Grain, whiskey and a question of sovereignty – Shenandoah, January 1864

January 25, 2014
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WhiskeyConfederate

Note: Conscious of the typical in-and-out Web surfer, I figured I better give a heads-up that there’s a long line of quotes that follow below, extracted from the Staunton Spectator… and as regular readers know, this isn’t typically my style. I was just fascinated by the series of whiskey articles that appeared in the paper, […]

In the wake of Lee-Jackson Day: more insight into “Stonewall”

January 23, 2014
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I know that this is way off the Sesqui timeline, but, I think I’m more inspired to post this as something that follows close on the heels of Lee-Jackson Day. I just get the sense that the topic needs to be better grounded, with extremists (in my opinion) flying off from both directions (first, the extremists […]

Tracking down those whose eyes glimpsed the pages of my SLMs

January 21, 2014
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SLMcover

It’s a good, casual, snowy day topic… and actually, I’ve been giving it some thought for a couple of days. Since late last summer, I’ve been collecting (among other literary journals from the early 19th century) copies of the Southern Literary Messenger. I’m not one of those “no price is too high” kinda guys, but […]

A day after [the official] Lee-Jackson Day… reflections on Jackson

January 18, 2014
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Jacksonearly

There are, obviously, varying opinions of Lee-Jackson Day. It’s not my intent to field all of those opinions, here, in this post. Rather, for me, I found yesterday’s awareness of the observation, a chance to reflect. It wasn’t Lee, however, who held my attention, but Jackson. For that matter, it wasn’t the time in Jackson’s […]

Confederate sons, Postwar, and Manifest Destiny

January 16, 2014
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WoundedKneeHeroDix

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 […]

“Wait a minute. Strike that; reverse it. Thank you.”

January 13, 2014
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Considering the quote from Willy Wonka, I think he would have loved the versatility of blogging over writing for print. But, apart from me finding the quote useful at this time, that’s the only connection that there is between this post and Willy Wonka… So, what is it, exactly, that I want to “strike and […]

Some shots from yesterday’s Loudoun Heights Sesqui Event

January 12, 2014
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ColesCavKepi

I greatly enjoyed the chance, yesterday, to be part of the Loudoun Heights 150th commemorative event. It was nice to speak about my perspective, as a relative of two of Cole’s men… and I was glad to share the experience with one other descendant (friend, Mark Dudrow) of one of Cole’s men (Abraham Dern), who […]

Loudoun Heights, saved! Well… almost…

January 10, 2014
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LoudounHeightsLandClose

Three posts by me in one day may not be unprecedented, but it sure is rare… and with news like this, I couldn’t resist. Word came to me earlier today, via blogging pal Craig Swain, that a portion of the Loudoun Heights battle site is now a state park. Friday morning, McDonnell’s office announced that […]

Tomorrow’s Loudoun Heights Sesquicentennial event

January 10, 2014
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loudounheights

Though the 150th anniversary of Loudoun Heights is today… the actual commemorative event takes place tomorrow, January 11, 2014. As I’m related to two of Cole’s men (distant granduncle, Joseph Lake McKinney, and cousin James Draper Moore), I’m particularly honored to be a part of the event. I am slated to speak, for about 15 minutes, about the […]

45 minutes, and the long road to Andersonville

January 10, 2014
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As they say that it was around 4 a.m. when Mosby commenced the attack on Cole’s Camp, it was, therefore, likely no more than 15 minutes before that when the six troopers of Co. B were captured by Frank Stringfellow’s party of Rangers. I’ll borrow, again, Pvt. James A. Scott’s (of Co. C) poem regarding […]

Waiting for picket duty… Loudoun Heights

January 9, 2014
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LoudounHeightsPiney

Today, I’m thinking about seven troopers from Co. B, of Major Henry Cole’s 1st Potomac Home Brigade (Maryland) Cavalry… James Draper Moore, Walter Scott Myers, John Newcomber, Isaiah Nicewander, Abraham L. Sossey, George W. Weaver, and David Hamilton Wolf. Six of these men were waiting to go on picket duty, on this day, 150 year […]

I-81, North… to Scotland

January 5, 2014
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MiddleSpringPriceofLiberty

The Pennsylvania Farm Show is something that has become an annual destination of mine. It’s a great event, putting… as one would expect… Pennsylvania agriculture in the limelight. There’s lots to see, and I can’t return to Virginia without what I call “my annual re-provisioning of Pennsylvania agricultural goods.” Cheeses, venison summer sausage, mustards, horseradish… […]

A different Sesqui reflection – the fall of the Southern Literary Messenger

January 3, 2014
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SLMoutside1842

Recently, I purchased a copy of Volume 8 (1842), of the Southern Literary Messenger. I’ll have another post to discuss this, as well as other individual monthly copies I’ve purchased over the last few months. Anyway, last night, while a steady snow fell outside, I sat next to a lamp and took time to finally […]

Did de Tocqueville not spend enough time assessing the South?

January 2, 2014
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Getting back to the post from the other day… Not meaning to seem flip regarding de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, but one of the first things I did when researching his work, the other day, was to take a closer look at his travel intinerary. He spent nine months in the United States, and yet, […]

Posted in: Antebellum Period

Was New Year’s Day, ’64 a bad day for Uncle Joe?

January 1, 2014
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McKinneyJoeCloseup

I’ve mentioned my 3rd great granduncle, Joseph Lake McKinney, in a few posts. In his service record, there is one entry that is a bit of a mystery to me… mostly because it’s not clear what the circumstances were behind a notation. I know a lot of folks like to talk more about an ancestor’s […]

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

December 31, 2013
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LongBranchClose

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
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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
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Luraysmall1850s

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Wells

“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
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Hale

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 […]