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The Battle of Gettysburg Ends: July 3, 1863

Fold3 Image - Map of the battlefield of Gettysburg. [July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd 1863]
On July 3, 1863, the three-day Battle of Gettysburg came to a close, leaving behind an estimated 51,000 total casualties—the highest number of any battle in the Civil War

Following a series of military successes in Virginia, Confederate general Robert E. Lee took his troops north in June 1863 into south-central Pennsylvania. Lee was unaware until late June that the Union’s Army of the Potomac, under General George G. Meade, had followed his army north, as Lee’s cavalry, under JEB Stuart, was separated from the main body of the army and was thus unable to provide intel on the enemy’s movements.

On July 1, elements of Lee’s army came up against Union cavalry by chance outside the town of Gettysburg and fighting broke out. Both sides received reinforcements, and the Confederates were eventually able to push back the Federals to south of Gettysburg. During the evening and the following morning, both sides gathered the rest of their armies, for a total of 83,000 Union troops and 75,000 Confederate.

At the commencement of fighting the following afternoon, July 2, the Union army was arranged like a fishhook, with the Confederates surrounding them to the north and west in roughly the same shape. The 2nd saw bloody fighting on the Union left and center, but despite high casualties, the Union was generally able to repulse the Confederates. Fighting also occurred on the Union right later that evening and continued on after dark in a rare night battle.

On the 3rd, the Confederates once again launched an attack on the Union right, which was ultimately unsuccessful. Then, following a massive artillery bombardment, Lee attacked the Union center in what is commonly known as Pickett’s Charge. During this attack, approximately 12,000 Confederate troops crossed nearly a mile of open ground to attack Union positions but were decimated by Union fire. The Confederates who made it to the enemy lines managed to briefly break through, but they were eventually repulsed. Also on this day, the Confederate cavalry—which had arrived on the afternoon of the 2nd—was put into action off the Union right flank, but with little result.

On the 4th, Lee waited for Meade’s counterattack on his position, but it never came, so Lee’s army withdrew back over the Potomac. Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the war, with 23,000 Union casualties and 28,000 Confederate. It is often considered the turning point in the war and commonly referred to as the “high tide” of the Confederacy.

Do you have ancestors who fought at Gettysburg? Tell us about them! Or learn more about the battle on Fold3.


  1. Steven Israel says:

    I do much research on the Civil War, over the years. Thank you for more information about the war that killed many Americans. I read one time that more American’s died in the Civil War, than any other war that the Americans have been in. Please correct me if I am wrong. I like to get other points of views about the Civil War, from the North and the South. Thank-you about telling of the battle of Gettysburg,

    • Jim Walters says:

      Thank you, Steven, for your interest in the War Between the States. Civil War, is a misnomer, because we did not attempt to overthrow the U.S. government. We merely wanted to constitutionally secede because we felt Lincoln was not going to allow the expansion of slavery into the new territories. Lincoln called up an Army to go into the South and to stop the ‘rebellion’ (States from seceding). THUS, the start of the ‘war’ was to stop the states from seceding, their constitutional right at the time. And, of course, the institution of slavery was immoral, un-Christian and the most devastating economic system ever undertaken. Slavery only legally exists today in Africa and the Middle East where conservative/radical Islam is followed

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Interesting revisionist history from Jim Walters. I’m glad to see that he does recognize that the South fought specifically for the right to maintain and expand slavery, rather than the usual blather about abstract “states’ rights.” But Lincoln had no intention of starting a war, but neither was he willing to recognize or accept the dissolution of the Union (whether or not secession was provided for in the Constitution is a question for a Constitutional scholar, not for me and, unless Mr. Walters surprises me with such a qualification, not for him either). Lincoln was willing to go along with slavery in the Southern states, but that wasn’t enough for them. The war started when South Carolina militia forces attacked a Union supply ship attempting to deliver supplies to Fort Sumter and then began to bombard the Union forces in the fort itself. Lincoln’s hand was forced. Secession could only have made sense if it was the intention of the Southern states to accomplish by military force what they could not accomplish by legislative persuasion – the extension of slavery into the new Western territories, which they planned to and did invade as soon after secession as they could muster an invasion force. My ancestor Paul Winschell was a corporal in the California Column that marched into the New Mexico Territory to repulse a Confederate invasion force out of Texas that was attempting to do just that less than a year after the unprovoked attack on Fort Sumter.

    • Patricia M Carlson says:

      I’m wondering why Jim Walters didn’t call it The War of Northern Aggression. I guess he doesn’t consider that the firing on Fort Sumpter was the spark that ignited the war. President Lincoln had no control over the expansion of slavery; that was up to Congress. Any why should the southern states care whether slavery was allowed in other new states? Is he being sarcastic about slavery being immoral, etc.? The attempt had been made in 1776 to end slavery in the “United Colonies” by putting a reference to slavery into the Declaration of Independence. The South insisted the “offending clause” about their “peculiar institution” be deleted or they wouldn’t vote for independence. Some of the Founding Fathers knew that eventually there would be conflict over the slavery issue. It just took 85 years for it to happen

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Yes, you’re right Patricia. Also, while I’m no Constitutional scholar, I am aware few if any Constitutional scholars subscribe to the idea that the Constitution allowed any state a right to secede. The only Supreme Court case decision the question, Texas v. White, was there is no right of secession in the Constitution, but that a state may exercise a natural “right of rebellion” (as described in the Declaration of Independence) or may in some unspecified way seek “the agreement of the States” to withdraw from what the Articles of Confederation and (by explicit extension) the Constitution described as a “perpetual” Union. The Southern states chose rebellion, and they fired the first shot.

  2. Kathy Farmer says:

    I am trying to look up names of guys who were in any war. Where do I put their name to see if they were a vet or not. I work at a cemetery and would love to honor them with a flag. Please help me. Thanks to all
    Kathy Farmer

    • Richard says:

      Start at your county Veterans Affairs office. They usually have a listing of veterans who are buried in the county.

    • Zingerboo says:

      National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is located in St.Louis, MO and its database is accessible via the internet.

    • Matt Holly says:

      US Army Air Corp pilot John W. Starmann. I found his remains in the wreckage of his P-39Q “Aircobra” in the jungle of Mili Atoll, Marshall Islands, in 1995. CILHI came and did the recovery and ID, later buried at Arlington. I now belong to History Flight . com, we do MIA WWII era searches and recoveries.

  3. Steve Drake says:

    My 3x great uncle, Harrison Ambrose (1839-1863), enlisted 26 Sep 1861, Co H, 20th Reg. Indiana. Shot at Rose’s Woods, Battle of Gettysburg, July 3, 1863 while fending off an attack by the 1st Texas Infantry and 3rd Arkansas Infantry. Left leg was amputated. Pyemia of the stump developed; he died 9 Sept of the infection at Letterman Hospital, Gettysburg. He was originally buried in that hospital’s cemetery, Section 7, Grave #24. Reburied at: National Military Park, Gettysburg, PA, Section F Indiana Site 7. Harrison was my 3rd great grandfather’s little brother. Hiram also was a Civil War veteran, drafted 26 Sep 1864- May 17, 1865 • Camp Randall, Madison, Dane, Wisconsin. Civil War, later became a guard at Camp Randall, Madison, WI. Suffered dysentery the rest of his life.

    • James Rupert says:

      Cool story. Our GG Uncle William Woodruff, of the NY 104 Rgmt, at 19 yrs old, from Rochester, NY, was wounded on the first day and died on July 3rd. He is little brother of our Great Great Grandpa Henry Guy Woodruff. I’ve visited the Battleground with my wife, and secondly, with my daughter. His gravestone is in the lot of 800+ NY volunteers.

    • Steve Drake says:

      I should also add that my great grandfather Hiram Ambrose, as mentioned above, a military guard at Camp Randall POW camp in Madison, WI guarded those POWs many who died there, despite sincere efforts to make the ill-equipped Camp better. A total of 140 confederates had died and were buried in what the civilian population called Confederate Rest cemetery, in Forest Hill Cemetery, on the edge of Madison. One hundred ten of these men were from the 1st Alabama Infantry with the remainder from Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi.

  4. Scott Hottle says:

    My wife’s 6 great grandfathers nephew, Lt. Crockett East, Co. k, 19th Indiana, Iron Brigade, was killed on McPherson’s Ridge, July 1. His name rests on the 19th Indiana monument. He was shot picking up the flag, along with SEVERAL color bearers that day…I would love to learn more info on him, and that portion of the battle. Had the privilege of walking that ground just a month ago. Thank you National Park personnel!

  5. Harold McClendon says:

    Any researching of the civil war needs to include a visit to Gettysburg. As you stand on the hill looking at the mile of open land that the confederate soldiers crossed in Pickett’s Charge, you will feel a cold chill. It makes the reading of all of the deaths so real. I will never understand the courage it took for the soldiers to charge up this hill so exposed to gunfire. They had been fighting steadily for several days, it was very hot and it is a long way to climb steadily up this hill for a mile without any protection. In the end 12,000 confederates died. At this point it wasn’t about slavery or states rights. It was simply soldiers following orders.

    • Kay Paulsen says:

      I second your reply. While watching a reenactment at the Battle of Perryville in Kentucky, I too felt an strange feeling and tears came to my eyes. Recommend anytime you get a chance to watch a reenactment.

    • Lani Allton says:

      I took the bus tour at Gettysburg & our tour guide was from Gettysburg & had a great grandfather that fought in that battle so her presentation of the battlefields really opened my eyes to what happened. Standing on that hill & visualizing what soldiers on both sides dealt with just was overwhelming.
      Definitely a must see site in this country for everyone.

    • Edith Mold says:

      Yes just following orders. Pickett knew it would be suicide for his unit. Bless them all.

  6. Joyce Weaver says:

    My husband’s ancestor, Johan Jacob Weber aka John Weaver, was at Gettysburg with the U.S. 14th Infantry, Co. E. He was listed as a deserter on July 22 when Union troops were following Lee’s retreating army. They had marched toward the Potomac and then back to Manassas Gap where they rested before the Battle of Front Royal.
    What I would like to know is whether he might have died at Gettysburg, unidentified, or whether he did, indeed, desert “on the march” as the summary record shows. He never contacted his family after the battle. Muster cards for federal troops were destroyed after the summary sheets were created, so there’s no way to see if he was present between July 3 and July 22.

    • My father died in 1995 at the age of 94. He was a career army chaplain, ending as the head chaplain of Japanese occupation. He carried the (unanimous) request of occupation chaplains to General MacArthur that the houses of the “comfort women” (women enslaved by the Japanese government to “service” Japanese soldiers), be closed to American personnel, and the women repatriated. Eventually they were, but MacArthur was never a man you could tell what to do. My father, who would have ended his career as Chief of Chaplains, was instead demoted. MacArthur was not.

      My father’s funeral was graced by an honor guard from the 14th Infantry (now Army rangers), your husband’s ancestor’s old unit for which he had been regimental chaplain during its pre-war years in the Panama Canal Zone. I can tell you, Joyce, it was the only time I ever saw soldiers weep openly and unashamed. A class act.

    • P. Turner says:

      Wonderful story about your father! You must be very proud.

  7. Cliff Roberts says:

    During Picket’s charge, a young Florida private named Lewis Thornton Powell was wounded in the wrist. Taken prisoner, he was sent to a Union field hospital where he recovered and later served as a nurse. He earned enough trust to be transferred, as a nurse, to the U.S. Army Hospital at Baltimore. Within a week he escaped, went South and joined a Confederate cavalry company called Mosby’s Raiders. He later deserted and returned to Baltimore where he met actor John Wilkes Booth and joined his small band of conspirators. On April 14, 1865, at the moment Booth shot Lincoln at Ford’s Theater, Powell forced his way into the home of Sec. of State William Seward and stabbed him repeatedly in his bed, nearly killing him. Booth was tracked down and shot to death by Federal troops; Powell was quickly found, tried by a Military Court and hung with three other conspirators.

  8. Carl Boone says:

    My great grand father, W. C. Osborne was with the 47th Alabama and was capture at Little Round top and sent North to prison for the remainder of the war. Paroled in 1865 at end of the conflict. I had several ancestors in the Civil War. My other great grand father , Needham Boone was with Calhoun’s Grey Hounds and fought in the Red River and Arkansas areas.

    • Michael O Connor says:

      Great story, Im from Ireland and have been on Little round top, have to say,apart from been a beautiful place, it has a terrible sense of sadness but also a spookey area.I visited it because i believe my great granduncle Michael O Connor, fought there with Joshua Chamberline 3rd Maine, (forgive me if I dont have that correct)

      Michael o Connor

  9. Roy Hill says:

    My GGGrandfather Giles Carter was with the 14th South Carolina, was wounded on July 3rd and caputured. Sent to DeCamp General Headquaters, David’s Island, NY. Was exchanged in September 1863. Served the rest of the war in Richmond and Lynchburg, VA. He was the oldest of six brothers who fought in the war. Three of them died in the war. One brother, Lt Sidney Carter of the 14th South Carolina, was wounded on July 1st and died on July 8th. For years it was thought that he was buried in a mass grave at the Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, but it turns out he is one of 9 confederate soldiers that the NPS has identified as being mistakenly buried in the National Cemetery. He is buried in the Conneticutt section and his stone reads S. Carter.
    Leave for a family reunion on the 8th at Gettysburg.

  10. Jim Horn says:

    My ancestors lived in Gettysburg. In fact, they published quite a bit about the battle. Great great grandfather Professor Michael Jacobs taught Science and Math at the college and had been a part of a Smithsonian weather observation project before the war. He still had the instruments and took multiple daily readings. Thus we know that just before Pickett’s Charge, it was 87 degrees. Given the evening thunder storm, it was also probably very humid.
    He published Notes on the Rebel Invasion of Maryland and Pennsylvania shortly after the battle, and sent a copy to the White House in October, before the Gettysburg address. He based it on his own observations and those of people he knew. Thus he missed the action of Vincent’s Brigade and took the claims of saving the Union Left from a Gettysburg unit in the 3rd Div of V Corps at face value, setting off an undignified exchange of outraged letters among the generals over credit.
    His son Henry Eyster Jacobs, left a four page account in his memoirs, an interview in the Baltimore Sun in the mid 1890s, and Lincoln’s Gettysburg World Message, combining an account of the battle and the Gettysburg address, which he also witnessed.
    The Notes and The Lincoln’s … are both available online free from an archive site.
    In the Sun article, he talks about the courage of his younger sister after Pickett’s Charge. As the Union troops moved back into the edge of town, they came under sniper fire at the intersection next to the house. She went out and warned the soldiers of the danger. When she came under fire she retreated to the doorway, but continued shouting the warning until a barricade was built across the intersection. Her name was Mary Julia Jacobs.

  11. Bob Conner says:

    I’m an avid genealogist and have always been very fascinated by the American Civil war. I began cataloguing all family and extended family participation in the war, including their names, dates of enlistment, ranks in and out whether or not they survived and every battle it appeared they may have participated in depending upon their units. I’ve catalogued over 90 relatives so far.

    The really wild thing is, while cataloging my family (virtually all in the Confederate Army) and my wife’s (virtually all in the Union Army, but one) and annotating each of their unit’s battles, I discovered that many may have fought side by side unwittingly knowing they were eventually to become entangled in the amazing web of genealogy. I also discovered several incidents in which people who were later family ties fought against one another.

    In a very wild twist 2 of my 3rd cousins 2x removed (both Confederate Army), and my wife’s, great grandfather “and his brothers (all three Union Army) were all involved in the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi, during which one of my cousins lost a leg to an infected wound.

    I never miss the opportunity to tell her family they owe me a leg.

    • Patricia M Carlson says:

      I’ve started something similar — listing all my relatives. But hadn’t gone as far as to list the battles they fought in. I do know that my great-great-grandfather, Merrick (Americus) Graham from southern Indiana, was wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia. John William Webb, from northern Indiana, another great-great-grandfather had a brother, Isaiah, who was killed at Chickamauga. (Both were Union soldiers), Merrick’s daughter, Cora Lee Graham married Harrison Bennett Webb, John William’s son — in Denver, Colorado in 1891. I’ve always wondered in the two Union soldiers ever knew each other.

  12. Jim Horn says:

    One point which should be noted is that for all the focus on the Second Day on the Union Left (Little Round Top, Peach Orchard, Wheat Field, Devil’s Den) and the Third Day on Pickett’s Charge, there was an great deal of heavy fighting on Culp’s Hill on both days. This has largely been overlooked, partly because there were no dramatic breakthroughs or major change of lines, just an hour after hour firing and hand to hand combat. The Union soldiers here do not get enough credit for their solid defense, nor the Southern soldiers for their willingness to make charge after charge into intense fire.

    • Kay Holmes says:

      At about 8 a.m. an attempt was made by the enemy [among them the 10th Virginia Infantry] to turn the right of the line of the entrenchments. They boldly advanced to within about 100 yards without discovering my regiment [147th Pennsylvania]. I then ordered the regiment to fire, and broke their line. They reformed again as a body and advanced. Their advance was checked by the heavy fire they received, when they broke and ran.” — report of Lt. Col. Ario Pardee

      Wounded in the right shoulder and lung, Private Whiting Hockman of Company F, 10th Virginia Infantry, was taken prisoner on the battlefield at Culp’s Hill, and was admitted by 4 July to the 12th Army Corps Field Hospital, Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg, where he died 15 July 1863. Private Hockman’s remains eventually were returned to Virginia, and he is interred at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond in the Gettysburg Section, Lot 1.

      Also involved in the fighting at Culp’s Hill was the 33rd Virginia Infantry, Samuel Rhodes, a private in Company B, appears on a list of casualties in the “Stonewall Brigade”, commanded by Brigadier General James A. Walker. Samuel Rhodes’s remains apparently did not return to Virginia, neither to his home near Saumsville, nor to Hollywood. They are certainly not buried in the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, but perhaps they lie somewhere in the vicinity of Culp’s Hill.

    • My great grandfather JJ Anderson 37th VA was on the left flank at Culps Hiil , near Spangler Spring. He was captured nd spent 22!months at point Lookout Md prison Parolled Feb 1965. My grandmother was born after the war.

      He was also wounded August 9, 1862 at Cedar Mountain, flanked again! Returned to duty after six months. I’m lucky to be here!

  13. Glenn T. Van Dusen says:

    My 2X great grandfather was Mathew Henry Van Dusen, a private with Co. C, Fourth Texas, Hood’s Texas Brigade (one of the most famous fighting units with the Confederacy). He was at Gettysburg in the Devil’s Den at Little Round Top when he received a head wound on July 2, 1863. He survived the War and died at the Confederate Home in Austin, Texas at the age of 93 ( one of the last remaining Hood’s survivors). I honor his service.

    • Scott Hottle says:

      Kay Holmes…Whiten Hockman is a descendant of mine, as are several members of the 33rd Virginia, Stonewall Brigade…respond if you can, I have some info to share

  14. Lore K. says:

    My 2x great grandmother Ruama Starcher Northcraft had 4 brothers who fought in the Civil War, 2 for the North, 2 for the South. One of the brothers was sent by his father to procure the effects of his brother who was a Confederate soldier that died on his way home from the South in Greenbrier County, W. Virginia. The brother, who used to be a Deputy Sheriff was taken hostage by the Rebels and accused of being a Spy because he was carrying pictures and stock that had belonged to his dead brother who was an Ambrotypist(Photographer). I have 2 stories of this on file, one person believes him, another one doesn’t. I do have a question about the Civil War, were soldiers sent back home to be buried or were they buried in whatever state the battle took place?

    • Jim Ketcham says:

      They were generally not sent home. Embalming was brand new and very expensive. It would have cost a lot just to transport the body in a sealed casket – it would most likely end up stinking anyway.

      One of my ancestors, Captain Seth Johnson of the NY 44th Infantry (Ellsworth’s Avengers) survived Gettysburg only to be killed at the Battle of the Wilderness. We always thought his body was transported back home, because his name is on a headstone in his home town of Schodack Landing, NY.

      We still have his officer’s sash, some photos and the death notice. We also have a beautiful pencil drawing of his original gravesite, done by his company sergeant. Using the drawing and the directions written on it, I found the location. I went into
      Fredericksburg to talk to the historian at the Park Service Library, because the grave was nearly a mile from where he was shot – why would you carry a body that far in the heat of a battle?

      The historian said he must be buried in the national cemetery at Fredericksburg, but I didn’t think so. We looked him up, and sure enough he is buried there. I found Cap’n Seth had been buried three times: once by the hospital, once in an attempt to begin to collect the bodies in central locations and finally in the Federal Cemetery. I found the temporary grave in the woods, where there were still several heaps of earth next to depressions in the ground.

      In reading the regimental history, I found the reason he had been buried so far from the front was that he was only injured, but on the way to the hospital in an ambulance wagon, a shell burst nearby, killing him. If your ancestor was an officer, there might well be a reference to his death in the regimental history. Unfortunately, enlisted men were rarely named in the casualty reports.

    • John Walker Beasley says:

      Hello Lore,

      Your post got my attention due to where your ancesters originated. I have four 2X great grandfathers who fought in the “War of the Rebellion” from Greenbrier County West VA. Two were Rebel and two were Yankee:

      Pvt. John Walker Hughes, 3rd VA Calv CSA
      Pvt William Henry Smith Sr, 3rd VA Calv CSA
      Pvt Eber Willey, 2nd WV Calv USA
      Pvt James Beasley, 12th OH Inf USA, wounded Antietam MD 1862.

      If you don’t mind me asking, I’m curious what organaizations your ancestors served in and what town they settled in after the war. I was told my name sake (John Walker Hughes) was buried in an unmarked grave after surviving into his eighties due to continued abuse of Confederate graves in those parts (Hinton). He would have been buried in the 1930’s.

      John Walker Beasley
      York, ME

  15. Ruth Kendall says:

    William R. Kendall, one of 3 brothers to fight for the Confederacy from Chickasaw County, MS, enlisted in the Mississippi 13th Infantry in May of 1861. As a part of William Barksdale’s brigade in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, Will participated in the battles at First Manassas, Gaines’ Mill, Savage Station, Malvern Hill and the First Fredericksburg where he was wounded, captured and paroled. He was sent from Fort Monroe, VA to City Point, VA in December of 1862 and thus rejoined his unit.
    As the Mississippi 13th left for Pennsylvania, one soldier noted that with the roads being so good, some outfits enjoyed “breakfast in Virginia, whiskey in Maryland and supper in Pennsylvania”. The closer they marched to Gettysburg, the louder the thunder of battle loomed over them. Finally the 13th was in the midst of battle and as Barksdale’s Mississippians swept forward, a fellow soldier from Alabama noted as “Barksdale threw forward his Mississippians in an unbroken line in the most magnificent charge I witnessed during the war”.
    General James Longstreet’s report of the Gettysburg campaign stated that 105 soldiers from Barksdale’s brigade were killed, 550 wounded and 92 missing and more specifically, the 13th reported 28 killed and 137 wounded. One of which was Will Kendall – left behind on the battlefield when Lee’s army retreated. However, he was one of those soldiers who was picked up by Union troops (Thankfully!!) Will’s records show that he was admitted to Camp Letterman, USA General Hospital on August 7 with a “gunshot wound to the head”. From Letterman, Will next shows up in the records of USA General Hospital, West’s Buildings, Baltimore, MD – then transferred to City Point, VA where he was part of a group of 350 Rebel soldiers who were paroled and sent home.
    Will made it back home to Mississippi where he married in April of 1864. After the death of his wife in childbirth in 1869, he later married a Confederate widow. They eventually moved to Etowah County, Alabama, where he is buried in the Patterson Cemetery. Will was my husband’s 2 great grandfather and we honor his memory.

    • Raymond Daly says:

      My GGgrandfather his brother and two cousins were in the 13 miss at Gettysburg.They were in the charge known as the greatest charge ever made by mortal men.They were Louis,steven,william and George Agnes.George is buried at Jeff Davis’s plantation.I was born in N.Y. and now live in N.C. hate being called Yankee being my family fought for the stars and bars.

    • Ruth Kendall says:

      Well, we will be happy to claim you as Rebs! Although it’s getting so freaking politically incorrect to be one.

  16. Gretchen Stryker says:

    My GGrandfsther, James C. Stryker, fought in the Pennsylvania 149th Infantry. I have not been able to verify his presence at the Battle of Gettysburg, but I believe the 149th was there.

    • Lore K. says:

      Gretchen, please check the National Park Service. . James C. Stryker is listed with the Union Pennsylvania Volunteers of the 149th Regiment Infantry.

      His unit was at Gettysburg and you can see the other battles that they were in as well as fellow soldiers that he served with. Good Luck. Lore

  17. Caleb bartholomew says:

    My great great uncle served in Gettysburg out of New York’s 121st infantry company F. They were a reserve flank in waiting in case they needed to be used. He went on to fight in the battle of the wilderness where family history says he was killed but official New York sources show he was killed in the battle of Spotsylvania. There are stories of the 121st flanking on the front lines in that battle. They were so close to the enemy, they couldn’t call out their ready, they had to signal it. To survive Gettysburg and have made it through the battle of the wilderness… they had to know their day was coming

  18. Joe N. Adams says:

    My great-grandfather was a Confederate soldier. He was captured and sent to Camp Douglass (Chicago) where so many died. He saw that he would die, too. He “swallowed the dog” – pledged allegiance to the Union and was sent West to fight Indians. I always found this strange since he was married to an Indian and they had children.

    • Jim Ketcham says:

      Joe Adams, do you know where your great-grandfather went to fight Indians, what unit he was in, where he met his Indian wife? I spent 17 years in Minnesota, and often researched the “Dakota Uprising” of 1862 – a lot of troops were sent from local militias, from the battlefields of the Civil war, and from some Confederate prisoners who did as your great-grandfather did. The fighting continued into 1864. Let me know if you know more!

    • What do poor desperate men do when jobless homeless on enemy ground. They accept terms that allows them to live to return home. By that time the futility of states rights and United States meant nothing. Ideology falters when death is near and your cause is far removed. My great grandfather was wounded and carried back to Tennessee by a black man which kept his leg from being amputated. He recovered but war torn Tennessee and carpet bag years drove him to Texas to “find a home” where a man could live in peace. In his later years the black man who saved him joined John C Crow in Red River County Texas in the deep woods to live out his life. In the 60s when people were complaining about blacks getting civil rights my grandma. John Crows daughter said If it hadn’t been for the bravery of a black man, my daddy would have died and your little white ass would have never been born. Takes one person to change a generation.

  19. Suzee SoldanEls Oberg says:

    As a member of the Civil War Round Table of Kansas City, I occasionally sit at the same table with the grandson of General Simon Bolivar Buckner who, during the battle of Perryville, occupied the home of my relatives, the Dye Family. It’s a small world.

  20. David Glass says:

    My 2X Great Grand father William A. Glass fought on the Union side with the PA 9th reserve, 38th infantry. I was proud to see his name (my surname) on the PA war memorial tablet there in Gettysburg.

  21. Robert Anderson says:

    I had several cousins of that generation with Lee’s infantry in Orr’s Rifles – a South Carolina regiment under Penders. They were on the immediate left of Pettegrews brigade on Day 3 as sharp shooters and skirmishers but did not participate in Pickett’s charge .

    My great great grandfather Pvt T J Lipscomb and 3 of his cousins were there with JEB Stuarts’ Cavalry as part of Hampton’s Brigade. His cousin a major at the time of the battle commanded the 2nd South Carolina Cavalry regiment and they were in the charge against Custer and the “Wolverines” from Michigan the afternoon of July 3rd 1863.

    Records in the National archives indicate my gg-grandfather was “furloughed to remount” shortly after the battle so he may have lost a horse in the battle or more than likely his horse was exhausted and to frail to be of service which was the case for most of their horses by the end of that summer .

    Many blame Stuart and the Cavalry for failing to provide Lee with reconnaissance on the campaign yet Lee had 3 brigades of Cavalry at his disposal during the march. The problem was Lee did not trust them like he did Stuart who he had issued somewhat vague orders that included disrupting enemy communication and supply lines, collecting supplies and screening the advance of the army as it left Virginia and reconnecting with General Jubal Early’s division of the army at a non specified location . Stuart did all of that to some extent early in the campaign but took a path too far to the East to communicate with Lee as the main body of the Union army was between them . He also missed rendezvousing with Early near York by about 24 hours and 2 miles , although Early’s folks share some of the blame for that mistake.

    What is not mentioned when blaming Stuart for the loss is that his cavalry covered Lee’s retreat for 12 days after the battle and did an admirable job of fending off Yankee cavalry trying to cut off Lee’s return to Virginia . Most of the troopers under Stuart were in the saddle and on the move for nearly 40 days with little rest , little food and sparse forage for their horses .

    If you do further research about Stuarts cavalry concerning Gettysburg you will learn that it was a long grueling campaign for the cavalry. Although they are usually only mentioned in describing the fight on the afternoon of July 3rd, they had been fighting several smaller battles at Hunterstown PA, Hanover PA Wesminster MD and several in Virginia all in the week prior to Gettysburg . Also as I previously mentioned they fought in several battles and skirmishes for 2 weeks after the battle as Lee retreated .

  22. Kay Holmes says:

    To Scott Hottle

    re: Scott Hottle
    July 7, 2017 at 7:44 am
    Kay Holmes…Whiten Hockman is a descendant of mine, as are several members of the 33rd Virginia, Stonewall Brigade…respond if you can, I have some info to share.

    There was no ‘Reply’ option for this post, so I hope you’ll find me wherever I wind up. I would be happy to be in touch for sharing information.

    Is there a moderator here who can connect me with Scott?


  23. I am a professional genealogist and came across a letter in the Putnam County, NY archive written by union soldier, George P. Read. I did a lot of research and learned that Read (known as Reed) was a private in the 44th NY Infantry regiment which was a part of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Div., 5 Corps, and fought at Gettysburg on the Little Round Top on July 2nd. Read is not a relative of mine but I feel a deep kinship to him from my research about his military service and his life. I made a pilgrimage to Gettysburg this week and found his name on one of the plaques in the NY 44th regimental monument on Little Round Top.

    • Jim Ketcham says:

      Tiffany, your George Read was in the same unit with my relative, Captain Seth Johnson (I think Seth was actually a Lieutenant at the time of Gettysburg, but his name and final rank are on the plaques in the same little tower for the 44th NY on Little Round Top. Captain Johnson was killed May 7, 1864 in the Battle of the Wilderness.

    • Jim, that is fascinating. It’s sad that Captain Johnson was killed in 1864. George Read reenlisted in August 1864 and when the 44th was disbanded, he was transferred to the NY 140th where they fought in the last battles leading up to Lee’s surrender. George went on to marry, but didn’t have any children. He died in 1927 and is buried in a cemetery in Danbury, CT. Because George didn’t have children, I have felt especially compelled to tell his story.

    • Tolford Young says:

      and we thank you for doing so. You set a good example.

    • Jim Ketcham says:

      Yes, it’s all about keeping the stories alive, isn’t it? My paternal grandfather did a lot of family research, but also left tons of photos that we now have no idea who is in the photo, where it was taken (or why that place was repeatedly visited…) Of course, with the internet I can do in a few minutes, sitting in my living room, what would have taken him months to do, with lots of travel.
      I keep finding Ketchams/ums in lots of places, but do not yet know how we might be related. One genealogist wrote: “It seems you could not start a war – or a state legislature – without the requisite number of Ketchams.” 🙂 Happy hunting to you!

    • Jim, are you aware that in 1865 NY town clerks and county clerks were required to make an accounting of each man who served in the war, including those who died, in their communities? Those records are available on and contain a wealth of information.

    • Jim Ketcham says:

      I had forgotten all about that. We have lots of records from the Army – his letters home, appeals for leave to take care of his parents’ farm, the loss of all his teeth(!), which took him out of fighting for a while, and more. I found a lot in the regimental history, too. I’m busy tracking Ketchams down today, but I’ll swing back around to Captain Johnson. He was an only child and died unmarried – end of that line! Thanks for reminding me of the clerk’s records.

    • Thank you, Tolford. I appreciate that.

  24. On my mother’s side I had three Mitchell’s who were part of Kershaws Brigade Company E. One was killed somewhere near the Westfield. Edward or Paul Mitchell. Both were killed during the ear. One at Gettysburg and the other at Sharpsburg. James Mitchell survived the war. Still researching the Glover and Rikards and Summers and Nelsons.

  25. Scot Hux says:

    I had quite a few ancestors who fought at Gettysburg, all of them from N Carolina in the gallant 2nd Corps,
    In the 1st,12th,43rd infantry regiments,
    In Edward “Clubby Johnson’s division
    On Culps Hill, the 12 th in Rhodes division, unfortunately in Iverson’s brigade, which was almost wiped out on day 1, and under Junius Daniel
    Brigade, the first day in the railroad cut, and moved in time to participate
    In the last Confederate attack on Culps Hill, being loaned out by Rhodes to Clubby Johnson’s division.
    This little inclusion is about 2 cousins in the 12 th NC, company G, Halifax Light Infantry, Jesse and William Henry Hux. Iverson had the brigade March in a straight line across the hilly
    farm land with the order of regiments,
    Right to left were in this order ( I think)
    The 5th NC,23rd NC,20 th NC, 12th NC on the far left. Iverson didn’t lead his brigade forward as he had done
    60 days earlier (in Jackson’s famous flank attack in front on the left side of Rhodes Division) and rumors still to this day suggest he was drinking, others saying he was a coward, but of course the NC Tar Heels didn’t like being under a general or colonel from
    A Different state other than NC ( I think he was from Georgia) which was a big as well as common complaint in any regiments of NC soldiers brigaded under Generals from states other than NC. I think they were extremely sensitive off Virginian generals and there is something to that if you look at the number of soldiers from an individual state and then the number of Generals from their state. I’ve seen this list and I’d have to say that NC soldiers had a point as they had the most soldiers, over 115,000, and had very few field Generals, I believe around 30. This manifested itself late in the 19 th century in disputes between Virginia and North Carolina about the great charge on July 3rd
    Was called Pickets charge,but in fact there was as many if not more NC soldiers than Virginia’s and NC soldiers had more dead and wounded
    while Virginia had more captured.
    Another sore spot was Pickets man had been held in reserve on July 1st and July 2nd, while plenty of NC in Hills 3rd Corp had taken horrible losses in day 1 and 2, for example the 26th NC had about 82% casulties the first day, and they may have been the
    largest regiment in the ARNV that fought at Gettysburg. One company, I
    think Company F went in the first day
    With 82 men and every member of the company was killed or wounded that 1 st day. They were in no shape to have
    been included in the 3rd days charge.
    Some regiments from NC had only a dozen men left after July 3rd!
    My ancestors in the 12 NC were lucky that their company was one of a half dozen that couldn’t be seen by the Yankees when they rose up from behind that stone wall and gunned the whole brigade down, I heard that 400 to 500 men fell in a straight line on the first volley. The companies of the 12 th
    That escaped that volley were intergated in to General Ramsuer’s brigade which later in the evening with Early’s and Hays men almost captured
    The center of the Yankees line they had retreated to and started concentrating their artillery that would have devastating effects on the confederates on the 3rd. Because of the darkness and inability to communicate the Confederates abandoned their attack. A lot of historians have made a hypothesis
    That the Condederates could have won the battle of Gettysburg if they
    Would have succeeded.My grandfather told me the toughest fighting my ancestors had mentioned the most about Gettysburg was the
    Door to door fight in Hagerstown Maryland during the long retreat back to Virginia. Supposedly it was a very rare event to have urban fighting in
    The Civil War, especially with Infantry
    Involved and not all Calvary as one would speculate. Jesse was included
    in the Confederate Roll of Honor, the CSA version of the Medal of Honor and later was crippled at the battle of Spottsylvania Court house, which a lot of veterans that were there said it was the most vicious battle of the war. Jesse was pretty much confined to the Chambrosco Hospital ( maybe misspelled) and William was promoted to Corporal and went with the rest of the 2nd corps under General Early as
    The rechristened army of the Valley in
    June 1864 which actually covered more ground and casualties than Stonewall Jacksons 1862 campaign
    Early’s army crossed the Potomac 3 or 4 times, and came with in 1 day of capturing Washington DC. Only the heat and the casualties from the battle of Monacacy gave Grant just enough time to send enough men to hold D.C.
    William was shot through the neck on picket duty right after the battle of Fishers Hill, but before the climax of Cedar Creek, one of the most unusual
    battles of the war. He returned in time for the battle of Hatchers Run, and was captured on April 2nd which was
    When Lee was unable to hold the Petersburg line due to Pickets defeat at Five Forks, which many call the Waterloo of the Confederacy.
    William was sent to a NY prison camp
    For officers, he was lucky he didn’t get sent to Elmira, I had a least 2 ancestors that died there and are still there, it is very well maintained.
    I think he was released in June or July of 1865, and am not sure if he walked home from there or was taken to Fort Monroe Va and walked home from there.

    • Jim Ketcham says:

      I lived in Elmira for eight years and often walked the site of “Hellmira,” as well as the graves of the Confederates who died there. What was most impressive to me was the man responsible for burying the dead prisoners was a runaway slave named John Jones, who worked as a sexton for a church and also was a key figure in the Underground Railroad in the area. He did such a good job that when Southern families came to reclaim their boys, all but one decided to leave them there in Elmira, because they had been shown such respect.

    • Patricia M Carlson says:

      That’s interesting, Jim Ketcham. My step-great-grandmother (who I knew) was born in 1868 in Elmira, New York. I went there in 2006, to search for information about her, Margaret Mae Whalen. I had recently read, “Elmira, the Andersonville of the North”, so I wanted to see that, also. I was told that nothing remained of the prison camp. I didn’t ask about anything else — like a cemetery. I wish I had known that there was a cemetery there. Not that I would have anyone buried there — but I love National Military Cemeteries. I get choked up every time I walk through one.

    • Jim Ketcham says:

      Yes, there are no structures remaining from the days of the prison camp, just a flat piece of ground by the river, still with a slough in the middle of it. They’ve put up a big dike to protect the town from the river flooding (hundreds of buildings were lost in 1972 alone), and that runs right through the site. There is a small display and a flag pole in front of the Elmira waterworks station, which is on the same grounds – and a historical marker on Water St, near where the northern fence of the prison ran.
      Having caught the history bug growing up with my father, I was astonished to find how few residents of Elmira knew anything about the camp or the cemetery. I regularly spoke with life-long residents who claimed they had never heard the stories I knew. The military cemetery occupies the northeast corner of Woodlawn Cemetery – which, by the way, is where Mark Twain and his whole family are buried. (Twain’s wife, Olivia, was from a prominent family in Elmira).

    • Joyce Weaver says:

      The conditions at Elmira Prison were absolutely abominable, so bad that my husband’s great grandmother’s brother, David Taylor, who was a guard there, came away with a permanent disability from damaged lungs. And he was a guard, not a prisoner!

    • Jim Ketcham says:

      I’m not surprised to hear that – it was a basically unsound place to situate a prison and the North was so intent on punishing the South for Andersonville and Libby Prison, they took it out on the Confederate prisoners of war. The South at least had the excuse that they were under blockade and didn’t have nearly the resources the North had. Everybody was going broke in the South, everybody was learning to do without the relatively few railroads they had were all designed and routed to to help get cotton to market, not to move foodstuffs – or troops. The Northerners had no such excuses. I speak this as a dyed in the wool Yankee, someone who lost a lot of family members in the fight to maintain the Union.

  26. Tolford Young says:

    Yes, 4 of my great-grand uncles served in the Union Army of the Potomac. One was baptised Eli Young. He was later adopted out to a Durham family who changed his name to Tolford Durham. He Enlisted in Company A, 4th Maine Infantry on 15 June 1861 in Waldo County, Maine. At Gettysburg in July 1863, he was one of eight Maine 4th Infantry sergeants captured by the Confederates and later released “on parole.” He went home, I don’t know how, to Maine with what apparently was a case of PTSD, but was OK enough to marry his sweetheart, Maria, and together, produced 2 children. His youngest brother, John Wesley, only 15 at the time was given permission by HIS adoptive “father” to sign up. He made it as far as a military hospital in Georgetown, where he died a day short of his 16th birthday. G-uncle Joseph Enlisted in Company F, 4th Maine Infantry. Great-grandfather, Hanson was a horseman, so he enlisted in 1st Regiment, Maine Cavalry as a private & mustered out 26 June 1865.

  27. Tolford Young says:

    To Jim Ketcham: Thank you for a great & kindly story that probably would not have otherwise been told.

  28. Jim Ketcham says:

    If you ever get to Elmira, there’s a little house not far from the cemetery where John Jones lived. Some folks have been restoring it and opened it as a museum. John Jones is also buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, not far from the National Cemetery and those he cared for in death. There is a historical plaque there that tells part of the story. Check out the book by Michael Horigan for more info.

  29. As we approach this 4th of July weekend I’d like to honor my 3rd Great Uncle Samuel Obediah Brightwell who suffered a wound to his right foot (losing 8 bones) on July 2, 1863 (154 yrs ago Sunday) during the Battle of Gettysburg. He suffered with this wound the remainder of his life – dying in 1905 at 66 yrs old.
    Name: Samuel O Brightwell
    Residence: Yellow Branch, Campbell Co, Virginia
    Enlistment Date: 31 May 1861
    Rank at enlistment: Private
    Enlistment Place: Yellow Branch, Campbell Co, Virginia
    State Served: Virginia
    Survived the War?: Yes
    Service Record: Enlisted in Company D, Virginia 42nd Infantry Regiment on 31 May 1861.Mustered out on 05 Mar 1865.
    Sources: The Virginia Regimental Histories Series

  30. Barbara Freas says:

    My Great, Great Grandfather, Matthew Bradley, was a member of the 114th PA Volunteers, Co F also known as the Collis Zoaves that fought valiantly at Gettysburg. One summer my father took us to Gettysburg and we found Matthew’s name on the 114th PA Vols monument. After I began my trek into genealogy, I discovered an ancestor of my husband’s was also part of this army unit. I haven’t yet found out if this ancestor was at Gettysburg but will keep searching. Fortunately for my family (and my husband’s family) both men survived the war.

  31. Beverly storey says:

    Jim ketcham. Just wondering if we are related. My earliest ancestor is Joseph ketcham 1787-1845.

  32. My ggrandfather’s report at Gettysburg:Report of Col. James L. Sheffield, Forty-eighth Alabama Infantry.
    JUNE 3-AUGUST 1, 1863.–The Gettysburg Campaign.

    AUGUST 7, 1863.

    SIR: I have the honor herewith to give a statement of the part taken by the Forty-eighth Alabama in the battle of Gettysburg, on July 2 and 3.
    On the morning of the 2d ultimo, this regiment, with the brigade, marched from New Guilford to the field, a distance of 20 miles, where we were placed in line of battle in the open field, where Companies A and H were ordered on picket. After lying in line of battle a half hour, we were ordered forward, and advanced a distance of 1 mile over a very rough and rugged road–the worst cliffs of rocks there could have been traveled over.
    On reaching the enemy’s lines, where they were well and strongly situated, I ordered my regiment forward, which was gallantly obeyed until within about 20 paces of their line. Here the fire of the enemy was severe. Here the men opened fire on the enemy, and for some time continued, until the left, from the loss of men and their exposed position to a fire front the front and from the mountain on the right, were forced to fall back. The right steadily maintained its position for some time, forcing the enemy to withdraw from their first line and establish their line a short distance to their rear, where they continued their fire. After the contest had continued for an hour and a half, and my whole regiment had been brought to the front the third time, only to be driven back, I ordered them to reform in the rear of their advanced position. While doing this, I was ordered to take command of the brigade. After this, the regiment was commanded by Capt. T. J. Eubanks, who reformed and carried it to the front, where the battle-ground was held during the night, bringing off our wounded.
    In this battle the regiment had 275 men engaged. There were 102 killed, wounded, and missing.
    On the 3d ultimo, the regiment was withdrawn a short distance, where we remained during the day, excepting while engaged in a short fight with cavalry.
    At night, we were still farther withdrawn to the rear. The men and officers acted very well.
    I cannot close without speaking of those who acted most conspicuously during the hottest of the conflict. Lieutenants IF. M.] Burk and [R. T.] Ewing and Captains Eubanks and [Jeremiah] Edwards are especially noticed for their gallantry in leading their men forward and remaining in front of their commands encouraging their men.
    Lieutenant-Colonel [W. M.] Hardwick and Major [C. B.] St. John were very efficient in performing their part until wounded.
    It is proper to state that in the account of missing, 24 men were taken prisoners, with Captain Edwards and Lieutenant [T. L.] Christian (of General Law’s staff), while posting pickets after night on the 2d ultimo.

    Very respectfully,
    Colonel Forty-eighth Alabama Regiment.

  33. Jim Ketcham says:

    Beverly Storey: Quite possibly! Was Joseph in New England or New York? That’s where most of my family comes from. Lately I’ve been looking at “Find a Grave” and finding Ketchams in many states. I’m still trying to see where the connections might be. Going back at least five generations, Ketchams I know I’m related to have strong ties to Brooklyn, NY. How about your Ketchams?

  34. Jim Abbs says:

    Five of my immediate relatives were members of the Union Army and two of these were with New York regiments that were engaged at Gettysburg. I have visited the Gettysburg battlefield 3 different times and was impressed each time. The other relatives (all named Abbs) were with Wisconsin and Illinois regiments. I am personally named after a Union soldier (from Wisconsin) who was part of the Hornet’s nest at Shiloh and was captured there. Happily he was paroled after 3 months and went on to serve with Sherman and participated in the famous “March to the sea”

  35. Gwyn N says:

    My maternal ancestor Joshua Bowman, Co F of NC 37 Regt., some of his brothers and cousins in the same regtr., and my paternal ancestral uncleSgt. Elijah H. Crump then of the 26 NC Regt., all fought at Gettysburg, The 37 Regt. was once again used for rear guard protection after being severely decimated. On July 2 or 3 Joshua Bowman was badly wounded and left behind to be captured and sent by train to Davis Island NY rather than to close by care. In his badly injured state he was then sent as an invalid to PT. LOOKOUT for the prisoner exchange probably due to the assumption that he was nearly dead. He was sent home immediately under that same assumption. However, he defied odds and recovered while fathering another daughter. He returned to duty to take part in the Battle of the Wilderness where he was again wounded and sent home to recover. He then returned to duty and was mortally wounded at the Five Points Breakthru of four Union groups against the 37 Regt. and the artillery group led by the most decorated officer of the south who was killed along with Gen. Hill. Gen Stuart again failed the Confederacy by taking his calvary to Jones Farm to enjoy a Shad Dinner leaving the troops with no calvary intelligence. This was the same instance in which Gen R E Lee’s son Fitzhugh Lee was captured at Pamplin Church. Elements of Co E, F, and G were surrounded at the Depot and surrendered. During the present arms ceremony, the WI infantry, of whom most were non English speaking immigrants whose presence was the result of a land offer for service, apparently thought the present arms was a charge signal so they essentially murdered all but three of the troops. The 3 men who survived were all wounded badly. Private Teague survived to tell what had happened and where the men were buried in a mass grave near Jones Farm. No US Government report has ever been written because the winners always do the history. The failure of the Calvary to scout for Lee was the result of their staying at Westminster MD to enjoy the company of the unofficial female village hostesses.

    • Gwyn N says:

      Correction, the Confederate Calvary General was Longstreet rather than Jeb Stuart. Robert E Lee is supposed to have exclaimed at Appromatox Courthouse to Gen. Longstreet: “Are you still with us?! for several reasons with a great deal of validity.

  36. Rob says:

    No mention of Custer & Gregg stopping the Confederate Calvary in the East Field. Had J.E.B.Stuart been able to break through he would have come into the back of the Union forces at Picketts troops were coming in from the front.

  37. Rod Holloway says:

    Canadians, known as British North Americans at the time, fought on both sides at Gettysburg. Dr. Solomon Secord, from Canada West (now Ontario), performed surgery at a Confederate field hospital across from Devi’s Den.
    Francis Wafer, also from Canada West (Ontario), established an aid station just behind the centre of the Union line.
    Wafer was a medical student from Kingston Ontario who joined the Union army to gain surgical experience.
    Second was a physician from Kincardine, Ontario who went south to live. He had a medical condition that he hoped would be helped by the milder climate. It is alleged that Secord joined the Confederate army as a result of his opposition to slavery. He publicly denounced slavery and was offered the choice of being hanged immediately or of joining the southern troops.

  38. James says:

    My Great Grandfather Napoleon Mcphetrige served with J.E.B. Stuart so my question is did Stuarts Calvary ever actually engage in the battle at Gettysburg? I’ve read accounts where he was cut off but was wondering if he ever made it to the battle.

  39. John Carpenter says:

    My great grandfather, Pvt Joseph Carpenter Co G, 34 NC, was killed during Picket’s charge. His brigade was assigned to Isaac Trimble’s Demi division.

  40. P. Turner says:

    Excerpt from letter from grandson of Walter M. Turner (1824-1900): “I have heard it told a number of times by my father (Marvin Turner) and several other people that when Grandpa went to the Civil War, he rode a horse named Buck in 1860–served four years–got home in 1864. He rode the same horse back home after the war was over. The last big battle he was in was Gettysburg. In this battle a bullet hit the back candle of the saddle which probably saved his life or kept him from being crippled. He was a Captain. When the war was over he rode ‘Old Buck’ back home. He had to swim creeks and rivers–Took him several weeks to get home (6 weeks)…Old Buck lived to be 32 years old. The horse was over fed with corn, took colic and died.”
    Source: Ernest Turner
    Jacksboro, Texas

  41. I was deeply moved several years ago by a visit with my father to Little Round Top, which had been defended by a “Zouave” regiment, “Ellsworth’s Avengers,” the 44th NY Volunteers. Their nurse and “daughter of the regiment” Lora Hudson, and the original assistant surgeon, Elias Bissell, married just before the battle and were on leave in Buffalo, NY. She had been courted by a regimental captain who died in the battle. The regiment had many casualties (including her unsuccessful suitor), but held on. After the war, a little castle-like structure included a regimental roll-call. My father, who was delivered by his grandparents, visited with my wife and me to see the only name of a female member of a regiment on any monument at the park. Thrilling!

    • Several of us have commented have about men in the NY 44th Inf. regiment. I just finished writing a paper about Pvt. George P. Read of the 44th. Such fascinating stories. Is there a website for stories to be collected about soldiers from that regiment? If not, it might be worth starting one.

  42. Jim Ketcham, I wonder if you are related to the Am. Revolutionary War General Ketcham, who lived in Sheffield, Massachusetts. I have used him (very positively) as a character in a historical novel I just completed. Small world!

    • Jim Ketcham says:

      John, I’m afraid I’ve never heard of this General Ketcham in Massachusetts. I have a number of ancestors that fought in the Revolutionary War, but they were from Long Island, the Hudson Valley or the Albany, NY area. Do you have his first name? I can look him up, I guess! Thanks for the tip.

    • Jim Ketcham says:

      I’m not finding a General Ketcham from the Revolutionary War in Massachusetts – do let me know if you have a first name, birth and/or death dates, etc. Thanks!

  43. Ruth Kendall says:

    To Matt Holly @ — what is the criteria for making the searches/recoveries of WW II casualties? My husband’s uncle was one of 5 sons who honorably served their country in WW II, Korea and Viet Nam. One brother served as a US Navy Armed Guard on the SS Jacksonville which was torpedoed and sank in the Irish Sea. It was the last ship in a convoy and as its cargo was 80 octane fuel for the Allies, only two people survived the blast/explosion. I have the official Navy declassified report with longitude and latitude information. Is there anyway to stir interest in finding the remains of John C.Kendall and others and bring them home? My personal email is [email protected] Thanks.

  44. Kim says:

    My fifth great grandfather was wounded at the battle of the wheat field. William Ransel. He is listed on the PA memorial in Gettysburg.
    Enlisted as a Sergeant on 25 July 1861. Enlisted in Company E, 62nd Infantry Regiment Pennsylvania on 25 Jul 1861. Mustered Out Company E, 62nd Infantry Regiment Pennsylvania on 13 Jul 1864 at Pittsburgh, PA.
    He lived until 1902.

  45. Kathleen Rauhauser says:

    York was the only northern city to surrender to the Rebel forces. The call for southern soldiers to Gettysburg, took the soldiers holding York captive, thus freeing York from potential damage. The military hospital was located in Penn Park.

  46. kimber lowers says:

    My 4x great Grandfather John Lowers (i wish i knew when and where he died.
    LOWERS, John: Oct. 30, 61 Rimersburg enrolled. Pvt.; age 32; Co. F; m: Dec. 7, 61 Camp Orr. May 4, 62 Yorktown Camp Winfield Scott: left sick. Apr. 12, 63: not likely to be fit for duty should be dropped. May 63 – Feb. 64: sick. Jan. 12, 64 Phila. Haddington Hsp.: 19 day furlough. Feb. 24, 64 Phila. Prov. Marshall O.: rec’d from Haddington Hsp., convalescent, Lowers to return to duty. Apr. 20, 64 Plymouth POW Anders. Died: enroute to or in prison (Regt.); no info. 1890 Census: Ellen Franklin widow m: Dec. 22, 61, died in rebel prison; res.: E. Brady.

  47. Donald E. Pruett says:

    I had the privilege of spending every evening after school at the Gettysburg National Military Park twice, for three weeks each time, in 1983, while teaching at the Nat’l. Fire academy in Emmitsburg, MD. This, plus both weekends at the school, found me on that hallowed ground 8 miles from Emmitsburg. I walked nearly every bit of the 25 square miles of park and took hundreds of photos. I also had with me Mr. William A. Frassanito’s paper-backbook;
    “GETTYSBURG a Journey In Time” I made every effort to find the exact location of the original photographs and duplicated the same shot in modern times. I was there on the 120th anniversary of that famous battle, July 1st., 2nd. and 3rd. of 1983. I also had the pleasure of the company of a park worker whose name is lost to history and my fading memory. He found me on Little Round Top at 5:00 AM waiting for the sun to rise and my camera on a tripod. I was killing time by picking up trash off the ground while waiting for that perfect shot. We talked for some time and I found out he was born in the little White house with the White picket fence around it that was originally General Mead’s headquarters. His parents were caretakers of that property in the 20’s, paying only a token five dollars a month but having to make sure the property was kept just like it was at the time of the battle. He invited me to his home that evening (Saturday) to dine with he and his wife. He directed me to the basement and showed me a whole room full of buckets of spend musket balls and mini-balls, cannon fragments and broken sabers, pistols, rifle barrels, etc. He even had a box of the original bullet-hole-riddled picket fence posts that were in place during that battle that his father had gathered when replacing the originals with new ones. Every time they dug up the vegetable garden another artifact would surface. This man was a walking history book. Gods bless him for taking the time to spend with me. I sent him a year’s subscription to Arizona Highways Magazine since he said he and his wife had visited Arizona. My six weeks and four weekends at Gettysburg lit a fire of interest that has lasted to this day. I’m now 73. I was 39 back then.

  48. Ted Vaill says:

    Lincoln should have let the slave states go. They have caused America nothing but trouble ever since. Even today, they support the traitor, Trumputin.

  49. Kurt Niziak says:

    My, how we are so blind! Slavery is alive and well in the US and in some ways, even more prevalent than it was in the 1860’s. Of course, present day slave labor pays much more than it did in the old days, as prisoners receive 26 cents per hour for their labor! Unless of course an individual is part of the Texas Prison System and their labor is unpaid.

    Major American Corporations like Walmart, Bayer even Wendy’s take full advantage of this slave labor and profit handsomely.

    There are more African Americans on probation, parole or in prison in the US today than slaves in 1850, so perhaps the institute of slavery is actually healthier than it ever was. Its merely slavery with a little twist.

    In Massachusetts alone, there are 11,500 prisoners and 5200 overseers making sure the gears of servitude stay in tact.

  50. Patricia Farley says:

    My husband’s great grandfather, James Farley, was in th 5th Reg, 34th PA Volunteers, Company K (Cookman Rangers) and was in many battles during his service. His name is one listed on their regimental monument at Gettysburg, which we hope to personally visit one day. We both have other ancestors, both Union and Confederate, but James is the most traceable due to the fantastic collections in PA.

  51. Chester Neumann says:

    My great-great-grandfather Thomas Dawson died at Culp’s Hill on July 2nd serving as Sergeant with the New York 78th Regt., Cameron Highlanders Infantry, and is buried in the original New York section of Gettysburg Battlefield Cemetery. After several previous battles, he was 29 years old.

    • Michael Sarka says:

      I believe there was another Dawson who fought for the Union. On the first day, there was apparently a skirmish near a Railroad Cut north and west of town. It was a nice documentry on the History Channel narrated by Sam Rockwell. Could possibly be a relation for you.

  52. William S. Zeising says:

    My great great grandfather Stuart Winters fought with the 68th Pennsylvania un der General Dan Sickles. He fought on the 2nd and 3rd day in the battle of the Peach Orchard, next to the Wheatfield, He attended the 50th reunion at Gettysburg with my Uncle Joe Moor. He said that if you picked you head up during the battle you were dead. He survived, and also had fought at Fredricksberg and Chancellorsville. I have the complete history of the 68th Pennsylvania Regiment.

    • Al Jamison says:

      To William S. Zeising: My namesake and great, great grandfather, Albert S. Jamison must have fought side-by-side with your ancestor. Serving in the 26th New Jersey regiment, they mustered out in September, 1862. The 26th saw action during the Battle of Fredericksburg and Chancerlorville, same as your ancestor. They were also involved in the first action of the Gettysburg Campaign during the Battle of Franklin’s Crossing. Fortunately, he was discharged after serving his 6 months, just days before the main battles of Gettysburg. I still have his original discharge papers, dated June 27, 1863. Your ancestor had the right idea. I have often said in kidding that I was glad my ancestor kept his head down.

  53. Rex Robinson McHail Jr says:

    My great-grandfather John G Robinson was a bugler at Gettysburg with Company D of the Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry. His life size image is on the wall of the Cavalry display in the Museum there.

  54. pat locker says:

    Reading these stories gave me chills and a tear in my eye..please answer me this: Why on earth would the Confederate Flag and the statue of Robert E. Lee be taken down and discarded as if these events had never happened. This is a part of our U.S History. It’s like some offended group of this era doesn’t understand the pain and suffering from both sides. We Are America and we have history! Teach the children of today what it mean to go through a battle to gain what we now have.

    • Sara Jenlink says:

      AMEN & my forefathers died for the north. History makes us who we are. We best learn from it not hide it.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      OK, enough. If we were talking about people like you who are only interested in preserving the lessons of history I doubt many would disagree with you. But these symbols are daily appropriated by those who refuse to learn the lessons of history and would rather “take the country back” – all the way back to 1860 when white men were white men and everyone else knew their place. That makes them nearly as toxic as a swastika or a statue of Adolph Hitler. And by the way, they’re not gone, they’ve been moved to museums and proper display venues, where they belong.

    • Robert Southern says:

      The leaders of the Anti-Confederate movement’s now want all confederate troupes removed from all Federal Cemeteries! These people are sick,evil monsters

    • Tolford Young says:

      Quite right! Our history is our history. People need to understand just what that really means. How can we be true to it if we hide some of it? Those statues honor the men who fought for what they wanted to hold onto, North AND South! Leave them up as a reminder of what this nation has endured.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      “In the beauty of the lillies
      Christ was born across the sea
      With a glory in His bosom that transfigured you and me;
      As He died to make men holy
      Let us die to make men free
      While God is marching on!”

      That’s the meaning of the sacrifices made in the Civil War. Period.

    • john riskus says:

      Because they have been brain washed by 8 years of obama believing that they syand for white racism. And the libetal teachers didnt argue and feed thesame lies.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Only the truly brainwashed believe that nonsense. The Confederate battle flag has been adopted by white supremacists as a prominent symbol of their movement – only the willfully blind could possibly not be aware of that.

    • We CAN and definitely should be teaching our children about the greatness of men such as Robert E Lee, but also about the misjudgement and unfortunate choice he made in rejecting Lincoln’s offer to join the right side and assist the Union in quickly forcing an end to slavery. Talk all we want about the rationalization of the war being about states rights vs federalism, but in the end, it was about an attempt to protect the heinous institution of slavery for the South!

      So if telling the true story with statues of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, JEB Stuart and other fellow Virginians and Southerns who fought to preserve that horrible institution and supporting the gross disregard of human rights that we tolerated since the founding of this country, by all means, leave the statues in place.

      Just tell the true story with them, instead of glorifying the “cause” and those that fought for it, at great pain and suffering for so many!! It is a sad chapter in our story of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and while I am proud to say I’m a Virginian, because of all the great people that came from there, I remain embarrassed by this deep wound of the Civil War.

      To think that truly great men like Robert E Lee chose state patriotism over the true spirit of our US Constitution is indeed a sad lesson to be shared with our children. To me, worse than the choice of Lee, was the choice of the Virginian legislature to succeed from the Union, placing Lee and the other great military minds of the time on the wrong side of history! Just think how quickly, with much less loss of life, the uprising would have ended if Virginia held to the tenets of my fellow Virginians, Jefferson and Madison, and had Lee leading the righteous cause of freedom for all!

      And scarier, we again see the “South” trying to rise again, as they said they would. Let’s hope we can close this next chapter without bloodshed.

    • Michael Hogan says:


    • Fifthwarder says:

      Do we honor other enemies of our country? Do we erect statues of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini or the 911 enemies that blew up the World Trade Center? The Confederacy was the enemy of our country and wanted to preserve enslaving human beings why should we glorify enemies?

    • Eric T says:

      I agree with you. People have a tendency to place blame where it doesn’t belong. The Confederacy and Southern States were not to blame for slavery but rather Africans who enslaved their own kind for profit. No one ever talks about the Europeans that were enslaved by an illegal draft imposed by Abraham Lincoln who blatantly committed Treason against the American People. The Southern States were well within their rights to secede from the Union. Since people want to rewrite history then let us do away with Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights, Affirmative Action, The Underground Railroad, Black History Month, Roots, and everything else, Remove Harriet Tubman, Lincoln and Grant from the U.S. Currency. These are just a mere drop in the bucket of the key issues that need to be approached. Let us not forget we must also do away with the NAACP since it is an exclusive organization that discriminates against all others as its name implies. National Alliance for the Advancement of “Colored People” this is Extremely Racist hence Race Specific.

    • Those how wanted it down do not know their history well nor do they intent to learn. This is a shame. There were thousands of black confederate soldiers that fought and gave their lives for the southern cause. It’s a shame they were left out of the history books!

    • Eric T says:

      It is deliberately left out because if it was added then that would take away the Race Card they love to throw around in order to get freebies and positions they have not earned. A more educated and skilled person who may be white will be turned away or denied a job or benefits because of Affirmative Action because they are holding that position specifically for a person of a different race.

    • Steve Winiarski says:

      Well said… Unfortunately there are a select few that are trying to re-write our history. This needs to be stopped. These elite think that if they remove these statues or anything relating to that part of US History, that it will simply disappear. What a shame…

    • Keisha Ryan says:


      I have the same question. I’m from NOLA, and they have taken down Robert E. Lee statue It’s history, are they going to erase the history books as well?

    • Liz says:

      I agree Pat. It concerns me greatly that some people would paint Robert E Lee in the same light as Hitler which makes it very clear that these people do not understand American History, history of the Civil War European history OR Robert E Lee. First of all, Robert E Lee was not fighting in defense of slavery. He was fighting for the very reason the war began: States sovereignty. Yes, slavery was of course the central point of contention, but used by eleven states as an example of state sovereignty versus federal authority. The war was fought over state’s rights and the limits of federal power in a union of states. The perceived threat to state autonomy became an existential one through the specific dispute over slavery. The issue was not slavery per se, but WHO DECIDED whether slavery was acceptable, local institutions or a distant central government power. The question of local or federal control to permit or prohibit slavery as the country expanded west became a critical issue in new states, eventually leading to that battle at Fort Sumter.
      If I were descended from slaves, I would want that statue erected as a reminder to every American citizen how slavery was used by eleven southern states to defend the Tenth Amendment. This is very important to understand because we’ve witnessed many times our government exploiting an issue or opportunity to justify removing our civil liberties.
      In 1863, after the war had begun over a year earlier, Lincoln decided to exploit the war opportunity as a means to abolish slavery BUT slavery was NOT Lincoln’s priority. Robert E Lee believed that every state should have the right to declare a federal law, null and void which does not make him a racist.

    • Carol says:

      So very true….so very true as I also cry with you…….

    • Debbie S. says:

      I agree with you Pat. We can’t just erase history because people are offended by it. In my home town, we have confederate memorials and memorials to black people who distinguished themselves in their lifetimes. We cannot only memorialize the “Union” side of the war. Mistakes were made, lives were changed, but you cannot simply undo history by tearing down memorials. History lives on.

    • ken leach says:

      The flag is a symbol of what caused the civil war. Given Germany soldiers fought bravely, would you object to taking down a WWII German flag and a statue of Hitler?

      I have a great and a great great grandfather who fought for the south. I am for removing flags and statues.

    • Patricia Shumsky says:

      I couldn’t agree more. History is history, and if anyone is offended by the events that formed our country, grow up. We are supposed to learn from these events so as to not make the same mistakes. To ignore them is to leave us open for more of the same!

    • Ione Davis says:

      The confederate side to African Americans is like the nazi side to Jews. No one is denying they existed and did what they did except people like you. They were not heroes. They were traitors determined to undermine the unity of this nation and brutal enforcers of the enslavement of four million (not 40 or 400) human beings of whom more than half were children under age 15. Even if they were fighting for so-called states’ rights how could that concept supersede the human rights, including right to be free and right to be paid for their labor, of 4 million human beings in a civilized humane society? Only alt-facts can justify that lie.

    • Theresa says:

      Because nowadays, everything has to be politically correct so you don’t offend anyone. It doesn’t matter whether it was an important part of this country’s history.
      Slavery is associated with the Confederates and people think this was evil and all traces/mention of it should be erased and forgotten. Forgotten history is bound to be repeated.

    • Barb says:

      Amen, it’s all a part of our history good or bad.

    • Martha Boggs says:

      I agree with you. My husband and I had ancestors on both sides! My husband’s ancestor served in Co. D, 40th regiment, Pennsylvania volunteers. My great grandfather died of a disease in a swamp in Louisiana. His mule was stolen by another soldier, a letter to his widow tells us. He had a few dollars pay coming.

    • Zoe Arta (Felix) Faircloth says:

      Amen! I have been told that I have family that fought on both sides. All are Americans who served their country. God bless all of our men and women in uniform and keep them safe.

  55. D. Michael Blank says:

    Visiting the Gettysburg battlefield is very moving for me. My second great grandfather James C. Farley was in the 18th Virginia under Garnett. at the front of Pickett’s charge. He was wounded and captured at the “angle” He was exchanged on 8/17/1863 at City Point. This and a great many other details and documents i was able to gather from Fold3. I have always had an acute interest in the civil war, these Fold3 insights have made the family military history a great more meaningful. Currently researching my uncle who was in the 101st on June 6th 1944. He is photographed with General Ike, hours before his deployment in France.

    • Patricia Farley says:

      My husband’s G-grandfather was also named James (H.) Farley – from PA (34th PA Volunteers). I’m sure you’ve run into the same walls on the Farley side…too many of them named James and Patrick!

  56. K.G.Watson says:

    My GGFather, James Story, was in the 11th Georgia, Anderson’s Brigade, Hood’s Division in their attack near Little and Big Roundtops on the Confederate right on 7/2/63. This area was described as the Devil’s Den; two Confederate Divisions were involved in this battle, McLaws and Hood. On 7/3 a Union calvary attack was on their right with maybe 100 riders involved; penetration but an inability to escape without casualties. The calvary could not match up with the Enfields of the Southerners.

  57. clifford Pearson jr. says:

    My Gt. Gt.Gt. Uncle was Wounded By a Shell (Probly Buford’s Horse Artillery) Serving With A.P Hill on the First day. He was Hit in the Hip Which Partially paralyzed his right side of his face. He Served The rest of the Battle As a Stretcher Bearer Thus also being Captured. He spent the rest of the war At Ft. Delaware. Part of his Face was Paralyzed the Rest of his life Due to the Hip Wound.

  58. My Grandfather, Joseph P Mayo of Tarboro, Edgecomb Co , NC was named after his Uncle Joseph Mayo of The Virginia 3rd under Pender.

  59. JAMES A GORDON says:

    5th great uncle General John Brown Gordon..His book Reminisses of General John Brown Gordon was awesome.It puts you there.I highly recommend it.

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      I envy you that Gen. Gordon was your collateral ancestor. As I researched the War during its sesquicentennial I learned something about him and came to respect him as a great leader in the CSA and afterward as a civilian, as Governor of Georgia. Be very proud!

    • K.G.Watson says:

      He was the best non-trained military man in the conflict, a LTG; one of the better fighters. He also was a Senator from Ga. Ft. Gordon, Augusta,Ga is named after him. In the Wilderness in May ’64, he could have rolled up the Union right if his Corps Cmdr had not been too timid(Ewell).His troops were NEVER accused of any abuse or illegal acts against POWs or civilians.The best Corps cmdr. when the conflict ended.

  60. Glen Alan Graham says:

    My great-grandfather Graham may have fought at Gettysburg. I’ve not found a record of his service in the Confederate army, but I do know that very early in the War William Robert (Bob) Graham volunteered and was assigned to Company D “Meriwether Volunteers” of the 13th Georgia Regiment, that this unit served briefly in western Virginia (in what is now West Va.), then returned to Georgia to help guard the coast, was made part of Gordon’s Brigade (famed as an elite unit of Georgians), which became part of the Army of Northern Virginia commanded by General Robert E. Lee. As I say, I haven’t seen records of his service after he volunteered, so although Co. D 13th Georgia was at Gettysburg I cannot declare with 100% certainty that Pvt. “Bob” Graham was there. The only thing further that I know about his Confederate service is that he was wounded in the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, on 12 May 1864, the heaviest day of fighting, and that his company fought on the east end of the “Mule Shoe” salient, opposite Yankee Gen. Burnside. My great-grandpa limped for the rest of his life (back in Georgia), because he got hit by two minie-balls in the left foot. I journeyed to Spotsylvania in May of 2014 to be at the place where he was wounded and stand near the exact spot on the exact sesquicentennial of his wounding. I have yet to visit Gettysburg but I’d certainly like to someday.

    Glen Alan Graham
    Chaplain, Camp 225 Sons of Confederate Veterans

    • Mr Graham ~
      A picnic-visit for me to Gettysburg over forty years ago – very near the monument to the Seventy-fifth Penna. Regiment – resulted in a hasty departure and another three hour’s drive home.
      Too many ghosts there.
      I hope this helps.
      Kind regards,

  61. Roy Christie says:

    Capt John Dewberry of th1 13th SC Vols,Greggs later McGown Brigade was wounded the 1st day at Gettysburg fighting dismounted cavalry behind a stone wall on Seminary Ridge. his .arm was amputated by Surg, Tazwell Tyler (son of President John Tyler) taken to Johnson Island, Lake Erie prison. Endured harsh winters and later exchanged due to empty sleeve on Feb 26 1865

    • K.G.Watson says:

      Damned good fighters. Gen. Lee on 4/1/63 said to BG McGowan when he noticed the SC infantry disorganized; he said,”General those boys of yours seem to be running like geese.” McGowan, ” General they just need a place to rally; they’ll be ok then.” Just an incident from day one. In reality, no unit fought harder or stayed longer than the S.C. troops.

    • Ross Howell says:

      My Great Great Grandfather William Jefferson McMakin was left at Gettysburg as a nurse, He was taken to Davids Island in New York as prisoner of war. Two months later he was back with the 38th Georgia Infantry. He was with Lee when he surrendered . I have noticed that a lot of people still don’t know that slavery was not the cause of the Civil War, it was over states rights, They also think that all white people in the south owned slaves. The fact is very few people had enough money to own one, In a time when the average income was a dollar a month and a slave brought $5,000. I had ancestors on both sides in the Civil War.

  62. My GGfather, Ben Braswell fought at Gettysburg. He was in Co.F 30th Inf. Regt.(NC)
    Gen. Ramseur’s Brigade, Gen. Rode’s Div.,Gen, Ewell’s corps.
    They engaged on July 1st after battleline had formed from initial contact with Buford’s calvary by 2 Div. of AP Hill’s corps. His regt. and brigade were in the attack by Early and Ewell’s corps that pushed the union forces back through Gettysburg on to Culps Hill. His unit was lightly engaged on the 2nd at Culps Hill. No engagement on the 3rd as major battle took place in center, i.e. Pickett’s Charge.
    He served the remainder of the war and was pardoned at Appomattox On 9 April 1865.

    • Henry Dillard says:

      Brig. Gen. Stephen Ramseur was first cousin of my g’grandmother, both from Lincolnton, NC. He later was promoted to Maj. Gen. and was killed while leading his division at Cedar Creek, VA in 1864.

    • Scot Hux says:

      Your ancestor Major General Ramsuer
      was one of the best generals in the Army of NVa
      He was congratulated by Lee and the Richmond press for saving the south
      at the battle of Spottsylvania Court House. Unlike a lot of the northern Generals in the rear Ramsuer could be seen with his men on horseback like a Lion that he was. The Richmond press usually had a habit of giving the Virginia regiments credit for battles
      They had little to no involvement in.
      It was at Chanceroville that Ramsuers men were behind a brigade that wouldn’t move forward ( rumored to this day to be the infamous Stonewall brigade, and Ramsuer asked Gen Jeb Stuart who had taken over for Jackson after he was wounded if he could advance literally over the brigade in front. Upon Stuart’s ok Ramsuers men
      Walked over the backs of this brigade
      Which Col Grimes( later Major General) wrote he stepped on the head of a high officer in the brigade
      and ground it in the dirt.
      As they moved over this brigade a call
      was heard from the men behind the earthworks ” youall will be back as fast as you left!)”
      Sure enough Rhodes men were almost wiped out and returned 50%
      Lighter than when they started. Ramsuer as well as some other Confederate Generals would never ask their men to go where they wouldn’t go with them. Ramsuer was
      “Gallant personified”, being wounded
      In battles in 62,63,64.
      Your ancestor was a great example of the grit of the Tar Heels.

    • RALPH says:

      PARDON him?

      Should have hung him…and all other Terrorists…who fought against USA & our Constitution. MAGA

  63. Former glover and probable pre-recruitment in Calbe-an-der-Saale, Germany, Friedrich David Erxleben was put into the Fortieth Pennsylvania Regiment of Volunteers (later the Seventy-fifth) on disambarking from his ship in October, 1861, aged thirty-two. Two promotions and several battles – including Freeman’s Ford where he was wounded – later, he was killed in action on the first day of action at Gettysburg, 1 July.
    I see his photo daily.
    His widow never remarried. His very young son was my Great-Grandfather.

    • All ~
      As a follow-up to the above story, they say the Civil War will never be forgotten?
      Twenty-five years ago I worked selling wine in Loudoun County, Virginia. Stopping at one of my accounts – and for a pulled pork sandwich – at the General Store in Aldee, a ‘good-‘ol-boy pushed himself away from his pick-up to come up and poke a finger at me, “We don’t like your kind here!”
      “My kind? What’s that?”
      “Yankee!” (Several years in England had tempered speech, I was wearing a tie and driving a Jensen Healy.)
      “Do I sound a Yankee?”
      “Yeah! No! Aww, man!” (I was headed for a fight I would lose.)
      Mother wit came to me, “What Regiment?”
      “What? Why, (I forget) Virginia!”
      “My Grand-father was in the Seventy-fifth Pennsylvania.”
      He flung a hand behind him, “Why, your Grand-daddy walked right down that road! That road!”
      “Yes, sir. Would you like a beer?”
      “Naw, I’ve had enough…”
      We parted with a handshake.

  64. Matthew Goodwin says:

    Gt. Gt. Gt. Grandfather James Rippy joined at 37 years old the Cleveland county “farmers unit” out of N.C. Fought at Gettysburg in Pickett’s Charge in the N.C. 37th infantry Co.D. I don’t know how he survived that, the subsequent battles, and ended up at Appomattox. Nothing short of a miracle.

    By the way, if you think our statues of real heros “belong in a museum” I would like you to consider how bad things are in this country now. We need real men back in control.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Well, we agree on one thing – we need a real man (or woman) in the White House, not the pathetic baboon that’s there now. If you think the world thinks otherwise, see the ultra-conservative Australian journalist Chris Uhlmann’s devastating assessment of the baboon’s performance on the world stage at the G-20 this weekend. Yes, we need real leaders, not clowns.

    • Jeff says:

      I am reading all of close relatives, family individual people that served for our country and family.
      I want to thank you to fought with our brothers and sisters that changed America, home of the free.

    • John Pierce says:

      OMG ! My man Please !!!
      Ok,ok,ok so you never called anyone any names !! Whewww

      There is medical treatment for your mental issues that if not treated will cause you to die .. com’on man lay off the cool-aid spew!
      My gosh you’d think by reading your rants and your almighty wisdom (but no name calling mind you) you’d see.
      I sure hope you don’t have any offspring !
      That isn’t name calling Dr.Hogan ! LOL

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Wow, starting with the fact that I admitted to resorting to name-calling – albeit as an unfortunate part of a longer, reasoned argument – that’s just a remarkable display of nonsense, even by your standards. I hope it makes you feel smarter. It shouldn’t, but whatever works for you…it’s a free country.

    • Jim Ketcham says:

      Stop it, both of you. You are cluttering up my inbox!

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Consider it stopped. Enough crazy for one lifetime. My apologies for giving in to it. Happy to get back to learning the stories of others whose ancestors also sacrificed for this country. I had many direct and indirect ancestors who fought in the War, including my GG grandfather’s brother Adolphus Macomber, a private in the 16th New York Infantry (the “Straw Hat Brigade”), who was killed as they were re-taking an artillery battery on the right flank of the Union line late in the day at the Battle of Gaines’ Mill in 1862. He was 18 years old. Others were in various NY and PA regiments, including a GG grandfather James Ashcraft who enlisted in the 207th PA Infantry at the age of 36, the father of 5 children, and was engaged in the heavy fighting around Richmond toward the end of the war. Thankfully he survived. I don’t know if any of my ancestors were engaged at Gettysburg, but I suspect some were.

    • Patricia Carlsob says:

      Yes, please stop!!! This is supposed to be about your (our) ancestors who fought st Gettysburg. NOT about the current or past president. Calling President Trump a baboon is disrespectful to the office. And — if anyone had called Predidebt Obama a baboon — that would have been deemed racism. So why do some oropje think it is okay to call a white nsn a baboon?

      As I used to tell my children when they got into these stupid, endless arguments, where neither was going to change the other’s mind —- KNOCK IT OFF, CHILDREN!!

    • Michael Hogan says:

      And calling Lincoln a traitor and a criminal who deserved to be assassinated is respectful to the office? There’s plenty of thin skin to go around, Patricia. Anyway, I agree, we’re back to Lincoln, Gettysburg and the Civil War, where we belong, rather than talking about treason and who started the war, which is how we got diverted to this unproductive nonsense in the first place.

  65. Roy Reel says:

    My 3rd great grandfather lost 3 sons to the civil war. The first died at Helena Arkansas Feb 27, 1863, second Aug 26, 1864 in Andersonville, GA, the 3rd March 1865 at Nashville, TN. I am sure we also had family from both sides at Gettysburg.

  66. Dave Russell says:

    I have a great uncle who was in the Minnesota 1st battalion as a major. He was wounded four different times in the Battle of Gettysburg. I don’t know much about him but he retired as a full Col. and later died of one of his wounds after the war. His name was Colonel Mark Downie and I have his sword on my wall.

  67. John Pierce says:

    Micheap Hogan,
    You are an Idiot !! LOL !!
    Get a job man ! and do us all a favor and get some medical help …

    • Michael Hogan says:

      And there it is. Eric T, the quintessential half-wit with a Phd in What my Daddy Told Me, who gets all of his history from the boys down at the fillin’ station; who doesn’t seem to know the difference between illegal human trafficking and institutionalized slavery; who can’t sort out the difference between a war started by one side to preserve and expand the institution of slavery (which it was) and the idea that the other side was willing from the start and for the first two years of the war to tolerate slavery in the Southern states but was not willing to accept the rebellious dissolution of the Union; who mindlessly repeats the fiction that the Constitution (and the Articles of Confederation before it) freely entered into by the states included a right of states to withdraw from the Union if the mood struck them to do so, blithely ignorant of the consensus among Constitutional scholars (and the lone Supreme Court ruling on the matter) that no such right exists in the Constitution, indeed just the opposite; who thinks he “completely understands both sides of the Civil War” (because he thinks he had thousands of family members who fought on both sides, none of whom he ever met even if it’s true), then proceeds to demonstrate that he understands exactly nothing about either side. It’s the Eric Ts of this country that make it so dangerous to toy with the symbols of such a tragic and heroic chapter in this Nation’s history. It’s the Eric Ts we have to thank for so much of the poison that has come to the surface in recent years and that threatens to destroy what so many people have fought and died to create and preserve. Many people whose ancestors fought on both sides of this War have commented so eloquently on this thread, it should not be disgraced by such nonsense.

    • Eric T says:

      Oh, I must have touched a nerve. So Michael you approve of men like Tecumseh Sherman to March across the South burning towns, cities and homes, murdering innocent men, women and children both white and slaves alike, destroying non-military targets. You believe and approve of War Crimes? With what you are saying, that is exactly what you support. I am far from an Idiot with no job. I work and pay taxes like a true American, but since you brought that up. Let me ask you a question, What race gets the majority of welfare, food stamps and child tax credits? Then estimate what race pays the most money in on taxes? Take your uneducated liberal views and hop the quickest jet to a third world country. I wouldn’t be criticizing a person whose family fought for and provided the very freedoms you’re exercising.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      The touched nerve appears to by yours, my friend. You’ll see I said nothing about whether or not you have a job or pay taxes. I said nothing about approving of the methods employed by either side in what was a brutal, total war. I also had ancestors who fought and died, not only in this war but in every conflict this country has ever fought in going back to King Philip’s War in the 1670s. And then there’s your gratuitous and racist rant about blacks and welfare. You know nothing about me yet presume many things, I simply dealt with the impoverished grasp of history you exhibited in your several posts that dishonor the sacrifice of so many ancestors honored elsewhere in this thread. You seem to be a very troubled man whose troubles are not helped by carrying around a lot of half-baked persecution myths about the past.

    • Eric T says:

      No, I can’t stand people who condemn an entire section of Americans but refuse to condemn the other side. Yes, you did say Get a Job and don’t deny it. I have a valid right to point out the welfare system and everything else. Ever since the Civil War most African Americans have used slavery as an excuse to obtain sympathy but the European people that were dragged from ships and forced into conflict is never mentioned. People like you want Confederate monuments removed or destroyed and Confederate Flags removed but what you and millions of others fail to realize is those monuments and flags are the only gravemarkers those soldiers have. We’re discussing Gettysburg but what most people don’t realize is that the hills located at the battlefield are mass graves that contain Union and Confederate soldiers all piled together. Removing and discarding the Confederate Flag and Monuments is the same as destroying or removing a headstone from your parents or your children. How would you feel if someone refused for your beloved ones to have a gravemarker or they desecrated it? Think about that long and hard before you respond.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      How instructive that you continue to insist that I said “get a job” when I clearly did not (I just went back and re-read my post to be sure, because I’m always prepared to admit when I’m wrong, a mindset you should seriously consider adopting). And no, removing the Confederate battle flag is not the same as removing a headstone from someone’s parents’ graves, yet a further illustration of your persecution complex. The graves of both Union and Confederare soldiers are preserved at the Gettysburg cemetery, as they should be. The racist stuff about welfare simply doesn’t belong in this discussion, even if you were correct (which you are largely not).

    • Eric T says:

      I’m not being racist but I am stating facts. Groups like the NAACP and other push an agenda to remove the Confederacy. Well the two go hand and hand, The Confederacy got blamed for slavery, then remove anything associated with oppression. This includes Black History Month, Harriet Tubman, The Underground Railroad, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Remove the Lincoln Monument, anything affiliated with, formed from or derived from the Civil War. Educate our children about what Lincoln really was and that was a Traitor who deserved execution.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      You really are a deeply disturbed and misinformed individual.

    • Eric T says:

      You seriously need to lookup all the crimes Lincoln committed. The research is there. As far as Obama and his ACA is an illegal law to begin which requires taxpayer approval before being implemented. Being attached to the IRS is Taxation without Representation which is the same thing as the Tea Tax imposed by King George which led to The Revolutionary War or was our Founding Fathers wrong as well for picking up arms against the Monarchy. Your liberal views will get you nowhere. Then you have Bengazi which led to The deaths of Americans and like he said the Buck Stopped With Him and then failed to take responsibility like the coward he is. Back to the Union Forces and you thinking they are so great and did the right thing. Why don’t you tell that to all the Native Americans that were slaughtered at the hands of Union Forces. Like the cowardly scum they were attacking before daybreak when the braves were away hunting. Sneaking in murdering innocent men, women, children, helpless elders, even raping and murdering pregnant women. They kill the wild horses, buffalo among other things to starve them and then constantly lie to their faces while stealing from them. Sounds like Liberal Democrats to me.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      The ACA was passed by Congress and the “illegal” provision you refer to was upheld by the Supreme Court. If you don’t like the government the Founders set up you’re welcome to suggest an alternative; good luck with that. If that’s a sample of the quality of your “research” I think we know where the rest of it leads. You really are so far out of touch with reality.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Oh yes, and how could I have forgotten to mention that sterling genius John Pierce, whose contribution to this honorable thread couldn’t seem to rise above a muddled, five-year-old schoolyard name-calling rant. Thanks for your contribution John, a gentleman and a scholar you are.

    • Jim Ketcham says:

      Stop it, both of you! You are cluttering up my inbox.

  68. Charles McGuire says:

    I’m a direct descendant of men who fought for the Confederacy. I’m glad the South lost that tragic conflict, for slavery is a scar that still haunts our Nation to this day. I do, however, think it’s important to point out that the South didn’t desire to take over the Union, just merely leave it. Both sides believed they had the Constitutional right to act as they did. Doesn’t make it any less horrific, but to act as if one side (or the other) was totally honorable in the argument doesn’t do justice to the times OR the politics of those days. Present politics should put the early 1800’s in a better perspective; rancor, disrespect, and pontificating is not a new concept.

    • Eric T says:

      Talking about Slavery look up Anthony Johnson a black colonist from 1600’s Virginia. An indentured servant that gained freedom, becambecame a tobacco farmer who had whites and blacks as slaves. The first legal case approving slavery was the John Casor Case, a black man who was an indentured servant to Anthony Johnson that worked off his indebtedness and gaining his freedom. After which Anthony Johnson sued John Casor in a Virginia court whereby sending John Casor back to Anthony Johnson into lifetime servitude aka SLAVERY.

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      I agree with you!

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      That is, I agree with Charles McGuire, about the both sides issue and that neither was totally honorable. I too have several direct ancestors who fought for the Confederacy (my great-grandpa from Georgia and 3 on my mother’s side from Tennessee). And one other who fought as a Yankee (from Maine). I do also agree with Eric T, about the fact that he cites of a Black who owned Black slaves and also White slaves.

  69. Linda Howell says:

    My Great Great Grandpa, William Murphy, was flag bearer of Co A, 2nd Mississippi Riflemen. On July 1, 1863, the first day of the battle of Gettysburg and after a tug of war with Francis Waller of 6th Wisconsin, Waller ripped the flag from Grandpa’s hands. Waller would receive the Medal of Honor and Grandpa was captured and went to Ft. Delaware. 30 years later, Grandpa went back to Gettysburg and the Railroad Cut were this incident happened, then went to the War Department in D.C. and saw his flag for the last time. He died in 1915 and had received word from the War Department that “his” flag was returned to Mississippi and would be there if he wanted to see it again. It eventually was on display at Beauvoir and with the threat of Katrina wiping out the Jefferson Davis Library, it was sent back to Jackson ….the state capital.

  70. I am a lady in her 70’S .I have read the coment, I am just now searching out my ancestor. I have traveled to many of the National parks and landmarks of that horrible war and it saddens my heart. In reading each story I could feel the pride in each and everyone. I thank each and everyone for sharing .

    • Eric T says:

      Thank you for your appreciation Ma’am, I only wish people would stop with the political correctness and using history to feed their own agendas. They fail to acknowledge true facts and preceding events that lead up to issues they have a problem with. Most people nowadays fail to take responsibility for their ancestors’ actions. They talk about Slavery like African Americans are the only ones who suffered but Jews, Scotish, Irish, and Romanians formerly Wacchia under Vlad the Impaler suffered slavery under the Turkish Sultan. Africans are a small segment of this issue but yet whites are still being enslaved in Africa today. So what about this issue. I don’t hear African Americans condemning their own former country for this atrocity.

    • Eric T says:

      I love how people criticize the Southern States for becoming the Confederacy. My point is this, the Southern States has every right under the Constitution to become a Sovereign Territory just like the 13 Colonies exercised against the British in the formation of our country during The Revolutionary War. The Colonials did not enact a draft but has volunteers just as the Confederacy did. It was the British as well as the Union Armies that forced people to fight for a cause that they did not believe in. People need to seriously research history before stating their opinions of ignorance.

  71. Dennis Simpson says:

    I had four paternal ancestors who fought for the Confederacy and four maternal ancestors who fought for the Union. Of the eight one died serving in the 8th Texas Rangers, CSA at the battle of Mill Creek, Limestone County, Alabama on May 9, 1862. Another died on April 1, 1865, from disease serving in the Bayous at Red River, Louisiana with Union General Nathaniel Banks. Three from Saratoga County, New York, one from Sunbury, Pennsylvania. Three from Alabama and one from Tennessee. Litterly hundreds of relatives fought in the war, my great-great-great-uncle served in the 4th Alabama Infantry, took part in the first battle of Manassas, and was standing within a few feet of Gen. Bee when he made his remark, “There stands Stonewall Jackson”, and saw the General fall from his horse after he was shot dead. He and four of his cousins all served at the Battle of Gettysburg those fateful days, they all survived, but one cousin suffered from battle wounds and became a prisoner of war, serving the rest of the war in a New York Hospital Prison Camp. One cousin tried in vain to bring Alabama back into the Union, later after the war, he was appointed a US Supreme Court Justice for the District of Columbia, appointed by President U.S. Grant. His name was David Campbell Humphreys.

  72. Eric T says:

    All total I had over 2,000 family members that fought in the Civil War over 1,000 Union and over 1,000 Confederate including my cousins Cole Younger and siblings and Jesse and Frank James. I completely understand both sides of the war but the simple fact is the Civil War was never about Slavery but rather Northern Greed looking for any reason to acquire the south’s iron ore to manufacture weapons for Europe. If Lincoln was so great and concerned about Slavery. Then why did he wait until 2 years after the war started to make slavery an issue but let us not forget that it was Lincoln himself who wanted to eliminate slaves altogether and ship them all back to Africa, but after the war he allowed northerners to remain to keep slaves but condemned the South for having them. Lincoln was a low-life individual.

  73. Geraldine Gregory Wong says:

    My GGrandfather James C. Doody was an original member of the Garabaldi Guard or the 39th New York Volunteers. He fought at Gettysburg and miraculously survived the 4 years of his enlistment. There is a monument to the Guard on the battlefield of Gettysburg. He was awarded his citizenship for his service to his country.

    • Eric T says:

      Here is a person talking about a monument dedicated to the 39th New York Volunteers. This monument and all other Union monuments need to be removed. This is discriminatory because these men fired upon and attacked fellow Americans. Remember it was the North that came South not the South going North. Understand historical facts people.

    • Geraldine Gregory Wong says:

      Its not who did what to who…The Civil War is over. Has been for a very long time. What did we as a nation learn from its carnage???? When I stood at the monument imagining how my GGrandfather must have felt standing in the face of death, I understood why it took him 20 years to be able to find a wife and raise a family. When I learned of the casualty count of the original 39th New York Volunteers and absorbed the fact that it was a miracle that he survived, it made me grateful to be alive. Had he been killed I would not exist and neither would my entire family. Lastly, history has shown that killing people even in the legalized killing of war has never resolved anything because history shows that retribution begets retribution.

  74. Eric T says:

    You need to also think about who is responsible for Racial Tensions in this nation today. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Nikki Haley and a host of others.

  75. Dennis Simpson says:

    Eric, it was the State of South Carolina who bombarded a Federal Fort located in the harbor outside Charleston, South Carolina. For this action, the call to arms was initiated by President Lincoln. Shortly after the call, several other states met at Montgomery, Alabama to formed what we know as the Confederate States of America. Many times I have been asked which side would I choose if I was forced to fight in that war. My heart saddens for my Southern Kinfolks, but I would have to say the Union because I love my country and preserving my nation is more important than any other reason. Slavery was never the original issue of the war. Lincoln himself pleaded for the Southern States to rejoin the Union and they could continue slavery. Many of my black relatives even enlisted and fought for the Confederacy, some died fighting in that war. And they served with distinction. I don’t know how politics got into this subject, but I am proud of our current President. I believe he will go down in History as the Greatest President since Abraham Lincoln. The last knucklehead moron made a mockery of our Country and should have been impeached a long time ago, even before his second term. Unfortunately for America, the Congress was ruled by the Democrats and he remained in power for eight long miserable years.

    • Eric T says:

      Hi Dennis,
      Actually the Federal troops were asked to leave South Carolina prior to secession but Lincoln gave the order for the Federal troops to occupy and hold the southern forts at all costs. This order violated Article 3 Section 3 of the U.S Constitution explaining Treason. This order granted Federal troops the authority to fire upon American citizens. The Federal troops originally occupied Fort Moultrie and then moved to Fort Sumter instead of obeying South Carolina’s wishes to leave the area to prevent bloodshed. South Carolina was even going to provide escort to avoid war. Instead, Fort Sumter became occupied by the Federal troops and when a cannon was accidently ignited by Federal troops it was Confederate soldiers that returned fire in response. When the troops at Fort Sumter were running seriously short of provisions and ammunition. Lincoln was notified and asked to remove the troops. He pretended to agree and the ships he sent were stopped by Confederate ships and discovered 20,000 reinforcements and supplies. The ships were immediately turned back. So Lincoln committed Treason and started the Civil War by his own actions and criminal behavior.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Eric, South Carolina was in rebellion, since no provision of the Constitution grants a state the right to secede (Texas v. White). South Carolina had no right to eject the US military and South Carolina committed rebellion when it chose to do so by force. Those are simply the facts of the matter. You may not like the fact that Lincoln refused to accept armed rebellion but that doesn’t make it treason – it makes you wrong. Lincoln was honoring his sacred pledge to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States. I know, in your fevered little mind you don’t agree with that, but over a hundred years of Constitutional scholarship says otherwise, and unless you can produce evidence of any particular expertise in Constitutional law, in going with them..

    • Michael Hogan says:

      It’s amazing actually how convoluted your thinking is. The people who actually commenced firing on Americans, South Carolina, are not the traitors, because they supposedly gave prior notice they were going to do so, despite having no such right, but Lincoln was a traitor because he authorized US forces to defend themselves against armed rebellion, as was his right and indeed his obligation according to the oath of office he took. That’s your argument? You need to do some serious soul-searching.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Well, you’re certainly entitled to your opinion Dennis. For a somewhat more informed and objective view, you may want to pull up the video of conservative political commentator Chris Uhlmann of Australia assessing the performance of the current occupant at this past weekend’s G-20 conference. He has taken our country to a low point we may never have reached before, but hey, it’s still early, maybe he’ll grow up and get a clue. As for Obama, let’s leave aside your failure to realize that Republicans controlled the House (where articles of impeachment are drafted and voted upon) for all but the first two years of his presidency – that aside, what exactly would you impeach him for? For not agreeing with you? Happily, the Founders didn’t consider a failure to agree with Dennis to be an impeachable offense. Get over it, man, Obama’s gone and the baboon is in charge. He (and you) own it now, and you folks had better figure it out before the whole enterpise goes up in smoke.

  76. John Pierce says:

    Micheal Hogan, your attempt to impress everyone with your choice of articulate wording of yoda wisdom is comical to say the least. LMAO !

    Hogan = a typical very proud communist hypocrite at large ! as well has a very deep depression of Obama no longer president and his wanna be wonder woman Hillary lost. And, oh yes also will never accept the election results.
    Hogan = CNN with special guest Yoda

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Not a coherent thought or cogent argument anywhere in that post, just the usual insane, incoherent babbling, senseless hatred and baseless name-calling and ad hominem attacks on anyone who doesn’t agree with you. Either you don’t know what a communist is or you don’t care – but to help you out, a person who disagrees with you is not therefore a communist. (A person who disagrees with you is probably therefore sane, but thankfully I don’t know you nor do you know me, so unlike you I won’t presume that to be the case.) I do apologize if all this “articulate” stuff is over your head – if you find it tough going, maybe you should stick to something you’re more comfortable with. I shudder to think of what that might be….

    • Steve Winiarski says:

      Your words……..
      Well, we agree on one thing – we need a real man (or woman) in the White House, not the pathetic baboon that’s there now. If you think the world thinks otherwise, see the ultra-conservative Australian journalist Chris Uhlmann’s devastating assessment of the baboon’s performance on the world stage at the G-20 this weekend. Yes, we need real leaders, not clowns.

      You also called someone an idiot with a phd…..

      WAKE UP… All you screaming liberals do is promote violence, carry out your violence, under the guise of your “Right to protest”… You are all insane, and still can’t get over that the criminal Clinton lost. What is it with your derangement syndrome… Do you drink from the same watering hole as all the idiots on TV?

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Let’s see, where do I begin? First, you assume I’m a liberal, which would come as a huge surprise to my liberal friends. I’m actually quite conservative on most issues. If you were actually paying attention to things outside of the bubble you apparently live in you’d realize that most of the traditional conservative political class agrees with my (and Chris Uhlmann’s) assessment of Trump. Uhlmann is a true conservative, and he nailed Trump’s performance beautifully. Second, you assume I was a fan of Hillary Clinton. Far from it. I’m not a fan of being lashed with a bullwhip either, but if given a choice between a bullwhippong and being shot in the head I know which one I’d choose. (Get it? Hillary was the bullwhipping and Trump was the shot in the head. I get the sense I need to spell it out for you.) Third, “all the idiots on TV” would presumably include Hannity and Co., which is presumably the watering hole from which you drink. I watch both, I choose to use my critical faculties and draw my own conclusions rather than be led by the nose by some unhinged nut job, from either end of the spectrum. Other than that, you really nailed it! Well done!

    • Steve Winiarski says:

      You completely avoided answering your “Name Calling” accusation… So typical, and for the record I don’t believe a word coming out of your leftist mouth. Do me a favor, crawl back into your hole, or MOVE… Go to another country if you hate it so much hear… Maybe you can take all of NY and California with you… MAGA !!!!!

    • Michael Hogan says:

      I did indeed refer to Trump as a pathetic baboon, but I accompanied that with evidence that he is – watch the video, if he doesn’t remind you of a pathetic baboon wandering the halls of the G-20 you’re not being honest with yourself. And yes, I did refer to Eric T as a “half-wit with a PhD in ….”, but again I proceeded to follow it up with a series of well-supported arguments. In other words, I wasn’t engaging in pointless incoherent name-calling, I was putting forth a reasoned argument and, admittedly, I spiced it up with a colorful description or two. Mea culpa. Far different from the unhinged poison and hatred spewed by John Pierce. It’s typical of these discussions with Trumpistas – the hatred just pours out of you, incoherent, untethered to reality, tinged with violent overtones, and then when someone pushes back and disagrees with you the immediate response is whine about hatred and violence. The formula is so consistent one would almost think you’re all reading off the same script…. You don’t want to believe I’m not a “leftie” because it would screw with your whole twisted world view, but if you don’t like my take on it then read any of the commentary in The National Review or listen to a few of the more objective of the right-wing radio hosts – they’ll tell you pretty much the same thing. And I’m not going anywhere – I love America and cherish the fact that I can disagree with someone without getting shot – or at least so far that’s been the case. Exchanges like this make one wonder and make one want to stay and fight even harder for civil public dialogue. You’re the one who seems to really, really dislike the 70% of Americans who feel the same way about Trump I do.

    • Eric T says:

      For what it is worth, I actually feel sorry for you. Because you really have no idea just how brainwashed you really are. Don’t worry there is hope out there. It is called INDIVIDUALIZED THINKING and I know someday you will make it out of DENSE FOREST…. I don’t blame you at all. You’re just the product of a very poor education. Private school for me because my parents loved me enough to do so. Just remember since I’m actually in the medical field please don’t come to the hospital. I would hate for my years of critical knowledge to interfere with your great intellect.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      And again with the pointless, hate-filled rant – no coherent response, just a stream of venom. I could regale you with the number of degrees I hold but it’s really beside the point. It doesn’t take a fancy education to know that (a) the ACA is the law of the land, including the affirmative decision by the Supreme Court, and (b) Trump has demonstrated over and over, to conservatives as well as to liberals, that he’s unfit to serve as President of the United States. But thanks for your concern – I will take it to heart. Or maybe not.

    • John Pierce says:

      You an Steve W. get out of your mommies basement and get a job.
      You both are hypocrites do nothing but go name calling rants, whipping ?

      Oh yes less we forget you are the chosen one ! LOL

    • Steve Winiarski says:

      Hey Hogan…

      Look in the mirror… Almost all of your posts involved name calling!!! Just like the idiots on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc etc….and of course most newspapers across this country, you think you can say something on a Monday, and then contradict that same statement on Tuesday, and think no one notices… Why don’t you move to North Korea, then send me a post card…

  77. Carol Barrick says:

    I know we are a country that allows free speech. However, I think it would be fair for the sponsors to read the comments first and then only put on the ones that relate to their invitation to share stories about ancestors. Please consider setting it up that way next time if possible.

  78. Mike Buell says:

    My 3rd Great Uncle John Buell Jr. was a private in Company D 147th New York Infantry, 1st Corp, 1st Division, 2nd Brigade. Of the 380 men who were mustered before the battle, he was one of the 79 men who survived.

  79. Ray Vasey says:

    My GGG Grandfather on my Mother’s side Thomas L. Yergey was in Co. D of the 6th PA Cavalry(Rush’s Lancers) was at the Battle of Gettysburg having survived a very heavy fight at Brandy Station a short time before. He was from Pottstown, PA and died in 1915. His obit said he was the oldest serving fireman in Montgomery County at the time.

  80. I wanted to be able to read the stories from both sties of this war, about the people who survived the fight of brother against brother. The stories of wemen who sent their men off to fight a battle for our freedom . I get enough of today’s happenings from the TV.I don’t have to read it here , I came to fold 3 to read about mine and your ancestors.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Amen to that. Thanks for the reminder. I get baited into exchanges with crazies too easily. The stories here are a reminder of what this country has endured to become the greatest nation on Earth – sacrifices by both sides.

  81. John Harmon says:

    Mr Hogan states these statues are not gone. They have been removed to museums. I am curious as to how he determined this. He obviously is not a citizen of New Orleans or he would know they are now sitting in a warehouse! Every generation makes mistakes and this country has made some bad ones. But that doesn’t change history. These monuments need to be left in place for all to remember this mistake of slavery. It cannot be changed but every generation, black and white needs to know about this time in our history. There should be no “rewriting” of history to suit any one group. It is what it is and we must learn from it.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      You might be surprised to hear that I largely agree with you – there’s little point in whitewashing history. It was my understanding the statues would be moved to an appropriate place in a museum or other setting – perhaps the warehouse situation is temporary, I hope not. That said, I have sympathy for those who take offense at something that looks like veneration. We should not be as dismissive of that concern as some in this thread have been – recognizing the agonizing sacrifices made by those who fought on both sides is essential, but we need to be cognizant of the fact that there is a line somewhere regarding veneration of the leaders of a rebellion in defense of slavery that we should not cross. I’m not sure NOLA has found that line in this case, but a line exists.

  82. Dennis Simpson says:

    I came across this website for the history of our nation, for the information on people who created a history so we living today may learn from both the good and the bad. I didn’t come in to talk about current political garbage but to call our elected President a babbling baboon or directed to a foreigner’s rants, I had to speak out in defense of the man who was overwhelmingly elected by the American public to be our President. A man who is doing so much more for our nation in just a few days after taking office, than any other President has done in years while in office. I would hope the monitors of this great website would take note and do a better job censoring posts that don’t pertain to the subject at hand. This was about the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War, Not about the G-20 meeting going on in Europe today.

  83. Some Confederate soldiers knew only that they were fighting against the enemy.

  84. Robert Page says:

    One should read “A VIEW OF THE CONSTITUTION” be William Rawle, LL. D 1825
    It will answer many questions about to reason so many men went to serve with their state. We are a Republic made of individual states. We are not as we have been taught a Democracy. It is sad that we still wax and wain over this point. Sad that we cannot see that we are one body. When you hurt one side you cannot get rid of them with out harming the other. Sad we see the same argument over and over. When are we going to learn from our history? Well the system is just. Now we need to make it fair for everyone. You must learn to respect all citizens of this country against anyone who thinks that we are the enemy.

  85. Ruth Lang says:

    My 2 times great grandfather – Wilhelm H. Noehren – fought at Gettysburg. He joined the 20th Indiana Infantry. He was 43 years old, a farmer, and had only immigrated from Germany 9 years earlier. He said he was fighting to help keep his new country together. Like most (I assume) other soldiers, he had no full understanding of all the details of why we were fighting, he just felt it was his duty. Wilhelm had been injured at Falmouth (dislocated shoulder and broken ribs), was on light duty with his unit until Chancellorsville. After Gettysburg he “contracted varicose veins” and spent the rest of his enlistment in hospital. While in hospital he contracted TB. After the war he went home to family and farm, and had 3 more children…one of whom was my great grandmother… but was never able to fully work his own farm again. I think from this we learn that all the little stories, the unimportant personal stories, they are the real legacy of this war – rather than the list of battles and generals.

  86. James Jobe says:

    James G Jobe

    My great grandfather, Captain Benjamin Alpheus Job, joined Company H of the 11th Pennsylvania and saw hard service from Bull Run to Cold Harbor with the Army of the Potomac. By the time of Gettysburg, he had gone from a private to first sergeant and was wounded by a shell fragment on July 3rd. His name is displayed on the Gettysburg monument for the Pennsylvania Volunteers. After his wound healed he resigned from the 11th Pennsylvania and joined the Army of the Potomac as a Captain and remained an infantry officer. He was wounded again at the Battle of Gaines Mill and lost his left eye when he was hit by a miniball and was taken prisoner but was released in a prisoner exchange in time to fight at Antietum. He was also wounded at Cold Harbor when a shell exploded on a breastworks of railroad ties and one of the ties flew through the air, hit him on the head and “knocked him senseless” according to his military record. Apparently, the he convinced his commander that he had regained his senses after one week and returned to duty in time to fight in the second Battle of the Wilderness and was present at Appomattox for Lee’s Surrender to Grant.

    When what we learn what the soldiers on both sides went through it makes me wonder how they could have lived through the Civil War. The Captain was 18 when he joined his regiment as a private and rose to the rank of Captain in the Army of the Potomac upon discharge in 1865 at age 22. After the hostilities ended he was promoted to “the rank of Major for gallant conduct on March 13, 1865 in the Battle of Wilderness, Virginia” He never wore the Oak Leaves of a Major saying he was just doing what he was supposed to do. When he returned home everyone called him “Captain” He lived in pain for the rest of his life but died a prosperous business man in 1919. I don’t know if we have the dedication that Americans had during the Civil War.

  87. For my part, I was surprised to learn about my fifth great Grand Uncle Frederick William Stowe (son of Harriet Beecher Stowe) was wounded in the head on the second day I believe. He survived the battle but never fought after that. According to what I have read about his life, he left on a ship for San Fransisco and died shortly after.

  88. Burkely says:

    I’ve read through this whole thread but only wish to focus on the historic and genealogical elements here. For those who wish to go back and forth with other users on here, go ahead. But I’m just here to make a comment.

    I had at least two ancestors, to my knowledge, who fought in the civil war on the side of the union. One joined a unit in Plainfield, MA, fighting north of New Orleans, in a six month tour. The other ancestor was drafted in New York and served on a gunboat south of Florida. To my knowledge, there are no ancestors in my family who fought for the Confederacy. But that isn’t a surprise since they mostly lived in New York and Massachusetts.

    I would also like to note that the Confederacy and Union both had drafts. There were volunteers on both sides but there were also draft riots in North and South. So the individual who said those in the South were volunteers was not quite right. Ordinary people on each side had their own personal reasons for serving on each side.

    I look forward to hearing other people tell stories of their families who participated in the civil war, which like the Revolutionary War, was brother against brother, family against family although each was about different issues which others can debate throughout this forum.

    • Lorraine says:


    • Michael Hogan says:

      And can we all agree that that goes for the people who chose to offer their unsolicited opinions on the removal of statues and Confederate battle flags? After all, that’s what got all of this started. Let’s all agree that this site is for honoring our war dead. Period. No political opinions, no editorials on current events, no commentary on how stupid or brainwashed or politically correct others are. It doesn’t belong here. NONE of it.

  89. Jim Dutridge says:

    Michael Hogan, just another sad Democrat.

  90. Jim Willette says:

    You don’t really appreciate a battle until you see the terrain. I arrived at the battle site at the center of the Union line. I looked down at the ground PIckett’s charge would cover, and thought it would be “like shooting fish in a barrel.” Later I drove around to the bottom of that slope and looked up. From that angle it looked like it might be possible to storm the heights. I could see why Pickett was tempted. I could also see, quite clearly, why it failed in such a spectacular fashion. Many brave men on both sides, worthy of being commented. The tour of Round Top was instructional too.

  91. Jo Ann Jonson says:

    My ancestor, Simon Knowles, fought for the Union Army. He was a private, and I would like to get more information about him.

  92. Sandra Eason says:

    My great grandfather, Tenney Walsh, fought in the Union army at the battle of Gettysburg and survived. That’s all I know about him. He was my mother’s grandfather.

  93. Walton Barnes says:

    As the descendant of Civil War soldiers who fought on both sides, perhaps my pained reaction to some of the chatter on this thread are compelling me to comment. Just a few points: (1) Robert E. Lee was an excellent commander, who by all accounts lent himself to healing wounds after the war, even though presented with the opportunity to resort to guerilla tactics, which would have merely prolonged a useless conflict. He never wrote much, but in a letter to his wife he acknowledged slavery’s difficulties, leaving one to believe (as did many of the southern gentry) that slavery was akin to having the “wolf by the ears”. It is undoubted that the economic institution of slavery and the worth of that “chattel” inventory was itself an economic driver in the south. These men on both sides, however, were a product of their times. The discrimination against those of African descent on both sides of Mason Dixon was rather evident; witness the conscription riots in New York.(2) The real scar on the south was Jim Crow and that dark period in southern history. But it also existed elsewhere but in a less lethal form and without the same publicity. (3)The true history lesson of the Civil War should be the way it ended. Two men, one with dignity and the burden of defeat and the other (Gen’l Grant) with as much compassion as he could offer. It was a solemn and historical event. It was the beginning of a healing process, but, alas, others opened new wounds. As we march into another time, we would be well served to examine not just facts, but our reactions. The problem is, however, that we don’t see things the way they are; rather we see things the way WE are. Referring to comments of others in pejorative fashion, insulting current leaders, straining to find analogy in current events and raising the level of emotion in discussing the lessons to be learned from this significant historical moment we call “The Civil War” can only cause the loss of lessons to be learned. History is a marvelous teacher;we just need to listen in class.

    • Ruth Kendall says:

      Amen and Amen!

    • Ione Davis says:

      As a descendant of many of those 4 million in captivity I don’t have the luxury of reflecting on how great a commander Robert E Lee was. He was first a slave owner and defender of that system that greatly enriched him and his family. Nonetheless I am definitely in favor of remembering the likes of Lee and Davis et al as long as you properly and fully define them for what they were — traitors and enslavers, defenders of an inherently violent system that systematically stripped 4 million plus human beings of their humanity.
      Once Louis Farrakhan praised Hitler as brilliant and wicked. The world rightly so condemned those words given Hitler’s taste for genocide and barbarism. So why is it acceptable to praise the brilliance of confederate traitors and enslavers? Do not black lives matter also?
      The confederates started the civil war to defend a cruel inhumane barbaric system for enriching themselves. As a result hundreds of thousands of lives were lost and wealth destroyed. So really how do you overlook that to narrowly focus on the brilliance of military decisions? Of course, in the end their greed and stupidity opened the door for my family to be emancipated and find life as a free people so maybe stupidity is not always a stupid thing.

    • Walton Barnes says:

      Iona Davis, I understand your point. While I still maintain that Jim Crow was far more devastating to race relations than the Civil War, it is understandable to react to the southern (and northern) slaveholder with negativity. However, you would be well served to temper your bitterness with a more clinical approach to history and why its study is necessary. You have apparently been inculcated with generational bitterness, perhaps exacerbated by personal experience. But to study history is a clinical exercise, which means forgoing being consumed by that bitterness. July 4th, 1863 was the turning point of the Civil War. The presumably invincible Gen’l Lee abandoned the field at Gettysburg and Gen’l Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg to Gen’l Grant. It was the beginning of the end. The real question (to be answered within yourself) is what significance this fateful day had in terms of future events and the lessons to be applied, if any. To do so will not degrade your lineage nor cause you disadvantage In spite of some of the inflammatory remarks made on this thread, it is more than fair to say that not all of Caucasian descent are culturally atavistic. Sometimes it’s beneficial to talk TO people and not AT them. I leave you with a couple of quotes that I have personally taken to heart:.”Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santyana) “Wisdom too often never comes and so one ought not to reject it, merely because it comes late.” (Felix Frankfurter, 1949).

  94. Dennis Simpson says:

    One day my cousin, Barney Eaton an Attorney whose office was located in Gulfport, Mississippi, took his father-in-law, my paternal great-great-uncle, Alexander Heath Simpson to his law office to meet a gentleman coming in from New York.

    As the story was told to me, by Barney’s son, James Eaton, the two men met, the gentleman from New York, whose name I have now forgotten, was introduced to my Uncle, even though my Uncle shook the gentleman’s hand, he refused to say anything to him. The meeting between the three men finally ended, and as the Gentleman from rose up to leave, my Uncles finally said, “hold on Sir, now I recognized you from the Battle of Gettysburg.” At first, I couldn’t remember where I saw you before until your turned your back on me.” The gentleman, asked, “why is that.” My Uncle remarked, “Because you were running away from me when I was trying to shoot you, but my gun got jammed up”. Both men got a good laugh, shook hands, talked about the battle, and became very good friends thereafter. Alexander H. Simpson enlisted May 1861, at Huntsville, Alabama, as a Private in Company F, 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment, Confederate States Army. He later transferred to Company G, 4th Alabama Calvary, CSA and served until the surrender in 1865. {Source: “Madison County, Alabama, 1907 Census of Confederate Records,” (Cullman, Al: The Gregath Company, 1982), Vol. 25, Page 35, No. 242}. {“Confederate Patriot Index, 1894,” (1976) Vol. 1, Page 392. United Daughters of the Confederacy, Tennessee Division. Tennessee State No. 28, Application of Mrs. Samuel Allen (Simpson) Wilkinson}.

  95. Seeking names of Swain’s serving in the Civil War. I believe there were Swain’s in both sides
    Very much appreciate assistance.
    Richard Koeppel Swain

  96. Gary Loyd says:

    Gary w. Loyd, Member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
    Did you know that the first slave owner was a black tobacco farmer ? Did you know the the North had more slaves than the South? Did you know that one of the largest slave ports was in Long Island, New York ? Did you know that the Civil War was not about freeing slaves? Did you know that the Northern General Ulysses S. Grant was a slave owner, and later became President of the United States, and is featured on the 50 dollar bill. The SCV is all about researching the truth.

    • Ione Davis says:

      Truth mixed in with lies is still a lie. Your approach to truth is akin to that of big tobacco companies using corrupt science to deny links between tobacco and cancer. Even if half of slave owners were black and half of slaves were white, slavery would still be brutal and inhumane. So what’s your point beyond issuing lies to convolute a serious condition that maimed and ruined the lives of millions?
      Who said the North was no complicit in slavery? New England shipping companies were big time slave traders. No one except confederate lovers are looking for ways to absolve and deny the evil of slavery and the wide spread involvement of much of the nation.
      Oh and BTW for the record I happen to know the names and locations of all my great grandparents former slavers, and guess what, not one was black but some were their daddies!!! So white men enslaved their own children. How does a man of any value do that? And Why aren’t the anti-abortionists appalled by that little dirty non secret?

    • Ione Davis says:

      And no, nobody would know “the first slave owner was a black tobacco farmer”‘since black history was never taught in this country until the establishment of Negro History Week. In that one week we had so much more positives to celebrate we didn’t have time for that obscure alleged alt-fact. Maybe the SCV will push for black history in the public schools. BTW one of my white cousins from slavery is a SCV post commander in Georgia. I’ll ask him about starting that as a campaign.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      The first slave owner was not a black tobacco farmer; the first court case decided in favor of a slave owner (in the 17th century) involved a black tobacco farmer. From the time of the first census (1790) through Emancipation “the North” never had more than a tiny fraction of the number of slaves held in “the South,” either per capita or in total; that’s an absurd claim. Northerners played an enormous and reprehensible role in the slave trade; that’s hardly new information. The Civil War was not started “to free slaves,” it was started by what was to become the Confederacy because they wanted to expand slavery into the new territories, but the Founders knew that slavery was always a going to be an issue that had to be decided eventually, and the Civil War decided it. The “fact” that U.S. Grant once owned one slave for less than a year, and freed him rather than sold him, is part of a much longer and more complicated story that has no bearing whatsoever on anything here. So in the end, (a) if the SCV are really interested in the truth, they should take the time to find out what the whole truth is, and (b) as many others have already said, NONE OF THIS BELONGS HERE. Take it someplace else. Preferably far, far away.

    • Ione Davis says:

      Thank you and amen!!!

    • James Jobe says:

      Did you know that for decades the states of the old confederacy have received more money from the Federal Government than they pay, while the states of the old north pay more to the Federal Government than they receive? So why are you still in rebellion with your “Stars and Bars” flags and singing Dixie? You lost the war and because of your loser attitude of looking backwards rather into a new future for your region we in the north are still having to give our tax dollars to the old Dixie Land!

      Y’all enjoy our money now!

      From a great grandson of two Pennsylvanians who served in the Army of the Potomac and fought at Gettysburg.
      J G Jobe

    • Simpson says:

      And you will recieve more from Social Security than you paid in….by far.

      Too much of all federal money comes not from “our tax dollars” but from irrational borrowing and that far beyond our means. We will all pay for this.

  97. brian says:

    And I thought that the war between the states was fought because the south wanted to charge lower import duties than the north!

    • Dwight Hartley says:

      You raise a valid point. The Morrill Act became law two days before President Buchanan left office. It basically raised duties on European imports by as much as 40%. The south, being primarily agricultural was much more dependent on items not produced in the south.
      However, this was but one example of the north provoking the war. Virginia was debating abolition a year before the war and did everything possible to avoid it. About that time John Brown funded by a group known as the special six out of Boston , left Kansas and came to Virginia.His radical abolishinest
      views and activities were well known.The raid on Harpers Ferry was intended to acquire arms from the federal armery there and put guns in the hands of slaves with which to kill their white masters and families.Fear spread throughout Virginia and any hope of preventing war was lost.
      The special six fled to Canada as they feared being hung for treason.
      A study of Lincoln quickly reveals that he was not the great emancipator that history now incorrectly portrays.His idea was to remove slaves to Latin America and the carribean islands.Not until 1863 did he emancipate the slaves. Up until that time tGeneral Lee was making fools of union commanders and Lincoln was desperate to break the back of southern labor.Union general McClellan threaten to resign if Lincoln freed the slaves and in fact did so on the day of emancipation. Interesting to note McClellan ran against Lincoln on the issue of ratifying the proclamation in 1864 and defeated Lincoln in New York.
      Remember that Lincoln freed only the slaves held in the cofederate states. many union generals including Grant owned slaves until 1865.Lee was made the administratior of a will which left him slaves to be kept for five years. Lee had no legal authority to sell the inheritance. As directed the slaves he inherited were freed, not sold, in 1862. Delaware ratified the emancipation in 1901. many historians believe the emancipation proclamation was a military strategy for Lincoln and something which he himself did not expect Congress to ratify.His assasination may have very well been responsible for its ratification.
      Today many facts leading up to the war have been
      altered by the victors who usually write the history.
      The truth is that many brave men lost their lives on both sides.Most would probably say they fought for their countries , families and way of life. very few soldiers on either side owned slaves and certainly did not forfeit their lives with the main issue of slavery being their primary motivation.
      General Sherman served as a pall bearer at the funeral of Robert E Lee. I think he would be appalled today to see statues of Lee and others being removed because they were the evil promoters of slavery.
      northern businessmen wanted the profits of the agricultural south.People such as the special six promoted it. The carpetbaggers sent to the south after the war delivered exactly that. Isn’t greed the main culprit in all wars?

    • Walton Barnes says:

      Very well stated. The States considered themselves separate entities held together only by the fragile glue of the Constitution. As the late Shelby Foote was fond of saying “Before the War you would say “The United States ARE; after the War one would say “The United States IS”. Unquestionably, the War strengthen the Federal Government. Unquestionably the Southern States resisted such centralized power and those thoughts fueled the zeal for the conflict. However, do note that most, if not all, Southern state in their articles of secession referred to slavery and its preservation as a cause for the separation.Gen’l Lee turned down command of the Union Forces because he could not bear the thought of raising his sword against his home state. His final decision came after Virginia seceded. It was really a complicated time.

  98. WEB says:

    This thread was fine until douchebag mike Hogan offered his unsolicited views having nothing to do with honoring the dead and making it all about racism. If hypersensitive daisies like mike are easily offended by a statue or a flag atop a capital or in a town square, I feel sorry for him, as I imagine he can hardly walk down the street without being offended by something. Can’t you see there are bigger problems in the world now to be offended about? Is your life experience so pristine that flags and statues are your cause? If so, you might get out of your neighborhood, look around, and broaden your worldview a little.

    And by the way, you need to double check your history. The Civil War was NOT over slavery. It was over states’ rights.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      I didn’t start it, and I’m not bothering the rest of the good folks on this site with it anymore, but obviously you seem unwilling to let it go. We’re here to honor our sacred dead from both sides of the conflict. Leave it alone.

    • Patricia M Carlson says:

      Why has the moderator allowed this post with that offensive name calling in the first sentence to remain on this blog? Is there a moderator?

    • Ione Davis says:

      Web lacks basic human compassion or sense. He is so numb and blind to the satanic cruelty and barbarism of slavery that more than 150 years later, he can’t even acknowledge that its abolition was a good thing for the enslaved as well as his enslaving ancestors. Whatever the lie his ancestors told themselves about why they were fighting their beloved country, the abolition of slavery also allowed white people the rare opportunity to reclaim their humanity and escape rotting in hell for eternity.
      No enslaved person cared whether Lincoln had a pure heart or intentions. The issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation overrode any and all such judgments. Freedom and citizenship were the primary concerns.
      I’ve seen many piercing critiques of Lincoln by scholars of all races but I’ve never heard tell of an enslaved person refusing emancipation even if they did think Lincoln was a hypocrite, a racist or whatever.
      To continue to argue that slavery was an insignificant side issue dwarfed by some mythic notion of state rights reveals a stark lack of humanity. Or as Jesus observed –a bad case of choking on gnats while swallowing camels.
      Please tell me how and why states rights is greater than human rights, the basic right to be protected and recognized as a human being. And oddly enough that very states rights centered government that confeds fought for ended up devouring the lives and property of the very people it claimed to champion
      As I reflect I too have relatives who died for the CSA — white uncles and cousins because white men imposed themselves into our African bloodline. I am decidedly NOT proud of them and could care less that they died fighting on the wrong side.

  99. Zoe Arta (Felix) says:

    Today was the first time I have seen this site and I thought it was all about history. I am a teacher. I did not realise that it was a place to argue opinions. I don’t think I will be back.

  100. Joel Wilcher says:

    My g-great grandfather George Calvin Wilcher was at Gettysburg with the Virginia 33rd Infantry Company G. I know that he went through several days of battles and engagements. He had survived to live a life of work, family and love in Braddock, Pa. He was a private upon entry and was later discharged a private upon completion of the war. He left on Nov 23. 1864 to go home because his young wife had died around that time. He was able to participate in several years of Decoration Day parades until his death in 1910. Rumor has it that he went to fight in the Indian Campaigns from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. So I have not been able to substantiate these information.

  101. Larry R says:

    There is a lot of hatred being expressed on this blog. Obviously, the battles of the Civil War did not resolve the issues that divided the Union. Individuals like Eric T seem to hate everything about the U.S.A. I hope that is not the case. Perhaps, right from the start flying the Confederate flag and erecting statues to Confederate leaders should have been banned as traitorous. Then 150 or so years later Eric T. might have been a happy, proud American with no tradition of the CSA to rally around. If we get rid of these hateful, divisive symbols now hopefully America will be a better place in another 100 years. A place where we can debate America’s past without encouraging hatred of one group or the other.

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      To Larry R: Symbols of the Confederacy are only hateful and divisive to people who don’t really know their history. Do you know that Yankee veterans (GAR) and Rebel vets (UCV) sometimes had joint reunions, shared war stories, respected one another and the Yanks and the Rebs actually shook hands (I’ve seen photos of this act of camaraderie). Those fellows who actually fought one another in that terrible War actually respected one another much more than their descendants are! They knew firsthand that there was valor and bravery on both sides, and those on the losing side were fighting not so some guys could keep their slaves but to defend their families and homes from an invading horde. Back to the symbols: they are dear to those of us who have Confederate ancestors — I have four direct ancestors who fought for the Confederacy (as well as several collateral ancestors), and one who fought as a Yankee. When I see a statue of a Rebel soldier in a courthouse square it reminds me of the valor of my ancestors (none of whom owned a slave), and of the terrible War in which either side was fighting for things they believed in. In the midst of the horror there were stirring examples of bravery, skill at combat and even incidents of the two sides taking a lull in the fighting to converse and exchange items across those lines. We need to keep the monuments and symbols of both sides, so that when our children and grandkids ask about them we can tell them the story of the most crucial event in the history of this country.

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      And furthermore, Larry R., concerning “traitorous”: none of the Confederate leaders were ever tried for treason, let alone convicted. General Lee, General Forrest and others actually in their farewells to their soldiers urged them to accept the South’s loss and become again good citizens of the USA. And Lee went on to be called to become the chief leader of a struggling college in Virginia; which institution was so grateful for his saving them that they added his name to the school’s name, becoming Washington and Lee University. You know those folks who fought one another got along much better in peacetime that followed. They accepted that a terrible War had been fought, that they were reunited as one country — and went on with their lives, which included having veteran reunions, and reminiscing about that past event at times. Would that their descendants could get along these generations later even half as well!

    • Simpson says:

      Spoken like a true Conquerer.

      You forget that these symbols, while not necessarily accepting of slavery today, were heroic to us. These were great men, heroic men who fought with every ounces courage they had. I remember as a young boy having to look at monuments in my home town of Federal leaders and units, erected in our “back yard”. Do you think those were heroic to us or the symbols of the Victor? The latter si the correct answer.

      Your forget Shelby Foote’s reminder that the Southerner’s question was “Whatch you doing down here?” What were you doing down here? The North just could not accept the idea that someone might not want to live under there dominance. Did becoming a US state include some promise on the penalty of death, that they would never, never, leave that larger body? I don’t think so. Why did secession require blood, and soo much of it? Was it not the Yankee north who less than 100 years earier do EXACTLY the same thing with England. Memories are short.

      The North still has much of that attitude even today, shown in the way they require all power to live and grow from Washington DC. Much of the world resents it too. Still.

    • Pat says:

      The Civil War was and still is apart of History of America. If people would live in the future instead of the past we would have a better and stronger America. It seems that some lives revolve around hatred and need to keep it alive to exist. It’s sad that people don’t have compassion for what others went through in days long ago. We can not change history because that’s what has brought us to today…good or bad. It’s like changing the bible and tearing out pages that people don’t like. Try dwelling on something positive and with good in your hearts instead of hatred and anger. I know we’re all human and the world is not perfect but there is good in it. Focus Americans on how to be kind..get rid of the evil that surrounds us.

    • Joel Wilcher says:

      My G-grandfather fought at Gettysburg with the 33rd Virginia Infantry. When he was mustered out on November 23, 1863 he moved to Braddock, Pa. He was assimilated into the community in Braddock with no anger, hard feelings or the like against people in the North. He worked in the community as a carpenter and construction worker help to construct the Edgar Thompson Steel Works in Braddock, he had a hauling business there and was a town constable. many survivors of the Civil War assimilated well into the communities they returned to or moved to following the horrible war. So why are some folks so angry today. We all have a blessed living in the wonderful country. We should be nappy for all that we have. Re-litigating the war serves no good purpose. We are who we are and we need to be proud to be Americans!

  102. Anne Leeds says:

    I have a great great grandfather and his 3 brothers all who fought for the Confederacy. 2 died and one wounded in 1963 at the Battle of Shiloh. They all enlisted into the 35th Infantry Regiment at McMinville Tennessee. The tradgeties that these men and their families went through is something I could never have imagined. I only discovered the 4 stories in a more complete fashion recently, but it explains why I have always loved the south. The north should have left them alone. The war would not have been
    commenced had there not been such a huge economic benefit for the north. Northern aggression was presented with the facade of equality. The south was about to gain a dominance of prosperity. However the northern ports did plenty of business with all the ships in the north that needed replenishing after crossing the northern seas, never refusing any slave ships.

    • I agree with your views. I too, had 5 brothers fight for South Carolina in various companies/regiments. One brother was wounded at Seven Pines and was killed at Point Lookout, Tennessee in 1863. Another brother died after being wounded twice. Three brothers survived.

      The amount of young and old men who died during the Civil War was approx. 620,000. This was absolutely devastating to our country and so very many families. The heinous conditions, as well as the subhuman treatment of the POWs within the prison camps on both sides, was responsible for a large percentage of deaths. It is still hard for me to believe that human beings behaved so deplorably.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • Doug says:

      Then you believe in Slavery and Blacks would be kept in this condition today. How small minded are you?

    • Marlie says:

      You have more useful info than the British had colonies prIeIW-W.

  103. Frank Baburek says:

    The civil war is part of American history whether you agree with it or not, period. To remove all symbols of it like it didn’t happen is ridiculous. All those that died, north and south, were Americans.

    • William McKenna says:

      I am from the north and could not agree with you more.

    • Carolyn Nicely Bradley says:

      Frank Baburek …. I agree ……and today there is still a carry over of division between south and north whether it be countrywide or county wide. In my own historic county in VA I witness this all the time. I have ancestors, we all have ancestors who were involved in the Civil War in some way. Everyone who lived in the US during that time was effected whether directly or indirectly. Its history, its a done deal, it can’t be changed or erased by removing symbols. We need reminders of the past so we don’t make the same mistakes in the present and future.

    • Jim Rupert says:

      Holy Crap! I am honored enough to visit the Battlefield and lay flowers on my GG Uncle’s gravestone. He was in NY’s 104th Rgmt. He died fighting for his side of the war. Am glad to be a descendant of his older Brother, Henry Guy Woodruff, my GG Grandfather. Wm Woodruff was only 19. I spent 26 yrs in today’s Army, etc., and wasn’t fighting for what he died for! Somalia! Come on!!

    • Doug says:

      NOT Treason is what we call people who try to over throw the USA.

    • I agree, Frank Baburek.
      The Union not only came and destroyed our Southern land but, their soldiers robbed and raped many of the Southern women.
      Yes, the Civil War was fought to set the slaves free. Do most of the African Americans today know that their Ancestors did not want to leave the families who owned them. They knew when they left they were going to mostly starve, have nowhere to sleep, have no money.
      Yes, I am from Georgia and my Ancestors owned slaves….the cook named “Big Frances” taught my mother to cook. I have a picture of her….she loved my mother.
      Her picture is in my family album. They all were not beaten.
      The Civil War IS part of our History and we can’t get rid of it. We shouldn’t get rid of it…..

    • Ione Davis says:

      I’m glad Cindy said “they weren’t ALL beaten” which means she acknowledges that many enslaved human beings, if not most, were beaten. Violence was the primary means of controlling millions of human beings as chattel, selling off their children, etc. How disingenuous.

      How does Cindy know that the enslaved did not want to leave their white masters? If that’s true who were the “contraband” that came out in tens of thousands to greet and connect with the Union armies? Who were the thousands who ran away before Emancipation? How egregiously stupid and insensitive and uninformed. How insulting.

      Please stop writing anything about my forebears. Here’s a true history lesson on them as confirmed by the Federal censuses and GA state tax books: My once enslaved ancestors worked hard when freedom came. In the 1870 census they had little or nothing as sharecroppers and laborers. But by 1880 they had accumulated small amounts of personal property and tools but no land. By 1890, nearly all were landowning farmers — land they bought with hard earned cash. One was an elected coroner (twice). And Unlike many of their former owners, my ancestors did not get free land grants or win land lotteries for stolen Native American property. The laws and cards were stacked against them, but they ran their own farms, donated land for schools for their children, built churches and other institutions. Those that could, registered to vote, some became politicians under most difficult conditions of violent white opposition.

      Surely some of the freedmen and woman died of starvation and lack. But many prospered even as the klan and other white supremacist groups led by defeated confeds (like Nathan Forest) attacked, lynched and sought to destroy the few little things the freedmen and their children managed to build.

      The argument or excuse many of you descendants have made for your slave owning and supporting-to-death confed fighting ancestors that the times they lived in didn’t allow these grown men to know that slavery was wrong is weak as water and insult to their supposed intelligence. The whole nation was in an uproar about the immorality of slavery. Church denominations split. Certain newspapers and speakers were banned from the South. Laws were passed to specifically regulate slavery. Congress was in constant uproar over slavery. Your ancestors had to mighty obtuse if not dumb to have missed all this.

      What’s clear to me is that many of you are not convinced even today that slavery or racism is wrong. You don’t give Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey et al a pass to fight for their freedom and human rights since their revolts led to the death of a few slave owning whites. You don’t extol John Brown and his band. You hold their feet to the fire that murder is wrong and you live by “slaves obey your masters” rather than Open up your Bibles wide and read the entire New Testament. You reject the enslaveds’ right to fight for their human rights and freedom but extol your confed ancestors as mythic defenders of “states’ rights” even if that quest leads to destruction of the nation and continuance of the impoverishment of and denial of human rights, freedom and citizen of four million.

      Cindy, let your spirit grow up so you can stop writing dumb stuff about the once enslaved. You don’t have a clue as to the intense pain, loss and the struggle, the losses and small victories my ancestors had. Just stop. On behalf of my many many ancestors who suffered their entire lifetimes under that raw system, I say thank you for stop writing stupid stuff about their lives.

    • Ione, I never meant to insult you or anyone else.
      I am have read a lot about the Civil War and about Slavery.
      My only question is why do you have to insult me just because you don’t agree with me. I see it one way and you see it another way. Through reading and studying I have seen that ALL slaves WERE NOT treated badly.
      If you can’t speak nicely please refrain from commenting back to me!

    • Ione Davis says:

      Cindy, you deeply insulted my ancestors hence, my response will always be intense. Have you ever read any “slave narratives” like the autobiography of Frederick Douglass or Incidences in the Life of a Slave Girl, or those recorded by the WPA in the 1930’s? The fact that the woman “Francis” enslaved by your ancestors had human compassion and showed her humanity by loving your mother DESPITE not because of the inhumane and ungodly condition she was held in does not absolve slavery or the slave owners. it shows the depth of spirit of Francis.

      That’s the point I’m trying to shock you into. The enslaved shared their humanity with their oppressors not because they were enthralled by white people but because of the depth of their humanity. They chose to love and not hate in the midst of oppression. Kind of like the three Hebrew boys choosing to go into a furnace to preserve their devotion to God rather than bow down to Baal (hatred) and go free.

      That’s what I meant by let your spirit grow up — look and reflect more deeply on the situation Francis(and all enslaved persons) was in – her children, her husband (if she had any) could be sold away from her at anytime if your great grandparents so chose. There would be nothing Francis could say or do. She nor her children could be educated. Is that acceptable to you or is that not barbaric?

      Finally, let me share what I recently learned about my great great grandmother, Minerva. I knew she was forced to bear 4 children for her slave owner. Neither she nor those children ever had to work in the fields, and certainly were not beaten, But what I didn’t know until recently was the utter barbarism Grandma Minerva suffered as a child. I learned this from reading an 1850 GA State Supreme Court case as two slave owners battled for ownership of her and “her increase.”

      Grandma Minerva was born on a plantation in VA in 1811. When her owner, Thomas Cleaton, died in 1818, she was given to his daughter who lived in GA. At age 7, Minerva was stripped from her parents, her siblings and sent hundreds of miles away with strangers to be a little nurse maid to this white woman. No, the Rainey’s didn’t beat her but did they have to? She was already in shell shock, suffering from PTSD by being separated from her mother and there were no adult black women on the Rainey farm.

      Perhaps, maybe Francis loved your mother; she certainly treated her well, and no one ever thought about stripping your mama from her mother as a child. But who loved my little great great grandmother? Who held this little 7-year old as she cried each night for her mama? Certainly not the white woman who stole her from her mother!!!

      This is why I said STOP insulting the once enslaved. These are the stories I heard from my grandparents, not the Walt Disney “Song of the South” myths and lies about kindly ole lazy slaves who just adored their massas.

      I rise up as a guardian of my the integrity of my ancestors because They (and we their descendants) have gone through enough violence, racial put downs and lies, and losses for one millennium. You don’t need to perpetuate anymore of those lies. That doesn’t serve you well. Since Francis is important to you, try to think about how she must have felt deep down inside knowing that on any day for any reason one of her family members could be sold off.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      I would hope we can tone this down. Ione’s summary of the facts of slavery are indisputable – the historical record is clear that most Americans of the time, even many slave owners, knew and acknowledged that slavery was immoral, and it is clear that the vast majority of the 4 million Southern slaves lived in a state of abject misery and fear and seized on the first chance to run. The historical record is also clear that Northerners’ hands were anything but clean when it came to slavery, something Lincoln explicitly acknowledged in his Second Inaugural Address. Those are not a “views,” but some of the other things that have been said here (on both sides) are views. For instance, I tend to agree with the view that the vast majority of those who fought for the Confederacy did so in the belief they were fighting to protect their homes and their families, with not a thought given to slavery or “states’ rights,” and that as is so often the case throughout history those poor brave men were betrayed by a small wealthy elite who sought war to further their own financial interests, but that is very much a view and not based on extensive research. Nothing wrong with expressing views as far as it goes. The thing is, it would be nice if we can express our views in a civil fashion, and if one’s grasp of the historical record is in someone else’s opinion (with evidence to provide) incorrect, it is possible to offer that correction without impugning that person’s character or motivations. “History” is a slippery subject because we will never fully grasp either all the facts of the matter at the time nor, when we’re going back far enough, the way people understood those facts, but at least we can work with the facts that we have without cherry-picking, in a never-ending effort to learn the lessons of the past.

    • Evie W says:

      Thank you, Frank!

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      Frank, you state the truth plain and simple. Thank you!

  104. Eual D. Blansett, Jr. says:

    General Robert E. Lee was one of the greatest generals in American history. However, the Battle of Gettysburg was not one of his finest moments. His troops initially forced his hand when they blindly stumbled into the vanguard of the Union army. I have a collateral ancestor (Thomas Blansett) who was in a Union cavalry unit that bore the brunt of the initial Confederate charges. He was killed and his name, along with several others, are on an obelisk on a hill just outside of Gettysburg. General Lee, after two days of battle, had been fought to a standstill. There was little, if any, chance of a victory on the third day. General Longstreet, Lee’s trust aide, urged Lee to retreat to fight another day, but Lee rejected Longstreet’s advice and Lee sent 10,000 troops to certain death. It was the beginning of the end for the South. All that being said, the Civil War or the War Between The States should never have happened. It was a war that was completely avoidable and it is the greatest example in our history of allowing extremists to take over the reins of government and determine policy. Legally, four states should have been allowed to withdraw from the Union because they were part of the original compact. These states were Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The rest of the Southern States were created from land ceded to the United States, with the exception of Texas, who joined the Union voluntarily. The states created from federal lands had no legal right to secede. The Union was wrong for invading Virginia. However, General Beauregard should never have given the Union an excuse for the invasion by firing on Fort Sumter. Southern arrogance gave Lincoln a perfect excuse for escalating the war and the South did not have the men or the resources to win the war. However, do not ever say that the South fought the war to preserve slavery. The average Southern soldier had no interest in the issue. They fought with courage and fortitude over the issue of state’s rights and the protection of family and property. Several books have been written to document this fact. I have done my own research because my direct ancestors were Southerners. In every county where my family lived, they owned no slaves and neither did 93% of their neighbors. This is probably the same story for most Southerners outside of the piedmont areas. A large minority of Southerners voted to remain in the Union. However, when push came to shove, they fought bravely against the Union invader. After the repressive Reconstruction era was over, it was fitting and proper for communities to erect statutes to those soldiers who risked their lives for their states and for their families. It is irresponsible to ever attempt to erase any part of our history. It is all a part of who we are. We need to learn from the past and do everything we can not to repeat the worst parts of it. However, acting like ISIS in an attempt to eradicate the sacrifices of the past is reprehensible, at best. The county in Alabama where my people were in 1861 voted to stay in the Union because of the number of veterans of military service and their families who lived there. However, when I visited the same county and talked to distant cousins, it was as if the entire county were adamantly pro-Southern in their sympathies. We need to learn from the past and not create any more circumstances where extremists drag us into another conflict that can be easily avoided by backing off issues that cause animosity and that means both sides. Robert E. Lee was a soldier, but he was a man of peace. He wanted desperately to avoided a clash that would harm his beloved Virginia. But, he was forced to make choices beyond his control. Let us honor his commitment to peace and not make the same mistakes that forced him to become a man of war.

    • Walton Barnes says:

      Eual D. Blansett, Jr.: We should consider your potent point… “allowing extremists to take over the reins of government and determine policy.” Bravo. You bring to mind words in Washington’s Farewell Address (in part), viz:: “However combinations or associations may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which lifted them to unjust dominion.” Thank you for this observation.

    • Rae says:

      Well said n written. Your insight is very true. They were all Americans and trying to save their heritage and way of life. No one now has the right to try to tear down History or remove it! We learn by the errors of others. To destroy only means they have not learned and are to blind to listen.

    • Jordan fogal says:

      Amen don’t try to divide us even more by destroying history. We were defeated. Carpetbaggers destroyed what was left. Let our soldiers and brace men Rest In Peace.

    • Linnith Arnold says:

      Thank you for explaining this accurately. Many of my ancestors were born and raised in Winston County Alabama. Others came from other counties of North Alabama and fought and died for the cause. They were not fighting FOR slavery as most were very poor farmers with large families trying to survive. They did not own slaves.
      I am not as knowledgeable as you but I love all the statues and monuments in memory of Conferderates who fought and died. They represent our history. They represent my history. If these monuments are removed or destroyed, then what monuments are next? What other controversial history will be erased? If Confederate monuments can be removed, then any and all others are at risk. History is just that and should always be remembered, because the old saying of “if you don’t remember history, you are bound to repeat it” is so true! I have visited Gettysburg and was in tears at the sadness and enormity of loss of life on both sides. I would never ask that Union monuments be removed or that the history of the battles that the Union lost be changed, or that the horrible conditions of prisons on both sides be erased. We need to remember that horror in order to be more human and humane in the future.
      Most people don’t seem to have an interest in learning ALL the details of history that led to succession and eventual War Between the States. It is easier to just lay the blame on slavery.

    • Walton Barnes says:

      Linnith Arnold: Were your ancestors part of the 15th or 47th Alabama? Those Alabama men put up a heck of a fight trying to take Little Roundtop from Joshua Chamberlain, as did the 4th and 15th Texas Regiments. I’m no expert, but I gather the Alabamans took the brunt of the action. They were most likely exhausted, hungry and thirsty, but try they did.Colonel Chamberlain(later given a brevet promotion to General ) hung tight, however, with the 20th Maine. Some say he received too much credit for the defense, but that’s another story. Had the Confederates taken Little Roundtop, the outcome of the battle may have been different.

  105. Bill says:

    Can you say whooey? Really Anne? The North should’ve left the South alone ?
    Maybe the South should’ve done away with slavery. I’m tired of hearing revisionist history. The war was fought over slavery. Pure and simple. Basing it on the economics of slavery is just being obtuse.
    Go away.

    • Gene says:

      Hey Bill, you know NOTHING about the Civil War except what you have read & studied, just as WE do!! Dont make yourself Stupid…the war was about MANY things. Slavery was only a big part of it. The war was about different peoples opinion on a large number of issues. Slavery was just the most common issue that everyone understood. Maybe you are making a little much out of nothing!! And, I will bet that you are NOT a Southerner!!!

    • Ed.henry says:

      You have read the wrong history books. I beleave that with your attitude, if
      you were in charge you would have the reminents of DACHAU destroyed

    • Simpson says:


      You are not tired of revisionist history, you have swallowed it all and with relish. Without thinking with depth you think you have grasped the ‘true’ history, pure and simple.

      By the way, it is NEVER pure and simple.

  106. Richard H. Young says:

    A. F. Young, 2nd Lt. Company G, 14th South Carolina Infantry commanded by A. P. Hill.

    • Ralph says:

      Aha — yet ANOTHER named Terrorist who fought with the insurgency to overthrow our Country.

      God was on the side of right-thinking Unionists who fought to preserve the Constitution.

      God bless the USA

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      Ralph, the military leader that you call a ‘Terrorist” was NOT trying to overthrow a country. Nor were Gen. Lee, Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson or others. As Pres. Jeff Davis said, “All we want is to be left alone” to follow our own understanding of the documents the Founders wrote. It’s actually incorrect to label the conflict of 1861-65 the “Civil War” because such a war is defined as two opposing forces fighting to get control of the same government — as in the English Civil War of the 1600s — while the Confederacy had no plans to overthrow Lincoln’s government in DC or to annex any of the Yankee states.

      As for “Terrorist”? How on Earth could that be? The Confederates who invaded Pennsylvania leading up to their defeat at Gettysburg were strictly ordered by Gen. Lee not to raid farms, to pay the owners for items they might take and to not molest Yankee civilians. By contrast, firebug Sherman (as well as Sheridan and Grant) practiced “total warfare”, where there was no difference in cruel treatment of combatants and cruel treatment of civilians including women (who were raped), the elderly (whose homes went up in flames) and children (who were left helpless orphans). After torching Atlanta Sherman commanded a scorched earth policy in Georgia and then the Carolinas. Sheridan did the same in the Shenandoah, and Grant to a lesser degree in northern and northeastern parts of Virginia.

      To my knowledge (and I did intensive research during the sesquicentennial of the War) no Yankee was left homeless with all his possessions burned to ashes, but Sherman, Sheridan and Grant’s minions left thousands of Southerners destitute and homeless, often in the face of oncoming winter.

      So then, WHO were the REAL Terrorists? If we’re talking about removing statues and names from schools, streets or counties, let us begin with the three Terrorists I’ve named from Yankee leadership! But the better road to the future will be to recognize that neither side was all good or all bad but a mixture, and that leaders on both sides can for various reasons be considered heroes. Let the monuments and statues stand and the place names remain, so our grandchildren will ask about them, learn of the most important event in our nation’s history, and not repeat the same mistakes!

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Again, let’s tone it down. Talk of “terrorists” is way out of line, in either direction. As Sherman said and as US military leaders have practiced ever since, “war is hell.” We dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, rightly or wrongly, with the intention of saving lives that would have been lost in a protracted and pointless extension of the Pacific war – exactly the same calculation Sherman and Grant made. Lee may well have given very genteel instructions to his troops, but then he was trying to convince Northerners to abandon their campaign to preserve the Union. Jeff Davis may well have said “We want to be left alone,” but unilateral secession was not a right states had under the Constitution, Lincoln was bound by his oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and he was deeply devoted to the United States as a nation ready to take its place among the great nations of the world. Let’s drop the over-heated rhetoric and accept the fact that this was war, and it was fought in the midst of a most complex political and moral environment that we will probably never completely understand. Nobody was a terrorist, and nobody had clean hands.

  107. Alfred Smith says:

    I should admit that I have no horse in this race. I have two great grandfathers and one great great grandfather who fought for the Confederacy and one great grandfather who fought for the Union. I can’t convince myself that there was a winner. My Union soldier great grandfather lost one of his brothers. One of my wife’s ancestor families lost all the male members except for one son who was in the army at only 16 when the war ended. They fought for both sides, they died on both sides, I can’t see that there was a winner. Regardless of why the war was fought, the only good that came of it was the end of slavery.

    • Ed.henry says:

      You are right aboutt he end of slavery.Also we should not over look the facts about the ancestors of those slaves having the privliage of getting a Harvard education..I dont know about the number of slaves that returned to Africa?/

  108. Jordan fogal says:

    Yes I have 5 Hubbard relations that were there and with Lee when he surrendered.Fikes relatives that never returned and gggg grand father Rufus l. Lucas captured at battle of wilderness and sent to Elmira prison in ny. My great uncle wrote the book the 44th Alabama infantry.charles Boyd.

  109. I also had family on both sides during the Civil War. My 3 x Great Grandfather, Charles Gray, served in the 78th NY Volunteers under Brig. Gen. George S. Greene and survived. I also had ancestors who were slave owners and others who were Quakers who helped on the Underground Railroad to freedom for those escaping slavery. Perhaps I am endowed with an overactive imagination or a heightened sense of empathy, but I can immerse myself in the history to a point where I can understand and put myself in the shoes of both sides. With life as it was THEN, the thought, belief systems and understandings of that era, decisions were made that we would not make today, with the hindsight of what we NOW believe and understand. The same can be said throughout history…but this is OUR history…an American story of pain and division and hardship and intolerance that tore us apart. The best thing we can do at this point is to attempt to understand the past, take lessons from it, and leave animosity behind us in the dust and in the graves…where it belongs.

  110. Ruth says:

    So very disappointed in most all of you on this blog! It was set up so we could honor those of our ancestors who fought and died in a savage and cruel war. It was not supposed to be a place to highlight the ignorance and incivility of many of you! What my mother taught me when I was a child has served me well in life, and it would do some of you well to learn – “If you haven’t anything nice to say, keep quiet and think.”

  111. Ron Trodd says:

    I am English, I hope who ever reads this is not offended by an Englishman’s comments. I have spent many months over the years working in Colorado, I love the country there. However during a tour in the east my greatest memory is visiting Gettysburg. We spent a day there and I will always remember the tours we took. It is the memorials to the regiments on both sides that left an everlasting memory. We also visited Richmond and was impressed by all the statues there.
    In London there are many statues to people for all sorts of reasons. They all have contributed to history, some dying for their beliefs they held at the time. Some people do not like a statue to a person whose beliefs do no coincide with modern thinking and would have them removed. Just like both sides of your civil war people with ‘modern thinking’ want to remove certain statues and memorials. I say ‘no’, they are part of history and should remain.
    Please forgive an outsider’s comments.

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      Thank you, Ron, for your observations from an impartial “outsider”. You English have a much calmer, more even temper perhaps, than do some of us on this side of the “Big Pond”. I hope that some of those who have posted emotional and one-sided views here will read and take to heart what you wrote. Thanks again!

    • Patricia M Carlson says:

      Thank you, Ron, for your comment. Glen Alan Graham took the words out of my mouth –I couldn’t have said it better.

    • Simpson says:

      No Ron, I thank you for them.

  112. Kevin says:

    My dad, who was a combat Marine Corps veteran wounded at Guadalcanal researched our family ancestry and was humbled by finding out that his great grandfather paid a substitute a $ 300 enlistment fee (apparently legal in the north) in 1863 to take his place when he was drafted in Chicago. Dad never lived that one down……….

    • Patricia M Carlson says:

      Kevin, where did you find that information about paying a substitute? I have been told that my great-great grandfather did the same in northwestern Missouri. But I don’t know where to look for proof. I would think there would be records, but haven’t found any yet.

    • Kerry Roberts says:

      Great point Kevin. A little known fact, but as true as true can be. Southern “gentry” often pd their fee in gold or silver and this led to a major indiscretion in the southern society’s representation in the Confederate Army. Vast majority of Confederate soldiers did not own slaves, they were fighting for States Rights, better known in those days as Southern Pride!!

    • Walton Barnes says:

      Maybe that’s why it was called “A rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight”. I think it was Shelby Foote who recounted the story of the southern prisoner being interrogated by his Union captors. Supposedly the prisoner was asked why he fought for the Confederacy and his response was “Because your’e here.”

  113. John L. Sullivan says:

    So many of us grew up with history books written by the “winner” of the fracas, call it what you want, back in the early 1860’s.

    Reading then contemporary records of both the Union and Confederate leadership place a little different twist on the occurrences.

    Personally, I read original papers from the the time preceding the American Revolution supporting the assertion that we are The United “States” of America, not some monolithic Power exerting its will on its subjects. And, that the fracas was the result of economic and political usurpation of power by the Union.

    John L.

  114. Stella Allen Pettigrew says:

    My husband, Albert H. Pettigrew sr was a descendant of
    General James Johnson Pettigrew. The military runs in the make-up of this family. His two sons and a daughter were in the Military. I am proud of them all. I was in the Air Force when we married. My Father, two brothers and a sister were also military. It has been a good life.

  115. Larry R says:

    In the 1850s would there have been many who would have believed that in the following decade Americans would slaughter other Americans in the 100s of thousands? I had at least one great, great grandfather who was slain in the Civil War fighting for Iowa in the Vicksburg campaign. I would gladly forgo all statues and other memorials in exchange for civility between Americans today. Then my ancestor’s death would not have been in vain. Unfortunately, today the hatred is seemingly worse than it has ever been.
    I bet there are many Americans like me who fear that another bloodbath is imminent – I say within 5 years. Unlike in the 1850s, I think that people today see the inevitability of another bloody civil war between red and blue communities. The hatred, disrespect, and contempt are just incredible as is the lethality of modern weapons. This time millions could die. I look forward to seeing the lovely statues that will be erected! [If you can’t tell, that is what is known as sarcasm.]
    The other side (regardless of which side you are on) are a bunch of rabid dogs foaming at the mouth! Don’t you think that the Confederate flag has prolonged and exacerbated the hatred for far too long?
    However, I am convinced that more talk is pointless. We just don’t listen to each other. The other side makes points that to me are irrelevant and I am sure that the other side feels the same way about me. Trump’s Russian comrades are in the Kremlin laughing their heads off at us ALL.

    • Larry R says:

      Oh! I meant to add: How many guns do each of us own? And who do we expect to shoot with those guns? Other Americans, right!

  116. Caroline Vetterling says:

    Thanks to all of those who have shared personal histories and have expanded our understanding of this long-ago time. The old adage that if we do not understand history we are condemned to repeat it, rings true to me and I appreciate those who are trying to enhance understanding. I think it was one of our founding fathers that said no question was so dangerous that it could not be discussed – amen. I too had ancestors on both sides of the civil war, and, in fact, I had ancestors on both sides of the revolutionary war. Hopefully I am learning from each of their stories.

  117. Ron Trodd says:

    Hello everyone, it is that interfering Englishman again. I wrote a comment regarding statues and memorials a day or so ago. I have been reading older comments and ranting concerning the Civil War. I am amazed at the deep feelings that still exist. It is true that the victors of any conflict get to write (in some cases rewrite history) or slant history in their favour. Is it the same in the USA as in UK that history is not taught in schools. I find in the UK that most people under 30 have no idea of history and that is in a country where ever you walk you trip over history!
    I have never fully understood what actually happened to start the American Civil War. It wasn’t slavery, although that was an issue in forming new states. What was the reason that the Union used to start a conflict when States wanted to leave the Union? Did they not have the right to leave?
    Back to the memorials and statues, I have read previous comments liking some statues being like Hitler, come on???
    In London there is a statue outside the Houses of Parliament to Oliver Cromwell who closed down Parliament for five years and reigned as Lord Protector (Dictator). When the Royalist returned they dug him up and beheaded his corpse!
    Nearby is a statue of Richard I, as king he spent no more than 6 months in England, a statue???? In Trafalgar Square is a statue of Charles I, executed for treason. What I am trying to say is that these people are all part of history and one time or another they were very much out of favour. Maybe in time your defeated Confederate memorials will be looked upon in a different light.
    Please excuse a foreigner making a comment.

    • Ruth says:

      Your outlook is great…and something I think we need to hear and listen to. Thank you.

    • Walton Barnes says:

      Ron Trodd: I believe you are referring to the Missouri Compromise, an effort by Congress to avoid conflict by Missouri’s application to join the Union. The short version is that Congress authorized Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state, while admitting Maine (once part of Massachusetts) as a non-slave state. The compromise outraged the southern states, who felt that Congress had no authority to control slavery. Fuel was added to the fire when the compromise was declared unconstitutional be the Supreme Court. During that same period South Carolina was attempting to “nullify” tariffs imposed by Congress. After a stern show of force by President Jackson, South Carolina backed down and in turn Congress lowered the tariffs. All these machinations only postponed the brewing conflict. There were many social forces in play, but it is hard to argue that slavery was not a driving force leading to the War.

    • Walton Barnes says:

      Ron Trodd: Just a note to answer your second question about the right of secession. I’m no historian and readily confess that my speculation is subject to correction, but I have often wondered why the Southern States did not resort to judicial determination of their right to withdraw from the Union. The Chief Justice in that time frame was Justice Taney. He had made a rather oddball comment at one time that the south indeed did not have a right to secede, but the Government did NOT have the right to stop them. Apparently these were his private views that did not really make sense. There were Virginians on the Court at that time, if memory serves. Assuming the southern states lost such a case, it could then have decided to act militarily. There is certainly precedent for government ignoring the Supreme Court, as shown by the tragic “Trail of Tears”. Jackson stripped Indians of their property and moved them west, even though the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional. Supposedly Pres. Jackson remarked “John Marshall said it, let him enforce it”, or words to that effect. Note, however, that in 1868 the Supreme Court definitively ruled that States could not withdraw from the Union in a Texas case. Thank you for commenting on this blog.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Hi Ron, you’re a brave man to so innocently ask the question about causes. As some have thoughtfully said here (as compared to some who commented less than thoughtfully), there were a number of major and minor precursors to the conflict, very few of which on their own would have been likely to lead to an actual shooting war, but you did mistake one aspect in your question. The Union did not “start” the conflict, if by “start” you mean commencing military action. Lincoln was quite explicitly prepared to allow the existing slave states to keep their slaves as long as they remained in the Union. Keeping their slaves apparently was not enough, and many at the time took the view that they had a right to dissolve their union with the rest of the United States. Lincoln took the view, as did many, that they had given up that right when they willingly signed the Constitution that (leaning on the Articles of Confederation it replaced, which was actually a much weaker document) established a “perpetual” Union and included no explicit right of secession. The Supreme Court decided one case later on the question and ruled that the Constitution does not, in fact, grant states a right to unilaterally secede, though it allowed that there may be a process by which a state could gain the consent of the other states to do so, and it also allowed that, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, any state has a natural right of rebellion. In that light, one could say that South Carolina, faced with the continued presence of Federal troops at a Federal military installation at Fort Sumter, decided to exercise its natural right of rebellion and commenced the military action – an attack on a supply ship attempting to re-provision Fort Sumter and subsequent bombardment of the fort itself – that started the war. In the end, slavery may not have been “the” cause of the war, and the Union did not enter into the conflict with the intention of “freeing slaves” (though the Federal government’s blocking of slavery in the new territories was taken by the slave states as a provocation), but as I’ve commented elsewhere, the question of slavery had been an open wound in the Republic right from the outset, the Founders knew it would need to be resolved sooner or later, and the Civil War resolved it. Say what you will about the role slavery played specifically in sparking the initial conflict, but read Lincoln’s First Inaugural and then read his Second Inaugural to get a fairly good sense of how the role of slavery evolved through the course of the War. It was, in the end, about slavery first and foremost, though certainly one cannot disagree with those thoughtful commentators that there were many other grievances, real and imagined, that had piled up over the years leading up to 1861 that only added fuel to the fire.

    • Simpson says:


      Appreciated your comment. Your statement:

      “Lincoln was quite explicitly prepared to allow the existing slave states to keep their slaves as long as they remained in the Union”

      interested me. Where did you find information indicating that? I would appreciate any backup you can provide.


    • Michael Hogan says:

      Simpson, thanks for the question. It’s perhaps a better question to ask what proof anyone would offer that Lincoln ever proposed prior to the War that slavery be abolished in the Slave states (he did not), but for positive evidence I would point to his First Inaugural Address. There, on the question of the rights of the Slave states to maintain the institution of slavery he said the following:

      “Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that—

      ‘I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.’

      Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:

      Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.”

      Note in particular the last bit, where I’d emphasize the use of the phrase “lawless invasion” – relevant to the next excerpt, which deals with the question of Lincoln’s resolve to preserve the Union:

      “A disruption of the Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted.

      I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.

      Again: If the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it—break it, so to speak—but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?

      Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was “to form a more perfect Union.”

      But if destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.

      It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.

      I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.

      In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere.”

      Lincoln’s interpretation of the Constitution and his duties thereunder were later largely confirmed by the Supreme Court and have never seriously been challenged by Constitutional scholars.

      So he never had any intention of forcing abolition on the Slave states, but neither did he have any intention of tolerating armed rebellion, and his oath of office compelled him to respond as he did. He was willing to tolerate much, even slavery (on which his personal views did indeed evolve and shift over time, but which by 1861 he had certainly come to view as immoral), in order to preserve the Union, and he was willing to mobilize the might of the United States if necessary in order to defend it.

    • Simpson says:


      Thanks very much Michael.

      I have always felt States Rights played a larger role in the rebellion than I had been taught in school and have further wondered why serious historians (Doris Kearns Goodwin, for example) have so emphatically denied or downplayed that fact.


    • Walton Barnes says:

      Michael Hogan: Your two posts brought on by Ron Trodd’s questions were excellent. Thank you. I realize we have digressed from the Battle of Gettysburg, but the discussion on the dynamic that lead to that significant event have been well worth the discussion. As a footnote, speaking of President Lincoln and what may fairly be referred to as his political machinations, I will add his reference to slavery (in part) in a letter penned to Horace Greely in August, 1862. Therein the President stated “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it and if I could save it by freeing all of the slaves I would do it.” The curious part of this letter was its timing. The President had already prepared a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation and shared it with Cabinet members who were not in favor of it. He sat on the proclamation hoping for a significant field victory ( the North was not doing so well at this point in time). After that bloody day at Antietam, even though Gen’l McClelland withdrew from the field, it allowed Gen’l Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia to escape back into Virginia. At that point, I suppose, President Lincoln figured that was the best he was going to get for a victory and made public the Proclamation public (considering it only freed slaves in states over which the Union had no control, perhaps it is further evidence of political machination on his part). What is interesting is that he already had a draft of the Proclamation prepared, while he is writing his letter to Greely! Certainly, the Emancipation Proclamation shifted the tone of the whole War, causing it to gain a level of “morality” it lacked previously. Ron Trodd may be able to help with what may be my failing memory, but it seems I recall that the Emancipation Proclamation itself… after heated discussion about slavery in general and the textile industry in particular among the British… dissuaded England from any notion it may have had about recognition of the Confederacy or armed intervention. Once again, thanks to you both.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      I don’t know if “machinations” is an entirely fair way to describe Lincoln’s navigation of the political obstacles to his principle objective of defending and preserving the Union, but he was certainly navigating in a super-charged and extremely dangerous political environment where views about slavery and race would seem to have been far more complex than they are today. To expand on Walton Barnes’ story about Lincoln sitting an early draft of the proclamation, it is arguable that the seeds of the proclamation were planted even earlier, barely a month after the war started in May 1861, far from the White House at Ft. Monroe, Virginia. Three Virginia slaves escaped from the work gang they’d been pressed into building emplacements for the Confederate forces surrounding the fort and presented themselves to the Union garrison seeking safe passage to freedom. The Confederate officers facing the fort presented themselves under a white flag and “requested” the return of their property. The garrison commander, Benjamin Butler, was a lawyer from Massachusetts who, while being an abolitionist himself was also savvy enough to know that he needed to tread very carefully given the official policy governing Union forces at that time, as well as the political calculations behind them. He informed the Confederate officers that the three slaves were the property of enemy forces being used to wage war on the Union garrison and would therefore not be returned, making them what soon came to be referred to as “war contraband.” The military usefulness of this very limited tactic was too compelling for Lincoln and his cabinet to ignore, so they chose not to move against it, and the stage was now set for what led to the Emancipation Proclamation, which as Walton Barnes correctly noted even in 1863 only emancipated those slaves who came under the control of Union forces. As hundreds and then thousands of slaves seized the opportunity to present themselves to Union forces as war contraband, the problem soon arose as to what to do with all of this seized “property” – return them, sell them, free them, which of these? In retrospect the answer seems so clear, but Lincoln was mainly concerned with securing the Union while holding together his political support in the North, which (surprising to many today) was not at all united, at least early in the war, behind the idea that the Federal Government should be waging war to free slaves. So yes, as this pressure unleashed by Benjamin Butler grew and grew, Lincoln dithered and deliberated and calculated until he felt the political time was right to address it without undermining his ability actually make it stick. The path to full abolition of slavery was a complicated one, but we got there, and the United States survived as a nation in the process.

    • Walton Barnes says:

      Well done, Mr. Hogan. Thank you for the additional detail. This has really (for the most part) been a stimulating discussion. I have learned from it. Thank you.

    • Good, enjoyed reading.

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      Ron, I don’t consider you an “interfering Englishman”. I value the input of a disinterested “outsider”, especially an Englishman who had no horses in this race. And again, I truly do hope that folks who have posted emotionally here and especially those who want to obliterate monuments and all memory of the War will read your observations and take them to heart.

      Thanks for providing level-headed contributions to this discussion!

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      Ron, I don’t consider you an “interfering Englishman”. I value the input of a disinterested “outsider”, especially an Englishman who had no horses in this race. And again, I truly do hope that folks who have posted emotionally here and especially those who want to obliterate monuments and all memory of the War will read your observations and take them to heart.

      Thanks for providing level-headed contributions to this discussion!

    • Patricia M Carlson says:

      Ron Trodd, I really appreciate your insights and comments about statues in London. As a traveler to London in 1994 and 1997, I was amazed at the number of statues and monuments to British history. But, I knew too little about your history — which is also my own history given my ancestors who came from England in 1629 (or 1632) — to think about whether these were “good guys” or “bad guys”. You have enlightened me. It doesn’t matter whether they were “good” or “bad”; they are part of your history.

      As to the monuments and statues to Confederates which are being removed, perhaps they are being stored somewhere, as someone said on this blog. But it does seem to me that we are guilty of the same destruction of cultural heritage as is ISIS. We condemn ISIS for what they have done. Are we not doing the same thing? Whether some people like it or not — those individuals are part of the cultural heritage of the southern states.

      My 2nd grandfather, Merrick/Americus Graham enlisted in Co E, 115th Illinois Infantry on 10 Feb 1863. He was wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga, Georgia; furloughed home to recover; transferred to Co A, 21st Illinois; and mustered out at San Antonio, Texas on 16 Dec 1865. Merrick’s older brother, Jacob, and father, Harrison, enlisted in Co E, 41st Illinois Infantry on 8 May 1861. Jacob was killed at the Battle of Shiloh; Merrick drowned in the Decatur River in Illinois while in the Union Army two months after his son was killed. The person who suffered most by these deaths was Sarah Graham, widow & mother of the two who died — and mother to the 7 surviving children.

      I am told by my southern (Virginia) cousins from a different line of my family that I am not considered to be a Yankee — apparently I am a westerner and there’s a difference. But my Graham ancestors fought on the Union side — and I have some Harmans & Fullers who fought on the Confederate side. I don’t want to see monuments to either side be torn down.

      Sorry, I got a little carried away there in response to your great post.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      As there’s been some discussion here of statues of various historical figures in England, I thought it worth noting that the only American President honored with a statue in Parliament Square in Westminster is Abraham Lincoln. I always thought that was the best evidence that our English cousins are good judges of character.

    • Patricia M Carlson says:

      Thank you, Michael Hogan, for posting that portion of Lincoln’s first inaugural speech. I had never read that before (perhaps in school 60+ years ago) and your post encouraged me to read the entire speech.

      If everyone read that, I think all questions about “who started the war” would be answered. It does seem to answer the question about “states rights” being the reason the southern states seceded.

      When discussing the Civil War, my son has always contended that the issue was not slavery, but states rights. Today, I suggested he read this speech (6-1/2 printed pages from the Library of Congress); and read several pertinent lines to him over the phone. He was as surprised as I was at what Lincoln said before the beginning of the war.

      Thank you again.

  118. Ron Trodd says:

    Hello folks
    I would like to thank Michael and Walton for there help in trying to educate a non American. I do study history when I can and I was aware of the Compromise and Fort Sumter, I was unaware of the ‘right to rebellion’, what a strange phrase. I know that Fort Sumter was the actual spark to a shooting war and I always thought the fort was a great provocation. If the actions against the fort was considered under the ‘right to rebellion’, it explains a lot. I always thought that it had been a very hot headed action.
    I believe you are correct about slavery, it had to go at some point. I also understand the views of the rich and influential Southern land owners in wanting to keep their slaves. A lot of their wealth was tied up in property and big chunk of that wealth was the value of the slaves they owned. It was the same in the British Empire, after long arguments about the wealth tied up with slaves, Parliament banned slave trade in 1803. It took Parliamentary reform to get the Act passed (allowing non-conformist to have public office). However Slavery was not banned until 1833, a whole generation later. For sure the conditions the slaves lived in during that period improved, because working them to death was no longer an option as replacement was illegal and therefore difficult.
    The British Empire was very much a trading empire and many forget we did just as much trade outside the Empire as within. One of our trading partners was with the slave states, cotton from these states kept the mills in Lancashire very busy. Although we had abandoned slavery we were quite happy to make money on the backs of slaves in other countries. Money is a big motivator!!!

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      Ron, I so appreciate your reference to Fort Sumter as a “great provocation”. Before I go further, let me confess that Pres. Abraham Lincoln is my third cousin five times removed, and I see him as a great leader in some aspects and not at all great in others.

      One of the not at all great aspects is that after intensive study of the issues leading up to the firing upon the fort I have the firm conclusion that Lincoln was itching to provoke the Confederacy into attacking, and Fort Sumter provided the means for this. Yes, the South actually fired the first shots, but they were clearly provoked into doing so.

      It’s like the start of the war against Mexico. Spain and then Mexico had recognized the Nueces River as the southern boundary of Texas and not the Río Grande further south. So when Pres. Polk deliberately sent US soldiers into the disputed area between the two rivers he was plainly provoking an attack by the Mexicans. Then he could say, incorrectly, that “American blood had been shed on American soil.”

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      Ron, I also appreciate your brief history of the gradual abolition of slavery in the British Empire. I readily admit that slavery was one of the causes of our so-called Civil War, and that its existence in any part of the USA was an intolerable rebuttal to our Declaration’s phrase that “all men are created equal”. And that we should be one of the last nations to abolish the “peculiar institution” is a shame.

      Also, your closing sentence/statement is so true. Money does make “the world go round” unfortunately.

    • Michael Murray says:

      Very true about those in the North who didn’t agree with the war being about freeing the slaves! Col. John S. Mosby had a trooper named “Big Yankee” Jim, who deserted the Union army after the Emancipation Proclamation. He said there was no way He was going to fight and die to free slaves. I sure he wasn’t the only one.

  119. Kerry Roberts says:

    War Between the States was not just for slavery, but more so States Rights. President Lincoln, in my opinion the greatest President of this great Republic, went to war to uphold the Constitution, as he was sworn to do. The debate will always be: Should we have let the South have its own government, or force them back into the Union. There will never be a wrong or right answer, except for the educated belief YOU have. Lincoln had to do what he did, or he more than likely would have been the first President impeached, not his 2nd VP, Andrew Johnson. Those brave, brave men who lost their lives, or those who lost part of their soul or body are entitled to our upmost respect for their courage and valliantry, regardless what side of the Mason-Dixon Line they represented. Play it guys, Dixie and Glory, Glory Hallelujah!!

    To the greatest country in the civilized world…Ever. God Bless the USA!!

  120. Ron Trodd says:

    Patricia Carlson
    It is a shame that some Confederate Statues are being removed. A guess a lot can be put down to ‘Political Correctness’. I do not know the reasons put forward for there removal, at a guess it is the old slavery connection. Today we look back at our ancestors and hold our heads in shame at their actions and beliefs. I believe that we should not judge previous generations with todays morals and beliefs. Just try to image how the generations alive today will be judged in 150 years or more.
    I dare say that your ancestors left England back in the 1690s to worship in their own way.
    Slavery as carried out in the New World did not exist in Europe. Christians justified using black slaves from Africa used the story of Noah (Genesis 9 20-27. Key verse is 24). However as I have said before money is a driving force. When the Europeans arrived in the New World they devastated the indigenous population with Old World infections. Using indentured and criminals Europeans as slave labour, especially in the West Indies, did not survive for very long, However black slaves from Africa were less susceptible to European infections, they lasted approximately 7 times longer than a white man. So black slaves were justified by the above verses in the Bible, but also economically!!!
    There were probably a lot of people in the 16th and 17th century that condemned slavery but they were in the minority and financial reasons would certainly drive the majority.
    Our ‘Political Correctness’ today, some of which is totally crazy, will be frown on in shame by future generations. So don’t judge our ancestors actions and beliefs, try to understand them, it is history and cannot be changed.

    • Glenn T. Van Dusen says:

      I think that your analysis is right on. Everyone should recite your final statement. It is the crux of the issue. Kudos to you.

    • Walton Barnes says:

      Ron Trodd and Patricia Carlson: As I recollect, the whole dispute over war memorials started over a picture of that idiot that shot up the black church. A picture was posted of him with the Confederate battle flag, causing furor over those states who flew that flag either as part of their state flag or in memorial to the Confederacy. the issue of memorials to the Confederacy ballooned after that and all presumed monuments to the Southern cause in public places were roundly condemned. I find it ironic that the idiot was also wearing a Gold’s Gym shirt in that photo. Why not condemn Gold’s Gym? Such memorials themselves to a failed rebellion causes mixed emotions. Personally, I can understand flying the flag over a statehouse may seem “official” endorsement of rebellion. I can even understand that using taxpayer money to maintain the memorials could be frowned upon. I don’t understand the failure to recognize the obvious artistry and skill. I can understand them maintained for historical and artistic purposes for those who may want to enjoy them, or visualizing the events so often studied or read about by casual students of the Civil War, such as myself. I certainly hope they are not destroyed or locked away from public view. We cannot know who we are if we don’t know who we have been; and we cannot know what we will be if we don’t know who we are. For those who disagree, please pardon my post; I will respect your point of view. In the meantime, feel free to ignore it and scroll on down.

  121. Ron Trodd says:

    Michael Hogan
    Your reference concerning a statue of Lincoln in London. I must point out that there are other American President statues in London. There is George Washington, Franklin D Roosevelt , Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower and a bust of JFK.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      I know. I was simply talking about Parliament Square, which (perhaps naively, as an American) I’ve always thought was a particularly important location for the English.

  122. Ron Trodd says:

    Walton Barnes, Michael Hogan
    Gents I have much enjoyed reading and commenting on this subject and it’s spin offs.
    I do remember the report of the shooting and the Confederate Flag, I didn’t realise the incident had spark such a backlash against the flag and the memorials.
    It will always be a problem when extremist hijack symbols, especially flags. The Nazi Swastika was/is a very old emblem. In England we have the same problem, Most countries recognise our Union Jack, which is made up of three flags, the flags of England, Scotland and Ireland. The English flag of St George is a red cross on a white background. Extreme right wing parties use this flag, so many uninformed people (mostly immigrants) associate the flag with racists.
    Yes you are correct Washington is the only US president in Parliament Square, the square is not exclusively for the British. There is Nelson Mandela and Jan Smuts, both South Africans. Jan Smuts was our enemy in the Boar War and tied up a lot of British troops with his raids. You see what I mean about time, memorials and values??? Who in the 1780s would imagine a statue of George Washington in London and who in 1900 could imagine a statue of Jan Smuts in Parliament Square!
    Back to Gettysburg, seems along way back in these discussions. I have never been to a town with so many Statues and Memorials, would it look right/correct to remove all the Confederate ones? They were all Americans that died, they all died for what they believed in and should be remembered for that.

    • Glen Alan Graham says:

      Ron, this seems to be a sort of farewell message. Not surprising, because the original post concerning the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg, along with the “rabbit trail” thread of comments about monuments and symbols, have been pretty much exhausted.

      But I cannot let you leave without telling you once again how much I esteem the viewpoints of an “outsider” who has no horse in this race. Here in this posting you end with yet another sage thought: your final sentence says it all, better than I or anybody else probably could. If only folks will read and heed you!

    • Sami says:

      True indeed!

  123. Jane says:

    The Civil War is part of the history of America. All men go to war because they believe in their cause or their leaders or their brothers. I am glad that the states are united and that the principals set forth by our founders that all men are created equal stands today. Having said that, I don’t believe all confederates were bad. I don’t see anything wrong with statues memorializing great generals. I don’t see why they have to be torn down. They fought for their beliefs as was their right. I don’t think confederate flags should fly over government buildings as we were and are united. Private flying of the flag should be a persons right. This is just one historians opinion. We may not all agree, but attempting to hide or destroy history does not make it less real and does not wipe away the past.

  124. Daren M. says:

    First and foremost, the civil war was NOT fought over the issue of slavery completely, it was fought to bring a nation, one land together to become a nation that like all nations that does not want to be ruled by 2,3, maybe even 4 different entities. The great men that fought in the war were fighting for what they believed was there right to live in peace and to protect their homes and families. Many people have the belief that slaves were mistreated completely which is not true, many, many slaves were treated with dignity and respect and many times as if they were part of the families that had them. So I say, that of the monuments of the South are being removed, why not the Northern monuments also? All the monuments pertaining to the war should either be removed or the ones already gone replaced so as not to say the North was right and the South was wrong for the war. All the men who fought in the war fought for a cause they believed in and that it had brought a nation together that is a nation that is strong and united!! GOD bless AMERICA!!!

  125. J.M.A. says:

    We have come a long way in uniting race relations. A perfect example is how well our service men and women get along. I spent 9 years in the U.S. Army and am very proud of my fellow soldiers white and black, etc.
    Lets take a lesson from our brave troops and practice the same understanding at home. Just look at all the wonderful leaders we have in the military. All races blended together in harmony. We should not forget the past inequities on both sides. Many Americans have fought and died for our freedom. We are indeed the Shining Light on the hill of nations.
    Instead of dwelling in the past, lets move forward in unity.
    At the end of the day we are all proud Americans.

  126. Michael Murray says:

    There was those who fought for the South, that didn’t even believe in Succession. Robert E. Lee was one of those. He was offered command of all U.S. Forces, but resigned, As a Colonel, when Virginia succeeded from the Union, stating, He could not raise his sword against Virginia. Having joined the Confederate Army, He was made a general, But still wore a colonel’s rank all through the war. And now His statue is under attack! smh

  127. As a child I moved from Long Island, New York to Pineville, Louisiana due to my Dad being in the Air Force. In 1963, at age 7, I didn’t understand why people would pick on me because I was from the north. It just didn’t make sense to me. In my family we had not put down people with southern accents or cared whose side your family fought on in a war that ended so long ago. I also hold no animosity toward the British or the Germans or the Japanese or the Italians or any other group of people who may have fought against relatives of mine in past generations. The people today are not responsible for what was said or done by their ancestors. Whether or not you may be proud of your ancestors does not mean you must perpetuate any past ignorance, prejudices or anger. We are researching the past here and sharing facts for posterity. There is no need for emotion in this forum unless it is the joy of sharing what we have discovered with others who also find genealogy a worthwhile pursuit.

    • Margaret Keith says:

      I agree with you , I was born in California, raised in Oklahoma. I had relatives on my fathers side that had slaves, He owned a cotton Plantation and has slaves. I look at it like this what my ancestors did I had no control, I have no hate against my people and I have no hate against the south. We both lost family.

    • Michael Hogan says:

      Well said. Some people just can’t let it go. And some people have other agendas. If you navigate away from the white supremacist trolls (and those who respond to them from the “all whites are guilty” lunatic fringe) and their vile outbursts there are actually a lot of very respectful and thoughtful exchanges here. It’s hard to ignore the trash but it’s worth it. This site should be off limits to that sort of nonsense, I don’t know why Fold3 doesn’t have a moderator.

  128. Lexine says:

    When I started first grade in 1950, school lunches were only ten cents, so there was no need for a lunchbox, but have been intrigued by the luhxcbones that have came out over the years.