Update on Coming Attractions

22 05 2019

My apologies. I know last week I mentioned I had a lot to post “in the days ahead.” Well, those days have yet to arrive. I have two talks and one tour to recap, dozens of letters to transcribe, and this stack of books to preview:

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As always, though, life has a nasty habit of getting in the way of things. When I get my head above water, I’ll write up my recaps and previews, and will be most likely transcribing when I shuffle of this mortal coil, but right now I’ll take just a moment to thank a few people who helped make this a great May:

  • Rebecca Urban of the Peninsula Foundation, who invited me to speak at the GAR hall in Peninsula, OH. A cool joint, you should visit there for a talk or an evening of “roots” music.
  • Diane Klinefelter who invited me to speak at the Carnegie Library and Music Hall’s Civil War Symposium in Carnegie, PA. Also thank you my fellow presenters, Craig Swain and Rich Condon.
  • My good friends in the all-star guide lineup for the 4th Bull Runnings Battlefield Tour, In the Footsteps of the 69th NYSM – John Hennessy, Joseph Maghe, and Damian Shiels. You went above and beyond. As John said, we were a jam band who never before played together, but we pulled it off! Think Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and, well, me. Also a shout-out to my sister Patrice Smeltzer, who provided significant assistance.
  • Also a big thank you to everyone who attended these events. Some of you came from pretty far away (California, in two instances), and took valuable time from your busy schedules. I enjoyed meeting many of you for the first time, and renewing old acquaintances. I hope it was worth your while, and I hope to see you all again sometime soon – perhaps in Manassas for the battle anniversary weekend July 20-21 (two talks on Saturday and a bus tour on Sunday).




Coming Up in the Days Ahead

13 05 2019

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Saturday’s Bull Runnings Battlefield Tour was pretty great, with the weather holding out almost to the end. We had about 50 folks, and the round trip was about 5 miles (though my Fitbit says I walked 9.5 miles total).

It’s been a hectic month, but I will try this week to put up a post about the tour, as well as ones on my past two talks, a number of book previews, and upcoming events (I will be very busy in the Manassas area on July 20 & 21). Keep an eye out. Oh, and welcome to all the new followers.





69th NYSM Tour Handouts (3)

9 05 2019

MAPS MAPS MAPS!!!

John Hennessy has provided these maps to accompany our tour on Saturday. Print them out, or download them, or memorize them, or whatever. It’s up to you!

[Maps have been deleted]





69th NYSM Tour Handouts (2)

7 05 2019

Hi all – we will likely cover the formation of an Infantry or “Hollow” Square on the retreat from the battlefield during our tour on Saturday. So, here is a photo from Miller’s Photographic History of the Civil War to help you visualize one.

UnionInfantryHollowSquare

Also, any letters or accounts that I will be quoting from are all here on the site. The easiest way to find documents and transcriptions relative to the 69th is to go to the Union Order of Battle in the right hand column of this page under Bull Run Resources. Then scroll down to Tyler’s Division, Sherman’s Brigade, and you’ll find the 69th with links to all the accounts stored here, be they letters, diaries, or Official Reports. You can copy and paste into whatever type of document program you prefer, and print or download them. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I don’ really think you’ll need to take those with you on he field, however. But they make for great pre- or post-tour reading!





69th NYSM Tour Handouts

6 05 2019

Below are some handouts one of our guides, Damian Shiels, has provided for next Saturday’s tour. Print them out or download them so you have them with you on the tour.69th Aftermath69th NYSM at Fort Corcoran69th NYSM Before the Battle69th NYSM ZouavesHenry HillJames HaggertyMatthews HillPatrick Kelly & James QuinlanPrisoners





One Week! Be Considerate!

4 05 2019


Parking-Lot-full

OK, folks – we’re one week out from following In the Footsteps of the 69th NYSM. All of our guides are now on one continent, so that’s a good sign. Again, I have no idea how many people will show up. While this is not a caravan tour like the prior three Bull Runnings Battlefield Tours, remember that parking at the Stone Bridge lot, our starting point, is limited. So be considerate, and try to consolidate as many folks into one vehicle as you can. You may want to meet up at the visitor’s center lot and leave some cars there, then take one car to the Stone Bridge lot. This will really help out – it will allow for as many people as possible to join us, and it will also give you then option to end your tour at the visitor’s center instead of making the “retreat” back to the Stone Bridge.

Thanks! I’m looking forward to seeing you all there. Keep an eye out here for handouts, as this is the only place they’ll be available. We won’t be passing out any paper.





Tour Coming Up Soon!

28 04 2019

ND-logo

We’re only two weeks out from our In the Footsteps of the 69th New York State Militia at First Bull Run tour. Just a few quick points to bring up:

  • This is a FREE tour. As such, everything is on your own. If you feel compelled to make a donation to the park, you can do so at the Visitor’s Center – they have a box for that.
  • We’ll meet at the Stone Bridge parking lot at 9 AM, on Saturday, May 11. From there, we will proceed by foot across Matthews Hill to Henry Hill.
  • We’ll break for lunch when we get to the Visitor’s Center on Henry Hill. That lunch is on your own. You may choose to carry your lunch with you to this point. Or, if you have a friend with another vehicle, you may want to leave that vehicle on Henry Hill and ride in a second vehicle to the starting point. That way, you can have your lunch waiting for you on Henry Hill. This also might allow you to opt out of the retreat portion of tour.
  • The TOTAL distance of the tour is about 5 miles over rolling ground. Keep this in mind in your planning.
  • The tour is rain or shine. Dress for the weather. Consider that we will be walking through fields and whatnot, and this is May. Tick spray, drinking water, long pants, comfortable and sturdy footwear, are all recommended. At this time, I have no sway over nature.
  • Keep your eye out here for any handouts for the tour. They will not be provided on site. You can choose to print them out or download them to your preferred device.

I look forward to seeing you all on May 11. Facebook indicates we’ll have somewhere between four and four hundred people on this tour. That is to say, I have no idea who’s going to show up other than my fellow guides and me.