Fort Fisher

Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher, NE Bastion. Frank Vizetelly (National Geographic)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

November 22-24, 1862: Joint Army-Navy Expedition in Virginia

NOVEMBER 22-24, 1862:  Joint Army-Navy expedition to the vicinity of Matthews Court House, Virginia, under Lt. Farquhar and Acting Master's Mate Nathan W. Black of the USS Mahaska destroyed numerous salt works together with hundreds of bushels of salt, burned three schooners and numerous small boats, and captured 24 large canoes.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Jacob Zeilen, USMC-- Part 3: Commandant

Jacob Zeilen was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in 1867, becoming the Marine Corps' first general officer.

During his time as commandant, Zeilen defended the Corps from its many critics.

In 1868, he approved the design of the "Eagle, Globe and Anchor" of the USMC emblem.

He retired from the Corps on November 1, 1876 after 45 years of service to "Semper Fi."

Death came November 18, 1880, in Washington, D.C., and he was buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, November 20, 2017

Jacob Zeilen, USMC-- Part 2: Civil War Service

Jacob Zeilen was stationed at Norfolk and later commanded the Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. and then served aboard the USS Wabash.

In the early part of the Civil War, he commanded the Marine Barracks at Philadelphia and Washington, D.C..  On July 21, 1861, he commanded the Marine detachment at the First Battle of Bull Run and was slightly wounded.

In 1863, he was given command of the battalion of Marines with the mission to capture Charleston, S.C., but had to return to Washington because of sickness.  Then it was garrison duty at the Marine Barracks at Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Then back to sea with the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron and then back to Portsmouth.

On June 10, 1864, he was promoted to the rank of colonel and became the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

--Old B-Runner

Friday, November 17, 2017

Jacob Zeilen, USMC Commandant-- Part 1: Long Career

From Wikipedia.

In yesterday's post on The USMC after the Civil War, I mentioned its Commandant Jacob Zeilen.  I had never heard of him, so more research was necessary.

July 16, 1806-November 18, 1880.  (He died on tomorrow's date.)

Jacob Zeilen was the Marine Corps' first non-brevet brigadier general and 7th Commandant from 1864-1876.  he attended the USMA at West Point from 1822-1825 but dropped out due to low grades.

He was commissioned 2nd lieutenant in the Marines on October 1, 1831, and served ashore and on the USS Erie, USS Columbus and USS Congress.  During the Mexican War he commanded the Marine Detachment on the Congress and was brevetted to major for gallantry at San Gabriel River, Los Angeles and the Battle of La Mesa.

After the war, he was stationed at Norfolk and New York and accompanied Commodore Matthew C. Perry on the famous opening of Japan expedition.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

November 16, 1862: Stopping Contraband in Maryland

NOVEMBER 16, 1862:  The USS T.A. Ward, Acting Master William L. Babcock, captured the sloop G.W.Green and an unnamed seine boat at St. Jerome's Creek, Maryland, attempting to cross to the Virginia shore with contraband.

--Old B-Runner

U.S. Marine Corps After the War-- Part 2: "Marine Corps Hymn" and Enblem

For the remainder of the 19th century, there was some confusion as to the Corps' mission.  The Navy's transformation from sail to steam power brought forth the question of whether Marines were actually needed aboard warships.

Even so, the Marines continually saw service intervening in foreign countries and protecting American interests.overseas.

Marines took part in 28 separate interventions in the thirty years after the Civil War.

Under Commandant Jacob Zeilen, Marine customs and traditions took shape and the Marine Corps emblem was adopted 19 November 1868.  Also, the "Marine Corps Hymn."

Around 1883, the current motto "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful) was adopted.

--Old B-Runner

Tar River, N.C.-- Part 2: Union Prisoners Discover Why the River Is Called That

In June, three months later, 400 Union prisoners of war were sent from Salisbury, N.C., to Washington, N.C., to be exchanged for Confederate prisoners.  Arriving at the Tar River, they asked for and received permission to bathe their stench off in the water.  Heavily guarded, they stripped and went into the water where the Confederates had dumped the barrels earlier.

They stirred up the river bottom so much that they were soon covered with tar smeared all over their bodies.  They came out and got ahold of sticks to remove the sticky mess.

One Confederate yelled derisively at them, "Hello boys, what's the matter?"

A disgruntled Yankee replied,"We have heard of a Tar River all our lives but never believed that there really was any such place, but damned if  he we haven't found it.  The whole bed is tar!!"

A Pretty Good Story.  --Old Sectar

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tar River, N.C.-- Part 1: Washington, N.C., Evacuated

From Wikipedia.

The towns of Louisburg, Rocky Mount, Tarboro, Greenville and Washington, North Carolina are located on it.

When the Confederates prepared to evacuate Washington in March 1862  squads of soldiers were sent up and down the Tar River to destroy all cotton and naval stores.  At Tafts store they found 1,000 barrels of turpentine and tar.

This was too large to burn for fear of setting nearby buildings on fire.  So the barrels were rolled into the river where the hoops were cut and the contents dumped into the water.

--Old B-Runner

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Yankee Hall on the Tar River in N.C.

The Union force stopped at Yankee Hall on its way back from capturing Greenville, N.C..

Yankee Hall is a plantation by the Tar River built in the late 1700s.  Today it hosts wedding and parties.

From History of Yankee Hall by Roger Kammerer.

Also known as Pactolus Landing and Perkins Wharf.  Located on the north side of the Tar River, 10 miles east of Greenville.

Reports from July 1862 had it that the Union gunboat Picket and other artillery launches made a reconnaissance up the Tar River and at Yankee Hall fired a shell into the house that nearly took its roof off.  At the time, four or five Confederates were inside the house with their horses tied up in front.  reportedly they scattered in great confusion.

During the war, it was a rendezvous for Confederate pickets and bore distinct marks of shot and shell endured from Yankee encampments in the yard and patrol boats coming up the river.

A Yankee Hall in North Carolina.  --Old B-R'er

The Capture of Greenville, N.C.-- Part 2: Flag of Truce Disregarded

They encountered Confederate cavalry on a bridge near town, but they fled.  Second Engineer Lay then ordered E.A. McDonald to take the launch and a howitzer and position it so as to guard the bridge.He then landed the rest of his force and marched to Greenville under a flag of truce whereupon the mayor surrendered the town.

Shots were heard from the bridge area and Lay brought his howitzer to bear on it and fired several stands of grape shot in that general direction.  One Union man was killed.  Since his flag of truce had been disregarded, he ordered McDonald to destroy the bridge.

They Union force took ten prisoners and returned to the steamer North State and reached Yankee Hall on the Tar River at 10 p.m. where they remained for the night, making preparations for defense and an anticipated Confederate attack further downriver at Boyd's Ferry.

Lay also made a report on the Tar River and said that ships drawing 5 or 6 feet of water could ascend the river as far as Yankee Hall, nine miles above Washington, N.C..  He also made careful observations of the banks of the Tar River.

--Old B-Runner

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Capture of Greenville, N.C.-- Part 1: Joint Army-Navy Expedition

From the Official Records Navy.

Report of Second Assistant Engineer John L. lay, USN on the surrender of Greenville, North Carolina.  he was ordered to go to Greenville by the commander of the USS Louisiana, Acting Lt. R.T. Renshaw.

He had with him the steamer North State which had a 24-pdr. howitzer manned by six men from the Marine artillery, a launch with one 12-pdr. howitzer and 17 men from the steamer Chasseur, a flatboat and 17 men of the 1st N.C. Regiment commanded by Lt. John B. McLane and 14 men from the USS Louisiana under E.A. McDonald, gunner.

They left Washington on Nov. 8 and arrived at a dock one mile from Greenville on the 9th at 9 a.m. and couldn't take the steamer further because of the shallowness of the Tar River.  The men and guns were transferred to the flatboat and launch.

--Old B-Runner

Saturday, November 11, 2017

National Cemeteries in Illinois: Veterans Day 2017

From the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Here is a list of National cemeteries in Illinois.  Anyone of these would be a good place to visit today or any day to pay your respects to those who fought, died or risked their lives in defense of your freedom.

Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery--  Elwood  (on Route 66)

Alton National Cemetery

Camp Butler National Cemetery--  Springfield

Danville National Cemetery

Mound City National Cemetery

Quincy National Cemetery

Rock Island National Cemetery

And here are three cemeteries administered by the Veterans Affairs:

Confederate Mound, Oakwood Cemetery, Chicago

North Alton Confederate Cemetery

Rock Island Confederate Cemetery

There are also Confederate soldiers buried at Camp Butler

That's right, Confederate soldiers ARE AMERICAN SOLDIERS!!

Something to Think About the Next Time You Desecrate a Confederate Cemetery or Statue.  --Old B-Runner

Friday, November 10, 2017

USMC After the Civil War to 1900-- Part 1: "Marine Corps Hymn" and Emblem

From Wikipedia.

After the Civil War, the USMC declined in strength and there came to be some confusion as to its mission.

The Navy's transition from sail to steam even brought forth the question of whether the Marines were even needed on ships.

The Marines continued to intervene and protect American interests overseas.  In the years after the Civil War until 1900, the Marine Corps was involved in 28 different interventions.

Under Commandant Jacob Zeilin, Marine customs and traditions took shape and the Marine Corps emblem was adopted 19 November 1868.  The "Marine Corps Hymn" was first heard around this time and in 1883, the current motto "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful) was adopted.

--Old B-Runner

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Greenville, N.C. in the Civil War-- Part 2: Confederate Service

From the North Carolina Civil War Monuments.

Greenville has a Confederate Soldiers Monument at the Pitt County Courthouse at 100 W. Third Street.  It was dedicated November 13, 1914.

How long certain people will allow it to remain is to be seen.

The Genealogy Site.

Men from Pitt County served in the 8th N.C. Infantry, 17th NC (Co. C) and 2nd Regiment, N.C. junior reserves (Co. H)

There was also a Battle at Tranter's Creek fought nearby on June 5, 1862 with about 40 casualties on both sides.

--Old B-Runner

Greenville, N.C., in the Civil War-- Part 1: Raided Several Times

From the VisitGreenville site.

During the Civil War, Greenville's location on the Tar River made it a target for both Confederate and Union forces.  It was overrun and raided by Union forces several times and several skirmishes occurred in and around it.

The town was surrounded by earthworks and had several Confederate hospitals run by female citizens.

--Old B-R'er