The 1st and 2nd United States Sharpshooters were the elite of the Union Army. To qualify each man had to be able to place ten shots (with a rifle of his choice) in a circle of 10 inches in diameter from 200 yards. A sharpshooter also had to posses a good eye and calm nerves.
They were issued the breech loaded Model 1859 Sharps Rifle (which was specially designed for them) forest green frock coats, pants and forage caps instead of the standard blue union uniforms. This uniform was very effective when the berdans were in cover but in the open field it made them easy targets.
As the war progressed and casualties mounted the two units were consolidated and many were forced to switch over to the standard blue uniform of the Union Army.
At the end of the war casualties between the two units was 532 Men killed, wounded or missing.
The concept of defacing property with immature doodles, known to punks the world around as “graffiti”, is not new— not even a little bit. Ancient Greek and Roman graffiti has been found etched into stone, and even early Americans got in on the fun. One of the best-preserved examples of old-timey doodling on private property is the so-called Graffiti House in Brandy Station, Virginia, where Civil War soldiers let their imaginations (and their pens) run wild all over the walls of the building.
Of course, The Graffiti House wasn’t always the Graffiti House. It was built in 1858 and eventually came to be owned by James Barbour, who served on the staff of Confederare General Richard S. Ewell. Mr. Barbour likely used it for some commercial purpose, given its proximity to the railroad tracks and railroad station. However, the fact that it was so close to the station also made it very valuable during the Civil War. Both Union and Confederate troops used the building at various points during the war (often as a field hospital or shelter) and both sides left their mark on it.
BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS—Excavations at the McLean County Museum of History have uncovered part of the footprint of the 1836 courthouse where Abraham Lincoln often worked as an attorney. “They found the corner and now can plot out the exact location. These are the physical remains of an incredibly historical episode in McLean County,” museum director Greg Koos told The Pantagraph. The two-story brick structure replaced a wood-frame building, until it was eventually torn down and replaced in 1868. Archaeologists Christopher Stratton and Floyd Mansberger of Fever River Research also found a line of fence posts, and they recovered pieces of glass, a pipe stem, ceramic pieces, spikes, and nails. The researchers will dig in the four corners of the property, including the site of two early jails.
His 1865 diary describes one of the most infamous events in American history. On April 14, Nightingale attended a performance at Ford’s Theatre. There, he witnessed the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth. Nightingale recounted the horrific scene, writing:
A beautiful April day. Remained all day in the Hospital. In the evening, attended Ford’s Theatre and in the last act a most astounding crime was committed the President; Mr. Lincoln, shot through the head, the assassin then leaped out of the box on the stage and drew a large dagger and exclaimed “I have done it. Virginia is avenged. Sic semper tyrannis” and made his escape. the President was conveyed to a neighboring house in dying condition. a fearful night is this. Other [monstrous] crimes the Secretary of State his sons and [illegible] servants staffed found [illegible] God pit the rebellion now for men, will how no mercy death to every Confederate my Rebel sympathies, intense excitement all over the City. is under Martial Law.
Henry O. Nightingale (1844-1919) was an abolitionist from Rochester, New York who at 18 years of age enlisted in the Northern army at the start of the Civil War. Nightingale fought in numerous battles, including the Battle of Gettysburg.
A magazine cartoon from 1872 expresses white Southern hostility to “carpetbagging” politicians from the North. Bettmann/Corbis
The term carpetbagger was a pejorative term referring to the carpet bags (a fashionable form of luggage at the time) which many of these newcomers carried. The term came to be associated with opportunism and exploitation by outsiders. The term is still used today to refer to an outsider perceived as using manipulation or fraud to obtain an objective.
Together with Republicans, carpetbaggers were said to have politically manipulated and controlled former Confederate states for varying periods for their own financial and power gains. In sum, carpetbaggers were seen as insidious Northern outsiders with questionable objectives meddling in local politics, buying up plantations at fire-sale prices and taking advantage of Southerners.
The term carpetbaggers was also used to describe the Republican political appointees who came South, arriving with their travel carpet bags. Southerners considered them ready to loot and plunder the defeated South
Samuel Weaver (holding open book at right) supervising African American laborers in the exhumation of the grave of a presumably Union soldier who died in Hanover, Pennsylvania, 1864. The soldier’s remains were to be relocated to Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg.