Posts tagged civil war
Posts tagged civil war
Hurricane Isaac uncovers mystery Civil War warship on Alabama beach
Gulf Coast residents are getting a history lesson after a mysterious ship popped up on the beach after Hurricane Isaac.
The wreckage of a presumed Civil War warship washed up in Fort Meyer, Alabama, near Mobile, after the Category 1 storm barreled down on the Gulf Cost.
Portions of the blockade runner had been uncovered in previous hurricanes but the strength of Isaac’s storm surge unearthed more of the ship’s structure, leaving behind a stunning scene and much debate over the ship’s provenance.
‘Look what Isaac uncovered!’ Meyer Vacation Rentals posted on their Facebook page, with photos of the breathtaking remains provided by thelocal real estate company.
The ship first became visible after Hurricane Ivan, in 2004, and reappeared after Hurricane Ike in 2008.
‘There is disagreement about this mystery ship, whether it is a blockade runner from the Civil War or a rum runner from the 1930s.’
‘Either way, it’s quite interesting. This is the most visible it has been in recent years. Eventually the shifting sands will pull it back under the beach, where it will slumber until another storm is powerful enough to bring it back to the surface,’ the posting added.
The wooden boat, measuring 150 feet long and 30 feet wide, is believed to be the remains of the Monticello, a Confederate blockade runner that had burned after it crash trying to pass the Union Navy guarding Mobile Bay during the Civil War.
The vessel appears to have been powered by steam. The ship’s hull appears to be an old water pump and a long pipe runs down the center of the ship, according to the Mobile Press-Register.
In the War Between the States, which lasted from 1861–1865, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln ordered a blockade to cut off the South from trading with Europe to weaken the Confederate Army during the conflict.
A runner was a military warship used to break blockades or used in smuggling operations, because its lighter weight allowed for greater speed.
The steamships were designed to be longer, narrower and faster than traditional steamers, stationed along the coast, so they could outrun the enemy.
A visual history of what went on in this country before presidential stylists were invented
This needs to be on everyone’s dashes again. Because of reasons.
By the spring of 1862, a year into the American Civil War, Major General Ulysses S. Grant had pushed deep into Confederate territory along the Tennessee River. In early April, he was camped at Pittsburg Landing, near Shiloh, Tennessee, waiting for Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s army to meet up with him.
On the morning of April 6, Confederate troops based out of nearby Corinth, Mississippi, launched a surprise offensive against Grant’s troops, hoping to defeat them before the second army arrived. Grant’s men, augmented by the first arrivals from the Ohio, managed to hold some ground, though, and establish a battle line anchored with artillery. Fighting continued until after dark, and by the next morning, the full force of the Ohio had arrived and the Union outnumbered the Confederates by more than 10,000.
The Union troops began forcing the Confederates back, and while a counterattack stopped their advance it did not break their line. Eventually, the Southern commanders realized they could not win and fell back to Corinth until another offensive in August (for a more detailed explanation of the battle, see this animated history).
All told, the fighting at the Battle of Shiloh left more than 16,000 soldiers wounded and more 3,000 dead, and neither federal or Confederate medics were prepared for the carnage.
The bullet and bayonet wounds were bad enough on their own, but soldiers of the era were also prone to infections. Wounds contaminated by shrapnel or dirt became warm, moist refuges for bacteria, which could feast on a buffet of damaged tissue. After months marching and eating field rations on the battlefront, many soldiers’ immune systems were weakened and couldn’t fight off infection on their own. Even the army doctors couldn’t do much; microorganisms weren’t well understood and the germ theory of disease and antibiotics were still a few years away. Many soldiers died from infections that modern medicine would be able to nip in the bud.
I know my great-great-great-grandfather’s name: David P. Grier. I know his birthday (December 26, 1836), and I know when he got married (September 17, 1863), and to whom. I know my great-great-great-grandmother’s name (Anna McKinney) and her birthday (August 12, 1840), and I have pictures of both of them in round wooden frames. Her hair is up and she looks mildly amused; he looks very serious and wears a superb mustache. I know where they lived (Peoria, then St. Louis) and how many children they had (seven), and I know that their wedding was “the most colorful and romantic wedding of the nineteenth century in Peoria.” I know that she was “tall and regal in appearance” as well as being “kind, unselfish, and noble”; I know that he was “confident, eager, and courageous,” “bold, dashing, and impetuous,” and “more than ordinarily good looking even as men go,” which is rather a charming thing to learn about one’s ancestor.
Here is another thing that I know: they were madly in love, which is quite another thing to learn about one’s great-great-great-grandparents. I know this because David wrote Anna letters about it, and I have read them. (Anna’s letters haven’t survived — she asked him to burn them — but she saved his; and they did get married, raise children, and live together until his death, so I assume the feeling was mutual.) They don’t require much reading between the lines. “[I]f I should wander the United States over I would never forget you nor cease to love you,” he writes. “They might pass me by all the beautiful young Ladies in the universe and they would make no impression on me for my heart is irrecoverably lost and it is yours, for ever.”
He wrote her this the year before they married, from Paducah, Kentucky, where he was stationed as a Union officer in the Civil War. And he wrote things like this repeatedly — from his enlistment in 1861 until the end of the war in 1865, hardly a week went by without him sending her a letter professing his love. They were written in the lengthy downtime of the army, sitting around waiting for orders or for the next engagement, in the aftermath of battle, while on steamers going up or down the Mississippi.
‘In 2009 the Smithsonian found a “secret” message engraved in Abraham Lincoln’s watch by a watchmaker who was repairing it in 1861 when news of the attack on Fort Sumter reached Washington, D.C.
‘In an interview with The New York Times April 30, 1906, 84-year-old Jonathan Dillon recalled he was working for M.W. Galt and Co. on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, where he was repairing Lincoln’s watch. The owner of the shop announced that the first shot of the Civil War had been fired. Dillon reported that he unscrewed the dial of the watch, and with a sharp instrument wrote on the metal beneath:
‘The first gun is fired. Slavery is dead. Thank God we have a President who at least will try.’
‘He then signed and dated the inscription and closed the dial. Dillon told The New York Times in 1906 that to his knowledge, no one ever saw the inscription.
‘After being contacted by Dillon’s great-great-grandson, the museum agreed to remove the dial to see if the watchmaker’s message was inside. The museum did find a message inscribed on the brass underside of the movement. The wording was slightly different from Dillon’s own recollection. The actual engraving says:
Fort Sumpter [sic] was attacked by the rebels on the above date J Dillon
Washington Thank God we have a government
‘“Lincoln never knew of the message he carried in his pocket,” said the director of the National Museum of American History. This inscription remained hidden behind the dial for almost 150 years.’
Speaking of Segways, I will never not laugh at this. Never.
eBay: Civil War (by OneShowTV)
Oh. My god. Dying laughing here.
Given the times, it’s good that bros kept their bromances alive and strong.