Easter then is not Easter today

March 31, 2013
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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 2

March 30, 2013
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The second great point that struck me while listening to Dr. Robertson was… in him, are we listening to the end of an era? He didn’t say anything about this… it’s just something that came to my mind. I think we are. Not only are we looking at one of the history community’s living connections […]

An evening with “Bud” Robertson, part 1

March 29, 2013
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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 […]

An intermission… but a good one

March 28, 2013
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I know I said that I’d have something more to say about the Galvanized Yankees from the 34th Mississippi Infantry, but I need to have a brief intermission. So, if you will please, allow me an indulgence… This evening, courtesy of my gracious host, Tim Snyder (author of Trembling in the Balance: The Chesapeake and […]

Posted in: American Civil War

With Copperhead coming… when will there be a movie about divided Southern sentiments?

March 27, 2013
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I’ve seen several previews for the upcoming movie, Copperhead. While many may be weary of another Ron Maxwell Civil War film, I think the previews are suggesting a step forward/up from Gods & Generals. I would enjoy a chance to see the movie in its entirety, prior to release. That said, however, I can’t help […]

Southerners and those “inner battles” over decisions

March 27, 2013
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I sincerely hope that nobody reads the title of this post and comes to it thinking they’re going to find a full-blown discussion on the wide range of difficult decisions faced by Southerners in the Civil War era. Since I’ve been talking a little about Galvanized Yankees, I figured I’d offer something regarding “decisions” in […]

Don’t ignore that which is contrary…

March 25, 2013
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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 […]

A bigger story behind Grave #418

March 24, 2013
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William H. Merriman, from the

Feeling rather inclined to write something about the USV today, so… As some folks may recall, just over three years ago, I went through records to add details to Find-a-Grave, for all the “Galvanized Yankees” buried (reburied, actually) in Custer National Cemetery. In recently flipping through my copy of Michele Tucker Butts’ Galvanized Yankees on […]

The loyal ladies of Clear Spring

March 23, 2013
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ClearSpring

This past week, WHILBR (Western Maryland’s Historical Library) posted a link on Facebook that caught my eye. It also reminds me… it’s been a while since I’ve written about my people up that way. Anyway, what strikes me is that the article (below) pinpoints such loyalty to the ladies of Clear Spring, Maryland. Indeed, both Four […]

A Virginia Southern Unionist, and guide for… Buford, Kilpatrick, and Merritt

March 18, 2013
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RobinsonClaim2

For there to be no more than ten pages of his claim remaining, I was able to gain a fair amount of interesting information about Southern Claims Commission applicant John J. Robinson, of Madison County, Virginia (yes, once again, I took a look at claims on the east side of the Blue Ridge!). Born in […]

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

March 17, 2013
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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 […]

A closer look at those USCT monuments and markers

March 12, 2013
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In the poll, from earlier today, I asked readers how many monuments and markers there are, that interpret the story of the USCTs. Based on the monuments/markers uploaded to the Historical Markers Database, there are 115 (using “USCT” in the search engine), and 161 (using the phrase “colored troops” in the search engine). I took […]

The state of USCT interpretation (monuments and markers): a poll

March 12, 2013
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In the discussions I’ve seen regarding the future of interpretation of USCTs, I don’t think I’ve seen anything that considers that which is underway already. I believe, before we can discuss the future of interpretation, we might do well to know the current status of the same. There are several questions that I’d like to see […]

Interpreting USCTs in places where they were not…

March 10, 2013
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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
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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 […]

“Important from Texas” – The Alamo as considered by Virginians… at that time

March 6, 2013
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On the 177th anniversary of the fall of the Alamo, I was wondering how long it took for word to reach the papers here in the Shenandoah Valley, and, in general, how the event was viewed from this area. On the day after the fall, the following appeared in the Virginia Free Press… In this, of […]

Unionism: Stacking the Valley against the rest of Virginia

March 4, 2013
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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 […]

A Unionist woman, who was also wife to a Ranger riding with Mosby

March 2, 2013
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Yes, you read that right. I happened upon this when I “strayed” beyond my normal boundaries, and took a look at claims submitted by those “deep” in Northern Virginia. Letitia Follin Strother (of Vienna, Fairfax County) submitted the claim to which I refer, and was approved. I’ll add to that… we not only know that […]

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

March 1, 2013
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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 […]

It’s the little things… an evaluation of blogging’s “seedlings” on the Web

February 28, 2013
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appleseed

Some folks obsess on numbers; some way too much. Some even write to score numbers. That’s fine. To each his/her own. Don’t get me wrong, I like to see that folks are visiting the blog, but I’ve moved on from the “obsessed by numbers phase”. In my first year or two of writing the blog… oh, yes; […]

A desperate appeal from John Minor Botts

February 27, 2013
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I abstracted the following from the May 9, 1861 edition of the Virginia Free Press (Charles Town, Virginia). The same letter had actually preceded the Free Press printing by almost a week, in the New York Times. Along with various remarks throughout, I find his five year prediction most interesting. For those who may be […]

The Finest Wares: The Old Dominion Coffee Pot

February 24, 2013
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OldDominionCoffeePotCloseUp

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
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he most complex chart, at this time, covers Page County

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 […]

Cenantua’s Blog reaches five year mark!

February 18, 2013
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I guess in one of my two posts from yesterday, I should have mentioned this, but… As of yesterday, Cenantua’s Blog has been running for five years (at least consistently. I don’t count my first entry from November 2007, since the blog didn’t really gain traction until three months later). It’s been an interesting ride, […]

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Posted in: blogging