Chris Calkins, manager of Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park, has received the 2014 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH). He received the award for his dedication to preserving the Civil War battlefield landscape of Virginia.
“The Leadership in History Awards is AASLH’s highest distinction, and the winners represent the best in the field,” said Terry Davis, AASLH president and CEO. “This year, we are pleased to distinguish each recipient’s commitment and innovation to the interpretation of history, as well as their leadership for the future of state and local history.”
Calkins was named the first fulltime manager of the state park in 2008 after serving 34 years with the National Park Service. His career with the NPS included positions at the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and Petersburg National Battlefield.
“Chris is well-respected by his colleagues, by the community and by all those committed to the preservation of Virginia history and American history,” said Craig Seaver, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation interim state parks director. “This award is well-deserved for Chris’ life-long commitment to history, and it reflects how well-respected he is across the country. Chris has been instrumental in helping make Sailor’s Creek Battlefield a more attractive destination for our visitors.”
The Leadership in History Awards Program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation and interpretation of state and local history throughout America. Each nomination is peer-reviewed by AASLH’s state captains. Final awards are decided by the awards committee, comprised of AASLH’s 14 regional representatives and the national awards chair.
Sailor’s Creek Battlefield Historical State Park is the site of the last major Civil War battle in Virginia. The park is located at 6541 Saylers Creek Road, Rice, Virginia, 23966.
The Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium cordially invite you to attend the unveiling of a new State of Michigan historic marker commemorating Hamtramck Stadium on Thursday, August 14, at 3:30 p.m.
The historic marker dedication will take place in Veterans Memorial Park near the monument to Col. Hamtramck on Jos. Campau Street, one block south of Goodson.
Built in 1930, Hamtramck Stadium is a former home of the Negro League Detroit Stars and Detroit Wolves as well as of semi-pro teams like the Detroit Cubs (pictured above). Hamtramck Stadium is one of only a handful of Negro League ballparks still in existence.
In the latest issue of the Civil War Trust's magazine Hallowed Ground, Summer 2014, Vol. 15, No. 2, on the two-page spread that forms the inside table of contents, is a photo of graves in the cemetery at Andersonville. In the very foreground, almost in the fold of the two pages, the most easily made out gravestone is of a Michigan soldier, with the number "1037" on it.
One of the most prominent fears of the soldiers in the Civil War, especially if they were to die in service and away from home, was to be forgotten.
"Edison Conrad" is the name on the marker in the CWT magazine.
According to the Report of the Michigan Andersonville Monument Commission, page 44, under that name, his rank was private in Company G of 8th Michigan Infantry. He is listed as having died on May 12, 1864.
The Record of Service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War for the 8th Infantry, page 33, lists "Conrade, Edson. Enlisted in company G, Eighth Infantry, Aug. 23, 1862, at Fenton, for 3 years, age 23. Mustered Aug. 23, 1862. Taken prisoner at Knoxville, Tenn., Nov. 29, 1863. Died of disease at Andersonville, Ga., May 12, 1864."
The SUVCW and other databases list his unit as the 8th Michigan Cavalry. The National Archives Soldiers database says "Conrad, Edson Battle Unit Name: 8th Regiment, Michigan Infantry Side:Union Company:G Soldier's Rank In:Private Soldier's Rank Out:Private Film Number:M545 ROLL 9"
What else can we add? This blog's author was in Fenton recently. It was a beautiful summer day, and historic downtown Fenton looked marvelous.
What else? November 29, 1863 was a Sunday, three days after Thanksgiving. May 12, 1864 was a Thursday.
Use the two links below to see photos and information on the cannon that has been in Petoskey's Pennsylvania Park since 1905. It was used in combat during three of the most important and famous U.S. Navy battles of the Civil War. Now it is in need of preservation; it is showing its age at 155 years old. As the plaque on the cannon says:
"Forevermore a silent reminder to the rising generations of the glorious deeds of our Navy during the fierce conflict in which the God of Battle watched over our nation and in which this gun effectively spoke for liberty and a untied country."
Now it's our turn to commit to save this national treasure. Please give generously.
With the car czar's birthday having just passed, we turn to historian Brian Egen for this perspective:
"Henry Ford and the Civil War" seems like an odd association – primarily because it wasn’t until the early 20th Century that he put the world on wheels and to which he is most categorically remembered. For those Civil War veterans who lived into the automobile era it is very likely that most of them, who marched and treaded miles during their service, rode and possibly even owned a Ford Model T. With over 15 million of them made and a vehicle relatively affordable for the masses, it became a part of everyday American life.
However, Henry’s connections to the Civil War can be more directly associated than simply creating an automobile that veterans came to know years after the fighting ceased. July 30, 2014 marks the 151st anniversary of Henry Ford’s birth. Born to William and Mary (Litogot) Ford just three weeks after the Battle of Gettysburg in a modest farm house in Dearborn, Michigan, Henry’s parents were all too familiar with the war as it touched them personally.
Henry’s two uncles, John and Barney Litogot, enlisted the previous August in the famed 24th Michigan Infantry. Like countless thousands of Michiganders, these two farm boys were swept up in the conflagration of the Civil War and voluntarily joined to preserve a “more perfect union.” Approximately 90,000 Michigan citizen soldiers would serve during the Civil War -- over 14,000 of them, including John Litogot, would never return home. Having been killed on December 13, 1862 at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Henry’s mother Mary would have mourned the loss of her brother John while she was in the first trimester of pregnancy. Assuredly the family worried for the safety of her remaining brother Barney as news of the Army of the Potomac’s actions came back to Michigan. Such news would eventually reach home just prior to Henry’s birth that Barney was wounded in the arm during the first day’s fight at Gettysburg.
To learn more of the Litogot Brother’s story and to see photographs, please follow this link to The Henry Ford blog written about Henry Ford’s two uncles in the Civil War: Ford Uncles
Are you weary of the Civil War Sesquicentennial? Ready for it to be over? Not sure why any more activity is happening after these several long years of commemoration?
On July 18, 1864, an election year, after the initial losses in the Overland campaign had ensued, President Lincoln issued a proclamation. Did he promise to negotiate with the Confederacy? Did he call a cease-fire, admitting that the war was too costly? Neither. His order called for the loyal states to raise another half-million men to go into uniform and finish the Civil War in victory. He was not alone; his order was in pursuance of an act of Congress of July 4, 1864, giving him this authority. July of 1864 was a key month of decision: go forward, or not.
There were discussions going on about a possible negotiated peace. Jefferson Davis insisted in any negotiation that an outcome must be independence; Lincoln insisted on restoration of the Union, no independence, no dividing up of the nation. Anti-war advocates in the North looked to the Union "as it was" rather than one in which the American adage "all men are created equal and endowed with their Creator with certain inalienable rights" would be brought closer to reality.
Michigan's response to Lincoln's call was a stalwart one. Yours truly will have the honor of making a presentation at Delta College in the Fall on this very topic.
Determination was the Union watchword. Perseverance was the Michigan story.
On July 23, 1872, Elijah J. McCoy patented the first automatic lubricator cup.
The son of former slaves, McCoy was born in Canada in 1843. After studying in Scotland, he returned to Canada as a mechanical engineer. In 1870, he took a job with the Michigan Central Railroad. There, he invented an automatic lubricator cup that eliminated the need for trains to make time-consuming stops to oil the locomotive bearings.
McCoy's device revolutionized the railroad business and brought the term "the real McCoy" into common usage.
Source: Michigan History magazine'
Three Michigan Historical Markers commemorate Mr. McCoy: at Registered Site S 642, erected 1994, at the Ypsilanti District Library, 229 W. Michigan in Ypsilanti; at Registered Site L 362, erected 1975, at Elijah McCoy Drive at Lincoln in Detroit; and at Registered Site L 392, erected 1976, at 4280 East 13 Mile Road in Warren (the Detroit Memorial Park Cemetery).
His move to Michigan retraced the route of the Underground Railroad that served escaping bondspeople like his parents and was a main factor leading to secession and then the Civil War.
PBS's American Experience -- a favorite show -- reminds us that "On July 23, 1885 Ulysses S. Grant died of throat cancer. At his funeral procession, a column of mourners seven miles long accompanied the late president's casket, and approximately 90,000 people from around the world donated over $600,000 to build Grant's Tomb." We are still in the midst of the Sesquicentennial, but taking a moment in silent commemoration of the death of this American hero is certainly timely and appropriate.
Grant died 129 years ago, age 63. But for a certain habit obtained during the war, he likely would have lived to see the new century. His departure from this life was met by an outpouring of mourning in Michigan. Its governor, Russell Alger, was a Civil War veteran. In Detroit, the house he and Julia had lived in was draped in funeral crepe and flowers.