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

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, […]

He gave them victories

May 1, 2013 by

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May 1, 2013… so begins the Sesqui of the Battle of Chancellorsville. As such, I’ve been thinking… What if Stonewall Jackson lived to command beyond Chancellorsville? Frankly, any forward speculation of his possible performances in battles after Chancellorsville is subject to so many factors that it’s not even funny. As such, forward speculation is a […]

Passing of the last real child of the Stonewall Brigade(?)

April 29, 2013 by

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I’ve been seeing postings lately, mostly on Face Book, about the last four surviving children of Civil War veterans (actually, it focused on the last four just in Virginia alone… and I didn’t seem to catch that last part), and I added to each that I thought they were missing somebody. I’m sorry to say… […]

My first glimpse at my contributions to “Lexington, Virginia and the Civil War”

March 17, 2013 by

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Yesterday, I was very pleased to receive two copies of Richard Williams’ book, Lexington, Virginia and the Civil War, along with an additional item… Richard was very kind in adding the gift of a very special pen, made partly from the wood of the Stonewall Jackson Prayer Tree, which once stood near Grottoes, but was fallen […]

Interpreting USCTs in places where they were not…

March 10, 2013 by

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Recently, there’s been a flurry of posts about USCTs (see Craig Swain’s, here; Emmanuel Dabney’s, here; Kevin Levin’s, here; and Jimmy Price’s, here), and, as I’m in the process of compiling a list of USCTs born in Shenandoah Valley counties, I find it timely. Should the interpretation of USCTs be incorporated into places in which they were not… […]

Tracking-down the history of Winchester’s G.A.R. post

March 7, 2013 by

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As part of the effort to find those elusive Southern Unionists, it shouldn’t be surprising that I would look to the activities of the Grand Army of the Republic in the hopes of finding some of the local boys in blue. Indeed, there were a couple of posts in the Shenandoah Valley, and one of […]

Unionism: Stacking the Valley against the rest of Virginia

March 4, 2013 by

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The following is the result of tallying raw figures (for the entire Commonwealth of Virginia) from Fold3. I simply added the total number of claims that appear in their approved & barred/disallowed categories for Virginia and West Virginia. Sixty-three Virginia counties and nine West Virginia counties are represented in the approved claims. Meanwhile, all ninety-five […]

Logan Osburn throws in the towel… but later tries to backtrack

March 1, 2013 by

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The measure of conditional Unionism varied from person to person. Jefferson County’s Logan Osburn provides an excellent example of that, and I’ll show how in just a minute. Ultimately, in measuring Unionists… and yes, even some “eventual Confederates”… Unionism is the common thread from which “conditionals” broke. Going back even further, there is a valid […]

The Finest Wares: The Old Dominion Coffee Pot

February 24, 2013 by

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Since I began frequenting Harpers Ferry a few years ago, I’ve found an interest in items that were sold/used in the mid-19th century. Antiques… yes, but usually specific to the years between 1830 and 1870. In addition to the narrow span of years, I generally seek out items that would have been used in my neck […]

Visualizing the Valley’s Unionism

February 20, 2013 by

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With an interest in seeing Southern Unionism from a different perspective, I’ve been tinkering with data a bit. The following pie charts are just some examples of the ways in which I’m reviewing some of the data I’ve compiled. Each illustrates the different levels of completeness for the various counties of the Shenandoah Valley. Comparing […]

Christian F. Laise’s ties to Berkeley County’s freedmen and Unionists

February 17, 2013 by

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A couple of years ago there was a good article in The Journal (Martinsburg, W.V.), in which postwar (1880s, actually) efforts by Christian Frederick Laise were part of the focus. Berkeley County has an African-American area listed in the National Register. After their freedom at the end of the Civil War, many former slaves had […]

Thoughts on Lt. Gatewood’s (Geronimo fame) Confederate AND military roots

February 17, 2013 by

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He’s a warrior. Every bit born in battle. Fighting a lost cause. I’m familiar with the type. My two older brothers and my father fought for the Army of Northern Virginia. My oldest brother was killed. My father was wounded, crippled. After the war, he took me aside and said, ‘You’ll carry the new flag.’ […]

Richard Williams and his forthcoming book, Lexington, Virginia and the Civil War

February 11, 2013 by

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Earlier today, Richard Williams revealed my small part in his forthcoming book, Lexington, Virginia and the Civil War. It was indeed an honor for me, that Richard asked if I could contribute something pertaining to Southern Unionists in Lexington and Rockbridge County.   The contribution also gave me thoughts as to where I want to […]

Not in the claims, and not in blue, but… some of the other Southern Unionists of Harpers Ferry

February 9, 2013 by

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Though I often focus on the stories tucked-away in Southern Claims Commission applications, there were more Southern Unionists than those identified in the claims, or even in those who wore Union blue. There are also those Unionists who appear merely as a name in passing, in between the pages of a couple of books that […]

The “wafflers” (a rebel today; a yank tomorrow)

February 6, 2013 by

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From time to time, we see this sort on the big screen… a reb when the Confederate soldiers are present, and a yank when the Union soldiers are present. Take for example, the ferry boat man (“Sim Carstairs”), in the movie The Outlaw Josey Wales… So, encountering (by happenstance) what may be the “real deal” […]

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… […]

Fredericksburg150 – That “other guy” on the Confederate right: Capt. Mathias Winston Henry

December 13, 2012 by

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No, not about Southern Unionists or the Valley… but there’s a tie to the Valley… just wait for it a bit. In Don Troiani’s print, “Bronze Guns and Iron Men”, there is an officer other than John Pelham, just behind the Napoleon, with binoculars in hand. To most, it might appear like a section commander… […]