Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Sign Stolen

4 02 2015
By J. J. Prats, April 30, 2007 Courtesy of http://www.hmdb.org/

By J. J. Prats, April 30, 2007
Courtesy of http://www.hmdb.org/

Friend Jim Morgan sent the following message this morning.

Dear friends of historic preservation in Northern Virginia,

As many of you know, the Department of Historical Resources historical marker about the battle of Ball’s Bluff was recently stolen from its location near the intersection of the Route 15 Bypass and Battlefield Parkway. The Friends of Ball’s Bluff have taken on the task of raising funds to replace it. It was one of the very earliest of these markers in the state, as it was first installed in 1928 (though its original location was on Route 15, King Street, near the entrance to the Leesburg Union Cemetery).

Please click on this link to the story in Leesburg Today for all the background and details:

As you will see in the story, we are taking this opportunity to update the text in the new sign. The old one did not provide much information beyond the mere fact of the battle. The updated text is included in the story.

As of today, we have raised about $350 of the $1630 needed for a new sign and we really have just begun this fund-raising campaign. I’m confident that the historical community in this area will come through as it so often does for the various kinds of projects in which we all try to get involved.

Please send any donations to the Friends of Ball’s Bluff at the address noted in the newspaper story. And feel free to pass this appeal along to anyone whom you think might be interested.

Thanks in advance to all of you who can help. Please contact me with any questions.

Best to all,

Jim Morgan
Chairman, Friends of Ball’s Bluff
scalpem@hughes.net
571-225-2812

UPDATE 2/13/2015: Jim Morgan sends along this info:

Dear all,

I want to let you know that our fund-raising campaign has been a success and we have raised the $1630 necessary to pay for a replacement sign. Thanks to all of you who donated and helped spread the word.

We await the final approval of the text by the DHR board on March 19 but we don’t anticipate any problem with that. Once that’s done, we’ll order the sign. Getting it manufactured and then installed will take a couple of months. We will be holding a dedication ceremony probably in June but I’ll be in touch with final details once everything is arranged.

This campaign went much more quickly than any of us had anticipated. We on the Friends of Ball’s Bluff board deeply appreciate the generosity of the Civil War and historic preservation communities. Again, my sincere thanks.





Kate & Emory Up[ton]date: Presque Isle

27 12 2014
Major General Emory Upton

Major General Emory Upton

In my last post I described to you the familial connection between super-model Kate Upton and First Bull Run participant Emory Upton. After his stint as ADC to Daniel Tyler in July 1861 Emory, as you know, would go on to great fame as a tactical innovator, Civil War Major General, post war army manual author, and ultimately tragic figure. Was his suicide the result of a physical malady (brain tumor) or ego agony resulting from perceptions of the French rendering his work obsolete? We’ll likely never know for sure. But one thing we do know for sure is where he spent the Army of the Potomac’s winter quarters of 1863-1864.

During this period, Upton was in command of the 2nd Birgade, 1st Division, of John Sedgwick’s 6th Corps of the Army of the Potomac. He encamped his brigade on the grounds of the ca. 1815 brick home of the John and Lizzie Major family, known as “Presque Isle,” in Remington, VA, near Culpeper. Civil War battlefield preservation pioneer Clark “Bud” Hall describes the property:

The house and grounds have changed very little since Emory Upton departed on May 4, 1864. Presque Isle, by the way, sits in the narrow “Little Fork,” between the Hazel and Rappahannock Rivers. The colorful name suggests, “almost an island.” It is a magnificent “river mansion.”

Mr. Hall and Craig Swain have generously shared the below period and current images of “Presque Isle.” Click on them for larger versions:

Presque Isle - 1864, Courtesy of Clark Hall - note the white-outlined brick above the left shoulder on the second soldier from left.

Presque Isle – 1864, courtesy of Clark Hall – note the white-outlined brick above the left shoulder of the second soldier from left. That’s Emory Upton, standing center.

Presque Isle today, courtesy of Clark Hall. Current owner Alan Johnson, center. See white-outlined brick near door.

Presque Isle today, courtesy of Clark Hall. Current owner Alan Johnson, center. See white-outlined brick near door.

Presque Isle today, courtesy of Craig Swain

Presque Isle today, courtesy of Craig Swain

Presque Isle today, courtesy of Craig Swain

Presque Isle today, courtesy of Craig Swain

Now, here’s the important part. Should Miss Kate Upton have a desire to connect with her famous relative, Mr. Hall has graciously, dare I say selflessly, made the following offer, with a BONUS:

Craig Swain and myself can arrange a tour of remote Presque Isle–General Upton’s HQ (63-64), at any time. The owner is a close friend, and incidentally, the house sits squarely in the center of the Freeman’s Ford Battlefield (August 22, 1862).

Of course, I will be happy to arrange my schedule to help Mr. Hall and Craig show Ms. Upton about the place, even though I’ve never been there. I mean, it’s the least I can do.

Is there room to ride on the grounds of Presque Isle?

tumblr_mop7p3Tuyg1s81mrio1_500

Kate Upton is an accomplished equestrian. Got this on Tumblr

 

 

 





Kate Upton Exposed! A Civil War Coupling…

13 12 2014
Kate Upton

Kate Upton

A while back I posted this photo of Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton. As if there could ever be a time when the posting of a photo of Kate Upton – weightless, by the way – would be anything less than appropriate, I mentioned in that post that I really had no idea what she had to do with the First Battle of Bull Run, or even with the Civil War. Egged on once again by Craig Swain and my own insatiable thirst for page-views for the sake of page-views, ten grueling minutes of online research bore ample fruit. Get out your notebooks.

The easiest and most obvious potential connection of Ms. Upton to the subject of this blog is through her name. A graduate of the U. S. Military Academy’s Class of May, 1861, Lt. Emory Upton served as an aide-de-camp to Brig. Gen. Daniel Tyler at the First Battle of Bull Run. Google search = Kate Upton Emory Upton.

Hit!

I know Wikipedia is a bad word, but I also know it’s a great place to start. Per Wiki, Frederick and Louis Upton of Battle Creek, MI, along with their uncle, Emory, founded the Upton Machine Co. in 1911. This company incorporated an electric motor in a washing machine for the first time. At this site, I found the photos below:

Louis Upton (L) and Frederick Upton (R)

Louis Upton (L) and Frederick Upton (R)

Upton Machine Co., 1920s

Upton Machine Co., 1920s, Benton Harbor, MI

I also found this unidentified image on the same page:

Who is this guy?

Who is this guy?

At Find-a-Grave I found an entry for an Emory Upton who is buried in Battle Creek, MI, who was the uncle of Louis and Frederick Upton, and co-founder with them of what would eventually become Sears appliance supplier Whirlpool Corp. Is the above photo Emory? I’m figuring yes, because the Find-a-Grave entry notes:

Besides being an inventor of machines, Upton loved music. He was an accomplished tuba, valve trombone and baritone player and performed with the municipal band in St. Joseph. A high point in Upton’s musical life was when John Phillip Sousa took his U.S. Marine Band on a U.S. tour and, right before a concert in St. Joseph, held auditions and chose Emory Upton to play with the band in that night’s concert (a story related by his grandson, Dr. Edward Atwood, to the Herald Palladium).

Whirlpool Corp, by the way, is still headquartered in Benton Harbor, MI. The neighboring communities of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph are served by the same newspaper, the Herald Palladium. Kate Upton was born in St. Joseph, MI. She is by many different accounts the great-great-granddaughter of Frederick Upton. I found out some other interesting things about Ms. Upton. For instance, did you know she is a world’s champion western style horseback rider? Think of that next time you see this:

So, I’ve connected dear Kate to Emory Upton. But if you know anything about the army officer Upton, you know that the 1911 founding date just doesn’t jive, because he took his own life in San Francisco in 1881. And Whirlpool Emory was born in 1865. But the Find a Grave entry also mentions that the tuba player was a nephew of Major General (his Civil War brevet rank – he was a regular army colonel at his death) Emory Upton.

Cadet Emory Upton, as he may have looked at the time of First Bull Run

Cadet Emory Upton, as he may have looked at the time of First Bull Run

Some of the other sites I visited, trying to confirm this, were unclear. Then I went to Ancestry.com, where everything clicked. This family tree explains things (the link will only work if you have an account, I think.) Colonel Upton was the son of Daniel and Electra Randall Upton. He was born in Batavia, NY. He had a brother, Stephen, also born in Batavia, who died in Battle Creek, MI. Stephen had sons Emory – the tuba/washing machine guy – and Cassius, both born in Battle Creek. And Cassius was the father of Louis and Frederick.

And there you have it. “Our” Emory Upton was the uncle of the uncle (tuba/washing machine guy Emory) of Kate Upton’s great-great-grandfather (Frederick, Louis’s brother.)

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2015 home opener is against Kate’s boyfriend Justin Verlander’s Detroit Tigers. I am a season-ticket holder. Kate, if you’d like to do a meet and greet with me before, during, or after the game, you can have your people get in touch with mine via the contact info over to the right. Or through the comments section of this post.

Kate, BJ, & Justin Upton

Kate, BJ, & Justin Upton

I sincerely hope this puts to rest the absurd notion that my earlier post on Kate Upton and her weightless romp was somehow frivolous.





Edward Baker Day Dinner February 24, 2013

1 02 2013

THE FRIENDS OF BALL’S BLUFF BATTLEFIELD ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE FIRST ANNUAL EDWARD BAKER DAY DINNER

DATE:  SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2013

TIME:  6:00 – 8:30   COST: $45 per person

LOCATION:  The Woodlands, Algonkian Regional Park, 47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling, VA  20165

SPEAKER: Dr. Robert Sutton, Chief Historian of the National Park Service.

Dr. Sutton will speak on the life of Senator and Colonel Edward Dickinson Baker who commanded Union troops at the battle of Ball’s Bluff and on the Civil War in Oregon.  Baker was the best friend of President Lincoln and the only sitting U.S. senator ever to die in combat.

Dr. Robert Sutton, NPS Chief Historian since 2008, is a native Oregonian. He has a BA in history from Portland State University and a PhD in history from Washington State University.  Dr. Sutton worked for the Oregon Historical Society and Oregon state park system before joining NPS in 1981.  Most recently, he served as superintendent of the Manassas National Battlefield.

Social hour begins at 6:00. Dinner served at 6:30. Dr. Sutton’s remarks at 7:15 with Q’s and A’s to follow.

Directions to site:  From Route 7 just east of Leesburg in Sterling, Virginia, turn north onto Cascades Parkway.  Cross Algonkian Parkway, at which point Cascades Parkway becomes Fairway Drive.  Continue almost to the end of Fairway Drive which will bring you directly to The Woodlands.

For Reservations contact Ms. Dale Hook by email at dhook@nvrpa.org or by phone at 703-352-5900.   Tickets by reservation only; deadline for purchase is COB, February 21.





Save Historic Antietam Foundation Lecture Series 9/8/2012

7 08 2012

Save Historic Antietam Foundation Inc. is pleased to announce a special lecture series in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the battle of Antietam.  The lectures will take place in the Mumma Farm barn at Antietam National Battlefield on Saturday September 8, starting at 9:00.  This event will also feature presentations from the recipients of two special scholarships funded by SHAF.  Daniel Vermilya has received the first Joseph L.  Harsh Scholar Award and will share his research on the Union Army at Antietam.  Susan Rosenwald was awarded the special Sesquicentennial Award and she will share her research about the role and actions of Clara Barton at Sharpsburg.  Other speakers will include Dennis Frye, Chief Historian of Harper’s Ferry National Park, Dr. Mark Snell, director of the George Tyler Moore Center for Study of the Civil War and local columnist and writer Tim Rowland.  The event is free and open to the public, and no reservations will be required.   Donations to SHAF will be accepted and there will be book signing by the authors and other items for sale.

Schedule:

9:00-9:30 – Coffee and Danish

9:30-9:45 – Opening Remarks, Tom Clemens, President, SHAF

9:45-10:30 – Session I, Dr. Mark Snell, “Causes of the Civil War”

10:30-10:45 – Break

10:45-11:30 – Session II, Dan Vermilya, Harsh Scholar recipient, “Perceptions, Not Realities: The Strength, Experience, and Condition of the Army of the Potomac at Antietam”

11:30-12:00 – Awards

12:00-1:00 – Lunch, Box Lunch available, by pre-order only $10.00 each*

1:00-1:45 – Session III, Susan Rosenwald, Sesquicentennial Award recipient, “Clara Barton at Antietam”

1:45-2:00 – Break

2:00-2:45 – Session IV, Dennis Frye, “September Suspense: Lincoln’s Union in Peril”

2:45-3:00 – Break

3:00-3:45 – Session V, Tim Rowland, “Odd Incidents of Maryland Campaign”

3:45 – Closing Remarks

* Preorder on-line at www.SHAF.org, choices will be available on the website.





Preview: “Unholy Sabbath: The Battle of South Mountain in History and Memory” – and a Preservation Opportunity

26 02 2012

I’ve mentioned before that I serve on the board of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation, which does good preservation work down Western Maryland way. The good folks at Savas-Beatie publishing have partnered with us in the ongoing effort to raise funds for the preservation of Civil War sites in the Antietam vicinity. When you order a product from the S/B website (www.savasbeatie.com), simply enter SHAF as the coupon code and 10% of the retail price of your order will go directly to SHAF. This applies to all S/B titles, including current releases like Brian Jordan’s “Unholy Sabbath: The Battle of South Mountain in History and Memory” and SHAF President Dr. Thomas Clemens’s “The Maryland Campaign of September, 1862, Vol. I”, as well as upcoming titles like Vol. II of Tom’s work and Bradley Gottfried’s “The Maps of Antietam.” This is a great way to build your library with quality books and help SHAF achieve its goals in the process. Remember, enter SHAF as the coupon code.

Speaking of “Unholy Sabbath”, I recently received a copy in the mail. Physically, this is the standard, high quality book you’ve come to expect from Savas-Beatie. The author is a very young cat, a 2009 graduate of Gettysburg College who is currently working on his PhD. at some sheepskin factory called Yale. The author’s academic bent is reflected in the use of a colon in the title, and the focus on memory – not that there’s anything wrong with that (the memory thing, I mean). This is an example of the “new” military history, and I’m all for it, as how the fighting is remembered by participants and the public as time passes is fascinating to me, and tells a bigger story. It’s richly illustrated and includes plenty of Brad Gottfried maps – unfortunately, these don’t have topo lines and the lay of the land was vitally important to how the fighting developed at the passes. It’s a minor quibble for me, but then I’m pretty familiar with the area. Also included are full Orders of Battle and an extensive bibliography that confirms the author’s use of a wide array of manuscript and published primary and secondary sources. I say give it a whirl, though I must admit I have BIG problems with his description of Special Orders 191.

You can follow “Unholy Sabbath” on Facebook here.

And here’s the book trailer:





Interesting “Time” Reenactor Photos

12 04 2011

Here’s a link to an interesting series of photos – video too – of Civil War reenactors at threatened battlefield sites.








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