Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s grave site
On May 15, 1863—150 years ago today—Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was laid to rest in his beloved Shenandoah Valley. He had died five days previously and, since his death, his remains had traveled from Guinea Station down to Richmond to rest in the Confederate capitol before beginning the trek westward.
Jackson was brought home to the town he had spent a majority of his adult life in, the town he had owned his only house in, and the town he marched off to war from and transformed from “Tom Fool” to “Stonewall” to eventually a “martyr of the Lost Cause.” Continue reading
Posted in Emerging Civil War, Emerging Civil War Series, Leadership--Confederate, Memory, Monuments, Personalities
Tagged Battle of Chancellorsville, death of Stonewall Jackson, Elisha Paxton, Guin, Guinea Station, Hazel Grove, Lexington, Stonewall Brigade, Stonewall Jackson, Virginia, VMI
By Caroline Davis—part two
William H. Seward
The Union Blockade had begun to move inland up the Rio Grande by 1864, thwarting trade across the river. One would expect negative repercussions with the closing of this important trade route, but the Confederacy was never a primary benefactor in the relationship. In all actuality, the Matamoros Trade was more of a benefit to Mexico than to the southern United US. The small portion of West Texas that traded with Mexico before 1864 was the only Confederate area to directly reap the benefits. The sheer amount of travel required for goods to make it to the Rio Grande ate up most profits. Supplies coming in from the Matamoros Trade had to travel over 500 miles by wagon to reach the Texas-Louisiana border.
In the late 1850s and early 1860s, Mexico was developing its own cotton industry in addition to trading cotton with the Confederacy. This Central American country began growing cotton at a vital time. Prior to the war, the Union began developing its textile industry – specifically in New England. Northern textile manufactures had depended on southern cotton farmers to provide them with the raw materials needed to keep the textile industry afloat. The Civil War not only meant the death of the southern cotton industry but also threatened the New England textile industry. As a result, New England turned to Europe to buy the raw cotton needed. The New England textile industry suffered greatly in this newer, more competitive market due to its distance from the cotton-producing nations of India and Egypt. When Mexico began to grow cotton, New England saw an opportunity to combat some of the negative ramifications that had arisen from the laws banning trade between the Union and the Confederacy. Stepping up to the plate, Mexico began providing cotton to New England, helping to ease the effects of the “cotton famine.”
In the midst of the Chancellorsville sesquicentennial, the 149th anniversary of the battle of the Wilderness slipped by unnoticed, and the anniversary of the battle of Spotsylvania Court House arrived without fanfare. But I’ve taken it upon myself as my personal mission to remember this particular place so, although still recovering from Chancellorsville, I took some time on Sunday to walk the ground at the Bloody Angle. It was the 149th anniversary of the fight there. Continue reading
The monument to Parker’s Virginia Battery stands as the lone monument to the Second Battle of Fredericksburg. Dedicated on May 3rd, 1973, this monument on the south end of Willis Hill, memorializes the efforts of Lt. J. Thompson Brown’s section of the battery, who fired from the hill onto the once open plain below. The guns fell to men of Brigadier General Thomas Neill’s 6th Corps brigade on the Morning of May 3rd, 1863. The marker is situated underneath a large box wood, inside the Fredericksburg National Cemetery.
We are excited to welcome guest author Caroline Davis. Caroline is a graduate of Ball State University with a BA in History and minors in Political Science and Philosophy. She currently is finishing her second internship at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. In the fall she plans on attending Georgia State University, where she will enter the Masters in Historical Preservation Program, with a concentration in Public History.
The Civil War has been closely studied for so many years and by so many different people that perhaps one of the hardest tasks when writing about the War Between the States is finding a new angle –a fresh look at an old topic. Two years ago I wrote a generic essay about the effects of the Union Blockade on the Civil War. Throughout all my research I found only one article that mentioned the relationship between the Confederacy and Mexico. It was not until later that the lack of information about trade along the Texas-Mexico border struck me as odd. But I had found my fresh look at an old topic.
President Abraham Lincoln quickly established the Union Blockade of the confederate coastline after the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861. The blockade – a key Union strategy – hampered the Confederacy in several ways. Most significantly, it cut off the Confederacy’s trans-Atlantic supply lines and limited trade on cotton, the South’s most important export. It wasn’t long before the effects of the blockade spilled over the Texas-Mexico border. Prior to the American Civil War, Mexico struggled to maintain a stable economy after a civil war of its own. Due to Mexico’s economical situation and proximity to the US, the Union Blockade would have a much different effect on it than on other fronts in the international market.
Posted in Antebellum South, Economics, Leadership--Confederate, Politics, Ties to the War
Tagged Caroline Davis, Jefferson Davis, Maximilian I, Mexican War, Mexican-American War, Mexico, The Union Blockade and Mexico, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Union Blockade
You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, which can only be done by admitting that it began in error and is perpetuated in pride.
If war is a thunderstorm, then from November 15 until December 21, 1864, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and his 62,000 soldiers were the lightning of that particular storm. Continue reading
Posted in Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Battlefields & Historic Places, Civilian, Civil War Events, Campaigns, Sieges, Antebellum South, Politics, Armies, Battles, Personalities, Newspapers, Western Theater
Tagged John Bell Hood, Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, Sherman, Hood, Halleck, Davis, official communications, general william tecumseh sherman