Archive for December, 2012

Second day at Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862: 150th anniversary of Anson Croman’s and the 20th Michigan’s first battle

December 13, 2012
Charge of the 20th Maine

The charge of the 20th Maine led by Lt. Col. Joshua Chamberlain (played by Jeff Daniels). Still from movie “Gods and Generals”.The 20th Michigan was to far the right out of this scene.Fair use of image © Warner Brothers

On December 13, 1862, the Union assaulted Confederate positions. The major assault was west of of Fredericksburg and a smaller assault was made in the woods south of Fredericksburg.

Anson Croman’s and the 20th Michigan’s remained in positions between the two Union assaults. 

They were not were not ordered to join either assault and suffered no casualties on December 13.

The 20th Michigan withdrew across the Rappahannock River on the night of December 15-16, 1862. One member of the 20th Michigan was wounded during the withdrawal.

For more information:

Visitor Guide to Fredericksburg’s 2012 Sesquicentennial Commemoration by the National Park Service

The 150th Anniversary of The Battle of Fredericksburg ”Fire on the Rappahannock” by The Battle of Fredericksburg Commemoration Committee.

Anson Croman and the  Civil War

The Musbachs and Robinsons are direct line descendants of Anson Croman and he is my 2nd great-grandfather-in-law.

Anson Croman served in the 20th Michigan Infantry Regiment from his 1862 enlistment until the Confederate surrender at Appomattox, Virginia in 1865.

If Anson Croman wrote letters home, none have survived. Therefore the best way to preserve the story of his service is by sharing the history of his regiment

Revised: July 30, 2014



150th anniversary of the first day of Anson Croman’s and the 20th Michigan’s first battle: Fredericksburg

December 12, 2012

Union artillery and infantry, including other units from Michigan, provided protection for Union engineers and mechanics as they constructed pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg, Virginia. This may have been the bridge over which Anson Croman and the 20th Michigan crossed 150 years ago on December 12, 1862.

On December 12, 1862, Anson Croman and the 20th Michigan crossed the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg, Virginia.

The 20th Michigan took up positions on the west side of the Rappahannock River south of Fredericksburg.

They were preparing for the assault scheduled to begin the next day.

20th Michigan Positions Battle of Fredericksburg

December 12-13, 1862: Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Positions of the 20th Michigan:Light orange regimental symbol:
Initial position on Dec. 12.Dark orange regimental symbol:
Final position on Dec. 13.


For more information:

Visitor Guide to Fredericksburg’s 2012 Sesquicentennial Commemoration by the National Park Service.

The 150th Anniversary of The Battle of Fredericksburg ”Fire on the Rappahannock” by The Battle of Fredericksburg Commemoration Committee.

Anson Croman and the  Civil War

The Musbachs and Robinsons are direct line descendents of Anson Croman.

Historian Anthony Beevor: After Stalin helped Nazis defeat France, Stalin blamed France for surrendering

December 8, 2012

In his new book The Second World War, Antony Beevor reports that:

Stalin despised France for its collapse in 1940 which had so upset his plans (page 653).

(T)he surrender of the French army in 1940 had furnished the (Nazi military) with the majority of its vehicles for the invasion of the Soviet Union a year later.

Stalin…said that France “must be punished for its aid to the Germans” (page 512).

The irony is that Stalin’s military alliance with the Nazis from 1939 until 1941 was a direct cause of the 1940 defeat of France.

  • Some of the Nazi weaponry used against France had been developed and tested in the Soviet Union in order to evade the disarmament provisions of the World War I ending Treaty of Versailles.
  • The steel in the Nazis’ vehicles and weapons was manufactured with Soviet manganese.
  • The Nazi vehicles were fueled with Soviet oil.
  • The Nazis troops and draft animals which provided 90% of their transportation were fed with Soviet grain.
  • The Soviet Union ordered the French Communist Party to spread demoralizing antiwar and pacifist propaganda among the French troops and encouraged avoidance of combat and desertion.
  • Members of the French Communist Party on orders from the Soviet Union may have sabotaged French military vehicles or trains transporting troops and supplies.

The Nazi conquest was so swift that they captured many French vehicles intact. One year later they used those captured French vehicles in their attack on their former Soviet ally.

From 1939 until 1941 with aid from their Soviet military ally, not only did the the Nazis defeat France, the Nazis defeated all other anti-Nazi continental European military powers and drove the British Army back across the English Channel.

That is why the Soviet Union was alone on the continent of Europe when their Nazi ally finally turned on them in June of 1941.

During the Cold War he Soviets and their allied Communist Parties around the world, including the American Communist Party, tried to disappear this World War II history down one of George Orwell’s 1984 memory holes.

Anthony Beevor’s The Second World War is among the growing number of recently published books that are now telling a more complete and accurate history.

Philip J. Cizewski’s NAMES Aids quilt panel on display in Madison, WI Nov. 30 – Dec. 7, 2012

December 2, 2012

My late brother Philip’s NAMES Project AIDS memorial quilt panel is among those being displayed at Edgewood College:

Friday, November 30 – Friday, December 7, 2012

8:00 AM (11/30) – 9:00 PM (12/7)

Location: The Stream: Edgewood’s new art building.


Campus Map

The quilt arrived Friday, November 30th and will be on display in the Art building (in the Atrium area) for one week.

Melanie Herzog, one of our friends who assisted in Philip’s care in 1990 – 1991, is speaking on Tuesday, December 4th at noon.

The Edgewood College Student Nurses’ Association will be staffing a table starting November 30th-December 7th full of information on local resources for HIV/AIDS support.

Philip J. Cizewskis NAMES Project AIDS memorial quilt

Much of Philip’s work was as a theater technician.
Upper left: Theater lights from Philip’s lighting catalogs.
Seven photos below birth and death dates, left to right:
1. Dance performance Japanese America Theater, Los Angeles (Philip worked on set design and lighting).
2. Still from film biography of San Francisco Bay Area surrealist painter, Ed Harris (Philip worked on the film).
3. Dance performance Japanese-America Theater, Los Angeles.
4. Philip playing his piano, San Francisco.
5. Las Manos, dance performance performance by L. Martina Young, dancer with whom Philip described as having an “artistic marriage”.
6. Garrison Keilor at a performance of “A Prairie Home Companion” in Los Angles. Philip did the lighting visible along the top of the photo.
7. Sunset over the Pacific Ocean photo by Philip.
Beneath photo 7: Monogram “P” sewn on a handkerchief by Philip’s maternal grandmother Angeline (Giordano) Lovetere.
Beneath photos: List of cities and towns in which Philip lived, studied, and worked.
Bottom center: “Love cures AIDS” motto from another quilt panel. Photo by Philip.

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