Chewy Morsel #2: “Comet” the War Horse by William Blackford, July 18-19, 1861

For horse-lovers, here is a cavalryman traveling through the eastern Panhandle of Virginia, today West Virginia, to Manassas in July, 1861 describing his horse, named “Comet,” during a long trek:
I shared every dust-choked step of famished progress with my horse – a dark mahogany bay, almost brown, with black mane, tail and legs and a small white star on his forehead – great eyes standing out like those of a deer, small delicate muzzle – delicate ears in which you could see the veins, and which were in constant motion with every thought which passed through his mind – small and beautiful feet – and legs as hard as bone itself.

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Chewy Morsel #1 – Where “The Rebel Yell” First Got Yelled by Jim Surkamp

Rare Footage of Civil War Veterans Doing the Rebel Yell.

Whether it was a yell heard in clashes in ancient Scotland or from a Commanche on the Plains, the spine-chilling yell that became known as the “Rebel Yell” – the one that historian Shelby Foote described as “a foxhunt yip mixed up with sort of a banshee squall” – was first ululated around July 18-19, 1861 on a road a little east of Winchester, Va.

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Jefferson County – January 1, 1863 – January 9, 1863 & Then Some


Thursday, January 1, 1863
In his Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln as commander-in-chief and “as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion” declares those enslaved in specified places deemed in rebellion against the United States, – a list that included Jefferson County,- “shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.” This empowered federal authorities to forcibly remove those enslaved in Jefferson County from the properties of those enslaving them.

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Jim Surkamp on R.D. Shepherd’s Clock November, 2015

Given at the invitation and sponsorship of the Historic Shepherdstown Commission


R.D. Shepherd and his Clock by Jim Surkamp. Presented Nov. 7, 2015, Reynolds Hall, Shepherd University

(NOTE: New information warrants a correction in the video version of this presentation: In 1867, when the old Episcopal Church was deeded to become a church for the African American community, the contract included the stipulation that the sale did not include the bell which apparently had not yet been removed from the tower of the old Episcopal Church.

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