Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Slave Community: by Blassingame (1972)

I visit the Recreation Center / NE 50th and MLK Blvd / on Mondays with the retired ladies quilt guild.....
The have a section of free books..... and I think I obtained an original copy.....
I've been diligent in working on my family genealogy via 1815 - 1955....... what was life like for my people....???  in the deep south???


The Salve Community: Plantation Life in Antebellum South was published in 1972 by a renowned historian John W. Blassingame.  The book is a historiography of the era of slavery in the united state.  In order to understand the concept of slavery, the book has been written from the enslaved perspective.

The book is a revisionist study which challenges most of the earlier scholarship which suggests that the African American slaves who worked in the Caribbean plantations were docile and very submissive.   The book challenges the earlier scholarship view that African Americans slaves who worked on southern plantations enjoyed the paternalistic relationship between them and their masters.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Let's Talk about Holmes City,MS

Holmes County is located in the west central part of Mississippi. It was created February 19, 1833 out of the land originally ceded by the Choctaw Indians in the Treaty of Doak’s Stand, October 18, 1820 and known as the “New Purchase.”

Holmes was formed from Yazoo in 1833. Lexington is the county seat.

Surrounding Counties

Attala County 
Carroll County 
Humphreys County 
Leflore County 
Madison County
Yazoo County

A Daughter is . . . . so many things !

A Daughter is a Colony


A territory, a progeny,

A spitting image

like Athena sprung


From her father’s head;

Chip off the old block,

Issue and spawn;


A namesake, a wishbone

Loyalist and traitor

A native anD other


A subject, a study,

A history a half blood

A continent dark and strange


NATASHA TRETHEWEY -  Silver sparrow . . .A novel by Tayari Jones

Monday, January 7, 2013

My Travis Maternal Great-Grandparents

Jim and Cornelius (Salter) Travis are my maternal grandparents on daddy's mothers' side -- there is probably a repeat in that sentence...huh?  My great grandfather was formally named James.... and my first cousin now living in Chicago IL recalls that he was nicknamed Jug...often called Jim. . . and his was called Snally!  In checking the census lists, I've seen my great grandmother's name written as Nealy, or Nealie.   

Here are some of the facts reports on the census records I have reviewed.  James Travis was the son of BYRD AND MOLLIE TRAVIS. He first appears as the adjoining line neighbor of this mother and father on the 1900 census.   James ' oldest brother is Rayford Travis on this same subsequent census line.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Arkansas Post in January 1863 - G-Granddad James A Anderson

It is believed that Cap'n Anderson is the slave owner/master for whom my Great-grandmother Lucinda worked as a cook and Lucinda bore 12-14 children by her slave owner. 

Here is some historical data on him... as well as my collection of facts regarding his service as a Confederate soldier / Arkansas.

Anderson, James A
Third Lieutenant—Enlisted in Co. E, 24th Arkansas Infantry, at Monticello, Arkansas, June 16, 1862; appointed third lieutenant, June 16, 1862; captured at Arkansas Post, January 11, 1863; confined at U.S.
Military Prison, Camp Douglas, Illinois; exchanged at City Point, Virginia, April 10, 1863; resigned, March 1, 1864; born June 2, 1830; died June 14, 1905; buried in Dermott City Cemetery, Chicot county, Arkansas; widow Mattie Anderson filed Arkansas pension application #29293 from Chicot county, August 15, 1927.
One hundred and fifty years ago, the summer of 1862 took its toll on soldiers in both armies. As camps became crowded disease became commonplace. As the drought continued, crops failed, soldiers got sick, and Arkansas citizens wore themselves out in a meager and in many cases, poor and desperate existence. What little there was to eat was being devoured by the Confederate and Federal armies scattered across the state.

As US forces made their way to Helena, located on the Mississippi River, Hindman saw the need to strengthen the Confederate position on the Arkansas River at Pine Bluff. General Orders Number 27 dismisses General Roane from the Ouachita and moved his HQ to Pine Bluff. Roane is now in command of Jefferson, Bradley, Arkansas, Chicot, Drew, Ashley “and that part of Desha south of Arkansas River…”. Included in his new territory was Arkansas Post.

January 12, 2013By: 150th Anniversary Project by Don Roth, Arkansas in the Civil War, The Civil War Hub of Arkansas

Among those troops under his command was the 24th Arkansas Infantry Regiment.

Organized at Camp White Sulphur Springs in Jefferson County, this unit was one of many that were captured by the Federal Army at Arkansas Post in January 1863.

Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman spent a depressing week at Milliken’s Bend Louisiana, 20 miles north of Vicksburg following a bloody repulse from Chickasaw Bluffs northeast of the city. Together with Major Gen. John McClernand they discussed the recent capture of the ordnance boat Blue Wing, by Confederate cavalry operating from Arkansas Post, 25 miles up the Arkansas River. The military freight would greatly aid nearby Fort Hindman.

Sherman suggested the prospect of taking the bastion. For him it could be an exercise in redemption; for the political general McClernand—-he wanted bigger fish, not some obscure installation. When the two secured the cooperation of Adm. David D. Porter, McClernand decided to take command of the water-borne expedition.

It was composed of two Corp containing two divisions each. One was commanded by Sherman, the other by Gen George W. Morgan. The fleet of 60 transports and gunboats tied up three miles downriver from Fort Hindman at 5 PM on January 9th where the 32000 troops continuously disembarked until noon the next day.

Situated 117 miles below Little Rock, Arkansas Post was formerly a French outpost dating back to 1686. For a brief period from 1819 to 1820 the village had been the seat of the first Arkansas territorial legislature until its relocation to Little Rock in 1821. Since the war began the cotton counties between the capitals converted to corn and formed the breadbasket for the Confederacy in Arkansas.

The fort itself was a sizable earthen structure situated on high ground at the head of a horseshoe bend. The star shaped angular work mounted three heavy guns facing the river with four 10-pounder Parrott rifles and four lesser pieces landward. Approximately 4800 Texans and Arkansas infantry were assigned and commanded by Arkansas Gen Thomas J. Churchill. He had also called in 200 infantry from St Charles as well as Captain Johnson’s Texas Cavalry Company.

On the 10th three ironclad gunboats closed to within 400 yards of the fort with guns blazing while the ground forces wound their way in a circuitous movement to the rear of Fort Hindman like an engorged serpent. It wasn’t until sometime on the 11th all the soldiers were in their cold and muddy positions. Some distance to their front was a half mile trench well manned and extending from the northwestern corner of the fort to the Post Bayou that coursed southward at that point. For a time Johnson was assigned to guard the shallow crossings of that stream. The massive Federal line began at the bayou, then led eastward past the fort until it nearly touched the river.

At 1 PM the navy launched a 30 minute bombardment on the enemy position together with some of the army’s heavy field pieces. Then Sherman sent forward his units from the vicinity of the bayou and the rest of the Federal line sloshed into motion. The navy silenced all guns in the fort but one. A couple of sporadic charges were made by the Federals. One advance came to within 40 yards of the half mile trench when it was blunted by an opposing group of shotgun wielding Texans.

When the Feds finally prepared for an all out assault white flags suddenly appeared on a portion of the Confederate line near the fort. This was more then a little surprising to Churchill because he never ordered a surrender. When the enemy swarmed on the area where the flags appeared, further resistance was made futile. Churchill then ordered the remainder of his command to lay down their arms. (Mark K. Christ editor, Rugged and Sublime, The Civil War in Arkansas, University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, 1994, Page 64)

The Texas unit blamed for the surrender had spent its service time near Shreveport and never experienced combat. The destructiveness by artillery compounded by the sight of thousands of enemy troops was overwhelming to some.
The expedition suffered 30 navy and 1100 army casualties. While Churchill claimed 60 killed and 75 wounded that left 4791 prisoners. Captain Johnson was among the latter and died the following month of pneumonia in a St Louis hospital. Additionally Gen. Churchill gave up 3000 stands of arms and much ammunition, part of which came from the Blue Wing. The way was open to the breadbasket region and Little Rock but only as much as the fickle Arkansas River would allow. Gen. McClernand retired to the Mississippi River by order of Gen. U. S. Grant on January 17th.

This week one hundred and fifty years ago saw several military and political actions throughout the state. A few are listed below:
7-12-1862: Skirmish, Bentonville
7-13-1862: Bragg orders Parson’s Missouri Guards to report to Arkansas.
7-14-1862: Skirmish, Batesville
7-14-1862: Skirmish, near Helena
7-15-1862: Action near Fayetteville
7-15-1862: General’s Shelby and Cockrell move into Union controlled Missouri from Frog Bayou.

Oklahoma and ARK Civi War History

The Arkansas Toothpick is the largest repository of Arkansas Civil War history and heritage. Observing the 150th Anniversary of the War Between the States is a task that the Toothpick does not take lightly, as we have posted original and exclusive articles on events in Arkansas on a weekly and chronological basis since 2010 (150 years after 1860). The purpose of the "150 Years Ago..." articles, written and researched by Ron Kelley and Don Roth, is to give a true reflection of the political, martial, and other aspects of Arkansas history leading up to and through the American Civil War.

January 04, 2013

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My Ancestors.... back in the 1800's !

The first issue of the anti-slavery newspaper,The Liberator, was published by William Lloyd Garrison on this date in 1831! This paper was known for its relentless advocacy to free all enslaved people and was printed until 1865.

You can read some of the first issue here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h2928t.html

The Emancipation Proclamation is 150 Years Old Today

We've collected the stories and rare photos of blacks at the dawn of freedom --> http://ow.ly/gsG3h

Watch Meeting for my Ancestors

Watch night services for New Year's Eve are an African American tradition and it can also be traced back to December 31st, 1862 on "Freedom's Eve"when Blacks gathered at churches all across the nation waiting for the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation. At midnight on January 1st 1863 all the slaves were legally declared free. Today January 1st 2013 will mark 150 since that time!