Island in Charleston County, South Carolina. Moultrie assigned Colonel Isaac Motte to command three 50-man companies led by Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Barnard Elliott, and Francis Marion to attack the fort. Motte took possession of the fort with little resistance, and this capture was the first-time soldiers raised the new South Carolina over a property previously controlled by the Crown. Decades later, on April 12, 1861, at 4:30 a.m., a flaming mortar shot from Fort Johnson arced into the air and exploded over Fort Sumter, marking the official beginning of the American Civil War. Confederate soldiers buried the structure during the war, but the fort was uncovered in 1931. In 1972, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ft. Sumter in the distance
Zoom to Ft. Sumter
Magazine

I also took made a quick stop at Hampton Park, near the Citadel, which was the site of what many call the nation’s first “Memorial Day:”

Hampton Park is a large site. The historic marker above is the only evidence of the event I observed (Visit Historic Charleston)




Hibernian Society, Charleston, SC

10 04 2023

While in Charleston the week of this past St. Patrick’s Day to present to the Ft. Sumter Civil War Roundtable, I made a pit stop with my brother at the Hibernian Society, where he is a member. The organization is a society, not a club, and is not affiliated with the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH). A National Historic Landmark, the Hibernian Hall was completed in 1840, and hosted the Stephen Douglas faction of the Democrat party in the convention of 1860. The building suffered some damage from direct hits during Federal shelling of the town during the war – renovations sometimes turn up evidence.

Hibernian Hall facade (Wikipedia)
Hibernian Hall in 1865 (Wikipedia)

We entered the Hall from the members entrance:

A quick tour of the interior:

The rotunda
The reception all decked out for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Check out the harps on the chandelier.
The Society gives back to the community. Non ignara mali, miseris succurrere disco translates roughly to Not unaware of suffering (bad things), I learn to help the miserable (the unhappy) (from Virgil’s Aeneid)

Now for a Bull Run connection. Remember Captain James Conner, of the Washington Light Infantry, Co. A, Hampton’s Legion, a Bull Runner whose grave I visited in Magnolia Cemetery?

It turns out, Conner was president of the Hibernian Society from 1871-1874. His portrait hangs with all the other past presidents.

You can read some of Conner’s Bull Run correspondence here, here, and here.

Conner’s portrait once displayed in the South Carolina state house




Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, SC

9 04 2023

While in Charleston, SC, for a presentation on March 13 to the Fort Sumter Civil War Round Table, I took a trip to the city’s Magnolia Cemetery. Below are a few images, including some of the Bull Runners interred there.

First up, the entry and the Civil War section near the office.

Magnolia Cemetery entrance
Confederate Section
A tough shot to get – sun was not my friend

Here are some Bull Runners:

Col. Micah Jenkins, 5th South Carolina
Monument to the Washington Light Infantry (Co. A, Hampton’s Legion)
Washington Light Infantry
Capt. James Conner, Co. A, Hampton’s Legion
Capt. James Conner
Capt. James Conner
Lt. Col. Benjamin Johnson, Hampton’s Legion
Lt. Col. Benjamin Johnson
Lt. Col. Benjamin Johnson
Lt. Col. Benjamin Johnson

The three crews if the Confederate submarine Hunley:

First crew
Second crew
Third Crew
Horace Hunley
Third crew
George Dixon, of the bent gold piece

A fire eater:

R. Barnwell Rhett

A general prominent out west:

Arthur Manigault

Next door at St. Lawrence Catholic cemetery:

More Charleston stuff coming, including more on James Conner, The Hibernian Society, The Citadel, and Ft. Johnson.