Blogs > Cliopatria > Military History Digest #150

Feb 25, 2011 7:58 pm

Military History Digest #150

The next Military History Carnival (#26) is coming this Monday.


19th Century

1. A Fugitive Slave Wins His Freedom by Donald Shaffer

"February 18, 1861 is generally remembered as the day Jefferson Davis took his oath as Provisional President of the Confederacy (read Adam Goodheart’s fascinating analysis of Davis’ inaugural speech in Disunion). But also on that day a brief story appeared in the New York Times, with the headline “Decision in the case of the Fugitive Slave Anderson.; THE PRISONER SET AT LIBERTY.“ The story read: HAMILTON, C.W., Saturday, Feb. 16. The final decision in the case of ANDERSON, the fugitive slave, was given to-day. The Court sustained the decision of the Court of Queen’s Bench on the question of..."

2. Sons of Confederate Veterans Forced to the Back of the Bus by Kevin Levin

"Even in the “Heart of Dixie” the Sons of Confederate Veterans can muster little more than a few hundred people from its ranks to commemorate the inauguration of Jefferson Davis. Based on the YouTube clip below yesterday’s event sounded more like a political rally than a reenactment. The speaker’s comparison of the SCV’s challenges with [...]..."

3. Edward Van Wert by Steve Soper

"Edward Van Wert was born on November 19, 1839, in Groveland, Livingston County, New York, the son of Isaac (d. 1812) and Jemima Ann (Groesbeck, 1815-1844/48).Isaac and Jemima were both born in Renssalear County, New York and were married at the bride’s home in New York in September of 1832. By 1844 the family had settled in Washtenaw County, Michigan where Jemima died in November of that year. According one report soon after the death of his wife Isaac left his children with relatives in Tyrone, Kent County, probably until the following year when he remarried a..."

4. William Van Dyke by Steve Soper

"William Van Dyke was born on April 14, 1843, in Monroe County, Michigan, the son of Henry (1802-1855) and Eliza (b. 1805). By 1860 Irish-born Eliza had moved her son to the western side of the state and William was a student living with his mother, working as a domestic (but with some $2000 dollars in personal property) possibly with the Barringer family in Crockery, Ottawa County.William was 18 years old and probably living in Crockery or Kent County when he enlisted with his mother’s’ consent in Company C on May 13, 1861.On April 6, 1863..."

5. SCV and Earl Ijames Do Better by Kevin Levin

"Tony Way of the SCV and Earl Ijames are working to commemorate ten black North Carolinians, nine of which have been identified as slaves, who were present in the Army of Northern Virginia as slaves. This is truly a step in the right direction given the way this story was reported back in May 2010. [...]..."

6. Should Nathan Bedford Forrest Be on a License Plate? by Brooks D. Simpson

"Word comes from various sources, including Eric Wittenberg’s Rantings of a Civil War Historian and local press coverage, of efforts by the Mississippi chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to propose several new special vanity plate designs, including one … Continue reading →..."

7. Dr. Thomas P. Lowry Responds | Crossroads by n/a


8. A Northern Religious Perspective on Slavery by Donald Shaffer

"February 24, 1861 was a Sunday. No doubt, many Americans, South and North, attended religious services that day. One such group of the faithful gathered that February 24 at the Congregational Church in Norfolk, Connecticut, to hear the sermon of the Reverend Joseph Eldridge. Eldridge’s talk that day was titled ”Does the Bible Sanction Slavery?” It so impressed his parishioners that they petitioned him to publish it which he did. Civil War Emancipation already has covered two pro-slavery sermons, one from Louisiana and the other from Georgia. So, both for some sectional balance and because the sermon was delivered..."

9. Dr. Thomas P. Lowry Responds by Brooks D. Simpson

"It’s been exactly a month since the National Archives announced that Thomas P. Lowry had confessed to altering the date on a Lincoln document so as to make it appear that the president signed the document on April 14, 1865, … Continue reading →..."

10. Cw 150 Legacy Project: Virginia Memory Scanning Project by (Matthew T. Eng)

"It seems that victories, albeit tiny in comparison to the grand spectacle of the war itself, continue to surface during the sesquicentennial years. Documents, once privately-held, are continuously There was a recent post on the Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission's Facebook page about an ongoing project conducted by the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. The article, appearing on progress-index, talks about two members of the Legacy Project scanning documents in Dinwiddie found by a woman who decided to save them from a soon to be demolished house in Sussex County. As with all..."

11. The Fine Craftsmanship of the Revere Copper Napoleon Guns by Craig Swain

"Federal production 12-pdr Model 1857 “Light” Field Guns are one of, if not THE, largest group of surviving field pieces from the Civil War. These came from five vendors – Cyrus Alger, Ames Manufacturing, Miles Greenwood (Eagle Iron Works), Henry … Continue reading →..."

World War I

1. World War One Navy Recruiting Posters by Charles McCain

"A constant theme throughout the history of the United States is the need for manpower for the armed services. To this end, there have always been recruiting efforts and the most simple and straight forward of these has been the poster. No matter which era they are from, they repeat a common message - do your duty and serve your country because only through your help can we win. Over the next few weeks, I will be providing some examples of these recruiting posters as they pertain to the Navy. The following posters are all from World War One and carry..."

2. German Light Cruiser Königsberg by Charles McCain

"I have written about the German light cruisers previously including the Königsberg. The Königsberg was the first of the three 'K' class light cruisers built and so they are also referred to as Königsberg class according to German naval tradition. The K class light cruisers suffered from many design problems since they were designed and built in the late 1920's and had to adhere to the strict limit's imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. As the design problems became increasingly apparent, the duties of the ships were limited to compensate and they increasingly failed to serve in..."

3. World War One Treasure Trove Found by Peter Burness

"Vignacourt is an old rural village in France, larger than most, 12 kilometres north of the city of Amiens. During the First World War it stood behind the front-line of the Somme fighting, although the action was never far away and soldiers were always present. For much of the time it was a forward rest [...] ..."

4. German Light Cruiser Königsberg by Charles McCain

"I have written about the German light cruisers previously including the Königsberg. The Königsberg was the first of the three 'K' class light cruisers built and so they are also referred to as Königsberg class according to German naval tradition. The K class light cruisers suffered from many design problems since they were designed and built in the late 1920's and had to adhere to the strict limit's imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. As the design problems became increasingly apparent, the duties of the ships were limited to compensate and they increasingly failed to serve in..."

5. The Last Veteran? by (Sue Light)

"There has been a fair bit of publicity this week for Florence Green, who on reaching her 110th birthday has been named as both a 'super-centenarian' and also the last surviving female 'veteran' of the Great War. As time goes by, the definition of 'last veteran' seems to have changed. Once it was used solely for those men who had met the Germans or other adversaries on the battlefield, but as they disappeared, it was broadened to include anyone who was in military service at any time during the Great War. Florence Green joined the Women's Royal Air Force..."

World War II

1. A Pro-Nazi U.S. Army Unit in WWII by Thomas E. Ricks

"Yep. Gather round, little grasshoppers, and I will tell the strange tale. I know it sounds like the reverse of a Quentin Taratino movie, but it is true: During World War II, the Army intentionally formed a unit chockablock with fascisti and their suspected sympathizers. What a sensible idea -- much better than kicking them out into society and losing track of them. This is all discussed in the new issue of Army Lawyer , where Fred Three Sticks Borch has a fascinating article about PFC Dale Maple, a brilliant young man who was born in San Diego in 1920 and who..."

2. Incompetence, Stupidity, and Cowardice: the Royal House of Savoy and the Governance of Italy, 1861-1946 by Charles McCain

"Mussolini was not the buffoonish clown he seems today. He was quite deadly and quite serious and was very much a dictator. In fact, the first dictator in the 20th Century in the West, a pioneer as it were. At first he was popular but after a few years the economy got worse and he grew deeply unpopular and would have been voted out of office. Benito Mussolini gives a speech to the..."

3. Lockheed Hudson – More Holes by Jamie Croker

"A second large hole has been cut into the fuselage this week, this being for the lower tunnel gun position. A large amount of modification to the airframe had been carried out to support flooring, and various large camera mounts thorughout it’s time as a geo survey platform. All these modifications were removed to clear the [...] ..."

Cold War

1. Diary Entry 29: Saigon, Saturday Night, 17 July 1965 by (J.R. Clark)

"Saigon Saturday Night, 17 July 1965 The Big Red One (1st Infantry Division, 2nd Brigade) has landed. That was the purpose of part of my trip last month to Vung Tau, Cam Ranh Bay, Qui Nhon, and elsewhere. We had to figure out where best to stage them through which ports and airfields. Finally settled on Cam Ranh Bay for 1/3, stage the balance off ships to shore at Vung Tau then by air to Bien Hoa air base. Moved 3,500 or so without so much as a small injury to any. Came off well. When the actual move..."

2. Diary Entry 27: Saigon, Thursday Night, 15 July 1965 by (J.R. Clark)

"Saigon Thursday Night, 15 July 1965 Went to Vung Tau Monday to watch landings by the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, at that station. Can say what unit it is now that they have come ashore. They could not get ashore from the boats due to high seas so we let them stay on board over night. There wasn’t that much business that day and came back to Saigon. At any rate, went back the next day---now remember it was Tuesday and we had another bad day. Finally got them in on Wednesday (9:00 a.m. at least) and..."

3. Diary Entry 25: Saigon, Sunday Night, 11 July 1965 by (J.R. Clark)

"Saigon Sunday Night, 11 July 1965Feel pretty pleased with myself tonight. Worked real hard all day and got caught up with that infernal paperwork. Feel like I can breathe again with all of it out of the way for a day or two. Grady moved today so it is kinda quiet here tonight. He came by to tell me his room at the Vinh Loi is not as nice as this apartment, but he expects to move up to better things as others move out. No more guns around here to scare me. Woke up this morning at 4:30..."

4. Diary Entry 31: Saigon, Tuesday, 20 July 1965 by (J.R. Clark)

"Saigon Tuesday, 20 July 1965Today is the Vietnamese Independence Day and all US forces have been restricted to work areas or BOQs. The South Vietnamese had a big rally this morning against the Communists and there was a possibility that the rally could have turned into a riot. Tonight they expect some counter-action from the VC in the form of incidents against Americans, so we are all buttoned up. Don’t think you could find an American out on the street tonight if you tried.Had an unusual experience today. This morning I sat at a desk which had the nameplate..."

5. Diary Entry 30: Saigon, Monday Night, 19 July 1965 by (J.R. Clark)

"Saigon Monday Night, 19 July 1965Today I feel kinda blown up and want to brag. This afternoon briefed one of Mr. McNamara’s “whiz kids”---one of the assistant secretaries of Defense---and came out a winner. [Clark probably briefed Paul R. Ignatius, who served as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Installations and Logistics in July 1965.] He had given all previous briefers a hard time because they did not have answers but I didn’t miss a one. Later in the day, he came down to our office and said to me, “Well, I see that transportation at least is..."


1. Harriers From Nassau by NHHC

"On 20 February 1991 the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau (LHA4) launched four AV-8B Harriers of Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 331, flight call sign ‘Magic’ just before dawn. This flight was the first combat strike by fixed-wing aircraft from the flight deck of an amphibious assault ship, and was directed at Iraqi anti-aircraft batteries and [...]..."


1. War Is Cute by Brett Holman

"I've previously posted some of Gorden Cullen's artwork for the Tecton Group's 1939 book Planned A.R.P.. Here are some more of his cute drawings dealing with an awful subject. In this case, he is illustrating the 'general agreement among experts' on the threat posed by the bomber. (a) The range, speed, and carrying capacity of bombers have increased enormously since the last war.1 This was a commonplace observation and was demonstrably true, as anyone who knew anything at all about aviation would know. (b) In order to avoid anti-aircraft fire, balloon barrages, etc., the attacking bombers will probably..."

2. Navy TV – the Story of the Pea Island Lifesavers by NavyTV

"Watch the story of the legendary Pea Island Life Savers, an all-black lifesaving crew that accomplished one of the most daring rescues in the annals of the Life Saving Service in 1896, saving the entire crew of the three-masted schooner E.S. Newman, for which they were posthumously awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal by the Coast [...]..."

3. History in Fiction by George Simmers

"There are two articles in today’s Guardian about the use of history in fiction. Helen Dunmore’s piece begins like this: A novelist who uses historical material in fiction has to go beyond the black and white, beyond the received images which are so familiar that our eyes are dulled to them, beyond the speeches and public cheering faces, and into the colour, intimacy and resonance of being alive at that time, not knowing what is to come, unaware of one’s place in history, of analyses that will be made or outcomes that will be debated. This made me chortle more..."

4. Rifled 42-Pounders – the Federal Side by Craig Swain

"As mentioned in earlier posts about the 42-pdr seacoast guns, the history of the type begins to thread out a bit after production of the Model 1845. Concurrent with the start of the Civil War, technical advances rendered the 42-pdr … Continue reading →..."

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