Tales from the North and the South

Twenty-Four Remarkable People and Events of the Civil War


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About the Book

In June 1862, James J. Archer was promoted to the rank of brigadier general by Robert E. Lee. Serving with distinction in prominent battles such as those at Bull Run, Chancellorsville and Harpers Ferry, this lawyer-turned-general earned not only the respect of his superiors but the esteem and admiration of his men. Imprisoned first at Fort Delaware and then at Johnson’s Island, Archer was one of the “First Fifty” (and as it turned out only) officers to be part of a Confederate/Union prisoner exchange. Upon returning to the Confederacy, Archer resumed command and served until his death from battle wounds in October 1864.
From doctors to lawyers and privates to generals, this volume records the stories of a few special people—such as General James Archer—who chose to serve their country during the Civil War. Twenty-four individuals from both sides of the Mason-Dixon line are remembered for their extraordinary and often little known contributions to the Confederate and Union causes. These include Colonel Thomas Rose, who was in charge of the Libby Prison tunnel; Colonel John R. Winston, who was one of the few to escape from the Federal prison on Johnson’s Island; Sally Tompkins, who ran a private hospital in Richmond; and Sergeant Richard Kirkland, who risked his life to take water to the Federal troops at Fredericksburg. Other featured individuals include Susie Baker King Taylor, Colonel Hector McKethan, Dr. Mary Walker and Richard Thomas Zarvona. Contemporary sources include a variety of correspondence and diaries from these subjects and those who knew them. Appendices contain a roll of participants in the Great Locomotive Chase; a list of Federal prisoners who escaped through the Libby Prison tunnel; a directory of Confederate officers on board the Maple Leaf; and the history of the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Confederate Roll of Honor. A number of contemporary photographs are also included.

About the Author(s)

The late Frances H. Casstevens wrote frequently about the American Civil War and North Carolina history. She was retired from Wake Forest University and lived in Yadkinville, North Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Frances H. Casstevens
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 384
Bibliographic Info: 31 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2870-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0705-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Introduction      1

Part One: The Union

I. James J. Andrews and the Great Locomotive Chase (The Andrews Raid): A Civilian Who Risked His Life and Lost      3

II. Private Jesse Virgil Dobbins: Patriotic Hero or Murdering Traitor?      16

III. Captain Dan Ellis: The Slippery “Old Red Fox” of East Tennessee      28

IV. General William Jackson Palmer: An Officer and a Gentleman Sometimes Equals a Hero      43

V. Colonel Thomas Rose: Architect of the Libby Tunnel      58

VI. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13      73

VII. Mrs. Susie Baker King Taylor: Among Noble Women, Courage Has No Color      89

VIII. Brigadier General John Basil Turchin and Nadine Turchin: The “Mad Cossack” and His Courageous Wife      97

IX. Miss Elizabeth Van Lew: “Crazy Bet,” the Disguise of a Master Spy      108

X. Dr. Mary E. Walker: Slightly Ahead of Her Time, but Time Has Proven Her Correct      119

XI. Brigadier General Edward A. Wild: Beelzebub or Avenging Archangel?      128

XII. Colonel Powell T. Wyman: Somewhat Tarnished, but Still a Hero      152

Part Two: The Confederacy

XIII. Brigadier General James J. Archer: A “Little Gamecock” or a “God of War”      165

XIV. Captain Robert Carson Duvall: Winner of First Naval Battle of the War Between the States      179

XV. Captain E. W. Fuller: Escape of Confederate Prisonersfrom the Maple Leaf      188

XVI. Sergeant Richard Rowland Kirkland: “The Angel of Marye’s Heights” or the “Southern Samaritan”      199

XVII. Colonel Hector McAllister McKethan: From Big Bethel to Fort Fisher      207

XVIII. Lieutenant Robert Winship Stedman: Once, Twice, Three Times a Hero      214

XIX. Colonel M. Jefferson Thompson: A Blundering Falstaff or the “Swamp Fox of the Confederacy” or a Military Renaissance Man      225

XX. Captain Sally Louisa Tompkins: The Angel of Richmond      236

XXI. Brigadier General Stand Watie: A Cherokee Who Fought with the Confederate Army      245

XXII. Captain Reuben Everett Wilson: Unreconciled, Faithful Soldier or Cold-Blooded Murderer?      254

XXIII. Colonel John Reynolds Winston: A Long, Cold Journey Home      275

XXIV. Colonel Richard Thomas Zarvona: The Spymaster, a.k.a. the “French Lady”      282

Appendix 1: Participants in the Great Locomotive Chase      299

Appendix 2: Federal Prisoners Who Escaped Through the Libby Prison Tunnel      300

Appendix 3: Confederate Officers Onboard the Maple Leaf      303

Appendix 4: Congressional Medal of Honor and Confederate Roll of Honor      306

Chapter Notes      309

Bibliography      349

Index      363