Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Bull Was Killed

Union General William “Bull” Nelson was killed September 29th 1862.

William “Bull” Nelson was born September 27th 1824.  He attended school at Maysville Academy, and then at age 13 he went to Norwich University in Vermont.  At 15 Nelson received, with the help of Congressman Garrett Davis a midshipman position on the USS Delaware.  After five years sailing in the South Pacific he became part of the first class at the United States Naval School at Annapolis.  Nelson graduated in 1846 and reported for duty on the USS Raritan.

When the Civil War started Nelson was detached from the Navy and sent to recruit troops in the East Tennessee area.  He was placed with his troops in Camp Dick Robinson and made Brigadier General of United States volunteers September 16th 1861.  Nelson organized a brigade at Camp Kenton and marched them to Olympian Springs, Bath, Kentucky.  In late October 1861 his men routed Confederates at West Liberty, and on November 8th 1861 Confederate Captain Andrew Jackson May fought a delaying action against Nelson on Ivy Mountain.  At the end of the month Nelson was place under Union General Don Carlos Buell as part of the Army of the Ohio.  His men arrived at Shiloh Church on April 5th 1862 and saw heavy fighting.  Nelson got into an argument after entering Corinth on May 30th 1862 with Union General John Pope over who should get credit for occupying the town.

On September 18th 1862 Nelson assigned Union Brigadier General Jefferson C Davis to command the Home Guard.  Davis felt that this assignment was an insult and on September 29th 1862 he publicly demanded an apology from Nelson in the lobby to the Galt House.  Nelson refused to apologize and this publicly shamed Davis.  Davis obtained a pistol and shot Nelson in the heart.  Although Davis was prosecuted the case was dropped from the court docket in 1864 and Davis was never convicted.  Nelson was buried in Cave Hill Cemetery.  His body was latter moved to a family plot March 8th 1872 in the Maysville Cemetery.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Recreational Gathering

The first baseball game played with all black teams was held September 28th 1860 in New Jersey.
Held at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey the first all black baseball game was played September 28th 1860.  The final score of the game was 11-0 and was played between “The Weeksville”, who won the game and “The Colored Union Club”.  The sport wasn’t officially organized at the time, but was more of a recreational gathering.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Killing In Centralia

Confederate leader William T Anderson led a band into Centralia, Missouri on September 27th 1864 and killed Union soldiers.
The autumn of 1864 found Confederate forces in a declining position.  Confederate General Sterling Price led an invasion into northern Missouri with his Missouri State Guard.  As a part of Prices’ tactics, he encouraged a disruption of railroads and the use of guerrilla fighters.  Among these fighters was William T “Bloody Bill” Anderson.
Anderson fought in a small skirmish on September 23rd 1864 about seven miles to the east of Rocheport in Boone County, Missouri.  During this fight Anderson’s men killed 11 Union soldiers and three black teamsters.  The Union troops countered the next day by killing 6 of Anderson’s men who were captured in Rocheport.  As the fighting continued that day more were killed and wounded in the town of Fayette, Missouri.
On September 27th 1864 Anderson and about 30 of his men; all dressed in Union Army uniforms invaded Centralia, Missouri.  For three hours they looted the town, terrorized the citizens, and blocked line of the North Missouri Railroad.  An approaching train was captured along with its 125 passengers.  Included on this train were 23 Union soldiers on leave and heading to their homes in Missouri and Iowa.   The Union soldiers were ordered to strip, and then Anderson’s men shot them and desecrated the bodies.   Only one of the Union soldiers would survive, Sergeant Thomas Goodman who spent 10 days as a captive.  Anderson then had the train set on fire and run down the tracks toward Sturgeon, Missouri.
The newly formed Union 39th Missouri Infantry under the command of Major A V E Johnston arrived in Centralia about 3 pm.  Johnston was warned about Anderson and his band of roughly 200 heavily armed men.  The Union troop pursued and prepared to fight.   Anderson’s men drew them into an ambush, and charged the Union Infantry.  The men of the 39th were no match for Anderson and his fighters.  Of the 150 some Union soldiers, Anderson’s men killed 123.
Another web site you might worth a look on this subject is>Civil War in Missouri

Friday, September 23, 2011

He Made Mines

Confederate Gabriel James Rains was promoted to Brigadier General on September 23rd 1861.

Gabriel James Rains was born June 4th 1803 in New Bern, North Carolina, the son of Gabriel Manigault and Ester [Ambrose] Rains.  He attended West Point and graduated with the class of 1827.  Rains served in many post in the United States Army and fought in the Mexican American War and Seminole Wars.  He was wounded twice during the Indian wars.

Rains resigned as a Lieutenant Colonel from the United State Army and join the Confederate Army on July 31st 1861.  He was assigned to Daniel Harvey Hill’s division and made a Confederate Brigadier General September 23rd 1861.  Rains developed one of the first successful anit-personal mines in 1862.  He used artillery shells with a trip wire.  The first casualty of Rains’ device was a scout on horseback on a road in the vicinity of Williamsburg on May 4th 1862.  Rains was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pine and was removed from field command.  After this he was assigned to the Confederate conscription and torpedo bureaus.  He set up a system of torpedoes to protect the Charleston, Mobile and Savannah harbors.

After the war Rains lived for a time in August, Georgia before moving to Aiken, South Carolina.  He died in Aiken September 6th 1881 from the lasting effect of wounds received in the Seminole Wars.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Fight At Fisher's Hill

The Battle of Fisher’s Hill a part of the Valley Campaign was fought September 22nd 1864 near Strasburg, Virginia.

The Union had about 30,000 men in the Shenandoah Valley under Major General Philip H Sheridan.  They were opposing about 10,000 Confederates fighting under Lieutenant General Jubal Anderson Early.  After the Third Battle of Winchester the Confederates took up a strong position with their right on the North Branch of the Shenandoah River and left on Fisher’s Hill.  Union Major General George Crook began the attack September 22nd 1864 at about 4 pm.  The Union infantry pushed Confederate Cavalry causing Confederate Major General Stephen Dodson Ramseur to refuse his left flank.  With Ramseur’s line pushed in the Confederate’s fell back to Waynesboro, Virginia.

Union Brigadier General Alfred Torbert with 6,000 cavalry then moved against about 1,200 Confederate cavalry under the command of Brigadier General William Wickam.  Torbert was supposed to move behind Early and cut off any retreat of the Fisher’s Hill area.  Torbert was pushed back by the Confederate cavalry and Early go t away.  The battle resulted in 1,235 Confederate casualties and 528 Union.