“Colonel Woodward did not weigh more than 110 lbs, had long curling hair flowing over his shoulders. His very small legs were stuck in high cavalry boots reaching above his knees; and on which, was an enormous pair of Mexican spurs. He had a cavalry saber that was much too long for him and an army pistol attached to his belt; which contrasted with his size, looked like a small cannon. His grey pantaloons were stuffed in his boot, while a dark grey hunting shirt with a narrow brimmed corduroy slouch hat completed his apparel. All this, with an extremely dust-begrimed face, made a picture ridiculously amusing.”

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We recently attended the American Digger Magazine Civil War Relic Show & Sale, in Mt. Pleasant, SC. While publishers Butch and Anita were busy managing the show and greeting visitors, we were fortunate enough to be entrusted with running their merchandise table. In addition to meeting the many fans of the magazine, we also had the opportunity to see some amazing Civil War relics and American history. Here are a few highlights.

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Civil War Artifacts

After waking up from sweet dreams of finding a CSA (Confederate States of America) plate (buckle or accoutrement), Butch Holcombe set out with his metal detector to explore a site in North Georgia that saw action during the Civil War. It was 1973, a time in which finding Civil War artifacts was much more prevalent than it is today – especially those rare relics that are coveted by collectors both then and now.

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History Christmas Decorations

A few weeks ago, I made my annual pilgrimage to the garage to sift through the boxes and Rubbermaid bins filled to the brim with Christmas decorations from years past. My family and I started unpacking the boxes to decide which ornaments and other knickknacks would make this year’s decorative cut.

As I fumbled through the ornaments, lights, garland, nutcrackers, and other trinkets, I started to wonder if any of the generational hand-me-downs had any collectible value – other than the obvious sentimental value. My curiosity got the best of me, so I did a little digging to learn more about Christmas decorations – their origin, purpose, and overall collectability.

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Civil War Cannonball

On the side of a ravine in Vicksburg, Mississippi, young John Jr. squirmed on the ground with his outstretched arm desperately trying to reach an object buried deep inside the Mississippi soil. Having just dug a 14-inch deep hole with the help of his Brother, Mother, and Father, John Jr. extended his hand and fingertips just enough to make contact with the object. He could see enough; and feel enough, of the object to know that something cool was waiting to be unearthed. Being the kind of mom that she is, Nikki pushed her metal detector to the side, rolled up her sleeves, and helped her sons unearth a piece of Civil War history – a Confederate cannonball from the Siege of Vicksburg (May 18 – July 4, 1863).

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recording family history

Most mornings on the drive into work, I’ll have NPR playing on the radio to catch up on the news or the occasional odd story. On most Friday’s, NPR will play a short segment from StoryCorps. For those of you who have never heard of StoryCorps, it is a U.S. based, non-profit organization whose goal is to record and preserve the oral history of Americans from all walks of life. Usually, it is just two individuals sharing a short conversation about their past or discussing a life changing event. Topics cover a whole range of life events and are always interesting. Check out an example at the bottom of this post.

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On this Labor Day, we revisit the role propaganda posters played in helping America win WWII. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. government realized that the production of war material was going to be crucial to its success in fighting both Japan and Germany.

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Since the time of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), and perhaps before then, soldiers across every continent have spent their idle time converting military accoutrements and implements of war into decorative pieces of art. Common materials used to create such artwork include bone, artillery shells, lead bullets, canteens, and brass shell casings.

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The word “Stonewall” is quite arguably the most recognizable name in American military history. It’s synonymous with that of steadfast leadership, devout obedience, and military prowess.

Gen. Thomas Jonathon Jackson was adored by his troops, trusted by his superiors, respected by his enemies, and still studied by today’s military leaders. His ascent to such acclaim and admiration was born from humble beginnings.

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Tracking Family History

Recently, I took a trip to visit my folks on the family farm in Tennessee. They are just now settling into retirement which I would assume brings on a bit of reflection on the past, family heritage and family future.

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