Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tromp Shot 5: Ball's Bluff

Today's Tromp Shot:

Viewed from the muddy foot of Ball's Bluff, the autumnal trees of Harrison's Landing meet a crystal blue sky in the reflective waters of the Potomac River.

Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park (near Leesburg, Virginia)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Jacob's Pen 7, plus Muddy's Return

After sinking in the cesspool of winter, Muddy Boots is ready to climb out and breathe new life.

Upcoming posts include a number of topics, including: overdue eyewitness accounts of Civil War Sesquicentennial events in Harpers Ferry and Charles Town; anniversary hikes at South Mountain, Antietam, and Ball's Bluff; and tromp reports from Brawners Farm, Blackburn's Ford, and Monocacy. Other topics will include touring Carroll County Civil War sites; battlefield witness trees; monuments of peace at Gettysburg; and a review of the Lincoln-Douglas debates-inspired play The Rivalry at Ford's Theater. Of course, we'll continue to post "Jacob's Pen," "Tromp Shots" and "Living Memory" pieces, as well.

Sesquicentennial events for 2010 will focus largely on educating us about pre-war sentiment. How did John Brown's raid propel sectional conflict? Which other events forced us to think more deeply about our convictions? What rhetoric and ideologies helped to push our nation to war? Was it possible to stay neutral in the midst of mounting hostilities? I would imagine a major theme will focus on the political factions vying for the presidency in the election of 1860. How did the campaign unfold in your community? We'll follow all of this and more, with a special focus on Maryland, generally, and Frederick County, specifically.

For now, it's time to catch up with our good friend, Mr. Engelbrecht. On this day, 150 years ago, Jacob's Pen writes:

Harpers Ferry raid - Aaron D. Stevens & Albert Hazlett were last week tried & found "guilty of murder in the first degree" for being engaged in the Harpers Ferry raid, in company with Captain John Brown (Ossawattomie Brown) & others in October last. The sentence was pronounced by Judge Kinney day before yesterday (February 13) and they are both to be hung on Friday March 16 1860 between 10 A.M. & 2 P.M.
- Wednesday February 15, 1860 2 P.M.

Aaron D. Stevens

Albert Hazlett

For a fascinating discussion on John Brown, check out this post by 'sailerd' over at Blog Divided. Included is a link for video of the entire conference on Brown at Yale University last October, featuring historians and authors such as David Blight and Tony Horwitz.

As the snow melts and the days grow longer, many of us are itching to get back on the field. I hope to see you there!

All Engelbrecht photos and diary entries in the "Jacob's Pen" series come directly from The Diary of Jacob Engelbrecht, published by The Historical Society of Frederick County, Inc.