A.C.W.S.
Ltd (UK)
ACWS Ltd

Trade and Acquisition

As the war ground on, supply became a major issue for both armies, with so many men to feed, cloth and equip. The factories of the North rose to the challenge, while the South tried hard but never quite got the kit to the troops, while cottage industries struggled, and State Governors argued over the stock piles and warehouses full of kit .It was even rumoured that certain generals had even sold cotton they had captured, to line their own pockets. The ordinary soldier took from the dead of the enemy, or as happened along the Potomac River in 1862. The Confederates traded tobacco with the Union forces, using small paper boats that they sailed across the river. Tobacco was frequently the only thing a Southern soldier had to trade for good Yankee coffee. At a farm house near the Potomac River, was used by both Union and Confederate cavalry patrols as a stop off point The Union left bread, coffee and sugar on the table and the Confederates left tobacco and a fire in the grate, it being a very cold winter of the year 1862.

Cpl Spencer, 1st Maryland Infantry, CSA

The above article first appeared in the ACWS Newsletter, June 2002

Napoleon's Dreams of Empire in the Americas

Napoleon III had dreamed of being as great as, if not greater than his namesake and also of regaining France's foothold in the New World. To this end he decided that Mexico was ripe for plucking.

The advent of the Civil War in America gave him his chance. Knowing the South would not be able to intervene as it wanted France's recognition, and the North would be too busy with its own affairs to worry about Mexico at this time, he hoped that after the Americans had sorted out their differences he would be in too strong a position for them to do anything about it.

He persuaded Archduke Maximilian of Austria to accept the title of Emperor of Mexico, an impressive title, but he would be no more than a French puppet.

Maximilian took up his post in 1864 (the North was furious) but felt it could do nothing at this time. The South relished the thought that the North might go to war with France and so take the pressure off them for a while. In fact the South's ambassador in Paris had already offered Confederate support.

Napoleon declined the offer in case it stirred the Union into action against him.

Napoleon's grand plans for his Mexican Empire went wrong right from the start. The ruling classes in Mexico showed little support and Union protests hinted at war with France once the rebellion was over. Napoleon took the hint as it were, and withdrew his troops from the country, but left Maximilian in power.

Without the support of the French soldiers the Austrian's position worsened until eventually the Mexican people rebelled against his despotic rule and toppled him from power an shot him in 1867.

Napoleon would soon lose his grip on France altogether when her people declared themselves a Republic once more.

SO END ALL TYRANTS!

Pvt. S Munro, 2nd US Art. Bty. B

The above article first appeared in the ACWS Newsletter, June 2002

Dateline: July 3rd, 1863 - Gettysburg

Did you know that as General Pickett's brigades stepped off on their mile long charge against Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, there were one hundred and eleven cannon awaiting them? Pickett's brigades would be enfiladed from both ends of the Union lines and defiladed by the cannon directly in front of them. did you also know that by the time the brigades had been repulsed, one hundred and thirty four Union cannon were in action, most of them firing double and triple canister into Pickett's massed ranks? Only minutes later, twenty four more cannon joined in, adding to the already terrible carnage, and driving the Confederate brigades back to their starting point. All in all, during Pickett's Charge and repulse, thirty six Union batteries were engaged with a total of one hundred and sixty three cannon firing solid shot, case shot, shells and canister. It was inevitable that Pickett's men, brave as they were but still mere mortals, would be beaten back by the storm of shot and shell that was fired at them at Gettysburg.

Facts taken from Double Canister at ten yards.

The above article first appeared in the ACWS Newsletter, June 2002

A Southern Dandy

The death of Confederate General Earl Van Dorn did not come as a great surprise to many of his fellow officers, not because of his reckless bravery in battle, no simply because of his reckless womanising. General Van Dorn was shot by a jealous husband, a Doctor named George B Peters who responded to rumours about his wife Jessie and Van Dorn and killed the General. One of his fellow officers stated "The General had a great weakness in such matters". Another put it more simply, "Van Dorn's a horrible rake".


A True Eccentric

Colonel Dixon S Miles commander of the federal garrison at Harper's Ferry during the Antietam campaign was considered by his men to be an eccentric as he wore two hats one on top of the other. A fellow officer said of him he "Needed near him a man with sound judgment in order that misdirection and eccentricity might be prevented".


Nursing's a Dangerous Business

Clara Barton pestered the War Department and congress in order to become a nurse with the Army of the Potomac. She served so close to the front line, at Antietam while she


General Joseph Mansfield

You Get What You Ask For

General Joseph Mansfield spent months pestering the War Department for a field command that would be his career's crowning glory. He got his wish and was made commander of the Federal XII Corps. In less than an hour later he was killed leading the Corps into action.


Not Fit To Command

Major General Ambrose E Burnside made these comments about himself. Was this false modesty on his part? No, Burnside knew that he was no military genius, he owed his position in the Army of the Potomac to connections he had formed before the war, and he knew it. His failure to notice that the Antietam Creek could be forded was one of his more noticeable blunders, as were his assaults at Fredericksburg.


A Popular Place

Harper's Ferry, a sleepy hamlet by the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, by the time of the Antietam Campaign, had already become a popular place. First John Brown's raid in 1859 made the place famous. In early 1861 it changed hands twice. In April the Confederates captured the town, then in June the Federals took it back. In September 1862 General Thomas (Stonewall) Jackson took the town on his way to Antietam. Even he considered the town difficult to defend by stating he would rather "take the place 40 times than to undertake to defend it once".


Antietam's First Casualty

Colonel Hugh W McNeil who commanded the 13th Pennsylvania reserves, was the first Federal Officer to fall at Antietam. A Yale educated scholar, he was also a former partner in the same law firm as William Seward, Lincoln's Secretary of State. Colonel McNeil was shot during skirmishing on the night before the battle.


I'm Better Than Them

At least that was what Major General Joseph Hooker thought about his superiors. He disliked the control he felt higher authorities burdened him with. A subordinate officer once remarked of his commander "I don't think Hooker ever liked any man under whom he was serving".


The previous eight snippets were supplied by:

Pvt. S Munro, 2nd US Art. Bty. B

The above article first appeared in the ACWS Newsletter, June 2002

A MIRACULOUS RECOVERY

Major Richard Snowden Andrews, the 31 year old commander of General Charles Winder's divisional artillery, was still nursing an injury received during the Seven Days' Battle when he led his batteries into action at the Battle of Cedar Mountain on August 9, 1862. There near the front a Federal shell ripped a gaping hole in his stomach, nearly disembowelling him.

Holding his intestines in his hand, Andrews slid from his horse and managed to roll onto his back. There he lay for three hours until an ambulance took him to a field hospital.

The surgeon, on seeing Andrews' condition, declared that there was no hope for him. Even if the wound were closed up, infection would surely follow. Told that his chances were less than one in a hundred, Andrews replied, "Well I will take that chance".

The surgeon then cut away Andrews' jacket, washed the wound, and sewed him up crudely with a needle and thread. Eight months later he had recovered. Wearing a protective metal shield over his wound, Andrews rejoined his unit - just in time to be wounded again at Gettysburg. After a second convalescence, Andrews was discharged and served as an envoy in Europe.

An article taken from The Georgia Confederate - supplied by John W Pursell

The above article first appeared in the ACWS Newsletter, June 2002

A Union officer sleeps with the dead

At the moment [during the Second Battle of Bull Run] Major McGee with his squadron of the Third Virginia [US], rode up and informed us he had been ordered to the point in question. I advised the major, in case this post was attacked, to throw his men into the houses and defend it to the last extremity. He promised to do so. Having attended to my duties I left John to watch the horses grazing in the Court House yard, and went myself into the vestibule of the building to sleep. Seeing a long pine box there, I stretched myself upon it. A sentinel stepped up and informed me that the box contained the body of a Colonel. Looking through an opening I saw the ghastly features of the dead officer. I felt no loathing, but rather a sentiment of friendly respect - a glow of pride in our brotherhood; so I told the sentinel we would not disturb each other, and returned to my sleep.

A Virginian. Personal Recollections of the War, Harper's new Monthly Magazine, November 1667, P.722


Confederates strip Union dead

There was a great deal of pilfering performed on the dead bodies of the Yankees by our men. Some of them were left as naked as they were born, everything in the world they had being taken from them. I ordered my men to take their fine guns and canteens if they wished, but nothing else... The only thing I took was a fine canteen which I cut off a dead Yankee who was lying on his face in our path as we marched along. Just the sight of the battlefield after the fight was in itself horrible. For 7 or 8 days after the battle every man I saw asleep appeared to me like a dead man.

Lieutenant J B Mitchell, 34th Alabama Inf,. As naked as they were born..., Civil War Times Illustrated, November 1977, p.41


Union soldier captured in the Wilderness

I walked back a few steps and listened, when I discovered that a Rebel skirmish line was moving through the woods. Taking my gun at a trail arms, I started to run across the clearing, and had almost reached the other side, when the word "Halt!" from a skirmisher at the edge of the wood brought me to a sudden stop. Thinking, however, that I had reached the Union lines, I stopped but an instant, when I advanced, gun in hand, exclaiming, "Do not fire - I am a Union soldier!" The reply was, "Drop that gun and march in here or I will put a ball through you." I again stopped, but did not drop the gun. The Rebel repeated the order, when I threw down my gun and surrendered."

John W Urban, My Experiences mid Shot and Shell and in Rebel Den, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, 1882, p.409


Private John Meehan,118th Pa., faces fire

As this was my first time actually under enemy fire, I was greatly excited. My feelings are hard to describe. When walking across the open field, with the artillery firing overhead and the Rebels firing at us, I felt afraid. My heart beat tumultuously. I thought I might be killed, and had no wish to die. I longed to live, and thought myself a fool for voluntarily placing myself in the army. Yet I had no idea at all of turning back. My feelings were, that if ordered to go on, I would go, but gladly would I have welcomed the order, "About face". By the time the river was reached I was much calmer, the dread was working off me, and while not eager, as I had been to start, I felt that if we crossed the river and charged the Rebels I could do what the rest could.

Survivors Association, History of the Corn Exchange Regiment, J L Smith, Philadelphia, 1888, pp.80-1


A Confederate under fire for the first time

I recall distinctly the sad, solemn feeling produced by seeing the ambulances brought up to the front; it was entirely too suggestive. Soon we reached the woods and were ascending the hill along a little ravine, for a position, when a solid shot broke the trunnions of one of the guns, thus disabling it; then another, nearly spent struck a tree about half-way up and fell nearby. Just after we got to the top of the hill, and were within fifty or one hundred yards of the position we were to take, a shell struck the off-wheel horse of my gun and burst. The horse was torn to pieces, and the pieces thrown in every direction. The saddle-horse was also horribly mangled, the driver's leg was cut off, as was also the foot of a man who was walking alongside. Both men died that night. To one who had been in the army but five days and but five hours under fire, this seemed an awful introduction.

Edward A Moore, The Story of a Cannoneer Under Stonewall Jackson, Neale Publishing 1907,pp.30-1


Articles supplied by Pvt D Jarwick, 43rd N.C.

Taken from Military Life

The above articles first appeared in the ACWS Newsletter, April 2002

A Confederate wins a hand-to-hand battle

A Captain, I think of a New York regiment, ran up to me and grabbing the flagstaff called out to me, "You damned little Rebel, surrender." I held on and jerked him to me, striking at him at the same time with my sword, which was hung to my wrist by a sword knot. He at once jumped back and fired at me with his pistol, cursing me all the time and tugging at the flagstaff. I kept jerking it back and striking at him with my sword, while at the same time trying to get from under my dead horse, which was lying on my legs.

'One ball from the pistol struck the star of my collar and burned my neck like fire, while another struck my little finger, breaking it and smashing a seal ring which I wore. Another just grazed my leg, but that one felt like a double-heated, hot iron, and made me struggle so that I found myself free from my horse and on my feet.

'Our troops by this time were pouring in and the Yankees running, my opponent among them. But he was a little too late, and I caught up with him. I cut down on him with both hands, expecting to split him, as we used to read in novels, but my sword bounced off him, knocking him to his knees. He rose and turned, facing me with his pistol in his hands. I never doubted but that he was about to shoot again and ran him through. He lived only a few minutes, trying to say something. I told him that I would send his effects to his people, which was apparently what he was trying to ask.'

(John Haskell, The Haskell Memoirs, G P Putnam's Sons, New York, 1960,pp.33-4)


A Confederate officer loses his dinner

We were going through some pine woods when a wild turkey was started up near me. These fowls do not take wing readily on level ground and this one went off running at a rapid gait. Animated by the hope of game for supper, I put spurs to my horse and chased it for a couple of hundred yards or more. It doubled several times but finally came to an old worm [wood rails in zigzags] fence through which it stuck its head and foolishly tried to force its body between the rails. I started to dismount when the fluttering of the wings made my horse rear a little and I had to retain my seat. Just then a wretched soldier from the ranks ran by my horse's head and grabbed the prize. My memory is a photographic one, and I recall and see in my mind this chase, from start to finish, like modern moving picture. Rations were scarce and uncertain at this time and my disappointment, for myself and the staff, was great.'

(McHenry Howard, Recollections of a Maryland Confederate Soldier and Staff Officer under Johnston, Jackson and Lee, Morningside Bookshop, Dayton, Ohio, 1975, p.228)


Colonel H S Roberts, 1st Michigan, waits under fire

We formed in double column at a half distance, and laid down, and for about four hours we took solid shot, shell and canister, in awful profusion; the roar of the cannon was tremendous, our batteries were playing magnificently on them in the woods, the gunboats were hurling their shell over our heads into the enemy, and the enemy were doing the best they could, opening battery after battery in new positions. The noise was infernal, and our losses began to be respectable. I do not believe that troops have often lain so long under as hot a fire as my fellows did. It is the most trying position a soldier has to endure, to stand these horrid missiles, crouched low, seeing them strike all about him, hearing them burst all around him, and yet unable to move or do a thing but wait in that awful suspense. Now a pause, and your heart beats quicker, for you know they are getting a new range. Zim! and now it comes, and they have got a cross fire on you - grin and bear it - shut your teeth and swear and beg for a chance to move on them - anything but this. But no faltering, not a bit of it; occasionally, yes, frequently, some young fellow picks up his leg or his arm, and hobbles off to the rear; then some fellow, less fortunate has to be picked up. Finally, a stop to their shell...'

(Captain C A Stevens, Berdan's Sharpshooters in the Army of the Potomac, Morningside Bookshop, Dayton, Ohio, 1972. p.153)


Articles supplied by Pvt D Jarwick, 43rd N.C.

Taken from Civil War Source Book

The above articles first appeared in the ACWS Newsletter, April 2002

A PRAYER FOR PEACE

A story is told about the compassion shown for a Confederate soldier by General O. O. Howard after the Battle of Gettysburg which illustrates the feeling of brotherhood that pervaded both armies towards a fallen foe. The Confederate, a captain, was lying in a house near the battlefield, where he had been mortally wounded. Howard rode up to the house, and upon entering it, he knelt down beside the captain and started a conversation. When their little chat was ended, the General took out a small black bible and began to read, "Let not your heart be troubled, Ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions." Closing the bible, he offered a prayer to God for the dying captain. Before leaving the house, Howard leaned over and kissed him on the head with the following farewell, "Captain, we will meet in heaven."


PATRIOTIC AIRS

Many men and officers still felt bitterness for their old enemies after the war was over, but the majority sought a just and lasting peace between the two sections, and worked hard towards that end. This process of reconciliation was begun at Appomattox with the terms Grant gave to Lee's surrendered Army, and it showed itself in all the other terms offered to surrendered Confederate forces. When General Richard Taylor met with General E R S Canby to discuss surrender of his men, he met with a reception that would have been more suited to a visiting dignitary than a defeated foe. Canby had brought along a military band; after introductions were made and terms discussed, festivities were the order of the day. All were treated to a bountiful luncheon, and champagne toasts were made. The band began to play military airs for the group's entertainment. "Hail Columbia" was their first selection, and once Canby recognised the tune, he ordered that it be stopped, in deference to his guests, and that "Dixie" be played instead. Taylor insisted that the band be allowed to continue with "Hail Columbia", expressing the hope that the nation would be able to put the war behind them and be a united and happy country once more; a sentiment that was liberally toasted to by everyone present.


IF WHO WAS HERE?

General Nathan Bedford Forrest was one of the truly gifted military men of the war. Without ever having been schooled in the art of war, he became the premier cavalry commander of the West and was such a menace to the Union Armies that William T Sherman said of him that he must be hunted down if it cost the Army ten thousand casualties and bankrupted the Federal treasury. One of the reasons for his great success was that he often gathered information for himself instead of trusting that which was gathered by others. Whenever his command was forced to retreat, he would frequently ride in the rear of his forces so that he might reconnoitre the enemy personally and judge for himself their progress. Once, while his forces were retreating before a superior Union force in upper Georgia, he had done such a reconnaissance and was hurrying to overtake his men. An old woman saw him riding with such haste and came out of her house to give him a tongue lashing. "Stop, you miserable coward!" she cried, "Stop and fight! If General Forrest was here, he'd soon stop you!" Forrest did not stop to introduce himself to her, but he must have been amused at her comment.


A FAMILY KEEPSAKE

Stonewall Jackson and his staff rode up to a house outside of Richmond in July of 1862 and asked the lady of the house for a drink of water. The sun was intensely hot that day, and all looked forward to some respite from their thirst. Looking the group over, the woman apathetically agreed to fulfill the request and went into the house, reappearing with a stone pitcher of water. She had brought no dipper or cup to drink from, just the pitcher, and she handed it to the first man in the line who happened to be Jackson. Watching the way the other men acted as the officer drank, she began to suspect that there was something special about him, but what it was, she did not know. None of the officers were dressed in finery. In fact they looked like a party of quartermasters on a ride to locate provisions. Finally, her curiosity got the better of her, and she asked one of the staff the name of the man who was drinking from her pitcher. On being informed that it was Jackson, she fixed her gaze upon him as if to engrave the scene permanently in her memory When he had finished his drink, Jackson handed the pitcher back to her and to the surprise of the other officers, she turned it upside down, emptying its contents on the ground, and then took it inside the house.

A few moments later she came back from the house with another pitcher, which held a dipper this time, and she gave it to the staff. When asked why she had taken the other pitcher away, she replied that no one else would ever drink from it after it had touched the lips of Jackson, and she intended to hand it down to her children as a keepsake of Stonewall's visit to her house.


Articles supplied by Pvt D Jarwick, 43rd N.C.

The above articles first appeared in the ACWS Newsletter, December 2001

NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

The author of "The History of the Confederate States Navy", a major source on C.S.N. matters, Jonathan Thomas Scharf, served in the First Maryland Artillery, C.S.A., in which he enlisted in August 1861, until Chancellorsville where he was wounded. Scharf has left an account of his service which is extremely detailed and provides an excellent source on the A.N.V. and his unit.

(Tom Kelley: - "The Personal memoirs of J T Shcharf of the 1st Maryland", 81 pages, approx. $20)


The second Massachusetts Cavalry were no such thing. They were, really the California Battalion and Hundred, a group of 500 select men who were the sole organised group of Californians to fight in the Eastern Theatre. As such, they fought a bloody guerrilla war against Mosby's 43rd Virginia Battalion in the Shenandoah, before fighting in Virginia and on to Appomattox.

(McLean, James, "California Sabers", pp 448, published 2000, $35 in U.S. hardback edition)


Company G, 15th Tennessee Infantry, C.S.A. were also no such thing. They were in fact southern - sympathising Illinois men who voted with their feet and fought for the south as part of the 187,000 Tennessee Confederate soldiers (Tennessee also supplied 31,000 Union soldiers), one of the 252 military units of that state.


The C.S.N. Hunley was raised in June 2000 and is now undergoing restoration work prior to becoming an exhibit at a maritime museum. The notable author, Clive Cussler (The "Dirk Pitt" novels) has played an extensive part in this multi-million dollar project, which features in two T.V. programmes on "History Channel", scheduled for G.B. screening in summer 2001.


In late 1865, General Joseph Johnston was aboard a Chesapeake Bay steamer when he, and others, were told by a fellow passenger that the south had been "Conquered, yes, but not subdued." Asked in what, or whose, command he had served in the "recent unpleasantness," the bellicose young passenger (one of those stalwarts later classified as being "invisible in war but invincible in peace") replied to the second-highest ranking 'active service' General of the late Confederacy that "unfortunately, circumstances had made it impossible for him to be in the Confederate Army." "Well, Sir, I was," Johnston told him. "You may not be subdued, but I am."


REBEL YELL

From the memoirs of Private Gilbert Hayes, 63rd Penn. Infantry - "The peculiarity of the Rebel Yell is worthy of mention, but none of the old soldiers who heard it once will ever forget it. Instead of the deep-chested manly cheer of the Union men, the Rebel Yell was a falsetto yelp, but though we made fun of it at first, we grew to respect it before the war was over. The yell might sound effeminate, but those who uttered it were not effeminate by any means. When the Union men charged, it was heads erect, shoulders squared and thrown back, and with a firm stride.

But, when the Johnnies charged, it was with a trot in a half-bent position, and although they might be met with heavy and blighting volleys, they came on with the pertinacity of bulldogs, filling up the gaps and trotting on with their never-ceasing "Ki-Yi" until we found them face to face."


So much for the good word from the good book said by the good Pastor

"Rose early, and it was supposed that a crossing would be made right away. Colonel Merrill called on the Chaplain to offer a prayer. This performance didn't aid us a mite: It only unfitted us, if anything, for it reminded us of the danger of being wiped out before night."

Private John W. Haley, 17th Maine Inf.


SECESSION - AGAIN

Whilst after 1865 the American constitution could be forced into a version perhaps not that envisaged in 1776 by the founding fathers. Prior to that time there had been a number of secessionist movements in the "United" States, based on the then-dominant view that the constitution was a marriage between a collection of sovereign states, binding until a decree of separation. No fewer than seven unsuccessful secession movements flourished and fell in the period between 1798 and 1856. The majority, five, were in northern states who wished to leave what they saw as an oppressive "unity". So it can be argued that a "secessionist tradition" existed from 1776 to 1865.


Above snippets supplied by R J Page, 2nd S.C.

The above articles first appeared in the ACWS Newsletter, December 2001

FLORIDA

On a sandy point at the entrance to Pensacola Bay over two hundred years ago, the Spaniards who so long held possession of what is now the Gulf coast of the United States had built a fort. On its site the United States Government had erected a strong fortification called Fort Barrancas. Between this point and a low-lying sandy island directly opposite, any vessels going up to Pensacola must pass. On the western end of this island was the strongly built Fort Pickens.

Florida Fort

Early in 1861 both forts were practically ungarrisoned. This picture was taken by the New Orleans photographer Edwards, in February, 1861. Out of the deep shadows of the sally port we look into the glaring sunlight upon one of the earliest warlike moves. Here we see one of the heavy pieces of ordnance that were intended to defend the harbour from foreign foes, being shifted preparatory to being mounted on the rampart at Fort Barrancas, which, since January 12, had been in possession of State troops. Fort Pickens, held by a mere handful of men under Lieutenant Slemmer, still flew the Stars and Stripes. But the move of State troops under orders from Governor Perry of Florida, in seizing Fort Barrancas and raising the State flag even before the shot that aroused the nation at Fort Sumter, may well be said to have helped force the crisis that was impending.

Nicknamed the smallest tadpole in the Confederacy, Florida seceded from the Union on 10th January 1861.

Her war preparations however, had begun months earlier. Independent Companies were formed during 1860 and at the end of that year began to offer their services to the State, supplementing it's small number of volunteer militia units. Raised and equipped almost entirely by private means, these new companies were speedily accepted into state service by Governor Madison S Perry.

In response to the call of the Confederate War Department in March 1861 for 500 men to garrison Pensacola, the State raised the 1st Florida Infantry.

Subsequently, calls on the 8th and 16th April led to the 2nd Florida Infantry, who were sent to Virginia and the 3rd and 4th regiments who were initially used to defend the Florida coast line.

Eventually Florida provided 15,000 troops which were organised into 12 Infantry regiments, 2 Cavalry regiments, and 7 independent companies of Light Artillery.


Pauline Cushman

Pauline Cushman was a clever actress, and her art fitted her well to play the part of a spy. Although a native of New Orleans, she spent much of her girlhood in the North, and was so devoted to the Union that she risked her life in its secret service. The Federal Government employed her first in the hunt for Southern sympathisers and spies in Louisville, and the discovery of how they managed to convey information and supplies into the territory of the Confederacy. She performed the same work in Nashville. In May, 1863, as Rosecrans was getting ready to drive Bragg across the Tennessee River, Miss Cushman was sent into the Confederate lines to obtain information as to the strength and location of the Army of Tennessee. She was captured, tried by court-martial, and sentenced to be hanged.

In the hasty evacuation of Shelbyville, in the last days of June, she was overlooked and managed to regain the Union lines. It was impossible to describe the joy of the soldiers when they found the brave spy, whom they had thought of as dead, once more in their midst.

Her fame after this spread all over the land. The soldiers called her "Major" and she wore the accoutrements of that rank. Her accurate knowledge of the roads of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi was of great value to the commander of the Army of the Cumberland.

Too well known to serve as a spy again, Cushman toured the country dressed in uniform lecturing about her experiences, reportedly embellishing her story with each performance. She then returned to acting in San Francisco. Addicted to opium she had begun taking for an illness, her mental state deteriorated until she took her own life on December 2, 1893, with an intentional drug overdose. The San Francisco Grand Army of the Republic buried her with military honours in its cemetery.


Extracts from The Photographic History of the Civil War, by Blue and Grey Press

The above articles first appeared in the ACWS Newsletter, December 2001

A Bigger Killer than Minie Balls

In the early days of the war, during the endless drilling which hopefully turned citizens into soldiers, an unseen killer walked the ranks of both armies.

Most men had never been more than fifteen miles from their front porch or had never been to a large city.

For the first time, city boys and country folk mixed in large numbers, as no-one wanted to miss this great adventure.

With different tolerances to disease, and some troops never having been exposed to childhood diseases such as measles, the men mixed in large numbers for the first time. This caused diseases to run riot, with poor rations and hygiene, as many troops used their water supply as sinks (to put it politely) - until army regulations forced the building of sinks, if time and enemy allowed.

Alongside disease, more people died due to poor medical care. A gunshot wound usually meant amputation, resulting in gangrene. The doctors and surgeons did their best, but medical science was still in it's infancy.

It is estimated that for every soldier killed in combat, at least two more died of sickness or "the flux", as it was sometimes called.

These statistics do not include civilians who died of various epidemics that swept the population, mainly in the Southern states, where food was short. This left the people more open to diseases.

More died of disease than minie balls, shot or shell.


Above article supplied by Pvt A B Spencer, 1st Maryland Inf.

The above articles first appeared in the ACWS Newsletter, December 2001