The Civil War began 150 years ago, on Tuesday.
The Sandusky Register carried articles on the war's beginning in its April 15, 1861, issue. The "News by Telegraph" section inside the newspaper, carrying dispatches from around the country, had a series of articles on the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter and the responses to it. In the style of the time, the paper has a series of headlines. The one on top says UNPROVOKED WAR!
The New York Times has a wonderful new blog, Disunion, that's providing a day-by-day account of the events of 150 years ago. It's addictive.
We're going to have many articles in this paper on the Civil War and Erie County's connection to it. Two of them will run Sunday.
My home state, Oklahoma, didn't play a big role in the Civil War. It wasn't a state then, it was Indian Territory, but it nonetheless was a Civil War battleground, too. The biggest battle in Oklahoma, Honey Springs, featured white soldiers, American Indian warriors and black soldiers.
The battle was an interesting moment in black history. It was possibly the first Civil War battle in which black troops played a major role.
In fact, the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry won the battle, driving back a Confederate charge. The Union commander, Maj. Gen. James G. Blunt, wrote, "Their coolness and bravery I have never seen surpassed; they were in the hottest of the fight, and opposed to Texas troops twice their number, whom they completely routed."