Cover Story: John Brown’s Moonlight March
by Tim Rowland
A century and a half after his trek to Harpers Ferry, the abolitionist who declared his own war defies figuring out.
Tim Rowland offers an overview of John Brown’s famous raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia in mid-October 1859. Brown and 21 men walked five miles from a farmhouse he had been inconspicuously living in to the town. After collecting weapons, they barricaded themselves into a fire engine house, where they were eventually captured by a detachment of United States Marines led by Lt. Colonel Robert E. Lee. Brown was hanged for his attempt to start a slave insurrection on December 2, 1859. As a martyr, he did far more for the abolitionist cause than he could have ever accomplished while living. The 150th anniversary of the raid on Harpers Ferry occurs this October.
That Peculiar Institution…..36
A Civil War chronology traces the evolution of human bondage in America.
by Tom Huntington
Ex-slaves in the Union Army didn’t take the promise of “freedom” lightly.
Tom Huntingon covers the early use of African-American soldiers in South Carolina by Major General David Hunter. Hunter’s attempts to arm free Blacks and former slaves at first faced stiff opposition from many quarters, but this resistance waned as the war went on. The 1st South Carolina was the first unit Hunter created, and the unit performed well. Soon other Black regiments followed, and more than 179,000 African-American soldiers fought for the Union before the war was finished.
Stoking Memories of the Hottest Spot at Antietam…..46
by Manuel Gentile
Forget marble and granite. Old soldiers had their own monument ideas.
Veterans of the 90th Pennsylvania placed their own small monument at Antietam on the southern edge of Miller’s famous Cornfield. The monument consisted of three stacked Springfields with a coffee boiler hanging between them. Though the original is long gone, weathered by time, a replica stands at the spot today.
Home on the Front…..48
Opposing armies made a nasty mess of Sharpsburg. See for yourself.
Photos of the Antietam battlefield shot just after the battle show the destruction wrought by the war’s bloodiest day. Samuel Mumma’s farm buildings and home were all burned, and he never received compensation for his losses. The Lutheran Church in Sharpsburg was so riddled with artillery fire that the congregation decided to build a new church at a different location. David Reel’s barn, which had been used as a Confederate field hospital during the battle, caught fire from Federal artillery rounds and was destroyed. The famous Dunker Church showed the scars of battle as well.
The Missouri Guerrilla Hunt…..54
by Daniel E. Sutherland
Those Rebel bushwhackers could be such a bloody nuisance.
Daniel Sutherland covers the horrors of the guerrilla war in Missouri and Union forces’ attempts to rid the state of this threat. The Lieber Code, created in part to show who was a guerrilla and what rights they had, attempted to set forth clearly defined “Rules of War” so that Federal forces held the legal high ground in this struggle. Despite all of this, Federal forces often speedily hung known guerrillas rather than wait for a trial which might cause them to be released.
Standing By Their Man…..60
by Jared Frederick
Everybody can use a little help now and then—even the president.
The loyal and Lincoln-friendly wartime governors met in Altoona, Pennsylvania on September 23, 1862 to stand united behind Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and to recommend vigorous prosecution of the war.
Civil War News and History
Being Abraham Lincoln.
Writer and Lincoln reenactor David Selby answers five questions about the 16th president.
Anecdotes, Legends & Lies…..21
John Brown hangs, and Thomas Jackson contemplates eternity.
“Stonewall” Jackson witnessed John Brown’s hanging outside of Harpers Ferry in December 1859. He wrote to his wife that he prayed for the man’s soul and thought about Brown’s demeanor during and preparation for the event.
The Gathering Storm…..25
A newfangled machine makes the Southern economy go boom.
Eli Whitney’s cotton gin allowed short-staple cotton to become a cash crop and the need for slaves became even greater in the years prior to the war.
A picture of Harpers Ferry prior to the coming of John Brown…and war.
- Lincoln: The Biography of a Writer by Fred Kaplan
- Antietam, South Mountain & Harpers Ferry: A Battlefield Guide by Ethan S. Rafuse
- Wiregrass to Appomattox: The Untold Story of the 50th Georgia Infantry by James W. Parrish
- Giants: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln by John Stauffer
- My Year of Living Rangerously: http://volunteersinparks.blogspot.com
- The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)
- Kentuckians in Gray by Bruce Allardice
- Josie Underwood’s Civil War Diary edited by Nancy Disher Baird
- The Battle of the Crater: A Complete History by John F. Schmutz
- No Quarter: The Battle of the Crater, 1864 by Richard Slotkin
- Invisible Hero: Patrick R. Cleburne by Bruce H. Stewart
- Stonewall of the West: Patrick Cleburne & the Civil War by Craig L. Symonds
That’s a whole lotta lead.
This month’s Struck! shows a picture of a cartridge box with a bullet embedded into the flap.
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