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 .

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 back to, who and how would these pieces be interpreted. 

A final concern with any type of public memorial is interpretation and context.

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 and memorials. 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.

BOOKS

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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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Personal Updates and a New Start

First off, my apologies. My posts have been erratic at best but they should become more regular soon. Life has been pretty hectic but a couple of things are calming down or going away. I will have more time to devote to this page.

First off, for those who know me, you will know I have been attending graduate school. I am happy to announce that I have completed my degree and shortly will have my diploma for my M.A. in History with a specialization in Public History. Thank you to my professors and fellow students at American Public University System for helping me make this a reality. There was no way I was going to be able to do this at a traditional school with my work and personal demands. The closest institution offering such a degree is an hour and a half drive each way, if not longer due to traffic. Working a full time job and trying to handle that was never going to work.  Don’t be afraid to try one of the major online universities.

Second, I have been hard at work on a manuscript for Arcadia Publishing. I am happy to report that I am in the home stretch on this book and will soon be submitting the manuscript for review. The working title is Hidden History of Civil War Florida. I am working on image captions currently. After that, another read through to find what are no doubt even more errors or areas that need rework. My goal is to submit on Valentine’s Day. We’ll see. This will be my fifth book with Arcadia and I hope it to be my best and most widely received. I will be sure to keep everybody informed and let you see the cover once designed.

So, let me know, what would you like for me to write about in this blog? Are there history or travel subjects you think would be interesting. Florida based is preferred at this point but there’s no real need to limit things. Book reviews? Restaurant or travel reviews? Public art displays? Museum exhibits?