2nd Rhode Island Photos

19 07 2016

John Banks has found some amazing photos of members of the 2nd Rhode Island before First Bull Run. These include great shots of the Rhode Islanders unique overall or night-shirt style uniforms.

The soldier identifications have been expanded on John’s site – visit it here. And here is a link to the Providence Public Library piece on the discovery of the photos.

Below are the photos. They are fantastic.

francis

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California University of PA CWRT Recap

17 07 2016
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Photo courtesy of Mike Pellegrini

Last Thursday evening, July 14, I gave a presentation on Irvin McDowell’s plan(s) for the campaign on Manassas to the California University of Pennsylvania Civil War Roundtable in California, PA. This built on the presentation I gave to the Central Ohio CWRT back in 2014 (see recap here). The evening before, I sat down and wrote a few things out – I don’t usually like to read prepared statements, but I was glad I did as it cut down on annoying umms and ahhs on my part and helped keep me on track. It also added to the length of the program, which I think clocked in at something like 1:30 to 1:45. But I didn’t see too many of the 55-60 in attendance nod off, and didn’t notice any getting up and bugging out before the meeting was over. This program continues to develop and change as my thoughts on McD’s plans evolve, but in essence it’s pretty much nailed down.

There were some good questions afterward, but not too many as we did run long and my programs typically have give and take while in process. The room in the Kara Alumni house was very nice and worked well. It was also very cool meeting Roland Maust, author of one of my top ten favorite books on Gettysburg“Grappling with Death”: The Union Second Corps Hospital at Gettysburg, who was in attendance.

Thanks to president Walter Klorczyk who heads up a very fine group. They meet on the 2nd Thursday each month on campus.

My next speaking engagement will be October 18, 2016, when I’ll present Kilpatrick’s Family Ties for the Lunch With Books series at the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling, West Virginia. Stop by if you’re in the area – it’s a fun program.





Bull Run Monument Dedication Hymn

15 07 2016
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First Bull Run Battle Monument Dedication

From John Hennessy:

We have come to see memorialization and remembrance of the Civil War as a tool of reconciliation. Not in 1865. Attached are the words of a hymn written for and sung at the dedication of two monuments on the Bull Run Battlefield in June 1865–monuments built by Union soldiers at the end of the war. The dedicatory ceremony attracted a huge crowd, including Generals Orlando Willcox and Samuel P. Heintzelman, who both spoke.

The words to the hymn are bitter and angry, written two months after the end of the war and Lincoln’s assassination.

After harsh lines about slavery and treason, the hymn concludes:

“And so, upon the bloody spot,
Where now this monument is raised,
Shall rebel bones and memories rot,
But patriots’ names for aye be praised.”

The words were sung to the hymn, “Old Hundred,” familiar to most today as the Doxology–sung every week in many Protestant churches.

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For more on he monument dedication, see here.

The above hymn first appeared in the New York Times on June 13, 1865, as part of an account by a correspondent who attended the dedication.





McDowell’s Plan – Again

11 07 2016

This coming Thursday evening, July 14, 2016 (Bastille Day), join me at the California University of Pennsylvania’s Civil War Roundtable for a discussion of Irvin McDowell’s plan for the campaign on Manassas – what it was, what it wasn’t, how it succeeded, why it failed.

The meeting will be held in the KARA-BOOKER GREAT ROOM in the Kara Alumni House. Doors will open at 6:30 pm and the meeting will start at 7:00 pm.

Anyone interested in Civil War History is welcome to attend.

For further information, email stonewall1863@comcast.net, call 724-258-3406, or text 724-787-2340.





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.








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