Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Confederate Generals Interviews

Hello, Sallie here.

When I was in Gettysburg recently, I met a few Confederate Generals. Here is a video of the Generals I met. I met General Longstreet, General Stuart, and General Armistead. They were all at the Battle of Gettysburg.

General Longstreet was nicknamed "Old Pete" and "My Old War Horse". He was at Appomattox Court House, Va with General Lee. General Stuart went to West Point and there he met General Lee. He was at the Battle of Antietam in Maryland. General Armistead also went to West Point. He was killed during Pickett's Charge in Gettysburg, Pa.

Until next time......

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas


Just wanted to say Merry Christmas to all. Here is an image of the Lincoln family from Here you can see Tad, who is on the chair, opening presents. You can also see President Lincoln and his wife.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thank You

Hi Sallie here,

I want to let you all know I won the 2009 Edublog Award for Best Student Blog. Thank you Mr. Hargadon and Ms. Waters from EduBlog for sponsoring and hosting the awards. I also want to thank everyone who voted for me. It is such an honor being voted the Best Student Blog when there were so many other great blogs.

I also want to say congratulations to all the student blog nominees and the winners in the other categories. In the Best Student Blog category, the second runner up was Moo and the first runner up was Univero.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

EduBlogs Award Nomination


I wanted to tell everyone that my friend Sarah and I have been nominated for the Best Student Blog Award in the 2009 EduBlog Awards.

Please take a moment to go over and VOTE for our blog.

Thank you so very much for your continued support.

Sallie & Sarah

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Sallie here. During a recent trip to Gettysburg, I had the opportunity to meet singer David Kincaid. I really enjoyed listening to him play and learning about Civil War music. I learned about what instrument he played and what were some of the soldiers favorite songs. I also learned that Mr. Kincaid plays mostly Irish music.

Here is a video of Mr. Kincaid playing and me asking him a few questions:

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

American Civil War Living History Museum

I had a great day at the Center Learning Community Charter School's American Civil War Living History Museum! I learned about the Underground Railroad, slave life, abolitionists, soldier life, naval battles, artillery, and more. I also learned about many major battles that were fought during the war. I got to see iMovies that the students made about the Battle of Gettysburg , I saw cool posters that the students made about each battle, and I listened to podcaststhat the students made about the battles that they researched.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cleaning Up the Gettysburg Battlefield

Last weekend I traveled to Gettysburg to help my friends, The Beeghley Family, clean up the area of the battlefield known as the Peach Orchard. The Beeghley Family help out at the battlefield as part of the Adopt-A-Position program. As part of the program, they travel to Gettysburg a few times a year to help pick up trash, fix fences and help clean up the battlefield.

Here I am with my friend Sarah sitting on a canon getting ready to clean up the Peach Orchard (behind us). The Peach Orchard was the site of some very heavy fighting on July 2, 1863.

Here I am picking up some trash. It is a shame that there is trash, but at least we are here to clean it up for everyone to enjoy this beautiful battlefield.

This is my friend CJ helping to pickup trash. The Trostle Farm is the white barn in the distance. General Dan Sickles was wounded on that farm and Confederate General Barksdale charged across the field behind CJ toward the Trostle Barn.

Here I am sitting on a fence with the Rose Farm in the background. The area around the Rose Farm was made famous by Alexander Gardner who took many photographs of dead Confederate soldiers on this farm.

Taking a break under a nice shady tree.

Having a nice cold drink after cleaning up the battlefield. What a great day!

This a National Park Service Ranger DeJesus who is in charge of the Adopt-A-Position program for Gettysburg.

Special thanks to the Beeghley Family for teaching me about how everyone can help keep my favorite place clean.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Rock carvings and dinosaurs in Gettysburg

Today, I took a trip with the Beeghley family to Gettysburg to help clean up the battlefield as part of their Adopt-A-Position program. While we were there, we decided to use our copy of The Complete Gettysburg Guide to find some rock carvings.

We stopped on Little Round top to find some carvings. One of the more famous ones is a carving that tells about where Colonel Strong Vincent was shot and killed on July 2, 1863. Here is a photo of me sitting on the rock with the carving.

Next, we moved up toward the top of the hill and started to look for another carving. According to The Complete Gettysburg Guide, the carving was behind the monument to the 91st Pennsylvania and marked the spot where Lt. Charles Hazlett and General Steven Weed died. According to the story, General Weed was shot in the chest and paralyzed. Lt. Hazlett (who was commanding the cannons nearby) knelt over the dying General to help him when he too was shot in the head and killed.

That's me checking out the Weed/Hazlett carving that reads, "C.E. Hazlett Fell Com'g Batt'y D U.S. Art'y in Battle July 2nd 1863"

So, I saved the best for last (actually it was our first stop). According to the book, on the way to Little Round Top, there is a stone bridge over Plum Run with actual dinosaur tracks in the stones. We had to find these. So, we walked up the bridge, counted out the stones and found the dinosaur tracks. How cool is that!

Here is a picture of me (and our handy Guide) with the track near my right paw.

Next time you are in Gettysburg, be sure to look up some of these famous rock carvings.

Until next time...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Complete Gettysburg Guide

In preparation for a trip to my favorite town of Gettysburg tomorrow to help some friends clean up the battlefield as part of the Adopt-A-Position program, I borrow a copy of The Complete Gettysburg Guide from Dr. Beeghley who runs the Teaching the Civil War with Technology blog. He recently wrote a review of the book and I thought I would take a look.

What a terrific book! I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about the Battle of Gettysburg. I plan on taking it to Gettysburg with me tomorrow so we can find some new places to visit.

Getting anxious for tomorrow! I'll be sure to report what I find.

During the Remembrance Day Ceremony I was able to meet the authors of the Complete Gettysburg Guide. Here I am with JD and Steve.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CSI: Gettysburg Part 1

My friend Sarah's dad, who runs the Teaching the Civil War with Technology blog loves to do something he calls, CSI: Gettysburg. So, one one day we decided to take a trip to Gettysburg to due some investigating. So, we loaded up his iPod Touch with some photographs and armed with background information we set off. Our goal was to find the the location where Civil War photographer Matthew Brady took the following photograph:

According to the book Gettysburg: A Journey in Time by William Frassanito, this photo was taken by Brady on July 15, 1863 on the slopes of Culp's Hill. The photo shows two of Brady's assistants sitting on a rock looking at the breastworks of the Union line. Frassanito further states that this photo was taken near the monument to the 102nd New York Regiment and some of the trees in the photograph are still standing today. Our hunt for clues was on!

Once we were on Culp's Hill, our first task was to find the monument to the 78th and 102nd New York Infantry Regiments. This was pretty easy as it was on the right side of the road leading up to the summit of Culp's Hill. Here is a photograph of my friend Jacob next to the monument. Now, look closely....Can you see the head of a lion and his paw in the monument?

According to one account, it was said that the 102nd and 78th fought like lions at Gettysburg so they had the lion carved into their monument. Here is a close-up of the monument, can you see the lion's head now?

Our next job was to find out where the photo was taken from, so we walked up the hill a bit further and using the original photo on the iPod and Frassanito's book as guides, we were able to find the same rock that the assistants were sitting on in the original photo.

Here I am with my friend Sarah (in her Civil War dress) sitting on the same rock as the assistants.
Here is a close up view of me and my friend Sarah. The tree behind us is the same tree behind Brady's assistants in the original photograph (although much bigger now). Many people refer to these as "witness trees" because they witnessed part of the battle.

One more photo of me sitting on the famous rock. It was kind of exciting to think that I was sitting in the same place that the photograph was taken.

According to one of the park rangers we met later on and told about our story told us that the tree that is fallen over in front of me (behind the one that is standing up and it looks like a mound of dirt) is another witness tree that fell over during a storm.

What a great, fun-filled day at Gettysburg. We used primary sources from the Library of Congress, a book and our knowledge about the battle to sort out the clues and find this famous place on the battlefield.

Next time we are going to due some crime scene investigating in Devil's Den. Stay tuned ....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Hi. Sallie here,

I wanted to tell you a little bit about my visit to Mechanicsburg, Pa. Did you know that Union and Confederate soldiers passed through there. I learned that they used the Frankenburger Tavern, Peace Church, and the John Rupp House as headquarters during the invasion of Mechanicsburg. The Confederates had planned to try to take Harrisburg, which is the capital of Pennsylvania. Instead of attacking Harrisburg, the Confederates headed for Gettysburg instead. The John Rupp House was a stone brick house that is now a small private office.

Here is the sign in front of the John Rupp House

Here I am sitting in front of the John Rupp house

Here is what Albert Jenkins looks like.

Albert Jenkins was Confederate General. He and his troops used this house during the invasion of Mechanicsburg. He was part of the Battle of Sporting Hill. During the battle of Gettysburg, General Jenkins was wounded on July 2nd and could not fight for the rest of the battle. Because of the wound he received at Gettysburg, Jenkins did not return to his army till the Autumn.

Did you know that the Frankenbuger Tavern is the oldest building in Mechanicsburg? They had to use 20 tractor trailers to get all of the stuff out of the house. If you ever visit Mechanicsburg, the Frankenbuger Tavern is on 217 E. Main Street.

For anyone that wants anything Civil War era, you can check out Jim Schmick's Civil War and More Store on 10 S. Market Street. Here is the website for his store

Until next time.....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Visit to Montgomery Cemetery

I learned a lot on my visit to Montgomery Cemetery in Norristown, PA. Founded in 1847, this cemetery has many historic grave sites. Of particular interest is Major-General John Frederick Hartranft - he led the charge that took the bridge at the Battle of Antietam. After the war, he became Auditor General of PA and went on to serve two terms as PA's Governor.

My friends Maureen and Jackie were nice enough to tour the grounds with me. We saw the graves of the Schall family who lost several sons to many American conflicts. We also visited Lizzie Brower who died in 1919 and was a volunteer nurse during the Civil War.

I also learned about Major-General Winfield Scott Hancock - he was a key figure in the Battle of Gettysburg. He was important during the Abraham Lincoln Conspiracy trial. After the war, Major-General Hancock ran for President of the US and was narrowly defeated by James Garfield in 1880.

Monday, October 12, 2009

More from Prairie Grove Battlefield

On Sunday afternoon I met with the Sons of Confederate Veterans at Prairie Grove, one of the many groups that meet at the park. Groups like these help the park with projects and events. With their help we are working to preserve heritage and history.

I toured the one mile walking trail with a group of German foreign exchange students and saw where the heaviest fighting occurred during the Battle of Prairie Grove.

We also met with the Master Gardeners, a group of volunteers who help keep the park looking beautiful. The Battlefield Park has many different groups that help tell what happened here on December 7th, 1862.
The Battle of Prairie Grove covered about 2,875 acres of ground with battle formations that stretched over two miles from east to west along the ridge and valley. Today Prairie Grove Battlefield preserves 840 acres including land where some of the heaviest fighting took place.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Touring Prairie Grove Battlefield

“While visiting Prairie Grove Battlefield today, I was able to take advantage of the daily house tours offered by the park. During my tour I was actually able to go inside several of the houses and buildings located on the park grounds, and I learned what life was like for civilians during the Civil War. I was amazed by how difficult life was back then!

We began at the Morrow House, where I saw the one room log cabin John and Mariah Morrow lived in when they first came to Arkansas in 1834. This one room served as a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and dining room for the Morrows until they finally expanded the house around 1855. Originally located south of the battlefield, the house’s parlor served as a conference room for Confederate General Hindman and his generals before the battle.

Moving on to the Latta House, I learned that the Latta family came most of the way to Arkansas by flatboat because there were so few roads in those days. Even when the Civil War began, Arkansas was still considered a frontier, and there were still very few roads. This made it very difficult for the armies to move around, too.

My guide ended the tour by telling me about the guerrilla warfare in northwest Arkansas and its effect on the civilians. I learned that guerrillas were actually men who organized in their own small groups rather than joining the army and who frequently attacked civilians. They were especially bad in this area because of the different opinions held by the people here. During the war, the people of northwest Arkansas were usually one of two types of people, unionists or secessionists. Unionists were people who supported the Union rather than the Confederacy, while secessionists were people who supported the Confederacy. Northwest Arkansas was unusual because of the large number of unionists who lived here during the war. Since these unionists had opposite views from their secessionist neighbors they frequently fought each other. This type of fighting was especially hard on the civilians and added to their burden. As my tour ended I had a new understanding of how hard the Civil War was not only on soldiers but on civilians as well.”

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Today, October 8th I toured Hindman Hall Visitor Center and Battlefield Museum, with the Rayburn family from Tennessee. I learned about the different types of Artillery that was here during the Battle of Prairie Grove, December 7, 1862.

The Battle of Prairie Grove was the last time two armies of almost equal strength faced each other for control of northwest Arkansas. When the Confederate Army of the Trans-Mississippi withdrew from the bloody ground on the night of December 7th, it was clear Missouri and northwest Arkansas would remain under Federal protection.

Artillery at Battle Prairie Grove
10-pounder Parrot Rifle: US (10): CS (0) - Range: 1900 yards or 1.1 miles
3-inch Ordnance Rifle: US (8): CS (0) - Range: 1850 yards or 1.1 miles
14-pounder James Rifle: US (8): CS (0) - Range: 1850 yards or 1.1 miles
Type 1 James Rifle (6-pounder smoothbores modified with James’ rifling system): US (0): CS (2) -Range: 1700 yards or 1 mile
6-pounder smoothbore gun: US (8): CS (13) - Range: 1523 yards or .8 miles
Confederate 2.25-inch Mountain Rifle: US (0): CS (up to 4) - Range: 1100 yards or .6 miles
12-pounder Field Howitzer: US (8): CS (8) - Range: 1072 yards or .6 miles
12-pounder Mountain Howitzer: US (12): CS (3) - Range: 1005 yards or .6 miles

I enjoyed looking at the Rifled and smoothbore projectiles with Danita the office manager.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Visiting Jacksonport State Park

Today the part interpreters gave me a run through of the different things that are offered at Jacksonport State Park for visitors. As many of you have noticed through my other blogs, there are several things including the Confederate monument, cannon, and commemorative signs available to look at in the courtyard.

The courthouse has several exhibits covering the whole history of the Jacksonport; however, there are parts of the exhibit that relate specifically to the Civil War. The Courthouse which visitors are able to pay a small admission and go through has a direct connection to the Civil War. This is that even though taxes were levied in 1861 and funds to begin construction of the Courthouse were raised, construction was put on hold until 1869. The courthouse wasn’t completed until December 24, 1872. The reason for this delay was during the Civil War local citizens many of whom were fighting for the Confederacy far from home were without adequate means to live.

Their families in Jacksonport were also going through tough times. The money originally set aside for the construction of the courthouse was actually used to help feed and clothe the volunteers who join the Confederacy and their families.

Besides visiting the courthouse, Confederate monument, and cannon in the courtyard, visitors have other ways to learn about the Civil War history at Jacksonport. The park interpreters offer a variety of regularly scheduled interpretive programs relating to the Civil war. A few of these programs are Weapons of the Civil War, Tools of the Civil War, Flags of the Confederacy, and a Mr. William E. Bevens programs.

The “Weapons of the Civil War” let visitors see and learn about the weapons that were used in the Civil War. Some of these weapons include reproduction 1862 Richmond musket, a Colt 1861 Navy pistol or 1858 Remington Pistol, a Civil War saber, a bayonet, and a Confederate D Guard Bowie Knife. On some occasions, interpreters will not only demonstrate how one fired the guns, but will actually fire them. Hearing the musket fired was really cool, although it did startle me some. Below is a picture with me and some of the weapons discussed during these programs.

The” Tools of the Civil war” program is similar to the weapons program but different because more than just the weapons are discussed during this program The interpreters show and discuss several different items that soldiers used during the Civil War. Some of these items include the uniforms, haversacks, bed rolls, sewing kits, tin mess plates, tin cups, canteens, lanterns, and civil war money just to name a few.
The “Flags of the Confederacy” program shows the different flags used by the Confederacy. The 3 national confederate flags are shown and discussed as well as the Confederate Battle Flag and the Bonnie blue flag. The interpreter, who told me about the Bonnie blue flag, explained that during the Civil War a song was written about the flag to encourage people to join the Confederacy. The song was written by Harry Macarthy. I really enjoyed it, when the interpreter asked us to sing the song with him. It was a lot of fun. The program also explained how the Flags of the Confederacy have influenced some of our state flags as well. Arkansas, Alabama, and Mississippi are just a few of the flags influenced by the Confederate flag. Check out my picture below with the Bonnie Blue flag.

The last program I was told about that the interpreters do here at Jacksonport is the Mr. William E. Bevens. Mr. Bevens as I mention in a past blog was a member of the Jackson Guards who wrote his accounts of the Civil War to help raise money for the Confederate monument that now sits at Jacksonport. A costume interpreter portrays himself as William E. Bevens. He discusses the Civil War from Mr. Bevens reminisces. Although I was not able to see the whole program, the interpreter did give me an example of this program. From what I saw Mr. Bevens was a very interesting person and I really wished I had more time to learn about him.
Overall I really enjoyed my experience here. Seeing the exhibits, monuments, and some of the interpretive programs really made me want to learn more about the Civil War’s affect on Jacksonport Arkansas. It is a shame that I was not able to catch all the programs, but I am excited to know I will be heading to some where new and learn more about the history of the Civil War and the effect it has on our present, and our future. Saying good bye to my friends here at Jacksonport is hard, but I am excited at the possibility of making new friends at other parks.
Farewell to Interpreters Donna Bentley, and Brian Whitson, and all my other friends at Jacksonport State Park.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Today I learned about the Union occupation of Jacksonport. In May of 1862, The Union army moved down from Batesville and set up Camp Tucker on the west bank of the mouth of the Black River. At one time there were 5,429 Union soldiers in camp here. Having control of the White river would proved an advantage for both Confederate and Union armies. The Union army camped a little above Jacksonport where the black river meets the White.

Having the Union army so close to a town with strong Confederate support would be viewed as negative by the local Citizens. Part of this negative view stem from a lack of money. Besides the fact that many of the citizens saw the Union as the enemy, having them there proved stressful on their money. This was because many people were using Confederate money as shown in the picture below. This type of script would be completely useless with the Union control over Jacksonport.

Dr. Charles Brackett a Union solider wrote his experiences during this time in his Journal. Dr. Brackett explains that a local resident Mary Todd Caldwell, the one who presented the Jackson Guards with their Confederate regimental flag, “glorifies in being a rebel”. He went on to explain “Mrs. Caldwell wished she had the power to kill every Officer in the Union army, and ole Abe especially.”
Mrs. Caldwell has her own account of Union occupation in 1862. She says that the Dutch Yankees who occupied her house,” went into her room and dangled her cloths and made fun of them. She further explains that they took all we had and insulted our women folk.
Even with the tension between the Union solders and the local citizens, the Union occupied Jacksonport until June, when the Confederates recaptured Jacksonport. The only paper to be printed in Jacksonport was printed when the Union occupied Jacksonport. Paper became very difficult to come by during the Civil War, which caused for a lack of newspapers being printed. The Union printed the newspaper “stars and Stripes” on December 8, 1862. Due to the shortage of paper, this newspaper was printed on wall paper. Jacksonport is the second location that the” Stars and Stripes “was printed at. It was first printed in Bloomfield, Missouri on November 9, 1861. The “Stars and Stripes continues to be published today. Soldiers today in Iraq and Afghanistan still read the “Stars and Stripes”.
I really enjoyed learning about what life was like for the citizens of Jacksonport during the Union’s occupation. It is surprising to learn that a newspaper that was written in Jacksonport during the Civil War is still being published today.