Wednesday, March 04, 2009

"Villain Damn Him"

Spent part of this evening reading the Civil War diary of William A. Skiles, published under the title Letters to Home. Skiles was a private in Company G of the Fifth Illinois Cavalry. His captain, Benjamin B. Hopkins, is one of the soldiers I am currently researching. I found a great reference to Hopkins, which will be included in his forthcoming profile. I also found an interesting reference to Clement Vallandigham, the Ohio Democratic congressman booted out of the Buckeye State into Confederate territory for his outspoken support of states rights and the withdrawal of Southern states from the Union. Pvt. Skiles refers to Vallandigham (shown here in this portrait from the Library of Congress) as "Villain damn him," a pithy word play on the congressman's last name.

A Google search reveals one other reference to this nickname, made by a soldier in the Ninth New Jersey Infantry and noted in Beneath the Starry Flag.

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