Robert E Lee Civil War Round Table of Central New Jersey

Robert E Lee Civil War Round Table of Central New Jersey The Robert E Lee CWRT is dedicated to the study preservation and discussion of events and people that were part of this period in our nations history

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Stonewall Jackson at Harpers Ferry
Stonewall Jackson at Harpers Ferry

Stonewall Jackson at Harpers Ferry

Jackson, Johnston and conflicting interests The fate of strategic Harpers Ferry hung on the leadership styles of two Southern commanders Ten weeks before

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos

Stonewall Jackson at Harpers Ferry
September 15, 1862
Artwork by Mort Kunstler

It had been an eventful day for the dusty, worn-looking horsemen who rode into the quiet Virginia town of Harpers Ferry. Only hours before, the boom of artillery had reverberated off the stone and brick walls, echoing in the valleys of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Now, the streets were quiet, except for the scuffling feet of curious gray soldiers who wandered the historic town. Dim lights glowed from a few windows, signaling a cautious return to life. The general and his staff studied the shadows in façades of the buildings, overshadowed by Maryland Heights beyond. The general's face was a familiar one to many, and this was the scene of his earliest command – "Stonewall" Jackson had returned to Harpers Ferry.

A year prior to this warm September evening, Jackson's first command was located here. Now, he had returned to encircle it, forcing its 12,500 man garrison to surrender. It was a strategic high point of Robert E. Lee's campaign into Maryland. What were Jackson's thoughts as he rode along Shenadoah Street that evening? Was he remembering his first command, or the victory of the day? More than likely, the plan for the following day's march rolled through his head. Lee, to the north, was waiting for "Stonewall," while facing the bulk of McClellan's Union army.

There was little time to rest on his laurels. Jackson was desperately needed in Maryland. He would march northward at dawn toward Sharpsburg, and a rendezvous along the banks of the Antietam.

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos

For James A. Garfield, there was never any doubt that slavery was the root cause of the Civil War. We often quote the letter he wrote just two days after the attack on Fort Sumter in which he wrote: "The war will soon assume the shape of Slavery and Freedom. The world will so understand it, and I believe the final outcome will redound to the good of humanity." Soon after writing this letter, Garfield volunteered his services to the state of Ohio and the Union Army, eventually rising to the rank of Major General.

Time did not soften or change his opinion about the war's cause. On August 28, 1879, Congressman Garfield attended a reunion of Ohio Civil War veterans in Steubenville. From his diary that day:

"Not less than 15,000 people assembled...Gen. [Thomas] Ewing read a long address, devoted wholly to the technichs [sic] of soldiering, but not a word in reference to the cause for which our soldiers fought. It was evidently so written as to be equally welcome to Blue and Gray-and equally tasteless to both. It seemed to me a stupid avoidance of all the meaning and spirit of the war. When I was called the old soldier spirit greeted me with the greatest enthusiasm. I took for the key of my speech the thought that wild beasts fight, but do not make war nor hold reunions in memory of their combats. Men hold reunions in memory of the cause they defended, etc. I have never been received with more applause."

Image: Brigadier General James A. Garfield, ca. 1862-63. (Fine Art America)

#jamesagarfieldnhs #jamesagarfield #uscivilwar #generalgarfield #OnThisDay

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos

August 20, 1866: the End of the Civil War

Robert E. Lee famously surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. But other armies and smaller armed Confederate forces were scattered all around the country. One by one, they were located, captured, and paroled in the summer of 1865. Ships bearing the Confederate standard still roamed the oceans until November.

In April of 1866, a full year after Lee’s surrender in Virginia, President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation announcing that the state of war was over in all of the former so-called Confederate states except Texas. After about five more months, President Johnson was confident that federal control was secure in Texas too, and he issued his proclamation of August 20, 1866, stating: “I… hereby proclaim… that the said insurrection is at an end and that peace, order, tranquillity [sic], and civil authority now exist in and throughout the whole of the United States of America.”

Congress followed suit by declaring, through legislation, that the Civil War ended on August 20, 1866, for the purpose of calculating military pay entitlements. And because certain legal property claims related to the war had a two-year statute of limitations, the United States Supreme Court fixed the August 20 date for calculating deadlines. So if anyone asks you when the Civil War really ended, you’ll know that all three branches of government agree: August 20, 1866.

[Photo source: National Archives,]

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos

#OnThisDay in 1863, Quantrill's Raiders, a Confederate guerilla group led by William Quantrill, raided the Unionist town of Lawrence, Kansas. Much of the town was destroyed.

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos

Robert Todd Lincoln, the only child of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to survive to adulthood, lived to age 82. His last public appearance was at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial on May 30, 1922. He attended alongside Civil War veterans, President Warren G. Harding and Vice President Calvin Coolidge. This incredible photograph captures Robert Lincoln at the dedication.

Our fall season has two special connections to the Lincoln Memorial. On Friday, September 10 at 6:00 p.m. you can join us at the Memorial for "Come From Away: In Concert at the Lincoln Memorial." In October, we return to our historic stage with "My Lord, What a Night," which tells the story of the friendship between Marian Anderson and Albert Einstein in the lead up to Anderson's historic Lincoln Memorial concert.

Photograph courtesy of The Library of Congress cph 3a52191.


An aid station during the Civil War.

Assistant surgeons and hospital stewards provided first aid near the battlefield in stations like this. They were usually placed a few hundred yards from the front lines in an area with adequate cover. At aid stations, tourniquets were applied, bleeding controlled, medication administered. The medical personnel prepared the wounded to be moved.

Patients were then moved to larger field hospitals established farther from the front lines for surgery and other more advanced medical care.

Learn more about this system and how the Civil War forever changed battlefield medicine by visiting the National Museum of Civil War Medicine!

(Sketch: Winslow Homer's "Surgeon at Work," from May 17, 1862 edition of Harper's Weekly)

Photos from Civil War Times Magazine's post

Photos from Civil War Times Magazine's post


Thomas "Tad" Lincoln was born on April 4, 1853 and outlived two of his three brothers, Edward Baker Lincoln and William Wallace "Willie" Lincoln, the latter of whom died in the White House.

According to President Lincoln's secretary, John Hay, "Tad was a merry, warm-blooded, kindly little boy, perfectly lawless ... He ran continuously in and out of his father's cabinet [room] interrupting his gravest labors and conversations with his bright, rapid speech -- for he had an impediment which made his articulation almost unintelligible ... He would perch on his father's knee, and sometimes even on his shoulder, while the most weighty conferences were going on ... dropping to sleep at last on the floor when the President would pick him up and carry him tenderly to bed."

It just so happens that Tad was in Richmond, Virginia on April 4, 1865 with his father on his 12th birthday -- shortly after it had fallen to Union forces. It undoubtedly was his first face-to-face encounter with the reality of war.

At the age of 18, on the morning of July 15, 1871, Tad Lincoln died in a Chicago hotel from some sort of major upper respiratory infection or cardiac failure (depending upon the source), leaving behind only his brother, Robert Todd, and mother, Mary Todd Lincoln.

By Craig Heberton IV

Four-image plate of Tad Lincoln (possibly from at least a six lens camera), courtesy of the National Archives, 111-B-2466


As Irish American Heritage Month draws to a close we would like to highlight the Irish Brigade Monument on the Gettysburg Battlefield. The monument recognizes the service of the three New York Infantry Regiments of the Irish Brigade as well as the 14th New York Independent Battery. It features a large Celtic cross, a life-size Irish Wolfhound and a series of inscriptions around the base detailing the actions of the aforementioned units. Of note is the trefoil in the center of the cross; it would be easy to mistake the symbol as a nod to the unit’s Irish heritage, however, this is actually the corps badge of the 2nd Army Corps to which the brigade belonged.

The Irish Brigade was one of the smallest brigades in the Union Army numbering only about five hundred and twenty men. On July 2, 1863 they fought in The Wheatfield, suffering 198 casualties.

The monument was dedicated in 1888. Father Corby, the chaplain of the 88th New York provided a blessing. The next time you visit Gettysburg, take a moment to closely examine the unique inscriptions surrounding the base of this iconic monument.


Johnston Comes Out Swinging at Bentonville
Johnston Comes Out Swinging at Bentonville

Johnston Comes Out Swinging at Bentonville

Outmanned, disorganized and disheartened, the Confederates could do little more than harass Gen. William T. Sherman’s Federals as they swarmed through the

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos

‘The Civil War’s Joan of Arc’

Anna Elizabeth Dickinson was an orator and lecturer, and an advocate for women’s rights, and the abolition of slavery. Many dubbed her, ‘The Civil War’s Joan of Arc.’ In 1856, William Lloyd Garrison’s “The Liberator,” published an essay of Dickinson’s about the abuse she received by a schoolteacher in Kentucky. She was only 13 years old and it would spark her lengthy career in public outcry. At 19 years old, she delivered a speech to a crowd of more than 5,000 people at New York’s Cooper Institute. One newsman wrote that she “could hold her audience spellbound for as much as two hours. She gave the impression of being under some magical control.” In 1863, she was hired to deliver pro-Union messages to audiences that were not especially supportive of the war, including Pennsylvania coal miners who objected to the draft. She successfully converted many of them to the abolitionist cause. In 1864, leaders in Congress invited her to speak, making her the first woman to give an address before the United States Congress. In attendance were President Abraham Lincoln and civic and military leaders. She received a standing ovation.

Photo: Library of Congress

The Center for Civil War Photography

The Center for Civil War Photography

"On a slope 100 feet above the Schuylkill River, the body of former Army of the Potomac commander George Meade, the "hero of Gettysburg," rests under a modest gravestone. In eternity, he has plenty of army company: the remains of 40 other Union generals and Confederate General John Pemberton [who surrendered Vicksburg on July 4, 1863] also are buried in Philadelphia's Laurel Hill Cemetery, once located in a rural setting but now in a dense, urban area. As Meade's funeral cortege wound through the beautiful grounds on Nov. 11, 1872, "the sides of the avenues were lined with people anxious to get a glimpse of the distinguished gentlemen in the procession," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Among them was President Ulysses Grant, Meade's Civil War comrade and one-time superior officer. The graveside service was brief, the newspaper reported. No prayers were read, and no speeches were delivered.. The general's funeral procession through the streets of Philadelphia was, according to the Inquirer, "one of the grandest ever witnessed in the country." Headlines in the newspaper trumpeted, "The Day an Epoch in the City's History" and "An Immense Funeral Cortege." Grant and former Union generals Phil Sheridan, William Sherman and Winfield Hancock were among the thousands who came to honor the 56-year-old war hero."

Detail from Library of Congress B813- 1467 (Brady & Co.); Library of Congress USZ62-133286, "Major General George G. Meade and staff posed in front of a Wallack's House, Culpeper, Va.," Sept. 1863.

American Civil War Museum

American Civil War Museum

#OnThisDay in 1863, President Lincoln pardoned Emilie Todd Helm, the First Lady's half sister and the widow of Confederate general Benjamin Helm. The grant of amnesty was one of the first under the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which was less than a week old.

When Benjamin Helm died at the Battle of Chickamauga in September, Emilie Todd Helm made her way to D.C. She stayed at the White House, where the Lincoln's tried to keep her visit a secret. When General Daniel Sickles protested the presence of a Confederate in the White House, Lincoln replied "General Sickles, my wife and I are in the habit of choosing our own guests."

After her pardon, Helm returned to Kentucky, where she became postmistress of Elizabethtown.

Don Troiani  Historical Artist

Don Troiani Historical Artist

Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. General
Buford directs his command on McPherson's Ridge.

The National Civil War Museum

The National Civil War Museum

Our Thursday Snapshot ~ A Gettysburg Short Story from the Battlefield, told by NCWM CEO, Wayne E. Motts. On July 3, 1863, young Lieutenant Sumner Paine of the 20th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment stood in command of Company A of his regiment in the middle of Pickett’s Charge. Despite being just 18 years old, Paine attend Harvard University and joined the 20th Massachusetts just a month before the Battle of Gettysburg. On July 3, 1863, he was mortally wounded defending Cemetery Ridge. His last words were “Isn’t it Glorious!” He is buried in the Gettysburg National Cemetery. Watch it here, on our YouTube channel:

Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park

When the Civil War began in 1861, thousands of young men rushed to enlist on both sides. In may cases, brothers joined together and often fought in the same regiments. One such pair was William and Augustus Ziegler who fought together in the 24th Michigan Infantry at Gettysburg as part of the famed "Iron Brigade."
#untoldstories #gettysburg #findyourpark

CWRT Congress

CWRT Congress


Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park

#TodayOnCampaign On June 26th Jenkins’ Confederate cavalry arrived at the ironworks of Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens. These men, now only 15 miles from Gettysburg, do no real damage to the plant. They confiscate horses and mules and maintain a guard around the iron works for the night.

It wouldn't be long before Jubal Early and his Confederate infantry division would arrive at the iron works in Caledonia. Knowing that it was owned by Thaddeus Stevens, the abolitionist Pennsylvania Congressman, he gave orders to burn the works. Early reportedly stated that Stevens was “an enemy of the South” and though the foreman and workers pleaded for the Confederate forces not to destroy their livelihood they put it to the torch.

The following day Robert E. Lee would issue General Order No. 73 stating: “The commanding general therefore earnestly exhorts the troops to abstain with most scrupulous care from unnecessary or wanton injury to private property, and he enjoins upon all officers to arrest and bring to summary punishment all who shall in any way offend against the orders on this subject.” Though most Confederates obeyed this order, not all did.

#RoadsToGettysburg Caledonia State Park

Photo: Pennsylvania DCNR Photo of the Caledonia Iron Furnace

Gettysburg National Military Park

Gettysburg National Military Park

During the Civil War countless family members fought together in the same military units. Today, we tell the story of just one father and son who fought together here on the fields of Gettysburg. #untoldstories #gettysburg #findyourpark

'This Place Is Called The Wilderness'
'This Place Is Called The Wilderness'

'This Place Is Called The Wilderness'

Civil War soldiers who fought in the tangled forest west of Fredericksburg created a hellish mythology


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The 4th Annual Baton Rouge Civil War Symposium at the Port Hudson State Historic Site November 5,6,7, 2021 Dedicated to the memory of Peter Harrington. Plus The 30TH Annual Port Hudson Civil War Reenactment November 6/7 2021 - With Hundreds of Re-enactors Symposium Friday Evening - The Marston House cancelled the event, so the reception will be held at the Republic of West Florida Museum, with a self-guided driving tour of old Jackson. Light hors d'oeuvres will be served. Saturday - Breakfast Snack, 4 Speakers, Lunch, Civil War Reenactment, Afternoon Snack, Raffle, and Grand Raffle. Sunday – Speaker Presentation, private tour of the Priest Cap, and a Dutch Treat Lunch afterward, or you may return to Port Hudson Site. Get the Early Bird Special $115.00 until 10/22, After $125.00. Register online or get a mail in form at, Carpooling will minimize walking. The museum lot is used for handicap parking. We open at 8 AM and start at 9 AM. The Park opens to the public at 9 AM. Have questions? Call John at 225 937-2782. Seating is limited in the tent. What are you waiting for? Time is running out Come Learn With Us, and Bring a Friend to Share the Adventure Send your name and email address to [email protected] to get on our email list. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Friends of Post Hudson.
What does the flag mean to you? A new classroom video series, available to schools, includes a video of what HARRISON JEFFORDS did at Gettysburg. The purpose of the series is to demonstrate to our youth that the study of American history makes you a better person and a better citizen. Watch the video now at Gettysburg Lessons
Rest In Peace, Ted Alexander, retired historian of Antietam National Park, Marine, author, lecturer, mentor and friend.
Rest In Peace, Ted Alexander, retired historian of Antietam.
File your claims!
Ulysses and Julia Grant in Egypt on their world tour, 1878.
Does anyone know why John Wilkes Booth wasn’t drafted?
Winfield Scott Hancock.
From the Library of Congress website. A lot of good resources for those stuck inside.
This video is about the movements of the NJ 7th Regiment at Gettysburg on July 2nd 1863. My wife's Great, Great Grandfather William Doctor Young fought there. He like, the rest, were 3 year volunteers.
Rebel Yell! I had a different idea of what this sounded like.
While we're all at home...