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Civil War Trust

Civil War Primer - April 8, 2009

Civil War Teacher Newsletter

The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) is America's largest non-profit organization (501-C3) devoted to the preservation of our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields.

CWPT's Education Department promotes Civil War battlefield preservation by encouraging the study of the war's timeless lessons, provoking thought about the vital roles these battlefields play in our nation's history.


1.  Financing the Civil War - Taxes!
     from the Tax History Museum

2.  Great Web Sites

3.  Upcoming Deadlines - Don't Miss Out!
     Professional Development, Recognition and Growth

4.  Trivia

5.  This Day in History: April 6th, April 8th, April 9th

6.  Selected CWPT Education Programs


1.  Financing the Civil War - Taxes!
     from the Tax History Museum

[We are grateful to the Tax Museum for granting permission to reprint this article.  Go to to view the article online and see the associated images.]

1861-1865: The Civil War

The Civil War represented a watershed moment in the history of American taxation. The quick, limited engagement both sides confidently predicted soon proved a chimera. Instead, the exigencies of protracted, destructive warfare ­ engulfing private property and civilian populations as well as commissioned combatants ­ demanded innovations in government financing. While the outcome of the conflict may be attributed to any number of contingent factors, the varying fiscal strategies undertaken by the Union and Confederate governments undoubtedly influenced the capacity of both societies to sustain the war effort. North and South employed markedly different approaches. The North's proved more efficacious in the long run.

Confederate War Financing

The antebellum south enjoyed one of the lightest tax burdens of all contemporary civilized societies. Local or state governments assessed all obligations. By contrast, the hastily assembled Confederate government lacked the bureaucratic infrastructure to levy or collect internal taxes. Its citizens possessed neither a tradition of compliance nor a means to remit payment. Land and slaves comprised the bulk of southern capital; liquid forms of wealth like specie or paper currency were hard to come by in a predominantly agrarian region.

Efforts to raise war revenue through various methods of taxation proved ineffective. The Confederate Congress enacted a minor tariff in 1861, but it contributed only $3.5 million in four years. That same year, Congress implemented a small direct tax (0.5 percent) on real and personal property. But the government in Richmond was forced to rely on the individual states to collect the levy. Reprising the scenario played out during the Revolutionary War, most states did not collect the tax at all, preferring to meet their quota by borrowing money or printing state notes to cover it.

The Davis administration turned to loans to finance the initial bulk of war debts. Riding a wave of patriotic enthusiasm in 1861, the Treasury earned $15 million selling out their first bond issue. The second issue, however, consisting of $100 million in 8 percent yield bonds, sold slowly. Few southerners had the cash to purchase them, but in addition the year-end 12 percent inflation rate threatened to negate any promise of real financial return. It fell to investors to buy up the remainder of the 8 percent bonds, which they purchased with newly minted Confederate Treasury notes.

By necessity rather than choice, the South turned to the printing press to pay most of its bills. In its first year, the Confederate government derived 75 percent of its total revenue from Treasury notes, less than 25 percent from bonds (purchased, of course, with the notes), and under 2 percent from taxes. While the proportion of the latter two would increase slightly in later years, the foundation of Confederate war financing consisted of over $1.5 billion in paper dollars that began depreciating before the ink had a chance to dry. By refusing to establish the notes as compulsory legal tender, Treasury officials hoped to avoid undermining confidence in the currency. They preferred that the currency be backed by public confidence in the Confederacy’s survival (notes were to be redeemable in specie at face value within two years of the end of the war).

This being the case, various state, county, and city notes also circulated widely, diluting the medium further; the fact that these poorly printed bills were easily counterfeited did not help matters. Ironically, the Confederate decision to turn to paper money in lieu of a system of internal taxation abetted the most odious, regressive form of de facto taxation southern society endured: runaway inflation, appearing in the wake of military reversals in 1862, and topping 9,000 percent by war’s end.

By the spring of 1863, the crushing burden of inflation motivated Richmond to come up with an alternative to fiat money. In April, they followed the Union’s lead and enacted comprehensive legislation that included a progressive income tax, an 8 percent levy on certain goods held for sale, excise, and license duties, and a 10 percent profits tax on wholesalers. These provisions also included a 10 percent tax-in-kind on agricultural products. The latter burdened yeoman more than the progressive income tax encumbered urban salaried workers, since laborers could remit depreciated currency to meet their obligations. Adding to the inequity, the law exempted some of the most lucrative property owned by wealthy planters ­ their slaves ­ from assessment. Lawmakers considered a tax on slaves to be a direct tax, constitutionally permissible only after an apportionment on the basis of population. Since the war precluded any opportunity to count heads, they concluded that no direct tax was possible. Accumulating war debts and heightened condemnation of a "rich man’s war, poor man’s fight" led to revision of the tax law in February 1864, which suspended the requirement for a census-based apportionment of direct taxes and imposed a 5 percent levy on land and slaves. These changes came too late, however, to have any sustained impact on the Confederate war effort.

Union War Financing

In addition to its developed industrial base, the North entered the war with several apparent institutional advantages, including an established Treasury and tariff structure. With the exodus of southern representatives, the Republican-dominated Congress ratcheted up tariff rates throughout the war, beginning in 1862 with the Morill Tariff Act, which reversed the downward trend instituted by the Democrats between 1846 and 1857. Subsequent tariff legislation, especially the 1864 act, raised rates further. Protective tariffs were politically popular among manufacturers, northern laborers, and even some commercial farmers. But Customs duties amounted to about $75 million annually, only nominally more, after adjusting for inflation, than the value of duties collected during the 1850s. Still, the high rate structure established in the Civil War would remain a hallmark of the post-war political economy of the Republican party.

Ideological reservations tempered some of the Treasury’s supposed institutional advantages. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase, like many northern policymakers, generally distrusted any form of exchange other than specie. They preferred to pay government debts by physically moving gold out of the Treasury instead of transferring funds from demand deposits via check. They also refused to utilize established private banks in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia as repositories for federal funds, further complicating financial transactions. Chase hoped to follow Albert Gallatin’s model of financing the War of 1812, which (initially) emphasized borrowing over taxation. Ultimately, however, mounting debts, a shortage of specie, and the threat of inflation led the Union to adopt innovative plans for both borrowing and internal taxation.

In contrast to the Confederacy, which relied on loans for about 35 percent of its war finances, the Union raised over 65 percent of its revenue this way. Having little personal experience, Chase turned to Philadelphia Banker Jay Cooke to administer the sale of war bonds. Although he expected banks and wealthy citizens to purchase most of them, Cooke employed a sophisticated propaganda campaign to market the bonds to the middling classes as well. Patriotic newspaper advertisements and an army of 2,500 agents persuaded almost one million northerners (about 25 percent of ordinary families) to invest in the war effort; bond sales topped $3 billion. In this way, Cooke previewed the techniques with which governments in the 20th century would fund modern wars.

In order for the bond program to be successful, the North needed an unrestricted currency supply for citizens to pay for them and a source of income to guarantee the interest. The Legal Tender Act filled the first requirement. Passed in February 1862, the act authorized the issue of $150 million in Treasury notes, known as Greenbacks. In contrast to Confederate paper, however, Congress required citizens, banks, and governments to accept Greenbacks as legal tender for public and private debts, except for interest on federal bonds and customs duties. This policy allowed buyers to purchase bonds with greenbacks while the interest accrued to them was paid in gold (funded, in part, by specie payments of customs duties). Investors enjoyed a bountiful windfall, since government securities purchased with depreciated currency were redeemed with gold valued at the prewar level. Taxpayers essentially made up the difference. Because most bonds were acquired by the wealthy or by financial institutions, the program concentrated investment capital in the hands of those likely to use it, much as Alexander Hamilton’s debt plan had sought to do.

The Union government’s decision to implement a broad system of internal taxation not only insured a valuable source of income, but shielded the northern economy from the sort of ruinous inflation experienced by the South. Despite another $150 million Greenback issue, the overall northern inflation rate reached only 80 percent, comparable with the domestic rates during World Wars I and II. The Internal Revenue Act of 1862, enacted by Congress in July, 1862, soaked up much of the inflationary pressure produced by Greenbacks. It did so because the Act placed excise taxes on just about everything, including sin and luxury items like liquor, tobacco, playing cards, carriages, yachts, billiard tables, and jewelry. It taxed patent medicines and newspaper advertisements. It imposed license taxes on practically every profession or service except the clergy. It instituted stamp taxes, value added taxes on manufactured goods and processed meats, inheritance taxes, taxes on the gross receipts of corporations, banks, and insurance companies, as well as taxes on dividends or interest they paid to investors. To administer these excise taxes, along with the tariff system, the Internal Revenue Act also created a Bureau of Internal Revenue, whose first commissioner, George Boutwell, described it as "the largest Government department ever organized."

The majority of internal taxes and tariffs duties were regressive, consumption-oriented measures that affected lower income Americans more severely than higher-income Americans. In response, Republicans looked to reinforce the system’s fairness by implementing a supplementary system of taxation that more accurately reflected taxpayers’ "ability to pay." The income tax addressed this need.

The first federal income tax in American history actually preceded the Internal Revenue Act of 1862. Passed in August 1861, it had helped assure the financial community that the government would have a reliable source of income to pay the interest on war bonds. Initially, Salmon Chase and Thaddeus Stevens, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, wanted to implement an emergency property tax similar to the one adopted during the War of 1812. This way, the government could adapt the administrative system that state and local governments had developed for their own property taxes. But legislators understood such a property tax as a direct tax. Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution required the federal government to apportion the burden among states on the basis of population rather than property values. Emphasizing population over property value would actually render the tax quite regressive. Residents of lower-density western states, border states, and poor northeastern states stood to bear a greater burden than those of highly-populated urban states, despite the latter’s valued real estate. Their representatives also complained that a property tax would not touch substantial "intangible" property like stocks, bonds, mortgages, or cash.

As an alternative, policy makers sought to follow the example of British Liberals, who had turned to income taxation in order to finance the Crimean War without heavy property taxation. Justin Morrill, (R-VT), Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Taxation and the architect of the regressive tariff structure, introduced a proposal for the first federal income tax. Because it did not tax property directly, congressional leaders viewed the income tax as indirect, and thus immune from constitutional strictures.

The first income tax was moderately progressive and ungraduated, imposing a 3 percent tax on annual incomes over $800 that exempted most wage earners. These taxes were not even collected until 1862, making alternative financing schemes like the Legal Tender Act critical in the interim. The Internal Revenue Act of 1862 expanded the progressive nature of the earlier act while adding graduations: It exempted the first $600, imposed a 3 percent rate on incomes between $600 and $10,000, and a 5 percent rate on those over $10,000. The act exempted businesses worth less than $600 from value added and receipts taxes. Taxes were withheld from the salaries of government employees as well as from dividends paid to corporations (the same method of collection later employed during World War II). In addition, the "sin" excise taxes imposed in the 1862 act were designed to fall most heavily on products purchased by the affluent. Thaddeus Stevens lauded the progressivity of the tax system:

"While the rich and the thrifty will be obliged to contribute largely from the abundance of their means . . . no burdens have been imposed on the industrious laborer and mechanic . . . The food of the poor is untaxed; and no one will be affected by the provisions of this bill whose living depends solely on his manual labor."

But the war grew increasingly costly (topping $2 million per day in its latter stages) and difficult to finance. The government’s ability to borrow fluctuated with battlefield fortunes. The Confederate navy harassed northern shipping, reducing customs receipts. And inevitable administrative problems reduced the expected receipts from income and excise tax collection.

In response, Congress approved two new laws in 1864 that increased tax rates and expanded the progressivity of income taxation. The first bill passed in June upped inheritance, excise, license, and gross receipts business taxes, along with stamp duties and ad valorem manufacturing taxes. The same act proceeded to assess incomes between $600 and $5,000 at 5 percent, those between $5,000 and $10,000 at 7.5 percent, and established a maximum rate of 10 percent. Despite protest by certain legislators regarding the unfairness of graduated rates, the 1864 act affirmed this method of taxing income according to "ability to pay." An emergency income tax bill passed in July imposed an additional tax of 5 percent on all incomes in excess of $600, on top of the rates set by previous income tax bills. Congress had discovered that the income tax, in addition to its rhetorical value, also provided a flexible and lucrative source of revenue. Receipts increased from over $20 million in 1864 (when collections were made under the 1862 income tax) to almost $61 million in 1865 (when collections were made under the 1864 act and emergency supplement).

The affluent upper middle classes of the nation’s commercial and industrial centers complied widely with the income tax. 10 percent of all Union households had paid some form of income tax by war’s end; residents of the northeast comprised 15 percent of that total. In fact, the northeast, a sector of American society that owned 70 percent of the nation’s wealth in 1860, provided the most critical tax base, remitting 75 percent of the revenues. In total, the North raised 21 percent of its war revenue through taxation, as opposed to the South, which raised just 5 percent this way.

Federal taxes were also instrumental in instituting a system of national banking during the war. The National Banking Acts of 1863 and 1864 imposed a system of "free banking" — banks established by general incorporation as opposed to specific charters — on a national level. State banks were granted national charters and allowed to issue national bank notes (these notes were separate from Greenbacks). One third of a national bank’s capital had to consist of federal bonds, since the new national notes were to be backed by federal bonds. The National Banking Acts thus served as another means to induce bankers to purchase bonds. In an attempt to avoid increased regulation, however, many state banks declined to seek national charters. To remedy this problem, the 1864 act imposed a 10 percent tax on state bank notes to drive them out of existence. As a result of this tax, the number of national banks tripled by the war’s end, while their purchase of U.S. bonds nearly quadrupled.

Copyright 2009 Tax Analysts.
              All rights reserved.

              Used by Permission.


2.  Great Web Sites

Civil War Women

Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls Database

Rifled Cannon, from Fort Pulaski National Monument
The Battle for Fort Pulaski

"The Scout toward Aldie"
Herman Melville's poem, "The Scout toward Aldie," describes
the North's fear of Confederate guerilla chief J.S. Mosby
"As glides in seas the shark, / Rides Mosby through green dark."

CWPT Crossword Puzzle -

News article about the "Angel in Gray" - Richard Rowland Kirkland, 2nd South Carolina

Civil War Timeline in New Mexico

American Battlefield Protection Program - Battle Summaries by State
Put this link in your "favorites"!


3.  Upcoming Deadlines - Don't Miss Out!
     Professional Development, Recognition and Growth

======>  Best Civil War Lesson Plan

WHEN:     Deadline May 1st
                Winners will be notified in September 2009

WHO:       K-12 Teachers in Public, Private and Home Schools

WHAT:     Submit your lesson plan to the Best Lesson Plan competition. 
               This lesson includes the following:

             - The teacher’s complete contact information including name of
               teacher’s school with complete mailing address, complete home
               address, and preferred phone number and/or email address
             - The lesson goals and objectives
             - A list of materials used, as well as copies of teacher-created
             - An approximation of the time involved
             - An explanation of the methods to be used and procedure of the
             - A list of correlating state standards for social studies / history
               in the teacher’s home state
               OR the appropriate NCSS strands (
             - Use of at least one primary source -- this could be an historic
               photograph, document, letter, diary, artifact, etc.
             - Inclusion of elements that are engaging & thought provoking for
               students with a variety of learning styles
             - If possible, introduce battlefield preservation
             - If possible, submit a method of evaluation

WHY:      First Place - One Thousand Dollars
               Second Place - Seven Hundred and Fifty Dollars
               Third Place - Five Hundred Dollars

               Teachers also gain recognition as decorated lesson plans may be
               reprinted, posted on the CWPT and/ or History web sites, and/or shared
               via other forms of media.

               Nationwide, teachers may view the top lesson plans and gain new
               ideas for the classroom.

WHERE:  Send your lesson plan to:

               Education Department
               Civil War Preservation Trust
               11 Public Square, Suite 200
               Hagerstown, MD  21740

               Sponsored by History and the Civil War Preservation Trust

====>     Poster & Essay Competition

WHEN:    All entries must be received in our office by May 15, 2009.

WHO:      Students in grades 4-12.
               Poster Divisions - Elementary (4-5-6)
                                         Junior (7-8-9)
                                         Senior (10-11-12)
               Essay Divisions - Junior (7-8-9)
                                         Senior (10-11-12)

               Use this competition as a class assignment

WHAT:    Submit your poster or essay which develops the following slogan: 
               "It's Our Turn: Fight to Save Civil War Battlefields"
               Complete guidelines are at

WHY:      First Place - Two Hundred Dollars
               Second Place - One Hundred Dollars
               Third Place - Fifty Dollars

==>         **Teachers** of award recipients receive A&E / History online
               gift certificates in equivalent amounts.
==>         Students (and school districts) enjoy the national recognition.

==>         For complete details visit
               Sponsored by History and the Civil War Preservation Trust


====>      8th Annual Summer Teacher Institute - July 24-26, 2009

WHEN:    July 24-26, 2009

WHO:      K-12 Teachers
               Librarians / Media Specialists who work with K-12 students

WHAT:     Professional Development
               Continuing Education Units to be offered through Virginia Tech

               Workshops which offer an exciting balance of knowledge and
               classroom practices; ideas that work with standards of learning and best
               practices; Field Trips to either Chancellorsville - featuring CWPT property The
               First Day at Chancellorsville OR Fredericksburg - featuring CWPT property at
               Slaughter Pen Farm.

WHERE:  Fredericksburg Hospitality House and Conference Center

WHY:      Professional Development - Continuing Education Units offered through
               Virginia Tech
               Networking opportunities with teachers nationwide

====>     Details at or email


4.  Trivia

A.  What is a "redan"? [We need specifics.]

B.  What is a "lunette"?  [Again, be specific.]

C.  On April 4, 1862, Union soldiers were busy building *what* at Island No. 10?  (This is near New Madrid, on the Mississippi River.)

D.  Which English immigrant helped to foil an assassination attempt on Abraham Lincoln?

E.  When this Union general was wounded on the third day at Gettysburg, it was said that "fortunately for him and to the joy of all [he] has gone home." Who was this man?


Answers at Bottom.


5.  This Day in History: April 6th, April 8th, April 9th

==>  April 6, 1865:  Battle of Sailor's Creek
This was, according to EB Long, "the last major engagement" between the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac. 

According to the ABPP, "On April 6 at Sailor’s Creek, nearly one fourth of the retreating Confederate army was cut off by Sheridan’s Cavalry and elements of the II and VI Corps. Most surrendered, including Confederate generals Richard S. Ewell, Barton, Simms, Kershaw, Custis Lee, Dubose, Hunton, and Corse. This action was considered the death knell of the Confederate army. Upon seeing the survivors streaming along the road, Lee exclaimed 'My God, has the army dissolved?”'"

CWPT is working to help preserve this site:

==>  April 6-7, 1862:  Battle of Shiloh, or Pittsburg Landing
ABPP Summary:
Park Service Site:

After the Union army suffered a frightful pounding, General William T. Sherman said to his friend Grant, “We’ve had the devil’s own day, haven’t we?” To which Grant replied in his usual understated fashion, “Yes – lick ‘em tomorrow, though.”
CWPT has worked to help preserve land at Shiloh:

==> April 6, 1863: British government seizes the CSS Alexandria at Liverpool.

==> April 6, 1864:  Constitutional Convention of Louisiana

Also according to EB Long, "The Constitutional Convention at Louisiana met at New Orleans and adopted a new state constitution abolishing slavery." [p. 481]   (EB Long's "Civil War Day By Day" is an excellent reference book.)

==>  April 8, 1864: Confederate Victory at the Battle of Mansfield, Louisiana

According to the ABPP, "Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Bank’s Red River Expedition had advanced about 150 miles up Red River. Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor, without any instructions from his commander, Gen. E. Kirby Smith, decided that it was time to try and stem this Union drive. He established a defensive position just below Mansfield, near Sabine Cross-Roads, an important communications center. On April 8, Banks’ men approached, driving Confederate cavalry before them. For the rest of the morning, the Federals probed the Rebel lines. In late afternoon, Taylor, though outnumbered, decided to attack. His men made a determined assault on both flanks, rolling up one and then another of Banks’ divisions. Finally, about three miles from the original contact, a third Union division met Taylor’s attack at 6:00 pm and halted it after more than an hour's fighting. That night, Taylor unsuccessfully attempted to turn Banks’ right flank. Banks withdrew but met Taylor again on the 9th at Pleasant Hill. Mansfield was the decisive battle of the Red River Campaign, influencing Banks to retreat back toward Alexandria."  (

The Civil War Preservation Trust helped save 134 acres at the Red River Campaign site where Confederate General Richard Taylor defeated Union General Nathanial P. Banks.

==>  April 8, 1864:  US Grant issues his campaign orders
According to E.B. Long, "Gen. U.S. Grant issued campaign orders:  Meade and the army of the Potomac would make Lee's army the objective; "Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also."  Banks was to move on Mobile, Ala.; Sherman was to head into Georgia against Joe Johnston; Sigel was to march south in the Shenandoah; Benjamin Butler was to move against Richmond from the south side of the James River.  The armies of the Union would be on the march in one grand, over-all operation designed to put simultaneous pressure on all major armies of the Confederacy."  [page 483]

==>  April 9, 1864:  Battle of Pleasant Hill, LA  "The battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill jointly (although the former was much more decisive) influenced Banks to forget his objective of capturing Shreveport."

==>  April 9, 1865:  Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox Court House
Palm Sunday.  Edward M. Boykin remembered that men went to their officers "with tears streaming from their eyes, and asked what it all meant, and would, at that moment, I know, have rather died the night before than see the sun rise on such a day as this."  [EB Long 670] - this is an excellent resource, including official records and recollections from both sides (including one by Joshua Chamberlain).


6.  Selected CWPT Education Programs
Unless indicated otherwise, email for details.

==>     CWPT Gifted & Talented Curriculum
Character & Leadership in the Civil War. Examine Civil War leaders through the lenses of character and leadership.  Designed for "gifted and talented" students -- or for students with a special interest in the Civil War -- this adaptable enrichment experience may be used alone or in addition to your existing curriculum.  Follows the NCSS Thematic Strands as well as Character Counts!(sm) and the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.

==>     Two-Week Civil War Curriculum CD-ROM
For grades 5, 8 & 11.  Download online, or send your land address. The classroom curriculum guide is endorsed by History (The History Channel). According to Dr. Libby O'Connell, Chief Historian at History, the CWPT Civil War curriculum guide is "the best two-week curriculum on the Civil War available to teachers today."

==>     Teacher Institute: July 24-26, 2009, Spotsylvania County Virginia
Eighth Annual Teacher Institute from July 24-26, 2009 in Spotsylvania County, VA. Features "field trip" tours of Chancellorsville and Fredericksburg, focusing on techniques teachers can use to make a battlefield visit a central part of their Civil War curriculum. Open to all teachers and school librarians grades K-12, not just history teachers.  For more information contact the Civil War Preservation Trust at (202) 367-1861 ext. 223 or email

==>     More Civil War Lesson Plans

==>     Civil War Glossary

==>     Classroom Memberships
Monthly "Civil War Classroom" and quarterly "Hallowed Ground" magazine, classroom materials, curriculum CD-ROM & "It Happened in the Civil War". Email to sponsor a classroom, sign up, or review a newsletter.

==>     Adopt a Battlefield
Great for your springtime Civil War unit!  Receive free Civil War materials including a mix of fun and informative items with adaptable activities.  Participants pledge to become involved in preservation through fundraising, service and advocacy.  For youths, classrooms, scouts, and homeschoolers.  Email for more information.

==>     Civil War Preservation Trust Book Lists

==>     Traveling Trunk:
Reserve one for the 2009-2010 school year to access hands-on items, books, music and visuals. Email for more information.


Trivia Answers

A.  A 'redan' is "A fortification with two parapets or low walls whose faces unite to form a salient angle towards the enemy. That is, they form a point that juts out past the rest of the defensive line of works."

     Two views of Stockade Redan at Vicksburg:

     Redan Batteries at Grand Gulf, Mississippi:

B.  A 'lunette' is "A fortification shaped roughly like a half-moon. It presented two or three sides to the enemy but the rear was open to friendly lines."

     Difference between lunettes, redoubts and redans, from Vicksburg

C.  Union soldiers were building a canal through the swamps near New Madrid.  The goal was to be able to move small vessels around the forts defending Island No. 10.  This was successful; Island No. 10 fell to Gen. John Pope on April 7, 1862.  The Mississippi River was now open to the Union, to Fort Pillow.

D.  Timothy Webster.  Webster discovered plans to assassinate president-elect Lincoln when he changed trains in Baltimore (February 1861).  Webster provided valuable information to the Union in connection with Allan Pinkerton.  Unfortunately, Webster was executed in Richmond on April 29, 1862, despite threats by both Pinkerton and Lincoln.  Dick Weeks reports that Webster "climbed the gallows in Richmond, Virginia. The noose was put around his neck and a black hood was fitted over his face. The trap was sprung but the knot slipped and Webster fell to the ground. After being helped back up the steps and re-fitted with the noose he said, "I suffer a double death!" The noose held the second time, and Webster died within minutes and was hastily buried in Richmond."  (

E.  Gen. Daniel Butterfield.  Before the war, Butterfield worked with the American Express company. He earned a Medal of Honor for his actions at Gaines' Mill.  He also experimented with bugle calls - causing some people to credit him with creating "Taps".  He is also credited with expanding an "invention" used by Gen. Philip Kearny: the use of hat / shoulder patches signifying a soldier's corps.  Unfortunately, however, he earned the dislike of many officers because of 1) constant infighting and undermining, and 2) the constant flow of women and liquor in headquarters that caused Gen. Hooker / Gen. Butterfield's headquarters to be described as "a combination of bar room and brothel". (  AFTER the war, he was involved in the Black Friday gold scandal during US Grant's term as President.  (


Jennifer Rosenberry
Education Coordinator

==> Go to to see how you can help us save battlefields!

Civil War Preservation Trust   |   11 Public Square, Suite 200
Hagerstown, MD  21740   |   301.665.1400



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