What Happened to the 1st Monument - Col Francis Bartow Monument

lelliott19

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Colonel Francis S Bartow, commanding the 8th and 9th Georgia at 1st Manassas, was shot through the chest while leading his Brigade.

His men gathered around him in time to hear his last words which reportedly were, "Boys, they have killed me, but never give up the field" or alternatively, "They have killed me boys, but don't give up the fight."

He was removed from the field and attended by surgeon HVM Miller but directly died.
Bartow Monument.jpg

On September 4, 1861, a large obelisk made of marble replaced the stone marking the place where he fell. A crowd of 1,000 people gathered to witness the dedication of the first Confederate Civil War monument, honoring Francis Bartow.

Apparently, the monument was destroyed by Union soldiers - broken into pieces which were taken for souvenirs - sometime around April 27, 2862. Primary source evidence below.

In an unpublished letter to his friend, Richard "Dick" Lyons, James Wilson Hanna* 39th Pennsylvania Infantry writes:
Catlett's Station, Farquar County, Virginia
April 29th 1862
"...On one part of the field I saw a monument erected by Beauregard to the memory of a rebel general. On it was the following inscription, "Boys, they have killed me, but don't give up the fight." At the time I saw it, it was standing & whole, but after a short time, I saw that it had been torn down & the boys were busily at work smashing it in pieces for mementoes [sic]...."

Bartow Monument remains.jpg

Remains of the original monument destroyed in 1862.
*James Wilson Hanna (1843-1910), was the son of Andrew Finley Hanna (1813-1847) and Susannah Craig (1817-1892) of Cadiz, Harrison County, Ohio. He graduated from Oberlin College with a law degree and took up the practice at an unknown location -- possibly Pittsburg. For some reason, James Hanna enlisted with Co. G of the 10th Pennsylvania Reserves (39th Pennsylvania Infantry). They were organized at Camp Wilkins near Pittsburg in the summer of 1861 and were camped at Camp Tennally (near Tennallytown, Maryland) from 1 August to 10 October 1861. They then moved across the Potomac River to Camp Pierpont until March 1862 when they moved deeper into Virginia and then participated in the Seven Days Battles on the Peninsula. Hanna was promoted to corporal in October 1862, was discharged from the Regiment in Jan 1863 and next served as a Lieutenant in Company L of the 11th Ohio Cavalry commanded by Colonel William O. Collins

Find A Grave memorial for Col Francis S Bartow http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=6004341
Find A Grave memorial for James Wilson Hanna http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=19036769
 
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lelliott19

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Transcription of the letter (referenced above) in its entirety:

"Catlett's Station, Farquar County, Virginia
April 29th 1862

Friend Dick,

I don't know whether I owe you a letter or you owe me one, but it matters not, for I have time now & will write and all I ask you to do is to hold by my example & in case I do not answer you as promptly as I should, do like me & write twice.

Well, Dick, I am still a soldiering, though much harder work it is than when I last wrote you which, I believe, was at Camp Pierpont. You remember when I wrote you that I told you we expected to move soon, and we did for the next Monday we received orders to go to Manassas -- which at that time was in possession of the rebels. We started on the 10th of March & expected to have a hard fight, but when we got within five miles of Centreville, we heard much __ disappointment, that they had evacuated & gone to Richmond, & of course we went no farther, but were ordered back to Alexandria to go on board of a fleet, & had we been in time, would now have been before Yorktown, but through some mistake of our General (who at ____ was drunk) we were too late in getting there and other troops took our place. We remained near Alexandria three weeks when we were ordered to Manassas & from Manassas to Fredericksburg, to which place we are now on the road, & when we once get there, we will only be two hours ride from Richmond, which is only sixty miles distant.

While near Alexandria, I often went down to the city. It is a hard-looking place -- a good deal like Steubenville; only there are a great many more deserted houses & the people (that was left) appear to be all secessionists & are only kept down by the soldiers. I went to see the Marshall House where Ellsworth was killed. It is a common three-story brick & looks a good deal like the National in Cadiz. The stairs on which he was shot have all been cut away by visitors as souvenirs, & new ones have been put up.
The town [of Alexandria] is full of women, but as a matter of course, where there are so many soldiers the principal part are whores & you can get what you want from ___ ___ ten dollars, but for my part never indulged for [illegible] certain death.

While at Alexandria, I saw A___ Vincent. He looked first rate & makes a good officer. He spent one afternoon with [illegible...] McClellan, at least he [illegible...].

I was also at Washington & staid one night with Geo. Finney. George is quite lonesome & sad. He would like to be back in Cadiz. The rest of Finney's family are all well & A. G. looks as fat as a hog.

From Alexandria we went to [illegible]. We staid there one week & while there were quartered in some wooden barracks formally used by the 9th Massachusetts Regiment & they were the best quarters we have been in since we have been in the service, not excepting those at Camp Wilkins.

On our way to Manassas, we passed through Fairfax Court House, Centreville, & crossed Bull Run. Fairfax Courthouse, you know, is noted for the famous cavalry charge made by Lieut (Charles Henry) Tompkins last Spring. It is a small village of about 300 inhabitants -- mostly secesh. It has but one street & looks a good deal like New Athens.

Centreville is situated on a high hill & has a commanding position & was considered the stronghold of the rebels. It only has about twenty frame buildings & the place looks like the headquarters of some large coal bank similar to those at Steubenville. The place is well fortified by embrasures, breastworks, & rifle pits & from its situation, would be hard to take if [ ] many men & command to defend it, but when we passed through, the guns had all been taken away save those {Quaker guns} that were still sticking out of the embrasures which at a distance [looked like] real guns. From the number of barracks about Centreville, I think the main body of the rebels were here last winter as there are any number of buildings.

From Centreville to Manassas it is five miles & our company had to cross Bull Run. This is a much larger stream than I expected to find it. It is as large as the Tippicanoe & is very ___. From the run to the junction, it is three miles & more to my surprise (from account in the papers) through as pretty a country as I ever saw, being very level & rich soil, though you could see from the ___ &c. that there had been a battle there.

We got into Manassas Saturday afternoon [illegible...] its impregnability & in fact, I did & I know the majority of the soldiers believe that it was almost certain death to try to take Manassas. I imagined that it [Manassas] was situated between two larger mountains & for miles you had to pass through a ravine lined with masked batteries & at the end was a larger fort with hundreds of guns with which they would hurl death & destruction upon us. "But Alas! how are the mighty fallen." Instead of all this, you would not know that that had been the Gibraltar of America, as it is, or was, a place of only some seven brick houses & is only level ground, & has no practical advantages at all. There are several small forts & numberless breastworks and rifle pits, but these could easily be taken by [illegible...] that keep us from leaving it long ago, was we were scared by the reports. There were also a great many barracks here but I think Centreville was much stronger fortified. The rebel [illegible...] [burned?] the principal buildings, but left the wooden barracks & when our troops went there, men quarters in them.

The next day after we arrived at Manassas, I went down to the Bull Run Battlefield which is five miles from the station. I expected to see a rough-looking place, but instead found as fine a battlefield as could be expected & far better than the [illegible]. The place where the main part of the fighting was done was one large field two or three miles long & very level [illegible] -- something like the fairground but not so hilly, & offering no more advantage to one than to the other & I think that our fellows were fairly whipped, caused by becoming panic stricken, aided by the transfer of regiments of Johnson's. I went over to that point of the field where the Black Horse Cavalry made their charge on the [Fire] Zouaves & were so badly cut up. The cavalry came out of a small patch of woods just as our fellows were coming up a little hill towards them near where they met. The ground was covered with bones of horses & old uniforms of the Zouaves. I think judging from the number of horse skeletons that the B.H.C. was badly used up.

On one part of the field I saw a monument erected by Beauregard to the memory of a rebel general. On it was the following inscription, "Boys, they have killed me, but don't give up the fight." At the time I saw it, it was standing & whole, but after a short time, I saw that it had been torn down & the boys were busily at work smashing it in pieces for mementoes [sic]

The dead appear to have been poorly buried & in several places I noticed the bones sticking out of the ground & scattered all over the field. However, bones could be seen that had never been buried but left to bleach on the plains of Manassas.

And now, before I leave Manassas, allow me to say a word about how they [the rebels] were fed & lived. You know that our papers represent to us that they were poorly fed & cared for, but that is all false. I believe they were as well fed as we & perhaps better for where ever we have been in places they have left we have found any amount of pork, beans, coffee, sugar, rice, corn, oats, potatoes, &c. &c. In fact, everything we have in abundance. As for their quarters, they were as much superior to ours as a cowshed. While we were suffering in our tents last winter with cold, they were comfortable, situated in good log houses which they had built, built of boards & shingles. Beside, they had plenty of wood & room. Four of us were stuck into a little piece of canvas 8 X 10 feet while they had a house 16 X 16 for six. They do not appear to have been as well clothed as we are, but in every other respect, they fared as well & better as when they was ___. They rode on cars while we take _______.

From Manassas we were ordered to Fredericksburg on the Rappahannock but we only got twelve miles when we had to stop on account of the weather which has been very bad for a week, rendering it almost impossible to move. But it is now pleasant & we expect to go this afternoon or tomorrow. It is thirty miles to the river & will take us two ays to go there. but when once there, we will have good times or they [illegible] ... is noted for its pretty women & that's something I have not seen since I left home & did not expect to [illegible] them short of Richmond where I expect to be before long. And I think my next letter will be dated there -- at least I hope so. That you may... [illegible] just see where McDowell's Corps is for we are in Fredericksburg & the first brigade of our division went yesterday. We are very much encouraged by our successes down south and begin to think that we will be home soon. Our corps & Banks' expect to join at Fredericksburg and go into Richmond which is only sixty miles from there. I have not heard from Cadiz for some time, but am very anxious to hear as I want to know how our company fares that was in the fight at Pittsburg Landing [Shiloh].

Now, Dick, I want you to write & tell me all the news. Tell F____ to write as he owes me a letter. Why don't Alex. Clemens write? The mails here are very irregular & there is no telling when we can send out a mail as we are now in the enemy's country & it is not safe to go often. Write soon. Give my respects to all the boys.

Direct as usual. I remain yours &c., -- Jas. W. Hanna"
 

lelliott19

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Excerpt from an article entitled Eighth Georgia Regiment in the Battle at Stone Bridge describing the circumstances of Col Bartow's mortal wounding, published in the Athens, GA Southern Banner, Aug 7, 1861.

The following graphic description of the scenes on the battle-field, and the gallant conduct of the Eighth Georgia Regiment was written for the (Richmond) Dispatch by a gentleman who participated in the fierce conflict of the 21st of July:

[Extensive omission describing the route of the 8th Georgia to Manassas; action of the 8th GA against Shermans Battery, 6th Mass, and Rhode Islanders; Col Bartow's horse being shot out from under him; and the the retreat after the regiment's annihilation]

.......After the gallant 8th (Georgia Infantry) had retired with but a fragment, Col Bartow, by Gen Beauregard's order, brought up the 7th Georgia, exclaiming, in reply to Col Gartrell, of the 7th, who asked him where they should go--- "Give me your flag, and I will tell yon."

Leading them to their stand amid a terrific fire, he posted the regiment fronting the enemy, and exclaimed in those eloquent tones so full of high feelings that his friends ever expected from him---"Gen. Beauregard says you must hold this position, and, Georgians, I appeal to you to hold it."

Regardless of life, gallantly riding amid the hottest fire, cheering the men, inspiring them with his fervent courage, he was shot in the heart, and fell from his horse. They picked him up.--- With both hands clasped over his breast, he raised his head and with a God-like effort, his eye glittering in its last gleam with a blazing light, he said, with a last heroic flash of his lofty spirit, "They have killed me, but, boys NEVER give up the field," ---emphasizing the "never" in his peculiar and stirring manner, that all who know him will so feelingly recall.

Thus perished as noble a soul as ever breathed. He will long live in remembrance. He met the fate he most wished --- the martyred patriots grave. He was a pure patriot, an able statesman, a brilliant lawyer, a chivalric soldier, a spotless gentleman. His imperious scorn of littleness was one of his leading characteristics. His lofty patriotism will consign his name to an immortal page in this country's history.

Southern Banner, Athens, GA, Aug. 7, 1861 -- page 2
 
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lelliott19

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James Hanna's letter (above) dated April 29, 1862 describes the destruction of the monument by Union soldiers, but it looks like people were trying to take pieces of the monument as early as Dec 1861. @John F. Cummings III

Published in the Rome Georgia Tri-Weekly Courier Dec 24, 1861.

The army correspondent of the Atlanta Confederacy has the following:

I had occasion, not long since, to visit the battle field, and especially the spot where Bartow fell. But few traces remain of the bloody struggle, and a solemn stillness seems to pervade the field. I was surprised to find that the marble shaft which marks the spot where the heroic Georgian fell, was covered with the inscriptions of visitors, and that efforts had been made to obtain pieces of it, as mementoes of the man and the field. The inscriptions were written for the most part in pencil, and consisted of the names of the writers, or of some expression of admiration for the gallant dead. One person, more ambitious than the rest, had picked his name into the marble, with the point of a needle or other sharp substance, and had then filled it in with his pencil. The column is literally covered with these inscriptions, not so much space being left as one might cover with his fingernail.

Col Bartow's intrepid bearing upon the field, his heroic death and last words, have produced a profound impression upon the popular heart. I have been assured that even the shoes upon his dead horse's feet, (a beautiful gray mare,) and several of her teeth, have been removed by persons who wished to obtain some relic of the hero who bestrode her, whist others have plucked out portions of her mane and tail, and had them wrought into trinkets. All these things bespeak the popular regard and admiration, and reconcile us in some sort to the bad taste (not to call it by a harsher name,) which could lead strangers to cover his monument with their own names.

Rome Tri-Weekly Courier, Rome, GA, Dec. 24, 1861 -- page 1
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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I never heard of a monument being smashed to pieces for ' relics ' before, what a crazy story! There does seem to have been a mania for this kind of kind of thing. Wish I could remember where I read it but someone wrote how the Lincoln White House was generally in shambles because the lines of visitors kept shredding the curtains. Same thing! Can you imagine going to visit someone's house and ripping off a piece of curtain to take home with you?

Of course, if this happened today these fragments would show up on ebay.
 



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