Hunton’s Lieutenant

10 05 2010

This weekend I received the following from a reader:

I was just playing with Google tonight and missing my Dad at the same time.  He died in 1999.  He grew up in the Leesburg, VA area, born in 1910, the youngest of 6 children and 5th boy to Dr. Eppa Hunton Heaton, a country doctor.
 
I typed my Dad’s name: Eppa Hunton Heaton into Google to see what might come up.  And for a while I read some articles about Eppa Hunton who I already knew was a Colonel in the Civil War in VA. 
 
Somehow I ended up on your page: “#101a-Col. Philip St. George Cocke” .  I was scanning down through the long article and Lieutenant Heaton caught my eye as did Colonel Hunton.
 
The story in my Dad’s family is that at some point, and I’m assuming that this Lieutenant Heaton is my great-grandfather, he asked Colonel Hunton for leave so he could get married.  He promised the Colonel that he would name his first son after him.  And my grandfather was the lucky recipient of Eppa Hunton Heaton.  Even though my Dad had four older brothers, none of them got this wonderful name until my Dad was born.  His real name was Eppa Hunton Heaton, Jr. but he was called Willy as a boy and Bill as an adult.
 
His oldest sibling, Medora (“Dora”) was 16 years older than he was and the only girl.  He called her “Sis” so all of his children called her “Aunt Sis”.  She was married and living in Detroit in 1940 and Bill came up north to see her and stayed.  He soon was enjoying the party circuit of Detroit’s finest families.  My maternal grandfather was a friend of Henry Ford’s and a third generation Detroiter.  Anyway, the poor country boy fell in love with the wealthy city girl and the rest is history.  He was 30 and she was 19 when they married in January of 1941. He served as a Lieutenant in the Navy during the war.
 
Anyway, thought I’d pass this family story on to you.  I’m assuming you don’t know about it.
 
Leslie Heaton Evans

Cumberland, RI

Lieutenant Heaton in this case is Henry Heaton, who commanded a section of Capt. Arthur Rogers’ Loudon (Leesburg) Artillery at Bull Run.  According to this book, Henry Heaton was born ( also the a son of a doctor) on 3/18/1844 at Woodgrove, the family homestead, and died on 5/17/1890.  He was a state senator from Loudon and Fauquier counties.  He also had a brother, Capt. N. R. Heaton, a sister, and seven other siblings.  Further correspondence with Leslie established that her great-grandfather was in fact Henry’s brother Nathaniel, who was in command of Co. A of Col. Hunton’s 8th Virginia Regiment at Bull Run.  Both Nathaniel and Hunton would still have their respective commands two years later as part of Garnett’s brigade of Pickett’s division at Gettysburg.   It appears that Nathaniel later became superintendent of the Bates County government nitre works, where he also commanded troops thrown together to oppose Union General David Hunter in the summer of 1864.  According to Findagrave, Nathaniel Rounceville Heaton was born 1/11/1824, died 2/3/1893, and is buried in Katoctin Baptist Church Cemetery in Purcellville, Loudon County.

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Bull Run Thread Trivia #1 – Winner

6 05 2010

Phil LeDuc identified the link between Bull Run and the U. S. Open Tennis Championship:

Seems to me we’re talking the Slocum connection here -

Henry W. Slocum commanded the 27th NY at 1st Bull Run, and his son Henry Jr. twice won the U.S. Tennis Championship.

That’s right, Phil.  Henry Warner Slocum, Jr, like Evonne Goolagong Cawley, reached the finals of the championship in four consecutive years (1887-1890), and won it twice, in 1888 and 1889.  He was also a doubles finalist in 1885, 1887, and 1889, winning in 1889.  These were all when the tournament was held at the casino in Newport, RI, and when a champion automatically qualified for the following year’s title match.  As a student  at Yale he also played football, which helps explain that physique. He authored Lawn Tennis in Our Own Country in 1890, was president of the United States National Lawn Tennis Association in 1892-1893, and became a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame (in Newport’s casino; I’ve been there – very cool) in 1955.   And you thought the General’s only famous namesake was an unfortunate boat.

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Bull Run Thread Trivia #1

6 05 2010

I’ve been looking for a way to introduce some of the threads my research has turned up (though “research” sounds too organized for what I do).  Let’s try the good old viewer participation route.  You can Google to your heart’s content, but if you already knew the answer without looking it up let me know – you’re on the honor system, and there is no prize other than being at the top of the response thread.  Feel free to take this anywhere you want as long as you don’t violate the rules of the site.

Thread Trivia assignment/question #1:

  • Connect the First Battle of Bull Run of the U. S. Open Tennis Championship.

I know of one prominent connection, but I’m open to others.  The sheila in the photo is Evonne Goolagong Cawley, who lost in the finals at the U. S. Open four straight years 1973-1976, and also played for the Pittsburgh Triangles during the same period (though I only had eyes for her teammate Rayni Fox – hubba hubba).

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It Says Something, But I’m Not Sure What

4 05 2010

A brand new Barnes & Noble opened up next to my gym.  So naturally I had to check it out after I was done with my workout tonight.  It’s a very nice, very big store.  Twenty-six thousand square feet, according to the Cat in the Hat who was greeting visitors (he told his interpreter who told me, of course).  I made a B-line for the history section.  Thankfully, there was a sign on the Civil War section, which I took as a good omen – the Civil War selection at the old area B&N store (which is closing) had been shrinking steadily over the past two years.  But when I got there, I found that a total of three shelves was it.  And only one book was a new release: the rest were paperbacks (a small consolation: the store carried the magazines for which I write).  With the sesquicentennial looming, I’m not sure what this says about the state of things.  Is it more indicative of lack of specific interest, or of the state of publishing, or of the social philosophy of the corporation, or of the economy in general?  What do you think?  Ultimately, it’s about the bottom line.  If $40 McFarland paperbacks were flying off the shelves, I’m sure B&N would find room for them.

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The Maps of Gettysburg Trailer

3 05 2010

Friend Bradley Gottfried’s The Maps of Gettysburg has been re-issued in color.  Here’s the trailer:





July 2010 America’s Civil War

1 05 2010

I received the new America’s Civil War in the mail yesterday.  Again, lots of good stuff inside.

  • Rebels in Check by Ethan Rafuse – Nobody played the game better than Bobby Lee.  Until his luck ran out at Gettysburg.
  • Could This Man Have Stopped the War? by Thomas Horrocks – James Buchanan left a monumental mess for the next guy to clean up.
  • “It’s No Use Killing Them” by Zack Waters and James Edmonds – The 2nd Florida fought in Lee’s army, but forged its own stature.
  • Tracing Natchez by Joe Glickman - From Grant’s mansion quarters to funky watering holes, Natchez oozes atmosphere.

These are but prelude to the real reason folks buy the magazine: my reviews.  As I mentioned before, Smeltzer’s Six-Pack has bitten the dust.  In the last couple of installments we had fallen off the formula of pairing new releases with older books on the same or similar topic – a formula which I felt set the column apart, but which fell victim to the need to preview an increasing number of new books in every issue.  July debuts Harry’s Just Wild About…, in which I’ll preview four or five new or re-issued titles (I’m not sure what they’ll call it if I happen to not be wild about any of the books).  Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like – that’s me at the Pittsburgh Irish Festival a few years ago:As you can see, I lead off with Ed Bearss’s new Receding Tide: Vicksburg and Gettysburg, the Campaigns that Changed the Civil War.  Also in this issue: The Great Task Remaining: The Third Year of the Civil War, by William Marvel; Gray Ghost: The Life of Col. John Singleton Mosby, by James A. Ramage; and The Battle of Cedar Creek: Victory From the Jaws of Defeat, by Jonathan Noyalas.

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I Have Always Depended on the Kindness of Stangers

1 05 2010

OK, well maybe not strangers, but certainly folks who are under no obligation to help me.  I’m back from my day trip to Antietam.  NPS historian Ted Alexander provided me with more information on my In Harm’s Way subject house than I could ever fit into an article of under 1,000 words.  I could have read through the material all day, but I only had a couple of hours and with the help of my buddy Mike waded through the material and made copies of the most essential stuff.  Cultural Resources Specialist and historian Keven Walker took us over to the house and gave us a fine tour of the structure along with detailed history of the building and its occupants.  Thanks to both Ted and Keven for their expert and enthusiastic assistance.

We decided to drive back to Pittsburgh via Gettysburg (kind of like Uneasy Rider driving to LA from Jackson, MS via Omaha).  We ran into Antietam ranger John Hoptak on the street there, outside the Farnsworth House bookstore.  It was a beautiful, warm day – lot’s of folks milling about.  Curiously, many merchants stuck to their 5:00 PM closing times.  Of course I’m not privy to their financial records, but it seems odd to me, especially considering many of these are small businesses actively staffed by their owners, implying more flexibility in scheduling operating hours (that is to say, “Look Marge, the hotel parking lot is full and there are a bunch of people eating outside O’Rorke’s.  Maybe we should stay open until 6:00 or 7:00″).  I’m just sayin’.

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