Wednesday, December 18, 2013

News---North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans Fund Conservation of Battle Flag

Sons of Confederate Veterans Funds  Conservation of Another Battle Flag At Museum of History, Michael Hudson, Beach Carolina Magazine, December 16, 2013.    On November 21, 2013, members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp 379 in Marion, North Carolina, presented an $8,200 check to staff at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. The funds will be used for specialized conservation treatment of a battle flag carried by the 35th Regiment North Carolina Troops during the Civil War. The generous gift was the result of two years of fund-raising by Camp 379.

“It is an honor for Camp 379 to help preserve a part of North Carolina’s important history for future generations,” noted Jeff Cordell, Commander, North Carolina Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp 379. The historic banner is part of the museum’s Confederate flag collection, one of the largest in the nation. The standard wool-bunting state flag is missing its regimental numbers, possibly cut away as a souvenir during the war.

35th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry

35th Infantry Regiment completed its organization in November, 1861, at Camp Mangum, near Raleigh, North Carolina. Its members were raised in the counties of Mecklenburg, Onslow, McDowell, Moore, Chatham, Person, Union, Henderson, Wayne, and Catawba. After fighting at New Bern, the regiment was ordered to Virginia and assigned to General R. Ransom's and M.W. Ransom's Brigade. It participated in the difficult campaigns of the Army of Northern Virginia from the Seven Days' Battles to Fredericksburg. Ordered back to North Carolina, it fought at Boon's Mill and Plymouth , then returned to Virginia in May, 1864. The 35th saw action at Drewey's Bluff , endured the hardships of the Petersburg Campaign  siege south of the James River, and ended the war at Appomattox. This unit sustained 127 casualties at Malvern, 25 in the Maryland Campaign, 29 at Fredericksburg, and 103 at Plymouth. Many were disabled at Saylor's Creek, and on April 9, 1865, it surrendered 5 officers and 111 men. The field officers were Colonels James T. Johnson, John G. Jones, Matthew W. Ransom, and James Sinclair; Lieutenant Colonels M.D. Craton, Oliver C. Petway, and Simon B. Taylor; and Majors John M. Kelly and Robert E. Petty.

Text Source with slight edits:  Beach Carolina Magazine

Text Source of 35th NC Infantry: National Park Service

Thursday, December 05, 2013

News: Slave Cabins and Sherman's March Encampment Sites In Path of New Georgia Highway

Archaeologists Discover Slave Artifacts Were Georgia Highway Project Will Cross Georgia Plantation Site, Russ Bynum, Associated Press, December 1, 2013.

A Mexican coin punctured with a small hole, nails from long-decayed wooden dwellings, and broken bits of plates and bottles are among thousands of artifacts unearthed from what archaeologists suspect were once slave quarters at the site of a planned highway project in Savannah.

A team hired to survey the site by the Georgia Department of Transportation spent three months excavating 20 acres of undeveloped woods tucked between a convenience store and apartments off busy Abercorn Extension on Savannah's suburban south side. Archaeologist Rita Elliott said the project yielded a staggering 33,858 artifacts believed to date from about 1750 until after the Civil War.

Historical records show that a wealthy Savannah attorney named William Miller owned a large plantation at the site and at one time had 87 slaves, Elliott said. Archaeologists didn't find the main plantation house but believe many of the artifacts they found are consistent with slave dwellings.
"These people are pretty anonymous in the historical records," Elliott said. "The archaeology may not tell us much about their names, but it will tell us about their lives."

As for the sheer volume of items recovered at the site, Elliott said, "It's not unheard of. But this is a lot of artifacts." The plantation site had plenty of high ground that probably would have been used for growing row crops, while the lower-lying marshlands would have been suitable for growing rice. Records show that two planters owned the land until Miller bought it all in the mid-1850s.
Clusters of nails found in the ground indicate that buildings were made from wood instead of brick, Elliott said. Archaeologists uncovered small pits used to store items in the floors of dwellings and dug up no window glass, further evidence the site had crude structures occupied by slaves.

Archaeologists found a silver Mexican coin from 1831 with a hole punched near the edge, as if it had been worn as a pendant. An 1865 penny was recovered from a pit. Researchers also found fragments of brick, broken dishes and bottles, a cast iron pot and a small brass thimble.

A small part of the site also turned up clues that some Union troops of Gen. William T. Sherman camped out at the site around the time Savannah was seized in1864. Archaeologists found bullets from muskets and uniform buttons, as well as what appear to be spikes used to hold down tents.
Elliott said records show that some of Sherman's troops marched right through Miller's plantation en route to Savannah. She estimates that several hundred camped there.

The archaeological work was ordered as part of the pre-construction phase of a $30.3 million dollar project to elevate Ga. 204, which links Savannah's south side to Interstate 95, above a busy residential crossing. Archaeological research was required for the project because it uses federal transportation money. Construction is scheduled to begin next year. "It is rare, and it's an opportunity that we enjoy," Georgia DOT spokeswoman Jill Nagel said of the plantation discovery. "We're preserving Savannah's history."
Since field work at the site ended in May, archaeologists have kept busy in the laboratory cleaning and examining each artifact, looking for clues to piece together the stories of slaves who lived on Miller's plantation. Eventually the artifacts will be turned over to the University of West Georgia in Carrollton for safe keeping.

Text SourceTribTown, December 1 2013
Image Source: Memphis Commerical Appeal, December 1, 2013

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

News: Fraud Claimed In Sale of U.S.Grant's Coat and Cup

Disputed Sale of Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant's Coat and Cup Prompts Legal Battle, Fraud Claims by Gettysburg Antiques Seller, Matt Miller, Patriot-News' Penn Live Web Site, November 29, 2013.

Nearly 150 years after it ended, the Civil War is still big business. And the sale of some property of one of its key figures is now fodder for a federal lawsuit. A legal battle just begun in U.S. Middle District Court centers on claims by the owners of a military antiques shop in Gettysburg that they are owed a share of a $1.6 million to $1.85 million sale of a coat and cup once owned by Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, one of the war's top commanders and a former U.S. president.There is a bit of North-South friction as well.

The owners of The Horse Soldier on Steinwehr Avenue contend that a Virginian, Donald Tharp, defrauded them out of their cut on the sale of the Grant artifacts. The Horse Soldier owners, Patricia, Sam and Wesley Small, fired their first shot in the fight by suing Tharp in Adams County Court in late October. Tharp is now seeking to have the dispute moved to the federal court in Harrisburg.
In their complaint, the Smalls claim that in 1995 they discovered several Grant artifacts were up for sale. The Smalls and another man approached Tharp with a proposition for a joint financing deal to come up with the money to buy Grant's coat and cup.

Under that oral agreement, Tharp was to receive 10 percent interest annually on his investment, but no more than $160,000, until the artifacts sold, according to the suit. Once they sold, Tharp was to get 55 percent of the profit, with the Smalls receiving 25 percent and 20 percent going to the other investor, the Smalls claim.

The Grant pieces were in the Smalls' store for about three weeks before Tharp asked to borrow the coat and cup to display at his home. The Smalls claim they agreed to turn them over because they'd had dealings with Tharp before and trusted him. However, the Smalls claim in their suit that, without telling them, Tharp sold the items for at least $1.6 million to more than $1.8 million, with Grant's coat going for around $1.5 million. The suit does not state when the sale took place, but the Smalls claim that they didn't learn that the artifacts had been sold until 2010.

They contend that Tharp has refused to pay them the money they are owed for the sale, and has ignored a June 2011 arbitration decision that found in their favor. They want the court to rule that their agreement with Tharp is binding and that he must pay up on claims of breach of contract and unjust enrichment.  Specifically, the Smalls are seeking $380,000, plus interest and legal fees.
Tharp's attorney, Ralph J. Kelly, and Steven E. Grubb, the lawyer representing the Smalls, weren't immediately available for comment Friday.

Text and Image Source: Patriot-News' Penn Live Web Site, November 29, 2013.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

New And Noteworthy: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Soldiers In the Gettysburg Campaign

Those Who Fought: Allegheny County, Pa., and the Gettysburg Campaign, Arthur B. Fox, Mechling Bindery, 202 pages, Softbound, $19.95.

From the Publisher: The first book that specifically recognizes the role of Allegheny County, Pa., in the Battle of Gettysburg and honors the local soldiers who fought there. The author presents the human side of the soldier, and adds vital facts of the regiments and current efforts to memorialize them.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: [excerpt] " The book is the third volume in a trilogy Mr. Fox has written about the region's military role at the time of the War Between the States. His earlier works are Pittsburgh During the American Civil War: 1860-186" and Our Honored Dead: Allegheny County, Pa., in the American Civil War. All three books are published by Mechling Bookbindery in Chicora, Butler County.
"Those Who Fought" was planned as a much longer work looking at the experiences at Gettysburg of soldiers from 10 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. Its 50,000 words now concentrate on units recruited mostly from Allegheny County.

Text Sources: Mechling Bindery and Pittsburgh Post Gazette December 2, 2013