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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lexcover

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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USCT2

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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alamopic2

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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StrotherLetitia2

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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OsburnLoganPic

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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Bottsclose

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

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

February 17, 2013
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Laise

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
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West Point image of Charles B. Gatewood, known by his classmates as "Scipio Africanus", for his resemblence to the Roman general/statesman. Geronimo knew him as "Nanton Bse-che", meaning "Big Nose Captain".

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
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Lexingtonbook

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 […]

A Centennial reminder… WW1 on the brain

February 10, 2013
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Fischer front

Just last week, while going through boxes still remaining from my move, I came across a small bag of buttons. I was glad to find them, and they served as a reminder that the centennial of the First World War (though I can’t say for sure that some aren’t vintage WW2) is not too far […]

Posted in: The First World War

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

February 9, 2013
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Most of the buildings destroyed by Maj. Tyndale were at "the Point", where this photo was taken. The Rohr boat incident took place just to the left of this image, on the Potomac River.

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
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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” […]

Were USV enlistees making a statement… re: the great state of…EAST TENNESSEE?

February 2, 2013
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ETennessee

It’s been quite sometime since I’ve mentioned anything about the United States Volunteers. You know… the Confederate POWs who were offered a chance to get out of POW camp and serve in the U.S. Army. Anyway, recently, I was perusing the records of the USV* and noticed that, in their records of enlistment, the fellows […]

New blog focused on a Georgia family and Unionism

January 28, 2013
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It’s rare that this sort of thing pops-up, but when it does, I like to be quick to point it out… enter a new blog with Southern Unionism at the core… John Rogers’ “To Preserve Family and Farm”. The objective of John’s blog is as follows: To Preserve Family and Farm is the historical account of […]

Examples of compromised unconditional Southern Unionism

January 24, 2013
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Re-reading a book or re-watching a movie often make us realize things we didn’t earlier realize/see. So it goes with recent revisit of David Hunter Strother’s diaries in A Virginia Yankee in the Civil War. I never grow tired of reading his accounts, and with each reading I realize his Southern Unionism is more complex […]