Tennessee: Confederate Soldier Receives Posthumous Medal of Honor

James Breathed, a doctor who served as a soldier in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, has been posthumously awarded the Confederate Medal of Honor by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Only 48 other Confederate soldiers have won the award.

Tombstone of Maj. James Breathed. M.D.

Tombstone of Maj. James Breathed. M.D.

“Breathed was a daring soldier and admired leader who never received recognition until now,” says David P. Bridges, author of two books about Breathed, most recently a historical novel titled “The Broken Circle.” The book traces Breathed’s battles during the war years and describes the heroics that earned him the medal.

On Oct. 12, a military parade honoring Breathed was held in Hancock, Md. The parade ended at Breathed’s grave for a ceremony presenting the medal. It is now on permanent display in The Museum of the Confederacy, 1201 East Clay St. in Richmond, Va.

In “The Broken Circle,” historian and professor Bridges relates how Breathed had to choose between the Union and the Confederacy. He fought valiantly for the South at great personal sacrifice and spent the rest of his short life as a doctor who cared for all people, regardless of which side they supported.

The book is available online and wherever books are sold.

David P. Bridges is a historian and works as an adjunct professor of writing at the University of Richmond, Va., and has served 25 years as a Presbyterian minister.

Bridges’ area of expertise is 1850-1950 American history. His first non-fictional historical book, “The Best Coal Company in All Chicago,” is about the Best family — coal industrialists and philanthropists who historically impacted Chicago’s history. His second book, “The Bridges of Washington County,” chronicles the Bridges family in Western Maryland. It shows how industry, politics and conservation worked together to preserve the Woodmont Rod and Gun Club, Hancock, Md. Bridges’ third book, “Fighting with Jeb Stuart: Major James Breathed and the Confederate Horse Artillery,” chronicles the life and Civil War trials and tribulations of Breathed, Stuart Horse Artillery, and the Confederate States of America. “The Broken Circle” is his fourth book. He is presently working on a new novel titled “The Thomas Brothers of Burke’s Garden Virginia.”


Mississippi: Civil War Interpretive Center to Expand

BALDWYN, Miss. — Officials at Mississippi’s Final Stand Interpretive Center say they are looking to expand a current exhibit to include more about the role of African American troops in Civil War battles that took place near North Mississippi cities like Baldwyn.

“It’s sort of an untold story that needs more publicity,” said Philip Walker with The Walker Collaborative.

Civil War battleground monument. The Battle of Tupelo/Harrisburg is part of Mississippi's Final Stand Interpretive Center's efforts.

Civil War battleground monument. The Battle of Tupelo/Harrisburg is part of Mississippi’s Final Stand Interpretive Center’s efforts.

With the help of a group from Nashville’s, “The Walker Collaborative”, officials with the Mississippi’s Final Stands Interpretive Center and Battlefields, now have an idea of what a new U-S-C-T or United States Colored Troops Tour Stop will look like.

“The idea is to better interpret the role of the African American soldier the U-S-C-T the United States Colored Troops who played a really pivotal role at the battle, a lot of people don’t know that,” said Walker.

According to Walker, a survey released this year that focused on finding markers about African American Troops during the Civil War, states, that out of 141 markers only 65 specifically addressed the role of African American Troops.

The survey also states, of the 65 markers, only 2 were identified in the state of Mississippi that were exclusively about the U-S-C-T’s role.

Mississippi’s Final Stands director, Edwina Carpenter, says her team is working to see that number increase.

“We hope to be able to be one of the next ones to have that recognition to have a full size pull off with makers that interpret the actions of those black troops as well as a monument to them,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter says both the Interpretive Center and Battlefields include information about the role U-S-C-T, and recently a video was added in the interpretive center which highlights the role of the African American soldiers.

But now they are looking to expand their already existing exhibits to include more detailed information about the troops, Millie Fitzgerald is over research.

“I feel like we need to let everybody know that African American people have contributed so much to history and it is a part that has been so overlooked,” said Fitzgerald.



Tennessee: Battlefield House yields Civil War Artifacts

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — The Lotz House in Franklin, at the epicenter of the Battle of Franklin on Nov. 30, 1864, opened a new exhibit Thursday of items recovered from the basement of the stately, clapboard house. It opened as a Civil War museum in 2008.

The two-year dig produced more than 900 artifacts that include military relics such as Minié balls, canister shot, leather fragments from army-issue knapsacks and brass buckles of the type used on a sword belt. The trove also included items most likely from the Lotz family, who built the house in 1858. Those are bottles, glass buttons, unglazed marbles, silverware, fruit jars and broken pieces of china.

The family took shelter in a neighbor’s basement during the battle, and when it ended, emerged to find dead and dying soldiers on their front steps and a large hole in the roof made by a cannon ball. The south wall was gone, having been blasted away.

The Lotzses immediately opened their 12-room house for use as a hospital. Bloodstains are still visible on some of the hardwood floors.

Museum officials said this was the first part of a more extensive archaeological excavation that will resume when sufficient funds are raised.

-The Washington Post