Fort Sumter, Charleston, and The Beginning of the Civil War
David Detzer3/30/2008 9:04 pm (et) Basecat: A good Sunday evening to all and welcome to the first chat on David Detzer's book Allegiance: Fort Sumter, Charleston, and the Beginning of the Civil War As noted at the top of the page, please do not use the private message feature during the chat. Thanks!
This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 03/30/08 and covered Chapters 1, 2, & 3
3/30/2008 9:04 pm (et) bluelady: If I am in at all I will be lurking...unable to get book and for the next 2 weeks will not be here.3/30/2008 9:05 pm (et) Susansweet: Oh no sorry to hear that Blue .
3/30/2008 9:05 pm (et) Susansweet: By the way Bonni just emailed she doesn't know if she is register and how to get in but she has the book read for tonight3/30/2008 9:06 pm (et) Basecat: Comments, questions et al can now be posted on the Forward written by Gene Smith, and Chapter 1 Asunder.
3/30/2008 9:07 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I knew I as going to enjoy this book when Gene Smith wrote in the forward that it was not a sin for the historian to write in an enjoyable and readable style.3/30/2008 9:07 pm (et) Widow: The best line in the Foreword is Smith's remark about the chapter titles. One in particular caused me to wince also, "Two to Tango"
3/30/2008 9:07 pm (et) Susansweet: The forward sets the stage for what's to come, that it is going to be told almost as a story telling session3/30/2008 9:08 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I also enjoyed Smith's dig at the title for chapter 13.
3/30/2008 9:08 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Well, I am enjoying this book tremendously. I've been to Charleston and the first Chapter really gives one a feel for what the city was like in 1860.3/30/2008 9:08 pm (et) Widow: Agree with you, AHG. Just imagine, a historian who talks to his readers!
3/30/2008 9:08 pm (et) Babs: amhist- I liked that part and agree. Too many authors try to impress instead of inform.3/30/2008 9:08 pm (et) ks: Sorry for OT...
Susan, no, Bonnie isn't registered. If she could send me a quick email with name and a password, I'd get her in quickly.
3/30/2008 9:08 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Often the forward is a just a pat on the back to the author.3/30/2008 9:08 pm (et) Susansweet: It's another good story like Bonds book.
3/30/2008 9:09 pm (et) Widow: I read somewhere that the Atlantic Ocean is formed where the Ashby and Cooper Rivers join together. Sounds like Charleston?3/30/2008 9:09 pm (et) ks: Widow, I chuckled reading in the Foreword about the chapter titles.
3/30/2008 9:11 pm (et) amhistoryguy: My dear friend Barbara Tuchman once to Anyone have any idea who Gene Smith is ?3/30/2008 9:11 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Whew that got garbled.
3/30/2008 9:11 pm (et) Susansweet: Asley and Cooper River flow on each side of Charleston to make the Harbor.3/30/2008 9:11 pm (et) Widow: I hadn't realized how important Charleston was as a seaport and trading center.
3/30/2008 9:11 pm (et) Basecat: Just an aside, but Detzer spoke here at the NYRT back in 2004, and talks just like he writes. He's a bit out there, but in a good way. Not many CW books have lyrics from the singer Melanie at the front of the book.:)3/30/2008 9:11 pm (et) mobile_96: Have to agree that this forward is much different than the usual ones.
3/30/2008 9:12 pm (et) Susansweet: one of my favorites from the 60's.3/30/2008 9:12 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Tuchman once told me that history that is not clearly communicated in story form is not worth much, and not remembered by many.
3/30/2008 9:12 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Widow, yes, the two rivers merge at Charleston. Lots of commerce on both. I'm not sure about the Cooper river but the Ashley river had a lot of rice plantations on its banks. This book does a wonderful job of explaining the commerce in that area around 1860. I never knew there were mills upriver. I always thought the rice was just harvested and sent down to Charleston.3/30/2008 9:12 pm (et) mobile_96: Base, this is probably the 1st one for Melanie.
3/30/2008 9:13 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Anyone know who Smith is ?3/30/2008 9:13 pm (et) Widow: An alias/pseudonym of Stephen Basic?
3/30/2008 9:13 pm (et) GUNNER: Nope.3/30/2008 9:14 pm (et) Basecat: Gene Smith wrote a fine dual biography on Lee and Grant back in 1984.
3/30/2008 9:14 pm (et) Susansweet: Cooper river has some of the main plantations . Drayton Hall being one.3/30/2008 9:14 pm (et) Widow: Maybe Detzler wrote his own foreword as "Gene Smith." Poked fun at himself.
3/30/2008 9:14 pm (et) ks: I presumed he was the author who wrote the Lee/Grant Bio. Yes/No?3/30/2008 9:14 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Thanks Steve
3/30/2008 9:14 pm (et) Susansweet: There are three that belonged to the Drayton family along the Cooper.3/30/2008 9:15 pm (et) Basecat: amhg..A general historian, and has written quite a few books on various subjects.
3/30/2008 9:16 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The tone Smith sets for the book is perfect - Makes me want to check out some of his work as well.3/30/2008 9:16 pm (et) Susansweet: By the way the Ashley and the Cooper river are named after Lord Ashley Cooper.
3/30/2008 9:16 pm (et) Widow: I like phrases such as "a bit of a windbag." Now that's a description I can understand.3/30/2008 9:16 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Middleton Plantation is another large plantation that is being restored, what's left of it anyway. If I ever wrote a book, I always said it would be about the Middletons. The various generations were involved in the declaration of independence, the continental congresses, I think one way governor, and one signed the secession papers. I sure hope that family figures somewhere in this book.
3/30/2008 9:17 pm (et) Widow: Sounds like the Middletons were FF SC.3/30/2008 9:17 pm (et) Basecat: My thoughts on chapter one coincides with what has been posted here already. Great description of the city of Charleston at that time. I also found it interesting that when Anderson came to Charleston to take over command of Fort Moultrie, it was barely noticed in the city's 2 newspapers.
3/30/2008 9:17 pm (et) Widow: First Families of South Carolina.3/30/2008 9:18 pm (et) Babs: There is once Middletonin the index.
3/30/2008 9:18 pm (et) Widow: Base, that probably suited Anderson just fine. He was not "Old Fuss and Feathers."3/30/2008 9:19 pm (et) Basecat: It also shows that, IMHO, rampant paranoia existed in that town. Goes back to what I have posted many times before. They never gave Abe a chance...and already had their minds made up as to what he was "gonna" do.
3/30/2008 9:19 pm (et) Widow: Now I want to know more about Robert Anderson. Detzky makes him interesting.3/30/2008 9:19 pm (et) ks: How are you so familiar with Charleston, Lincoln Fan? Live in the area, visit frequently?
3/30/2008 9:20 pm (et) Susansweet: Charleston in many ways is still like the city described in the book.3/30/2008 9:20 pm (et) Babs: Base, I agree. Wish they had taken a wait and see attitude.
3/30/2008 9:20 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, I've NEVER understood why it was an "act of war" to move Federal troops from one post to another.3/30/2008 9:21 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: No, never lived there. I've been there three times, though, on various Civil War trips and was out to Sumter once.
3/30/2008 9:21 pm (et) mobile_96: Wasn't that paranoia present in much of the south?3/30/2008 9:22 pm (et) secret squirrel: I also have a problem with Union officers having to have permission from the SC local gov't to get provisions??
3/30/2008 9:22 pm (et) Basecat: Babs...Other thing that caught my eye when I read it...vast amount of abolitionists roaming throughout the city...Papers fueled the fire as well.3/30/2008 9:22 pm (et) Susansweet: Yes it was Mobile but Charleston was much more so.
3/30/2008 9:23 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...IMHO, those in charge down there interpreted events to their own "satisfaction".3/30/2008 9:23 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I was a bit surprised at the amount of shipping done at the port of Charleston - 50 or 60 ships per day loading and unloading.
3/30/2008 9:23 pm (et) Babs: Not clear if there really were vast amounts of abolitionists or if that was more paranoia.3/30/2008 9:23 pm (et) Susansweet: Charleston and South Carolina always thought as themselves as the leaders of the Revolution . They resented the attention New England got .
3/30/2008 9:24 pm (et) Basecat: Babs...Mostly rumors.3/30/2008 9:24 pm (et) Susansweet: Dave it is still one of the biggest ports in the United States today.
3/30/2008 9:24 pm (et) Widow: Babs, my impression from Detzler was that it was paranoia.3/30/2008 9:24 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Seems as though the situation there was a pot just waiting to boil over. I found it interesting how much freedom the slaves had before the summer of 1860 and how the fear of Lincoln's election changed all that.
3/30/2008 9:24 pm (et) Susansweet: Wait til you see the big ships coming by Fort Sumter now.3/30/2008 9:24 pm (et) mobile_96: Well, they were 3rd in the South at that time.
3/30/2008 9:24 pm (et) GUNNER: Well good night all have a very long day tomorrow.3/30/2008 9:25 pm (et) Basecat: amhg...As was I...Knew it handled a lot of shipping, but as the book shows...you could see 50-60 ships a say at the docks during the busy time from October to March.
3/30/2008 9:25 pm (et) Widow: ANYTHING that would upset the control over the labor force would be terrifying.3/30/2008 9:26 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Also did anyone pick up on the fact that Charleston was the 3rd largest city according to industrial output in the South, but 85th in the nation. Could the South really have won, especially without England's support?
3/30/2008 9:26 pm (et) Widow: Abolitionists didn't have to actually be there.3/30/2008 9:27 pm (et) Basecat: LF...85th in the nation means to me that the South was doomed from the start, but that's me using hindsight once again. :)
3/30/2008 9:27 pm (et) shapbruin: Lincoln fan, I was really struck by that fact as well. I wonder if this was a well known fact or something that is only obvious to researchers now3/30/2008 9:27 pm (et) Widow: Lincoln Fan, I believe Richmond and Petersburg were right at the top of Southern industrial cities too.
3/30/2008 9:27 pm (et) shapbruin: The book says it was Richmond and New Orleans.3/30/2008 9:28 pm (et) shapbruin: Petersburg wasn't a particularly influential city until late in the war (for obvious reasons).
3/30/2008 9:28 pm (et) Susansweet: New Orleans was a big shipping area.3/30/2008 9:28 pm (et) Basecat: Other thing I noticed...Charlestonians liked to sit around and do nothing, but of course decked out in their fine clothes. :)
3/30/2008 9:28 pm (et) shapbruin: Does anyone have contact info for the username 20thmass.3/30/2008 9:28 pm (et) Widow: Petersburg was 5th largest city in the South. Probably smaller than Charleston.
3/30/2008 9:29 pm (et) Susansweet: Base you will notice why when you are there in June.3/30/2008 9:29 pm (et) shapbruin: I wrote my senior thesis in college about that regiment.
3/30/2008 9:29 pm (et) Babs: Nice work if you can get it.3/30/2008 9:29 pm (et) Susansweet: The humidity is killer.
3/30/2008 9:29 pm (et) Susansweet: He is a regular in here shapbruin3/30/2008 9:30 pm (et) shapbruin: What did people think about Detzer's description of the fort and the opinion of soldiers in the ranks?
3/30/2008 9:30 pm (et) Basecat: Shap..We have not got to that part of the reading yet. We will before the chat is over.3/30/2008 9:31 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: When I was in Charleston, Susan, the guides explained that humidity (and the bugs) was the reason the upper class vacated the city each summer to move upriver to the plantations, which they must have used as summer homes. So, most of those plantation owners had homes in the city.
3/30/2008 9:31 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I think we might want to remember the point that Detzer makes as to the importance of shipping in Charleston - it puts a bit of a different light on the disruption that they could perceive Federal occupation of Sumter might have.3/30/2008 9:32 pm (et) Susansweet: Yep the homes on the Battery were there town homes, then the ones up river they went to when it was too hot in the city.
3/30/2008 9:32 pm (et) Basecat: BTW...you all notice...no mention of Sumter itself in the homework tonight?3/30/2008 9:33 pm (et) Basecat: Anymore comments or questions on Chapter 1?
3/30/2008 9:33 pm (et) Widow: AHG, Moultrie was a picnic spot, beach resort, not exactly a serious military installation. Even Edmund Ruffin saw how vulnerable Moultrie was.3/30/2008 9:34 pm (et) shapbruin: enters the chatroom.
3/30/2008 9:34 pm (et) Susansweet: It had been a serious military installation in the Revolutionary war !!!!3/30/2008 9:34 pm (et) Widow: I wonder how Charleston could see Moultrie as a threat to THEM when it was in such bad condition.
3/30/2008 9:35 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I never thought about the shipping being a cause for their concern, amhist., I thought it was the slave issue, but shipping would probably be even more of a concern.3/30/2008 9:35 pm (et) Basecat: Widow..simple answer..Yankees lived there.
3/30/2008 9:35 pm (et) shapbruin: I was also struck at how paranoia at Lincoln's "Black Revolution" changed Charlestonians opinions about the black people in their midst.3/30/2008 9:35 pm (et) shapbruin: I would have loved Detzer to have gone into a bit more detail about those events.
3/30/2008 9:36 pm (et) Basecat: Shap, a fine point, and also liked his thought on them using the term the North, when the North was really not on the same page as well.3/30/2008 9:36 pm (et) Widow: When the oppressors are the minority, they have a lot to fear at any time.
3/30/2008 9:37 pm (et) shapbruin: I think a flaw in Detzer's presentation is writing in the present instead of placing us in the past.3/30/2008 9:37 pm (et) amhistoryguy: I think the background materiel to all those questions should be looked at before we jump ahead. Lets talk about Anderson.
3/30/2008 9:37 pm (et) shapbruin: Not enough analysis about the references to the "North" when the North didn't exist yet.3/30/2008 9:37 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Yes, Basecat, Yankees lived there, but I think Detzer points out that civilians didn't see the military as much of a threat at that time, in fact, kinda looked down on them, thought they were lazy and worthless
3/30/2008 9:38 pm (et) Susansweet: I found it interesting that Anderson, a soldier loath war.3/30/2008 9:38 pm (et) Basecat: LF...Was thinking more of the politicians down there seeing them as a threat, but am jumping ahead.
3/30/2008 9:39 pm (et) secret squirrel: Hard to believe he was young once, and was surprised he made no bones in marrying for money.3/30/2008 9:39 pm (et) Basecat: Thanks AMHG, as I was just typing Let's delve into Chapter 2. A Gentle Man
3/30/2008 9:39 pm (et) shapbruin: Susansweet, I was also struck by that, but when you've seen the face of war...3/30/2008 9:39 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Yet Anderson seems to be more than willing to lead from the front.
3/30/2008 9:39 pm (et) Susansweet: That he didn't care for the hero trumpeting his own fame.3/30/2008 9:40 pm (et) shapbruin: I also was impressed by his thoughts on the ridiculousness of two sides killing each other to try to prove which is right.
3/30/2008 9:40 pm (et) Susansweet: He came from good southern family too.3/30/2008 9:40 pm (et) mobile_96: He only thought of his duty, not how he would appear to everyone.
3/30/2008 9:41 pm (et) shapbruin: Can't imagine what it was like waging war all over America as he did during his career.3/30/2008 9:41 pm (et) Susansweet: Father with Washington , and aide to Lafayette, his mother sister of George Rogers Clark which makes him related to William Clark and he was a cousin of John Marshall.
3/30/2008 9:42 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Did I read that the Anderson's owned slaves at one time? If he hated war so much and came from a southern family, I fail to see why anyone thought he was the person to send there.3/30/2008 9:42 pm (et) shapbruin: Susan, I would imagine that his father impressed quite a commitment to country into his son.
3/30/2008 9:42 pm (et) amhistoryguy: FWIW, he was the Acting Adjutant In Captain Elijah Iles' Company, a 20 day unit that Anderson mustered in on May 29, 1832. The regiment included Abe Lincoln.3/30/2008 9:43 pm (et) Susansweet: I saw that too Dave, a what if . He says he didn't think they ever met but what if ?
3/30/2008 9:43 pm (et) secret squirrel: Maybe his background coupled with his wartime behavior made him an ideal choice.3/30/2008 9:43 pm (et) Susansweet: I would imagine he did shapbruin.
3/30/2008 9:43 pm (et) Basecat: For those who wish to see a photo of the Brevoort House where Eba lived in NYC...http://www.picturehistory.com/product/id/1719.3/30/2008 9:43 pm (et) shapbruin: Lincoln Fan, I think Gen Scott saw he Anderson was a man of experience and commitment who, despite personal misgivings, would defend the territory assigned him without question.
3/30/2008 9:43 pm (et) amhistoryguy: IMO, he was just the man to send there - strong sense of duty despite Southern background.3/30/2008 9:44 pm (et) ole: He proved that.
3/30/2008 9:44 pm (et) Basecat: And to add to amhg's comment...good friends with Jeff Davis.3/30/2008 9:44 pm (et) Susansweet: He was described as s discreet , slightly restrained person.
3/30/2008 9:44 pm (et) Susansweet: And with Sherman.3/30/2008 9:44 pm (et) Widow: Anybody would have been better that that "ninny" Gardner.
3/30/2008 9:44 pm (et) amhistoryguy: They probably passed, as Anderson was the muster in officer - but the did not meet as far as anyone knows.3/30/2008 9:44 pm (et) shapbruin: I think the lessons of nationalism and patriotism imbued by his father would trump any of our perceived notions of what a "Southern background" would mean.
3/30/2008 9:44 pm (et) shapbruin: I think Gen Scott could see that.3/30/2008 9:45 pm (et) Widow: Lincoln might have recognized Anderson's name after the crisis started, if they had met.
3/30/2008 9:45 pm (et) Babs: Maybe they thought he would be able to deal with the southerners better. Maybe be accepted by them better than a New Englander.3/30/2008 9:45 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I suppose so. He sure didn't know what he was walking into. At this point in the story, Jeff Davis (the Sec'y of War Davis) wasn't a factor yet, was he? I mean, the South had not yet seceded and Davis was still at his post in Washington.
3/30/2008 9:46 pm (et) ole: I saw no evidence that Lincoln remembered the association.3/30/2008 9:46 pm (et) Widow: Right, ole, that's what I was aiming at.
3/30/2008 9:46 pm (et) ole: The rumblings where there. When Gardner was replaced, everyone knew that there was something in the air.3/30/2008 9:47 pm (et) Basecat: LF...Not yet...but as others have noted, many reasons why Scott sent him there. I tend to think Scott thought he was the best man for that job, as in, Scott had an inkling what was to come...Just my opinion.
3/30/2008 9:47 pm (et) Widow: Ole, the "something in the air" was Lincoln.3/30/2008 9:48 pm (et) ole: Besides, Lincoln was in no position to recommend who might replace Gardner.
3/30/2008 9:48 pm (et) ole: Lots of rumblings from SC.3/30/2008 9:48 pm (et) shapbruin: Widow, I think the "something in the air" was the South Carolina perception of Lincoln linked with their fear of black people.
3/30/2008 9:48 pm (et) cwbksell: Linc. Fan: Davis was still at his post in Washington and while there he had arms and munitions moved from the North to the South.3/30/2008 9:48 pm (et) Basecat: Ole...Good point as Buchanan was still in "charge".
3/30/2008 9:48 pm (et) shapbruin: Not necessarily Lincoln the man or even his ideas and campaign platforms.3/30/2008 9:48 pm (et) Widow: As mentioned earlier, Anderson's arrival didn't cause the crisis. Charleston barely notice.
3/30/2008 9:49 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Lincoln was in no position at that time, but could it perhaps have been Davis who recommended Anderson?3/30/2008 9:49 pm (et) Widow: CWBKS: Davis was a senator. John Floyd was Sec. of War, who sent the munitions south.
3/30/2008 9:49 pm (et) ole: Anderson's arrival got an inch on the society page.3/30/2008 9:49 pm (et) shapbruin: Lincoln Fan, the way Detzer describes it, Scott and Anderson were closely associated, and Scott likely needed no recommendations.
3/30/2008 9:50 pm (et) Basecat: LF...Could be, but Anderson was very close to Scott, and tend to think he would not need recommendations where Anderson was concerned.3/30/2008 9:50 pm (et) ole: This was just an ordinary military decision. Gardner was proving unsatisfactory and Anderson was the handiest next-in-line.
3/30/2008 9:50 pm (et) Basecat: Sorry...should read before I post. :)3/30/2008 9:50 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: OK Sahpbruin, I forgot that.
3/30/2008 9:50 pm (et) Susansweet: Jefferson Davis was Pierce's Sec of War not Buchannan's , he was not sec of war , I believe he was a Senator again.3/30/2008 9:51 pm (et) shapbruin: ole, I agree, though I think Scott was savvy enough even in his dotage to know he needed someone with backbone.
3/30/2008 9:51 pm (et) ole: He was a Senator.3/30/2008 9:51 pm (et) Basecat: Susan...Correct...he was a Senator from Mississippi at the time of the crisis.
3/30/2008 9:51 pm (et) ole: His mind was still sharp. It was his body that betrayed him.3/30/2008 9:52 pm (et) Susansweet: lol Steve I Camels make me know when he was Sec of War lol.
3/30/2008 9:52 pm (et) shapbruin: Agree.3/30/2008 9:52 pm (et) shapbruin: Reminds me of FDR in that way.
3/30/2008 9:52 pm (et) Widow: Scott was a Virginian, so he was well aware that a Southerner could be a loyal soldier.3/30/2008 9:52 pm (et) Susansweet: Ole you are so right .
3/30/2008 9:52 pm (et) Basecat: No thoughts on Eba?? Sounds like someone I know here in the Garden State, but I digress. :) Letters to his wife while not great prose showed he had a flare for writing.3/30/2008 9:53 pm (et) Susansweet: I thought it was interesting that his wife was an "invalid " like Lee's.
3/30/2008 9:53 pm (et) mobile_96: Detzer says that 'powerful figures in Washington had concluded that Anderson was perfect for the delicate assignment.3/30/2008 9:54 pm (et) Susansweet: As ill as she was she had four children and outlived Anderson . hmmm
3/30/2008 9:54 pm (et) ole: Sidebar: Detzer is the only one I've read that calls her Eba. Where did that come from?3/30/2008 9:54 pm (et) shapbruin: It's really easy to apply terms like invalid, nervous etc to people.
3/30/2008 9:54 pm (et) Basecat: How about the 20,000 bucks comment? :) Yeah...that would work well today...not..;)3/30/2008 9:54 pm (et) Widow: Detzler pointed out that there's no way to know Eba's medical diagnosis. Maybe just the tension of being an intelligent woman in an era when that was undesirable.
3/30/2008 9:54 pm (et) shapbruin: And men in the 19th century were particularly skilled, a good way to keep women marginalized.3/30/2008 9:54 pm (et) mobile_96: My take is it was due to his 'connections by marriage and friendship, and his being a cool person under stress.
3/30/2008 9:54 pm (et) shapbruin: widow, we're on the same page.3/30/2008 9:55 pm (et) amhistoryguy: At the time of Andersons appointment to Charleston, I don't think anyone really had any idea of how sensitive the situation would get.
3/30/2008 9:55 pm (et) ole: He intimates, however, that she was a bit of a hypochondriac.3/30/2008 9:55 pm (et) Widow: Mary Lee had rheumatoid arthritis. Who knows what Eba had? She lived comfortably in New York.
3/30/2008 9:55 pm (et) Susansweet: Ole what do others call her ?3/30/2008 9:55 pm (et) ole: Good point, Dave, but I disagree.
3/30/2008 9:55 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Susan, I caught that connection also. I wonder how much of an invalid she was, though. Daddy and hubby both doted on her and she seemed to be able to bear healthy children, although she didn't have much interest in raising them.3/30/2008 9:56 pm (et) shapbruin: We must remember that medical science was EXTREMELY limited at this point in time, thus symptoms that were not readily described were chalked up to things like nervousness, hypochondria etc.
3/30/2008 9:56 pm (et) ole: I'd have to look it up, Miss Susan. I think it was Eliza.3/30/2008 9:56 pm (et) Widow: Yeah, if you survive childbirth, you can turn the kids over to the nurses and governesses.
3/30/2008 9:57 pm (et) Basecat: It was Eliza...Eba was a nickname she got from her father.3/30/2008 9:57 pm (et) Widow: Ole, could Eba be a diminutive of Elizabeth?
3/30/2008 9:57 pm (et) ole: Kinda quirky, referring to her only by her nickname.3/30/2008 9:57 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks Ole and Base.
3/30/2008 9:57 pm (et) Babs: Eba likely comes from combining her first and middle names.3/30/2008 9:58 pm (et) shapbruin: A side question since I'm new to this chat room.
3/30/2008 9:58 pm (et) Widow: In any event, Eba wasn't much comfort to her husband. I felt sorry for the guy, he loved a lady who just liked New York City.3/30/2008 9:58 pm (et) shapbruin: How frequently are you all in here chatting, when are good times to join in etc?
3/30/2008 9:58 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Previous Southern sword rattling resulted in compromise, usually to the benefit of the Southern States. IMO, another big bluff was intended to be played out - a bluff that this time got called. That's why, IMO ole, few, north or south really realized the situation.3/30/2008 9:58 pm (et) ole: Nights are good. Ask Miss Susan.
3/30/2008 9:59 pm (et) Susansweet: Me ?3/30/2008 9:59 pm (et) Widow: Shap, tonight we're doing the book chat. Any other time, any other subject.
3/30/2008 9:59 pm (et) shapbruin: amhistoryguy, I agree with you3/30/2008 9:59 pm (et) ole: Still, Dave, any saber-rattling situation was handled delicately.
3/30/2008 9:59 pm (et) shapbruin: Buchanan's head in the sand approach probably left most people thinking the problem would just go away3/30/2008 9:59 pm (et) ks: Just Googled and numerous sites refer to her as Eba. In fact, every one I've checked so far.
3/30/2008 9:59 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Anderson was a stable change and benefited both sides.3/30/2008 10:00 pm (et) shapbruin: Are people in here chatting every night?! That's great!
3/30/2008 10:00 pm (et) Widow: Considering that Lincoln wasn't even on the ballot in the slave states, many Southerners must have seen - at last - that eventually they would be outnumbered in the House and Senate.3/30/2008 10:00 pm (et) ole: 24/7. Although the room is usually empty. Catch as catch can.
3/30/2008 10:01 pm (et) ole: The objection wasn't so much to Lincoln. With its platform, any Republican would do as well.3/30/2008 10:01 pm (et) Basecat: Just an aside...Train ride from NYC to Trenton today is about 90 minutes....not that far off from CW era. As for being stationed in Trenton...I feel bad for Major Anderson. :)
3/30/2008 10:02 pm (et) Widow: Local knowledge, Basecat. Good for you!3/30/2008 10:02 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Eba, probably is a combination of her given name, Eliza, and her middle name, Bayard.
3/30/2008 10:03 pm (et) Susansweet: Her oldest daughter was named Eliza too.3/30/2008 10:03 pm (et) Widow: I would prefer Eba to "Bay," any time.
3/30/2008 10:03 pm (et) Widow: Poor Major Robert. Married, but .... no.3/30/2008 10:03 pm (et) Widow: not.
3/30/2008 10:04 pm (et) Babs: Now you make e say, EBay3/30/2008 10:04 pm (et) Susansweet: Many military marriages the man was away from home for years at a time.
3/30/2008 10:04 pm (et) Basecat: The description of their wedding was interesting to me as well...Very small so Eba would not be overwhelmed and tired....and am guessing if they were around today...her nickname would be eBay. ;)3/30/2008 10:04 pm (et) Widow: :=)) Good, Babs.
3/30/2008 10:04 pm (et) Susansweet: That's it Babs she was Ebay.3/30/2008 10:04 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Interesting that a southern girl from a good family would prefer NYC when resentment of the north was so strong.
3/30/2008 10:04 pm (et) ole: Most of those regular-army types left their wives at home.3/30/2008 10:05 pm (et) Susansweet: Remember Varinia moves to New York after Jefferson's death
3/30/2008 10:05 pm (et) Widow: Sherman's wife had a baby every year. Or so she must have thought.3/30/2008 10:05 pm (et) Susansweet: And becomes good friends with Julia Grant.
3/30/2008 10:05 pm (et) ole: She was sent north by her father to a cooler climate. That's where she met Robert and mentioned $20k.3/30/2008 10:05 pm (et) Basecat: LF...Brevoort House in NYC was a grand place at that time...Lap of luxury so to speak, and am sure she liked the accommodations.
3/30/2008 10:05 pm (et) shapbruin: Widow, no one could trump Edward Bates's wife, 18 kids!3/30/2008 10:05 pm (et) ole: Sherman visited home once a year.
3/30/2008 10:06 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Varina Davis loved Washington, and all her closest friends lived there.3/30/2008 10:06 pm (et) Susansweet: Is it still there Steve?
3/30/2008 10:06 pm (et) Susansweet: And she hated Richmond.3/30/2008 10:06 pm (et) Widow: Ole, yup, your calendar is right.
3/30/2008 10:06 pm (et) Basecat: Susan...Nope..was torn down in 1954.3/30/2008 10:06 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Yes, and have you seen a picture of Mrs. Bates!
3/30/2008 10:07 pm (et) Susansweet: Before or after 18 kids ?3/30/2008 10:07 pm (et) ole: Varina was a bit put out with having to leave. Although from contemporary descriptions, it doesn't sound all that pleasant.
3/30/2008 10:07 pm (et) Widow: Hood's wife had 11, incl. 3 sets of twins. The Gallant Mrs. Hood.3/30/2008 10:07 pm (et) ks: No, but perhaps I should? :)
3/30/2008 10:07 pm (et) Basecat: Link to photo of the Brevoort House. http://www.picturehistory.com/product/id/17193/30/2008 10:08 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Varina and Elizabeth Blair Lee were very close, and even smuggled letters to each other during the war.
3/30/2008 10:08 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I've seen pictures of her before and after the kiddies, must of been a slow process, but she looks like one unhappy person.3/30/2008 10:09 pm (et) Susansweet: I will have to look for a picture to see.
3/30/2008 10:09 pm (et) Susansweet: Doubleday on the other hand had a wife that traveled with him to all post.3/30/2008 10:09 pm (et) Widow: I have a strong sense that Eba just wasn't interested in her husband or his career, except as it interfered with her comfortable life in New York.
3/30/2008 10:09 pm (et) Basecat: Anymore comments on Chapter 2?? If not...let's move to Chapter 3...Salad Days3/30/2008 10:09 pm (et) amhistoryguy: No one was supposed to look happy in photos in that era : )
3/30/2008 10:09 pm (et) ole: You have 18 kids and let's see how happy you look.3/30/2008 10:10 pm (et) Widow: Many wealthy/privileged girls were raised like that. But not all.
3/30/2008 10:10 pm (et) Susansweet: Even to Antietam.3/30/2008 10:10 pm (et) shapbruin: Ah salad days! Detzer does have a sense of irony.
3/30/2008 10:10 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: A lot of the officers, I think, had their wives with them at one time or another. Did Eba never visit Anderson?3/30/2008 10:10 pm (et) Susansweet: Think he had to visit her.
3/30/2008 10:11 pm (et) ole: Frequently. She was with him until it looked like a good idea to send away all the women and children.3/30/2008 10:11 pm (et) Basecat: Excellent depiction of Fort Moultrie, and it's environs...and fine little biographical sketches of the officers who were there.
3/30/2008 10:11 pm (et) ole: Had a little house in Moultrie City.3/30/2008 10:11 pm (et) Susansweet: I love the quote that Doubleday's wife was the most interesting thing about him.
3/30/2008 10:12 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: OK Chapter three I really liked. I knew nothing at all of Ft. Moultrie or the officers before reading this book.3/30/2008 10:12 pm (et) shapbruin: Agree Basecat, really got a good sense of the disrepair and malaise in the US Army before the war.
3/30/2008 10:12 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, I was interested in the engineer's improvements at Moultrie, removing the sand outside the walls, etc.3/30/2008 10:12 pm (et) ks: I appreciated all of the info on garrison life, army pay, promotion, etc.
3/30/2008 10:12 pm (et) shapbruin: Couldn't help thinking about the speed and aggressiveness of the North's mobilization.3/30/2008 10:12 pm (et) ole: That was interesting, ks.
3/30/2008 10:12 pm (et) Susansweet: I kept picturing Fort Moultrie as it is now compared to this description.3/30/2008 10:12 pm (et) Susansweet: I would have liked to seen it as it was.
3/30/2008 10:12 pm (et) Widow: Imagine, the storehouse was outside the fort, UNGUARDED! As I said, not a serious military installation.3/30/2008 10:12 pm (et) ole: What mobilization?
3/30/2008 10:13 pm (et) mobile_96: Will agree there is a lot of good info here.3/30/2008 10:13 pm (et) Basecat: Widow...that was the problem, as the Feds did not allocate any funds for the upkeep of the fort.
3/30/2008 10:13 pm (et) Widow: Shap, Lincoln's call for 75,000 came in April.3/30/2008 10:13 pm (et) Susansweet: It was a fort for the entrance to the Harbor . It was heavily fortified on that side. The thing sits on an Island with one entrance.
3/30/2008 10:13 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: I have a question. My cousin, who does the daily trivia with me, knew about Norman Hall, but can't find much info on him. The book is sketchy on him as well.3/30/2008 10:14 pm (et) shapbruin: ole, not in the context of the fighting around Sumter, but around Lincoln's call.
3/30/2008 10:14 pm (et) ole: Anderson was sent there to get the d**ned thing finished.3/30/2008 10:14 pm (et) amhistoryguy: The lack of discipline in the regular army surprised me - huge number of desertions and confinements for various infractions. Would not have expected that from regulars.
3/30/2008 10:14 pm (et) shapbruin: I think Hall later became colonel of Gibbon's brigades in II Corps.3/30/2008 10:15 pm (et) Susansweet: Dave I have read the same description of the regulars in the West at the various post out here.
3/30/2008 10:15 pm (et) shapbruin: widow,, that's what I'm referring to, when he called, people came..."we are coming father Abraham 300000 more".3/30/2008 10:15 pm (et) Widow: AHG, they didn't have much to do. You can't keep up morale when you're poorly paid and are bored.
3/30/2008 10:15 pm (et) amhistoryguy: It seems an army wide problem at the time Susan - still surprised me.3/30/2008 10:15 pm (et) ole: 32% in the pre-war regulars on frontier duty.
3/30/2008 10:16 pm (et) Widow: shap, that was in 1863, the draft riots, etc. Bit beyond this book, I think.3/30/2008 10:17 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Good leadership finds things to do and ways to raise morale.
3/30/2008 10:17 pm (et) Susansweet: I know we thing of the army as being what it is today.3/30/2008 10:17 pm (et) Widow: Yeah, wash the tanks every day, in WWII.
3/30/2008 10:17 pm (et) shapbruin: widow, I agree it's beyone the scope of this book, I just meant that it came to my mind as an interesting juxtaposition to the Salad Days chapter.3/30/2008 10:18 pm (et) Susansweet: I have read of army post having one book but then most of the regulars couldn't read.
3/30/2008 10:18 pm (et) Susansweet: Gambling , drinking and visiting the locals were all they had besides fighting.3/30/2008 10:19 pm (et) Widow: AHG, the soldiers probably would have resented having to shovel all that sand. That, after all, was manual labor, suitable for slaves, but not U.S. soldiers.
3/30/2008 10:19 pm (et) ole: Most of the posts were miles away from locals and saloons. Pretty bleak.3/30/2008 10:19 pm (et) Basecat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_J._Hall
3/30/2008 10:19 pm (et) Widow: Detzler commented that one reason for the high level of illiteracy was the state of education in Ireland.3/30/2008 10:20 pm (et) ole: They had a substantial contingent of hired labor.
3/30/2008 10:20 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Gun Drill, Foot Drill, Manual of Arms, Manual of the Sabre, etc, etc.3/30/2008 10:20 pm (et) ole: Anyone who was literate had alternatives to the army.
3/30/2008 10:21 pm (et) Widow: Hadn't considered the connection between British colonial policy in Ireland and the quality of immigrant soldiers in 1860.3/30/2008 10:21 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Sounds as though Moultrie was more of a resort attraction than a military installation at the time of Anderson's arrival. Another observation the author made that I hadn't known was that a lot of the good officers left the army rather than wait for some old soldier who may have been inept, to die. I would think most of them came back when the war started and advancement was easier.
3/30/2008 10:22 pm (et) Babs: I thought it interesting that Seymour and Crawford sold sketches to Harper's Weekly. Today they would be paparazzi selling to the tabloids.3/30/2008 10:22 pm (et) Susansweet: There was no retirement so the officers at the top stayed in.
3/30/2008 10:22 pm (et) Widow: LF, many West Pointers resigned soon after graduation, could get better jobs as civil engineers in the private sector.3/30/2008 10:22 pm (et) Susansweet: Harper's was the aparazzi.
3/30/2008 10:23 pm (et) Babs: Susan, yup.My point.3/30/2008 10:23 pm (et) Susansweet: Reading Goats of West Point for other book discussion at the same time.
3/30/2008 10:23 pm (et) Susansweet: Many stayed in til they found they couldn't advance then went to work on the railroads in the south.3/30/2008 10:24 pm (et) shapbruin: Hall's brigade was an interesting one, saw a tremendous amount of action, certainly had a stalwart leader
3/30/2008 10:24 pm (et) ks: Nor do I recall having read previously about how soldiers had to wait for others to die in order to advance, LF.3/30/2008 10:24 pm (et) shapbruin: Don't think Detzer gave a fair portrait.
3/30/2008 10:24 pm (et) Susansweet: Fort Moultrie had been used as a prison for political prisoners like Osceola.3/30/2008 10:24 pm (et) Basecat: Hall is buried at the West Point Cemetery, and have visited his grave. I know him more for his service at Gettysburg. Same can be said for Doubleday and Crawford as well.
3/30/2008 10:25 pm (et) shapbruin: in "Fallen Leaves" Maj Abbott who served under him as an officer in the 20th Mass and had very high regard for him3/30/2008 10:25 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: When was it used as a prison?
3/30/2008 10:25 pm (et) Widow: Right, ks and LF. We know that Lee waited a long time for promotion. I hadn't realized it was because old soldiers couldn't retire.3/30/2008 10:25 pm (et) Susansweet: He had the free run of the fort and had visitors but soon died and is buried on the grounds in front of Fort Moultrie.
3/30/2008 10:25 pm (et) Susansweet: During the Seminole wars in 1830's.3/30/2008 10:25 pm (et) ole: There was quite a collection of future officers there.
3/30/2008 10:26 pm (et) Basecat: Wouldn't retire...big difference Widow... They stayed because they got paid.3/30/2008 10:26 pm (et) ole: If there had been a retirement plan, Scott wouldn't have been where he was..
3/30/2008 10:26 pm (et) Susansweet: No retirement plan . If they wanted to eat they stayed.3/30/2008 10:26 pm (et) Susansweet: Exactly Ole.
3/30/2008 10:27 pm (et) Susansweet: And Wool won't have been around either , he was ancient at the start of the war.3/30/2008 10:27 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Thanks for the info on Hall, Basecat. We're having a difficult time finding his place of birth also. The cemetery helps.
3/30/2008 10:28 pm (et) ole: Nor Twiggs.3/30/2008 10:28 pm (et) Basecat: LF...Know he was born here, and hope the info. provided helps.
3/30/2008 10:29 pm (et) Susansweet: Good old Twiggs what a twit3/30/2008 10:30 pm (et) Susansweet: I find it so interesting there was a Jefferson Davis on both sides of the War.
3/30/2008 10:30 pm (et) Susansweet: And one was in Charleston at the start.3/30/2008 10:30 pm (et) Basecat: Interesting to note that the other Jeff Davis was given a break as to entering the army without any formal training.
3/30/2008 10:30 pm (et) ole: Might have been better off to have left Lee in Texas.3/30/2008 10:30 pm (et) Widow: Jefferson was a popular name for boys, like Franklin and Washington.
3/30/2008 10:31 pm (et) Susansweet: South Carolina it was Francis Marions.3/30/2008 10:31 pm (et) shapbruin: No way Lee was staying out of the war, both sides wanted him too badly, and he was finally going to get career advancement.
3/30/2008 10:31 pm (et) mobile_96: Base, that had to be pretty irregular.3/30/2008 10:31 pm (et) ole: But what a way to get a raise.
3/30/2008 10:32 pm (et) Susansweet: He had been a hero in the Mexican War though.3/30/2008 10:32 pm (et) Basecat: Mobile...it was...especially at that time.
3/30/2008 10:32 pm (et) shapbruin: Mobile, it wouldn't for very long.3/30/2008 10:32 pm (et) Widow: shap, do you think Lee resigned from the US Army in order to get a higher rank?
3/30/2008 10:32 pm (et) ole: Wasn't the Federal Davis an engineer? They moved up faster than the grunts.3/30/2008 10:33 pm (et) Lincoln Fan: Yeah, Lee was going to get a career advancement whichever side he chose, but, oh my, what a heart-wrenching decision that must have been.
3/30/2008 10:33 pm (et) Basecat: Ole...nope...Unit at Fort Moultrie were from the artillery arm of the army.3/30/2008 10:33 pm (et) Susansweet: Nope he was arty.
3/30/2008 10:33 pm (et) Susansweet: What Steve said.3/30/2008 10:33 pm (et) shapbruin: No, I think his commitment to Virginia was in earnest, especially because he was offered command of the Union forces by Lincoln, so he was getting a huge bump either way.
3/30/2008 10:33 pm (et) Widow: Lee stayed in the army for years with no hope of advancement. And he was outranked by four or five others after he joined the Virginia Militia and the CS Army.3/30/2008 10:34 pm (et) shapbruin: Widow, an excellent point.
3/30/2008 10:34 pm (et) Susansweet: Outranked by three.3/30/2008 10:35 pm (et) shapbruin: Susan, let's see, Johnson, Beauregard, and Johnson?
3/30/2008 10:35 pm (et) Basecat: Anymore comments or questions?? If not, I hope all are enjoying reading the book. Homework for next week will be Chapters 4, 5, and 6. Thanks all for joining our book chat this evening. :)3/30/2008 10:35 pm (et) Widow: The Adjutant General in Richmond, was it Crawford?
3/30/2008 10:35 pm (et) shapbruin: This is really fun, glad I could join in!3/30/2008 10:35 pm (et) Susansweet: Joe Johnston Albert Sidney and Beau.
3/30/2008 10:35 pm (et) ole: Cooper and Beauregard.3/30/2008 10:35 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Thank you once again Steve
3/30/2008 10:36 pm (et) shapbruin: That's what I thought, thanks3/30/2008 10:36 pm (et) Susansweet: Cooper right Ole.
3/30/2008 10:36 pm (et) Susansweet: Thanks Steve.3/30/2008 10:36 pm (et) Susansweet: Good job.
3/30/2008 10:36 pm (et) Widow: Basecat, thanks for an excellent session. Good topic, good ideas.3/30/2008 10:36 pm (et) ole: Thanks, Steve. Good job.
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