Monday, April 23, 2007

Home at last

My spat of idiotic racing over two states has come to an end. Here’s a breakdown of my recent travels.

On Wednesday afternoon, I drove to Virginia. Portsmouth is about seven hours from my house. I spoke at the Civil War Preservation Trust’s annual conference at Portsmouth on Thursday morning and had a great crowd. I left that afternoon and drove to Hanover, Virginia. Thursday evening, I spoke to the Hanover Dragoons Camp of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. The Hanover Dragoons meet at the Historic Slash Church, which served as General Branch’s headquarters during the battle of Hanover Court House.

I slept in on Friday, and then spent a couple of hours in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond before heading to a bookstore in Chapel Hill, and then back home.

Saturday morning found me in Wilkes County, speaking at gravestone dedications for two Confederate soldiers: William Garner of Company F, 37th North Carolina and Hillary Thomas Garner, of Company G, 54th North Carolina. Speaking about William was not easy. He enlisted in September 1861 at the age of 55. He was discharged on December 1, 1861. No reason was given for his discharge, but it most likely had something to do with his age.

Then, it was off to Burnsville, in Yancey County. There, my own SCV camp was conducting a two-day "find your Confederate ancestor" program. I had a chance to talk to many great folks and to get some good information for my upcoming book on the 58th North Carolina Troops. I was back in Yancey on Sunday afternoon for more of the same. After we packed up on Sunday, I and Michael Ledford drove over to a couple of cemeteries. I am working on an article for Confederate Memorial Day and wanted a couple of photographs of Iron Crosses on Confederate gravestones. We discovered that the Iron Cross on the grave of Sgt. Wilson Henry, CO. C, 16th NCT has been STOLEN. This Cross was located in the Gibbs-Proffitt Cemetery. Old timers recall seeing many Iron Crosses on the graves of local Confederates. With the loss of the Cross from Sergeant Hensley’s grave, that leaves only one so-marked grave in all of Yancey County. Removing Iron Crosses from graves is a CRIME!

I then headed back home, and spent last evening watching the program on Sherman on the Hitler (History) Chanel.

Today - back to work on the book on the 58th NCT.

By the way, the above photograph is my family (me, Elizabeth holding Isabella, and Nathaniel) on the front porch of the historic Nu-Ray Inn in Burnsville.

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