Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Odds and Ends, June 2014

That time of the year has arrived once again. I am soon off to the Bay State for my family's annual pilgrimage, meaning that I will be on vacation from the blog for a little while. I plan to fit in some antebellum and Civil War-related sightseeing while I am away and promise to report back upon my return. As always, I will remain active on Facebook and Twitter as much as I can. In the meantime, here are a few odds and ends:

*The Sesquicentennial of Jubal Early's raid on Washington is fast approaching. In that vein, there are a myriad of activities being planned at the federal and local level:
The Monocacy National Battlefield will mark the 150th of the  "Battle that saved Washington" from July 5-13. Activities include "real time" walking tours, living history demonstrations, and a "Remembrance of the Fallen" program. Additional information can be found here
The Civil War Defenses of Washington unit of the National Park Service (NPS) will be commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Ft. Stevens, where President Lincoln himself came under fire. Highlights include walks and lectures, a hike in the nation's capital from Battery Kemble to Ft. Stevens, living history encampments, and a memorial program at Battlefield National Cemetery. See here for a full schedule. This flyer from the NPS lists numerous other commemorative activities in the Washington, DC area.  
One of my favorite local Civil War parks, Ft. Ward Museum & Historic Site, is hosting a "Battle of Fort Stevens Reenactment Weekend." Groups representing Union and Confederate regiments will recreate the engagement at the reconstructed northwest bastion of Ft. Ward, which will serve as a stand-in for Ft. Stevens. More details can be found here, on the museum website.

Modern view of restored portion of Ft. Stevens (courtesy of Wikipedia). The marker in front of the guns commemorates Lincoln's visit to the fort. 

*Readers may recall that I have recently written about the appointment of Lydia T. Atkinson to serve as a teacher at the contraband camp in Langley. (See here and here.) The Friends' Association for the Aid and Elevation of the Freedmen decided to send her to Camp Wadsworth upon finding egregious violations of rules governing labor by school-age children. Last month I discovered that the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College has Atkinson's diary from her time in Northern Virginia. I wrote to obtain copies and just received excepts on Monday. Needless to say, I am ecstatic. Atkinson's words shed some light into life at Camp Wadsworth from summer 1864 through the end of the war. I will be featuring a future post of two on the diary once I have had the opportunity to study and analyze this precious primary resource.

*And last but not least, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July!

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