August 18, 2011

News and Links

Parson's Battery at Perryville Battlefield
By Hal Jespersen at en.wikipedia (Transferred from en.wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Over the past couple days, I have come across three pieces of exciting news about places that are now on my to-visit list by the end of the Sesquicentennial:
  1.  Civil War Preservation Trust campaigning to save 141 acres of Perryville Battlefield.  Although on the other end of the Union line from where the 79th Pennsylvania fought (and defined itself), this is still great news for the battlefield which I have yet to visit but have heard great things about. 
  2. "Fort Monroe edging closer to Park Service status."  It looks like much momentum is building to make Fort Monroe (at the southern tip of the Virginia peninsula) a national park.  Aside from its important place in the national narrative of military strategy and emancipation, Fort Monroe (and the operational area nearby) seems to pop up often in Lancaster's Civil War history related to the Pennsylvania Reserves in the Peninsula Campaign, Patriot Daughters' aid efforts after that campaign, and the untold history of Lancaster's conscripted companies in the 178th and 179th Pennsylvania infantry regiments.
  3. "Tubman Underground Railroad center on Shore gets funding."  Aside from geographical proximity between Tubman's area of operations and southern Lancaster County and similar stories of escaped slaves and sympathetic Quakers, this is also relevant as I keep running into stories of Pennsylvania soldiers on Hilton Head Island, where Tubman later served as a nurse and spy.  (Irony note: literally as I typed the last sentence, I was listening to this satire of how we tend to approach African-American history through the heroics of white men and women with Jon Oliver commenting, regarding the movie The Help, "White people are amazing. We really are.")        
Also, here are two articles and a video for your reading and viewing pleasure:
  1. "Perryville: Then & Now" by Kurt Holman
  2. "Theology, Presbyterian History, and the Civil War" by Mark A. Noll  (one of my favorite historians).  To make a connection to this blog, our excellent diarist, William T. Clark, of Co. B, 79th Pennsylvania, was a devout Presbyterian and member of Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church in southern Lancaster County.  His diary notes the exchange of at least forty letters exchanged with his pastor while campaigning 79th Pennsylvania. 
  3. "The Civil War, the Churches, and the Terrible Swift Sword" by Dr. James Moorhead

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