Fort Douglas Museum Living History Detachment 1858-1865

Fort Douglas Museum Living History Detachment 1858-1865 We participate in battle and encampment re-enactments, balls, living history activities, and parades. We welcome anyone with a passion for history.
Our purpose is four fold: (1) to portray and honor the Federal and Confederate soldiers, and civilians associated with the Civil War, as accurately as we can; (2) to increase the public's awareness of the Civil War and its effects on the nation; (3) to help preserve sites and artifacts of the war; and (4) to have a lot of fun doing the first three.
(1)

The Fort Douglas Living History Detachment is absolutely non-political. We are not affiliated with any political party or group, or any political ideology. We are dedicated to preserving history by making it live in the present.

06/12/2017

Anyone volunteering to come to Fort Douglas day this year? Just a reminder. It is this Saturday June 17th. Fort Douglas Military Museum. Military Re-enactors of all eras are welcome. Hope to see you there.

04/14/2017

Hello friends,

It's been far too long since we've seen each other. How about a get together? Saturday April 22nd. Rachel's house. Something delicious on the smoker. You bring a side to share. Kids and everyone welcome. Feasting will begin at 6ish, but come up whenever you like.

An RSVP is needed so we'll know how much meat to purchase.

1353 W Lucerne Drive in Midway.

IT"LL BE GREAT!

03/21/2017

Fort Douglas Day is Saturday June 17th. Who is interested in going?

A few of us got together for a 5th grade presentation today in Heber City. Spring is when all the 5th grade teachers wan...
02/18/2017

A few of us got together for a 5th grade presentation today in Heber City. Spring is when all the 5th grade teachers want civil war visitors. Please leave a comment if you want to be contacted to present.

10/09/2016
Fort Douglas Cemetery Tour

October is Fort Douglas Cemetery Tour time again!! Saturday October 22nd from 2 to 6 pm.
Who's in? It will be a great time. Please leave a comment and let us know so we can let the good folks at the fort know who to plan on for the day.

For one day a year, those buried at the Fort Douglas Cemetery come alive to tell you their stories.

Coming up this week!
05/10/2016

Coming up this week!

03/17/2016

Eighth graders in the Jordan School District are looking forward to a visit from some Civil War era folks next month. Is anyone able to help them out?

02/26/2016

All,



This year's Memorial Day program at the Fort Douglas Cemetery will be held on 30 May, beginning with an entrance march from the Fort Douglas Museum Memorial Park to the Cemetery. The march will form up at the Park at 0915 and begin at 0930.



We are asking for re-enactors to portray soldiers from the Civil War period up to the Vietnam period to participate in both the march and the ceremony at the Cemetery. The ceremony at the Cemetery will begin at 1000 and last about one hour. Guest speaker has not been determined yet. The program is organized by the Utah chapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA).



Please contact me if you would like to participate and pass this email on to others in your organization.



Thank you.



Bob Voyles

801-581-1251

01/08/2016

Happy Birthday General Longstreet, owner of one of my favorite beards of the Civil War.

January 8th, 1821. Confederate General James Longstreet is born near Edgefield, South Carolina. Longstreet became one of the most successful generals in the Confederate army, but after the war he becamea target of some of his comrades, who were searching for a scapegoat.

Longstreet grew up in Georgia and attended West Point, graduating in 1842. He was a close friend of Ulysses S. Grant, and served as best man in Grant’s 1848 wedding to Julia Dent, Longstreet’s fourth cousin. Longstreet fought in the Mexican War (1846-48) and was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec. He resigned from the U.S. military at the beginning of the Civil War, when he was named brigadier general in the Confederate army.

Longstreet fought at the First Battle of Bull Run, Virginia, in July 1861,and within a year was commander of corps in the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee. Upon the death of General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia,in May 1863, Longstreet was considered the most effective corps commander in Lee’s army. He served with Lee for the rest of the war–except for the fall of 1863, when he took his force to aid the Confederate effort in Tennessee.

Longstreet was severely wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness in Virginia in May 1864, and did not return to service for six months. He went on to fight with Lee until the surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, in April 1865. After the war, Longstreet was involved in a number of businesses and held several governmental posts, most notably U.S. minister to Turkey. Although successful, he made two moves that greatly tarnished his reputation among his fellow Southerners: He joined the despised Republican Party and publicly questioned Lee’s strategy at the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His fellow officers considered these sins to be unforgivable, and former comrades such as generals Jubal Early and John Gordon attacked Longstreet as a traitor. They asserted that Longstreet was responsible for the errors that lost Gettysburg.

Longstreet outlived most of his comrades and detractors before dying at age 82 on January 2, 1904. His second wife, Helen Dortch, lived until 1962.

01/03/2016

Happy New Year 2016. Hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas and New Year's Eve.

01/03/2016

January 3rd 1861, just two weeks after South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union, the state of Delaware rejects a similar proposal.

There had been little doubt that Delaware would remain with the North. Delaware was technically a slave state, but the institution was not widespread by 1861. There were some 20,000 blacks living in the state, but only about 1,800 of them were slaves.Most of the slaves were concentrated in Sussex, the southernmost of the state’s three counties.

After South Carolina ratified the ordinance of secession on December 20, 1860, other states considered similar proposals. Although there were some Southern sympathizers, Delaware had a Unionist governor and the legislature was dominated by Unionists. On January 3, the legislature voted overwhelmingly to remain with the United States. For the Union, Delaware’s decision was only a temporary respite from the parade of seceding states. Over the next several weeks, six states joined South Carolina in seceding; four more left after the South captured South Carolina’s Fort Sumter in April 1861.

12/24/2015

December 24th, 1864,a Union fleet under Admiral David Dixon Porter begins a bombardment of Fort Fisher, North Carolina. Although an impressive display of firepower, the attack failed to destroy the fort; a ground attack the next day did not succeed either.

Fort Fisher guarded the mouth of the Cape Fear River, the approach to Wilmington, North Carolina. Throughout the war, Wilmington was one of the most important ports as the Confederates tried to break the Union blockade of its coasts. By late 1864, Wilmington was one of the last ports open in the South. Even though Wilmington was an important city,Union leaders initially directed more attention to other targets, such as the capture of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Not until late 1864 did the Union turn attention to the massive wood-and-sand Fort Fisher, which was constructed in 1862 to withstand attacks by the most powerful Federal cannon.

Sixtyships attacked the fort on Christmas Eve. Inside the stronghold, some 500 Confederates hunkered down and withstood the siege. Although buildings in the fort caught fire, there were few casualties. The next day, a small Yankee force attacked on the ground, but reinforcing Confederates from Wilmington drove them away. The Union fleet sailed back to Hampton Roads, Virginia, with nothing to show for their efforts. The Union tried again to take Fort Fisher in January 1865. After two days, a Union force overwhelmed the fort and the last major Confederate port was closed.

12/13/2015

December 12 - 15, 1862, The Battle of Fredericksburg. Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia repulses a series of attacks by General Ambrose Burnside’s Army of the Potomac at Fredericksburg, Virginia. The defeat was one of the most decisive loses for the Union army, and it dealt a serious blow to Northern morale in the winter of 1862-63.

Burnside assumed command of the Army of the Potomac in November 1862 after George McClellan failed to pursue Lee into Virginia following the Battle of Antietam in Maryland on September 17. Burnside immediately crafted a plan to move against the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia. This called for a rapid march by the Federals from their positions in northern Virginia to Fredericksburg on the Rappahannock River. Burnside planned to cross the river at that point and then continue south.

The campaign began promisingly for the Union. The army moved quickly down the Rappahannock, but then stalled across the river from Fredericksburg. Due to poor execution of orders, a pontoon bridge was not in place for several days. The delay allowed Lee to move his troops into place along Marye’s Heights above Fredericksburg. The Confederates were secure in a sunken road protected by a stone wall, looking down on the open slopes that stretched from the edge of Fredericksburg. So strong was the Confederate position that one Rebel officer claimed “a chicken could not live on that field when we open on it.”

Burnside decided to attack anyway. On December 13, he hurled 14 attacks against the Confederate lines. Although the Union artillery was effective against the Rebels, the 600-yard field was a killing ground for the attacking Yankees. No Union soldiers reached the wall at the top of Marye’s Heights, and few even came within50 yards of it. “It is well that war is so horrible, or else we should grow too fond of it,” Lee observed to General James Longstreet as they watched the carnage. A bitterly cold night froze many of the Union dead and wounded.

Burnside considered continuing the attack on December 14, but his subordinates urged him to stop. On December 15, a truce was called for the Union to collect their dead and wounded soldiers. Burnside retreated northward under the cover of darkness and rain. The one-sided nature of the battle was reflected in the casualty figures. The Yankees suffered around 12,650 killed and wounded, while Lee lost only about 4,200 men. General Joseph Hooker replaced Burnside as commander of the Army of the Potomac in January 1863.

11/25/2015

November 25th,1863, Union General Ulysses S. Grant breaks the siege of Chattanooga, Tennessee, in stunning fashion by routing the Confederates under General Braxton Bragg at Missionary Ridge.

For two monthsfollowing the Battle of Chattanooga, the Confederates had kept the Union army bottled up inside a tight semicircle around Chattanooga. When Grant arrived in October, however, he immediately reversed the defensive posture of his army. After opening a supply line by driving the Confederates away from the Tennessee River in late October, Grant prepared for a major offensive in late November. It was launched on November 23 whenhe sent General George Thomas to probe the center of the Confederate line. This simple plan turned into a complete victory, and the Rebels retreated higher up Missionary Ridge. On November 24, the Yankees captured Lookout Mountain on the extreme right of the Union lines, and this set the stage for the Battle of Missionary Ridge.

The attack took place in three parts. On the Union left, General William T. Sherman attacked troops under Patrick Cleburne at Tunnel Hill, an extension of Missionary Ridge. In difficult fighting, Cleburne managed to hold the hill. On the other end of the Union lines, General Joseph Hooker was advancing slowly from Lookout Mountain, and his force had little impact on the battle. It was at the center that the Union achieved its greatest success. The soldiers on both sides received confusing orders. Some Union troops thought they were only supposed to take the rifle pits at the base of the ridge, while others understood that they were to advance to the top. Some of the Confederates heard that they were to hold the pits, while others thought they were to retreat to the top of Missionary Ridge. Furthermore, poor placement of Confederate trenches on the top of the ridge made it difficult to fire at the advancing Union troops without hitting their own men, who were retreating from the rifle pits. The result was that the attack on the Confederate center turned into a major Union victory. After the center collapsed, the Confederate troops retreated on November 26, and Bragg pulled his troops away from Chattanooga. He resigned shortly thereafter, having lost the confidence of his army.

The Confederates suffered some 6,600 men killed, wounded, and missing, and the Union lost around 5,800. Grant missed an opportunity to destroy the Confederate army when he chose not to pursue the retreating Rebels, but Chattanooga was secured. Sherman resumed the attack in the spring after Grant was promoted to general in chief of all Federal forces.

A couple more photos from the Cemetery Tour.  We hope to do it again next year.  Thank you everyone that came out in the...
10/19/2015

A couple more photos from the Cemetery Tour. We hope to do it again next year. Thank you everyone that came out in the rain to support us.

Fort Douglas Cemetery Tour was today. Thank you friends for representing!  The new museum is all put together and looks ...
10/18/2015

Fort Douglas Cemetery Tour was today. Thank you friends for representing! The new museum is all put together and looks incredible! Stop in and check it out.

Fort Douglas Cemetery Tour is Saturday October 17th from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. It will be great to see everyone there! Leave ...
09/25/2015

Fort Douglas Cemetery Tour is Saturday October 17th from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. It will be great to see everyone there! Leave a comment if you would like someone to personify.

09/22/2015

Motivated by his growing concern for the inhumanity of slavery as well as practical political concerns, President Abraham Lincoln changes the course of the war and American history by issuing the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Announced a week after the nominal Union victory at the Battle of Antietam, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, this measure did not technically free any slaves, but it expanded the Union’s war aim from reunification to include the abolition of slavery.

The proclamation announced that all slaves in territory that was still in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, would be free. Lincoln used vacated congressional seats to determine the areas still in rebellion, as some parts of the South had already been recaptured and representatives returned to Congress under Union supervision. Since it freed slaves only in Rebel areas that were beyond Union occupation, the Emancipation Proclamation really freed no one. But the measure was still one of the most important acts in American history, as it meant slavery would end when those areas were recaptured. In addition, the proclamation effectively sabotaged Confederate attempts to secure recognition by foreign governments, especially Great Britain. When reunification was the goal of the North, foreigners could view the Confederates as freedom fighters being held against their will by the Union. But after the Emancipation Proclamation, the Southern cause was now viewed as the defense of slavery. The proclamation was a shrewd maneuver by Lincoln to brand the Confederate States as a slave nation and render foreign aid impossible.

The measure was met by a good deal of opposition, because many Northerners were unwilling to fight for the freedom of blacks. But it spelled the death knell for slavery, and it had the effect on British opinion that Lincoln had desired. Antislavery Britain could no longer recognize the Confederacy, and Union sentiment swelled in Britain. With this measure, Lincoln effectively isolated the Confederacy and killed the institution that was the root of sectional differences.

09/19/2015

Sept. 17 - 18, 1862
The Battle of Antietam, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and Union General George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac fight to a standstill along a Maryland creek on the bloodiest day in American history. Although the battle was a tactical draw, it forced Lee to end his invasion of the North and retreat back to Virginia.

After Lee’s decisive victory at the Second Battle of Bull Run, Virginia, on August 30, 1862, the Confederate general had steered his army north into Maryland. Lee and Confederate President Jefferson Davis believed that another Rebel victory might bring recognition and aid from Great Britain and France. Lee also sought to relieve pressure on Virginia by carrying the conflict to the North. His ragtag army was in dire need of supplies, which Lee hoped to obtain from Maryland farms that were untouched by the war.

Lee split his army as he moved into Maryland. One corps marched to capture Harpers Ferry, Virginia, while the other two searched for provisions. Although a copy of Lee’s orders ended up in the hands of McClellan, the Union general failed to act quickly, allowing Lee time to gather his army along Antietam Creek at Sharpsburg, Maryland. McClellan arrived on September 16 and prepared to attack.

The Battle of Antietam actually consisted of three battles. Beginning at dawn on September 17, Union General Joseph Hooker’s men stormed Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s troops around the Dunker Church, the West Woods, and David Miller’s cornfield. The Federals made repeated attacks, but furious Rebel counterattacks kept the Yankees in check. By early afternoon, the fighting moved south to the middle of the battlefield. Union troops under General Edwin Sumner inflicted devastating casualties on the Confederates along a sunken road that became known as “Bloody Lane,” before the Southerners retreated. McClellan refused to apply reserves to exploit the opening in the Confederate center because he believed Lee’s force to be much larger than it actually was. In the late afternoon, Union General Ambrose Burnside attacked General James Longstreet’s troops across a stone bridge that came to bear Burnside’s name. The Yankees crossed the creek, but a Confederate counterattack brought any further advance to a halt.

The fighting ended by early evening, and the two armies remained in place throughout the following day. After dark on September 18, Lee began pulling his troops out of their defenses for a retreat to Virginia. The losses for the one-day battle were staggering. Union casualties included 2,108 dead, 9,540 wounded, and 753 missing, while Confederate casualties numbered 1,546 dead, 7,752 wounded, and 1,108 missing.

Although the Union army drove Lee’s force back to Virginia, the battle was a lost opportunity for the Yankees. McClellan had an overwhelming numerical advantage, but he did not know it. Another attack on September 18 may well have scattered the Confederates and cut off Lee’s line of retreat.

A week later, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and expanded the Northern goal from a war for reunification into a crusade for the end of slavery.

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