31 August 2007
"Senator Webb, a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran and former Secretary of the Navy [under President Reagan], has deep, personal reasons for his support of the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program. According to the Senator's remarks, one of his ancestors, William Jewell [CSA], 'was wounded in the Battle of Cedar Mountain in Culpeper County, Virginia, wounded again at Antietam and was finally killed in action at Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863.' Senator Webb knows firsthand the importance of preserving these hallowed grounds, not only for future generations to experience, but also for those in search of a direct connection to ancestors who shed their blood in the war to remake America nearly 150 years ago."
If you've not read Webb's book, Born Fighting, I highly recommend it. You will quickly learn why Senator Webb is so passionate about his heritage.
30 August 2007
I had already arranged to spend some time at the Stonewall Jackson House doing some research for my next book, so I headed across the street and was escorted upstairs by Curator Cathy Wright. After going through several stacks of files, I browsed through the gift shop and was pleased to see that SJH is now stocking my book. The Museum of the Confederacy has been carrying the book for some time and its gratifying to know that my book passed both the SJH’s and the MOC’s review processes. I signed the copies they had and purchased some peach jam for my daughter. (Peaches were
I then went to meet a gentleman who is a lifelong native of Lexington in order to explore the great “mystery” alluded to in my previous post. This gentleman is in his 80's and knows Lexington like the back of his hand. I wish I could share more about his connection and what we discovered that evening, but unfortunately, I cannot at this time. I am about to bust! Suffice it to say, that it could be rather “huge” if proven to be true. In order to verify what we suspect, we need the cooperation of a third party and that is taking longer than expected. This particular mystery is connected to another project in which I am currently involved and, once this one issue is cleared up, I’ll be able to share more about that as well.
Hints: The mystery involves the dead. It involves a tragedy. It involves an old judge. It involves a long-hidden secret. Stay tuned.
29 August 2007
"Heritage experiences" trump site history
Well, well ...
According to Weiler and Hall (1992), heritage tourists are motivated “more by a search for heritage experiences than by a detailed interest in factual history.”
"When compared to travelers overall, individuals who travel to heritage and cultural sites (i.e., heritage tourists) are better educated . . ." Full story here.
So what does this mean? The better educated and more affluent you are, the more interested you are in "heritage" compared to "factual history?" Is the writer suggesting that "heritage" has to mean "non-factual?" If so, why are the "better-educated" more likely to be interested in these types of tours and exhibits? Hmmm . . . I'll check my cynicism.
28 August 2007
27 August 2007
On another note, I returned from a great trip to Franklin, Tennessee about 2 AM this morning and will be posting some details about that trip soon.
23 August 2007
20 August 2007
16 August 2007
Why was Richard followed all the way home on Lee-Jackson highway the other night, from
Who are his cohorts? How soon will they be able to reveal their discovery? Or will the truth die with them? Stay tuned, dear reader, stay tuned.
14 August 2007
My trip to
First, an update on the Museum of the Confederacy:
This is not to say that
If the city fathers (and lone mother), along with the Rockbridge County supervisors, fail or refuse to convince the MOC to locate in
I’ll have some more “stuff” about my trip to post soon.
13 August 2007
12 August 2007
11 August 2007
Why weren't these trespassers arrested and made to suffer the same fate? Could big money possibly be the reason? Perhaps I'm uninformed on this incident, but what the heck is the NPS doing about this?
09 August 2007
One of the hosts described a recent trip to the Museum of the Confederacy and Confederate White House and, while enjoying the tour of the White House, inquired of his guide if President Lincoln actually sat at Jefferson Davis’s desk as some accounts have related. The guide assured all gathered that “the gentleman from
The discussion then evolved (or would that be devolved?) into the utterly ridiculous and PC notion of changing the name of the MOC; as some have suggested leaving out any reference to the “Confederacy.” I phoned in and said “Changing the name of the Museum of the Confederacy would make about as much sense as changing the name of the
08 August 2007
Civil War Courier Editor Ed Hooper's article is titled: "Time to stop education's campaign against history " Here are a few excerpts:
"We are seeing generation after generation graduate from our school systems with no knowledge of their past or this nation’s collective history and how it requires participation from its citizenry. We have allowed the history of both the U.S. and the world to be sequestered by race and creed and the unifying story that brought forth one nation from many nationalities is tossed aside and goes untaught for political reasons that are quite incredible to hear. To make matters worse, historical knowledge is not even measured on USDOE tests required for graduation and, sadly, excuses for its absence are beginning to fall silent as it becomes an unquestioned fact of life in public education. The public school systems in many states have stopped offering history and civics to students. Subjects such as the Revolutionary War, the U.S. Civil War, the Jewish Holocaust in World War II are regarded as too complex or too political to teach anymore. My personal favorite from a school system administrator was "We don't have time to teach these subjects."
And . . . "The sad truth is naturalized-immigrants learn more about our system of government and its history in a few night classes, which are usually taught by the same public school teachers, than U.S. students do in 12 years of primary education. If you don’t believe me, go to a swearing-in ceremony of U.S. citizens and simply ask them questions about U.S. civics and history."
Read the full article here.
Once Again Homeschoolers Score High on the ACT Exam
Recently released statistics show the 2006 average ACT composite score for homeschooled students was 22.4, compared to the national average composite of 21.1!
Now homeschoolers have an unbroken record for the last 10 years—since 1996, when testing officials started tracking them—of scoring higher on the ACT than the national average.
For example, the 2005 average ACT composite score for homeschooled students was 22.5, compared to the national average of 20.9.
The 8,075 homeschool graduates who took the ACT in 2005 comprised about 1 percent of all those who took the college entrance exam.
The 1996 ACT results showed that in English, homeschoolers scored 22.5, compared to the national average of 20.3. In math, homeschoolers scored 19.2, compared to the national average of 20.2. In reading, homeschoolers outshone their public school counterparts 24.1 to 21.3. In science, homeschoolers scored 21.9, compared to 21.1.
According to the 1998 ACT High School Profile Report, 2,610 graduating homeschoolers took the ACT and scored an average of 22.8 out of a possible 36 points. This score is slightly higher than the 1997 report released on the results of 1,926 homeschool graduates, which found that homeschoolers maintained an average of 22.5. This is higher than the national average, which was 21.0 in both 1997 and 1998.
In 2004, the 7,858 homeschool students taking the ACT scored an average of 22.6, compared to the national average of 20.9.
Since 1985, research consistently shows that homeschoolers on average do better than the national average on standardized achievement tests for the elementary and secondary grade levels.
This academic success continues through college.
The bottom line is: Homeschooling works!(From HSLDA's Website Here.)
07 August 2007
I've always considered myself, at best, an amateur historian--and still do. That being said, I still felt uncomfortable referring to myself as a "historian." A few months ago there was quite a debate on the CW blogs regarding "amateur vs. professional"historians with many believing that one has to have a PhD to be considered a true professional. Though I can understand this point of view, it would disqualify Shelby Foote, so I don't find that perspective completely credible. Another defining characteristic which has merit is someone who gets paid from their work in history; whether that be teaching, writing, speaking, or some other endeavor.
I like Princeton's definition: simple and to the point. Since I do study and write about history and am an authority--at least in a very narrow field--and since I do get paid (a little), I now officially declare myself a historian, though still an amateur.
06 August 2007
I received the following email from Franklin Springs Family Media (the company working on the documentary based on my book):
"Families from around the nation continue to write us and tell us how much they are looking forward to the release of Still Standing: The Stonewall Jackson Story. We greatly look forward to making the film available to you! The final stages of post production have begun and we are putting the finishing touches on the film. A new trailer will be available soon through our website and we will begin taking pre-orders next month. You can also purchase gift certificates now and redeem them when the film is available for pre-order purchase. Visit our news page and check your inbox for more updates in the coming weeks."
I spoke with Franklin Springs' general manager, Mark Stubblefield, earlier today and they are very excited about this film. An original musical score is being written and recorded by a talented and popular group and the narration has been completed. I will be traveling to Franklin Springs' offices in Tennessee later this month for consultation on the final edit. An October 1 release date is planned and I cannot wait to see the final product. I will post a detailed description of this whole project nearer to the release date.