The Garden of Death: The Fallen Sparrows of Fort Mahone

April 02, 2015: Barry Cauchon

Angela Smythe has been a friend of mine for several years now and is one of the hidden gems in our research community. I am a strong supporter of her Civil War history work and have previously published her studies on John Wilkes Booth and the Richmond Grays. These articles can all be found on her website http://www.AntebellumRichmond.com.

Today Angela releases her latest work called The Garden of Death: The Fallen Sparrows of Fort Mahone. It is a detailed study of the photographs taken by Thomas C. Roche on April 3, 1865 of the deadly aftermath of the Third Battle of Petersburg (VA), one of the last Civil War battles to be fought. Less than one week later on April 9, Robert E. Lee would surrender his Army of Northern Virginia at the Appomattox Court House in Appomattox, Virginia formally ending the war between the states.

I will let Angela take it from here.

Click on the link below for Angela’s introduction to “The Garden of Death: The Fallen Sparrows of Fort Mahone”. The link at the bottom of that intro will lead you to their website and the complete essay.

Intro to Fallen Sparrows

Congratulations Angela on another wonderful piece of research presented both graphically and poetically.

Best

Barry

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What Time Did the RMS Titanic Really Hit the Iceberg?

April 03, 2012: Barry Cauchon

The triple screws of the RMS Titanic

The triple screws of the RMS Titanic

As the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic approaches, I thought I’d republish an article I wrote back on April 18, 2009. I’ve updated the introduction and clarified some points, but the rest remains intact and is still relevant today. Enjoy. Barry

PS: I have added a TIME ZONE chart at the bottom of this article for people in the United States wishing to commemorate the exact time the Titanic hit the iceberg and sank (for your time zone today).

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April 14 & 15 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. If you are like me, I enjoy thinking about events like this in ‘real time’. For instance, Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at 10:15 pm EST (Eastern Standard Time) on April 14, 1865. I currently live in this same time zone so on every anniversary (April 14), originally between the hours of 10:00 pm and 10:30 pm, I would imagine the series of events that took place minute by minute. I’ve done this since I was a kid so please don’t assume that I’m certifiable (at least not just yet)! But a few years ago I realized that I had not factored in Daylight Savings Time. For you perfectionists, by considering Daylight Savings Time, the correct tim for these events actually should take place between 11:00 and 11:30 pm EDT.

In the sinking of the Titanic, a number of different factors come into play that mess up my little game so I thought I’d spend a few minutes explaining them to you (lol). The accepted facts about the sinking are this:

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 11:40 pm on April 14, 1912.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 2:20 am on April 15, 1912.

Now here is where it gets tricky.

The times noted above were based on “shipboard” time (the actual time on the ship). Calculating time at sea does not follow conventional land-based time zones. This was certainly the case in 1912. But to truly know what the time difference was, relative to other time zones, requires whose version of the events you use. It has become a puzzle for many, but two main ‘time differences’ are generally considered.

The first is based on the testimony of Titanic’s Second Officer Charles Lightoller who put the time as being 1 hour, 33 minutes ahead of New York City time (Eastern Standard Time)(EST). The other is from Charles Bigham, known as “Lord Mersey” of the High Court of the British Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry. Bigham indicated that the time difference was 1 hour and 50 minutes ahead of EST. As many of us are not lucky enough to be in the middle of the North Atlantic when the anniversary is celebrated, here are the adjusted times for Eastern Standard Time using both calculations.

Lightoller’s Version (1 hour 33 minutes ahead of EST)(-5)

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 10:07 pm (EST) on April 14, 1912.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 12:47 am (EST) on April 15, 1912.

Lord Mersey’s Version (1 hour 50 minutes ahead of EST)(-5)

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 9:50 pm (EST) on April 14, 1912.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 12:30 am (EST) on April 15, 1912.

But wait, there is more! For the real perfectionists out there, what about Daylight Savings Time in the Eastern Time Zone (EDT)(Eastern Daylight Time)? Well Daylight Savings Time was not a factor in 1912 as it didn’t go into use in England, Germany and the United States until WWI. However, it is in effect today. So if you attempt to reenact the minute by minute events in real time by using the EST calculations listed above you will once again be incorrect. Assuming that you are in, let’s say New York City for example, during Daylight Savings Time (EDT), then these are the correct times to base your ‘real time’ reenactment.

Lightoller’s Version (33 minutes ahead of EDT)(-4)

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 11:07 pm (EDT) on April 14, 2012.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 1:47 am (EDT) on April 15, 2012.

Lord Mersey’s Version (50 minutes ahead of EDT)(-4)

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 10:50 pm (EDT) on April 14, 2012.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 1:30 am (EDT) on April 15, 2012.

Confusing! You bet! But if this kind of perfection turns your crank, then use this last set of calculations above to get as close to the truth (as we know it) as you can get.

titanic

On April 14, 1912 I struck the iceberg at 11:40 pm shipboard time and sank at on April 15, 1912 at 2:20 am shipboard time.

So the next time you think about the RMS Titanic on the evening of April 14 & 15 know what time it really struck the iceberg and when it sank based on the two options above.

Note: If you are not in the Eastern Time Zone (such as New York City) and want to know the Titanic times as listed in the last example for 2012 times, go to any Time Zone Map and calculate the difference in hours between your time zone and the Eastern Time Zone, then either add or subtract the difference to find the correct times. For instance, California (PDT) is three hours behind New York City. Don’t forget about Daylight Savings Time if applicable (in this case, it is).

Lightoller’s Version (3 hours, 33 minutes ahead of EDT)

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 8:07 pm (PDT)(-7) on April 14, 2012.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 10:47 pm (PDT)(-7) on April 14, 2012.

Lord Mersey’s Version (3 hours, 50 minutes ahead of EDT)

  1. The Titanic struck the iceberg at 7:50 pm (PDT)(-7) on April 14, 2012.
  2. The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later at 10:30 pm (PDT)(-7) on April 14, 2012.

Best

Barry

QUICK REFERENCE CHART FOR UNITED STATES TIME ZONES
These are the times in your time zone to commemorate the exact moments the Titanic struck the iceberg and sank.

LIGHTOLLER VERSION – TITANIC STRIKES ICEBERG at 10:07 PM EST ON APRIL 14, 1912 (11:40 pm shipboard time)

MODERN DAY TIMES
EDT (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) 11:07 PM (APR 14)
CDT (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) 10:07 PM (APR 14)
MDT (MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME) 9:07 PM (APR 14)
PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME) 8:07 PM (APR 14)
AKDT (ALASKA DAYLIGHT TIME) 7:07 PM (APR 14)
HST (HAWAII STANDARD TIME) 5:07 PM (APR 14)
MST (ARIZONA STANDARD TIME) 8:07 PM (APR 14)

LIGHTOLLER VERSION – TITANIC SINKS at 12:47 AM EST ON APRIL 15, 1912 (2:20 am shipboard time)

MODERN DAY TIMES
EDT (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) 1:47 AM (APR 15)
CDT (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) 12:47 AM (APR 15)
MDT (MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME) 11:47 PM (APR 14)
PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME) 10:47 PM (APR 14)
AKDT (ALASKA DAYLIGHT TIME) 9:47 PM (APR 14)
HST (HAWAII STANDARD TIME) 7:47 PM (APR 14)
MST (ARIZONA STANDARD TIME) 10:47 PM (APR 14)

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LORD MERSEY VERSION – TITANIC STRIKES ICEBERG at 9:50 PM EST ON APRIL 14, 1912 (11:40 pm shipboard time)

MODERN DAY TIMES
EDT (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) 10:50 PM (APR 14)
CDT (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) 9:50 PM (APR 14)
MDT (MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME) 8:50 PM (APR 14)
PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME) 7:50 PM (APR 14)
AKDT (ALASKA DAYLIGHT TIME) 6:50 PM (APR 14)
HST (HAWAII STANDARD TIME) 4:50 PM (APR 14)
MST (ARIZONA – STANDARD TIME) 7:50 PM (APR 14)

LORD MERSEY VERSION – TITANIC SINKS at 12:30 AM EST ON APRIL 15, 1912 (2:20 am shipboard time)

MODERN DAY TIMES
EDT (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME) 1:30 AM (APR 15)
CDT (CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME) 12:30 AM (APR 15)
MDT (MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME) 11:30 PM (APR 14)
PDT (PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME) 10:30 PM (APR 14)
AKDT (ALASKA DAYLIGHT TIME) 9:30 PM (APR 14)
HST (HAWAII STANDARD TIME) 7:30 PM (APR 14)
MST (ARIZONA STANDARD TIME) 10:30 PM (APR 14)

outreach@awesometalks.com

April 14 & 15 – Two Memorable Dates for Two Memorable Events

April 14, 2011: Barry Cauchon

Two significant events occurred on the dates of April 14 & 15. The first occurred in 1865 when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The second occurred 47 years later in 1912 when the RMS Titanic struck and iceberg and sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S ASSASSINATION: 146 years ago today

President Abraham Lincoln attended the play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre on the night of Friday (Good Friday) April 14, 1865. The war had been over for less than a week and the President truly looked forward to enjoying an evening out. At about 10:15 pm, as the play was underway, John Wilkes Booth slipped into the Presidential box and shot the President.

Mortally wounded, Lincoln was carried across the street to the Petersen home where he lived for another few hours. At 7:22 a.m. on Saturday morning, April 15 he succumbed to his injury and died.

SINKING OF THE RMS TITANIC: 99 years ago today

The RMS Titanic, traveling on its maiden voyage from Europe to the United States, struck an iceberg at 11:40 p.m on Sunday, April 14, 1912 and began taking on water. Soon the Captain and crew realized that there was no hope in saving the ship and she would eventually founder. At 2:20 a.m. on Monday, April 15, the ship sank. There were not enough life boats on board to save everyone and 1517 people died in the disaster.

Since I was a boy, the dates of April 14 and 15 have stayed with me due to these two tragic events and I make special note of them each year their anniversaries arrive.

Best.

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com