Saturday, August 30, 2014

A South Carolinian

Confederate Colonel John Hugh Means, the 64th Governor of South Carolina was killed in action August 30th 1862 at the Second Battle of Manassas.

John Hugh Means was born August 18th 1812 in the Fairfield District of South Carolina. He attended the Mount Zion College in Winnsboro, before graduating from South Carolina College in 1832. He was a part of the planter class, and an outspoken supporter of State’s Rights. Means was elected the Governor of South Carolina in 1850, and he presided over the state convention of 1852, which passed the resolution stating that South Carolina had a right to secede. He used his time in office to increase the funding of the state militia.

In 1860 Means signed the Ordinance of Secession. He enrolled in the Confederate Army as the Colonel of the 17th South Carolina Infantry.  They saw action during the Peninsula Campaign. The 17th was part of Confederate General James Longstreet’s Corps, and was part of the right flank at the Second Battle of Manassas. Means was killed in action on August 30th 1862 [I have found his death listed at August 29th, 30th, 31st, and September 1st]

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Final Escort

The 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry was organized August 29th 1861 at Camp Cameron, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry was made up of twelve companies recruited mostly from southeast and southcentral Pennsylvania. The regiment was organized near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at Camp Cameron on August 29th 1861. After being trained the regiment was moved to Kentucky, where it became part of the Department of the Cumberland. In March they were ordered to Tennessee, where they tangled with Confederate John Hunt Morgan. They were reassigned to the Union Army of the Ohio, where they saw a small amount of action at the Battle of Perryville in October 1862. During the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863 they guarded the right flank of the Union army, and following the rout there, the 9th stayed and fought with Union General George Thomas.

In April 1864 the 9th’s enlistment was up. The men who re-enlisted took a furlough to go home and recruit. They would reform and see action that fall in Kentucky and Tennessee. When Union General William T Sherman began his march, the 9th was included, seeing action in the Battle of Griswoldville. On April 17th 1865 the 9th was part of the escort for Union General Sherman when he went to meet Confederate General Joseph E Johnston at the Bennett Farm to discuss surrender. Following the ending of the war the 9th was mustered out at Lexington, Kentucky.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

End Of The Campaign

A part of Confederate General Robert E Lee’s retreat back into Virginia following the Battle of Gettysburg, the Battle of Manassas Gap, or the Battle of Wapping Heights was fought July 23rd 1863 in Warren County, Virginia.

After the Battle of Gettysburg, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia retreated to and crossed the Potomac River at Williamsport, Maryland. With the Union Army of the Potomac in pursuit, Union Major General George G Meade made a flanking move into the Loudoun Valley and the Confederates rear.  Meade ordered the Union III Corps commanded by Major General William H French to cut off the Confederate columns retreat at Front Royal, Virginia by forcing a passage through the Manassas Gap.

At dawn on July 23rd 1863 French ordered an attack against the troops of Confederate Brigadier General Ambrose R Wright’s Georgians, who were defending the Gap. With Union Brigadier General Francis B Spinola using his larger numbers the commander of the Excelsior Brigade pushed Wright’s men back through the Gap by the late afternoon. Wright was reinforced by Confederate Major General Robert E Rodes’ division.

As darkness fell the Union attack stalled out. During the night the Confederate troops withdrew into the Luray Valley.  The Union army occupied Front Royal, Virginia the next morning, but the Confederate army had moved beyond pursuit. This was the last action in the Gettysburg Campaign.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The First Of The Seven Days

The Battle of Oak Grove in Virginia was the first of the Seven Days’ Battles which began on June 25th 1862.

Oak Grove was an important location for the siege of Richmond during the Peninsula campaign. Union Major General George B McClellan advanced his line on June 25th 1862 along the Williamsburg Road, with the plan of getting his guns in range of Richmond, Virginia. McClellan’s troops attacked over swampy ground, with darkness ending the fighting. The battle wasn't strong enough to stop the Confederate offensive, and the next day Confederate General Robert E Lee attacked Union troops at Mechanicville.

The Union troops at Oak Grove advanced less than a mile at a cost of 626 dead, wounded and missing, with Joseph Hooker’s division baring the brunt of the attack. The Confederate losses were 441.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Barbarism

United States Senator Charles Sumner delivered a speech on June 4th 1860 entitled “The Barbarism of Slavery”.

United States Senator Charles Sumner had been missing from the Senate Chambers for four years, after having been beaten almost to death by South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks.  The speech titled “The Barbarism of Slavery” delivered on June 4th 1860 was the last speech made in Congress before the Civil War, and until emancipation was discussed.  It was covered in its entirety in the leading newspapers, as well as being issued in several pamphlets.

If you wish to read the speech it can be found at The barbarism of slavery: speech of Hon. Charles Sumner

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Political Military Leader

Union Colonel Peter Augustus Porter was killed June 3rd 1864 in the Battle of Cold Harbor.

Peter Augustus Porter was born July 14th 1827 in Black Rock, New York the son of Peter Buell Porter.  He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1857, as well as studying abroad in Europe.  Porter was an elected to the New York State Assembly in 1862.

On July 7th 1862 Porter was appointed the Colonel of the 129th New York Infantry, which would be renamed the 8th New York Heavy Artillery.  They were placed on duty guarding the forts that ringed Washington, DC.  On September 5th 1863 Porter was nominated to the office of New York Secretary of State, but declined to stay with the military.  In May 1864 the 8th along with Porter were ordered to join the Army of Potomac and General Ulysses S Grant’s Wilderness Campaign.

At the Battle of Cold Harbor on June 3rd 1864, Porter was killed while leading his men.  He was found to have been shot six times.  Two nights later, during a rain storm, five men from the 8th went out under fire and got their Colonel’s body; bring it back into Union lines.  Porter’s body was taken to Baltimore, Maryland where it was met by military escort.  A Chaplain accompanied the body back to his home, where he was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls, New York.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Reduced In Numbers

Gen Edmund K Smith
Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith surrendered what was left of his troops on June 2nd 1865 at Galveston, Texas.

The Confederacy was reduced by the end of May to the Department of Trans Mississippi including the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.  Some this territory was even held by the Union at this point.  The commander of this Department was Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith.  Smith had a few thousand troops, most of them located in Texas.  On May 20th 1865 Smith moved his headquarters to Houston, Texas from Shreveport, Louisiana in preparation of defending Texas.  However he lost hundreds of men to desertion every day, as people felt the war was over.

Smith could see the end was coming and May 26th 1865 he agreed to terms proposed by Union General Edward R S Canby.  With terms similar to those offered to other Confederate military leaders, Smith agreed to surrender his Department on June 2nd 1865 at Galveston, Texas.  Following the surrender Smith went into exile in Mexico and Cuba.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Their New Colonel

The 5th United States Infantry was stationed in New Mexico when on June 1st 1863 it officially got its new Colonel; Union Major General John F Reynolds, he would not take command.

The 5th United States Infantry traces its origins back to 1808, however technically the regiment was created March 3rd 1815 by an Act of Congress reducing the Regular Army from 46 infantry and 4 rifle regiments with the ending of the War of 1812, to peace time numbers of 8 infantry.  Six old regiments were consolidated into the 5th, and placed under command of Colonel James Miller.

In the spring of 1861 when the Civil War got started, the 5th was ordered to concentrate at Albuquerque, New Mexico for a move east.  But, with some Western Departmental pressure placed on Washington, DC, the 5th was left on the frontier.  When Confederates from Texas invaded New Mexico in early 1862, four companies of the 5th were the rear Union guard at Valverde on February 21st 1862, in which the Confederates were victorious.  Two other companies captured a field piece on March 28th 1862 at the Battle of Glorieta Pass, defeating the Confederates.

On June 1st 1863 the 5th received a new Colonel, Union Major General John F Reynolds.  He was of course on detached service commanding volunteers with the Army of the Potomac, and was killed one month later at the Battle of Gettysburg.  After Reynolds’ death the army appointed another Army of the Potomac general, Daniel Butterfield to be the Colonel of the 5th, but he also was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, and would not join the regiment while the war was going on.

The 5th would remain throughout the Civil War on frontier duty watching for another Confederate attack. After the war ended the 5th was transferred to the east moving to Fort Riley in Kansas.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

He Changed His Position

Confederate Colonel Robert Hopkins Hatton was killed May 31st 1862 at the Battle of Fair Oaks [also called the Battle of Seven Pines].

Robert Hopkins Hatton was born November 2nd 1826 in Steubenville, Ohio.  While still a child his family moved to Tennessee.  He would receive a degree from the Cumberland University, pass the bar and begin a law practice in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1850.  He became a member of the Whig Party and won a seat in the Tennessee State Legislature in 1855 and to the United States Congress in 1858.  While in Congress Hatton was the chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Navy.

Hatton wished to see the Union preserved and opposed secession, but after President Abraham Lincoln made his call for troops Hatton changed his position.  He raised the Lebanon Blues, which became a part of the 7th Tennessee Infantry, and was elected the Colonel of the Regiment.  In 1862 Hatton and the 7th were part of the troops protecting Richmond, Virginia from Union Major General George B McClellan during the Peninsula Campaign.

On May 31st 1862 while leading troops at the Battle of Fair Oaks, Hatton was shot in the head and killed.  His body was sent back to Tennessee, but as Middle Tennessee was held by the Union his body was temporarily placed in Knoxville.  He would be reentered in 1866 in the Cedar Grove Cemetery in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The First Seventh

Union BG Thomas A Morris
The 7th Indiana Infantry was sent to Grafton, Virginia on May 30th 1861, and just four days later was in battle.

The 7th Indiana Infantry was organized in Indianapolis, Indiana in April 1861 as a three month regiment.  The men were shipped to Grafton, Virginia on May 30th 1861.  On June 3rd 1861 the men of the 7th took part the Battle of Philippi, one of the first battles of the Civil War.

The men of the 7th were placed in Union Major General George B McClellan’s Army of West Virginia, in Brigadier General Thomas A Morris’ Indiana Brigade.  They would see almost continuous action from July 6th through 17th 1861 at the Battles of Laurel Hill, Belington, Corrick’s Ford and in the pursuit of Confederate Brigadier General Robert S Garnett’s troops.

The 7th mustered out of service on August 2nd 1861.  The 7th was reorganized on September 13th 1861 in Indianapolis, Indiana into a three year regiment.  The original 7th had one man killed in action and two who died from disease.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Just Damage The Bridge

The First Battle of Pocotaligo was fought in Yemassee, South Carolina on May 29th 1862, with the Union objective of disrupting the Charleston and Savannah Railroad.

A Union detachment commanded by Colonel Benjamin C Christ and made up of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry, 8th Michigan Infantry, 79th New York Infantry, and 50th Pennsylvania moved out from Beaufort, South Carolina on May 29th 1862, toward the Charleston and Savannah Railroad.  As they moved toward Pocotaligo, the Union troops began pushing in Confederate pickets.  Reaching Pocotaligo the Union troops, where they found the bridge destroyed, there was some heavy fighting.  About 300 of the Union troops got across the river, and drove the Confederates into the woods.

As the Union mission, which was to destroy the bridge; had been obtained, the Union force withdrew.  Union casualties were 2 killed and 9 wounded, while the Confederates reported losses of 2 killed, 6 wounded and 1 man missing. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Both Claimed A Victory

The Battle of Haw’s Shop [also called the Battle of Enon Church] was fought in Hanover County, Virginia May 28th 1864.

Union General Ulysses S Grant abandoned his line at North Anna, after fighting Confederate General Robert E Lee’s force there, and swung once again, trying to flank the Confederates.  Lee moved his troops quickly, and sent out cavalry to gather intelligence about the Union movement.

Confederate Major General Wade Hampton, who was scouting the Union troops, ran into Union cavalry under the command of Brigadier General David M Gregg on May 28th 1864 at Enon Church near Hanovertown, Virginia bring on the Battle of Haw’s Shop.  Although both sides were cavalry they fought predominately dismounted.  Both sides used earthworks in the area, and neither could gain an advantage.  Greg received reinforcements from Union Brigadier General Alfred T Torbert’s New Jersey division.  As the seven hour fight was wrapping up with Hampton withdrawing his men, Union Brigadier General George A Custer launched an attack, that brought everything to an end.

The Battle of Haw’s Shop was inconclusive, with both sides claiming victory.  Union Cavalry Corps commander Major General Philip H Sheridan felt his men had won as they drove Hampton from the field, but Hampton had held up the Union cavalry for seven hours and was able to provide Lee with intel about the Union Army.  The Union force reported 344 casualties, including Private John Huff of the 5th Michigan Cavalry, who fatally shot Confederate major General JEB Stuart a few weeks earlier at the Battle of Yellow Tavern.  Confederate casualties were unofficially counted about 400.

Friday, May 23, 2014

At A Crossing

The Battle of Jericho Mills a part of Grants Overland Campaign was fought May 23rd 1864 between the Union V Corps and a part of AP Hill’s Corps.
After the fighting at Spotsylvania Court House came to end Union General Ulysses S Grant moved to flank Confederate General Robert E Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.  He was brought up short by Lee’s “Hog Snout Line” along the North Anna River.  At that point Grant divided the Army of the Potomac into three parts.

Union General Gouverneur K Warren reached Mount Carmel Church on the morning of May 23rd 1864.  He stopped his V Corps which caused Union General Winfield S Hancock’s II Corps to come up behind and get tangled on the road.  The two commanders decided that the II Corps would move down Telegraph Road while the V Corps would cross the North Anna at Jericho Mills.

As they moved down the Telegraph Road, Union Major David B Birney’s division of the II Corps began to take fire.  He deployed two brigades and attacked.  They also called up artillery which opened fire on Confederate Colonel Edward P Alexander’s artillery.  It was during this duel that Lee was just missed by a cannonball which lodged in the door frame near him, and Alexander was hit by bricks from the chimney which was hit by Union shells.  At 6pm the Union troops charged, overwhelming the Confederate at the bridge.  With Alexander’s artillery still lying down a heavy fire, the Union troops did not cross the bridge, but entrenched on the north side of the river.

Meanwhile at Jericho Mills, the V Corps found the North Anna ford unprotected.  Warren sent Union Brigadier General Charles Griffin’s Division across the river while the rest the Corps crossed by 4:30 pm on a pontoon bridge.  Finding out from a captured Confederate that there was a force nearby on the Virginia Central Railroad, Warren deployed for battle.  Lee felt that Warren’s movement was a feint and so had AP Hill send a single division under Major General Cadmus M Wilcox, with artillery commanded by Colonel William J Pegram.  The Confederates struck Warren’s Corps hard, breaking their line and causing them to flee to the rear where they came up against the bluffs along the river.  Warren’s Corps was saved in part by Union Colonel Charles S Wainwright’s artillery which laid down a deadly fire on the Confederates.  It was also at about this time that Union Brigadier General Joseph J Bartlett led his 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry against the right flank of the Confederate line causing them to retreat and leaving that part of the line untenable.  Seeing that reinforcements from Confederate Major General Henry Heth would not reach the field in time, Wilcox had his men withdraw.

Wilcox was greatly outnumbered with about 6,000 men to the Union’s 15,000.  There were about 730 Confederate casualties, while the Union reported 377.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The First Killed

The first Union soldier killed by a Confederate soldier was Thornsbury Bailey Brown; he was killed May 22nd 1861 in Taylor County, Virginia.

Thornsbury Bailey Brown was born May 15th 1829.  He lived in the Taylor County, Virginia.

Union Lieutenant Daniel Wilson and Brown, both members of the Grafton Guards; which would become a part of the 2nd West Virginia Infantry, on May 22nd 1861 attended a recruiting rally in Pruntytown, Virginia.  The two men were returning to Grafton, Virginia in the evening when they encountered three members of the Confederate Letcher Guards; which would become of the 25th Virginia Infantry, George E Glenn, Daniel Knight, and William Reese.  The three men where on picket duty at the Fetterman Bridge, a crossing located on the Northwestern Turnpike and the tracks of the Baltimore of Ohio Railroad.

The three pickets ordered Brown and Wilson to halt; instead Brown fired a pistol at the Confederates.   The shot apparently hit Knight in the ear.  The Confederates then opened fire on Brown and Wilson, killing Brown.  The Letcher Guards took Brown’s body to their camp and turned it over to their commander Colonel George A Porterfield.  The commander of the Grafton Guards Captain George R Latham led his men toward the Confederate camp planning to take the body back, by force if necessary.  They met the Confederates returning Brown body.

Brown was buried at first in a family plot.  His body was moved the Grafton National Cemetery in Grafton, West Virginia in 1903.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A Cavalry Man

Confederate Brigadier General Albert Gallatin Jenkins died May 21st 1864, from wounds received at the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain.

Albert Gallatin Jenkins was born November 10th 1830 in Cabell County, Virginia, the son of Captain William and Jeanette Grigsby (McNutt) Jenkins.  He attended Marshall Academy, and graduated from both Jefferson College, and Harvard Law School.  Jenkins was admitted to the bar in 1850 and set up a practice in Charleston, Virginia.  In 1859 he inherited a part of his father plantation, and would be elected to serve as a Democratic United States Congressman.

When the Civil War started and Virginia seceded, Jenkins returned home from Congress, and raised a company of mounted rangers.  By June 1861 Jenkins’ company was part of the 8th Virginia Cavalry and Jenkins was their Lieutenant Colonel.  He served as a delegate to the First Confederate Congress, but was back in the saddle with a promotion to Brigadier General on August 1st 1862.  In September of that year Jenkins’ cavalry made a raid into Ohio near Buffington Island, as well as raiding throughout northern Kentucky and West Virginia.  In December 1862 Confederate General Robert E Lee had Jenkins with his men moved to the Shenandoah Valley.  During the Gettysburg Campaign Jenkins’ cavalry was the screen for Confederate General Richard S Ewell’s Corps, seizing the railroad in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and fighting in the Battle of Sporting Hill near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  He was wounded on July 2nd 1863 during the Battle of Gettysburg, which kept him out of action for most of the rest of the year.

In 1864 Jenkins raised and organized a large cavalry force, and by May was the Commander of the Department of Western Virginia.  Learning of a Union force moving from the Kanawha Valley under the command of Brigadier General George Crook, Jenkins moved to intercept.  On May 9th 1864 Jenkins was wounded and captured during the Battle of Cloyd’s Mountain, his arm was amputated but he didn’t recover.  He died May 21st 1864 and was buried in the New Dublin Presbyterian Cemetery.  His body would be moved later to the Confederate plot in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Huntington, West Virginia.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Completely Under Military Rule

The Battle of Pogue’s Run, more of an uprising then a battle took place May 20th 1863 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Governor of Indiana, Oliver Morton, who was a Republican, reported hearing of a plot to overthrow the state government by the Knights of the Golden Circle.  As the Knights were a Democratic group, Morton had Union troops stationed at the Democratic State Convention.

As Thomas A Hendricks was speaking on May 20th 1863 in front of about 10,000 conventioneers, several Union soldiers advanced on the podium with bayonets fixed and rifles cocked.  This action broke up the convention, sending the crowd scattering.  A fence was pushed down on the east of the state house as the crowd fled.  Adding to the rush of bodies was a squad of Union cavalry moving down Tennessee Street.  Under threat from the Union soldiers, Hendricks closed his speech, had the resolutions read and the meeting dismissed.  Soldiers seized several individuals, marching them up a few streets to frighten them.  A number of other men were taken in custody for carrying concealed weapons and arrested.

That night many of the Democratic Conventioneers left town on trains.  There were a number of shots fired from these departing trains with the attention to create a further disturbance.  A train on the Indiana Central Railroad was stopped and boarded by a number of soldiers and police, who demanded that all weapons be surrendered.  A train going to Cincinnati was also stopped, with the men on board throwing their guns off the train and into Pogue’s Run.  Thinking that the soldiers wouldn't search women, many men gave their guns to ladies.  One single woman was found hiding seven guns on her person.  Before the round up was finished about 500 loaded guns were confiscated from those who had attended the Democratic Convention.  A local Democratic newspaper the “Indianapolis Sentinel” reported on the incident this way, "It is with feelings of sorrow, humiliation and degradation that we witnessed the scenes of yesterday. . . . Indiana is as completely under military rule as France, Austria or Russia".

Monday, May 12, 2014

An English Sailor

Union sailor George H Bell a Medal of Honor recipient, joined the Union Navy May 12th 1861 while the ship he was serving on, was docked in New York City.

George H Bell was born March 12th 1839 in Sunderland, England.  His family moved to Newcastle, England in the 1840’s and at the age of 14, Bell began a maritime career.  Over the next several years he would sail on vessels in most of the world’s oceans.

A ship Bell was sailing on docked in New York City at the beginning of the Civil War, and on May 12th 1861 he enlisted in the Union Navy.  By July 1861 Bell was an able seaman on the USS Santee, but past naval experience found him quickly promoted to coxswain.  On November 7th 1861 in an early naval action in Galveston Bay, Texas, Bell distinguished himself in the destruction of the Confederate CSS Royal Yacht.  He would be awarded the Medal of Honor for this action in 1863.

Bell returned to England after the war.  He died September 26th 1917, and is buried in Newcastle, England.

Bell's Medal of Honor citation reads: “Served as pilot of the U.S.S. Santee when that vessel was engaged in cutting out the rebel armed schooner Royal Yacht from Galveston Bay, 7 November 1861, and evinced more coolness, in passing the 4 forts and the rebel steamer General Rusk, than was ever before witnessed by his commanding officer. "Although severely wounded in the encounter, he displayed extraordinary courage under the most painful and trying circumstances."

Friday, May 9, 2014

A Heavy Push

The Battle of Swift Creek was part of a push made by Union Major General Benjamin F Butler towards Petersburg, and was fought May 9th 1864.

Confederate General Bushrod R Johnson had a division on the south side of Swift Creek in a defensive position.   Johnson’s men were between Union Major General Benjamin Butler’s force and Petersburg, Virginia.  Butler pushed toward Swift Creek on May 9th 1864 and was met at Arrowfield Church, just north of Swift Creek by a Confederate attack.  The Union troops deployed along the railroad and turnpike.  The Confederate 21st South Carolina Infantry made a charge across the bridge and up the turnpike toward the Union troops and were fired on by an artillery battery.  The Union troops pushed the Confederates back delivering them heavy losses.  Butler didn’t follow up the attack, but settled into skirmishing and tearing up the nearby railroad tracks.

During the night Butler had his troops withdraw.  The Confederates made repairs to the railroad and had it running the next day.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

An Old New Yorker

Union General James Samuel Wadsworth died May 8th 1864 from wounds received two days earlier at the Battle of the Wilderness.

James Samuel Wadsworth was born October 30th 1807, the son of James Wadsworth in Geneseo, Livingston, New York.  He studied law at both Harvard and Yale, and was admitted to the bar.  He didn't set up a practice; instead Wadsworth managed the family’s estate.  He would enter politics as a Democrat, but then became one of the organizers of the Free Soil Party, and finally a Republican.  In 1861 Wadsworth was a member of the Peace Conference.

When the Civil War became inevitable, Wadsworth volunteered his service to the Union.  He served as an aide-de-camp at the First Battle of Bull Run to Union Major General Irvin McDowell.  McDowell recommended Wadsworth for command, and with the rank of Brigadier General on October 3rd 1861 he began commanding the 2nd Brigade of 3rd Division of the 1st Corps.  From March 17th to September 7th 1862 Wadsworth had command of the Military District of Washington, and had a hand in holding troops for its defense against the wishes of Major General George B McClellan.  After having stepped on McClellan’s toes, Wadsworth could see no prospect in McClellan’s army, and so put his name into the running for Governor of New York State.  After McClellan was replaced at the head of the Army of the Potomac, and Wadsworth had lost the election to Democrat Horatio Seymour, he took the command of the First Division in the 1st Corps.  He was well thought of by his men.  As the leader of his new division, they were only marginally involved at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863.  At the Battle of Gettysburg, his division was the first Union infantry troops to arrive on the field on July 1st 1863, and was heavily engaged, loosing over 50% of their strength that day.  They would also fight on the second day.

When the spring 1864 Campaign began, the Army of the Potomac was reorganized, and Wadsworth became the commander of the 4th Division in the V Corps.  At the Battle of the Wilderness, Wadsworth was the oldest Union divisional command at 56.  On May 5th 1864 his division was ordered to defend the left of the Union line, but lost their way in the thick underbrush, exposing his left flank to an attack.  Then on May 6th 1864 while placing two of his brigades, Wadsworth was shot in the back of head, he fell from his horse and was captured by the Confederates.  Wadsworth would die in a Confederate field hospital two days later on May 8th 1864.  His son-in-law Montgomery Harrison Ritchie would cross line under a flag of truce to retrieve his body.  He is buried in the Temple Hill Cemetery in Geneseo, New York.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

First Fire In Virginia

Flag Officer Garrett Pendergrast
The Battle of Gloucester Point in Virginia occurred on May 7th 1861 and is reported to be the earliest action of the Civil War to take place in Virginia.

In early May 1861 it came to the attention of the Union Navy that a Confederate leaning force was building fortifications at Gloucester Point, Virginia.  On May 7th 1861 Union Flag Officer Garrett J Pendergrast ordered an examination of the area.  He sent Navy Lieutenant Thomas O Selfridge Jr, who commanded the USS Yankee a converted steam tug, up the York River on a reconnaissance of the area.  As the Yankee pulled to within about 2,000 yards of Gloucester Point a shore battery fired a shot across the tug’s bow.  Selfridge continued his course and the guns on shore fired at them again.

The battery on the shore; manned by the Virginia State Richmond Howitzers under the command of Lieutenant John Thompson Brown, fired between 12 and 13 shots at the Union tug.  The Yankee returned fire on the battery, but couldn't get the elevation, and his guns were too small to have done much damage anyway.  After firing on each other, the Yankee turned around and headed back to its base near Fort Monroe.

There were no reported injuries.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Friendly Fire Part Two

Confederate General Micah Jenkins died from a wound May 6th 1864, received during the Battle of the Wilderness.

Micah Jenkins was born December 1st 1835 on Edisto Island, South Carolina, the son of John and Elizabeth Jenkins.  He graduated in 1854 from the South Carolina Military Academy [the Citadel], first in his class.  Jenkins was a member of the Yorkville Episcopal Church.  He worked to organize, and founded along with Asbury Coward in 1855, the King’s Mountain Military Academy.

As the Civil War got started Jenkins recruited and became the Colonel of the 5th South Carolina.  They were present for the First Battle of Manassas.  During the Battle of Seven Pines, Jenkins took command of Richard Anderson brigade after Anderson was wounded, leading it with distinction until he wounded in the knee.  He was promoted to Brigadier General July 22nd 1862.  Jenkins was wound again at the Second Battle of Manassas in the abdomen and chest, which kept him out of the Battle of Antietam.  He was back with the army in time for the Battle of Fredericksburg, serving in Confederate Major General George Pickett’s division, but wasn't engaged.  Jenkins brigade went with Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet to Tennessee, taking part in the second day of the Battle of Chickamauga on September 20th 1863.  On January 16th 1864, he led his men in a victory against Union cavalry at the Battle of Kimbrough’s Crossroads.

At the Battle of the Wilderness on May 6th 1864, Jenkins was riding with Longstreet and some other staff officers at about 1pm when they were hit with friendly fire coming from the 12th Virginia.  It occurred very near the place where Confederate General Thomas J Jackson was struck down a year before.  Jenkins was hit in forehead, with the ball entering his brain.  He remained semiconscious, but unknowing, dying of his wounds six hours later.  He was buried first in Summerville, South Carolina, but in 1881 was moved to the Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

To The Confederacy, Before Leaving The Union

Confederate Brigadier General William Stephen Walker resigned his captain’s commission with the 1st United States Cavalry May 1st 1861.

William Stephen Walker was born April 13th 1822 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.  He was raised by an uncle; Robert J Walker, in Mississippi and Washington, DC, where that uncle served as the Secretary of the Treasury for President James K Polk.  Walker received his education in private schools.  At the start of the Mexican American War he was appointed to First Lieutenant, and assigned to the 1st United States Voltiguers.  For his action at the Battle of Chapultepec, Walker received a brevet to Captain.  He was discharge from service following the end of the war August 31st 1848.  Walker returned to military service March 3rd 1855 becoming a Captain in the 1st United States Cavalry.

When the Civil War started, Walker resigned his commission with the United States Army on May 1st 1861, having received a Captaincy in the Confederate Army on March 16th 1861.  He started as a mustering officer, but by November 5th 1861 he was serving as the aide-de-camp to General Robert E Lee, and from December 1861 to March 1862 as the inspector general for the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and East Florida.  With a promotion to Colonel he took part in the Battle of Pocotaligo.  Walker was promoted to Brigadier General October 22nd 1862.  He was wounded in the left arm and the bone in his lower right leg was shattered during the Battle of Ware Bottom Church, a part of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign.  He was captured and taken to Fort Monroe where Union Doctor John J Craven amputated his right foot.  He was exchanged October 29th 1864.  Walker served out the war at Weldon, North Carolina.  He was paroled at Greensboro, North Carolina May 1st 1865.

After the war ended Walker moved to Georgia.  He died June 7th 1899 in Atlanta, Georgia and is buried in the Oakland Cemetery.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

African American Officers

The Confederate 1st Louisiana Native Guard was disbanded by order of General John L Lewis on April 29th 1862, as Union troops entered and took over the city of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Following secession, Louisiana’s Governor Thomas Overton Moore, made a request for troops in April 1861.  In response to this call a committee of free New Orleans blacks called a meeting at the Catholic Institute on April 22nd 1861, at which around 1,500 free African American men enlisted.  Most of the men were French Speaking Creoles.  Moore made these men part of the state’s militia, forming the 1st Louisiana Native Guard on May 2nd 1861.  There were three white officers appoint to command the regiment, but the company commanders came from among the men of the regiment, making this the first North American military unit to have African American officers.   Among these officers were Lieutenant Andre Cailloux, who would latter die fighting the Confederacy, and Lieutenant Morris W Morris who was not only African American, but also Jewish.

The men of the 1st were never used in any Confederate military action, and the men had to use their own money to buy uniforms and weapons. The men mostly found themselves part of parades and grand reviews.  They were forced to disband on February 15th 1862, because of a new Louisiana law, stating that only white men could be part of the militia.  Governor Moore reinstated the 1st on March 24th 1862 when Union Admiral David G Farragut’s navy sailed into the Mississippi River.

When Confederate troops under the command of Major General Mansfield Lovell left New Orleans the General of the Louisiana Militia; John L Lewis ordered the 1st disbanded on April 29th 1862, telling them to go home, and to hide their guns and uniforms. Union Major General Benjamin F Butler, after accepting the surrender of New Orleans approached some of the members of 1st to fight for the Union; about 10% were willing and would become the Union 1st Louisiana Native Guard, latter known as the 73rd United States Colored Troops.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Maine's Three Month Men

The 1st Maine Infantry answered President Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers, completing the raising of their regiment on April 28th 1861.

When President Abraham Lincoln made his first call for troops in April 1861, the State of Maine was required to raise one infantry regiment for three months of military service.   In Maine the one regiment of infantry was raise by reorganizing 10 state militia companies and was completed on April 28th 1861 at Portland, Maine.  The 779 men were mustered into the three month regiment on May 3rd 1861 under the command of Colonel Nathaniel Jackson as the 1st Maine Infantry.

The First Maine was shipped to Washington, DC where they served from June 1st 1861 until August 1st 1861.  The men spent their whole service with the 1st camped at Meridian Hill, defending Washington, DC.  When the 1st was mustered out of service on August 5th 1861, many of the men found they had signed enlistment papers for two or three years of service.  Eight companies of these men were transferred to the 10th Maine Infantry.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Short Service

A side wheel merchant steamer was captured by the Union Navy April 27th 1862, becoming the USS Diana.

The Union Navy captured a side wheel merchant steamer on April 27th 1862 at New Orleans, Louisiana.  The side wheeler was named the USS Diana and was turned over to Union General Benjamin F Butler.  The Diana had been built in 1858 in Brownsville, Pennsylvania and was a 239 ton side wheeler.  She went to work for the Union Army as a transport ship until November 1862, when she returned to Union naval service.  During the time the Diana was in service with the navy she assisted in the capture of 2 blockade runners, an attack on the Confederate hold of Bayou Teche, Louisiana, and the destruction of the CSS J A Cotton in January 1863.

On March 28th 1863 while preforming reconnaissance in Grand Lake, Louisiana the Diana was recaptured by the Confederates.  A few weeks letter a Union force destroyed her.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Useless Useless

On April 26th 1865, Union soldiers caught up with John Wilkes Booth at the Garrett Farm, and killed him.

Union Lieutenant Colonel Everton Conger learned through interrogation that John Wilkes Booth and David E Herold were at the Richard Garrett Farm near Port Royal, Virginia.  In the early morning hours of April 26th 1865 Conger accompanied 25 Union soldiers from the 16th New York Cavalry commanded by Lieutenant Edward P Doherty. They surrounded the tobacco barn that Booth and Herold were hiding in, and demanded their surrender.  Herold gave himself up, but Booth refused, so the soldiers set the barn on fire.

Booth could be seen moving around inside the burning barn.  Union Sergeant Boston Corbett, claimed to have seen Booth raise a gun to shot, and so he fired at Booth. The shot struck Booth in the neck.  He was dragged from the barn and placed on the porch of the Garrett farmhouse.  The bullet had gone through several vertebrae and partially severed his spinal cord.  As he got close to dying, Booth said, "Tell my mother I died for my country."  He then asked that his hands be held up where he could see them and said his last words, "Useless, useless."  It took him three hours to die.

In Booth’s pockets were the pictures of five different women, a candle, a compass, and his diary.  In the diary Booth had written of President Abraham Lincoln, "Our country owed all her troubles to him, and God simply made me the instrument of his punishment."

To read some eyewitness accounts of The Death of John Wilkes Booth check this web site.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

It Wasn't A Mire Diversion

The First Battle of Franklin was fought in Williamson County, Tennessee on April 10th 1863, taking place near where the more famous battle of the same name would happen in 1864.

On April 10th 1863 Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn advanced his cavalry, about 6,000 strong, north from Spring Hill, Tennessee, towards Franklin, Tennessee.  His force would run into skirmishers of Union Major General Gordon Granger.  Granger had received a report of an attack to his north in Brentwood, Tennessee, and thought Van Dorn’s attack was a mire diversion.  When Granger learned that there was no threat to Brentwood, he decided to drive Van Dorn.  When the Union commander sent orders, he found that one of his subordinates had already initiated an attack.

The 4th United States Cavalry under the command of the Brigadier General David S Stanley came in behind Van Dorn’s troopers by crossing the Harpeth River at Hughes’ Ford.  The Union troopers captured Freeman’s Tennessee Battery, but loose it when Confederate Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest made a counterattack.  Finding Union cavalry in his rear, Van Dorn withdrew back to Spring Hill, leaving the Union in control of the area.  This battle cost the Confederates 137 and the Union 100 casualties.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Final Fight

The Battle of Appomattox Court House, the final engagement for the Confederate General Robert E Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia, was fought April 9th 1865.

Confederate Major General John B Gordon’s Corps and General Fitzhugh Lee’s cavalry formed at Appomattox Court House and attacked Union General Philip H Sheridan’s cavalry at dawn on April 9th 1865, pushing the first line, commanded by Union Brigadier General Charles H Smith back.  Hitting the second line of Union cavalry commanded by Brigadier General George Crook slowed Gordon’s advance.  The Confederate continued their advance and reached the crest, where they found the entire Union V Corps in line.  The Confederate cavalry seeing the Union force withdrew and moved off toward Lynchburg, Virginia.  Union General Edward O C Ord’s soldiers advanced on Gordon’s men, as the Union II Corps started a movement to the northeast on Confederate Lieutenant General James Longstreet Corps.

It was at this point, with Lee’s army surrounded on three sides, that one of Lee’s staff; Colonel Charles Venable rode in for an appraisal of the situation.  Gordon told him to "tell General Lee I have fought my corps to a frazzle, and I fear I can do nothing unless I am heavily supported by Longstreet's corps."  It was upon receiving this news that Robert E Lee said, "Then there is nothing left for me to do but to go and see General Grant and I would rather die a thousand deaths."  Lee rode out with three of his aides shortly after to meet with Union General Ulysses S Grant to arrange for surrender.  This last action at Appomattox Court House caused the Union 260 and the Confederates 440 more casualties.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A French Louisianian Confederate

Confederate General Jean Jacques Alfred Alexandre Mouton was killed leading a charge April 8th 1864 during the Battle of Mansfield.

Jean Jacques Alfred Alexandre Mouton was born February 10th 1829 in Opelousas, Louisiana, the son of Alexandre Mouton, a former Governor of Louisiana.  He attended St Charles College in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, and following his graduation, received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.  His trip north would be the first time Mouton was exposed langue and customs other than French.  He was an average student and struggled with English, but graduated from the Military Academy in 1850, ranking 38 out 44.  Shortly after graduating Mouton resigned his commission and took a post as an assistant engineer for the New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railroad.  In 1853 Mouton left this position to become a grower of sugar cane in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana.  He was also at that time a Brigadier General in Louisiana State Militia.

When the Civil War started Mouton organized a company from Lafayette Parish, and was elected the Captain of the company which would become part of the 18th Louisiana Infantry.  He would be elected Colonel of the 18th, and set to making them a disciplined regiment.  One of his soldiers said of Mouton, "As a drillmaster, he had few, if any, equals. I have seen him drill the regiment for an hour in a square, the sides of which were equal to the length of his line of battle, without once throwing a company outside or recalling a command when given. He was a strict disciplinarian and allowed no deviation from orders either by officers or soldiers."  The first action for Mouton and the 18th was at the Battle of Shiloh, where they took on Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s troops and where Mouton was wounded.  Back in Louisiana, Mouton and 18th took part in the Battle of Labadieville.  Mouton’s Louisiana brigade was part of Confederate force that kept the Union out of the Bayou Teche area of Louisiana.

At the Battle of Mansfield Mouton’s men were the lead unit in the Confederate attack.  It was while in the lead that Mouton was shot and killed on April 8th 1864.  He was buried on the battlefield, but in 1874 Mouton’s body was moved to St John’s Cemetery in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Like The Fires Of Hell

On April 7th 1863 nine Union ironclads neared Fort Sumter to attack the Confederate held structure.

Nine Union ironclads, outfitted with the heaviest cannon to be used in naval warfare up to that time, steamed slowly into Charleston Harbor on April 7th 1863.  They were moving in for an attack on Fort Sumter.  At about 3 pm the Fort under the command of Confederate Colonel Alfred Rhett opened up on the Union ships, in what one Union man said was like "the fires of hell were turned upon the Union fleet. The air seemed full of heavy shot, and as they flew they could be seen as plainly as a base-ball in one of our games."

The Confederate batteries in the Forts of Charleston Harbor fired off more than 2,200 rounds during the battle, while the Union ironclads only fired 139 shots.  The Union guns hit Fort Sumter 55 times during the fight, leaving the Fort pretty much intact.  The ironclads didn’t make out as well during the roughly hour long battle, one of the ships, the USS Keokuk received over 90 hits, and it was only with dedication and skill that her sailors and commander Alexander C Rhind, kept her afloat until the next morning.  Among the remaining ironclad there were disabled guns, and damaged smokestacks and turrets.  Union Rear Admiral Samuel Francis DuPont who led the fleet, withdrew ships and did not renew the fight.

The Union side reported 23 casualties, while the Confederates in the Forts had 14.  The Confederates were even able to salvage one of the Dahlgren guns from the wreck of the Keokuk, which would be mounted on the Fort. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Grand Army

The Grand Army of the Republic [the GAR] was founded April 6th 1866 in Decatur, Illinois.

When the Civil War came to an end the veterans wishing to stay in contact created many organizations.  These groups were created at first for sake of camaraderie and their shared experiences, but later became a political power.  The eventual leaders  of the organizations was the GAR which was founded by Benjamin F Stephenson in Decatur, Illinois on April 6th 1866.

The GAR, which welcomed both black and white Union veterans, quickly became an arm of the Republican Party.  They worked towards voting righted for all black Union veterans.  In the 1880’s the GAR began to work on federal pensions and with the founding of old soldiers’ homes.

The members of the GAR wore military style uniforms at meetings.  The organization could be found in every one of the State as well as several foreign countries.  At the state level the GAR groups were known as “Departments”, at the local level they were called “Posts”.  “Posts” were numbered consecutively as they formed, with the rule that each of the “Posts” be named for an honored deceased person.  The GAR even had one woman who was a member, Sarah Emma Edmonds, who had fought in the Civil War as part of the 2nd Michigan Infantry under the name of Franklin Thompson.  In the 1890’s the GAR had about 490,000 members, all honorably discharged Union veterans.  They held National Encampments, annually from 1866 to 1949.  These Encampments were multiday events with formal dinners and memorial services.  The last Commander of the GAR was Theodore Penland of Oregon, and last member was Albert Woolson of Duluth, Minnesota who was 109 years old when he died in 1856.

If you’re interested in reading more, check out the web site A Brief History of the Grand Army of the Republic

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Mounted Attack With Sabers Drawn

A part of the Appomattox Campaign, the Battle of Amelia Springs was fought April 5th 1865.

A force of Confederate cavalry under the overall command of Major General Fitzhugh Lee, and made up of the units of Brigadier Generals Martin Gary and Thomas T Munford, and Major General Thomas L Rosser attacked a brigade of Union cavalry on April 5th 1865.  The Union brigade was led by Brigadier General Henry E Davies, and was returning from scouting mission, where they burned Confederate supply wagons near Paineville, Virginia.  With the two cavalry units meeting up close to Painesville a running fight began continuing through Amelia Springs, Virginia and almost reaching Jetersville, Virginia.  The attacks were made in a mounted combat style with drawn sabers.  Jetersville is about 6 miles from where Confederate General Robert R Lee’s troops were concentrating.

When Davies’ troops closed in on Jetersville they were able to rejoin with other Union forces.  The Confederates gave up the chase and returned to Amelia Springs.  Total casualties were about 250, with the Union reporting about 158 total casualties, with about 30 killed.

There was also a fight that night between two Union divisions commanded by Brigadier General Nelson A Miles and Major General Gershom against the Confederate rear guard near Amelia Springs commanded by Major General John B Gordon.  The Confederates held off the Union attack and Lee’s army continued their march.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Only One Battle

Union Colonel Alfred M Wood enlisted on April 4th 1861 in the 84th New York Infantry, also known as the 14th Brooklyn.

Alfred M Wood was born April 19th 1825.  On April 13th 1858 he was made the Colonel of the 14th New York Militia.

When the Civil War started Wood enlisted in Brooklyn, New York on April 4th 1861 for three years’ service in the 84th New York Infantry, which is better known as the 14th Brooklyn.  He was wounded and captured at the First Battle of Manassas; where Wood led his regiment in two attempts to capture Henry Hill.  It was during this attack that Confederate General Thomas J Jackson, whom the 14th was charging against, gave the Regiment its nick name of the “Red Legged Devils”.  Wood would be exchanged and returned to duty.  Do to the wounds he received at Manassas, Wood was discharged on October 18th 1861.

Wood became the Mayor of the city of Brooklyn in 1864.  After the war ended he spent a great deal of time helping the veterans of his old regiment the 14th Brooklyn.  Wood died July 28th 1895, and is buried in the Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale, Nassau, New York.

If you would like to read more about the life of Alfred M. Wood this is a good site.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bitter Bitter Tears

The Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia fell to Union control April 3rd 1865.

Union General Ulysses S Grant had been working toward a takeover of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia for nearly ten months.  On April 1st 1865 Grant crushed Confederate Robert E Lee’s line at Five Forks, and Grant kept up the pressure the next day all along the Confederate’s Petersburg line.  Lee’s line collapsed.  That same night the Confederate government in Richmond evacuated the city leaving on the last open railroad line, with the army leaving right behind them.  As the Confederate soldiers left, they set fire to the armory, bridges and warehouse, a fire that burned out of control and spread through the city.

On the morning of April 3rd 1865 the mayor and some other elite citizens surrendered Richmond, and Union troops entered the capital city.  The Union soldiers fought and put out the fires, but not before it burned about 10% of the city.  Mary Fontaine a resident of Richmond, Virginia wrote that she "saw them unfurl a tiny flag, and I sank on my knees, and the bitter, bitter tears came in a torrent."  Among the first Union troops to enter the city were the black troops of the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry, many of the city’s residents considered this proof that their world was over.

President Abraham Lincoln toured the city just a few days later with his son Tad.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Pushed Up The Hill

The Battle of Somerset or Dutton’s Hill was fought in central Kentucky March 31st 1863.

Confederate Brigadier General John Pegream led a force of cavalry in 1863 into the Lexington, Kentucky area.  Aware of the movement Union Brigadier General Quincy A Gillmore, an engineer and artillerist serving in the Department of Ohio, sought permission to lead a cavalry and mounted infantry force against Pegream.  Before Gillmore could make his move the Confederates had rounded up a few hundred cattle to be used for supplying hungry troops.

Gillmore finally got his troops moving, catching up with Pegram’s force on March 31st 1863 just outside of Somerset, Kentucky.  Union troops pushed Pegram’s men up Dutton’s Hill, where they made a stand. Union artillery was brought up, and the 45th Ohio Mounted Infantry successfully charge the Confederates on the hill.

Pegram was forced to retreat.  They moved south of the Cumberland River, leaving behind most of the captured cattle.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

An Engineer And Soldier

John Newton received his appointment to Union Major General March 30th 1863.

John Newton was born August 25th 1822 in Norfolk, Virginia the son of United States Congressman Thomas and Margaret (Jordan) Newton Jr.  He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating second in the class of 1842.  He was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers and taught the subject from 1843 to 1846 at the Academy.  After which Newton served in engineering work along the Atlantic coast, the Great Lakes, and the Gulf Coast.

When the Civil War began, Newton stayed loyal to the Union.  He helped with the construction of the defenses of Washington, DC.  He was leading a brigade during the Peninsula and Maryland Campaigns, and fought at the Battle of Antietam.  Newton had become a division commander in the VI Corps by the Battle of Fredericksburg.  He was among the officers who traveled to Washington, DC to complained to United States President Abraham Lincoln of their lack of confidence in their commander; Union Major General Ambrose E Burnside.  On March 30th 1863 Newton was appointed Major General.  He was wounded during the Chancellorsville Campaign at Salem Church.  During the Battle of Gettysburg Newton took command of the I Corps of the Army of the Potomac after the death of Union Major General John F Reynolds, and would continue in that position until the army was reorganized in 1864.  He was then placed in commanded of a division in the IV Corps during the Atlanta Campaign.  After this he was moved to command of the District of Key West, with his last campaign of the war a defeat at the Battle of Natural Bridge in Florida in March 1865.

After the war Newton returned to the Corps of Engineers.  He would oversee the improvements of the waters around New York City, and the Hudson River south of Albany, New York.  He was appointed Chief of Engineers in 1884.  On October 10th 1885 Newton used 140 tons of dynamite and blew up New York’s Hell Gate Rock.  He retired from the Army in 1886, serving as a Commissioner of Public Works in New York City, and as President of the Panama Railroad Company.  Newton died May 1st 1895 in New York City, New York, and is buried in the cemetery at West Point.