January 2001 Weekly Firesides

Hear Ye......   Hear Ye!!!!!  

American Civil War History Weekly Fireside

Submitted by HOST GFS Jim, HOST GFS Jayne, HOST GFS TEG and HOST GFS Amy 

The following was gleaned from three of the most recent issues of The Weekly Fireside, a newsletter of the American Civil War History Special Interest Goup.  To subscribe, email HOST GFS Jim


Our Focus: the history of the American (United States) Civil War

Our Goal: to enhance your genealogy activity, knowledge, and wisdom by talking about the history surrounding their lives and actions; specifically the Civil War that our ancestors lived through and died because of.

Captain Oliver Wendell Holmes of the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment said it so well:

"I think it is a noble and pious thing
To do whatever we may by written
Word or molded bronze and sculpted
Stone to keep our memories, our
Reverence and our love alive and
To hand on to new generations
All too read to forget."

Our Promise: to provide an online environment that is not judgmental and to address all aspects of this pivotal period in our history, with honesty and truth (as we know it).

Welcome to First-Timers! Every first-time visitor to the American Civil War History SIG gets put on the newsletter distribution list automatically because we like to send you a thank-you card for coming to visit. We hope to give you an opportunity to jump right in with us. If you desire not to receive the newsletter, then just drop us an e-mail saying unsubscribe and we will quickly remove your screen name from distribution. Also many of you pass on the newsletter to others that don't subscribe to AOL. We really want to thank you for spreading the word. We would also like to let you know that we would be happy to add them to our list if they have an e-mail address of any sort. We distribute everywhere to those who have requested it.

For AOL Members Only
We meet every Thursday night at 11:00 PM Eastern Time in the Golden Gates Chat Room (available only on AOL, through keyword: ROOTS) We do Fireside Stories about battles, the people, and the social happenings. In addition, we dedicate one Thursday a month to the sharing of songs, poems, and letters from that era. So come and visit! We'll save you a seat at the fireside and keep the cider warm.

Civil War History and Genealogy Forum-Related Announcements 

During the last week of January our very own HOST GFS Amy and her Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Civil War Burials Project was the subject of a segment on Hometown Heroes, seen within the Philadelphia area's Channel 3 News on TV. If you missed it be sure to view the video at http://www.kywtv.com/now/story/0,1597,145523-406,00.shtml Please visit Amy's website at http://users.50megs.com/ajwrjw/

War Between the States SIG (Tracing your Civil War Ancestors) with HOST GFS Amy and HOST GFS Wolford at 9 PM EDT, Friday evenings in the Golden Gates Conference Room. (Only on AOL. Found at keyword: ROOTS)

HOST GFS Jayne is the editor of Bits of Blue and Gray at StateGenSites http://www.stategensites.com/bitsofblueandgray

DID YOU KNOW.............

(For the sake of space, only two of the four articles are featured here. To read all of January's "Did You Know" topics subscribe to the Weekly Firesideas directed above.)

The Dollar Bill
    Take out a one dollar bill and look at it. The one dollar bill you're looking at first came off the presses in 1957 in its present design. This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton and linen blend, with red and blue minute silk fibers running through it. It is actually material. We've all washed it without it falling apart. A special blend of ink is used, the contents we will never know. It is overprinted with symbols and then it is starched to make it water resistant and pressed to give it that nice crisp look.
    If you look on the front of the bill, you will see the United States Treasury Seal. On the top you will see the scales for the balance, i.e., a balanced budget. In the center you have a carpenter's square, a tool used for an even cut. Underneath is the Key to the United States Treasury.
    That's all pretty easy to figure out, but what is on the back of that dollar bill is something we should all know. If you turn the bill over, you will see two circles. Both circles, together, comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved.
    If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a Pyramid. Notice the face is lighted and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could do for Western Civilization. The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, and ancient symbol for divinity.
    It was Franklin's belief that one man couldn't do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything. "IN GOD WE TRUST" is on this currency. The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means "God has favored our undertaking." The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, means "a new order has begun."
    At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776 If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully, you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States. It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery and is the centerpiece of most hero's monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States and it is always visible whenever he speaks, yet no one knows what the symbols mean.
    The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: First, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong and he is smart enough to soar above it. Second, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England. Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle's beak you will read, "E PLURIBUS UNUM," meaning "one nation from many people." Above the Eagle you have thirteen stars representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. Again, we were coming together as one. Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows.
    They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number. This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But, think about this: 13 original colonies, 13 stripes on our flag, 13 steps on the Pyramid, 13 letters in the Latin above, 13 letters in "E PLURIBUS UNUM," 13 stars above the Eagle, 13 bars on that shield, 13 leaves on the olive branch, 13 fruits, and if you look closely, 13 arrows. And for minorities: The 13th Amendment.
    Pass this on: Your children don't know this and their history teachers don't know this. Too may veterans have given up too much to ever let the meaning fade. Many veterans remember coming home to an America that didn't care. Too many veterans never came home at all. Tell everyone what is on the back of the one dollar bill and what it stands for, because nobody else will.

    During a Thursday Night session last month, we were talking about prisons and the thought flashed across my mind about a story I had heard about someone singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in Libby Prison. I couldn't remember who it was until after the SIG was over and I was rummaging through my notes. Here is the story......

    "Among the singers of the 'Battle Hymn' was Chaplain McCabe, the fighting chaplain of the 122nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He read the poem in the Atlantic, and was so struck with it that he committed it to memory before rising from his chair. He took it with him to the front, and in due time to Libby Prison, whither he was sent after being captured at Winchester. Her, in the great bare room where hundreds of Northern soldiers were herded together, came one night a rumor of disaster to the Union arms. A great battle, their jailers told them; a great Confederate victory. Sadly the Northern men gathered together in groups, sitting or lying on the floor, talking in low tones, wondering how, where, why. Suddenly, one of the Negroes who brought food for the prisoners stooped in passing and whispered to one of the sorrowful groups. The news was false: there had, indeed been a great battle, but the Union army had won, the Confederates were defeated and scattered.     "Like a flame the word flashed through the prison. Men leaped to their feet, shouted, embraced one another in a frenzy of joy and triumph; and Chaplain McCabe, standing in the middle of the room, lifted up his great voice and sang aloud, "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!"
    Every voice took up the chorus, and Libby Prison rang with the shout of "Glory, glory, hallelujah!"
    "The victory was that of Gettysburg in 1863. When, some time after, McCabe was released from prison, he told in Washington, before a great audience of loyal people, the story of his wartime experiences; and when he came to that night in Libby Prison, he sang the 'Battle Hymn' once more. The effect was magical; people shouted, wept, and sang, all together; and when the song was ended, above the tumult of applause was heard the voice of Abraham Lincoln, exclaiming, while the tears rolled down his cheeks, ---------- 'Sing It Again!'"

And there you have it...............................

A Bit of Community

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    Here's how it works: If you are trying to get photographs of a gravesite or battlefield, to collect for your Civil War ancestor research and records, then send us a request and we will post it here. Other members, seeing your request and being in the near vicinity, and who are willing to assist, can email you direct (this protects your privacy) and work out the details. We HIGHLY recommend the "Requester" pay for all film costs and any postage involved for a helping member. This is intended to be a "Free" assistance between members (with the exception of defraying film and postage costs). Do unto others as.... you know :-) Keep us posted on how this is working, so we can share them in the "Fireside"!
    We have had some gracious members offer their assistance in this area. Their screen names and areas in which they have offered to help are listed. Please honor their "goodness" and don't abuse them :-) We ask that you do follow the guidelines indicated above. Thanks!

From: Lilby
    Your time is really too late for me now but I read each Weekly with great interest. I seem to remember some time back probably a couple or three years that the discussion of Confederate Bonds was discussed. I did not find it in the archives so I wondered if you could refresh my memory of when and how it occurred?

Billie: I'm going to leave this up for another week, however here is some information I've dug up.

     The primary difficulty of the Confederacy from it's outset was it's poverty. There was only $27 million worth of "specie" in the Confederacy and money remained scarce. The federal blockade shrank Southern foreign trade and drained financial reserves. Christopher G. Memminger, treasury secretary, followed very conservative policies. A campaign to raise funds through a domestic loan in February 1861 fell way behind; a $50 million loan drive launched in May of that year did little better. Finally Congress resorted to a "produce loan" which allowed planters to pledge produce as security for bonds (Confederate bonds). Although initially popular, this expedient also failed.
    The next resort, paper money, stimulated inflation, and on April 24, 1863, Congress passed the toughest tax law ever seen in the South. Rates were increased, an income tax was authorized, and a profits tax was imposed on farm products; farmers and planters were subjected to a tax-in-kind, which required them to contribute one-tenth of their annual crop yield to the government. This unpopular law did not solve the financial problems, however. In mid-1863, Memminger proposed taking one-third of the currency out of circulation. Congress resisted, but finally, in Feb 1864, it passed a funding act that created a brief drop in inflation, which soon yielded to a price-and-money spiral that almost reached bankruptcy. An 1863 foreign loan for $15 million through the Erlanger Bank in France realized only about $9 million in purchasing power.
    Then the government resorted to such desperate measures as impressment of private produce, livestock, machinery, and transportation equipment, which brought limited relief to the armies but endless enmity for what was seen as a "despotic" government. The failure to tax land, cotton, and slaves earned cries of "a richman's war and a poor man's fight" and sapped morale behind the lines.

Maybe some more folk have something to add to this. HOST GFS Jim

     I love reading these weekly articles. Unfortunately, my schedule is such that I can no longer join, so I join thru the articles.
    I am wondering if you can help me identify an article that is owned by a friend? It is a walking stick in a dark wood, a snake carved along its length with a frog (as if the snake is chasing the frog), the words 'Alatoon, GA 1864' and other decorations. It was found in a former boarding house in Russelville, KY. I have some pictures I can send you if you'd like. We'd like to know how to research it if not who it belonged to.
    Thanks for any help you can give us.
- Susan

{{Susan}} I got your pictures and for any of you that would like to take a crack at trying to identify these send me an email and I'll send you the copies for review.

    CrashHup was talking with me Thursday night and brought up a question about a Civil War Vet ancestor who had died of a gunshot wound at Fort Bayard, New Mexico in Oct 1866. His major question was "Where is Ft. Bayard?"
    The only Ft. Bayard I've unearthed thus far is the Ft. Bayard in Washington, DC used during the Civil War at the currently location of River Road and Western Ave, NW. 1866 is still close enough to the conclusion of the Civil War that it may have been a related incident rather than part of the Indian activity going on as well. He was part of the 2nd US Cavalry.

Any help in this question would be greatly appreciated -- HOST GFS Jim

From: Nadine1944
    In my Rand McNally Road Atlas, I found a city named Bayard in Grant County, New Mexico. It's in the southwestern part of the state, near Silver City. While verifying the county in my handy dandy USPS zip code book, I found not only Bayard in Grant County, but also Ft. Bayard in the same county. They have different zip codes, but are in the same vicinity. Writing the local library and/or chamber of commerce might get a response about the area. There is a historical society (Southwestern New Mexico Historical Society) in Silver City that also might help with research...finding his ancestor's grave site...or at least a likely cemetery. Good luck! And don't forget the usefulness of atlases and zip code books! oops...and more..
    Just checked my 1906 Hammond's Atlas Of The World. It shows Fort Bayard a little northwest of Silver City. Bayard Station (now the city of Bayard) is south of Fort Bayard, with a city named Central in between the two. Squinting further at the page, I see Fort Bayard Military Reservation north of Fort Bayard. (I just love maps!) If I can help further, let me know.

{{Nadine}} Great sleuthing!!!!!! CrashHup will love this ....

From: QNavyWife
    I have a major need of some help of the faithful, especially those who may know something about Confederate soldiers (I am a Yankee girl!!!!) or have access to Confederate records. I am looking for info on a Gallette Madison Harlow, born in Barnett's Ford (this may be Barnetta Ford.....not sure if we have a typo on the info as you'll see momentarily!) on Feb. 4, 1847 and died in Binghamton, NY on December 5, 1885. On his stone it states that he served in the late war under Gen. R. E. Lee. He is buried at the Lenox Rural Cemetery, just outside of Canastota, NY. Also buried with him are his wife Cornelia Northrup Harlow and his brother George Lewis Harlow. The listing I have the info from says that George was born in Barnetta Ford, Orange Co., VA. I am not sure which is correct at this point and haven't had a chance to look for either on a map of VA. I need to find out more about Gallette. I find it strange that a Confederate soldier is buried so far north (for those who don't know where Canastota is, we are about 20 miles east of Syracuse, on the Thruway). Now, Binghamton isn't too far from Elmira, so he may have been a prisoner at Elmira Prison and stayed in the North after the war.....his brother somehow ended up here too.....maybe their father also served and died, and George ended up with his brother.... Don't know at this point. The reason I am hunting for this man and anything at all that I can find, is that my C. W. Round Table is interested in this and also, I'd like to find someone who is related to this man....his family may not actually know where he is...at least his southern relatives. We may be able to get some type of marker put up honoring him also. So, any help anyone might be able to give would be gratefully appreciated!

{{{Robin}}} -- now this sounds like an interesting puzzle.... We'll see what feedback we get..... Put on your thinking caps gang and let's see what we can come up with...

From: Phreyor
    Friends & Gang: Love your weekly fireside! But I need your scholarly help again. I have discovered that my one Civil War era relative was not in just one unit but two! After he was wounded, he was sent to Saint Louis Missouri to be in the VRC there. But apparently he joined another unit and went back out. Does anyone know anything about the 2nd S. M. Regiment-Cav. Vols.? They were out of Alexandria Missouri, under a Captain Robbins. My relative-John Scheinbraker (Private), joined them March 4th, 1862. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks! RFS.

"RFS" That unit designation is a strange one to me and I do quite a bit of research in Mizzou... We'll see what the reader's can come up with.

From: SuzanCook
    I just wanted to let you know our volunteer group, Illinois Trails History and Genealogy has a listing of Civil War records. We have been transcribing a list of pensioners from Illinois who first filed from old newspaper postings. We are also working on the Military Descriptive Rolls from the IL Archives. You might want to take a look to see if some of the researchers might benefit from any of these records.
http://www.iltrails.org/ (Select "Military.")

{{{Susan}}} Thanks you for the website and the kind words. You make our day by saying so.....

Subj: [SC] RevWar battle mapping at Cowpens event
From: MMeadPond
    In addition to your Civil War Ancestor research, many of you also have Revolutionary War ancestors that you also are researching. And therefore I wanted you to check out this interesting information and website.
     jr@jrshelby.com (John Robertson) recently posted a notice on RootsWeb about the special events at Cowpens National Battlefield (about 10 mi. n. of Spartanburg and about 10 mi. w. of Gaffney on SC 10). For the last 2 months, he has worked almost nonstop plotting all possible RevWar battle/skirmish locations using a collection of maps amounting to over 2 GB, including the 1824 Mills SC Atlas, and 1:250,000 topo maps for all US sites.
    "Working from a listing of some 2900 sites worldwide, I have plotted all except 330 (about 89%). I will be giving several presentations of this project using a computer projector. There will be time allowed in each session for audience participation."
    If RevWar battle sites are of interest to you in general, and those of SC in particular, I believe you will find this project of interest.

For the schedule, see:
For info, see:

{{{Mosey}}} thanks for the tip :-)

Here are some websites sent to us that you all might want to take a look at:

From: TAZ EQ (Richard)
    US Army Center of Military History Full-text Listings of Medal of Honor Citations
    The President, in the name of Congress, has awarded more than 3,400 Medals of Honor to our nation's bravest Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration's creation in 1861. For years, the citations highlighting these acts of bravery and heroism resided in dusty archives and only sporadically were printed. In 1973, the US Senate ordered the citations compiled and printed as Committee on Veterans' Affairs, US Senate, Medal of Honor Recipients: 1863-1973 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1973). This book was later updated and reprinted in 1979. The breakdown of these is a duplicate of that in the congressional compilation. Likewise, some minor misspelling and other errors are duplicated from the official government volume. These likely were the result of the original transcriptions.    
    This web site has over 12,000 pages of information on the Congressional Medal of Honor. Web site is recognized by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and the Center of Military History. Highly recommend this site not only for the military historian or family researcher, but any one that is interested in the Congressional Medal of Honor.     
    American Battle Monuments Commission's Web Pages

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    Her Quest: Help relative honor dead war heroes
    Civil War

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From: GLITZ01
    Primary Source Documents

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From: Moweq
    North-South Skirmish Association, Inc.

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From: BitsOBlueNGray
    Civil War Soldiers
    The Civil War Home Page
    Civil War Women - On-line Archival Exhibits at Duke University
    The Civil War
    Civil War Interactive - The Civil War's Daily Newspaper
    Civil War Map Exhibits Timeline State Battle Maps
    The American Civil War Home Page
    The History Place - U.S. Civil War 1861-1865
    United States Civil War (1961-1865)
    The American Civil War

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Schedule of Upcoming Topics/Events
Time: Every Thursday night at 11:00 PM in the Golden Gates Conference Room with HOST GFS Amy, HOST GFS Jayne, HOST GFS TEG, and HOST GFS Jim, and our many faithful friends :)

02/01/01 -- OPEN CHAT

02/08/01 -- Letters, Songs, and Poems Night. Don't forget to e-mail any that you want read to HOST GFS Jim, HOST GFS Jayne, HOST GFS TEG, or HOST GFS Amy.

02/15/01 -- Gettysburg: Day 2 - HOST GFS Jim

02/22/01 -- OPEN CHAT

03/01/01 -- Gettysburg: Day 3 - HOST GFS Jim

03/08/01 -- Letters, Songs, and Poems Night

Your ever loving, hosts


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