Wednesday, May 25, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- The Regulation Confederate Uniform Prescribed

New Orleans Daily True Delta
May 25, 1861

The uniform this volunteer was wearing for this picture
varies considerably from the officially prescribed uniform
of the Confederate army, as did most. The palmetto insignia
on his kepi indicates he was a South Carolina soldier.
Ambrotype/Tintype filing series (Library of Congress)
 Liljenquist Family collection (Library of Congress)

Confederate States Uniform.
     The uniform adopted by the secretary of war of the Confederate States . . . is thus described:
     The coat is to be a short tunic of cadet gray cloth, double breasted, with two rows of buttons down the breast two inches apart at the waist, and widening toward the shoulders. The pantaloons are to be of sky-blue cloth, made full at the leg. The buttons to be of plain gilt, convex form, three-quarters of an inch in diameter. The different arms of the service are to be distinguished by the color of the trimmings - blue for infantry, red for artillery, and yellow for cavalry. In the artillery service the buttons are to be stamped with a letter A, but in infantry and cavalry the buttons will bear only the number of the regiment.
     For the general and the officers of his staff the dress will be of dark blue cloth, trimmed with gold; for the medical department, black cloth, with gold and velvet trimming. All badges of distinction are to be marked upon the sleeves and collars. Badges of distinguished rank, on the collar only. For a brigadier-general, three large stars; for a colonel, two large stars; for a lieutenant colonel, one large star; for a major, one small star; and horizontal bars; for captain, three small stars; for a first lieutenant, two small stars; for a second lieutenant, one small star.
     For a general and staff-officers the buttons will be bright gilt, convex, rounded at the edge -  a raised eagle at the center, surrounded by thirteen stars. Exterior diameter of large sized button, 1 inch; of small size, 1/2 inch. For officers of the corps of engineers the same button is to be used, except that in the place of the eagle and stars, there will be a raised E in German text. For officers of artillery, infantry, riflemen and cavalry, the buttons will be a plain gilt convex, with a large raised letter in the center - A for artillery, I for infantry, &c. The exterior diameter of large steel button, seven-eighths of an inch; small size, one-half inch.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

150-years-ago: Lee praised; Lincoln called 'Old Secessionist'; Germans of the South

Gen. Robert E. Lee
(Library of Congress)
The Richmond Daily Dispatch
May 21, 1861


There is not probably in the armies of any country in the world a finer specimen of the gentleman and soldier than Gen. Lee. In his profession he has no superior, and when his preparation and arrangements for the great struggle come to be known, it will be seen that nothing has been left undone which the utmost resources of military genius and wisdom could suggest. His devotion to Virginia is unbounded, and never, since the days of Washington, has she had in the field a nobler and more efficient representative.


Lincoln an Old Secessionist.

The Missouri Republican, of April 29, thus proves that Lincoln is fully committed to the doctrine of Secession:

Abraham Lincoln a Teacher of Secession "Philosophy." --It will probably surprise Mr. Lincoln's friends quite as much as we have been surprised, to learn that he is fully and unequivocally committed to the very "philosophy" which he is now endeavoring to "crash out" by bringing to bear against its adherents the whole military power of the Government. Yet such is the fact.

The following is an extract from a speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln, (the sameLincoln who is now President of the United States,) in the House of Representatives, January 12, 1848. And in order to enable every reader to assure himself of its authenticity, we will mention that the speech may be found in the Appendix to the Congressional Globe of the 30th Congress, (1st session,) page 94.--The following is a literal extract:

"Any people, anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable, a most sacred right — a right which, we hope and believe, is to liberate the world. Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any Portion of such people that can, may revolutionize, and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit. More than this, a majority of any portion of such people may revolutionize, put down a minority, intermingled with, or near about them, who may oppose their movements. Such minority was precisely the case of the Tories of our Revolution. It is a quality of revolutions not to go by old lines, or old laws, but to break up both, and make new ones."

We may well let this "go to the country" without note or comment. But we must remark that the "philosophy" here taught legitimates and justifies the Southern rebellion in all its extent. On this point there can be no debate. What will Mr. Lincolns friends say to it? For ourselves, we respectfully dissent.

We are indebted for this precious scrap of political history to the researches of the editor of the Watertown Union. It cannot fail to produce some little "sensation." It is to be hoped Mr. Lincoln will treat the subject more at length in his message on the opening of the ensuing extra session.


Confederate soldier with gun and sword.
Liljenquist Family collection (Library of Congress)
 The Germans of the South.

At a large meeting of German citizens, in Savannah, Ga., last week, the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted:

Whereas, The German adopted citizens at New York, and other places in the United States, in public meetings, and through their newspapers, have declared that the German adopted citizens in the Confederate States were opposed to the Government of these Confederate States, and would not support it, and whereas, as inhabitants of the city of Savannah, we owe supreme and unconditional allegiance to the State of Georgia, which has been so happily exempt from every yoke of tyranny, and which has given us prosperous and happy homes; and whereas, the German population of the Northern States, prompted by ignorance, prejudice and fanaticism, have come forward and proffered their services for the unconstitutional and tyrannical purpose of subjugating us and our fellow-citizens; therefore, be it

Resolved, That we, consider this Government of the Confederate States as constituted and organized with almost the unanimous consent of the governed; and that for this reason we consider it based upon purely Democratic principles.

Resolved, That we, therefore, will cheerfully support this, our new Federal Government, to the fullest extent of our capabilities.

Resolved, That we think those German refugees, the Democratic leaders in Germany in 1848, in our revolutionary movement there, stultify themselves by proposing to bring back by force a people under a Government that they abhor as much as the Venetians abhor the Austrian Government.

Resolved, That while we deeply deplore the necessity forced upon us of perhaps imbruing our hands in the blood of brothers of our dear old Fatherland, yet the cause of the South being our cause, we accept the range of hostility and battle thus offered, and will respond to every call of patriotism, defending our rights, our homes and our firesides to the last extremely, against every and all invaders and oppressors.

Monday, May 16, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- Sketch of General Beauregard

Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard,
hero of Fort Sumter.
(Blog author's collection)

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
May 16, 1861

     Gen. P. G. Toutant Beauregard, the Commander-in-Chief at Charleston, was born on his father's plantation, near New Orleans. He is a descendant of the most aristocratic Southern families. His father was a wealthy and influential Louisiana planter. His mother was of Italian origin, and descended from the ducal Reggio family of Italy. Gen. Beauregard entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, at an early age, where he graduated in 1838, taking the second honors in a class of forty-five graduates, and was appointed to the corps of engineers. He was promoted to a First Lieutena ncy in June, 1840, and in that capacity served with great distinction during the Mexican war. He was twice brevetted "for gallant and meritorious conduct" in the field, the first time as Captain for the battles of Contreras and Churubusco, to date from August 20, 1847; and again as Major for the battle of Chepultepec, to date from the 13th of September of that year. Gen. Beauregard is about forty-three years of age, in prime of life and vigorous health, erect as a soldier, well made and remarkably active. There is great spirit and determination in his look, and he evidently possesses great muscular power. The great characteristic of the General is perfect method in all his plans. He is regarded one of the ablest officers that ever was in the American army.

Friday, May 13, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- Irish Support for the Confederacy

Patrick Cleburne was among the many
Irish immigrants in the South who
supported the Southern Confederacy.
(Library of Congress)

The Richmond Daily Dispatch

May 13, 1861
To the Irishmen of Virginia.

The following comes from adopted citizens of Charleston, and is well endorsed:

Fellow-Countrymen:--Being impressed with the first and great daty which we owe to the land of our adoption in these its present difficulties, we are carrying out measures for organizing a Confederate Irish Regiment, for the service of the Southern States. This, we must admit, is expected from us. Let us take up the cause of an honorable, just and upright people. They never interfered with our religious institutions, a subject which our friends of Massachusetts must have forgotten very soon; or is it possible that the burning of the Charlestown Convent did not make an impression, and open their eyes to the true character of their high-toned Puritanic leaders? Although Know-Nothingism crept into a few sections of the Southern States from the hot-beds of the North, it was crushed in its embryo by our noble and chivalric people, who are too exalted to lend themselves to the encouragement of any doctrine that would have such direful effects on the prospects of their adopted fellow-citizens.
No man was ever persecuted in the South on account of his religious belief. And do our countrymen at the North forget how eager their neighbors were in publishing and circulating books detailing disgusting lies about escaped nuns, for the purpose of arousing the feelings of the Protestant sects against the Catholics? We appeal to you for your decision in favor of the Southern cause, and also for the justification of the position we are about assuming in standing manfully by it. Strange scenes are being developed every day. There is one of the exiled sons of Ireland — who was received all through the Southern States (as only a noble and generous people knows how)--making preparations to march alongside of John Bull, heart and hand, to subjugate the very people who conferred on him the greatest encomiums, and had his name enrolled as an honorary member of their societies, and denominated military companies in respect to him. But is this to continue?--No. Never again shall the name of Thomas Francis Meagher be united with any of our Southern institutions. We say, let them come, and learn that the foreigners of the Southern States have hearts as true as their steel in maintaining the rights and independence of the South.
We therefore submit to you a plan for organizing our regiment. There are a great many of our countrymen already enlisted in the service of the Southern Confederacy, and hence our inability to raise a regiment immediately here. We have appealed to Georgia. The prospects are promising, and it naturally struck us that our countrymen in Virginia would be anxious to participate in the movement. If so, we will appoint a place of rendezvous as soon as the undertaking is sufficiently matured.

For farther information, address.
Many Irishmen,

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

150-Years-Ago -- Richmond touted as new capital of the Southern Confederacy

This equestrian statue of George Washington with otrher Founding
Fathers of the original confederacy, the  United States, was a familiar
site to the Founding Fathers of the new confederacy, the Confederate
States of America, when the capital of the Southern Confederacy was
moved to Richmond, Virginia. (Library of Congress)

The Richmond Daily Dispatch
May 11, 1861

     We understand there is considerable favor shown to our beautiful and advantageously situated city by the Provisional Congress, as the permanent Capital of our Southern Confederacy. We say advantageously situated, for if Washington was a suitable location for the Capital of the United States, we think that, as we cannot hold that city, the next best selection would be the Capital of Virginia, which has so many historical associations, and around which cluster so many National recollections.
     For beauty and centrality of situation, facility, convenience of access, polished society, and perfect healthfulness — summer and winter — surely no city in our fair Southern land can vie with Richmond. There is no lack of suitable sites for a National Capitol, and there is abundance of accommodation for the deputies in Congress, and visitors on business or pleasure.
     Washington had nothing to recommend it as the seat of government, except, perhaps, that it stood midway between the Northern and Southern States on the Atlantic coast, which then composed the Confederacy. It has always been considered unhealthy in summer, and we are very much disposed to concur with our confreres of the Charleston Mercury, in believing the odor of corruption hangs around it in too great measure to make us willing to start our pure and virgin Government in a city which has been so polluted, even could we obtain possession of it.
     There may be difficulties, indeed, in the way of ceding the jurisdiction to Congress of the necessary "ten miles square," but we trust they can be overcome, should the choice be made in our State. At the same time, until we know precisely of what States our Confederacy will be composed, it is probable Congress will defer selecting a permanent seat of Government.
     We think it quite likely that the Provisional Government will temporarily remove to Richmond, from reliable information which has reached us from Montgomery. If this decision be arrived at, our State Executive and citizens of Richmond will heartily welcome the distinguished gentlemen now administrating the Government at Montgomery, and we are sure every facility will be afforded by our people to induce them to came and make their residence agreeable.
     Even now, we learn that Richmond will, in a few days, be the headquarters of the Confederate Army, it being announced that general officers to command the Southern troops are about to be appointed and sent to Virginia, to direct the movements of the Confederate troops.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


The Richmond Daily Dispatch
May 7, 1861
A "Louisiana Pelican" in Virginia.
(By A.C. Redwood, From Century
Magazine, Nov. 1884)
     There arrived yesterday, via Danville Railroad, at 1 o'clock, a detachment of Louisiana troops, being a portion of the 1st Division of Louisiana Volunteers. The remaining portion of those to come yesterday, some 250 in number, were expected in the evening, and those who arrived at an earlier hour were compelled to sit in the cars for six hours waiting for them, the various commanding officers being in the rear train.
     The troops which arrived at 1 o'clock consist of part of Capt. C. E. Girardy's Battalion Louisiana Guard, 155 men; Montgomery Guard, Capt. Nolan, 104 men; Emmett Guard, Captain Neiligen, 74 men; Caddo Rifles, Captain Lewis, 105 men — the whole amounting to 438 men. The troops were substantially clothed, well armed, and not at all averse to having a brush with Lincoln's followers at the earliest possible moment. They report thousands of the same sort on the way here. Sunday night 1,400 men from Tennessee landed at the camp near Lynchburg — also a battalion of about 150 from Huntsville, Alabama, and the cry was still they come. Up to 7½ o'clock last evening the above troops had not passed this office on their way to the camp ground. At the hour named it was raining violently.
     In speaking of the arrival of the above troops we must specially allude to the battalion of "Louisiana Guards," commanded by Capt. Girardy--a braver or more military body of men never marched in this city from any place. The whole battalion is composed of three companies, two of which have arrived, and the remainder are being expected every day from Pensacola, where they have been on duty for several months. They number in all 275 men, and are the pride of the Crescent City people, as the Seventh Regiment is of the New Yorkers. Their uniform is of the Zouave pattern. Each member "away down South in Dixie" is accounted a soldier and a gentleman. With such troops, and "more a- coming"--the flower of Southern chivalry — the followers of Old Abe stand but a poor show.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


The New Orleans Daily True Delta
May 3, 1861

Pvt. Edwin Francis Jemison of Company C,
Pelican Greys, 2nd Louisiana Infantry, was
among the early war volunteers in New Orleans.
He was killed in action at the Battle of Malvern
Hill, Virginia on July 1, 1862. (Library of Congress)
      The steamer J.F. Pargoud, which arrived this morning,brought down from Columbia the Caldwell Guards, from Caldwell parish, La. They number 110 men, rank and file. The following is a list of their officers:
     Captain W.L. Gunnells; first lieutenant, T.J. Evans; second lieutenant, S.B. Fislett; third lieutenant, T.G. Humbell; first sergeant, J.J. Stringer; second sergeant, J.A. Brinton; third sergeant, H.M. Guffey; fourth sergeant, W.S. Stutson; first corporal, T.J. Broadway; second corporal, T.J.  Blythe; third corporal, J.C. Bridger, jr.; fourth corporal, W.D. McCary.
     The steamer Milton Rolf arrived this morning, having on board the Winne Rifles, Capt. Pierson, from Winne parish, La. They number 86 men, rank and file.

The Monroe Rifles
     This company, which is rapidly organizing, meets every evening at their headquarters, corner of Julia and Foucher streets. Parties desiring to join the corps will be accepted by calling at the rendezvous. A good chance is here offered for joining a stirring company.

Formation of Second Volunteer Regiment of Louisiana.
     This regiment has been organized, and is composed of the following companies:
     Crescent City Guards, Capt. Hall; Orleans Southrons, Capt. Peck; Southern Cadets, Capt. Cormick; Jackson R.R. Rifles, Capt. Williams; Louisiana Greys, Capt. Drumond; Chalmette Life Guards, Capt. Shaw; Bienville Guards, Capt. Moore; Orleans Cadets, Capt. Hobday; Delta Rifles, Capt. Breen; Sarsfield Rifles, Capt. O'Hara; Jefferson Rifles, Capt. Dreux; Diamond Rifles, Capt. Monaghan.
     At half-past 11 o'clock the following regimental officers were unanimously elected, Col. Louis Lay presiding; Colonel Theodore G. Hunt; lieutenant colonel, Henry Forno. Maj. W.T. Dean has already held that position, and no election was necessary. Col. Hunt stated that the regiment would be accepted at once.

[Blog editor's note: Col. Lay became lieutenant colonel of the 6th Louisiana; Col. Hunt became colonel of the 5th Louisiana; Lt. Col. Forno succeeded Hunt as colonel of the 5th Louisiana, and Maj. Dean was promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 5th Louisiana after Forno was promoted. Most of these companies became part of the 5th Regiment rather than the 2nd.] 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Forts Randolph and Buhlow Hold Outstanding Sesquicentennial Program

The entrance of Forts Randolph and Buhlow Historic Site
at 135 Riverfront Street, Pineville, La.
(Photo by Mike Jones)
By  Mike  Jones

     PINEVILLE, La. - The recently opened Forts Randolph and Buhlow State Historic Site commemorated the 150th anniversary of the War for Southern Independence Saturday, April 30, with a multi-faceted program which included a "meet the authors" opportunity, an historical forum on the Red River Campaign of 1864 and a battle reenactment.
     The state historic site is located just across the Red River from Alexandria and adjacent to the remains of Fort Randolph. The visitor's center is a state-of-the-art facility with an introductory movie, a small but excellent museum and restroom and picnic facilities.
     The museum has several excellent life-size dioramas. One depicts a Confederate soldier with a spade helping to construct the river fort. Another features a Confederate sharpshooter in a prone position getting ready to fire at a Yankee gunboat. And just across from the sharpshooter is a Union gunboat turret with the cannon protruding. Inside the turret the viewer sees a Northern sailor working the gun. The other diorama is of a young nurse portraying the civilian side of the war.
      Also exhibited are weapons and story boards that colorfully relate the various aspects of the war in Louisiana, and especially  the Red River Campaign. There is also an elevated boardwalk through the adjoining piney woods which takes the visitors around the remains of the fort. There is an overlook of the site in the river of "Bailey's Dam," which was built by Union forces at the end of the Red River Campaign so their gunboats and transports could escape the pursuing Confederates.
      The historical forum featured some of  Louisiana's top historians, including Henry Robertson of Louisiana College, Dr, Terry Jones, ULM professor and author of the classic "Lee's Tigers: The Louisiana Infantry in the Army of Northern Virginia," LSU-Shreveport professor Dr. Gary D. Joiner, author of a number of books on the Red River Campaign, and Father Chad Partain, priest and historian for the Catholic Diocese of Alexandria.
    The "meet the authors" program included Jones and Stuart Salling, author of the recently published "Louisianians in the Western Confederacy: The Adams-gibson Brigade in the Civil War."
    The battle reenactment was a brisk skirmish in an adjacent field which included around 30 living history reenactors. Union and Confederate cannons exchanged fire before the Federal infantry drove back a smaller force of Confederate foot soldiers.
    The two river forts were built on the Red River following the Red River Campaign to thwart any further attacks on Central Louisiana. Construction was completed in March, 1865 and the forts were named for two military engineers, Captain Christopher M. Randolph and Lt. Alphonse Buhlow. Stationed in the river adjacent to Fort Randolph was the ironclad C.S.S. Missouri.  The forts were never to see any combat action and were surrendered after the end of the war.
    For more information on Forts Randolph and Buhlow State Historic Site, click here.

This diorama in the visitor center museum depicts a
Confederate sharpshooter getting ready  to open fire on
a Union gunboat. (Photo by Mike Jones)

Another diorama depicts a Union gunboat turret ready
to open fire on the Confederate fort. Behind is a Union
sailor operating the gun.(Photo by Mike Jones)

Below are some highlights of the battle reenactment. (All photos by Mike Jones):

Two zouave reenactors depicting the 165th N.Y. Infantry,
relax after the reenactment at one of the facility's picnic tables.