Browsing All Posts filed under »American Civil War«

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

March 26, 2015 by

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]

What might we learn from C.J. Faulkner’s speech of Jan. 1832?

June 19, 2014 by

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For years, I’ve thought an argument was extremely weak. Descendants defending Confederate ancestors…. that they did not fight for slavery. A lot of folks base it simply on the fact that an ancestor did not own slaves. It’s a poor foundation for an argument, and I don’t recommend it. On the other hand, we have […]

A Father’s Day story with a Sesqui tie-in

June 15, 2014 by

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It’s ironic, but today is the 150th anniversary of an event that is unique… it’s about fathers… and it happens to fall on Father’s Day. That said, I wish I could say it will leave you with a warm feeling, but… June 15, 1864 was a Wednesday. Of that day, David Hunter Strother remembered Early […]

Strother and the 1st New York Cavalry on African-American Conscripts in Winchester

June 14, 2014 by

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I’ve been enjoying myself much this morning by reading through David Hunter Strother’s coverage of events from March to June 1864. Whenever I read Strother, I’m never disappointed at his observations and what he is thinking. That said, I’m pretty sure if I actually had the opportunity, this guy would be at the top of […]

A Confederate’s lament over the death of Thackeray

June 7, 2014 by

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I was recently thumbing through the editions from the last year (1864) of the Southern Literary Messenger, trying to find any traces that might be lingering… evidence of a passion for literature… among Southerners. Not surprisingly, there were the normal pieces associated with the war… not so much literature, in the Scott/Dickens/Irving sense… but… more along the lines of […]

“Porte Crayon” in Harrisonburg, June 2, 1864

June 2, 2014 by

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It’s been an extraordinarily busy past few months, and postings here have suffered mightily for it. That said, last night I happened to “catch-up” with David Hunter Strother, as the Federal army advanced up the Shenandoah Valley toward Staunton. As of June 2, Strother awoke (near New Market) to find his “fine bay horse” gone… […]

A Valley man returns to the Wilderness

May 6, 2014 by

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Thinking still of the fighting in the Wilderness this week, I recall a passage in a book of mine (Ups and Downs of a Confederate Soldier) in which a Valley man (James Huffman) reflected on his youth and one of his passages through the Wilderness, around 1854. When I was about fourteen, I began to […]

Confederates by choice… or by circumstance?

May 3, 2014 by

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Here were are again… on the eve of a major period of Sesqui events. Just to the east, there is the Overland Campaign… and closer to home, here in the Shenandoah Valley… there is Sigel’s advance up the Valley. Yet, to me, there are more than troop movements and battles, especially when May of 1864 […]

Confederate History Month – a disservice to Antebellum Southern history?

April 2, 2014 by

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I know… I’ve been incredibly quiet for well over a month, but I’ve been considering various things regarding directions in which to go with writing history. Another topic for another day, perhaps. For now, however, since “Confederate History Month” (as I was reminded by a post I saw on Facebook this morning) is now underway, it […]

Cole vs. Mosby: The end to a “rivalry”(?)

February 21, 2014 by

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February 21, 1864 was a Sunday. A good day, it seems, for an ending. Mosby had ordered his command to assemble at Piedmont to attend the funeral of Ranger Joseph McCobb (a rather elusive person to find in records, by the way), who had been killed (by a fall from his horse) in the fight, the day […]

From Belle Isle to warmer climate

February 19, 2014 by

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After experiencing life at Belle Isle (even after just a few months), the thought of heading south, to a new POW camp in Georgia may have had its perks. Warmer weather and healthier conditions may have come to the minds of Union prisoners of war, though the thought of being farther from home may have […]