Shreveport and Bossier City popped up in my email alerts this morning. They have declared April as Civil War History Month. Interestingly enough, yesterday, I found a thread on the LAPOINTE mailing list concerning an H. Carr who had served in the Civil War in the Navy. After a small search on Footnote, I found NARA records that possibly listed his wife’s name on his pension declaration, “Rose”. Mr. Carr fought in the Battle of Fourdoche Bridge, or Stirlings Plantation. Footnote did not have any articles concerning Stirlings Plantation or Fordouche Bridge in a small search that I conducted yesterday. In addition, the NARA record listed Mr. Carr as serving with the Colored Naval Infantry. The query on the board wanted to know the burial place of H. Carr, as he was wounded in the Battle that occurred in September 1863. Battleground is listed in a Louisiana tours brochure c. 2006, however, the site is noted as on private property. White Hall Plantation notes that there is a historical marker where the battle actually took place, as Stirling Plantation no longer exists today; they even note on their website that they do get genealogy questions from visitors, but are unable to assist. They do offer a link to LAGenWeb and a few other genealogy sites. Afrigenas has a few forum questions related to White Hall Plantation.
Anyway, back to Mr. Carr, he is also listed here. OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 49, Part 1 (Mobile Bay Campaign) Page 525 PURSUIT AND CAPTURE OF JEFFERSON DAVIS. and on a second page here. OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 45, Part 1 (Franklin – Nashville) Page 531 Chapter LVII. CAMPAIGN IN NORTH ALA. AND MIDDLE TENN.
Southeastern Louisiana University has conducted research previously for the placement of historical markers in Louisiana. I wonder if they assisted in putting up that marker at the Stirling Plantation Battleground? SELU indicates that in June they will be having their 22nd Annual Deep Delta Civil War Symposium. “Nine Men In Gray And A Little Lady: Angels of Mercy, Perfidious Albion, and Confederate Leadership in the Western Campaign”, Friday and Saturday, June 6-7, War Memorial Student Union, Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, Louisiana. Mr. Joiner will also be a speaker at the event.
April 12, 2008
National Park Service Web site on the Civil War’s 150th anniversary: http://cwar.nps.gov/civilwar/abcivwarSesqInit.htm
Civil War Sesquicentennial Act of 2005: http://www.theorator.com/bills109/hr687.html
State of Louisiana Web site on the Civil War in Louisiana: http://www.crt.state.la.us/tourism/CIVILWAR/CIVILWAR.HTM
Soldiers in “1st Louisiana Native Guards” militia: http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/99999999/NEWS/80212019
“History does not have an ax to grind. It is the telling of what happened, a portrayal of facts, the relaying of the truth.”
Gary D. Joiner, Civil War author and historian
By John Andrew Prime
Partly echoing a traditional declaration, Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover and Bossier City Mayor Lorenz Walker have issued a joint proclamation naming April as Civil War History Month in their respective cities.
The proclamation, made in past years as Confederate History Month, this year was broadened to include other aspects of the history surrounding the nation’s bloodiest war, which has provided Shreveport with a unique place in American history.
Recognizing that Shreveport was a part of the Confederacy, the last Confederate capital of the state, the objective of the Union’s Red River Campaign to split the South and the last place where the Confederate flag flew over land, the mayors Friday jointly issued the proclamation.
It’s a less provocative declaration than the two issued last year and disappointed members of local heritage groups representing both the North and the South.
The proclamation notes Shreveport as the site of a Confederate Navy yard, as the final resting place of Union Army Capt. Caesar C. Antoine, Confederate Army Capt. John David Herndon, after whom parks, streets and schools are named, and the final resting place of Confederate Col. Leon D. Marks, commander of the 27th Louisiana Infantry, and calls on people to contemplate the bloody history of the years 1861 to 1865 “to promote healing, unity and understanding of the broader context of the conflict.”
Gary Joiner, a local Civil War historian and author and a member of both Sons of Confederate Veterans and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, noted that both groups recognize the history of the Confederacy as separate from but parallel to that of the war between the two countries. And he said watering down the name just backs away from the lessons the war and the differences between the two nations regarding state-based government as opposed to the federal system that is in force.
“I wish that the proclamation had been for ‘Confederate History Month’ because every other municipality I am aware of in Louisiana and other Southern states, regardless of the percentage of African-American population, refers to the month as ‘Confederate.’ History does not have an ax to grind. It is the telling of what happened, a portrayal of facts, the relaying of the truth.”
Joiner noted the proclamation also fails to note the even broader reach of the war into Shreveport and the rest of Louisiana, where occupation by Union forces continued until 1877, well after such troops had left other Southern states
In addition, Shreveport history and civics teacher Chuck McMichael is a candidate to be the national commander of Sons of Confederate Veterans. A former chief of staff and national genealogist of the heritage group, he has included as a plan in his campaign planning for observance of the sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary, of the war.
The wording also disappointed David Hill, commander of the local Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor Camp of Sons of Confederate Veterans, who has led re-enactment group members in memorializing soldiers of both sides of the conflict and in replacing tombstones for Confederate soldiers, who since the 1930s have been recognized by the Veterans Affairs Department as American soldiers.
“It’s better than nothing, I guess,” Hill said. “I’m disappointed they did it that way. I don’t think now that they’d go back and do it as ‘Confederate History Month’ also.”
Also of interest: