Browsing All posts tagged under »Virginia«

“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. […]

Regarding Mrs. Fannie S. Gibbons

October 24, 2010 by


Having promised to tell more about the subject of the poem that I posted the other day… I really don’t know a great deal about Fannie Gibbons, but know much more about her husband. Nonetheless… Fannie Shacklett, daughter of Samuel (1804-1886) and Maria Graham Henry Shacklett (1811-1870) was born April 27, 1834; Samuel Shacklett being […]

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 […]

Sunday afternoons with “The Porte”, Part VIII

October 17, 2010 by


Continuing from Strother’s last… On Monday, 22d of April, the excitement still continued, the mobs occasionally breaking into shops in search of arms. The battle of Cockeysville did not take place as was expected. The Pennsylvanians, who were for the most part unarmed and altogether unprepared for a warlike encounter, had received warning of the […]

We interupt this broadcast… Strother on Brown’s Raid

October 17, 2010 by


I missed the opportunity during the 150th anniversary of the raid, but thought some might enjoy reading what David Hunter Strother (aka “Porte Crayon” or, here, known as “The Porte”) had to say about the John Brown incident. On the morning of the 17th… 151 years ago today… we find Strother in his office in […]

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 […]

FYI… “ghosting” Staunton tonight

October 15, 2010 by


More to follow… I hope.

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 […]

Sunday afternoons with “The Porte”, Part VII

October 10, 2010 by


What?! Did you think the entire month was going to be dedicated to ghosts, witches, and the generally eerie? On and off since May, I’ve been transcribing David Hunter Strother‘s “Personal Recollections of the Civil War. By a Virginian” as originally published in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, beginning in June 1866. Though I don’t transcribe […]

“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 […]

How did the doctor “take care” of the witch?

October 8, 2010 by


Just thinking back to how the doctor “saw to it” that the witch that “cursed” my great-great grandmother would be “in hell by morning.” Frankly, we will probably never know his method, and will wonder about the wide range of possibilities. Still, Samuel Kercheval did mention a couple of methods by which one could “cure… […]

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 […]

Geotag test 2- Confederate section, Thornrose Cemetery

October 2, 2010 by


Just a test of the Geotag feature, but, while I’m here… this section of land was used for burying both Union and Confederate dead who usually died while in the Confederate hospital that I just mentioned in the last post. The Union dead were later removed to the National Cemetery just to the east, and […]

Civil War History Month in Virginia… coming for 2011

September 24, 2010 by


Virginia’s Gov. Bob McDonnell just did the right thing… not the PC thing, but the right thing. Now, here’s hoping that his next proclamation recognizes ALL of Virginia’s population in the war; the division within, the diversity and the varied sentiments, from Confederates to slaves to free blacks, from Southern Unionists to leave-aloners. Here’s hoping… […]

Personal recollections of the Civil War. By a Virginian. (D.H. Strother) [Installment 6]

September 12, 2010 by


Returning to where I left off (my September 4, 2010/fifth installment of D.H. Strother’s “Recollections”)… April 19. – On going down into the town this morning I found that there had been considerable accessions to the State forces, seven or eight hundred having arrived during the night and morning, while as many more were reported […]

When a little goes a long way

September 8, 2010 by


Taking time to walk through the Winchester National Cemetery, it’s obvious the purpose for which this cemetery was made… as a place in which to bury (actually, rebury) Union soldiers. In addition to the graves that dot this relatively small parcel of land, there are also a number of monuments recognizing the sacrifices of men […]

The Milam Apple

September 7, 2010 by


Those who are regulars here know that I have an interest in antique apples. Among those varieties is the Milam. In all likelihood, most who read this probably won’t know about this variety. It’s not as popular as those you find in the grocery stores today… at least not popular today as it was in […]

Another Confederate veteran and his Doughboy son…

September 5, 2010 by


I remembered coming across this image several years back, while writing one of the unit histories for the Virginia Regimental Histories Series. Seated is George William Koontz (1839-1925) of Shenandoah County, Virginia. Though he had relocated to Highland County in 1854, at the opening of the Civil War, he returned to Shenandoah County and enlisted […]

Personal recollections of the Civil War. By a Virginian. (D.H. Strother) [Installment 5]

September 4, 2010 by


Returning to where I left off (my August 1, 2010/fourth installment of D.H. Strother’s “Recollections”)… The troops were now marching up the southern slope of the hill, since called Bolivar Heights, the crest of which was covered with pine woods and dense thickets of undergrowth, and furnished a favorable position from which to resist their […]

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 […]

Sending off “the boys” from Luray

August 20, 2010 by


Wish this would have scanned a little more clear. Nonetheless, I was mistaken about the combination of Confederate flags and U.S. flags in this photo… albeit, there are Confederate veterans. In fact, first man in the front on the left (the older gentlemen) was a captain, and former commanding officer of Co. K, 10th Virginia […]

Personal recollections of the Civil War. By a Virginian. (D.H. Strother) [Installment 4]

August 1, 2010 by


Returning to where I left off (my June 1, 2010/third installment of D.H. Strother’s “Recollections”), when Strother was present for the actions leading up to the taking of Harper’s Ferry by Virginia militia… and when he encountered “old friends” who were partaking in the endeavor… As these gentlemen had unadvisedly, perhaps, communicated their plans to […]

“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 […]

Personal recollections of the Civil War. By a Virginian. (D.H. Strother) [Installment 3]

June 1, 2010 by


Continued from Installment 2… … Although this people has been chiefly occupied in talking politics for eighty years or more, I can not perceive that they have made any advance toward enlightenment on the subject. Not one man in ten of those I meet seems to have the slightest idea of where his duty or […]


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