27 May 2017

As The Low-Hanging Fruit Disappears . . .

George Washington Monument as the Virginia State Capitol - On the radar?
Pat Buchanan asks,
Today, the men we were taught to revere as the great captains, explorers, missionaries and nation-builders are seen by many as part of a racist, imperialist, genocidal enterprise, wicked men who betrayed and eradicated the peace-loving natives who had welcomed them. What they blindly refuse to see is that while its sins are scarlet, as are those of all civilizations, it is the achievements of the West that are unrivaled. The West ended slavery. Christianity and the West gave birth to the idea of inalienable human rights. . . . What happens, one wonders, when these Philistines discover that the seated figure in the statue, right in front of D.C.’s Union Station, is the High Admiral of the Ocean Sea, Christopher Columbus?
More here.

25 May 2017

Political Correctness Shuts Down Civil War Museum


Public Statement from the Board of Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield, Inc.
May 23, 2017:

Excerpts:

The Board of the Friends of Nash Farm Battlefield, Inc. is sad to announce that the museum, located on Nash Farm Battlefield, which was funded and maintained by our group, will close effective June 1, 2017. The main reason is that the current District 2 Commissioner, Dee Clemmons, has requested that ALL Confederate flags be removed from the museum, in addition to the gift shop, in an effort not to offend anyone. For anyone who studies the American Civil War, or War Between the States, they realize there were two parties that fought in this war. We have always prided ourselves with being an unbiased museum that told the entire story of the battles that took place on this property, as well as being a voice of the people in Henry County and Georgia during this time. These stories were told mainly through primary sources, sometimes secondary, but never tertiary sources. To exclude any Confederate flag would mean the historical value has been taken from our exhibits, and a fair interpretation could not be presented to each guest. Confederate flags were on this hallowed ground, as were the Union flags. To remove either of them would be a dishonor.
To date, the museum, in its seven years of operation, has seen visitors from all 50 states and 15 foreign countries. Heritage tourism dollars have added money to the tax base in Henry and Clayton Counties, helping to fund many projects, including roads and schools. Prior to the recession, it was not uncommon to see over 2,000 students in a year; however, the yearly school day now has just shy of 500 students who visit not only the museum, but many different hands on stations to help to engage every student. Never have we had a teacher or student complain about the variety of flags or uniforms being presented in these educational settings. In fact, most teachers applaud our efforts to help them in the classroom. . . . We have worked with the Boy Scouts, Eagles Scouts, the Audubon Society, Master Gardeners, Civil War Trust, and other community groups. Our volunteers have put up split rail fencing, painted, cleared barbed wire, mowed, graded roads, picked up debris, fixed many “broken” things around the property, and so much more. Our mission was to assist Henry County, not only with the historical aspect of the property, but to make this a property the entire community could be proud of. To be honest, majority of the people in District 2 are proud of Nash Farm Battlefield.
I wonder if the Moral Reformer Historian Class is happy about this.

24 May 2017

Self Educated Archeologist Ivor Noël Hume: RIP

“He was a master storyteller making what he found in the dirt come alive for a broad national public.”
I was listening to a relic hunting related podcast recently and, sadly, learned of the passing of Ivor Noël Hume. Hume led a fascinating life and I bought and read his book, A Guide to the Artifacts of Colonial America a few years ago. Hume has fascinated me for several reasons. We have some things in common (though I'm certainly not comparing myself to him when it comes to expertise or accomplishments). He's largely self-educated in the fields of archeology and history and he has an obvious love for artifacts and relics--particularly those from Colonial America.

The news of Hume's death was providential timing for me as I'll be sifting for artifacts at an early 19th historic homesite in the Shenandoah Valley within the next few days. I hope to have something to share on this ongoing project in the near future.

I've had discussions here and elsewhere regarding "formal education." I've also argued there are many, many (and often better), ways one may become knowledgeable in a chosen field. Ivor Hume was a perfect example of that truth. As a recent article about his life and passing noted:
Born and raised in London, Noël Hume had no formal training in archaeology, but he managed to turn his enthusiasm for collecting and identifying objects into a career where his talent and expertise were recognized around the world.
In fact, his "enthusiasm" led to one of the most prestigious positions in the field of history and archeology in the United States. In 1957, he became Williamsburg's Virginia's chief archeologist. As the referenced article notes:

“He artfully combined the analytical mind of a detective, the knowledge of a connoisseur, and the draw of a storyteller.”


You can read more of Hume's amazing life and contributions here and here.

22 May 2017

Offending With Flags

I love Mike Rowe's wit and wisdom and read much of what he writes. He posted some comments and observations recently on his Facebook page which I found quite interesting. Here are a couple excerpts.
Consider the Confederate flag. Many people now insist upon removing that flag from the public square, because the sight of it offends them. And yet, many of those calling for its removal are the same people demanding the right to burn The American Flag wherever it suits them. In other words, they want the right to offend, but they can’t bear to be offended.
And . . .
Consider the administrators in public universities. Somehow, they’ve gotten it into their heads that it’s OK for their students to shout down speakers they don’t like. Overnight it seems, the feelings of the students have become more important than the first amendment rights of anyone who disagrees with them.
Of course, the two topics are related. Just some food for thought. You can read his complete post here. Logic and reason vs. emotions and agendas.

19 May 2017

Relic Hunting Post #155 - Lots of Lead: Part III

Third and final video from a relic hunt on a battlefield on private property here in the Shenandoah Valley. 






17 May 2017

Today's Academic Climate

Today’s academic climate might be described as a mixture of infantilism, kindergarten and totalitarianism. The radicals, draft dodgers and hippies of the 1960s who are now college administrators and professors are responsible for today’s academic climate. The infantilism should not be tolerated, but more important for the future of our nation are the totalitarianism and the hate-America lessons being taught at many of the nation’s colleges. ~ Professor Walter Williams

12 May 2017

Relic Hunting Post #153 - Obsession

Courtesy of Relic Record . . .

9 Warning Signs That Your Civil War Relic Collecting Has Become an Obsession. 

Me: #1 and #6.

#1: The walls in your home have become less visible due to all of the Civil War related items you’ve covered them with.

When you first moved into your home, your walls were painted a beautiful neutral satin color. Now curio cabinets, Riker cases, custom built shelving, and monstrous Mort Kunstler paintings depicting the entire Peninsula Campaign cover every square inch. You’re now debating on what to do with the ceiling.

#6: Friends and family who don’t understand your hobby have disappeared. As a result, the increased isolation has caused you to spend even more time immersed in your collection.

Your closest friends and family have abandoned you. No matter how many times you’ve tried to explain that your Civil War artillery collection has been rendered safe, they still consider you a danger to yourself and society… and your dog Stonewall, Bedford, Ulysses, or General Lee.
 My wife would definitely concur.

10 May 2017

New Old Virginia Diggers Intro

The apps and software available to individuals to express themselves, share knowledge and, in other ways, be creative these days is simply amazing. From blogging, to self-publishing to creating video, anyone with basic PC knowledge and an idea can create professionally. I've recently discovered 3 such products:

1. Wondershare's Filmora for video production and editing.
2. Canva for creating everything from logos to social media icons to posters.
3. Ivipid for creating Hollywood like intros for film projects.

Here's my latest attempt at being creative and using some of this software in producing an intro for my relic hunting/history related videos:





09 May 2017

Relic Hunting Post #152 - Lots of Lead: Part I

These recoveries were made last November from a battlefield on private property, with permission here in the Shenandoah Valley. After Microsoft stopped servicing Windows Movie Maker, it took me several months to finally settle on a new video editor - Filmora.   And I LOVE it. I'm still learning all it's functions, but here's the first production using Filmora video editing software. Too bad it doesn't have a spell check function. LOL.

02 May 2017

Bible Reading Not Allowed in College Classroom?

Mark Holden, a 22-year-old history major, tells me he was ordered to leave a lecture hall after his professor objected to him reading the Bible before the start of the class.
Story here, with audio.

01 May 2017

Relic Hunting Post #151 - Liberty in the Shenandoah Valley

I've recently received permission to explore and metal detect several very historic homesites here in the Shenandoah Valley. On one recent quick survey excursion to one of these sites, I was able to make several interesting discoveries. Below is one of them. It's an 1820 Coronet Head Liberty Large Cent. These American copper coins were minted from 1816 to 1839. When I first recovered it, detail was rather sparse and I could not make out a date through the incrustation that had accumulated through the years it had been in the ground. So I boiled it in some hydrogen peroxide and gently worked it with a soft toothbrush. I then applied some coconut oil and Renaissance wax. She finally came to life and revealed her secrets. The site actually predates the mint of the coin. I hope to do a lot of exploration of this site and write a detailed history of the home and its inhabitants at some point in the future.


26 April 2017

Somethin' I Saw Today: April in the Shenandoah

My morning walk was later than ususal this morning. The sun was already high over the Blue Ridge to the east. We've had 5" of rain since Saturday and there's nothing like April in the Valley after a good rain.

"Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice." ~ Psalm 96:12



25 April 2017

Relic Hunting Post #150 - Confederate Trenches

I've not produced a video for some time. Windows Movie Maker is no longer being updated/serviced by Microsoft. My WMM went buggy and I've not settled on a replacement. As basic as WMM was, it served my purposes well. Anyway, I produced this footage with the free Youtube online video editor. The audio's not the best, but for those that are interested in recovering and preserving relics and artifacts. As always, these items were recovered on private property near Petersburg, Virginia (with permission). All finds were properly catalogued and recorded with photographs and location details for posterity. (I'm aware of the misspelling at end of video ;-) I found it after I produced a follow up video.)





22 April 2017

President Buchanan?

Image source







For some fascinating insight into the history and thoughts of one of the most influential political writers and thinkers of the last 50 years, I'd highly recommend a recent piece about Patrick J. Buchanan appearing in Politico Magazine. I've followed Pat closely since the 1980's and his days on Crossfire. I found this excerpt from the Politico piece particularly interesting:
Buchanan has had plenty of titles over the years, from spokesman to candidate, but his favorite is historian. He cherishes history not just for its drama but for the lessons bequeathed and the parallels he can extract: the seductive appeal of populism, the rising tide of nationalism, the similarities between the current president and the two he worked closely alongside. Above all, Buchanan loves history because, in his mind, it contains our civilizational apex; he treasures the past because he is convinced that his beloved country, these United States, will never again approach the particular kind of glory it held for a middle-class family in the postwar years.
You may read the Politico piece here.