4/13/11

Master of News

Seattle’s Civil War, A Dispute In Fla

A raid of 150 years ago by supporters of the Confederacy at Fort Union, what is now Naval Air Station Pensacola was probably little more than a poorly planned accident and drunk, ended perhaps a warning shot soldier - and a blank space thereon.
It is a nondescript corner of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, near Lake View Cemetery. On Tuesday, after 150 years, the day after the first shots of the Civil War were fired, when Confederate forces attacked a U.S. military base at Fort Sumter in South Carolina, the small cemetery was mostly quiet. The only sound was the steady rhythm of a rope that holds the stars and stripes, and he hit his iron bar. The dogs barking nearby and budding leaves blowing in the breeze. 
But they say that the people of Pensacola mean January 8, 1861, skirmish at all - the event is a legend in this military town. Some even claim that the crash was the first civil war, three months before the April 12, 1861 battle at Fort Sumter in South Carolina, which is widely recognized as the beginning of the war.
Buried in the Grand Army of the Republic is the cemetery of about 600 EU soldiers and volunteers of the deadliest war in U.S. history. The beginning of the violent end of slavery at an estimated cost of 620 000 lives in the Union and the Confederacy during the first industrial war, where mass-produced weapons of mass casualties.

Dale Cox, the unofficial historian for the Florida Panhandle Chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, wrote on his blog that said the point of view of Pensacola fired the first civil war, in an interview that the first time Federal troops fired in the direction of the Confederation agitators.

"It's an interesting piece of history, and I would like to see further recognition of Pensacola by the entire Civil War history," he told the Associated Press.

In the year 1861 dawned, the Union apart. Abraham Lincoln's election as president last November, many southerners had thought he was going to outlaw slavery after his inauguration, that of March. South Carolina had resigned on December 20 and other states were in the process, including Florida.

Amid the confusion, some 50 federal soldiers were encamped under the command of Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer at Fort Barrancas, what is now Naval Air Station Pensacola, in a stronghold of the passages and tunnels of brick arch, overlooking the turquoise waters and white sand beaches of Pensacola Bay.

On the night of Jan. 8, the man had a drawbridge around the fortress that controlled by Spain and Florida, the increase due to rising tensions in the area Naval Yard, said historian David Ogden, a ranger at Gulf Islands National Seashore.

After hearing the report Slemmer, shortly after midnight, the guard steps out and called the invaders, and heard no response, "said Ogden. Slemmer mentioned no shots are fired.

Only after the war ended in 1865 that one of his would-be thieves, RL Sweetman wrote to the widow of Slemmer Slemmer and later, pointing to the capture of Fort Barrancas vacuum activated when the war begins.

"In his letter, Sweetman said something like:" Your husband can claim it later, which fired the first shot, he ordered, "said Ogden.

The letter prompted the local legend that persists to this day - and play Pensacolans convinced that their city was cheated by history. Moreover, the demand, Pensacola and St. Augustine in the state is not the oldest city in North America, Pensacola original foundation of the Spanish in 1559, compared to 1565 on the basis of his rival Atlantic coast. But Pensacola was destroyed by a hurricane two years after its initial creation, not the Spanish back to 1698 - St. Augustine never ceased to exist.

"Americans like us the first and the highest and largest of Pensacola, and this has always been weaker," Ogden said with a smile.

Ogden and others said, is an exaggeration to say what happened at Fort Barrancas, began the civil war - if there ever was one - the would-be bomber, a small group of villagers drunk and rowdy, left, sounded as soon as the warning to be shot. The National Park Service has marked several anniversaries of the incident with candlelight tours of the fort.

"I have trouble with the locals before, I wanted to make a bigger deal made of it," Ogden said.

Hours after the incident in Pensacola, took another confrontation before the war in South Carolina - Citadel cadets at the Military Academy team to a battery of Iceland Morris fired at the ship Star of the West, as it seeks to provide 200 federal troops at Fort Sumter. The cadets brought the steamer around and others consider this action the first shots of the war, not the biggest fight that happened at Fort Sumter three months later.

"It can be very far in the weeds on this," said Winfred B. Moore Jr., The Citadel dean of humanities and social sciences. "The truth is that what happened on April 12, 1861 in Fort Sumter much, much more important than all these events that came before."

On Tuesday, it marked the rise of the guns of the 150 anniversary of the outbreak of war, while hundreds of people watched a reenactment of the bombing of the Confederation of the Union, held at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor - commitment measurement depth of the young nation into a war that is attributed lasted four years and claimed over 600,000 lives. Union troops passed after about 34 hours of calls made bombing, Lincoln and confederate to take up arms and fight soon began.

Moore said it was almost inevitable that the war in South Carolina beginning in spite of the efforts - described in the documents - to avoid trials in Florida and elsewhere, the hostilities.

"But there is much to tell stories of the Civil War and many who have never been adequately told, and it's understandable why people living near the story to make you want to pay due recognition," he added.

And the Civil War history that has happened in Pensacola.

Across the bay from Fort Barrancas Fort Pickens is where Union troops rejected Confederate attack in four years and held in Pensacola Bay Federal ships during the war.

On a recent afternoon was Rudy Ynostrosa Pensacola and your 12 year old Nicolas cover your way through the labyrinth of brick tunnels and stairs, the Fort Pickens. Ynostrosa said he has heard much about the war, the first shot in his hometown.

"I was surprised again and again that it was a strong Union and it was here in the heart of the South" he said.

buried in the cemetery of Seattle Medal of Honor is. There are three veterans of U.S. troops color, made of the Union regiments of African-American soldiers and officials know.

In 1996 the Seattle City Council proposed to convert the cemetery to park on a dog leash. The neighbors were in the proposal and in 1998, Friends of the GAR was born nervous. The organization works to restore the cemetery and clean up trash and weed vegetation, which began to swallow the holy land.

A program by the Veterans Administration provided new headstones in which, when they disappeared replace expired.

Today the cemetery is maintained in part by the Seattle Parks Department. Volunteers continue to arrive regularly with a go every day, the wave red, white and blue of the United States of America.