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August 18-21, 1864: The Second Battle of Weldon Railroad (Globe Tavern)

The Second Battle of Weldon Railroad, also known as the Battle of Globe Tavern, was fought near Petersburg, Virginia, on August 18-21, 1864, as part of the larger Petersburg Campaign. The Weldon Railroad was a Confederate supply line that ran from Richmond, the capital of the Southern States, to Wilmington international seaport in North Carolina. During the battle, Union forces successfully captured the railroad and destroyed sections of the track, cutting off the supply line. The victory came at a cost, with some 2,500 Union soldiers being captured and taken prisoner. Three days of fighting resulted in 4,300 Union casualties and 2,250 Confederate casualties.

Globe Tavern

On August 17, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered the Union Fifth Corps, who were under the command of Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren, to capture a section of the Weldon railroad. The railroad was a major supply line for Lee’s army, which faced shortages and possible starvation without supplies.  

At dawn on August 18, 1864, Warren’s troops, who were entrenched near Jerusalem Plank Road in Petersburg, advanced westward toward the rail line. It was the Union Army’s second attempt to sever the railroad track. Two months earlier, during the Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road on June 21-24, 1864, Union forces tried but failed and were repelled by the Confederates.

Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren

The Fifth Corps reached the rail line at Globe Tavern by 9:00 a.m. and initially found a relatively weak Confederate defense. They successfully captured the rail line and destroyed sections of the track, heating the metal, and twisting it into the shape of a Maltese Cross, the insignia of Fifth Corps. Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard and Lt. Gen. A. P. Hill sent infantry brigades led by Gen. Henry Heth. They arrived in the afternoon and launched a sharp counterattack.

The next day, August 19, the Confederate brigades led by Maj. Gen. William Mahone launched a massive counterattack when they broke through a gap between Warren’s right flank and Gen. John Parke’s Ninth Corps. The Confederates regained some lost ground but failed to take back the railroad. During fierce fighting, the Confederates took some 2,500 Union prisoners, and another 400 were wounded or killed.

On August 20, both sides regrouped and planned. It was rainy, muddy, and miserable, and no major offensive occurred. On August 21, the skies cleared, and the Confederates launched another counterattack. The offensive failed, and by noon, Confederate troops withdrew to their Petersburg defenses. The capture of the railroad at Globe Tavern was a turning point. It was the first Union victory during the Petersburg siege, and the loss of the railroad had a significant impact on the Confederates. Lee’s army had to create a new supply line. That meant off-loading rail cars and carrying supplies by wagon some 30 miles to Petersburg to keep their troops armed and fed.

If you would like to learn more about the Battle of Weldon Railroad, search Fold3® today.


  1. Joe says:

    well this battle of the Civil War is of particular interest to me. my 2nd Great Grandfather was in this Union army, the Michigan 27th Infantry. he was captured and sent to Salisbury Prison, where he died with many others. thank you for presenting this synopsis of the time. you have got my attention.

    • B C says:

      Ditto 2nd GGrandfather, 7th NY , who luckily escaped Salisbury POW camp, or else I wouldn’t have been born.

    • Chuck von Schmidt says:

      My great, great, a Pennsylvania bucktail, was captured at the battle of Walden railroad also. He also passed away at Salisbury prison, just a few weeks before the end of the war George, Washington Shatto

  2. While I had ancestors on both sides, my Smith County, Tennessee G.G Grandfather, his brother, and cousins were all Confederate cavalryman. Prison camps were pretty horrible on both sides. My G.G. grandfather died of small pox at Fort Delaware. A G.G. uncle almost died, but survived a prison camp in Illinois.

    • Owen Jones says:

      Incorrect… the prison camps of the Union were subject to the same dangerous conditions of any mass assemblage of men in a gritty outdoor setting (I.e. smallpox outbreaks and occasional rioting among the troops held there). But the hard evidence shows that the troops sequestered there were largely treated humanely, the facilities were funded adequately (food, clothing, shelter, sanitation were diligently curated) and that a conscious effort was made to treat the traitor soldiers with respect and dignity. Not so at Salisbury and Andersonville et al. operated by the criminal rebels. All malice there…no charity. In these death camps, conscious decisions were made by government and military leadership (the much venerated “saint” Lee included) to create extermination camps of torture and horror… Whereas Union Army policy was to grant parole to prisoners — Lee and Davis (being dyed in the wool aristocrats) considered captured troops who were not officers to be subhuman and not worthy of respect and care. They also theorized that Grant’s strategy of throwing numbers at the traitor troops to defeat them could only be stymied by a policy of dishonoring and dehumanizing captured union soldiers so that they would be worthless as forces if paroled or captured or better yet dead in prison due to starvation, abuse by the traitor felons brought in from southern jails to “guard” the union POWs, or disease intentionally inflicted on them (where do you think later U.S. Army commanders (of confederate heritage by the way) got the idea for giving disease infested blankets to Indian women and children to execute a “clean” extermination of entire tribes without firing a bullet.) So no, no “what aboutism” can be accepted in this case… there was no soldier’s holocaust in the north—but there most definitely was among the traitors of the south. Here’s one of many reasons that we all should see the stars and bars as a dirty rag and why my spit is reserved for the hagiographic statues of the criminal rebels. Tear them down I say.

    • Larry Philpott says:

      Yes, Pt. Lookout Maryland POW camp was an example. My GG grandfather died at the camp of dysentery.

    • Monica Bennett Fisher says:

      Where was the prison camp in Illinois? Was it Rock Island?
      There is a confederate cemetery there. I am happy to visit any grave there and put on flowers. You also find their names and pictures of their grave stones on Find a Grave there. The National Cemetery is there, too. On weekends, they play military chimes. Taps are played at each funeral and a flag is to the spouse or oldest family member given by a grateful nation.
      The National and Confederate cemeteries are beautifully kept. It is still an army base, with many civilian government workers and also contract workers. There is also a museum that was just redone.
      Then there is the second largest Federal Home next to the White House. It looks over the Mississippi River. The Arsenal is an island . So many members of our community work there. And I have many family members there.
      I am a Bennett. I have Bennett Union fighters buried in other cemeteries. But there is a Bennett Confederate soldier buried there, too. The museum will help. Reach out to me please.

  3. Charles Temple says:

    One of my g-g-grandfathers was involved in this. He served in the 16th NC Infantry from 1861-65 and that unit saw an incredible amount of combat, inc. Gettysburg. He survived all the fighting, but close to the end of everything, got infected with a fever (probably malaria) which led to his death in 1866.

  4. Terry says:

    I guess you Yankees commenting to this story realize that your ancestors illegally invaded the South, and waged war against women & children. The US Constitution prohibits such conduct, but what’s a little thing like the Supreme Law of the Land to deter murder & mayhem by those who love to control the narratives, and rewrite the US Constitution?

    • Shirley Hunt says:

      Come on Terry !They invaded a part of their own country. Let’s not keep fighting that war. My great grandfather was apart of the Confederate Army and lost his life in Virginia. The poor souls who fought so the wealthy could keep their wealth.

    • Larry Mustang says:

      You are correct, 90% who fought weren’t slave owners. They took the war as an foreign invasion force of their home land. The was a very unfortunate part of our United States history. I had a GG uncle that walked from Atlanta to Sikeston Mo. after the war.

    • Terry says:

      Yes, Shirley Hunt, we must learn from the history of the Civil War. Else we are doomed to repeat it, as the old saying goes. The aftermath of the Civil War and twelve years of Reconstruction created the world that we labor under today. One cannot understand the devastation happening in America today without a full understanding of the above.

      Abraham Lincoln was the first tyrannical president for illegally invading the South, and waging war against Southern women & children. Did you know over 60,000 southern women & children died because of Lincoln’s invasion. Did you know another 1,300,000 slaves died because the Union Army allow them to starve and die from disease. Lincoln freed the slaves right into an early grave. Why did Lincoln have to murder so many people in order to abolish slavery?

      The War was NOT to abolish slavery. The war happened because Lincoln wanted control of the South so the oligarchy, out of control government could be established in Washington DC. The slaves paid a terrible and unfair price to establish Lincoln’s central, oligarchy government in Washington.

    • Geo says:

      I am surprised by your comment in that the constitution does not prohibit murder, and Mayham, as a witness extermination of the Indian tribes by the federal government after Appomattox, and 3 million young men murdered in Vietnam. truth is that the crimes committed in the south became our foreign policy after the war, our attack on Spain, invasion of the Philippines, stealing the Hawaiian islands, splitting Korea in two. The CIA assassinating political leaders in south America. so be it.

    • Debbie says:

      Hey, the wars over let’s be friends.

      PS I had family that fought on both sides too

    • Brad says:

      You are quite shameless. 1. The south committed treason. 2. It is the Constitution of the United States. 3. Your southern insurrection was illegal. Grow up. You want to talk about war against women and children? What the slave owners did to the African Americans in the south was an abomination. General Lee is the most heinous mass murderer and traitor the United States has ever seen and he was allowed to go home alive. Hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans never had that opportunity.

    • JJ says:

      The sad part is that the North fought the war to end slavery and the descendants of those slaves now account for the vast majority of violent crimes in America. America would be a far safer and wealtheir nation if slavery had never happened.

    • Charley Hart says:

      Please quote the “chapter and verse” from The Constitution where it says that the President of the United States cannot act to prevent the dissolution of the United States of America.
      P.S. I won’t be holding my breath.

    • Paul says:

      You are correct as to the history. Northern interests were controlled by specific groups of wealthy/religious fanatics. Documentation shows that many Irish immigrants were loaded directly from their ships from Europe and sent directly south without training. Also of interest is the practice of paying another individual to take a “draftee’s” place.

      It’s also important to understand that the Union soldiers lived in camps that rivaled the POW camps. One of my GGF’s (Scott County, TN) and one of his sons died due to conditions at a Union camp is southwest Kentucky. His wife was sent a note to pickup his body.

      The misrepresentations in some of the replies demonstrate intellectual laziness to satisfy their need to be politically correct. The Union, an odd name for a group seeking to destroy same, engaged in hideously evil conduct against humanity. It will not, and cannot be forgotten or history will repeat itself.

    • Patricia C Gendron says:

      So glad you told it like it was from the Southern viewpoint. Thank you for explaining it instead of excoriating the South as others have done!

  5. Terry says:

    The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution illegally ratified in 1866 completely abolished and rewrote the US Constitution. The 14th Amendment is a complete constitution unto itself.

    • Mike says:

      And the rebels started the War of Northern Aggression” by firing on Fort Sumter

    • Phil says:

      Your complaining and distorting reality. What’s your beef. Did you lose your inheritance when slavery was abolished?

  6. Rob Kelley says:

    Family history indicates my great-great grandfather was involved in maintaining the Petersburg to Weldon railroad line and that he hid in the surrounding woods to avoid federal cavalry. It was initially interpreted that he worked for the Confederate Railroad Department. Subsequently, a record was found indicating he fought with the Tenth Virginia Cavalry. We have very few details concerning his possible participation in the Weldon Railroad engagements.

  7. Otis J. White says:

    As a wilmington resident I am always interested in stories aabout the old WWRR . Thanks for this entry … it is well done.

    As a tidbit for readers I am quioting here from Wikipedia about the Wilmington/Weldon RR being the longest RR in the world when it was built. Amazing engineering and effort to create it even if it was not always used for a good cause. It was certainly an epic economic boon to the southeast.

    From Wikipedia:
    The Wilmington and Weldon Railroad (W&W) name began use in 1855, having been originally chartered as the Wilmington and Raleigh Railroad in 1834.[1] When it opened in 1840, the line was the longest railroad in the world with 161.5 miles (259.9 km) of track.[2] It was constructed in 4 ft 8 in (1,422 mm) gauge.[3] At its terminus in Weldon, North Carolina, it connected with the Seaboard and Roanoke Railroad (to Portsmouth, Virginia) and the Petersburg Railroad (to Petersburg, Virginia). The railroad also gave rise to the city of Goldsboro, North Carolina, the midpoint of the W&W RR and the railroad intersection with the North Carolina Railroad.[4]

    Link to full article:

  8. Charlie says:

    And how sad a day has come to our nation’s schools for brave men’s great grand children are being led into the land of ignorance by the very people who are supposed to be teaching them. “Tear down the statues, rewrite history, plow over the battlefields…..” they say. All to create the illusion of a fairy tale.


    As a former teacher myself, it shames me to be in the presence of ‘so-called educated people’ who seek to promote lies about our past and to refuse to celebrate our past….. the blood, the pain, the work that has gone into creating and keeping this beautiful, vibrant nation robust.


    • Terry says:

      My second great-grandmother lived in a dirt floor, 10’x10′ corn crib with her youngest child, after the Yankees came through burning down their home, barn and stole ALL their animals and food. Her and the remaining members of the family almost starved to death, before twelve years of Reconstruction was over. But the slaves suffered an even greater travesty. 1,300,000 died from disease and starvation because the Union Army refused to feed them after destroying their plantation homes.

    • Kate says:

      Thank you Charlie for posting the truth.
      It happened, learn from it and move forward so it’s never again repeated.
      I’m surprised at the comments and mudsling.
      We all had family members that served in both sides.

  9. Crockett says:

    3rd great-grandfather Calvin King White was the son of Robert White and Teresa Leggett. He was twenty-six when he was enrolled for active service by H.W. Brown on May 12, 1862, in Greenville, Pitt County, North Carolina as a private in Co. E, Fifty-fifth Regiment, North Carolina Infantry (State Troops). He was mustered into service by A.S. Calloway on May 30, 1862, at Camp Mangum, Raleigh, North Carolina for a period of 3 years or the war. His brothers, Lawrence Askew White and McGilbra White, also served in Co. E, 55th Regiment, N.C. Infantry.
    Calvin is marked Present on the Company (E) Muster Roll for May 31 to June 30, 1862, with the remarks: Pay due from enlistment; Bounty Paid: $50. –– He appears on a Receipt Roll for pay in November of 1862 as a Laborer for seventeen days in Petersburg, Va. earning $0.25 a day. –– He appears on a Receipt Roll for clothing for 2nd Qtr. 1864. [Calvin is reported to have sustained a wound to his right hand on May 05, 1864, during the Battle of the Wilderness, and returned to duty prior to August 18, 1864]. –– He appears on a Receipt Roll for clothing for 3rd Qtr. 1864 (Date of issue: July 1864). –– He appears on the Company (E) Muster Roll for May & June 1864 (dated September 10, 1864) with the remarks: Wounded [slightly in the hand] August 18, 1864; Hospital. [This was during the Battle of Globe Tavern, also known as the Second Battle of the Weldon Railroad, which was fought August 18-21, 1864, south of Petersburg, VA. Calvin returned to duty prior to November 01, 1864]. –– He is marked Present on the Company (E) Muster Roll for Sept. & Oct. 1864. –– He appears on a Receipt Roll for clothing in November of 1864. –– He appears on a List of Prisoners of War belonging to the Army of Northern Virginia, who have been this day surrendered by General Robert E. Lee, C.S.A., commanding said Army, to Lieut. Genl. U.S. Grant, commanding Armies of the United States. Paroled at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, April 09, 1865. –– He appears on the Company (E) Roll of Honor for the Fifty-fifth Regiment, North Carolina Troops with the remarks: Wounded [in the hand] at Gettysburg (July 01, 1863).

    • Tina Bradford says:

      I can say one thing about your 3 times over grandfather, he sure did like to dress. He was always getting him some new duds as we call them. Mr. Calvin White was as emancipated slave I suppose for his freedom for fighting in the civil war. $50 dollars was a lot of money. I am sure he became very wealthy. Very interesting story, I enjoyed it. My Father Ronald Bradford was a Vietnam Veteran. He laid telephone wire so that communication can be established from Vietnam to Europe has something to do with morse code and all. I will have to write it nice and neat just have you have written your family history so thorough. All I know my father was in Company B, Fort Hood Texas before he was run over by a car and killed, June 1969 after serving two campaigns in Vietnam 21, years old, I was barely two years old. He was providing counter Tet offense to South Vietnam.

    • Tom Jones says:

      How did you find all of this information? My gg grandfather was in the 33rd Tennessee infantry with other members of the family and I would like to be able to find out this type of information. Thanks

  10. Bette Michael says:

    Too bad Southern politicians insisted on a pro slavery way of life. So to abandon our country to protect a way of life. The other railroad…the Underground Railroad…was freedom for some.
    Lincoln was not an oligarch. Reconstruction was Lincoln’s plan but unfortunately was assasinated and the southern politicians, helping to keeping hatred alive. We all lost much in the War for Independence. And the Civil War.

    • Terry says:

      Southerners are not keeping hatred alive. About 1900 then President William McKinley brought the country together and was the prominent figure in erecting the Reconciliation Monument in Arlington National Cemetery. Now Yankees are leading the way in the destruction of the Reconciliation Monument. How’s that for keeping hate and division alive? If you want to help stop the hate – write your congressperson and demand they leave the Reconciliation Monument in Arlington National Cemetery alone.

      Insisting that the world is flat is to admit that you are poorly educated, and likewise insisting the Civil War was fought over slavery is to admit that you are poorly educated.

    • Debbie says:

      Grat comment. Thank you.

    • Tina Bradford says:

      Yes, mam and Black children need to know their history, so they can hold their heads high and feel the contribution their ancestors paid for their country American country. They are somebody because God does not make no junk. The forces of Evil want to wipe America off the map, so it is more important than ever to uphold and defend our constitution. It’s about all Americans standing together and wiping out tyranny. Let it be known America was about to be overthrown, people have to be a citizen of the United States, have sound mind of history, good character and loyalty of judgement., if our stars and bright stripes are to stand another 200 years.

    • Paul says:

      Northern business needed workers for the primitive factory environments of the day. These were no different than the southern plantations. Sometimes they were in fact more dangerous than the plantations. It’s also important to note that slaves / indentured workers were able to learn trades as part of their difficult circumstances. It would be insulting to claim that they were unable to learn. They were sometimes quite successful after the war.

  11. Ken Tubman says:

    My whole family is from the South -(Virginia)
    Most people were farmers back then and did not have slaves. It was the few who did.
    The South was poor and agricultural, while the North was industrious and inventive. The South declared war when they realized their space trade was in jeopardy. Enough said. It worked out good for the whokebation at a tremendous cost of lives.

    • Terry says:

      The South did NOT declare war on the North. The South merely seceded from the US when they could no longer pay the North’s exorbitant tariffs. Something they had a right to do in 1860. Lincoln declared war by attempting to blockage Charleston Harbor with war ships, and when that failed by raising 75,000 man army to invade the South. If the South was wrong to secede in 1860, then the Colonies were wrong to secede from Great Britain in 1776.

  12. Isadore Q. Wunderlich says:

    > I just want to say – you know – can we, can we all get along? Can we, can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?<

    Apparently not.

    • Paul says:

      Please keep weakness and wokeness off of this helpful communication medium. History is horrible for neither the elderly nor the “kids.” History is simply factual and we all must function within the reality.

  13. Ian says:

    Terry, who attacked who first at Fort Sumter? Every CSA state’s constitution expressly legitimized slavery. Yes, most southerners did not own slaves, which only adds to the tragedy. Don’t be fooled into thinking the war was about state’s rights or yankee aggression. It was 99% about slavery and preserving the Union.

    • Jim Childers says:

      Slavery was not the reason for the Civil War. Slavery wasn’t brought into the picture until Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation on 1 Jan 1863. Southern farmers were being taxed extremely high rates on the products they shipped to the northern factories. Without the southern products, the north could not survive. Secession would put a complete stop to raw products coming north. The war was about the economy. The north NEEDED those products to survive. Lincoln dragged in the slave issue more as a thorn in the Confederates side, and it worked to piss off the South totally. Don’t forget, there were slaves in the north at that time also. Economists figure that had the slaves not been freed by Lincoln, it was only a matter of time, roughly ten years or so, and the South would have freed them on their own. Owning slaves was a high maintenance situation, feeding, clothing, housing, medical care. Many southerners had already started freeing their slaves before the war started.
      Most northerners had sold their slaves off to the south due to high maintenance costs. But there were still slaves in the northeastern states.

  14. robert f herrick says:

    doesn’t anyone moderate this site to keep nutters from whipping up hate with their delusional untruths?

    • Gordon says:

      Freedom of speech don’t forget. Paramount regardless if I agree with you. It’s important that you’re able to say what you said even though I think you’re wrong and a major enemy to what is wrong in the US. Freedom to assemble without a permit it’s an obstruction to our basic rights.

  15. Terry…your comments would make Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, and Greg Abbott very proud of you… must show them your KKK robes when they give your Confederate History medal in person.

    • Robert Powell says:

      Explaiin this drivel – Democrat party operatives created the KKK, and both whites and Blacks were killed. Desantis, Trump, Abbott? WTF – Raven6 1965 – 1993. Had ancestors on both sides, and in deference to all who post lingering whining, this point: Shouda, Coulda,and Woulda do not count. Neither side won, the Country lost, and the craven mentality of some is beneath posting.
      valuble discussion is necessary, vitriolic comment demeans your ancestors. Be better.
      Raven6 1965 – 1993

    • Jim Childers says:

      It’s comments like that that keep the nation divided. Gotta stick that little dig (KKK) in there just to piss someone off. I can see you would probably not make a good candidate to get into a friendly discussion with.

  16. brookstne says:

    Wait?! On the email about this, it showed a drawing of one of my favorite Civil War artists … I think. I clicked on it but no drawing.
    Anyone know how to get that drawing to appear so I can look at it closer?

  17. Scott W. says:

    Being a livelong Southerner, having relatives that fought on both sides in the Civil War and relatives that fought in the Revolutionary War, I can only paraphrase what President U.S. Grant said in his memoirs, “How can anyone defend slavery?” And according to Mr. Grant, that is the exact reason for the Civil War. He should know, he lived it and fought in it. If you think otherwise, I would suggest putting aside your preconceived notions, and read his memoirs. It’ll teach you history like no one is teaching it these days. And also remember that the KKK was a tool of the Democrat party in the late 1800’s and 1900’s. Read your history people.

    • Nancy says:

      no one is defending slavery. if a people of a state vote to join the union of free will they also have a right to vote to leave of free will. NO ONE is defending slavery and don’t think the north didn’t take part in the bounty of slavery. Lincoln needed the cotton tax $$ of the south. that was the main source of income for the treasury. Follow the money. NO ONE wants to talk about the cost of that war. The message is “we fought a war to end slavary– aren’t we so good?” it was a horrible horrible war. Lincoln didn’t free slaves for 3 yrs after the war started. NO ONE IS DEFENDING SLAVERY– but it was an institution that didn’t start with the south. There was a better way. I had ancestors on both sides. I grew up in Tn. Lincoln had no right to send in troops to rape pillage and plunder, burn homes and crops, kill 900K men and boys. There was another way- and for you people to suggest this war was perfectly valid are wrong. OK GRANT – HOW CAN ANYONE DEFEND THE SEX SLAVERY OF TODAY? It sure is doing well right now and who is forming an army to go stop it at the southern border. I find it pretty self righteous for you to act like anyone on here is defending slavery. People have a right to LEAVE THE UNION.
      Are the people in the treason camp so sanctimonious about George Washington committing treason? Voting to secede from a country you no longer wish to be a part of Is not treason- its just something you don’t like. If California decided to secede today would you people in the treason camp want to invade it, burn homes and crop, rape women? Every one of the former slaves of my great grandfather were dead within a year of the war. He sent them to Mississippi so they would be treated BETTER there. Indiana and other norhthern states made a law that forbade “freedmen” or blacks to move there!!! A people have a right to vote to secede and leave UNHARMED and peacefully. LINCOLN won by 3 electoral votes and his opponent was not gong to prosecute the war. Slavery was going to end– maybe not as soon as you’d like but a miserable 4 yr war was a horrible thing. NO ONE ever wants to talk about that cost.

    • mk says:

      Grant owned a slave,just one but he was not a plantation owner.

  18. Dave says:

    I don’t think you’re going to convince Southeners by telling them what Grant had to say about the cause of the War. I think Shelby Foote came as close as anyone. My GG Grandfather and 5 of his brothers were in the 19th Tenn Calvary Co I in Forrest’s Calvary. They were farmers and horse traders no slaves. It is common knowledge that 95% of Confederate soldiers never owned a slave and if you think about it slavery worked against small farmers who were raising the same crops but without slave labor. From strictly an economic perspective it’s hard to think a poor farmer would go to War over slavery although slavery certainly became a more important factor in the North after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Illiteracy in the South was high. I read that someone estimated Southern illiteracy at 20%. I have spent my hours in deed rooms and reading Confederate letters sent home across the South and I would estimate that 60% were illiterate. No one in my family could read and write until the 1930s. I think it’s often overlooked that the common confederate soldier had a world view of slavery. But it’s easy to understand when someone is coming to take your farm to rise up against that. Read these quotes from Grant and Lincoln in 1862.
    “I have no doubt in the world that the sole object is the restoration of the Union..I shall be convinced that this war has for its object anything else than what I have mentioned, or that the Government designs using its soldiers to execute the purposes of the Abolitionists, I pledge you my honor as a man and a soldier that I will not only resign my commission but will carry my sword to the other side and cast my lot with that people.”
    On Aug. 14, 1862 Abraham Lincoln wrote /
    “I have urged the colonization of the negroes, and I shall continue. My Emancipation Proclamation was linked with this plan. There is no room for two distinct races of white men, much less for two distinct races of whites and blacks. I can conceive of no greater calamity than the assimilation of the negro into our social and political life as our equal..Within twenty years we can peacefully colonize the negro and give him our language, literature, religion, and system of government under conditions in which he can rise to the full nature of manhood. This he can never do here. We can never attain the ideal Union our father’s dreamed with millions of an alien inferior race among us, whose assimilation is neither possible or desirable.”
    Taking these men at their words Slavery abolition didn’t appear to be foremost as their cause for the War.

  19. Joe Mc says:

    Thank you Terry for your comments. I am a native South Carolinian (Southern-Born, Southern-Bred and when I die, I’ll be Southern-Dead as they say). Five of my ancestors fought for the South…none fought for the North. One was killed at the Battle of the Crater at Petersburg. Two were taken prisoner of war and survived and two received medical discharges. One fourth of the male population of my home state was killed in the War of Northern Aggression. After Sherman took Savannah, GA he sent his troops north to South Carolina with orders to completely destroy every building, barn and cabin and to take whatever plunder they could. After these troops crossed over into North Carolina some continued to burn and loot. Later North Carolinians were compensated for their losses. No one in South Carolina was ever compensated for the destruction done by these Yankee soldiers. In addition, after Lee surrendered in April my POW ancestors from South Carolina were not released until a couple of months later in June. Don’t think my family wasn’t patriotic. Several of my ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War…General Andrew Pickens was my 6th great-grandfather. My grandfather fought in France during WWI. He joined the Army at 16. My father was in the U.S. Army during WWII…guarded the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier in Washington and was later a combat medic in the Philippines and Okinawa. My uncle received a field commission in the Army during the Korean War when he was fighting there. I served in the USAF during the Vietnam War myself and am a member in good standing with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). So I’ve got a large painting of Nathan Bedford Forrest hanging proudly in my living room and I run the glorious Stars & Bars tag on the front of my truck. Remember this, a TRUE SOUTHERNER never forgets his heritage and will never succumb to “political correctness” irregardless how much lipstick you put on that pig.

    • nancy says:

      It was indeed a war of northern aggression. They invaded. Plenty of southerners were fighting to get the damn yankees off their farms. I love the movie Shenandoah with Jimmy Stewart. HIs character won’t let his sons go fight for the south. He is neutral until Yankees come to his farm and mistake his youngest son for a confederate soldier and capture him. Stewarts character is no longer neutral. There is a scene where he burns a train he stops that is filled with confederate prisoners. He tells the conductor- MR I like most trains– but this train takes people where they don’t want to go. He asks the freed confederates if they want to burn the train. They say burn it.

      Lincoln thought the rebellion would be squashed in 2 months– he made a major miscalculation. People will fight for their own land. 7K men were killed in less than an hour at the Battle of Franklin— how can Grant defend that? If a people vote to leave the union. LET THEM LEAVE – PEACEFULLY.

  20. Jim says:

    I opened my e-mail tonight and opened this email and it said it was about the Civil War. I don’t know if anyone volunteered my e-mail address, but I know I didn’t search for it, but it was just their about the fight over some railroad in the Carolinas. The story was of a battle I had never heard about but I realized that it was significant for Gen. Lee’s army in Virginia. I had a great grandfather at the Battle of the Wilderness and I read his letters preserved by my Grandmother and I realized that this railhead battle certainly had a significance to my forefather who was a captain fighting in Virginia.
    When I got to the comments of others I discovered something that I was surprised to see. Some people are still fighting this Civil War like nothing has changed!
    Now I live south of the old Mason-Dixon Line where there was no cotton and no slaves that I ever heard of but was too hilly to have cotton or other row crops. So in the eyes of the folks here there was no economic reason to divide the country. We farmed timber back in those days and managed to grow veggies in a small garden and raise a few cows. I just can’t understand people in the past few years and now the old Republicans have become Democrats and Trump who was a Democrat became a Republican!!! In the last 10 years we are now confronted with a nation whose people are tearing the country apart. SAD!

  21. Jack Morris says:

    Ain’t war hell? My GGG from Miss had the ball of his neck back nicked by a Union ball. . Maybe he was tetreating.. If he was I don’I think he was alone. A few Officers were leading the way.

    It. was a bad time in our history. Because Lincoln was a Republican, the South would vote Democratic until Nixon and his Southern Strategy in the 1970s.

  22. nancy says:

    LIncoln might have had some good qualities I don’t know –but he was sure wrong on that idiot war because HE WANTED COTTON TAX MONEY. That is why he wouldn’t let the south go. We would have been two countries fighting together in WW 1. 900K men and boys never got to see their families ever again. Slavery was coming to an end. Yes it was a horrid horrid thing- but there was a better way than that stupid war

  23. Ken Mabey says:

    War is never pretty, especially the Civil War! Having read many good comments on both sides I don’t think we should let this divide us. There were villains and heroes on both sides. As a history teacher I can’t agree that tearing down statues is the best approach. However I also believe that people of color haven’t been treated in accordance with our values, and that included all parts of our nation , not just in the South. One of my relatives lost her husband and left her with five children, after the battle of Petersburgh where he and several of hisUnion brothers were sent to Andersonville Prison. He was so emaciated when they were liberated he was sent to Savannah where he died of “dropsy “ according to his NARA file. I also know that some Northern prison camps were bad. We should not continue to divide ourselves over this. It serves no purpose, and today we find ourselves polarized politically. Some of this has roots that go back to the Civil War and the rest is unwillingness to compromise. Have we learned nothing in over two centuries?

  24. john says:

    Just because someone believes something doesn’t make it true.

  25. Connie says:

    The reason for the Civil War can be debated forever and no winners here. The two issues that have been strongly discussed are taxes and slavery. Here is my two cents.
    Issue #1
    Slavery is wrong, period! Greed is wrong! One led to the other, be it the “north” or the “south” that started to bring human beings into this country to work without pay to foster their own personal gain doesn’t matter. The United States made a law that went into effect 1 January 1808, that prohibited the import of new slaves! That’s nearly 60 years before the Civil War. Owners began to “breed” their own slaves in order to continue to use slave labor. How long would that have continued, it’s unknown. It’s still wrong.
    Issue #2
    The Revolutionary War was, in part, fought because the colonies were being taxed without representation. That means they felt they had no say in the government policies. After the war with England the men in power at the time wanted to prevent that very issue, so therefore created a central government that did, and still does, have representatives from every state and in some cases territories to give the citizens of the United States and its territories a voice in how the country should be governed. These representatives are directly responsible for relaying the wishes of their constituents as to the running of this government. In other words your elected officials are your voice in our government so you are not without representation. So to say the secession of the south was like the colonies separation from English rule would be incorrect.
    My opinion.
    War is not pretty! It leaves scars on those who fought in it and those left to pick up the pieces afterwards. I lost an ancestor in the Civil War. My father fought in WWII. He saw and experienced things I can only imagine. Those on this thread who’ve been in a war know. I know what he was like and today we call it PTSD.
    To argue why we fought a Civil War is irrelevant today. What we need to do is prevent a similar catastrophe today. I have no answers, but we cannot fight another war in this country like the Civil War in the early 1860’s. No one wins, we all lose something, and pride in our country is usually one of the casualties. It weakens our defenses and allows others to attack. A country divided will not stand!

  26. Thomas Sloan says:

    My gg grandfather, David Franklin Augustus “D.F.A.” Sloan was born into a family that had been in the Mecklenburg County, North Carolina area since before the Revolutionary War. He was the fourth child born in the David and Isabella Sloan family of ten children.

    D.F.A. was 25 years of age and unmarried when the Civil War started. Like many young men, his loyalty to his home state of North Carolina led him to enlist in the Confederate States of America (CSA). His first muster, at the rank of private, was 15 April 1862 in North Carolina. He was in the 1st Infantry, 65th Regiment, Company K.

    During his military service, D.F.A. was promoted to corporal and finally to sergeant. He was wounded on 21 August 1864 during the Battle for Weldon Railroad, which was part of the Siege of Petersburg, Virginia, where the Union Army attempted to disrupt the railroad supply lines to Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the CSA. He was wounded because when his company charged in a battle at David House outside Petersburg, he carried the colors or the regimental flag at the front of the charge. He was shot but carried to safety by two friends. He was captured and imprisoned at Globe Tavern, Virginia, which was used by the Union as a headquarters.

    He was captured again and imprisoned on 5 January 1865 at Ft. McHenry, MD and exchanged and returned on 20 February 1865. He went on to be wounded again on 26 March 1865 in Petersburg, Virginia and on 28 March 1865, in Richmond, VA. He was imprisoned and hospitalized in Richmond on 3 April 1865. He was finally transferred after the end of the war to Newport News, Virginia on 6 June 1865 and took his Oath of Allegiance on 14 June 1865 in Newport News.

    After returning home to Mecklenburg, North Carolina, D.F.A. did not marry until 1869 at age 33. He married Catherine Eugenia Lewis. D.F.A. and Catie had five children, four of whom lived to adulthood, all born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. One of his children was my great grandfather, James McKamey Sloan. In 1890, D.F.A. Sloan decided to move his family to Stephenville, TX. The reasons are unclear, but we know that he certainly remembered the Civil War because one of my cousins still has a musket ball removed from his leg after his first injury at Globe Tavern. We also know that he and his father were also slave owners.

    Not to try and teach a pig to sing, but I would recommend that anyone truly interested in the history of the Civil War read the acclaimed book by Brigadier General Ty Seidule, U.S. Army (Retired), “Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause” (St. Martin’s Press, 2021). Gen. Seidule is the Chamberlain Fellow at Hamilton College and Professor Emeritus of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He served in the U.S. Army for more than 35 years, including two decades in the Department of History at West Point. He serves as Vice Chair for the Naming Commission to rename Department of Defense assets that honor Confederates.

  27. Elizabeth Davis says:

    I was born and raised in VA So I guess I am a southerner. My family had soldiers on the southside and a few on the north . There was cruelty on both sides so don’t get on your high horses and blame the north or the south. The union soldiers came through the mountains where my ancestors lived and took every thing not nailed down including the babies shoes hanging on a nail. There was slavery all over the United States north and south . America was not the first country to have slavery there was slavery before Christ walked the earth. So lets all take the blame for slavery including the blacks in Africa who captured their fellow men and sold them into slavery. It is time to stop race baiting and all get along . Dr. King had it right and we have almost let all of this hard won work go by the wayside. Trying to appease a few know it alls.

  28. Phyllis says:

    Our civil war was the war between the states. The Civil War is the worst war we have been involved in. Families against families. Brothers and sisters against each other. Families were broken apart.

  29. Perry says:

    Well, reading the comments was really, seriously, deeply depressing. Putin is laughing up his sleeve.

    Back to the basics…
    I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
    and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation
    under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

  30. Joe Mc says:

    Everyone that has addressed their comments here are at least aware that a civil war was fought in this country. Try this little exercise. Next time you stop at a quick stop store or gas station ask the Indian or Pakistani person behind the counter (1) Are you a Naturalized Citizen? (2) Are you aware that a civil war was fought in this country in the 1800’s? Most of these folks are good, hard-working people and have earned their citizenship the right way but, by and large, most have no idea that a civil war was fought in the United States. It is not covered in the history courses they are required to complete. Besides removing monuments and renaming military bases your government is doing everything possible to erase our Southern history and heritage. Right out of the communist play book. In 1959, when he addressed the United Nations, Nikita Khrushchev, former Premier of Russia, took off his shoe and banged it on the podium and swore that the communists would take over the United States without ever firing a shot. Like the Indians that survived the Trail of Tears said, “We must endeavor to persevere.”

    • Pat says:

      My husband and I were having lunch in Gettysburg on a 4th of July a couple of years ago. All the restaurant’s staff wore Revolutionary War costumes. When our bill came, it was $17.76! When we pointed this out to our waitress (an American, born and raised in Pennsylvania), she had no idea why we were so amazed at the amount. This is one example of our poor education system. Another example is the abundance of grammatical mistakes in this post! I’m afraid our knowledge and use of the English language is going the way of our history…downhill.

  31. Trudy says:

    I just love all this back and forth…
    I live in the South, and have been here all my life.
    History in school is found to be unimportant.
    It’s also very twisted and is rewritten over and over again. This conversation with all its participants just shows how little is taught or learned there. There is a lot to be learned.
    It’s amazing how people after all these years are still so passionate about it, and rightly so. I just wish “all” the facts about both sides were written instead of what fits whose narrative.
    Well, there have and are wars fought all over the globe and I’m sure they have been similar in many ways. Instead of having a new civil war, let’s try to let it end.
    Stay Salty!..

  32. Joanne whitehead says:

    Was there any Whitehead’s related to Robert Ian Whithead born in Victoria, Australia, in the war or any wars since? I am trying to locate relatives near or far They don’t have to be born in Australia, I am just looking for any relatives on my Dads side. Thankyou.

  33. frances bollenbach says:

    My greatgrandfather (union army) was taken captive at that battle on the 19th of August.

  34. Mark Powell says:

    Owen Jones and his ilk are nothing but hate-mongers. Shame upon you for allowing them to post their vile venom here.

  35. Dustin H. says:

    If only the south would have won this battle and this war! Several ancestors of mine fought for the Confederacy. While myself and every other respectable southerner oppose the idea of slavery bitterly, we also strongly oppose a liberal federal government that exhibits tyranny in the form of their laws being shoved down our throats – laws and policies that the overwhelming majority do not agreee with. My loyalty and my lot will always be cast on whatever side that the great state of North Carolina decides to cast her lot, just as my ancestors who fought for the Confederates decided so many years ago. Here is to a weak federal government and a state’s right to choose!

  36. Joe Mc says:

    Yes, Mark, it is most readily apparent even to the most casual observer that Owen Jones has drunk lots of the Kool Aid that has been offered up as “true history” as written by Northern military historians. Everyone knows that these writers “slanted” their writings after the war because that’s what military historians on the winning side always do. Mr. Jones needs to dig much deeper for the real truth about the war and find out, for example, why a farmer (Jack Hinson) from Stewart County, Tennessee did not join the Confederate Army but he did wage a one-man war against Union soldiers as a master sniper. He had been a non-combatant and a personal friend of Grant but Union soldiers captured his (2) teenage sons when they were squirrel hunting. The Union officer in charge determined, without any proof, that the boys were Southern sympathizers. He had them killed and decapitated. He put their heads on the gateposts in front of Jack’s house and called for Jack and his wife to come out and see. As a result “Old Jack”, as he was known, had a custom sniper rifle built and waged a one-man war against the Union. He was credited, according to Union records, with over 130 Union soldiers killed. However, based on the tone set forth by Mr. Jones in his comments, he appears to be steadfast in his opinion of Southerners both past and present. He would definitely be out of place at a “Sons of Confederate Veterans” formal ball.

  37. James Harrison says:

    I’ve visited the grave of one of my Union ancestors buried in Alexandria, VA, who was killed at Cold Harbor, and know too that my GG Grandfather was a surgeon for the Confederacy from Sampson Co, NC. I’m sure there were others who fought from my bloodlines on both sides. My parents were a marriage of North and South. My dad’s dad was from England who arrived in 1914 at 15 yrs old. How my parents stayed together all those years since 1955 until 2000, around the time of Mom’s death I’ll never know! They had lots of parties! Frankie and Ella among others filled the air waves. Anyway, I’m amazed at how the soldiers’ lines would form and disciplined wait until the command of fire was given during these battles took place. Although there were other types of warfare during the Civil War or War Between the States, was this war the last of the wars where the Gentleman’s form of warfare was implemented? This is a great forum and I had no idea that there were so many people who had ancestry on both sides of battle lines!

  38. Chris Ruff says:

    My 4th Great Grandfather, 184th PA. Veteran Volunteer Infantry, couldn’t make this fight as he caught a minie ball to his left wrist at the first fight for the Weldon RR at Jerusalem Plank Road. I understand that a portion of his unit got “gobbled up” and sent to Andersonville, GA as POWs. This was touched on in the movie Andersonville, when some of the main actors, tunnel diggers, portrayed guys from the 184th PA! I do so enjoy reading about this part of US Military History. The War is over but the ripple effect continues as evident by the comments here….

  39. Dalena Nichols says:

    Love getting detailed information on battles rarely mentioned in the history books

  40. Ron Oliver says:

    My families also fought on both sides of this war. One of my majors is history, so I know that Lincoln hated slavery but was not primarily interested in freeing the slaves, nor were many Northerners. I also know that one major reason the South didn’t vote for Stephen Douglas is because he had said he didn’t care whether slavery was voted up or down, so they didn’t trust him on the issue. Had they done so, he would have won and slavery would have died a more natural death within 20 yrs or so. The major part of southern economics depended on slavery, so they felt they had to secede as they thought was their right to do so. That may have been true under the Articles of Confederation, but not under the Constitution, a much firmer type of union (spent years studying it, including Constitutional Law in College). On another point previously brought up here, as poorly administered as it was, it was less Reconstruction that left us where we are today, but the Jim Crow era filled with people who wouldn’t let the Blacks grow into social and political equality. As a descendent of slave owners ( ALL my family lines) I still feel that and am hurt and frustrated by it.

  41. Cindy says:

    All the comments here are fascinating. In conducting historical research, be careful to focus on primary resources. Second hand information is usually biased by a researcher’s personal values. Third hand info contains that plus unverifiable fabrications of “fact” and also omissions— so half-truths (aka lies) are told. I used to side with the North completely until I researched my GG grandfather’s history. He fought for the South from Tennessee’s secession until the war ended. He fought in 15 major battles. At an early one, Shiloh, 40% of his battalion was killed. He was wounded severely and returned to the battlefield. Every other man in his regiment was KIA. What motivated his endurance? I found it highly instructive to dig out and study each Confederate states’ proclamation of secession. It also helps to look up historical newspapers and read reports from first-hand witnesses. As another commenter astutely pointed out, a war’s winner invariably rewrites the narrative to make themselves into the moral hero. If you want to know the truth, forget what your high school history teacher said and skip the Encyclopedia of Distilled Information. Always search out the primary, first-hand resources instead. It will open your eyes.

  42. Steve Skipwith says:

    Indeed, my G-G-grandfather was part of the MS 12th Inf. I have visited this site a couple of times, and with some well researched maps, was able to pinpoint where he was captured. He was imprisoned in Point Lookout, MD. He luckily survived and lived to 1917.