The Search for the Lost Confederate Gold

By Hans Kuenzi
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2008, All Rights Reserved

In late May 1861, Jefferson Davis, the former Mississippi Senator and the reluctant president of the seceding Confederate States of America, moved the capital of the CSA from Montgomery, Alabama to Richmond, Virginia to boost the morale of the Confederate troops and weld Virginia to the Confederacy. Had he known that in April of 1865 he, his cabinet and about $700,000 in gold and specie would have to evacuate Richmond to avoid capture during the waning days of the Civil War, he might have elected to remain in Montgomery. (Note: ‘specie’ describes money in the form of coins, usually gold or silver, as opposed to paper money. Also called hard currency. Since the gold standard was abolished in the 1930s, gold coins, aside from their higher intrinsic value and demand as collectibles, no longer have any special worth as a standard of value in world trade. Dictionary of Banking Terms.)

Continue reading “The Search for the Lost Confederate Gold”

Famous Last Words

By David A. Carrino, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2018-2019, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the May 2019 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


Clark W. Griswold Sr. in the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: “I’m retiring.”

Retired NFL quarterback Jay Cutler: “I’m not really looking to do a lot of work right now. I’m looking to do the exact opposite of that.”

From the song “Closing Time” by the group Semisonic: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

Continue reading “Famous Last Words”

The Pemberton Who Succeeded

By David A. Carrino, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2011-2012, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the May 2012 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


Raise a glass of the bubbly to toast the bubbly. Not champagne, but America’s beverage: Coca-Cola, which was invented and first sold in 1886. After all, isn’t it always a good time to toast “the real thing”? Another good reason to toast Coca-Cola is because there are some connections between Coca-Cola and the Civil War.

Continue reading “The Pemberton Who Succeeded”

Compassionate Confederate

By David A. Carrino, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2011-2012, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the January 2012 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


“War is all hell.” “War is cruelty and you cannot refine it.” These words of William Tecumseh Sherman, which encapsulate the ethos of war, are familiar to Civil War enthusiasts. But sometimes even in the midst of hell, some small speck of heaven is present, an unexpected act of kindness for the enemy that runs counter to the primary objective of the perpetrator. One such incident that occurred at the Battle of Gettysburg was the encounter between John B. Gordon and Francis Barlow. Surprising as it seems, that was not the only one.

Continue reading “Compassionate Confederate”

All Her Hopes

By David A. Carrino, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2011-2012, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the December 2011 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


The phrase “fratricidal war” has been used to describe the Civil War as a way of conveying how that war figuratively pitted brother against brother. In many cases it wasn’t just figurative, but literal. However, not all brothers fought on opposite sides in the Civil War, and one such example are the Moungers. John and Thomas Mounger were members of the 9th Georgia Volunteer Infantry, which was part of the Army of Northern Virginia. The regiment’s colonel was their father, also named John. On July 18, 1863, in the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, son John sent the following letter to his mother.

Continue reading “All Her Hopes”

General Slocum and General Slocum

By David A. Carrino, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2011-2012, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the November 2011 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


Sometimes connections to the Civil War are convoluted and unexpected. For example, if Civil War enthusiasts hear “General Slocum,” probably most of them think of Union General Henry W. Slocum, a corps commander during the Civil War. But there is another General Slocum, and this one italicized her name because she was a passenger steamboat.

Continue reading “General Slocum and General Slocum

Forgotten Heroes

By David A. Carrino, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2011-2012, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the September 2011 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee. William Tecumseh Sherman and Stonewall Jackson. Every Civil War enthusiast knows the contributions of these men to the Civil War. But that war, like all wars, included contributions of numerous people whose names are not known to history.

Continue reading “Forgotten Heroes”

The Rising of the Sun and of Gods

By David A. Carrino, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2012-2013, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the June 2013 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


One of the truly enjoyable aspects of the Civil War is the memorable quotes that were uttered by people who participated in it. No doubt everyone who is interested in the Civil War has some favorite Civil War quotes. Two excellent quotes, one Union and one Confederate, are associated with the Battle of Chancellorsville. One quote mentions the rising of the sun, and the other talks about how someone rose to an exalted position in history.

Continue reading “The Rising of the Sun and of Gods”

The Other Star-Spangled Banner

By David A. Carrino, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2012-2013, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the February 2013 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


At the time of the Civil War neither side, Union or Confederate, had an official national anthem. But in light of what became the national anthem of the United States of America, it can be argued that there is a song that comes closer to a national anthem of the Confederate States of America than the song “Dixie,” which many consider the CSA’s national anthem. That song is “The Bonnie Blue Flag.”

Continue reading “The Other Star-Spangled Banner”

Well-Known Obscure Places

By David A. Carrino, Roundtable Historian
The Cleveland Civil War Roundtable
Copyright © 2012-2013, All Rights Reserved

Editor’s note: This article was the history brief for the September 2012 meeting of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable.


There is a joke about the Civil War which asks the question, “Why were so many Civil War battles fought on National Parks?” Of course it is the other way around. It is National Parks that were established on the sites of Civil War battles. But that joke prompts the thought that we would have never heard of those places had there not been Civil War battles there. In his book Mr. Lincoln’s Army Bruce Catton has a superb passage which captures how the war came to a place that we would have never heard of had the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia not fought there so many years ago.

Continue reading “Well-Known Obscure Places”