Tour Update, 4/15/2016: Friday Night, Weather

15 04 2016

Revellers salute with beer after the opening of the 179th Oktoberfest in Munich

I’ve been contacted by a friend who is attending the tour next week and will be getting into town on Friday. While I already have plans for the evening, it occurs to me that there may be others of you who will be coming in to the Manassas area from various points on Friday and may be looking to meet up and get to know one another prior to the tour on Saturday morning. So, let this post serve as a message board of sorts for anyone looking to do that. Just drop a note in the comments section below.

Extended forecast for Saturday is partly cloudy and a high of 76 degrees. Keep up to date on local weather here.





Big Finds

13 04 2016

Click the image

 





Tour Update 4/10/2016 – NEW MAPS!!!

10 04 2016
hwmap

A Harper’s Weekly Map That Will Surely Make You Go “Hmmm…”

Hello all you attendees! Our featured guide for the tour (13 days away!), John Hennessy, has forwarded applicable maps from his new edition of An End to Innocence. These are the maps you should bring with you, as opposed to those I posted here on Friday. Of course, one can never have too many maps in general, but what with all the walking we’ll be doing I would think you’d want to carry as little as possible.

Click on the link below and print or store these maps as you did the others, and if you have time compare them two sets. There are subtle and not-so-subtle differences, and in a way you can trace how Hennessy’s thinking on the battle has evolved over the decades. They may look a little out of proportion in your browser, but will print OK.

Tour Handouts #2 (Most Important)





Tour Update 4/8/2016 – MAPS!!!

8 04 2016

Below you’ll find a link to the maps from John Hennessy’s first edition of An End To Innocence. These are not the same as the maps in the new edition, but for now I’m making them available to you so you can print them out or download them to your mobile device and have them along for the tour. And as always, check back here often for updates that may include additional documents.

Tour Handouts #1

10- Dave, Zack, John in Saunders Field shelter

No Battlefield Tour Is Complete Without Maps That Make You Go “Hmmm…”

 





Notes on “Early Morning of War” – Part 1

7 04 2016

downloadI know, it’s been a while. But, just like writing, maybe examining a reading can benefit with the passage of time. Here’s how this is going to work: as I read Edward Longacre’s study of the First Battle of Bull Run, The Early Morning of War, I put little Post-Its where I saw something with which I agreed or disagreed, or which I didn’t know, or which I did know and was really glad to see; essentially, anything that made me say “hmm…” So I’ll go through the book and cover in these updates where I put the Post-It and why. Some of these will be nit-picky for sure. Some of them will be issues that can’t have a right or wrong position. Some of them are, I think, cut and dry. So, here we go:

Prologue: Page 4 – Here we have Abraham Lincoln, three months after the attack on Fort Sumter (July, then), fretting over a recurring dream (you know, the one in the boat) and “the coming passage of arms” between “the forces fated to meet at Manassas.” But he also mentions a “presumed superior strength of the Union forces” in that coming fight. I have to wonder, what presumed superior strength is the author talking about here? Plans submitted to AL in June assumed meeting an enemy of at best equal numbers.

This idea of an expectation of outnumbering and overwhelming the rebels at Manassas is a recurring assumption in First Bull Run literature. But the facts just don’t back it up, as I’ve discussed before. See, for example, this post.

The author also notes earlier in the same paragraph that AL was hoping for a “complete victory at minimal cost in Northern and Southern lives” [emphasis mine]. This is tantalizing and something I’ve considered in trying to understand just what Irvin McDowell wanted to accomplish in the campaign (another assumption typically pulled from the air). That is, how did AL’s hopes for a “soft war” and a quick reconciliation, if indeed he hoped those hopes, impact McDowell’s game plan? Unfortunately, the author really didn’t examine this in much detail, even later (see this post for more thoughts on this).

Wow, that was just one Post-It. This could take some time. I have no schedule for this – guess you’ll have to check back here every…single…day.





Tour Update 4/6/2016 – ITINERARY

6 04 2016

Here is a preliminary itinerary for the tour. More to follow. Note the walking – not too fast, but some rolling terrain. Dress for the weather. Hydration, long pants, and sturdy shoes recommended. Pay no attention to the attire exhibited on televised Gettysburg ranger-led walks. Keep abreast of developments here and on Facebook. Note the absolute necessity to car pool. We’ll probably need 4 people per vehicle. Here’s a nice, zoomable park map.

9:00 – Gather (at picnic area – Groveton Rd or Stuart’s Hill Center, to be determined). We’ll need to leave a few cars at the Visitor’s Center so that cars can be retrieved from other sites at lunch.

9:30 – Drive to Sudley Church and hike to Sudley Springs Ford

10:30 – Drive to Matthews Hill, hike to Henry Hill.

12:30 – Lunch on the go (bring your own). Re-gather cars from Picnic Area and Matthew’s Hill to Visitor’s Center.

1:30 – Drive to Portici

1:45 – Hike to Henry Hill from Portici

3:00 – Tour Henry Hill

4-5: – Conclude (site to be determined)





New Bull Run Article in Civil War Times

5 04 2016

3John Hennessy, featured guide for Bull Runnings’ upcoming tour of the battlefield of First Bull Run, has an article on medical care at the battle in the new issue of Civil War Times.

That Sunday evening…the battlefield heaved and twitched under the weight of carnage. Hundreds of wounded men lay on the field, some of them struggling to breathe or signaling for help. Around them lay hundreds more, frozen in death. The nearly 900 dead men on the Matthews, Henry, Robinson and Chinn farms shocked observers by their sheer number. July 21, 1861, had been the deadliest day in America’s short history.

Check it out.








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