Browsing All Posts filed under »Shenandoah Valley history«

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 […]

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 […]

The Shenandoah’s navigation and commerce… and forward thinking

August 30, 2013 by

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While the literary world (readers and authors) of the Shenandoah Valley dominates my thinking recently, it’s necessary not to lose touch with the agriculture of the area. So, as part of my readings, I came across a really interesting (and lengthy) article that appears in the August 26, 1847 edition of the Virginia Free Press, titled “RIVER IMPROVEMENT”. […]

A reading and authoring (early 19th century) Shenandoah

August 28, 2013 by

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Back around the beginning of spring, I finally purchased a copy of Intellectual Life and the American South, 1810-1860, by Michael O’Brien. The University of North Carolina Press makes the following pitch for the book: Looking over the period, O’Brien identifies a movement from Enlightenment ideas of order to a Romanticism concerned with the ambivalences […]

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 […]

“Grandpap”, General Ewell, cousin George, and a bigger story

August 24, 2013 by

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Not long ago, while perusing the papers of Confederate civilians in Fold3, I dropped in the names of some relatives in the Valley, just to see what I might find. For starters, I found that my third great grandfather, William M. Dorraugh, was of help to Gen. Richard S. Ewell. It was a small thing, […]

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 […]

146 years ago, this month

August 15, 2013 by

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Yes, that would make it… 1867. Not quite a Sesqui event, at least not yet. Sometimes it just feels right to get back to some more simple curiosities of history, as they impacted the Shenandoah Valley… So, scrolling through the newspapers in the area (lower Shenandoah) for the latter part of August, 1867, I ran […]

Ward Hill Lamon, his brother, Robert… and Christian F. Laise

July 24, 2013 by

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It might seem that the title implies a connection between all three. Yes, all three can be considered Southern Unionists, but I don’t think Laise had any actual association with the Lamon brothers. Apart from their Southern Unionist leanings, all three had a connection to place… Gerrardstown, West Virginia. That was the focus of my […]

Legacy lost – Valley men of the 54th Massachusetts at Wagner

July 17, 2013 by

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Tomorrow marks the day made famous by the movie Glory. It might be that we are only truly aware of it, on a larger scale, because of the movie (update: Craig’s got an excellent piece on the fight… and a word to the wise, just in case the movie made you think otherwise… the 54th wasn’t the […]

Rolling the clock back just a little further

July 12, 2013 by

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Alright, let’s depart the Sesqui train just for a bit. Forget “150 years ago” for the moment. Let’s think something more along the lines of… 212 years. Let’s even be specific… November 10, 1801. So far, this year (1801), John Marshall was appointed US chief justice; the electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr […]

Who was this Capt. Summers who fell at White House Farm?

July 9, 2013 by

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I first encountered a reference to Capt. Summers (see yesterday’s post in which I mention his death) when I was looking into the names of the different G.A.R. posts in this general area. It so happens that George D. Summers Post No. 13 was out of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. There is, by the way, […]

Gettysburg and the Centennial… that begins in a couple of days

June 29, 2013 by

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You didn’t read that wrong. People, I think, just tend to forget. The Sesqui overshadows the fact that this coming week is also the Centennial for the tremendous reunion that took place in 1913. There’s nothing wrong with that… it’s just the way it is. I’ll be heading out on Monday morning with two objectives… […]

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 […]

Reconsidering 2nd Winchester

June 13, 2013 by

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It might be hard to believe, but a decade ago, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Back then, it was clear to me… the Shenandoah Valley was Confederate and, any effort made by Confederates here was to rid “Yankees” from it. The understanding being that “Yankees” meant anyone who came in, from […]

Heading home… without knowing it.

June 12, 2013 by

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As we continue to move forward to the Sesquicentennial of Gettysburg, I’m also reminded… for whatever reason, why today, I have no clue… that there were also soldiers from Gettysburg, heading home… though, at this point, 150 years ago… that wasn’t what they were thinking. I realize there was more than just one company of […]

The approach to Winchester

June 11, 2013 by

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Around noon today, I launched the first tweet of what I hope will be a series that will follow the troop movements leading up to Second Winchester. For those who might be inclined, you are welcome to follow along, via my Twitter feed (or follow #2ndWinchester150 and #Gettysburg150). I’ll try to post as close as possible […]

Was Gen. David Hunter the same man in ’64 as in ’63?

June 10, 2013 by

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Blogging pal Craig Swain’s post today caught my eye… well, actually, all it probably took was to see “Shenandoah Valley” in the title. :) Anyway, after another excellent post about Gen. David Hunter’s activities on the Georgia coast (since, we are right there, time-wise, in the Sesqui of those events) he asks an excellent question… […]

Do the little things matter?

June 8, 2013 by

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It My concern in bringing this up might seem trivial to some, but it’s not. I assure you. Just stop for a minute and consider a couple of things… keeping in mind, of course, the Civil War era. When someone is identified as an abolitionist… what do you envision? When someone is identified as being […]

“Favoriting” people in history… responsibly

June 2, 2013 by

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Recalling that David Hunter Strother’s memoirs picked-up again (the last entry, just before that, was May 19, 1863) around June 1, 1863, or so, I started this morning (somewhat of a “Sesqui moment”) by flipping to a page in A Virginia Yankee in the Civil War. After campaigning in the deep South, Strother had returned […]

For the memory of an uncle she never knew

May 2, 2013 by

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It’s a major reason why I’m headed to Chancellorsville in just under six hours. I can list all my relatives in the 10th Virginia, the 33rd Virginia, and the Purcell Artillery who were there, fighting, on May 3, 1863. I can also list my relatives in the 7th West Virginia Infantry who were there, fighting, […]