“Battle of Antietam” lithograph by Kurz and Allison
Currier and Ives lithograph
The September 27th issue of Harper’s Weekly featured a cartoon over the byline “A pictorial commentary upon General Lee’s proclamation to the people of Maryland”. In this proclamation which was was written in Frederick, Maryland on September 8th Lee explained that he was invading in order to restore the freedoms of the State and throw off the yoke of United States’ transgressions against the state. He then outlined his mission in the state.
This, Citizens of Maryland, is our mission, so far as you are concerned.
No constraint upon your free will is intended, no intimidation is allowed.
Within the limits of this Army, at least, Marylanders shall once more enjoy their ancient freedom of thought and speech.
We know no enemies among you, and will protect all of every opinion.
It is for you to decide your destiny, freely and without constraint.
This army will respect your choice whatever it may be, and while the Southern people will rejoice to welcome you to your natural position among them, they will only welcome you when you come of your own free will.
Harper’s Weekly’s cartoon:
A “witness tree” is a tree that actually was there when a Civil War battle was fought. This short video was done by the National Park Service and explains what is being done to protect the tree and try to extend it’s use with seedlings from the tree.
Looking north towards Burnside Bridge from the Rohrersville road. This is the view that many of the Union soldiers under General Burnside would see as they attacked the bridge.Burnside Bridge looking south from the western bank. At one time the monuments to the 35th Massachusetts and the 21st Massachusetts were on the western corners of the bridge.Burnside Bridge looking north from the eastern bank. At one time the monuments to the 51st Pennsylvania and the 2nd Maryland were on the eastern corners of the bridge.
Only serious followers of the Abraham Lincoln assassination are even aware of the name Thomas Jones. Jones was forty years old when the Civil War started with a large family. Southern Maryland and Charles County was a stronghold of Confederate sympathizers. Jones started a ferry across the river, going back and forth several times a night if need be ferrying mail, people, soldiers, and ammunition across to Virginia. There were Union boats patrolling but he was never apprehended while on the river. By his own words, he never lost the mail. He was in constant danger of being arrested. He did spend six months in the Old Capital Prison from September, 1861 to March, 1862.
His foster brother, Col. Samuel Cox, owner of “Rich Hill” several miles from Jones’ estate “Huckleberry”, asked him to come over on the night of April 16, 1865. He had visitors, John Wilkes Booth and his accomplice, David Herold. Cox, who was also a Confederate sympathizer, asked Jones to be totally responsible for the protection of Booth and Herold. Jones took the fugitives to a pine thicket on the Bel Alton/Newtown Road where he hid them for six days and nights. He brought them food, whiskey, and most importantly, newspapers for Booth to read about what the country thought about his deed of assassinating President Abraham Lincoln. The two men eventually made it across the Potomac River but were cornered in Garrett’s barn, Booth killed and Herold captured.
Jones and Cox were arrested and taken to Bryantown, Maryland and held on the second floor of the tavern. Later they were taken to the Old Capital Prison in Washington, DC. He was kept seven weeks and released on the testimony of Cox’s slave Mary Swann. It was not until 30 years later when this book came out that Jones’ full part in the Booth escape came to light. It is an interesting read as Jones seems to feel regret at Lincoln’s death as the wartime passions waned and he re-evaluates his feelings. Here is the opening of his book.
“In writing this little book, it is my intention to tell the reader of the part I performed in the great war between the States, and my connection with the flight of the criminal whose deed closed the bloodiest chapter in our country’s history. No act ever committed has called forth such universal execration as the murder of that great and good man, Abraham Lincoln. To-day I speak of the murdered President as “great and good;” thirty years ago I regarded him only as the enemy of my country. But now that the waves of passion stirred up by the storm of war have all subsided and passed away forever, and I can form my opinions in the light of reason instead of the blindness of prejudice, I believe that Lincoln’s name justly belongs among the first upon the deathless role of fame. I can now realize how truly he was beloved by the North, and what a cruel shock his death, coming when and as it did, must have been to the millions who held his name in reverence. And with that realization comes the wonder that the revenge taken for his murder stopped when it did”
excerpt from “J. Wilkes Booth: An Account of His Sojourn in Southern Maryland After the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln…” by Thomas A. Jones, 1893 edition
Here is the intro to this site which features Harper’s Weekly magazines from the Civil War. “This site has over 7,000 pages of original Civil War content, and is full of incredible photographs, original illustrations, and eye-witness accounts of the defining moments of this Historic Struggle. Bookmark this site, as you will simply not find this information anywhere else!
We have recently completed posting the complete run of Harper’s Weekly newspapers from the Civil War. These papers give incredible insight into this important period of our history”. In addition to the Harper’s Weekly pages there are other web pages on battles, leaders, campaigns, etc.
Here is an interesting site where you can tour various parts of the Gettysburg battlefield without leaving your computer chair. These tours cover many aspects of the battle and some others are there, including John Wilkes Booth’s last day in Washington D.C.and Arlington Cemetery. It is at Gettysburg Battlefield Guides. Enjoy.
Confederate Colonel John Singleton Mosby led a small band of independent cavalry in the area sometimes called “Mosby’s Confederacy” during the Civil War. Here is an independent film on his combat operations in the Virginia suburbs not far from the yankee capital of Washington D. C.
Distinguished Civil War historian James I Robertson Jr. has been entertaining and informing us about this time period for more then 50 years. Robertson is the executive director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, a research center he co-founded. He is considered the preeminent scholar on Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Robertson was the Chief Historical Consultant in the 2003 Warner Brothers film “Gods and Generals”, which prominently features Stonewall Jackson. Robertson is also a former member of the Board of Trustees at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia. Here is the Civil War Series site where he talks on a variety of subject in his entertaining, folksy way.
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