Plug Ugly

Roanoke

Cadet
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
War-horse of Union General Alpheus Starkey Williams,
In my last posting several weeks ago I told the story of Beppo, horse of Hugh Judson Kilpatrick. I have always thought that Beppo was the strangest and most unflatering name for a Civil War horse that I have ever seen. Then I came upon the name of Gen. Williams' horse Plug Ugly. What a great name! I knew there was a good story here and if it was not lost to history I knew I would find it.
Today I googled Gen Alpheus Williams and I got my story! I found a great Website hosted by Lowell Forest Buileau. The site is called The Alpheus Williams website; Plug Ugly, Project Plug Ugly. It is named for the General's favorite War horse.(The thought of the host is that Plug Ugly is a good discription of the American Civil War)
Gen. Williams is an almost unknown and unsung hero of the Civil War. He commanded a division in the many of the important Eastern battles. He always seemed to be in the thick of the fighting at the front of his men, usually mounted on Plug Ugly. The General survived the War without injury mainly because of his ugly, tough, "rough duty horse". Plug Ugly always carried the General off the field despite being wounded at least five times.
By the start of 1864 Plug was getting worn down from battle wounds and accidents. General Williams wrote, "... He is an odd, lazy old fellow, sometimes pretending to be very scary, especially after every battle, at other time apparently afraid of nothing. For a year and a half we have been daily companions. We got up a great love for even brutes under such circumstances, I should grieve to part with old Plug, with all his faults."
Finally, during the Atlanta campaign Old Plug died as a result of his wounds.
 

samgrant

Captain
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jul 9, 2005
Location
Galena, Illinois 61036 U.S.A.
The Plug Uglies was also the name of a gang group of anti-abolitionists who were in the forefront of the assault of the 6th Massachusetts in Baltimore on their way to Washington.

"The rapid enlistment at the North of'Dead Rabbits,
'Plug Uglies,''Blood Tubs,''Jakies,''Soap Locks,''Barroom Loungers,'' Loafers,''Wharf-Rats,'' Thieves,' and
' Picekpockets,' reminds us that it is time we had begun to organize, and prepare to defend our wives, our sisters, and our
little ones from the menaces of a lawless horde that is now
preparing for a descent upon our sacred hearthstones. Thousands of vagabonds at the North. with nothing else to do, are
enlisting, not only for their bread, but the plunder that they
expect to place their lawless grip upon. Men who have
nothing to lose make the best thieves, and the outlawed
scoundrels who are now filling the ranks of the Black Republican army are men who have no interest in common with
humanity. Their nature is to prey upon their species, and
they are prepared, like all other freebooters, to cut the throats
of their neighbors, their fathers, or their brothers, for the sake
of gold!

!!!
 

Bruce Vail

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
The Plug Uglies was also the name of a gang group of anti-abolitionists who were in the forefront of the assault of the 6th Massachusetts in Baltimore on their way to Washington.

"The rapid enlistment at the North of'Dead Rabbits,
'Plug Uglies,''Blood Tubs,''Jakies,''Soap Locks,''Barroom Loungers,'' Loafers,''Wharf-Rats,'' Thieves,' and
' Picekpockets,' reminds us that it is time we had begun to organize, and prepare to defend our wives, our sisters, and our
little ones from the menaces of a lawless horde that is now
preparing for a descent upon our sacred hearthstones. Thousands of vagabonds at the North. with nothing else to do, are
enlisting, not only for their bread, but the plunder that they
expect to place their lawless grip upon. Men who have
nothing to lose make the best thieves, and the outlawed
scoundrels who are now filling the ranks of the Black Republican army are men who have no interest in common with
humanity. Their nature is to prey upon their species, and
they are prepared, like all other freebooters, to cut the throats
of their neighbors, their fathers, or their brothers, for the sake
of gold!

!!!

Baltimore's Plug Uglies were closely associated with the Know Nothing party.

Baltimore was a stronghold of the Know Nothings, also known as the Native American or American party. They were able to win the mayor's office and were strong enough state wide to have captured the governor's office in the 1850s. In the presidential election of 1856, Maryland was the only state in the union to have been won by Know Nothing candidate (and ex-President) Millard Fillmore.
 
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