Fundraiser for Carnegie Free Library, Carnegie, PA

18 11 2010

Friend Jon-Erik Gilot, who is working with the manuscript collection there, informs me that a fundraiser is to be held on Saturday, November 27 at the Carnegie Free Library, Carnegie, PA.  A film, The Angel of Marye’s Heights, will be shown in the music hall, a cool room in and of itself; I’m told proceeds from the ticket sales going toward the library and its Civil War collection.  After the movie, the Espy Post GAR room (above via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette) will be open for tours, with additional artifacts from the collection on display.  I’ve written about the room before here, but you can see more on the manuscript and artifact collection here.  In short, the room was pretty much sealed up in the ’30’s after the vets stopped meeting, with all contents left in place (pretty much).  Back in the 80’s it was opened up and the whole room and much of the contents restored over a 20 year period.  It’s something to see.  The library also has a Civil War collection on display in another area.

Details on this event are available here.





More on Wa-Po’s Sesqui Ops

17 11 2010

Dmitri  has weighed in on the Washington Post’s panel of historians and their thoughts on the Civil War Sesquicentennial.  Check it out here and here.  As a reminder, I wrote about it here.

Considering that much of the country will experience the Sesquicentennial at one of our National Parks, it would have been nice if at least one representative of the NPS had contributed to this series.





Wa-Po Historians Declare How the Sesquicentennial “Should” Be Observed

16 11 2010

There’s an interesting series of opinion pieces over at the Washington Post’s House Divided site in which historians of various stripes expound on how they feel the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War should be observed.  I’m linking here to this article by Mike Musick, who has been a friend to Bull Runnings.  Links to the thoughts of other contributors can be found at the bottom of each article (I’d post each link, but it’s late and I’m tired).  I’m making my way through them and am finding a mixed bag, both in variety and quality.  One writer made the unusual declaration that any reenactments “must” include both black and white soldiers, while stressing that the “true histories” also “must” be presented.  Hmm…I’m trying to imagine how a First Bull Run reenactment could pull those two things off. 

Here’s a list of contributors:

Chandra Manning
Brent Glass
David Blight
Mike Musick
Joan Waugh
Waite Rawls
Harold Holzer
John Marszalek





Bull Runnings on Capitol Hill

15 11 2010

I’ve been invited to speak to the Capitol Hill Civil War Round Table on Monday evening, April 4, 2011.  I understand this group meets in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.  Doors to the buidling close at 7:00 PM.

This will (as of now) be the first presentation on Peter Conover Hains and his account of the First Battle of Bull Run.  I’ll begin work on the presentation in January, so that gives me three months to get the PowerPoint and text together.





Elizabeth Blair Lee

14 11 2010

 The author of this letter in the Resources section, Elizabeth Blair Lee (left, 1818-1906) was the daughter of Francis  Preston Blair, middle sister of Montgomery and Frank Blair, and wife of Union naval officer Samuel Phillips (Phil) Lee (right, 1812-1897).  These portraits were done by noted artist Thomas Sully.

Elizabeth wrote to her husband nearly every day while he was away on duty.  Phil would rise to the temporary rank of rear-admiral during the war, and attain that level permanently again after the war.

Elizabeth and Phil lend their name to the combined Blair-Lee house across the street from the White House – it currently houses visiting heads of state.  The left half of the house was first a wedding gift from Blair Sr. to his daughter and son-in-law.  I wrote a little bit about the Blairs and the house here and here.

You can read a more detailed biography of Elizabeth here.





Seminar in the Woods 2011

13 11 2010

Dave Powell has announced the schedule for the next Seminar in the Woods at Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park.

On Friday (March) 11 the group will travel by bus to McLemore’s Cove to spend the whole day looking at the action – and inaction – there.  Saturday will be a car-caravan first to the Viniard Farm and then to Mendenhall’s artillery line.

NPS Historian Jim Ogden and Dave are the guides.  Other than the cost of the bus on Friday, there is no charge for the tour.  Meals and lodging are on your own.





“Cowardice” at First Bull Run

12 11 2010

Friend Lesley Gordon gave a talk a while back in Washington on First Bull Run, specifically the 11th New York and their experience there.  Take a look here

While you’re on the C-Span site, search “Civil War” and you’ll see a number of cool videos pop up.








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