Civil War Times Illustrated, January 2007

Why Are These Summaries Showing Up Late?

Civil War Times Illustrated

Volume 45, Number 10 (January 2007)

Civil War Times Illustrated Web Site

Mail Call…..4

Turning Points: Arming the Confederacy…..9

Josiah Gorgas

by Jeffry D. Wert

This month Turning Points looks at Brigadier General Josiah Gorgas, chief of the Confederate Ornance Bureau.

Gallery: South Carolina Volunteer…..13

Wiliam N. Gaston

submitted by John Porter Gaston III

William Gaston served with the 6th South Carolina in Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia during the war, serving from Fort Sumter to Appomattox and suffering four different wounds.

Irregulars: The Operators…..17

by Eric Ethier

Telegraph operators faced a hazardous path during the Civil War, with one in ten becoming a fatality.  Despite the dangers, these men were not paid like soldiers or given the same recognition.  Despite the dangers, writes Eric Ethier, these men went wherever the armies did, always trying to keep their side better informed than the enemy.

Civil War Today: Rough Waters for the Museum of the Confederacy…..19

by Michael J. Varhola

The Museum of the Confederacy faces a budget reduction of $650,000, money that had been counted on.  As a result, the Museum has been forced to institute drastic measures such as limiting visiting times and days, limiting new exhibits, and even briefly discontinuing tours of the Confederate White House in downtown Richmond.

Behind the Lines Editorial…..21

by Chris W. Lewis

Editor Chris Lewis discusses the many tasks of a Civil War General, and notes that fighting was just the tip of the iceberg.

A Legend is Born…..22

by Richard F. Selcer

Grant’s ability to learn on the job is explored in the first of a three part series looking at the three campaigns in which an enemy army surrendered to Grant, a record unsurpassed in American history.  The first instance of surrender came at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, where Grant’s pre-war friend Simon Bolivar Buckner was the opposing commander.  Grant’s subordinate and mentor Brigadier General Charles F. Smith mentioned “unconditional surrender”, but Selcer points out Grant never credited Smith as the inspiration for this famous phrase.  Despite scheming subordinates and the Navy looking to gain credit for the surrender, Grant came out of this ordeal as the victor of Fort Donelson.  He did not do so without making some mistakes, according to Selcer, including allowing too many Rebels to be assigned to burial parties, many of whom escaped; not appointing a provost marshal to handle the large number of prisoners; allowing too many other men to write out paroles, even Buckner!; and allowing his own men too much leeway in their behavior.  In the end, it took two full days of talks before the surrender was finalized.  It did not happen without Buckner trying to use his friendship to gain concessions, but Grant held firm on all important points.  Selcer writes that Grant was a man of great compassion and generosity during the surrender, ignoring protocol when it made no sense.  He concludes that the media sensation of the surrender and the term “unconditional surrender” served Grant well and propelled him on to even greater victories.

New York City’s Secession Crisis…..32

by Chuck Leddy

New York City, led by Mayor Fernando Wood and men with financial interests in the South, proposed secession of their own from the United States and the forming of a new independent city-state called “Tri-Insula.”  Wood’s efforts caused him to be viewed with suspicion and dislike in the North.  New York City was highly democratic and pro-South, partially as a result of the enormous profits New York City merchants made off of the institution of slavery.  Once the Civil War started, New York’s threats to secede became unrealistic and faded into the background as patriotic fervor gripped the North.  However, this undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the Republicans and abolitionists never truly went away entirely.  Leddy mentions Wood’s efforts as a Copperhead congressman and the New York City draft riots of 1863 as just two examples of this.

Gettysburg After the Storm…..38

by Gabor S. Boritt

In an excerpt from his book The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech That Nobody Knows, Gabor Boritt looks at the devastation wrought by the two opposing armies during the Gettysburg Campaign.  Seven thousand dead and 21,000 wounded were left behind at Gettysburg with hardly any surgeons to care for them.  The stench of rotting carcasses was present for months.  In all of this destruction, George Meade took four out of every five surgeons with the Army of the Potomac in their pursuit of Lee.  In the vacuum left behind, the National and Pennsylvania governments did not recognize the extent of the disaster and hardly any official help was forthcoming.  The number of dead grew daily as the ground became ever more hallowed.

‘To the Last Crust and Cartridge’…..46

by George Skoch

Prolific Civil War cartographer George Skoch turns to writing, this time about the action at Greenland Gap on April 25, 1863 during the Jones-Imboden Raid.  Captain Martin Wallace of the 23rd Illinois commanded the 50 or so men of his company along with 30-odd men from a company of the 14th West Virginia defending Greenland Gap.  Brig. General “Grumble” Jones’ force of 2000 men descended on the gap, and after bloody afternoon and evening attacks finally forced the Union defenders to surrender.  The raid was a success, but the stand of these Union soldiers prevented the Confederates from achieving even more, according to Grumble Jones.

My War: ‘This Worrisome Mode of Existence’: The Letters of Josiah H. Gordon…..55

edited by Christopher Benedetto

Member of the Maryland Legislature Josiah H. Gordon was suspected of treason by the Federal government in the early years of the Civil War.  As a result, he was held at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor for eight months.  This edition of My War consists of selected diary entries Gordon wrote while imprisoned there.

In Their Footsteps: The Road to Atlanta, Part 2…..60

by Jay Wertz

Jay Wertz continues his driving tour of the Atlanta Campaign, this time from Calhoun to the “Shoupades” of the Chattahoochee River Line.

Civil War Times Album of the Late War…..64

by Chris Howland

This collection of anecdotes includes the fate of Simon Bolivar Buckner, a hygiene kit, a portable checkerboard, and a letter from a man who had been reported killed to his wife!

Book Reviews…..66

  1. Contested Borderland: The Civil War in Appalachian Kentucky and Virginia by Brian D. McKnight
  2. Military Necessity: Civil-Military Relations in the Confederacy by Paul D. Escott
  3. Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac by William Swinson

Frozen Moment: Fort Fisher’s Hot Shot Furnace…..74

The image in this Frozen Moment is the solid shot furnace from Fort Fisher, North Carolina, which was used against a combined arms Union force which attacked the fort in January 1865.


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