Gettysburg Off the Beaten Path: Moritz Tavern

Modern Moritz Tavern

Modern Moritz Tavern

Part of a Series.

Just north of the Mason-Dixon Line stands the location of Moritz Tavern. This tavern, today the home of an auto salvage yard, is where Union Left Wing commander Major General John F. Reynolds spent the last night of his life.

The tavern building was constructed in 1802 by Mathias Waybright. Waybright’s ownership of the tavern lasted a mere nine years, when he sold the tavern and its 24 acres to Nicolas Moritz. By the time of the battle of Gettysburg Nicholas was dead and his son Samuel now owned the property. Samuel had not renewed his annual tavern license for the year 1863. Ironically the building we call Moritz Tavern, wasn’t actually an operating tavern at the time of battle. Continue reading

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Presentations From the 2014 Emerging Civil War Symposium-Meg Thompson

As we gear up for this years Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, we wanted to share this presentation from last years ECW Symposium. As you may recall, we were honored to have C-SPAN cover our first major symposium.

Below is Meg Thompson’s presentation from last year, “The Northern Presidential Election of 1864.” We are happy to welcome Meg back to the symposium this year. Her 2015 topic will be “A Legacy of Caring: Dr. Letterman and Battlefield Medicine.”

Click here to register for this exciting event.

Meg 2014 Symposium

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An Enduring Controversy: The Pipe Creek Circular and the Battle of Gettysburg

Part One

Proposed Pipe Creek Line.

Proposed Pipe Creek Line.

No battle of the American Civil War has generated more ongoing and enduring controversies than the Battle of Gettysburg. With the anniversary of the battle looming once more, I wanted to address one of the more heated and oldest controversies of the battle, the Pipe Creek Circular and how it impacted the outcome of the battle. This two-part series will address the Pipe Creek Circular and its implications for the Army of the Potomac.

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Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Memory, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Thoughts on the Confederate Flag

The current calls for the removal of the Confederate battle flag and subsequently all Confederate flags from public state buildings and even tags is long overdue. The battle flag was used in a war that the Confederacy lost—a war that almost destroyed this country.

However, these flags should not be removed from Civil War battlefields and museums. In this country, we no longer want to teach history, and we want to always try to be politically correct, thus we will be doomed to repeat our problems unless we can look at our history in context.

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Gettysburg’s New Unity Park to be Dedicated July 5

Here is a neat little story passed along to us by ECW’s Steward Henderson.

Andrew Adam, a 14-year-old honor student in the Cumberland Valley School District in Mechanicsburg, PA, is wrapping up work on his Eagle Scout project. He’s a candidate with Boys Scouts of America Troop 88.

As a Civil War Reenactor with the 1st PRVC (Pennsylvania Reserves Volunteer Corps), he reenacts as a Union drummer boy. For his Eagle Scout Project, he decided to commission a monument to drummer boys and musicians in the Civil War. “Surrounding the monument,” he says, “I am creating a small, symbolic park called Unity Park.” Continue reading

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Kit Carson’s Civil War: The Navajo Round Up

Today, we are pleased to welcome back guest author Ray Shortridge

Part two in a series.

Kit Carson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Kit Carson. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In April, 1863, Brigadier General Henry H. Carleton ordered Colonel Kit Carson to round up the Navajo Indian Tribe and intern them at a reservation in the Bosque Redondo.[1] This was Carson’s first major independent command. Since the Navajo would not go willingly, the army’s strategy, developed by Colonel Edward Canby, was to destroy the tribe’s economy by seizing or killing their sheep and horses, and confiscating or destroying their crops. Carleton allocated Carson some 736 men of the First New Mexico Volunteer Regiment, organized into six mounted companies and three of infantry. Carleton ordered Carson to “prosecute a vigorous war upon the men of this tribe until it is considered at these Head Quarters (sic) that they have been effectually punished for their long continued atrocities.”[2]

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Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Common Soldier, Leadership--Federal, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

America’s Most Embattled Emblem

No one can speak more intelligently about the Confederate flag than John Coski, author of The Confederate Flag: America’s Most Embattled Emblem and a historian with the American Civil War Museum. In the midst of the current controversy in South Carolina, John’s thoughts are worth consideration.

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The Port Royal Experiment-Setting the Stage for Reconstruction, Part 4

Conclusion to the Port Royal Experiment series.

[Detail] - Cotton ready for the gin at Smith's Plantation in Port Royal, South Carolina.

[Detail] – Cotton ready for the gin at Smith’s Plantation in Port Royal, South Carolina.

Despite the preparation, the enthusiasm, and the progress of the Gideonites based in Port Royal, South Carolina, the government had separate ideas for how Reconstruction should be structured. Educationally, the experiment was a success. Economically and socially, however, the project contained significant flaws.



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“Our clocks are slow” L’Hermione, Lafayette and the Franco-American Alliance



Marquis de Lafayette

With the visit of the L’Hermione to the east coast of the United States this summer, there has been a heightened interest in the Franco-American alliance that won the American Revolution.  The French rebuilt the L’Hermione not only for its beauty but also its historical significance.  Most importantly, its mission and the passenger it contained when it arrived in Boston in the fall of 1780.

The spring of 1780 was a low point in the American cause of independence.  Stagnation in the north between Washington and British commander General Sir Henry Clinton combined with devastating defeats in the Southern Theater caused low morale among the patriots.  Cornwallis had complete control over the Southern colonies and no standing American force seemed to be able to stop his movements.  Continue reading

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Fashion in the Historic Triangle

RevWarWednesdays-headerWhen one heads to the Historic Triangle of Jamestown-Williamsburg-Yorktown, Virginia becoming immersed in early American History is almost a given.

At the same time, when one is looking for fashion in the area, the Premium Outlets in Williamsburg would usually be the direction one would head.

However, thanks to Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center, fashion and American history come together. But, the clothing styles does not end with just Colonial American history, as fashion from British military uniforms to Native American and West African cultures will also be on display. Continue reading

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