Friday, April 10, 2015

Top 10 Soldier Profiles of the Civil War

1, Yesterday marked the 150th Anniversary of the surrender of Robert E. Lee at the village of Appomattox Court House. The signing of the surrender documents occurred in the parlor of the house owned by Wilmer McLean on the afternoon of April 9. Charles Lewis Leiper was present at Appomattox Court House in Virginia when the surrender occurred.

2. It is a solemn and sobering place in history to visit and visiting the village of Appomattox Court House you can see the beginning of the end of the American Civil War and our road to recovery.

3. Events that followed the surrender can be found at Wikipedia referenced from Long, E. B. The Civil War Day by Day: An Almanac, 1861–1865. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971. OCLC 68283123
Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's army in North Carolina, the most threatening of the remaining Confederate armies, surrendered to Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman at Bennett Place in Durham, North Carolina on April 26, 1865: the 98,270 Confederate troopers that laid down their weapons (the largest surrender of the war) marked the virtual end of the conflict. General Taylor surrendered his army at Citronelle, Alabama in early May, followed by General Edmund Kirby Smith surrendering the Confederate Trans-Mississippi Department in May near New Orleans, Louisiana. Upon hearing about General Lee's surrender, Nathan Bedford Forrest, "The Wizard of the Saddle", also surrendered, reading his farewell address on May 9, 1865 at Gainesville, Alabama. Brig. Gen. Stand Watie surrendered the last sizable organized Confederate force on June 23, 1865.

4. President Abraham Lincoln was shot and died from his injuries on April 15, 1865.

5.  The village at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in Virginia is a significant place to visit. It is very easy to spark an emotion for these soldiers regardless of which side of the dispute you were on. Special events are happening April 8-12.

6. What would it have been like to actually be there? Read Charles Leiper's own words.

Charles Lewis Leiper wrote these words home to his mother Mrs. Samuel Leiper, who was living at the present-day "Thomas Leiper House" in Wallingford. He as 22 years old.

Thank you to the Friends of the Thomas Leiper House for sharing and to Charles Leiper for writing to his mother.

Appomattox Court House, Va
April 11, 1865

My dear Mother,

     Day before yesterday was the proudest and happiest day of my life. Lee surrendered his whole army to Grant. Sheridan and his cavalry were the cause of his destruction.  Our two divisions, the 1st and 3rd did an awful lot of work.  April 9th, the day of the surrender, was the 11th day of fighting for us.  W were in the saddle the whole time nearly.  I have not yet learned the different name of the battles we have fought. Since April 2nd my regiment consisting of 60 men has been escort yo Major Gen. Merritt, and I have been on his staff. I have never enjoyed better health, though worked almost to the death.  I will endeavor to find out the names of the different places we marched to and fought at.
     I have seen (yesterday) all the noted Rebel Generals and twice yesterday rode all through the Rebel Army.  We are going to parole them all.  Their men an nearly all their officers are delighted.  When the order of surrender was read to them you never heard such cheering and yelling in your life.  General Merritt is on the board that was convened to attend to the paroling and receipting for the arms to be turned in.
     I have got a back of a chair which was in the room - where Grant and Lee had their consultation and signed their agreement also a sprig fro the rosebush in the garden of the house.  I enclosed one rebel dollar, a letter and a few stamps for Willie. I expect our cavalry will now march to Sherman's assistance.
     The maps were received six or seven days ago.  They were very nice.  I have not seen a newspaper of later date than March 30.  I am very anxious to get mail.
     I traded sabre belts with a rebel officer who is to be paroled.  They all say the confederacy is used up, and that the war is at an end.  They also say that there will be no scheming on their parts to get to another rebellion.  They are thoroughly cowed and beaten. The men are the most miserable looking human being you ever saw. The officer I traded belts with was on the same ship with Will Whitehead when he made his trip to China.  I enclosed his card.
     Someone stole my washing case the other night - together with my only change of underclothes.  I fortunately had soap and towels in my valise and one of the staff gave me a tooth brush.  I have no comb or brush and but one undershirt, which is on my body.  So the only inconvenience I am out to is the want of a comb, brush, and undershirts. Everything else I have an abundance of.
     Goodbye, Love to all. I expect to spend my fourth of July at home.  Don't be uneasy about me.

     Ever your loving son,

Charles Lewis Leiper died in 1899 and is buried at Leiper circle in Middletown Presbyterian Church Cemetery located on Old Middletown Road in Media, Delaware County, PA . Famed architect, former member of the Lancers and also Medal of Honor recipient Frank Furness was a pallbearer at his funeral and designed a granite monument to Charles Leiper that sits behind his headstone. Furness also designed the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Monument at South Cavalry Field in Gettysburg.

Photograph taken 4/9/2015 on the 150th Anniversary of the Surrender at Appomattox.

See this website for a nice write up on Charles Lewis Leiper.

7. The Dashiells: I have also been spending a lot of time on family archives and came across a picture that led me to do a little research on this family, the Dashiell's. I was able to trace all this information through ancestry. All I had was this first photograph to go on.  Luckily all the photographs are identified on the back.

Virgil William Dashiell was the youngest of 15 children he enlisted in Company G, Illinois 12th Infantry Regiment on 01 Aug 1861. Mustered out on 07 Mar 1862. He married in 1870 had two children and his occupation in 1889 was an agent. He reached the rank of captain.

George Dashiell named of of his sons George Lincoln. He must have been a fan.

Masten Dashiell was the oldest brother.  He was a Private in the 3rd Indiana Calvary. Before the war he was a cooper and father of 5, living in Indiana. He would have been 46 years old at the start of the civil war. In 1907 he was still employed as a manufacturing agent.

Mark Dashiell became a doctor. Dr. Dashiell was elected Representative in the House of the Twelfth General Assembly, in 1868, and in 1872 was elected to the Senate, serving in the General Assembly for a period of twelve years 

Charles Wesley Dashiell was a sergeant in the army. He served in Co. K, 113th Illinois Vol. Infantry during the Civil War. Discharged due to disability on 02 Feb 1865. He lost his index finger on his right hand at Battle of Resaca in Georgia. He was 5'10 with light blue eyes.

John Dashiell applied for pension on May 18, 1865. He served in the Indiana Infantry as a sergeant.

Henry Clay Dashiell was a captain in the army for 3 years. 

All toll the Dashiell brothers gave 16 years to the U.S. Army during the civil war.

Upcoming Civil War Related Events:

8. All that is going on at Appomattox this weekend.

9. April 12 Laurel Hill Cemetery Walking Tour: SURRENDER AT APPOMATTOX: THE END OF THE CIVIL WAR. With General Robert E. Lee’s men surrounded and fatigued, the Confederate General had little choice but to consider surrendering his troops to General Grant. The events that followed at the Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865 triggered a series of surrenders across the south, and set the stage for the conclusion of America’s bloodiest war.  This walking tour will focus on those individuals who were principally engaged in the events that led to the surrender of the Confederate forces 150 years ago.  This walking tour will take place  at 1:00 p.m., departing from Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Gatehouse entrance at 3822 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19132. Free parking is located in the lot across the street from the Gatehouse. The cost is $12/person; or $10/students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance by phone (215) 228-8200 or online. Guides: Russ Dodge and Andy Waskie, Ph.D. There are over 30 Civil War Generals (including General Meade) buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery, if they don't show them on this tour ask for a map and seek them out yourself another day.  They give phenomenal tours here. You will not be disappointed. Frank Furness is also buried there.

10. The Chester Historical Preservation Committee proudly presents A Civil War Ball on June 6th At The Ballrooms at Boothwyn 6:00 p.m. Until 10:00 p.m. Evening Events: Dinner, Music, Dancing and an Auction Ticket Information and Reservations: or call for additional information:  610-872-4497. Period or formal attire preferred. 


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  3. I enjoyed seeing the photograph of Masten Dashiell. I have transcribed several of his letters that he send to the Indianapolis Daily Journal while he was serving in the Civil War. I would like to know if I could use his picture in a Facebook post.

  4. You may use the photograph, thank you for asking. Would you mind sharing the information you have? Masten was a descendant on my husband's side. I would like to add it to the family file. Could you provide a link where I could view this information. Thank you.