150th Fort McPherson, North Platte: August 16-17

150th Fort McPherson, North Platte: August 16-17

I’d like to get a roll call of everyone who is planning to attend the North Platte event Aug. 16-17. So far, I know of myself, Tobey, and four Nissens (4 soldiers, 2 civilians)? Impression for those that can do it will be the 7th Iowa Cavalry, 1863 in the Nebraska Territory (shell jackets or sack coats, forage caps or slouch/Hardee hats), anyone coming as infantry should go standard federal uniform for soldiers on frontier duty in the 1860s. There is a dance before the Candlelight Tour on Friday night (which starts at around 9:00 and is open to anyone wishing to participate). Site will open to the public between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning and will end with a flag ceremony at about 3:30 p.m. that afternoon, proceeded by a small shootout between the soldiers of “Fort McPherson” and the “citizens” of North Platte. Horses had originally been planned, but circumstances are increasingly looking unlikely for their use; time, distance, and money being rather tight at the moment, so Pathfinders will probably all take the field on foot as infantry in garrison and dismounted cavalry awaiting remounts.

Again, if I didn’t list you as attending, then you haven’t told me FOR SURE that you were/are coming. R.S.V.P. so I can get numbers to Joe Carlson, breakfast and lunch Saturday are being provided by the museum and the Kearney crew, so they need to know! May seem a bit far and out of the way for us, but a chance to show our support for our good friends from Kearney and help out historic sites and museums in Nebraska!

Lt. Shane

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The Battle of Gettysburg

Sergeant Dorian Watt’s after action report on Gettysburg is up in the Pathfinder Update 2013 section.

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June 5-6, 1863

The Battle of Franklin’s Crossing, also known as the Deep Run Battle, took place near FredericksburgVirginia on June 5, 1863. Union forces under GeneralJohn Sedgwick skirmished with Confederate troops under General A.P. Hill during a reconnaissance to determine the movements and location of General Robert E. Lee‘s Army of Northern Virginia. Confederate forces repulsed the Union probe. The small fight was the first action in the Gettysburg Campaign.

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June 3, 1863

The first elements of General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, 75,000 soldiers strong, was on the move, having left Fredericksburg, Virginia in a westerly direction. The decision to invade the North a second time was now underway. One of the first actions of what became known as the Gettysburg campaign occurred near Fayetteville, Virginia.

The Federal Ninth Army Corps from Kentucky was ordered to Vicksburg to augment Major General Ulysses Grant’s army.

Democrats led by New York Mayor Fernando Wood, met at New York’s Cooper Institute to urge peace.

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Rock Creek – June 1-2, 2013

The Pathfinders were at Rock Creek.  Photos are up under the Photo 2013 section!


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April 24, 1863

The Union army issues General Orders No. 100, which provided a code of conduct for Federal soldiers and officers when dealing with Confederate prisoners and civilians. The code was borrowed by many European nations, and its influence can be seen on the Geneva Convention.

The orders were the brainchild of Francis Lieber, a Prussian immigrant whose three sons had served during the Civil War.  One son was mortally wounded while fighting for the Confederacy at the Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1862. Lieber’s other two sons fought for the Union. Lieber was a scholar of international law who took a keen interest in the treatment of combatants and civilians. He wrote many essays and newspaper articles on the subject early in the war, and he advised General Henry Halleck, general-in-chief of the Union armies, on how to treat guerilla fighters captured by Federal forces.

Halleck appointed a committee of four generals and Lieber to draft rules of combat for the Civil War. The final document consisted of 157 articles written almost entirely by Lieber. The orders established policies for, among other things, the treatment of prisoners, exchanges, and flags of truce. There was no document like it in the world at the time, and other countries soon adopted the code. It became the standard for international military law, and the Germans adopted it by 1870. Lieber’s concepts are still very influential today.

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April 17, 1863

A Union cavalry force led by Col. Benjamin Grierson set off today on an extended raid through Louisiana and Mississippi. The 1700-man expedition’s main purpose was to support Grant’s final push on Vicksburg by tying up any Confederate forces that might be sent to the city’s aid. Conversely, Brig. Gen. John S. Marmaduke led a Confederate cavalry group into attacks on Union posts in Missouri. Both forces continued operating until May 2.

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Midland Musings with Jenny Nguyen – Fort Hartsuff’s Spring Muster

Nebraska Games and Parks coverage of the Fort Hartsuff muster:


with additional photos at:


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April 16, 1863

On April 16, while Grant’s army marched south through Louisiana, part of the Union fleet, commanded by Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter, prepared to run by the Vicksburg batteries. At 9:15 p.m., lines were cast off and the vessels moved away from their anchorage above the city with engines muffled and all lights extinguished to conceal their movement.

As the boats rounded De Soto Point, they were spotted by Confederate lookouts who spread the alarm. Bales of cotton soaked in turpentine and barrels of tar lining the shore, were set on fire by the Southerners to illuminate the river. Although each vessel was hit repeatedly, Porter’s fleet successfully fought its way past the Confederate batteries losing only one transport, and headed downriver to the rendezvous with Grant on the Louisiana shore south of Vicksburg.

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Fort Hartsuff – April 13-14, 2013

The Pathfinders had a cold but yet good weekend at Fort Hartsuff combined with other units.  Pictures are being posted with more to come!

Fort Hartsuff 150

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