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MUSICAL BACKGROUND

"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 MEETINGS    
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Saturday February 9, 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”. Most period photographs of European armies and navies show us officers, non-commissioned officers, sailors and soldiers proudly displaying on their uniforms medals, decorations and other jewels of honorary distinctions that were awarded to them for their service to the country in times of war. On the other hand, it is clear that by examining the photographs of the American Civil War, one might think that these rewards did not exist in the Confederate army or navy. Our speaker will demonstrate that this is not the case and that despite Lincoln’s coastal blockade and the difficulty of obtaining metals and medal materials, the Confederate States also awarded honors. He will present to us the result of long researches and the sometimes astonishing medals that were awarded, often to ten recipients only, during or after the war and of which traces have been found today: Confederate Medal of Honor, Jefferson Davis Medal, Beauregard Medal, Taylor Anderson & Todd Medal, Comrades of the Southern Cross, Stonewall Medal Jackson, Davis Medal Guards, Medal Seven Confederate Knights, Texas Gold Star, Cross Market of Honor and Southern Cross of Honor. In addition, he will also display period medals and copies from his personal collection. To be complete, our speaker will also give a brief overview of what the federal government did on this subject.

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Saturday March 9, 2019, at 3 PM

THROUGH THE EYE OF THE CAMERA

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At our temporary premises in Wolubilis, lecture by Mehdi Schneyders: “Through the eye of the camera.” Photography is a wonderful invention that today seems trivial because it is part of our daily lives. However, thanks to photography, we are able to appreciate and admire the things that are most valuable to us: a moment exposed to light, a human being, a place, an era. The Civil War was without a doubt the first major conflict to be massively immortalized through ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, tintypes and other business cards. From the studio to the battlefield, strangers and personalities, Unionists and Confederates alike, posed to leave a trace of themselves for the sake of transmitting a memory, out of pride or for propaganda. The aim of this lecture is to highlight different topics, revealing the details they contain and the little story behind each shot. From 1861 to 1865, we will travel through the sharp eye of the photographer in order to admire, passionately or as an uninitiated, the visual testimonies engraved for eternity.

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Saturday April 13, 2019, at 3 PM

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THE BATTLE OF BRANDY STATION

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At our temporary premises in Wolubilis, lecture by Jean-Claude Janssens: “The battle of Brandy Station, June 9, 1863 - Alfred Pleasonton surprises JEB Stuart. In Virginia, the year 1863 is undeniably that of the Union cavalry. It had been reorganized under the impulse of dynamic general Joseph Hooker. From now on, it would run the show. Already in March at Kelly’s Ford and in May at Chancellorsville, it had crossed the southern part of the Rappahannock River. June 9, 1863 is the date planned by Robert Lee to launch his second offensive toward the north. On that day, at 4 o’clock in the morning, for the third time the blue-clad horsemen crossed the river near Brandy Station, ahead of the enemy. JEB Stuart is totally surprised. Then begins the greatest cavalry battle of all time. Ten thousand Confederate swords meet eight thousand blades and three thousand Union rifles. The clash lasts ten hours. The Confederate cavalry division narrowly escapes annihilation. The battle of Brandy Station would create a new turning point of the war. Jean-Claude will develop this extraordinary event with the support of period photographs and maps.

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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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FIRE IN THE VALLEY

BERKELEY SPRINGS EXPEDITION

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The 43rd Virginia Cavalry Battalion, better known as Mosby's Rangers, was one of the most feared and renowned combat units operating in northern Virginia and the Lower Shenandoah Valley. These rangers were an elite force of scouts and guerrilla fighters who were commanded by John Singleton Mosby. The adventures and exploits of Mosby's Rangers became legendary in American military history. In early August 1864, the Federal Army came under the command of a new leader, Major General Phillip H. Sheridan. Sheridan began to push his army southward down the valley and established his headquarters south of Winchester. Supplies for the Federal Army came from Harper's Ferry by wagon train. On August the 12th, Mosby gathered his men at Rectortown, intent on interrupting Sheridan's supply line. Mosby's force consisted of nearly 350 Rangers, bolstered by two cannons. Sheridan's 525-wagon train, supported by 3 regiments and a small cavalry force left Harper's Ferry loaded with supplies on the morning of the 12th. After traveling all day, the wagon train camped near Berryville at Buck Marsh Creek. Early the next morning as the fog lifted, Federal soldiers preparing for the day's travel were suddenly panicked by three rounds of cannon fire, followed by the rebel yell of charging Southern cavalry. Pandemonium ensued, and the Federals fled for life and limb, leaving the supply train. After burning many of the wagons, Mosby and his men captured 200 prisoners, 500 mules, 50 horses, 200 cattle, along with what spoils they could carry from the wagons. Left behind however, was a cash box of the 8th New York Cavalry containing $112,000. As the Rangers rode away in high spirits, a number were trying to play melodies on some captured fiddles, to the complaints of their friends. Later that evening the prizes from the raid were divided among the men, with the prisoners and most of the cattle sent off to the Army of Northern Virginia..

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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