American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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  Facts: Strange & Rare


Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles

Wreck of Confederate ironclad gunboat CSS Neuse gets a new home
Scuttled by its crew in March 1865, the Confederate ironclad CSS Neuse spent nearly a century crumbling in its namesake river, occasionally serving as a makeshift dock for swimmers. In 1963 local businessmen pulled the warship`s remains out of the water, and since then the Neuse has rested outdoors in Kinston, North Carolina, where workers fitted it out for battle at the height of the Civil War. After a turbulent 150 years spent waiting for either battle or salvage, the one-of-a-kind gunboat will be safely ensconced in a new facility - a climate-controlled exhibition space in Kinston, North Carolina.

Union County to build memorial for 10 black men who served in Confederate Army
Long ignored by history, local slaves who served in the Confederate Army will receive some rare recognition. The Union County Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously to approve a plan for a privately funded marker to honor 10 black men, nine of whom were slaves, who eventually received small state pensions for their Civil War service. It will be one of the few public markers of its kind in the country, and arrives in the midst of commemorations of the Civil War`s sesquicentennial. The granite marker will be placed on a brick walkway at the Old County Courthouse in Monroe in front of the 1910 Confederate monument.

Long-accepted death toll of 620,000 might actually be closer to 750,000
Nearly 150 years after the last battles of the Civil War, historians are still finding new topics to explore as the nation commemorates the sesquicentennial of America's bloodiest conflict. Even the long-accepted death toll of 620,000, cited by historians since 1900, is being reconsidered. In a study published late last year in Civil War History, Binghamton University history demographics professor J. David Hacker said the toll is closer to 750,000. "That number just sat there - 620,000 - for a century," said Lesley Gordon, a professor at the University of Akron and editor of the 57-year-old journal, considered the pre-eminent publication in its field.

Photos: Inside the military fortress that guarded New York harbour during the Civil War
It was built to guard New York Harbor from the Confederates during the Civil War. But the embrasures that anchored cannons to the stone floors of Fort Totten, in Queens, New York never faced enemy fire. 150 years after the fortress went under construction, its eroding walls are a haunting reminder of American history. Plans for the Fort Totten Water Battery at Willet's Point were initially prepared by Captain Robert E Lee in 1857. After Congress appropriated $155,000 for its construction, the first block of granite was laid - five years later.

Complete Confederate Civil War submarine Hunley unveiled for first time
Confederate vessel H.L. Hunley, the world's first successful combat submarine when it sank a Union ship in 1864, was unveiled in full for the first time after a decade of preservation. The narrow "torpedo fish," built in Mobile, Alabama by Horace Hunley from cast iron, arrived in Charleston in 1863 while the city was under siege. In the ensuing few months, it sank twice after sea trial accidents, killing 13 crew members including Horace Hunley. The Confederate Navy hauled the sub up twice, recovered the bodies of the crew, and planned a winter attack - which succeeded in sinking the Union warship Housatonic in winter 1864.

James Brown Sr., one of last real sons of Confederate veterans, dies at 99
James Brown Sr., one of the last real sons of a Confederate veteran, has passed away at the age of 99. His father, James H.H. Brown, served in the 8th Georgia Infantry's Company K and fought throughout the Civil War, seeing combat in in 19 major battles, including Manassas, Gettysburg, Chattanooga, Campbell Station and Fort Sanders.

Robert E. Lee: Outwitted and outmaneuvered during West Virginia campaign
Robert E. Lee's rise to the peak of success as Confederate military leader seemed unlikely as he rode through the West Virginia 150 years ago. After three months of failure in engagements with Union troops at Cheat Mountain, Elkwater and Sewell Mountain, Lee had been recalled to the Confederate capital of Richmond. "Outwitted, outmaneuvered and outgeneraled," wrote an editorialist for the Richmond Examiner, in commenting on Lee's recall. Other newspapers referred to him as "Granny Lee" for his lack of military decisiveness or the "King of Spades" and the "Great Entrencher" for his propensity for building earthworks to protect his soldiers, rather than attack the enemy.

Lee & Grant - Two very different men (DVD Review)
The two most important generals during the Civil War were Robert E. Lee, the leader of the Confederacy, and Ulysses S. Grant the leader of the Union forces. These were two very different men, as this documentary film reveals. Between 1862 and 1865 the most critical chapter in American history was to be written mainly by the actions of these two generals. Rarely does history find two generals so different in personality, character, upbringing and strategy as were the ultimate commanders of the Northern and Southern Armies.

How destructive was Sherman's march?
To some, General William Tecumseh Sherman was one of the few Union generals who understood modern war. To others, especially to the Southerners whom he defeated, he is a war criminal. From August 1864 through April 1865, Sherman blazed a path through Georgia and the Carolinas, destroying anything of military value including railroads, grain bins and livestock. While Sherman did play a large part in consigning the Confederacy to the ashbin of history, the extent of the destruction he caused by his march has become exaggerated by folklore.

Antietam: America's bloodiest day in military history
More words have probably been written about the Battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg as it is known in the South) than any conflict other than Gettysburg. Taking place near a small creek called Antietam in Maryland, the final casualty total was 23,000, both North and South, in a single day`s fighting. All this took place on September 17, 1862, as part of the Maryland Campaign. It was the first major battle to be fought on Northern soil. For all those men and all the deaths, the sad fact remains that it was tactically a draw, with no winners and many, many losers lying that day in The Sunken Road.

Robert E. Lee tintype picture fetches $23,001 for Goodwill
A Goodwill worker who spotted a photograph of Confederate General Robert E. Lee has helped the charity make $23,001 in an online auction. The tintype photograph was in a bin, about to be shipped out to an outlet store, when a worker grabbed it and sent it to the charity's local online department. The item was put up for auction.

Secret Agents in Hoop Skirts: Women Spies of the Civil War
In July 1861, Rose Greenhow obtained critical information about the Union Army`s planned attack of Manassas, Virginia. She sent her 16-year-old courier, Bettie Duvall, through 20 miles of Union territory with a coded message for Beauregard tucked into her hair. Confederate President Jefferson Davis later credited Greenhow for his army`s success at the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas). On August 23, 1861, Allan Pinkerton, head of the federal government's secret service, arrested Greenhow. She was placed under house arrest and later sent to prison. Despite her confinement, Greenhow still managed to transmit cryptic notes to Confederate leaders.

Blockade of Confederate ports - Squeezing the South into Submission
Though the Union army was still getting its war footing, by August 1861 the Northern blockade of Southern ports and waterways was almost complete. That month federal ships closed the Mississippi River to commerce between loyal and secessionist states, while naval squadrons were in place off the coast of most Southern cities, from south Texas to the Chesapeake. A large number of blockade runners managed to slip past the Union ships, but the relevant data point is not how many ships evaded capture, but how many ships never sailed that, undeterred, otherwise would have.

Pictures of a blockade runner: Civil War-era Wine, Cologne Found
On September 6, 1864, pilot John Virgin was at the helm as the Mary Celestia left the harbor at Southampton, Bermuda. The Civil War was in its third year, and the fast vessel - bound for Wilmington, North Carolina - was loaded with rifles, ammunition, and other supplies needed by the Confederate States. Virgin raced the roughly 255-foot-long Mary Celestia toward the open Atlantic, only to hit rocks and reefs. Within minutes the Mary Celestia and its cargo were on the bottom of the ocean. Salvagers recovered the war supplies, but the bow, of the wreck was soon covered with silt and lay undisturbed, some 60 feet (18 meters) down, until the recent tempests.

Last living eyewitness to Lincoln assassination interviewed on Feb 9, 1956
Lincoln Assassination eyewitness appears on I've Got a Secret in 1956.

Peek inside a hand-cranked Civil War submarine Hunley
Peek inside a hand-cranked Civil War submarine Hunley.

American history 1861-1865: U.S. Civil War was a conflict between the Abraham Lincoln led Union and 11 southern states that formed CSA - the Confederate States of America, led by Jefferson Davis. In the first year the Union got control of the border states and established a naval blockade as both sides raised large armies. In 1862 the bloody battles began. Robert E. Lee get a series of Confederate victories, but his best general, Stonewall Jackson, was killed at the Chancellorsville in May 1863. Lee's invasion of the North was repulsed at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. In July 1863 Ulysses Grant seized control of Mississippi by capturing Vicksburg, thus splitting the Confederacy. The war ended after the Confederacy collapsed following General Robert E. Lee's surrender at the Battle of Appomattox.

Also called: 'War of the Rebellion', 'War of Southern Independence', 'War of Northern Aggression' and 'War Between the States'.