Browsing All Posts filed under »Shenandoah Valley history«

Following-up on the panel dicussion on the Legacy of the American Civil War, at the Library of Virginia

August 24, 2013 by


Finally getting around to posting about it, but I had a great time at the panel held at the Library of Virginia. For those who weren’t able to make it, check out the video below. There were some great folks on the panel, who shared their perspectives, and gave me time to think more about […]

The battle for and against Southern Heritage

August 21, 2013 by


There is a struggle that exists (and thrives) that continues to feed misconceptions, and I can’t help but cringe when I hear either argument. There are those who say that they defend Southern Heritage… but that is usually limited to a fraction of the heritage that did, in fact, make up the South. Usually, it’s […]

146 years ago, this month

August 15, 2013 by


Yes, that would make it… 1867. Not quite a Sesqui event, at least not yet. Sometimes it just feels right to get back to some more simple curiosities of history, as they impacted the Shenandoah Valley… So, scrolling through the newspapers in the area (lower Shenandoah) for the latter part of August, 1867, I ran […]

Ward Hill Lamon, his brother, Robert… and Christian F. Laise

July 24, 2013 by


It might seem that the title implies a connection between all three. Yes, all three can be considered Southern Unionists, but I don’t think Laise had any actual association with the Lamon brothers. Apart from their Southern Unionist leanings, all three had a connection to place… Gerrardstown, West Virginia. That was the focus of my […]

Legacy lost – Valley men of the 54th Massachusetts at Wagner

July 17, 2013 by


Tomorrow marks the day made famous by the movie Glory. It might be that we are only truly aware of it, on a larger scale, because of the movie (update: Craig’s got an excellent piece on the fight… and a word to the wise, just in case the movie made you think otherwise… the 54th wasn’t the […]

Rolling the clock back just a little further

July 12, 2013 by


Alright, let’s depart the Sesqui train just for a bit. Forget “150 years ago” for the moment. Let’s think something more along the lines of… 212 years. Let’s even be specific… November 10, 1801. So far, this year (1801), John Marshall was appointed US chief justice; the electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr […]

Who was this Capt. Summers who fell at White House Farm?

July 9, 2013 by


I first encountered a reference to Capt. Summers (see yesterday’s post in which I mention his death) when I was looking into the names of the different G.A.R. posts in this general area. It so happens that George D. Summers Post No. 13 was out of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. There is, by the way, […]

Gettysburg and the Centennial… that begins in a couple of days

June 29, 2013 by


You didn’t read that wrong. People, I think, just tend to forget. The Sesqui overshadows the fact that this coming week is also the Centennial for the tremendous reunion that took place in 1913. There’s nothing wrong with that… it’s just the way it is. I’ll be heading out on Monday morning with two objectives… […]

Did West Virginia know what it was doing?

June 20, 2013 by


Yesterday, on Harper’s Ferry’s Facebook page, I saw a comment in response to a post about the following day (today) being the 150th anniversary of the birth of West Virginia. The response was simply… “Traitors!!!” Obviously, it wasn’t a comment that involved much thought, to say nothing of the evident lack of knowledge when it […]

Reconsidering 2nd Winchester

June 13, 2013 by


It might be hard to believe, but a decade ago, I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought. Back then, it was clear to me… the Shenandoah Valley was Confederate and, any effort made by Confederates here was to rid “Yankees” from it. The understanding being that “Yankees” meant anyone who came in, from […]

Heading home… without knowing it.

June 12, 2013 by


As we continue to move forward to the Sesquicentennial of Gettysburg, I’m also reminded… for whatever reason, why today, I have no clue… that there were also soldiers from Gettysburg, heading home… though, at this point, 150 years ago… that wasn’t what they were thinking. I realize there was more than just one company of […]

The approach to Winchester

June 11, 2013 by


Around noon today, I launched the first tweet of what I hope will be a series that will follow the troop movements leading up to Second Winchester. For those who might be inclined, you are welcome to follow along, via my Twitter feed (or follow #2ndWinchester150 and #Gettysburg150). I’ll try to post as close as possible […]

Was Gen. David Hunter the same man in ’64 as in ’63?

June 10, 2013 by


Blogging pal Craig Swain’s post today caught my eye… well, actually, all it probably took was to see “Shenandoah Valley” in the title. :) Anyway, after another excellent post about Gen. David Hunter’s activities on the Georgia coast (since, we are right there, time-wise, in the Sesqui of those events) he asks an excellent question… […]

Do the little things matter?

June 8, 2013 by


It My concern in bringing this up might seem trivial to some, but it’s not. I assure you. Just stop for a minute and consider a couple of things… keeping in mind, of course, the Civil War era. When someone is identified as an abolitionist… what do you envision? When someone is identified as being […]

“Favoriting” people in history… responsibly

June 2, 2013 by


Recalling that David Hunter Strother’s memoirs picked-up again (the last entry, just before that, was May 19, 1863) around June 1, 1863, or so, I started this morning (somewhat of a “Sesqui moment”) by flipping to a page in A Virginia Yankee in the Civil War. After campaigning in the deep South, Strother had returned […]

For the memory of an uncle she never knew

May 2, 2013 by


It’s a major reason why I’m headed to Chancellorsville in just under six hours. I can list all my relatives in the 10th Virginia, the 33rd Virginia, and the Purcell Artillery who were there, fighting, on May 3, 1863. I can also list my relatives in the 7th West Virginia Infantry who were there, fighting, […]

He gave them victories

May 1, 2013 by


May 1, 2013… so begins the Sesqui of the Battle of Chancellorsville. As such, I’ve been thinking… What if Stonewall Jackson lived to command beyond Chancellorsville? Frankly, any forward speculation of his possible performances in battles after Chancellorsville is subject to so many factors that it’s not even funny. As such, forward speculation is a […]

Passing of the last real child of the Stonewall Brigade(?)

April 29, 2013 by


I’ve been seeing postings lately, mostly on Face Book, about the last four surviving children of Civil War veterans (actually, it focused on the last four just in Virginia alone… and I didn’t seem to catch that last part), and I added to each that I thought they were missing somebody. I’m sorry to say… […]

My first glimpse at my contributions to “Lexington, Virginia and the Civil War”

March 17, 2013 by


Yesterday, I was very pleased to receive two copies of Richard Williams’ book, Lexington, Virginia and the Civil War, along with an additional item… Richard was very kind in adding the gift of a very special pen, made partly from the wood of the Stonewall Jackson Prayer Tree, which once stood near Grottoes, but was fallen […]

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 […]

Unionism: Stacking the Valley against the rest of Virginia

March 4, 2013 by


The following is the result of tallying raw figures (for the entire Commonwealth of Virginia) from Fold3. I simply added the total number of claims that appear in their approved & barred/disallowed categories for Virginia and West Virginia. Sixty-three Virginia counties and nine West Virginia counties are represented in the approved claims. Meanwhile, all ninety-five […]

Logan Osburn throws in the towel… but later tries to backtrack

March 1, 2013 by


The measure of conditional Unionism varied from person to person. Jefferson County’s Logan Osburn provides an excellent example of that, and I’ll show how in just a minute. Ultimately, in measuring Unionists… and yes, even some “eventual Confederates”… Unionism is the common thread from which “conditionals” broke. Going back even further, there is a valid […]

The Finest Wares: The Old Dominion Coffee Pot

February 24, 2013 by


Since I began frequenting Harpers Ferry a few years ago, I’ve found an interest in items that were sold/used in the mid-19th century. Antiques… yes, but usually specific to the years between 1830 and 1870. In addition to the narrow span of years, I generally seek out items that would have been used in my neck […]

Visualizing the Valley’s Unionism

February 20, 2013 by


With an interest in seeing Southern Unionism from a different perspective, I’ve been tinkering with data a bit. The following pie charts are just some examples of the ways in which I’m reviewing some of the data I’ve compiled. Each illustrates the different levels of completeness for the various counties of the Shenandoah Valley. Comparing […]

Christian F. Laise’s ties to Berkeley County’s freedmen and Unionists

February 17, 2013 by


A couple of years ago there was a good article in The Journal (Martinsburg, W.V.), in which postwar (1880s, actually) efforts by Christian Frederick Laise were part of the focus. Berkeley County has an African-American area listed in the National Register. After their freedom at the end of the Civil War, many former slaves had […]

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.’ […]

Richard Williams and his forthcoming book, Lexington, Virginia and the Civil War

February 11, 2013 by


Earlier today, Richard Williams revealed my small part in his forthcoming book, Lexington, Virginia and the Civil War. It was indeed an honor for me, that Richard asked if I could contribute something pertaining to Southern Unionists in Lexington and Rockbridge County.   The contribution also gave me thoughts as to where I want to […]

Not in the claims, and not in blue, but… some of the other Southern Unionists of Harpers Ferry

February 9, 2013 by


Though I often focus on the stories tucked-away in Southern Claims Commission applications, there were more Southern Unionists than those identified in the claims, or even in those who wore Union blue. There are also those Unionists who appear merely as a name in passing, in between the pages of a couple of books that […]


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,173 other followers