Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Orleans, Jackson Barracks, Chalmette Cemetery, and the National World War II Museum

My trip to New Orleans was extremely successful. LTC Tommy Ryan LA National Guard historian was my host on Friday and what a wonderful host he was. I meet him at Jackson Barracks and after explaining more about my project we went on a trip around the entire original Barracks. It was built in the 1830 and most of it still exists today, in spite of the years, urban growth, and Katrina.

I was able to walk where Robinette walked and see what he would have seen. As LTC Ryan said, “If a soldier from the 1830s was here today he would recognize the place and feel at home. The barracks themselves have been converted in individual quarters for some time and some are currently being restored. The original was is still in existence in some places and in others you can see it’s “shadow” on the buildings.

Orginal Wall-the wall was build originally in case of a slave insurrection.

CG quarters

Original side gate.

View of the Barracks

Parade Ground

Barracks-upstairs were the quarters, down, common room and mess hall

Barricks upstairs--the only stairs were on the outside.

Original fireplace with modifications.

Original wall and original French drains that still work as designed!

One of two surviving towers.

Original wall

1830s graffiti-Clavin Co C, 5th Inf

After a morning of touring the facility I picked up the flowers I ordered and went to the Chalmette Cemetery. The cemetery is closed due to reconstruction from Katrina but I was able to get in with an escort. They had cleaned the stone and the sun came up in time for me to get some great pictures. I said a prayer for him and all the soldiers buried there. I talked to him a biut, yeah I know, and promised him I would do everything in my power to tell his story and determine what led him to his untimely demise.
The Park Service decided NOT to place flags on the gravesites this year. They said since it was closed there was no need. I could not DISAGREE more. The flags were to honor the soldiers buried there NOT to the live but for the dead to be remembered. I thought it was a disgraceful thing to do.

That evening LTC Ryan invited me to dinner at the New Orleans Cooking Experience: It is located at The House on Bayou Road: The home was built as the main house to an indigo plantation just prior to the turn of the 19th century. This restful inn is just minutes from the French Quarter. The guest quarters are appointed with fine linens and elegant furnishings. The main house of this historic site was built in 1798 by physician/diplomat Domingo Fleitas. Coming originally from Tenerife in the Canary Island, Sr. Fleitas had his Indigo plantation's 'maison principal' built in the West Indies Creole style with wide galleries and many French doors opening onto flowering patios.

The chef for the evening was Janice “Boo” Macomber ( and boy could she cook up a storm:
Boo’s Amuse Bouche (Aligator Suace Piquante)
Rosemary Shrimp
Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
Crawfish Stew & Crawfish Loaf on Dirty Rice
And for dessert: Bananas Foster.
What a wonderful experience. BTW, Boo has a recipe book for sale!

The next day I was up bright and early so I could go to the National World War II Museum:
My dad fought in WWII and my sister and I have a brick there in his name.
PY 305 is there as well. I helped work on her and her sister ship PT 309 while living in Houston. Unfortunately, funds do not allow for her restoration at this time. I just wish they would cover her up to protect her from the weather.

Well, that was my time in NO and off to Vicksburg for Sunday.

Keep History Alive

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jackson Barracks & Chalamette Cemetery

Jackson Barracks & Chalmette Cemetery.

Well, I left NO today and am now in Jackson, Mississippi. When I am home I will write much more and provide details. Suffice it to say LTC Tommy Ryan, LA National Guard Historian was an outstanding host. We toured Jackson Barracks and I took a lot of pictures which I will post next week. Here is one of the pictures for the Barracks. It is the side gate that Harry must have walked through hundreds of times.

I got to eat my first Po Boy in a long time at lunch. I then went to find Robinett’s grave site. The folks at the cemetery had cleaned the stone, which I much appreciate. I placed two flags, Harry’s picture, and placed a nice bouquet of white roses (see Tuesday, April 28, 2009 post). I took some more pictures and will post them next week as well.

I was quite moved at the grave site and will write more on that experience next week. I leave you tonight with one picture.

Keep History Alive

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Time to Remember

As you know, I will be traveling for my research project during the next 5 days but wanted to share a piece I found by Rick Atkinson, noted military historian, it is from a larger piece on the 10 things all students should know about World War II. Please excuse the length but some things cannot be said in "Twitter bites."

War is a clinic in mass killing, yet there's a miracle of singularity; each death is as unique as a snowflake or a fingerprint. The most critical lesson for every American is to understand, viscerally, that this vast host died one by one by one; to understand in your bones that they died for you.

Among those fighting in the ferocious battle in mid-December 1943 for San Pietro in central Italy, midway between Naples and Rome, was Captain Henry T. Waskow. Waskow was from Belton, Texas, born on a farm, and while he was a student at Trinity College he had joined the Texas National Guard.

The Texas Guard was federalized and became the 36th Infantry Division, and Henry Waskow eventually became commander of Company B, in the 143rd Infantry Regiment. He survived Salerno, but on December 14, 1943, while leading his company up Monte Sammucro, above San Pietro, he was killed by shellfire. His body lay on the mountain for several days until the company runner could get a mule from the valley below and bring Capt. Waskow down. At the foot of the mountain was, by chance, Ernie Pyle, the great warcorrespondent. Here's part of Pyle's account of that scene:

"I was at the foot of the mule trail the night they brought Capt. Waskow's body down. The moon was nearly full at the time, and you ould see far up the trail, and even part way across the valley below. Soldiers made shadows in the moonlight as they walked. Dead men had been coming down the mountain all evening, lashed to the backs of mules. They came lying belly-down across the wooden packsaddles, their heads hanging down on the left side of the mule, their stiffened legs sticking awkwardly from the other side, bobbing up and down as the mule walked.
The Italian mule-skinners were afraid to walk beside the dead men, so Americans had to lead the mules down that night. Even the Americans were reluctant to unlash and lift off the bodies at the bottom, so an officer had to do it himself, and ask others to help.
The first one came early in the morning. They slid him down from the mule and stood him on his feet for a moment, while they got a new grip. In the half light he might have been merely a sick man standing there, leaning on the others. Then they laid him on the ground in the shadow of the low stone wall alongside the road. I don't know who that first one was. You feel small in the presence of dead men, and ashamed at being alive, and you don't ask silly questions.
We left him there beside the road, that first one, and we all went back into the cowshed and sat on water cans or lay in the straw, waiting for the next batch of mules.
Somebody said the dead soldier had been dead for four days, and then nobody said anything more about it. We talked soldier talk for an hour or more. The dead men lay all alone outside in the shadow of the low stone wall.
Then a soldier came into the cowshed and said there were some more bodies outside. We went out into the road. Four mules stood there, in the moonlight, in the road where the trail came down off the mountain. The soldiers who led them stood there waiting. 'This one is Captain Waskow,' one of them said quietly.
Two men unlashed his body from the mule and lifted it off and laid it in the shadow beside the low stone wall. Other men took the other bodies off. Finally there were five lying end to end in a long row, alongside the road. You don't cover up dead men in the combat zone. They just lie there in the shadows until somebody else comes after them.
The unburdened mules moved off to their olive orchard. The men on the road seemed reluctant to leave. They stood around, and gradually one by one I could sense them moving close to Capt. Waskow's body. Not so much to look, I think, as to say something in finality to him, and to themselves. I stood close by and I could hear. One soldier came and looked down, and he said out loud, 'God damn it.' That's all he said, and then he walked away. Another one came. He said, 'God damn it to hell anyway.' He looked down for a few last moments, and then he turned and left.
Another man came; I think he was an officer. It was hard to tell officers from men in the half light, for all were bearded and grimy dirty. The man looked down into the dead captain's face, and then he spoke directly to him, as though he were alive. He said: 'I sure am sorry, old man.' Then a soldier came and stood beside the officer, and bent over, and he too spoke to his dead captain, not in a whisper but awfully tenderly, and he said: 'I sure am sorry, sir.'
Then the first man squatted down, and he reached down and took the dead hand, and he sat there for a full five minutes, holding the dead hand in his own and looking intently into the dead face, and he never uttered a sound all the time he sat there.
And finally he put the hand down, and then he reached up and gently straightened the points of the captain's shirt collar, and then he sort of rearranged the tattered edges of his uniform around the wound. And then he got up and walked away down the road in the moonlight, all alone.
After that the rest of us went back into the cowshed, leaving the five dead men lying in a line, end to end, in the shadow of the low stone wall. We lay down on the straw in the cowshed, and pretty soon we were all asleep."

But Capt. Waskow had the last word. In a final letter to his parents, one of those just-in-case letters that soldiers sometimes write, he told them this: "I would like to have lived. But since God has willed otherwise, do not grieve too much, dear ones. I will have done my share to make this world a better place in which to live. Maybe, when the lights go on again all over the world, free people can be happy and gay again. If I failed as a leader, and I pray I didn't, it was not because I did not try." He added: "I loved you, with all my heart."

Our first duty is to remember. We have an obligation to the Captain Waskows of World War II, and all our wars, to remember.

Friday, May 15, 2009

COMMISSIONING CEREMONY Widener University David W. McNulty, Esquire, PMC Class of 1963, to 2nd Lt. Myles W. Durkin

David presented the Saber to 2nd Lieutenant Myles Durking at commissioning. It was quite moving to see and I hope you enjoy reading it below. 2LT Durkin, at the end of the presentation sheaths the saber as was done at the end of each year at PMC. Good stuff.

One of my researchers 2LT Keith Bright was commisioned. I was able to watch via a webcast.

Another cadet a combat veteran, Chris Housel, 24, of Easton, performed route-clearing of improvised explosive devices in Iraq with the 1st Cavalry Division, 458th Engineering Battalion in 2004 as an NCO.

The guest speaker, Brig. Gen. Frederick Hodges, deputy chief of legislative liaison for the Office of the Secretary of the Army in Washington, D.C., reminded the cadets of the importance of their oath to defend the Constitution, complete the mission and lead their soldiers.He also reminded those in attendance that even after observing the war on terror for the last eight years, these cadets still chose to join, and help lead, the nation’s military.“That gives me a lot of hope that there are still young people out there willing to do that,” he said. “I want you to know how proud I am of you and your parents. Looking at you, you are going to be terrific.” DE County Daily Times 15 MAY article.


COMMISSIONING CEREMONY Widener University, May 14, 2009
David W. McNulty, Esquire, PMC Class of 1963, to:2nd Lt. Myles W. Durkin:
It is my honor and my privilege to be asked to participate in this service today.
It is a deeply moving and sentimental time for me, for this is the forty-sixth anniversary of my graduation from this institution which was then known as Pennsylvania Military College, “PMC”, the 2nd oldest military college in the nation.

It is also the forty-sixth anniversary of my commissioning as a young 2nd Lt. on the parade field behind Old Main.

I come to you as a voice from the past bringing you a message of insight and truth for your future. It is the same message that we received as incoming Freshmen Cadets in 1959.
That timeless message is this, that “character counts”. It counted then and it counts today more than ever.

Dr. Harris’ predecessor from generations past, Col. Hyatt, coined an epigram of truth for all young cadets at this institution. It is part of the Wisdom literature of PMC and Widener that has stood the test of time and the devolution of our modern mores. His proverb was as follows:

“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost.”

In the opening line of our PMC Alma Mater, we sang:
“Beneath the dome of PMC the “Cadets” in gray march byThe banners of our loyalty held ever bright & highThough weary years have called us forth From home to foreign sodThe truths you taught will hold us fast to country and to God.”

Weary years have called me and my classmates from home to hostile foreign sod, and yes, the truths we were taught under this Dome, as symbolized by this sabre, have indeed held us fast to country and to God.

Two of my classmates paid the ultimate price for the preservation of these truths by their combat service in Vietnam. On the plaque behind us you will find their names. John Lance Geoghegan, affectionately known as “Jack”, and William James Stephenson, affectionately known as “Buddy”.

My friend Jack was the top cadet and President of our class. He was the Brigade Commander. He was a man of character and integrity, one of the most distinguished military students in the entire nation in 1963.

Like you, Jack was the recipient of this sabre 46 years ago. In an historic ceremony behind Old Main, retired President and former Five Star General, Dwight D. Eisenhower, reviewed the Pennsylvania Military College Corps of Cadets prior to our commissioning ceremony.
In return Jack Geoghegan presented another ceremonial sabre to President Eisenhower and we, the Cadet Corps, were saluted and blessed by the Supreme Allied Commander of World War II and President of the United States.

Today as a member of the Freedom Battalion you are the continuing heir and benefactor of that salute and blessing by General Eisenhower. By my presentation of this sabre I link you back in time to that historic event.

Two years later Jack would be killed in Vietnam in the battle of the Ia Drang Valley.
Jack’s heroic story is portrayed in the Mel Gibson movie, “We Were Soldiers”.

Jack’s death was like his life, virtuous and noble. He received the Silver Star for gallantry in action trying to save the life of one of his wounded troopers.

It is with the sacred honor and cherished memory of Jack and Buddy from my class, Captain Nathan Raudenbush Class of ‘05 killed in Iraq, and on behalf of all the members, living and deceased, of the long gray line of PMC and Freedom Battalion Cadets, that this sabre shall be passed on to you.

There is one caveat, however.

The sabre comes heavy with responsibility and symbolism. The good news is that it is lightened by the heart felt prayers of your loved ones and all the members of the Cadet Corps that have preceded you.

Receiving this sabre is very much like unto the anointing of a Knight. On behalf of all of your fellow officers you are being sanctified, set apart for a noble and decent purpose.

General Eisenhower told us, “History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.”

In “Saving Private Ryan”, Captain John Miller whispered in the ear of Private James Ryan, “James. Earn this. Earn it”.

In WWI in Flanders Field, Dr. John McCrae passed the torch to a new generation saying; “If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep.”

On behalf of all those who have gone before, Jack and Buddy and Nathan, and all those yet to be commissioned, I charge you to “earn it”, do not “break faith with us”.
I charge you to be a person of firm character.
A lieutenant of unshakeable ethic.

An officer of unmatched integrity.

George Washington said, “When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen.”

You are to be a leader beyond reproach. A servant of inexhaustible patience and grace.
A patriot aglow with zeal and passion for your country and constitution and a model citizen and alumnus of the highest virtue and nobility.

May God bless you, Lieutenant Durkin and keep you in His care.

Here is a Press Release from Widener about the event:

Widener's Freedom Battalion to Commission 15 ROTC Cadets
Chester, Pa. (May 8, 2008) -- Widener University's Freedom Battalion will commission 15 cadets as second lieutenants of the U.S. Army on Thursday, May 14 at 1:30 p.m. by the Veterans Memorial at Widener's Old Main building, 14th and Melrose Ave., Chester, Pa. In addition to Widener University, this year's ceremony will feature cadets from the Abington Campus of Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.

Widener serves as the host for Army ROTC activity at the Abington and Brandywine campuses of Pennsylvania State University, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Neumann University, Villanova University and West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Widener's Freedom Battalion currently has 122 cadets actively enrolled. The cadets who will participate in the May 14 commissioning include: Keith M. Bright of Glenolden, Pa., Widener University; James J. Doherty of Haverford, Pa., Villanova University; Myles W. Durkin of Towson, Md., Villanova University; Robert F. Gold of Hammonton, NJ, Widener University; Franklin G. Guth of Northampton, Pa., Widener University; Tyler D. Harvey of West Chester, Pa., Widener University; Christopher S. Housel of Easton, Pa., Widener University; Meghan N. Housel of Easton, Pa., Widener University; Brendan M. Kane of Carlisle, Pa., Villanova University; Alexander C. Lamb of West Chester, Pa., Widener University; Sarah M. Painter of Mechanicsburg, Pa., Widener University; Michael A. Quaglia of Bensalem, Pa., Penn State Abington; Caroline H. Smith of Bloomingdale, NJ, Widener University; Edmund H. Waldeyer of Berwyn, Pa., Widener University; and Adam W. Wiley of Dover, Pa., Widener University.

"These cadets have proven themselves as students, athletes, and most importantly, as leaders," said LTC Jon Peterson, battalion commander and professor of military science. "They have earned the honor and privilege to lead our nation's soldiers in service of our country.

"US Army Brigadier General Frederick B. Hodges, the Deputy Chief of Legislative Liaison for the Office of the Secretary of the Army, will deliver the keynote address at the commissioning ceremony. A graduate of the United States Military Academy, Hodges has served the US Army for about 30 years, rising in rank and earning multiple awards and decorations. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he led assignments as commander of the 1st Brigade, 101ist Airborne Division, and as assistant chief of staff of the CJ3, Multi-National Corps. In his current position, he acts as an advisor on legislative aspects of Army policies, plans, programs and the political climate regarding Army issues.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I have plan!

On the 22nd and 23rd of May I will be in New Orleans to visit Jackson Barracks and Robinett’s gravesite. I am looking forward to meeting LTC Tommy Ryan, the LA National Guard historian. On the 24th I will be in Vicksburg to check out where HCR’s battery was positioned and his role in the siege. On the 25th I will be in Corinth for the same purpose. Corinth is obviously the pivotal engagement for Harry for better or worse.

I have been trying to sort and arrange his letters from the University of the Pacific. In one he states:

“I went personally to the Secretary of War and obtained my appointment. I could, I suppose as well have gotten a 1st Lieutenant as a 2nd but I preferred the later in consideration of age etc, etc.”

Interesting, how did he manage to get in to see Secretary of War Stanton?

It is very hard to read some of the letters as they have been taped together or torn. Such your life in primary sources.

Here is an interesting one. When he was attending DMA they were required to write to their fathers and detail their progress. Note Colonel Hyatt’s comment at the bottom. Harry would have been about 16-17 at the time.

Wilmington Dec. 23, 1857
Dear Father,
As it was the request of our much beloved Teacher, I will state the studies which I have been pursuing through this last Quarter, my success in them, also my general conduct during the Quarter. My studies have been (1) Latin (2) Chemistry (3) Algebra (4) Composition (5) Penmanship (6) English Grammar. I think as far as I am able to judge that I have succeeded very well in Latin, also in Chemistry. I have improved in Algebra, I have improved very much in Composition; in my writing I have made a great improvement. I have done well in Grammar. In my general conduct and deportment,
I believe I have been perfect and conducted myself properly towards my Teacher. This I believe to be a correct statement.
Your Affectionate Son
Henry Clay Robinette

The above is a correct statement, your son has not received a single mark this quarter, he is very gentlemanly in his conduct and most faithful in his studies.
Theo Hyatt

Keep History Alive

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

HCR's Gravesite

I have been talking to LTC Tommy Ryan, Louisiana National Guard historian about my upcoming trip to New Orleans. He went to HCR’s gravesite and took these two pictures for me. I am looking forward to meeting with Tommy and checking out the Jackson Barracks in two weeks.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Robinett's Commander Reports on action at Battery Robinett in the Battle of Corinth.

OCTOBER 3-12,1862.--Bde of Corinth, Miss., and pursuit ofthe Confederate forces.
NO. 42.--Report of Capt. George A. Williams, First U. S. Infantry, commanding Siege Artillery, Army
of the Mississippi.

October 16, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the siege batteries at Corinth, Miss., during the battle of October 3 and 4:

On the retirement of General Davies' division, on October 3, the enemy approached, toward evening, to within 800 yards of Battery Robinett (a battery mounting three 20pounder Parrott guns, and situated on a hill on the north side of the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, overlooking Corinth and the country west), where they were met by a brigade of General Stanley's division, under Colonel Mower, of the Eleventh Missouri Volunteers, who were temporarily placed under General Davies, and who after a sharp contest repulsed the enemy; but they were then ordered to retire immediately afterward, which allowed the enemy to occupy the ground in front of Battery Robinett. As there were indications of the enemy reforming,

Lieutenant Robinett, who commanded the battery, threw a few shells among them, to which they replied with four shots from their artillery; but night coming on the firing ceased. About 3.30 a.m., October 4, the enemy opened on our forts and their supports with artillery. Battery Robinett returned the fire immediately. On the evening of the 3d there was a field battery posted on the left of Battery Robinett, which was immediately between my battery (Williams) and where the enemy had posted their guns on the morning of the 4th. It being dark when the enemy's fire opened I could not see whether that battery was still there or not, and did not open fire in consequence; but as soon as I ascertained that it had been removed I opened with three 30pounder Parrott guns, immediately followed by Battery Phillips, commanded by Captain Phillips, First U. S. Infantry (situated about 600 yards southwest of Battery Williams), with an 8-inch howitzer, which enfiladed the rebel battery. At the same time Captain Maurice's field battery (Company F, Second U.S. Artillery) and a field battery on the north of the town opened.

Under this fire the rebel artillery was silenced in less than thirty minutes, and they retired, leaving one gun and a caisson on the field. About 9.30 or 10 a.m. the enemy were observed in the woods north of the town forming in line, and they soon made their appearance, charging toward the town. As soon as our troops were out of the line of fue of my battery we opened upon them with two 30-pounder Parrott guns and one 8-inch howitzer, which enfiladed their line (aided by Maurice's battery and one gun on the right of Battery Robinett, which bore on that part of the town), and continued our fire until the enemy were repulsed and had regained the woods.

During the time the enemy were being repulsed from the town my attention was drawn to the left side of the battery by the firing from Battery Robinett, where I saw a column advancing to storm it. After advancing a short distance they were repulsed, but immediately reformed, and, storming the work, gained the ditch, but were repulsed. During this charge 8 of the enemy, having placed a handkerchief on a bayonet and calling to the men in the battery not to shoot them, surrendered, and were allowed to come into the fort. They then reformed, and, restorming, carried the ditch and the outside of the work, the supports having fallen a short distance to the rear in slight disorder.

The men of the First U.S. Infantry, after having been driven from their guns (they manned the siege guns), resorted to their muskets, and were firing from the musket of the embrasures at the enemy on the outside, a distance of about 10 feet intervening; but the rebels, having gained the top of the work, our men fell back into the angle of the fort, as they had been directed to do in such an emergency. Two shells were thrown from Battery Williams into Battery Robinett, one bursting on top of it and the other near the right edge. In the mean while the Eleventh Missouri

Volunteers (in reserve) changed front, and, aided by the Forty-third and Sixty-third Ohio Volunteers, with the Twenty-seventh Ohio Volunteers on their right, gallantly stormed up to the right and left of the battery, driving the enemy before them. The battery could not open on the retreating enemy, for its commander, Lieutenant Robinett was wounded, and 13 of the 26 men that manned it were either killed or wounded.

This closed the action in front of Battery Robinett, except the occasional firing of sharpshooters; but the enemy were then reforming in the woods, where they had before formed when they stormed the town, and advanced to the attack; but were repulsed before they reached the town. During this attack the right guns of my battery were engaged, having an enfilading fire on the enemy's line.

Battery Robinett was commanded by Lieutenant Robinett, with one officer (Lieutenant Cullen) and 24 men of Company C, First U.S. Infantry. Battery Williams, under my immediate command, was manned by Companies D and I, First U.S. Infantry. Battery Phillips, commanded by Captain Phillips, and manned by Companies A, B, and H, First U.S. Infantry. While the enemy were advancing on the town, Battery Chapman [Madison], manned by Company B,

Second Illinois Artillery, was engaged over the town shelling the enemy out. About 8 p.m. of the 4th it was discovered that about 200 yards in front of Battery Robinett was a gun and a caisson that the rebels had been forced to abandon during the artillery firing of the morning. A portion of the Sixty-third Ohio Volunteers went out for the purpose of bringing it in. They succeeded in bringing in the caisson, but were forced by the enemy's sharpshooters to abandon the piece. Corps. [Patrick] Meade and [Joseph] Plaskey and Privates [Michael] Ryan and Daniel Murray (afterward killed), of Company C, First U.S. Infantry, volunteered to go out
and get it. They succeeded, and, when about half way in, they were met and assisted by Private [James M.] Strange, of Company F, Second U.S. Artillery.

I most respectfully attest to the good conduct of the officers (Lieutenants Bates, Hosmer, and Mace) and soldiers of my battery, as well as those of Batteries Phillips and Robinett. It is scarcely proper to mention one more than the other, but I would call special attention to Lieutenants Robinett and Cullen, and to First Sergts. [Patrick] Branagan, Company I, [Leonard] Hein, Company C, and [Otto] Jacobi, Company D, as well as to Sergts. [Edward] McGuire, [Patrick] McDonald, and [Patrick] Gallagher, and to Lmce-Corpl. [John] Waters.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Captain, First US. Infty., Commander of Siege Artillery.
Lieut. Col. H. G. KENNETT,
Chief of Stag Army of the Mississippi.

FROM this Report we have our first evidence of the wounding of Robinett at Corinth.

Civil War anniversary festivities planned amid cuts, controversy

Civil War anniversary festivities planned amid cuts, controversy
By Walter C. Jones Morris News Service
Friday, May 01, 2009

ATLANTA --- Despite budget cuts and the potential for controversy, the state continues its long planning process for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

"We certainly can't wait until January 2011 to start working," said Charlie Gatlin, the deputy commissioner of tourism of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
A team of historians is working with state officials to coordinate events and a list of sites across the state for education, understanding and the chance to make money on tourists.
At the same time, the NAACP worries the four-year observance could be used by some to glorify racist aspects of the Old South.

"We're certainly not celebrating the Civil War anniversary," said Edward DuBose, the president of the State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "We see the Civil War and the Confederate States here as a dark spot on the history of Georgia." NAACP members have pushed in the past two legislative sessions for an official apology for slavery, including the state government's own holding of slaves. They objected to Gov. Sonny Perdue's signing this week of legislation to make April Confederate History and Heritage Month.

But the committee is aiming for a balanced approach, according to Mr. Gatlin. The committee includes two prominent blacks: Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, the chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus and Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, an author of two histories of that era.

Mr. Thurmond wants the anniversary to illustrate blacks' quest for freedom whether they were in the North or the South, and he wants to dispel myths. "We need to debunk the notion that all white Southerners supported slavery. They didn't," he said, noting the frequent letters to papers such as the Savannah Morning News by well-respected whites who were opposed to slavery. "We make a mistake not to engage in research and even debate and discussion about it," he said.

Controversy might not be the only thing threatening to derail the state's efforts. The state's budget cutting has also had an effect. Mr. Perdue has until May 13 to sign the budget or use his line-item veto to eliminate appropriations passed last month by the Legislature. He had recommended the General Assembly make deep cuts in funding for the Georgia Historical Society's effort to upgrade historical markers and for the Civil War Commission.

Legislators opted to put some funding in those projects, but he could still remove them.
Mr. Gatlin said the budget cuts will simply force some prioritization about what to promote. So far, the plans include a book on significant sites, maps for driving tours and a list of special events such as battle reenactments.