Browsing All Posts filed under »Sesquicentennial«

A Southern Unionist goes home, pt. 2.

June 17, 2015 by

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]

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

April 2, 2015 by

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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

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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

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Dissecting a battlefield: on the Sesquicentenial of the Battle of Cool Spring

July 19, 2014 by

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I attended the first half of the Sesqui commemorative tour at Cool Spring yesterday… and a well-attended event it was (see Craig’s post about it, here). While I enjoyed hearing about the battle that unfolded along the Shenandoah River, I have to say… the infatuation I have with the cultural (pre-war and wartime) settings of […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The men lost on the USS Housatonic

February 17, 2014 by

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Update, 2/20/14: Please see the additional data gathered about three of the men lost, at the end of the post. While outside my normal “theater of operations”, I felt a bit obligated to write something about the Hunley, today.  Obviously, today marks the 150th anniversary of the Confederacy’s great achievement in submarine history… but also the […]

The panic of the Confederate Congress(?): a call for the conscription of free blacks

February 9, 2014 by

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Early in February, 1864, there was a small piece in one of the Staunton newspapers about the Confederate Congress considering the conscription of free blacks. No, not as armed soldiers, but as “teamsters, cooks, & etc.” Understand, however, the objection was not because they were “people of color”, but because conscripting these folks would have […]

News in the Valley: The Army of Northern Virginia’s need for shoes

February 3, 2014 by

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Ever since Craig posted about shoes last week, I’ve been thinking about posting something that might add another perspective on the need for shoes within the Army of Northern Virginia.  As Craig’s post points out, Lee was in need of leather, and if he could get the amount he needed, he could employ 500 from […]

Confederate deserters… gone bad: Shenandoah, January, 1864.

January 30, 2014 by

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A little something to consider, regarding how some Confederates had turned lawless, even by this time, 150 years ago, in the Shenandoah Valley. From the Daily Dispatch (Richmond), January 25, 1864: Along the Shenandoah river, in Jefferson and Clarke counties, a regular band of robbers has been organized, composed of deserters from our army. This […]

“Poor deluded African, he leaves his kind Master…”

January 29, 2014 by

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Note: The post got ahead of me, just a bit. Prior to posting this I planned to add one more comment… which I’ve since added at the end of this post. From page 1, column 2 of Staunton’s Republican Vindicator, January 29, 1864: We have been informed by a gentleman who has lately returned from Winchester […]

Civil liberties in the Shenandoah, January 1864

January 26, 2014 by

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Or, perhaps I should say… Civil liberties as reported on this day… 150 years ago, (and, this goes hand-in-hand, in that respect, with yesterday’s post) when the Staunton Spectator ran a piece (p. 2, column 3) previously (probably on Jan. 21) carried in the Richmond Whig: What brought this on? It was a matter of civil […]

Grain, whiskey and a question of sovereignty – Shenandoah, January 1864

January 25, 2014 by

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Note: Conscious of the typical in-and-out Web surfer, I figured I better give a heads-up that there’s a long line of quotes that follow below, extracted from the Staunton Spectator… and as regular readers know, this isn’t typically my style. I was just fascinated by the series of whiskey articles that appeared in the paper, […]

“Wait a minute. Strike that; reverse it. Thank you.”

January 13, 2014 by

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Considering the quote from Willy Wonka, I think he would have loved the versatility of blogging over writing for print. But, apart from me finding the quote useful at this time, that’s the only connection that there is between this post and Willy Wonka… So, what is it, exactly, that I want to “strike and […]

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