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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."


August, 2013


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In this issue

Commanders Column
Secretary's Report
Baxter and the 7th at Gettysburg
G.A.R. Encampment Cover
Tobacciana
The Execution of Deserters
A Civil War Poem
Upcoming events
Back Issues
A photo from the Civil War


Commanders Column


Greeting Men of the Blue

As you know we had a very busy June. Our Camp and Auxiliary took part in many different events, The re-burial of Colonel Jeffords, the headstone dedication for Sgt. George Randall, 102 USCT, Waterloo Farm Museum for their annual Blacksmith, Log Cabin, & Soldiers weekend, the Battle of Turkeyville and Log Cabin Day at Richmond MI.

I would not appear that the Month of July is going to be any less busy for our members. We have already taken part in the Under the Oaks event as well as having a guest speaker, Jim Jackson Commander of Camp No. 22, at our July meeting. Oh yes and a baby shower for our very own Rebel couple Mr & Mrs Pardee, where a grand time was had by all. Camp 7 was also well represented at the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. That is just the beginning of the month. We still have the Learning Fair, the Dedication in Scotts, and our annual event at the Hubbard House in Concord.

I wish to thank each and every member of the camp and auxiliary in taking part in these events. Without you and your dedication to working these events the Boys in Blue might be forgotten. A hardy Hazzah to you all for a job well done.

Remember, there is no meeting in August but I hope to see you all at Evergreen Cemetery at the Soldiers Plot on August 3rd, as well as the Jackson Muster on the 24th and 25th.

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

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General Henry Baxter

Monument of the 7th Michigan Gettysburg National Millitery Park

Baxter and the 7th
Submitted by Ron Tyrl

General Henry Baxter, miller & store keeper before the war from Jonesville, Michigan, Baxter joined the 7th Michigan as a captain. He rose to command the regiment and along the way was wounded badly first in the Peninsula campaign then again at Antietam, then a third time at Fredericksburg. He was promoted to Brigadier-General in March 1863 in John Reynold’s First Corps in the Army of the Potomac. Baxter’s brigade will repulse two confederate battle lines north of Gettysburg on the Mummasburg Road on the first day of the coming battle at John Forney’s field; Baxter’s Yankee line delivering the most killing volley on the battle field that day mainly against General Alfred Iverson’s North Carolina men of Ewell’s Second Corps.

At the Battle of Gettysburg, Baxter's brigade arrived around noon just as Confederate Major General Robert Rodes's 8,000 man division began to appear on Oak Hill. Baxter's brigade advanced far beyond the nearest Federal brigade on the right flank of the line and deployed in a V shaped formation along the Mummasburg Road. Rodes's division attacked piecemeal, and scores of Colonel Edward O’Neil's men were mowed down. Shortly afterward, a Confederate brigade under Colonel Alfred Iverson advanced without skirmishers and moved past Baxter's men, who were hidden behind a stone wall. Suddenly, the men of Baxter's brigade rose up and delivered a lethal fire into the North Carolinians. In one of the most one-sided exchanges during the war, Baxter's surprise attack killed, wounded and captured 758 of 1300 men in Confederate Iverson's brigade and eliminated it as an effective fighting force in under ten minutes. Running low on ammunition, Baxter's men withdrew to the north end of Cemetery Ridge, having lost all of the officers on Baxter's staff and close to half the brigade in defense of the I Corps right flank. He received glowing praise from his division commander, Maj. General John C. Robinson, and a subordinate wrote that, "I wish to say one word outside of my regiment in regard to Generals Baxter and Robinson. They were on every part of the field, encouraging and stimulating the men by their presence and bravery.”

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Cigarette/Cigar Cards and Labels

After the Civil War many companies rushed to cash in on the cerlebity status of some of the major players. One of those was the tobacco industry. Below you will find photos of a couple of such items. If you click on the picture you will be taken to the WikipidiA page for that person.

Ulysses S. Grant

Robert E. Lee

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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.

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Secretary's Report
Ron Tyrl PPC

The July 8, 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, Bob Griggs, Dave Kimble, Howard Lloyd, Mike Maillard, Roger Manning, Ron Tyrl, and Charlie Waters Jr. Guest: David Cox & James Jackson- Camp 22 Commander.

Commander Lloyd welcomed our guest and thanked Brother Jackson for presenting his presentation on the "Irish Brigade." The Secretary's report was motioned accepted as published in the Courier by Brother Waters and seconded by Brother Kimble, motion passed.

The Treasurer's Report was motioned accepted as presented, by Brother Griggs, and seconded by Brother Davis, motion passed.

Treasurer Maillard received money from the auxiliary for their portion of Brenda Walters husband Carl's memorial service.
A motion was made by Brother Tyrl to reimburse half of the expense $175 for Jerry Wright's power washer motor which failed during our Camp's Memorial Day headstone washing detail at Mt Evergreen, seconded by Brother Griggs, motion passed.
Treasurer Maillard also reviewed the 501c4 tax exempt status for non-profit organizations like ours which are currently being reviewed by the IRS.

Patriotic Instructor

Brother Joe Davis brought in the "Blue & Grey" volumes and encouraged continuing sharing items for circulation within the Camp.

Chaplain's Report

Brother Chris Cox set the date for 1 o'clock, Saturday, July 20th for the headstone repairs on his relatives' stones in the Stockbridge Cemetery.

Graves Registration

1. Brother Waters III continues researching Mt. Evergreen cemetery records to confirm our past surveys of civil war veterans interned there and up-dating the new Veterans' graves registration CD which is currently at 60,413 men.
2. The Ella Sharp museum Mt. Evergreen Civil War veteran walk through program is scheduled for Saturday August 3rd.

Signals

1. Brother Griggs up-dated the 2013 events page on both the Camp's website & Facebook sight to July 2013 events.

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 reports nothing new on the Medal of Honor John Kelly stone being finalized by the Medal of Honor Society.

New Business

1. Brother Cox announced that he has coordinated our Camp's participation at the Jackson Career Center's fair July 18 & 19th; more details will be sent via e-mail.
2. Brother Daniel Pardee reported that he will be raffling a Confederate battle flag at the July 27th Concord Civil War Days event with half the money to go to suggested Civil War related interest to be determined at the event once suggestions are reviewed and one determined.
3. Commander Lloyd requested a "100 Year Camp Celebration" committee for the Camp's up-coming 2014 anniversary, 1914-2014. Brother Cox volunteered to assist with this committee.

For the Good of the Order

1. Programs planned for the coming year:
    a. July 27th, Saturday, Concord Civil War Days.
    b. August 3, Saturday, Mt Evergreen "Walk Through".
    c. August 24-25, Sat-Sun, Cascade's Civil War Muster.
    d. September 9, Camp meeting program on the 13th Michigan Regiment.

Commander Lloyd proceeded to close the meeting at 7:20pm and the Camp joined the auxiliary to celebrate with Brother Daniel Pardee and his wife Elizabeth on their coming baby expected in August and then was followed by Jackson's "Irish Brigade Program." Our next camp meeting is scheduled for September 9, 2013, to be held at Post 29 American Legion, Jackson, Michigan.

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THE EXECUTION OF DESERTERS.

Harpers Weekly September 26th 1863


Mr. Waud writes: "The crime of desertion has been one of the greatest drawbacks to our army. If the men who have deserted their flag had but been present on more than one occasion defeat would have been victory, and victory the destruction of the enemy. It may be therefore fairly asserted that desertion is the greatest crime of the soldier, and no punishment too severe for the offense. But the dislike to kill in cold blood—a Northern characteristic—the undue exercise of executive clemency, and in fact the very magnitude and vast spread of the offense, has prevented the proper punishment being applied. That is past; now the very necessity of saving life will cause the severest penalties to be rigorously exacted. The picture represents the men who were sentenced to death in the Fifth Corps for desertion at the moment of their execution. Some of these had enlisted, pocketed the bounty, and deserted again and again. The sentence of death being so seldom enforced they considered it a safe game. They all suffered terribly mentally, and as they marched to their own funeral they staggered with mortal agony like a drunken man. Through the corps, ranged in hushed masses on the hill-side, the procession moved to a funeral march, the culprits walking each behind his own coffin. On reaching the grave they were, as usual, seated on their coffins; the priests made short prayers; their eyes were bandaged; and with a precision worthy of praise for its humanity, the orders were given and the volley fired which launched them into eternity. They died instantly, although one sat up nearly a minute after the firing; and there is no doubt that their death has had a very salutary influence on discipline."

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Drummer Boy
By Jeanne Losey

George W. Stone
1st Michigan Sharpshooters

State Archives in Lansing.


He was his mother's only son,
A load of just fourteen,
Not quite a child, not quite a man,
But somewhere in between.

He tried to lie about his age,
(How old he had become.)
They said he couldn't have a gun,
But he could beat the drum.

He ate and slept beside the men.
His fervor did not lag.
He beat the drum, and many times,
He got to bear the flag.

The marchers' feet were quickened by
The drummer's rapid beat,
And like the bugler, Billy vowed
He'd never beat retreat.

But when they fought at Shiloh,
The man felt such despair,
For Billy didn't fire a shot,
But bullets just don't care.

He'd marched along beside his troops
And held their banner high.
They said he was too young to fight
But not too young to die!

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Upcoming Events


July: 2013

Austin Blair Camp No. 7Auxiliary
Monday July 8th; 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).
GUEST JIM JACKSON SPEAKING ON THE IRISH BRIGADE


Thursday - Friday July 11th - 12st Jackson

Learning Fair


Saturday - Sunday July 20th - 21st Hastings

Civil War Muster Charlton Park


27th - Saturday all day Concord

Concord Civil War Days Hubbard House.

Monday July 8th; 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).
GUEST JIM JACKSON SPEAKING ON THE IRISH BRIGADE


Thursday - Friday July 11th - 12st Jackson

Learning Fair


Saturday - Sunday July 20th - 21st Hastings

Civil War Muster Charlton Park


27th - Saturday all day Concord

Concord Civil War Days Hubbard House.

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


Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th All day Jackson

Jackson Annual Civil War Muster.
Look for us in the band shell.

No regular meeting is scheduled for August.


Saturday 25th & Sunday August 26th;

Jackson Annual Civil War Muster.
Look for us next to the band shell.

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September: 2013
Austin Blair Camp No. 7Auxiliary
Monday September 9th; 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome)
Guest speaker, Michael B. Culp, Director 13th Michigan Memorial Association.
Monday September 10th; 7 p.m.

Austin Blair Camp Meeting. American Legion Post 29,
3200 Lansing Ave. Jackson MI. ( Visitors welcome).
Guest speaker, Michael B. Culp, Director 13th Michigan Memorial Association.

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A house damaged during the fighting at Petersburg.

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G.A.R. Encampment Program Cover

Cover for the Department of Indaiana 19th Encampment.


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