I hope some of my readers have noticed there have been no columns about Schaghticoke history for the past month.My husband and I spent a month in Georgia and Florida. We visited grandchildren in Savannah- and acted as tourist in that city for a couple of days- and attended two five-day Road Scholar programs, one in Saint Augustine, Florida, one in Amelia and Cumberland Islands, Georgia.
As William Tecumseh Sherman was offering the capture of the key Confederate city of Savannah, Georgia to President Abraham Lincoln as a “Christmas gift”, a combined amphibious Army and Navy force was engaged in an attempt to capture Fort Fisher near Wilmington, North Carolina. That was the only remaining Atlantic seaport accessible to blockade runners who were bringing in supplies to keep the rapidly-fading Confederate hopes of victory alive.
Read the entire article in the Jan. 15th issue of the Express.
So wrote Major James Connolly of the 123rd Illinois Infantry to his wife, describing the arrival of Union forces on a high bluff overlooking the second-most important city in the Confederate States of America – Atlanta, Georgia - in mid-July of 1864.
The Union soldiers, on seeing the city, gave voice to a cheer that Major Connolly supposed might have been heard all the way to Atlanta.Within moments, he said, Generals William T. Sherman and George Thomas had joined them on the overlook, gazing southward across the Chattahoochee River at the city in the distance.Atlanta was a strategic city, a rail hub with foundries, factories, munitions plants and supply depots all very vital to the survival of the Confederacy. Its importance to the rebellious south could not be overstated, and the Confederates had encircled it with elaborate fortifications.
Read the entire article in the July 10th issue of the Express.
Here in February of 2014, I will step away from my established pattern of “this Month in the Civil War” in order to tell the story of Andersonville.
My interest in the history of Andersonville Prison in Georgia was piqued long ago. As a teenager, I read the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Andersonville” by MacKinlay Kantor. My father, noticing the book, commented that his mother had relatives who died there, but that was all he knew. It would be many years before I learned the story of the Blair brothers, Hiram, David and Joseph, great-uncles of my grandmother, Gladys Holden Hosley, and many more years before I would finally be able to make the trip to the site of the prison where David and Joseph died and the cemetery where they are buried.
The entire article is in the January 30th issue of the Express