Dear Reader ...

History is history. Do use your 21st century eyes to read but apply mid-19th century values and temperaments to the people you are soon to meet and the places you will shortly visit

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Scrapbook View No.2--Your Soldiers

QUERY: "So, New Hampshire is so-o-o-o small. Just how many men did she send to wage the great fight during the War of the Rebellion?"

RESPONSE: Well, the new baseball season is upon us and the best visual response is Fenway Park--no, seriously! Look at a capacity crowd at Fenway but drop the red shirts, the hats with that franchise signature "B" and, sorry ladies, make everyone male and you'll have a good idea. To be specific, 38,943 is the 1895 New Hampshire Inspector General's official tally.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Scrapbook View No.1--Capt. William H. Burt

Facts: Mankato, Minn., December 26, 1862, was the site of the largest mass execution in U.S. history--38 members of the Santee Sioux tribe were hanged simultaneously. The story began months earlier with failed harvests and desperately hungry Santee Sioux tribesmen who began stealing food. Events escalated through attacks up and down the Minnesota Valley. Tens of thousands of whites headed to Fort Ridgely seeking protection. Several hundred residents were killed and, as a result, over 1,700 Santee warriors were captured and jailed. An order was issued to hang 300 of these prisoners. President Lincoln intervened and the number was reduced to 38
Background: The man who is said to have carried out the order is buried in Keene's Woodland Cemetery. He is Capt. William H. Burt, a Keene lawyer (ca. 1855) who enlisted in the 7 Minn. Inf. Aug. 7, 1862. He died March 15.1866, St. Paul, Minnesota. He was married twice: Louise Davis, who died in 1912; and Hannah L. ____, who died at San Francisco, in 1852. Burt was a Brevet Lt. Colonel.
Wanted: information to corroborate Burt's involvement in the hanging detail (or not), photos of Burt and/or wives, contact information for relatives of Burt's or either wife. Perhaps there are old family deeds or wills or other legal documents in the attic drawn by Lawyer Burt or maybe some family letters you'd like to share. We've contacted Minnesota, done hours of on-line and in-book research and haven't found anything to date--CAN YOU???!!! We've even contacted author Hank H. Cox (LINCOLN AND THE SIOUX UPRISING OF 1862; 2005). Cox gave a book talk on the above-referenced book before C-SPAN cameras. Check their archives for further information.
Update: Burt's gravestone was one of many vandalized with paint several years ago. Although removed, some vestiges of the paint are still visible on the right face as you face the stone. Kudos to Keene Parks & Rec personnel for their excellent work on all of the vandalism issues through the years.