Monthly Archives: April 2012

Record visitation at Ft. Sumter

This year’s levels may even surpass those of last year, which was the 150th anniversary.

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Filed under Civil War, Museums and Historic Sites


I’m both surprised and pleased to inform you that the folks at Civil War Talk have picked Past in the Present as one of the best ACW-related blogs of 2012.  Click here to read the complete list of honorees.  It’s pretty nifty to be included in a list of such fantastic websites.  Thanks, guys!

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Filed under Civil War, History on the Web

Flash forward, Ft. Sanders edition

Here’s some more virtual time travel.  This is Fort Sanders on the western outskirts of Knoxville, TN.  It was the site of a failed Confederate attack in November 1863, but I think the photo is from 1864.

Library of Congress (LC-B811- 4008)

Now the site of the fort is well within the city.  Here’s the same view, give or take a block or two.

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Filed under Appalachian History, Civil War, Tennessee History

Princeton Battlefield Society sues to stop construction

From Planet Princeton:

Opponents of the Institute for Advanced Study’s plan to build faculty housing have filed a lawsuit to block the project, arguing it will destroy the site of Washington’s counter-attack in the Battle of Princeton, the historic battle that changed the course of the American Revolution.

The lawsuit, filed in Mercer County Superior Court by the Princeton Battlefield Society, also claims the project is barred under the terms of a 1992 settlement agreement between the Institute and Princeton Township.

“The development, intended to provide housing for 15 faculty members, will completely obliterate the Battlefield site that has remained untouched for the last 235 years,” said the group’s attorney, Bruce Afran. “The Institute housing plan will destroy what is probably the most significant Revolutionary War site left in the United States, along with critical archaeological and historical evidence.”

The suit alleges that the construction, intended to build housing for 15 Institute faculty members, is barred under the terms of a 1992 settlement that the Institute reached with Princeton Township that was intended to preserve the Battlefield site from future residential development.

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Filed under American Revolution, Historic Preservation

Lots of Americans had Civil War stories

…but not many had stories like this guy’s.

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Filed under Appalachian History, Civil War, Tennessee History

Just right content material!

Spammers everywhere are raving about Past in the Present.  These are just a few of the accolades that got caught in my filter today:

I’ve been browsing online greater than three hours these days, but I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty price sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content material as you did, the web will probably be much more useful than ever before.

Well, in defense of all those other bloggers, it is pretty hard to make just right content material.

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By all means, my good fellow, pay it forward.  And he’s not the only spammer I’ve inspired to pitch in and improve the general lot of humanity:

I kick myself in the but every-time I see blogs as fabulous as this because I should stop surfing and start working on mine

You should.  Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.  And while we’re speaking in Biblical terms, another spambot just wanted to say…

Christ is brilliant

That He is.  That He is.


Filed under History on the Web

The slots of liberty

Perhaps I’m too sensitive, but something about the headline “Pennsylvania’s newest casino opens at Valley Forge” doesn’t sit well with me.  “Casino” and “Valley Forge” are two terms that don’t belong together, sort of like “clown act” and “funeral,” or “Snickers bar” and “roast duck.”

Security guards stationed at the edge of the casino floor watched as Ingrid Walker, 69, of Linwood, Delaware County, slid her access card into an electronic gateway. A green arrow lit to admit her, and Walker, who bought an annual membership at the casino resort, made her way in.

“I think it’s good,” she said of the access restrictions. “It keeps the riffraff out.”

Wouldn’t want anything to disrupt the dignity of the gaming experience, surrounded by middle-aged white women relentlessly cramming bills into jangling light-up machines.

Valley Forge Casino Resort uses a silver “V” logo in ads and on billboards dotting the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-76, and I-95. There’s also a “V” sculpture at its entrance at 1160 First Ave. Management says the logo stands for “victory” – what gamblers aim to achieve at its slots and table games – but it’s also partly a nod to the historic location.

And in case you’d forgotten why it’s historic, the ace reporter provides a helpful refresher.  To quote directly:

Historical accounts say Gen. Washington, with the aid of Prussian military officer Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, unified and standardized the Continental Army when it camped at Valley Forge from December 1777 to June 1778. Their preparation led to the capture of Hessian and British troops at the Battle of Trenton, considered a turning point in the American Revolution.

The Battle of Trenton took place a full year before the winter at Valley Forge, of course, so the Americans evidently managed to get twelve months’ worth of extra fighting experience and then go back in time to use it against their enemies.  No wonder the Hessians were surprised.

“Roads?” Washington reportedly said to his troops as they prepared to cross the Delaware.  “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

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Filed under American Revolution