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 Posted: Sun May 30th, 2010 10:41 pm
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Michael F. Blake

Joined: Fri May 7th, 2010
Posts: 82

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Here's a link to an article in today's (Sunday) LA Times.  Thought you might find it of interest. 

I am also posting the link, so you can view a picture of the statue mentioned in the article.,0,4530871.story

Southern California does indeed have a Civil War history

U.S. Grant IV teaching at UCLA. Rosecrans Avenue. Though it's natural to associate the Civil War with cities in the East and the South, links to the conflict can also be found in Southern California.

by Steve Harvey, LA Times / May 29, 2010

Ulysses S. Grant IV, a grandson of the Civil War general and U.S. president, was a geology professor at UCLA.

More than 30 Confederate soldiers are buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Rosecrans Avenue was named for Union Army general (and later Los Angeles-area resident) William Rosecrans.

UCLA history professor Joan Waugh ticks off such facts to illustrate that, though it's natural to associate the Civil War with cities in the East and the South, links to the struggle can also be found in Southern California.

Gettysburg Avenue, Antietam Avenue and Appomattox Drive, for instance, are roads inside Los Angeles National Cemetery near Westwood.

Waugh, the author of "U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth," grew up in Los Angeles but says she was unaware until about a decade ago that there were about 10,000 Civil War veterans buried at the cemetery.

Waugh, who teaches a seminar titled "The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture," now takes her students to the cemetery — a different world just a few blocks from the comfort zone of Westwood — to "bring Civil War history alive. It's a moving experience."

The facility began in 1888 as a free-of-charge home for Union soldiers, many of whom had migrated to sunny Southern California. Confederate veterans were banned.

The cemetery's first resident, former Pvt. George Davis of New York, was so eager to leave the miserable winters of that state that he couldn't wait for construction to begin and took up "residence in a tent set up on the grounds," The Times reported.

There was no cemetery at first. It was established as the veterans began to die off.

Mexican War veterans were also welcome, and among those buried there is Nicholas Earp, onetime bootlegger, Colton city clerk and father of gunfighter Wyatt Earp.

One mysterious figure on the grounds is the statue of a soldier, which the cemetery's website says was erected in 1942.

But Cheryl Wilkinson, a student of Waugh's, researched the matter for her honors thesis and found that the statue dates to at least 1896, when a Times article mentioned its arrival.

Wilkinson also disputed a book about military cemeteries that says it is the likeness of a Revolutionary War soldier.

She pointed to the figure's kepi (hat) and the "US" stamped on its haversack to show that it was a Civil War soldier.

Though the name of the sculptor is unknown, it's questionable whether he saw combat since the figure is shown doing something a soldier would never do: draping his hand over the muzzle of his rifle.

That Confederate War veterans were banned from the cemetery is somewhat ironic, since secessionists may have been in the majority in pre-Civil War Los Angeles.

In the 1850s, there was talk of the southern half of California splitting off to form its own state. (Few protests were heard from San Francisco.)

In the 1860 presidential election, Abraham Lincoln collected just 179 votes in Los Angeles, less than 25% of those cast.

Fearful of a secessionist revolt, the federal government built Camp Drum in San Pedro in 1861 (now the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum) to maintain order.

Even Catalina Island was believed to be in peril. Rumor had it that Confederate privateers planned to seize the island and use it as a base for raiding ships that were transporting gold along the coast. Federal troops were sent there to evacuate all private citizens.

More than half a century after the end of the Civil War, oil magnate Robert Watchorn atoned in part for L.A. voters' snub of Lincoln by establishing another Southland link to the conflict.

He financed the construction of the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands. The shrine, which contains some 10,000 books and pamphlets, is the only museum and archive west of the Mississippi River that is dedicated solely to the study of Lincoln and the Civil War.

Why Redlands, a city never visited by Lincoln? Watchorn, like many wealthy Easterners escaping the cold back then, was a winter resident of the city

U.S. Grant Jr., meanwhile, kept the 18th president's name alive in Southern California by building the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego in 1910.

And, from 1931 to 1959, U.S. Grant IV, a grandson, taught geology at UCLA. Unconfirmed reports say that he appeared on a 1953 segment of the quiz show "You Bet Your Life," hosted by Groucho Marx. (The consolation question on each show from wise-cracking Groucho was, "Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?")

The Drum Museum and the Lincoln shrine will be closed on Memorial Day. But Los Angeles National Cemetery will be open. So will Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where the Long Beach chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy maintains a Confederate monument.

And Catalina, no longer under federal occupation, is also available to visitors. The island's onetime Union barracks is now the Isthmus Yacht Club. (copyright 2010)

 Posted: Mon May 31st, 2010 03:40 pm
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Joined: Tue Sep 11th, 2007
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I keep telling my friends in the east that we took part in the Civil War out here in Southern California. 

To add to what the article said . Orange County where I live was home to many former Confederates.  Gorden Bricken has a book on Pioneers in Blue and Gray about the former soldiers in Orange County . 

Orange county was named for Orange County Virginia.  One of the founders of the City of Orange was on the David when it attacked the New Ironsides.

He was one of the leaders that helped Orange County secede from Los Angeles County .  Many of the leaders here were former Confederate soldiers.

The Drum Barracks Civil War museum building is the last wooden building of the military post that was built in Southern California to protect Los Angeles from southern supporters which were many.  The post was orginally 60 acres named after Richard Coulter Drum asst. Adjutent General of the Department of California and the West.  James Carleton was the first commander of  Camp Drum before the wooden buildings were built.  He lead the Californian Column that went to Arizona and eventually up to Fort Union in New Mexico to keep the peace along the Santa Fe Trail. 

Those are the men that fought at Picacho Peak in Southern Arizonia near Tucson .

The museum has many interesting displays including a display on the men of the Cal 100 who fought with the 2nd Mass under Lowell in the Shenandoah Valley .  Also the history of the camel in the US army is featured as the Camels were at the Drum for 18 months during the war. 

Anyone interested in joining a round table in the LA /Orange County /Inland Empire there are several to choose from .


 Posted: Thu Jun 4th, 2015 02:26 pm
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Joined: Thu Jun 4th, 2015
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Thank you for your posts! Very interesting!

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