Monday, October 17, 2011

150-Years-Ago The Battle of Santa Rosa Island

Confederates attacked the Union camp on October 9, 1861 on Santa Rosa
Island in Pensacola, Florida. (Library of Congress)

The Richmond Daily Dispatch

October 17, 1861

The fight at Santa Rosa Island. further particulars.

     The Pensacola Observer brings us the following further particulars in relation to the fight at Santa Rosa Island:
     We are enabled this evening to give a fuller account of the engagement of Tuesday night last on Santa Rosa Island, between the Confederates and the Yankee troops. There are many rumors afloat in regard to the matter, but we have endeavored to obtain the most reliable. Although it was a serious and bloody fight, there were many amusing incidents in the engagement, which we shall publish from time to time. There was some $500 in gold, and a watch, taken by the soldier from the tents of the officers, besides other valuables. Many of Wilson's Zouaves were bayonetted while in their tents, and it must have been amusing to see the scamps escaping from the back part of their tents, and our boys after them.
     We were shown a letter taken from the pocket of one of the Zouaves. The envelope had on it a representation of a soldier holding in his hand the United States flag — his foot placed upon an anchor, with the inscription underneath, "Long may it wave." The letter was from an affectionate sister in N. York to her brother — the one from whom it was taken. We understand that the person who took and read the letter could not help feeling for the sister, for it seemed that her whole affections were upon that brother, who now lies cold in the arms of death.
     Captain Mangham fully displayed the bravery and coolness for which he is every where characterized. He arrested three prisoners alone and unaided and marched them to the guard; and we would feel like doing injustice to a brave and noble man, did we not mention that Adjutant Black, of the Fifth Georgia Regiment, arrested a sergeant who was at the time sergeant of the guard, and had with him his report, and used the very gun he took from his prisoner in making one or two more Yankees bite the dust.
     Taking into consideration the disparity of our forces, being but about 1,100, and the enemy over 2,000, we are proud to say that we gained a most complete victory. We attacked them in their very dens — whipped them out, and destroyed their property.--Their loss, it is estimated, will quadruple ours.
     The enemy everywhere is feeling our power; when they ask themselves, Can we subjugate the South? the thousands of Yankee ghosts from the plains of Manassas answer — the groans of hundreds of wounded soldiers in their hospitals answer — the millions of orphans and widows wailing over the death of their fathers and husbands, and begging for bread in the Northern streets, answer! When the South asks herself can we stand against the whole North? the glorious victory of Manassas and routs of the enemy at other places, answer — the whipping and routing from their very homes Billy Wilson and his pirates, together with the regulars of Santa Rosa Island, answer.
     Then, Southerners, take courage. Go to battle with renewed energy and courage, and ere long the last armed foe will be swept from Southern soil, and made to seek hiding places in Northern climes. But, in all candor, we believe the enemy himself acknowledges the complete overthrow of his forces on Tuesdaynight, and this is only the beginning of the end.
     Below, we give the following official list of killed, wounded, and missing of the different companies, as far as received:
Clench Rifles.--Killed, F. J. Cook, J. H. Adams; wounded, W. H. Smith, Newton Rice — both slightly.
Sealey Guards.--None killed, wounded, or missing.
Georgia Grays.--Killed, one; wounded, two slightly.
Irish Volunteers.--Company C.--Killed, John Stanton; wounded, EdmundFlyn missing, Thomas O'Conner.
Dauson Volunteers.--Killed, none; wounded, R. J. Hayes, badly; Thomas Caldwell received a shot in the left arm, making amputation necessary.
Company A, 7th Alabama Regiment.--Killed, 2; wounded, 6; missing, 1. Two members of the Madison Rifles attached to this company were killed.
Capt. Peake's Company, 10th Mississippi Reg't. --Killed, none; wounded, J. W. Kincaid, badly.
Company G, 10th Mississippi Reg't.--5th Sergeant J. P. Barksdale, wounded — supposed mortally.
McDuffie Rifles, (Georgia Reg't.)--Killed, Lieut. Nelms, Sergeant Bedeau. Wounded and missing, not yet handed in.
Continentals.--Corporal Juggle, wounded. Private Burgiss missing — supposed to be killed.
      This list is not yet complete, but we will continue to publish as fast as the reports are handed in. There are not many more, we believe.
     From a communication received this morning, it seems as though several tents were fired at the same time, and it is hard to tell who fired the first tent. The communication say, "Captain Hull, of the Irish Volunteers, fired the first tent, and that private Cheatham set fire to Col. Wilson's quarters."
     We have some nine killed and twenty-seven wounded. We also have over here two wounded Yankees. The wounded are all well cared for, and attended to with all the kindness as if at home. They are treated by skillful physicians, and we hope they may recover.
     We learn from a reliable source that Lieut. Slaughter went over under a flag of truce and brought back the dead of our side, who will be either decently interred here or sent to their friends.
      We cannot conclude this notice without referring to the indefatigable exertions of our ladies in behalf of the wounded soldiers. All day yesterday and night long did they watch by the couches of the wounded soldiers, administering everything that could be obtained for their comfort. This speaks volumes for our patriotic ladies, than whom there are none more willing or ready to do all they can for the Southern soldier.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

14th Louisiana Infantry Battleflag Recovered

         RICHMOND, Virginia  -- The stolen battleflag of the 14th Louisiana Infantry has been returned to Confederate Memorial Hall in New Orleans. The Confederate battleflag was recovered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after receiving a tip that it was in Virginia.

        Stolen in the 1980s by a former volunteer at Confederate Memorial Hall, it was returned to board members of the New Orleans museum in a ceremony at the Museum of the Confederacy Wednesday.It was expected to be back in New Orleans by last Friday.
       The investigation revealed that a collector had purchased it in 2004 without knowledge it had been stolen. The collector voluntarily turned it over to the FBI.
         According to a spokesman for the museum, the flag was stolen in the mid 1980s by a former museum volunteer (now deceased) and efforts made by the museum for its return were unsuccessful until last week when the FBI's National Art Crime Team received a tip that the item may have been at a home in Caroline County, Va. The flag was in the possession of a collector who purchased the flag in 2004 without knowing that it was stolen. He cooperated with the FBI and immediately turned over the flag.
           The flag was issued to the unit in the spring of 1862. It is known as a first bunting flag of the Army of Northern Virginia pattern. This was the first "battle flag" carried by the regiment. It saw action at the Battle of Gaines Mill on June 27, 1862, near Richmond. Two color bearers were killed while carrying it and the entire Color Guard became casualties of that battle, the spokesman said.
          The flag remained in service until the color bearer, Frederick Sontag, was captured with the flag at Gettysburg. Rather than surrender the flag, Sontag concealed it under his clothing. Sontag kept his secret until he was released from prison and he returned to the regiment with the flag, the spokesman said.
          In the meantime, the regiment, thinking its flag has been captured, acquired a new one. The old flag was placed in storage where it remained until the final surrender at Appomattox. The flag was given to a young lady for safe-keeping. She kept the flag until January, 1889, when she returned it to the former commanding officer of the 14th Louisiana, Col. David Zable, who presented the flag to the Army of Northern Virginia Association, a veterans organization located in New Orleans. It was then donated to Memorial Hall.
       The flag draped the coffin of Jefferson Davis and was said to be the last Confederate flag he ever touched, the spokesman said.


Sunday, October 2, 2011

First Battle of Manassas Reenactment

Luke Jones, Louisiana Tiger Rifles Reenactor,
waves the Louisiana Independence Flag. The
Tiger Rifles played a critical part in the
FirstBattle of Manassas 21 July 1861,
(Photo by Mike Jones)
Louisiana’s Civil War past comes alive at Audubon State Historic Site for a Civil War program on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15-16.
Civil War reenactors dressed in authentic reproduction costumes of the armies of both North and South will be on hand to present a look at life in Civil War Louisiana. The day’s demonstrations, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Sunday, will include drills, black powder weapon demonstrations, open hearth cooking, costume talks, camp life, and more.

There will be a small scale reenactment of a Civil War battle at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. This year will mark the involvement of the Louisiana troops at the Battle of 1st Manassas in Virginia. Visitors will see the fight at Matthews Hill, where Louisiana Tigers drew the first blood in one of the most epic battles of the Civil War.

"This program starts the commemoration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial in Louisiana, a nationwide event marking the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War . We encourage those visiting to learn the rest of the story of the Civil War in the Felicianas by visiting Port Hudson State Historic Site, only a few miles south of Audubon. “ said John House, site manager.

Audubon SHS is the setting for the 200-year-old Oakley House, temporary home and inspiration to John James Audubon in the 1800s. The park includes a museum, picnic areas, Historic buildings, pavilion, and nature trail. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, Oakley House and its lush natural settings are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day.

The $4 adult admission to Audubon SHS includes the site video history presentation, the plantation house tour and all special programs. Children (12 and under) and senior citizens (62 and older) are admitted free. Audubon SHS is located 30 minutes north of Baton Rouge near St. Francisville on La. 965 in West Feliciana Parish. For more information, call 1-888-677-2838 toll free or 635-3739 in the St. Francisville area.