Browsing All Posts filed under »Civil War Memory – General«

A closer look at those USCT monuments and markers

March 12, 2013 by


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 by


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 by


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 by


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 by


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 […]

A desperate appeal from John Minor Botts

February 27, 2013 by


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 […]

Thoughts on Lt. Gatewood’s (Geronimo fame) Confederate AND military roots

February 17, 2013 by


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.’ […]

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

February 2, 2013 by


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 […]

Georgia on my mind… and a different sort of Southern Unionist

January 18, 2013 by


While the Shenandoah Valley is first in my heart among favorite places, Georgia holds a very special place in it as well… specifically, coastal Georgia. That’s where my mind seemed to wonder off this past weekend, as temps here in the Valley teetered between the upper 50s/lower 60s. That’s weather reminiscent of winters in coastal […]

Another perspective on Emancipation Day

January 1, 2013 by


It didn’t dawn on me until I read a post on Facebook… Yes, I know it’s the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, and I’ve been keenly aware of that since midnight. Some see the document and its reach as meaningless, but those who do so seem to look at it more from the surface… […]

… and, yes… Southern Unionists also charged the stone wall at Fredericksburg.

December 13, 2012 by


I’ll get back to my discussion of the civilian Southern Unionists who lived in and around Fredericksburg. There’s some interesting twists and turns that I’ve come across… not what I was looking for, but… and it may be that posts about some of these folks will span from this month through May. But… today being the 150th […]

Southern Unionists around Fredericksburg

December 8, 2012 by


As Sesqui events kick-off in Fredericksburg this weekend, leading-up to the anniversary of the battle this coming Thursday, I figured this would be a good subject to bring forward at this particular time. In retrospect, it might have been a good thing to do since the beginning of the Sesquicentennial… write short pieces, now and then, in conjunction […]

Jackson’s gone

December 6, 2012 by


Some might expect to see this title this coming May. Others might get what I’m saying, realizing that I’m referring to Jackson leaving the Valley, 150 years ago last month. As things were I just wasn’t able to post within the Sesqui envelope, in conjunction with the actual dates… but it was on my mind […]

A larger project in the works

October 25, 2012 by


Obviously, I’ve not been writing a great deal over the past few weeks. For one, I’ve been struggling with a bout of writer’s block. On top of that I’m battling with content… what I want to put in a blog, and what I want to put in a book. Yup, a book is in the […]

Schmucker’s ties to the Shenandoah Valley Lutheran community, and his abolitionist interests

September 28, 2012 by


This past weekend, reader/blogger Vince (of Lancaster at War) suggested something that sounded worth further investigation… and I was soon on the hunt, looking to see how Samuel Simon Schmucker may have impacted Lutheran ministers in the Shenandoah Valley. Since Schmucker was head of the Gettysburg Seminary during the decades (to be specific, 1826-1864) leading-up […]

What’s in the bag?

September 28, 2012 by


Things… … inanimate things. But, it’s not things in general that I’m considering here. No. Rather, it’s things having been bought, that we walk away with when leaving historical places… and… it’s historical things that we can buy. What is the purpose of these things? As I grow older, I see them differently than I once […]

German influence in the Shenandoah Valley… even into the Civil War

September 23, 2012 by


I posed a question yesterday… But, how far back, before the 1850s, is it necessary to take such a study? Of course, I meant, specifically… how the varying sentiments during the Civil War era South came to be… and how they might be traceable  to earlier points in time. Again, as one who concentrates heavily […]

Southern… but at what point did “alternative roads” course outward?

September 22, 2012 by


There’s a great deal of time and effort spent at looking at Southerners in the Civil War, and in the years leading-up to the secession crisis. We see several books, articles, blog posts, etc. focused on “what they were fighting for” (in this instance, one could say this statement applies to both Southern Confederates and Southern Unionists), […]

Review: American Experience presents… “Death and the Civil War”

September 17, 2012 by


As one who often takes strolls among the graves of Civil War dead (and as one who is a regular follower of American Experience), I was very eager to see how the upcoming episode would deal with the “process” of death during the war. I’m glad to say… I was not disappointed. In Death and […]

Nobody really cares (NOT!): Sesqui 150, “Live” @ Antietam

September 17, 2012 by


On my drive toward Antietam this morning, I wondered how many would actually be there (here) so early in the morning. Upon closing-in on the park entrance, I noticed the increased traffic. Making the left turn and rounding the corner… the Visitor’s Center parking lot was closed… already full. I continued past the Dunker Church […]

“It is a good time of the day”: Antietam

September 16, 2012 by


I’ve stopped briefly, after my walk from the Visitor’s Center to the Bloody Lane tower. Part of me considers the civilians on this day, 150 years ago… their concerns of what might yet come. Part of me considers relatives in gray, on the next day, near Dunker Church… Part of me considers relatives in blue, […]

Hurrah, for Thomas Walter! A Sesqui reflection.

September 15, 2012 by


I had hoped to have this posted on the anniversary of the event, but six days later… can’t be too bad with a “live” blog post from the actual site! So… 150 years ago, six days ago… Thomas Walter saved what is one of the most attractive features of the old C&O Canal… the Monocacy […]

Catching-up: day 3 of the Harpers Ferry-Antietam Sesqui weekend

September 15, 2012 by


Finding myself adequately worn-out after the hike up Maryland Heights, on Thursday… and then the “breakout” tour in Harpers Ferry, last night, I haven’t been able to keep pace with blog posts. So, drafting a hasty one before heading out this morning. It’s been great so far. The hike up Maryland Heights… with a friend/co-worker […]

The alarm goes out in Clear Spring, 150 years ago today

September 10, 2012 by


Following-up on my post from Saturday, I look back again at the village of Clear Spring. I have nothing to show how my ancestors felt… there and in nearby Four Locks. Instead, I rely on what is available… not so much as a reflection of what they also felt, but to add another dimension to the […]

Across the Potomac and into Maryland

September 7, 2012 by


It’s where my mind has been for the past few days… Since September 4th, I’ve been thinking about the Confederates crossing the Potomac and moving into Maryland, and how long the news might have taken to reach my family members, just to the west of Hagerstown. My third great grandmother Kate Moore lived near Four […]

An ironic newspaper ad

September 3, 2012 by


But more from our vantage point, and not from those who read it at the time… This is from the September 3, 1862 edition of Hagerstown’s newspaper… 150 years ago today. Now, I guess it seems more ironic because of 1) Hagerstown’s proximity to Sharpsburg/Antietam… and 2) the fact that, in just 14 days, the […]

Maryland’s “Treason Law” of 1862 & the “sharp tune” it played between a Southern Unionist and his Confederate son

September 2, 2012 by


I’m a little late on this one, and had intended to post something about it in March, when on or near the actual Sesqui anniversary, but… better late than never, I suppose. On top of that, having a severe hankering for western Maryland-related content (it’s been quite a while since I last posted anything about […]

John Albert Racer of Page County… Southern Unionist?

September 2, 2012 by


A friend of mine asked me if I thought his ancestor (John Albert Racer) might have been a Southern Unionist. He has a hunch he was, plus, there’s some pretty interesting stuff surrounding this fellow’s life in the war. For one, there’s a pretty cool story that comes out of Page County, about one of […]

Reflections on the Brawner Farm

August 28, 2012 by


It’s usually not my practice to post things without giving them much thought (at least from what you, the reader can see in my words here… but I’m surely giving it thought “off-paper” or, considering the platform… “off-web”), but… in that this is almost 150 years to the hour since it began, this evening my […]

Our National Parks

August 20, 2012 by


A story hit today that is painful to read… the National Park Service is set to get the ax once again. Now, this really isn’t a surprise, because many have seen the writing on the wall for quite some time, but to see it in print is a painful reminder. The strange part of this […]


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