Peter Stuart Ney

Source: William E. Elmore Collection (EC Manuscript Collection #39.1.f)

Staff Person: Ralph Scott

Description: Michel Ney, 1st Duc d’Elchingen, 1st Prince de la Moskowa, popularly known as Marshall Ney was a eighteenth and nineteenth century French military commander. After service during the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars, Ney fell out of favor and was arrested and condemned to death for treason in December of 1815. In January of 1816 Peter Stuart Ney arrived at Charleston, SC., where he subsequently disappeared. In 1821 he appeared in Mocksville, NC where he assumed the position of a school teacher. He also worked as a teacher in Hillsborough, Salisbury and Mecklenburg county before returning again to Mocksville. He died there on 15 November 1826 and is buried at the Third Creek Presbyterian Church. This document typed in August of 1908 at Roaring River, NC, relates the life of Peter Stuart Ney, the Great Marshall of France. In the relation Peter Stuart Ney’s grandson, E. M. C. Neyman of Saltillo, IN, states that his grandfather was in fact the Michel Ney. This document is signed by James H. Foote, born 8 November 1825 and “is taken as proof that the old Tar Heel Teacher was the Great Marshall of France.” At the bottom the relation is noted as being done “at the request of my friend, Judge Allen.” A pencil notation on the first page states “copyied and sent to the Historical Society.”

Certificate for Captain Leo W. Jenkins for completion of Special Services reserve training at Camp Lejeune, N.C., 1949.

Source: Leo Jenkins Papers, Manuscript # 360

Staff Person:  Dale Sauter

Description:  Certificate for Captain Leo W. Jenkins for completion of Special Services reserve training at Camp Lejeune, N.C., 1949. Jenkins served as a Major in World War II where he saw action at Guadalcanal, Guam and Iwo Jima. For his military service, Jenkins received the Bronze Star and two Presidential Citations. In 1947 Jenkins joined the faculty of East Carolina Teachers College, where he served as Dean until being elected as President of the college in 1960. He eventually was named Chancellor, and retired in 1978. date: 1949; creator: U.S. Marine Corps

Virgil “Gus” I. Grissom

 

Source: Oscar David MacMillan Papers (#548.3 Photo 548/15) 

Staff Person: Lynette Lundin

Description:

Virgil Ivan Grissom (April 3, 1926 to January 27, 1967) was one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts.  He was one of 110 military test pilots who were asked to be tested for the space program. http://spaceinvideos.esa.int/Videos/Undated/Project_Mercury

 Grissom endured many physical and psychological tests, and was chosen as one of the seven Mercury astronauts. Six others received the same notification: Lieutenant Malcolm Scott Carpenter, U.S. Navy; Captain LeRoy Gordon Cooper, Jr., U.S. Air Force; Lieutenant Colonel John Herschel; Glenn, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps; Lieutenant Commander Walter Marty Schirra, Jr., U.S. Navy;  Lieutenant Commander Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr., U.S. Navy; and Captain Donald Kent Slayton, U.S. Air Force

 This photo shows Grissom dressed for his flight on July 21, 1961, he was the second pilot for Mercury-Redstone 4, commonly known as Liberty Bell 7. The flight lasted 15 minutes and 37 seconds. It reached an altitude of more than 118.26 miles and traveled about 300 miles. Photo NASA original  61-MR4-62 (8) taken on July 19, 1961 in Hanger S at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Grissom is shown with Walter Shirra. Photo is signed by Grissom on the date of  the Liberty Bell 7 launch.

 After splashdown, emergency explosive bolts unexpectedly fired and blew the hatch off, causing water to flood into the spacecraft.  Grissom was nearly drowned.  The spacecraft filled with water and was lost. Grissom was accused of opening the hatch by the press. Grissom repeated his account. “I was just laying there minding my own business when, POW, the hatch went. And I looked up and saw nothing but blue sky and water starting to come in over the sill.” (Turner Home Entertainment, Moon Shot (Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., 1994).

 ”We tried for weeks afterwards to find out what had happened and how it had happened. I even crawled into capsules and tried to duplicate all of my movements, to see if I could make the whole thing happen again. It was impossible. The plunger that detonates the bolts is so far out of the way that I would have had to reach for it on purpose to hit it, and this I did not do. Even when I thrashed about with my elbows, I could not bump against it accidentally.” (Carpenter et al., p. 227.)

 The hatch is opened by hitting the plunger with the side of your fist, which would leave a large bruise, but Grissom had no such bruising.  Because of this controversy, Mercury astronaut Wally Schirra, at the end of his flight stayed inside his spacecraft until it was aboard the ship, and then blowing the hatch, and bruising his hand.

Gus said “It was especially hard for me, as a professional pilot. In all of my years of flying – including combat in Korea – this was the first time that my aircraft and I had not come back together. In my entire career as a pilot, Liberty Bell was the first thing I had ever lost.”( Ibid, p. 227.)

Grissom was killed along with astronauts Ed White and Roger Chaffee during a  test for the Apollo 1 mission at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Quote from Gus: “If we die, we want people to accept it. We’re in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.” (John Barbour et al., Footprints on the Moon (The Associated Press, 1969), p. 125.)

He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and, posthumously, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. He was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1981 http://www.nmspacemuseum.org/halloffame/detail.php?id=54

Vaisseau de 90 Canons "Le Suffren" 1829

Source: Rare Books Vault V13.F82 P37 1883 plate 48

Staff Person: Ralph Scott

Description: A vessel of 90 canons named “Le Suffren” in the French Navy in 1829.  Le Suffren was named after the French  Admiral Pierre Andre Suffren de Saint Tropez (1729-1788), the third son of the marquis de Saint Tropez. From 1776 to 1783 Admiral Suffren fought British Naval Forces in American, European and Indian waters. In 1783 at the Battle of Culladore, Suffren forced the English admiral Sir Edward Hughes to retire, thereby preventing a re-supply fleet from reaching the colony of India. Several subsequent French naval vessels were named after Admiral Suffren: a pre-dreadnought in 1899, a heavy cruiser in 1927 and frigate class laid down in 1962. This print is from a book of reproductions of maritime models held by the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. Le Suffren was laid down on 21 August 1824 and launched 27 August 1829. Renamed Le Ajax as a hulk on 8 August 1865, she was scrapped in 1874. Le Suffren displaced 4,000 tons and had a length of 60 meters and a beam of 16 meters. She was one of the largest wooden warships of her day.

Missouri State Pension for Ex-Confederate Soldiers

Source: Carl Woodrow Thurman, Jr. Collection #15.1.a
Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo


Description: James T. Thurman, aged 72, and still suffering from a Civil War wound to his thigh, “weak lungs” and a “chronic cough”, submitted this pension application, on 18 June 1913, to the Adjutant General’s Office, in Jefferson City, Missouri. After a long life of physical labor, he could do no more.  His physical condition, he said, made it impossible for him “to do manual labor” any more and he needed financial assistance. Like many Confederate soldiers, Thurman was illiterate and required the assistance of Notary Public Hemmit Dale to complete the application form. His “mark” is visible between the J. and T. of his “signature.” The application is marked “approved & service papers returned” and dated 9 July 1913. Thurman’s pension application is accompanied by two documents: a “Memorandum of Service” and an Adjutant General’s certificate authenticating his Civil War service. The documents indicate that Thurman was a resident of Bloomington, Macon County, Missouri and had enlisted as a private in Company B, 5th Missouri Regiment Infantry Volunteers in Springfield, Missouri, on 11 January 1862. Thurman had previously served in Company F, 4th Regiment, 3rd Division of the Missouri National Guard.

The document may be more significant for what is doesn’t say.  It doesn’t say how Thurman served honorably throughout the war until he was paroled after the surrender in April 1865. The 5th Regiment, under the command of Col. James McCown, Lt. Col. Robert S. Bevier, and Maj. Owen A. Waddell, was involved in nearly continuous combat during the war. It fought at Iuka (19 Sept. 1862) and Corinth, Mississippi (3-4 Oct. 1862), Lexington, Tennessee (18 Dec. 1862) and at Pea Ridge [Elkhorn Tavern] Arkansas (7-8 Mar. 1862), where it was part of Brig. Gen. John S. Bowen’s command. Thurman got his thigh wound from a shell fragment at Pea Ridge. It participated in the  simultaneous battles of Grand Gulf (29 April, 3 May 1863) and Port Gibson, Mississippi (30 April – 1 May 1863) while defending Vicksburg.  A few weeks later the regiment fought at Champion’s Hall, also known as Baker’s Creek (16 May 1863).  The 5th was captured en masse, on 4 July 1863, when Vicksburg fell to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s forces and spent several months as prisoners of war.  The harshness of the siege and subsequent captivity can only be guessed.  Gen. Bowen never recovered from the effects and died on 13 July 1863. After an exchange of prisoners, the understrength 5th joined Brig. Gen. Francis M. Cockrell’s Brigade and was consolidated with the 3rd Regiment, and served with General John Bell Hood’s army in Tennessee (Nov. 1864-Jan. 1865) and during the Atlanta Campaign (1 May – 8 Sept. 1864) where it fought at Allatoona (5 Oct. 1864).  Transferred to  to the defense of Mobile (17 Mar. – 12 April 1865) it participated in the Battle of Fort Blakely, Alabama (1-9 April 1865).

The 5th, which mustered 476 men in May 1862, suffered staggering casualties during the war. It lost 6 killed, 62 wounded, and 19 missing at Corinth; 4 killed, 49 wounded and 37 missing at Champion’s Hill;  20 killed and 52 wounded during the siege of Vicksburg; the combined 5th/3rd Regiment lost a total of 128 casualties (killed and wounded) during the Atlanta Campaign (18 May – 5 September 1864) alone. It lost hundreds more by disease and desertion. By the end of the war there were few left to surrender.  The survivors of the bloodbath, including James T. Thurman, then faded from history.

Russian Phrase Book

4 April 2012

Source: Special Collections Reference Collection PG2689 .U56 1943

Staff Person: Ralph Scott

Description: This restricted World War II publication by the War Department “contains the Russian words and expressions you are most likely to need.” It was designed for use by Allied service personnel serving in the Soviet Union. The book contains such useful phrases as “Help”, “I am lost”, “I am poisoned”, “He was bitten by a snake” as well as “The U.S. Government will pay you” translated into Russian. One section on communications contains the phrases “reverse the charges” and “Will you speak to anybody at that number?” Designed as handy little helps for service personnel the book was designed to be shown to the person speaking Russian, and no doubt came in handy when “in-country.” While the publication was restricted, it could be shared with “persons of undoubted loyalty and discretion.” This Army Technical Manual as well as a number of others were given to Joyner Library by Professor Larry Babits of the History Department.

American Forces Occupy Veracruz, Mexico, 21 April 1914

USS PRAIRIE (AD-5) at the Battle of Veracruz, Mexico, 21 April 1914.

Source: John B. Green Collection #380.1.a
Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo
Description: This early combat photograph taken by an American sailor shows the first of approximately 2,300 sailors and marines from the South Atlantic Fleet and the 2nd Advanced Base Regiment landing at Veracruz, Mexico in the predawn hours of 21 April 1914. Two other marine regiments eventually arrived to support the attack. The American goal was to take possession of the port and to prevent a shipment of weapons from reaching Mexican dictator Victoriano Huerta. The weapons were due to arrive that morning from Germany. The crisis had begun several weeks previously when the Mexican government had arrested 9 American sailors for entering an off-limit area in Tampico, Tamaulipas. American President Woodrow Wilson, who had earlier helped Huerta seize power, broke with him over the incident and had shifted his support to Huerta’s rival Venustiano Carranza. The caption on the photograph indicates that this particular group of Americans was from the troopship USS PRAIRIE (AD-5). The PRAIRIE, originally the Morgan Steamship Line passenger ship SS EL SOL, had been built in 1890 by William Cramp and Sons, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The United States Navy purchased her on 6 April 1898 from the Southern Pacific Company, and commissioned her as the auxiliary cruiser USS PRAIRIE. The Navy later converted her to a training ship and by 1914 she was serving as a troop transport. The initial landings went smoothly but by afternoon of the 21st sharp fighting had broken out and losses mounted on both sides. Supported by heavy fire from the ships of the Atlantic Fleet, however, the Americans quickly silenced the outnumbered and outgunned Mexicans. American losses were 22 killed and 70 wounded out of a total force of 2,300 sailors and marines; the Mexicans were almost totally annihilated. The Mexicans lost between 150 and 170 killed and between 195 and 250 wounded from a force that amounted to only about 200 soldiers. An unknown number of Mexicans civilians spontaneously volunteered to defend the town and also became casualties. The American occupation of Veracruz continued until 23 November 1914, when a coalition of South American countries – Argentina, Brazil, and Chile (the ABC Powers) — negotiated an end to the dispute. After the occupation ended, the Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, the well-known publisher of the Raleigh News and Observer and a future Ambassador to Mexico, ordered that 56 Congressional Medals of Honor be awarded to Americans who served in the action, the most Congressional Medals of Honor ever to be awarded in a single battle. Ironically, the weapons the Americans had been sent to prevent the Germans from landing, were originally from the Remington Arms Company, an American firm.

Rebel Prisoners being brought to Headquarters, Petersburg, 1865

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Frances W. Knowles Papers, #164, East Carolina Manuscript Collection

Staff Member: Ralph Scott

 

The Francis W. Knowles Papers consist of a diary scrapbook (1862-1865) written by Private Knowles while serving in Company B of the 36th Massachusetts Volunteers. The diary records the activities of Knowles, who was mainly a clerk, as he participated with the IX Corps at Fredericksburg (December, 1862), in the District of Indiana and Michigan (June-September, 1863), the Knoxville Campaign (November-December, 1863), the Wilderness campaign (May, 1864), the Spotsylvania Courthouse campaign (May, 1864), at Cold Harbor (June 3-4, 1864), and in the Petersburg campaign (June, 1864-April, 1865). This sketch from the Knowles scrapbook shows a long line of Confederate prisoners being led to a holding area at the headquarters of the 1st Division, 9th Corps Army of the Potomac on March 25th, 1865.

Domestic Disturbances

Special Collections Reference U 230 .U6 1945
United States Army Field Manuals are currently published by the Army’s Publishing Directorate. Over 500 manuals are currently in use. They provided detailed directions for soldiers to use in the field on a variety of topics including tactics and repair of equipment. This particular manual, published in 1945 provided instructions to troops on how to control domestic disturbances. Topics covered included: authorization regulations for the use of military troops to control civil unrest, crowd control, mob tactics, “offensive actions against a city,” and restoration of civil order. The manual ends with tactical directions for the use of chemical agents to control civilian groups. The tactics and methods outlined in this manual were used by federal, state and local authorities in the 1960s and 1970s to control civil and student unrest in the United States.

John L. Porter Naval Architectural Notebook

Source: John Luke Porter Papers (#850)

Staff Person: Lynette Lundin

Description:                                 

John L. Porter (1813-1893) constructed naval ships in Portsmouth, Virginia, prior to the Civil War. After the secession of the Confederate States, he served at the Gosport (Portmouth, Virginia) Naval Yard for the Confederate Navy.  Mr. Porter recorded in this notebook (starting on page 164) the details of the conversion of the USS Merrimac to the CSS Virginia (1861-1862). Further on in the notebook (pg 233) he relates the sad story of his house being confiscated after the Civil War and sold for $700.00. To find out more information, ask for John Luke Porter Papers (#850).