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"Seneca Square Dance" by Ry Cooder, from the film "The Long Riders"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CONFEDERATE HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION OF BELGIUM

Due to the renovation works at the Communal Museum, the CHAB Club House has moved into temporary premises at Wolubilis, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. Our monthly meetings will thus be held there until further notice. New Address: 1 place du Temps Libre - Local A300 - 3rd floor (right when leaving the elevator). The building is located along the Cours Paul-Henri Spaak, just opposite the Woluwe Shopping Center. The entrance is on the ground floor, left of the bookstore/restaurant Cook & Book. See access map

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NEXT MEETING  
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Saturday September 14, 2019 at 3 PM

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THE SIEGE OF PETERSBURG AND THE FALL OF RICHMOND

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At our temporary premises at Wolubilis, lecture by Gerald Hawkins: The siege of Petersburg and the fall of Richmond. In June 1864, two years after the failure of General George McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign, the Army of the Potomac, now commanded by General George Meade and General Ulysses S. Grant, the new Commander-in-Chief of the Union armies, pushed towards the outskirts of Richmond. Grant suffered heavy losses during the Overland campaign by attempting to bypass General Robert E. Lee's Army of North Virginia during the terrible fighting at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor. He now undertakes a daring maneuver by moving his line of operations south of the James River to attack Petersburg, a vital rail hub 20 miles south of Richmond. Lee, whose army is weakened but undefeated, has no choice but to fight back against his antagonist. The Confederates have surrounded Petersburg with formidable fortifications, forcing the Federals to entrench. Thus began a ten month siege punctuated by bloody and exhausting encounters, which culminated in the fall of the Confederate capital in April 1865.

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Saturday October 12, 2019 at 3 PM

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DECORATIONS AND MEDALS OF THE CONFEDERACY

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At our temporary premises in Wolubilis, lecture by Daniel Frankignoul: Decorations and medals of the Confederacy, part II. Further to his presentation of February 9 on the few rare medals awarded by the Confederacy during the American Civil War, our lecturer will embark on a second part where he will present medals struck from silver coins originating from the famous “treasure of the Confederacy”, which were recovered during the flight of President Jefferson Davis. He will then show us some decorations granted to Confederate veterans after the war (UCV, SCV, UDC, etc.), such as the New Market Cross of Honor, the Southern Cross of Honor, the Forrest Cavalry Corps Medal and the Immortal Six Hundred. He will then focus on the medals awarded by the US government: the Congressional Medal of Honor and the US Civil War Medal created very late in 1905, and finally on the decorations awarded by generals and associations of army and navy veterans. Once more, Daniel will display authentic medals and copies from his personal collection.

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Saturday November 9, 2019 at 3 PM

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NAVAL WARFARE THROUGH CIVIL WAR PAINTINGS

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At our temporary premises at Wolubilis, lecture by Maurice Jaquemyns: Naval warfare through Civil War paintings. The representation of war at sea is the second part of the lecture dedicated to the so-called historical painting during the American Civil War. Our lecturer will analyze the paintings evoking sea combat and will try to show that, on both the Federal and Confederate sides, painters are scholars of the European schools and models while innovating in their own production. The subject will be illustrated by numerous examples intended to establish the filiations and to identify the specifics of maritime propaganda paintings.

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Saturday December 14, 2019 at 3 PM

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THE PRINCES OF ORLEANS IN THE CIVIL WAR

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At our temporary premises at Wolubilis, lecture by Farid Ameur: Clad in blue: the princes of Orléans during the American Civil War (1861-1862). During the French Second Empire, under the rule of exile, the young princes of Orléans are idle. With the aid of their uncle Prince of Joinville, the 23 years old Count of Paris and his young brother the Duke of Chartres, both grandsons of King Louis-Philippe, decide to inquire on the state of American democracy. Arriving in New York in September 1861, five months after the outbreak of the American Civil War, they are welcomed by President Lincoln and Secretary of State Seward. Wishing to serve the Federal cause in the field and hoping to find glory, they dress up in the blue uniform of the Union soldier and are assigned captains on the staff of General McClellan, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Potomac. To the embarrassment of European chancelleries, they take part in military operations against the Confederates, despite little success. In July 1862, at the end of the Peninsula Campaign, they return home with a formidable experience. Battle hardened with techniques of modern warfare, they can now adhere to the family military tradition with a degree in liberalism.

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PREVIOUS CHAB NEWS (Issued March 29, 2018)
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The great escape from Libby prison, by Lt Frank E. Moran, U.S.V.

Charles Augustus Hobart, blockade runner and Turkish admiral, by Charles Priestley

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CURRENT CHAB NEWS (Issued September 28, 2018)
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The Sons of Liberty, traitors or patriots?, by Dominique De Cleer

The Chattanooga campaign - Grant opens the gateway to the Deep South, by Jean-Claude Janssens

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IMPORTANT NOTICE

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The CHAB committee wishes to inform our foreign and American friends that due to severe budget constraints, the English version of our CHAB News can unfortunately no longer be published. However, the French version of our quarterly remains available to those who are contributing members of our association. Thank you for your understanding.

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LATEST PAINTINGS FROM JOHN PAUL STRAIN

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STARLIGHT RAID

BERKELEY SPRINGS EXPEDITION

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A blanket of snow covered the Virginia countryside in the early days of January when Major John S. Mosby, commanding the 43rd Battalion of Partisan Rangers, received an intriguing communique. The message was from Captain Frank Stringfellow, a well known trusted scout of J.E.B. Stuart and Robert E. Lee. Stringfellow had a reputation for providing accurate intelligence on enemy activity. Stringfellow’s plan was to attack and capture a Maryland Cavalry Battalion performing picket duty near the Hillsboro road at Loudoun Heights, a strategic passage leading to Harper’s Ferry. Stringfellow believed the enemy camp of 200 men could be easily surprised at night and captured while sleeping without firing a single shot. Mosby considered the plan and knew attacking a much larger force would have to be performed with precision and stealth in order to be successful. He gathered his men on January 9th at Upperville, and the hard march to capture US Major Henry Cole’s Maryland Cavalry began. Major Mosby’s brother William later wrote about the night raid. “The snow covered the ground, an icy wind swept down through the passes of the neighboring Blue Ridge, and altogether the night was the coldest that ever broke away from the North Pole and wandered south of the Arctic circle - a splendid night for a surprise party.” The Confederate column marched along the base of the Short Hills until it reached the Potomac River. The Rangers quietly moved up the river bank towards Harper’s Ferry. As they began their ascent up the mountain they could see Federal encampment fires across the river on the Maryland side. The steep icy snow-covered wooded cliffs could only be climbed by men leading their horses single file. At about 5am Mosby’s force of 100 men were finally in position to make their move to surprise the sleeping enemy. Mosby dismounted a portion of his force and they quietly captured the first row of Cole’s men sleeping in their tents. Suddenly a shot rang out from somewhere, (Mosby believed it was from Stringfellow’s men yelling and shooting). The element of surprise was gone and all hell and confusion broke loose. The Federals came pouring barefoot out of their tents armed with pistols and carbines. A number of Mosby’s faithful men were killed or wounded, and a hasty retreat towards Hillsboro was made carrying as many of their wounded as possible. The Rangers lost five men and six were wounded. Victory had been in their grasp but as so often happens in war, unforeseen events can change the course of history. .

General Stonewall Jackson had a number of goals he wanted to accomplish during his January 1st 1862 expedition to several towns under the occupation of Federal troops in western Virginia. Jackson’s main priority was the defense of the Shenandoah Valley. As such he would need to clear out the Federal garrison in the town of Berkeley Springs, also known as Bath, from troops under the command of US Brigadier General Frederick W. Lander. With his northern flank secured he would then turn his attention to the Federal garrison of 5000 men located in Romney under the command of Brigadier General Benjamin F. Kelley. After taking Romney, General Jackson planned to attack the Federal garrison and railroad hub of Cumberland Maryland. Also on the agenda was to sever or disrupt the lines of supply and transport of the enemy by destroying as much of the B&O Railroad as possible. The expedition would also test Jackson’s newly formed army. He would learn which officers under his command he could trust and count on, and those he could not. His troops would also be tried under difficult circumstances during winter conditions, against multiple foes. In short Jackson would learn “who was worth his salt”. On the comfortable sunny day of January 1st Confederate troops marched from Winchester towards Berkeley Springs. Jackson’s cavalry under the command of Lt. Colonel Turner Ashby led the way, followed by four brigades of infantry. The travel was easy at first moving over flat terrain, but in the late afternoon a cold front blew through, dropping temperatures that night into the teens. The column halted at Pughtown for the night after covering 8 miles. The next day the army was on the move again pushing against a blinding heavy snow storm. Miraculously the army was able to cover another 7 miles and camped at Unger’s Store. By the middle of the afternoon the next day Jackson’s force had marched another eleven miles in the snow and elements of Ashly’s Cavalry had engaged the enemy 3 miles outside of Berkeley Springs. That night as the army camped in the woods near the enemy garrison of 1400 troops, another half a foot of snow fell during the night. The morning of January 4th the Stonewall Brigade again dug out of the snow. As the troops crawled out from under their snow-laden blankets, half-frozen, they were cursing General Jackson as the cause of their sufferings. Unbeknown to them, the General lay close by under a tree, also snowed under, and heard all their complaints. Without a chastisement he too crawled out from under a snow covered blanket. Shaking the snow off, he made some humorous remark to the nearest men, who had no idea he had arrived during the night and lain down amongst them. News of what had happened spread throughout the ranks in short order, and fully reestablished his popularity. It was fortunate at that time for the troops to learn the metal of their leader as they were soon to go into battle. The attack at Berkeley Springs was not as coordinated as Jackson had planned. General Loring, one of Jackson’s commanders “managed to scatter the rest of his command all over the countryside - except toward the front”. Exasperated, General Jackson rode into the confusion and took charge. By mid-afternoon Jackson dashed into the city with his escort, ahead of his own skirmishers. The enemy had high-tailed it out, retreating to the town of Hancock. Stonewall had learned much about his command that day, and he and his Stonewall Brigade established headquarters in Strother’s health resort in Berkeley Springs. Phase one of his expedition was difficult, but a success. His next test was the garrison at Romney.

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For information or online orders:

www.johnpaulstrain.com

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