Camp Courier Header

"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."


July, 2013


.

.

In this issue

Commanders Column
Secretary's Report
For Gods sake forward!
The Crater ~ 1890
Five Battles, Seventeen Days
Navy By-Pass Vicksburg
The Captured Congressman
The Draft Riots
A Civil War Poem
Upcoming events
Back Issues
The field at Gettysburg


Commanders Column


Greeting Men of the Blue

On the 4th of May, myself and three other brothers attended the 124th Annual Encampment for the Department of Michigan. At this Encampment, Brother Griggs was elected to the Department Council and Brother Cox was reappointed to the Guard position. I would like to congratulate them both, and thank then for serving at this level.

As you all know we are going to have busy last two weeks of May, and a very busy month of June with parades and honor guards requests. Hopefully many of you will be able to attend and assist in these events. This is what we signed on for, in the words of General Smith; "Damn you, gentlemen, I see skulkers! I'll have none here! Come on, you volunteers, come on! This is your chance! You volunteered to be killed for love of country, and now you can be!" Well we volunteered to keep the memory of these men alive, and during these event it is our chance to do so.

Also, don't forget we have a speaker for our July meeting. Jim Jackson will be speaking on the Irish Brigade and it would be great if we could get a large turn out for that event.

To all members of the Camp and Auxiliary, have a safe and happy Memorial Day. Remember the reason for the Day, and take a moment to honor all those who have fallen in defense of our Country and the freedoms that it offers each of us.

Howard Lloyd
Camp Commander
Austin Blair Camp No. 7
Department of Michigan
S.U.V.C.W.
www.austinblair.com

Return to the top of the page.


~ Getting to Vicksburg ~

Submitted by Ron Tyrl

On the Vicksburg front, April 16, 1863 a clear night with no moon, Porter sent seven gunboats and three empty troop transports loaded with stores to run the Vicksburg bluff, taking care to minimize noise and lights. But the preparations were ineffective. Confederate sentries sighted the boats, and the bluff exploded with massive artillery fire. Fires were set along the banks to improve visibility. The Union gunboats answered back. Porter observed that the Confederates mainly hit the high parts of his boats, reasoned that they could not depress their guns, and had them hug the east shore, right under Confederate cannon, so close he could hear their commanders giving orders, shells flying overhead. The fleet survived with little damage; thirteen men were wounded and none killed. The Henry Clay was disabled and burned at the water's edge.

On April 22, six more boats loaded with supplies made the run; one boat did not make it, though no one was killed-the crew floated downstream on the boat's remnants.

Return to the top of the page.


For Gods sake forward!

On the morning of July 1, 1863, General John F. Reynolds was commanding the "left wing" of the Army of the Potomac, with operational control over the I, III, and XI Corps, and Brig. Gen. John Buford's cavalry division. Buford occupied the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and set up light defensive lines north and west of the town. He resisted the approach of two Confederate infantry brigades on the Chambersburg Pike until the nearest Union infantry, Reynolds' I Corps, began to arrive. Reynolds rode out ahead of the 1st Division, met with Buford, and then accompanied some of his soldiers, probably from Brig. Gen. Lysander Cutler's brigade, into the fighting at Herbst's Woods. Troops began arriving from Brig. Gen. Solomon Meredith's Iron Brigade, and as Reynolds was supervising the placement of the 2nd Wisconsin, he yelled at them, "Forward men! For God's sake forward!" At that moment he fell from his horse with a wound in the back of the upper neck, or lower head,[14] and died almost instantly. Command passed to his senior division commander, Maj. Gen. Abner Doubleday.

The loss of General Reynolds was keenly felt by the army. He was loved by his men and respected by his peers. There are no recorded instances of negative comments made by his contemporaries. His death had a more immediate effect that day, however. By ratifying Buford's defensive plan and engaging his I Corps infantry, Reynolds essentially selected the location for the Battle of Gettysburg for Meade, turning a chance meeting engagement into a massive pitched battle, committing the Army of the Potomac to fight on that ground with forces that were initially numerically inferior to the Confederates that were concentrating there. In the command confusion that followed Reynolds' death, the two Union corps that reached the field were overwhelmed and forced to retreat through the streets of Gettysburg to the high ground south of town, where they were rallied by his old friend, Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock.

Return to the top of the page.

The Captured Congressman
Submitted by David Kimble


Congtressman Alfred Ely

Early on Sunday morning July 21, 1861, senators, congressmen, other politicians, and social leaders set out from Washington in a parade of carriages for the 20 mile trip to Manassas, Va. There they would watch the scheduled clash of two armies.

With an official pass, Rep. Alfred Ely, Republican from the Rochester district of New York, left the capital at dawn with a Connecticut senator in a rented carriage. By early afternoon they met other legislators from Massachusetts and Ohio. They could hear the distant noise of battle and could see the smoke filling the sky.

Ely decided to drive nearer but a wheel of his carriage broke so he set out on foot. He had not proceeded far when a South Carolina officer, from behind a tree where he was protected from the rain of artillery balls, ordered the congressman's surrender, took his pistol, and made him a prisoner. Ely was the only Union civilian captured that day.

With about 600 soldiers, including 40 officers, Ely was taken by train to Richmond and jailed in Libby's tobacco warehouse. As news of the celebrated captive spread thru the town, former colleagues who had become members of the Confederate congress began visiting him. After his absence became known in Washington, negotiations began for his release. But because no exchange agreements had as yet been worked out, Representative Ely was to remain an honored guest of the Confederacy for five months.

Although he was treated handsomely and became a celebrity, exchange negotiations stalled and his break did not come until November. Virginian Charles Faulkner, United States minster to France under President Buchanan, had returned to Washington in August to terminate his official connection with the government. Held prisoner for three months. Faulkner finally was released on parole for 30 days to go to Richmond and obtain Ely's release on exchange.

Jefferson Davis, Confederate president, and his cabinet freed Ely officially December 21st. On Christmas day the congressman began his journey north. Boarding a truce boat at Fortress Monroe, he arrived in Washington on the 27th.

Representative Ely had paid a high price for his Sunday jaunt to witness the first battle of the war.

Return to the top of the page.


.


Grants Vicksburg Campaign

Submitted by Ron Tyrl


The Siege of Vicksburg

SPACE

The finest campaign of the Civil War: (Five battles won in seventeen days: Port Gibson May 1; Raymond May 12; Jackson May 14; Champion Hill May 16 & Big Black River Bridge May 17, 1863) May 16, 1863:

At the Battle of Champion's Hill, in Mississippi, the bloodiest action of the Vicksburg Campaign, Union General Ulysses S. Grant repulsed the Confederates, driving them into Vicksburg. Champion’s Hill: Grant receives intelligence that Pemberton was near Edward’s Station with an army of about 25,000 men marching toward him. Grants orders McPherson and McClernand to press forward and Sherman to move into support. Six miles east of Edward’s station the armies clashed. The Missouri Brigade may have been the best in the Confederate Army. Grant fought the battle with about 15,500 men Pemberton 22,000. Union losses of 2,441 killed wounded and missing. 4,700 Confederate including 2,400 missing wounded and captured. To him who hath preserved me, through so many dangers I return thanks that I have again passed safely through the perils of the bloody field.”

The Confederate retreat reached Big Black River Bridge the night of May 16–17. Pemberton ordered Brig. Gen. Bowen, with three brigades, to man the fortifications on the east bank of the river and impede any Union pursuit. Three divisions of McClernand's corps moved out from Edwards Station on the morning of May 17. The corps encountered the Confederates behind breastworks and took cover as enemy artillery began firing. Union Brig. Gen. Michael Lawler formed his 2nd Brigade, Brig. Gen. Eugene Carr's Division, which surged out of a river meander scar, across the front of the Confederate forces, and into the enemy's breastworks, held by Brig. General John Vaughn's inexperienced East Tennessee Brigade. Confused and panicked, the Confederates began to withdraw across the Big Black on two bridges: the railroad bridge and the steamboat dock moored athwart the river. As soon as they had crossed, the Confederates set fire to the bridges, preventing close Union pursuit. The fleeing Confederates who arrived in Vicksburg later that day were disorganized. The Union forces captured approximately 1,800 troops at Big Black, a loss that the Confederates could ill afford.

May 18, 1863: Siege begins at Vicksburg, Mississippi.
The Union army converged on Vicksburg, trapping Pemberton's force. Grant attempted two assaults to break through the strong Confederate fieldworks: May 19 and May 22. The latter assault initially achieved some success in McClernand's sector, but it was repulsed with 3,200 casualties. Johnston ordered Pemberton to evacuate the city and save his army, but Pemberton thought it impossible to withdraw safely. Johnston planned to attack Grant and relieve Pemberton but was unable to arrange it in time. Grant besieged the Confederate army.

In addition to Pemberton at his front, Grant had to be concerned with Confederate forces in his rear. He stationed one division in the vicinity of the Big Black River bridge and another reconnoitered as far north as Mechanicsburg, both to act as a covering force. By June 10, the IX Corps under Maj. Gen. John G. Parke was transferred to Grant's command. This corps became the nucleus of a special task force whose mission was to prevent Johnston, gathering his forces at Clinton from interfering with the siege. Sherman was given command of this task force and Brig. General Frederick Steele replaced him at the XV Corps on June 22. Johnston eventually began moving to relieve Pemberton and reached the Big Black River on July 1, but he delayed a potentially difficult encounter with Sherman until it was too late for the Vicksburg garrison, and then fell back to Jackson.

By July 4, 1863 after six weeks in which the soldiers and civilians of Vicksburg had no food supplies and were bombarded constantly, Pemberton surrendered the city and his army. The 4th of July would not be celebrated in Vicksburg again for 86 years.

Return to the top of the page.

Secretary's Report
Ron Tyrl PPC

The May 13, 2013 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: Kyle Bublitz, Chris Cox, Joe Davis, Henry Hawker, Bob Griggs, Dave Kimble, Ron Lewis, Howard Lloyd, Mike Maillard, Roger Manning Ron Tyrl, and Charlie Waters Jr.

Brother Mike Maillard summarized his recent medical emergency and then the Secretary's report was motioned accepted as published in the Courier by Brother Waters and seconded by Brother Griggs, motion passed.
Treasurer Maillard reviewed the restoration fund and assured the camp will make a contribution to a cause Brother Hoffman would have supported such as the Eaton Rapids GAR Hall project.

Patriotic Instructor

Brother Joe Davis encourages all to bring in Civil War related materials that they would not mind circulating among the camp members so that all can read or see them.

Chaplain's Report

Brother Chris Cox brought the Civil War compendium on the regiments that served during the war that he said he will be bringing to the Cascade's Muster for assist in researching. A discussion on the Michigan Regimental "Brown Books" on CD was done and Brother Cox will look into downloading the Brown Books on a CD so that our copies of the Brown Books are not used in public and risk damaging.

Graves Registration

1. Brother Waters III has been researching Mt. Evergreen cemetery records to confirm our past surveys of civil war veterans interned there.
2. Ella Sharp museum will be doing a Civil War veteran walk through program and Brother Heath has been assisting and the contact point for this program for the Camp. 3. Brother Lewis has been researching for information on a North Parma cemetery.
4. The cleaning of the Mt. Evergreen cemetery soldier stones is scheduled for Monday May 20th at 12:00pm.

Signals

1. Brother Griggs up-dated the 2013 events page on both the Camp's website & Facebook sight and Brother Griggs also informed all that he was elected to the Department council position and Brother Cox is continuing as the Department Guard.

Old Business

1. The Mt. Evergreen Cemetery's wooden "Soldier's Cemetery Sign" replacement by a permanent marker committee: Brothers: Hawker, Heath and Maillard continue to work this project; 2014 projected date for completion.
2. Brother Brad Funkhouser family member's initiation recommended to be done during the Cascade's Muster in August.
3. Brother Waters III will be asked for the latest on the Medal of Honor John Kelly stone finalization status by the Medal of Honor Society.

New Business

1. Brother Cox announced that his civil war veteran relatives' stones in the Stockbridge cemetery will be cleaned and their bases repaired and a rededication program will be done in the future possibly in July. 2. At the Encampment, Marsha Butgereit requested soil from Michigan to be placed at the Gettysburg cemetery, during the Remembrance Day, for Michigan fallen buried at the cemetery; zip lock bags were recommended to place the soil in.

For the Good of the Order

1. Programs planned for the coming year:
    a. May 21, Tuesday Paragon School Program.
    b. May 24-26, Coldwater Muster.
    c. May 27, Memorial Day: Jackson 9:30am; Concord 10am; Spring Arbor 3pm.
    d. May 24-26, Coldwater Muster.
    e. May 27, Memorial Day: Jackson 9:30am; Concord 10am; Spring Arbor 3pm.
    f. June 2, Sunday, Rose Parade.     g. June 8, Saturday, Col. Jeffords burial, Dexter 10am.
    h. June 8, Saturday, Headstone dedication, Lansing 1pm.
    i. June 15 & 16 Turkeyville Muster.     j. June 22 & 23 Waterloo Farm Museum Blacksmith & Soldier & Log Cabin Weekend.     k. July 8, Monday, Camp meeting, Jim Jackson from Camp 22, will present a program on the "Iron Brigade".
    l. September 9, Camp meeting program on the 13th Michigan Regiment.

Commander Lloyd proceeded to close the meeting at 8:05pm and our next camp meeting is scheduled for July 8, 2013, to be held at Post 29 American Legion, Jackson, Michigan.

Return to the top of the page.


.

.

The Draft Riots

SPACE

A fearful riot commenced in this city on the morning of Monday, July 13. At first it was merely a demonstration against the draft, which had been commenced on Saturday in the Ninth District. The drawing of names was here resumed on Monday morning. A crowd gradually increasing, gathered around the office, but the drawing went on until about 60 additional names had been drawn, when a sudden attack was made by the mob. The wheel was destroyed, the papers scattered, and the building set on fire. The excitement spread through the city; crowds assembled ever where, at first with no apparent common object. But in a short time the aim of the leaders in the riot movement appeared to be an indiscriminate attack upon the colored people, and upon those who are supposed to be in any way connected with the draft or with the Republican party. Several buildings were sacked and burned. The Tribune office was attacked and only saved by the vigorous efforts of the police; negroes were hunted down, several were murdered under the most revolting circumstance. The house of the Mayor was sacked, that of the Postmaster burned to the ground; railroad tracks were torn up, and for a while it seemed that the city was under control of the mob. The most dastardly performance was the destruction of the Colored Orphan Asylum, in which some hundreds of children were provided for. This was sacked, and finally burned to the ground. The riot raged throughout the whole of Monday and Tuesday. The movement, which was at first one of opposition to the draft, has developed into a scheme of plunder and robbery. As we write on Wednesday noon, it appears that the riot is quelled. It is too early to give results, or to speak of the conduct of the public authorities.

Return to the top of the page.


.

.

HURRAH FOR THE LIGHT ARTILLERY!
by Anonymous


On the unstained sward of the gentle slope,
Full of valor and nerved by hope,
The infantry sways like a coming sea;
Why lingers the light artillery?
"Action front!"

Whirling the Parrotts like children's toys,
The horses strain to the rushing noise;
To right and to left, so fast and free,
They carry the light artillery.
"Drive on!"

The gunner cries with a tug and a jerk,
The limbers fly, and we bend to our work;
The handspike in, and the implements out--
We wait for the word, and it comes with a shout--
"Load!"

The foes pour on their billowy line;
Can nothing check their bold design?
With yells and oaths of fiendish glee,
They rush for the light artillery.
"Commence firing!"

Hurrah! Hurrah! our bulldogs bark,
And the enemy's line is a glorious mark;
Hundreds fall like grain on the lea,
Mowed down by the light artillery.

"Fire!" and "Load!" are the only cries,
Thundered and rolled to the vaulted skies;
Aha! they falter, they halt, they flee
From the hail of the light artillery.
"Cease firing!"

The battle is over, the victory won,
Ere the dew is dried by the rising sun;
While the shout bursts out, like a full-voiced sea,
"Hurrah for the light artillery!
"Hurrah for the light artillery!"

Return to the top of the page.



.

Upcoming Events


May: 2013
Austin Blair Camp No. 7Auxiliary
Saturday May 4th; Lansing MI

Department Encampment: Great Lakes Christian College
6211 West Willow Highway, Lansing, MI.


Monday May 14th; 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).


Monday May 20th; noon

Cleaning Veterans headstones
Mt. Evergreen Cemetery Jackson MI.


Monday May 27th

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

Thursday May 30th

Memorial Day - Traditional.

Saturday May 4th; Lansing MI

Department Encampment: Great Lakes Christian College
6211 West Willow Highway, Lansing, MI.


Monday May 14th; 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).


Monday May 20th; noon

Cleaning Veterans headstones
Mt. Evergreen Cemetery Jackson MI.


Monday May 27th

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

Thursday May 30th

Memorial Day - Traditional.

June: 2013
Austin Blair Camp No. 7Auxiliary
No regular meeting is scheduled for June.


Saturday June 8th 10 a.m. Dexter

Col. Jeffords burial


Saturday June 8th 1 p.m. Lansing

Headstone dedication Mt Hope Cemetery


Saturday - Sunday June 15 - 16

The Battle of Turkeyville. Turkeyville, MI


Saturday 22nd 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Sunday 23rd Noon - 4 p.m. Waterloo

Waterloo Farm Museum Blacksmith, Soldiers and Log Cabin Weekend. Waterloo Farm Museum
9998 Waterloo Munith Rd., Waterloo Michigan

No regular meeting is scheduled for June.


Saturday June 8th 10 a.m. Dexter

Col. Jeffords burial


Saturday June 8th 1 p.m. Lansing

Headstone dedication Mt Hope Cemetery


Saturday - Sunday June 15 - 16

The Battle of Turkeyville. Turkeyville, MI


Saturday 22nd 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Sunday 23rd Noon - 4 p.m. Waterloo

Waterloo Farm Museum Blacksmith, Soldiers and Log Cabin Weekend. Waterloo Farm Museum
9998 Waterloo Munith Rd., Waterloo Michigan

Return to the top of the page.

CLICK HERE TO SEE BACK ISSUES



Dead on the field in Gettysburg.

Return to the top of the page.

Veterans of The Battle of the Crater 1890

Return to the top of the page.


.

.

Return to Austin Blair home page.