Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dunker Church, yet again.

Dunker Church is one of my favorite places on the battlefield.

It's also a favorite building of many modelers:

This one came by the Visitors Center with it's creator Ron Freese of Greenwood Indiana.

Complete down to the last floorboard and chunk of firewood.

Thanks for sharing such a delightful model Ron.


Autumn comes to the battlefield

Nothing's so certain as change.

Every year I am startled by the suddeness of the transition; one day its Battle Anniversary and were all trooping around in the sweltering heat, the next, Fall is in the air and the leaves have turned.

It's as if summer is so good and so intense here in the valley that it suddenly just wears itself out and collapses into Autumn.

I''m sure this will be another beautiful season on the banks of the Antietam and...

just north of Boonsboro.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Navy guy straightens out the media

Dimitri has a post here that addresses something that irks me.

Often, when the media refer to a warship, of any sort, they refer to it generically as simply...

"a battleship". 

The media exposes its ignorance of all things military frequently, like a few years ago when TIME magazine chose as "person of the year" the U.S. soldier, which is peachy, but when TIME was deluged with letters asking why not the American "sailor", "marine", or "airman
, TIME's response was essentially: "They're the same thing".

As they say,..

Here's a little primer for all of us.

This is a battleship, very big, fast, armored, with independent high-caliber rifled guns in separate turrets.  Named after states.  Here: the U.S.S. Iowa


This is a destroyer.  Destroyers are small, fast,  unarmored, but heavily armed combat ships, they are sleek and trim.  Destroyers are named after naval heroes.

This is the U.S.S. Dehaven, which was my first ship many years ago as a young sailor-boy.

Hey look, it's a schooner!  Schooners are beautiful ships that generally have only one jib style sail per mast.  Schooners, are fast, unarmed, beautiful, and named after anything that strikes their owner's fancy.
I'd name this schooner the "Ooh-la-la!

This is a soldier.  Soldiers are members of the U.S. Army.
Their families love them.  Welcome home Mike!

This is a sailor.  Sailors are members of the U.S. Navy.  Sailors used to act like this a lot.

Boom! goes the baby-boom.

This is a Marine.  He's in the United States Marine Corps.  Marines are always very angry, even though many of them are very nice people.  Don't annoy the Marine.
"I'm looking for things to be angry at!" says the purposefully striding Marine.

And this is a bell-hop:
He gets tips.

I hope that ABC news tunes into my blog and finds it instructive.

For a video I did on naval ships click here.

That is all.


First Paper

This evening I completed my first paper for my first Master's Degree class.
I refrained from using the words "paradigm", "albeit", and "moreover".
Though I did throw in a "furthermore" in memory of my dad.
Thank goodness for spell check, or "spill clerk" as I like to call it.
I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Worth a Thousand Words

                                         1962 or '3

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A hike to the Roulette Farm

Off in the distance is the Roulette Farm, now visible because of the magnificent brush-clearing job done by our friends from Save Historic Antietam Foundation (SHAF).

Follow me to the break in the fence at the Mumma Farm lane.

Just across the lane is the second break and the trail that heads east toward the Roulette Farm lane.  This trail runs north of, and  parallel to, the Sunken Road.

And a very charming trail it is.

Look to the right (south) and you catch a glimpse of the monuments above the Sunken Road.

A left turn brings us to the fence line where SHAF cleared all of that brush.

This has been a fantastic September for a variety of fungi.  Here I demonstrate why a "puffball" has that name, as it explosively sends spores off to insure new generations of progeny.

A glance to the left (west) and the low-lying visitor center comes (barely) into view.

Shift your gaze to the east, and glimpse South Mountain just above Elk Ridge in the foregound.

Straight ahead the Roulette Barn peeks over the ridge...

within shouting distance of the Mumma Farm.

Hey! looks like some work's happening, perfect timing.

Travis mixes up some resin after replacing a rotted timber on one of the historic outbuildings at the Roulette place.

And I hear work going on inside.  Again the timing is fantastic.  Looks like I'll finally get a glimpse inside.

Up the steps to the back porch and Eric from Cultural Resources lets me in for a quick look around.

A surprisingly expansive living room with lots of built-ins typical of houses of the era.

A trip up this narrow and well-trod stairway leads to the second floor and...

side-by-side bedrooms with great southern exposure and a fantastic view of...

the tower as well as the high ground just north of the Sunken Road.  This room  would have been a mighty hazardous perch 146 years ago.

Eric pointed out the cool...

hand-forged nails in the floorboards.

Back downstairs in the kitchen I checked out the bread warmer.

And then it was down to the cellar.

Here's the cellar door, from where William Roulette watched the Sunken Road fight.  Shouting to the Union troops passing in ranks through his farmyard:

"Drive 'em boys, Drive em!  Take anything you want, but Drive 'em!"

They will oblige him on both counts.

Note the hair helping to bond the plaster together on the cellar wall.  Again this is typical to the period.  This house is still very much the one that William Roulette called home.

The side door provides both my exit, and return route to the outbuilding that's being preserved.

I shout goodbye to the guys and hit the trail back to the VC.

This is one of my favorite times of year,  some plants are starting to thin out and others are jungle-lush.

Goldenrod tells me... 

autumn is on the way.

Brilliant berries trailside.

The end of the trail brings me to the handsome Mumma house.

Then its out the drive and back up to the Visitor Center, again just peeking over the high ground.

Thanks for taking this walk with me.  

The days  may be getting shorter, but they're getting better too.

I'll see you again next Sunday.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Back to School, and I don't mean teaching

Dear loyal readers.

Well, here's an interesting development.

I've returned to school in pursuit of a Master's Degree in military history. As a result I'm spending what had been leisure time reading and preparing to write papers. I'm "attending" (that is virtually) American Military University, so the entire experience is online.

The bad news is that I'll only be posting to this blog once a week.

There's a big upside however, which I'll talk about at a later date.

Right now I'm trying to rediscover the rhythm of being a student again.

Wish me luck. I welcome any questions or comments.

Justine, drop me a line.

More later.

Must go read.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Faces from Battle Anniversary

Here are the faces of some of the men of the gun detachment that were firing the cannons at the battlefield this past weekend. They're all State or National Park Rangers from South Mountain State Battlefield and Antietam National Battlefield, and really great guys, each and every one.

Here's a little movie of the detachment in action: