Browsing All Posts filed under »Appalachian culture«

The Confederate Flag… what some people seem to fail to realize

July 13, 2015 by

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I’m going to go off topic for just a bit… Still sitting back, watching all that’s taking place… Anyway, I drove down a long country back road in the Shenandoah Valley yesterday. It’s not unusual to see an occasional Confederate flag… not at all. Before mid-June, you’d zip past it in a car and might not […]

James Kirke Paulding provides a window to the early nineteenth century Shenandoah

January 26, 2015 by

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In digging backwards from the Civil War, through the literature that mentions the Shenandoah Valley, I came upon a great work written by James Kirke Paulding. In 1816, Paulding ventured into the Valley and apparently stuck around a bit, providing some details as to what he encountered. So, what is the value of reading experiences […]

Henry Ruffner’s Ghost Story (“A Screech”)

October 31, 2014 by

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A Screech Amongst the earliest settlers in the Kanawha valley was george Alderson, who had been a man of the woods from his youth. Though not much of a scholar, yet he could read, write, and cast up accounts, which, altogether was more than the majority of his sylvan contemporaries could do. He was a […]

Ruffner’s thoughts on writing for recreation

October 31, 2014 by

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In an article in the July, 1856 edition of the Southern Literary Messenger, Dr. Henry Ruffner wrote: A few months before Alderson’s death, my father and uncle had purchased the land on which he lived near the old salt lick above Charleston, with the view of experimenting for salt water upon it. A few months […]

The Civil War, “Puritan influence” and Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”

December 30, 2013 by

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First, I sincerely hope everyone had a pleasant Christmas and holiday season. I meant to post prior to Christmas, but time got away from me. So, back at it, then… This is a different sort of post, but… I’m in a discussion elsewhere, and this is the result. I’ve heard, on more than one occasion, where […]

The less you know, the better the ghost story: the real Corbin Cabin of Nicholson Hollow

October 24, 2013 by

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Since it’s October, I figured I’d bring up a ghost story… not that I care much for it. To be honest, I see it amounting to something along the lines of the tall tales told by George Freeman Pollock. Anyway, there’s this “ghost story” about Corbin Cabin, in Shenandoah National Park, that came out and got attention a […]

What’s the objective?

August 27, 2013 by

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For the (over) five years in which I’ve been blogging, I’ve focused mostly on the American Civil War. As the title of the blog suggests, however, I have room to roam whenever I get the whim. I don’t like to keep myself too “hemmed-in”. The title has given me enough flexibility that I feel comfortable moving in just […]

“Civilized” Moonshine… is just wrong

October 19, 2012 by

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Earlier this morning, I took a “stroll” through FaceBook entries and saw one* which revealed a photo of a clear bourbon glass… the contents of said glass were ice cubes and… Moonshine. On top of that, it was served at Skyland, on the Skyline Drive.   As if instinctively, I felt my soul seem to cry out… “Oh, […]

Folklorist in a can?

October 3, 2012 by

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I was surfing the Web the other day and ran across a couple university pages in which Folklore is the focus of masters degrees. I have to say, it felt a bit strange to see such a thing. Even as one who holds two masters degrees, I feel as if the art of the folklorist/storyteller […]

Southern Unionism in music

April 12, 2012 by

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This clip was uploaded to YouTube earlier this year and I just found it… and wow, what a great piece! The description states: It’s not commonly known that there were many southerners who fought for the union during the Civil War. Most of them were from the mountains. This song is about one such southern unionist. […]

On my supposed isolationist “hillbilly” roots: the Nicholson family in Madison County, Va., part 3

November 13, 2011 by

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Sorry for the delay… busy week. O.K., where was I? Oh, yes… First, I need to say, this has been a very fluid set of posts, and all are subject to modification at this point (the beauty of blogs… they aren’t really “set-hard in ink”). I started off writing this with an idea of where […]

On my supposed isolationist “hillbilly” roots: the Nicholson family in Madison County, Va., part 2

November 6, 2011 by

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Though Pollock’s first contact with Madison County took place in October, 1886, and it was the beginning of a long series of events that would impact the mountain people there, it seems unlikely that he actually visited Nicholson Hollow (also known as “Free State Hollow”) at the time. He does, however, mention it briefly, in […]