Question of the Week: 5/30-6/5/16


If you could visit any Civil War soldier’s grave this Memorial Day to pay your respects, who would you visit? Why?

15 Responses to Question of the Week: 5/30-6/5/16

  1. Genl GK Warren: fought on army of Potomac from peninsula to Five forks . Although he is best known for Gettysburg and defense of little round top, he was equally heroic at Gaines mill and through grants overland campaign where he fought at the wilderness, spotsylvania , cold harbor Petersburg and 5 forks. He was called the soldiers general because he did not waste soldiers lives in futile charges. He ran afoul of Mead at mine run when warren refused to charge into an extremely well defended confederate position. He also major difficulties with Sheridan who vilified Warren to grant for warrens slowness at dinwiddie court house. Sheridan shortly thereafter relieved Warren at five forks after a major union victory for alleged cowardice and slowness. Warren could have retired a famous general but chose to fight those charges for the rest of his life. Grant backed Sheridan and refused to exonerate warren. He was mostly exonerated at a court of inquiry after grant left the presidency , but died before the final report was issued. Warren was also a brilliant engineer and explorer. Before the civil war he was first to map the Missouri River and the black hills of the Dakotas. Warren suffered from depression and possibly PTSD by the end of war after seeing the slaughter of the overland campaign . I believe Warren showed signs of bipolar personality – at times manic such as when he would tell his superiors how to fight the battles and decline to follow orders, and profound depression at other times. He was a pompous fellow who considered himself intellectually superior to his superiors and was not shy sbout criticizing his fellow officers. He was expected by many to succeed mead and head of the army of the Potomac because of his intellect , popularity with his troops and history of hard fighting. But his priggish personality undermined his further advancement. His fight to refute the charges of Sheridan was an obsessive-compulsive and ruined his health. He died of diabetes at 52. He chose not to be buried in uniform and without military honors.

  2. I have been to Abner Doubleday’s grave at Arlington and it is quite impressive. Would like to visit it again soon. He did a good job at Gettysburg and did not deserve to be relieved by Meade for Newton. Then, I will watch the Cubs and think of him again…for inventing baseball

  3. I would like to visit the grave of Jarman Davis, my great, great grandfather. He served in Co. D of the 27th North Carolina; battles at Spotsylvania, the Wilderness, North Anna, Cold Harbor, siege of Petersburg, and the surrender at Appomattox. During the last days before the surrender when the army was starving and hundreds of men were falling by the wayside or just giving up, he and his comrades picked corn out of the horse manure in the road in order to eat and continue to do their duty.
    His toughness and stick-to-itiveness l have long admired and have occasionally seen in myself, but unfortunately l have not been able to find out when he died or where he’s buried.

  4. I would be at a small family cemetery today, near Stantonsburg, Wilson Co., NC. Paying my respects to a man whose cause I abhor (and yes, he was rather vocal about it), but who through research I found to be what we commonly call a man “of character”, a caring, smart officer much beloved and respected by his men, and a man who died much too young. He brought me back to exploring in depth again my passion for the Civil War and for unearthing the stories of those who lived through it, or died in it. Captain Jesse Sharpe Barnes, 4th NC State Troops. And while in the area, I’d swing by his younger brother’s grave as well. As it is, I will need to pay my respects in July.

  5. I just returned from our local Tulare CA cemetery, where we re-enactors fried a musket volley, then I said a few words about CW veterans. The I visited the grave of Col. Orlando Moore, 25th Michigan Vol. Infy. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for the Battle of Tebb’s Bend, Ky. On July 4th, 1863, while Lee’s army was retiring from Gettysburg and Grant was receiving the surrender of the Vicksburg garrison, this little battle was being fought. General John Morgan with 2,500 cavalry was under taking a raid into Kentucky. Moore with 200 Michigan men, blocked the crossing of Tebb’s bridge, at a narrow bend in the Cumberland River. Moore refused to surrender and held off 8 attacks. before Morgan called it quits. Morgan crossed the river further down, but the delay had cost him the chance of surprising Louisville, so he went elsewhere, eventually captured in Ohio.
    Morgan lost 35 killed and 45 wounded vs Moore’s loss of only 6 killed and 23 wounded. (With so few losses in 8 charges, it would seem the Confederates were not really trying all that hard?)

  6. Lt. Col. Harvey Black, 1st Texas Infantry. He was mortally wounded at Eltham’s Landing on 7 May 1862 and died later that night along the retreat route to Richmond. Primary sources indicate he was buried in a family cemetery of a plantation house along the route. The plantation site structures are leveled now and the land is thickly forested. I went out this morning to roam the woods looking for evidence of the plantation house foundation and (hopefully) nearby evidence of the remnants of the family cemetery but no such luck. I did find a part of a brick on the level portion of the top of the hill which I am hoping represents some part of the foundation of the old house – not sure how to date a brick??? Next year I want to get out there a bit earlier in the spring (March / April) and look for daffodils in bloom which might indicate a graveyard area.

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