Browsing All Posts filed under »American Civil War«

The Civil War, “Puritan influence” and Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”

December 30, 2013 by

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First, I sincerely hope everyone had a pleasant Christmas and holiday season. I meant to post prior to Christmas, but time got away from me. So, back at it, then… This is a different sort of post, but… I’m in a discussion elsewhere, and this is the result. I’ve heard, on more than one occasion, where […]

Boyd reaches Harrisonburg, while another command of Federal cavalry reaches Luray

December 23, 2013 by

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The date… is December 23, 1863… and quite a lot transpired since my last coverage of events which lead up to December 17, 1863. Not only had the stalled Federal advanced picked-up, by the 23rd, there was another force of Union cavalry arriving at Luray, in Page County. First things first, however… Wells and Boyd […]

Bad weather, a slow advance, and Gilmor’s “raid” on Burner’s

December 17, 2013 by

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By the 17th of December, 1863, Federal progress was… not very progressive. William Beach, of the 1st New York remembered that “it was raining hard and freezing”. Despite the weather, Boyd’s main body moved up the pike, with the 1st taking the Back Road, to Columbia Furnace. There’s an anecdote in Beach’s book that mentions […]

Wells reaches Strasburg, and Valley civilians react to Lincoln’s (other) proclamation

December 14, 2013 by

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On December 13, Col. Wells’ advance had reached Strasburg… I have the honor to report some slight skirmishing in our front to-day with the pickets. The First New York went into Woodstock to-day, and captured 12 prisoners – 7 (infantry) of Ewell’s corps, who report themselves as having been sent into the valley on detached […]

“I would much like a guide” – Shenandoah Sesqui, December 12, 1863

December 12, 2013 by

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By the morning of December 12, Col. Wells’ reported that his command had reached Winchester, on the night prior… I have the honor to report my command here last night. All well. Eighteen miles from here to Strasburg, making the whole distance 48 miles. Have not seen Colonel Boyd, but learn that he is ahead. […]

Shenandoah Sesqui… the Federals on the march, and resentment among the Valley’s own… December 11, 1863

December 11, 2013 by

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From the Federal perspective, there doesn’t seem to be a great deal to comment on, regarding the Federal line of march as of December 11, 1863. Writing (apparently in the morning) from Burmach (regretfully, no… I haven’t figured out where this us just yet), just three miles from Berryville, Wells  noted that he had arrived […]

To keep Confederates busy – the beginning of an active December in the Shenandoah

December 10, 2013 by

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“Stonewall” was gone and Gettysburg was over five months in the past… and, despite being overshadowed by other things in other places, the Shenandoah Valley was still an active arena. While Union Gen. William W. Averell pressed on the rail head of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, at Salem, his commanding officer, Brig. Gen. Benjamin […]

Thanksgiving…a Sesqui moment, and giving credit where credit is due

November 28, 2013 by

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Yes, I know… a lot of people issued proclamations of thanksgiving before President Abraham Lincoln. I’ve seen several posting tidbits about it on Facebook. I don’t know how many have noted that the claim belongs to… Lincoln… and, yes, he was a person in power who could and did put the wheels in motion to […]

Does the South have more ties to New England-focused Thanksgiving than realized?

November 26, 2013 by

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Plimoth (Plymouth)… or Jamestown… or Berkeley Hundred? A few years ago, I covered the complexities behind “who had the first Thanksgiving”, but there’s something else worth noting. Despite a mindset among some that seems to distance both the Massachusetts Bay colonists from the Virginia Colony colonists, the lines that seem to have only been blurred over time, […]

A daring, Federal scouting party rides into Confederate-held Berryville

November 24, 2013 by

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As I promised, yesterday, there is this one Sesqui moment tied to another that came and went last month without observation. While many of the men in Col. Simpson’s 9th Maryland Infantry were captured at Charles Town, on October 18, 1863, others took extreme risks to make sure Simpson, as well as the Harpers Ferry […]

The 9th Maryland, at Charles Town – Col. Simpson’s folly?

November 23, 2013 by

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About the time folks were talking about Bristoe Station, last month, other things were happening on the Sesqui calendar of events. It just so happens I’m a little late in marking the dates. On October 18, 1863, for example (as a Sesqui reflection of “meanwhile, here in the Shenandoah Valley…”), John D. Imboden’s command closed-in […]

How can “historical memory” be made a more palatable dish?

November 12, 2013 by

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Pardon me for being so quiet lately, but things have been a bit… busy. It doesn’t mean I stop thinking about the history… or the practice of the same. Take… “historical memory”. I’ve wondered if the practice among historians is as great as what it was a few years back. More important, I wonder if […]

What does this have to do with the Civil War?

October 19, 2013 by

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For one… I offer a friendly reminder to consider, again, the title of the blog. It’s not just about the Civil War… it’s more about the area, and, because who I am and because of my interests… yes, it usually comes back to the Civil War, in some way or the other. Nonetheless, I’ve actually […]

The Dixon-Maddux shooting(s), and ties (maybe not so much) to Southern Unionism

October 12, 2013 by

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Not Shenandoah Valley-related (but with ties to the valley), but something I happened upon a while back… On p. 202 of Lincoln’s Loyalists, there is mention of a man by the name of Henry T. Dixon. Loyalists author, Richard Nelson Current, uses Ulysses S. Grant’s words in referring to Dixon, as “a loyal Virginian who was driven […]

Tallying agric. stats for losses during “the Burning” in the Shenandoah

September 27, 2013 by

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A brief detour from my posts about antebellum literacy in the Shenandoah Valley… When I transcribed the post about navigation and commerce in the Shenandoah (as of 1847), the thought was always in the back of my mind that, long before it was known as the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy”, the Valley served as a […]

With Lieutenant Rivers “on point”

September 25, 2013 by

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Craig has a post up today that caught my eye… quickly. Just the mention of Mosby and Rector’s Crossroads brought to mind… Cole’s Cavalry… a favorite unit of mine. Anyway, he writes about the September 1863 scrap, between Mosby’s men and Cole’s Cavalry, at Rector’s Crossroads. The officer “on point” that day, for Cole’s Cavalry, […]

The reach of religion in the Shenandoah Valley in 1860

September 15, 2013 by

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In part, my interest in looking into churches in the Shenandoah Valley is to see if there is any connection to the literacy rate. I’m also curious how the denominations reflect anything that may help me further in my understanding of Southern Unionism in the Valley. Though I don’t think I have anything that gives […]

Another assist to Southern Unionists, under the Bowman and Tucker Acts

September 13, 2013 by

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I’ll get back to my current run on the discussion of literacy and literature in the antebellum Shenandoah Valley, but, as I promised… still having a deep and dedicated interest in Southern Unionism…  I know I’ve mentioned it before, that though a Southern Loyalist Claim might be barred or disallowed, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it […]

Literacy rates in the antebellum Shenandoah Valley

September 12, 2013 by

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*UPDATE: Actually, though they weren’t part of the 1860 census, the numbers of those who could not read and/or write were tallied in the census for both 1840 and 1850. I will probably tally the numbers from that census to compare with the numbers shown in the 1870 census. I’m sorry to say, there are […]

A manifestation of Scott’s reflections, in the Valley

September 4, 2013 by

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I need to jump off this line of discussion about Sir Walter Scott in order to get to other topics pertaining to life in the early to mid 19th century Shenandoah Valley, but, I need to offer this post, and perhaps one other piece first. There’s a good deal about Scott’s influence on the 19th […]

The socially elite, Southern writers of the 19th century, and their legacy

September 3, 2013 by

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I just responded to a comment on my post from yesterday, and thought that I should raise my thoughts to the level of a post. Who can we point to (among Southern writers/authors of the 19th century), for having had the most influence on defining the ideology of the 19th century South as it existed […]

Mark Twain challenges the South’s love of Romantacism

September 2, 2013 by

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In reading early 19th century works which Southerners read… and wrote, I’m also fascinated by the influence that some say Sir Walter Scott had on the South. As we see in Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain abhorred the Romantic movement, and put the blame square on Scott… Then comes Sir Walter Scott with his […]

John Esten Cooke… but, not the Cooke most would recognize.

August 31, 2013 by

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When reading about the early nineteenth century’s top authors (I’m defining them as such, for their ability demonstrated in their works… in that they were able to make their way into popular literature circles of the time) from the Shenandoah Valley, I find that I’m interested first in what influenced them, and next on how […]

What’s the objective?

August 27, 2013 by

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For the (over) five years in which I’ve been blogging, I’ve focused mostly on the American Civil War. As the title of the blog suggests, however, I have room to roam whenever I get the whim. I don’t like to keep myself too “hemmed-in”. The title has given me enough flexibility that I feel comfortable moving in just […]