Friday, May 26, 2017

Plans for musket show-and-tell go awry

Braden River elementary and middle schools in Florida were locked down Thursday morning after a teacher brought a Civil War-era musket to school as part of a demonstration for his students. According to officials, a middle school history teacher had informed the school resource officer that he’d be bringing the weapon to his class, but when someone spotted the teacher leave his car and enter the school with the musket, the schools were locked down. • Article

Friday, May 19, 2017

Observance to recall grim Mo. skirmish

Efforts to create a living history site where a black Union infantry unit was ambushed by Confederate guerrillas during the Civil War will be marked by an observance in Joplin, Mo., on Saturday. The event will focus on site improvements, such as a plaque that tells the story of the site, and a split-rail fence that has been finished around the property. • Article

Monday, May 15, 2017

'Core battlefield': Civil War Trust acquires 37 acres on Barlow's Knoll at Gettysburg

(Photos courtesy of Civil War Trust)

Thirty-seven acres on Barlow’s Knoll, the site of a successful Confederate attack on the first day of fighting at Gettysburg, has been acquired by the Civil War Trust. The property eventually will be transferred to the National Park Service, officials said Monday.

Early on the afternoon of July 1, 1863, Union Brig. Gen. Francis Barlow placed his division of the Union 11th Corps on an overexposed small rise north of the Gettysburg Almshouse. 

Confederates under Brig. Gen. John B. Gordon attacked Barlow’s position, “steamrolling the Federals off the knoll and across the Almshouse property below,” the Trust said in a news release.

“Pockets of Yankees made short, desperate attempts to stem the tide, only to be washed away by Gordon’s impetuous men. Hundreds of men fell on the ground between the Almshouse and Barlow’s Knoll, including Gen. Barlow himself, who was captured. Half of Barlow's men became casualties at Gettysburg,” The Trust said. 

Battlefield photo taken early 20th century (Library of Conrgress)

The Trust raised $400,000 to buy the land from Adams County. It runs adjacent to Gettysburg National Military Park near a monument to Barlow. The trust said acreage is used for crop farming, and the land use will not change.
"This is without a doubt one of the most important unprotected properties at one of the most hallowed places in America," said Trust President James Lighthizer. "Barlow’s Knoll saw crucial and costly fighting on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, and this land will now be preserved for generations to come." 

Area in yellow was targeted property (CWT)

With this purchase, the Trust has helped save nearly 1,000 acres at Gettysburg, the group said.

In a video produced by the Trust during its campaign to acquire the land, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Jim Hessler said the 37 acres were “core battlefield.”

As a side note, Gordon after the war wrote that he personally assisted the badly wounded Barlow at Gettysburg and wrote to the latter’s wife that she would have safe conduct if she could visit the general.

On a Gettysburg park blog, D. Scott Hartwig wrote in 2012 about Gordon’s debatable account of aiding the enemy commander. Gordon said he and Barlow met in 1879 at a dinner, neither suspecting the other survived the war. It makes for interesting reading.

Working replica cannon set at courthouse

A thunderous boom announced the arrival the newest addition to the Montgomery County Courthouse lawn: A working replica of a Civil War-era cannon. The Leaf-Chronicle of Clarksville, Tenn., reports the gun is a gift from the Rotary Club to celebrate its 100th anniversary. It was built using original drawings of a Model 1841 6-pounder field piece. • Article

Saturday, May 6, 2017

5 Medals of Honor and a sitting duck

It’s the greatest Lowcountry Civil War story you’ve never heard. Five federal troops were bestowed the Medal of Honor for a single engagement on the Ashepoo River in Colleton County, S.C.. On Saturday -- 153 years later -- that heroism was recognized with the dedication of a marker near the scene, on today’s Bennetts Point Road off U.S. 17. • Article