Monday, August 11, 2008

The King of Steel Dies

Andrew Carnegie died 11 August 1919

Andrew Carnegie was born in 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland. His family moved to Pittsburgh in 1848. It was there at the age of 14 that he became a telegrapher for the Pittsburgh Telegraph Office. While working there he came to the attention of Thomas A. Scott, the Superintendent of the Western Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

When the Civil War started in the spring of 1861, Carnegie was appointed by Scott to Assistant Secretary of War to Superintendent of the Military Railways and the Union Government's telegraph lines in the East. Andrew Carnegie helped open the rail lines into Washington and rode the locomotive which pulled the first brigade of Union troops into Washington. Under Carnegie’s organization, the telegraph was extended, becoming efficiently useful to the Union cause. He would later boast that he was "the first casualty of the war" when he gained a scar on his cheek from working with telegraph wire. During the Civil War, Carnegie invested $40,000 in oil in Venango Co,PA . Carnegie stayed off the battlefield during the war by paying his cousin Dale Carnegie $850 to serve in his stead.

When the war ended he left the Pennsylvania Railroad to devote his attention to the manufacture of steel. By the 1880s, he was America's king of steel.

For more information see these web sites

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ford's Theater

On August 10th 1932 Ford's Theater was transferred to the National Park Service .

Ford’s Theater is famous because on the 14th of April 1865 John Wilkes Booth shot President Lincoln. The building started its life as the First Baptist Church 1833. In 1861 John Thomas Ford leased the building and he immediately began the work of turning the church into a music hall. Than on December 30, 1862 fire destroyed the theater, but Mr. Ford was undaunted, the cornerstone for the new theater was laid February 28, 1863, and the first performance took place August 27, 1863.

The Federal Government seized the theater during the investigation of the President’s shooting and the trials that followed. John Ford was even imprisoned after the assassination for about a month [he was acquitted]. After the sentencing and hanging of Booth‘s conspirators, the Government gave Ford permission to reopen the theater. He received threats that the building would be burned down if he opened, so once again the War Department closed it. In August 1865 the War Department began converting the theater into a three-story office building. In 1866 the theatre was bought from Ford for $100,000 by the Federal Government. In 1893 the front part of the building collapsed, killing 22 and injuring another 68 clerks. Some people began to believe the building was cursed.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Stonewall Trys to Draw his Sword

On August 9 1862 Gen Thomas J “Stonewall” Jackson and Maj Gen Nathaniel Bank meet in Culpeper County Virginia, and began the battle of Cedar Mountain [aka Slaughter’s Mountain, and Cedar Run]

During the first part of August, Pope marched south with the objective of capturing the railroad junction at Gordonsville,VA. The Federals gained an early advantage. The 22,000 Confederates engaged came dangerously close to defeat at the hands of the smaller, but aggressive force of about 12,000 Federals. With the Confederate line in danger of collapsing, Gen. Jackson rallied the troops. He attempted to brandish his sword; however, he tryed to draw it, he found it rusted in its scabbard. A Confederate counterattack led by A.P. Hill repulsed the Federals and won the day. After the battle Gen Jackson withdrew to meet Robert E. Lee, and begin the campaign leading to the battle of Second Manassas, Stonewall Jackson never again held the field as an independent commander. This was also where Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, saw her first field duty.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Governor Frees His Slaves

145 years ago on the 8th of August 1863 Andrew Johnsons, the military Governor of Tennessee freed his personal slaves. Beginning as early as the 1870’s, the day was celebrated by African American’s Tennessee as a holiday.
At the beginning of the war, Johnson was a Senator from Greeneville,TN. He was the only southern Senator not to resign upon secession. In 1862 Abraham Lincoln appointed Johnson military governor of Tennessee, with the instructions to re-establish the state to the Union; maintaining peace and security pending restoration of civil government. Johnson did a good job under trying circumstances.
For more information see the following web sites,1406,KNS_364_4900392,00.html

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Hatfield - McCoy Feud

On August 7, 1882, Ellison Hatfield was mortally wounded, continuing the escalation of the Hatfield /McCoy feud which began 17 years earlier with the killing in 1865 of returning Union soldier Asa Harmon McCoy, by a Confederate group called the "Logan Wildcats," among whom Devil Anse Hatfield was a leading member.

At an election day gathering in Kentucky, Ellison Hatfield was stabbed 26 time and than shot by three members of the McCoy family. Ellison died two day latter.