This is one of those weekends when I truly miss living in Virginia. Right now I would be with my fellow Civil War enthusiasts walking the fields along the Orange Turnpike and thinking about the events that took place 150 years ago this weekend. This is the period of the war that I have always found to be the most interesting and challenging. By 1864 it seems as if the entire nation had become unhinged with no clear answers or road forward discernible. The Wilderness as metaphor works so well in thinking about the totality of the war and the challenge that each of us faces if we have any hope of coming to terms with the legacy of the war in 1864. Continue reading
This photo was taken during the National Day of Prayer ceremony at the Spotsylvania County Judicial Center.
and then you get there and realize it’s just a bunch of guys dressed up as soldiers.
A few years ago I was approached about getting involved in the founding of a new Civil War museum in Spotsylvania County. I was appreciative of the offer, but declined owing to some of the unanswered questions that still lingered. Well, Executive Director Terry Thomann managed to open his museum and even had plans to expand into a 3-story building. The musuem had an attractive website with a number of exhibits scheduled, but this past weekend Thomann decided to close up shop and move to Fredericksburg. Thomann is moving to Fredericksburg not to educate, but to entertain by opening a gift shop: “We have a great book section, lots of interesting historical toys and books for children and many historical gifts that both locals and tourists will love.” Does downtown Fredericksburg really need another gift shop?
Thomann plans on opening a museum in the downtown area, but it is almost impossible to see how he can compete with the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center which is a must see if you are in the area. Before Thomann can do anything it looks like there remains some outstanding lease issues with Spotsylvania County. Continue reading
This weekend the Sons of Confederate Veterans from South Carolina unveiled a monument to McGowan’s brigade on the Spotsylvania battlefield. The monument commemorates the fighting that took place at the “Bloody Angle” on May 12, 1864. New monuments are barred from most battlefields, but the federal legislation creating the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in 1927 permits states to continue to place markers on the field. As of 4/12/09 there were two comments following the article:
1. The McGowan Brigade Monument is a fitting tribute honoring brave soldiers who died in a misguided attempt to subvert the Constitution and attack the United States of America. No one should misinterpret this monument as a tribute to the Confederacy.
2. Thank you for this well writen article. I enjoyed it very much. I realized how far from home our Confederate soldiers traveled in their attempt to preserve our Constitution in their 2nd War for Independence.