Browsing All posts tagged under »Virginia«

One site, multiple angles for interpretation

December 19, 2010 by

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One of my favorite historic sites in Page County, Virginia is Catherine’s Furnace. Because of efforts made in the early 2000s, the site has one Virginia Civil War Trails marker. I was fortunate to be involved in deciding that the site merited a marker, and I also wrote the text and provided images for the […]

Was it that the farthest parts of western Virginia didn’t feel threatened?

December 18, 2010 by

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Was it… the right to own slaves, without interference… or… “States’ rights”? When it all boils down, what do we see? Let’s visualize slavery in Virginia, in 1860. From The Secession Movement in Virginia, 1847-1861 (1934), by Henry T. Shanks. When it comes down to what portions of Virginia did and did not secede, is […]

On the notion that emancipation would eventually come in a free and independent Southern Confederacy

December 12, 2010 by

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With the title of this post in mind… this editorial comes from the Staunton Vindicator, December 14, 1860 (courtesy the Valley of the Shadow site). Now, I realize, as an editorial, it is, or may be, just one man’s opinion, but, there appear to be reflections of the attitudes of others. I’ve placed emphasis in […]

Willa Cather’s Civil War Heritage

December 8, 2010 by

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I’m a huge fan of Writer’s Almanac, partly because it’s a great audio morsel that brings back hints of a time long gone, and partly because I’ve enjoyed listening to Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion for years.  Additionally, I enjoy the closing remark, and find it encouraging at the beginning of the work day… […]

Goodhart on “States’ Rights”

December 5, 2010 by

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Some readers might already be familiar with the story of the Loudoun Rangers… but, just in case… in short, they were Virginia’s only organized Union unit (though many a Virginian joined Union units from other states). Briscoe Goodhart was a member of Company A. In his History of the Independent Loudoun Virginia Rangers, Goodhart wrote […]

More on Southerners who relocated to the North and joined the Union army

November 17, 2010 by

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So, in the wake of Sunday’s post, I’ve been thinking. As I pointed out, the Mill Creek Baptist Church in Page County, Virginia split in 1805 over the issue of slavery. In the wake of that split, I’m curious about how many of the children of those people involved, who went to Ohio, ended up […]

How all Northerners “then” weren’t really so out of touch with “being Southern”

November 14, 2010 by

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It’s bad enough to hear some contemporary Southerners speak of Northerners as if it was still the time of the Civil War, but it’s even worse to hear Southerners speak of the people of the North from the time of the war, as if they could not, in the least bit, identify with the culture […]

An execution… a ghost’s last hymn… and a curse fulfilled(?)

October 31, 2010 by

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As I’ve mentioned several times in my postings throughout the month, October brings to mind stories of witches and ghosts, but one ghost story captures my thinking frequently throughout the month. I suppose, one can almost say that it literally “haunts” me. The story actually developed over time, with each piece of information I uncovered […]

An undertaker and his ghostly client

October 30, 2010 by

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On two separate occasions, Page News and Courier columnist Jacob R. Seekford wrote of an account of an undertaker and his encounter with a ghost. The first mention of this was in 1930 and the second was in 1937. It is interesting to note that the story got a little better with age. The story […]

“The Red-Headed Witch of Ingham”… and more

October 29, 2010 by

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With only two nights left after tonight, October is getting away from me. Not wanting to miss a few more opportunities to address the topic of ghosts and witches in the Blue Ridge, I’ve got one more about witches that you might find of interest. Once again, one of my favorite story-tellers, Jacob R. Seekford, […]

Charles M. Brown… Page County’s “Black Confederate”… or… maybe not(?)

October 27, 2010 by

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As, I believe, most are aware (mostly because of the recent issue with the textbooks in Virginia), there is a great deal of talk about the subject of “Black Confederates” at this time, and, in the CW blogosphere, I think Andy Hall and Kevin Levin are handling it just fine. I’ve engaged in discussion about […]

Welcome readers of the Page News and Courier

October 27, 2010 by

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As the last article for my newspaper column (of over thirteen years) appears in the weekly edition of the Page News and Courier today, and an open invitation to join me at my blog was included in the article… I just wanted to say a quick “hi!” to those folks as they join us… here. […]

Regarding Mrs. Fannie S. Gibbons

October 24, 2010 by

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Having promised to tell more about the subject of the poem that I posted the other day… I really don’t know a great deal about Fannie Gibbons, but know much more about her husband. Nonetheless… Fannie Shacklett, daughter of Samuel (1804-1886) and Maria Graham Henry Shacklett (1811-1870) was born April 27, 1834; Samuel Shacklett being […]

The Haunted Rocking Chair of Pine Grove

October 17, 2010 by

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Ok, ok… what the heck… one more post before bedtime… and in the theme of the month. Something short tonight… and if you recall, in the post a while back, that UVA student who sent the letter to Jacob R. Seekford mentioned something about a haunted rocking chair. The place of this happening was at […]

Sunday afternoons with “The Porte”, Part VIII

October 17, 2010 by

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Continuing from Strother’s last… On Monday, 22d of April, the excitement still continued, the mobs occasionally breaking into shops in search of arms. The battle of Cockeysville did not take place as was expected. The Pennsylvanians, who were for the most part unarmed and altogether unprepared for a warlike encounter, had received warning of the […]

We interupt this broadcast… Strother on Brown’s Raid

October 17, 2010 by

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I missed the opportunity during the 150th anniversary of the raid, but thought some might enjoy reading what David Hunter Strother (aka “Porte Crayon” or, here, known as “The Porte”) had to say about the John Brown incident. On the morning of the 17th… 151 years ago today… we find Strother in his office in […]

Caroline & the Jack O’ Lantern

October 16, 2010 by

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This ghostly tale is a bit differentv from that of Doc Amiss. What I find particularly interesting is that it comes from the time before the Civil War, and involves one of the Brumback family slaves. I found this tale in a column (a long-running column, I might add) called “Do You Remember”, which appeared […]

FYI… “ghosting” Staunton tonight

October 15, 2010 by

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More to follow… I hope.

An appeal for assistance – the grave of Churchill Jones Crittenden

October 12, 2010 by

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Among other things, this month also marks 146 years since the execution of two Maryland Confederate troopers in my home county. A rare request from me, but I think a worthy effort… One of the headstones needing attention in Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia, is that of Churchill Jones Crittenden. Even though a replacement headstone […]

Sunday afternoons with “The Porte”, Part VII

October 10, 2010 by

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What?! Did you think the entire month was going to be dedicated to ghosts, witches, and the generally eerie? On and off since May, I’ve been transcribing David Hunter Strother‘s “Personal Recollections of the Civil War. By a Virginian” as originally published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, beginning in June 1866. Though I don’t transcribe […]

“water of many turns”

October 9, 2010 by

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Just the other day, I made reference to the Lenape/Delaware word “Conococheague“, which means “water of many turns.” Funny, but that pretty much summarizes the way I write this blog… not to mention the fluid nature of many blogs. The content can turn, twist, and completely shift, without warning. It’s more a reflection of what […]

How did the doctor “take care” of the witch?

October 8, 2010 by

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Just thinking back to how the doctor “saw to it” that the witch that “cursed” my great-great grandmother would be “in hell by morning.” Frankly, we will probably never know his method, and will wonder about the wide range of possibilities. Still, Samuel Kercheval did mention a couple of methods by which one could “cure… […]

Early burial customs from the Valley

October 7, 2010 by

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Just a little something I thought might be of interest… this being from a newspaper column from 1937, reflecting on the old burial customs. We, of the younger generation, accustomed as we are to the modern funerals, with everything being done that is possible to alleviate the anguish of the family and friends of the […]

Why “Cenantua”?

October 6, 2010 by

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I love this time of year. It’s a chilly day, the sky is overcast… … I have a fire in the wood stove… … and a relaxing cup of cappuccino in my manly-man Mickey Mouse coffee mug (what else??!!) is close at-hand. Feels like a good time to sit down and write… just wish I […]