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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Wartime Soldiers - American Civil War

Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

Jack Hinson's One-Man War, A Civil War Sniper by Tom C. McKenney   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Jack Hinson just wanted to sit tight on his farm in an isolated area on the Kentucky-Tennessee border and let the Civil War swirl around. Instead, the war came marching right up his front gate and devastated the Hinson clan. So Jack Hinson, an "old" man in his mid-50s, showed that he could be just as determined when it came to killing. He shot 100 Union sailors and soldiers, mostly officers, before the civil war ended in 1865. Hinson covertly ordered a custom-made .50 caliber rifle with a long, heavy barrel, especially designed for long-range shooting - so accurate he could kill from 1,000 yards.

Albert Woolson was the last known surviving Civil War Union veteran
Albert Woolson smoked 8 cigars a day and lived past his 109th birthday. When he died in 1956, he was the last known living Civil War Union veteran. Over 2 million of his comrades had already died. Another claim to fame for Woolson: He was the last member of the Grand Army of the Republic, GAR. Benjamin Franklin Stephenson founded the GAR in 1866. Even though the veterans might have wanted to forget their grim war experiences, they didn't want to forget their comrades. Any honorably discharged Union veteran was qualified to join. At its peak in 1890, over 409,000 Union vets were on the GAR membership rosters.

Executed soldiers - Confederate Army Deals with Undisciplined   (Article no longer available from the original source)
By Dec 1861, a chilly gloom settled over General Joseph E. Johnston's army camps. The soldiers were beginning to realize that peace was not likely to come anytime soon, and the army camps were overrun by disease. In Major R.C. Wheat's Louisiana battalion of 421 men, 239 were ill. Wheat's First Special Battalion of Louisiana Infantry, outfitted in the Zouave uniforms popular at the beginning of the war, was renowned for its lawlessness. It was claimed that some of the recruits came from the jails of New Orleans. Wheat's unit, the Louisiana Tigers, holds the dubious honor of having 2 of its members shot by a firing squad.

Welsh soldiers who fought in the American Civil War
Nearly 10,000 pages of Welsh-language writing penned during the American Civil War have survived to this day, detailing the loathing with which Welsh emigrants viewed the slave trade and the terror with which they faced battle. Now, a book reveals these works in English for the first time in the largest collection of its kind. In Sons of Arthur, Children of Lincoln, Jerry Hunter has used diaries and letters to capture the reactions of Welshmen. Thousands of first, second and third generation Welsh-Americans fought for Abraham Lincoln`s Union of the North against the Confederate forces of the South, among whom Welshmen were rare.

American Civil War: Promotions often meant little
When it came to promotions during the Civil War, officers were often honored for their bravery in the battlefield by being brevetted. For example title "brigadier general of volunteers" differed in both pay and prestige from the same title in the regular U.S. Army. Other officers were "brevetted," and given a temporary battlefield promotion. Often a brevetted officer would be given the insignia of their new rank, but not the pay or formal authority.

Scottish soldiers in American Civil War to be honoured
For the first time since the fighting ended 142 years ago, a memorial will take place in Edinburgh for Scottish soldiers who died in the American Civil War. The American Consulate General in Edinburgh will attend the ceremony at the Abraham Lincoln memorial in the Old Calton cemetery, believed to be the only one of its kind outside the US. 150,000-500,000 Scots died during the American Civil War 1861-1865. The ceremony will mark the anniversary of the Battle of Bullrun in 1861. It is being organised by Bill Mackie. "We want to highlight the number of Scots who fought, and died, on both sides. It wasn't just Americans against Americans."

Local author corrects former view of Unionism during Civil War
Terrell Garren has counted every Western North Carolina soldier who had participated in the Civil War. He has come up with the first estimate of Unionism in the region since Alexander Hamilton Jones threw out a figure in 1866. According to Jones, 4342 men from 21 Western North Carolina counties enlisted in the Union army. His method: "by actual calculation." Garren grew up being told that the region had been noticeably pro-Union, but he has since proved otherwise. Garren's number for Union Army enlistees: 1836. His source: troop records, which hadn't been available to Jones.

Understanding The Confederate Soldier - Born Fighting   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The War was not a contest of equals. The Union outnumbered the Confederacy in all "war fighting" categories. But the South was superior in the intensity of its warrior ethic. Not only the Revolutionary War spirit drove Confederate soldiers. The Confederate Army rose like a sudden wind out of the little towns... the Great Captains called, and the able-bodied men were quick to answer. 90% of its adult population served and 70% of those became casualties. The men of the Confederate Army gave every ounce of courage to a leadership they respected, then laid down their arms in an instant when that leadership said enough was enough.

Sharpshooters -- Shock Troops of the Confederacy   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The Patton family had sons fighting on both sides, Union and Confederate. During the Battle of the Wilderness May 5 to 7, 1864, Jason and his younger brother "got within sight of each other." The younger Union solider was killed there. Jason Patton, who had won a shooting prize, became a sharpshooter with the 12th Alabama. Fred Ray was surprised to find that, although sharpshooters did yeoman`s service for the Confederacy, very little had been written about them. The latest book he found was published in 1899, written by a former sharpshooter. Finding information was like "digging history with your fingernails," Ray said.

Mixed reponse: burial of some of the first Civil War soldiers to die
They were lost to history, 6 Union soldiers killed in battle just days before the famous First Battle of Bull Run in 1861. Found in shallow graves in woods in Centreville, the men's remains were traced to the First Massachusetts Infantry, after a decade of research. They will be buried at the National Veterans Cemetery with an honor guard and a three-volley salute with Civil War-era rifles. But Dalton Rector says the soldiers are being wronged. He thinks he knows their names, and he argues they deserve better than to be buried in graves as unknowns.

Book Shows Civil War through Diary of Confederal Soldier
Historian Tom Wing edited book "A Rough Introduction to This Sunny Land: The Civil War Diary of Private Henry A. Strong." The diary was written during the Civil War from 1862 until 1865. It covers Strong`s enlistment in 1862, the march across Indian Territory, camp life in Fort Smith, and the Camden Expedition. Strong describes Confederate guerrilla operations, the execution of bushwhackers, and civilian life in wartime Arkansas. "Strong`s words speak volumes about the struggles of infantry soldiers, but more than that, he tells his story and his attitudes without bias. He also leaves us a record of federal soldier life west of the Mississippi."

50 Chinese Soldiers Fought in U.S. Civil War   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Those were the days of sailing ships augmented by steam power and China was as remote from the Eastern United States as it was possible to be. Still, Chinese Americans found their way to the East Coast, and researchers claim that as many as 50 Chinese fought as soldiers during the American Civil War. The number does not include the Chinese who served in the U.S. Navy. The soldiers fought on both sides. Chinese soldier of the Union participated in the most famous battle of the Civil War: the three-day Battle of Gettysburg. Pvt. Joseph L. Pierce enlisted in the 14th Connecticut Infantry in August 1862.