Archive for January, 2013

The Boy From Last Week Identified

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

This photographic image from which the previous image was taken, appears in Too Young To Die, Boy Soldiers of the Union Army, by Dennis M. Keesee. Mr. Keesee relates how the Secretary of War, for the fun or it, commissioned him a lieutenant. This twelve-year-old then went back to his house, dismissed the military guards, then mustered the household staff, issue them weapons, drilled them, and put them on duty. His older brother, Robert, was upset by this and went to their father. Father found it amusing and did nothing about it. The boy? Tad Lincoln; his father? the President. The author goes on to share several events. President Lincoln, his son Tad, General Grant, and his son Jesse rode out to the fort at City Point, outside Washington. Jesse’s horse took off and was chased down by Lincoln, Grant, and an orderly. After arriving, the party came under Confederate artillery fire and had to wait it out in a bombproof shelter. On another occasion, riding his pony with a cavalry boy escort, William W. Sweisfort, Tad accompanied his parents to a troop review of the 150th Pennsylvania. Sweisfort tells of his experience describing “a lively boy” who “kept me moving.” On a presidential visit at Belle Plain, Tad spied General Sickles’ orderly and bugler, 12-year-old Gustav Schurmann, and begged that he go home with them to the White House. The president explained that he was a soldier and could not leave his command. The general stepped in and granted a furlough, releasing Gus to accompany the presidential party.
Read more about these events and others and about other boy soldiers in Too Young To Die, Boy Soldiers of the Union Army.
Next week – Gustav Schurmann’s story

One of the boys from the Civil War

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

This image appears in an on-line search of Civil War drummer boys with text telling about young boys who served in the war. It does not identify the boy and suggests that he is unknown. However, he is known and the next post will tell who he is.

Civil War Author Presents at the Kennett Square Civil War Club

Friday, January 18th, 2013

J. Arthur Moore, author of Up From Corinth, book 2 of Journey Into Darkness, the second book in a Civil War 4-part novel about 11-year-old Duane Kinkade’s experience in the Civil War, recently presented at the December 8th, 2012 meeting of the Kennett Square Civil War Club in Kennett Square. His presentation was about the “Boys of the Civil War” and shared the stories of many of the boys who participated in the war.
Johnny Clem ran away from home when he was ten and at the Battle of Chickamauga, shot a Confederate officer off his horse when he tried to capture the boy. Eleven-year-old David Wood sneaked into the ranks of his father’s cavalry command. Thirteen-year-old Orion Howe was seriously wounded delivering a message, while under constant enemy fire. Twelve-year-old Charley King from West Chester, Pennsylvania, became Drum Major for the Pennsylvania 49th. Drummer Willie Johnston received the Medal of Honor for gallantry on the battlefield at age 11. Then there was the story of 10-year-old Tom Hunley, who wasn’t a boy at all.
The program included power point and video presentations, displays of related photos and written material, books and references related to researching the boys’ stories, internet research resources and how those interested can do research on their own, materials/stories that have been written based on the real boys who were there, a display of artifacts related to the experience of Duane Kinkade, and how real history about their experiences can be learned through reading researched historic fiction. Two researched blends of fact and fiction were examined. Ghost Cadet, by Elaine Marie Alphin, tells of a modern day teenager helping the ghost of William Hugh McDowell from the Civil War battle of New Market in Virginia. But the “ghost” was a real boy and the facts in the story are true. Up From Corinth, by J. Arthur Moore, tells of the experience of Duane Kinkade as he journeys in search of his father, up from Corinth and into war. The battles and army life he experiences are very real and described through research as they really happened.
The displays included the entire set of manuscripts from Journey Into Darkness and other works by Moore, who remained afterwards to answer questions and to sign copies of his book and some manuscripts for any who wished to purchase them.
More information about Up From Corinth can be found at its website, which includes news articles, reviews, book trailers, and more, as well as a link to Facebook. There, photos of many of the boys are identified, and photos and information are included about related events, with links from some to Youtube videos.

Up From Corinth has been awarded the Moms Choice Award for excellence in historic fiction for young adult readers.

This is the beginning of a series of posts that will tell the stories of several of the boys who were part of the Civil War. But first, I need to figure out how to place their pictures in this blog. You can view them now through and going to the Facebook link.