History

150 Years Ago This Week: March to the sea, and eloquence misplaced

Alexander Hay Ritchie engraving via U.S. Library of Congress

On Monday, Nov. 14, 1864, Maj. Gen. William Sherman and his 62,000 men were in and around Atlanta, preparing to depart for the Atlantic coast, while the cavalry was already on the move.
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In memorium

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Nov. 13
By Cathie Shiff

150 Years Ago This Week: Lincoln re-elected

150 Years Ago This Week

This week 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln was re-elected president of the United States, with Andrew Johnson of Tennessee as vice president, while the Second Congress of the Confederate States met in Richmond for what was destined to be the last time.
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Letter: But who ratified the Constitution?  

I enjoyed your long article of Oct. 30 about the James Madison vs. James Monroe election for a seat in the United States House of Representatives in 1789. However, the author of the article is in error in twice stating that in Virginia the United States Constitution was ratified in 1788 by the Virginia...
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Down Memory Lane for Nov. 13

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Nov. 13

June 20, 1974 Dr. Jerry Martin and Dr. Werner Krebser plan to open a full-time medical clinic in Rappahannock’s seat in Washington. If their request for a use permit is approved by the Town Council next month, which seems likely, construction on the new building will begin about the middle of July. The doctors hope the...
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The garden club’s long, happy history with holiday greens

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Nov. 6
A recent example of the wreaths produced by Rappahannock County Garden Club volunteers.

How long have people been making wreaths? The history of wreaths goes back far into ancient times, when the first ones were worn on the heads of kings, emperors and military heroes. Hanging them on doors came much later, and the first recorded ones celebrated the harvest, not Christmas. But wreaths were prevalent enough...
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150 Years Ago This Week: A terrible scene at sea

The Australian packet Royal Standard narrowly escaped destruction following a collision with an enormous iceberg off Cape Horn.

As November 1864 unfolded, a wartime election and a vessel's collision with a huge iceberg off South Africa were in the news.
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Down Memory Lane for Nov. 6

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Nov. 6

June 13, 1974 When Pat and Ginger Biggs move into the new “Dutch colonial” house they’re building atop a knoll near Flint Hill, they’ll have no trouble furnishing it. Pat Biggs makes furniture when he’s not busy with his duties as a science and physics teacher at the intermediate school in Front Royal. But now,...
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The most important election . . . that no one knows about

The Hebron Lutheran Church, still standing in Madison County, served as the background for one of the most important (and largely forgotten) elections in American history.

Stiles, for the convenience of churchgoers who arrived by horse or carriage, still stand outside the Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison County, which played a part in one of the most important elections in American history.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The battle of Westport

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At the close of the third week in October, C.S.S. Shenandoah was commissioned into the Confederate States Navy as a commerce raider. In Washington, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation establishing the national holiday of Thanksgiving.
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Down Memory Lane for Oct. 30

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Oct. 30

May 30, 1974 “It’s is my pleasure,” said Lile Sisk as she loaded down a  guest with dilled turnips and carrots and green beans and suggested that some of her carrot cake or black walnut cake, sweet and sour onions, pickled squash, beet wine or damson cordial would be good to try, too. Mrs. Sisk...
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A headmaster looks back at an era of change

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Oct. 23
Bill Dietel answers a question after his talk at the library.

Before a packed audience at the Rappahannock County Library Oct. 10, longtime Rappahannock resident and influential philanthropic consultant Bill Dietel shared stories of how he took one of the foremost independent girls’ schools in the nation from the Eisenhower Era into the Age of Aquarius.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Cedar Creek and St. Albans

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During the third week of October, fighting in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia continued in earnest between the Union forces, commanded by Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan, and the Confederate forces, commanded by Lt. Gen. Jubal Early.
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Down Memory Lane for Oct. 23

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Oct. 23

May 16, 1974 Robert W. Smith of Utica, Mich., and his wife were overnight visitors of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Nethers of Sperryville. The two men were Army buddies in 1945 on Company E., 175th Regiment of the 29th Division. They had not seen each other since mustering out of the Army. They reminisced about days...
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Down Memory Lane for Oct. 16

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Oct. 16

May 9, 1974: Mrs. Alice Verner of Washington has received a 50-year pin as a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. She was initiated into the order in Charleston, W. Va., in March 1924. A member of the Tiskelwah Chapter No. 45, Mrs. Verner graduated from Sperryville High School.
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150 Years Ago This Week: ‘Greater love hath no man’

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Some of Lt. Col. John Mosby’s Rangers attacked a Union train of ambulance wagons on Sept. 23, 1864, near Front Royal, before being driven off by the approach of Union cavalry under Col. Charles Lowell on the road from Luray.
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Amissville of old, brought to life

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Oct. 9
The Spindle House, still sitting quietly at Indian Run Road (Rt. 730) and U.S. 211, was a recruitment point for local men to join the 49th Virginia Infantry early in the Civil War. Later, the house may have been the headquarters of Union Gen. Armstrong Custer’s Michigan Brigade and Cavalry during the summer of 1863. Photo by Cathie Shiff.

It’s easy to think there’s not much to Amissville. Yet once there was a real town which, in 1900, was home to more than 150 people served by four merchant stores, five physicians, a jeweler, a cobbler, two grist mills, a large sawmill and a blacksmith named Jackson.
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150 Years Ago This Week: ‘Hold the fort. We are coming.’

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As October 1864 opened, the significance of the capture of Atlanta by the Federals in September was obvious to both North and South. To the North, it was helpful to Abraham Lincoln’s campaign for re-election; to the South, it was an intolerable incursion.
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The Rapp for Oct. 2

RCHS athletic director Jimmy Swindler promises to give a big kiss to a mule Friday night if enough folks come out to support the volleyball girls’ Dig Pink rally.

Support the volleyball teams’ annual Dig Pink campaigns, learn the history of Amissville, get a glimpse inside SCBI, view Old Rag Gallery’s new tree-inspired photo exhibit and listen to Bill Dietel recount running the nation’s oldest all-girls boarding school in this week’s Rapp column.
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Down Memory Lane for Oct. 2

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Oct. 2

April 25, 1974: Clarence Baldwin, of Washington, has been appointed by Judge Rayner V. Snead to Rappahannock County’s Board of Supervisors. Baldwin will represent Hampton district, filling the seat vacated by J. Newbill Miller.
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150 Years Ago This Week: ‘The Burning’

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In response to Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant’s August orders to eliminate the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as a source of supply to the Confederacy, Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan ordered his men to begin destroying in earnest barns, mills, crops and livestock throughout the Valley.
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Clark Hollow Ramblings: Foddershocks on the Fodderstack

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Sept. 25
Two foddershocks stand in Richard Brady’s garden.

When the grandkids came to visit last week, Richard Brady put them to work — shucking some of the corn to create "foddershocks." What are foddershocks? Don't bother asking Wikipedia; just keep reading.
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Down Memory Lane for Sept. 25

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Sept. 25

April 4, 1974: The old school on Mt. Salem Avenue in Washington is being transformed into a residence “in the Southern tradition,” which, among other things, means installing a soaring portico with six 20-foot high pillars and an elaborate interior redecoration.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Battles at Milford and Luray

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On Sunday, Sept. 18, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early moved a portion of his Confederate force in the Shenandoah Valley from Bunker Hill, W. Va., north to Martinsburg, and drove away Federal cavalry, but returned to Bunker Hill in the evening.
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Down Memory Lane for Sept. 18

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Sept. 18

March 28, 1974: Bomb threats Sunday night and early Monday morning kept several hundred Aileen Inc. employes away from their jobs at Flint Hill. Sheriff John Walker Jenkins and chief deputy Everett Estes checked the plant.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The Great Beefsteak Raid

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In Atlanta, Ga., on Sunday, Sept. 10, Maj. Gen. William Sherman received a wire from Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant in Virginia, urging him to leave Atlanta and begin a new drive against Gen. John Hood’s Confederate Army of Tennessee.
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Photos: Troop movement

Photo by Don Audette

Letter: Sincere sesquicentennial thanks

Sesquicentennial committee members (and weekend participants) included, from left: Ron Frazier, Art Candenquist, Sandra Maskas, Rudy Segaar and Jim Massie. (Missing in action: Sam Foreback and Tim Ayers.)

Thank you all for your wonderful support and help to making this last Rappahannock County Civil War Heritage Days event a success. Despite the heat on Saturday, we had a wonderful parade and “pass-in-review” ceremony in town. Sunday’s skirmish was a lot of fun and the weather was much more cooperative. Throughout the weekend...
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Down Memory Lane for Sept. 11

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Sept. 11

March 21, 1974: Ukrainian Easter eggs will be the center of attention at free demonstrations by Linda Gruber Saturday, April 6 at the Country Store of Washington.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The Battle of Berryville

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At about 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, Union troops commanded by Brig. Gen. George Crook under Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan were moving south from Charles Town, West Va., into Clarke County, Va., to slow or stop the advance of Confederate troops.
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The Rapp for Sept. 4

The cast of “Salt & Pepper” includes (from left) John Lesinski, Mimi Forbes, Gary Grossman, Petrina Huston, Geoff Gowen, Barbara Black and Donna Chabot.

The third sesquicentennial Civil War celebration starts this weekend, “Salt & Pepper” debuts at the RAAC Theatre, new running and walking clubs meet soon, jazz guitarists return to the Theatre, Mullany Art Studios offers two new classes and more in this week’s Rapp column.
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Down Memory Lane for Sept. 4

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Sept. 4

March 7, 1974: James E. Ellmore of Amissville transported the mail from Warrenton to Washington by way of Amissville and back again on Friday for the last time on a regular schedule, one month shy of 26 years.
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150 Years Ago This Week: “Fairly won.”

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On Sunday, Aug. 28, in Charleston Harbor, S.C., the Union forces made an attempt to “shake” the remaining walls of Fort Sumter to pieces by sending a raft loaded with powder across the waters to the fort.
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150 Years Ago This Week: “This administration will not be re-elected.”

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After a fierce bombardment by land batteries, three ironclad monitors and other Union naval vessels on Sunday, Aug. 22, Fort Morgan, the last major Confederate post at the entrance to Mobile Bay, Ala., fell to the Federals.
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Down Memory Lane for Aug. 21

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Aug. 21

Feb. 21, 1974: Angela Dennis was named Sweetheart of 1974 at Rappahannock County High School and a coronation ceremony was held Friday night in conjunction with the Valentine’s Day Sweetheart dance.
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150 Years Ago This Week: The guns of August

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On the high seas of Monday, Aug. 15, the Confederate commerce raider CSS Tallahassee captured six Union merchant schooners off the coast of New England, widening the panic in the North into the far northeastern states.
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Down Memory Lane for Aug. 14

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Aug. 14

Feb. 7, 1974: The Rappahannock Historical Society was reactivated Monday evening with a meeting and election of officers at the courthouse in Washington. New RHS president James F. Massie stated that henceforth meetings will be held three times a year.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Sheridan in the Shenandoah

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Furious at President Abraham Lincoln for his pocket veto of their punitive reconstruction bill, Radical Republicans Rep. Henry Winter Davis of Maryland and Sen. Benjamin Wade of Ohio issued what became known as the Wade-Davis Manifesto on Aug. 7.
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Down Memory Lane for Aug. 7

Jan. 31, 1974: A resolution supporting “Line A” to just widen U.S. 211 through Sperryville, instead of building a bypass, was approved by the Rappahannock-Rapidan Planning District Commission last Thursday.
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150 Years Ago This Week: Battle of Mobile Bay

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Confederates entered Pennsylvania once more, on Saturday, July 30. In the morning, Confederate cavalry under command of Brig. Gen. John McCausland rode into Chambersburg, where he threatened to burn the town to the ground.
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