Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

16 06 2016

Once again I must apologize for the inactivity. A graduating high school senior eats up a lot of time, even if he seems to glide through it mostly on the couch. I promise to get back on it after his graduation party, if his college matriculation doesn’t get in the way. I gotta get him a shower caddy. That should be it, right?

Some things to look for here:

  • A couple of new book previews.
  • An interview or two.
  • More news on a possible upcoming tour of the battlefield.
  • The next installment of my notes to Longacre’s Bull Run study.
  • And, most important, more resources. I have a lot of them. A whole lot. And I’m hoping for more.

So, stay tuned. Check back here every day. Without fail. No matter what.





“Can You Run” – The Steeldrivers

15 06 2016

There’s smoke down by the river
Hear the cannon and the drum
I’ve got one thing to ask you honey
Can you run?

You know I hate to ask so late
But the moment’s finally come
And there won’t be time to change your mind
Can you run?

Can you run, to the freedom line of the Lincoln soldiers?
Where the contraband can be a man
With a musket on his shoulder
I’ve got to stand up tall before I’m done
Wrap these hands of mine around a gun
And chase the taste of bondage from my tongue
Can you run?
Can you run?

I’m takin nothin with me
We’ve just got time to beat the sun
And the boys in gray are never far away
Can you run?

Can you run, to the freedom line of the Lincoln soldiers?
Where the contraband can be a man
With a musket on his shoulder
I’ve got to stand up tall before I’m done
Wrap these hands of mine around a gun
And chase the taste of bondage from my tongue
Can you run?
Can you run?

There’s smoke down by the river
Hear the cannon and the drum
And even if I die, I’ve got to try
Can you run?

Can you run, to the freedom line of the Lincoln soldiers?
Where the contraband can be a man
With a musket on his shoulder
I’ve got to stand up tall before I’m done
Wrap these hands of mine around a gun
And chase the taste of bondage from my tongue
Can you run?
Can you run?

Can you run?
Can you run?





A Reminder – And a Teaser

8 06 2016

Note in the video above John Hennessy discusses the significance of the move of the batteries of Griffin and Ricketts from Dogan’s Ridge to Henry Hill. It’s a move that has been emphasized by many as one of the reasons for the Federal failure that day. As part of the next Bull Runnings tour (date to be determined), we’ll take a closer look at the use of the Federal artillery on July 21, 1861, with an examination of all the positions taken that day – including (hopefully) Dogan’s Ridge, where we did not go in April – and a discussion of their relative advantages and disadvantages. Guest guides TBA.





For Those Who Outlived the Day – June 6, 1944

5 06 2016

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“For those who outlived the day, who survived this high thing, this bright honor, this destiny, the memories would remain as shot-torn as the beach itself. They remembered waves slapping the steel hulls, and bilge pumps choked with vomit from seasick men making ‘utterly inhuman noises” into their gas capes. Green water curled over the gunwales as coxswains waited for a tidal surge to lift them past the bars before dropping the ramps with a heavy clank and a shouted benediction: ‘It’s yours, take it away!’

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“They remembered the red splash of shell bursts plumping the shallows, and machine-gun bullets puckering the sea ‘like wind-driven hail’ before tearing through the grounded boats so that, as one sergeant recalled, ‘men were tumbling out just like corn cobs off a conveyor belt.’ Mortar fragments said to be the size of shovel blades skimmed the shore, trimming away arms, legs, heads. The murder holes murdered. Steel-jacketed rounds kicked up sand ‘like wicked living things,’ as a reporter wrote, or swarmed overhead in what the novelist-soldier Vernon Scannell called and ‘insectine whine.’ Soldiers who had sung ‘Happy D-Day, dear Adolf’ now cowered like frightened animals. They desperately gouged out shallow holes in the shingle with mess kit spoons and barked knuckles, mouths agape in a rictus of astonishment intended to prevent artillery concussions from rupturing their eardrums.

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“They remembered brave men advancing as if ‘walking in the face of a real strong wind,’ in Forrest Pogue’s image, all affecting the same tight grimace until whipcrack bullets cut them down. Above the battle din they remembered the cries of comrades ripped open, merging at moments into a single ululation described by the BBC reporter David Howarth as ‘a long terrible dying scream which seemed to express not only fear and pain, but amazement, consternation, and disbelief.’ And they remembered the shapeless dead, sprawled on the strand like smears of divine clay, or as flotsam on the making tide, weltering, with their life belts still cinched. All this they would remember from the beaten zone called Omaha.” – Rick Atkinson, The Guns at Last Light





Wheeling WV – Oct. 18, 2016

24 05 2016
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Cadet H. J. Kilpatrick

I will be presenting Kilpatrick Family Ties at the Ohio County Public Library, Fifty-two 16th St, Wheeling, WV, on October 18, 2016. This is part of their Lunch with Books series, and start time is at noon. This is a fun program, and I’m looking forward to doing it again. Hope to see some of you there!

www.ohiocountylibrary.org
www.facebook.com/lunchwithbooks
www.twitter.com/lunchwithbooks
www.archivingwheeling.org





Tour Development

20 05 2016





Preview – Mackowski, “Hell Itself”

17 05 2016

Hell_ItselfOnce more into the breach goes Savas Beatie’s Emerging Civil War series, this time with Chris Mackowski’s Hell Itself: The Battle of the Wilderness, May 5-7, 1864. You know the drill on these, so let’s get to the vitals. Fourteen chapters and an epilogue make up the main, 121 page narrative, with lots of illustrations and eleven Hal Jesperson maps. My favorite features of this series are the appendixes. In Hell Itself, there are six: Federal cavalry in the campaign; the Army of the Potomac’s high command; “Where’s Burnside” (hmmm…maybe wondering where his boss was and why he wasn’t communicating with him?); Longstreet’s wounding; The Wilderness then and now; and the CCC in the Wilderness.

You also get a driving tour, and Order of Battle, and a suggested reading list. All in a tough little package that travels well on the field.

 








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