ls-ls-nltr.jpg THE OLD WAR HORSE
VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2,           February, 2007
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A quick jump to most of the articles in this issue:
Commander's Comments, Adjutant's Report, February Program (next), January Program (last),
Camp Officers, Longstreet's First Corps, Calendar of Events, In Memoriam, New Books, Monitor Center, Humor


When thinking of Confederate prison camps in  Richmond,  the
first  one  that  most likely comes to mind is Libby Prison.
This prison held Yankee prisoners of war and  has  been  the
topic  of  many  civil  war  writings.   Another Confederate
prison, Castle Thunder, held not only captured Union  spies,
political prisoners and Confederate deserters, but the worst
criminals in Richmond.  It was said that conditions in  this
prison  were miserable at best and those selected to run the
prison made no efforts to make it better.                   

Located on the north side of Cary Street between  Eighteenth
and  Nineteenth  Streets,  the  prison was a converted three
story tobacco warehouse.  Another prison amply named  Castle
Lightning was across the street and one block up from Castle
Thunder was the Confederate Coffee  factory.   Manufacturing
artificial  coffee  known as "Confederate coffee," (the best
most people could hope for during the  war,  )  the  factory
caught  fire  in  1864  and  caused great fear in those held
captive  near  by.   The  damage  caused  by  the  fire  was
estimated  at  $100,000 and the tremendous heat scorched the
exteriors of the two prisons.                               

Command of  the  prison  was  given  to  Captain  George  W.
Alexander.   He  had  not  too long before escaped from Fort
McHenry in Baltimore.  Before the war Alexander was  in  the
US  Navy  but  quit  to  join  the Confederate Army.  He was
captured by the Federals while attempting to seize  a  Union
ship.  The scheme involved soldiers dressing up as women and
had worked on a previous mission but  not  the  second  time
around.   Alexander  also wrote The Virginia Cavalier one of
the  most  popular  plays  of  the  Confederacy.   Assisting
Alexander to manage the prison was John Caphart, a detective
from Norfolk.  The two men worked hard at keeping  prisoners
in  line  but  it was alleged that they sometimes used cruel
measures to ensure success.  This earned them  a  reputation
of  ill  repute.   Elizabeth  Van  Lew  thought  so badly of
Caphart that she referred to  him  as  the  anti-Christ.   A
Confederate army ballad still survives today which tells the
general feeling about Castle Thunder:                       

I'd ruther be on the Grandfather Mountain                   
A-taking the snow and rain                                  
Than to be in Castle Thunder                                
A-wearin' the ball and chain.                               

Col.  Alexander also had  a  faithful  companion  at  Castle
Thunder.   His  dog,  named  Nero, was a black Bavarian boar
hound and was  allowed  to  run  around  the  prison  as  he
pleased.  The dog was good natured and was liked by most who
met him.  After  the  war  he  was  taken  north  by  Yankee
soldiers  and  was  exhibited  as  the  dog  that  ate Union
prisoners at Libby prison.                                  

In  1863  a  congressional  investigation  was  held  amidst
allegations   of  torture  and  corruption.   Alexander  and
Caphart lost their posts and were arrested but  the  charges
were  later  dropped.   Policies were changed and conditions
(or at least the appearance of conditions) improved.   After
the  capture  of  Richmond the Federals continued to use the
prison to hold those accused of  war  crimes  and  Alexander
escaped  to Canada.  After tensions eased following the war,
he returned to the US settling in Baltimore where  he  would
die in 1895.                                                

The  old  saying "It's a tough job but some one has to do it
!" sums up Col.  Alexander's job  as  controller  of  Castle
Thunder.  Although acquitted of all charges, Alexander still
carried the stigma of all the allegations of  torture  while
at  Castle  Thunder  for the rest of his life.  It's easy to
say that he could have done a better job running the  prison
but I know I wouldn't want to have had the job!             

See you at the Meeting!                                     


Longstreet Camp continues to grow with the addition  of  two
new  members.   Michael  Hendrick  of  San Mateo, California
decided that he wants to be a member  of  a  Virginia  camp,
since his ancestor John H.  Hendrick was in a Virginia unit.
John served in Company C (the Grayson Rifles)  of  the  45th
Virginia   Infantry.    John  was  a  POW  at  Camp  Morton,
Indianapolis, Indiana.  The addition of Michael to our  camp
moves our westernmost outpost from Texas to California.     

We  have  sent  to  headquarters  the  certified  membership
application of Howard S.  Donald, Jr.,  who  lives  in  this
area.  His ancestor, Roger W.  Scott, served in the Courtney
Henrico Artillery.  An induction ceremony will be  scheduled
for  compatriot  Donald  when  his membership certificate is
received by us.                                             

We welcome both these gentlemen to our  camp.   This  brings
our  number  of regular members to 83, highest in the Camp's
history.  In addition, we have six associate members.       

As I write this today, thoughts turn to the  immortal  Major
General James Ewell Brown Stuart, born on this date in 1833.
The Stuart-Mosby Historical  Society's  annual  ceremony  at
Hollywood  Cemetery  is  scheduled  for  11:00  AM Saturday,
February 17  in  the  Stuart  family  section  of  Hollywood
Cemetery.   The  Richmond  Times-Dispatch  several years ago
gave excellent coverage of this event with a picture showing
three generations of Stuarts.  Jeb IV is an associate member
of our camp, and Jeb V and Jeb VI call Longstreet their home
camp.   Another  Longstreet  Camp  member  is  Daryl  Cooke,
descendant of the original  Jeb's  brother-on-law  Brigadier
General John Rogers Cooke.                                  

It  is  interesting  that  birthdays of Virginia Confederate
leaders Lee,  Jackson,  Maury,  Stuart,  and  Pickett  occur
within  a  period  of  about three weeks.  We have something
important to celebrate in the bleak midwinter.              

Two other dates in February are also important.             
George Washington, justifiably called the indispensable man,
was  born  February 22, 1732.  The Sunday February 4 edition
of The Washington Post ran a story  headlined  How  Virginia
Saved  America,  and  Why  February  2  Should Be a Holiday.
February 2, 1789 was the date of the election of a member of
the  House  of  Representatives  covering  an  eight  county
district in the Piedmont  area  of  central  Virginia.   The
opponents were James Madison and James Monroe.  The district
had been drawn up by Patrick Henry in an effort to  make  it
difficult  for  Madison  to  win.   One  writer  called this
redistricting "Henrymandering."  Without  informing  Monroe,
his backers spread the rumor that Madison was hostile to the
amendments proposed at the  Constitutional  Convention.   In
the  election  campaign  Madison announced that the time had
come to consider amendments which would satisfy  critics  of
the  Constitution and would strengthen individual liberties.
Madison won by 330 votes.  Because of his long  advocacy  of
religious   liberty,   he  was  strongly  supported  by  the
Baptists.  Madison went on to  advocate  amendments  to  the
Constitution  which  included  the  Bill of Rights.  Running
against each other did not  damage  the  friendship  between
Madison and Monroe.                                         

We've heard a lot of chatter in the last seven years about a
divided country, implying that this  is  something  new.   A
recent   reading  of  Ron  Chernow's  outstanding  biography
Alexander Hamilton serves as a reminder that the country has
been  divided from the beginning.  Thomas Jefferson fell out
with George Washington over states'  rights  vs.   a  strong
central  government.  Hamilton, although a Federalist, was a
compulsive writer and wrote a scathing denunciation  of  the
presidency  of  John  Adams,  which  may have contributed to
Adams's defeat in his bid  to  be  re-elected  president  in
1800.   Hamilton's  poison  pen was then aimed at Aaron Burr
and led to the duel in which Hamilton was killed.   Hamilton
was  undoubtedly brilliant and capable, but was unwilling to
restrain his tongue and his pen.  His death was  an  example
of the power of words to inflame passions.  In a talk at the
Virginia  Historical  Society,  author  Chernow  said   that
Hamilton's  95  page  explanation  of  his  affair with Mary
Reynolds was a far cry from "I did not have  sex  with  that

Just  think  of it.  In the earliest years of our nationhood
we had a divided country, controversial  redistricting,  and
political activism by religious people.  Too many of today's
pundits are so busy pontificating that they don't take  time
to read the history of our great nation.                    

Richmond Council Navy League recently ran three buses to the
National Museum of the Marine Corps  in  Quantico.   If  you
don't   get   goose  bumps  going  though  that  magnificent
facility, you need an infusion of patriotic spirit.  One  of
the  young  (aren't  they  all!) Marines on duty there was a
recipient of the Navy Cross, which is just under  the  Medal
of  Honor  in precedence.  Listening to him gives you a good
feeling about the quality of our men and  women  serving  in
today's  military  services.   The brief movie about General
MacArthur and the  September  1950  Inchon  landing  in  the
Korean  War  was  particularly interesting to me.  President
Truman sent representatives of the Joint Chiefs of Staff  to
try to talk MacArthur out of it.  The Navy didn't want to do
it.  General MacArthur said, "I've got  more  confidence  in
the  Navy  than  the Navy does in itself." Omar Bradley, the
soldier's general, had testified after World  War  Two  that
there  would never be another amphibious landing.  MacArthur
comes in for criticism on other matters, but no one can deny
the  courage  he  displayed  in  sticking to his guns on the
Inchon landing,  one  of  the  greatest  feats  in  military
history.   If  you  haven't  been to this outstanding museum
yet, you need to go.                                        







Our  speaker  for  February  will  be  Dr.   Robert  Kenzer,
Professor  of  History  and  American Studies, University of

Dr.  Kenzer will introduce to us The Richmond Daily Dispatch
Online  Project  which  allows one to search the contents of
the newspaper during the  War  years.   The  Richmond  Daily
Dispatch  was  the largest newspaper in Richmond and had one
of the largest circulations in the South.  Dr.  Kenzer  will
give  us  a  brief  history  and  will  show  us how to take
advantage of this new research tool.                        

Since many of you have computers and  are  always  searching
for  information  about your ancestors, this should prove to
be a very interesting presentation.                         

Be sure to attend so that we may all give Dr.  Kenzer a warm
Longstreet welcome as fellow history enthusiasts!           


It is extremely difficult, if not  impossible,  to  describe
adequately  in  words  the  impact  of  the pictures and the
accompanying  narration   in   Mike   Gorman's   outstanding
Chaffin's Farm presentation at our January meeting.         

Mike  began  by  reminding us that the name Matthew Brady is
synonymous with War Between the States photography.  Most of
the  Chaffin's  Farm 1864-1865 pictures were taken by T.  C.
Roche of E.  & H.  T.  Anthony Company and by his co-worker,
U.  S.  government employee A.  J.  Russell.  Mike described
the Anthony Company as the Kodak of its day.  After The War,
Brady bought negatives from the Anthony Company and marketed
them as if they were his own.                               

Chaffin's Farm is the descriptive name applied to  the  area
where  Fort  Harrison  is  located.  That fort, a key to the
Confederate outer defenses of Richmond, was captured by  the
Yankees  September 29, 1864.  The fort was so important that
General Robert E.  Lee came over from Petersburg to  oversee
the Confederate Army's attempt to recapture it the next day.
General Ulysses S.   Grant  was  in  the  fort  during  this
attack.   Had  either Army overwhelmed and routed the other,
the possibility would have  existed  that  one  of  the  two
leading  generals  in  the  eastern  theater might have been
captured.  This might have led to the hastening of  the  end
of The War.                                                 

The  Yankees  reversed the fort and renamed it Fort Burnham,
after  Brigadier  General  Hiram  Burnham,  who  was  killed
September  29.  The Yankees lowered the Confederate wall and
erected a new wall on the opposite side of  the  fort  as  a
protection against further Confederate attacks.             

Union  photographers  began snapping away promptly after the
two days of battles.  There are more than 100 photographs of
the Chaffin's Farm area, compared to 90 for Gettysburg.  The
Chaffin's Farm photos were put to prompt use trumpeting  the
Yankee  victory,  since  the  presidential election was only
about 40-odd days away.  The digitized  photos,  which  Mike
discovered  on  the Library of Congress web site, were taken
in such a way that they can be shown in 3-D.  Mike  blew  up
the  pictures  for us and revealed incredible detail, making
cap devices and other unit  identifying  insignia  readable.
From  official  records  and  other  research material, Mike
determined that the 158th New York was at Fort Harrison only
a  few days in October 1864.  The 7th U.  S.  Colored Troops
were at the fort November 28.  The 10th Corps was  disbanded
December 4.                                                 

Several  of  the  pictures  showed  Union pickets.  A number
showed Confederate Fort Beauregard in the distance.         

Mike  showed  us  a  picture  of  an  abandoned  Confederate
building used by photographer Roche, who had lettered "Hotel
de Roche" on the side.  He then  showed  a  picture  of  two
Yankee  soldiers  aiming  rifles  as if they were engaged in
battle.   The  similarity  of  the  building  in  these  two
pictures  demonstrated  that  this was a posed photo with no
Confederate soldiers within rifle firing range.             

We were then shown photos taken long  after  The  War.   One
from  the  1890's showed many trees grown up in fields which
had been clear at the time of the battles.                  

Several interesting pictures  showed  Civilian  Conservation
Corps (CCC) workers, who rebuilt the forts in the 1930's, in
their  work  uniforms  and  in  baseball  uniforms   playing
baseball.   All the workers depicted were black.  During the
reconstruction work, truckloads of shells were dug up.      

Pictures of the 1934  dedication  of  the  site  showed  the
director  of  the  National  Park  Service, Douglas Southall
Freeman, J.  Ambler Johnston,  Tazewell  Carrington,  and  a
Confederate  veteran.   Virginia's  governor  also attended.
Johnston,  Freeman's  co-worker  in  doing  yeoman  work  in
battlefield  preservation,  was  a  member of our Longstreet

A fascinating picture from the 1930's  showed  visitors  who
looked as if they were dressed up to go to church.  The park
ranger's pants and boots made him  look  as  if  he  were  a
cavalryman ready to mount his horse and lead a charge.      

Mike  is  to  be  highly  commended  for  his  great work in
discovering and interpreting photographs.  His work  can  be
viewed on his web site:    



Commander: Taylor Cowardin 359-9277 1st. Lt. Cmdr.: William F. Shumadine, III 285-4044 2nd Lt. Cmdr.: Michael Kidd 270-9651 Adjutant/Treasurer: Walter Tucker 360-7247 Judge Advocate: Richard B. Campbell 278-6488 Quartermaster: R. Preston Nuttall 276-8977 Chaplain: Henry V. Langford 474-1978


Webmaster: Gary F. Cowardin 262-0534 Website: War Horse: David P. George 200-1311



The following is a cumulative listing of contributors to the
upkeep of “The Old War Horse” for the period September, 2007
through the current month.   As  you  know,  our  cumulative
listing starts in July of each year.                        

Ben Baird
Lloyd Brooks
Brian Cowardin
Clint Cowardin*
Lee Crenshaw
Raymond Crews*
Jerold Evans*
Kitty Faglie*
Richard Faglie*
Pat Hoggard
Louis Heindl
Chris Jewett
John Kane
Roger Kirby
Mike Miller*
Joe Moschetti
Preston Nuttall
Rufus Sarvay
Waite Rawls
Peyton Roden
Bill Setzer
John Shumadine
Will Schumadine
Harrison Taylor
Walter Tucker
Will Wallace
Harold Whitmore
Hugh Williams
Joe Wright

In Memory of Bill Jones-Anonymous
In memory of Tom Lauterbach-Anonymous
In Memory of Chuck Walton-Ben Baird

* - Multiple contributions                 
§ - Visitor Donation                       
+ - in memory of Past Cmdr. Tom Lauterbach 


THROUGH APRIL 1 "By the  Sea"  exhibit  of  major  fine  art
photographs,  contemporary  works and historical pieces from
The Mariner's Museum collection at  the  Museum  in  Newport
News.   Plus  "The  Monitor  Revisited,"  original photos by
pinhole photographer Willie Ann Wright.   Daily  10-5.   For
info, (800) 581-7245; www.marinersmuseumorg

THROUGH  MAY  "Many  Thousands Go: African Americans and the
Civil War," new exhibit at Pamplin  Historical  Park  &  The
National  Museum  of  the  Civil War Soldier focusing on the
contributions of black soldiers & civilians on both sides of
the  conflict.   Featuring  original  copy of the Thirteenth
Amendment (through  September,  2006,)  artifacts  from  the
William  A.   Gladstone  black militaria collection owned by
Pamplin and other  collections.   For  info:  1-877-PAMPLIN:

THROUGH   SEPTEMBER   "Generations:  The  MacArthur  Family"
exhibit  at  The  MacArthur  Memorial,   MacArthur   Square,
Norfolk.   Displays on General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
from MacArthur clan roots  in  14th  century  Scotland,  his
father  who  received  the  Medal of Honor in the Civil War,
other  family  members.   Monday  through  Saturday,   10-5,
Sundays,   11-5.    Free.    For   info:   (757)   441-2965;

FEBRUARY 24 "The Answers They Were Born  to  Make:  Choosing
Sides in the Civil War" symposium co-sponsored by the Museum
of The Confederacy at the Library of Virginia Lecture  Hall,
Richmond.    9:40-4:30.   Presentations  by  Dr.   Wei-Siang
Hsieh, William C.  Davis, Craig L.  Symonds and Brian  Steel
Wills.    $45   non-members,   reservations  required.   For
information, 804-649-1861, Ext.  32

MARCH 3 Wayside Soiree- 1st annual benefit  ball  for  Cedar
Creek  Battlefield  Foundation  at  Wayside Inn, Middletown.
Period  Attire  preferred,  black-tie  accepted.   $75   per
person.   Attendance  limited,  reservations  required.  For
information, reservations, CCBF, 888-628-1864

MARCH 3 8TH Annual Civil War Seminar, "Robert E.   Lee,"  at
Hull  Building,  Longwood  University, Farmville 9:45 a.  m.
Speakers include Dr.  David Coles, Doyle Sapp, Dr.  Paul  C.
Reber,  David  Palmer,  Charles  Bracelen  Floyd,  Robert K.
Krick.  Free.  Lunch  available.   Sponsored  by  Appomattox
Court  House  National  Park  and  Department  of  History &
Political Science at Longwood University.  For  information,
Dr.    David   Coles,   434-395-2220  or  Patrick  Schroder,
434-352-8987, Ext.  32

MARCH 17-18 145th Anniversary of The Battle of Williamsburg.
 at   Endview   Plantation,   Newport   News.Daily    battle
 reenactment,  living  history,  encampments.  $7 admission.
House  visit  is  a  separate  charge.    For   information,

MARCH 23, 24 11th Annual Civil War Seminar, "Robert E.   Lee
in  Life  and  Legend."  DeMoss  Hall,  Liberty  University,
Lynchburg.  Admission $55, includes  all  seminar  sessions,
Friday  night  banquet,  Saturday luncheon.  After March 21,
admission Friday only, $25; Saturday only,  $30.   Speakers:
Dr.   Steven  Woodworth,  Gordon Rhea, Richard G.  Williams,
Jr., Al Stone, Delanie Stephenson, Robert K.  Krick, Rev.  Al
Farley,   Jeffrey  D.   Wert,  William  Marvell,  Dr.   Holt
Merchant.   Reservations  required   by   March   21.    For
information 434-592-4031, or

In Memoriam

Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart

Born February 6, 1833
Died May 12, 1864


By Margaret Junkin Preston (1820-1897)

I read the marble-lettered name,
   And half in bitterness I said,
"As Dante from Ravenna came,
   Our poet came from exile-dead."
And yet, had it been asked of him
   Where he would rather lay his head,
This spot he would have chosen. Dim
   The city's hum drifts o'er his grave,
	And green above the hollies wave
Their jagged leaves, as when a boy,
   On blissful summer afternoons,
   He came to sing the birds his runes,
And tell the river of his joy.

Who dreams that in his wanderings wide
   By stern misfortunes tossed and driven,
   His soul's electric strands were riven
From home and country? Let betide
What might, what would, his boast, his pride,
Was in his stricken mother-land,
   That could but bless and bid him go,
Because no crust was in her hand
   To stay her children's need. We know
The mystic cable sank too deep
   For surface storm or stress to strain,
Or from his answering heart to keep
   The spark from flashing back again.

Think of the thousand mellow rhymes,
   The pure idyllic passion-flowers,
Wherewith, in far-gone, happier times,
   He garlanded this South of ours.
Provencal-like, he wandered long,
   And sang at many a stranger's board,
The tenderest pathos through his song.
We owe the poet praise and tears,
   Whose ringing ballad sends the brave,
Bold Stuart riding down the years.
   What have we given him? Just a grave!


By John Reuben Thompson (1823-1873)

We could not pause, while yet the noontide air
Shook with the cannonade's incessant pealing,
The funeral pageant fitly to prepare--
A nation's great revealing.

The smoke, above the glimmering woodland wide
   That skirts our southward border in its beauty,
Marked where our heroes stood and fought and died
   For love and faith and duty.

And still, what time the doubtful strife went on,
   We might not find expression for our sorrow;
We could but lay our dear dumb warrior down
   And gird us for the morrow.

One weary year agone, when came a lull
   With victory in the conflict's stormy closes.
When the glad Spring, all flushed and beautiful,
   First mocked us with her roses,

With dirge and bell and minute-gun, we paid
   Some few poor rites--an inexpressive token
Of a great people's pain--to Jackson's shade,
   In agony unspoken.

No wailing trumpet and no tolling bell,
   No cannon, save the battle's boom receding,
When Stuart to the grave we bore, might tell,
   With hearts all crushed and bleeding.

The crisis suited not with pomp, and she
   Whose anguish bears the seal of consecration
Had wished his Christian obsequies should be
   Thus void of ostentation.

Only the maidens came, sweet flowers to twine
   Above his form so still and cold and painless,
Whose deeds upon our brightest records shine,
   Whose life and sword were stainless.

They well remembered how he loved to dash
   Into the fight, festooned from summer bowers;
How like a fountain's spray his sabre's flash
   Leaped from a mass of flowers.

And so we carried to his place of rest
   All that of our great Paladin was mortal:
The cross, and not the sabre, on his breast,
   That opes the heavenly portal.

No more of tribute might to us remain:
But there will still come a time when Freedom's martyrs
A richer guerdon of reknown shall gain
   Than gleams in stars and garters.

I hear from out that sunlit land which lies
   Beyond these clouds that gather darkly o'er us,
The happy sounds of industry arise
   In swelling peaceful chorus.

And mingling with these sounds, the glad acclaim
   Of millions undisturbed by war's afflictions,
Crowning each martyr's never-dying name
   With grateful benedictions.

In some fair  future garden of delights,
Where flowers shall bloom and song-birds sweetly warble,
Art shall erect the statues of our knights
   In living bronze and marble.

And none of all that bright heroic throng
   Shall wear to far-off time a semblance grander,
Shall still be decked with fresher wreaths of song,
   Than this beloved commander.

The Spanish legend tells us of the Cid,
   That after death he rode, erect, desately,
Along his lines, even as in life he did,
   In presence yet more stately;

And thus our Stuart, at this moment, seems
   To ride out of our dark and troubled story
Into the region of romance and dreams,
   A realm of light and glory;

And sometimes, when the silver bugles blow,
   That ghostly form, in battle reappearing,
Shall lead his horsemen headlong on the foe,
In victory careering!

We felt that we should mark the  143rd  anniversary  of  the
death  of  Stuart with something fitting.  The preceding two
poems were the product of two period poets and  reflect  the
feelings  of  Southrons  about  the  loss  of  their beloved
dashing young cavalry hero.                                 


Cadet Gray and  Butternut  Brown  by  Thomas  M.   Arliskas,
illustrated,  endnotes,  softcover.   103pp,  2006.   Thomas
Publications, 3245 Fairfield  Road,  Gettysburg,  PA  17325,
$21.95 ppd.                                                 

Women  on  the  Civil  War  Battlefront by Richard H.  Hall.
Illustrated,  index,   bibliography   384pp.,   2006.    The
University Press of Kansas, 2502 Westbrooke Circle, Lawrence
, KS 66045, $24,95 plus shipping.                           

Crucible of  the  Civil  War;  Virginia  From  Secession  to
Commemoration.    Edited   by  Edward  L.   Ayres,  Gary  W.
Alexander and Andrew J.  Torget.   Illustrated,  index,  256
pp.,  2006.   The  University of Virginia Press, Box 400318,
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4318, $35 plus shipping.          

Our Trust Is in the God of Battles:The Civil War Letters  of
Robert  Franklin  Bunting,  Chaplain, Terry's Texas Rangers,
C.S.A Edited  by  Thomas  W.   Cutrer.   Illustrated,  maps,
rosters  of  officers and enlisted men, bibliography, index,
436 pp, 2006.  University of Tennessee Press, 110 Conference
Center,  600 Henley Street, Knoxville, TN.  37996-4108.  $45
plus shipping.                                              


The unveiling of the new $30,000,000 U.S.S Monitor Center at
The  Mariner's  Museum  in  Newport  News will take place on
March 9, 2006.

The exhibit includes a high  definition  battle  theater,  a
full  scale  replica of the Monitor , artifacts that include
the actual gun turret,  interactive  exhibits  and  hands-on

Opening  weekend  is  March  9-11  and includes the Official
Ribbon-cutting Ceremony, opening  colors  ceremony  for  the
U.S.S.   Monitor  replica, History Bites: Foods of the Civil
War, Old Navy's reenactment of the battle between the U.S.S.
Monitor and the C.S.S.  Virginia, Fireworks, and more.


NO COUNTERSIGN                                              
When food was scarce, many soldiers would steal  or  pillage
nearby farms for anything that could be converted to food or
drink.   One  evening  an  officer   smelled   roast   pork.
Investigating,  he  found a pig roasting over a campfire and
asked who the soldiers were that stole it.  A corporal  came
to  attention  and  said  "Sir,  I was on picket duty when I
heard a noise and I called out  for  the  password.   All  I
heard was "Oink!" and that is not the countersign, so I shot
him.  We were just going to bring him to your tent for court
martial  and  have  you  pass judgment on him.  The officer,
suppressing a smile, said "Bring only a part of  him  and  I
will pass a partial sentence."                              

FIRST BATTLE                                                
When a soldier went into a battle for the first time, it was
called " seeing the elephant." Also, when two veterans would
meet and discuss their first  battle,  they  would  use  the
expression  "where  did  you  lose your grin?" The fun for a
young soldier was over once he entered his first battle.    

BIGGEST SOLDIER                                             
The biggest soldier in the Union Army was Captain David  Van
Buskirk of the 27th Indiana, who stood 6 feet 11 inches tall
and weighed 380 pounds!  He was captured in 1862 and sent to
a  Richmond  prison where a Confederate entrepreneur put him
on exhibition.  Even President Jefferson Davis came  to  see
him  and  was astonished when the impish Van Buskirk claimed
that "Back home in Indiana, when I was at the train  station
with  my  company, my six sisters came to say goodbye.  As I
was standing there, they all came up to me, leaned down  and
kissed me goodbye on the top of my head!"                   

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©2007 James Longstreet Camp, #1247, SCV - Richmond, Virginia