Month:

June, 2010

Today, the CWPT issued a press release announcing that 270 historians, including yours truly, had sent letters to the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission opposing the proposed Gettysburg casino:

For Immediate Release
June 30, 2010

For more information, contact:
Jim Campi, CWPT, 202-367-1861 x7205
Mary Koik, CWPT, 202-367-1861 x7242

Nation’s Historians Speak Out Against Proposed Gettysburg Casino

In letter to Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, more than 270 American historians unite to urge rejection of proposed gaming resort one-half mile from Gettysburg National Military Park

(Gettysburg, Pa.) – To mark the 147th anniversary of the bloodiest battle in American history, 272 American historians, including some of the country’s most respected academics, today sent a letter to Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board chairman Gregory Fajt, urging the rejection of the application for the Mason-Dixon Gaming Resort. If approved, the proposed gambling hall will be located just one-half mile from America’s most hallowed battleground.

Although many individual historians have previously voiced opposition to the casino proposal, such a large and diverse group uniting in this cause demonstrates Gettysburg’s unique place in our nation’s heritage. Among the signers are some of the most prominent historians in America, including James McPherson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom; Garry Wills, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America; Carol Reardon, director of graduate studies in history at Pennsylvania State University; Jeffery C. Wert, author of the acclaimed Gettysburg, Day Three; and Edwin C. Bearss, Chief Historian Emeritus of the National Park Service.

In part, their message states that as professional historians, they “feel strongly that Gettysburg is a unique historic and cultural treasure deserving of our protection. Gettysburg belongs to all Americans equally—future generations no less than those of us alive today,” before concluding that “there are many places in Pennsylvania to build a casino, but there’s only one Gettysburg.”

Beyond the individual signatories, the message and its sentiment has received the endorsement and support of the American Historical Association, National Coalition for History, National Council on Public History, Organization of American Historians, Society for Military History and Southern Historical Association.

The Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1–3, 1863, was the largest and bloodiest battle of the American Civil War. Commonly called the “high water mark of the Confederacy,” the battle saw nearly 160,000 Americans locked in mortal combat; more than 50,000 became casualties. Historians concur that the engagement was the greatest of Civil War battles, but its place in history was further cemented four months later, when President Abraham Lincoln travelled to the small Pennsylvania farm town to help dedicate a national cemetery for those who died. Lincoln’s “few appropriate remarks” for the occasion, popularly known as the Gettysburg Address, have become one of the world’s most recognized speeches.

Although the proposed casino site along the Emmitsburg Road lies outside the current administrative boundaries of Gettysburg National Military Park, it would be on land identified as historically sensitive by the American Battlefield Protection Program, an arm of the National Park Service. The application before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board would retrofit an existing family-friendly hotel complex into a gambling resort with an initial 600 slot machines in addition to table games.

According to Princeton University professor emeritus and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom, James McPherson, “The proposed site of the casino lies athwart the advance of Union cavalry toward what became known as South Cavalry Field, which saw substantial fighting on the afternoon of July 3, 1863. This ground is as hallowed as any other part of the Gettysburg battlefield, and the idea of a casino near the fields and woods where men of both North and South gave the last full measure of devotion is simply outrageous.”

This assessment of the importance of this part of the battlefield is shared by Eric Wittenberg, the author of numerous books on cavalry during the Gettysburg Campaign, including the only volume specifically dedicated to the actions that took place on South Cavalry Field. In response to casino proponents who have tried to minimize the significance of actions fought nearby, Wittenberg said, “This was a protracted and ferocious fight. American soldiers died on that ground, and to suggest otherwise only underscores the disregard these misguided investors have for our national treasure.”

In addition to the inappropriate juxtaposition, historians also fear negative indirect impacts on their efforts to interpret the battlefield and share their knowledge with students and heritage tourists. Gettysburg resident and director of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War at West Virginia’s Shepherd University, Dr. Mark Snell is extremely concerned about the increased traffic and certain commercialization with which visitors and guides will have to contend should the casino be approved..

“As someone who has tried to give a tour to my students at South Cavalry Field — within easy walking distance of the proposed casino,” said Snell, “I personally can attest that the last thing that is needed on the Emmitsburg Road, where that fight took place, is any increased traffic. It wouldn’t just be noisy, it would be dangerous.”

In 2006, when a previous proposal to bring gambling to the fringes of the Gettysburg Battlefield was under consideration, a group of prominent historians similarly spoke out against the ill-advised project. Such thorough and widespread public opposition was among the reasons explicitly cited by the Gaming Control Board in its rejection of the application.

One of those at the forefront of that effort was Ed Bearss, chief historian emeritus of the National Park Service and America’s foremost battlefield guide. A former historian at Vicksburg National Battlefield, who feels that site was irreparably damaged by the emergence of gaming nearby, his opposition to this newer proposal has not diminished in the least. Over the course of his storied career, Bearss has spent many thousands of hours leading tours of the Gettysburg Battlefield.

“Gettysburg, if it embraces the casino, is forfeiting that which has undeniable national and international significance,” said Bearss. “Do you want the most iconic battlefield in America and the site of Abraham Lincoln’s immortal Gettysburg Address, or do want just another slots parlor?”

The letter was circulated among the historian community by a coalition of preservation groups which have opposed both efforts to bring gambling to Gettysburg. The Civil War Preservation Trust, National Parks Conservation Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation and Preservation Pennsylvania have consistently emphasized that their opposition stems from the direct threat posed to the battlefield by the site’s proximity and potential for increasing traffic and development pressures on the park, as opposed to any objection to gaming. Spurred by the passionate involvement of so many individual members, member groups of the National Coalition for History also lent their institutional weight to the effort.

About the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT)

With 55,000 members, the Civil War Preservation Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s remaining Civil War battlefields and encourage their appreciation through education and heritage tourism. Since 1987, the organization has saved more than 29,000 acres of hallowed ground, including 700 acres at Gettysburg. CWPT’s website is located at www.civilwar.org.

About the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA)

Since 1919, the nonpartisan, nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System. NPCA, its members, and partners work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for generations to come. NPCA is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization with more than 325,000 members, including more than 15,000 members in Pennsylvania. NPCA’s website is located at www.npca.org.

About the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP)

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit membership organization bringing people together to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to them. By saving the places where great moments from history took place, NTHP helps revitalize neighborhoods and communities, spark economic development and promote environmental sustainability. With headquarters in Washington, DC, 9 regional and field offices, 29 historic sites, and partner organizations in all 50 states, NTHP provides leadership, education, advocacy and resources to a national network of people, organizations and local communities committed to saving places, connecting us to our history and collectively shaping the future of America’s stories. NTHP’s website is located at www.preservationnation.org.

About Preservation Pennsylvania

Preservation Pennsylvania is a private statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Pennsylvania’s historic places through creative partnerships, targeted educational programs and grassroots advocacy programs. Since 1982 and with the support of 2600 members and member agencies, the organization has been the statewide voice for historic preservation and has provided support and technical assistance to individuals, groups and municipalities. Preservation Pennsylvania’s website is www.preservationpa.org.

It’s my honor to be included in such august company in opposing this horrible idea. To see the full letters and the list of signatories, click here.

Keep fighting the good fight, and hopefully, the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission will once again make the correct decision about this horrible idea.

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve profiled a forgotten cavalryman, so I thought now would be a good time to do one. Tonight’s profile is of Col. Nathaniel P. Richmond of the 1st West Virginia Cavalry.

Nathaniel P. Richmond was born in Indianapolis on July 26, 1833. His father Ansel was from New York, and had his family roots in New England. He was a member of a prominent law firm, and served as the clerk of courts. His mother, Elizabeth S. Pendleton Richmond, was an Ohio native with Virginia roots who was a cousin of President James Madison.

At age 17, Nathaniel entered Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, but he did not complete his course of study due to ill health that compelled him to leave the university at the end of his sophomore year. In the hope of regaining his health, he set off on a cross-country journey through Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and on to Oregon. He remained in Oregon for about three years, working odd jobs and exploring the northwestern territories. He then went to California, embarking on a long voyage home. After crossing the isthmus of Nicaragua, he embarked on a different ship to finish the trip home, arriving on March 11, 1852, four years after he began his grand journey.

He was apprenticed to a law firm in Kokomo, Indiana, and upon completing his studies, was admitted to the bar in 1856. When one of the partners in the law firm retired the next year, Richmond took his place from 1857-1860. In 1860, he was appointed a special collecting agent for an Indianapolis firm, a position he held until the firing on Fort Sumter in April 1861. On January 19, 1858, he married Miss Mary Kennedy, and the couple had four children, two of whom died in infancy. The two surviving children were William, born on December 25, 1864, and Glenn, born on May 17, 1866.

That April, he joined a company of Indiana troops as a second lieutenant in Co. E, 13th Indiana Infantry. Richmond served as an aide-de-camp to Brig. Gen. William S. Rosecrans in what later became West Virginia in the early days of the war. In August 1861, he was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 1st Virginia Cavalry, which later became known as the 1st West Virginia Cavalry.

During the spring of 1862, the 1st West Virginia Cavalry served in the Shenandoah Valley under the command of Maj. Gen. John C. Fremont. He was promoted to colonel in August 1862, after his unit, the 5th New York Cavalry, the 1st Michigan Cavalry, and the 1st Vermont Cavalry were brigaded together under the command of Brig. Gen. John Buford, and was attached to Maj. Gen. John Pope’s Army of Virginia.

He and his troopers served with distinction during the Second Bull Run Campaign. Buford’s brigade fought a hard rear guard action against Confederate cavalry at the Lewis Ford during the closing engagements of the Second Battle of Bull Run on August 30, 1862, and Richmond’s regiment was in the thick of that fighting. One of his officers wrote of him:

I will just speak of one engagement which will at once prove the fighting qualities of Colonel Richmond. On the 21st of August our pickets were driven in from the posts at Kelley’s Ford on the Rappahannock. Colonel Richmond received an order to proceed with his regiment, and find, if possible, the position and number of the enemy. At noon we crossed the river and found the enemy’s pickets and skirmishers in force. Considering that but child’s play we drove them before us with ease. Our regiment was ordered to take the center and advance cautiously through the woods. On emerging therefrom, we received a heavy volley from the advance regiment of a brigade, which we found drawn up in line of battle; a charge was ordered, and through clouds of smoke and fire, we dashed upon the brigade. The gallant Colonel, at the head of his men, raising himself in the saddle and flourishing his saber, cries out “Come on my bully boys” and in a moment they were lost in the smoke. The incessant firing, and clashing of sabers parrying the thrusted bayonet, the almost demon-like cheering of our men, formed a scene beautifully grand. The rebels retreated, and we were ordered to fall back to an open field beyond the road. Colonel Richmond was covered with blood from head to foot. Two noble fellows who were at his side had been shot, and their life;s blood was still warm on his clothes. The gallant charge of this regiment at Bull Run, when the left wing under McDowell was being turned, has elicited great praise. It has been said that the First Virginia Cavalry, by keeping the enemy back, saved ten thousand of McDowell’s infantry.

Richmond assumed command of the brigade during the winter of 1862-1863 after Buford became chief of cavalry of the Army of the Potomac. This brigade was a part of the cavalry division assigned to the defenses of Washington, DC, commanded by Maj. Gen. Julius Stahel. He had contracted a chronic case of the piles during the Second Bull Run Campaign, and took disability leave for a time in an effort to recover. This problem plagued him for the rest of his life.

In mid-June 1863, this division became the Army of the Potomac’s Third Cavalry Division, and Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick replaced Stahel. On June 28, 1863, Brig. Gen. Elon J. Farnsworth took command of the brigade, serving with valor for just five days. The 1st West Virginia fought hard during the June 30, 1863 Battle of Hanover, and then Richmond led it in both mounted and dismounted attacks during the Battle of Gettysburg. Farnsworth died at the head of his troops, leading a suicidal cavalry charge against Confederate infantry and artillery at Gettysburg on the afternoon of July 3, 1863. As the ranking regimental colonel, Richmond assumed command of the brigade, leading it through the pursuit of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in the days after the Battle of Gettysburg.

Richmond served effectively as brigade commander, leading it in combat at Monterey Pass, Smithsburg, Hagerstown, and Falling Waters. When Col. Othniel de Forest of the 5th New York Cavalry returned to duty after missing the Battle of Gettysburg due to illness, Richmond returned to regimental command of the 1st West Virginia Cavalry. “He has won an enviable distinction as a cavalry officer,” noted a fellow horse soldier, “he led a brigade through the battles at Gettysburg and lately in our movements, and has been made chairman of the board of inspection of cavalry.”

He returned to duty in the field, leading his regiment during the extended cavalry campaigning that occupied most of the fall of 1863. His horse was shot out from under him during a heavy skirmish at Raccoon Ford on the Rapidan River on October 11, 1863, and the beast fell on Richmond, who badly injured his right hip and the small of his back. He took leave of absence and went to Culpeper Court House to recuperate, but got no better; indeed, these injuries caused him partial disability for the rest of his life. Consequently, he resigned his commission for health reasons in the spring of 1864 and went home. Then, in the spring of 1865, he unexpectedly received a commission as a colonel in the Veteran Reserve Corps, and was assigned to duty as superintendent of recruiting service for that corps for the State of Indiana. With the war over, he resigned his commission in August 1865.

Richmond then entered Republican politics in his home state of Indiana. From the time that he came home in 1864 through 1868, he represented his district in the Indiana State Senate. He was elected to city council in 1869 and then again 1871-1872, and in 1873 was elected mayor of Kokomo. “He possesses energy, courage, self-reliance, quick perception and decision, all the qualities that make the successful military officer and the leader in civil affairs,” noted a biographer, “yet with these is united a modest estimation of self that is a ‘candle to his merit,’ revealing more clearly the genuine virtues of his character.”

After ending his political career, Richmond worked as a lawyer and gentleman farmer near Kokomo. In 1882, he retired and moved to Malvern, Arkansas, in Hot Springs County, where he enjoyed the healing powers of the spa there. Richmond lived until the ripe old age of 85. He died on June 28, 1919, just a few weeks before his 86th birthday. He was buried in Crown Point Cemetery in Kokomo.

Here’s to Col. Nathaniel P. Richmond of the 1st West Virginia Cavalry, a fine soldier who did his duty and did it well.

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21 Jun 2010, by

Hmmmm….

One of the myths that J. D. Petruzzi and I tried to dispel in our book Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg is the criticism that Jeb Stuart failed to take steps to provide intelligence to Robert E. Lee during his ride to Gettysburg. That criticism is not well-founded, as Stuart did, indeed, forward significant intelligence to the Confederate authorities.

We know this because a June 27, 1863 dispatch from Stuart, reporting that the Army of the Potomac had moved north toward Leesburg and the Potomac River and had abandoned its base of operations at Fairfax Court House, was published in John Beauchamp Jones’ excellent 1866 book A Rebel War Clerk’s Diary. As the title suggests, Jones worked in the Confederate War Department, and saw these dispatches as they came through. Jones included the language of the dispatch in his book in its entirety. We quoted it verbatim in the book and cited to Jones’ book as the source.

So, we know for a fact that the report was received by the Confederate War Department, and we know for a fact that the report is available for use by researchers in a prominent and well-known source.

Yesterday, while searching the online archive of the Richmond Dispatch newspaper, I found the article below, which was published in the July 2, 1863 edition of the paper:

Capture of Fairfax C. H.–Hooker’s army.

The following official dispatch was received at the War Department Tuesday night:

Headq’rs Cav. Div.,
June 27, 1863.

General S. Cooper:

I took possession of Fairfax C. H. this morning at 9 o’clock, together with a large quantity of stores. The main body of Hooker’s army has gone towards Leesburg, except the garrison of Alexandria and Washington which has retreated within the fortifications.

Very respectfully,
Your ob’t serv’t,

J. E. B. Stuart,

Major General.

So, the dispatch obviously was published in the newspaper verbatim, meaning it was published in two common, well-known sources. I acknowledge that I didn’t know about its being published in the newspaper before yesterday, and J. D. didn’t either. Nevertheless, the Richmond Dispatch has long been fertile ground for Civil War researchers, and that fact is no secret. Indeed, anyone working on the Eastern Theater of the Civil War proceeds with their projects at their own peril if they don’t at least check the Dispatch, the Richmond Times, and the other handful of daily newspapers that were published in Richmond during the Civil War.

What I really don’t understand is how, with this dispatch having been published in two prominent, conspicuous places, all of the researchers who have looked at Stuart’s Ride in the past, including the likes of Douglas Southall Freeman, could have missed it. It’s truly a mystery to me. And it makes me wonder if it was a deliberate choice to miss it.

As Alice said to the Cheshire Cat, “It gets curiouser and curiouser.”

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Marc Charisse, the editor of the Hanover Evening Sun wrote an interesting editorial for yesterday’s edition of the paper, addressing the many great books on the Battle of Gettysburg that cram his bookshelves. He gave a list of what he feels are ten indispensable books on the campaign, and J.D.’s and my Plenty of Blame to Go Around: Jeb Stuart’s Controversial Ride to Gettysburg made the list. Here’s the editorial:

Books battling for attention

By MARC CHARISSE
Posted: 06/13/2010 01:00:00 AM EDT

“Of making many books there is no end,” Ecclesiastes tells us, “and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”

Every year about this time, a whole new bevy of Gettysburg books appears on the shelves. And every year, I pack my worn artillery haversack full of weighty tomes to take out on the battlefield.

But the weariness comes mostly when I find that despite all those new titles, there is, to quote Ecclesiastes again, “nothing new under the sun.”

Mostly, I find myself packing those tried and true titles that have gotten me through the vicissitudes of Little Round Top, the chaos of the Wheatfield and the perils of Pickett’s Charge. But last November, I finally found the book that could safely guide me across Gettysburg all by itself.

So out of the dozens of Gettysburg books I’ve perused (or at least skimmed) here’s my top-10 titles for understanding the battle, the ones that deserve a second, or even a third careful reading.

1. “The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command,” by Edwin Coddington, was published more than 40 years ago, and still remains to most experts the best single-volume book on Lee’s 1863 invasion. At 600 pages, plus 200 pages of notes, Coddington isn’t light reading, but it’s the beginning of any serious study of the Gettysburg campaign. The old Confederate controversies are all there, but a century after the battle, Coddington returns needed focus to the Union leadership that did, after all, win the battle.

2. “Gettysburg: The Second Day,” by former chief Park Service historian Harry Pfanz is easily the most beautifully written book I’ve read on Gettysburg. Pfanz weaves together the complex operations and the lives and experiences of the men who fought and died on this bloodiest day of the three-day battle. July 2 had the greatest number of opportunities and disasters on both sides, and Pfanz masterfully shows his reader exactly why it was the decisive day of the battle,

3. “Gettysburg Day Two: A Study in Maps.” I picked up my copy of John Imhof’s 1999 collection of tactical maps in a remainder pile in downtown Gettysburg a few years ago for a few dollars. Expect to pay hundreds if you can find one for sale now. No source beats the detailed tactical evolutions depicted on Imhof’s regimental-level maps. And with some showing movements as little as 20 minutes apart, you can finally visually grasp the unfolding of the second day. “Maps of Gettysburg” by Bradley Gottfried is an acceptable substitute, and it also covers the first and third days, though not in the same glorious tactical detail.

4. “Pickett’s Charge” by George Stewart is hard to follow in places if you aren’t already well versed in July 3 troop movements. But as it shifts its focus back and forth between antagonists, it captures the confusion and emotional truth of war. In the end, it delivers a cohesive picture of the great charge and its heroic repulse, but the book’s real power is in the haunting mental images it conjures of men in battle.

5. In “Gettysburg: A Journey in Time,” William Frassanito changed the way we look at the battlefield. His research into early battlefield photography, and discovery of many new images, tell a timeless story in words and pictures. Besides, the many then-and-now pairings are eerily fun to recreate. Frassanito’s two then-and-now collections, and even his massive “Early Photography at Gettysburg” usually manage to get squeezed into my haversack as well.

6. Pfanz’s “Gettysburg: Culp’s Hill & Cemetery Hill” isn’t quite as wonderful as his “Second Day.” But it’s a solid, highly readable study of this neglected, yet unique and fascinating part of the battle.

7. “Plenty of Blame to Go Around,” by Eric J. Wittenberg and J. David Petruzzi is the best study of J.E.B. Stuart’s famous ride around the Union army. It includes detailed descriptions of the battles of Hanover and Hunterstown, as well as an excellent driving tour. A great book.

8. “Regimental Strengths and Losses at Gettysburg” by John Busey and David Martin is a compendium of the losses at Gettysburg, killed, wounded and captured, regiment by regiment, followed by charts and tables of comparative losses. But in its stark, typewritten pages are ultimately poignant records of the human cost of war.

9. “The Gettysburg Gospel” by Gabor Boritt. For many years, Gary Wills’ “Lincoln at Gettysburg” has been my favorite book on the November address that redefined the battle and the nation. But Boritt’s work is as thoughtful and a better read. A little less erudite, perhaps, but ultimately a richer retelling of the story.

10. “The Complete Gettysburg Guide.” At last, the one book I’d take to Gettysburg if I could only take one book. It’s got everything – walking tours, driving tours, battle maps, monuments and battlefield lore. In a way, Petruzzi’s new book is too good, pointing out all those cool rock carvings, dinosaur fossils and other hidden battlefield stuff some of us had to spend years to find.

If you see me on the battlefield, I’ll let you take a look at my copy. I’ll be easy to spot – the guy dragging that old leather bag stuffed with books up the side of Little Round Top.

Marc Charisse is editor of The Evening Sun. E-mail: mcharisse@eveningsun.com

I’m honored to be included in such stellar company. Thanks for the kind words about our work, Marc. It’s much appreciated.

Congratulations to J.D. and Steve Stanley for the inclusion of their excellent Complete Gettysburg Guide on the list, meaning that J.D. and Harry Pfanz to appear on the list twice. That’s really an honor, J.D.

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The imbeciles who want to place a casino half a mile south of the battlefield of Gettysburg have now engaged in a campaign of disinformation, referring to South Cavalry Field as “a satellite area of the battlefield.” This intentionally misleading statement is an effort to warp the truth, and I could not allow it to pass unchallenged.

I responded, and wrote a letter to the editor of the Frederick News-Post that was published today:

Gettysburg casino near hallowed ground?
Originally published June 11, 2010

When President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address, he explained: “We can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.”

As a published historian of the Battle of Gettysburg, I could not agree more. Indeed, I am the author of an award-winning book that is to this day the only volume specifically dedicated to the actions that took place on South Cavalry Field at Gettysburg.

And so, I was appalled to read in the June 2 edition of The Frederick News-Post (“Casino proposed for area south of Gettysburg”) that the proponents of a casino half a mile from the Gettysburg battlefield callously disregarded the southernmost portions of the battlefield — where a desperate cavalry fight raged on July 3 — as just a “satellite area” of the actual park.

This was a protracted and ferocious fight. It occurs to me that to the descendants of soldiers who fell there, it wasn’t a sideshow to the “real” battle. American soldiers died on that ground, and to suggest otherwise only underscores the disregard these misguided investors have for our national treasure.

The simple truth is this: The consecration of that ground with the lifeblood of the American soldier is an immutable fact, far above anyone’s poor power to add or detract.

ERIC J. WITTENBERG

Columbus, Ohio

I could not permit that blatant lie to stand unrebutted. Hopefully, this will help to set the record straight about what happened on that important piece of battlefield ground. Thanks to Nick Redding of the CWPT for bringing the original lie to my attention so that I could respond in a timely fashion.

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Today, I spoke to the owner of Headless Billy, who is the owner of the shopping center where Headless Billy resides. He informed me that it has always been his plan to repair Bill and to restore him to capitation and two-handedness. He also said that he plans to hold some sort of a dedication ceremony once the monument has been repaired. Finally, he indicated that he plans on sprucing up the area where Billy resides. All of that news really pleased me because all I have wanted since I discovered the presence of Headless Billy was to see him restored to dignity and to see him back in the public eye. All of that will happen.

I gave the owner Terry Jones’ contact information for the repairs, and told him about Ohio’s upcoming sesquicentennial of the Civil War programs, and he indicated that he would like to see Headless Billy’s re-dedication as part of the Sesquicentennial. I told him that I would be happy to try to help make that happen since I am a member of the Commission.

I will now sit back and watch, as I am confident that Headless Billy is in good hands and that his present steward has only Billy’s best interests in mind. I will keep you all posted as to his progress.

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