Browsing All Posts filed under »historical memory«

One narrow vision… followed by a more remarkable set of 19th century observations by Brantz Mayer

July 11, 2014 by

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I read, somewhere recently, about how someone holds such low regard for Harper’s Ferry… because… as this person sees things… the site interprets John Brown as a hero. It’s actually odd, but John Brown only crosses my mind a couple of times when I visit (which, as regular readers know, is often) Harper’s Ferry, and when he […]

Reflections on D-Day’s 70th

June 6, 2014 by

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I recall, years ago, asking my grandfather to document his WW2 service in the Navy, and one of the things that stuck out… not only to myself, but clearly to him… was where he was on June 6, 1944. Though he wasn’t off the coast of Normandy, he was on a convoy in the Red […]

Confederate History Month – a disservice to Antebellum Southern history?

April 2, 2014 by

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I know… I’ve been incredibly quiet for well over a month, but I’ve been considering various things regarding directions in which to go with writing history. Another topic for another day, perhaps. For now, however, since “Confederate History Month” (as I was reminded by a post I saw on Facebook this morning) is now underway, it […]

Confederate sons, Postwar, and Manifest Destiny

January 16, 2014 by

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Just over a year ago, I encountered a headstone that really… seemed to pique my interest. I began developing a post around it, but, for whatever reason, it fell by the wayside. Today, the thought seemed to find its way back to me. The lighting was not the best when I took the photo this […]

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, […]

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 […]

The less you know, the better the ghost story: the real Corbin Cabin of Nicholson Hollow

October 24, 2013 by

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Since it’s October, I figured I’d bring up a ghost story… not that I care much for it. To be honest, I see it amounting to something along the lines of the tall tales told by George Freeman Pollock. Anyway, there’s this “ghost story” about Corbin Cabin, in Shenandoah National Park, that came out and got attention a […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

Following-up on the panel dicussion on the Legacy of the American Civil War, at the Library of Virginia

August 24, 2013 by

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Finally getting around to posting about it, but I had a great time at the panel held at the Library of Virginia. For those who weren’t able to make it, check out the video below. There were some great folks on the panel, who shared their perspectives, and gave me time to think more about […]

The battle for and against Southern Heritage

August 21, 2013 by

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There is a struggle that exists (and thrives) that continues to feed misconceptions, and I can’t help but cringe when I hear either argument. There are those who say that they defend Southern Heritage… but that is usually limited to a fraction of the heritage that did, in fact, make up the South. Usually, it’s […]

Did West Virginia know what it was doing?

June 20, 2013 by

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Yesterday, on Harper’s Ferry’s Facebook page, I saw a comment in response to a post about the following day (today) being the 150th anniversary of the birth of West Virginia. The response was simply… “Traitors!!!” Obviously, it wasn’t a comment that involved much thought, to say nothing of the evident lack of knowledge when it […]

Who was free black Isaac Dunn?

May 8, 2013 by

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There are certain things that sit there… in my mind… unanswered in my quest to understand better my ancestors and the people around them… and this is one of them. He appears but once, as far as I can tell, in the census records. Isaac Dunn was listed, on September 6, 1860, as residing with […]

Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Civil War

April 11, 2013 by

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While the recent Brad Paisley/L.L. Cool J song raises a fuss in several corridors, I feel it’s being blown out of proportion. I’ve already commented in posts by Kevin Levin and Richard Williams, regarding some of my thoughts. For some reason (probably because of Richard’s remark regarding Nashville), it also made me reflect on a song with which […]

Easter then is not Easter today

March 31, 2013 by

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I spent a little time going through both the Spirit of Jefferson and the Virginia Free Press and Farmer’s Repository looking for what might be found regarding Easter in the mid-19th century lower Valley. I didn’t go through all of the papers, but did hit about a dozen years between 1842 and 1858, looking at the […]

An evening with “Bud” Robertson, part 1

March 29, 2013 by

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As I mentioned in my hasty post from just over 12 hours ago, I had the opportunity last night, to listen to Dr. James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., at the Hagerstown CWRT. In that distinctive south-central Piedmont Virginia accent, he engaged the audience with quick glimpses of stories from his latest work, The Untold Civil War. His objectives […]

Don’t ignore that which is contrary…

March 25, 2013 by

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It’s interesting… the more I dig (historical research), the more I find examples to the contrary. “To the contrary of what?”… one might ask. Is it… the “norm”… whether that be a long-standing norm, or one that is acceptable at a particular time (trending)? There are times in which I hear arguments made, yet know […]

Another perspective on Emancipation Day

January 1, 2013 by

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It didn’t dawn on me until I read a post on Facebook… Yes, I know it’s the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and I’ve been keenly aware of that since midnight. Some see the document and its reach as meaningless, but those who do so seem to look at it more from the surface… […]

A larger project in the works

October 25, 2012 by

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Obviously, I’ve not been writing a great deal over the past few weeks. For one, I’ve been struggling with a bout of writer’s block. On top of that I’m battling with content… what I want to put in a blog, and what I want to put in a book. Yup, a book is in the […]

What’s in the bag?

September 28, 2012 by

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Things… … inanimate things. But, it’s not things in general that I’m considering here. No. Rather, it’s things having been bought, that we walk away with when leaving historical places… and… it’s historical things that we can buy. What is the purpose of these things? As I grow older, I see them differently than I once […]

Our National Parks

August 20, 2012 by

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A story hit today that is painful to read… the National Park Service is set to get the ax once again. Now, this really isn’t a surprise, because many have seen the writing on the wall for quite some time, but to see it in print is a painful reminder. The strange part of this […]