Browsing All Posts filed under »American Civil War«

Consider, for example, an unwelcome army on your doorstep…

July 2, 2015 by

4

Think about it. When was the last time your government threatened to deploy the military of your government to your neck of the woods. Of course, I’m not talking about a simple military exercise, but a full-blown deployment set on silencing what appeared to be… for better or worse, whether you were in agreement with it […]

When does it go too far?

June 25, 2015 by

4

With the Charleston massacre being at the center of it all… I’ve spent a little more time sitting and listening… (although, I have felt compelled to post, on Facebook, about the “collateral damage”, as those events have sped by). I’m struck by the manner in which we can be so focused, in our conversations, on one topic and […]

Charleston… and observations

June 23, 2015 by

11

Update: I don’t think I was vague about my opinion on the Confederate flag in public venues, and you can see that below. How the symbolism of the flag contributed to the actions of the shooter are also mentioned, but only briefly. To be clear, the issue of the flag is only an aside to my […]

A Southern Unionist goes home, pt. 2.

June 17, 2015 by

0

Continuing with Porte Crayon’s “Home”… but first, as mentioned in the blog post on Tuesday, keep in mind that Crayon (David Hunter Strother) lays out a story that differs from his actual experiences of returning home to Martinsburg and then later, Berkeley Springs. Still, one has to wonder where reality might intersect with fiction. We […]

A Southern Unionist goes home.

June 16, 2015 by

1

By far, one of my favorite blogging experiences of the Sesqui was posting David Hunter Strother’s accounts of the early war (before he joined the Union army), in real time. It should be no surprise, therefore, that I often find myself returning to Strother for the rich content he left behind. Interestingly, in addition to […]

With the end of the Sesqui, a return to meatier content?

June 11, 2015 by

1

It’s been nearly two months since my last blog posts, and one might think, with the end of the Sesquicentennial (don’t split hairs with me… I know there’s more that can be considered “on the calendar”, this year… and one event of interest to me is on the horizon), so too came the end to this blog. Not […]

7:22 a.m., April 15… what range of emotions followed?

April 15, 2015 by

0

At 7:22:10 a.m., there will be reflection by many on the meaning of the day and hour. Sadly… most others, I suspect, will remain indifferent, except for the instance in which they might happen to run across a newspaper article or something on the internet or t.v., and have that “Ah, that happened today” moment. Others […]

Magill, on the initial hours of the evacuation of Richmond

April 2, 2015 by

0

Picking-up from the previous post, and continuing with Magill’s account: No pen can describe the horror of the moment. In the streets all was confusion. Officers hurried to the different departments of the Government. The Banks were open, and the depositors eagerly embraced the opportunity to withdraw their gold, while the Directors superintended the removal […]

April 2, 1865, from a vantage point within the Second Presbyterian Church, Richmond

April 2, 2015 by

5

Taking the time to read various works of fiction from the antebellum period (and shortly after the war), one comes to understand that, quite often, the authors of these works were writing accounts of their own experiences. Mary Tucker Magill was one of those authors. Interestingly, in 1886, Magill’s story (which had originally appeared in […]

Present for the last gasps… on the 150th of Five Forks

April 1, 2015 by

1

I thought about how this post might come together, and I think my reflections are on both the meaning of the day, and on the manner in which I’ve taken-in a lot of the Sesqui. So… … it was on this day, 150 years ago that the Army of Northern Virginia suffered a critical defeat […]

A different contribution to the “Sesqui landscape”, on the last days of the war

March 26, 2015 by

12

It shouldn’t be too hard to imagine… I subscribe to a number of different Civil War-related blogs, sites, Facebook pages, etc., and over the last week or so, I’ve watched as many have focused on the closing fights… at places like Bentonville and Fort Stedman. While even I noted the anniversary of the attack on Stedman (not in […]

“Be Kind”

February 11, 2015 by

17

I really need to get back to J.K. Paulding, and hope to do so soon, but in the meantime… Lacking in my knowledge of the Crusades (apart from the romantic efforts of antebellum Virginians to recapture a little of that), I spent some time recently (thanks to a recent event that made news), looking at a […]

An Antebellum snapshot of “The Tuleyries”

January 3, 2015 by

5

Note to the reader: Please, if visiting the Virginia Arboretum, remember… “The Tuleyries” is private property and the grounds are not open for visits. All of the photos you see in this post were taken from a distance. Thanks. Following up from my walk this past Sunday… For starters… let’s get the name issue cleared […]

“Marion Harland’s” Civil War

December 27, 2014 by

0

Though not a Shenandoah Valley author, Mary Virginia Hawes Terhune (aka… “Marion Harland”) is still someone who caught my attention. Yes… Virginia-born, but… she comes with a particular twist when dealing with the Civil War. Here’s what the entry in Encyclopedia Virginia has to say about her and the war… Harland’s novels were written over […]

Revisiting the movie,”Field of Lost Shoes”… and the portrayal of “Old Judge”

December 19, 2014 by

2

It’s no mystery that I cared little for the movie the Field of Lost Shoes. Folks can go to Keith Harris’ online journal, The Americanist Independent (access is free now), to see the review that I wrote. In short, the story of the VMI cadets and their New Market experience deserves thoughtful consideration… and a film worthy of […]

Charles T. O’Ferrall remembers the trial of Southern Unionist, Col. John Strother

December 8, 2014 by

0

Something I ran across again, just recently… and, a pleasant “revisit” of a couple of my favorite topics (Southern Unionism and David Hunter Strother). As some may recall, I have mentioned the incident relating to the capture and trial of Col. John Strother in a previous post… as remembered by his son, David Hunter Strother. No […]

Stonewall Jackson’s sister-in-law on… Thanksgiving.

November 27, 2014 by

1

For a number of years I’ve posted different perspectives on Thanksgiving (here, here, and here, for example), and usually related to “Southern memory”. Ultimately, there seems to be a tug of war between traditional and historic firsts. Yet, while there are those who stand resistant to the tradition inspired by Massachusetts Bay’s Puritans, perhaps they shouldn’t […]

To find a cavalry battlefield… on the back roads of Frederick County, pt 3

November 15, 2014 by

0

Alright… so where is the portion of the battlefield, of November 12, 1864, where the 7th Virginia saw their heaviest fighting of the day? As I mentioned yesterday… after coming to the aid of the 11th Virginia Cavalry, on the south bank of Cedar Creek, the 7th and the 12th moved to Middle Road to […]

To find a cavalry battlefield… on the back roads of Frederick County, part 2

November 13, 2014 by

3

Continuing in my effort to figure out the site of the cavalry fight of November 12, I turned again to Pennington’s report… knowing he had provided estimated distances from Mount Zion to Cedar Creek, and beyond Lebanon Church. Pennington wrote: I moved out with the whole brigade and attacked the enemy… succeeded in driving him […]

To find a cavalry battlefield… on the back roads of Frederick County, pt. 1

November 12, 2014 by

7

While I’ve known for many years that one of my great-great grandfathers was grievously wounded, on November 12, 1864, I’ve never given the location much thought. It just seemed that, given the information available in his service record, Pvt. James Harvey Mayes was wounded in a fight at the little village of Nineveh, just north […]

Happy 239th, Marines! Here’s to “Chesty”… and with a Civil War tie-in.

November 10, 2014 by

1

Ask any Marine, and he/she will know the significance of Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller… period. Likewise, it should be no surprise that the legend of “Chesty” finds its way to the kids of Marines. And, so it goes with me. I don’t know when, exactly, but… it was probably before I was nine, when I thumbed my […]

The other Jimmy Stewart and a “Shenandoah”/”It’s a Wonderful Life” twist

November 5, 2014 by

5

In many ways, the dust is starting to settle on the Sesqui of the Civil War in the Shenandoah Valley. That’s not to say, however, that with the Battle of Cedar Creek, there’s nothing more worth noting. Just as an example, next week, I’ll be marking the anniversary of one engagement that won’t otherwise get […]

Thoughts on the opening days of “the Burning”

September 27, 2014 by

9

In a rare opportunity (at least it’s been rather rare, for me, in these past two months) this morning, I had the chance to sit in my study… a window open… and enjoy a cup of coffee while I took in all that I could on this early Autumn day. The cool air (a brisk […]

Thinking about the Sesqui of Strother’s farewell from the army

August 9, 2014 by

1

Around 1:30 p.m. (I’m almost to the very minute when posting this), 150 years ago on this day, David Hunter Strother boarded a train at Harper’s Ferry, bound for Baltimore. He was just taking 20 days leave of absence… but ultimately, it sure appears as if he had had his fill of war. Was it […]

One narrow vision… followed by a more remarkable set of 19th century observations by Brantz Mayer

July 11, 2014 by

9

I read, somewhere recently, about how someone holds such low regard for Harper’s Ferry… because… as this person sees things… the site interprets John Brown as a hero. It’s actually odd, but John Brown only crosses my mind a couple of times when I visit (which, as regular readers know, is often) Harper’s Ferry, and when he […]

Valley men rush to the defense of… Washington?

July 8, 2014 by

4

This past weekend, I spent a little time enjoying the “Invasion Stalled” program at Harper’s Ferry. While it did indeed stall… Gen. Jubal Early bypassed Harper’s Ferry, and continued his press toward Washington. Gen. Ulysses Grant, however, didn’t hesitate, and by July 6 had dispatched more troops to deal with Early’s advance. Those extra troops […]

D.H. Strother observes… “negro servants bearing arms”

June 29, 2014 by

0

This afternoon, I spent some time revisiting Strother’s recollections of the early war. As always, “Porte Crayon” never disappoints… Still a civilian at the time, Strother made various notes regarding what he saw on Saturday, June 15, 1861 (153 years ago this month), as Joseph E. Johnston’s Confederates marched through Charles Town, Virginia… Looking along […]

A follow-up on Faulkner and his thoughts on slavery

June 22, 2014 by

1

I happened to be passing through Hagerstown yesterday, and had the chance to slip in to the public library for about 2 hours, to browse through older editions of the newspapers. One of my objectives… to look-up articles about Faulkner. What I found didn’t disappoint, including one particular piece that gave a hint as to […]