Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog


Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on October 13, 2012

Small stories that don’t merit individual posts of their own:

Got any other news? Drop it in the comments below.


20 Responses

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  1. Bryan Cheeseboro said, on October 13, 2012 at 4:15 am

    “Are the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War actually agents of intolerance? Are they really as controversial as, say, the New Black Panthers or the American Communist Party? Clint Lacy seems to think so.”

    Lacy must have a lot of grace and mercy in his heart to only find six groups he considers hateful. Because somehow, the Southern Poverty Law Center found 26 groups. Very good that both he and the SPLC identify the Nation of Islam as a hate group. But how could he not see all of the neo-Nazi, KKK, racist skinhead and White Nationalist groups in that state? Is a murderous, terrorist, criminal organization like the KKK somehow not hateful enough for Mr. Lacy? That’s a scary thought.

    • Andy Hall said, on October 13, 2012 at 9:00 am

      Lacey’s very angry in his own way, but he’s also sometimes unintentionally funny, in an over-the-top ridiculous sort of way, which is why I check in on him periodically. A while back he totally lost his shit when Juan Pablo Montoya was in that big, fiery wreck at Daytona, using that to explain why NASCAR was explicitly a proper sport for white Southerners. You gotta laugh at something like that.

      I consider it a small success that he’s no longer claiming his blog to be “your voice in the Sons of Confederate Veterans.” The SCV has enough of its own baggage not to be saddled with the rancid ranting of a guy like that, too.

    • Andy Hall said, on October 13, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      Let me also point out that Lacy and folks like him will claim, with a straight face, that the SPLC is itself a hate group, bent on “cultural genocide” of white Southerners. So there’s that.

  2. Cotton Boll Conspiracy said, on October 13, 2012 at 8:26 am

    That’s interesting about the Frederick, Maryland, brewery bottling beer made from a Civil War-era recipe. I’m not sure I’m crazy about the name, though. According to the label on Antietam Ale: “The Battle of Antietam changed the course of the Civil War, helped free over 4 million Americans and still ranks as the bloodiest single day in American history.”

    Although I’m certainly no historian, I believe only the third claim is true. More importantly, slapping the name of a battle on a beer seems rather crass, but maybe I’m overreacting.

    Having spent much of the past year researching South Carolina Confederate soldiers, I’ve come across innumerable examples of both lives cut short and men who suffered hideous wounds that they bore for the remainder of their existence. That doesn’t even consider psychological issues or how their families suffered. Sometimes I wonder just how many people today really understand the horror the war brought to the people of both the north and the south.

    • Andy Hall said, on October 13, 2012 at 8:31 am

      I imagine that was written by marketing folks, as opposed to history folks.

      Still, that stuff has to be better than the beer made with yeast collected from the brewer’s beard, right?

      • Cotton Boll Conspiracy said, on October 13, 2012 at 8:34 am

        “Still, that stuff has to be better than the beer made with yeast collected from the brewer’s beard, right?”

        You mean, like the large majority of mass-produced American beers? You got that right.

        • Mike Musick said, on October 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm

          Concerning Mr. Nau, it may be worth noting that among his benefactions is the endowment of the John L. Nau III chair in the History of the American Civil War at the University of Virginia, currently held by the immensely productive Gary W. Gallagher (Ph.D., M.A., University of Texas).

          • Andy Hall said, on October 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm

            Yep, I recall reading that. Thanks for stopping by — you’ve been missed.

  3. D H Patrick said, on October 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    You know Andy, in reading your posts, I have to wonder….

    When I was still fairly young, I realized that we are all of us prejudiced. Some of us like Chevrolets, others like Fords. What I discovered it was a matter of not allowing that prejudice influence us in making our decisions.

    I read your articles and the first thing that comes to my mind is ‘Yellow Journalism’. I’m beginning to think you are a wolf in sheep clothing. Normally you seem to ‘dis’ the South. You do so in indirect ways normally, as though you thought it was some kind of an art. I had thought you were content to levy your wrath at the South, but not so, I read here recently that you would entertain the idea that the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War may have an undesirable agenda. Frankly, I have to draw the line there.

    I would highly recommend you consider taking a more favorable outlook on life in general and stop dealing in this ‘Yellow Journalism’. If I’m wrong, I will stand and correct myself – else you should consider my suggestion and maybe even adopt it.

    Warm regards,

    Donald Patrick

    • Andy Hall said, on October 14, 2012 at 11:01 pm

      Mr. Patrick:

      Thanks for your note. Let me address this part first:

      I read here recently that you would entertain the idea that the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War may have an undesirable agenda.

      Actually, I was trying to call out a foolish statement by Clint Lacy, who has a long history of making foolish and offensive statements in what he considers to be defending Southern heritage. I consider Lacy to be an obnoxious fool, but one whose rancid blurts are sometimes entertaining. (He doesn’t like me much, either.) I apologize if I seemed to be endorsing Lacy’s view of the SUVCW — or pretty much anything else he believes. Trust me, I have no beef with the SUVCW.

      Regarding the notion that I am dissing the South, I don’t believe I do. To the contrary — I am a Southerner, after all, and a descendant of more Confederate veterans on both sides of my family than I’ve been able to count. What I do, and have done, is call out folks (like Lacy) who, in my view, do a real disservice to the South and to an accurate remembrance of its history. It’s folks like Lacy, and Edgerton, and the Flaggers, and others who, in my view, are embarrassments to the South and its history.

      As for practicing “yellow journalism,” I always understood that to mean publishing damaging stories about someone with little regard to the truth. I flatly reject that; everything I write and present as factual information, I source. You may not agree with my opinion, but I don’t just make up stuff for the hell of it.

      Now, if you want to label my writing as gleefully iconoclastic, then I’m guilty as charged. I have a strong streak of that.


      Andy Hall

    • Andy Hall said, on October 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      If you have not done so, you may also want to look at “About this Blog” and my initial posting, “We Cannot Know Their Minds,” both of which sort of stake out the terrain for this blog.


      • dhpatrick said, on October 14, 2012 at 11:39 pm

        Andy, if I may address you as such,

        I read your “About this Blog” and “We Cannot Know Their Minds”. ..and find I respect your right to explore your feelings/thoughts in the matter. I would attempt to go ahead and answer you, but find that I would like a night to think on it. I think I can answer your premise and probably in a way that you may be able to consider and respect.

        I acknowledge that I may sound rather gung-ho in the matter, but I ask you to understand – it comes with my own legacy. Tomorrow.

        Warm regards,

        Donald Patrick

  4. Rob Baker said, on October 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Gary messaged me about the paper editorial. He said that Susan said, “Not to worry about the facts.”

    • Andy Hall said, on October 15, 2012 at 10:38 am

      Case closed. Only surprising thing is that Hathaway would actually admit to not worrying about mere factual accuracy. After all, they’re the ones who habitually claim that those who disagree with them are the ones pushing “lies.”

  5. Jeff Bell said, on October 15, 2012 at 11:55 am

    On a lighter note, “The Skirmish at Island Mound” (Bates Co. Missouri) will be remembered at the end of this month with the dedication of a State Historical Site. I found this description of the event by Chris Tabor on “The Kansas in the Civil War Message Board”:
    The Island Mound State Historical Site will be dedicated the weekend of Oct 27-28, 2012, in Bates County, Missouri.
    That weekend marks the the 150th Anniversary of the “The Skirmish at Island Mound”, the first engagement of the Civil War fought by an African American Regiment – the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
    I know that a series of events are being coordinated during the weekend as part of the dedication and expect details to be forthcoming.

    The success of the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers on the field at Island Mound definitively settled any lingering debate regarding the use of African Americans as soldiers by the Union. Accounts of the fight were widely reported on in contemporary newspapers (even as far away as New Zealand).

    One week after the fight, James M. Williams, Commander of the 1st KCV issued an order that stated in part, “The commanding officer desires to return his thanks to the officers and men of his command for the meritorious part they performed in the action at Island Mound on the 29th ult. It is always pleasant to pass the customary gratulations upon the success of friends, and particularly so on this occasion of the triumphant success of our cause, i.e., to show to the country that the heart of our colored men is fired with the same patriotic impulses, honorable ambition and martial courage that in all countries and in all ages have in peace animated the spirits of the industrial classes who have in war filled the ranks of armies with courageous, loyal soldiers.”

    Just a few weeks after the engagement Kansas Senator Samuel C. Pomeroy personally brought an account of the engagement to the attention of President Lincoln who responded in part with, “My Dear Senator – I wish you would express to your young friend, Lieutenant Hinton, and to the gallant officers and men associated with him, my gratification at the report which you have read to me today.”

    Harper’s Weekly dedicated the centerfold engraving of its March 14, 1863, edition to Thomas Nast’s depiction of the fight, which was the first graphical depiction of a former slave turned Union soldier striking down the enemy. This engraving was effectively a recruiting poster for subsequent African American regiments.

    Towards the end of the 19th Century, when Williams and others were working in Washington for back pay and proper acknowledgement of the officers and men of the regiment that fought at Island Mound, the US Senate stated, “The discipline acquired and the courage displayed by the First Kansas Colored Volunteers in camp and on the field during the last months of 1862, influenced the action of President Lincoln in issuing his proclamation of New Years Day, 1863,… and forecasted the freedom and citizenship of persons of African descent.”

    When I began my research into Island Mound and the officers and men of the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers some 15 years ago, I could only image that someday this historic action would be so commemorated!

    It’s going to be a special weekend and hope that there is a tremendous turnout.

    Semper Fi,
    Chris Tabor
    Katy, TX

    • Andy Hall said, on October 15, 2012 at 11:57 am

      Jeff, thanks.

      Here’s the Haroper’s Weekly illuatration:

      • Reed said, on October 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm

        Chris Tabor and Andy,

        Thanks for another interesting sliver of CW history. I didn’t know much about Mound Island.

        And I think the Harper’s Weekly illustration would make an interesting topic for discussion all by itself. I have no doubt it helped memorialize a pivotal event in the evolution of the Union army and the integration of African-Americans into the military, and probably energized a lot of volunteers.

        But at the same time, it’s interesting how Nast had trouble drawing convincing faces for the Colored Troops. It’s as if he could only draw a fierce or valiant CT face as a variant on typical 19th-century minstrel-show type caricature faces (for example, see the three large figures in the right foreground).

        On the other hand, Nast is Nast, and perhaps always more of a caricaturist than a portraitist. And some of his “Negro” faces here are not that far from his (unflattering) “Irish” drawings of the same era. I wonder, did Nast’s “Negro” drawing style change over the course of the war (and beyond)?

        Overall, a minor point, but perhaps some of your readers know more?

        • Andy Hall said, on October 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm

          It’s interesting how Nast had trouble drawing convincing faces for the Colored Troops. It’s as if he could only draw a fierce or valiant CT face as a variant on typical 19th-century minstrel-show type caricature faces.

          That’s really a problem wit a lot of (white) artists of that era — if they drew African Americans at all, it was often either in the context of being a savage brute or as a comic figure of derision. I think it has as much to to with prior experience as it does with ingrained attitudes or biases.

          One contemporary illustration I like is this one of a Union army cook by Edwin Forbes, because it really captures the texture and folds of the clothing, the young man’s posture — note how he’s turned his left foot in, as some people do when idly standing around (or posing) — but it, too, comes close to seeming like a caricature.

    • mary greiner said, on March 26, 2013 at 9:42 am

      Does Chris have an email contact to get further information about Williams by chance?

  6. Chris Tabor said, on October 21, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Mary, I can be best reached via email at I’ll be more than happy to share what information I have that may be of interest. Please note that Robert Lull, descendant of Col. James M Williams, has published an excellent book on his ancestor available at Amazon:

    The dedication of the Island Mound Park last October as truly an amazing event… one that I could only have dreamed of when I started my research into the 1st KCV some 15 years ago.

    All the best,

    Chris Tabor
    -Katy, TX

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