New Maps, a little Sesquicentennial Derangement

I’m sort of a map junkie, and I know I’ve mentioned the Civil War Preservation Trust’s online map collection before. If you haven’t lost an hour playing with their animated maps, you’re missing out on one of the finer joys of Civil-War-related time wasting. That’s why I’m so excited to hear that the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park is putting together an interactive map of Fredericksburg. Spotsylvania, Wilderness, and Chancellorsville will come afterward, but this is absolutely fantastic in terms of making the park accessible from my desk.

Friday I swung out to Culpeper’s Remembrance Days for the sole purpose of meeting Brigadier General William “Extra Billy” Smith, as portrayed by David Meisky. Mr. Meisky studied for two years to take on the role of Extra Billy, and seemed to be having a good time of hit. He was even gracious enough to pose with Zille, my Sesquicentennial Emergency Backup Dog:
Zille, a sable German Shepherd, poses sitting next to General Extra Billy Smith, a grey-haired gentleman, clean shaven, who wears a grey-blue frock coat with a double row of buttons, grey trousers, and holds a brown beaver hat on his knee.  He is looking at Zille and smiling, tickled to death to be posing with her.  We will ignore the banner for the Sons of Confederate Veterans in the background.

Saturday Tink and I visited the 28th Massachusetts’s Camp of Instruction at Chatham Manor. The Washington Artillery was there, too, and a lone Revolutionary War re-enactor. He seemed quite pleased that he was the first one I’d ever seen, and I made sure to get his picture.

In actual Sesquicentennial news, the Democratic Presidential Convention of 1860 has been going on since the 23rd of April, and will continue until the 3rd of May. The Northern and Southern Democrats, however, will fail to come to an agreement on a candidate by the time the convention adjourns. The sectional differences in the country are ceasing to be cracks spanned by fragile bridges; John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry last fall burned a lot of the rickety attempts to span the divide. Instead, they’re becoming great, gaping chasms. With lava in the bottom. And possibly balrogs.


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