Browsing All Posts filed under »Uncategorized«

… but, it was just four years…

January 18, 2022 by


There were more than a couple of times that I brought this up in the course of the blog. The American Civil War was only four years long. Sure, there are a string of events (many years) that are fascinating, both before and after the war, which led to, or were because of the war. […]

Let the spiritS MOVE you… with a side of irony

December 7, 2021 by


It’s been a long time (2018) since I last blogged here (I have occasionally blogged elsewhere, but that’s another story, and related to another field that has been keeping my attention for the last 3 or 4 years), and I’ll not go into all the reasons as to why, but one big one always seems […]

The past can be “experienced” and Townsend offers an excellent window

October 12, 2018 by


Reading about history can be very enjoyable, and it’s essential for anyone seeking a core understanding of the past. Yet, there can be more. For a number of the book-learned practitioners of history, there’s a “sensory need” which books can’t fulfill, and it’s those sensory experiences that bring another dynamic to an understanding of the […]

Knowing history from “spin”

October 11, 2018 by


In the age of so much “fake news”, folks should also be mindful of, well… “fake history”. I’m not just talking about history that’s factually incorrect, although there are certainly memes-aplenty with a great many incorrect quotes and/or quotes taken out of context. Readers should also be conscious of the rhetoric behind presented history and/or […]

When ancestral land beckons you to return

October 10, 2018 by


It’s been a couple of years since I made the trek into the backcountry of the Shenandoah National Park… back to Nicholson Hollow, in Madison County, Virginia.. and I think it’s time to return again. Actually, I meant (back then) to write a blog post about my hike, but never got around to it. Hopefully, […]

Gilbert Purdy recalls his sailing days before the Civil War

September 26, 2018 by


As I mentioned in the last post, I focus often on the Shenandoah Valley, but (and this is no mystery to those who used to read this blog when I was more actively blogging) I also have historical interests in other areas as well. One of those “other areas” is the early history of American […]

What percentage of history has actually been covered?

August 30, 2018 by


Fellow blogger Michael Hardy posted something on his Facebook page, today, regarding the percentage of history that has actually been covered in published works, and, really, the greater portion which has not been covered. While my reply went off on a bit of a tangent, I agree that we’ve only scraped the surface (and, as […]

Back to blogging?

August 23, 2018 by


It might be that returning to blogging, after so long, may be just as difficult as getting that first blog post up and running… or at least it feels like it. Between time constraits, work, commuting, projects at home, and a plethora of other things going on, returning to blogging hasn’t been high on the […]

Passion for history is good, but…

March 1, 2017 by


While I haven’t taken my foundations in rhetoric course yet (it’s on the horizon… Fall 2017), I think I’ve got a good handle on how the three modes of persuasion in rhetoric play out in the writings of some people (and I’m especially interested in how some contemporary historians use rhetoric… letting their passions get […]

The Richmond Dispatch’s first mention of John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry

October 16, 2016 by


… didn’t appear until October 18, 1859… two days after the raid was initiated. For those who know the story, it’s also interesting to read the exaggerated numbers involved in the raid, and the reference to a “Captain Anderson” instead of John Brown.

An enduring and iconic feature in the Shenandoah

August 16, 2016 by


For almost 177 years, the Virginia Military Institute has been an iconic part of the history of the Shenandoah Valley. Today, I happened upon the following clip from the August 13, 1859 edition of the Richmond Dispatch: Having set the context with this clip… the more things change, the more… well, you know.  While the number of new “Rats” […]

Selling Col. R.K. Meade’s livestock (1833)

April 26, 2016 by


The title of this post might lack the hook that would draw in a crowd, but that shouldn’t detract. For those who are truly curious about what antebellum life was like in the Valley (and might be well-acquainted with the area of the Valley in which this piece discusses), this piece offers an opportunity to […]

Memory of an ancestor in the Wilderness

May 5, 2014 by


It’s been a while since I last posted from a battlefield, but felt today was a good time. I’m sitting within the lines of what was the left flank of the Stonewall Brigade (as of this very hour, 150 years ago). I’m within the area in which the 33rd Virginia stood… and to my right, […]

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 […]

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 […]

September 11…

September 11, 2011 by


…and nothing more, for today…

D.H. Strother, morning of April 18, 1861

April 18, 2011 by


This morning I took the cars at Sir John’s for the purpose of visiting Charlestown on personal business. A stranger from the West who sat beside me opened conversation on the all-absorbing subject: Would Virginia secede? [Word had not been received yet, of the Convention’s vote the day before] I replied, somewhat dogmatically perhaps, “That […]

“Will Secession Preserve Slavery?”

March 27, 2011 by


I’m in a western Maryland frame of mind. So… …the following comes from the Herald and Torch (Hagerstown, Md.), March 13, 1861: Will Secession Preserve Slavery? The Baltimore Sun, which is the exponent of the extreme sentiments of the Southern rights men of Maryland, as they call themselves, says that “secession and union with the […]

John Minor Botts reflects on his “crimes” against the Confederacy

February 28, 2011 by


  In the wake of my post, yesterday, at Southern Unionists Chronicles (and recalling the suspension of habeas corpus and declaration of martial law, under the administration of Confederate President Jefferson Davis)…   An Interesting Document – Why John Minor Botts was Imprisoned. From the Richmond Republic. [as reprinted in the January 22, 1866 edition […]

Too focused on leaders and Confederate “cause”?

February 16, 2011 by


There’s been some talk lately, on the blogosphere and elsewhere, about the possibility that the S.C.V. will get a Nathan Bedford Forrest license plate in Mississippi. Brooks Simpson blogged about it today, and Eric Wittenberg blogged about it on the 10th.  While both of them explain why Forrest should not be on a plate (and […]

The hunt for an ordnance sergeant named Burt

January 26, 2011 by


A few days ago, I asked Craig Swain about the story behind the ordnance sergeant who was present at the seizing of Ft. Pulaski. Incidentally, you may recall, Ft. Pulaski was also a subject of interest in my =>most recent post. Anyway, Craig included the name of the ordnance sergeant in his post, but was […]

Maryland, my Maryland, wherefore art thou, my Maryland?

January 9, 2011 by


Earlier this week, I posted a quick comment on my Facebook page about Maryland’s War of 1812 license plates. It’s everywhere, it’s everywhere! Yet, Maryland’s silence about the Sesquicentennial is excruciatingly painful. No blogs, no tweets, nothing… I’m not saying that the War of 1812 is unimportant… because it IS important. What bothers me is […]

It’s Thanksgiving week… and where, really, was the first?

November 21, 2010 by


As we begin to enter Thanksgiving week, I’m wondering… where, really, was the first “thanksgiving”? Well, technically, we have to narrow this down. Since the first thanksgiving in North America was… well, hold on a sec… …wasn’t the first thanksgiving in North America experienced in 1541 by Coronado’s party after crossing the Llano Estacado in […]

What do you mean… “ghosting”?

October 15, 2010 by


Williamsport, Cushwa Basin, 10 a.m.

September 26, 2010 by


That convenient walking path across a “bridge” may not be what you think. In fact, it is where water once flowed atop water; once a part of the waterway system that was the C&O Canal… the Conococheague aqueduct. So, here, in the days past my ggg grandfather’s days as lead lockkeepeer, after he bought (1860) […]

Remains of homes long gone

September 26, 2010 by


While grief likely defined their last few months here, there are other emotions that come to mind regarding the stories of my Moore ancestors at Four Locks. Other children came to Cyrus and Catherine while here. In fact, my great-great grandfather, John Howard Moore (named, I believe, for a family friend, Jonathan Hower, who happened […]

No “happenings” to report

September 26, 2010 by


Morning, September 26… no cold chills in the night, no ghostly apparitions, no ghostly echoes of crying babies (thinking of the Moore twins from 1858). In fact, it was quite a restful sleep. As for the photo… one of the things that strikes me about old places are the floors. This floor has all the […]

11:37 p.m.; still at the lockhouse

September 26, 2010 by


Took a walk along the towpath, toward Dam 5. Quiet and uneventful otherwise. Droid doesn’t take good photos at night without supplemental light. Just over 15 minutes from midnight. Going to stay up a wee bit longer, then see about some sleep. The house has all the charm that I expected…. May walk among the […]

Visitor count 3:13 pm

September 25, 2010 by


Nice day outside today, so visitor count is low (25). Hope to see some increased visitor count tonight. Enroute to lockhouse 49. On I-81 North. Will make a stop at Clear Spring on the way.

Imagined “memory” vs. Realized/actual memory

August 18, 2010 by


Somewhere in my diminished amount of free time lately, I’ve spent some time investigating the realized/actual memory of Southerners at the time of WW1 and even during the Spanish-American War, and all I can say at this point is that it baffles me when it comes to some, today, who suggest that their comments/”position” are/is […]