Kernstown Battlefield

Kernstown Battlefield
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Bull Run Civil War Round Table
08/08/2019

Bull Run Civil War Round Table

BRCWRT Next Meeting: Thursday 8 August 2019 7:00 PM Centreville Va Library
Topic: "Cloaked in Mystery: The Curious Case of the Confederate General's Coat"
Speaker: Richard Lewis
Don't want to miss this very entertaining story

Cedar Mountain 157th Anniversary Living History Weekend
08/06/2019

Cedar Mountain 157th Anniversary Living History Weekend

Kids uniforms musket and gear for this weekends event. Look to spark young ones interest and build future living historians and preservationist.

Virginia Division UDC
08/06/2019

Virginia Division UDC

Dr. Hunter Holmes McGuire, of Winchester, Virginia, is most famous in the Civil War for amputating the arm of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. However, McGuire had another major influence on the war. McGuire helped establish a precedent in the Civil War in which medical personnel would not be held prisoner when captured, but instead returned to their army to continue their life-saving work. Hunter McGuire himself would be captured by Sheridan's forces at the battle of Waynesboro. Sheridan, respecting the policy that McGuire had established, would immediately parole Hunter McGuire.

Image: Hunter Holmes McGuire
Portrait owned by Virginia Commonwealth University.

08/04/2019
Cedar Mountain Battlefield

Cedar Mountain Battlefield

On the blazing hot afternoon of August 9,1862 a few miles south of Culpeper, Virginia, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson led his troops into battle against Nathaniel Banks’ corps of John Pope’s new Army of Virginia. 3800 Americans were killed or wounded.

We sell hardtack in our gift shop! Make yourself some.
07/23/2019

We sell hardtack in our gift shop! Make yourself some.

A skillygalee was a soldier's culinary creation that "was prepared by soaking hardtack in cold water, then frying them brown in pork fat, salting to taste." The resulting dish "was said to 'make the hair curl.'"

James A. Garfield National Historic Site
07/23/2019

James A. Garfield National Historic Site

On this day 134 years ago-July 23, 1885-former President and General Ulysses S. Grant died at age 63. Grant was a lifelong cigar smoker, and the habit eventually caught up to him in the form of throat cancer.

Grant's finances were in shambles when he was diagnosed with cancer, and he immediately set about writing his memoirs in the hopes of securing his family's financial security after his death. He succeeded in both producing a memoir still highly regarded by historians and providing funds for the family he left behind.

Grant served as the 18th President from 1869-77. In 1880, many Republicans wanted him to be the party's nominee again, but opposition to anyone running for a third term sent the party in search of a compromise candidate. The Republicans that year instead nominated James A. Garfield.

Grant is interred in General Grant National Memorial in New York City, which is a unit of the National Park Service. His life is also interpreted at Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis.

Image: a sick and dying U.S. Grant working on his memoirs, which he finished just days before dying 134 years ago.

Town of Middletown VA
07/23/2019

Town of Middletown VA

History at Sunset: Middletown Civil War Walking Tour this Friday at 7pm

Join Ranger Shannon Moeck on this 90 minute walking tour of historic Middletown. Through the war years, Middletown found itself caught between the lines of opposing armies. This tour will discuss firsthand accounts of the residents who were greatly impacted by the seemingly endless conflict. Meet at the corner of 1st and Main Streets in Middletown, VA 22645.

14th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment
07/23/2019

14th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment

The State of WVa issued medals to all Union soldiers who served in the Civil War. Several hundred of those medals never made it to the veteran and are still archived in The West Virginia Culture and History Center. If individuals can prove...show evidence and documents...that they are a descendant of one of these soldier/veterans the medal will be awarded to that individual. I have been able to claim 3 medals as follows: Matthew Kellison, 2nd WVa Calvary, my 3rd Great Uncle; Marshall Allen, 2nd Cousin 4X removed and Andrew Swagger (Swiger) 1st Cousin 4x removed, both of the 4th WVa Calvary. I also have the Ohio medal of Alford Kellison, 2nd Cousin 4x removed, of the 53rd Ohio Infantry.

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
07/12/2019
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

"On These Days" 155 Years Ago - July 11 & 12, 1864
The Battle of Fort Stevens

After his victory over Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace at the Battle of Monocacy in central Maryland on July 9th, Confederate Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early pressed his advantage and moved south toward the Union capital in Washington, DC. On July 11th, Early's exhausted Confederates reached the outskirts of Washington near Silver Spring. Skirmishers advanced to feel the fortifications that encircled the city, which at the time were manned only by Home Guards, clerks, and convalescent troops. During the night, Union reinforcements from Grant's army surrounding Petersburg, veteran units from the Sixth Corps, disembarked from troop transports and marched north through the streets of Washington to bolster the city's defenses. On July 12th, Early made a strong demonstration against Fort Stevens, one of the positions in the Union defensive line north of the city, which was repulsed by the veteran Federal troops. In the afternoon, a Federal counterattack drove the Confederate skirmishers back from their positions in front of Fort Stevens and nearby Fort DeRussy. President Abraham Lincoln watched the action from Fort Stevens and came under fire from Confederate sharpshooters. Recognizing that the Union Capital was now defended by veterans, Early abandoned any thought of taking the city. Early withdrew during the night, marching toward White’s Ford on the Potomac, ending his invasion of Maryland. “We didn’t take Washington,” Early told his staff officers, “but we scared Abe Lincoln like Hell.”

https://www.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=6328A4BC-921D-0835-E8B5253E9552512B

The Center for Civil War Photography
07/11/2019

The Center for Civil War Photography

HONORING HER REMARKABLE ANCESTOR'S GRAVESITE
by Craig Heberton IV

Stories about the life of EDWARD RICHARDSON (pictured in his sergeant's uniform, below), a slave who became a Union soldier, were passed along to his great-granddaughter, Susan Richardson-Sanabria (also pictured, below). Eight years ago, after years of effort, Ms. Richardson-Sanabria succeeded in placing a Department of Veterans' Affairs headstone, reflecting Richardson's service in the Civil War, over his grave at the Spencer U.A.M.E. Church, 314 Bailey St., Woodstown, New Jersey. This is as much her story of fortitude as it is her ancestor's.

Beginning in her childhood, Susan Richardson-Sanabria soaked up stories from her father’s Aunt Sade about Edward Richardson’s birth on Oct. 15, 1841 into slavery on a plantation in Cecilton, Md.; how he taught himself to read and write; his escape from captivity via the Underground Railroad aided by Quaker families; his work on the farm of Quaker Samuel Lippincott; his enlistment into the Union Army during the Civil War at Camp William Penn near Philadelphia; his actions as a soldier [mustering into Company A of the 22nd Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops on December 7, 1863], including receiving the Butler Medal (for meritorious or heroic acts of bravery at the Battle of Chaffin's Farm at New Market Heights); his marriage to Fannie Sturges (pictured in the tintype with Richardson, below) in 1866 and their life in a house on Bailey Street in Woodstown, New Jersey, just a few doors down from the Spencer U.A.M.E. Church and graveyard.

Richardson was "a color bearer in some of the fiercest combats of the war, including Petersburg," according to "Camp William Penn" (2008), at p. 79, edited by Donald Scott Sr. He is said to have "witnessed the fall of Richmond, the surrender at Appomatox and marched in Lincoln’s funeral procession in Washington."https://blogs.stockton.edu/hist2177/files/2011/01/Salem-NJ-Seven-Steps-to-Freedom.pdf

According to Richardson-Sanabria, her Great Aunt Sade "lived to be 99 years old and lamented the fact that [Edward Richardson] did not have a proper headstone on his grave." Richardson-Sanabria "realized that I was the only one left who knew where Edward Richardson was buried ... My great-grandfather’s grave did not even have his name or date of birth, so I decided I needed to take action ... I [turned to] [Edward Richardson's] original enlistment paper [inherited] from my father who had gotten it from his Aunt Sade." The enlistment information allowed her to obtain copies of Richardson’s military service and pension records from the National Archives.

Eventually she enlisted the help of Paul Horvath of Layton Monuments and Markers in Woodstown. With all of her assembled information, including the enlistment papers, he obtained an official granite marker for Richardson which was delivered to the cemetery and installed in July 2011. Said Horvath: “For many, a headstone brings final closure to a family. In this case, it not only marks his life, but the role he played in the Civil War. That is very meaningful for the family.”

In the words of journalist Tracy R. Wiggins, "Now that a proper headstone marks his grave, people will be left in no doubt as to where Richardson is laid to rest. Now, his life will not only be left to memory, but there is a physical marker of his accomplishments."

After Edward Richardson died on May 11, 1922, his death notice in the "Woodstown Monitor" recited that he was remembered by friends as being “a good man” with a “reputation here for integrity and ambition” [who rose from the] “position of a slave … to that of a man highly respected and loved by not only the colored people of this community, but white people as well.”

“I am humbled by the faith and perseverance that my great-grandfather demonstrated in orchestrating an escape from a Maryland plantation where he had been born to make his way in unfamiliar territory as a fugitive, find work, become a soldier and then return to marry, support and raise a family. According to oral history he was a very hard worker and somewhat of an entrepreneur who managed to purchase a thrasher so that he could make extra money using the machine to thrash other farmer’s crops as well as his own. He never drank, he never lied and they said he took a horse from the plantation when making his escape from slavery and regretted that he was unable to return the horse. My impression is that my great-grandfather would be disappointed to learn that all Civil War veterans’ graves have not been decorated with headstones and some have no marker at all. However, I think he would be pleased that one of his descendants pursued the matter of obtaining a headstone, which he earned through service to his country.” -- Susan Richardson-Sanabria

https://www.nj.com/salem/2011/07/escaped_slave_civil_war_soldie.html

Detail from a tintype captioned "Edward V. Richardson, b. 1840, and Fannie Sturgis, former slaves from Maryland," in the Randolph Lindsly Simpson African-American collection, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University, JWJ MSS 54, 2002738, by an unknown photographer, which the collector dated to about 1865, on the back of which are three and 1/2 tax stamps (each of 3 cents, and the lower of which are cancelled with the word "Simkia"). There was once an envelope accompanying the tintype stating in part: "Grandad ... E.R. Richardson whose name in slavery was Richard Jones ... Tom Richardson."

Image of Susan Richardson-Sanabria holding a copy of a print of the photograph of Edward Richardson and Fanny Sturges/Sturgis from the article "Escaped slave, Civil War soldier receives proper grave marker in Woodstown cemetery thanks to efforts of his great-granddaughter," by Tracy R. Wiggins in the July 24, 2011 online issue of NJ.com: https://www.nj.com/salem/2011/07/escaped_slave_civil_war_soldie.html

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
07/11/2019

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

"On This Day" 155 Years Ago - July 11, 1864

As Confederate General Jubal Early's command approached the outer defenses of Washington, D.C. on Monday, July 11th, the Union 6th Corps, rushed up from Petersburg, began unloading at the docks of the capital.

One member of the 122nd New York Infantry, part of Colonel Daniel Bidwell's brigade, remembered they reached D.C. about 2 p.m. on the 11th, and "marched immediately through the city along Seventh Street...to Fort Stevens."

Nearing the fort, they found civilians "getting to the rear as rapidly as possible." The Confederate skirmish line had closed within some 500 yards of Fort Stevens. When Bidwell's brigade was ordered out the next day to face the Confederates, President Lincoln watched "the progress of the battle, and every hilltop that could be reached by the citizens was crowded. I suppose they think it was a splendid sight, but we poor fellows could not see so much fun in it."

From the Article: "'On Many a Bloody Field': the Forgotten Story of Daniel Davidson Bidwell"
by Kevin Pawlak in the "Emerging Civil War"

Image: Gen. Daniel D. Bidwell
Image Credit: Library of Congress

Valley Guards - 10th Va Infantry
07/11/2019

Valley Guards - 10th Va Infantry

The following tribute, written by 1st Sergeant Samuel B. Hern, Company C2, for his captain, was published in the Rockingham Register & Virginia Advertiser.

“To the many noble spirits that have passed away since the war commenced, we are called upon to add the name of Capt. ROBERT C. MAUCK, of the 10th Va. Regiment, who breathed his last in Staunton, on Friday, the 11th of July [1862]. His death was produced by a wound received in the foot at the battle of Winchester [25 May], whilst gallantly leading his company in a charge on the enemy. When the wound was received it was considered but slight and no one imagined it would prove fatal, but notwithstanding every effort of skillful surgeons, and the unwearied attention of kind and numerous friends, his valuable life could not be saved, and whilst tearful eyes surrounded his bed, he calmly faced his last enemy.
In the death of Capt. MAUCK the army has sustained the loss of a brave and noble officer and the community in which he lived a valuable and enterprising citizen. He was a gentleman possessed of many noble qualities. Generous to a fault, and ever ready to assist the needy, he has endeared to him many friends, by his kindness, and shall long live in their memories. When the war commenced he felt that his country, in her time of need, claimed his services, and to her they were freely given. All the arduous duties of the camp were faithfully discharged, and on several battlefields he proved himself to be a man of true courage. His kind deportment towards his men and the willingness with which he shared their privations, made him greatly beloved by them, and his loss severely felt. He leaves a large and interesting family to deplore his death who have the warmest sympathies of the community in their sad bereavement.
While we drop the sympathetic tear over his freshly made grave, and sigh that one so noble and generous has fallen a sacrifice to his country, we shall long and fondly cherish his memory; and when peace shall again bless our land, his name will be enrolled among the heroes whose blood “watered the tree of liberty,” the fruits of which their children shall then enjoy. May the clods rest lightly on his manly form.”

(The picture depicts the First Battle of Winchester from: Frank Leslie Famous Leaders and Battle Scenes of the Civil War; New York, NY: Mrs. Frank Leslie, 1896)

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
07/11/2019

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

From the Library of Congress

Title: Union and Confederate campaigns in the lower Shenandoah Valley illustrated : twenty years after : at the first reunion of Sheridan's veterans on the fields and in the camps of the valley.

Contributor Names: Whitney, William H. (William Henry)

Shows positions of Federal and Confederate armies. Relief shown by hachures. Part blueprints and part blue-line prints. "The maps are copies of those published in 1880 in Col. Allan's 'Campaigns of Stonewall Jackson' and are there stated to be based on the United States river surveys; also they are taken from Pond's Shenandoah Valley in 1864' published in 1883"--P. 1. Includes maps of the battles of Winchester: Opequon, Fisher's Hill, and Cedar Creek. LC Civil War Maps (2nd ed.), 656 Phillips, 1356 LeGear. Atlases of the United States, 264 Call no. cited in LC Civil War maps (2nd ed.): G1292 .S5S5 W5 1883. Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as a raster image.

Image: Map
Credit: Library of Congress
To zoom into image: https://www.loc.gov/resource/g3882sm.gcw0656000/?sp=10&r=0.206,0.136,0.615,0.358,0

Address

610 Battle Park Drive
Winchester, VA
22604

Opening Hours

Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday 11:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(757) 593-8227

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Beautiful (& unexpected) Memorial Day 2020 stopover here today, site of two battles in 1862 & 1864. Area was recently preserved from encroaching suburban development. The battles included Gen. Patton’s ancestors as well as two future U.S. Presidents. Nearly 2000 combined dead. 1st Battle was Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s “last stand.” Local high school does popular cross-country race here. Top right is the preserved 1850 Pritchard family house, where the mother and daughter took refuge in the cellar and which became a makeshift-hospital for both sides. Nearby city of Winchester has a fantastic historic downtown making for a good day trip overall.
Thanks to Kernstown Battlefield for having us the Valley Guards participate in pprograms this past weekend. Look forward to future partnering in future educational programs.
Someone stole Civil War revolvers, cartridge box and other artifacts, leaving Kernstown battlefield group mad as hell about it.
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