ABOUT ME

I’m Harry Smeltzer, host of Bull Runnings.  I live just outside Pittsburgh, and was born and raised here in Southwestern PA.  I earned an undergraduate degree at The Pennsylvania State University and a graduate degree at the Katz School of the University of Pittsburgh.  Neither sheepskin is in history or any art.  Therefore I don’t call myself a historian, just as I don’t call myself a doctor, lawyer, or plumber (though I’ve demonstrated competency in certain aspects of those professions).  I’ve been published in the journal Civil War History, The Civil War Monitor, Civil War Times, and America’s Civil War.  I was a Contributing Writer for America’s Civil War and am a Digital History Advisor for The Civil War Monitor. I am Vice-President of the board of directors of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation and edit our newsletter.  I’ve presented programs on Bull Run related topics to organizations in five states and the District of Columbia (if you’re interested in having me present to your group, go here). I’m available to lead tours of the battlefield of First Bull Run. I’ve been hosting Bull Runnings since November 2006.

11 responses

22 04 2009
RON TAMOSCHAT

I AM INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT HOW GEN. CORCORAN ESCAPED BEING PROSECUTED FOR THE COLD-BLOODED MURDER OF A FELLOW OFFICER , LT. COLONEL KIMBALL , SIMPLY BECAUSE COL. KIMBALL INSISTED THAT THE COUNTERSIGN BE GIVEN WHEN CORCORAN ATTEMPTED TO ENTER UNION LINES WITH A GROUP OF HIS MEN AT 2 AM IN THE DARK. I AM UNABLE TO FIND AN ANSWER FOR THIS IN MY READINGS AND RESEARCH. RON TAMOSCHAT.

22 04 2009
Harry Smeltzer

Ron,

Thanks for visiting. In the future, please only post comments relative to the post you are commenting on. If you have a general question (like this), send me an email. My address is in the right hand column of this page.

Corcoran requested and faced a court of inquiry over the incident, censure was recommended, and a court martial was ordered. Corcoran died before the court matial convened. The facts of the case are not etched in granite. By many accounts Kimball was not on duty, never identified himself, used abusive language, drew his sword, assaulted Corcoran’s horse, and may have been drunk. I have no dog in the fight, so to speak. There are a number of different accounts available at this site: http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/9thInf/9thInfCWN.htm

Good luck with your research.

Harry

7 05 2009
James Hagy

No one seems to be familiar with my “To Take Charleston: The Civil War on Folly Island”, published in 1993 with a second printing in 1997. Copies sold rather quickly and it is out of print. I hope to have it republished in a year or so.
The book deals with the union troops on Folly Island and the invasion of Morris Island.

7 05 2009
Harry Smeltzer

James,

I suggest if you want more exposure for your book, at least on this site, you attach this comment to either Charleston Related Civil War Readings or A Few Charleston Civil War Sites

29 06 2009
Brandon Samuels

Hello Harry,

My name is Brandon Samuels and I really like some of the posts you have on your blog. Since you have an interest in blogging, I thought that you might want to know about a new web site, timelines.com. The idea is to create an interactive historical record of anything and everything, based on specific events that combine to form timelines. We’re trying to achieve a sort of user-created multimedia history, in which no event is too big or too small to record. Feel free to create events using excerpts and/or links from your blog. You will generate traffic and awareness of your blog, and you will be contributing to the recording of history.

With your interest in the American Civil War, you should check out this timeline. So far it is a work in progress and we would definitely love for more people to contribute. http://timelines.com/topics/american-civil-war/page/1.

Give us a try and let me know your thoughts.
Thanks,
Brandon Samuels

14 06 2010
Joe Scott

Harry, my name is Joe Scott. I was reading your blog about General Richard Ewell. My great grandfather, Joseph Scott, to whom I was named after fought under General Ewell. My grandfather was in the North Carolina 4th. Regiment Company D. From what I have been told he was not that great of a general, especially at Gettysburg.

I am doing research on my grandfather and would like your insight on this general. Can you help me?

Thanks,

Joe Scott

14 06 2010
Harry Smeltzer

Glad to help any way I can, Joe. Contact me at hjs21 at comcast dot net.

9 08 2010
Brett Hale

Just came across this site. I traveled back to Virginia with my family this last July to visit my parents and my sister’s family after a number of years. I lived in Virginia for twenty plus years before moving out to Arizona. We spent a number of hours at the Manassas Battlefield and Brauner’s Farm. It was really moving for me to think of the passions and motivations that caused our country battle itself so. I was really ‘bitten’ by the Civil War bug. I have only begun studying and I cannot get enough info. Your site is a great resource. BTW, I told my wife and sons that I was partial to the Confederacy, but they are all ‘Yankees’. Oh well. Anyway, a great work. Thank you.

22 06 2011
Ray Ezell

Harry
I am very interested in the brief battle at Blackburn’s Ford, as well as determining if there were any CS or US encampment on the south side of Bull Run on the high ground overlooking the ford (to the east of Hwy 28. I am a professional archaeologist and will be beginning excavations on what appears to be a CS encampment in this area.
Any assistance you can provide will be appreciated
Ray Ezell, RPA
ECS Mid-Atlantic< LLC
Fredericksburg, VA
rezell@ecslimited.com

22 06 2011
Harry Smeltzer

Ray, while I’m happy to help you all I can, I think the folks you should talk to are at the park, both in interpetation and cultural resources. That would be the first place I would go.

23 07 2013
dixie wells

The PBS American Experience Biography of Robert E. Lee coins the term revisionist history. Filled with half-truths, missing or self-serving politically correct facts and slanted opinions, it is amazing how a man can be crucified, so tastefully, so smugly, some 140+ years after his death. How a man’s duty, self-sacrifice, devotion to family, neighbors, his native state, and the principles of independence upon which it was founded, and His Creator can be twisted so smugly with such condescension by those who, i suspect must even admit to themselves, never experienced a fraction of the responsibility or insurmountable odds this man faced, exceeds my comprehension of the gall of these “scholars.”

Were the man alive today to watch his “biography”, i doubt he would deign to reply publicly, though privately he might very well go into his closet, kneel and pray, “Lord, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

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