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Volume 32, No. 3 – March 2019
The President’s Message:

I am delighted that Patrick Falci will be at the March meeting for a return engagement.  He mesmerized us as he re-created the story of A.P. Hill, Lee’s Forgotten General.   Patrick made the red shirt General come back to life.

Any guests are welcomed at the March meeting. Be sure to invite any family, friends, and neighbors. It is sure to be a great evening.

Please bring any historical books for the raffle.

March 13, 2019 Program:

Patrick will share the lives of famous generals and their war horses.  And, as a bonus, he will tell about some great Hollywood horses and the well-known actors who rode them.  Patrick has been the face of General A.P. Hill, Lee’s forgotten general, and portrayed him in the movie Gettysburg.  He was the historical advisor for the film Gods and Generals.

February 13, 2018 Program:

Our speaker was David Meisky who presented Civil War's Veterans of Florida Wars (VFW).  A history graduate of George Mason University, Mr. Meisky retired from the Fairfax County, Public Library.  He has re-enacted for a number of years and started appearing as “Extra Billy” Smith in the spring of 2008, after a good deal of study.

Since I did not receive any write up from David, I can only give a brief account of what he said here and on the website.  He has compiled a list of general officers who once served in Florida, in one capacity or another and then was a general in the Civil War.  At the start of the project Mr. Meisky thought he might find a dozen or two.  After all, a book on Gettysburg only notes one; George G. Meade once built lighthouses in Florida.  Much to his surprise, the list is now up to 93 generals and still growing.  It includes men who served as far back as the first Seminole War (1817—1818).  You might not think that anyone that old could have possibly been a general in the Civil War, but David found two:  William Selby Harney and James Wolfe Ripley.

Much of the presentation was just a recitation of the name, his pre-Civil War activity, and not much else.  I have them listed here.  Only when there is an interesting story will I further note it.  Because they were in the first Seminole War, I will touch briefly on the two aforementioned gentlemen.  William Selby Harney was a lieutenant in the infantry.  At the outbreak of the Civil War he was a general commanding the Department of Missouri.  However, there was some doubt about him in Washington.  He had a lot of southern friends.  So, he received orders to report back to DC.  He is on the B&O railroad.  Early in the war, the South let its trains run through areas that it controlled provided that it did not involve military persons or equipment.  This did not exempt General Harney.  He is arrested becoming the first general officer captured by either side.  He was sent to Richmond as a POW.  The Confederates wanted nothing to do with him, so the let him go to continue his trip to Washington.

James Wolfe Ripley was a first lieutenant serving under Andrew Jackson as an ordinance officer in the first Seminole War.  One day he receives an order to issue weapons to a certain unit.  He looks the order over and refuses it because it did not come through “proper channels.”  At once Ripley was ordered to report to headquarters where he will be tried for insubordination and when found guilty, he will be hanged.  Notice the word when and not if.  This order was signed by the All Mighty Andrew Jackson.  Upon further consideration Ripley decided that the orders did come through proper channels.  During the Civil War he is Chief of Ordinance for the US Army.  Now, instead of issuing 500 rifles, he is ordering 500,000 rifles.  He has been in the Army for a long time.  When he started out they had flint locks.  Now comes along the repeating rifles like the Spencer and the Henry rifles.  General Ripley is not sold on the value of these weapons.  He believed that the soldiers would fire off their ammunition so fast that they could not be resupplied in combat.  However, when Lincoln got a demonstration of the Spencer, he ordered his Chief of Ordinance to “make it happen.”

The list of people who served in the second Seminole War was led by Winfield Scott.  He was followed by: Robert Anderson, Abner Doubleday, and Truman Seymour.

One fellow David refers to as a “tourist.”  That would be Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard.  He is classified as a tourist because David is unsure how to list someone who was never stationed in the state.  His post was New Orleans, but as an inspector of forts he would have visited Florida.  Perhaps we should refer to his time in the state as TDY, or temporary duty.

Continuing the list: Joseph E. Johnston, William T. Sherman, Andrew Hull Foote, Lewis Armistead, Richard Garnett, Joseph Hooker, George Meade, John F. Reynolds, Winfield Scott Hancock, George Sykes, John Sedgwick, OO Howard, Henry Slocum, James Longstreet, AP Hill, Jubal Early, John Pemberton, George Thomas, Braxton Bragg, Samuel Cooper, Gabriel James Rains, Joseph K. Barnes, Montgomery C. Meigs, Stephen Mallory, Milledge Luke Bonham, William French, Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, William HT Walker, Robert Bullock, and Raphael Semmes.


Last changed: 03/02/19