Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gettysburg's Deleted Scenes

I'm a fan of the movie Gettysburg, the fake beards notwithstanding. I was 14 years old when the it first came out. My parents took me to see it several times in the theaters, and I watched its television premiere on TNT a year or so later. It played on TNT once during a Super Bowl, so I watched it yet again only this time, I couldn't help but notice that the film was longer, with scenes deleted from the theatrical release. That was the only time I saw those clips. . .until now, thanks to youtube and member rob9641 who uploaded nine of those deleted scenes. Some are a little odd, some laughable (especially the second clip where Lee (Sheen) explains to Taylor why his soldiers must conduct themselves like gentlemen in Pennsylvania as opposed to those Yankees while in Virginia), and some are alright (I was glad to see Ewell get a little face-time).
Anyway, grab some popcorn and enjoy. . .

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Nick Biddle's Grave & An Update On The 48th PA Monument Restoration

This past Saturday saw me in old Schuylkill County, so while there I, as usual, did some cemetery stomping. I decided to go to the Bethel A.M.E. African-American Cemetery, where First Defender Nicholas Biddle is buried. I was most pleasantly surprised to discover that a new headstone has been placed in tribute to Biddle, to replace the original that was destroyed  many decades ago. I am embarrassed to say that I do not know who led this effort or when the new headstone went up, but to whomever it was, I extend my most heartfelt thanks and gratitude.
Nicholas Biddle's new headstone
"Nicholas Biddle
Captain Wren's Orderly
Aug 2 1876
First to Shed Blood in Civil War"
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I would like also to take this opportunity to thank two donors, both descendants of General James Nagle, who this past week contributed very generously to the effort to replace the missing sword from the general's statue at the Antietam National Battlefield. Their donations, matched on a one-to-one basis by the Western Maryland Interpretative Association, has brought us over the $5,000.00 mark and has taken us that much closer to getting the general's sword back on his side.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Antietam Battlefield Scavenger Hunt---Online

Tens of thousands of kids visit the Antietam Battlefield each year. Many do so as part of a school or scout group on a field trip, and while groups come in from all over the country, most come from schools or academies in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. Many others are simply traveling along with their families either on vacation or "just passing through."
Last year, in an effort to further our youngsters' understanding of both the battle and the battlefield, I developed a series of "Battlefield Scavenger Hunts," five in total number. One is general overview hunt, designed for kids no matter where they hail from, while the other four were designed specifically for students from Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
This week, the general overview Battlefield Scavenger Hunt was uploaded to the park's website. (See here).
So if you plan on visiting the Park and bringing along the kids, print out the scavenger hunt or simply request a copy at the Visitor's Center.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

". . .and keep moving on."

I apologize for the lack of posts lately. Truth is, I've been keeping myself very busy lately with a number of projects that have put the blog on an unintended hiatus. First, I finished up my first course at American Military University. Teaching online was a brand new experience for me, and it is clear I need to work through some of the kinks before beginning my new courses. I especially need to work at facilitating more in the way of class discussions. What is more, I am going to be putting together a course for American Military University, working with the Harpers Ferry National Park, which focuses on the John Brown Raid. I am also preparing for a presentation on the battle of Antietam, which I will be delivering as part of the Provost Series of Speakers at American Public in two weeks. In addition, I was invited to deliver a talk on the Molly Maguires for Ted Alexander and the Chambersburg Historical Society, which will be on March 12. I am also recalibrating my fundraising efforts to replace the missing sword on the 48th Pennsylvania monument. The amount of money raised has plateaued of late, and I am working now on a new "ground game," meaning the placement of collection boxes at various Schuylkill County businesses, et cetera. I am most satisfied that in ten months, we have been able to bring in over $4,200.00, but there is still a way to go before reaching that $6,800.00 mark. Perhaps we'll get there before this endeavor reaches the one-year mark on April 5.
A number of writing projects have also been occupying a good part of time. I am working with Jared Frederick in creating a Civil War heroes of Schuylkill County illustrated book, geared toward kids and our younger Civil War enthusiasts. I am excited about this little project, and am hoping it will be completed by either this Memorial Day or Fourth of July. Plus, I am still shopping around for a publisher for one of my completed manuscripts that involves Schuylkill County troops during the September 1862 Maryland Campaign. The lionshare of my time of late has been devoted to the Antietam Commanders project, which I am putting together for Ted Savas. At times, this does seem a bit overwhelming, but I am plugging away, one commander at a time. . .
Oh, and on top of all this, I am currently trying to coordinate and put together my first high school class reunion. With all of my classmates' conflicting schedules and with so many coming in from "out of town," this might just prove to be the most difficult project of all!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Old Abe Is 200 Today

A very happy birthday to America's greatest president.

Click here for some "Fascinating Facts" about Lincoln.

Monday, February 9, 2009

48th Pennsylvania Soldiers Buried at Arlington National Cemetery

Mr. Thomas Grund, Senior Vice Commander of the Colonel James D. Brady Camp 63, Sons of Union Veterans, very kindly and very generously sent me a complete listing of 48th Pennsylvania Soldiers buried in National Cemeteries throughout the United States.
The following is a list of those interred at the Arlington National Cemetery:

ARMSTRONG, John: Private, Company G; Wounded 5/12/1864 at Spotsylvania; Died of Wounds on July 1, 1864; Buried in Section 13, Grave #6611.
BETZ, George: Private, Company A; Died June 17, 1864; Buried in Section 13, Grave 6304.
BONER, James: Private, Company I; Wounded in Action, 5/30/1864; Died of Wounds on June 22, 1864; Buried in Section 13, Grave 5828.
CLARK, John: Private, Company I; Died of Wounds Received in Action, 6/8/1864; Buried in Section 27, Grave #978.
DAVIS, Thomas: Private, Company H; Killed at Petersburg, 6/17/1864; Buried in Section 22, Grave #15388.
DAVIS, William: Private, Company H; Wounded at Cold Harbor; Died of Wounds, 9/5/1864; Buried in Section 13, Grave #8702.
EISENHUTH, George T.: Private, Company H; Died, 2/17/1865; Buried in Section 13, Grave #8237.
HECKMAN, Samuel: Private, Company B; Died of Wounds Received in Action, 6/12/1864; Buried in Section 27, Grave #711.
KOPP, Lewis W.: Private, Company H; Died, 10/1/1864; Buried in Section 13, Grave #5552.
MOHAN, Michael: Private, Company C; Wounded at Spotsylvania, 5/12/1864; Died of Wounds, 5/20/1864; Buried in Section 27, Grave #199.
RABER, Jonas Z.: Private, Company D; Died in Washington, 7/1/1864; Buried in Section 13, Grave #6825.
SCHNEIDER, William: Private, Company H; Died of Wounds Received in Action, 9/12/1864; Buried in Section 13, Grave #7750.
SNYDER, Simon: Private, Company A; Wounded at Cold Harbor; Died of Wounds, 6/16/1864; Buried in Section 13, Grave #6292.
WAGNER, Aaron P.: Private, Company D; Wounded at Petersburg, 4/2/1865; Died of Wounds, 4/5/1865; Buried in Section 13, Grave #10485.
WESSLEY, Andrew: Private, Company F; Killed in Action at Petersburg, 6/17/1864; Buried in Section 13, Grave #6275.
WILLONER, Jeremiah: Private, Company I; Wounded at Cold Harbor, 6/3/1864; Died of Wounds, 6/22/1864; Buried in Section 13, Grave #5825.

Mr. Grund also included a list of soldiers from the 48th killed in action at the Second Battle of Bull Run, 8/29/1862. Confederate soldiers buried the dead of this fight on the field, but most were later reinterred, many of them underneath Mrs. Robert E. Lee's one-time Rose Garden. The monument pictured above was placed over the grave of these unknown soldiers; in all some 2,111 remains gathered from the Bull Run battlefield and on the route to the Rappahannock. It is likely that some, if not most, of the 48th's Killed in Action at 2nd Bull Run here rest. Those soldiers are:
BRENNAN, Michael: Private, Company E
FILBERT, Henry A. M.: Captain, Company K
FILBERT, Roland D.: Sergeant, Company K
HATCH, Oliver C.: Sergeant, Company C
KILRAIN, Michael: Private, Company F
LEISER, Charles F.: Private, Company I
LEISER, John H.: Private, Company A
MACKEY, William: Corporal, Company E
MCFEELEY, Hugh: Private, Company E
MILLER, Charles: Private, Company D
MOYER, Samuel: Private, Company E
NAGLE, William: Private, Company H
PETIT, Samuel: Private, Company H
REESE, Lewis M.: Private, Company B
WISER, John: Private, Company C
KELLY, Thomas: Private, Company H
LINK, Hesgian: Private, Company I

Thursday, February 5, 2009

One More For The Blog Roll. . .

I have had the great pleasure to become acquainted with Jared Frederick over the past week. Jared is a history student at Penn State and, like me, is an avid student of the Civil War. Jared is also an illustrator who has had a number of small books published. This summer, Jared will be interning at the Gettysburg National Military Park. He has also just launched a new Civil War blog , and he wrote to me asking if I would link to his site. I agreed. . .but, rather jokingly, only if he did an illustration of General James Nagle. Much to my surprise, about two hours later, he sent one to me. . .I was impressed. (He even included Nagle's Mexican-American War sword).
Anyway, let's all welcome Jared to the Civil War blogosphere. His site is listed as "Gettysburg Intern" in my links' list.
How cool is this?