Never Forget

Let me begin this post by saying that I’m not a Civil War “buff”. It was a part of this country’s history, which I accept, but I have been to only one battlefield in my life and don’t feel the need to visit more.

While I appreciate that this has been the 150th anniversary of a major turning point in this war, I feel that all other battles have been overshadowed, as if the rest of the battles which were part of this war don’t matter. I have therefore endeavoured to make sure that the others aren’t forgotten, despite the fact that the Battle of Antietam as well as the Battle of Fredericksburg both occurred 15years ago.

While this list I found reflects the casualties of each battle, if we are honest, a greater portion of those casualties were, in fact, deaths due to the poorer medical treatments of the day. Additionally, at both the Battle of Fort Henry & Fort Donnelson (TN) as well as the Battle of Vicksburg (MS), there were thousands who were taken prisoner and we have no way of knowing how well they were treated.

These, then, are the casualties* of each battle of the American Civil War:

Fort Sumter (SC) – 15
First Bull Run (VA) – 4,878
Fort Henry & Fort Donelson (TN) – 4,832
Hampton Roads (Monitor vs Merrimac) – 265+
Shiloh (TN) – 24,647
Shenandoah Valley (TN) – 10,000
Seven Days Near Richmond (VA) – 35,990
Second Bull Run (VA) – 26,051
Antietam (MD) – 22,539
Perryville (KY) – 6,841
Fredericksburg (VA) – 17,900
Chancellorsville (VA) – 29,800
Gettysburg (PA) – 51,000
Vicksburg (MS) – 18,000
Chickamauga (GA) – 34,624
Chattanooga (TN) – 12,400
The Wilderness (VA) – 28,000+
Spotsylvania (VA) – 27,500
Cold Harbor (VA) – 16,000
Atlanta (GA) – 66,600
Sherman’s March to the Sea – 3,100+
Petersburg (VA) – 70,000
Appomattox (VA) – 9,512

For those who haven’t the time for math, that gives us a grand total of 520,176. Half a million people. Of course that’s just a drop in the bucket for a country whose 1860 Census recorded a total US population of 31,443,321, yet each of these lives lost – either directly on the battlefield or soon after – should not be forgotten. We should honor all battlefield anniversaries, or none at all. Singling out one because it’s got all the bells and whistles people want now, is like singling out a favourite child. It’s wrong. Every man there was fighting for a cause he believed in and should be honored for his courage to stand up for what he believed in.

* All casualties of each battle reflect a combination of both Confederate and Union casualties.


Gettysburg, PA: The Devil’s Den

Devils Den, Gettysburg, PA (c1909)

Devils Den, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (c1909) – Location of intensive fighting on Day 2 (July 2, 1863) of the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War.
Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress Archives.

I’ve been to the Gettysburg battlefield in Pennsylvania twice (so far) in my lifetime. Once in 1999 with my family and again in 2005 with my old, college roommates at my insistence. Both times, I’ve really enjoyed myself there. The historical significance of the Gettysburg Battlefield alone is really inspiring. And, of course, the ample graveyards and ghost stories really made me feel at home.

You have to spend at least a day in Gettysburg. The battlefield is so extensive it takes a whole day to do a self guided car tour– if you see everything from Iverson’s Pits, the Roundtops, the Devil’s Den, the Triangular Field, and Culp’s Hill (among other places). The visitor centers, cemeteries, and museums are really engaging too. Probably the most notable thing about this battlefield is the documentation of the battle and the National Park’s efforts to restore the battlefield to how it looked those three fateful days in 1863. In the years since I’ve been to Gettysburg, they’ve removed trees where there were none and planted trees and orchards where they once stood. Something about the atmosphere and the terrible amounts of men who met their untimely demise on the field of battle in Gettysburg calls to the dead– though the official park stance on the paranormal is that they have no stance on the paranormal.
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Fort Mifflin


I’m one of the people who fall into the category of People/Ghosts Haunt the Place of Their Death or A Place Important in Their Lives. Therefore, I do not believe cemeteries are haunted.  If people/ghosts haunt places of death, it stands to reason that a battlefield or other military installation would be high on the list of ‘most haunted’ places on Earth by sheer volume of potential individual entities lingering. So much pain and suffering, not only by those whose lives were abruptly ended in the name of something greater, but also those left behind.
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Endview Plantation


After watching Larry the Cable Guy make a complete ass of himself on a recent episode of Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy titled ‘America After Dark’ by joining a paranormal investigation of a Virginia plantation, I decided to find and share the story behind the plantation visited.

Enter Endview Plantation, built in 1769, which began life as Harwood Plantation, built by William Harwood. Built in the Georgian style of architecture, the house sits on what was once the Great Warwick Road (now Virginia State Route 238) which connected the colonial capital of Williamsburg to the town of Hampton. The house sits atop a small knoll with a spring at the base and is surrounded by prime farm land. The abundance of fresh game and water attracted local Native American tribes (Powhatan Confederation) for 1,200 years prior to the settlement at Jamestown.

During the Revolutionary War, Endview was a resting place for General Thomas Nelson, Jr‘s troops heading for Yorktown. Though we don’t know what use it had during the War of 1812, there is evidence the home was put to military use again then. During the Peninsula Campaign of the Civil War, the plantation was used as a hospital, being owned at the time by Dr Humphrey Harwood Curtis, Jr, one of two doctors in the area.

Today, Endview Plantation is owned by the City of Newport News and is home to “The Civil War at Endview: A Living History Museum”. Military reenactments also take place on the property, including those honouring the 225th anniversary of the Seige of Yorktown.

Paranormal enthusiasts believe that the plantation house is haunted by General Magruder. A woman, believed to be Dr Curtis’ wife Mariah, has also been seen crossing the road toward the house during the reenactments. The curtains in a former nursery open on their own after being closed for the night and a fireplace mantle in one downstairs room has carvings on it from the wounded soldiers which gives people an uneasy feeling when they get too close. And of course the plantation graveyard is full of activity as well.



Endview Plantation (Wikipedia)
Endview Plantation
Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourist Alliance
Stories Behind VA’s Haunts

Halloween Book List


If you’re in an area of the country where a fire place is well used, beginning in October, and you love to read, then this list is for you. We’ve compiled a list of books that we think you might enjoy on those cold winter nights when mysterious scratching noises can be heard. Some are personal favourites and some are classics that are newly discovered.

  1. The Haunted House by Charles Dickens
  2. The Ghost That Haunted Itself by Jan Andrew Henderson
  3. The Phantom Rickshaw and Other Ghost Stories by Rudyard Kipling
  4. The Red Lamp by Mary Roberts Rinehart
  5. Footsteps in the Dark by Georgette Heyer
  6. anything by Edgar Allen Poe
  7. The Ghost that Screamed by Leslie Rule
  8. Coast to Coast Ghost by Leslie Rule
  9. anything by H.P. Lovecraft
  10. A Ghost a Day by Wood Maureen
  11. Phantom Army of the Civil War by Frank Spaeth
  12. all works of M. R. James
  13. all works of Stephen King
  14. The Banishing by Fiona Dodwell
  15. City of Masks by Daniel Hecht

Weird Louisiana: Cemeteries Part 2

Scattered around the cemetery are many monuments to those men who lost their lives in the Civil War. Although the cemetery opened seven years after the War ended, there are plenty of individuals whose families brought them back to New Orleans for internment. Near the Moriarty monument stands a tumulus – a place of burial built into a hillside or earthen mound – dedicated to the Army of Tennessee, Louisiana Division. Atop the hill stands a statue of General Albert Sidney Johnston astride his horse Fire Eater. On a pedestal at ground level at the entrance to the tomb is a Confederate soldier calling the roll of the honoured dead. A total of 48 soldiers are interred within this mound.
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The Meeting (ScoobyFan)

Batesville, MS

There are two things that you need to know about me….The first is that I love the mystery of the paranormal.  I love watching ghost hunting shows, going on ghost tours and reading pretty much anything I can get hold of about the paranormal.  The second thing is when I’m actually confronted with the paranormal, that love dissolves and all that is left behind is fear.  I admit it, I’m a coward, just like Scooby Doo!

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