Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween!!!!!! If you can watch one of the Halloween films and please do not watch Halloween 8! Enjoy your Tricks or Treats!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A quick link

I never heard of this site until I did a random search today. Great page for reviews on current and past Civil War litrature.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Could Lincoln be speaking about the 2008 Election??????????????

Obviously, Lincoln never heard of Obama or McCain but his famous Lyceum Address is one of my favorite speeches and it contains one of my favorite quotes of all-time. Bascially, Lincoln is stating that American cannot be destroyed unless we choose to destroy ourselves. The 2008 election is a key moment in American history because we are at a crossroads of our being. There is a major fork in the road and whereever it takes this country I hope that our voters make the right choice for President. Without further adieu here is what Lincoln had to say in 1837.

"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?-- Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!--All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."

We can only destroy ourselves, lets hope that it isn't because we picked the wrong person for president. In 1860 it didn't seem like we made the right choice as a nation and it turned out okay. History tends to repeat itself....I hope!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Interesting painting of the surrender at Appommatox

Great image.

I also want to congradulate the Oakland Raiders for winning just their 21st game since playing in Super Bowl 37 in Jan. 2003. Oakland beat New York 16-13 in overtime. Brett Farve entered the game with a 4-0 record against the Raiders. As of today he is 4-1, we finally beat that old man. My team has struggled with a 21-65 record since playing on sports biggest stage. Thank god.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My next book

My next Civil War book and possibly my final Civil War read of 2008 will be The Lincoln Murder Conspiracies by William Hanchett. It is an older book from 1983 but most of research is still good. I have read so much about the Lincoln Assassination since 2007 that I figured that I might as well continue reading on it. This book is a unique one because it details the several conspiracy.

Among the accused have been members of the Confederate government, including Jefferson Davis, the Catholic Church and members of Lincoln's own Cabinet. Hanchett examines these conspiracy theories and the people who put forward the theories in an attempt to find out if a higher authority, civil or religious, ordered John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators to kill Lincoln and members of his Cabinet. I cannot wait to dive in!

How Abraham Lincoln ordered his steak

October 19, 2008

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — If we really are what we eat, Abraham Lincoln was rare steak, fruit, coffee and pecan cake.

A new cookbook announced Friday by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield sheds new insight on the 16th president’s diet. Among the tidbits: Lincoln ate heavy meals in winter to keep warm. And skinny Lincoln had a sweet tooth.

‘‘A. Lincoln Cookbook: A Cookbook of Epic Portions’’ includes 623 recipes, including many of the confections Mary Todd Lincoln created in her kitchen. Lincoln museum volunteers also contributed recipes.

The cookbook costs $40 a copy and proceeds benefit the museum’s volunteer services department. It will also be available online at

This is a fascinating fact. is a cool site and it even has a countdown for the Lincoln Bicentential. More later.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A "sore" loser

While imprisoned at Fortress Monroe the former President of the Confederacy wrote his wife a letter. Recently, I was watching C-Span's "Lincoln: 200 Years" series and during that episode author James Swanson mentioned the idea that Jefferson Davis was involved in Lincoln's Assassination. Inspired by this conversation I did not look into Jefferson Davis involvement or lack thereof but I instead looked at the Jefferson Davis Papers which are conveniently online.

Throughout his letter Davis updates his wife on the wars ending and adds his own interesting ending:

"I think my judgement is undisturbed by any pride of opinion or of place, I have prayed to our heavenly Father to give me wisdom and fortitude equal to the demands of the position in which Providence has placed me. I have sacrificed so much for the cause of the Confederacy that I can measure my ability to make any further sacrifice required, and am assured there is but one to which I am not equal, my Wife and my Children. How are they to be saved from degradation or want is now my care. During the suspension of hostilities you may have the best opportunity to go to Missi. and thence either to sail from Mobile for a foreign port or to cross the river and proceed to Texas, as the one or the other may be more practicable. The little sterling you have will be a very scanty store and under other circumstances would not be counted, but if our land can be sold that will secure you from absolute want. For myself it may be that our Enemy will prefer to banish me, it may be that a devoted band of Cavalry will cling to me and that I can force my way across the Missi. and if nothing can be done there which it will be proper to do, then I can go to Mexico and have the world from which to choose a location. Dear Wife this is not the fate to which I invited when the future was rose-colored to us both; but I know you will bear it even better than myself and that of us two I alone will ever look back reproachfully on my past career."

What fascinating statements from a man, on the run, who obviously will spend the rest of his life missing what the Confederacy stood for but no regret the events that transpired. In many ways he wasn't a "sore" loser as many authors have protrayed him to be. He was saddened by the loss of his "lifestyle" which obviously had to go had to go. Slavery and white supremecy was finally appraching its apex and in less than 100 years it would forever be ended. At least in theory.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Manhunt is becoming a movie!

Simon, Fontana Planning Manhunt on HBO
Source: Variety September 16, 2008

"Homicide" collaborators David Simon and Tom Fontana are looking to reunite for an HBO miniseries about the 12-day search for John Wilkes Booth, reports Variety.

The project is an adaptation of James L. Swanson's book "Manhunt," which follows the search for Abraham Lincoln's assassin. The project is in early development, with HBO optioning the novel and Simon and Fontana set to write the screenplay.

Simon and Fontana would serve as executive producers, along with Lawrence Bender, Kevin Brown and Walden Media.

The story will focus on the perspectives of lesser-known historical figures that were connected to the assassination of Lincoln and the subsequent media frenzy and manhunt.


Great link at

At this site Chattanooga-area officials are working to lure tourists to lesser-known Civil War sites over the next few years as the region looks ahead to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, which begins in 2011 and runs for four years.
Check it out. Great stuff.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lee, Jackson and Dr. King day???

Just an interesting article that I cut and pasted fro Wikepedia:

"Lee-Jackson-King Day was a holiday celebrated in the Commonwealth of Virginia from 1984 to 2000.

Robert E. Lee's birthday (January 19, 1807) has been celebrated as a Virginia holiday since 1889. In 1904, the legislature added the birthday of Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (January 21, 1824) to the holiday, and Lee-Jackson Day was born.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan approved an Act of Congress declaring January 15 to be a national holiday in honor of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Since 1978, Virginia had celebrated King's birthday in conjunction with New Year's Day. To align with the federal holiday, the Virginia legislature simply combined King's celebration with the existing Lee-Jackson holiday.

The incongruous nature of the holiday, which simultaneously celebrated the lives of Confederate generals and a civil rights icon, did not escape the notice of Virginia lawmakers. In 2000, Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore proposed splitting Lee-Jackson-King Day into two separate holidays, with Lee-Jackson Day to be celebrated the Friday before what would become Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The measure was approved and the two holidays are now celebrated separately."

I just found this fascinating.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Still waiting

I went to Barnes and Noble on Monroe Street in Toledo Ohio and found nothing. Their Civil War section is very limited and I was unable to find anything worth buying. I have a gift card for Barnes and Noble but I didn't want to waste it on a book that I am not interested in. Hopefully I can find something better at our other Barnes and Noble. As for the one on Monroe Street all I can say is please update your bookshelves. The selection there is really, really lacking.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I'm Back

After several months of planning a wedding and working at my new job I have been extremely busy. If you look at the number of blogs posted between July and October you will notice a lack thereof. But I'm back now and will work hard to get blogs posted ASAP.

Recently I have not read a Civil War book. I read two books on Ted Bundy and have recently been reading about Adolf Hitler because one of my courses focuses on World War II and I wanted to brush up on his life. However, today I am going to Barnes and Noble to find a book that I can read/review and hopefully enjoy. We will see what happens!