Sunday, November 12, 2017
Saturday, November 04, 2017
Shoulder sleeve insignia of the United States Army 29th Infantry Division, nicknamed the Blue and Gray Division, based on their circular blue and gray badge with a yin-yang design, or monad, a Korean symbol of eternal life. The colors symbolize the Division tradition of being formed by men whose forefathers fought in the Civil War, for both Union blue and Confederate gray. The 116th infantry regiment of the 29th Division was part of the first wave assault to land at Omaha Beach on D Day, June 6, 1944. They suffered heavy losses, but pushed on to relieve and reinforce combat units inland. At the end of September they were fighting on the German border and, in March 1945, were ordered to attack in the heavily defended Ruhr industrial region.
On April 3rd, the Division liberated Dinslaken civilian labor camp. They had pushed on to the Elbe River when Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945. The 29th Infantry served in the Army of Occupation in Frankfurt and Bremen until returning to the US on January 4, 1946, where they were inactivated on January 17.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
"Wow, I have long liked this detail with General Grant at right at his new City Point headquarters, early summer 1864, but did not until just now did I notice the captured Confederate flag leaning against the tree at left! You can never scour the details of these photos too often."
Friday, October 20, 2017
The Battle of the U.S.S. "Kearsarge" and the C.S.S. "Alabama"
Édouard Manet, 1864
Manet's first known seascape is an imaginative depiction of an American Civil War naval battle fought off the coast of France, near Cherbourg, on June 19, 1864. In the distance, the C.S.S. Alabama, a scourge of Union shipping, sinks by her stern, clouds of smoke arising from a direct hit to her engines by the U.S.S. Kearsarge, which is mostly obscured from view. This picture was first displayed in the window of Alfred Cadart's print shop in Paris in July 1864, demonstrating Manet's quick response to a sensational and recent news event. [text: Google Arts and Culture]
• Title: The Battle of the U.S.S. "Kearsarge" and the C.S.S. "Alabama"
• Date: 1864
• Location: France
• Physical Dimensions: w50.75 x h54.25 in (Overall)
• Artist/Maker: Édouard Manet, French, 1832 - 1883
• Provenance: John G. Johnson Collection, 1917
• Type: Paintings
• Rights: © 2014 Philadelphia Museum of Art. All rights reserved.
• External Link: Philadelphia Museum of Art
• Medium: Oil on canvas
Monday, October 16, 2017
|Georgia Wade McClellan|
In my last post, I shined a light on my Iowa hometown's Abraham Lincoln connection -- the land grant he received for service in the Black Hawk War. Today I'm highlighting a Gettysburg connection, one that I was entirely unaware of in my junior high and high school years in Denison, Iowa, even as I made a family visit to Gettysburg, and poured through my first Bruce Catton volume.
Civil War enthusiasts will know that one of Gettysburg’s well-known tourist attractions is the Jennie Wade House, at 548 Baltimore Street. It was there that Mary Virginia Wade was killed while kneading dough in the kitchen, the only known civilian to die in the Battle of Gettysburg. [Exploitation of that family is presumably lucrative, and knows no bounds.]
It bears noting that it wasn’t actually Jennie Wade’s house – it was the home of her older sister, Georgia Wade McClellan (one might also note that Mary Virginia was called “Gin,” or “Ginnie,” or "Jinnie” by her family, but Jennie is how she is remembered today, and is the name that appears on her tombstone in Gettysburg’s Evergreen Cemetery). Mary Virginia Wade and her mother had taken refuge in Georgia’s house, where Georgia had just given birth to her first child. On the third day of the battle, a wayward bullet entered the house and struck Jennie.
It wasn’t until the sesquicentennial commemorations that I learned -- through a Civil War-related news item -- that Georgia Wade McClellan is buried in Denison. Georgia — who turned 22-years-old the day after her sister was killed — served as a nurse for wounded soldiers after the battle. Not long after the war, Georgia and her husband, John L. McClellan, moved west, eventually settling in Denison, where three of their children were born. Her husband reportedly became Denison’s first marshal.
Georgia ran a home for women in Fort Dodge, Iowa for awhile. After her husband died, she lived with a grandchild in Carroll, Iowa, down the road from Denison, where she died in 1927. She was buried beside her husband in Denison's Oakland Cemetery on September 7 of that year.
I have read in at least one source that Georgia was in attendance when Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in the national cemetery, and I'm endeavoring to substantiate that (the FindAGrave entry for Georgia goes so far as to say she was on the platform with Lincoln, and was one of the speakers that day, but no source is given). Check out FindAGrave for some additional information on Georgia, and a number of other photos.
Sunday, October 08, 2017
. . . but he did own the land. Last month I journeyed to Iowa for a high school reunion, and I had a checklist of items I wanted to see—things I was oblivious to in my youth, and only subsequently learned about. One of the things I was curious to lay eyes on was a land grant to Abraham Lincoln. Quoting Abraham Lincoln Online: "Lincoln's second [Iowa] parcel was 120 acres in Goodrich Township, Crawford County. It is seven miles north of Denison and one mile east of Schleswig, identified by a marker erected in 1923 by the Denison Chapter of the D.A.R. Warrant #68645 was issued on April 22, 1856, and Lincoln located the land while living in Springfield, Illinois, on December 27, 1859.
The patent for the Crawford County tract was issued to Lincoln on September 10, 1860, during his first presidential campaign, and sent to the Registrar of the Land Office at Springfield on October 30, one week before the election. The property eventually passed to Lincoln's only surviving son Robert, who sold the property to Henry Edwards for $1,300 on March 22, 1892."
Another source, (on very handy site called Iowa Civil War Monuments) asserts that "When he visited Council Bluffs in 1859 to consult with Grenville Dodge about a future transcontinental railroad, he referred to his land here but said he couldn't take the time to see it."
I made the time, however, 40 years after I lived there. Thankfully, it's well marked. On Google Maps, you can find it here: 42°05'40.7"N 95°25'12.0"W