Friday, April 22, 2011

The Bucktails

The Bucktails Marker  McKean County, PAMcKean County, PA

Marker Text: At the call of Col. Thos. L. Kane, 100 Civil War volunteers assembled here on Apr. 24, 1861, to go to Harrisburg. Tails of buck deer, worn as distinctive insignia, provided the name of the famed 42d Regiment, of which they were the core.

Location: On U.S. Route 6 in front of the McKean County Court House, Smethport, PA. Erected by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 1948.  Two other markers are in front of courthouse, “Smethport” and “McKean County.”

Civil War Monument at McKean Co. Courthouse

Monument to the men who served during the Civil War from this county in front of the McKean County Courthouse.

  In the weeks following the surrender of Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina and with other southern states considering succession. Abraham Lincoln issued a request on April 15, 1861 for 75,000 volunteers to sign up for 90 day enlistments. In communities both north and south, they took action to form military regiments for a fight they knew that was about to happen. This marker in McKean County, Pennsylvania observes the formation of one among hundreds that were to form in the coming months and one of Pennsylvania's most famous Civil War units, called the “The Bucktails.”

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Westover Church

Westover Church Marker No. V-14Charles City County, VA

Marker No. V-14

Marker Text:  A short distance south is Westover Church. It was first built on the James River near Westover House early in the seventeenth century. About 1730 the site was changed and the present building erected. Defaced in the Campaign of 1862, the church was reopened for worship in 1867.

Location: On Virginia Route 5 (John Tyler Memorial Highway), 6.5 miles west of Charles City in front of entrance to the church. Erected by the Virginia Historic Landmarks Commission in 1968.

Westover Parish Church Building (Click to Enlarge)  Since it is Holy Week in the Christian faith, I thought it was a good time for another church related marker. Virginia has a variety of markers related to Colonial churches and later 1800's churches. The Westover Church is one of the oldest Colonial period church buildings originally established when the Church of England was the recognized church in pre-revolutionary America, later to become the Episcopal Church. This is the third similar church in Virginia I have included, the others being St. John's Church in King William County and Little Fork Church in Culpeper County.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

General Thomas Sumter

General Thomas Sumter Marker G-25 VAAlbemarle County, VA

Marker No. G-25

Marker Text: Thomas Sumter was born on 14 Aug. 1734 in this region. Sumter, a member of the Virginia militia during the French and Indian War, moved to South Carolina in 1765. He served as a lieutenant colonel in the Continental Army (1776-1778); in June 1780 he came out of retirement. In Oct. 1780, he became a Brigadier General, and was instrumental in defeating the British in the Carolinas. He served in Congress (1789-1793; 1797-1801) and was an U.S. senator (1801-1810). He died on 1 June 1832. Sumter's name is also associated with the Civil War, because Fort Sumter is named for him.

Location: On Virginia Route 231 (Gordonsville Road), two miles south of Gordonsville, between Lover's Lane (County Road 646) and Klockner Road (State Route 860). Erected by the Department of Historic Resources in 2000.

  As we begin this year's observances of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. April brings us to the attack and surrender of Fort Sumter in South Carolina. I don't have a marker directly related to Fort Sumter. I have never had the opportunity to go to Charleston, South Carolina, but today's marker from Virginia is about the person for which Fort Sumter is named. Thomas Sumter was born in Virginia in the area near this marker in Albemarle County. Apparently the exact location of his birth is lost to history, but it is known to have occurred near here. Some sources give the location of his birth as Hanover County. At the time of his birth in 1734, this location was officially in Goochland County and did not become Albermarle County until 1744. Virginia has many markers, as do other states, about people who were born in Virginia and made their fame and fortune in other states or countries.