Browsing All posts tagged under »Page County«

Upcoming works, now on the “front burners”…

June 8, 2011 by


While I’ve got a number of projects that are ongoing, ranging from my work on the history of Cole’s Cavalry to history publications about my home county, I’m pleased to say that I’m also going to be busying myself with another project this summer. About a month ago, I signed-on to write five entries for […]

Luray’s witness tree

June 3, 2011 by


Since we’re in mourning for the Jackson Prayer Oak (see here, and here… and yes, I’m a tree hugger of sorts… especially when it comes to witness trees), I figured it was a perfect time to talk about another witness tree, but further down the Valley, in Page County. While this tree didn’t witness any […]

Hmmm… about that referendum on secession in Virginia

May 22, 2011 by


Tomorrow marks the day, 150 years ago, when Virginians were given the chance to vote on secession… although, really, it didn’t mean a great deal considering the mobilization that had taken place, and… let’s not forget the Commonwealth’s offer for Richmond to be the capital of the Confederacy… before the referendum. Really, it was a […]

The mustering of troops in Virginia… revisiting enlistments in the militia

May 18, 2011 by


It’s the middle of May 1861… and Virginians are flocking to units across the state… In some areas of Virginia, the mustering of troops for Virginia units (ultimately assigned to the cause of the Confederacy) began as early as the day the news of secession hit the streets. No doubt, some were quite eager to […]

Were Virginia’s Confederate Reserves a smokescreen of deception?

March 23, 2011 by


I’m really jumping the gun here, because I should be holding this story in reserve (sure, why not… pun intended) until 2014… marking the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Virginia’s Confederate reserve units. Still, I brought it up the other day (in “WYSIWYG Confederates?”) , so I figured that I would pick-up from where […]

Submariner’s remembrance…

March 13, 2011 by


I’m slightly distracted today… for a number of reasons… so, I’m going to deviate slightly from the standard content here… and yes, I’ll be getting back to the story I started yesterday. I pitched an idea to fellow submariners today (on FaceBook), thinking it would be interesting to learn not just about the boats lost, […]

In search of… the grave of a slaveholder, killed by his slaves

March 12, 2011 by


Just a quick note this morning, before I head out. Among the things I have on the calendar for today is a visit to a cemetery. This isn’t just an ordinary cemetery, but one in which rests a slaveholder who was killed (February 14, 1842) by two of his slaves (“Captain” and “Martin”). I visited […]

Yes, Page County, you once had slaves…

January 16, 2011 by


While the audience of this blog is typically from well beyond the boundaries of my home county (and, I’m happy to say, even beyond the confines of this continent), I frequently look back to that place, as I have spent a considerable number of years writing about its history. No doubt, it’s fascinating to me […]

One site, multiple angles for interpretation

December 19, 2010 by


One of my favorite historic sites in Page County, Virginia is Catherine’s Furnace. Because of efforts made in the early 2000s, the site has one Virginia Civil War Trails marker. I was fortunate to be involved in deciding that the site merited a marker, and I also wrote the text and provided images for the […]

More on Southerners who relocated to the North and joined the Union army

November 17, 2010 by


So, in the wake of Sunday’s post, I’ve been thinking. As I pointed out, the Mill Creek Baptist Church in Page County, Virginia split in 1805 over the issue of slavery. In the wake of that split, I’m curious about how many of the children of those people involved, who went to Ohio, ended up […]

How all Northerners “then” weren’t really so out of touch with “being Southern”

November 14, 2010 by


It’s bad enough to hear some contemporary Southerners speak of Northerners as if it was still the time of the Civil War, but it’s even worse to hear Southerners speak of the people of the North from the time of the war, as if they could not, in the least bit, identify with the culture […]

An execution… a ghost’s last hymn… and a curse fulfilled(?)

October 31, 2010 by


As I’ve mentioned several times in my postings throughout the month, October brings to mind stories of witches and ghosts, but one ghost story captures my thinking frequently throughout the month. I suppose, one can almost say that it literally “haunts” me. The story actually developed over time, with each piece of information I uncovered […]

An undertaker and his ghostly client

October 30, 2010 by


On two separate occasions, Page News and Courier columnist Jacob R. Seekford wrote of an account of an undertaker and his encounter with a ghost. The first mention of this was in 1930 and the second was in 1937. It is interesting to note that the story got a little better with age. The story […]

“The Red-Headed Witch of Ingham”… and more

October 29, 2010 by


With only two nights left after tonight, October is getting away from me. Not wanting to miss a few more opportunities to address the topic of ghosts and witches in the Blue Ridge, I’ve got one more about witches that you might find of interest. Once again, one of my favorite story-tellers, Jacob R. Seekford, […]

Charles M. Brown… Page County’s “Black Confederate”… or… maybe not(?)

October 27, 2010 by


As, I believe, most are aware (mostly because of the recent issue with the textbooks in Virginia), there is a great deal of talk about the subject of “Black Confederates” at this time, and, in the CW blogosphere, I think Andy Hall and Kevin Levin are handling it just fine. I’ve engaged in discussion about […]

Welcome readers of the Page News and Courier

October 27, 2010 by


As the last article for my newspaper column (of over thirteen years) appears in the weekly edition of the Page News and Courier today, and an open invitation to join me at my blog was included in the article… I just wanted to say a quick “hi!” to those folks as they join us… here. […]

The Haunted Rocking Chair of Pine Grove

October 17, 2010 by


Ok, ok… what the heck… one more post before bedtime… and in the theme of the month. Something short tonight… and if you recall, in the post a while back, that UVA student who sent the letter to Jacob R. Seekford mentioned something about a haunted rocking chair. The place of this happening was at […]

Caroline & the Jack O’ Lantern

October 16, 2010 by


This ghostly tale is a bit differentv from that of Doc Amiss. What I find particularly interesting is that it comes from the time before the Civil War, and involves one of the Brumback family slaves. I found this tale in a column (a long-running column, I might add) called “Do You Remember”, which appeared […]

An appeal for assistance – the grave of Churchill Jones Crittenden

October 12, 2010 by


Among other things, this month also marks 146 years since the execution of two Maryland Confederate troopers in my home county. A rare request from me, but I think a worthy effort… One of the headstones needing attention in Shockoe Hill Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia, is that of Churchill Jones Crittenden. Even though a replacement headstone […]

“water of many turns”

October 9, 2010 by


Just the other day, I made reference to the Lenape/Delaware word “Conococheague“, which means “water of many turns.” Funny, but that pretty much summarizes the way I write this blog… not to mention the fluid nature of many blogs. The content can turn, twist, and completely shift, without warning. It’s more a reflection of what […]

The “fire witch”

October 9, 2010 by


Just 146 years ago yesterday, the episode known as “The Burning” drew to a close in the Shenandoah Valley. Gen. Phil Sheridan had cut a swathe from Augusta County, north into Rockingham, Page, and Shenandoah Counties before coming to a halt around Strasburg, Virginia. No doubt, the devastation to the “breadbasket of the Confederacy” was […]

Early burial customs from the Valley

October 7, 2010 by


Just a little something I thought might be of interest… this being from a newspaper column from 1937, reflecting on the old burial customs. We, of the younger generation, accustomed as we are to the modern funerals, with everything being done that is possible to alleviate the anguish of the family and friends of the […]

Why “Cenantua”?

October 6, 2010 by


I love this time of year. It’s a chilly day, the sky is overcast… … I have a fire in the wood stove… … and a relaxing cup of cappuccino in my manly-man Mickey Mouse coffee mug (what else??!!) is close at-hand. Feels like a good time to sit down and write… just wish I […]

Doc Amiss’ ghost story

October 3, 2010 by


I’m really not a fan of modern ghost tours and “ghosts of history”-type books. For one thing, I get the impression that the stories being delivered are so incredibly embellished over the years, that they miss the meaty content of the stories told in years past; more fluff than solid content. I know, I know… […]

So, finally… this Confederate vet and the witch…

October 2, 2010 by


    One of my great-great grandfathers, Charles Robert “Tanner” Hillard, was born on October 3, 1844 (in fact, that will be 166 years ago… tomorrow), a son of Jacob (1784-1864) and Phoebe Elliott Hilliard (ca. 1822-???). As for the Civil War part goes… Charles’ younger brother, Jacob, hired himself out as a substitute (for […]

A vast pool of eager workers!

August 26, 2010 by


Slightly off the WWI path, but connected to yesterday’s post when comparing thoughts on the Confederate draft and that imposed during the First World War… The Civil War-era furnace operations were extensive in Page County, with three furnaces and at least two forges in operation. Men were required to cut down trees, make charcoal, mine […]

Registering for the draft… June, 1917

August 25, 2010 by


From the Page News and Courier (Luray, Va.), June 1, 1917: No Lunacy in Page County The people of Page County are a law abiding people, and are remarkable for their thrift and common sense. For these reasons we believe the young man of Page county prefer registering to being registered. They will register because […]

“Hell no, our kids won’t go!”

July 30, 2010 by


I was going to post another installment of D.H. Strother’s “Recollections” today, but will hold off till tomorrow. I saw something posted by David over at Inconvenient South that caught my eye. David cites an article (from The Journal of American History, and written by Jeanette Keith) published in 2001 focused on Southern draft resistance […]

Co. E of White’s Comanches in Luray (August 1894)

March 29, 2010 by


It’s rare that I find something related to Page County in the Civil War in another blog, so when I do, I’m obviously interested. Right away, I recognized that the image of Harrison Monroe Strickler in Scott Mingus’ recent post originated in this reunion photo from 1894.  My gggg-granduncle, Howard Richards, also appears in it, […]

It’s “show and tell” day! … with a family artifact

January 27, 2010 by


I consider myself truly fortunate to have a range of family “artifacts”, though I wish I had more that related to the Civil War era… sigh… Anyway, for your consideration today, I have, well, let me simply call her “Aunt”. I say this, of course, because in the days of slavery, so many slaves were […]


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