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Civil War Ghost Stories & Legends

Nancy Roberts

Publication Year: 2013

Few events have sparked more legends and stories of the supernatural than America's Civil War. The accounts of gallantry and heroism have spread far and wide. Nancy Roberts grew up listening to her father's stories of the War Between the States and she trekked over many battle sites with him during her childhood. After reading about General Joshua Chamberlain's supernatural experience at the Battle of Gettysburg, Roberts began to collect tales of the blue and gray and write them down. In her latest collection, the reader will visit famous Civil War sites such as Fredericksburg, Antietam, Johnson's Island, Andersonville, Fort Davis, Gaines Mill, Gettysburg, Fort Monroe, Harpers Ferry, Vicksburg, Richmond, Charleston, New Bern, and Petersburg. Through these stories, the reader will hear the voices of those brave individuals who lived through that dramatic era. Visit with Brigadier General J.E.B. Stuart on the banks of the Chickahominy River. Get the real story about John Brown's activities at Harpers Ferry. Hear the eerie whistle of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train.

Published by: University of South Carolina Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-ix

My writing career might never have begun had it not been for the encouragement of writer Carl Sandburg. During his years at Flat Rock, North Carolina, Mr. Sandburg sent me a message saying that he liked a series of ghost stories I was writing for the Charlotte Observer. ...

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It Always Comes at Dark

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pp. 1-9

An icy wind raked Joe's face as the small ferry plowed across the waves of Lake Erie. He and the others who gathered at the rail were all experienced quarrymen. The boat would leave Sandusky with them each morning ...

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Andersonville's Ghost Raiders

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pp. 10-23

... Scruffy, half-starved, and barefoot, one with a hammer and the other with a saw, they labored without rest in the heat of the day. They found the thump of hammer on nail, the pull of the saw deeply satisfying. By early afternoon their project began to take shape, and in the ...

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The Angel of Marye's Heights

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pp. 24-32

Acts of amazing courage in combat often go unrecognized and unrewarded, but during the Union campaign to take Fredericksburg there was an ordinary soldier whose bravery became legendary. ...

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"Yankees" Save Lee's Army

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pp. 33-38

Blood from a head wound trickled from his forehead down the young Union officer's cheek. He lay there and moaned, half conscious, while through the pain his bewildering recollections were of a nightmare-a horrifying dream. Lieutenant Charles Schwarz of the 51st ...

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Fort Davis and the Telltale Roses

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pp. 39-45

In 1854 General Persifor Smith selected the site of a new fort to protect settlers against the Indians near Limpia Creek, Texas. It was a box-canyon with a backdrop of rugged, scenic mountains named for Secretary of War Jefferson Davis, later president of the Confederacy. ...

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Late Homecoming

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pp. 46-59

It is early morning in June, 1991, and sunlight rests softly on the unpainted two-story farm house at the edge of the clearing-the restored Watts House. Green fields stretch off in the distance, and the scene appears idyllically calm and peaceful. But if you stand and gaze at ...

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A Mystic Power at Gettysburg

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pp. 60-69

This story is about a moment when the choice of one road over another was critical to the future of a nation, when the guidance seen by an entire regiment of men was so bizarre that it can only have come from the realm of the supernatural. ...

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The Hauntings at Fort Monroe

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pp. 70-78

Most apparitions walk on moonlit nights, but the one in "Ghost Alley" at Fort Monroe walks only when the night is pitch black. Then how does one see this specter? Those who have met her know. ...

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The Man Who Won't Stay Dead

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pp. 79-89

His bright blue eyes watched Ed Coppoc intently, until finally he reached for the knife-tipped pike in Coppoc's hand. "This is the right way to do it," he said, holding the blade at about a ten-degree angle with his left hand and grasping the stone with his right. Almost lovingly ...

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The Haunting of McRaven

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pp. 90-100

Music could be heard, first faintly in the distance, then bands blaring "Yankee Doodle." Banners were streaming and beneath them were officers in blue uniforms, their horses prancing proudly. ...

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No Rites for a Rebel

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pp. 101-115

"Oh, I don't know. Just thought you might. The history that happened along the Chickahominy River would fill a book," said Bill Latane. "The night Mrs. Stuart got here, on her way to Richmond, the bridge was out, so they had to detour. Jeb Stuart died from his wound minutes ...

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Richmond's Union Heroine

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pp. 116-130

"Family diaries can reveal strange stories, and my mother's is certainly one of them," said the Richmond matron as our tour bus drove along Grace Street. A native of the city taking a "busman's holiday," she pointed out her home. ...

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The Slave and the Straw Hat

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pp. 131-140

My wife, Maggie, and I had been aiming, ever since our marriage, to buy our freedom from Mr. Henry McKee, and he had agreed to it. I was ridin' high that spring day in 1862 with my first week's pay from the Confederate steamer in my pocket. ...

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The Spy of Morehead City

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pp. 141-160

There was a macabre quality about the scene, as if the curtain had risen on some infernal tableau. Fog from the marsh billowed about the figures like smoke, and the light of a lantern added to the eerie effect, tinging the mist an ugly, sulphurous yellow. ...

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The Timely Apparitions

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pp. 161-164

It had been a disastrous day for the Confederacy. One tragic blow after another had fallen. Lieutenant General A. P. Hill had been killed trying to close a breach in the Confederate line near Hatcher's Run, west of the city of Petersburg; Fort Gregg had been overwhelmed; and in the final battle of the day, Federal forces had cut the ...

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The Night Train Passes

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pp. 165-169

When Carter Strothers saw the blonde-haired little girl, her flushed face lying against the pillow, he knew immediately that he had been wise to make a house call. Under most circumstances he would have advised her mother to bring her to his office in the morning. ...

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"Ghost" Frightens New Englanders

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pp. 170-172

"It is not to be supposed that the men forming the 25th Massachusetts Regiment, educated as they were in the schools of New England, and possessing all the general intelligence marking the New England character," modestly writes Captain J. W. Denny, in American Civil War Battlefield Sketches: Battlefield Echoes, "had gone down ...

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The Victor's Walk

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pp. 173-183

His breath rose in the cold air as he broke the ice on the water troughs and fed the animals. There was not much else for Gilbert Bates to do on the farm this morning. The spacious family farmhouse here at Albion, Wisconsin, where he had grown up was not far from Edgerton. ...

E-ISBN-13: 9781611171242
Print-ISBN-13: 9780872498525

Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2013