Reconsidering 2nd Winchester

June 13, 2013
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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
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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 […]

A Southern Unionist claim from Fauquier… with a tie to Gettysburg

June 11, 2013
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I never know what I’m going to come back with after I cast my net into the Unionist claims. Today was no different. Take the case of Jane Bradford. She, along with her siblings, laid claim for losses incurred by brother Robert Morrow (who died in 1869/70), when Union soldiers cleared a fair number of […]

The approach to Winchester

June 11, 2013
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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
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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… […]

My people at Brandy Station

June 9, 2013
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… and in my family tree, I can count a fair number who were there… more so in gray than in blue, but represented in two Virginia (7th and 35th) units and one from Pennsylvania (3rd).  Those in the 7th Virginia Regiment and 35th Battalion Virginia Cavalry bore witness to the opening of the battle. […]

Do the little things matter?

June 8, 2013
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Jessie Hainning Rupert, probably in the latter 1800s, if not early 1900s.

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 […]

Reading Southern Unionist claims is educational!

June 5, 2013
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Sure, we can learn a lot of things from reading through Southern Claims Commission applications, but I had no idea that I’d increase my vocabulary! That’s right. Here’s an example… Just about every item listed in this claim should be obvious enough, but… I stumbled when I saw “shoat”. A “shoat” is a piglet which […]

“Favoriting” people in history… responsibly

June 2, 2013
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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 […]

Lagging posts, and a conflicted writer

June 1, 2013
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Yes, it’s been slow around here, and, having been in blogging now for over five years, I find it is a trend with me from latter spring, through summer. I’ll see if I can get it in gear, and do just a little better this summer than in previous years. One thing for sure, Gettysburg […]

“Rebel”… the story of Loreta Valasquez comes to PBS

May 23, 2013
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The measure of a good historical video production is found in key features. In my opinion, two of the most important are effective storytelling and accurate (at least better than that which we sometimes find in historic-based movies) history. As part of the PBS Voices series, Rebel… the tale of Loreta Velazquez, who authored (?) The […]

Deconstructing “Stonewall”

May 10, 2013
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I’ve seen a lot of it over the last week or so. How things like the wording of a place (“Jackson Shrine”) and the larger than life myth of a man are flawed. The man, place and myth… “bad juju”. Apparently more “bad juju” than a lot of folks realize. It’s a Sesqui moment I […]

Who was free black Isaac Dunn?

May 8, 2013
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There are certain things that sit there… in my mind… unanswered in my quest to understand better my ancestors and the people around them… and this is one of them. He appears but once, as far as I can tell, in the census records. Isaac Dunn was listed, on September 6, 1860, as residing with […]

For the memory of an uncle she never knew

May 2, 2013
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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
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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
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Albert L. Comer, Sr.

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… […]

The future of Civil War history… yet another angle

April 24, 2013
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Harry’s doing some interesting stuff over in his blog. If you haven’t seen it already, there are two polls… here, and here. Chime-in if you haven’t already done so. Now, that said… I’ve had something on my mind for several weeks. I keep meaning to write something about it, but I’m not quite sure how […]

“Missing” Southern Unionists

April 20, 2013
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Pardon my absence, folks, but in the wake of neck surgery, on Monday, I’ve been recuperating… trying to feel well enough to “get back in the game” in the blog. Despite the time spent recovering, I did take a few ventures (between naps) into online Southern Unionist claims. As such, I’ve discovered… “missing” Southern Unionists. […]

Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Civil War

April 11, 2013
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While the recent Brad Paisley/L.L. Cool J song raises a fuss in several corridors, I feel it’s being blown out of proportion. I’ve already commented in posts by Kevin Levin and Richard Williams, regarding some of my thoughts. For some reason (probably because of Richard’s remark regarding Nashville), it also made me reflect on a song with which […]

A closer look at Galvanized Yankees formerly of the 34th Mississippi

April 2, 2013
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Picking-up from where I left off, a few days back… I figured since someone took the time to compile a list of men of the 34th Mississippi Infantry who became Galvanized Yankees, I’d see if there might be something more to be said about these fifteen men. For starters, based on what I’ve seen in a few […]

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