Snippet Wednesday...


"What's so civil about war anyway?"
--Guns 'n' Roses, "Civil War"

I'm a history buff. I have been for a very long time. Particularly military history. This explains why one of my favorite periods of history is the U.S. Civil War era in the 1860s as well as the time leading up to and immediately following it.

I think the city planner where I grew up in Naperville, IL, knew this when developing the street names of the Hobson West neighborhood.

It is truly a Civil War buff's dream subdivision. Some of the streets in this neighborhood include:

Merrimac Circle (should be spelled "Merrimack"): I would think named for the U.S. Navy ship that was intentionally sunk during evacuation of the Norfolk Naval Yard. The Confederate States raised the remains, attached iron plating to the hull, and rechristened it the CSS Virginia. The Merrimack/Virginia was one of the first ironclad ships in North American naval history (the first being the USS Monitor) and is most famous for its battle against the Monitor, also known as the Battle of Hampton Roads.

Chattanooga Court: The Chattanooga Campaign of 1863 led to Union control of the state of Tennessee. This permitted Major General Sherman's Atlanta Campaign and his eventual March to the Sea, which saw Atlanta burned to the ground inspiring a pivotal sequence in Gone With the Wind.

Montgomery Court: Either named for the first Confederate capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, or Union Col. James Montgomery who commanded one of the earliest African American infantry regiments.

Williamsburg Drive: Battle of Williamsburg, May 5, 1862.

Fredericksburg Court: Battle of Fredericksburg, December 11-15, 1862

Appomattox Circle: Battle of Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865 - the final engagement before Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union Major General Ulysses S. Grant.

Antietam Court: Battle of Antietam, September 17, 1862 - widely known as the bloodiest single-day battle in American history.

Virginia Court: Could be a reference to the official capitol of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia; to General Lee's army "The Army of Northern Virginia"; or the redubbed name of the CSS ironclad referenced above.

Bull Run Court: The First Battle of Bull Run, July 21, 1861.

Manassas Court: The Battle of Manassas, July 21, 1861, which is the name by which the Confederacy recognized the First Battle of Bull Run.

Gettysburg Court: The Battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863 - known as the turning point in the war for the Union where they finally started gaining ground against the Confederacy. That November, Union President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address during the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery.

Shiloh Circle: Battle of Shiloh, AKA the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, April 6-7, 1862.

Kennesaw Court: Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, June 27, 1864 - part of General Sherman's Atlanta Campaign.

Natchez Trace Circle: It was a trading and exploration route in Mississippi and the town of Natchez surrendered to Grant after being shelled by an ironclad, but otherwise...

Savannah Circle: The Savannah Campaign is the name by which Sherman's "March to the Sea" is officially known.

Chancellor Court: Battle of Chancellorsville, April 30-May 6, 1863, as well as Chancellor Cemetery.

Mobile Court: Battle of Mobile Bay, August 5, 1864.

Just complete history geekdom.

And then the city planner killed it for me by tacking on Bunker Hill Court at the south end of the subdivision.

The Battle of Bunker Hill, as you may recall, was a battle in the U.S. Revolutionary War and, well, that's just not the Civil War. Not by, like, four score and six years, to reference Honest Abe.

So close.



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Awesome....just awesome.

Suzanne Kurtz Apgar

Very interesting, Kevin! How long have you been researching this. You know, you should go to the Civil War encampment in Channahon (same place as the Warrior Dash) or even the one at the Naper Settlement. Quite educational and entertaining.


Isn't it?


I've known about the outer streets for many years. I'd never really driven the inner ones until just last week. I'll have to see about the reenactments. It's never really appealed much to me.

Marty Mankins

That's pretty cool that part of history is a big part of your town.


I know, right? Even if they did mix wars. 

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