My world, and welcome to it. :-)

The stuff that people feel that they have to share with us at book signings is pretty astounding.

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Please don’t mistake my sarcasm for a lack of gratitude. I really appreciate it that folks feel like they can approach me and for the most part, I enjoy the interactions. Every now and again, someone will bring something to my attention that is of great interest to me, and I completely lose myself in the conversation. As just one example, at one of my first speaking engagements after my book Glory Enough for All: The Battle of Trevilian Station and Sheridan’s Second Raid was published, a fellow approached me and handed me a copy of …

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7711085_115341389416Many thanks to friend Clark B. Hall for sharing this poem with me.

Capt. William W. Blackford was J.E.B. Stuart’s able engineering officer in the spring and summer of 1863. He was 31 and one of several brothers serving in the Confederate service. Blackford had a bird’s eye view of much of the day’s action, and he wrote this interesting poem about the June 9, 1863.

In case you were wondering why we fought so hard to save Fleetwood Hill, this poem ought to answer those questions.

Twice a thousand men in blue
And twice a thousand gray
Are pricking fast the space between
And ne’er a finer sight was seen
And ne’er a bolder band I ween
Then rode

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23 May 2014, by

Hilarity

First, please allow me to apologize for the absence. I had my portion of the Second Battle of Winchester book to write, and then I needed a break. I’m back in the saddle again, and I have some very funny stuff for you today.

kilpatrick_webThis article appeared in the December 2, 1868 edition of the Weekly Atlanta Intelligencer, and it’s a riot.

What is thought of it–The Forrest-Kilpatrick Affair–Interesting and Spicy Correspondence.

The following correspondence explains itself. In consideration of the modesty of some parties, we give only initials:

New York, November 10

General J__n M. C___e:

Dear General,

Forrest says that I am “a liar, poltroon, and scoundrel.” What do you think about it?

Truly, etc.

Judson Kilpatrick

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9 Feb 2014, by

Fun stuff

I was asked how many Civil War battlefields and sites I have visited. It took a lot of thought to answer that question, but here goes, in no particular order:

Ball’s Bluff
Gettysburg
Westminster, MD (Corbit’s Charge)
Carlisle (I went to college there–that made it easy)
Hanover
Monterey Pass
Boonsboro
Williamsport
Hunterstown
Fairfield
Sporting Hill
Oyster Point
McConnellsburg
Cunningham’s Crossroads
Greencastle
Hagerstown
Funkstown
Falling Waters
Smithsburg
Aldie
Middleburg
Upperville
First Brandy Station (August 20, 1862)
Second Brandy Station (June 9, 1863)
Third Brandy Station (August 1, 1863)
Fourth Brandy Station (October 11, 1863)
Culpeper (September 13, 1863)
First Rappahannock Station
Second Rappahannock Station
Buckland Mills
Mine Run
First Winchester
Second Winchester
Third Winchester
First Kernstown
Second Kernstown
Orange Court House …

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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

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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, …

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Just a quick note to wish all of you a joyous Christmas. Susan joins me in wishing all of you the happiest of days with your friends and families today. Hopefully, none of you found any lumps of coal in your stockings this morning, and hopefully none of you received a visit from Krampus.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy days to visit this blog. I appreciate all of you.

Scridb filter

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Late last week, I learned about the Civil War Trust’s excellent new program to honor our veterans, which I want to share with you.

Here’s the Trust’s press release about the new Honor Our Soldiers program it’s rolling out:

CIVIL WAR TRUST ANNOUNCES NATIONAL ‘HONOR OUR SOLDIERS’ INITIATIVE

National campaign intended to recognize Civil War battlefields as living memorials to the service of all American soldiers, past and present

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization, is proud to announce a new national campaign to honor American veterans, past and present. The multi-media campaign will recognize the tremendous sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform, and includes an online petition —

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The following article appeared in the December 19 edition of the Culpeper Star-Exponent. It demonstrates beyond any doubt that the Brandy Station Foundation is no longer a battlefield preservation organization.

New Civil War graffiti uncovered in Brandy Station Foundation house
Posted: Thursday, December 19, 2013 12:15 am | Updated: 12:39 pm, Thu Dec 19, 2013.
By Jeff Say jsay@starexponent.com (540) 825-0771 ext. 115

Every inch of the Graffiti House in Brandy Station is historic — even the bathroom.

During a recent study by architectural conservator Chris Mills, new Civil War-era artwork was found in the circa 1858 structure believed to have been used as a hospital by Confederate and Union forces during the war.

For unknown reasons, patrons decided

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bufordj500ae-210x300150 years ago today, Maj. Gen. John Buford, the finest cavalryman produced by the Union during the Civil War, died of typhoid fever at the far too-young age of 37. The rigors of so many years of hard marching and fighting had taken their toll on Buford, who had contracted typhoid fever “from fatigue and extreme hardship,” after participating in the marches and fighting during the Mine Run Campaign that on November 7-8 compelled Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia to abandon the line on the Rappahannock River and retire behind the Rapidan River. By November 16, he was quite ill. Buford was granted a leave of absence and removed to Washington, D.C., on November 20, 1863.

There he was taken …

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