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  • by Lt. Thomas York



by Prof. Giuseppe Rufino

The 14th Louisiana regiment, Nicholls brigade, Johnson division,2° Army Corps had a distinguished record during the great Pennsylvania campaign of 1863.

General Ewell, the new corps commander after the death of general Jackson, was charged to attack the Federal stronghold of Winchester, gateway to the Shenandoah Valley.

On June 15,at 8 a.m. the brigade had order to advance on the Martinsburg Pike,3 miles away from Winchester and join Steuart brigade.

The Federals sighted the Rebs coming on the Potomac Railroad bridge and immediately opened up a murderous fire. Colonel Williams, brigade commander replacing Nicholls, wounded at Chancellorsville, ordered his men to form a battle line across Martinsburg Pike and he directed also Lt.Col. Zable,14th Louisiana , to the Charlestown Road. Zable was a warhorse, in charge of his unit since Antietam and so were his men among the first to join the ranks for the cause of the Bayou State.


While the regiment was witholding the enemy onslaught, the 2nd and 10th Louisiana assaulted the yankees flank ,taking 1000 prisoners and the colors of 67° Pennsylvania. Winchester was taken and so the Rebs tide flooded the enemy territory. Pennsylvania campaign was a Godsend to the brave but hungry Louisianians ,who in 15 days march put their hands on the most delicious food on earth. At dawn of July 1 news came that A.P. Hill spearhead was engaged in a hard contest with yankee cavalry in the outskirts of a hamlet called Gettysburg. Williams hurried his men and at 7 a.m. they were on the Cashtown road bound for Gettysburg. Once there ,they took position near the unfinished railroad where just a few hours earlier a bloody encounter took place resulting in the destruction of North Carolina regiments at the hands of the Iron Brigade.

However, The battle of Gettysburg began for the Louisianians only at 7 p.m. July 2nd,when the entire Johnson division was ordered to attack Culp’s Hill and take the enemy from the rear. Williams sided Jones brigade and he immediately came into action facing George Sears Greene New Yorkers. On they came with unyielding courage, but they were repulsed and had to fall back sustaining heavy casualties, especially against the 78 New York infantry.

According to the orders, Jones should guard the flank of Williams while advancing, instead Williams had to fight hard its way not to be outflanked. The coming darkness didn’t set the fighting thouroughly and the Rebels could claim a foothold on Culp’s Hill.

Casualties had been heavy ,the men needed ammo and water, or they would be smashed by a Union counterattack.

And so it was at 4.30 a.m. men of XII Corps, general Alpheus Williams commanding, broke through. The gallant Louisianians fought stubbornly, but they could not stem the Yankee tide. At noon general Johnson was forced to recall his men and the recrossed the Rock Creek, abandoning the ground they gained at such a bloody price. For the 14th Louisiana the battle of Gettysburg was over, at daylight July 4th the received the order to retreat and the long and racking return to Williamsport got under way.

The 14th Louisiana had fought brilliantly, but the battle was lost and with it any real hope to win the war. However the regiment was one of the last Confederate units to surrender at Appomattox.

Prof. Giuseppe Rufino is author of the book “Gettysburg”, in Italian language, about the battle .




by Lt. Thomas York

Zebulon York was born October 10th, 1819 in Avon, Maine. His grandfather was aide-de-camp of General George Washington during the American Revolution and was present at the surrender of Lord Cornwallis following the Battle of Yorktown.

Zebulon graduated from Transylvania Universary in Kentucky and Law at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

After passing the bar examination Zebulon opened a law office in Vidalia, La. There he was successful as a lawyer and planter and co-owned seven cotton plantations along with a business partner.

When Louisiana on 21 January, 1861 seceded from the Union, Zebulon organized a military company in Vidalia: the Vidalia Rifles, of which he was it's first Company Commander. This Company was integrated into the 14th Louisiana Infantry, CSA.

Zebulon was soon promoted to Major and than Lt. Col ad finally rise the command of 14th Louisiana as Colonel, fought in all major battle in Northern Virginia and was wounded several times. As the war continued and Louisiana units of the A.N.V. were consolidated due to losses, between end of 1864 and beginnig of 1865, and Col. York was promoted to Brigadier General and commanded all Louisiana forces, in Northern Virginia, until Robert E. Lee's surrender on April 9th, 1865.

After the war Gen. York returned to Vidalia, La, where he operated a small steamboat company and was involved in veterans affairs until his dead on August 5th, 1900.

I am very proud to be Zebulon York's great grandson and a son of the south.

Respectfully Yours

Tom York 1Lt. USAR (Special Forces)

(14th Louisiana Inf. Reg’t. Co. G, special thanks to Lt. Thomas York for write for us these lines making us proud and fill us take more part of the Confederate States History and 14th Louisiana History.)



by Niccolò Ferrari

During the initials engagements between the Confederate States army and the United States army emerged a problem that had not to be underestimated: the national flags (that were used as battle flags) of both the armies were similar, becoming indistinguishable by the officers on the battleground making high the risk of friend fire and errors, that in war can be paid with high price.

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[ from left: first Confederate State national flag; United States national flag ]

A first solution, ordered by the Gen. Joseph Johnston, was that every regiment adopted his own national flag, nevertheless only the Virginian regiments were able to provide of enough national flags and the result however was not satisfactory considering that also these were resembled in the colours to those national of the union.

The deputy William P. Miles suggested then to the Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard to try to adopt a model of flag that had been discarded by the congress as national banner. Between the August and the September 1861 the politician sent a draw to the Gen. Beauregard which decided to try this solution and proposed it to Gen. Johnston, that consented to the realization of the model.

This flag, as it resulted after some changes brought to the original draw, it brought a dark blue cross of St. Andrew hemmed of white and inside 12 stars, everything on scarlet red field, it was made of silk and it measured about 48” for the infantry; smaller were the models of artillery (36") and cavalry (30"). The banner was finally edged by a gilded binge.

The distribution of this type of flag, that had been produced in an absolutely insufficient number in comparison to the regiments of the army, happened between the October and the November 1861. There were some variations (said “second type”) that for instance had a dark or clear pink field rather than red and different edgings.

In spring 1862 the Richmond Clothing Depot, found again to short of silk, having to refold on another material for the production to banish, so was born a model of flag in cotton (cotton issue), similar to the model of silk but slightly smaller (42”) always with twelve stars but the cross of St. Andrew was of a blue faded and the flag didn't have any edging. The distribution of the flags continued but this model had a scarce diffusion.

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[ from left: first silk issue; cotton issue ]

In May 1862 however the Richmond Depot succeeded to provision of a good quantity of wool bunting, from British manufacture, in the federal naval arsenal of Norfolk. It began so the production of the 1st bunting issue that had the same dimensions of the model in silk, brought 13 stars but was edged with an orange edge.

The first units to receive this model were those of the division of Gen. James Longstreet among which 14th Louisiana Infantry.

In June 1862 the model suffered another change: remaining equal the general dimensions was decreased the thickness of the cross of St. Andrew. The distribution of this 2nd bunting issue continued to the regiments that had not jet received the battle flags and in the same month a special order allowed the units to set on their banish the regimental dates and the names of the battles which had taken part: the battles honours.

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[ from left: first bunting issue; second bunting issue ]

Reached the July 1862 a further change was brought with the substitution of the orange edges with a white edging. This model, the 3rd bunting issue, had greater diffusion in the regiments of the army of the North Virginia and was delivered to the remainders units until April of 1864 when, for motives still not known, it was slightly replaced with a model of greater dimensions (51x51). The 4th bunting issue didn't bring battle honours and was mainly employed for replacing the flags lost in battle or no more usable.

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[ from left: third bunting issue; fourth bunting issue ]

Between the September and the October 1864 a further change was brought. The new model produced, the 5th bunting issue, was not squarer but slightly rectangular (49”x51”) and was also it mainly employed as replace for the lost flags; nevertheless the flags of this model produced were very few.

After the defeat of Cedar Creek was necessary to furnish the troops, that had lost theirs, with new flags. Was created therefore the 6th bunting issue; it measured 4 feet and was again square.

At the end, in March 1865, the last model of battle flag was produced, also it destined to replace the lost flags in fight. The 7th bunting issue was substantially equal to the 6th bunting except that for the slightly small measures (48”). Even if this model had been produced just before the fall of Richmond today survive numerous of it.

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[ from left: fifth, sixth and seventh bunting issue ]

During the course of the war the Confederacy also modified the national flag, in autumn 1863 were produced a second type of flag. On the left superior angle there was a ANV battle flag style, everything on white field. This model had a modest employment in the army of North Virginia, over that was also used by some regiments as flag and by head quarters.

In 1865 a third national flag was created, very similar to the second it brought a red vertical bar to the leaf. It was mainly employed by the garrisons and were produced few exemplary.

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[from left: second and third national flag of the Confederate States of America ]

(Article inserted in the book: "LA Civiltà Perduta: gli Stati Confederati nella guerra civile americana"-Niccolò Ferrari 2013)



by Niccolò Ferrari

When arrive on Virginian front 14th Lousiana was sent to defens of Yorktown. Entered so in the army corp of Maj.Gen. J. B. Magruder insert in Brig.Gen. Roger A. Pryor brigade ( 14th Alabama, 2nd Florida, 14th Louisiana, 1st Louisiana Battalion ) of Maj.Gen. James Longstreet division.

[ from left: generals Magruder, Longstreet, Pryor ]

During the Second Manassas campaign changed the commands of the Northern Virginia Army and the regiment was set in third division ( Maj.Gen. Richard S. Ewell ) of Maj.Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson army corp, Hays’s brigade, the 1st Louisiana brigade “Louisiana Tigers” ( 5th Louisiana, 6th Louisiana, 7th Louisiana, 8th Louisiana, 14th Louisiana ), commanded at second Bull Run by Colonel Henry Forno, wonded during the fight.During the Maryland ivasion 14th Louisiana was still set in the Hays’s brigade, this time at Antitem was Gen. Harry Hays to command the brigade that had heavy losses.

[from left generals Jackson, Ewell, Hays]

The 14th Louisiana was than tranferred into the 2nd Louisiana Birgade ( 1st Louisiana, 2nd Louisiana, 10th Louisiana, 14th Louisiana, 15th Louisiana, 1st Louisiana Battalion ) of Maj.Gen. William B. Taliaferro (Jackson’s division) division always in “Stonewall” army corp. Was in that brigade that the regiment take part to battle of Fredericksburg where was commanded by colonel Edmund Pendleton; at Chancellorsville the 2nd Louisian Brigade passed under command of Brig.Gen. Francis T. Nicholls that was wonded and remplaced by colonel Jessie M. William, Maj.Gen. Trimble’s division ( commanded in this battle by Brig.Gen. Raleigh E. Colston ).

[from left genrals Taliaferro, Colston, Nicholls]

During the Gettysburg campaign the 2nd Louisiana Brigade was still commanded by colonel Williams because Gen. Nicholls was still bedridden for the wonded that caused him the lost of an arm. However with the death of Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson the Northern Virginia Army was reorganized and the brigade was so insert in the second corp of Lt.Gen. Richard S. Ewell, Maj.Gen. Edward Johnson division.Because Gen. Nicholls did not take again active duty was substituted by Brig.Gen. Leroy A. Stafford that was mortally wonded and substiuted by the colonel of 14th, Zebulon York, durign the Wilderness campaign.

[from left generals Johnson, Stafford, York]

In 1864 the 2nd Lousiana Brigade was insert in the army of Shenandoah of Lt.Gen. Jubal Early, Mj.Gen. John B. Gordon division, and was commanded in a first time by colonel E. Waggaman. During the Cedar Creek battle14th Louisiana and 1st Louisiana were consolidated and when the brigade come back to Petersburg the two brigades of Louisiana were unified and form a single brigade commanded by Brig.Gen. Zebuoln York (1st Louisiana, 2nd Louisiana, 5th Louisiana, 6th Louisiana, 7th Louisiana, 8th Louisiana, 9th Louisiana, 10th Louisiana, 14th Louisiana, 15th Louisiana ) Mj.Gen. Gordon corp, Gordon’s division ( commanded by Brig.Gen. Clement A. Evans ) until the end of the was.

[from left generals Early, Gordon, Evans]



by Dr. Nicola Cosentino

American Civil War (1861-1865) brought out impressive progress in the organization of military health services, both scientifically and logistically.
The organization of first aid and the evacuation of wounded from the front line was impressive: the dressing stations, ever numerous and well-positioned allowed rapid "displacement". Were for the first time tested on a large scale and with good result, trains hospitals and hospital ships and sick and wounded could be removed quickly from the battlefield with these vehicles.
After the Battle of Gettysburg (1-3 July 1863) there were 21,000 injured to transport and dress.
The next morning everyone was hospitalised in their health units and not one was left on the battlefield! Thus it was also after the Battle of Fredericksburg, in which over 9,000 wounded were, the same day, carried to the rear.

[ foto: civil war hosputal ]

All this happened thanks to the geography of the war scenario: coastal areas to the sides of the fighting armies in the rear and large navigable rivers, as well as a rich railway network.
In tents and barracks used as field hospital could be admitted around one million between the sick and wounded, with a mortality rate of just 8%, a level which had never been able to achieve in previous wars!
No less important were the advances in surgery: Chisolm practiced for the first time the approximation of the margins in gunshot wounds and suturing of the same, the water was recognized as the best substance to wash the wound (.. abandonment of caustic ... ) and began to make use of anaesthetics and bandages to replace the simple tow with tar that allow more rapid healing and in the same time immobilized the leg hurt more.
In June of 1862 the Confederate army established the ambulance wagons with two beds and three ambulances were assigned to each regiment of 500 men. This enable, in the battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862) to a rapid evacuation of wounded from the battlefield (over 10,000) to the military hospitals that are within six miles, in less than 24 hours!

[ from left: Julian John Chisolm ( 1830-1903 ); federal ambulance ]

Lastly, I want to remember that during the civil war, two great surgeons: Barnes and Otis, compiled one of the most famous treatises on "medicine and surgery on the battlefield," well translated by two Italian surgeons captains (Baroffio and Sforza) in which there are described 253,142 cases of wounds and injuries, 39,163 surgeries and over 1400 cases were able to study the outcomes remote by connecting by letters with the same injuries and surgeons with them were subsequently treated. All this served also for the payment of war pensions and therefore gives us an idea of the organizational capacity of the Confederate medical corps that also gave its contribution of blood with 19 combat deaths, 8 deaths from various injuries, 9 for diseases and 75 for wounded, discrediting the false popular belief that in war the workplace and action of medical officers is in place of relative safety.




by Mary Schons ( for the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC )

Reenactors are people who recreate historical events. Reenactments are typically done for the public, to entertain and educate. Reenactments of battles and communities during the Civil War are among the most popular, especially as the United States marks the war's 150th anniversary in 2011-2015.

Reenacting is an American tradition. Before the Civil War, Americans reenacted scenes from the Revolutionary War. Back then, reenactments were called "sham fights" or "sham battles." One such event occurred in 1859, on the 82nd anniversary of the Battle of Hubbardton, when the keynote speaker was interrupted for half an hour by a sham fight.

After the Civil War, veterans from both the Union and the Confederacy recreated daily camp life in order to share their experience with friends and family. One of the last Civil War reenactments by Civil War veterans was the Great Reunion of 1913, on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The state of Pennsylvania hosted thousands of former Union and Confederate soldiers during the weeklong event. The youngest veteran was 61 and the oldest was 112. The highlight of the Great Reunion was the reenactment of Pickett's Charge, the last assault of the Battle of Gettysburg. When veterans from both sides of the war came together in 1913, it was not with muskets and cannons, but with speeches and handshakes.

( Confederate veterans reenact the Pickett's Charge in 1913 )

In the early 20th century, military colleges often reenacted Civil War battles to demonstrate battle tactics. For instance, in 1935, cadets from the Virginia Military Institute collaborated with the U.S. Cavalry and the U.S. Marines to reenact the Battle of Chancellorsville on its 72nd anniversary.

Modern-day reenacting gained popularity during the centennial of the Civil War. In 1961, U.S. soldiers dressed in blue and gray uniforms and reenacted the First Battle of Bull Run (also called First Manassas) before a crowd of 50,000 spectators in Manassas, Virginia. While the tactics and fighting were accurate, the clothing and weaponry are considered "farbish" (not authentic) by today's reenactment standards.

The establishment of the North-South Skirmish Association in 1950 created a market for original and reproduction firearms and clothing that were more accurate to the time period. With the approach of the nation's bicentennial in 1976 and the resurgence in Revolutionary War reenacting, Civil War enthusiasts started to do more research on the mid-1800s to make their reenactments as accurate as possible.

Reenactors Today

Civil War reenactors pursue their passion for history in many different ways, for many different reasons.

Patricia Tyson
Patricia Tyson is the co-founder of the African-American reenactment group Female RE-Enactors of Distinction (FREED). The group aims to tell the story of the United States Colored Troops (USCT), especially the women who contributed to the war effort. "Civil War reenacting gave me a different perspective about America that I never saw in her before," Tyson says. "The problem is that American history hasn’t been completely told to the public. However, by studying more and more about our characters, we uncover all these facets of African-American life during the Civil War."

Tyson got serious about reenactments after she and her friends dressed in period costumes for the opening of the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum in Washington, D.C., in 2004.

"It was a huge hit,” she says. “People were used to seeing white ladies in Scarlett O'Hara dresses, but never African Americans in period dress. People urged us to continue.

"I decided that if we were going to dress as women from the era, then we should pick out someone we would want to portray and do research on this person. What did they do, and why did they do what they did?"

Tyson portrays real-life community activist, author, and teacher Hallie Quinn Brown in her reenactments. "In school, the only ‘Civil War women’ taught to us were Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth, so I had a lot of research to do because not a lot was written about her in the history books," she says. "It turns out Brown led a long, interesting life. She went to Wilberforce University and was active along with her mother and father on the Underground Railroad. Brown was also a representative with woman suffrage activist Susan B. Anthony at an international women's rights convention, was a nominating voice for Warren G. Harding at the Republican National Convention, taught ministers how to read and write more effective sermons, and even met Queen Victoria twice.

“Like many of my reenacting friends, I feel that I didn't choose the ‘character,’ but that the character chose me. I feel a connection to Hallie Quinn Brown because of my faith and my background working with children as a Sunday school teacher.”

Brown’s life experience allows Tyson to address different audiences. "I do different kinds of things depending on the group in order to get into character. Because Hallie Quinn Brown was an educator, when I'm talking to children I stress the importance of staying in school and that there's more to life more than just having a good time. When I'm with adults, I tell them how important it is to teach the next generation how to be outstanding leaders. With teachers, I talk about the necessity of taking command of a situation, how it's important to be a teacher, not a friend, to their students," Tyson said.

Tom Mitchell
Tom Mitchell portrays a Union soldier in the 19th U.S. Infantry, 1st Battalion, Company A. The company was formed in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1861 by President Abraham Lincoln. (The company is still active and currently stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia.) During the Civil War, the 19th took part in the battles at Shiloh and Chickamauga before ending up in Atlanta, Georgia.

Reenacting is a family event for Mitchell. “My wife also reenacts as a member of the U.S. Sanitary Commission (sometimes called the Christian Commission). More Civil War soldiers were killed by dysentery and diarrhea than battle wounds. That’s because no one knew where to put the latrines and served rancid food, things like that. Women in the Sanitary Commission instructed troops on the proper placement of latrines and made sure packages got to the soldiers.”

Reece Sexton
Reece Sexton is the editor and publisher of the Civil War Courier, the Camp Chase Gazette, and The Citizen's Companion. These publications provide information on historical research as well as reenactments. Sexton is also on the board of directors of the General Longstreet Museum in Russellville, Tennessee. (Gen. James Longstreet was a top Confederate leader during the war.) "I recreate battles and attempt to live the history of events as they occurred during the war," Sexton says.

Sexton's connection to the Civil War is literally right outside his front door. "I first became involved in Civil War reenacting about 25 or 30 years ago, through genealogy. Tracing the branches of my family tree, I found that my grandfather was in the Civil War in Morristown, Tennessee. His unit fought where my house is located! Between October 28 and 29, 1864, it's entirely possible my grandfather fought in my own front yard."

Elizabeth Stewart Clark
Elizabeth Stewart Clark started The Sewing Academy, a business that researches and creates historically accurate clothing and other materials for reenactors. Clark works as a sutler, or vendor, at Civil War reenactments. "I research the mid-19th century and teach history enthusiasts interpretive tools to help them communicate historic events and concepts through a variety of methods, such as demonstrations, hands-on activities, discussions, and displays," says Clark. "These displays include accurate historic clothing. I teach people to make clothes that look, move, and feel just like the clothes in 1840-1865, and how to use those clothes to teach others about many aspects of the past."

Clark and many reenactors create “impressions” of characters from the Civil War. Impressions are fictional characters created by assembling details from many different people. The person may be fictional, but they think, act, and experience the world much as someone from the 1860s did. "I take up different impressions for almost every event,” Clark says, “depending on the scenario the event planners set out. That means I might play a struggling farmer's wife one event, and a well-off shopkeeper the next; a mother with children at one, or a widow on her own at another. All of my characters are based on real people, but more often, they are based on a lot of real people, rather than just one. Being able to read about a lot of different people from the past, and see what experiences and reactions they had in common, lets me create characters that feel real. We are more alike than we know; I want to help people today make strong connections with the people and experiences of the past."

Niccolò Ferrari
Not all Civil War reenactors live in the United States. Niccolò Ferrari reenacts as a first lieutenant with the 14th Louisiana Infantry Regiment, Company G, a group he started in Italy in 2005. "My interest in the Civil War and the Confederacy in particular certainly goes back to my childhood and was probably influenced by American cinema," says Ferrari. "Interest in the Civil War event in Italy is quite widespread, but there are few who take the critical step to become reenactors. We have three reenactments a year, in Wildflecken, Germany."

Ferrari creates an impression of an Italian immigrant fighting for the Confederacy. "Due to the scarcity of information on Italian immigrants who took part in the conflict, we do not reconstruct specific people who really existed, but rather formed a reenactment infantry unit . . . where we knew some Italians did enlist," says Ferrari. "My impression is that of a line officer of the Army of Northern Virginia. Our uniforms and equipment are reproductions of those supplied with this army."

"Period Rush"

Many reenactors report the sensation of “period rush,” the moment when all the research and attention to detail has paid off, and the reenactors actually feel like they are in the 1860s.

Clark says, “I love the ‘magic moments’ or ‘time travel moments’! That happens when I've put in the work to learn and recreate the past as fully as I can, so I can just lose myself in a moment. It can come at odd times—a particular scent on the breeze, for example, or the sounds of people visiting around fires.”

Sexton recalls one memorable reenactment of the final surrender of the Confederate army at Appomattox Court House. “Only 4,000 reenactors were invited to attend—2,000 Union and Confederate troops,” Sexton says. “We [Confederate reenactors] marched over the hill into Appomattox with 1,000 Union soldiers lined on each side of the road, and I imagined what it must've been like to lose the war. I was reenacting a soldier from the 63rd Tennessee Infantry. It was a unit that started the war with 1,000 men, and ended with just 28.

“As a Confederate reenactor, I stacked and surrendered my musket. The one I was using at the time was an original musket, not a reproduction (I got it back later). Next, we laid our flags on top of the musket. A reenactor portraying Robert E. Lee rode in on a white horse and gave us surrender papers. It was a very somber, reflective moment.”

Ferrari says the setting itself is enough to provide a rush. In 2009, his group reenacted the Battle of Cold Harbor. In 2010, they reenacted the surrender at Appomattox. “In Wildflecken, given the high number of participants, the location in a place devoid of modern structures, and the quality of the reenactment itself makes you feel like you are really in the Civil War period. And for a few days, you are immersed completely and forget the problems of modern life.”

Sometimes, a “period rush” will force reenactors to act out-of-character. “The first time we were in a parade of African-American reenactors in Gettysburg, the Confederate soldiers took their hats off to us,” Tyson says. “I didn't know what to make of that!”

Not lost in the immersive experience is the importance of reenactment. “I think of the words that are engraved into the National Archives in Washington, ‘What is Past is Prologue',” Tyson says. “Reenacting is important to us because it is a part of American history that is overlooked, forgotten, or just unknown. And if we don't understand the past, we're not going to see why it’s worth preserving.”

Clark adds, “Getting involved in living history takes some work, but anyone, at any age, can decide to learn more about people and places they find interesting. A trip to the library, or some dedicated searching online, can help you find historic recipes to make and eat, crafts to try, music or poetry to learn, maps and adventure stories to explore. It really never stops, if you keep looking. Anyone can look for connections between the big events of history, and the everyday lives of everyday people.”





by Niccolò Ferrari

Men of many national origins fought in the American Civil War (1861 - 1865) and among them was also a good representation of Italians. At the outbreak of the conflict, to be honest, it could not yet talk of Italy as it was united and proclaimed (March 17, 1861) just over a month after the delegates of the Southern States met in Montgomery, Alabama, had been solemnly constituted the Confederate States of America (February 8, 1861).

The two cities that draw greater influx of immigrants from the old Europe were the two major ports of North and South, respectively, New York and New Orleans.

In their respective States so you could find many Italians enrolled in their regiments, in the North there was the famous company C of the 39th New York made up entirely of Italians, but sporadic presence of our countrymen could be found in many other Union regiments. A famous federal commander of Italian origin was Major General Edward Ferrero ( 1831-1899 ) who participated in the siege of Vicksburg (1863), the Knoxville Campaign (1863) and Petersburg siege (1864-65) where is remembered for having led his division in the “Battle of Crater” (1864). In the South, as mentioned, many of the regiments of Louisiana, among them 14th Louisiana, included soldiers of Italian origin, many veterans of the Italian “Risorgimento” that fought in the various armies of the States in which the Italian peninsula was divided.

Small immigrant communities were then in the State of Mississippi, particularly in areas adjacent to the Great River, that were there after moved up from the port of New Orleans where generations before arrived their ancestors. Even in the South, however, sporadic presences of Italians could be found in all States and Confederate regiments, to quote a famous confederate General of Italian origin, there was William Booth Taliaferro ( 1822-1898 ) of Virginia, took command of “Stonewall Brigade” in his division during the battle of Fredericksburg ( 1862 ),
commended for his service in battles of Fort Wagner and Morris Island (1863), commanding all troops in Florida that led at the battle of Olustee ( 1864 ).
To mark the 150th anniversary of the Italian Unification, of the American Civil War and the birth of the Confederacy, the “Corriere Canadese” ( newspaper in Italian language for the Italian-Canadian community) with the historical advice of 14th Louisiana Infantry Regiment, G Compnany, has published an interesting article written by journalist Massimiliano Bordignon that remember the presence of our countrymen in this great and fascinating historical event.

(Introducing article inserted in the book: "La Civiltà Perduta: gli Stati Confederati nella guerra civile americana"-Niccolò Ferrari 2013)



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