Monday, September 15, 2014

Answer to September 11 TBT (Trivia Brainstorming Thursday)

Q: What do you know about this person?

A:  This is a picture of Congressman Robert Smalls. He was born into slavery the son of Lydia and Robert Smalls although most historians agree his true father was their owner John K. McKee. His first 10 years were very easy years spent mostly with McKee playing with in town children. His mother knew he needed to be shown reality so she sent him to live the life of a slave with his relatives on Ashdale Plantation on Lady’s Island, SC. Instead of teaching him his “place” in the world it only fostered defiance towards slavery.
    He married and had children and both of their slave owners allowed them to live together. When Robert tried to buy their freedom it was way beyond his meager income. The Civil War had erupted and he concocted a plant to steal the CSS Planter with three other enslaved men and their families. They stole the ship and handed it over to the Union.  He joined the United States Navy and piloted this ship and another during the fight against the confederacy. He helped enlist over 5,000 blacks into the army. He also was made Major General of the South Carolina Militia.
  After the war, he was one of the founders of the Beaufort County, South Carolina Republican Club.  He also served on the Beaufort County School Board and helped to establish the first school built for black children.
    In 1868 he was elected to the Continental Congress. From 1869 to 1889, he served in both houses of the South Carolina Legislature and was elected to five terms in the United States Congress. He also served in South Carolina as Collector of Customs for the Port of Beaufort first appointed by President Benjamin Harrison from 1888-1993 and again appointed by President William McKinley from 1898-1912. He died in 1915 at the age of 76 in the McKee house in Beaufort, SC where he was born.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Answer to September 4th TBT (Trivia Brainstorming Thursday)

Q: Who is this and what is he famous for?

A: Edmund Ruffin and he is famous for having fired the first and last shot of the civil war.

Edmund Ruffin (1794-1865) was a successful plantation owner and Virginia Senator from 1823-1827. He was labeled a "Fire Eater", those who were passionate about Southern Independence and Secession from the United States. The reality of him firing the first shot is probably more urban legend than fact but it is a commonly held belief. The story goes that he was given the honor of the first shot at Fort Sumter, South Carolina where the confederate troops were in position to take it back from the Union occupation. The Union surrendered the next day. According again to urban legend he also fired the last shot of the Civil War committing suicide in his disappointment. While this is partially true, confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union troops on April 9, 1865 and Edmund Ruffin did not commit suicide until June 17, 1865, more in part due to his failing health.

Sources and Further Reading

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Answer to August 28thst TBT (Trivia Brainstorming Thursday)

Q: Who is this great lady and which two agencies did she create?

A: This is a picture of Clara Barton, born Clarissa Harlowe Barton in 1821. She Created the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States and the American Red Cross.

During the Civil War Clara Barton was a welcome volunteer to the Union forces. She would help in organizing men to bring first aid to the wounded and giving out food and water to both Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners. She used her own money to supplement for needed supplies and was reimbursed by the Government after the war. They called her the "Angel of the Battlefield"

Clara Barton was a member of the International Red Cross and was instrumental in Creating the American Red Cross in 1880 and served as the first president until 1904. President Abraham Lincoln appointed her General correspondent for the Friends of Paroled Prisoners where she connected families searching for loved ones with casualties of war or on the prison roles. From this she created the Bureau of Records of Missing Men of the Armies of the United States determined that there should be no unmarked graves. A tracing service was eventually taken up by the Red Cross and is widely used by soldiers families today. Follow the links below to read more about this hardworking Patriot.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Answer to August 21st TBT (Trivia Brainstorming Thursday)

Q: Who was Stonewall Jackson, why was he called 'Stonewall' and what was his real name?

A: Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was born January 21, 1864 in Clarksburg, VA. He graduated from West Point Academy in New York and also worked as a Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy. He was a Lieutenant General in the Confederate army during the Civil War. He earned the name "Stonewall" during the battle of First Manassas or Bull Run. Tradition states General Bernard Elliot Bee of South Carolina either tried to rally his troops by shouting" Form, form there stands Jackson like a Stonewall rally behind the Virginians" and that is what is carved on his grave stone. The other story is that General Bee, upon meeting the Alabama troops, pointed to Jackson in the midst of battle and said "Yonder stands Jackson standing like a 'Stonewall' let us go to his assistance". His image can be seen as the third carving on Stone Mountain in Georgia behind General Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. Make sure and check out our facebook page where some of our followers have pointed out little known facts or tradition about Stonewall Jackson. Also the video in the references below and the entire website has a lot of fascinating information about Jackson and the entire Civil War in general.

Check out some of our Civil War era replicas here:

References Video: "Stonewall Jackson at First Manassas"
Jackson Biography
 TJ "Stonewall" Jackson

Monday, August 18, 2014

Answer to August 14th TBT (Trivia Brainstorming Thursday)

Q: The first book ever printed, was printed by whom and in what year? What happened?

A: Most people answered the Gutenberg Bible printed by Gutenberg. This is technically incorrect. The Anonymously published 42-line Bible was printed by Johann Fust (Faust) and his head foreman Peter Schoeffer in 1456. Johann Gutenberg (born Johann Geinsfleisch) was the inventor of the movable type printing press and most likely printed the first pages of the Gutenberg bible but his lender turned partner, Johann Fust, took him to court due to an outstanding loan. The courts favored Fust and he was able to seize the entire business. Fust and Schoeffer went on to publish more books. Fust, whose family name was later changed to Faust was also rumored to have worked for Laurens Jaansen known as Costa in Haarlem who was possibly the first real inventor of moveable type. Interestingly, he has also been named as a possible inspiration for Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. After Fust died, Schoeffer inherited the business and married Fust's daughter, Christina. He was very successful in the printing business. Gutenberg on the other hand died in poverty three years after having taken a position in the court of the Archbishop of Mainz.  History has credited Johann Gutenberg with his invention by naming that first book 'The Gutenberg Bible' even though he never finished printing it.

Johann Fust
Peter Schoeffer
Johann Gutenberg


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Battle of Kusk - 2nd Part

By early July the Germans had amassed hundreds of thousands of men along with 3000 tanks. Opposite them, the Russians had nearly 2 million men ready to commit to battle and over 5000 tanks! The Red Air Force controlled the skies and could provide overwhelming fire power in support of the Soviet ground forces. In addition to this, the Soviets had constructed 7 layers of defense to contain and repel the German advance. The stage was set for a dramatic German defeat rather than the war winning success Hitler had in mind.
                On July 5th, 1943 the battle began with a pre-dawn massive artillery barrage and an all out assault on the Soviet lines. Men and machines poured into the battle and losses were horrible on both sides. Estimates put several hundred tanks destroyed the very first day with thousands upon thousands of men killed or wounded. After almost a week of bitter fighting the Germans had pushed nearly 20 miles into the Soviet’s defensive lines but it wasn’t quite enough to make the desperately needed breakthrough. The town of Prokhorovka was next under German attack due to its strategic railway junction.
                On July 12th, the largest tank battle in history began. The Red Army command staff knew that if the Germans took the town of Prokhorovka they could unhinge the entire Soviet defense. As a result of this, Russian troops were rushed to the town to aid in the defense. The new German Tigers and Panthers mauled the Soviet Fifth Guards Tank Army, inflicting a 50% casualty rate on the Russians. Despite this, the German’s lack of numbers soon began to show as the enormous losses suffered in the battle for Prokhorovka caused the attack to stall and then halt completely. The German flanks had been weakened to funnel troops into the attack on the town and now the Soviet army conducted a series of fierce counter attacks aimed at the German flanks. They met with tremendous success and the Germans began a fighting retreat that lost them all the land they had taken in the Battle of Kursk plus much more.
                Both the Germans and the Russians had lost an enormous amount of soldiers and armor, however, the Germans could not afford the losses while the Russians had more than enough men in reserve to bring themselves back to full strength. Ultimately, the Battle of Kursk had gained the Germans nothing and had cost them priceless men and materials that could have been better used in a defensive position rather than wasted in a hopeless attack. The Russians began an advance that would not stop until it took the German capital of Berlin itself.