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"It is not merely for today, but for all time to come that we should perpetuate for our children's children this great and free government, which we have enjoyed all our lives."


April, 2015


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In this issue

Carrying the Flag
Secretary's Report
Virginia "Jennie" Wade
The G.A.R. in Michigan
April 1865
Michigan Money
Upcoming events
Back Issues
A photo from the Civil War


Below is a portion of text excerpted from: My Story of the War: a Woman's Narrative of Four Years Personal Experience as Nurse in the Union Army... It is an excellent example of the grim outlook for the regimental color bearer.


Carrying a regiment's colors into battle was considered an honor and a privilege. It was also a very dangerous job and would likely get a man maimed or killed. Thus, it required a great deal of courage.

"The fatality that attended the color-bearers, officers, and men of this regiment at the battle of Gettysburg was very great. It had in its ranks on the morning of this memorable fight four hundred and ninety-six officers and men. It lost in killed and wounded three hundred and sixteen. The 24th was a part of the Iron Brigade, which was the first infantry engaged at Gettysburg. It carried into this battle only a state flag, which was presented to the regiment by the citizens of Detroit. This was carried by Color-Bearer Abel G. Peck, a tall, straight, handsome man, and as brave a soldier as ever gave up his life for his country. Hide He was instantly killed almost at the beginning of the famous charge of the Iron Brigade. The flag was then seized by Private Thomas B. Ballou, who was desperately wounded immediately after, and died a few weeks later. The flag was then carried by Private August Ernst, who was instantly killed. Corporal Andrew Wagner then took the colors and carried them until shot through the breast, from the effects of which he died about a year after the close of the war.

When Corporal Wagner fell, Colonel Henry A. Morrill took the flag, and gallantly attempted to rally the few survivors of the regiment. But Private William Kelly insisted on carrying it, saying to Colonel Morrill, " You shall not carry the flag while I am alive." The gallant fellow held it aloft and almost instantly fell, shot through the heart. Private L. Spaulding then took the flag from the hands of Kelly, and carried it until he was himself badly wounded. Colonel Morrill again seized the flag, and was soon after shot in the head and carried from the field.

After the fall of Colonel Morrill, the flag was carried by a soldier whose name has never been ascertained. He was seen by Captain Edwards — who was now in command of the regiment — lying upon the ground badly wounded, grasping the flag in his hands. Captain Edwards took the flag from him and carried it himself until the few men left of the regiment fell back and reached Culp's Hill. Captain Edwards is the only man who is known to have carried the flag that day, who was not killed or wounded.

This grand old flag is no longer in existence. It was so riddled and torn with shot and shell that scarcely a square foot of it remained intact. The staff was shot and broken in pieces also. The men had great affection for the old flag, and after the battle of Gettysburg they agreed to cut it up and distribute the pieces to the survivors. This was done, and to-day in many a Michigan household a small piece of faded blue silk is cherished as one of the sacred mementoes of the war.

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April 1865
Submitted by PCC Ron Tyrl

"Most Civil War Soldiers, North and South, served as combatants, usually in the Infantry, and therefore most took part in battle. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Americans of the 1870s and 1880s, the "Gilded Age", had seen horrors at first hand, dismembered bodies, decapitations, files of corpses ranged so close in roadways or tranches as to make stepping on them unavoidable. There were horrors of the other senses, splashes of blood or brains from neighbors wounded in the ranks and, so often recorded, the nauseous smell of decomposing bodies. While battlefields stank, if not from human remains, then from those of dead horses and mules, so often the casualties of war in the age before internal combustion. And the horrors, not only of smells but of cries and groans of the untended wounded who often lay uncollected for days after the fighting was over. These terrible sensations inhabited the minds of a whole generation of Americans of post bellum North and South to be taken back to civilian farms and streets after the guns fell silent. These awful sensations, not to be obliterated by conscious effort lingered and festered to return unbidden as nightmares or waking hours, for years afterwards. That was a dimension of the war never to be commemorated."
Lincoln sat for a photograph by Alexander Gardner- and for the first time when facing a camera in the four years of his Administration permitted a smile to wreath his face. Until this camera register in the second week of April, 1865, he had most often been grave and somber. Now he smiled. The worst was over.

When meeting John Creswell of Maryland that day Lincoln's greeting was: Creswell, old fellow, everything is bright this morning. The war is over. It has been a tough time, but we have lived it out- or some of us have," his voice dropping on those last words. "But it is over. We are going to have good times now, and a united country."

While meeting with his cabinet, this Good Friday, Lincoln asked if there were any words from Sherman? Grant said, he was hourly expecting to hear from Sherman. Lincoln responded that he had a dream and contributed it as having significance. "The President remarked that word would come soon, he had no doubt, and come favorable, for he had last night the usual dream which he had preceding nearly every great and important event of the War. Generally the news had been favorable which succeeded this dream, and the dream itself was always the same. He said he seemed to be in some indescribable vessel, and that he was moving with great rapidity towards an indefinite shore; that he had this dream preceding Sumter, Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg, Stone River, Vicksburg, Wilmington, etc. I had that strange dream again last night, and we shall, judging from the past, have great news very soon. I think it must be from Sherman. My thoughts are in that direction, as are most of yours."

"The Pale Horse has come." President Lincoln last breath was drawn at 21 minutes past 7a.m. and the last heart beat flickered at 22 minutes past the hour on Saturday April 15, 1865. To the by-and-by whence no man returns, had gone the child of Nancy Hanks and Tom Lincoln, the wilderness boy who found far lights and tall rainbows to live by, whose name even before he died had become a legend in woven with men's struggle for freedom the world over." Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, who had kept vigil at Lincoln's bedside, said, "Now he belongs to the ages."

One Illinois boy going to town, holding his father's hand, having heard the church and town-hall bells all day, having seen only dark sorrow on all faces, looked up at the sky and found it strange the night stars were all out. Lincoln was dead- and yet as always the stars moved over the night dome. "Like a vast sunset of flame and changing gold ending a day and punctuating a period of time their faraway friend in Washington had vanished into the overhead planets and the same constellations of mist that had taken that long roll call of soldiers no longer answering 'Present' as the company sergeant called the names."

Apr 21, Abraham Lincoln's funeral train left Washington. Over seven million people lined the track of the train carrying President Lincoln back to Springfield.

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Virginia "Jennie" Wade
Submitted by PI Joe Davis

On July 3, 1863, the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Mary Virginia "Jennie" Wade stood in the kitchen of her sister's home making biscuits for Union troops. With the home they were staying in caught between the two armies, the 20-year-old seamstress and her family had already survived a number of close calls, including an artillery shell that had crashed through the roof. Yet Wade had neither fled nor taken shelter in the cellar. Suddenly, an errant Confederate bullet struck her in the back just below the left shoulder blade, killing her instantly. At least 7,600 soldiers died during the battle, but, remarkably, she was the only civilian to suffer that fate.

Born on May 21, 1843, in the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Mary Virginia Wade was called "Gin" or "Ginnie" as a child. But due to an apparent newspaper inaccuracy, she has become known to history as "Jennie." Her father, a tailor, had frequent brushes with the law and was eventually confined to the poorhouse as a lunatic. With him out of the picture, Wade made ends meet by working as a seamstress alongside her mother. The two also served as caregivers for a 6-year-old disabled boy named Isaac Brinkerhoff.

When the Battle of Gettysburg broke out on July 1, 1863, Wade, along with her mother, her youngest brother and Isaac, took refuge at the home of her older sister, Georgia McClellan. The family wanted to help Georgia look after her 5-day-old son and also apparently believed it was safer there. But that afternoon, when Union troops retreated into the hills just south of town, the Wades found themselves directly in the line of fire. Remaining calm, Jennie reportedly went outside to distribute water and food to Northern soldiers.

Bullets continued flying the following day, shattering several of the duplex's windows and denting its brick facade. Meanwhile, an artillery shell crashed through the roof, knocked a hole in a wall and came to rest in the eaves, where it remained for the next 15 years. Luckily for the family, it never exploded. Although Wade purportedly fainted sometime during the day, she stayed active, handing out food, starting the yeast for more bread and caring for her postpartum sister.

The next morning, she went out with her brother to gather firewood. Upon returning to the house, Wade ate breakfast and apparently read from the Book of Psalms. A bullet then flew through a window and lodged in the bedpost next to where Georgia was lying with her son. Around 8:30 a.m., Wade had nearly finished kneading the dough for biscuits when another bullet, having penetrated two doors, went into her back and through her heart.

After hearing Georgia scream, Union soldiers entered the house and led the remaining family members out through the hole created by the unexploded shell and down to the cellar, where they were safe from Southern sharpshooters. A day later, as the Confederate army prepared to retreat toward Virginia, Wade's mother allegedly finished baking the biscuits. Wade was wrapped in a quilt and temporarily buried in the yard. In January 1864 she was transferred to a cemetery next to the town's German Reformed Church, and in November 1865 she was moved once again to nearby Evergreen Cemetery, where she has remained ever since. A monument was erected over her grave in 1900.

Interred near her at Evergreen Cemetery is Johnston "Jack" Skelly, a Union corporal whose photo was found in Wade's pocket at the time of her death. Historians believe they may have been engaged. Unbeknownst to Wade, Skelly had been seriously wounded a couple of weeks earlier at the Second Battle of Winchester in Virginia. Skelly supposedly asked a childhood friend, Confederate soldier Wesley Culp, to deliver a message to Wade, but Culp died in the Battle of Gettysburg before he could do so. Skelly likewise succumbed to his injuries on July 12.

The number of Union casualties at Gettysburg has been estimated at 23,000, including over 3,100 killed, while the number of Confederate casualties may have been as high as 28,000, including over 4,500 killed. It was the bloodiest battle of the entire Civil War. Nonetheless, Wade was the only civilian to die as a direct result of the three days of fighting. (Other civilians perished later upon finding artillery shells that exploded in their hands or loaded guns that accidentally discharged.) Press coverage soon came her way, some of it negative. Perhaps due to her father's poor reputation it didn't help that he named his daughters Georgia and Virginia Wade was accused of being a "she-rebel" sympathetic to the Confederacy. Her morals were also cast into doubt, exemplified by a letter from Skelly to his mother expressing concern about supposed late-night visitors.

Mostly, though, she was treated like a hero. A Gettysburg newspaper described her as "a young lady of good character and much respected"; a newspaper in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, called her a "lady of most excellent qualities of head and heart"; and a 1917 book called "The True Story of 'Jennie' Wade: A Gettysburg Maid," rebutted the negative rumors as unable to "stand the searchlight of analytical examination, nor the acid tests of proof." In the meantime, the so-called Jennie Wade House a technically inaccurate title since it belonged to her sister became a local tourist attraction. These days, both history and ghost tours take place there. "The tragedy of it" draws people in, said Roger L. Troxell, a tour guide at the house who dresses in a top hat and other period clothing. "It's just one of those accidents of the war.".

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Michigan Money

At the time of the Civil War many banks printed their own money.
Below is an example of one of those bills..

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Secretary's Report
Ron Tyrl PPC

The April 13, 2015 meeting of the Austin Blair Camp No.7 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was held at the Post 29 American Legion, Jackson, Michigan.

Members in attendance were Brothers: Joe Davis, Bob Griggs, Henry Hawker, Kyle Hamann, Kim Horning, Dave Kimble, Ron Lewis, Howard Lloyd, Mike Maillard, Nathan Tingley, Ron Tyrl, Dave Van Hoof, Charlie Waters III and Charlie Waters Jr. and guest: Butch Hasenwinkle-Jackson Civil War Roundtable Representative.
Commander Waters welcomed Butch Hasenwinkle and Mr. Hasenwinkle invited our Camp members to the Roundtable programs in the future.

The Secretary’s report was motioned accepted as published in the Courier by Brother Griggs and seconded by Brother Kimble, motion passed.
The Treasurer’s Report was motioned accepted as presented by Brother Tingley and seconded by Brother Van Hoof, motion passed.

Patriotic Instructor

Brother Davis played "Dixie" in memory of President Lincoln, as it was his favorite and Brother Davis read the "Second Inaugural". Brother Maillard has Civil War theme "Saturday Post" magazines from the 1930s & 1940s for viewing.

Graves Registration

Brother Waters III reported that the Soldier Stones at Mt. Evergreen need to be cleaned before Memorial Day and a work day will be set when the owners of the power washers are available.

Signals

1. Brother Griggs has updated the 2015 pages with pictures sent from Brother Kimble on the Lincoln Tomb event last weekend, posted on both the Camp’s webpage and Facebook.

Old Business

1. The Jackson Civil War roundtable Lincoln program tomorrow was discussed.
2. Brother Van Hoof summarized the itinerary for the May 7th Republican Committee's Annual Fund Raiser event during the National Day of Prayer being held at the Commonwealth building downtown Jackson. Brother Van Hoof asked for volunteers from the Camp to participate in a "President Lincoln Security Detail" which he got about half a dozen volunteers. Brother Van Hoof will send more details as the event nears and are received.
3.Brother Nate Tingley is coordinating a "Bean School" program to be done about the second week of May.

New Business

1. Brother Maillard informed the Camp of the Gettysburg Soldier's Flag Package offered at last month's Department Encampment. Gettysburg Flags and tins of soil are being offered for purchase to fund raise for new flags to be placed at Gettysburg for Michigan Soldiers buried there. See Brother Maillard if interested in purchasing these flag packets.
2. Commander Waters will be presenting the Son's SUVCW JROTC Award this April 24th.
3. Brother Griggs summarized the May 21st, Paragon School's participation at the Eaton Rapid's GAR school program he has coordinated. More details will be sent as the event nears.

For the Good of the Order

Events up-coming:

1. April 24, Friday, Commander presenting the JROTC Award.
2. May 1-3, Lincoln Funeral Train Anniversary program, Springfield, Illinois.
3. May 7, Thursday, Jackson County Republican Committee annual meeting.
4. May 10, Sunday, 4th Michigan Cavalry Dedication Plaque program, Martin Michigan near Grand Rapids.
5. September 17, 2015 Thursday, Tipton's Franklin Cemetery "Civil War Monument" program and Tecumseh Library Program. More details as event nears.
6. Brother Hamann passed out information packets on the October 2-3, 2015 Central Region Assoc. of Allied Orders "Annual Conference". Event held at Dundee, Michigan and more details event nears.

Commander Waters proceeded to close the meeting at 8:30pm and our next camp meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 11, to be held at Post 29 American Legion, Jackson, Michigan.

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Upcoming Events

April: 2015
Austin Blair Camp No. 7Auxiliary
Saturday April 11, Springfield IL

57th Annual Lincoln Tomb Ceremony Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Ceremony at 10 a.m., luncheon at noon, centeral time.


Monday April 13, 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).
Tuesday, April 14, 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Civil War Round Table, Meijer Branch Jackson District Library.


Dates have not been set but sometime during April, May, or June school programs will be persented at Jackson Northwest, Jackson Paragon Academy, Parma Elementary and Williamston. Please check back for dates.
Saturday April 11, Springfield IL

57th Annual Lincoln Tomb Ceremony Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Ceremony at 10 a.m., luncheon at noon, centeral time.


Monday April 13, 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).
Tuesday, April 14, 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Civil War Round Table, Meijer Branch Jackson District Library.


Dates have not been set but sometime during April, May, or June school programs will be persented at Jackson Northwest, Jackson Paragon Academy, Parma Elementary and Williamston. Please check back for dates.

May: 2015
Austin Blair Camp No. 7Auxiliary
Friday May 1 - Sunday May 3 Springfield, IL

Lincoln Funeral Train.


Sunday May 10, 2 p.m.

Plaque Dedication for Andrew Bee 4th Michigan Cavalry, the first soldier to;
"To lay hands on Jeff Davis."
Presented by the General Benjamin Pritchard Camp No. 20.


Monday May 11, 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
Guest Speaker will be Jim Jackson, talking about Company K., First Michigan Sharpshooters
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. (Visitors welcome).


Tuesday, May 12, 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Civil War Round Table, Meijer Branch Jackson District Library.


Saturday May 16, All Day

4th annual Civil war days at the historic Grosvenor house
211 Maumee St Jonesville, MI 49250


Thursday May 21th; All Day - Eaton Rapids

Living History Paragon School
We will be holding this event at the G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum,
& G.A.R. Park in Eaton Rapids.


Memorial Day Weekend; May 22-24

Coldwater Civil War Days - Heritage Park, Coldwater, MI

Monday May 25,

Memorial Day - Observed.
9:30 am, - Jackson and Concord Parades starting at 10:00 am.

Saturday May 30th

Memorial Day - Traditional.

Friday May 1 - Sunday May 3 Springfield, IL

Lincoln Funeral Train.


Sunday May 10, 2 p.m.

Plaque Dedication for Andrew Bee 4th Michigan Cavalry, the first soldier to;
"To lay hands on Jeff Davis."
Presented by the General Benjamin Pritchard Camp No. 20.


Monday May 11, 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
Guest Speaker will be Jim Jackson, talking about Company K., First Michigan Sharpshooters
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. (Visitors welcome).


Tuesday, May 12, 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Civil War Round Table, Meijer Branch Jackson District Library.


Saturday May 16, All Day

3rd annual Civil war days at the historic
211 Maumee St Jonesville, MI 49250


Thursday May 21th; All Day - Eaton Rapids

Living History Paragon School
We will be holding this event at the G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum,
& G.A.R. Park in Eaton Rapids.


Memorial Day Weekend; May 22-24

Coldwater Civil War Days - Heritage Park, Coldwater, MI


Monday May 25,

Memorial Day - Observed.
9:30 am, - Jackson and Concord Parades starting at 10:00 am.

Saturday May 30th

Memorial Day - Traditional.

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Some photos from April 1865

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In keeping with, what seems to be, more of a Lincoln theme for this issue, we have a postcard from the 42nd National Encampment. This was held in Toledo, OH on September 3-4, 1908 and the membership at that time was 225,157 (source Library of Congress)


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