Bull Run Images for Sale

31 01 2010

Here’s a link to a nice CDV of a veteran of the First Massachusetts wounded at First Bull Run, John Baxter.  Per www.henrydeeks.com, Baxter was wounded in the left thigh on July 21, 1861.  It can be yours for $150.

Also available here on the same site is this image of New York Congressman Alfred Ely, taken prisoner at Bull Run (I wrote a little bit about it here).  Price is $85.

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Road Trip – Gettysburg

28 01 2010

I’m off to Gettysburg this morning to do some work on a potential article for a magazine.  I’ll be meeting Ranger John Heiser today in the park’s library, and Ranger Troy Harman in the field tomorrow.  The weather’s not cooperating here in Pittsburgh: my son’s school has a two-hour delay and consequently I’m behind schedule.  I’ll be back sometime Saturday, so no new posts until at least then.





The Ragged Rebel

27 01 2010

A while back I received an uncorrected proof of the new, revised edition of B. P. Gallaway’s The Ragged Rebel: A Common Soldier in W. H. Parsons’ Texas Cavalry, 1861-1865.  (I don’t see a link to the new edition on Amazon so here’s a link to the new edition on Amazon, so here’s one to the ACU Press.)  First published in 1989, Gallaway used his subject’s journals and letters to tell the story of David Carey Nance of the 12th Texas Cavalry.  The unit served in the relative backwaters of the Trans-Mississippi from the Fall of 1861 through to their surrender in Northern Texas in June of 1865.  Primary sources are the backbone of a narrative that details the somewhat mundane but fascinating life of a Texas trooper.  Not surprisingly, a religious thread flows through the book (ACU is Abilene Christian University), however it’s not an overwhelming feature and is contextually appropriate.

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Bull Run Humor

24 01 2010

I’ve meant to post a link to a bit of Bull Run humor Jim Schmidt posted on his blog a while back.  There are also two other funny pension anecdotes there.  Check it out.

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Bull Run Books and Articles On-Line

24 01 2010

I’ve updated my list of Bull Run books and articles available on-line and found alternate sources for most of the titles I’d found on the now defunct Microsoft book project.  I’m sure there are a lot more out there.  I ask all my readers to drop me a note, preferably in the comments to the page in the link above, when they find links to applicable works – books and articles that pertain to the campaign.  I appreciate the help.

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Gruesome Yard Sale

17 01 2010

I received the following from John Hennessy this evening.  Like him, this is something I’ve never heard of before.  The 12th Alabama was not attached to Ewell’s brigade until after the battle.  Your comments are encouraged.

Here’s a little thing that falls into the realm of the obscure and the  bizarre.  The letter is from When I Think of Home: The Civil War  Letters of William Harrison “Tip” Crow, ed. by Dewayne R. Welborn, Owasso, OK, 1996.  page 17-18.  Letter to his father, August 24, 1861,  from Manassas.   Crow was in the 12th Alabama.

Dear Father

there has been something else come up of which I wish to inform you I wrote you a letter yester day but every hour here brings up something new   Order issued by the Colonel that the clothes of the dead men to be sold   Thomas’ showel [shawl] and coat have to be put  up at the highest bidder and sold and if it had not been just eh kindness of our Captain [Higgins] his shirts would have been sold  he had to give them in according to the order but he did not and told me to keep them    I wanted the showel and I in tend to have it as I will make some man pay 12 dollars for it    I here some of them talking about biding for it but I dont [want] any body els shal have his things to stroe about….Lem is going to get hte coat   this is one thing that hurts me to think Tom and I have always been to gether and have been like brothers and now I have to pay a big price to get his things….  I do think we have the most tiranical officers at the head of this Regiment that ever men were under but you [know] that it won’t do to say any thing    experienced me that have been in the service before say they never heard of dead men’s clothes being sold before….

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Blog Interrupted

17 01 2010

I apologize for the lack of posts recently.  I’ve been busy with work, and caught some kind of bug that, in addition to a stuffed head and cough, makes it hard for me to concentrate.  Hopefully things will be back to normal in a few days.  Stay tuned.

While I’m lucid, congratulations to Mannie Gentile for becoming a full-fledged, full-time ranger at Antietam National Battlefield.





Viewshed Meeting Tonight

13 01 2010

I just learned from Facebook friend, author, and Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Garry Adelman that a meeting will be held tonight at the Manassas National Battlefield Park visitor center on Henry Hill, regarding the Manassas Battlefields Viewsheds Study project.  The following is from Prince William County’s website:

For Release

December 23, 2009

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA . . . The Prince William County Planning Office and the Manassas National Battlefield Park are jointly managing a grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program to study the Battlefields’ militarily significant views.  This is the third and final public meeting for the Manassas Battlefields Viewsheds Study project.
 
A Public Meeting for the Manassas Battlefields Viewshed Study will be held Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Henry Hill Visitor Center, Manassas National Battlefield Park at 6511 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA. At the meeting, the Study’s consultant will present the draft Viewshed Preservation Plan and solicit comment from the public. 
 
Copies of the draft Viewshed Preservation Plan (VPP) are available for review at the Henry Hill Visitor Center, at Park Headquarters; in the Prince William County Planning Office; at the Chinn Regional, Bull Run Regional, Central Community, and Gainesville Neighborhood libraries; and on-line at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/. To view the draft online, under Parks select Manassas NBP, select Conduct Study of Critical Historic Viewsheds of Manassas Battlefield, select Open for Public Comment). At this site, comments can be entered, or, for further information or to comment on the Plan, call the Park Headquarters at 703-754-1861, extension 0.  All comments on the VPP are due to the Park no later than Jan. 27, 2010.
 
Accessibility to Persons with Disabilities: This meeting is being held at a public facility believed to be accessible to persons with disabilities.  Any person with questions on the accessibility of the facility should contact the Henry Hill Visitor Center, 6511 Sudley Road, Manassas, Virginia, 20109, or by telephone at 703-361-1339 or TDD 703-361-7075.
 
Directions to the Henry Hill Visitor Center

From Washington D.C. and Points East:  Travel west on I-66 to Exit 47B, Route 234 North (Sudley Road).  Proceed through the first traffic light. The entrance to the Henry Hill Visitor Center is on the right, just past the Northern Virginia Community College.
 
From Points North:  Travel south on I-95 to the Capital Beltway (Route 495).  Travel west towards Silver Springs, MD.  Continue on the Beltway for approximately 10 miles, crossing the Potomac River into Virginia.  Take the exit for I-66 west to Manassas.  Take Exit 47B, Route 234 North (Sudley Road).  Proceed through the first traffic light. The entrance to the Henry Hill Visitor Center is on the right, just past the Northern Virginia Community College.
 
From Points South:  Travel north on I-95 to Exit 152, Route 234 north towards Manassas.  Stay on Business Route 234 (do not take the by-pass) and travel for approximately 20 miles just beyond the city of Manassas.  The entrance to the Henry Hill Visitor Center is located on the right, just past the entrance to the Northern Virginia Community College.
 
From Points West: Travel east on I-66 to Exit 47, Route 234 North (Sudley Road).  Turn left on Route 234 and proceed through the first traffic light.  The entrance to the Henry Hill Visitor Center is on the right, just past the Northern Virginia Community College.

If any of you attend, please let us know what is discussed.

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What Is Truth?

10 01 2010

I’ve finished Joan Waugh’s U. S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth.  I’ll give some thoughts on the book at some point in the near future.  But it and Larry Tagg’s The Unpopular Mr. Lincoln got me to thinking: what do we really know of “public opinion” as of a point in time?  I mean, it’s hard even today, with polls out the wazoo, to tell what public opinion is on any given topic.  The most typical resource relied upon for public opinion has been newspapers, including reporting and editorializing.  But let’s keep in mind that newspapers never have been objective, and during the middle period of the 19th century in this country they were unabashedly partisan.  That’s why they had names like “The Democrat”, “The Whig” and “The Republican”.  They reflected the viewpoints of their owners and editors (again, no different from today).  If we admit the lack of objectivity, then we don’t take editorials at face value – we also delve into letters to the editor.  Of course those were selected for publication by the editor as well.  So perhaps we should look in the records of the newspapers themselves: files of letters to the editor that never made it into print.  If they exist, we have to rely on the objectivity of the newspaper in saving the letters.  And even that pool is tainted because it will consist of correspondence from readers of that particular newspaper.  As consumers, we have to deal with another filter, that of the historian who selects (evaluates) what’s pertinent, what’s worthwhile.  Anyway, all this thinking just makes me look more suspiciously at generalizations about what people in the north or south “thought” or “felt”, and about how “pressure from the public” or even the press, influenced decision makers.

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Coming Up

8 01 2010

I’m way behind on reviews.  I have some notes to recent reads by Larry Tagg, Jim Schmidt, and Joan Waugh to name a few.  Spoiler Alert – these were all three great books: Tagg’s and Waugh’s were probably two of the most important releases of 2009.  I’m still considering a long review of Tagg for publication.  If I go that route, I won’t be able to post it here for a while.

I’ve received a couple of inquiries about the progress of a piece for which I’m compiling material about the affect of slavery on the character of southern elites who made up the bulk of the Confederacy’s officer corps, and what folks like Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Alexis de Toqueville and some modern commentators had to say about it, and how it all may cause one to reconsider the meaning of a famous quote by Lee.  All I can say is that the stack is getting bigger, but the bit is getting no closer ot being written.

I know I’ve been remiss in posting new resource material, and hope to flip the ratio of original content to resource material this year.  That is to say, I want to put up more primary material and run at the mouth less.

The (potential) good news is that I may have a new column in a different magazine.  I don’t want to jinx myself, so I won’t say much more other than that this column would combine my real job with my hobby.  (Given that I’ve not been a smashing success at either of those things, maybe I should worry.)

I’ve got a Jan. 12 deadline for my May 6-Pack preview/review column, so I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting here until then.

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