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154 Years Ago

The following account was found in the Vicksburg Campaign, Volume II by Edward Bearss.( Page 114-121 and 128). The extended combat patrol became known as the Greenville Expedition. The 41st Georgia was assigned on temporary duty to CSA General S.D. Lee’s Brigade, which was reinforced and larger than normal.

(04/07/1863) Left Snyder’s Bluff for Deer Creek in steamboat in S.D.Lee’s brigade

(04/08/1863) Disembarked by forenoon at Rolling Fork, MS.

(04/08/1863) Brigaded with 56th Georgia; 3rd Louisiana ; 26th Louisiana ; 27th Louisiana; 29th Louisiana and a battalion of artillery.

(04/09/1863) Lee’s Reinforced Brigade marches north from Deer Creek to reinforce Combat Team Ferguson.

(04/09/1863) Camped at Willis’ Plantation.

(04/10/1863) Leave Willis’ Planation and return to Rolling Fork. Exact date unclear.

(04/11/1863) Marching back to Rolling Fork. Exact date unclear.

(04/12/1863) Camped at Rolling Fork. 150 men were embarked on steamship Emma Bell along with two cannons.

(04/13/1863) On the Big Sunflower River, Emma Bell searches for a missing patrol of 263 men. The Acadia and patrol are found on the return back to Rolling Fork.

(04/14/1863) Returned by steamboat to Rolling Fork. Reported observations of enemy boats.

(04/15/1863) In camp at staging area at Snyder’s Bluff for next 10 days.

(04/25/1863) Official end of the Greenville Expedition at Snyder’s Bluff.

Note : The area of Mississippi that is drained by the Big Sunflower River is a maze of bayous, streams and other rivers. Some of these waters can be used by gunboats and others are blocked by sandbars, down trees and shallow water. There are few roads and understanding the waterways is difficult.

Meanwhile : The 40th, 42nd, 43rd and 52nd Georgia were in camp in the Walnut Hills area north of Vicksburg.

March, 2017 Newsletter Correction

In the March, 2017 Newsletter I was telling about a conversation with 42nd Georgia Regimental Historian Robert Elliott, Grayson, GA. There were a number of subjects covered in the phone call that lasted over an hour. I did take notes during the call, and afterward, but I was not exact enough and I got some details garbled. I do regret that foul-up and I want to correct the record about Captain William E. Smith , 4th Georgia.

Possibly the best way to get you the facts correctly is to quote the explanation sent to me by Robert. I am sorry that I messed it up. Here is the full, correct story :

“ There is a Civil War publication magazine called Military Images. It showcases high quality images with extraordinary stories. Therefore, thousands of collectors and people scan their image hoping to get it published. Ron Coddington is the editor.

He scanned Captain Smith’s photo and story over two years ago at the Dalton Civil War Show in February, 2015. He thought maybe Smith had a chance to make it in the magazine. I saw Ron again at this year’s show in February and he told me he was going to make it happen. About a week before I talked to you he sent me an email and said it would come out in the Summer issue, around June this year. In the email he sent me a draft of the article for me to read and approve. I had written up most of the research but he and his team of researchers found additional facts, which made me a happy man.

To get an image in this magazine is an honor but to get a story written up is like winning an Olympic Gold Medal to an image collector.”

Robert had this image in his collection for over eight years. The image was not in the auction. Now it will get much more exposure. Thank you for the correct information.

Reference Books for 2017 Congress

Finding books that explain battles in detail and have maps to the regiment level can be essential in retracing steps that our ancestors took. I have noticed through the years that battles in Virginia are well documented but battles in the Western Theater – not so much.

There are two books I can recommend for study prior to the 2017 Congress. For the battles of Chickasaw Bayou , the Greenville Expedition and the Redbone Church Blocking Action, I have found The Vicksburg Campaign, Volume II by Edwin C. Bearss to be helpful. The author used to be the Chief Historian at Vicksburg National Battlefield Park and his books are the “ Bible” of the actions around Vicksburg. He still leads tours and seminars on a number of Civil War battles and is in demand as a famous speaker.

For Champion Hill, also known as Baker’s Creek, a relatively new book titled Champion Hill : the Decisive Battle for Vicksburg by Timothy B. Smith, is the one to study. He also covers the rear guard fight at Big Black River. Our men did not fight at Big Black River but they did retreat across the railroad bridge after Baker’s Creek, during the march to Vicksburg.( Check this about Big Black River-was it in Vol II ?)

Timothy Smith, now retired from the National Park Service , was stationed at Vicksburg and holds a Ph.D in history from Mississippi State. His book has detailed maps to the regiment level, a complete Order of Battle and a text that is easy to read.

In 2004,our last Congress at Vicksburg, the book by Timothy Smith had not been written It came out in 2004 after our Vicksburg Congress.

The information in these books and the local guides will get us to the battle sites.  We will do the best we can to describe what happened as we look at the ground and vegetation. The ground and vegetation does not change, but we will have to imagine flood waters, battle smoke and sounds, lack of sleep, long marches and cold food. We will also have to imagine the charging enemy and the battle lines of our regiments.

I plan to develop portable sketch maps that can be used to assist us in being oriented to the ground while the action on the ground is described. The 2017 Congress tours will  be designed differently than what was done in 2004. I plan to have us get out of our cars, assemble with the maps, describe the action and move on to the next site. We will not hike down historic roads or trek through brush and snakes. We can see how thick the brush and trees are from the road. We will use the portable loud speaker so all can hear over wind, passing cars, scuffling feet and coughs. One twisted knee or a heat exhaustion for one person can put stress on the rest of the field tour. So, we will be in and out of the cars and on to the next site.

Value of Reenactments

Should you be able to attend a reenactment, please do. Even if it is of a different battle, one can set in your mind images that would apply to other battles.

Seeing the smoke from rifles and cannons is instructive. Seeing sweating men in itchy wool uniforms is instructive and you don’t have to wear one to get the picture. I recall seeing a cavalry horse , without trooper, running through the crowd, tent ropes and tents, during a reenactment. Suddenly, the scene was very real and the danger very real. Being run over by a horse in full gallop can be deadly. In this case the horse was caught fairly quickly by a re-enactor on another horse.

The scenes you will see, and the sounds, can be played in your mind at another battle site. That is one reason we go to museums. We can see the saws that cut through bone during amputations. We can get the feel of an ammunition pouch with forty rounds of rifle ammunition.

Call for Presentations

Please let me know if you intend to make a presentation on Friday night during the Regimental Historians presentations. One does not have to be a Regimental Historian to make a presentation, but it must be coordinated.

Some years we have more presentations than we have time to hear them. They may have to be shortened or delayed to another year. Please let me know the subject and the desired amount of time needed.

As this is written, I have six 15 minute time slots and one 30 minute time slot to fill. If you need a 30 minute slot , we can put two 15 minute slots together. But, there is only so much time to allot to all of our presenters.

If you told me earlier that you wanted to present, please reconfirm and tell me again. I may have gotten the request garbled or your situation may have changed.

Historians Night is Friday, September 1, 2017 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

Recruiting Opportunity Update

( Please refer to March, 2017 issue of the Newsletter for background information and additional details.)

Volunteers are needed to reinforce the initial three volunteers who stepped forward to staff the recruiting desk at the Georgia SCV Convention in Macon on June 9-10.Vice President Joe Bailey, Norcross, GA ; Acting 40th Georgia Regimental Historian Jon Perryman, Marietta, GA , and Social Media Editor Jason Stanford, Bremen, GA are planning to be at our recruiting desk in Macon. Secretary Cliff Roberts, Charleston, SC has worked with Joe on developing a poster to use at the desk. Things are coming together for this recruiting effort. However, more help is needed.

If the desk has at least one person on duty at all times during the two day period, it makes it hard to have rest room breaks and lunch breaks with only one person. Two people makes the task much more manageable . Also, with two people or more, a team teaching approach can be taken as a conversation develops. While one is talking, the other is thinking what else to say and what else needs to be explained in more detail. Of course, if more than one person stops by at one time, at least two can be engaged at the same time and one person does not have to wait.

Please check your schedule and see if it might be possible to help out in Macon. The roster was examined to find potential members that might be able to  help if they lived within a two hour drive of Macon. Some of you may be getting a phone call or email.

My experience in manning a table at conventions is that one Convention attendee has to decide to stop by, before anything can be explained. If they do stop, we want to be able to pounce on them in a friendly way and tell them more of what we do. They have to decide to stop first, and not move on to another desk or table. It can be fun and it can be exciting because no situation is the same as the previous one.

Senior Recruiting Officer Jack Bolen, Brandon, FL, has donated the cost of the table reservation. Cliff Roberts , Charleston, SC, has donated the cost of the poster printing. Joe Bailey, Norcross, GA, is donating the printing of all forms and handouts. And, of course, the meals, gas, motels, and time will be donated to make this recruiting opportunity happen. They just need a little more help in talking with people.

Civil War Trust Reports Land Saved in 2016

The Civil War Trust has reported that they saved 2,373 acres in 11 different states. $4.9 million was spent to buy land worth $25.3 million. A piece of land one mile square would be 640 acres.

The breakdown showed that five battlefields where our regiments fought were included in the total. The battlefields were : Rocky Face Ridge, GA 301.1 acres ; Perryville, KY 11.9 acres and 58 acres ; Corinth, MS 51.5 acres ; Bentonville, NC 3.7 acres and 10.5 acres and Franklin, , TN 1.4 acres.

In addition to the above, there were other parcels bought including :  One in KY; one in OK ; 4 in MD ; one in MS ; one in WV; 4 in PA ; 3 in SC ; 2 in TN ; one in NC and 18 parcels in VA.

Electronic Scam Strikes

Founder and Past President Gary R. Goodson, Sr., Shawnee, CO, was going through Google gathering Georgia Confederate 7,000 information for the Georgia Historical Research Library in Savannah and he discovered a “download free “ scam. It was a theft by a free download online scam. The teaser line instructed, “ Download The Georgia Confederate 7,000 complete Battle History “.


Springing into action, Gary contacted Webmaster Don Bulloch, Riverdale, GA to confer on what might be done. Since it was a national and international e-book theft issue, Gary decided to contact the U.S. Attorney General’s Office. It wasn’t too long and he was in contact with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, dubbed (IC3).

Gary’s further research found there is a video-sharing platform named Dailymotion.com which is a French company. They have been in the French courts for various copyright infringement cases.

After searching more, he found a company named Journey Books involved with pitching “free e-books”,and one was  Georgia Confederate 7,000, Parts I,II,III, IV.

There will be more developments for sure. That is the status for now.

Selected Calendar of Events

These events are listed because they are close to many of our members or Stovall’s Brigade fought at that site.

General James Longstreet Camp 1289 SCV  Annual Confederate Memorial Service, Saturday, April 22, 11:00 AM. Confederate Knoll, Westview Cemetery, 1680 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, GA.

General Stand Watie Camp 915, SCV  Confederate Memorial Day Service  Sunday, April 23, 2:00 PM Resaca Confederate Cemetery, Resaca, GA. About 7 miles north of Calhoun, GA on Highway 41 N, turn right on Confederate Cemetery Road. If inclimate weather the event will be held at Oakleigh in downtown Calhoun, GA. Note that the cemetery is just south of the line defended by Stovall’s Brigade.

Marietta Confederate Cemetery Annual Confederate Memorial Day Service  Sunday, April 23 at 3:00 PM. Hosted by Kennesaw Chapter UDC at the Cemetery Gazebo.

Cassville Confederate Memorial Service  Saturday, April 29 at 10:00 AM  Speaker and music

Battle of Resaca Reenactment  May 20 and 21  Battles both Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM.

120th Annual Georgia Division SCV   June 9 and 10 at Macon Marriott City Center, 240 Coliseum Drive, Macon, GA  June 9 Preregistration and Friday night Sociable and supper in Magnolia Room. June 10  Registration  7-9 AM, Business Meeting 9:30 AM.  BBQ Lunch.\

Leonidas Polk Camp 1446 SCV  Annual Memorial Service for Bishop-General Leonidas Polk  Saturday, June 17 at 10:30 AM at Pine Mountain (Cobb County) , Georgia.

Good News/ Bad News

The Good News is that I am able to send this Newsletter because Sylvia and I came out of a car crash on the way home from Palm Desert, CA, without a single scratch. The Bad News is our car is in a Ford dealer Collision Center lot awaiting insurance appraisers and vehicle experts to see if it can be repaired and for how much. The dealer is in Eugene, OR, some 55 miles from the crash scene on I-5 south of Eugene, OR. Mile Post 144 near Oakland, OR to be exact.

Briefly, as I came alongside a van , to pass it in the passing lane of a two lane portion of I-5 going North, the van suddenly came over the line and came at my car. I had to instantly take evasive action and steer away from the impending crash. To get away, I had to get in the median which was soft dirt and grass. I approached the Jersey barrier, about 10 yards away and above   the level of the lane I left. So, I was approaching at an angle and pointed up. I think a glancing blow turned into a half circle or 1 ½ half flat spin circle as we landed with the front end pointed South, the opposite direction I was going.  Neither of us were injured. The air bags did not deploy. The car did not roll over. The glass and sides were untouched. The shoulder strap did tear the left pocket off my shirt.

However, the front bumper was torn off, the back bumper was torn off but still hanging on the car, the left rear tire was blown and the right front tire was blown, the radiator broke part of the shroud around it but the lights on front and back were undamaged. The hood would open and was not damaged. I was not able to see the frame and suspension.

The tow truck driver told me that Oregon drivers have more accidents than California drivers. That is saying something. Maybe it is the weather difference. This event confirmed that every day is a gift.

Like the World War I aviator said, “ Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing !”

Mike Griggs