A Confederate General looks back with a critical eye

While the Civil War did not propel General Lafayette McLaws to fame as it did his comrades Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet, the archival footprints of McLaws are deep. The letters and speeches that he wrote both during and after the Civil War are a treasure trove of first-hand accounts that provide an alternative to the much-celebrated “Lost Cause” perspective of the war. The Littlejohn Collection retains seven of these letters, dated from 1886 to 1889, a period when the retired McLaws was attempting to gain publicity through speech-making and the publication of his (sometimes controversial) articles. In these letters, addressed to Isaac Pennypacker of the Philadelphia Press, McLaws discusses events and people on which he is planning to write, glorifying some men and impugning others shamelessly. Through the mess of McLaws’ penmanship are revealed several interesting character evaluations that point to a critical problem within the ranks during the Civil War--division between officers.

The most common thread in McLaws’ letters is the criticism of officers, both Union and Confederate. However, three prominent instances of discord between officers are alluded to as potential game-changers. First, the disobedience of General William B. Franklin to General Ambrose Burnside during the Maryland Campaign caused, McLaws argues, the failure of the Union effort at Fredericksburg and Sharpsburg. Second, the ambition of General Daniel Sickles caused him to be wholly unreliable and even dangerous. And third, the enmity between General James Longstreet and McLaws is expounded by McLaws himself. McLaws is able to speak with confidence about each Sickles, Longstreet, and Franklin, because he fought either with or against them on numerous occasions during the war, and graduated from West Point with the two latter.

Pictured at left: William B. Franklin
At right: Ambrose Burnside

William Franklin: “Unsafe to Rely on in Great Enterprise”

McLaws fought Franklin in five battles: The Seven Days battles in June 1862, Harpers Ferry in September 1862, Antietam (or Sharpsburg, as McLaws refers to it) in September 1862, Fredericksburg in December 1862, and Chancellorsville in April 1863. Franklin graduated from West Point one year after McLaws, first in his class, and McLaws esteems Franklin as a “gentleman of great ability and of high character.”1 However, McLaws is critical of Franklin’s hesitancy, and on numerous occasions points out his inability to risk much in battle. Consequently, Franklin nearly always kept large numbers of his forces in reserve, when it was the policy of the Confederates to engage as many troops as possible, and at Harpers Ferry and Sharpsburg Franklin was overrun by forces that outnumbered his when success may have been possible had he engaged his reserve forces.

Generally, the historical perspective of General Burnside’s failure at Fredericksburg is attributed to Burnside himself. The 12,600 men that were lost on his watch at Marye’s Height tainted his reputation among his fellow generals, and even President Lincoln himself began to look into Burnside. 2 When Burnside complained to the Conduct of War Committee in February of 1863 that Franklin’s “lack of...strict adherence” 3 to his orders resulted in the Union defeat, Franklin refuted this claim, arguing that Burnside was trying to salvage his reputation through shameless scapegoating. In a reply to the War Committee of Congress in May, Franklin declared that he “will prove by documentary evidence from Gen. Burnside’s hand that his plan, as given to the Committee, was not the plan on which he conducted the operations of that battle.”4

Yet while historians tend to side with Franklin, McLaws disagrees. If Franklin had chosen to engage all of his troops instead of keeping some in reserve, he argues, Lee would have been forced to retreat. Franklin had 60,000 men in his command and was ordered by Burnside to launch an attack on “the high ground,” Prospect Hill, but sent only his smallest division, 4500 under the command of Meade, to fight the 7 active divisions of Jackson, who had 3 reserve divisions stationed behind. Burnside, who was engaged at Marye’s Height, learned that his left flank had not been taken by Franklin and ordered him to send in more troops, but Franklin did not, seeing the risk to be too large. Meade’s initial success was not reinforced and consequently the Union forces had to withdraw.

Burnside and Franklin each provided accounts of the strategies employed and orders given. Historians agree that Burnside’s orders were “vague” enough to confuse most generals, for which Franklin should not be blamed, and that if Franklin made a mistake, it was writing a letter to General William Smith complaining that Burnside was a poor leader and that Franklin’s own performance would have been better under a more competent general. 5 The letter, unfortunately, made its way to Burnside’s lap, and Burnside immediately began campaigning for Franklin’s reassignment. Despite McLaws’s claim that Franklin was at fault at Fredericksburg, the next year showed that Burnside had a penchant for delegating blame. In January of 1863, Burnside offered an ultimatum to President Lincoln: court-martial the generals who had been critical of his performance, or he’d resign. Lincoln accepted his resignation and, in Burnside’s place, promoted Joseph Hooker, his chief critic.

Left: Daniel Sickles
Right: George Meade

Daniel Sickles: “Merit was his First Consideration”

Sickles, unlike Franklin, was unafraid of risk. Sickles was known for his combative nature and unwillingness to take advice or consider an alternate point of view. He often found himself in precarious situations because of his inability to follow orders, particularly in the battle of Chancellorsville and the battle of Gettysburg. In each of these battles, Sickles advanced his III Corps away from the main body of the Army of the Potomac to form salients, despite his orders not to.

At Gettysburg, Maj. Gen. Meade ordered Sickles to position his III Corps along the lower section of Cemetery Ridge. Sickles was unsatisfied with these orders because the position was low and wooded and would be hard to defend. Sickles was ordered to place men at Little Round Top, but he refused, claiming he did not have enough men or enough information about the location. Sickles thought an area of higher ground along the Emmitsburg Road would be a better location for his troops. Meade refused to give the orders, but he sent Brig. Gen. Henry Hunt to survey the location. Hunt believed the location near Emmitsburg Road (Peach Orchard) was a better position than Sickle’s location on Cemetery Ridge, but he did not recommend that Meade give the order to occupy Peach Orchard because the position would expose Sickle’s corps on two sides and would increase the ground the corps would have to defend, as well as leave Hancock’s left flank unprotected. Unsatisfied, Sickles ordered his men to advance to Emmitsburg Road despite his orders to stay put. By the time Meade confronted Sickles, it was too late to retreat back to the original line. 6 Sickles’ corps was attacked on all sides by the Confederate army, including a division of Longstreet’s corps commanded by McLaws, which McLaws refers to in his letter. Sickles was hit in the right leg with shrapnel, which resulted in amputation - the incident probably saved him from being court-martialed. Meade was willing to claim that Sickles had misunderstood his orders, but Sickles claimed that there had been no misunderstanding. He defended his decision to occupy Peach Orchard until his dying day and insisted that he made no error.7

Apparently, Sickles published an account of Gettysburg in the New York Herald on March 12, 1864 under the name Historicus. The account emphasized Sickles’ foresight and heroism and highlighted Meade’s incompetence. Basically, the account claimed that Sickles won the Battle of Gettysburg. 8

McLaws interpreted Sickles’ defiance as an act of glory, writing in one of his letters, “Gen Sickles, who would done [sic] anything to bring fame to Sickles. Merit was his first consideration.” 9 This claim is perhaps evident in Sickles’ leave from the army after his defeat at Chancellorsville, which weighed heavily on him even after he returned to the army to fight in the Battle of Gettysburg.10 On the contrary, many people praised Sickles as a flamboyant and enthusiastic leader because of his courage and foresight in battle.11

Left: Lafayette McLaws
Right: James Longstreet

James Longstreet: “Incapable of Conducting a Campaign from the Evolutions of his Own Brain”

While history has largely overlooked over McLaws, he is still remembered in conjunction with his commanding general, James Longstreet. In A Soldier’s General, the posthumously published collection of McLaws’ letters, the first citation is a criticism of Longstreet. McLaws wrote to his wife that “the whole plan of battle [was] a very bad one. Genl Longstreet is to blame for not reconnoitering the ground and for persisting in ordering the assault when his errors were discovered....I consider him a humbug, a man of small capacity, very obstinate, not at all chivalrous, and totally selfish. If I can it is my intention to get away from his command.”12 Although Longstreet and McLaws were childhood friends in Augusta and classmates at West Point, their camaraderie in the Confederate States Army was highly precarious. McLaws made no attempts to disguise his opinion of Longstreet’s leadership. Historians agree that Longstreet was an unfair critic of his officers: “Habits of criticism lead one insensibly into glaring inconsistencies. Longstreet, habitual critic of everyone but himself, did not realize this, but the fact becomes apparent that he was unfair in his judgment and wholly inconsistent.”13

McLaws fought alongside Longstreet in every major battle in which he was engaged, including the Battle of Seven Days, Harpers Ferry, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Fort Sanders. At Fort Sanders, a combination of Longstreet’s delay and McLaws’ hesitancy to attack at night resulted in the loss of the fort with 813 Confederate casualties and only 13 Union casualties, a bitter humiliation for Longstreet. He charged McLaws with three counts of neglect of duty, citing “a want of confidence in the efforts and plans which the commanding general has thought proper to adopt,” and recommended his demotion, being “apprehensive that this feeling will extend more of less to the troops under your command.”14 While McLaws is clearly bitter about Longstreet, however, his judgments about Longstreet appear to be consistent with the general historical perspective. Eckenrode and Conrad write that “it would have been singular if so intelligent an officer had felt any confidence in the blundering movement by which nearly one half of the army was detached at a critical moment and sent off on a wild-goose chase.”15 Almost immediately, McLaws was pardoned by President Jefferson Davis.

In his letters, McLaws is openly critical of Longstreet. In February of 1888 he wrote that Longstreet had thoughtlessly published a confidential letter that McLaws had written, resulting in the spite of General Long. McLaws asserted that although Longstreet was a “brave man,” his “obstinacy and self-assertion placed him far beyond his merits...he was incapable of conducting a campaign from the evolutions of his own brain and his jealousy of advice was so great that really at times it seemed as if he preferred that of the enemy rather than to take it from one of his subordinates.”16 He cites the Campaign against Knoxville, of which the Fort Sanders attack was a part, as an example of Longstreet’s failure to strategize successfully, going so far as to say that “he could not have ordered movements more to the advantage of the opposing forces, if he had acted only in conformity of the orders of Burnside and Gen Grant.”17

It is interesting that McLaws was so critical of the errors not only on the Confederate side, but the Union side as well. It is implied in many of his critical remarks that Confederate victory was achieved in certain battles due in large part to the misdirection of a few men, and that had they followed the orders of their superiors, Union victory would have likely been secured and Lee, among others, would have “met great disaster” as a result. 18 McLaws stands out from many of his Confederate comrades in his departure from the “Lost Cause” ideology that painted the leaders of the Confederacy as all but infallible, defeated by the ignoble Union not by triumph of will or validity of cause, but through mere strength of arms. It was through the embodiment of this ideology that Robert E. Lee was glorified and raised up onto the pedestal on which, to some, he remains today. And yet McLaws is conscientious--critical, even--in his review of Lee. His writing contains careful analysis of military strategy on each side of the battles, pointing out the flaws that foiled both Confederate and Union plans. For a man who was so deeply involved in the war, McLaws’s writing appears to be surprisingly, and refreshingly, objective.

-Stephanie Walrath '12 and Hannah Jarrett '12

(Transcriptions of the Lafayette McLaws Papers are available here.
A general description of the collection is here.
Images of the letters are here.)


1 “Lafayette McLaws to Isaac Pennypacker, August 30, 1889,” Lafayette McLaws Letters, The Littlejohn Collection at Wofford College.

2 Clint Johnson, Civil War Blunder: Amusing Incidents of the War. (Winston-Salem: John F Blair Publisher, 1997), 133.

3 George C. Rable, Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg! (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2002), 507.

4 http://www.nytimes.com/1863/02/06/news/gen-franklin-s-departure-his-opposition-recent-movement-his-relations-gen.html

5 Clint Johnson, Civil War Blunder: Amusing Incidents of the War. (Winston-Salem: John F Blair Publisher, 1997), 136.

6 Bradley M. Gottfried, Brigades of Gettysburg: The Union and Confederate Brigades at the Battle of Gettysburg. (Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2002), 186.

7 Thomas Keneally. American Scoundrel: The Life of the Notorious Civil War General Dan Sickles. (New York: The Serpentine Publishing Co., 2002), 287-288.

8 Robert P. Broadwater, Gettysburg as the Generals Remembered It: Postwar Perspectives of Ten Commanders. (Jefferson: MacFarland and Company, Inc. Publishers, 2010), 54.

9 “Lafayette McLaws to Isaac Pennypacker, August 30, 1889,” Lafayette McLaws Letters, The Littlejohn Collection at Wofford College.

10 Gottfried, 185.

11 Ezra J. Warner. Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981), 446.

12 Lafayette McLaws and John C. Oeffinger, A Soldier’s General: The Civil War Letters of General Lafayette McLaws (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2002), 2

13 H. J. Eckenrode and Bryan Conrad, James Longstreet: Lee’s Warhorse (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina press, 1986), 171

14 H. J. Eckenrode and Bryan Conrad, James Longstreet: Lee’s Warhorse (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina press, 1986), 277

15 Ibid, 277.

16 “Lafayette McLaws to Isaac Pennypacker, August 28, 1888,” Lafayette McLaws Letters, The Littlejohn Collection at Wofford College.

17 Ibid.

18 “Lafayette McLaws to Isaac Pennypacker, August 30, 1889,” Lafayette McLaws Letters, The Littlejohn Collection at Wofford College.


Letter from Mahatma Gandhi in prison, 1933

Letter from Mahatma Gandhi (in prison) to Harry Deutch

"Dear friend,

My whole heart goes out to you. When the conviction goes deeper than the intellect, you will brave all dangers and risks and live the true life, and you will at once find that it is its own reward. Dissatisifaction will give place to full satisfaction, because it will not depend upon external circumstances. An ever-flowing well will be opened out in your heart from which you will draw new joy and and new satisfaction from day to day.

Yours sincerely, [signed] MK Ganhdi"

From the Littlejohn Collection.


Issues and Context for Friday's (11/11) GOP debate at Wofford College

We at the Wofford College library have gathered together information and resources for tomorrow night's GOP debate on campus. The page points to some of the current major foreign policy/national security issues, but it also includes links to authoritative sources for foreign policy and national security information such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the U.S. Department of State, and the National Security Council.

The page also information about the history of presidential debates, feeds and podcasts from a variety of media outlets, and links to the candidates' websites and social media sites. One nifty little gadget we found is posted on the "interactive media" tab: a live politician popularity checker developed by Google trends.

And, oh yeah, this guide also features some of the cool stuff we have in archives and special collections related to politics.

Use this guide as your source for reliable information before, during, and after tomorrow night's debate.


Wikipedia is a Mess, Wikipedians Say

Sven Manguard, a Wikipedia volunteer, recently published an essay in which he noted that over 5% of the articles in English in the community-authored encyclopedia contained no source citations for the "facts" they assert. Manguard concludes with a plea for help in tackling the backlog - the "monster under the rug," as he calls it.

A staff member of the Wikimedia Foundation (which owns and operates Wikipedia) responded, acknowledging workflow and management problems in how articles are created and maintained in Wikipedia:
It seems that this pattern comes up over and over again; where things are seriously broken, it's because there's no system to channel resources appropriately. So you need to make appeals for heroic behavior. This is unsustainable.
Manguard and the author of the article below point to Germany, whose Wikipedia volunteers have a quarterly competition (Wartungsbausteinwettbewerb or "maintenance component competition") to combat their backlog.

If you want to help, you can go to the Wikipedia community portal page.

If you are looking for reliable sources to cite, visit the library and ask a librarian!


W.C. Manning and Statesmen of the Confederacy

Letter from Confederate statesmen in captivity

Fort Pulaski October 7. 1865

Dear Sir

Having learned with regret that you are ordered to a new field of duty, we desire permission to express to you the high opinion we have formed of your merits as an officer, and the satisfaction we have felt with your deportment as a gentleman. It is only just to your to say that during your administration of the military command at this post you have exhibited abilities for command which are highly creditable, and in your treatment of the prisoners committed to your charge, while strictly enforcing & maintaining the regulations which your military duties required, your conduct has been tempered by a distraction, considerations, & urbanity, which has attracted our respect, and deserves our thanks. It wd have been to us a great satisfaction if, consistently with the public service, the commanding General could have permitted you still to remain in the command of the Post.

To yourself and the officers of your command we are indebted for many kindnesses which have afforded some alleviation to our misfortunes, and for this we beg you to accept for yourself and them our respectful acknowledgments; and to do us the favor of communicating our feelings of them.

Our best wishes follow you in your future career.

With great respect
Your obt servts

Major C.W. Manning U. S. A.

James A. Seddon
J. A. Campbell
G. A. Trenholm
H. M. Mercer
A. G. Magrath
A. K. Allison
D. L. Yulee

In this letter, CSA (Confederate States of America) statesmen - including the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Treasury, two governors, and a senator - express their favorable opinion of Major C.W. Manning (they probably meant Major William C. Manning). At the time, Manning commanded the 103rd U.S. Colored Troops, who were stationed as guards at Fort Pulaski where the statesmen were being held as prisoners after the end of the Civil War.

Manning was Sergent Major of the 1st Massachusetts Volunteers from 1861 to 1863, which was present at the Second Battle of Bull Run (but did not participate) and was stationed at Maryland Heights near Harper’s Ferry until 1863. Manning was then 1st Lieutenant Adjunct of the 35th U.S. Colored Troops before becoming Major of the 103rd. After the civil war, Manning continued his military career until he retired for disability in 1899.1

The statesmen remark on the humanity of their treatment while imprisoned at Fort Pulaski, despite the previous camp conditions. Prisoners were starved at the prison camp while it was under the command of Col. Philip P. Brown, Jr. Brown’s goal was to “make the fort the model military prison of the United States,” and he was noted for his humanity.2 However, the orders he made for supplies, including clothing, blankets, food, and fuel, were ignored. He fed prisoners out of garrison supplies until December 1864, when a starvation ration was imposed during the cold winter months. Eighteen prisoners died and most others suffered from scurvy before the fort was ceded to the District of Savannah as part of Savannah’s surrender to Sherman.

Manning’s unit, which was organized at Hilton Head in March, was stationed at Fort Pulaski shortly after these events occurred, from June of 1865 to April of 1866. Most of the Confederate statesmen who composed the letter were initially imprisoned in April or May.3 In a letter dated August 21, 1865, the same statesmen wrote to Manning detailing their cooperation with the terms of their detainment:
“It is understood that in consideration of this parole we are to enjoy the liberty of the island - with the exception of the wharves when boats or vessels are there - during daylight, and the liberty of the main works at all hours; that we are not to forward or receive mail or express matter - other than proper mess supplies - without it has previously been submitted to the commanding officer at the post for inspection.”4
Another account describes the living conditions during their imprisonment:
“The prisoners had cots on which they sat and slept. Morgan [Trenholm’s son-in-law] said they could see and smell the tide ebb and flow beneath the planks of the building. From prison, Trenholm wrote long letters home. He reported that the officer in command, Major William C. Manning, was doing everything that could be reasonably expected.”5
Yet despite these unfavorable living conditions, the statesmen were pleased with the command of the post and found their imprisonment to be generally humane. This is likely, in part, due to an overwhelming sense of relief that, as high-ranking officials of the secession movement, they were not being tried for treason. Despite a serious call from Northerners for severity in the treatment of the Confederates, neither Lincoln nor Johnson planned to punish the South for secession. In his own version of Reconstruction, Lincoln had planned to provide amnesty for most of the the South in order to speed up the process. In December of 1863 Lincoln declared that “a full pardon is hereby granted to them and each of them, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and in property cases where rights of third parties shall have intervened, and upon the condition that every such person shall take and subscribe an oath” of loyalty to the United States.6

Johnson formulated a policy somewhat less lenient than Lincoln’s. A Tennessee native who himself owned slaves, Johnson particularly detested the southern aristocracy, and so proclaimed that exceptions to the amnesty policy included landowners with property wealth of $20,000 or more, as well as the high ranking civil and military officials of the Confederacy. These men--including the statesmen imprisoned at Fort Pulaski--were required to apply to Johnson himself for pardon. About 15,000 applications were sent to Johnson in the following weeks and months, now known as the Confederate Amnesty Papers.7 Johnson was decidedly lenient, pardoning about 13,500 of these in the year after war's end. He received much criticism for his leniency and was accused of harboring Southern sympathies.

The statesmen were detained at Fort Pulaski until specifically released by order of President Johnson or Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. The release of John Campbell and George Trenholm, ordered on 11 October 1865, was done with the reasoning that they “have made their submission to the authority of the United States and applied to the President for pardon under his proclamation.”8 Per the conditions of their parole, they were required to remain in their home states until their pardon was granted.

The men who signed this letter were likely the most notable to be held at Fort Pulaski under Union control.

James Alexander Seddon (pictured above) attended the Peace Conference held in Washington, DC in 1861, which attempted to reunite the States and avoid war, where he “did his best to scuttle the peace process.”9 He was a member of the Confederate States Provisional Congress and, upon the resignation of Thomas Randolph and being a close friend of President Jefferson Davis, was appointed Secretary of War for the Confederacy on November 20, 1862. He spent most of the war in bad health but was unable to return home to Virginia because of Union occupation. Seddon was arrested in May and kept at Fort Pulaski for seven months. He died on August 19, 1880.

John Archibald Campbell

John Archibald Campbell (above) was a Justice of the Supreme Court from 1853 to 1861. Initially opposed to southern secession, he resigned his position as Justice upon learning of the Union reinforcement of Fort Sumter, believing this to be a display of aggression. He was appointed Assistant Secretary of War in 1862--a position he held for the rest of the war, acting as assistant to three different Secretaries of War. He was arrested in May and held until October 1865; he was paroled four days after the date on this letter. Campbell died March 12, 1889.

George Alfred Trenholm was a wealthy Charleston shipbuilder; during the war he oversaw the construction of the Confederate ironclad Chicora, which was later commanded by Manning and Magrath’s correspondent William Gaillard Dozier. Trenholm was appointed Secretary of the Treasury in July of 1864, and resigned on April 27, 1865, fleeing south after the fall of Richmond. He was replaced by John Reagan, who held the position for thirteen days before his and Davis’ capture in Irwinville, GA on May 10th. Trenholm himself was slowed in his escape by illness, and was captured at Fort Mill, SC in May. He was paroled with Campbell in October, and died on December 10, 1876.

Before the Civil War, Hugh Weedon Mercer was an artillery officer in the Savannah militia. Initially in command of Fort Pulaski, he rose quickly in prominence after the war began, and was promoted to commander of the District of Georgia, one of the loudest proponents for enlisting blacks in the ranks of the Confederacy. He served briefly in Tennessee before returning to Savannah as commander of the 10th Battalion. He left Savannah during Sherman’s takeover, and was arrested and detained at Fort Pulaski shortly thereafter. Mercer died on June 9, 1877 in Germany.

Andrew Gordon Magrath was a Harvard-educated lawyer centered in South Carolina. He’d been opposed to the secession movement of 1852, and he served as a Federal District Judge until November of 1860, when he traded his position in for South Carolina’s Secretary of State in December of that year. In December 1864, Magrath was elected governor of South Carolina, and served in this position until his arrest on May 25, 1865. He was charged with treason by General Gillmore on May 14 along with the governor of Georgia and Florida Governor Abraham Allison, with whom he was imprisoned at Fort Pulaski. The charge of treason was later revoked. Magrath died on April 9, 1893.

Abraham Kurkindolle Allison served as a Florida senator to the Confederacy from 1862-1864. After the suicide of Governor John Milton on April 1, 1865, Allison was sworn in. He resigned six weeks later in anticipation of the Union occupation of Tallahassee, but was arrested on June 19th and detained at Fort Pulaski. Allison died on July 8, 1893.

David Levy Yulee was a Jewish lawyer who represented Florida first in the United States Senate, and then in the Confederate Congress. He was imprisoned at Fort Pulaski for nine months after the war’s end. He died on October 10, 1886.

A second letter in in the Littlejohn manuscript collection is a part of subsequent correspondence between Major Manning and one of the statesmen who so highly praised him in 1865--Andrew Gordon Magrath. Magrath is offering his assistance to Manning, with whom he has apparently kept touch for almost 20 years.

Letter from A.G. Magrath to W.C. Manning, 1883

16 May 1883

My dear Major.

It comes to me very naturally to addres [sic] you by the title you had when we were first acquainted, and which I hope will soon again be yours.
I now inclose you a letter from Mr. Dozier of Georgetown in reply to mine inclosing to him your letter.
If I can be of any further use to you in the transmission of the letter referred to, command me.

Yours very truly

A. G. Magrath

The man whom Magrath speaks
of is William Gaillard Dozier, a naval officer who was at one time the lieutenant commanding officer of the CSS Chicora, a prominent ironclad built by Manning’s one-time captive Trenholm. Dozier, like the other statesmen, had to personally apply for pardon to President Andrew Johnson, though he was not required to serve time in prison.

Not much else can be found about Manning. After the Civil War, he remained in service to the United States Army serving in various capacities. He retired in 1886 for disability with the rank of major, but was brevetted the rank of Captain in 1890 for his “gallant service” against Apache resistance in 1872, where Manning and his unit launched a guerrilla assault against an Apache rancheria, killing 11 men and capturing 6 women and children.10 From what little is recorded about Manning, he seems to have been accorded great esteem by those who knew him. A Confederate lieutenant and four privates who were captured by Manning’s unit in 1862 described Manning as “brave, dashing and gallant a young officer as can be found in the Union Army.”11 One might wonder what about Manning’s character made him so appealing to members of the Confederacy, and further, what circumstances led Manning and the Confederate statesmen to stay in touch for so many years. This strange, enduring relationship between Manning and his prisoners warrants more historical exploration.

-- Stephanie Walrath '12 and Hannah Jarrett '12

1. List of officers of the army of the United States from 1779 to 1900, embracing a register of all appointments by the President of the United States in the volunteer service during the civil war, and of volunteer officers in the service of the United States, William H. Powell, ed., (New York: L.R. Hamersly & co., 1900), p. 452. http://www.archive.org/stream/listofficers00powerich#page/452/mode/2up

2. Ralston B. Lattimore, Fort Pulaski National Monument, Georgia, (Washington: National Park Service, 1961), p. 40.

3. Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, (New York: T. Yoseloff, 1959).

4. Fred C. Ainsworth and Joseph W. Kirkley, The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899), p. 723. Hereafter Official Records.

5. Ethel Trenholm Seabrook Nepveaux, George A. Trenholm, Financial Genius of the Confederacy, His associates and his ships that ran the blockade, (
Anderson: The Electric City Printing Company, 1999), p. 162.

6. Freedman and Southern Society Project, “The Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction,” http://www.history.umd.edu/Freedmen/procamn.htm

7. Ludwell H. Johnson, Division and Reunion: America 1848-1877, ( New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1978), p. 198

8. Official Records, p. 763.

9. Charles F. Ritter and Jon L. Wakelyn, Leaders of the American Civil War: a biographical and historiographical dictionary, (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1998), p. 334.

Gregory F. Mincho, Encyclopedia of Indian wars: Western battles and skirmishes, 1850-1890, (Missoula: MountainPress Publishing, 2003), p. 261.

11. Thomas E. Parson, Bear Flag and Bay State in the Civil War: the Californians of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry, (Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc.), 2001, p. 73.


On the Gmail Hack: You Do Not Want This to Happen to You - James Fallows - Technology - The Atlantic

Learn how to best protect yourself from losing your digital everything.

Full article.


Fake news shows exemplars of "fair use"

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” has won nine straight Emmys as TV’s best talk show. But it has another legacy you probably don’t know about.

Watch any “Daily Show” and count the number of TV, movie and music clips you see or hear during the episode. Ten? Twenty?

While you’re doing that, note how often Stewart makes fun of the subject of the clip. (If he’s talking about CNN or Fox News Channel, this part will be easy.) Do the same for companion show “The Colbert Report.”

Now, guess how often Stewart and Colbert ask their attorneys to clear the rights to all those copyrighted clips.

America’s most acclaimed satirists turn out to also be our most powerful exploiters of “fair use,” the legal loophole that permits use of copyrighted works without the onerous and often expensive process of rights clearance.


Occupy* Libraries

The nationwide movement of  the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators has touched a nerve with librarians around the country.  As a demonstrator observed with a sign, "You know you are in trouble when the librarians march." There is an Occupy Wall Street Library blog, and the AAUP has endorsed the Occupy Wall Street protests:

The National Council and the Collective Bargaining Congress of the American Association of University Professors on Friday endorsed the Occupy Wall Street protests. The statement announcing the endorsement cited both critiques of national political and economic trends, and of developments in higher education. Of the former, the AAUP said, "Over the last several years, we have watched as those at the very top have prospered while the fortunes of those below the very top have stagnated or declined."On higher education, the statement cited pressures on students who "are being forced to pay more for tuition and go deeper into debt because of cuts in state funding, only to find themselves unemployed when they graduate." Further, the statement criticized the way many faculty members are treated. "The majority of college and university faculty positions are now insecure, part-time jobs. In addition, attacks on collective bargaining have been rampant throughout the nation, as our job security, wages, health benefits, and pensions have been either reduced or slated for elimination," the statement said.
It added: "Therefore, it is time to stand up for what is right. We applaud the action the Occupy Wall Street movement has taken to highlight the inequity and unfairness of the society in which we live."

Some pictures of the Occupy Wall Street Libraries:

Occupy Boston Library


Light duty

Student Daniel Didok gives the sculpture of Light its regular coating of wax for protection. During the casting and finishing process of bronze sculptures, reactive chemicals applied to the metal create a color and patina. Routinely coating with a hard paste wax helps to preserve the patina.

Light stands on the entrance plaza of the library. It was created by Delaware sculptor Charles Parks and donated by Mr. and Mrs. William L. Kinney in 1990.


King Faisal of Iraq writes to the British Government, 1927

King Faisal of Iraq writes to Leo Amery, 1927

The Royal Palace


10th APRIL, 1927

My Dear Mr. Amery,

I am glad to have this letter to you through Muzahim Bey Al-Pachaji [sic] whom you have met before I suppose.

Muzahim Bey will act as our Representative in London. He is quite able, and sincere. I hope you will be kind enough to afford him the same support and assistance you had to his predecessor Ja’far Pasha.

When Sir John Shukburough was in Baghdad I had the pleasure to talk over with him various matters. He had undoubtedly conveyed them to you. I am hoping that they will be considered with your due sympathy.

With my best wishes to Mrs. Amery.

Yours Sincerely

[signed] Faisal

Rt. Hon. J.S. Amery, M.P.,

Colonial Office,


In this letter, King Faisal I introduces Muzahim al-Pachachi, Iraq’s new ambassador to Britain, to Leo Amery, the British Secretary of State for the Colonies.

Faisal I, a Sunni Muslim and part of the Hashemite family, which descended from the prophet Muhammad, was born in 1885 in the city of Ta’if. He was destined for political involvement from birth; Faisal’s father, Hussein bin Ali, was the leader of the Arab Revolt of 1916, Sharif of the Holy City of Mecca, and later King of Hejaz. Faisal was elected to the Ottoman Parliament in 1913 before he joined his father and his British allies in the Arab Revolt to topple the Ottoman Empire.1

After World War I, the newly established League of Nations decided that government of the Middle East needed to be delegated to European powers. They redrew the borders of this region, in many cases ignoring long-standing ethnic and cultural groupings that had defined boundaries previously. The countries who were mandated to the European powers were classified as either A, B, or C, depending on the League’s perception of how autonomous the mandate should be. Both Class A Mandates, and theoretically granted the highest level of autonomy, Syria was mandated to France, and Iraq to Britain.

Because of the impressive and victorious nature of his leadership in the Arab Revolt that secured the city of Damascus for Arab control, Faisal was appointed King of Greater Syria in March 1919. Unfortunately, the League of Nations had other plans; France was granted its mandate for Syria in April, and in July, after a short-lived and unsuccessful resistance, Faisal was deposed and banished.

Britain, however, was interested in Faisal’s leadership. They admired Faisal’s dedication, diligence, and cooperation, traits that they sought in a ruler to maintain their mandate. They also believed that Faisal would be “moderate and that his reputation as an Arab figure of international stature would prove attractive within Iraq.”2 At the Cairo Conference in 1921, Faisal accepted Britain’s offer of kingship with the understanding that he would be allowed to work Iraq toward a state of independence. True to their word, the British set up treaties over a ten-year period that increased Iraq’s autonomy until, in 1930, they signed a treaty that would allow Iraq independence within two years.3

Faisal’s ambitions were broader than mere Iraqi independence, however; he was deeply devoted to the cause of pan-Arabism. He attempted to strengthen Middle Eastern ties to achieve this goal through appointment of ethnically and religiously diverse scholars, economists, and advisers to his cabinet. These appointees were Sunni and Shiite, Syrian and Iraqi. In 1925 Faisal successfully passed Iraq’s first Constitution. This constitution was in effect until 1958 when the monarchy was overthrown and the Hashemite family executed. Remnants of this constitution can be seen in Iraq’s constitution today.

Not much is known about Al-Pachachi, but he was the ambassador to Britain from 1927-1928 after serving two years in parliament. The previous ambassador, Jafar al-Askari, was Iraq’s first minister of defense and served twice as Iraq’s ambassador to Britain. He was taken prisoner by the British during WWI and later joined the British in the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans. Al-Askari and Faisal had a history long before the British crowned Faisal king of Iraq and even before Faisal had been elected King of Syria. Faisal and Al-Askari worked together in the Arab Revolt of 1918 with the British against the Ottoman empire, and when Al-Askari became military governor, he gained control of much of the conquered land in Syria. In February of 1919 he became governor of Aleppo. In this position he was described as “an able man...frank and broadminded...[with a] good angle of vision towards the problems of government.”4

Al-Askari’s family was of great importance in the development of Iraq; his brother-in-law, Nuri Pasha al-Said, was elected Prime Minister seven times, and served a crucial role in the evolution of British-Iraqi relations. Both were Arab nationalists who believed that cooperation with the British was paramount for the advancement of an independent Iraq. Both were also killed for their political work; Al-Askari during the coup of Bakr Sidqi in 1936, and Al-Said as a result of the July 14th Revolution of 1958 that toppled the monarchy Faisal constructed.

Faisal’s correspondent, Leo Amery, was the Secretary of State for the Colonies, overseeing the British mandates from the Colonial Office in London. Amery advocated a strong British presence in Iraq, arguing in the Cabinet in 1918 that “only actual possession of the Middle East before a cease-fire went into effect would enable the Cabinet to bring the region into the British orbit.”5 He expressed fear that without a strong hold in the Middle East, Germany might be able to capture this enviable slice of land, which contained the trade route to Asia. Amery held Zionist convictions, which likely influenced Faisal’s own Zionist sympathies. Faisal was exceptional in his religious tolerance; the Constitution he enacted in 1925 assures that “Complete freedom of conscience and freedom to practise the various forms of worship, in conformity with accepted customs, is guaranteed to all inhabitants of the country provided that such forms of worship do not conflict with the maintenance of order and discipline or public morality.”6

Iraq was admitted into the League of Nations in 1932. Faisal died of a heart attack in 1933 and didn’t get to experience much the independence he had created.7 But his contribution to the development of Middle Eastern autonomy lasted far beyond his twelve years in office.

- Stephanie Walrath '12 and Hannah Jarrett '12

1. David Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (New York City: Avon Books, 1989), p. 113.
2. William L. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East (Boulder: Westview Press, 2000), p. 203.
3. Ibid
4. Malcolm B. Russell, The First Modern State: Syria under Faysal, 1918-1920 (Minneapolis: Bibliothetic Islamica, 1985), p. 64.
5. David Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (New York City: Avon Books, 1989), p. 364.
6. “The Constitution of the Kingdom of Iraq,” Part 1, Article 13.
7. David Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (New York City: Avon Books, 1989), p. 364.Cleveland, p. 204-205.


F.B. Purity Cleans Up Your Facebook Homepage

From the F.B. Purity website:

F.B. Purity is a browser extension/script that removes the stupid quiz messages and other silly application spam from your Facebook homepage, leaving only those messages which you are actually interested in, including statuses, links and photos. You may select the types of messages that you wish to see; the extension is customizable.

The download page includes an F.B. Purity Help/FAQ and an F.B. Purity User Guide.

The download link is here: F. B. Purity Download Page

The latest features include a hide the ticker/happening now option, an increase font size option, and a hide Facebook questions option.

Freeware.  And F.B. stands for Fluff Busting.

Five of the Dead Sea Scrolls Go Online

The Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project has completed digitization of five of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The digitized scrolls include Great Isaiah Scroll, War Scroll, Commentary on the Habakkuk Scroll, Temple Scroll, and Community Rule Scroll. The direct link for this resource is Digital Dead Sea Scrolls.  The site includes tools for examining the digital images.

This effort is funded by George Blumenthal and the Center for Online Judaic Studies, which first envisioned the project in order to make these manuscripts widely accessible and to create an innovative resource for scholars and the public alike.

Tens of thousands of fragments from 900 Dead Sea manuscripts are held by the Israel Antiquities Authority, which has separately begun its own project to put them online in conjunction with Google by the year 2016.

The most complete scrolls are held by the Israel Antiquities Authority, which has no announced plans for digitizing the manuscripts.

from The Spartanburg Herald Journal Online and The Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project website


Banned Books Week 2011 starts Sept. 24!

Remember to celebrate your right to read during Banned Books Week, Sept. 24 - Oct. 1.

Why are books banned? Have you read a banned book? Which is your favorite?

Take our survey and see how your favorite compares, and check out our Banned Books Week research guide:

Banned Books Week 2011 - Research Guides at Wofford College


Mrs. Smith's Floating Island Recipe

Another classic recipe from Mrs. G.C. Smith's 1880 recipe book:

Floating Island

To a quart of milk add ¼ lb. loaf sugar
4 glasses Lisbon wine, + yolk of an egg
Beat the yolk and sugar together + pour wine on it. Beat the whites of 6 eggs stiff with a gill*of currant jelly for the top.

*A gill is equivalent to a quarter of a pint.

For some variation, Mrs. Smith can also recommend this one:

Put a qt of milk over the fire + while coming to a boil, beat the yolks of 4 eggs with 2 tablespoonsful [sic] flour and sugar to the taste. Put this in the milk as soon as it boils, stir it until it becomes the consistency of cream [.] [S]et it away to get cold. Beat the white stiff with currant jelly + sugar.
According to Wikimedia Commons, this is what a Floating Island is supposed to look like:

Have you ever had a Floating Island? How do Mrs. Smith's recipes sound to you?


Troublesome help in individual cases

Albert Einstein
courtesy of Library of Congress

The Littlejohn Collection at Wofford College has a letter written by Albert Einstein to a friend in Germany. In the letter, Einstein alludes to the anti-Semitism spreading across Europe in the 1930s and 40s.

[Transcription, translated from German:]
The 31st of March 1940
Mr. Lionel M. Ettlinger
Hotel Delmonico
New York City

Dear Mr. Ettlinger:
Sincere thanks for your congratulation and the pipe you sent me. -- Meanwhile terrible things happen and one cannot do anything about it, except for troublesome help in individual cases. You are quite right, it is hard to understand that the people in England Anno 33 did not earnestly consider your materials. How easy it would have been to avoid the present calamity.
Fondest regards
A. Einstein

Not much is written about Lionel Ettlinger. He frequently corresponded with Einstein about Jewish refugees in the years leading up to and during World War II. Both men helped Jews through their international connections and their personal wealth. Einstein refers to this in his letter when he writes “terrible things happen and one cannot do anything about it, except for troublesome help in individual cases.” Einstein would often give his research prize money to German-Jewish immigrants who came to America.
 Einstein — a Jew, a democrat, a scientist, and eventually a socialist — had always been a target of right-wing German nationalists, even before Hitler entered the picture, and he faced anti-Semitism throughout his career as a scientist. Some even speculate that he would have won the Nobel Prize ten years earlier if he hadn’t been a Jew.1
By 1932, Einstein and his wife, Elsa, had received many warnings and threats. They left Germany in December 1932 to spend a semester at the California Institute of Technology where Einstein was a guest faculty member. Though Einstein was quoted saying that he was not abandoning Germany (to the New York Times), he left for America with thirty pieces of luggage and a string of death threats. With the Nazi party gaining strength every day, Einstein had to suspect that there was some possibility he’d never return to Germany.2 By 1933, the Nazis had put a $5,000 reward on Einstein’s head.3 In this way, Einstein became a refugee, saying “as long as I have any choice in the matter, I shall live only in a country where civil liberty, tolerance, and equality of all citizens before the law prevail.”4 He had many job offers around Europe, but he didn’t feel safe anywhere in Europe. He moved to Princeton, New Jersey.
Being Jewish was perhaps Einstein’s most enduring commitment outside physics. He said “my relationship with Jewry had become my strongest human tie.”5 Yet Einstein’s Jewish identity was slow to evolve and didn’t mature until his late thirties. In fact, his interest in anti-Semitism directed him back to his Jewish roots.6
As if conducting one of his science experiments, Einstein tried to understand the nature and motives of anti-Semitism, and he hoped to find a way to cope with and combat it. He spent long hours pondering the question “Why do they hate Jews?” In 1938, he published an article in Collier’s Magazine that outlined his opinions and thoughts regarding this question. While still in Germany, Einstein had often spoken out against the Nazis and anti-Semitism, as well as racism in America. Throughout his time in America, Einstein was a strong supporter of African-American rights and anti-lynching.7
While science was a life-consuming puzzle for Einstein, the treatment of Jews across Europe during the first half of the 20th century was much less complicated. He ends his letter: “how easy it would have been to avoid the present calamity.”

- Hannah Jarrett ‘12

1 Fred Jerome and Rodger Taylor, Einstein on Race and Racism, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2005, p. 3-4.
2 Jerome, p. 6.
3 Jerome, p. 7.
4 Ewald Osers, trans., Albert Einstein: A Biography, New York: Penguin Group, 1997, p. 659.
5 Osers, p. 488.
6 Hanoch Gutfreund, “Einstein’s Jewish Identity,” in Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture ed. Peter L. Galison et al., Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008, p. 28.
7 Jerome, p. 7-8.