Kernstown Battlefield

Town of Middletown VA
06/08/2019

Town of Middletown VA

Kids Civil War History Camp 2019

Date: Saturday - June 15, 2019 Time: 8:30-4:00
Location: Cedar Creek Battlefield 8437 Valley Pike Middletown, VA 22645

For more information, please visit the link. 👇
https://www.ccbf.us/?page_id=3433

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
06/07/2019

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

#fromtheregimentals

The aftermath of the June 5, 1864 Battle of Piedmont, a hard-fought Union victory, produced some amusing scenes. One saw Private Mike Manning, an Irishman in the 116th Ohio, leading a captured Confederate to the rear. The prisoner, a "very large and powerful Irishman" had to put up with his captor's abuse, as Manning called him "a damned rebel and an Irishman, too." The two apparently argued about whose cause was the most just, and at one point the Confederate tried to get at Manning, whereupon the Union Irishman brought his "bayonet down to a charge," and ordered his prisoner onward. The two "attracted a crowd of amused spectators," and "were both possessed of the keenest kind of Irish wit, and many a poor wounded soldier forgot his pain in laughing at the comical scene."

Image: Battle of Piedmont (Deeds of Valor, 1901)

Stonewall Jackson House
06/07/2019

Stonewall Jackson House

#OTD in 1887, Thomas and Mary Anna's first grandchild, Julia Jackson Christian Preston, was born in San Diego, CA, to Mr. William Christian and Julia Jackson Christian!

Baby Julia was born Anna Jackson Christian, after her grandmother, Mary Anna. However, her name was later changed to Julia to honor her mother when she passed away.

Pictured: Julia Preston, granddaughter, and her daughter, Julia, great-granddaughter, ca. 1918.

06/06/2019
Kernstown Battlefield Association

Kernstown Battlefield Association

Jackson’s Headquarters will be open today from 10 am to 4 pm to Commemorate Confederate Memorial Day. Free to the public. Refreshments will be served. 415 N. Braddock Street, Winchester. Please share.

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
06/03/2019

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

#MedalofHonorMonday

Henry Jeremiah Parks Private, Company A, 9th New York Cavalry.

Place and date: At Cedar Creek, Va., 19 October 1864.

Entered service at: Orangeville, N.Y.

Born: 24 February 1848, Orangeville, N.Y.

Date of issue: 26 October 1864.

Citation: While alone and in advance of his unit and attempting to cut off the retreat of a supply wagon, he fought and sent to flight a Confederate color bearer. After capturing the color bearer and leaving him in the rear, he returned to the front and captured 3 more wagons and drivers.

Image: Harry Parks Headstone at Arlington Cemetery
Credit: Jean-Philippe Boulet

The Mosby Heritage Area Association
06/03/2019

The Mosby Heritage Area Association

#OTD in 1916, John S. Mosby passed away at the age of 82, marking the end of a long and fascinating life. Best remembered today for his daring exploits as a Civil War partisan, his post-war career was almost as exciting. After befriending Presidents Grant and Hayes he served as consul to Hong Kong, a lawyer for the Southern Pacific Railroad in California, then later as an agent for the General Land Office (precursor to the Bureau of Land Management) in the Great Plains. During his later years he became acquainted with a number of famous individuals, from Oliver Wendell Holmes to George S. Patton. Following his death he was buried in Warrenton.

This photo, taken in 1915, is one of the last taken before his death.

#civilwar #virginiahistory #mosby #mosbyheritagearea

Stonewall Jackson House
06/03/2019

Stonewall Jackson House

#40for40 Jay Johns (1888-1974), founder of the Stonewall Jackson Memorial, Inc., is largely credited for establishing the Stonewall Jackson House museum. When the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital closed, the Stonewall Jackson Memorial, Inc. turned the house into a museum in 1954.

Jackson's granddaughter, Julia, was so appreciative of Jay John's efforts to preserve her grandfather's home and memory that she allowed him to be buried in Jackson's original grave. Jackson's body was moved from his original resting place in the Lexington Cemetery to the family crypt underneath the Valentine Statue in 1891. #SJHturns40

Civil War Women/In the Swan's Shadow
06/03/2019

Civil War Women/In the Swan's Shadow

The Council of Dolls, ca. 1860s. Stereoscope image detail. Private collection.

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
05/24/2019

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

"On This Day" 157 Years Ago - May 24, 1862 - The Running Fight Down the Valley Pike

The scene in Middletown was horrifying. “Soon the road was so blockaded with dead men and horses that those in the rear could not pass,” a member of Ashby’s command of the scene on the northern edge of Middletown, “and an indescribable scene of carnage and confusion ensued.”

The events that occurred between the Confederate victory at Front Royal and then lead in to the 1st Battle of Winchester were based on both Stonewall Jackson and Nathaniel Banks having any no idea of the size and position of the enemy. Decisions made by Jackson, kept his men first waiting for orders on May 24, and then moving and fighting throughout the day until nearly 3am on May 25. Lack of details made this running fight an incredibly long and painful day for Jackson’s men. Yet, even with all the difficulties the men endured that day, Jackson’s army ultimately had success.

Image: Stonewall Jackson, LOC

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
05/24/2019

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

"On This Day" 157 Years Ago - May 23, 1862 - Battle of Front Royal

Jackson’s Confederate forces surprised and overran the pickets of a 1,000-man Federal garrison under command of Kenly at Front Royal. Driven through the town, the Federals made a stand after attempting to burn the Shenandoah River bridges. Outnumbered and outflanked, Kenly continued the retreat to Cedarville, where two Confederate cavalry charges broke the makeshift line and routed the Federal force as some 900 men surrendered.

Result: Jackson's decisive victory over a small Union force at Front Royal on 23 May 1862, forced the main Union Army at Strasburg under Banks into abrupt retreat. Jackson deceived Banks into believing that the Confederate army was in the main Valley near Harrisonburg; instead he had marched swiftly north to New Market and crossed Massanutten via New Market Gap to Luray. The advance to Front Royal placed Jackson in position to move directly on Winchester in the rear of the Union army.

Image: Stonewall Jackson
Credit: Library of Congress

Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District
05/24/2019
Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District

Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District

157 Years Ago Today... The Battle of Front Royal

At the Battle of Front Royal, Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson surprised and destroyed an isolated Union garrison, unhinging the Federal defenses in the Valley – and forcing the Union force at Strasburg to race north to avoid being cut off.

Online Reenactor Registration 2019 | Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation
05/22/2019
Online Reenactor Registration 2019 | Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation

Online Reenactor Registration 2019 | Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation

The Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation (CCBF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in Middletown, Virginia. We were formed in 1988 to acquire, protect & preserve lands & physical objects relating to the Battle of Cedar Creek & to interpret them for the educational benefit of scholars...

The Second Battle of Cabin Creek
05/22/2019

The Second Battle of Cabin Creek

Think America's love of coffee began with Starbucks? Think again.

COFFEE AND THE CIVIL WAR SOLDIER -- PART 1

Even in the midst of the Civil War, there was still one thing the North and South shared -- a serious addiction to caffeine.

In that respect, the Union clearly had an advantage. Not only did the North have more than two-thirds of the population and control most of the heavy industry, railroads, and financial reserves in the country, it hoarded supplies of the highly addictive little bean, leaving the Confederacy to wage its own war against java deprivation.

Coffee: It's what's for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Throughout the Civil War, coffee was as prevalent on the battlefields as it is in offices today. In fact, the Union army was fueled by the stuff to the point that, if there was no time to boil water, the Boys in Blue would chew on whole beans as they marched. And at night, Union campsites were dotted with tiny fires, each boiling a pot of coffee like a million miniature Starbucks.

Beyond caffeine cravings, Union troops loved their coffee because it was, literally, the best thing on the menu.

Before the advent of helpful (and tasty!) artificial preservatives, a marching soldier's rations were neither varied nor particularly appetizing. Typically, they consisted of salted meat, unleavened bread (accurately christened "hardtack"), and a little sugar and salt.

It didn't help that Union supply chains were riddled with corrupt food contractors who charged the government top dollar for rotten, stale, and insect-ridden foodstuffs.

Coffee, however, was almost always fresh because it was delivered in whole-bean form -- making it difficult for even the most dishonest supplier to skimp on quality. Not that they didn't try, of course. In fact, officials began requesting coffee as whole beans after some crooked contractors tried to up their per-pound profits by slipping sand and dirt into packages of ground coffee.

In 1861, hoping to cut down on the time soldiers spent roasting and grinding beans, the army switched to a concentrated proto-instant coffee. The new concoction, called "essence of coffee," was made by boiling prepared coffee, milk, and sugar into a thick gloop, which soldiers then reconstituted by mixing it with water.

The product reportedly tasted every bit as bad as you'd imagine, and thanks to the corrupt dairymen who sold the army spoiled milk, it also tended to cause diarrhea. Needless to say, the Union army was soon back on the bean.

Photo: A coffee grinder embedded in the stock of a Sharp's carbine.

The Second Battle of Cabin Creek
05/22/2019

The Second Battle of Cabin Creek

COFFEE AND THE CIVIL WAR SOLDIER -- PART 2

Southern discomfort

Noxious as essence of coffee was, Confederate soldiers would have gladly downed a cup or two. But, because of a Union naval blockade, coffee (along with weapons, machinery, medicine, and other vital materials) was in short supply in the South.

Before the war, a pound of beans would have set you back around 20 cents in Yankee dough. Once pre-war stockpiles ran out, however, the same amount was running as high as $60 in Confederate money. (Despite the undervalued currency, that was still a lot.)

There was some coffee that made it into the Confederacy -- usually carried by steam-powered blockade-runner ships.
But, for the most part, Southerners had to rely on coffee substitutes, including various forms of roasted corn, rye, okra seeds, sweet potatoes, acorns, and peanuts. Unfortunately, all these imitations lacked potency, tasted awful, and upset the bowels.

The only slightly better alternative was tea made from the leaves of the native yaupon shrub. The good news was that it contained caffeine; the bad news was that it was incredibly difficult to digest.

Luckily, there was one surefire way for Southern folk to get their coffee -- by making peace with the Union. Soldiers on the front lines often called informal truces so Rebels could swap tobacco for Yankee coffee and then dash back to their camps before they were reported missing.

James A. Garfield National Historic Site
05/22/2019

James A. Garfield National Historic Site

On this day 163 years ago today-May 22, 1856-one of the most shocking events on America's long road to the Civil War took place. Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina entered the U.S. Senate chamber and attacked Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, beating Sumner over the head with a cane.

Sumner had recently given a speech in the Senate denouncing southerners who sympathized with the violence of pro-slavery settlers in Kansas during the ongoing "Bleeding Kansas" conflict. One of those Sumner denounced and insulted was South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler... who happened to be a cousin of Preston Brooks.

Sumner was so severely injured that he did not return to the Senate for three years. Brooks, applauded for his actions across the South, died of a respiratory infection just eight months later.

If you want to know more about this incident and how it impacted North-South relations, slavery and abolition, and more, check out this 2003 article from the Journal of the Early Republic. The author is Professor Manisha Sinha, who is now chair of the Department of History at the University of Connecticut:
https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1026&context=afroam_faculty_pubs

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
05/22/2019

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

#WeaponsWednesdays

By 1864, the firepower of the Union cavalry was significantly superior to that of the Confederate
cavalry. One reason was the Federal acquisition of the Spencer carbine, beginning in late 1863 and lasting throughout the war. Over 90,000 Spencer carbines were purchased and distributed to Union troops, with others being purchased privately.

The Spencer was a repeating weapon that could hold seven, .52 caliber rimfire cartridges in a magazine in the buttstock. When a soldier cocked the trigger-guard lever, a spring forced a cartridge into the firing chamber. The carbine was about 39 inches long with a 22 inch rifled
barrel. Its effective range was approximately 500 yards and a skilled cavalryman could fire as many as 20 rounds per minute, far more than Confederates could fire with their muzzle-loading carbines.

Generally reliable in combat, Spencers were used effectively by George Armstrong Custer’s Michigan Brigade at Gettysburg. As the war progressed, and more Spencers were incorporated into Union cavalry units, the tactics for employing these weapons improved. For example, by late 1864, Gen. Philip Sheridan won the Shenandoah Valley campaign largely by using his Spencer carbine-firing cavalry divisions under Custer and Wesley Merritt as offensive shock troops.

Image: Spencer Carbine
Credit: Kansas State Historical Society

Stonewall Jackson House
05/22/2019

Stonewall Jackson House

From Saturday, May 18, 2019, to Monday, September 2, 2019, Blue Star Museums offers free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve.

Valley Guards - 10th Va Infantry
05/21/2019

Valley Guards - 10th Va Infantry

Valley Guards and friends portraying the 26th Virginia Battalion at New Market, Virginia, this past weekend. Thanks to Chris Anders, Chad Johnson, Heath Fleming and the rest of the team for their outstanding leadership!

Photo courtesy of Dave Shockley

Valley Guards - 10th Va Infantry
05/21/2019

Valley Guards - 10th Va Infantry

Valley Guards and friends portraying the 26th Virginia Battalion at New Market, Virginia, this past weekend. Thanks to Chris Anders, Chad Johnson, Heath Fleming and the rest of the team for their outstanding leadership!

Photo courtesy of Dave Shockley

Valley Guards - 10th Va Infantry
05/21/2019

Valley Guards - 10th Va Infantry

Valley Guards and friends portraying the 26th Virginia Battalion at New Market, Virginia, this past weekend. Thanks to Chris Anders, Chad Johnson, Heath Fleming and the rest of the team for their outstanding leadership!

Photo courtesy of Dave Shockley

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
05/21/2019

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

Nature abounds in the Shenandoah Valley

Common in forested lakes, ponds, streams, and swamps, the Wood Duck is easily alerted and will quickly fly away with a whistling weep, weep, weep. The male is recognized by its almost unbelievably colorful plumage and red eyes.

Wood Ducks are among the few tree-nesting duck species in North America, and also often nest in man-made nest boxes. They feed primarily on insects, berries, and seeds on the water's surface. Recent conservation efforts, including the man-made nesting boxes, have led to a significant population increase.

Except for some northern individuals who fly south for the winter, most eastern U.S. wood ducks are year-round residents. It can be quite startling when a wood duck takes off, whistling, only a few yards away from a hiker.

Image: Male Wood Duck
Credit: NPS/Gordon Dietzman

05/18/2019
Clan Adrenalin

Clan Adrenalin

Be on the lookout for the preliminary 'trifecta'' roster and initial invites for the 7/6 kernstown battlefield games

14th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment
05/18/2019

14th West Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Jefferson Swiger, Lafayette's brother, served in the WVA 6th, found in the Centerpoint, Wva, library.

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
05/17/2019

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

#Fridaysfromtheregiment

After fighting in the Battle of New Market on May 15, 1864, the 22nd Virginia Infantry, part of Colonel George S. Patton's brigade, marched south, towards Staunton, Virginia. The 22nd reached the northern outskirts of the town the next day, where they were visited by a young boy of 7 or 8 years of age - Woodrow Wilson!

Image: Colonel George S. Patton
Credit: The original portrait is owned by the Virginia Military Institute and located in Preston Library
Artist: William D. Washington

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
05/16/2019

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

Eliza Clinedinst was born in 1838 and was 26 years old when the Battle of New Market raged through her back yard on May 15, 1864. Eliza ran to the battlefield to help the wounded that lay in the fields. After the battle she and other women of the area assisted in bringing the wounded to field hospitals that were scattered throughout the area, and would bring VMI Cadet Thomas Garland Jefferson to her home. She recalled, "He was about sixteen years of age, was blue-eyed, and had golden hair. I will never forget him and his sweet, boyish face. He was shot in the breast, and the bullet was cut out of his back. His sufferings were intense, but he bore up so well and never complained.” Cadet Jefferson would pass away in the following days. Eliza would pass away at the age of 92 in 1931.

Images of Eliza Clinedinst and Thomas Garland Jefferson, courtesty Virginia Military Institute.

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