Civil War Profiles

Civil War Profiles – From hatred and malice do wars begin!

Recent protests against the national anthem, burning the American flag, banning the flag on college campuses and attempts to depress freedom of speech are eerily reminiscent of events prior to outbreak of hostilities between the states in the mid...

Thursday, December 22, 2016 - 7:10am

Civil War Profiles – Centenarian General Bisbee: A national hero

The Arlington National Cemetery website identifies William Henry Bisbee as “Brigadier General, United States Army.” Born in Woonsocket, R.I., in 1840, he followed his trade in retail merchandizing to Philadelphia, Delaware and Ohio while the...

Thursday, December 15, 2016 - 8:07am

Civil War Profiles – Ballooning: ‘Would you like to ride…’

The Union Army of the Potomac had high hopes, so to speak, for a new technology that became available shortly after hostilities between the states erupted in April 1861. As the Northerners faced Confederate troops across the Rappahannock River in...

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 7:52am

Civil War Profiles – Delawareans who served with distinction

Delaware’s participation in the Civil War has received limited coverage in the annals of history in comparison with other states. Yet, the First State’s sons and daughters played important roles in the outcome of the four-year-long national...

Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 6:50am

Civil War Profiles – A day set aside to thank the Almighty

After two and a half years of sectional conflict, President Abraham Lincoln believed it prudent to “give thanks for the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.”


On Oct. 3, 1863, the president instructed Secretary of State...

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 - 3:55am

Civil War Profiles – A fateful ‘change’ election in 1860

On the morning of Nov. 9, 2016, millions of people awoke to the news that a man without previous governmental experience, Donald John Trump, was the president-elect of the United States. The ballots counted late into the night determined this...

Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 8:04am

Civil War Profiles - Awaiting election results with trepidation

As Election Day, Nov. 6, loomed ahead, the mood throughout the country in 1860 was one of nervous tension. Despite the fear that a number of Southern states were preparing to secede from the Union if Abraham Lincoln became president, torch-light...

Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 9:15am

Civil War Profiles – Presidential election turmoil

Hostility was at a fever pitch as the presidential election drew near. Irreparable disagreement among candidates in one of the principal political parties tore it asunder. As a result, four candidates running under separate banners contended for...

Friday, October 28, 2016 - 6:07am

Civil War Profiles – Georgetown’s Brick Hotel in Civil War Days

In January 1791, the Delaware General Assembly passed an act authorizing the Sussex County seat of government moved from Lewes to a more centrally located area. George Mitchell and several others received a commission to acquire land to construct...

Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 9:59am

Civil War Profiles – Novels shape our understanding of the Civil War

Instructors at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., led students on a “staff ride” at Gettysburg battlefield to expose them to the strategy, tactics and rigors of warfare. Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about Gettysburg, “The...

Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 10:24am

Civil War Profiles – Protecting the flag was the primary mission

The most precarious role on the battlefield is serving as a member of the color guard. The standard-bearer leads the unit into battle and absorbs the brunt of enemy gunfire.


During the Civil War, it was not uncommon for a half-...

Thursday, September 1, 2016 - 9:01am

Civil War Profiles – Spies, counterspies and Ginnie the quilter

Stories about espionage during the Civil War abound. Documentation, however, is often wanting, while legends of what occurred survive through the generations.


One such tale involves sisters Ginnie and Lottie Moon, natives of Ohio...

Thursday, August 25, 2016 - 9:35am

Civil War Profiles: Reverse Underground Railroad — Texas style

Unlike in the United States, slavery was banned in Mexico in the 19th century. As a result, Mexico became a haven for the enslaved in this country.


The so-called “Underground Railroad” flourished in the upper-South states, such as...

Friday, August 19, 2016 - 8:46am

Civil War Profiles: A confiscated gray mare finds her way home

In the category of “truth is stranger than fiction,” Jeanne Golibart Rogers, who lives in the local community of Bethany West, tells the story of her great grandfather Thomas Randolph Jarboe during the 19th century. Jarboe owned a farm known as “...

Thursday, August 11, 2016 - 9:10am

Civil War Profiles: When love blooms with an enemy soldier

Stories reminiscent of the classic film “Gone with the Wind” were not uncommon during the Civil War. When occupation forces interacted with the local population, both positive and negative relationships developed.


One real-life...

Thursday, August 4, 2016 - 9:36am

Civil War Profiles: The leading ladies of the Civil War were Southern women

Mary Custis of Virginia, Julia Dent of Missouri, Mary Todd of Kentucky and Varina Howell of Mississippi were raised according to traditional Southern custom. These women formed partnerships with men who became the presidents and military...

Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 10:20am

Civil War Profiles — Fort Delaware: A hidden treasure

Ask a friend or neighbor if they have ever been to Fort Delaware, and you will likely receive a blank stare. Surprisingly, this delightful place to visit for children of all ages remains largely undiscovered.


Located on a small...

Thursday, July 14, 2016 - 10:44am

Civil War Profiles – Lee’s escape and Meade’s pursuit after Gettysburg

“I have every reason to believe the enemy is retreating, very much crippled, and hampered with his [wagon] trains.” With these words on July 6, 1863, as recorded in the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, Maj. Gen. George G. Meade...

Thursday, July 7, 2016 - 7:40am

Civil War Profiles – Delawarean’s contribution to Union victory at Gettysburg

A series of untimely and dramatic events brought George Sykes to the forefront during the Gettysburg campaign in June and July 1863.


Following the resignation of Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker as commander of the Union Army of the Potomac...

Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 8:55am

Civil War Profiles: If you are planning a trip to Gettysburg…

It is often said that, once you go to the Gettysburg National Military Park in south central Pennsylvania, you are likely to return again and again. The bloodiest battle of the Civil War took place there, and the battlefield radiates an aura that...

Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 7:20am

Civil War Profiles: Texas brigade scout/spy escapes from Fort Delaware

Mike Read’s great-great-grandfather, John J. Haggerty, was a Texan who served under Maj. Gen. John Bell Hood in the famed Texas brigade during the Civil War. A resident of the Salt Pond community in Bethany Beach, Read learned that his ancestor...

Thursday, June 16, 2016 - 10:58am

Civil War Profiles – ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘Back with the Tide’

In 1936, Margaret Mitchell published her popular version of aristocratic life in the antebellum South that the Civil War essentially shattered, only to be resurrected in a different guise through true grit and determination.


“Gone...

Thursday, May 19, 2016 - 9:40am

Civil War Profiles: Delaware during the Civil War: A Confederate viewpoint

The May 2016 meeting of the Georgetown Historical Society hosted Jeffrey Plummer, commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp #2068, based in Seaford. Plummer updated the audience concerning acknowledgment in Delaware, as well as around...

Thursday, May 12, 2016 - 9:26am

Civil War Profiles: Pioneering airborne reconnaissance during the Civil War

On Monday, June 17, 1861, in Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln observed from a second-floor window of the White House as Thaddeus Lowe ascended in the gondola of the Enterprise from the grounds across the street, along Pennsylvania...

Thursday, May 5, 2016 - 8:45am

Civil War Profiles: Civil War soldiers were not all volunteers

When President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, and Congress passed the Civil War Military Draft Act on March 3, 1863, these combined initiatives caused widespread reaction among opposition groups in the North...

Friday, April 29, 2016 - 5:21am

Civil War Profiles: Winslow Homer sketches the Civil War

Most people would not readily associate the names Alfred Waud, Thomas Nast, Frank Vizetelly, Theodore R. Davis and Alexander Simplot with the Civil War. However, these men played an important role accompanying the armies in the field, employed as...

Friday, April 15, 2016 - 8:37am

Civil War Profiles: George H. Sharpe: A man of intelligence

The Bible tells us that, about 1,300 B.C., Joshua, the successor to Moses, sent spies into Canaan to “view the land” prior to the Israelites’ attack on the city of Jericho (Joshua 2.1). Previously, Joshua had served as a spy for Moses.

“...

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 6:50am

Civil War Profiles: Harriet Tubman: Union spy

A frail, sickly black woman was the most successful conductor of slaves to freedom along the so-called Underground Railroad. This remarkable person not only freed herself from slavery, but also guided her two children and sister, as well as her...

Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 11:59am

Civil War Profiles: John and Kate: A Civil War love story

Valentine’s Day dates back to the Roman Empire, when people observed a holiday on Feb. 14 to honor Juno, the queen of Roman gods and goddesses, and the goddess of women and marriage. The fertility festival known as the Feast of Lupercalia...

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 10:01am

Civil War Profiles: The Battle of Cockle Creek near Chincoteague

The Harlan & Hollingsworth Co. of Wilmington built vessels for the Union navy during the Civil War. It was one of the foremost shipbuilding enterprises in the United States at that time.

Prior to the war in 1860, the firm received a...

Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 9:55am

Civil War Profiles: Sons of Confederate Veterans honors Lee and Jackson

At 3:15 in the afternoon on May 10, 1863, Lt. Gen. Thomas J. Jackson deliriously uttered the phrase, “Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.” “Stonewall” passed away following amputation of his left arm, damaged by...

Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 6:34am

Civil War Profiles: The long post-war road to Civil Rights legislation

“Black codes” was the name given to an attempt in several states to undermine the effects of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution enacted following the Civil War from 1865 to 1870. The amendments guaranteed the freedom,...

Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 10:04am

Civil War Profiles: Sesquicentennial of Christmas 1865

The first peacetime Christmas in four years was joyful in the state of Delaware. The gunfire had ceased, and the troops had come home.

George Alfred Townsend, a young journalist from Georgetown known for his intrepid reporting during the...

Wednesday, December 23, 2015 - 8:08am

Civil War Profiles: A heartfelt discourse on Thanksgiving Day

In gratitude for recent Union victories on the battlefield, President Abraham Lincoln declared a National Day of Thanksgiving to take place on Thursday, Nov. 27, 1862. The president’s proclamation came as the Civil War raged into its second year...

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - 8:10am

Civil War Profiles: A prayer for the Confederate dead at Gettysburg

In 1920, the Episcopal Diocese elected Philip Cook as the fourth Bishop of Delaware at the Immanuel Church in Wilmington. He was the son of John D.S. Cook who served as an officer in 20th New York state militia (also known as the 80th New York...

Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 9:19am

Civil War Profiles: Family pride in a soldier’s daring accomplishments

While investigating his genealogy, Jim Grear of Long Neck discovered that an ancestor, Archibald Rowand Jr., was a Civil War hero. He also learned that Rowand’s record was documented in the literature of this tumultuous period in the nation’s...

Friday, October 23, 2015 - 10:31am

Civil War Profiles: The duPont family’s service during the Civil War

Prominent names from the Civil War era are often associated with particular states: Lincoln and Davis were natives of Kentucky; Lee and Jackson fought under the banner of Virginia; and Grant and Sherman were Ohio-born. The name most often...

Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 7:40am

Civil War Profiles:

Robert McNamara commented in his essay “Why Were Flags So Important in the Civil War?” that these flags marked the position of the regiment on the battlefield. In the noise and smoke of battle, regiments could become scattered, and vocal commands...

Thursday, September 3, 2015 - 10:00am

Civil War Profiles: Yankee woman plus Rebel man equals inevitable friction

The Civil War brought about disruption and dislocation among family and friends in many ways. The outbreak of the conflict in 1861 forced people to declare allegiance to one side or the other. This often led to surprising and, at times, combative...

Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 8:33am

Civil War Profiles: Shipbuilding in Delaware during the Civil War

When Quaker merchants migrated from Philadelphia to Delaware in the early 18th century, they attracted shipwrights and ship carpenters to the fledgling community that evolved into the city of Wilmington. In 1740, William Shipley, Joshua...

Friday, August 21, 2015 - 1:33am

Civil War Profiles: Max Neugas, Fort Delaware’s resident artist

The Fort Delaware Society’s headquarters and library, located on the grounds of Fort DuPont State Park, not far from Delaware City, has a sketch of Pea Patch Island and Fort Delaware hanging on the wall. This detailed drawing is dated 1864.

...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - 7:57pm

Civil War Profiles: Post-war race relations in Delaware

After peace was restored and slavery abolished in the United States in 1865, the desire of Delaware’s African-Americans for a brighter future went mostly unrealized. The Democratic Party’s control over the political process in the First State...

Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 8:35am

Civil War Profiles: Confederate ship threatens Lewes and Fort Delaware

On Nov. 3, 1864, Pvt. Alexander James Hamilton, a member of Independent Battery G, Pittsburgh Heavy Artillery, recorded in his diary that the C.S.S. Tallahassee caused alarm at Fort Delaware when it steamed into the breakwater near Lewes....

Thursday, July 9, 2015 - 5:47am

Civil War Profiles: Commemorating Independence Day during wartime

In April 1861, the outbreak of conflict between the states cast a dark shadow across the land. On July 4 — the 85th anniversary of the American colonies declaring independence from the British realm — a Delawarean ably expressed the fears of the...

Friday, July 3, 2015 - 6:00am

Civil War Profiles: Delaware’s restrained reaction to the Civil War’s conclusion

As cited by Harold Hancock in “Delaware History,” April 1961, Wilmington native Anna Ferris noted in her diary on July 4, 1865, “Now we have ‘Victory & Peace’ & feel thankful & happy but not jubilant as we expected & there are few...

Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 12:37pm

Civil War Profiles: Pardons sought for Underground Railroad conductors

Article IV, Section 2 of the Constitution of the United States of America specifically states: “No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation...

Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 8:19am

Civil War Profiles: ‘The Heavens are weeping’ over the Smyrna draft

Antipathy to President Abraham Lincoln’s policies and resistance to serving in the Union army were widespread throughout the Northern states during the Civil War. This was particularly true in the slaveholding border states of Delaware, Maryland...

Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 10:55am

Civil War Profiles: Fort Delaware is open and awaits your arrival

Although the Civil War ended 150 years ago, its memory is kept alive at Fort Delaware every year at this time. From May 31 to Oct. 3, reenactors will be reliving the experiences of Confederate military prisoners and outspoken civilians who...

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 10:16am

Civil War Profiles: Restoration of 1st Delaware regimental flags now under way

In the spirit of the 150th anniversary of our nation’s most desperate and devastating struggle, the people of Delaware have responded to a call to preserve precious Civil War artifacts. The Delaware Historical Society recently announced that its...

Friday, May 15, 2015 - 9:23am

Civil War Profiles: The capture of Confederate President Davis in Georgia

In early May 1865, Varina Howell Davis reached the state of Georgia after having fled Richmond a month earlier. She was traveling with her four young children, her sister Margaret, two servants and a soldier who was related to the family.

...

Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 6:24am