New Smyrna Museum of History Book Discussion

Hidden History of Civil War Florida book cover

Join Robert at the New Smyrna Museum of History on Thursday, January 12, 2023 at 6:30p when he will be discussing his newest book, Hidden History of Civil War Florida. Robert is proudly published by Arcadia Publishing.

Free admission for members, non-members $8 for adults, ages 11 to 17 $5, 10 and under free.

They will have copies of all Roberts book available for sale and he will be glad to sign them for you.

For more information call the museum at 386-478-0052 or email at nsmofhistory@gmail.com .

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Book Review: Shiloh National Military Park (Images of America)

Shiloh National Military Park book cover

McCutchen, Brian K., and Timothy B. Smith. Shiloh National Military Park (Images of America). Charleston: Arcadia Publishing. 2012. ISBN 9780738591353. B/W photos. 127 pages. $21.99.

When armies under the commands of Ulysses S. Grant and Albert Sidney Johnston faced off on April 6 and 7, 1862, they could not have realized the carnage that would be left on the Tennessee battlefield. The Battle of Shiloh left almost 24,000 soldiers dead, wounded, missing, or captured, a staggering sum that included Confederate General Johnston.

In 1866, Pittsburg National Cemetery was established by the War Department; a name later changed to Shiloh National Cemetery in 1889.

Established on December 27, 1894, Shiloh National Military Park now serves as a reminder of those terrible two days of fighting that helped set in motion the events of the next three years. The park first operated under the guidance of the War Department but was moved to the National Park Service in 1933.

This 1894 legislation allowed for participating states to place monuments and memorials on the park grounds. The park as we know it today was beginning to take shape.

The Images of America series of books does an excellent job of providing access to usually older photos that the general public may not otherwise have the opportunity to view. In Shiloh National Military Park, authors Brian K. McCutchen and Timothy B. Smith achieve this standard, using images from the park collection.

McCutchen is a former park ranger at Shiloh and has served at other national parks. Timothy B. Smith is a professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Martin. He is a leading scholar on the Battle of Shiloh and has authored what many consider the definitive volume on the battle, Shiloh: Conquer or Perish.

In this Images of America title, the authors showcase just over 200 images, broken into seven chapters. As might be expected in a collection spanning longer than 150 years, some images have reproduced much better than others. Occasionally there are images that seem a bit fuzzy and hazy. This is not a major distraction however. Each image contains a caption with most being around fifty words. The captions are easy to read and bring additional life to the images. 

I particularly enjoyed the chapter titled, “Memories in Stone and Bronze: Monuments of Shiloh.” This chapter highlights just a few of the more than 150 monuments that are located throughout the 4,000+ acres of the park. As McCutchen and Smith state, “To the veterans of America’s first monster battle…the statuary was much more. It embodied full representations of the brave solders of North and South and thus told the stories that they wished to convey to future generations.: (p.57)

A little-known aspect of the battlefield that the authors cover is the cyclone of October 14, 1909. This storm, that appears to have been building throughout the day, killed seven and injured thirty-three. Damage to the park and cemetery were considerable with Congress ultimately allocating $8,000 for the national cemetery and almost $20,000 for repairs and reconstruction at the park. In just over a dozen photos, the damage to the park is shown, with trees uprooted, buildings destroyed, and monuments smashed.

The beauty of a book such as this is its simplicity. A reader can know nothing of the battle and still enjoy the rich history on the pages, the book serving as a potential gateway to further study. For those knowledgeable on the battle and the terrain of the battlefield there is still plenty to learn here. Chances are good that many of the images will be new, even to seasoned students of the battle.

This is not a new release, and the reality is, an expert such as Smith could probably release several similar volumes. Recommended for anybody studying the battle or planning to visit the Shiloh National Military Park.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.


Civil War Monitor

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Civil War Monitor is one of the leading magazines covering the war from all perspectives. With some of the best practicing historians regularly contributing articles, this is a must read for any student of the war. Click the link above of the photo to the left for exclusive subscription pricing!

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Book Review: Civil War Generals of Indiana written by Dr. Carl E. Kramer

Civil War Generals of Indiana

Kramer, Carl E. Civil War Generals of Indiana. Charleston: History Press. 2022. 140 pages, 136 pages of text. Bibliography, b/w images. ISBN 9781467151955, $23.99.

In his acknowledgements and introduction, author Dr. Carl E. Kramer, states that this book has been an off and on-again project for more than sixty years having started it while a freshman in high school in 1961. As with any student new to Civil War studies, the term “General” can be confusing at best, thus Kramer’s long-term quest for clarity.

Let’s count down the opportunities for use of the title along with Dr. Kramer. There are those who receive appointment to the rank of general (brigadier and higher). Of course, during the Civil War that could mean in the regular army or as a general of volunteers. Promotions to the rank of general were nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

Second, you have Brevet Generals, those receiving a sort of temporary promotion to the rank but no real promotion. These brevets were often handed out based upon some noteworthy battle achievement most often made by a colonel or maybe even lieutenant colonel. You weren’t going to be made a brevet general from the rank of sergeant. Brevets to lower officer positions were also possible during the war.

The third opportunity for using the rank of general is from State Troops. These were most often militia groups and the appointment was made by the state governor.

Finally, you have those men who were just called general. They may have received the nickname for being a local leader, maybe it was sarcastic, or perhaps they gave themselves the moniker and it stuck for whatever reason. Needless to say, these men were not generals in the way Kramer is using the term.

As has been pointed out by Andrew Wagenhoffer, the issue of determining who is a Hoosier and who isn’t is a tricky one. Then, as now, people moved around. Family members often followed each other, at times following perceived economic or educational opportunities.

In determining if a “general” was eligible for inclusion, Kramer relied heavily on the standard work in the field, Generals in Blue written by Ezra Kramer. For state level generals, he relied upon Indiana in the War of the Rebellion, a multi volume report issued in 1869 and available in a reprint edition.

Determining a tie to Indiana became more difficult for Dr. Kramer as this can mean differing things to different people. Kramer settled on three criteria for inclusion in his book. The first is birth; anyone born in Indiana who met the other criteria is included. The second qualifying criteria is for men who were born elsewhere but relocated to Indiana and spent a significant part of their lives in the state. The term “significant” is not defined and so this criterion remains vague. The final criteria that merits inclusion is for men “who arrived in Indiana early in the war, played an important role in organizing the state’s military operations and maintained a significant presence after the war.” This criterion is again vague and open to interpretation as the terms important and significant are not defined.

Dover Books

Ultimately, Dr. Kramer has decided upon 121 men; including 44 full United States generals, 1 Confederate general (Francis Asbury Shoup), 62 Union brevet generals, and 14 state service generals. Twenty-one generals were born in Indiana as were 24 brevet generals.

Robert Huston Milroy courtesy Library of Congress
Major General Robert Huston Milroy
Image courtesy Library of Congress

Most of the biographies are one page long. A large number of the entries contain a photo, the majority of which are from the Library of Congress. The short length of each entry makes this book appropriate to pick up and put down at your leisure. Each biography can be read in a matter of a few minutes allowing readers the flexibility to read multiple titles without worries of being bogged down. Biographies can be read in any order with no concern about being confused.

One drawback I did note is that the book does not contain end/foot notes. There is a two-page bibliography however. For me, I would have found it helpful, or at least interesting, if Dr. Kramer had listed a recommended biography (if available) for each of the entries. Brief introductions to these interesting men could leave some readers wanting more. Overall, for a book of this nature these are minor quibbles. It is also possible that the author reached his word count limit. Arcadia/History Press try to stick to specific word counts in order to keep their titles within a page limit and thus helping control price.

For those interested in the role of Indiana in the Civil War this is a book that should be considered. Available at a budget friendly price it allows for a handy reference rather than trying to find Indiana generals at random in Warner.

Arcadia Publishing has generously provided a complimentary review copy of this book. Arcadia Publishing has also published five titles I have written as of the date of this post. This review has not been influenced by these factors and is based upon my reading of the work.

If you would like to read book reviews of other Arcadia/History Press titles, please click HERE. 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.


Civil War Monitor
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For some of the best in Civil War writing, I invite you to click the photo or link to subscribe to Civil War MonitorIn each issue leading scholars tackle the Civil War head on. Every issue contains book reviews helping you decide on what to read next. Beautifully laid out, this is a bi-monthly magazine you will want to keep for future reference.

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Abraham Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address November 19, 1863

Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg
Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg
Photo is a reprint of a small detail of a photo showing the crowd gathered for the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Penn., where President Abraham Lincoln gave his now famous speech, the Gettysburg Address. Lincoln is visible facing the crowd, not wearing a hat, about an inch below the third flag from the left. Josephine Cobb first found Lincoln’s face while working with a glass plate negative at the National Archives in 1952. (Source: NARA, Rare Photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg, http://blogs.archives.gov/prologue/?p=2564)

In a speech of just over 250 words, and only two minutes long, President Abraham Lincoln provided a “few appropriate remarks” summarizing the national situation and reminding those in attendance that the work started must be completed. Union forces must continue to fight in order to preserve the nation.

While Lincoln was in Gettysburg, he stayed at the David Wills House, located in downtown Gettysburg at Lincoln Square. The house is operated by the National Park Service and admission is free. It is recommended to check the website before visiting as hours do change throughout the year. Here, you can visit the room where President Lincoln put the final touches on what might be his most famous speech.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coloring Books to Relax

The text below is quoted from the Bliss Copy of the address as provided by the National Park Service. To learn about the five differing versions of the Gettysburg Address please visit Abraham Lincoln Online.

Gettysburg Address

Delivered at Gettysburg, PA

Nov. 19th 1863

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate — we cannot hallow –this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Lincoln’s speech, which is often quoted, has been analyzed and interpreted since it was given. There are several worthwhile books on the subject of the address and the creation of the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Below are several I recommend.


The Emerging Civil War Series is highly respected for the continual high level of scholarship these books include. Dr. Brad Gottfried is a respected academic who has served as a professor, college president, and author. His book Lincoln Comes to Gettysburg is a perfect introduction to the topic. At less than 200 pages and around $15 this is an amazing value for anybody interested in the Civil War, Gettysburg in particular, or Abraham Lincoln.

 

 

 

Perhaps the standard work on the topic is that of Gary Wills and his masterful Lincoln at Gettysburg.

By examining both the address and Lincoln in their historical moment and cultural frame, Wills breathes new life into words we thought we knew, and reveals much about a president so mythologized but often misunderstood. Wills shows how Lincoln came to change the world and to effect an intellectual revolution, how his words had to and did complete the work of the guns, and how Lincoln wove a spell that has not yet been broken.

 

 

For those a bit more advanced in your studies, I recommend seeking out The Gettysburg Gospel by Gabor Boritt.

The words Abraham Lincoln spoke at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg comprise perhaps the most famous speech in history. Many books have been written about the Gettysburg Address and yet, as Lincoln scholar Gabor Boritt shows, there is much that we don’t know about the speech. In The Gettysburg Gospel he tears away a century of myths, lies, and legends to give us a clear understanding of the greatest American’s greatest speech.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

 

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Library Additions: Lady Rebels of Civil War Missouri written by Larry Wood

Lady Rebels of Civil War Missouri book cover

Lady Rebels of Civil War Missouri

Wood, Larry, Lady Rebels of Civil War Missouri. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing. 2022. 154 pages, 129 pages of text. Bibliography, notes, index, b/w photos. ISBN 9781467150095, $23.99.

Thank you to my good friends at Arcadia Publishing for providing a complimentary review copy. A more detailed review will be forthcoming.

Although war was traditionally the purview of men, the realities of America’s Civil War often brought women into the conflict. They served as nurses, sutlers, and washerwomen. Some even disguised themselves as men and joined the fight on the battlefield. In the border state of Missouri, where Southern sympathies ran deep, women sometimes clashed with occupying Union forces because of illegal, covert activities like spying, smuggling, and delivering mail. When caught and arrested, the women were often imprisoned or banished from the state. In at least a couple of cases, they were even sentenced to death. Join award-winning author Larry Wood as he chronicles the misadventures and ordeals of the lady rebels of Missouri.

You may review other blog posts related to Arcadia Publishing by clicking HERE.

To learn more about the military role of Missouri in the Civil War I recommend The Civil War in Missouri: A Military History written by Louis S. Gerteis.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products. 

 

To keep up with some of the best current writing on the Civil War, I strongly recommend a subscription to Civil War Monitor I have subscribed for several years and the content is always top notch. Every other month you will get articles written by some of the most knowledgeable historians in the field. These articles are not written for academics but rather for a broader audience. The book reviews will guide you to some of the best in Civil War scholarship from a variety of academic and trade publishers. Click the link or image below for exclusive savings.


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Library Additions: Civil War Generals of Indiana

Civil War Generals of Indiana

Kramer, Carl E. Civil War Generals of Indiana. Charleston: History Press. 2022. 140 pages, 136 pages of text. Bibliography, b/w images. ISBN 9781467151955, $23.99.

Thank you to the good folks at Arcadia Publishing/History Press for providing a complimentary copy of Civil War Generals of Indiana. A book review will be coming in the near future.

When the Civil War erupted, the Union and the Confederacy faced the challenge of organizing huge armies of volunteers with little or no military experience. Crucial to this task was finding generals, and Indiana answered this call with approximately 120 of them. Though a competent division and corps commander, Ambrose E. Burnside’s leadership of the Army of the Potomac at Fredericksburg proved disastrous. Jefferson Columbus was a relentless commander but murdering his superior in a Louisville hotel halted his probable rise to major general. As commander of the Louisville Legion, Lovell H. Rousseau was the only Civil War general commissioned by a city.

Compiling years of research, historian Carl E. Kramer provides biographical sketches of every identifiable Indiana general who attained full-rank, brevet, and state-service status in the tragic struggle.

You may find more information on Dr. Kramer by using this link.

To view similar posts including prior reviews of Arcadia Publishing titles, please CLICK HERE.

Indianapolis MonthlySubscribe to Indianapolis Monthly to keep up with all the great things going on in the great state of Indiana!

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HistoryCon at Museum of Arts and Sciences

2 Civil War Books

Authors Robert Redd and Bob Grenier will be attending the inaugural summer edition of HistoryCon at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach. Bob and Robert will both have copies of their books available for purchase. Both authors are proudly published by Arcadia Publishing.

For more details visit HistoryCon on the web.

Admission to HistoryCon is included with museum admission.

HistoryCon

July 30, 2022 10am-3pm

Museum of Arts and Sciences

353 S. Nova Road

Daytona Beach, FL 32114

 

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Civil War Monument and Memorial Resources

Confederate Monument Monticello, FL

Memory can be a funny thing. It changes over time. People change, times change, interpretations change, what we consider important changes.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the field of Civil War memory and monuments. In the years immediately after the war, monuments and memorials were constructed for several different reasons. In some instances, it was to remember and honor those who served and maybe did not return from battle. In the south, these monuments were often meant to recall what those of the time considered a better time. Words carved into granite were chosen with great care as to meaning.

Confederate Monument Monticello, FL
Confederate Monument in Monticello, FL erected by the Ladies Memorial Association of Jefferson County. Image courtesy State Archives of Florida.

Ladies Memorial Associations and similar groups were often at the head of constructing these memorials; raising funds and dealing with stonemasons to make sure these reminders of the past were exactly what they wanted. Most scholars consider these memorials a key component of Lost Cause mythology.

In the years after the passing of Civil War veterans and their direct descendants, memorial creation has passed to new generations. These newer monuments often have a different, and many times politically charged rhetoric. As memorials, particularly those honoring the Confederate cause, are removed from publicly owned lands; new monuments are usually placed on privately held lands. Historians have often questioned the need or motives for placing new memorials.

The fate of memorials removed from public lands is a thorny one that does not have a clear and easy answer. Many people are against removal of any type of monument, often claiming it is erasing history. On the other side are those who would not just remove what they deem offensive memorials, but they would destroy them, often in a public scene in order to gain attention to their cause.

An often-cited answer is to put them in a museum. It is not as easy as that. Museums have collection policies and goals that Boards of Directors must abide by. Housing a large Civil War monument in usually not in those goals. Space is often a concern. How many museums have room to house a twenty-five foot tall memorial? Are museum facilities structurally able to hold the weight of what might be a several ton piece of granite or a large bronze piece? Finally, who will pay for the moving and exhibit upkeep? Even if a museum can address these concerns, community input is important. Do museum patrons feel owning a Civil War monument is in the best interest of the organization? Finally, again we come  to the thorny question, who and how would these pieces be interpreted. 

A final concern with any type of public memorial is interpretation and context. Interpretation and context are areas that some of the public do not appreciate. They feel they should be left as is with no attempt to explain what a viewer is witnessing. Also, should monuments to the Confederate cause be placed at government buildings no matter the interpretation.

Some memorials are blatantly obvious what they are trying to achieve. Others are more nuanced with carefully chosen language and symbolism. While maybe not obvious to everyone today, to contemporaries, these monuments were understood in their day. 

As stated above, interpretations change. No matter where a monument may be located, it is important today that some level of interpretive work be included to let visitors know the who, what, and why of a monument or memorial. It is then up to the viewer to make a determination what they think. Are these memorials to lost soldiers and family members? Are they memorials to a prior way of life? Are they monuments meant to hurt and intimidate others? Are they a reminder of a way of life we should not allow to be forgotten? Can they be a teaching tool? Are they strictly now a work of art like any other sculpture? 

African American Civil War Memorial
The African American Civil War Memorial located on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Photo courtesy National Park Service

Today, there is increasingly an effort to memorialize those who have been forgotten in the past. This includes memorials to women, those on the home front, and the telling of stories of slavery and African American soldiers.  No longer are cities, states, and organizations scared of telling the true horrors of war and what it was like for those outside the sphere of battle. While this movement has not proven universally popular, it is one that will continue, particularly as further scholarship develops these previously unknown stories.

What I have gathered below is a listing of materials related to Civil War monuments, memorials, and memory. These works are often from academic presses and may have a scholarly bent. Some of these titles tackle head on the controversy of Civil War memorials while others are concerned with cataloging memorials by state or battlefield.

While I do own quite a few of these titles, I have not reviewed all of them. If I have included them I feel they are appropriate to the subject and worthy of your consideration.

Please note, the intent of this bibliography is not to take sides or promote an ideology, but rather it is to provide you, the reader, with resources allowing you to better understand the topic. Titles that appear to be intentionally inflammatory are excluded. 

I have not yet mined academic journals and other periodicals regarding the subject. I hope to do so in the not too distant future. I will create a separate section on this post for these materials.

Please feel free to reach out to me or leave a comment regarding books I have not listed. Materials dealing with Civil War memorials, groups who erected these memorials, artists and those who created monuments, and related topics are encouraged.  If you have read any of these titles, please feel free to leave a comment about the book. An open and respectful dialogue is encouraged.

I will periodically be updating this list based upon reader input and especially as publishers release new titles.

To keep up with all things Civil War including modern interpretation, I strongly recommend subscriptions to Civil War Times and Civil War Monitor. Both offer writing by top notch scholars and have excellent photos and maps.

BOOKS

Allison, David B. Controversial Monuments and Memorials: A Guide for Community Leaders. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2018.

Andres, Matthew Cenon. Stone Soldiers: Photographing the Civil War Monuments in Illinois. Self Published. 2019.

Brown, Thomas J. Civil War Monuments and the Militarization of America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019.

Brown, Thomas J. The Public Art of Civil War Commemoration: A Brief History with Documents. New York: Macmillan Publishers, 2004.

Butler, Douglas J. North Carolina Civil War Monuments: An Illustrated History. Jefferson: McFarland & Co., 2013.

Chevalier, R.N. and Donna Chevalier. Rhode Island Civil War Monuments: A Pictorial Guide. Pawtucket: Stillwater River Publications, 2017.

Cox, Karen L. Dixie’s Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2019.

Cox, Karen L. No Common Ground: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2021.

Domby, Adam. The False Cause: Fraud, Fabrication, and White Supremacy in Confederate Memory. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022.

Foster, Gaines M. Ghosts of the Confederacy: Defeat, the Lost Cause, and the Emergence of the New South, 1865-1913. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. 

Gallagher, Gary W. and Alan T. Nolan. The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2010.

Gill, James. Tearing Down the Lost Cause: The Removal of New Orleans’s Confederate Statues. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2021.

Goldfield, David R. Still Fighting the Civil War: The American South and Southern History. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002.

Hagler, Jr., Gould B. Georgia’s Confederate Monuments: In Honor of a Fallen Nation. Macon: Mercer University Press, 2014.

Hartley, Roger C. Monumental Harm: Reckoning with Jim Crow Era Confederate Monuments. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2021.

Harvey, Eleanor Jones. The Civil War and American Art. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012.

Huntington, Tom. Guide to Gettysburg Battlefield Monuments: Find Every Monument and Tablet in the Park. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2013.

Ingall, David and Karin Risko. Michigan Civil War Landmarks. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2015.

 Isbell, Timothy T. Gettysburg: Sentinels of Stone. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2006.

Isbell, Timothy T. Shiloh and Corinth: Sentinels of Stone. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2007.

Isbell, Timothy T. Vicksburg: Sentinels of Stone. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press, 2006.

Jacob, Kathryn Allamong and Edwin H. Remsberg. Testament to Union: Civil War Monuments in Washington D.C. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.

Janney, Caroline E. Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2012.

Johnson, Kristina Dunn. No Holier Spot of Ground: Confederate Monument & Cemeteries of South Carolina. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2009.

Lees, William B. and Frederick P. Gaske. Recalling Deeds Immortal: Florida Monuments to the Civil War. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2014.

McMichael, Kelly. Sacred Memories: The Civil War Monument Movement in Texas. Denton: Texas State Historical Association, 2009.

Mills, Charles. Civil War Graves of Northern Virginia. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2017.

Mills, Cynthia and Pamela H. Simpson. Monuments to the Lost Cause: Women, Arts, and the Landscapes of Southern Memory. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2003.

Newsome, Ryan Andrew. Cut in Stone: Confederate Monuments and Theological Disruption. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2020.

Pelland, Dave. Civil War Monuments of Connecticut. Monument Publishing, 2013.

Reaves, Stacy W. A History & Guide to the Monuments of Chickamauga National Military Park. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2013.

Reaves, Stacy W. A History & Guide to the Monuments of Shiloh National Park. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2012.

Reaves, Stacy W. A History of Andersonville Prison Monuments. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2015.

Savage, Kirk. The Civil War in Art and Memory. Washington D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2016.

Savage, Kirk. Monument Wars: Washington D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape. Berkeley:University of California Press, 2011.

Savage, Kirk. Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018.

Sedore, Timothy S. An Illustrated Guide to Virginia’s Confederate Monuments. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2018.

Sedore, Timothy S. Mississippi Civil War Monuments: An Illustrated Field Guide. Beverly: Quarry Books, Inc., 2020.

Sedore, Timothy S. Tennessee Civil War Monuments: An Illustrated Field Guide. Beverly: Quarry Books, 2020.

Seger, Marla and Joanna Davis-McElligatt. Reading Confederate Monuments. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2022.

Seidule, Ty. Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause. New York: St. Martins Press, 2022.

Tracey, John and Chris Mackowski. Civil War Monuments and Memory: Favorite Stories and Fresh Perspectives from the Historians at Emerging Civil War. El Dorado Hills, Savas Beatie, 2022.

Wiggins, David N. Georgia’s Confederate Monuments and Cemeteries. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2006.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click these links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. This commission does not affect any price that you pay. All views and opinions provided are my own and are never influenced by affiliate programs or sponsors providing products.

 

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In Memory: Amzi Harmon Civil War Medal of Honor Recipient

Amzi Harmon Headstone
Amzi Harmon Headstone
Original Union headstone and modern Medal of Honor bronze marker for Amzi D. Harmon.

A couple of years ago while wandering Mt. Peace Cemetery in Kissimmee, Florida, searching for the graves of my grandmother and grandfather; I came across the final resting spot of Amzi D. Harmon. The burial itself was rather unremarkable. In fact, I might not have even noticed it if not for the traditional Union soldier shape of the headstone.

It turns out Amzi D. Harmon received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Civil War. Granted, Medals of Honor for actions during the Civil War were awarded on a much less stringent basis than they have since. In fact, a total of 1,523 Medals of Honor were issued for service during the Civil War. In total, less than 3,500 Medals of Honor have been awarded in total.

Harmon received his Medal of Honor for actions in April 1865, while serving as a
Corporal in Company K of the 211th Pennsylvania at the Battle of Petersburg in
Virginia. His citation reads simply “Capture of Flag.”

The 211th PA was a regiment raised late in the war out of western Pennsylvania. Many of those enlisting had already served prior enlistments. Company K was raised primarily from Westmoreland County.In late 1864, the 211th were transferred to the 3rd Division of the IX Corps, serving under Brigadier General John F. Hartranft.

Those wishing to learn more about General Hartranft are directed to this biography.

The regiment later saw action during the breakthrough at Petersburg under the
command of Lieutenant Colonel Levi A. Dodd. During the fighting, the regiment
was to suffer 135 casualties including 21 men killed. Harmon was singled out in an
after action report by General Hartranft for his efforts and having secured the flag
of the 45th North Carolina during battle. (1) General Hartranft submitted Harmon’s
name for Medal of Honor consideration. (2)

Corporal Harmon was born April 18, 1845 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
After the war, he and dozens of other former Union soldiers moved to the
developing community of St. Cloud. Harmon arrived in Florida sometime between 1910 and 1920. In 1921, Harmon was named an honorary pall-bearer at the burial of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. (4) Harmon lived in Florida until his death on October 9, 1927.

The story of Harmon’s headstone becomes a bit convoluted using Orlando Sentinel
newspaper articles. In 1995, Geoff Clark wrote that a man from New York brought
a marker noting Harmon’s honor (I assume this to be the bronze marker now on the
grave). The article goes on to state the New Yorker left town with the stone marker which ended up in a private museum in Tennessee. In 1996, Sentinel writer Jovida Fletcher states that the marker had been stolen, but was recovered from this again unnamed Tennessee private museum. (3)

No matter stolen or given, the returned headstone was rededicated in a ceremony held in
1995. I attempted to contact City of St. Cloud employees regarding participation of
the city Historic Preservation Board in this rededication but did not receive a reply.
Mt. Peace Cemetery in St. Cloud was founded in 1911 on a ten-acre tract deeded
by the Seminole Land and Investment Company. A Women’s Auxiliary was
formed with a stated goal “to aid in the work of improving and beautifying the
cemetery.” (5)

Today, Mt. Peace Cemetery is cared for by the City of St. Cloud. It is the final
resting place for more than 6,500 persons.

Notes
1) Geoff Clark. “Civil War Hero to be Honored.” Orlando Sentinel. August 2,
1995.
2) United States Government Printing Office. The War of the Rebellioin: A
Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
Series I, Volume XLVI Part I Section II. Washington D.C. 1894. Page 1064.
3) Geoff Clark. “Ceremony for Hero Will Note 1865 Feat.” Orlando Sentinel.
July 16, 1995.
Jovida Fletcher. “Johnson Hopes to Preserve Heritage of Union Soldiers.”
Orlando Sentinel. June 23, 1996.
4) Florida Master Site File OS02790.
5) Ibid.

Those wishing to learn more about the Siege of Petersburg are directed to In the Trenches at Petersburg by noted Civil War historian Earl J. Hess.  I also highly recommend The Siege of Petersburg Online. Brett has created a massive archive of materials related to all aspects of the Petersburg campaign.

To the best of my knowledge there is no regimental history of the 211th Pennsylvania.

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