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I wish that I could say that this exceptionally disturbing article surprises me, but sadly, it does not. Republican members of the Tennessee legislature have decided that it’s their duty to politicize the teaching of history to school children. Specifically, they’re attempting to indoctrinate school children by dictating how history is to be spun.

From the January, 22, 2014 edition of the The Tennessean newspaper:

History bill would emphasize interpretations favored by conservatives
Written by Chas. Sisk

State lawmakers are weighing a bill that would mandate how Tennessee students are taught U.S. history, with an emphasis on interpretations favored by conservatives.

House Bill 1129 would require school districts to adopt curriculums that stress the “positive difference” the United States has made in the world and “the political and cultural elements that distinguished America.” The measure also deletes a current guideline that encourages teaching about diversity and contributions from minorities in history classes.

The state Department of Education opposes the measure, saying curriculum decisions should be left to the State Board of Education and local school boards.

Backers of the legislation, a version of which has passed the Senate, say it remains a work in progress. But its main sponsor in the House, state Rep. Timothy Hill, conceded Wednesday that the measure is meant to leave students with certain beliefs, such as the view that the wording of the U.S. Constitution leaves no room for interpretation.

That legal theory, known as strict constitutionalism, generally has been used by conservatives to argue their side on a number of issues, including abortion, government regulation and gun rights.

The bill was filed last February, months before the current fights over textbooks and education standards erupted. It had moved through the legislature largely unnoticed until this week, quietly passing the Senate unanimously just seven days ago.

But it has been embraced by some lawmakers who have voiced concerns about bias in Tennessee textbooks. State Rep. Glen Casada, R-Franklin, backs the measure, which he said is similar to a bill he had planned to file himself.

Supporters say the bill ensures that Tennessee students learn about the country’s origins. The bill spells out that students would be taught about the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, as well as the nation’s achievements in a variety of fields and the “political and cultural” characteristics that contributed to its greatness.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with talking in terms of we live in the greatest state in the greatest nation,” said Hill, R-Blountville.

But Remziya Suleyman, director of policy for the American Center for Outreach, a group that advocates on behalf of Muslims in Tennessee, said the bill might encourage districts to adopt history books that downplay or distort information about recent immigrants and religious minorities.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Harold Love, D-Nashville, said the bill seems to discourage discussion of the contributions of African-Americans, particularly those who were slaves.

“This part of our history I don’t think needs to be glossed over,” Love said.

Love and other lawmakers have asked Hill to agree to amend the measure before it moves further through the legislature. Both sides expect those changes to be worked out over the next few weeks.

Reach Chas Sisk at 615-259-8283 or on Twitter @chassisk.

Here is some of the pertinent language of this horrific piece of legislation:

Students shall be informed of the nature of America which makes it an exception differentiated by its behavior, influence and contributions from the other nations of the world.

The Constitution is the “rule book” for how the federal government works. No action is permitted unless permission for it can be found in the Constitution.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, with the Bill of Rights … still apply in exactly the words they originally contained in simple English.

All school district boards shall document and report to the commissioner their compliance with the content of courses as described.

Education should not be about political spin. It should be about teaching children to think on their own and to draw their own conclusions. This sort of indoctrination is extremely disturbing, and I sincerely hope that this doesn’t become the hot potato issue that evolution has become in Texas.

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ht_watermelon_bill_jtm_ss_140114_sshGeorge Gordon Meade was not known for being a warm or fuzzy sort of fellow. Known for his volcanic temper, the men of the Army of the Potomac called him “the goggle-eyed old snapping turtle,” referring to Meade’s need to wear eyeglasses. His aide, Lt. Col. Theodore Lyman, dubbed him “the Great Peppery” for his saucy language. Consequently, Meade hasn’t gotten much love.

Until now, that is.

Thanks to Todd Berkoff from bringing this to my attention. In 1890, Meade was featured on the $1,000.00 bill. Known as the “grand watermelon note” due to the size of the zeroes on the back of the bill, only one of these notes survives. That note went up for auction on January 10, and sold for $3.29 million. It had been estimated to go for $2 million. The last time it was sold, in 1970, it sold for a mere $11,000.

Finally, some real love for the Goggle-Eyed Old Snapping Turtle, who deserves it.

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So, I managed to get myself double-booked for two different events the first weekend in October. One is the annual Middleburg conference, which I described here.

The other is my friend Ted Alexander’s fall event for the Chambersburg Civil War Seminars for October 2013 is titled The Cavalry at Gettysburg, and should be quite good. If I hadn’t gotten myself into the pickle of double-booking myself, I would be there for the whole event.

Here’s the schedule:

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4

9:00am – 12:30pm – Sessions at the hotel

The Battle of Monterey Pass – John Miller

Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: JEB Stuart’s Ride to Gettysburg – Jeffry Wert

McNeil’s Rangers in the Gettysburg Campaign – Steve French

12:30pm – 1:30pm – Lunch

1:30pm – 6pm – Sessions at the hotel

Prelude to Gettysburg: Aldie, Middleburg and Upperville – Ed Bearss

“If Only I Spoke” – A Gettysburg Witness Tree – film by – Radford Wine

The Stuart Horse Artillery at Gettysburg – Robert Trout

“General Insubordination: Custer vs. Kilpatrick in the Third Cavalry Division” – Bruce Venter

6:30pm – Buffet Dinner at the hotel

7:30pm – George Washington Sandoe and the Militia Cavalry of 1863 – Scott Mingus

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5

Bus Tour – Lunch included

7:30am – 6pm – “The Cavalry at Gettysburg” – Eric Wittenberg, Ed Bearss and Jeffry Wert. Sites visited include –

East Cavalry field
Buford’s Cavalry positions
South Cavalry Field including Farnsworth’s attack

6pm – Dinner on your own

8pm – The Battle of Brandy Station – Eric Wittenberg

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 6

8:30am – 12:00pm – Sessions

“He’s a Bully General”: Custer and his “Wolverines” – Jeffry Wert

Valor in the Streets: The Battle of Hager- stown – Steve Bockmiller

“Forward the Harris Light!”: The 2nd New York Cavalry in the Gettysburg Campaign” – Bruce Venter

Ted’s programs are always terrific, and he’s got lots of good speakers lined up. To register for this event, click here. I hope to see some of you there.

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18 Jun 2013, by

Headless no more!

Violet-20130618-00070Some of you may recall that in May 2010, I found a headless statue of William T. Sherman in nearby Pickerington, Ohio, and set about trying to solve the mystery. A few weeks later, I spoke to Headless Billy’s owner, who assured me that a fix was in the works. I am pleased to say that Headless Billy is headless no more! Sadly, though, he remains handless Billy. Hopefully that will also be rectified soon.

Thanks to my friend Mike Peters for the photo of No Longer Headless Billy that graces this post. All’s well that ends well. Click on the image to see a larger version of it.

The following article appeared in last Friday’s edition of Columbus Dispatch:

Sherman statue headed for completion

By Ken Gordon

The Columbus Dispatch Friday June 7, 2013 6:43 AM

William T. Sherman has waited 45 years to get a good head on his shoulders — so what’s a few more days?

Rain yesterday kept sculptor Oro Ray King from securing a 60-pound sandstone head to the statue of the Civil War general, which was decapitated by vandals in 1968.

King and a friend, Mike Ancona, positioned the head to check the fit, but the rain kept King from applying the epoxy that will lock it in place.

He plans to finish the job on Tuesday.

King was hired by Columbus real-estate developer Walter Reiner, who purchased the vandalized statue at a 2008 auction in Muskingum County and moved it to a vacant grassy lot in a Pickerington shopping center that he owns.

Reiner wanted the statue of Sherman, a Lancaster native, to stand in Fairfield County.

The 7-foot statue, carved in 1918, originally stood among dozens of other statues of prominent historical figures on the Frazeysburg property of sculptor Daniel Brice Baughman.

Reiner bought it for $2,800 and paid $5,000 to move the 8½-ton rock to the shopping center.

He then began a long search for a sculptor.

A November story in The Dispatch about the headless statue, Reiner said, “brought people out of the woodwork.”

He settled on King, a Buckeye Lake resident who has been sculpting for 45 years and has done a lot of work for museums and historical sites.

Reiner would not disclose how much he paid King, except to say that it was more than the $4,000 he had originally hoped to spend but less than a $20,000 estimate he received.

King, 75, said he first made a clay bust after looking at various photos of Sherman, then obtained a 400-pound block of sandstone from Dresden, Ohio.

In April, he started carving the sandstone to the final, 16-inch-tall head.

“It feels pretty good to get it over with,” King said. “I have arthritis pretty bad, and sometimes I have to stop and let my hands rest a little bit.”

After fitting the head yesterday, King and Ancona removed it for safekeeping until King finishes the job.

“I think it looks better than the original,” Reiner said. “This will honor Gen. Sherman properly.

“I certainly meant no disrespect; it just took a little while to do the job right.”

kgordon@dispatch.com

@kgdispatch

Well done, Mr. Reiner. And well done Mr. King.

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052313_gettystatue23_600From today’s issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Rescued ‘Silent Sentinel’ Civil War statue going to Laurel Hill Cemetery
EDWARD COLIMORE, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: Thursday, May 23, 2013, 5:52 AM

For nearly a century, the Silent Sentinel watched over the graves of Civil War veterans at Mount Moriah Cemetery in Yeadon and Southwest Philadelphia.

The bronze figure of a Union soldier clasping the end of a musket stood at rest amid long, neat rows of white marble headstones.

Then, as though deserting its post in fall 1970, the statue disappeared. Thieves pulled it from its granite base and tried to sell it to a Camden scrap dealer, who alerted police.

Silent Sentinel was recovered, repaired at a Chester foundry, and stored out of public view for more than 40 years, until a secure location could be found and money raised for a granite base.

On Wednesday – just days before Memorial Day, an observance with Civil War origins – the monument was moved to Laurel Hill Cemetery on Ridge Avenue to take up a new post and an old mission.

By this time next year, it will be affixed to a 10- to 12-foot-high granite base and illuminated at night at the Gen. George Gordon Meade Post No. 1 Grand Army of the Republic burial plot at Laurel Hill, officials said.

The figure is a natural fit for the Victorian-era cemetery, a kind of Civil War Valhalla where dozens of generals and admirals are buried, including Meade, the victorious commander at the Battle of Gettysburg. The 150th anniversary of that epic clash will be marked with a reenactment from July 3 to 7.

“We’re returning this monument to its sacred task,” said historian Andy Waskie, a member of the board of the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery and an associate member of the Pennsylvania Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS), which owns the statue.

In its new location, “the statue will add a new dimension to the Civil War and arts collection of the city,” said Waskie, a Temple University professor and author of Philadelphia and the Civil War – Arsenal of the Union.

The move to Laurel Hill is “a wonderful outcome,” said Jon Sirlin, a Philadelphia lawyer and associate member of MOLLUS who wrote the transfer agreement. A statue “that was otherwise hidden from view is now coming to light.”

The bronze will eventually be visible to passersby on busy Ridge Avenue, illuminated at night “like an eternal flame in Philadelphia, honoring all veterans,” Waskie said.

Also known as Silent Sentry, the monument has a colorful history. It was the work of a French immigrant, Achille Bureau, who served in the Union Army and was buried at Laurel Hill.

During a Memorial Day-related ceremony at noon Sunday, reenactors and others will dedicate a marble headstone at Bureau’s grave and a bronze-on-granite marker at the grave of another Union soldier, Lt. Charles Waterman. They’ll also fire volleys at each site and over Meade’s grave and Grand Army of the Republic burial plot.

Bureau’s statue was commissioned in 1883 by the Soldiers’ Home of Philadelphia, a civilian organization that helped care for indigent and disabled Civil War veterans, Waskie said. The home bought a plot at Mount Moriah for soldiers who died while under care there.

The 700-pound monument was dedicated in 1884 and remained in place until October 1970, when the thieves stole it, then tried to break it up and sell the bronze as scrap.

Finding a safe home for the statue delayed its move to a public site. MOLLUS wanted to prevent another theft and further vandalism, so it stored the statue, valued at $20,000, at the foundry until Waskie proposed the move to Laurel Hill.

“It was too much of a risk to take it back” to the unfenced Mount Moriah, said Adam Flint, commander of the Pennsylvania Commandery of MOLLUS.

Laurel Hill “is a National Historic Landmark that’s well secured and safe,” said Waskie, who formed a fund-raising committee for the transfer.

Nearly $25,000 has been collected for a granite base, plaque, installation, and lighting, said Alexander “Pete” Hoskins, president and CEO of Laurel Hill and West Laurel Hill Cemeteries, and executive director of the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery.

“First, we’re part of saving an important monument that’s been out of view for more than 40 years,” Hoskins said. “This also helps remind the world that we are one of the most important Civil War burial sites.”

The statue, standing up to 18 feet high on its base, will be placed in the Meade plot amid the graves of about 24 Civil War veterans, including some who fought at Gettysburg. It’s now on display in the cemetery’s gatehouse office.

“It’s a gorgeous monument that is finally being returned to its mission,” Waskie said.

I’m tickled to see this soldier return to duty, as he should be. I’m sure he will do a fine job of standing guard over the grave of George Gordon Meade.

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1863 Gettysburg Before and AfterThe Hagerstown Community College is putting on an interesting Civil War Seminar on Saturday, March 23, 2013. The topic of the seminar is before and after the Battle of Gettysburg. I’ll be presenting about the retreat from Gettysburg. I’ve included a link to the brochure for the event in this post. I hope to see some of you there.

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bob-kirby-and-craig-bashein_420A couple of years ago, a prominent lawyer from Cleveland named Craig Bashein hired me to lead a personal tour for him and a friend, mostly of sites associated with the retreat from Gettysburg and the Wagon Train of Wounded. We had two very good days together, and I got to know Craig a little bit as a result. During our time together, Craig told me a little bit about the incredible collection of Civil War artifacts that he had accumulated over the years. From what he was telling me, it sounded like he had accumulated quite an impressive stash of artifacts.

Today, it was announced that Craig has donated some of that very impressive collection of artifacts to the museum at the Gettysburg National Military Park. From today’s edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Gettysburg gets gift of rare documents
January 27, 2013 12:07 am

By Tom Barnes / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In late June 1863, Confederate Gen. Jubal Early didn’t just ride into Gettysburg to be part of a famous battle. His initial goal in coming north into Pennsylvania was to get local towns to provide food, boots, bullets and other supplies for his war-weary troops.

So the subordinate of Gen. Robert E. Lee wrote to the Gettysburg leaders, “making demands of the town prior to the battle,” say Gettysburg National Military Park officials.

That “demand letter,” which is of immense interest to historians and Civil War buffs, will be on display later this year at the National Military Park, along with dozens of other rare historical documents and records being donated by Craig Bashein, a lawyer and Civil War artifact collector from Cleveland.

He praised the National Park Service for doing “a tremendous job of safeguarding and preserving many of our nation’s most treasured artifacts surrounding the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg.” He said the dozens of drawings and documents he is donating will let people further study and appreciate this important event in our history.

He also called on other collectors to donate their historic and treasured pieces from the Civil War to the national park’s museum.

A few of Mr. Bashein’s donations — some personal possessions of Union Gen. Alexander S. Webb, who took part in repulsing Pickett’s Charge — will be displayed in an exhibit called “Treasures of the Civil War,” which will open June 16. Dozens of displays and re-enactments are set for late June and early July at the military park, to mark the 150th anniversary of the famous Gettysburg battle, fought July 1-3, 1863.

But most of the hundreds of items from Mr. Bashein will have to be slowly studied by military park historians and won’t become available to researchers or the public until sometime later this year, say park service officials.

The Bashein wartime notes, artifacts, records and 64 unpublished sketchbooks “will offer enormous new opportunities to examine the Battle of Gettysburg and other Civil War battles that occurred from 1862 to 1865,” the park service said in a statement.

Many of the materials were created by Emmor Bradley Cope, an engineer for the Union’s Army of the Potomac, as a way “to understand the topography, obstacles and the nature of the towns and countryside where these battles were occurring.” Many of the maps were made by Cope while riding the battlefields on horseback and were ordered by Gen. George Meade, the commanding Union general during the battle.

“Since Gettysburg’s museum exhibits cover all the years of the Civil War,” from 1861-65, the artifacts from Mr. Bashein “will be invaluable in helping us tell the full story of the war, as well as providing unpublished resource materials that will benefit all those who study Gettysburg and the Civil War,” said Bob Kirby, superintendent of the military park.

Many of the personal items are from Webb, who was given the Medal of Honor for gallantry for his actions when Confederate Gen. George Pickett unsuccessfully led his troops against Union forces on July 3, the final day of the battle.

The Webb items include his pistol, a soldier’s hat, field binoculars and a medal from Gen. Meade for meritorious service.

Other donated items, which will go on display later this year, include:

• A map of the Gettysburg battlefield, done by Capt. J.D. Briscoe, an aide to Union Gen. David Birney. It has hand-drawn notes of where troops were positioned. The map was used by Birney during testimony about the battle to a Congressional committee in the spring of 1864.

“This map is believed to be one of the first battlefield maps of Gettysburg ever prepared,” the park service said in a statement.

• The archives of David Kendlehart, a Gettysburg burgess, made during the battle, which include the “demand letter” from Early.

• Leather gloves worn by Philip Sheridan, a Union cavalry general.

• An engraved silver pocket watch given to Union Gen. Henry Halleck by his staff officers.

Tom Barnes: Hickeybarnes@yahoo.com.
First Published January 27, 2013 12:00 am

That’s GNMP Superintendent Bob Kirby on the left in the photograph, and Craig on the right. The 64 sketchbooks mentioned in the article are on the table in front of Messrs. Kirby and Bashein.

Kudos to Craig for ensuring that his incredible collection is not only preserved, but that it will also be made available to the public (and especially those items that will be made available to researchers). Well done, sir!

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YSfpPic>You Stink! Major League Baseball’s Terrible Teams and Pathetic Players is a Homerun!

Written By Michael Aubrecht and Eric Wittenberg. Published by Kent State University Press (Black Squirrel Books)

2012-2013 Amazon Best-Seller: Listed in Top 100 ‘Baseball’ and Top 10 ‘Baseball Statistics’ categories. Now available in both Paperback Edition and improved Kindle Edition

There are countless volumes celebrating the best teams in professional baseball. Unfortunately, winning represents only one side of the game. For every champion’s record-setting season, there has been an equally memorable story of defeat. These teams and their shameful contributions to America’s national pastime have been a neglected topic in the annals of baseball history. Until now. You Stink! includes franchise origins, detailed stats, player profiles, photos, and more, as well as a collection of long-format essays in a “Hall of Shame” that recognizes some of the worst moments ever witnessed on a ball field.

For more information, visit the You Stink! Blog or You Stink! Facebook page.

Authors are now booking signings and speaking engagements for 2013. Please contact me via this blog if you are interested.

Here’s what some readers have said about You Stink!

“For baseball fans who love to devour any words about the game, ‘You Stink!’ is like a disease — you know the ‘achievements’ are awful, but you keep coming back for more.” – Bob D’Angelo, The Sports Bookie, Tampa Bay Online

“It’s a funny book, but with serious overtones. Whether you’re a baseball fan, or don’t know anything about baseball, this is a great book.” – Greg Rasheed, KGNU Radio, Denver, CO

“Wittenberg and Aubrecht humorously profile, in total, 15 terrible baseball teams of truly historic proportions…Nifty black-and-white photos and pages of stats will lighten the perspective of Cleveland sports fans. (Grade: A-)” – William Kist, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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I am just thrilled to share with you the press release issued by the brandy-station-fleetwood-1Civil War Trust earlier today:

Civil War Trust Announces Preservation Opportunity at Fleetwood Hill on Brandy Station Battlefield

NEW OPPORTUNITY EMERGES JUST AS ORGANIZATION ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF CAMPAIGN TO PRESERVE 964 HISTORIC ACRES AT NEARBY KELLY’S FORD

(Culpeper, Va.) – The Civil War Trust, America’s largest nonprofit battlefield preservation group, today announced the that it has secured a contract with a Culpeper County landowner to acquire 61 acres of core battlefield land at Fleetwood Hill on the Brandy Station Battlefield. This is the first step in what is anticipated to be a national fundraising campaign to ultimately preserve this site and open it to the public. This opportunity comes just a few months before 150th anniversary commemoration of the battle, fought on June 9, 1863.

“The Civil War Trust is pleased to confirm that we have reached an agreement with a local landowner to place under contract his 61-acre property on Fleetwood Hill,” noted Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer in a statement released earlier today. “Protection of this property at the epicenter of the Brandy Station battlefield has been a goal of the preservation community for more than three decades.”

Although pleased with the agreement, Lighthizer cautioned that “several steps remain before the transaction is completed and the property can be considered preserved — chief among them raising the $3.6 million necessary to formally purchase the land.” He noted the Civil War Trust’s intention “to launch a national fundraising campaign next year with the aim of raising the money in time for the 150th anniversary of the battle in June 2013. Further details of this exciting opportunity — including mechanisms for public involvement and donations — will be announced in the new year, once additional groundwork for the project is laid.

Brandy Station, with nearly 20,000 troopers in blue and gray engaged in the struggle, was the largest cavalry battle ever fought on American soil. More than 1,000 men became casualties as a result of the battle. Although a Confederate victory, Brandy Station is often referred to as the battle where the Union cavalry came into its own after years of being dominated by Southern horse soldiers. The epicenter of fighting at Brandy Station took place on the slopes of Fleetwood Hill, described by historian Clark B. “Bud” Hall, as “without question the most fought over, camped upon and marched over real estate in the entire United States.”

“I truly believe that this acquisition, if successful, will be the most important battlefield preservation achievement not just at Brandy Station, but in all of Virginia’s Piedmont, a region that was of immense military and strategic significance during the Civil War,” remarked Hall. “Although it most closely associated with the climactic fighting of June 9, 1863, there were, in fact, 21 separate military actions on Fleetwood Hill during the Civil War—far more than any other battle venue in this country.”

The Civil War Trust has long been committed to ensuring the protection and appreciation of the battlefields in Culpeper County, Virginia. To date, we have helped protect nearly 1,800 acres at Brandy Station — more land than at any other individual battlefield in the nation

In the 1990s, Brandy Station was also the scene of a high-profile preservation battle. At one point, 1,500 acres of the battlefield were rezoned to allow for light industrial development. Later, a 515-acre Formula One auto racetrack was proposed for the site. However, due to the persistence of preservationists throughout the country, plans to develop the battlefield were thwarted. Today, the Civil War Trust owns 878 acres of the Brandy Station Battlefield that are open to the public; interpretation of the site includes educational signage, walking trails and a driving tour.

The Civil War Trust has been also been actively involved in preserving land at other battlefields in Culpeper County. This summer, on its 150th anniversary, the Trust announced an effort to preserve an additional 10 acres on the Cedar Mountain Battlefield. More recently, the Trust completed a national fundraising campaign to place a perpetual conservation easement on 964 acres at Kelly’s Ford, site of the war’s first large-scale cavalry engagement. These transactions were made possible through the generosity of Trust members and the financial support of matching grants from the American Battlefield Protection Program, administered by the National Park Service, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Learn more about the Battle of Brandy Station at www.civilwar.org/brandystation.

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War battlefields and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 34,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states, and nearly 3,000 on important Culpeper County battlefields like Brandy Station, Cedar Mountain, and Kelly’s Ford. Learn more at www.civilwar.org, the home of the sesquicentennial.

I congratulate Tony Troilo for doing the right thing. And I congratulate the good folks at the Civil War Trust for their diligence and dedication to making this happen. But most of all, I congratulate Clark B. “Bud” Hall for making this happen. This–the capstone of Bud’s preservation career–would not have happened without his zealous advocacy, leadership of the “board in exile” of the Brandy Station Foundation, and for his dogged perseverance with the Trust to ensure that this deal got done.

We’re only part of the way there, though.

The heavy lifting must now be done. We have $3.6 million to raise. Every one of you who regularly reads this blog and has asked me what you could do to help–the time is now for you to open your checkbook and help us to raise the money. This opportunity will never come around again, and we must do all we can to make this happen now. Please contribute whatever you can to help to save the single most fought over piece of ground on the North American continent. Beside being fought over in four major engagements, this parcel also housed Maj. Gen. George G. Meade’s headquarters, Army of the Potomac, for the army’s winter encampment in 1863-1864. You would be hard-pressed to identify a more important parcel of unprotected ground anywhere in this great land of ours, and I encourage each and every one of you to do what you can to help.

And think how much fun it will be to see that hideous McMansion come down when the time comes! :-)

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For those of you in the Pittsburgh area, this Saturday, December 1, 2012, Michael Aubrecht and I will be signing copies of our book, You Stink! Major League Baseball’s Terrible Teams and Pathetic Players at the Heinz History Center’s annual book fair for books related to topics pertinent to Pittsburgh, Books in the ‘Burgh. We will be signing there from 10:00-3:00. Please come by and say hello if you can!

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