Archive for July, 2013

Charles Ellis, 96th Illinois Infantry

July 16, 2013

The 96th Illinois is a favorite regiment of mine, raised close to my home, who had their babtism of fire on Horseshoe Ridge, September 20, 1863. Recently, a descendant of one member of the 96th got in touch with me to share some interesting items.

Here is a picture of Charles Ellis’s weapon and leather gear:

Musket, cartridge box and leather accoutrements worn by Sergant Ellis

Musket, cartridge box and leather accoutrements worn by Sergant Ellis

Sergeant Ellis, appears to be Charles Ellis, born in Manchester England in 1820, and who enlisted at Waukegan Illinois as a Private in Company D, the 96th Illinois.

Charles took the oath on July 21st, 1862, just about 151 years ago. At 43, he was considerably older than most of the recruits in Union regiments, but he appeared to be hardy enough.

He was wounded in the foot on September 20th, during that wild struggle for Horseshoe Ridge, but recovered. He would rise to First Sergeant of Company D, and muster out in Nashville on June the 10th, 1865. He died in 1890, and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Waukegan IL.

Thanks to Ken Ellis for passing on this picture and the other information he has shared with me.

My books

July 13, 2013

Someone asked about my books. As I have noted on Facebook, I am cataloguing my books via Librarything. You can see them here, I think:

look for member: DavidPowell


You may have to join LT, but if you can join for free if you store less than 200 books, which means that you can sign up and see other member libraries at no cost.


let me know if it works…

One More Victory

July 4, 2013

On July 4th, two great Union triumphs fell upon an anxious nation like a bombshell. Across the North, Independence Day would be marked forever by the twin successes of Gettysburg and Vicksburg (though in all fairness, few Northerners were fully aware of Grant’s achievement in Mississippi that day, given the lack of direct telegraphic access to the front.) In fact, July 4th 1863 was celebrated by three Union accomplishments, not just two.

Abraham Lincoln would call it “the most splendid piece of Strategy I know of.” Even years later, General David Stanley argued that “no better piece of successful strategy was carried out during the war.” Beginning on June 26th, amid a week’s worth of driving rainstorms which turned Middle Tennessee’s throughways and byways to little more than quagmires, the Union Army of the Cumberland flanked Bragg out of Shelbyville and Tullahoma, forcing the Confederate Army of Tennessee to stagger back all the way to Chattanooga.

On the 4th, Rosecrans dined with Alexander McDowell McCook, head of the Union XX Corps, at Winchester. It was a festive affair. Garfield, Jefferson C. Davis and Phil Sheridan were also present; bottles made the rounds, and congratulations were offered. But Rosecrans wasn’t just there to party. Amid the cigars and whisky, Rosecrans laid out his initial ideas for the capture of the next vital objective: Chattanooga.

The Chickamauga Campaign had begun…