Monday, August 27, 2012

Civil War in Virginia Exhibit

The Civil War In Virginia exhibit opens today, Monday August 27, 2012.  Five boxes arrived last Tuesday and we spent Thursday putting the panels together.  There are 5 large two sided panels and 10 small pull up banners.  It was like putting large sleeping bags over frames.  Come and see if you can figure out how we did it.  The panel exhibit has ten themes that go beyond the experience of the soldier.   In addition to the panels there are QR codes on several of the panels that will allow visitors to view additional educational videos, 360-degree renderings of Civil War objects and additional content.    

Visitors are encouraged to enter a drawing for the box set The Civil War Experience which contains the following set of books:

Hardtack and Coffee by John D. Billings
Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant by Ulysses S. Grant
Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee by his son Captain Robert E. Lee
From Manassas to Appomattox by James Longstreet

The winner will be drawn September 10th.  Visit and enter as many times as you like.   

We will also have a picture from our local photograph collection of a Confederate Reunion held in Harrisonburg in 1933.  Come and see if you can identify anyone!

We hope to see you soon at the library.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mr. Hotchkiss Rambles Part 3

Part 3

We saw a thunder storm below us, in the Valley, that evening, and looked over the fog, that wound through every nook in the morning. The sun rises here long before it does in the valley. The good housewife assured us that the frosts were often visible below when they had none, and the early vegetables were rarely injured by the “Spring frosts.” What charming summer homes might be found in these elevated regions for the dwellers in the cities and the lowlands of the South; the pure, dry atmosphere, invigorating with its ever breath; the sparkling, lively water; the glorious scenery; the abundance of sport for the angler, the hunter, and the student of nature; the soil, that under the hand of industry, would yield abundantly; and, above all, its nearness to the great lines of travel, (as it is not more than 15 or 20 miles to the Manassas Gap Railroad,) make this an inviting region to those looking for country summer houses. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mr. Hotchkiss Rambles Part 2

Part 2

It was arranged to start a deer, on the Pendleton mountain the next morning, for the benefit of my friend R__, as “no flocks that range the valley free, to slaughter I condemn,” so I took no part in the matter. We were up betimes, and after breakfast rode up to the mountain top, while two boys of our host (manly little fellows, by the way) went to start up the game with a dog. Our hunters waited at the stands for some time, but no deer came to hand, so said good morning to our host and his boys, and followed our guide along the top of the mountain. In passing, I might as well say that we went to look over the domain known as the Waterman Survey,[i] occupying nearly all the north-western end of Rockingham County, and formerly containing 93,000 acres of land, as surveyed by Alexander Herring, in 1795, he being county surveyor at that time. We can form an idea of the size of such a body of land, when we state that the bounding lines stretch about 60 miles, one of them being eleven miles long, in one direction. We found a good bridge path along the top of the mountain, and had a very fine view of the valleys of Pendleton; across the chains of the Alleghenies the view is bounded by Cheat mountain in the distance.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mr. Hotchkiss Rambles Part 1

On Tuesday, August 17, 1858, Jedediah Hotchkiss,[i] a skilled draftsman and geologist on assignment for the Rockingham Register, set out on a tour the northwestern section of Rockingham County. The Hotchkiss letter to the newspaper (and another [ii]) that follows was also appended to The Waterman Lands brochure, published in 1859 by W. H. Ruffner. This brochure advertised the sale of “75,000 acres of Mountain Land in Virginia with an Essay on the Best Uses of Virginia Mountain Land.” Many of the parties cited in this pamphlet and the letters are worthy of a dissertation.