If you haven’t heard about “historian” Richard Slotkin’s new book on Antietam, Google it. I will not link to it here. I refuse. Just like the Supreme Court and prior restraint, the book has been roundly rejected by a number of Antietam scholars I know. But check out this critique of a recent interview this “historian” – make that “MAJOR historian” - recently did with NPR.
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Tags: Antietam, Articles, Blogroll, Digital History, George McClellan
Categories : Articles, Civil War On the Web, Digital History
This weekend I will (hopefully) post an 1888 letter written by the colonel of a prominent Bull Run regiment – in some ways, the most prominent Bull Run regiment – concerning the battle. The letter is in private hands, a transcription of which has been provided by a descendant of the recipient. I also expect to receive a digital copy of the letter itself to be attached to the transcription, but won’t (in this case) wait for that. It’s risky to post such an item without some tangible proof of the authenticity, but due to the prominence of the letter writer I think I’ll make an exception. I can always pull the post later, but I have no reason to doubt this one.
As always, thank you dear readers for your contributions. I know I have one or two others that I have yet to post, but only because I haven’t quite figured out how to use them. I encourage all readers in possession of relevant material to submit it for inclusion in the Bull Run Resources section.
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Tags: Ancestors, Articles, Descendants, Digital History
Categories : Articles, Digital History, The Project
Save Historic Antietam Foundation Inc. is pleased to announce a special lecture series in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the battle of Antietam. The lectures will take place in the Mumma Farm barn at Antietam National Battlefield on Saturday September 8, starting at 9:00. This event will also feature presentations from the recipients of two special scholarships funded by SHAF. Daniel Vermilya has received the first Joseph L. Harsh Scholar Award and will share his research on the Union Army at Antietam. Susan Rosenwald was awarded the special Sesquicentennial Award and she will share her research about the role and actions of Clara Barton at Sharpsburg. Other speakers will include Dennis Frye, Chief Historian of Harper’s Ferry National Park, Dr. Mark Snell, director of the George Tyler Moore Center for Study of the Civil War and local columnist and writer Tim Rowland. The event is free and open to the public, and no reservations will be required. Donations to SHAF will be accepted and there will be book signing by the authors and other items for sale.
9:00-9:30 – Coffee and Danish
9:30-9:45 – Opening Remarks, Tom Clemens, President, SHAF
9:45-10:30 – Session I, Dr. Mark Snell, “Causes of the Civil War”
10:30-10:45 – Break
10:45-11:30 – Session II, Dan Vermilya, Harsh Scholar recipient, “Perceptions, Not Realities: The Strength, Experience, and Condition of the Army of the Potomac at Antietam”
11:30-12:00 – Awards
12:00-1:00 – Lunch, Box Lunch available, by pre-order only $10.00 each*
1:00-1:45 – Session III, Susan Rosenwald, Sesquicentennial Award recipient, “Clara Barton at Antietam”
1:45-2:00 – Break
2:00-2:45 – Session IV, Dennis Frye, “September Suspense: Lincoln’s Union in Peril”
2:45-3:00 – Break
3:00-3:45 – Session V, Tim Rowland, “Odd Incidents of Maryland Campaign”
3:45 – Closing Remarks
* Preorder on-line at www.SHAF.org, choices will be available on the website.
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Tags: Antietam, Articles, Preservation, Save Historic Antietam Foundation
Categories : Articles, Preservation
Sorry again for the deafening silence. Lots going on and time is at a premium. I have a new (to Bull Runnings) first-hand account of the march to Manassas and the battle from a Marylander, courtesy of FOBR John Hennessy, and will try to get it posted tonight or over the weekend. Bear with me!
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Categories : Articles
In case you came here looking for the answer to a very simple question, yes, today marks the 151st anniversary of the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas).
Above photo from Manassas National Battlefield Facebook page.
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Tags: Anniversary of First Bull Run, Articles
Categories : Articles
I’ve been informed by my friend Craig Swain that Bull Runnings has been “blocked” in China. As we used to say back in the day:
Better dead than Red.
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Categories : Articles, Civil War On the Web
I ask that without implying that there is, or even should be, a definition. The beauty of a blog is still that it can be whatever the blogger wants it to be. I’ve tried to be pretty clear of my own intentions, which you can read over in the right hand column of this page.
I read most of my favorite blogs using Google Reader. There are dozens I consider to be “Civil War blogs”, even without ever having firmed up what that means in my own head. What classifies a blog as “Civil War” to you? One that shares research concerning the military, political, or social aspects of the war (there are a few out there, though not as many as one might think)? One that discusses how the war, or rather the era and its elements, are remembered today or at various times? One that offers opinions on what other bloggers or writers or commentators are saying? One that simply promotes the blogger’s print works? One that draws tenuous comparisons between the Civil War Era and our own to prove out the blogger’s own current political positions, or to discredit those of others? One that at least attempts to use some of the unique capabilities of digital history techniques, such as hyperlinks, metadata, video? All of these? None? Are any of them more important to you than others?
On a related note, what compels you to read a “Civil War” blog, or deters you from doing so (you can include Bull Runnings in either case)?
UPDATE: A related question is “Who are Civil War Bloggers?”. Robert is discussing that very thing now over at Cenantua’s Blog.
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Tags: Articles, Blogroll, Digital History
Categories : Articles, Civil War Blogroll, Civil War On the Web, Digital History
Once again real life has infringed upon my hobby, and I haven’t been able to come up with any posts lately. If you’re not already doing so, please be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook, as I frequently put stuff up on those outlets (look in the right hand margin of this page and make the appropriate clicks to follow.)
I’ve been notified that my regular reviews in brief column (it’s been known by several names over the years) in Weider History Group’s America’s Civil War magazine has run its course. These things happen, in fact have happened before, and will continue to happen in the magazine business as formats change. I’m thankful for the opportunities editor Dana Shoaf has provided. On a happier note, I have been asked to write reviews on single titles, and my first one will appear in the issue of Civil War Times that will be in process in August.
I also mentioned earlier that I’ll be speaking to the Central Ohio Civil War Roundtable in 2014. I’ve been putting together a few notes for that presentation and am really pleased with how things are going. We’ll be covering a lot of assumptions that are generally accepted as fact concerning the campaign that may not be quite accurate. OK, make that flat out wrong. It should be fun, and if your group is interested you can contact me at my email address to the right or send me a message on the Book Me, Danno! page.
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Tags: Articles, Civil War Magazines, Digital History, Facebook, Speaking, Twitter
Categories : Articles, Civil War On the Web, Digital History, Speaking, Writing About The Civil War
Thanks to Craig Swain:
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Tags: Articles, Civil War Art, Fun Stuff
Categories : Articles, Civil War Art, Uncategorized
I received the following press releases from Katie Corbut who represents the Genesee Country Village and Museum. But first I had to ask her: why are they using helium in the balloon when Lowe used hydrogen? The answer is pretty simple: the use of hydrogen would have resulted in prohibitive insurance costs if the museum actually wanted to take passengers aloft. So, helium courtesy of Macy’s Department Stores will be used, and a hand-built hydrogen generator/casing (see the above photo of the real things) will be installed at the permanent balloon exhibit at the museum.
Rides begin July 4 – next Wednesday!
World’s Only Civil War Manned Balloon Takes to the Air in Summer 2012
Genesee Country Village & Museum Constructing One-of-a-Kind Replica; Flights Expected to Begin this July in Western New York
MUMFORD, N.Y., February 2, 2012 – In late 1861, Virginia residents were shocked to see a manned balloon rise on the horizon, directing Union Army artillery against Confederate positions. One hundred and fifty years later, the Intrepid – the first type of aerial vehicle used for combat in the United States – will take flight once again beginning this summer.
Genesee Country Village & Museum (GCV&M; www.gcv.org), one of the country’s preeminent living history attractions, has begun building the world’s only Civil War manned balloon replica, with the intent of offering flights to visitors starting July 4. Rising 400 feet (32 stories) above the 700-acre museum grounds near Rochester, N.Y., the Intrepid will carry up to four passengers at a time in addition to the pilot.
“Our launch of the Intrepid brings to life one of the most unique elements of American history in a manner never before attempted,” said Peter Arnold, chief executive officer and president of GVC&M. “As Civil War remembrances occur across the nation during its 150th anniversary, we believed there was no better time to undertake this initiative. The balloon and the planned Civil War encampment surrounding the launch site further enhance our authentic 19th century village – the third largest collection of historic buildings in America.”
Not only was the Intrepid the predecessor to modern-day military aviation, but it also foreshadowed the future of military reconnaissance communications. The pilot would send intelligence information – troop movements, artillery compensation instructions, and more – to soldiers on the ground via telegraph. Conceived by Professor Thaddeus Lowe, the resulting Union Army Balloon Corps was personally approved by President Abraham Lincoln in June 1861.
“I commend the Genesee Country Village & Museum for taking a lead to insure that the role of the Aeronautic Corps in the Civil War is fully appreciated,” said Tom D. Crouch, Ph.D., senior curator of Aeronautics for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. “I am certain that your efforts will result in one of the most memorable activities of the 150th anniversary of the conflict.” Dr. Crouch has chosen to serve as an advisor for the project. Originally fueled by hydrogen gas, the Intrepid replica takes to the air via helium. Like the original seven gas balloons used by the Union Army during the Civil War, the Intrepid is tethered to land for optimal convenience and safety.
Visitors will have the opportunity to book 15-minute flights for a nominal cost in addition to their museum entry fee. More details will be released over the course of the coming months.
The Intrepid is being built by AeroBalloon Inc. of Hingham, Mass., with historical guidance from GCV&M, Dr. Crouch, and a team of prominent advisors including Jim Green, director, Planetary Science Division, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Rob Shenk, director, Internet Strategy & Development, Civil War Trust.
The initiative’s total estimated cost of nearly $300,000 has been partially offset by a number of generous donations. As construction progresses, GCV&M will continue to seek additional financial support for the project.
A Macy’s Miracle, Says Museum CEO; Civil War Balloon to Take Flight with Last-Minute Helium Donation
Public Excursions on the Intrepid to Begin July 4 at Genesee Country Village & Museum
MUMFORD, N.Y., June 18 — When the CEO of the Genesee Country Village & Museum (GCV&M; www.gcv.org) set out last year to build and fly the world’s first replica of a Civil War manned balloon – the Intrepid – little did he know his dream could collapse from a nationwide helium shortage. But he also didn’t bargain that one of the country’s most iconic retailers would step forward to deliver a miracle at the last minute, literally raising the project off the ground.
Thanks to the generous support of Macy’s – a brand synonymous with the giant helium-filled balloons that grace Manhattan’s skies every Thanksgiving morning – the Intrepid will begin flying this July 4 outside of Rochester, N.Y. Weather permitting, the balloon will take guests 300 feet (32 stories) into the sky, simulating what some of the world’s first military pilots (a.k.a. aeronauts) experienced 150 years ago.
“We were looking for a miracle. The Museum was seemingly out of options to secure helium after having placed innumerable calls to dealers, government officials and even decommissioned research laboratories across the U.S.,” said Peter Arnold, GCV&M’s CEO and president. “Then we heard from Macy’s, which was able to donate the 50,000 cubic feet we needed. We’re simply ecstatic, as we were within days of having to suspend our opening. ‘The Magic of Macy’s’ has never been more real.”
First announced this past February, the Intrepid project has captured the imagination of families, educators, historians and aviation enthusiasts across North America. Renowned documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and adventure balloonist and Virgin Group Chairman Sir Richard Branson have both praised the historic reconstruction.
“Supporting education is an important aspect of our community giving, made even more relevant in this case since Macy’s was founded during the Civil War era,” said Russell Schutte, senior vice president / director of stores, Macy’s Midwest. “With our unique connection to helium ballooning, we had the opportunity to help Genesee Country Village & Museum fulfill its dream to open this one-of-a-kind, interactive exhibit. The result will benefit not only the people of Western New York, but visitors who will travel from across the U.S. and overseas to experience the wonder and history of flight.”
Featuring its signature giant helium character balloons, the 86th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade takes place on Thursday, November 22.
Conceived by Professor Thaddeus Lowe, the Union Army Balloon Corps was personally approved by President Abraham Lincoln in June 1861. Not only was the Intrepid the predecessor to modern-day military aviation, but it also foreshadowed the future of military reconnaissance communications. The pilot would send intelligence information – troop movements, artillery compensation instructions, and more – to soldiers on the ground via telegraph.
Like the original seven gas balloons used by the Union Army during the Civil War, the Intrepid is tethered to land for optimal convenience and safety. Visitors – up to four at a time – will have the opportunity to take 15-minute flights for a nominal cost in addition to their museum entry fee.
A team of prominent advisors is assisting with the project, including Tom D. Crouch, Ph.D., senior curator of Aeronautics for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum; Jim Green, director, Planetary Science Division, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); and Rob Shenk, director, Internet Strategy & Development, Civil War Trust.
For more information, visit www.gcv.org or follow the museum on Twitter at @GCVMuseum.
# # #
About the Genesee Country Village & Museum The Genesee Country Village & Museum helps visitors understand the lives and times of 19th-century America through interactive programs, events and exhibits. It is the largest and most comprehensive living history museum in New York State and maintains the third largest collection of historic buildings in the United States. The 700-acre complex consists of 68 historic structures furnished with 15,000 artifacts to provide an authentic 19th-century environment in which visitors can interact with knowledgeable, third-person historic interpreters in period-appropriate dress. For more information, please visit www.gcv.org.
Peter Arnold, Genesee Country Village & Museum email@example.com or 585.538.6822
Mike McDougall, McDougall Travers Collins firstname.lastname@example.org or 585.789.1623
Katie Corbut, McDougall Travers Collins email@example.com or 716.464.4713
Andrea Schwartz, Macy’s, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org or 312-399-8934
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Tags: Articles, Civil War Balloons, Thaddeus Lowe
Categories : Articles, Field Trips