Friday, December 21, 2012

The Iconic Places

As Christmas draws near we have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to our Civil War heritage.  Although we've lost many locations of great importance, we can still stand at places like the Sunken Road or The Angle and almost get an idea of what happened in the fields around us nearly 150 years ago.  Thanks to groups like the Civil War Preservation Trust and its supporters, acre after acre of new hallowed battlefield land has been added to expand opportunities for our understanding of the momentous event, protecting these important fields forever.  For this weeks post and for the sake of being thankful for the heritage we've inherited, enjoy some pictures of our Civil War Iconic Places.


Antietam National Cemetery

Ball's Bluff National Cemetery

The Sunken Road or Bloody Lane at Antietam

Ewell's Earthworks along Saunders Field at The Wilderness

Federal Redoubt at the Murphy Farm at Harpers Ferry

Downtown Harpers Ferry

Artillery on Henry House Hill

Innis House and the Telegraph Road at Fredericksburg

Federal Gun near the East Woods at Antietam

North Carolina Monument on South Mountain, land saved by the CWPT

Monument at the location of Stonewall Jackson's Mortal Wounding at Chancellorsville

Sedgwick Monument at Spotsylvania

Stevens Rock at Chantilly marking the location of the death of General Isaac Stevens

Belle Grove Plantation on the Cedar Creek Battlefield

East Cemetery Hill at Gettysburg

Virginia Monument at Gettysburg

The Wheatfield and Winslow's Guns at Gettysburg

Monocacy Junction
15th NJ Monument at the Bloody Angle or Mule Shoe Salient, Spotsylvania

Friday, December 14, 2012

Harrisburg Cemetery and the Civil War

           Residing between Herr and State Streets in the eastern part of the city of Harrisburg is the historic Harrisburg Cemetery.  The cemetery celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1995 and is the final resting place for many well-known citizens of all walks of life dating from the time of the revolution.  The cemetery was officially chartered in 1845 and is currently on the National Register of Historic Places.  Along with all the wonderful history, the cemetery is staffed by more than helpful and interested caretakers who know their way around the large plot.
          With regards to this blog, there are many well known and "should be better known" Civil War heroes buried in the cemetery. There is also a special plot containing soldiers that died in the care of Harrisburg's Civil War hospital.  This plot, Section Z, contains the graves of 155 soldiers, 15 of whom were Confederate prisoners of war that died while in the Harrisburg Hospital station.  Some of the better known Civil War officers/personalities interred in the cemetery include Major General John White Geary, Brigadier General James A Congdon, Brigadier General Joseph Knipe, Brigadier General George Zinn, Lt. Colonel George Fisher McFarland, Colonel James Cameron, Colonel Henry McCormick, and Secretary of State Simon Cameron.
          A visit to this hallowed cemetery is more than worth your while.  Whether perusing the Civil War heroes or just taking a stroll through this beautiful place, Harrisburg Cemetery well deserves its protection on the National Register of Historic Places for future generations to come and learn of the nation's past sacrifices as well as to help us understand the core values of what it means to be a citizen of the state and nation.

Below are some of the better known interments in the cemetery.

Bvt Brigadier General James A Congdon of the 12th PA Cavalry
Colonel William Jennings
Colonel William W Jennings who commanded the 127th PA (Dauphin County Regiment) through the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville...later commanding the 26th PA Emergency Militia against Jubal Early's Division on the 26th of June at Gettysburg

Captain George Brooks of Company D, 46th Pennsylvania Infantry was killed in action at Antietam

Captain George Brooks, 46th PA KIA Antietam

Colonel George Fisher McFarland of the 151st PA ("Schoolteachers Regiment") - Was severely wounded at Gettysburg and lost his legs...the regiment suffered 70% casualties on July 1st fighting a delaying action on Eastern McPherson's Ridge
Colonel George F McFarland
Bvt Brig Gen Robert W McCoy 
Section Z - Civil War section of the cemetery which includes 155 soldiers
Some of the 15 Confederates buried in Section Z... based on the dates it is very possible many of them were wounded at Gettysburg
Major General John White Geary...12th Corps commander who commanded a division at Gettysburg and was later Governor of Pennsylvania
Statue to General Geary next to his grave plot
Simon Cameron burial....1st Secretary of War under President Abraham Lincoln

Monday, December 10, 2012

Fredericksburg 150th Anniversary

This weekend kicked off the commemoration of the Battle of Fredericksburg, 150 years later.  The National Park Service held their main event on Sunday, but special events will be continuing through next weekend.  The actual anniversary is on Thursday December 13th.  Burnside's Army of the Potomac lost nearly 13,000 men during their futile assaults against Lee's entrenched positions on Marye's Heights.  They also temporarily broke through Lee's lines at the Slaughter Pen Farm against Prospect Hill, but without proper supports, only added to the total casualty count.  By comparison, Lee lost about 5,000 men.  This past weekend the park held living encampments, special tours, battle reenactments and keynote speakers in memory of the men who lost their lives during the Union disaster that was Fredericksburg.

For more information on the battle of Fredericksburg please click on the link below:

The Civil War Preservation Trust also just released a wonderful new panoramic tour of the Fredericksburg Battlefield on their website, so if you cannot make it to anniversary events this is a great way to see the field and understand the people and events in the Fredericksburg Campaign.
CWPT Fredericksburg Tour

The following link is the 150th Anniversary schedule for anyone that might have the opportunity to get to Fredericksburg before the end of the commemoration.

Photos from this weekend:

Fredericksburg National Cemetery with over 15,000 interments and less than 3,000 of them identified
Procession down the Sunken Road for the Wreath laying on the Kirkland Monument 
Remembering not just the slaughter, but the acts of charity during the battle
Confederate reenactors tramp up towards Marye's Heights to demonstrate the attacks
Innis House from Marye's Heights with the Sunken Road 
Kirkland Monument with  Brompton on the Hill
Interior of the Innis House, still with visible damage from December 13, 1862
Exterior of the Innis House

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