The Dusty Trail

27 06 2011

Tomorrow I’m hitting the road once again. On Wednesday, June 29, I’ll be leading a tour of First Bull Run for the Civil War Institute of Gettysburg College‘s Summer Conference. There are a total of 7 tour busses. Four will be led by NPS personnel, the remaining three by Ed Bearss, Ethan Rafuse, and myself. My tour is for people already familiar with the battlefield, and will be a tour in biography, for lack of a better term. This will be an opportunity for me to share those stories I’ve stumbled across over the past 6 years or so. Not your typical battlefield tour, but I hope the brave souls who chose my tour enjoy it.

On Saturday, July 2, I’ll be speaking as part of the Gettysburg Foundation’s Sacred Trust speaker’s series. At 9:30 AM outside the Visitor’s Center I’ll give a presentation on Patrick O’Rorke at First Bull Run. When the Foundation first contacted me they asked for a topic that tied in Gettysburg and First Bull Run, and O’Rorke was the obvious choice for me. It’s a short program, only 45 minutes including Q & A. Afterwards I’ll be available at a signing table, though unlike just about everyone else on the schedule I really don’t have anything to sign – unless someone shoves a copy of America’s Civil War, Civil War Times, or Civil War History in front of me. I kinda doubt that’s gonna happen, though.

So if you’re registered for Wednesday’s tour I’m looking forward to meeting you. And if you’re in town on Saturday morning, please stop by the Visitor’s Center. I’ll also be strolling about town and battlefield on Thursday and Friday, so if you see me please say hi!





PCN TV Programming for Gettysburg Anniversary Battlewalks

23 06 2011

I received this from Rick Cochran at PCN-TV. Good news for non-Pennsylvania residents with a Gettysburg fetish. Paying $24.99 for three days of tours and recording them is a lot cheaper than buying individual DVDs for each tour. Follow the link to see the schedule.

CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELD TOURS TO BE AVAILABLE ONLINE OVER JULY 1, 2, and 3

Each year on the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) teams up with the Gettysburg Military Park to present televised “Battlewalks” led by Rangers and Licensed Guides. These walking tours, airing since 1996, delve into the tactics and influences of the battles as our cameras follow tour guides around the various Gettysburg areas.

In the past, these Battlewalks have only been available to television viewers in Pennsylvania through PCN. This year, for the first time, the network will offer each day’s programming through a pay streaming site partner – www.livesportsvideo.com - so that those who cannot get PCN can enjoy the programs. For just $9.99 per day (or $24.99 for the three-day package) viewers will enjoy encore presentations leading up to new programs each evening at 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). These new Battlewalks will hit the internet and PCN just hours after they take place and you will be one of the first people to see them.

PCN’s Gettysburg Battlewalks are geared toward viewers with a deep interest in the Civil War. They are extremely popular with enthusiasts all over the world who have added the DVDs to their collections. A full selection is available at www.pcnstore.com. To learn more about our Civil War coverage, visit www.pcntv.com/shows_gettysburg.html. PCN is a non-profit television network that receives no state or federal funding. Revenue generated from DVD or streaming sales helps to fund additional education programs like the Gettysburg Battlewalks.





And Now for a Post on Black Confederates Called…

22 06 2011

…the Black Confederates post, in which your host desperately bids for hits.

I’m reading Stephanie McCurry’s Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South. It’s excellent, by the way. I sent an email to Prof. McCurry at her Penn address and asked for an interview, but I received no response.

Anywho, on page 278 I ran across this sentence:

Building on a congressional act of April 1862 that allowed for the enlistment of small numbers of slaves or free blacks in the army as cooks or musicians, the Confederate Congress passed an act authorizing the general impressment of private property for use by the army…

The footnote at the end of the paragraph refers to the later act in the OR and to B. H. Nelson, Confederate Slave Impressment Legislation 1861-1865 (1946).

I’d never heard of the 1862 act, and this footnote doesn’t point me to a primary source. Admittedly, I pay very little attention to the Black Confederate “debate” – it simply does not interest me. So this particular item may have been discussed before in the sphere. Can somebody bring me up to speed – not on the whole debate, but on this specific “act”?





Recap of Capitol Hill Civil War Roundtable

18 06 2011

Sorry for the delay in posting this. Last week – precisely Monday, June 6 – I made the second presentation of my program on Peter Conover Hains, in to the good folks of the Capitol Hill Civil War Roundtable. The group met in a judiciary committee hearing room of the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC – not the same room where the Watergate hearings were held, but not too shabby.

It was a logistically challenging day. First I Metroed in from the home of my good friends Kathy and Dan Carson in Arlington. I lugged my computer, projector, materials and a change of clothes to the office of Ron Baumgarten of All Not So Quiet Along the Potomac, in the US Trade Representative complex in the Winder Building, of which he gave me a quick tour. It was nice to finally meet Ron so I don’t have to call him an e-quaintance any more. Then I had to kill time and wound up walking all day through Washington. I’ll cover that walk in another post.

After a long and very hot day I met RT president George Franks, III and other officers at Bullfeathers, a popular Hill watering hole and restaurant. Needless to say I required significant watering. Then it was up the Hill to the venue. Here are a couple of pictures of the room – click on the thumbs for larger images.

 

About 15-20 folks were present, and they were quite familiar with local District history, which was challenging considering my program included a good bit of it. As usual I ran a little long, but there was time for a few questions which were very good. George presented me with a beautiful miniature of the Statue of Freedom that sits atop the Capitol dome.

Thanks to everyone who made it out. You’re a great group!





Incident at Vienna

17 06 2011

Today is the 150th anniversary of a little incident at Vienna, VA involving a trainload of Union soldiers and a dastardly “masked” Confederate artillery battery. The incident, to some minds, had an impact on how McDowell’s army would move through Northern Virginia a few weeks later – I’m not so convinced that it did.

Ron Baumgarten at Not All So Quiet Along the Potomac wrote some nice posts on Vienna recently, and you can read them here.

And Craig Swain of To the Sound of the Guns has a cool photo essay of the now rails-to-trails site of the action here.





Cool Bull Run Stuff on the Web

17 06 2011

A few links I ran across thanks to Facebook friends and others:

Go here for an overview of the battle and a cool animated map courtesy of The Civil War Trust.

Also from The Civil War Trust, John Hennessy talks about Jackson at Bull Run here. For more, see John’s article on the topic here.

And read this interesting bit on Matthew Brady at Bull Run from The Atlantic here.





Civil War Legacy Project – Fairfax County

13 06 2011

The good folks at Visit Fairfax have passed along the following info regarding the Civil War Legacy Project:

Civil War 150 Legacy Project Comes to Fairfax County
Statewide Initiative Strives to Digitize Civil War Era Documents Still in Private Hands
During Fairfax Appointments on June 24th & 25th

Fairfax County, VA – June 13, 2011 – Attention all Civil War-era document holders! If you or your family has manuscript materials created between 1859-1867 that reflect social, political, military, business and religious life in Virginia during the Civil War and early Reconstruction, the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission (aka, “the Commission”) needs your help.

The two have partnered for the Civil War 150 Legacy Project: Document Digitization and Access, which is holding its first event in Fairfax at the City of Fairfax Regional Library (10360 North Street, Fairfax) on June 24th and 25th.

The statewide Legacy Project is a multi-year initiative in search of documents still held by private owners with the goal of creating an online collection of rare Civil War documents and materials to share with the world. Citizens are encouraged to bring original, family heirloom documents and materials to events around the state for scanning and inclusion in the Project’s collection.

Civil War 150 Legacy Project staff members will be on site at the City of Fairfax Regional Library from 10 AM through 6 PM on Friday, and 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday to scan materials. Appointments are required, although a limited number of walk-ins will be accommodated, as the schedule allows. The duration of appointments depend on the type and quantity of materials, and can range from 5 to 45 minutes per item.

Scanned materials from the Project will be made available online via the Library of Virginia website (www.lva.virginia.gov), as well as the Commission’s website (www.virginiacivilwar.org).

Please contact Linda Gifford at 703-324-8324 or email her at Linda.Gifford@fairfaxcounty.gov to schedule an appointment.

This event is co-sponsored by the Fairfax County and City of Fairfax Sesquicentennial Committees. For more information on the Sesquicentennial commemoration events and special offerings in Fairfax County and Virginia, respectively, please visit www.fxva.com/150 or www.virginiacivilwar.org.

Media contact for Visit Fairfax Civil War related questions or inquiries:

Patrick Lennon, Destination Marketing Manager, Visit Fairfax
Ph: (703) 752-9504; plennon@fxva.com

Melissa Gold, White+Partners PR for Visit Fairfax
Ph: (703) 599-1643; melissag@whiteandpartnerspr.com





Another Road Trip

13 06 2011

The second of three June road trips for Bull Runnings will feature my appearance before the Loudon County Civil War Roundtable in Leesburg, VA. For details, go here.





Civil War Times August 2011

11 06 2011

Inside this issue:

Inside cover – a picture of John David Hoptak’s great big giant head.

Letters:

  • Praise and criticism of Kim O’Connell’s photo-essay of monuments at Gettysburg in the June 2011 issue.
  • Praise and criticism of Gary Gallagher’s article on James Longstreet in the June 2011 issue.
  • A little more artillery info provided by Craig Swain and prompted by David Schneider’s article on “Lee’s Armored Car” in the February 2011 issue.

Blue & Gray

  • Gary Gallagher asks, Did the Fall of Vicksburg Really Matter?

Collateral Damage

Your host discusses the stories behind the homes of two Pemelias - Higgerson and Chewning - on the Wilderness Battlefield. Thanks again to Noel Harrison of F&SNMP and author Josef Rokus for all their help.

Field Guide

  • The staff show us the Civil War sites of Frederick, MD.

Interview

  • Repeat Lincoln impersonator Sam Watterson (I like to think of him as Michael Moriarty’s fill-in on Law & Order).

Letter from the Editor

  • Editor Dana Shoaf says let’s refer to the observance of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War as something other than a celebration. Commemoration sounds good to me.

Features

  • The Winter that Made the Texas Brigade - Susannah Ural and Rick Eiserman on Hood’s Brigade and the winter of 1861-62.
  • Yankee Super GunCraig Swain wonders if the big guns of the 1st CT Heavy Artillery could have ended Pickett’s Charge before it began.
  • The Boy Brigadier – Iconoclast William Marvel challenges the long recognized answer to a favorite Civil War trivia question – Who was the youngest general of the war?
  • WWII Comes to Gettysburg – Jennifer Murray on the ‘Burg in the Big One.
  • “The South Was My Country” - Douglas Gibboney gives us a glimps of John Singleton Mosby’s life after the war.

Reviews





Civil War History, Vol. 57, No. 2

10 06 2011

Inside this issue are two essays:

  • “Living Monuments”: Union Veteran Amputees and the Embodied Memory of the Civil War - Brian Matthe Jordan
  • The Loyal Draft Dodger? A Reexamination of Confederate Substitution - John Sacher

Also inside is the journal’s first “Historians’ Forum”, this on The First Battle of Bull Run. Two historians, Ethan Rafuse and John Hennessy, and yours truly opine on various questions regarding the campaign and its legacy.

The experience was fun and informative for me. Editor Lesley Gordon started things off by sending us three questions. Emails were exchanged and things started to roll – good discussions were had. I learned a lot, and think I made one good point, at least. Thanks to Prof. Gordon for giving me the opportunity to participate in an unfamiliar forum. I think she has some really good ideas for the journal and am looking forward to what she comes up with next.

For mor information on Civil War History see here. Follow them on Facebook here.








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