Emma Louise Nagle of Bethlehem - One of the Last Four Civil War Nurses

Emma Nagle of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is memorable for having lived to become of of the last four women known to have nursed in the Civil War. However she never actually enjoyed this distinction, for neither she not those about her, knew how many or how few such nurses remained. Emma, at ninety-seven, knew only that it had been years since she could recall seeing another who had nursed in the Civil War. In fact, she hadn't seen a Civil War soldier for several years either. Of publicity, she sought little and got little.

Born in Philadelphia to... (click here to read the rest of the story)

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National Park Service Begins Roof Replacement, Masonry Repair At Lincoln Memorial

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National Park Service Begins Roof Replacement, Masonry Repair At Lincoln Memorial
By NPT Staff on January 9th, 2018

An eight-month-long project is under way to make repairs to the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington/NPS

The National Park Service has begun an eight-month project to replace the roofs and repair cracked marble at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial will remain open for the duration of the project, though some areas will be inaccessible.

The flat upper and lower roofs of the memorial were last replaced 20 years ago and are starting to fail. Incoming water is staining the interior walls of the memorial, most noticeably on the southeast wall. A sound roof is one of the most important ways to protect and preserve a historic building, and the new roofs will be constructed with five layers to keep the interior dry and watertight. From interior to exterior, the roofs will be composed of: hollow clay terracotta tile, concrete decking, a hot rubberized asphalt membrane, rigid insulation and slate pavers.  

The project will also repair the white marble at the (click here to read the entire article)

Daughter of a USCT Civil War veteran has died

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Daughter of a USCT Civil War veteran has passed on.
With sadness we report the passing of Maggie Devane, of St. Paul, Minnesota on
Friday, September 12, 2017 at the age of 111. She is survived by her son Gene Devane, three
grandsons, and a niece Doris Bonds. Her husband Junious Devane and a sister Inez Womack
having preceded her in death. Maggie was born on November 17, 1905 to Henry Johnson and
Nannie Bell Montgomery, his third wife. Her father was a former slave from Jackson
Mississippi who fought in the Civil War as a USCT and was discharged in 1865 near Louisville,
KY

Click here for an article about Maggie

 NJ CIVIL WAR FLAGS TO BE UNVEILED DECEMBER 30th AT NJ STATE MUSEUM

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 NJ CIVIL WAR FLAGS TO BE UNVEILED DECEMBER 30th AT THE STATE MUSEUM
A Chance To See More Battle Flags Carried by NJ Troops During The Civil War As Part of Patriots Week Actives in Trenton
   

What:   New Jersey Civil War Flag Exhibition Unveiling and Flag Lecture
Where: NJ State Museum, Main Building, 205 West State St, Trenton, NJ
When:  Saturday, December 30th 2017 at 2:00 PM


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[TRENTON, NJ - December 20, 2017] - New Jersey contributed over 80,000 men to the fight and the New Jersey State Museum has over 100 flags carried by New Jersey's troops in the war in its collection. 

Flags served a simple purpose, it allowed commanders viewing the battlefield to identify regiments as well as a rallying point during combat. They also brought unit esprit de corp, binding the soldiers together, inspiring enthusiasm, devotion with a strong regard for their own regimental colors. All NJ regiments were provided two large flags, one which was the United States National colors and a second flag, a blue state regimental color, having an Federal eagle clutching arrows and olive branch in it's talons, on one side and usually the New Jersey State seal on the other side. All flags were cherished by their units, and vigilantly guarded by a color company within the regiment, it being a high honor to be selected as a member of this detail, as it was based on personal courage and steadiness under fire.  

Five of these historic flags will be unveiled in specially designed exhibit cases in their new exhibit hall at the New Jersey State Museum, located at 205 West State Street in Trenton, at 2:00 PM on Saturday, December 30, 2017.
 
The flags to be unveiled are some of the most distinctive in the collection, and they have not been shown for several years: 
40th New Jersey Infantry National Colors
2nd New Jersey Infantry State Regimental Colors
4th New Jersey Infantry National Colors
2nd New Jersey Cavalry Guidon
A Confederate flag captured by New Jersey troops on May 3, 1863 at the battle of Chancellorsville. The CSA regiment was never identified so the flag stayed within the collection.
New Jersey troops captured well over twenty Confederate flags in battle during the Civil War.  One of them will be included in this exhibit. New Jersey regiments lost six flags which were captured throughout the war. This exhibit will include two of them, from the 2nd and 4th New Jersey Infantry regiments. Those flags were captured at the battle of Gaines' Mill in 1862 and then were recovered after the Civil War.
 
The flagstaff of the 2nd New Jersey Cavalry, also included in this exhibit, was broken by Confederate fire at the battle of Brice's Cross Road, Mississippi, in 1864.
 
Each flag has its own amazing story to tell.
 
Organized by the New Jersey State Museum and the New Jersey Civil War Heritage Association, the unveiling event will feature an educational gallery walk by flag historian Dr. David Martin, author of the award winning New Jersey at Gettysburg Guidebook. Dr. Martin is currently preparing a detailed history of the State's Civil War flags for publication.
 
The gallery is newly installed on the first floor of the main museum building, having been moved from its former location at 225 West State Street last summer. It also features a rotating exhibition including Civil War related photographs, sculptures and related memorabilia, prepared by Nicholas Ciotola, Curator of Cultural History at the New Jersey State Museum, with the aid of members of the New Jersey Civil War Heritage Association.
    
For more information and details about these specific flags
contact David G. Martin at dmartin@peddie.org.

For more information on Trenton's Patriots Week see www.destinationtrenton.com

Holiday Tours at Belle Grove Plantation, Middletown, VA

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Holiday Tours at Belle Grove Plantation, Middletown VA

(December 1-30, 2017)
 

For the 2017 holiday season, there will be tours daily Friday, December 1 - Saturday, December 30 (closed December 24 & 25) in addition to special music and other programs.  Relax after your tour with Belle Grove's own spiced tea and cookies by the Winter Kitchen hearth and find the perfect gift in the Museum Shop. Join us for this family tradition! 

Belle Grove Member: Free, Adults: $12.00, NPS Member: $11.00, Senior Citizens (60 and over): $11.00, AAA Member: $11.00 with card, Military: $11.00 with ID, Students (6-16 years): $6.00, NTHP Member $6.00 with card, Children 5 and younger: Free.  

Belle Grove is located at 336 Belle Grove Rd, Middletown, VA 22645
Call (540) 869-2028 for more information.

Click here for more information

Winter Lectures and Battlefield Book Series at Gettysburg National Military Park

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Winter Lectures and Battlefield Book Series
at Gettysburg National Military Park

 

Winter is a great time to visit and explore Gettysburg National Military Park. On January 6, the park’s winter programs begin. This year Gettysburg National Military Park is offering lectures, a book series, and the popular reading adventures program for children ages 4 to 10 and their families. These free programs run January through March at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

Gettysburg will continue its popular Winter Lecture Series and Battlefield Book Series. Featuring some of the best National Park Service rangers and historians from across the region, the 11-week Winter Lecture Series of hour-long talks will examine pivotal turning points during the American Civil War era. From the Compromise of 1850, the Battle of Stones River, and the Lincoln – Douglas Debates to the legacy of George Meade, these moments and individuals mark significant epochs in the course of the conflict. The Winter Lecture Series is held at 1:30 p.m. on weekends in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center from January 6 through March 10, 2017.

Sat. Jan. 6 - Matt Atkinson
After Gettysburg: The Army of Northern Virginia Tries to Regroup

Sun. Jan. 7 -  Daniel Vermilya
The Battle of Shiloh: Conquer or Perish

Sat. Jan. 13 - Troy Harman
Capt. Johnston's Sunrise Reconnaissance: How Lee and Longstreet Lost the War on July 2, 1863.

Sun. Jan. 14 -  Karlton Smith
USS Monitor: The Ship That Launched a Modern Navy

Sat. Jan. 20  - Jared Frederick, Penn State Altoona
The Unfinished Work: The World Wars at Gettysburg

Sun. Jan. 21 -   Tom Holbrook
If These Things Could Talk: Artifacts in the Collection of Gettysburg National Military Park

Sat. Jan. 27  - Zach Siggins
Breaking the Final Bond: The Presbyterian Church and the Coming of the Civil War

Sun. Jan. 28 - Christopher Gwinn
“A Great Weight at My Heart”: The Army of the Potomac after Gettysburg

Sat. Feb. 3 - Bert Barnett
God Has Granted Us a Happy New Year!” – An Unappreciated Turning Point of 1862: The Battle of Stones River

Sun. Feb. 4 - Angie Atkinson
Cogs in a Different Wheel: Non-combatant Life During the American Civil War

Sat. Feb. 10 - Steve Phan, Civil War Defenses of Washington DC
Early at the Gates: The Battle of Fort Stevens

Sun. Feb. 11 - John Hoptak
"before the fearful and dangerous leap is taken:" The Fateful Compromise of 1850

Sat. Feb. 17 - Daniel Vermilya
The Lincoln - Douglas Debates

Sun. Feb 18 - Karlton Smith and Matt Atkinson
Gettysburg & Vicksburg: "The Confederacy totters to its destruction."

Sat. Feb. 24   - John Heiser
“The movement was south.” General Grant and the Overland Campaign

Sun. Feb. 25  - Dr. Jennifer Murray, University of Virginia - Wise Campus
“God Knows My Conscious Is Clear”: Constructing George Gordon Meade’s Legacy

Sat. March 3  - Troy Harman
After Gettysburg: Religion, Lee's Army, and Southern Culture

Sun. March 4 -  Mark Mahosky, Gettysburg NMP Artist in Residence
Mark Mahosky: 30 Years of Drawing the Gettysburg Battlefield

Sat. March 10 - Bert Barnett
Personal Turning Points – Jefferson Davis and George Thomas.

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Gettysburg Battlefield Book Series

Meeting from 11 a.m. until noon every Saturday from January 6 to March 3 the Gettysburg Battlefield Book Series will examine significant works of history and literature on topics related to the Battle of Gettysburg and the American Civil War. Gettysburg National Military Park invites you to read along over the course of the winter before attending the informal one hour discussions in the Ford Education Center of the park Museum and Visitor Center. Park staff will lead the meetings, providing a brief overview of that week’s topic and discuss the chapters read.

From January 6 to February 3 the Gettysburg Battlefield Book Series will examine our first book, Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee through His Private Letters, by Elizabeth Pryor Brown. This landmark biography sheds new light on every aspect of the complex and contradictory general’s life story. From February 10 to March 3, read along as we delve into Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech that Nobody Knows by Dr. Gabor Boritt. Boritt chronicles the crafting of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, delving into the context behind America’s most famous speech.

Reading the Man: A Portrait of Robert E. Lee Through His Private Letters
by Elizabeth Brown Pryor

January 6 – February 3
Reading the Man
January 6                    Chapter 1-5
January 13                  Chapter 6-10
January 20                  Chapter 11-15
January 27                  Chapter 16-20
February 3                  Chapter 21-26

Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech that Nobody Knows by Gabor Boritt
February 10 – March 3
Gettysburg Gospel
February 10                Chapter 1-2
February 17                Chapter 3-4
February 24                Chapter 5-6
March 3                 A Conversation with Dr. Gabor Boritt

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Summer Internships at Gettysburg National Military Park

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Public Historians Wanted! Summer Internships at Gettysburg National Military Park

by Gettysburg National Military Park

Are you interested in a career with the National Park Service? Do you enjoy talking to people from across the country and around the world? Would you like to share your interest in history and help others appreciate the stories of this park? Gettysburg National Military Park offers public history internships to motivated, enthusiastic individuals who seek to share their talents and gain valuable experience working at one of America’s iconic historic sites.

 

We want you to enjoy your internship and be successful. Interns receive over 40 hours of formal training as well as on-the-job training as part of their internship. Training is in subjects such as: researching, informal interpretation; operating visitor facilities, organizing and presenting effective formal interpretive talks, interpretive techniques, and digital interpretive media. A typical internship in the Division of Interpretation consists of three things. Interns serve as front-line representatives of the National Park Service at Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, greeting visitors, providing park information and conducting informal interpretation. This offers experience in meeting and greeting the public, providing information/orientation to the park and area, as well as an understanding of what it is visitors seek in a visit to the park.

 

Interns are also responsible for researching, preparing and presenting formal interpretive programs and living history demonstrations relating to the Battle of Gettysburg, the American Civil War and the themes evoked by the National Cemetery and President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

 

A third project is often assigned that matches the specific talents and goals of the intern. Previous projects have included interpretive writing, transcriptions of archival materials in the park library, working with the park’s Social Media Team, and creating first person living history programs.

 

Internships are typically offered in the summer months when the park is busiest, and a typical internship lasts 10-12 weeks. Interns work 40 hours each week, and weekend work can be expected. Positions are unpaid, although the park provides free housing and a cost of living stipend. Our interns are in public contact positions and serve as representatives of the National Park Service. Therefore are all interns required to wear a uniform (usually khaki pants and a dark blue shirt). Currently we provide a uniform allowance to cover this cost.

 

To apply for an internship at Gettysburg National Military Park you should submit a resume, cover letter and reference list by December 31. Your resume should include your name, address, email & telephone number, the names of any colleges or universities attended, and a brief synopsis of your work experience. Your cover letter should address why you want an internship at Gettysburg National Military Park, and how it relates to your career goals. Even more importantly, it should demonstrate your writing skills.

Please email your application materials by sending it to: gett_education@nps.gov

You can also mail your application materials, by Dec. 31, 2017 to:
Internship Program
Attention: Barbara J. Sanders
Gettysburg National Military Park
1195 Baltimore Pike Gettysburg, PA 17325

 

If you have further questions please contact Education Specialist, Barbara Sanders by phone at 717-338-4422 or by email gett_education@nps.gov

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THE TOMBSTONE HOUSE, PETERSBURG, VIRGINIA

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THE TOMBSTONE HOUSE, PETERSBURG, VIRGINIA
The Tombstone House in Petersburg, Virginia is a wonderful example of waste not, want not. Or is it waste not, haunt-not? Only the owners would know.  
Though it may look like a typical stone house, its foundation has macabre origins. The building was constructed in 1934 from the bottom half of government-issued marble tombstones that previously topped the graves of Union soldiers in Poplar Lawn Cemetery.
The soldiers all died in the siege of Petersburg, which lasted for nine months at the end of the Civil War. They were eventually buried at Poplar Lawn Cemetery. After their original wooden grave markers rotted away, the government installed upright marble headstones to take their place.
However, during the Great Depression, maintaining the cemetery and the headstones suffered because of scant funding. The city decided to cut the tombstones in half and lay the top halves, which were engraved with the soldiers’ details, on the ground so they no longer stood erect. These makeshift flat graves saved money on mowing and maintenance costs. 
The bottom halves of 2,200 slain tombstones were then sold for the princely sum of $45. Their new owner, Oswald Young, used them to build his house, chimney, and walkway. Must be nice and cool (ghoul?) in the summer, but it may not the most inviting door to knock on during Halloween.

Know Before You Go
Easy access from the Squirrel Level Road Exit 65, off I-85. Go north on Squirrel Level, through the traffic light. Squirrel Level becomes Youngs Road. Tombstone House is the third house on the left, not even a half a mile off the interstate.
Source: Atlas Abscura

Note: The article is incorrect in one respect as the tombstones were taken from Poplar Grove National Cemetery, not Poplar Lawn “Cemetery”. Poplar Lawn is located in Petersburg and is now Central Park. During the siege it was the site of one of the Confederate hospitals and burials from that hospital were at Blandford Church Cemetery. Thanks to Chris Bryce for the clarification. By the way, Poplar Grove National Cemetery had gone under a wonderful restoration project in recent years. It was rededicated in April, 2017 and if you are in the Petersburg area it is well worth a visit.

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Bridge That Witnessed First Shots Of Civil War To Be Stabilized At Manassas National Battlefield

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Pictured above: Stone masons will be making repairs on the historic stone bridge at
Manassas National Battlefield through the rest of the year/NPS

Bridge That Witnessed First Shots Of Civil War To Be Stabilized At Manassas National Battlefield

     Work is underway on nearly $1 million worth of repairs to the historic stone bridge that witnessed the first shots of the first battle of the Civil War. Located within Manassas National Battlefield in Virginia, the bridge will have its stone masonry repaired and the road surface repaved under an $817,000 contract.
     While the work is not expected to be completed before January, the bridge will remain open during most of the work, according to park staff.
     Missing and damaged stones on the exterior of the bridge will be replaced and repaired using techniques employed when the bridge was completed in the 1880s. Additional work includes repairing damage to the center pier caused by years of erosion and replacing the deteriorating cement coating on the underside of the bridge. While some contemporary methods and materials will be used to ensure long-term durability, this work will not change the bridge’s historic look and feel. 
     For one to two weeks in late November and/or early December, the bridge will close while crews replace the surface people walk across. For safety, visitors are reminded to remain cognizant of the construction work and follow any detour or routing directions. The parking area near the bridge will remain open throughout the project.
     During the First Battle of Manassas (Bull Run), Union artillerists positioned east of the bridge fired the opening shots of the battle over the stream crossing on the morning of July 21, 1861. Originally built around 1825, Stone Bridge survived the First Battle of Manassas only to have Confederate forces destroy the span in March 1862. Union army engineers constructed a temporary wooden span over the bridge ruins in 1862, and the Union Army of Virginia used this wooden bridge during the Second Battle of Manassas (Bull Run) in late August 1862. The present-day Stone Bridge was completed in the 1880s on the site of the earlier bridge, and remained open to vehicles until the mid-1920s.
     This important project was funded, in part, through a Virginia Department of Transportation, Transportation Alternatives Program grant.

Below: The bridge was destroyed by Confederation forces in 1862/NPS

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Acting Superintendent named for Gettysburg NMP and Eisenhower NHS

Charles E. “Chuck” Hunt Selected as Acting Superintendent at Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site

Charles E. “Chuck” Hunt has been selected as the acting superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site. He will arrive on October 17 and serve in this position until January 2018.

Hunt currently serves as superintendent of the Chesapeake Bay Office of the National Park Service (NPS) where he leads the agency’s collaboration with partners to provide better access to the Chesapeake and rivers, to conserve important landscapes and resources, to engage youth in stewardship and place-based education, to improve recreational opportunities, and to interpret the natural and cultural heritage of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. He also manages the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and the Star-Spangled Trail as part of his current duties.

"I am very honored to have the opportunity to serve as acting superintendent for Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site for the next few months," said Hunt.  "The stories, landscapes and resources of these two parks have inspired generations."

Hunt brings with him leadership experience in the NPS and as regional director in Western Europe for the American Battle Monuments Commission. In that role, he managed 23 geographically dispersed sites in France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Belgium. Hunt directed all aspects of management including diplomatic affairs, intergovernmental relations, partnerships, budget formulation and execution, personnel management, resource management, interpretation, and special initiatives. Hunt's previous NPS experience includes assignments as superintendent of Fort Davis National Historical Park, management assistant at Big Thicket National Preserve, and special assistant within the Department of the Interior where he engaged in high-level policy and political issues and support to the Clean Water Action Plan.

Gay Vietzke, regional director for the NPS Northeast Region, said, "Chuck Hunt’s experience managing national parks, as well as major partnership and collaborative efforts, makes him particularly well suited for this temporary assignment, especially as we approach next month’s commemoration of the anniversary of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address."

Ed W. Clark, Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site superintendent, is on detail as the acting chief for the Park Planning and Special Studies Division of the Northeast Regional Office.

Gettysburg National Military Park preserves, protects and interprets for this and future generations the resources associated with the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, during the American Civil War, the Soldiers' National Cemetery, and their commemorations. Learn more at www.nps.gov/gett

Eisenhower National Historic Site preserves and interprets the home and farms of the Eisenhower family as a fitting and enduring memorial to the life, work, and times of General Dwight David Eisenhower, 34th president of the United States, and to the events of far-reaching importance that occurred on the property.  Learn more at www.nps.gov/eise

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