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 Posted: Fri May 30th, 2008 02:11 am
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CleburneFan
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Just bought a book that has excellent accounts of what the author describes as the "strangest battles of the Civil War." That made me wonder what you guys think are the strangest battles of the war. Maybe you have your favorite strangest battles. 

One of mine wasn't in the book. It is the tragic ( for the South) Battle of Griswoldville, November 22, 1864. The battle is the only significant infantry engagement fought against Sherman's army as it headed southeast on its March to the Sea.

But the main thing that stands out in my mind which makes it so memorable is the makeup of the Georgia Militia that courageously, but futilely attacked members of Sherman's right wing. Because so many able-bodied Southern men were either actively fighting elsewhere or already had perished in the war, all that were left to fight the Union invaders were old, grey-haired men, somewhat younger "weaklings," and very young boys under fifteen.

They did their level best but were outmanned, outgunned and outgeneraled in a devastating one-sided battle that did nothing to slow Sherman's progress through Georgia.  

One poignant scene after the battle was described by a Union officer who found a fourteen year old boy with a broken arm and leg. He was lying in pain beside his dead father, two dead brothers and a dead uncle. Another Union soldier wrote home calling the battle  a"harvest of death."  Others hoped they would never have to fight such ill-prepared soldiers again.

I would love to read what battles you folks find to be the strangest ones in the Civil War. Even part of a battle could be strange, especially in battles that lasted more than one day--some part  might be strange.

Last edited on Fri May 30th, 2008 01:42 pm by CleburneFan



 Posted: Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 03:30 pm
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TimHoffman01
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Is this by any chance "Strange Battles of the Civil War," by Webb Garrison, Jr.?

I picked up a copy of that myself (on the bargain shelf at B&N) at the tail end of February. I haven't had a chance to read it through yet, a little at a time over lunch at work. I would be interested in what you think of it. So far I've just cleared the first section. I liked the chapter on Drewry's Bluff (just down the road from here)and didn't realise the union army basically got stuck in the mud at Sabine Pass. Shows what a lack of recon can lead to.



 Posted: Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 04:38 pm
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susansweet
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I have this book .  I read bits and pieces every so often.  Amazing some of the events that happened during the battles. 

Susan



 Posted: Thu Jun 5th, 2008 01:45 am
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CleburneFan
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Actually that is exactly the book, but I (not too artfully) didn't name it so that folks would come up with their own favorite strange battles. But I should have known the avid book lovers here would guess the book right away.:D You can't fool the folks at CWi.

Anyway, I'm still hoping folks here can name some strange battles or even portions of battles. I thought we'd know amazing ones not even included in that book, though I was pleased to see one of my own personal favorite "weird" battles is in it.  

I was hoping everyone here could come up with an even longer list and just as interesting a list as the author of the book. I am not disrespecting his book. Like Susan, I pick it up when I have a short amount of time. I don't read a lot of Civil War collections, but this one is quite good, enjoyable and informative as collections go.  

 



 Posted: Thu Jun 5th, 2008 03:31 pm
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Devils Den
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How strange-I have the book on my desk in school as I am typing this! I use it to show the kids that, as Garrison puts it the preface: Most if not all of the battles of the Civil War had aspects or results that could be considered strange, unusual, or curious.

Good stories, the kids love it!



 Posted: Thu Jun 5th, 2008 07:06 pm
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izzy
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I have never heard of the book.

I think one of the strangest circumstances is the acoustic shadow at the battle of Perryville, KY.  Although nearly 40,000 troops were fighting it out, two Union corps camping nearby were unaware of it.

izzy



 Posted: Thu Jun 5th, 2008 07:15 pm
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susansweet
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Izzy I have a book I purchased at Cold Harbor last year on Acoustic Shadows.  Called of all things Acoustic Shadow.  I cannot remember the name of the author right now and the book is in my car.  It cost about 25 dollars .  I have enjoyed reading it.  It was written by a  physics teacher so explains what causes the shadow. 

Susan



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 Posted: Fri Jun 6th, 2008 12:17 am
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izzy
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susansweet,  Thanks for bringing the book to my attention.  Unfortunately I don't have the time right now to pursue the topic.  I just amazes me how much information is out there.  Time, time is the problem. 

izzy



 Posted: Fri Jun 6th, 2008 12:47 am
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susansweet
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So many books, Izzy, so little time.  Book is short that is the good part. 

Good luck .  Always one more book it seems . 

Susan



 Posted: Fri Jun 6th, 2008 12:54 am
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ole
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JDC: Doubly curious because Northern Lights are relatively rare even in more northern latitudes. I've been on the planet for many winters and recall only once seeing a display as described. All the other times there was just a glow in the north -- not the dancing ribbons. First time I heard the story, I didn't believe it.

ole



 Posted: Fri Jun 6th, 2008 03:25 am
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lwhite64
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The Battle of LaFayette, GA (Pronounced LAFAYETTE, not like the Marquis)  Anyway, the battle was a cav fight between CS forces under Pillow and the US foces under Watkins.  All of Watkins force was southern, Kentuckians, Watkins himself was southern.  Watkins men were attacked at dawn and took refuge in the buildings in town, mainly the Courthouse and a nearby hotel.  Pillows men charged down the streets at them and were repeatedly repulsed.  One of Pillow's Regiments, Lewis's Ala Cav Battalion was armed with smoothbore muskets, bayonets, and sabres, and were mostly under 19 years of age.  A lot of odd things  associated with the battle, Pillow needless to say was defeated.

Lee



 Posted: Fri Jun 6th, 2008 07:04 am
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ole
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Pillow needless to say was defeated.

With Pillow, that was to be expected. Wonder what happened to him. Seems I recollect that he had a pretty good record during the Mexican War. That is, at least good enough to get some rank during the early part of the Civil War.

ole



 Posted: Fri Jun 6th, 2008 07:13 am
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Texas Defender
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  Some are ranker than others.



 Posted: Fri Jun 6th, 2008 06:28 pm
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PvtClewell
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This was brought to my attention recently. It's the story of Stonewall Jackson raiding the B&O Railroad yard in Martinsburg (then West Virginia) early in the war. A number of locomotives were appropriated for Confederate use and some brought to Winchester, including one 85-ton engine that was disassembled and hauled down the streets of Winchester by a 40-horse team.

Check this site:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Train_Raid_of_1861

Especially read 'Hauling away the bounty' segment. Very interesting.

Here's Mort Kunstler's depiction of the event:
http://civilwarenthusiasts.com/CalendarPrintIronHorses.htm

While technically not a battle, this to me is strange and amazing stuff.



 Posted: Sat Jun 7th, 2008 12:36 am
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CleburneFan
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Pvt Clewell, I'd have to put the "great locomotive chase" in that same category of strange. Come to think of it, there just had to be plenty of strange Civil War stories that dealt with trains, railroad tracks and locomotives.

As for the Kunstler's painting, I'm having a hard time imagining how they ever assembled a forty-horse team. The time it must have taken and the effort involved to get all the horses to co-operate staggers my mind.

Last edited on Sat Jun 7th, 2008 12:41 am by CleburneFan



 Posted: Sat Jun 7th, 2008 03:47 am
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PvtClewell
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"The time it must have taken and the effort involved to get all the horses to co-operate staggers my mind."

Well, a there was war on and I guess that made them war horses. Very patriotic of them. Unless they were drafted, of course. Then they'd be draft horses. They did look to be very well trained in Kunstler's painting, though. ;)



 Posted: Sat Jun 7th, 2008 03:00 pm
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ole
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Cue the groans.

ole



 Posted: Sun Jun 8th, 2008 01:55 am
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CleburneFan
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That was funny, Pvt Clewell.  Even the Budweiser"draft" horses are laughing.:D

But Ole isn't laughing. Oh well.:(

Last edited on Sun Jun 8th, 2008 01:55 am by CleburneFan



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