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Historic America Photography

Stories in Stone: Cornelius Tyler Longstreet

Pyramid for the Longstreet family in Oakwood Cemetery, 940 Comstock Avenue, next to Syracuse University, in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York. Cornelius Tyler Longstreet (1814-1881) was a clothing manufacturer, banker, and one of Syracuse’s earliest and most wealthy residents. He built a Tudor-style mansion, later called “Longstreet’s Folly,” on the outskirts of Syracuse but later traded it with Alonzo Yates’ home so his family could live closer to the city. Several generations of Longstreets are interred in this large stone pyramid. Apparently it once contained elegant furnishings, sculptures, and even a Persian rug, but has been sealed to prevent vandalism.

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Historic America Photography

Stories in Stone: CPL Lewis W. Carlisle

Monument to CPL Lewis W. Carlisle (1878-1898) in Brookside Cemetery, at Watertown Center Loop and Brookside Drive, Watertown, Jefferson County, New York. From July 1 to Jul 3, 1898, during the Spanish-American War, American troops stormed the fortified village of El Caney, Cuba and overran San Juan Ridge, while the U.S. Navy blockaded Santiago harbor. Although the 71st NY was held in reserve and many of its soldiers were sick with malaria and yellow fever, it came under enemy fire. CPL Carlisle, in Company M, was wounded on July 2 and died 26 days later of typhoid fever. His epitaph reads:

He died for the cause of humanity.

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Historic America

Second Winchester Battlefield in Frederick County, Virginia

In the first major infantry battle of the Gettysburg Campaign, Confederate forces dealt a crushing blow to Union designs in the Shenandoah. Today you can visit the remains of a fort where they fought.

The battles of Second Winchester and Stephenson’s Depot were fought from June 13 to 15, 1863 between Union forces commanded by Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy and Confederate forces commanded by Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell in Frederick County, Virginia during the American Civil War. These dramatic Confederate victories in the Gettysburg Campaign’s opening phase cleared a path through the Shenandoah Valley for Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army, allowing it to invade Maryland and Pennsylvania. Taken together, the battles were among the most lopsided of the war, with 4,747 total casualties, mostly Union prisoners.

On June 1, 1863, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia slipped away from the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker, and headed north to invade Pennsylvania. Gen. Robert E. Lee intended to use the Shenandoah Valley as a corridor to invade the north, with the Blue Ridge Mountains hiding his movements from the enemy. To do so, he first needed to clear the 8,324-man Federal garrison commanded by Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy at Winchester, Virginia. He entrusted his Second Corps commander Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell with the task.

Milroy had occupied the area around Winchester since late December 1862, digging fortifications to protect his supply depot as well as the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad farther north. On June 12, Ewell took his three divisions and one cavalry brigade, for a total of 19,000 men, through Chester’s Gap into the Shenandoah Valley. He sent one division under Maj. Gen. Robert E. Rodes northeast to cut off the Federal retreat and his other two divisions under Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early and Maj. Gen. Edward “Allegheny” Johnson to directly attack Milroy at Winchester.

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Historic America Photography

Stories in Stone: John A. Green

Mausoleum for the Green family in Oakwood Cemetery, 940 Comstock Avenue, next to Syracuse University, in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York. At least three generations of Greens are interred here, most prominently John A. Green, Jr. (1828-1872) and his wife Jane (1800-1889). John Green was a wholesale grocer and a brigadier general in the New York National Guard during the Civil War, tasked with defending the northern portion of the state (though he butted heads with Maj. Gen. John A. Dix, commander of the Department of the East). General Benjamin Butler mentioned him in his memoirs as a “confidential friend of the governor.” He was a founding member of the Onondaga Historical Association.

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Historic America Photography

Stories in Stone: John Nill

Monument to John (1835-1919), Dora (1833-1905), and Amelia (1864-1941) Nill in Brookside Cemetery, at Watertown Center Loop and Brookside Drive, Watertown, Jefferson County, New York. John Nill was a German immigrant from Nehren, Kingdom of Wurtemberg. He was a baker and cigar manufacturer by trade, Freemason, and mayor of Watertown in 1888. The inscription on his monument reads:

Humanity is our creed. To do good is our religion. The world is our home.

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Historic America

Hagerstown Battlefield in Hagerstown, Maryland

A rare instance of Civil War urban combat raged in Hagerstown, as blue and gray troopers fought in the streets and cannon balls flew over the town square.

The first and second battles of Hagerstown were fought on July 6 and July 12, 1863 between Union cavalry commanded by Brig. Gens. Hugh Judson Kilpatrick and George A. Custer and Confederate cavalry commanded by Col. John Chambliss and Brig. Gen. Beverly Robertson in Hagerstown, Maryland during the American Civil War. The first engagement was a Confederate victory, but Union forces ultimately prevailed in the second as the Army of Northern Virginia continued its retreat south following the Battle of Gettysburg.

After three bloody days of fighting around Gettysburg, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee retreated southwest toward the Potomac River and Virginia. The main army slowly settled into defensive works around Williamsport, Maryland, while a rearguard was stationed in Hagerstown and nearby Funkstown. Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart was tasked with keeping the Union army at bay while Confederate forces found passage across the swollen river.

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Historic America

Funkstown Battlefield in Washington County, Maryland

This small town could have witnessed a sequel to the Battle of Gettysburg, but the exhausted combatants had no stomach for another bloodbath.

The Battle of Funkstown was fought on July 10, 1863 between Union cavalry commanded by Brig. Gen. John Buford and Confederate cavalry commanded by Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart in and around Funkstown, Maryland during the American Civil War. The battle, which followed the Army of Northern Virginia’s retreat from Gettysburg, was a minor Confederate victory and resulted in approximately 381 total casualties.

After three bloody days of fighting around Gettysburg, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee retreated southwest toward the Potomac River and Virginia. The main army settled into defensive works around Williamsport, Maryland, while a rearguard was stationed in Hagerstown and nearby Funkstown. Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart was tasked with keeping the Union army at bay while Confederate forces found passage across the swollen river.