Civil War Crimper

Troops riding atop boxcars

Near Washington, d.c., is Manassas, Virginia. A stream nearby is named Bull Run. The fields around the stream were the sites of two large Civil War fights. The First Battle of Bull Run took place on July 21,1861. At that time, Confederate General RG.T. Beauregard commanded a 20,000-man army around Manassas that threatened the Union capital. President Lincoln sent Brigadier General Irvin McDowell with more than 30,000 troops to fight this force. Many of these men were ninety-day volunteers who were scheduled to be discharged in late July. As the troops maneuvered, several discharge dates arrived, and some of the soldiers went home. Many Washington-area residents wanted to see how the Union troops performed in combat, so they packed picnic lunches and rode out to the fields where the battle was expected. The fight started at dawn on July 21 and lasted through midafternoon. Both sides' soldiers were poorly trained, and in repeated attacks could not best one another. But Beauregard's men received reinforcements, who helped drive the Union soldiers from the field. As they retreated, they were shelled. This frightened the civilians, and they clogged the roads as they fled. This, in turn, created a traffic jam that panicked the Northern troops. Many dropped their weapons and ran for the safety of the Washington defenses.

TAKING THE TRAIN TO BATTLE

Troops led by Confederate General Joseph Johnston boarded railroad trains in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and arrived at the Bull Run battlefield in time to reinforce Beauregard's forces. As the men were leaving the train station, some of the women who saw them off gave them gifts of treats for their journey.

THE COMMANDER OF THE UNION FORCES General Irvin McDowell is the tall, heavyset officer in this photograph. Bull Run was the only large-scale battle where McDowell commanded the Union forces. Later in 1861, George McClellan, the man standing to McDowell's left, would lead the Northern army.

A limber, a field artillery ammunition chest

Gray uniform

Blanket roll

Sivord bayonet

AN ASSORTMENT OF UNIFORMS

Clothing was a problem for both armies at Bull Run. Many volunteers showed up to fight dressed in uniforms that neither side recognized. Some Northerners wore gray uniforms. Some Southerners wore blue uniforms. Others, such as men who joined Zouave regiments, wore gaudy outfits. The Zouaves took their name and flamboyant clothing from French regiments that, in turn, had modeled their uniforms on the clothes of fighters of the Zouava tribe of Algeria in Africa. The lack of standard military dress created deadly confusion on the battlefield.

Union volunteer of the 7th New York Regiment

Garibaldi Guard New York volunteer member in an of the Fire Zouave Italian army hat Regiment

Legging

Nezrspaper artist

One of many who fought in shirtsleeves

Irish flag of the 69th New York

Havelock, a covering zoom as protection from the sun

National flag of the Confederacy

One of many who fought in shirtsleeves

Irish flag of the 69th New York

Havelock, a covering zoom as protection from the sun

National flag of the Confederacy

69th New York

Knapsack

\ Iron bayonet

AMATEUR SOLDIERS CHARGE

These are the men of the 69th New York, a group of volunteer soldiers. Many of them were Irish immigrants. They carried a green flag with an Irish harp symbol stitched on it. The 69th's colonel, Michael Corcoran (on the horse), was captured during this battle. He was later exchanged for Confederate prisoners and became a brigadier general.

Knapsack

THE LEADER OF THE CONFEDERATE TROOPS

General P.G.T. Beauregard led the main Confederate army in the First Battle of Bull Run. Here he is * I wearing his old U.S. Army uniform.

Most of his prewar experience involved army engineering projects, not combat. However, his success in capturing Fort Sumter in April, 1861, led to Beauregard's being appointed one of the highest-ranking generals of the Confederacy.

\ Iron bayonet

General's stars

Unions Leader Battle Bull Run

Civilian

COMMANDER BEAUREGARD'S EPAULETS

These brass epaulets were worn on the shoulders of General Beauregard's dress uniform. They were stored in a large hard leather case when not being worn.

General's stars

UNION VOLUNTEERS MARCH TO BATTLE

Brigadier General Irvin McDowell's men march to the sound of the guns. In this newspaper drawing done on-site, civilians are seen talking to and distracting some of the officers. The presence of townspeople at the battle caused problems and confusion for the soldiers.

Mine Creek Battlefield

Civilian

RACING AWAY FROM DEFEAT

After the war, an artist made this painting of the panic that ensued during the Union army's retreat from Bull Run. The excitement began when a Confederate shell hit Union wagons on a narrow bridge and blocked the way. Union soldiers felt trapped. Instead of marching away from the battlefield in an orderly way, they threw down their equipment and ran desperately for their lives.

Crimper Civil WarConfederate Soldier HomespunConfederate Troops Medical Records

The sick and wounded

A MEDICAL MAN'S UNIFORM This is the homespun "butternut"

uniform of Confederate Major William H. Harrison. His records describe him as the medical purveyor of the South's Army of Tennessee. This is believed to mean he provided that army with medical supplies. Union army medical officers' uniforms were distinguished by black stripes down the outside pants seams.

A REMINDER OF A SERIOUS WOUND

Confederate Major D. C. Merwin was an artilleryman who was wounded in battle. Doctors amputated his right arm. This is the jacket he wore that day. Merwin saved it as a souvenir, along with a pair of left-handed gloves given to him by his sympathetic men. Like many other soldiers, he fought on through the war despite his disability.

If a civil war soldier became sick or was hurt in battle, he was in serious trouble. In the 1860s, there were no medicines to fight infections — no one had heard of germs. The bullets fired by Civil War rifles were very heavy and powerful. They often smashed the arm or leg bones of gunshot victims. Doctors could not repair those bone injuries, so they usually cut off a damaged limb to save the patient. The only painkillers available for this surgery were chloroform, ether, or whiskey. If a wound became infected, hospital workers encouraged flies to lay their eggs in it. They hoped the creatures that came out of the newly hatched fly eggs — maggots — would eat the diseased flesh. Miraculously, this cure sometimes worked. But more soldiers were killed by camp illnesses than by battle wounds. Polluted drinking water gave troops diphtheria and cholera. In those days, the only treatment for these diseases was doses of the narcotic opium. This drug eased the victim's intestinal distress and kept him from dying of dehydration. Just the same, tens of thousands of men died of these diseases as well as of measles, mumps, malaria, and yellow fever. The causes of and cures for these illnesses would not be discovered for several decades.

PART-TIME AMBULANCE WORKERS

In both the Union and Confederate armies, cooks and musicians worked as stretcher bearers during battles. In this photograph of Union Zouave troops performing an ambulance drill, the discarded drum hints that these men made music when not carrying the wounded. Their ambulance had few springs, so its bumpy ride was painful for its injured passengers.

Straps for

Zouave turban. Litter or stretcher . hanging stretchers . Rolled canvas awning

Civil War Medical Bone Crimper

Bone saw

Crimper

Bullet forceps

Bone saw

Crimper

Bullet forceps

Bonesaw Civil War

French-style kepi

Zouave drum

Bonesaw Hospital

French-style kepi

Union General Oliver O. Howard lost his right arm in action. General Kearny, missing his left arm, visited Howard in the hospital and consoled him with a joke, saying that now they could buy gloves together. Howard soldiered on through the war and later founded a college for black Americans, Howard University in Washington, D.C.

A WARTIME SURGEON'S INSTRUMENTS A bullet forceps, used to extract bullets, a crimper for snipping off bits of shattered bone, and a bone saw were the tools surgeons used most after battles. The most common operation that an army surgeon performed was an amputation. Amputation knives came in a variety of sizes. They enabled the surgeon to remove anything he needed to, from the tip of a little finger to an entire leg.

Amputation knives

NEXT-TO-LAST RESTING PLACES Many Northern and Southern soldiers died in army hospitals. Because the railroads were busy with other war concerns, often the bodies were not immediately sent home for burial. This photograph of temporary graves outside a Union army hospital at City Point, Virginia, shows where some of these deceased men were laid to rest. When the war ended, many of these bodies were exhumed and shipped home for final burial.

Zouave drum

AN HONORABLE DISCHARGE

When a soldier was too sick or hurt to continue serving in the army, a doctor filled out • certificate of disability. This form indicated that the trooper was being honorably discharged, and prev ented the disabled man from being conscripted back into the service.

A RIGHT-ARMED GENERAL ...

Union General Philip Kearny was a professional soldier who had lost his left arm in combat before the Civil War. As his photograph shows, he is armed with a sword and ready for a fight. He was one of many officers who continued to serve even though they had lost an arm, a leg, or an eye. |

One white dress glove

Lieutenant general's stars

Grant's war horse Cincinnati

Union General White HorseGeneral Philip Kearny

Some of the best-known soldiers and sailors in American history earned their reputations in the Civil War. A few were famous before the conflict, and a few also continued to make history after it. Confederate General Robert E. Lee's name was newsworthy as early as the Mexican War, when, as a U.S. Army officer, he scouted out the route the Americans used to fight their way to Mexico City. Philip Sheridan, a Union cavalry general, was known for several Civil War victories and won fame again as an Indian fighter years later. Several military men were also known for making tough personal choices when the war started. Many Southern commanders, such as Lee and Joseph Johnston, gave up power and position in the U.S. armed forces to serve the Confederacy. Others found opportunity. Union General U. S. Grant was a poor store clerk before the war. The conflict gave him a chance to show he could be a leader.

Lieutenant general's stars

. S. GRANT Before the war, Ulysses S. Grant of Illinois considered himself a failure. After a West Point education, he tried army life, left that to try business, and ended up impoverished. But his military training won him the rank of Union army colonel in the war's first days. Early success earned him promotions. After his victory in April, 1862, at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, he was given greater responsibilities. He was later named general in chief of all Union armies and defeated Robert E. Lee's army in April, 1865. His fame helped win him the U.S. presidency in 1868. Today he is honored with a portrait on the $50 bill.

Great commanders

STONEWALL JACKSON Born Thomas Jackson, this Southern general was a professor at the Virginia Military Institute when the Civil War began. He won his nickname, Stonewall, for his tough action as an officer at the First Battle of Bull

Run. He won his fame as an expert in strategy and tactics and for victories in the Shenandoah Valley. Jackson was also a victim of bad luck. In May, 1863, he was wounded by North Carolina troops in an accident at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia, and died several days later.

GEORGE B. McCLELLAN George Brinton McClellan led the Union's Army of the Potomac through the Battle of Antietam, Maryland, in September, 1862. After that inconclusive fight, he was fired by President Lincoln. He ran against Lincoln as the Democratic Party's presidential candidate in 1864. Following the war, he was governor of New Jersey.

JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON

Johnston was a U.S. Army brigadier general who joined Southern service to lead Jefferson Davis's troops in Virginia. Later, he fought at Atlanta and was the man who surrendered the Army of Tennessee to General Sherman in spring, 1865.

Grant's war horse Cincinnati

Sherman's war horse Lexington

Cuff Braiding Officer

Cuff braid indicating rank

Admiral's rank insignia

Lexington Virginia Civil WarAtlanta Before And After Sherman Photos

Sherman's war horse Lexington

Cuff braid indicating rank

WILLIAM T.

SHERMAN

William Tecumseh Sherman had been a peacetime army officer and had tried jobs in business and education before the war. From the Battle of Shiloh onward, he was U. S. Grant's friend and comrade.

He is remembered for burning Atlanta and for desolating the state of Georgia on a campaign called the March to the Sea.

PHILIP SHERIDAN

Sheridan was a professional soldier and the Union's most successful cavalry commander. After seeing military action in the Kansas-Missouri border wars, he led Civil War infantry. He was promoted and took command of the army's cavalry in Virginia. As a cavalry leader, he helped defeat Robert E. Lee at Appomattox.

ADMIRAL DAVID FARRAGUT

David Farragut is the naval commander who said, "Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" He came from a family with a tradition of navy service and was the adoptive brother of two Union navy admirals. He won the surrender of New Orleans in 1862 and made his famous statement while winning the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864.

ROBERT E. LEE

Robert E. Lee was the son of Revolutionary War hero "Light Horse" Harry Lee. As a young man, he married into the Custis clan, the stepfamily of President George Washington. Nationally known for his 1859 capture of abolitionist fanatic John Brown, he turned down an offer to lead the Union's largest army in 1861, and instead remained loyal to his home state of Virginia. Today Lee's prewar estate is the site of the famed national military cemetery, Arlington.

J.E.B. STUART James Ewell Brown Stuart led Robert E. Lee's cavalry corps until mortally wounded at the Battle of Yellow Tavern, Virginia, in

1864. He was famous in the North and South as a flamboyant soldier who took great chances.

RAPHAEL SEMMES

Confederate Admiral Raphael Semmes was known to some as the Pirate Semmes. He was a veteran sailor who commanded commerce raiders, vessels that attacked Union merchant ships around the globe. This challenged the rules of warfare and made Semmes known everywhere. After the war, he refused to return to the United States and lived in England.

Admiral's rank insignia

Semmes Artillery

CS stamp

Leather and wire grip

Semmes Artillery

Hammer

Folding long-range sight

Sling loop

Brass trigger guard

Hammer

Folding rear long-range sight

Short wood forestock

Short Bull Brule Artifacts

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