Browsing All Posts filed under »Shenandoah Valley in the Civil War«

When do we fail our history? – a perspective on an event, from Long Branch

December 31, 2013 by

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This isn’t the way I planned on introducing my thoughts on Long Branch. I think the place is amazing, and under the new director, Nicholas Redding, has shown growth and incredible potential as a historic site… perhaps even reaching the status as the premier historic site of Clarke County, Virginia. As I’m only about fifteen […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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, […]