Used Bookstores are my friend.

One can never have too many books. Until a recent promotion I was traveling for work all across the nation. While living in hotels and airports starts to wear on you, finding nice used bookstores in every town or city I visited kept me going. I was fortunate to find quite a few good deals, sometimes picking up regional or local histories that while common in their area I would be hard pressed to find these books in mine.

One of the most interesting bookstores I came across was  in General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee Wisconsin. I purchased 10 civil war books that were very reasonable. Half of these books dealt with the famed Iron Brigade. The store is called Renaissance Books and I recommend them highly. The only problem I had with this transaction was making sure my luggage wasn’t overweight . haha

In Louisville Kentucky I came across a nice store called “A Book By It’s Cover”. Bought 20 books here and shipped them home to avoid any airline excessive weight charges. Here I purchased books that dealt with both Union and Confederate soldiers and units from Kentucky. I am sure this guy is praying I find my way back to Louisville and make another large purchase.

I also dealt with a used bookstore chain in several places called Half Price Books. They usually have great prices as well as a good selection.  I picked “Cutler’s Brigade at Gettysburg” by James McLean for about $10.00 with a coupon. This book has long been out of print and usually sells for over $100.00.

Nothing beats finding a rare book or one you have been looking for since the dawn of time at a great price. Please continue to patronize your local book dealers and say no to ebook readers.  While I appreciate many of the conviences of the digital age, I still love the smell and feel of an old book in my hands.

Published in: on June 6, 2014 at 7:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Library Thing

One problem I have found with collecting books is the trouble managing the collection. Several times I have purchased a book to add to my collection, only to realize I already own it. Someone turned me onto Library Thing, which is a great tool to manage your book collection, as well as see what others are collecting.  The only downside is logging all of the collection into the database. I guess you know what I will be doing all winter. You can check out Library thing at and can load up a certain amount of books for free, though a lifetime membership only cost me $25.00.


Published in: on October 14, 2010 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Kent County, Maryland Confederates

Confederate Names are on the Southern side of the Monument

Confederate Names are on the Southern side of the Monument


  In the beautiful colonial town of Chestertown, Maryland you will find this monument erected in the memory of the brave individuals who fought in the civil war. On the Southern side of the monument are listed the Confederates who served and on the Northern side of the monument are listed the Yankees that served. The monument was erected by Judge James Alfred Pearce, the son of Sentor James A Pearce. The younger Pearce was  2nd Lt in local military units. Unfortunately the Judge, though a Union man left off the 400 Kent Countians of African-American ancestry who served due to the prejudice of the times.    Below are the names of the Kent Countians who served:


Erected by James A. Pearce

June 1917

In commemoration of the Patriotism and valor of a once divided but now reunited Country  To the soldiers of Kent in the Confederate Army1861-1865

Capt Wm I Rasin, McCall M Rasin, Geo T. Hollyday, Sol Wright, Geo W Rolph, Lt H.C. Blackiston (killed Bunker Hill, VA), S.H.Blackiston, Jas A Kennard (killed at 1st Manasses), Thos H Gemmel (killed at Winchester, VA), J Chapman Spencer (killed Greenland Gap), Jas J Spear, DeWitt C Spear, Edwin W Spear, Rev Wm B Everett, Hugh M Wallis, Levi Perkins (killed Winchester, VA), Dr Wm H Lassell, Rev James T Lassell, Samuel J Kelly (wounded at 1st Manasses and died), John H Kennard, Wm T Wallis, H C Wallis, John E Sudler, Fred K Baker, B H Spencer, Geo M Beasten, Luther Handy, Harry McCoy, Robt H McCoy, Medford Hynson, Josiah L Dulaney, Jas S Price (killed Franklin, TN), Henry Willson, Samuel G Gleaves, Wm C Price (killed Appomattoc.VA), Benj C Vickers (killed Shiloh, TN), Ferdinand B Price


“Under the sod, the blue and gray waiting alike for Judgement Day”


Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 5:10 pm  Comments (3)  

Union Army visits Myrtle Grove


Myrtle Grove

Myrtle Grove



During the summer of 1861, the Union Army spent much of it’s time on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Delaware disarming suspected “secesch” militia units and disloyal subjects. One of the places visited by the Yankees was Myrtle Grove.  Myrtle Grove on the Miles River Neck was the home of the prominent Goldsborough and Henry families. While the Union troops were searching for weapons, they heard of  the cannon kept at Myrtle Grove. The cannon had been a gift from Lt John Trippe who was related to the Goldsboroughs by marriage.  Lt. Trippe (1795-1810)   was a hero in the First Barbary War had served aboard the U.S. Vixen which was part of Commodore Preble’s squadron during the Tripoli campaign.  Badly wounded, Trippe was given a sword and a commendation by Congress for his actions. Bringing back the small brass cannon captured from the Barbary Coast Pirates as a trophy he gave it to his relatives in Talbot County. For years this small cannon was used as a lawn ornament by the owners of Myrtle Grove.  Now with Martial Law in effect, the Union Army showed up and siezed the cannon and carted it off to Ft. McHenry. The Republicans could now feel safe that this memento from a Patriotic Marylander was taken away. Years later after many petitions by the Goldsborough and Henry families the cannon was returned.  Local legend states that the family may fire the cannon for Robert E. Lee’s birthday. I don’t know if that ever happened! 🙂

Published in: on July 30, 2009 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Maryland Confederate Mother

I found this amusing incident in “Recollections of a Maryland Confederate Soldier under Johnston, Jackson and Lee” by McHenry Howard.  When McHenry Howard finally arrived home to Baltimore on May 27th 1865 he found a note waiting for him:

“To Mr. McHenry Howard,

  You are hereby notified that you have been this day enrolled by us in the Militia Forces of the United States, in the State of Maryland, under the Act of Congress of July, 1862, in the Third Enrollment  District of Baltimore County corresponding to  the 3rd Election District of said County, and will hold yourself in readiness for any such Military duty as under the Laws and Constitution of the United States may be required of you.”

                                                                                                                                                                                         R.S Williamson  

                                                                                                                                                                                        John S Stitcher

                                                                                                                                                               Enrolling Officers   

                                                                                                                                                                               September the —1862

McHenry found out the story behind the letter. Two men arrived at the Howard house and after talking with a servant insisted on seeing Mrs. Howard. Elizabeth Key Howard was the daughter of Francis Scott Key of the Star Spangled Banner fame as well as the niece of the Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney. Mrs. Howard met the men at the door and they said ” Madam,we are the enrolling officers and we have come to get the names of the male members of your family – Have you a husband or  sons  capable of bearing arms? Mrs.  Howard said ” Yes a husband and six sons.”  “Your husband, what is his name and where is he?”   “Charles Howard  (Charles Howard was the son of John Eager Howard, the hero at the Battle of the Cowpens in the Revolutionary War), he is a prisoner at  Fort Warren ”    “And your eldest son?”  “Frank Key Howard,  he is also in prison with his father.”  “And your next son?”  ” John Eager Howard, he is a Captain in the Confederate Army.”  “And the next?”  “Charles Howard, he is a Major in the Confederate Army.”  “And the next?”  James Howard, he is a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Confederate Army.”  “And the next?”  “Edward Lloyd Howard, he is a surgeon in the Confederate Army.”  During this time the men were becoming flustered and finally said “And your youngest son?”  “McHenry Howard, he is also in the Southern Army and with Stonewall Jackson and I expect  he  will be here soon”  (This was during the Maryland Invasion by Lee and Jackson)  Mrs. Howard proceeds to shut the  door in their faces   and the enrolling officers retired to the sidewalk and wrote the above mentioned note, slid it under the door and left.

Published in: on July 26, 2009 at 6:48 am  Leave a Comment  

Grace the Maryland Confederate



On July 3rd, 1863 the Maryland Confederate Infantry charged the Union lines at Culp’s Hill with their dog named Grace.  This horrific battle would see the Maryland Confederates suffer close to a 50% casualty rate.  Colonel Wallace of the opposing 1st Maryland Eastern Shore Regiment U.S. said ” The 1st Maryland Confederate Regiment met us  and were cut to pieces. We Sorrowfully gathered up many old friends and acquaintances and had them carefully and tenderly cared for.”  Sadly killed in the action was Grace the loyal mascot of the Maryland Confederates.  Union General Thomas Kane said “(S)He licked someone’s hand, they said, after (S)He was perfectly riddled.”    Kane had Grace buried properly “as the only Christian minded being on either side.”

The above picture is a Don Troiani print I own called Band of Brothers. If you look closely to the left center of the picture you will see the gallant Grace urging her men on.

Published in: on July 23, 2009 at 12:49 am  Comments (1)  

“To The Talbot Boys 1861-1865”

 baum 714 020


My post today is about the Confederate monument on the green of the Talbot County Courthouse in Easton, Maryland. The monument was made by the W.H. Mullins Co. in Salem, Ohio with John Segesman being the chief Sculptor.  The monument was dedicated in May of 1916 by the Charles Winder camp of the United Confederate Veterans. Below is a list of the brave boys from Talbot County on the statue  who wore the gray:

Admiral Franklin Buchanan, Brig. Gen Lloyd Tilghman, Brig. Gen Charles S. Winder, Col A.B. Hardcastle, Col. Chas.E. Sears, Capt. Oswald Tilghman, Lt Wm. R Byus, Lt John Leeds Tilghman, Stanley M Byus, Chas. Byus, I. James Blunt, Robt. H Clough, Robert Alex. Dawson, Levin G. Dawson, Robert M. Dawson, Wm. Thomas Ewing, Wm C. Gibson, Fayette Gibson, Edward Gibson, Samuel T. Glenn, Jas. K Harper, Wm. R. Hardcastle, Alex. Rigby Hopkins, Robt. C. Jones, Capt, Jno W. Bennett, Edw. LL. Bracco, Seth Calvert, D. Rich D. Cheezum, Thos. E Cryer, W. Elveno Dickinson,  Chas. H Eckhart, Thos. J. Edgar, Frank M. Fairbank, Solomon Fletcher, Lt. Robert H. Goldsborough, William Grace, Jas. P. Hambleton, Theodore Lockerman, Robert Lee, Maj. A.C.C. Thompson, Benj. F Lane, John N. Lane, William E. Lowe, Wrightson L. Lowe, John N.S. Martin, Wrightson McMahan, Percolus M. Moore, Josiah Noble, Alfred C. Price, James H. Price, Michael Quinn, Geo. Redmond, William S. Winder, Anthony P. Ross, James M. Tharp, Tench F. Tilghman, Richard C. Tilghman, Theophilus Tunis, John O.Tunis, Edwin S. Valliant, George E. Valliant, Chas. T Lloyd, Daniel Lloyd, WM. H. Lyons, Wm. T. Loveday, John W. McDaniel, Augustus Moore, Alexander Murray, Thomas H. Oliver, J.Roussy Plater, Wm. J. Porter, James Reddie, Jos. Ridgaway, Edward Roberts, John K. Shanahan, Louis Slaughter, John R. Thomas, Thos. Rigby Valliant, George Todd, John G. White, Charles N. Willis, Thomas E. Willis.

Confederate Veterans who were residents of Talbot County after the war:

Henry Hollyday, Louis W. Trail, Maj E.W.Stewart, Chas. E Henderson, George Edmunds, Harmon K. George, Burton S. Highley, Chris G. Lynch, John P. Berry, Andrew Wilson, James Bryan.

Published in: on July 19, 2009 at 9:35 pm  Comments (30)  

Maryland Confederate Infantry

  I have been recently studying the contributions that the Maryland Guard of the 53rd Maryland Militia which eventually had most of it’s troops join the Confederacy. The Maryland Guard was a Zouave unit  formed by the elite sons of Baltimore in December 1859. The Maryland Guard was a smart and well dressed unit that was well recieved by the public. McHenry Howard of Company C states..”The French Zouave was the model soldier of that period according to the American ideas and the Maryland Guard uniform was patterned on his“. While the Maryland Guard did it’s best to protect the city during the rioting caused by the  marching of the 6th Massachusetts through Baltimore, the majority of it’s members were staunch secessionists. Many of the Guard felt they would have to face the hordes of Union troops that would coming through Maryland to protect Washington DC.  With Maryland being seized by the Union Army in May of 1861 however, most of the Maryland Guard dispersed and headed South. 

I have found a couple of quotes about the Maryland Confederate Infantry that I believe shows the elan of the Maryland Guard was evident in the Maryland Infantry:

We had a large drum corps, and its quick-step march was unique in that army of 30,000 men around  Manassas that summer. It was a fine sight to see the 1st Maryland Infantry marching with that quick Zouave step by which they were distinguished. It was sturdy body of men, not as tall as the Virginia regiments usually were, but well set up, active and alert and capable of much endurance.”  Randolph McKim

After the battle of Antietam, a Federal prisoner writes of the Soldierly bearing of the Maryland Confederate Infantry:

  “On the road between Sheperdstown and Winchester we fell in with the Maryland Battalion – a meeting I have always remembered with pleasure. They were marching to the front by companies, spaced apart about 300 or 400 feet. We were an ungainly, draggled lot, about as far removed as well could be from any claim to ceremonious courtesy; yet each company, as it passed, gave us the military salute of shouldered arms. They were noticeable, at that early stage in the war, as the only organization we saw that wore the regulation Confederate gray, all the other troops having assumed a sort of revised regulation uniform of homespun butternut – a significant witness, we thought, to the efficacy of the blockade.”  David L Thompson 9th Ny Volunteers Co. G

 I would be interested in hearing from anyone with information on the Maryland Guard or if you feel I can help you regarding the Maryland Guard please leave a way I can contact you.

Published in: on July 18, 2009 at 6:48 pm  Comments (12)  

Private Louis J. Watkins 1st Maryland Cavalry Co.A C.S.A.

I recently had the chance to look over the wartime diary of Louis Watkins, a trooper in Company A of the 1st Maryland Cavalry. This diary is held by the University of Maryland Library. Watkins was a resident of Clarksville, Maryland in Howard County when the war broke out. While Watkins enlisted September 15th, 1862, this diary mostly covers events in the fall of 1864.  Below are several entries in Watkins diary:


A passage written by his brother as it appears in the diary:

In the danger of battle(,) in discease (sp) + all sickness my prayers are for thee. Although we may differ in opinion never for one moment shall the brotherly love I bear for thee change.

remember me  W. B. W……….


A passage dated September 16th shows the anger of the 1st Maryland Cavalry as there is an attempt to consolidate them with Harry Gilmor’s 2nd Maryland Cavalry:

Great excitement prevailed in the 1st MD cav today caused by General Lomax sending a petition to the Hon. Scty of War and approved by Lt General Early for the consolidation of the 1st MD cav with Gilmore’s (sp) battalion of cav with the following officers

Maj Hearry (sp) Gilmore for Colonel,  Capt G.(ustavus) W.(arfield) Dorsey of Co. K for Lt Col  and Capt George M(alcom) Emack of Co B 1st MD for MJR

The 1st MD commanded now by Capt William I Rasin (of Co E) entered a solomon (sp) protest against the consolidation + forward it to his excellancy President Davis. The 1st MD cav has gained for itself an enviable reputation under the skillfull leadership of the late gallant + lamented Lt Col Ridgely Brown and does not wish that name to sullied by connection with the disreputable band commanded by MJR Hearry Gilmore (sp)


And lastly a passage dated October 12th shows how the common soldier endured suffering:

Cav moved over the Massanuton (sp) cupp (?) to Luray thence to Milford. Our command was ordered back to Luray about one oclock at night. We mounted and moved in that direction. The night was bitter cold and the soldiers were poorly clad. No overcoats. We suffert (sp) very much. A great many of the command pulled to the woods built a fire and spent the night.

Published in: on July 13, 2009 at 11:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Edward Rich 1st Maryland Cavalry Co. E

I guess the thing I enjoy most reading about the civil war are the human interest stories. We tend to forget  that most of the soldiers were very young men. Trooper Edward Rich relates this funny story of trickery that happened in his camp:


“Never forget the first meeting with Harry Quinn. Harry walked up to me and said Say Pard, can’t you give an old soldier a pipe full of tobacco? His pipe was an ordinary one, so I reached for my pouch and pulled it out. With a sly twinkle of of his eye, Harry quietly put away his pipe and drew out another with a huge bowl which would hold a quarter of a pound. After emptying my pouch of it’s contents which only half filled his pipe he asked….is that all you got?  Well not quite said I, but that’s all you get!


Edward Rich was from Reistertown, Maryland and would later become an Episcopal Minister.  Rich would write about his civil war experiences and his book was first published in Easton, MD and was called Comrades. Later reprinted by the Neale Publishing company the book was re-titled Comrades Four.

Published in: on July 5, 2009 at 4:04 pm  Comments (2)