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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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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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The United States Postal Service™ began its commemoration of the 150th year anniversary of the Civil War in 2011. A souvenir sheet with two stamp designs has been issued each year, from 2011 to 2015. Under the direction of Art Director Phil Jordan, historical lithographs, paintings, and chromolithographs were selected for the stamp designs.

Here’s a quick snapshot of each year’s commemorative stamps with additional commentary from the Postal Service:

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Larry Hicklen Civil War Store

Q. How would you describe yourself?

A. First and foremost, I would say that I’m an historian. To be great at the hobby of recovering Civil War relics, you have to have a passion for it–researching and discovering all of the nuanced, intricate historical details. I think most everyone in this hobby is an amateur historian in their gut.

I have a passion for Civil War history and I only focus on that time period. My degree is in chemistry; and I liked it at the time, working for both Textron and DuPont for a while. However, there’s a difference between liking what you do and having a passion for what you do.

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The Burnt Hickory Brewery is an outstanding, up-and-coming craft brewery located in Kennesaw, Georgia. Civil War buffs know the area as the location of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, where under the leadership of Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, the Confederates handed General Sherman a tactical defeat on his march to famously leveling Atlanta (or infamously if you’re from the South). In a nod to local history, Burnt Hickory Brewmaster and Owner Scott Hedeen named some of his beers after significant people and places associated with the battle.

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Larry Hicklen

Q. When did you fall in love with this hobby?

A. It started with the Centennial Anniversary of the Civil War. I was 10 years old in 1961, and 14 years of age come 1965. Those are real formative years for a young boy. During the Centennial, the newspaper had a big section every week, and living history presentations were also a big deal. I attended a few of them, and as a 10 to 14 year old, it made quite an impression. Those were the years when I said “you know what, this stuff is cool.”

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Long obsolete among European armies, the pike, lance, and other types of pole-weapons were not widely used during the Civil War. However, that’s not to say they were not part of its history.

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Many relic hunters and collectors have one or more “Ginger Beer” or “Ginger Ale” bottles in their collection. Such bottles are often found in trash pits near Union and Confederate Civil War camps. The bottles were also common Civil War period crockery, often used by civilian home brewers to make homemade Ginger Beer. This also explains why bottles are found in household privy pits, as they were discarded once emptied. So I guess I’m not the first guy to drink a beer while on the toilet?

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The Dalton Civil War show has always been one of our favorite shows to attend. This year was no different. There were well over 400 dealers putting their relics and knowledge on full display for the thousands of attendees to enjoy and learn from. Needless to say, it was a tremendous experience.

This show was particularly special for our new company RelicRecord.com, as this was the first show we’ve attended as an exhibitor. I want to thank everyone who stopped by our table to learn about what we’re building and who we’re building it for. We learned a great deal from our conversations with you and it’s our mission to build a product you’ll enjoy as much as your relics. Now we understand that might be a challenge but we’re going to give it our best shot!

If you’ve already entered our raffle for a chance to win Civil War relics, feel free to share this link with friends: relicrecord.com/show. The entry period will remain open until Saturday, February 21st, 2015.

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