Tour Etched (Chemically) In Glass

30 06 2018

We had a modest (15 people) turnout for our tour on June 9, but the small crowd allowed for a lot of back and forth with our guide John Cummings. John managed to convincingly upset a few apple carts full of interpretations of the locations of period photos on the battlefield. All in all, it was a good day.

One of the highlights of the day was a demonstration of the wet plate photography process by Robert Szabo, at the Stuart-Mosby Historical Society in Centreville. First he painstakingly demonstrated the whole process, out of his mobile darkroom right there in the parking lot:

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Robert Szabo and his mobile darkroom

Then he set up the camera for a shot of the group:
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Next, he posed the group near this reproduction winter quarters hut:

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After the exposure (one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand), the magic happened:


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The final product – click on the image twice and you get a super huge version:
Scan





Photography Tour Digital “Handouts” 2

7 06 2018

OK, here are the “handouts” for the Centreville portion of our tour on Saturday. You know the drill: print ’em or download ’em and pass them on to anyone without access. Click the line, and see you Saturday!!!

Centreville Packet





Photography Tour Digital “Handouts”

6 06 2018

Guide John Cummings has provided a digital package of “handouts” for this Saturday’s tour. It’s a big ‘un. 28 page PDF document. You can either print these out, or download them to a mobile device. These handouts are very important and critical for your tour experience. John promises these documents will assist in upsetting the apple-carts he intends to upset. Click the link.

Manassas photo tour package

This packet is for the battlefield portion of the tour. I may be getting another for the Centreville portion, at which time I’ll post those, too.





Photography Tour Update

1 06 2018

I just received notification that the folks at the Manassas Battlefield Trust have rescheduled their John Hennessy led tour at the park from this coming Saturday to next Saturday, June 9th. The same day as our Photography Tour with John Cummings. From what I gather, the MBT tour is essentially the same as the second half of the Bull Runnings tour from two years ago, also led by Mr. Hennessy, covering the approach of Stonewall Jackson’s brigade to Henry Hill. There should be no overlap, and hopefully parking will not be an issue. So, I look forward to seeing you all at 9 AM next Saturday, June 9. Be sure you find us, the Bull Runnings tour, as both tours are set to meet at the same time, in the same place (MNBP Visitor Center).





Bull Runnings Tour 4/7/2018 Update – Reading List

24 03 2018

Here’s a recommended reading list for the tour. Books and some blog posts. Download whatever you think you need. If you download to a mobile device (phone, tablet), I recommend you download to the device itself, as cell reception is spotty out on the field.

Stay tuned for more news on handouts prior to our deployment.

Books:

Posts

  • Let’s start with this post from John Cummings. A primer, so to speak.
  • This post and this post from John Hennessy, about the ubiquitous Thornberry kids.
  • Here’s one from me – and it appears where I thought these photos were taken is not where they were taken at all.
  • Another one from me – a rare photo which raises more questions than it answers.




Tour Bull Run and Centreville in Photographs

18 03 2018

Here’s an update on where we stand with our second Bull Runnings tour, on Saturday, April 7. I’ve created this Facebook Event Page where you can register to attend and get more frequent updates. I realize some of you don’t “do The Facebook,” so you can let me know here or via email if you’re coming. Remember the tour is rain or shine, so dress appropriately, and if you’re a photo geek by all means bring your camera and take your own “now” images to pair with the “thens.” Below is the initial announcement on the event page, and an itinerary. Remember – car pooling is a must.

Tour the battlefield of First Bull Run and Centreville, VA using period photographs. Visit the sites of the photos and learn the stories behind them and their subjects from experts John Cummings and Dennis Hogge. This is a free event.

Our itinerary for the tour, from guest guide John Cummings [my comments in brackets]:

We’ll start the day (9:00 AM) in front of the Visitor’s Center, where we will begin by examining some problematic interpretations of photo locations on Henry Hill. While there, we will discuss other images taken during the first century after the battle, and the history of the park. Later we will proceed to the Sudley Church area and visit the exact location of some Union burial sites. We will proceed to a surprise Second Manassas feature [I know some of you have been yakking at me to cover the second, less important little skirmish outside Manassas, so here’s your bone!], and then to the Stone House, and Stone Bridge before breaking for lunch. After lunch we will meet with Dennis Hogge for an exploration of Centreville and the numerous photographs that document its Confederate occupation.

[During the tour, I’ll have various letters and memoirs ready that feature the sites we’ll be visiting. I’m checking with the Bull Run Winery to see if they can handle our group perhaps stopping there after the conclusion of the tour – let me know if that would be of interest to you.]

 





Bull Runnings Battlefield Tour 2018

31 01 2018
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Bull Runnings tour attendees 2016

Ladies and gentlemen! The moment you’ve been waiting for… the pride of, well, something…the not-very-regular Bull Runnings tour at Manassas National Battlefield Park (and environs)!!!!

Our last tour, in 2016, was, I think, a success, so I’ve decided to try another. A little different take this time, but one I think you’ll dig.

On Saturday, April 7, we’ll meet at the battlefield for a unique experience touring the field (and environs) through photographs. Our guest guides:

John Cummings is a Visual Historian with a primary focus on Civil War era image analysis. He is the author of three books on the Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania region. He has also written for several national and local magazines and newspapers, and provided historical research and commentary for four documentary films. He provides battlefield guide services, and research assistance to visitors. He served on the former Spotsylvania Courthouse Tourism and Special Events Commission, and is the chairperson for the Friends of the Fredericksburg Area Battlefields, (FoFAB). Originally from Fairfax, Virginia, where he spent a great deal of time on the Manassas battlefield, he now lives with his wife, Karen, in Spotsylvania County. He publishes a the Spotsylvania Civil War Blog.

Dennis Hogge is the author of Matthew Brady’s First Manassas: A Biography and Battlefield Tour. A lifelong resident of Northern Virginia, he is a member of the Bull Run Civil War Round Table, the Friends of Historic Centreville, the Historic Centreville Society, the Lane-Armistead Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Williamsburg Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

John describes the tour thus:

We will discuss wartime photo documentation of the battlefield, examine camera locations, true and false, and place late 19th century images used to illustrate memoirs published by the Century Magazine in their “Battles and Leaders” series. From the battlefield we can regroup at Centreville, site of Confederate winter camps and fortifications.

I can make no promises, but if last time is any indication there should be plenty of very experienced and knowledgeable Civil War scholars in attendance. That will leave lots of opportunity for back and forth between not only attendees and guides, but between attendees themselves. Remember though that this tour is for folks with all levels of experience.

Caravan tour. Consolidation of passengers and vehicles is vital. No charge, but everything is on your own.

More details to follow. But for now, save the date, April 7, 2018. I’ll need to get a feel for how many folks are planning to attend, so I’ll set up an event page on Facebook. Facebook is free. If you’re reading this, you have access to a computer. Don’t be a curmudgeon.

Just for giggles, who thinks they’re in for this? Comment here.