Small stories that don’t warrant full posts of their own:
- Over at Emerging Civil War, Dwight Hughes has a great post up about U.S Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles and his Assistant Secretary, Gustavus Fox, calling them “the dynamic duo of the deep and shallow.” It’s an apt appellation; what they accomplished together, each complimenting the other’s strengths, is remarkable.
- It looks as though the legal fight over the Confederate flag at Sutherlin Mansion in Danville has come to an end. The site was host to Jefferson Davis’ government for several days in April 1865, after he
skedaddled fromevacuated Richmond. The mansion is now home to the Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History, that began pushing to remove the flag displayed on the grounds two years ago. After the city council voted to remove the flag in August 2015, a local group backed by the Virginia Flaggers and other Confederate Heritage™ folks filed a lawsuit in state court, arguing that removal of the flag violated state law. A district court disagreed, the state supreme court declined to hear an appeal of the case this past June, in what the Flaggers called “a small setback.” The plaintiffs asked for a reconsideration by the full court, which has now also been declined. Expect more nuisance flags to be set up by the Flaggers around Danville in the coming months because, unlike swaying public opinion or changing institutional policy, that’s something they’re actually good at.
- I hate to suggest that anything good can come out of something like Hurricane Matthew, but Saturday afternoon center of the storm swept along the North Carolina coast, over Cape Fear and the site of the recently discovered wreck of the blockade runner Agnes E. Fry. It will be interesting to see if the storm scoured the site, exposing more of the wreck than was previously visible. That’s how the wreck of Will o’ the Wisp was located and identified here at Galveston after Hurricane Ike in 2008.
- Hurricane Matthew did expose some Civil War-period artillery ammunition (above) at Folly Beach, South Carolina, near Charleston. Pretty cool.
- Nate Parker’s new film about Nat Turner’s rebellion, Birth of a Nation, was always going to be controversial by virtue of its subject matter. And it didn’t help that Parker had once been tried (and acquitted) for sexually assaulting a student when he was in college, who subsequently committed suicide. But according to reviews by historians collected by my colleague Michael Lynch, the movie is also pretty much crap as far as history goes, too.
- Speaking of the Virginia Flaggers, I have no idea what this meme of theirs is supposed to accomplish. How many of their supporters actually plan on voting for the Clinton/Kaine ticket next month? I’m guessing you could count them on one hand, even after playing with illegal fireworks. The Flaggers like to argue that this person is not a Virginian, or that person is not a Virginian, but it’s worth noting that Tim Kaine was (1) elected to the Richmond City Council, (2) elected mayor of Richmond, (3) elected governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and (4) elected to represent that state in the U.S. Senate. How many of the “real” Virginians among the Flaggers have ever done any of those things, much less all of them?
- And finally, Historians
Got any more? Put ’em in the comments.
Update, October 10: Over at To the Sound of the Guns, Craig Swain offers more thoughts on the shells found at Folly Beach. Some early news reports referred to them as being Confederate munitions, but that ain’t necessarily so:
This site appears to be on the northern end of Folly Island. Several Federal batteries stood in that area, guarding Lighthouse Inlet (and in July 1863, were used to support landings on Morris Island). Archaeological surveys of the area have documented well some of the battery locations (as the gentleman in the video notes, the location was known by locals as a place where fortifications stood). Hopefully this find will add to that knowledge. Given the location, on eroded beach, it appears sufficient effort was made to document that context. Perhaps this will spur further archaeological examinations in the area.