Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Poor Hampton, Virginia: Sacked and Burned Three Times, Then....

First, the town, by the Chesapaeke Bay, was sacked by the British in 1813, during the War of 1812. And, then, it was burned twice during the Civil War. //// As if that were not enough, ion April 9, 1884, much of the downtown was destroyed in a fire. ///// A fire company was then organized with most of the prominent members having served in the Confederate military or Union Army, stationed at nearby Fortress Monroe. //// --Old Secesh

The "Real" Thing: Robert Lee Hodge in Confederate Uniform

As I mentioned in the previous post, Robert Lee Hodge is shown in a Confederate enlisted man's re-enactment uniform. And, he definitely looks authentic. None of that new "sutler store-bought" or officer stuff for Hodge. A sidebar points to four items he is wearing and gives you more information. //// SLOUCH HAT-- The broad-brimmed sluch hat was often more suitable to endure the rain and sun. This sluch hat is made of wool felt and has seen, according to Hodge, some "hard campaigning." //// COAT-- The cloth is a jean-weave of 85% wool and 15% cotton. North Carolina was the leading domestic manufacturer of uniforms. A whole army ofprincipally women and slave labor was heavily involved in the production of Confederate uniforms. //// BUTTONS-- The non-matching buttons are a combination of domestic North Carolina manufacture and federal officer and enlisted buttons. Brass buttons were the most common, but there were also those made of pewter, tin, glass and wood. //// SHIRT-- The shirt is a reproduction of a Confederate-issue cotton shirt. //// A Properly-Dressed Sesh. --Old Secesh

A Real:Preservation Character: Robert Lee Hodge-- Part 2

"To see tbe obliteration of these things I had in my mind on a high mantel with reverence, it was a rude awakening." Since 1980, he has been a re-enactor, mostly Confederate, but, if necessary, a Union soldier (sadly, sometimes there are not enough Union re-enactors). (A picture of him as a Rebel appears to be the real thing.) //// His interest in all things Civil War, and especially Confederate, earned him a photo on the cover of 1998 Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Horowitz's best-seller "Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War." (A great book.) He also had pages in the book about him. //// In addition, he has appeared on the History Channel, A&E and the National Geographic Channel. //// His group has saved nearly 1,000 acres around the Fredericksburg, Va., area, most recently 15 acres in Chancellorsville and $1 million to the Civil War Trust for purchase of a part of the Fredericksburg battlefield. //// A Committed Man. --Old Secesh

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Real Preservation Character: Robert Lee Hodge-- Part 1

From the Fall 2012 Preservation Magazine "A Preservation Battle Cry" by Gwendolyn Purdom. //// With first two names like his, you had to know which side he would be on. Call him the Ultimate Rebel or Secesh (Hey, that's my name), if you prefer. //// Those stories his mother read him from the Golden Book of the Civil War as a youngster got him hooked. (I got hooked on Fort Fisher and especially liked the American Heritage book showing all the little soldiers moving across the battlefield. //// Today, Robert Lee Hodge is not only a dedicated re-enactor, Rebel, of course, but on occasion even Yankee. But also a historian, filmmaker and preservationist. He is also an 11-year member of the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust's Board of Directors. //// He says that when he moved to Virginia in 1991, he was shocked to see all the old battlefields being overrun by development. //// --Old Secesh

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Timeline: Saving Civil War Battlefields-- Part 2 Took On Wal-Mart and Won

JUNE 2003-- Brandy Station Battlefield Opens. //// 2008-- May 2008 the largest concentration of Civil War battle sites, along with other historic sites, is designated as the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area. //// 2011: January-- Wal-Mart cancels construction plans near the Wilderness Battlefield in Virginia and pledges to find a more suitable location. //// 2011: April-- Plans to build a casino a half-mile south of Gettysburg National Military Park are defeated. A similar proposal also had been denied in 2005. //// Watching the Battlefields. --Old Secesh

Timeline: Saving Civil War Battlefields-- Part 1

From the Fall 2012 Preservation Magazine by Laura Wainman. //// 1994: Walt Disney Company ends the "Third Manassas" battle by withdrawing its proposal to build a $650 million history-themed park. Disney's America, less than four miles from Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia. //// 1996: More than 100 years after the largest cavalry battle of the Civil War, the race to turn the land where it was waged into a Formula One race track ends, leavinfg Brandy Station, Virginia, intact. //// --Old Secesh

Bits 'O War: 2nd Manassas-- Cavalry Guidons-- Kepis-- 106th Pa. Monument

From the Fall 2012 Preservation Mafazine. //// 1. 2ND MANASSAS-- August 1862, the Confederates win a solid victory on the plains of Manassas, bringing them to the height of their military power. (Personally, I would have thought it was after the battle of Chancellorsville, despite the loss of Stonewall Jackson.) //// CAVALRY GUIDONS-- Union cavalry carried a forked flag into battle as their guidon. //// KEPIS-- The kepi, or forage cap, was a common element of the enlisted soldier's uniform, especially for Union forces. Confederate headgear was much more varied. //// 106TH PA. MONUMENT-- was dedicated in 1889. --Old Secesh

Friday, April 11, 2014

Trees For Troops: One For Each Who Died-- Part 3

BY THE NUMBERS: 5: NUMBER OF MILES covered in Phase One of the Living Legacy Project. ///// $65 MILLION: Total estimated cost of the Living Legacy Project. //// 1 MILLION ACRES on the National Register of Historic PLaces within the project. //// 30 HISTORIC DOWNTOWN COMMUNITIES in the JTHG National Heritage Area. //// This was compiled by David Robert Weible. ///// --Old Secesh

Trees For Troops: One For Each Who Died-- Part 2

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 SPECIES OF TREES included in the Living Legacy Project. They are red oaks, red buds, red cedars, redtwig dogwoods and red maples. I wonder why there is all the red? Perhaps to signify blood or maybe because they grow well in the area? //// 620,000 GEOTAGS to be installed on the trees throughout the project. The geotags will provide smartphone users with the information of the individual soldier the tree represents, including photos, diary entries and letters. Great idea, but what about us who aren't smart enough to have one? ///// 180 MILES length of the JTHG National Scenic Byway. All of it will be part of the Living Legacy Project. The route begins at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, who authored the phrase, "All men are created equal." It ends in Gettysburg, where Abraham Lincoln referenced the fight for those words in his Gettysburg Address. //// --Old Secesh

Trees for Troops: One For Each Soldier Who Died-- Part 1

From the Fall 2012 Preservation Magazine. //// The Journey Through Hallowed Ground (JTHG) National Heritage Area Partnership plans to (it already has) launch its Living Legacy Project this fall in Oatlands, a National Trust Historic Site in Leesburg, Virginia. The project aims to plant one tree along the JTHG National Scenic Byway for each soldier who died during the Civil War. //// BY THE NUMBERS: 3,312: NEW TREES TO BE PLANTED in phase one of the project which will run from Oatlands to Gilbert's Corner in Loudon County, Virginia. //// 54,364 JOBS DEPENDENT on heritage tourism created within the JTHG National Heritage area. //// 50 CIVIL WAR BATTLES took place on sites within the JTHG Heritage Area, including Antietam, Fredericksburg, Wilderness, and Gettysburg-- the largest concentration of Civil War battlefields in the country. //// A Great Green Idea. --Old Secesh

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Colorized Photos of the Civil War

From the October 4, 2013, Huffington Post. //// Some old black and white photos of the Civil War have been colorized by Jordan Lloyd, using digitally colorized Dynachrome as part of restoration. //// The famous photo of three captured Confederates at Gettysburg in 1863 is one of them as is one of Captain Cunnigham and Gen. T.F. Meaghre's staff posing under a tent at Bealton, Virginia, in August 1862. //// Another one features Brigadier general David McMurtrie Gregg and his staff, possibly taken at Fredericksburg in 1862. There is also one of Caleb Lyon whom Lincoln later appointed as governor of Idaho Territory. //// The photos were taken by famed photographer Matthew Brady. //// I recently bought a whole book of colorized Civil War photographs while visiting DeKalb, Illinois. This might be the resulting book from the colorization. The color brings a whole new flavor to the war. //// Smile for the Camera. --Old Secesh

Lincoln's $5 CSA Note-- Part 3

Back to the Confederate $5 bill. //// The Confederate note was found quarter-folded inside a small, brown, silk-lined leather billfold. Also in it were a railroad ticket, US currency, notes and a small pencil. These were given to Mary Lincoln Isham by her father, Robert Lincoln, and kept by her family for seventy years. //// This Confederate note is featured in a Lincoln bicentennial exhibit "With Malace Toward None" to humanize him. //// I would sure like to know the story of how Abraham Lincoln came to have that $5 bill. Had he received it earlier during the war or when he visited Richmond? Did somebody give it to him? Perhaps General Grant or maybe a freed slave? //// That Sure Would Be Interesting to Know. --Old Secesh

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lincoln's $5 CSA Note-- Part 2

These artifacts were donated to the Library of Congress in 1937 by Lincoln's grandaughter Mary Lincoln Isham. She donated the Confederate money and other items along with several books, daguerreotypes, a silver inkstand, Mary Todd Lincoln's pearl necklace and matching bracelet. //// Lincoln was carrying two pairs of spectacles that night: a patent model made by Burt & Hawley which had small cups at the end of short shanks to clasp the temples instead of ear pieces. //// Lincoln had often been photographed with them from August 1863 to february 1865. One of them was the famous photo of him and his son Tad examining a photo album at Matthew Brady's Washington, D.C., studio. The spectacles are set low on Lincoln's nose with the shanks catching his temples so he could easily look over them. //// A Bit of History in the Specs. --Old Secesh

Lincoln's CSA $5 Note-- Part 1

From the October 1, 2013, Numismaster in Coins Magazine "Lincoln carried CSA $5 Note in Billfold" by Fred Reed. //// On April 4, 1865, Abraham Lincoln toured the fallen Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, accompanied by son Tad and a military escort. At some point he acquired a Series 1864 $5 Confederate Treasury Note, Series 5, position A, serial number 75901. (a photo of it accompanied the article). //// It was found hidden in a box containing the contents of his pockets when he was assassinated. That box was sequestered in the Library of Congress for a generation. //// More to Come. --Old Secesh

Monday, April 7, 2014

Joshua Chamberlain's Medal of Honor Returned-- Part 3

After Chamberlain's death in 1914, the original Medal of Honor found its way through generations of descendants until the last-living one, granddaughter Rosamond Allen, died in 2000. //// Her estate was donated to the First Parish Church of Duxbury in Massachusetts. The medal was found among several books bought during a church fundraiser sale. //// The finder, and donor, had previously attempted to send the medal back, but had misaddressed the envelope. ///// After the war, Chamberlain was a professor, college president and state governor and was very proud of his Medal of Honor, wearing it quite often. //// It is made of brass and dulled by time and wear. Its suspension ribbon, both the 1893 and 1896 ones are slightly ragged. //// You can see his 1907 Medal of Honor Monday-Fridays at Baudoin College. //// --Old Secesh