Archive Patriotic Instructor Reports
By Bro. Patriotic Instructor Arthur F. Young Jr.: Year 2012
January 2012 Patriotic Instruction: By Bro. Art Young, PI
Some of this may be well know to members but in any event there were two major matters relating to the Civil War that were started or declared in January which is the first of my reports as your Patriotic Instructor.
On January 1st 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that all of the slaves within the borders of the States at war with the General Government were set free. By his action, over three million slaves gained their freedom.
On January 29th 1850, Henry Clay, was the author of a major compromise between the free states and the slave states in the 31st Congress. Clay proposed a bill on 1/29/1850 which would accomplish several goals of each side, none of which could pass independently.
The provisions were:
1) California would be admitted to the Union as a free state. This would upset the equilibrium between the free
and slave states in the Senate.
2) New Mexico and Utah would be organized as territories, without reference to slavery. The free states generally hoped to keep slavery out of the territories, but the slave states recognized the need for extension of slavery into potential new states.
This provision was consistent with Clay's earlier Missouri Compromise of 1820.
3) The boundary of Texas would be altered. The state would be reduced in size,
and in return the USA would assume the former Lone Star State's debt.
4) The slave trade was banned in the District of Columbia, but slavery there would not be banned.
This bill soothed northern congressmen who were appalled by slave auctions in DC.
5) A new Fugitive Slave Act was passed. This act greatly strengthened the old law through the appointment of federal marshals to streamline the process of returning captured slaves.
After weeks of debate, the omnibus bill was divided into smaller bills and all passed. The first shots in our Civil War were fired in Charleston South Carolina by its Citadel cadets upon a civilian ship, Star of The West,
bringing suppliers to the Federal garrison at Fort Sumter. South Carolina was the 1st of the eleven Southern States to seceded,
which it did on 20 December 1860.
February 2012 Patriotic Instruction: By Bro. Art Young, PI
There were several items from January 1861 that I did not have room for in my last report. I think these points involving the secessionist states will be of interest. The Federal Government was preoccupied at that time with the threats against both Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter in South Carolina, as well as other fortifications along the southeastern coast line including a little known Third System Fort named Pulaski. Fort Pulaski sat at the mouth of the Savannah River and was an important element in the defense of Savannah and her shipping lanes. On 3 January 1861, and before it could be reinforced, Captain Francis Bartow and his regiment of Georgia militia, boarded the steamship Ida while on a regularly scheduled trip to the Fort, and seized it from a Government contractor and a sole Federal soldier,
who was an Ordinance Officer.
At the Georgia State Secession Convention held in mid-January, Bartow was chosen to represent Georgia in the Confederate Provisional Congress and he was selected Chairman of the Military Committee. He thereafter selected the color and style of the initial Confederate gray uniform. Bartow was a colonel in the First Battle of Manassas and was the first Brigade Commander
in the Confederate Army to die in combat.
The “Third System Forts”, were American Forts that once extended from Maine to the Florida Keys and the Great Lakes and San Francisco Bay. They started out as palisades made of wood and dirt, they progress to installations built with millions of bricks and finally to poured concrete and steel.
Below is a sample picture of the Third System Forts the construction of which was a series of fortifications started in 1794
by President George Washington to protect American ports and waterways.
This is a seaward view of Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, guarding the east entrance to Pensacola Harbor. This is the only fort in that area that the Union defended in the Civil War since it controlled the approaches to the harbor; it bottled up the Confederate forces. At the Battle of Santa Rosa Island on October 9 1861, Fort Pickens fought off over a thousand Confederate attackers and the Union conducted amphibious raids and bombardments from Fort Pickens during the Pensacola Campaign of 1861-1862.
March 2012 Patriotic Instruction: By Bro. Art Young, PI
Since tomorrow, March 4th is the date of President Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration,
I though a few of his words of wisdom might be in order from Abraham Lincoln's First Inauguration address:
“I am loth (sic) to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
President James Buchanan had picked up President elect Lincoln at the Willard Hotel in a horse drawn carriage, bound for the Capital, wherein the Senate Chamber, Chief Justice Roger Taney, administered the presidential oath of office
and thereby swearing in Abraham Lincoln as our sixteenth president.
Under the watchful eye of riflemen, Lincoln appealed for the preservation of the Union that was being threatened by the recent secession of seven Southern States that were opposed to Lincoln’s policy against the expansion of slavery. Attempting to retain his support in the North without further alienating the South, Lincoln called for compromise, promising he would not initiate force to maintain the Union or interfere with slavery in the states in which it existed. He did however vow to retain federal property. One month later, his refusal to surrender or evacuate Fort Sumter in South Carolina prompted the Confederates to launch the first attack of the Civil War.
In the meantime the Confederate Convention in Montgomery adopted the “Stars and Bars” as their nation’s flag. At the same time they passed the “Coinage Bill”, which authorized up to 50 million dollars in Confederate currency be printed. [not sure how anyone could determine the real value of any of those Confederate dollars, but it really was not much different from what our Federal Government is doing today, hope the people in China don’t start to think about values or start to cash the billions in United States Bonds their government owns].
Also in March, the Confederate Congress created their own Marine Corps.
It never had more than 600 members, and its records were destroyed on purpose near the end of the war.
I hope that some of this is of interest and best wishes to all.
April 2012 Patriotic Instruction: By Bro. Art Young, PI
April 12 1861 marks the day history books state that our Civil War conflict began when Confederate batteries fired on Fort Sumter. When the War began our Navy found itself woefully short of warships. Because of this shortage the Revenue Cutter “Harriet Lane” was placed under naval orders to relieve the garrison of Fort Sumter, with two other Union ships,
the US steamship Baltic and the USS Pawnee. Below is a reproduction copy of the Harriet Lane.
Unfortunately, when the three Union ships arrived off Fort Sumter, the War had begun and they were not able to relieve the Fort. However during this standoff the “Harriet Lane” fired the first naval shot of the War when the steamer Nashville tried to run into Charlestown Harbor without displaying our National Flag.
The Harriet Lane’s shot resulted in a very quick hoisting of our National Flag. While this first shot did not have great meaning as to the War itself, we must remember the major part our Union Navy played in blockading the Southern ports and preventing foreign governments, friendly to the Confederate cause from providing supplies and other relief, which if allowed would have greatly extended the War.
May 2012 Patriotic Instruction: By Bro. Art Young, PI
We sing the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” in our Camp opening ceremonies and this song that came out of our country’s Civil War
is only one of many that played a major role in the development of American music.
During the Civil War as soldiers from across the country comingled, the stands of American music began to cross-fertilize each other.
The songs that arose from this fusion were the first American folk music with features that could be considered unique to America.
The war was the impetus for the creation of many songs that became and then remained popular. In addition to these popular songs with their patriot flavor, the Civil War era also produced a great number of “brass band” pieces, from both the North as well as the South,
as well as other military musical traditions like the bugle call “Taps”.
The first song written for the war was “The First Gun is Fired”. It was first published and distributed three days after the Battle of Fort Sumter by George Root who is said to have produced the most songs of anyone about the war, over thirty in total. President Lincoln wrote Root a letter, saying “you have done more for the moral of our solders than a hundred generals or a thousand orators”.
In the Confederate States, “God Save the South” was the official national anthem, however “Dixie”, written in1861, was the most popular song in the South. President Lincoln liked “Dixie”, and was said to have stated that as we captured the rebel army we also captured the rebel tune. At a rally on 9 April 1865 President Lincoln requested the band director to play “Dixie”,
stating that it was now Federal property and good to show the rebels that with us in power, they will still be free to hear it again.
The United States did not have a national anthem at this time as the “Star Spangled Banner” was not recognized as such until the twentieth century. Union soldiers frequently sang the “Battle Cry of Freedom”,
and the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was considered the north’s most popular song.
June 2012 Patriotic Instruction: By Bro. Art Young, PI
Today’s report is intended to provide some history and perhaps a little easy to believe fiction of a legend that surrounds the story of “Taps”.
In some reports it all began in 1862, at dusk, with Union Army Captain Robert Elli near Harrison’s Landing in VA and with the Confederate Army on the other side of a narrow strip of land. Captain Elli heard the moans of a severely wounded soldier and decided to risk his life and bring the stricken man back for medical attention – crawling on his stomach through gunfire he pulled the soldier back to his encampment and discovered it was a Confederate soldier who was now dead – In the dim light he then saw that the dead soldier was in fact his own son who had been studying music in the South when the War broke out,
who without telling his father had enlisted in the Confederate Army.
The following morning the Captain asked permission of his superiors to give his son a full military burial despite his enemy status.
His request was turned down, except he was allowed one musician and chose a bugler. He asked the bugler to play a series of notes he had found in a pocket of his dead son’s uniform. This wish was granted and the melody “Taps”, used at all military funerals today was born.
“Day is done – Gone the sun – From the lakes – From the hills – From the sky – All is well – Safely rest – God is nigh – Fading light – Dims the sight – And a star – Gems the sky – Gleaming bright – From afar – Drawing nigh – Falls the night –
Thanks and praise – For our days – Neath the sun – Neath the stars – Neath the sky – As we go – This we know – God is nigh”.
However, while the above words are the true words used today, this story like many others of the Civil War, does not have any factual historical support according to most authoritative military historians. They prefer that “Taps” was sounded at a burial for the first time in July 1862, during the Peninsular Campaign. A soldier of Tidball’s A Battery of the 2nd Artillery, was buried while the Battery was very near to their opponents, and the traditional firing of three volley’s of gunshot was out of the question. Instead “Taps” was sounded as a substitute. The bugle call then known as “Extinguish Lights, or Lights Out, was used widely during the Civil War
and thus to hear the familiar refrain would not have aroused the suspicion of a nearby enemy.
Then we have the suggestion that General Butterfield, Third Brigade, First Division, Fifth Army Corps of the Army of the Potomac, created the call by revising an earlier call know as “Tattoo”. This comes from a letter he wrote on 31 Aug. 1898, “to precede any call,
indicating that such were calls or orders, for my brigade alone”.
We really have no way today to prove any of these stories and I leave it to you to decide for yourself in favor of the story of the Captain, the Artillery, or the General. I believe that the Captains story is closer to the words of this music. Peace to all.
July 2012 Patriotic Instruction: By Bro. Art Young, PI
Since we do not meet in July, I thought that a PI report on our web site might be in order, and so have chosen a July 1862 report from our Civil War Navel History for your review to show how important our Navy was in preserving our Union.
Civil War Naval History - July 1862
The Western Flotilla of Flag Officer Davis joined the fleet of Flag Officer Farragut above Vicks-burg. Farragut wrote:
"The iron-clads are curious looking things to us salt-water gentlemen; but no doubt they are better calculated for this river than our ships. . . . They look like great turtles.
President Lincoln recommended to the Congress that Flag Officer Foote be given a vote of thanks for his efforts on the western waters.
The President knew well the import of the defeats dealt the Confederacy by the gunboats on the upper Mississippi.
He recognized that Foote's forces had cleared the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers,
and had succeeded in splitting the Confederacy as far as Vicksburg on the Father of Waters.
Flag Officer L. M. Goldsborough's fleet covered the withdrawal of General McClellan's army after a furious battle with Confederate forces under General Robert E. Lee at Malvern Hill. Dependent on the Navy for his movement to Harrison's Landing, chosen by McClellan at Com-modore J. Rodgers recommendation because it was so situated that gunboats could protect both flanks of his army,
the General acknowledged the decisive role played by the Navy in enabling his troops to withdraw with a minimum loss:
"Commodore Rodgers placed his gunboats so as to protect our flanks and to command the approaches from Richmond . . .
During the whole battle Commodore Rodgers added greatly to the discomfiture of the enemy by throwing shell among his reserve and advancing columns.'' The Washington National Intelligencer of 7 July described the gunboats' part in the action at Malvern Hill:
"About five o'clock in the after-noon the gunboats Galena, Aroostook, and Jacob Bell opened from Turkey Island Bend, in the James River, with shot and shell from their immense guns. The previous roar of field artillery seemed as faint as the rattle of musketry in comparison with these monsters of ordnance that literally shook the water and strained the air. . . .
They fired about three times a minute, frequently a broadside at a time, and the immense hull of the Galena careened as she delivered her complement of iron and flame. The fire went on . . . making music to the ears of our tired men. . . . Confederate] ranks seemed slow to close up when the naval thunder had torn them apart. . . During the engagement at White Oak Swamp, too, the Intelligencer reported,
the gunboats "are entitled to the most unbounded credit. They came into action just at the right time, and did first rate service.''
The Navy continued to safeguard the supply line until the Army of the Potomac was evacuated to northern Virginia in August,
bringing to a close the unsuccessful Peninsular Campaign.
In closing, I wish peace to all and best wishes for a great summer.
August 2012 Patriotic Instruction: By Bro. Art Young, PI
For my August report I thought this story that I found in the National Parks file might be of interest as gives in simple words the feelings of the country and the status of the newly enlisted soldiers at the beginning of our Civil War conflict.
The First Battle Of Bull Run.
“Cheers rang out in the streets of Washington on July 16, 1861 as Gen. Irvin McDowell’s army, 35,000 strong, marched out to begin the long-awaited campaign to capture Richmond and end the war. It was an army of green recruits, few of whom had the faintest idea of the magnitude of the task facing them. But their swaggering gait showed that none doubted the outcome. As excitement spread, many citizens and congressman with wine and picnic baskets followed the army into the field to watch what all expected would be a colorful show.
These troops were 90-day volunteers summoned by President Abraham Lincoln after the startling news of Fort Sumter burst over the nation in April 1861. Called from shops and farms, they had little knowledge of what war would mean. The first day’s march covered only five miles, as many straggled to pick blackberries or fill canteens.
McDowell’s lumbering columns were headed for the vital railroad junction at Manassas. Here the Orange and Alexandria Railroad met the Manassas Gap Railroad, which led west to the Shenandoah Valley. If McDowell could seize this junction, he would stand astride the best overland approach to the Confederate capital.. On the morning of July 21, McDowell sent his attack columns in a long march north towards Sudley Springs Ford. This route took the Federals around the Confederate left. To distract the Southerners, McDowell ordered a diversionary attack where the Warrenton Turnpike crossed Bull Run at the Stone Bridge. At 5:30a.m. the deep-throated roar of a 30-pounder Parrott rifle shattered the morning calm, and signaled the start of the battle.
Soon brigades under Barnard Bee and Francis Bartow marched to Evans’ assistance. But even with these reinforcements, the thin gray line collapsed and Southerners fled in disorder toward Henry Hill. Attempting to rally his men, Bee used Gen. Thomas J. Jackson’s newly arrived brigade as an anchor. Pointing to Jackson, Bee shouted, “There stands Jackson like a stone wall! Rally behind the Virginians!” Generals Johnston and Beauregard then arrived on Henry Hill, where they assisted in rallying shattered brigades and redeploying fresh units that were marching to the point of danger.
About noon, the Federals stopped their advance to reorganize for a new attack. The lull lasted for about an hour, giving the Confederates enough time to reform their lines. Then the fighting resumed, each side trying to force the other off Henry Hill. The battle continued until just after 4p.m., when fresh Southern units crashed into the Union right flank on Chinn Ridge, causing McDowell’s tired and discouraged soldiers to withdraw. At first the withdrawal was orderly. Screened by the regulars, the three-month volunteers retired across Bull Run, where they found the road to Washington jammed with the carriages of congressmen and others who had driven out to Centreville to watch the fight. Panic now seized many of the soldiers and the retreat became a rout. The Confederates, though bolstered by the arrival of President Jefferson Davis on the field just as the battle was ending, were too disorganized to follow up on their success. Daybreak on July 22 found the defeated Union army back behind the bristling defenses of Washington.”
Have a great summer All - Art
September 2012 Patriotic Instruction: By Bro. Art Young, PI
It seems to have been a very long summer, broken up in part by the Olympic Games in London England at which our country scored the highest number of Olympic medals for any country in the history of the Olympic Games. ----- Speaking of medals. I though for this month you might find an interest in Civil War medals that date from our Civil War. The below story tells it better than I ever could:
“The Medal of Honor was first awarded in the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill containing a provision for the medal for the Navy on December 21, 1861. It was "to be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen, landsmen, and Marines as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry and other seamanlike qualities during the present war." Legislation to include the Army was signed into law on July 12, 1862.
While the Medal of Honor is now the highest military decoration attainable by a member of the United States armed forces, during the Civil War, it was the only one. Thus, it was often awarded for reasons that would not now satisfy the stringent modern criteria. For example, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton promised a Medal of Honor to every man in the 27th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment who extended his enlistment. 311 accepted, but because there was no official list of their names, the War Department issued 864 - one for each man in the unit. In 1916, a board consisting of five retired generals reviewed Army awards and recommended that these 864, as well as others, be revoked.
Of the 3,464 Medals of Honor awarded to date, 1522 were awarded during the American Civil War, mostly to white soldiers. The first Medal of Honors were given to many of the participants of the Andrews' Raid, some posthumously. Andrews himself was a civilian and thus ineligible at the time. Mary Edwards Walker, a surgeon, became the only woman (and one of only eight civilians) awarded a Medal of Honor; however, it was later revoked, and then reinstated. Twenty-five were awarded to African Americans, including seven sailors of the Union Navy, fifteen soldiers of the United States Colored Troops, and three soldiers of other Army units. It was common for Civil War Medals of Honor to be awarded decades after the conflict ended and in one case, Andrew Jackson Smith's Medal was not awarded until 2001, 137 years after the action in which he earned it. Smith's wait, caused by a missing battle report,
is the longest delay of the award for any recipient.”.]
I hope this was of as much interest to all of you as it was to me, as I had no real knowledge before
I found this story of the creation of the highest award our country offers veterans for their acts of bravery over and above their line of duty.
Best wishes to all -- Art
October 2012 Patriotic Instruction: By Bro. Art Young, PI
Good Morning all. I decided for today’s report to provide you with the results of a relatively minor campaign
that took place in Virginia, mostly in OCT. 1863.
The Bristoe Campaign was a little known series of battles that are unreported in todays Americian history school books, as are most ,
if not all of our Union and Confederate Generals that fought in our Civil War.
The Battle of Bristoe Station, 14 Oct 1863, Union forces under Maj. Gen. G. K. Warren,
Confederates under Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill; Warren surprised the Confederate attack on his rearguard resulting in a Union victory.
About the same time Maj. Gen. G.G. Meade commanding the Union Army of the Potomac
began a maneuver to defeat Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.
Lee countered with a turning movement which caused Meade to withdraw his forces back to Centerville.
On 15 Oct. Lee struck at Bristoe Station but suffered large losses in two brigades and withdrew
– Meade followed south again and smashed the Confederate bridgehead at Rappahannock Station,
and drove Lee back across the Rapidan River.
At the same time of these infantry battles, the cavalry forces of both armies fought at Auburn on both 13 and 14 Oct.
and at Buckland Mills on 19 Oct.
While it cannot be said that these battles were in any way decisive as to the outcome of the war,
Gen. Lee and his officers were disgusted with their lack of success in not brining on a major battle
that could prevent Federal reinforcement of the Western Theater.
I will ends today’s report by asking you all to ask your school age children or grandchildren
if they have ever heard in school the names of Generals , Warren, Meade, Hill, or in fact even General Robert E. Lee.
Best to all --- Art
November 2012 Patriotic Instruction: By Bro. Art Young, PI
The last days of Oct. 2012 may forever more be remembered as they related to the most serious and costly storm to ever hit the Eastern States of our country from Fla. to Maine, landing in N.J. and perhaps going inland as far West as our Great Lakes.
Millions of our fellow countrymen without power for days and perhaps weeks before the power companies can restore electric service and billions of dollars of damage to business and personal property. In any event in Nov. 1863 the damage to our country was reflected in the ever increasing losses caused by our Civil War. On April 27,1863 Union General Hooker
crossed the Rappahannock River to attack General Lee's forces.
Lee split his army, attacking a surprised Union army in three places and almost completely defeating them.
Hooker withdrew across the Rappahannock River, giving the South a victory,
but it was the Confederates' most costly victory in terms of casualties.
In May 1863, Union General Grant won several victories around Vicksburg, Mississippi, the fortified city considered essential to the Union's plans to regain control of the Mississippi River. On May 22, Grant began a siege of the city. After six weeks,
Confederate General John Pemberton surrendered, giving up the city and 30,000 men.
The capture of Port Hudson, Louisiana, shortly thereafter placed the entire Mississippi River in Union hands.
Six officers of the 17th New York Battery
In Jun. 1863, Confederate General Lee decided to take the war to the enemy. On June 13, he defeated Union forces at Winchester, Virginia, and continued north to Pennsylvania. General Hooker, who had been planning to attack Richmond, was instead forced to follow Lee. On July 1, a chance encounter between Union and Confederate forces began the Battle of Gettysburg.
In the fighting that followed, Meade had greater numbers and better defensive positions. He won the battle, but failed to follow Lee as he retreated back to Virginia. Militarily, the Battle of Gettysburg was the high-water mark of the Confederacy; it is also significant because it ended Confederate hopes of formal recognition by foreign governments. On November 19, President Lincoln dedicated a portion of the Gettysburg battlefield as a national cemetery, and delivered his memorable "Gettysburg Address." On September 19, Union and Confederate forces met on the Tennessee-Georgia border, near Chickamauga Creek.
On November 23-25, Union forces pushed Confederate troops away from Chattanooga.
The victory set the stage for General Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. September 19-20, 1863,
Confederate General Braxton Bragg's army occupied the mountains that ring the vital railroad center of Chattanooga
and on November 23- 25 burst the blockade in a series of brilliantly executed attacks. Chattanooga was the base for Sherman's Atlanta campaign, at Lookout Mountain, stormed by Hooker. The siege of Knoxville, Nov. –Dec. 1863 after Chickamauga enabled Bragg
to detach a force under Longstreet to drive Burnside out of eastern Tennessee. Burnside sought refuge in Knoxville,
which he successfully defended from Confederate assaults.
-Best To All Art
December 2012 Patriotic Instruction: By Bro. Art Young, PI
As we come to the close of my term as the Camp P.I., I just hope the rest of the Camp has gained some additional knowledge of our Civil War. From my own view, I think that in doing some of the research for these monthly reports,
that I have learned much more about our great war than I ever remember learning about in our public education system.
Not-with-standing that, in the United States today, December beckons what we call the “Holiday Season”.
In some respects the years have not changed that much as it is still the time for families and friends to break bread together,
share in the joy of each other, and to celebrate your lives and beliefs as you may in America, no matter what those beliefs may be.
In 1864, President Lincoln got an early Christmas present. Union General Sherman on 22 December,
presented the city of Savannah Georgia to the President, which he had captured in his famous march to the sea from Atlanta.
Savannah was the last major seaport that had remained open to the Confederates.
General Sherman had captured Atlanta in late September and then headed South and East across Georgia.
Along the way his troops destroyed everything in their path with the intent to wreck the morale of the South
and hopefully bring the war to a swift end. For nearly six weeks after the fall of Atlanta little was heard from Sherman’s army
until they neared Savannah, leaving a trail of almost complete destruction behind them.
Savannah fell quickly to Sherman who then sent one of his officers on a Union warship to Washington D.C.
with the following message for the President: “I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah,
with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, also about 25,000 bales of cotton”.
Sherman’s March had, as he intended, very much created the beginning of the end for the South, as it was only about five months later that the War came to a close on 2 April 1865 , after four long years and at the cost of just over 620,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.
Best wishes to all and hopefully a most Merry Christmas to you and your families - Art-
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Col. George L. Willard Camp #154 Albany,NY SUVCW
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