Friendships Gained & Memories Made

Friendships Larry Hicklen

I’m an unabashed, American History enthusiast, and an obsessed collector of Civil War artifacts. To feed my insatiable appetite for history and Civil War relics, I regularly click thru the seemingly endless items offered for sale on online relic shops, visit the few that still operate brick-and-mortar stores, and attend Civil War artifact shows across the country.   Read more

, ,

The Civil War In Vivid Color

Civil War In Color

The Civil War has long been viewed through a black-and-white lens. Photographs taken by the early pioneers of photography; Matthew Brady and Alexander Gardner, have greatly impacted our perception of the war. Soldiers, towns, battlefields and political figures are remembered as ghostly figures, draped in drab shades of grey. I’ve often wondered if the nostalgia we have for this period in history would be any different if those historical moments were captured in color.  

Read more

Toy Soldiers, Prepare for Battle!

Toy Soldiers Prepare Battle

In the predawn hours of an eerily quiet Saturday morning, Robert E. Lee’s Virginians, Indians, and Knights formed a formidable defensive line around the Space Station, manned by several dozen Moon Men. To their immediate front, the enemy lied in wait. Composed of American Colonials and GI’s, Cowboys, British Soldiers, and a platoon of Panzer Tanks, they waited for the signal to attack. The opposing armies would fight for every square inch of the carpeted floor that day. My favorite toy soldiers were the last to fall, dying triumphantly in battle. Read more

What Kids Learn Through Collecting

Kids Collecting

Take a moment to reflect upon your childhood and the things you collected. Chances are you amassed baseball cards, rocks, plastic army men, stuffed animals, fossils, coins, and whatever else that may have captured your imagination during adolescence. I’m reminded of those prized childhood collections nearly every time I enter my oldest daughter’s room and gaze upon her latest organized display of Barbie dolls, plush animals, or Shopkins. She takes great pride and enjoyment in her “show and tell” performances, in which she educates this hopeless lummox on the proper way to accessorize Barbie. Read more

DIY Display Cases – Show Off What You Collect!

Whether you collect civil war artifacts, Indian relics, pocket knives, or anything for that matter, you will soon look for a way to display that collection. It seems an almost universal display choice is the black cardboard Riker case with a glass cover and a cotton or Polyfoam liner. They are widely available, relatively inexpensive, and in most cases, provide adequate protection for your collectibles.

Read more

,

Clark Byers, the Barnyard Rembrandt

Clark Byers

While you might not know the name Clark Byers, there’s a good chance you know his work. The former $3-a-week buttermilk bottler turned sign painter, spent more than three decades crisscrossing 19 states, persuading farmers to let him paint their barns. And persuasion was needed. In exchange for a free paint job, farmers allowed Byers to incorporate advertising slogans into the job. His work, which once covered some 900 barn roofs, helped turn a sleepy tourist attraction into a world famous phenomenon. Read more

,

The Battle of Dead Angle: 153 Years Later

Sam Watkins Dead Angle

“The First and Twenty-seventh Tennessee Regiments will ever remember the battle of “Dead Angle,” which was fought June 27th, on the Kennesaw line, near Marietta, Georgia. It was one of the hottest and longest days of the year, and one of the most desperate and determinedly resisted battles fought during the whole war. Our regiment was stationed on an angel, a little spur of the mountain, or rather promontory of a range of hills, extending far out beyond the main line of battle, and was subject to the enfilading fire of forty pieces of artillery of the Federal batteries. It seemed fun for the guns of the whole Yankee army to play upon this point.” – Sam Watkins, First Tennessee Regiment, “Co. Aytch”

Read more

, ,

Virginia Wine & Civil War Artifacts

Virginia Wine and Civil War Relics

For those of you that follow our blog, it should come as no surprise to you that I’m an unabashed nerd when it comes to Civil War history and artifacts. As such, I would like to dedicate this article to a delightful “nerd moment” that I recently experienced at The Winery at Bull Run. Read more

,

Coin Rings – Fashionable, Historical, and Collectible

Coin Rings

Spending time swiping through an endless stream of Facebook posts typically doesn’t lead one to accomplish anything of great significance. But to every rule, there’s an exception. In this article, Justin Sully of CoinRingsbySully.com, shares how one unsuspecting image sparked a passion for creating beautiful coin rings…   Read more

,

Decoration Day & The Origins Of Memorial Day

Decoration-Day-Memorial-Day

Approximately 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives during the Civil War due to combat, accidents, starvation, and disease. Such carnage led to the creation of the country’s first national cemeteries, beginning in 1862. In the years following the end of hostilities, people in the North and South had begun holding tributes to honor the dead, decorating their graves with flowers and flags.

Read more