Efforts have begun to conserve a North Carolina state flag captured by Union forces during the Battle of New Bern.
The banner was carried by the 33rd North Carolina State Troops during the March 14, 1862, battle at New Bern, NC. The encounter marked one of Federal leader Ambrose Burnside’s few highlights during the war, when his troops overcame an undermanned Confederate position and captured what was a key supply point.
New Bern would remain under Yankee control for the remainder of the war.
The conservation of the 33rd North Carolina regimental flag is the latest project of the Society for the Historical Preservation of the 26th Regiment North Carolina Troops, the largest group of War Between the States re-enactors in the Tar Heel State.
The 26th Regiment is working with the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh to conserve the 150-year-old standard; the effort will cost an estimated $7,500 to $10,000.
The 33rd North Carolina State Troops was organized in Raleigh in September 1861 and saw its first action at New Bern, according to the New Bern Sun Journal.
During the battle, the 33rd North Carolina suffered the greatest number of casualties of the six Confederate regiments engaged, with 32 men killed, 28 wounded and more than 100 taken prisoner, including its commander, Col. Clarke Avery.
Preservation efforts began Wednesday on Pittsburgh’s oldest-known building and the oldest authenticated structure west of the Allegheny Mountains.
The Fort Pitt Blockhouse was built in 1764, in the immediate aftermath of the French and Indian War. Much of the stone foundation, bricks and timber in the two-story structure are original, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The blockhouse was built to reinforce Fort Pitt, the largest British fortification in North America.
The project will take 10 months and is being funded by an anonymous donor and the Colcom Foundation, according to the Fort Pitt Society, which owns the structure.
Fort Pitt was completed in 1761, amid the lengthy French and Indian War, a good bit of which took place in the Ohio Valley. During Pontiac’s Rebellion in 1763, a weakness in the fort became apparent when British forces noted that the structure’s design impeded efforts to repel snipers.
In response, Col. Henry Bouquet constructed several redoubts, or blockhouses, for sharpshooters in 1764. The structure being renovated is the lone surviving remnant of Fort Pitt.
A key aspect of readying the Fort Pitt Blockhouse for its 250th anniversary is inspecting its timbers.
A cannon that sat in New York’s Central Park for nearly 150 years was discovered last week to have been loaded with a cannonball and black powder the entire time, it was announced last week.
Parks workers came upon a live cannonball, loaded in a Revolutionary War-era cannon currently being refurbished, New York television station CBS 2 reported. The artillery piece was one of two British cannon being stored at a Central Park shed near the 79th Street transverse, according to the station.
Preservation workers for the Central Park Conservancy called police last Friday after opening up the capped artillery piece for cleaning and finding the cannonball, cotton wadding and 28 ounces of black powder wrapped in wool, still capable of firing, according to the New York Times.
The loaded cannon was on public display from the 1860s until 1996, when the Central Park Conservancy decided to bring it indoors to protect it from vandalism. It was donated to the park around the time of the War Between the States.
The cannon, believed to be more than 220 years old, was apparently donated after it is believed to have been salvaged from the HMS Hussar, a British frigate that sank in the East River around 1780 during the American Revolution, according to the Associated Press.
One week after a ceremony honoring South Carolina civil rights pioneer George Elmore culminated with the erection of a historic marker in front of the downtown Columbia building he once operated, the structure was promptly razed.
Elmore ran the Waverly 5-and-10 cent store, and area mainstay, up until the late 1940s, when he dared to challenge the state’s status quo and put his name on a lawsuit that sought to end South Carolina’s practice of all-white political primaries.
Elmore’s actions led to economic reprisals and financial ruin, according to The State newspaper.
Last Friday, one week after a ceremony attended by city leaders, academics and Elmore’s descendants, the 1935 structure was reduced to a pile of rubble.
The property’s owner, First Nazareth Baptist Church, which sits next door, has not said what it will do with the razed site or why it chose to knock down the historic structure.
Not surprisingly, there is a good bit of unhappiness in area preservation circles.
An 1824 work by English painter John Constable sold for $35 million at auction earlier this month, setting a record for the influential artist while also highlighting an ugly family spat.
According to several media reports, Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza blamed the decision to sell “The Lock,” a work that had hung in Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, founded by the baroness’ late husband, on Spain’s slumping economy.
Apparently oblivious to the benefits of modern public relations, the baroness quipped to a Spanish newspaper, ”I need the money – I really need it. I have no liquidity. Keeping the collection here is costly to me, and I get nothing in return.”
The sale drew the ire of the baroness’ family as well as a board member of the museum, who resigned in protest, according to a Reuters report.
A stepdaughter of the baroness was quoted in the British press saying that her stepmother “has shown absolutely no respect for my father and is simply putting her own financial needs above everything else,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
A 223-year-old book containing George Washington’s copies of the Constitution and Bill of Rights sold for nearly $10 million at an auction Friday evening in New York.
After an intense bidding war with an unidentified party, the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, charged with the preservation of Washington’s residence just outside the US capital, purchased the book for $9.82 million, according to Agence France-Presse.
The sale price was $8.7 million; with the commission bringing the total to nearly $10 million, according to auction house Christie’s. Original estimates were that the work could fetch between $2 million and $3 million.
The manuscript, bound by Thomas Allen of New York in 1789, was one of a set of three. The other two copies went to future President Thomas Jefferson and John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.
The 106-page book, bound in white leather, features Washington’s signature on the document’s first page. The documents contain notes in Washington’s handwriting, including notations of the responsibilities of the president.
“It’s an exciting day. We are thrilled to be able to bring this extraordinary book back to Mount Vernon where it belongs,” said Ann Bookout, a spokeswoman for the Mount Vernon Ladies Association.
The Confederate battle flag returned to South Carolina last month after spending decades in a Tennessee children’s museum wasn’t any display banner that avoided capture because it was tucked inside a quartermasters’ wagon as the war wound down.
Indeed, Pvt. George W. Wise of the 19th SC Infantry Regiment carried the flag into battles from middle Tennessee to Atlanta during the ugliest days of the Civil War.
“It was shot out of his hands in Murfreesboro in 1863, and he probably dropped it when he lost his left arm in a battle at Shelbyville,” reported the Charleston Post and Courier. “But Pvt. Wise never really let go of that flag. When the war ended, Wise carried the tattered, bullet-riddled banner home.”
Last month, the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the state of South Carolina announced they had worked together to purchase the banner from the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge, Tenn., for $50,000.
It becomes one of the most important flags in the collection of the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum in Columbia.
“It’s real significant simply because it’s an unusual flag with the diamond box on the center star, and because the provenance is so strong on this,” Relic Room Director Allen Roberson said. “We’re pretty sure bullets went through this flag, and the granddaughter said there is blood on it.”
Some 150 years after Union forces created the first community in the US specifically for freed slaves, the area once known as Mitchelville is again being debated by the powers that be.
A proposal under consideration by the S.C. Senate includes $200,000 for the Mitchelville Preservation Project on Hilton Head Island.
The nonprofit group seeking to preserve Mitchelville officially formed two years ago, on the eve of the Civil War sesquicentennial. Plans are to buy plots adjoining a 33-acre beachfront town park toward the nonprofit’s long-term goal of recreating parts of the original town, according to The Associated Press.
The former community at the northern end of Hilton Head Island was formed after invading Union Army and Navy troops established headquarters at nearby Port Royal in fall 1861, just a few months after the beginning of the Civil War.
Federal forces created a safe haven for slaves left behind by plantation owners who fled inland and for slaves fleeing from plantations on nearby islands.
What was created was a village of between 1,500 and 2,000, named after Union Gen. Ormsby Mitchel.
It included homes built on half-acre parcels, town elections and mandatory schooling. Residents of the self-governing community dispersed after Union troops left in 1868, according to the wire service.
Activists decry the automobile’s impact upon the environment, but few take time to consider what life was like in the days before motor vehicles came along
More than 500 tons of horse manure was collected from the streets of New York City daily in the early 1890s, according to the above video by the New-York Historical Society and NYC Media.
That’s 1 million pounds of road apples, for those of you scoring at home.
All that horse hockey was produced by 62,000 horses in 1,300 stables, according to Jean Ashton of the New York Historical Society.
It was taken – with human waste – to the aptly named “Barren Island,” where it was reduced to fertilizer.
In addition to the horrible stench that emanated from the horse manure and urine, the waste products were obvious breeding grounds for insects and disease.
An exceedingly rare Confederate battle flag that flew at the bloody Battle of Franklin returned home to South Carolina Wednesday.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans and the state of South Carolina worked together to purchase a banner of the 19th South Carolina infantry regiment from a small museum in Oak Ridge, Tenn., for $50,000.
The flag is one of just six known examples of “Macon Arsenal” banners, produced in Macon, Ga.
The wool flag is approximately 48 inches by 52 inches. Macon Arsenal flags are distinctive because the white Cross of St. Andrew extends through the center, isolating the banner’s center star.
The flag’s value is at least $150,000, said Randy Burbage, an official with the South Carolina chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Burbage said that a new museum in Franklin, Tenn., wanted the flag, as well, and offered twice what South Carolina paid for it.