Blogs from Virginia, United States, North America


North America » United States » Virginia » Fredericksburg April 17th 2020

BAPTISM OF FIRE Our sixth cousin, four generations removed, was a fellow named Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain from up in Maine. At the beginning of the Civil War Joshua was teaching the German language at Bowdoin College, conducting Sunday school lessons and leading a choir. After First Manassas he got struck with patriotic fervor and enlisted in the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was appointed as lieutenant colonel and made second in command under Colonel Adelbert Ames. When those recalcitrant Maine men got trained up some they marched off to join Dan Butterfield’s Brigade in the Fifth Corps commanded by Joe Hooker. Butterfield is the guy who wrote Taps, he gave his men several other bugle calls distinctive enough to guide them through confusing times. After his failed Peninsular Campaign General George McClellan was removed from ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Winchester April 10th 2020

DANIEL MORGAN Daniel battled his way, kicking and biting, into the cosmos on July 6, 1736. His folks were James Morgan (1702-1782) and Eleanor Lloyd (1706-1748) perhaps living at the time of his birth in North Hampton, NJ. All four of his grandparents were Welsh immigrants living in Pennsylvania. James and Dan were both hardheads, and both were likely wrong most of the time. At the age of 16 Dan got into a row with his dad and left home for good. He went over to Pennsylvania but soon wore out his welcome with the grandparents too. When they tried to send him back home Dan headed for Shenandoah Valley instead. He landed in Winchester, Virginia and made it his home for the rest of his life. He started out clearing land, then working in a ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Doswell April 3rd 2020

SECRETARIAT A horse named Citation won the Triple Crown in 1948, which happened to be the year I was born. There was not another Triple Crown horse for twenty five years. In 1973 Secretariat galloped to a win in the Belmont by a margin of 31 lengths, or half a furlong. No horse before or since has ever run a mile and a half in a better time. The winning ticket in that race only paid $2.20 so very few of them were cashed in. They were kept as souvenirs of a magnificent race. There were only four other horses in the field that day. It was thought to be a two horse race between Secretariat and a horse named Sham. Both horses scorched the first quarter mile and were still about neck to neck at ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Yorktown April 2nd 2020

THE SIEGE OF YORKTOWN America won the Revolutionary War and independence from the Crown of England when General Charles Lord Cornwallis suffered defeat at Yorktown and surrendered the Redcoat army. George Washington commanded the American forces at Yorktown, but would not have even dared to attack there without the generous assistance of the French. We would not have won the war without their help. Cornwallis gathered his army in the late summer of 1781 at Yorktown, near the mouth of the York River where it entered Chesapeake Bay. They were a bit ragged and weary after defeats at Kings Mountain and at the Cowpens in South Carolina, and the pursuit of the combined colonial militia commanded by Nathaniel Green and Daniel Morgan as far as the Dan River in North Carolina. The Redcoats retreated to Hillsboro ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Jamestown April 1st 2020

JAMESTOWN COLONY A hundred years had passed since Spain began to colonize North America. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, The Virgin Queen, Sir Walter Raleigh attempted to establish an English colony called Roanoke in North Carolina. It was protected from the sea behind a string of barrier islands, and was intended to be a base for piracy against Spanish shipping. The colony soon perished through starvation, disease, and massacre by natives. A few may have survived as captives taken inland. Twenty years more had passed before a second attempt at colonization was attempted during the reign of King James. It was organized by a group of private investors calling themselves the Virginia Company and set sail from London in late December of 1606 aboard 3 ships commanded by Captain Newport. At the time the ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia February 27th 2020

I buried myself momentarily in the deep and fascinating history of America's beginning when the new world revolted against the old and bitter conflict ended England's rule over her colony and the United States elected its great general, George Washington as its first President. Some years later the Civil War then took its unrelenting toll on families, friendships, businesses and tore apart one entrenched lifestyle and sought to replace it with another. America's heart and soul are truly buried right here in Virginia and the environs, for here raged the most wrenching of discords between peoples with divergent ideas for building a new country. Contrary to popular thought, that devastating war was not only over slavery but first and foremost, over who would control the country. Slavery was the central part of an economic system that ... read more
Red coats re-enactment
Re-enacted militia
Militia manouvering gun

North America » United States » Virginia » Blacksburg November 9th 2019

I learned an important lesson this weekend about (not) cheering for a team that you don't have a real connection with. This is one of the shortest trips I’ve made all season, in terms of distance as well as time. But I got in a little sightseeing on Friday, on my way up to Virginia. I was also tasked with delivering some brownies (no secret ingredients) to a certain PhD student at Virginia Tech. So it wasn’t just the football game I was interested in. I left on Friday morning, which also happened to be my dad’s 70th birthday. So happy birthday, dad. I did text in the morning as I was leaving, and I called to chat when I got back to my hotel room for the evening, so consider me a dutiful son. The ... read more
PDQ, yummy
the main quad at Wake Forest
Big L all around for Liberty

North America » United States » Virginia October 28th 2019

I’m retired and taking my boat south again. If anyone wants to ride tell me where you want get on and how long you want to ride.... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Galax October 22nd 2019

When life starts to feel suffocating in a small town, you have no choice but to pack up and leave town for a few days. With our daughter starting kindergarten this year and our son in the midst of his second year of preschool, our little family was definitely feeling more than a little stressed and overwhelmed. Add to that the fact that we’re currently living with my in-laws while we renovate a family home, and we were almost begging for a change. While our schedules don’t always allow us to get away for the weekend, I noticed that everyone was free last week. We could have stayed home, slept in late, and enjoyed a lazy few days together but I knew that we needed more. We needed fresh air, creeks, streams, mountains and animals. In ... read more
Dream Rock Silo
Hiking in Grayson Highlands
Hiking in Grayson Highlands

North America » United States » Virginia » Washington September 25th 2019

Day 17 - Lazy day We started the day when I woke I just played on the iPad, because dad had gone to Arlington Cemetery (and saw where J.F.K was buried) and the Air and Space Museum. Zoe woke up an hour later and we got an Uber at 1 to Urban Outfitters and Forever 21. Then we went to Shake Shack, which was delicious, I got crinkle-cut fries and a vanilla shake. At the shops I got a tee shirt and Zoe got a dress. We caught up with dad and went to a nature museum. We then got an Uber to Georgetown and got a yummy dinner calamari/pizza. Ps I’m feeling much better everyone. Thanks for all your messages!... read more
Zoe seeing what she would look like as a Neanderthal
Pick the odd one out
Plastic in the ocean makes me sad

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