Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Some Odds and Ends, June 2013

I wanted to let readers know that I will be away from the blog for a couple of weeks. I am not headed to the Gettysburg 150th events -- for better or for worse -- but I do plan to fit in a day of Civil War-related sightseeing with the Colonel (my father-in-law to the uninitiated). I also will stay active on Facebook and Twitter as much as I can, particularly as we head into the Gettysburg Sesquicentennial. In the meantime, here are a few odds and ends:

*As you probably know by now, Google will be discontinuing its popular Google Reader service on July 1. I always thought Reader was the best way to keep track of the multitude of Civil War blogs that interest me. There are several alternatives to Reader, but let me make a plug for Feedly. I switched to this service a couple of months ago. It reminds me a lot of Reader, only Feedly looks a lot prettier. The migration of my subscriptions from Google Reader to Feedly was relatively seamless. The only real downside is that Feedly does not work on Internet Explorer, so users will need to install Chrome, Safari, or Firefox to view feeds on a desktop or laptop. (I use Chrome.) A mobile version (iOS and Android) is also available, meaning that I can read Feedly subscriptions anywhere, anytime on my iPhone.

*The Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable is sponsoring some worthwhile and interesting events this upcoming week in connection with the 150th of the Gettysburg Campaign. On Wednesday, June 26 at 7 p.m., a new Civil War Trails marker will be dedicated to the Edwards Ferry crossing of the Army of the Potomac. My pal and fellow blogger Craig Swain will lead a guided tour of the pontoon bridge sites and related features on Saturday, June 29, starting at 9 a.m. I enjoy Sesquicentennial events that highlight less famous episodes related to the big battles. Everyone's heard of Pickett's Charge, but how many know much about the Army of the Potomac's march across the Potomac at the end of June 1863? I regret that I can't make these events. Hopefully you'll be able to attend. For more information, check out the Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable's web page on the events.

Gen. John Buford awaits the onslaught of tourists for the Sesquicentennial commemoration at Gettysburg.
*According to a recent press release, C-SPAN3's American History TV will be offering extensive coverage of Gettysburg 150-related events in the coming days, both live and pre-recorded. Programming information is available on the C-SPAN3 website. Since I can't attend the Sesqui commemoration, I hope to fit in some time watching the various events during my vacation. At least the Colonel likes the Civil War and probably won't mind if I tune in unless a Red Sox game is on!

*Of course, part of me will surely miss not being on the ground in Gettysburg for the actual 150th. The National Park Service alone has tons of interesting events planned. Then I remember the predicted crowds and gridlock as noted in this article, and I am sort of glad that my Dad and I beat the rush and visited back in May when things were a bit more quiet. (I will have more to say on that trip in a future post.)

*Last, but not least, have a great Fourth of July! And whatever you do, pause to remember the sacrifices at Gettysburg and Vicksburg that helped to pave the way for a stronger Union and freedom for millions.

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