25 November 2006 by Published in: General musings 1 comment

Susan and I are particularly fond of Asian food. We have a favorite Chinese restaurant that we frequent. The couple who own the restaurant are from Taiwan, and they’re very nice folks. Tonight, after spending seven hours in the car, we decided to go there for dinner.

The owner’s daughter waited on us. She was born here in the United States, but she’s a very quiet, studious sort of girl. She just finished her first quarter of college. While we were ordering dinner, her mother, who also works at the restaurant hurried over to the table and informed us that she had told her daughter that I was an expert on the Battle of Gettysburg. I said that I knew a little bit about it.

It turns out that the daughter, who’s probably still 18 years old, recently went on a camping trip to Gettysburg, and she toured the battlefield for the first time. She indicated that she really loved it, that she found it fascinating, and, when I pressed her, she told me that Devil’s Den was her favorite part of the battlefield. Specifically, she said, “Devil’s Den is just awesome.”

Needless to say, I was astounded by this. This young woman of Taiwanese descent–she’s first generation American–and who’s a studious sort who is considering being a chemistry major, is into Gettysburg! We ended up having a chat about the battle and what was so fascinating about it.

Our NHL team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, just hired a new head coach, Ken Hitchcock. Hitchcock–a Canadian–has won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars, and was brought in to bring some discipline and to teach the many very young players on the Blue Jackets how to be successful NHL players. His hiring has met with nearly universal approval among the loyal but greatly unhappy fans of this team.

It turns out that Hitchcock is a Civil War buff. He has a long-standing and well-documented interest in the Late Unpleasantness. That is, of course, appropriate for a team named to honor Ohio’s contributions to the Civil War, and whose logo features a Civil War-style kepi. As a season ticket holder from the beginning of the franchise, this pleases me a great deal.

I never cease to be amazed at how pervasive the interest in the Civil War is, and am likewise amazed at the unlikely places where I find that interest. I can only hope it keeps up.

Scridb filter


  1. MarylandReb
    Sun 26th Nov 2006 at 9:15 am

    Being in sales, I talk to many people of all walks of life. In casual conversation I’ll mention I’m a Civil War fanatic and how many books I have and I am surprised as well at how many people have have an interest in the CW. One of those I met was Dana Mangham who wrote “Oh, For a Touch of the Vanished Hand: Discovering a Southern Family and the Civil War “. He was a Colonel in the Army and taught for a little while at West Point after I met him. The book detailed the various Mangham’s, Mangum’s and other various spellings of this large southern families service to the Confederacy through their letters and family histories. He was gracious enough to give me an autographed copy for my services rendered to him.

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