The Civil War Trails Lead to Stevenson Ridge

from Chris

All Civil War Trails led to Stevenson Ridge last month.

We were pleased to host a regional meeting of Civil War Trails, Inc. You probably recognize the distinctive Civil War Trails logo on their many roadside signs: a red trumpet with a blue bar and white stars, pointing the way to Civil War sites and wayside displays. “Follow the bugle,” the Trails say.

With more than 1,550 signs in five states—Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West …

 

Burying the Bourbon

from Chris

I come from northwest Pennsylvania, not too far from Punxsutawney, home of the world’s most famous weather-forecasting groundhog, so unusual weather customs are not so strange to me. The South has its own weather-related traditions, of course, including one intended to keep the skies clear and brides and grooms dry on their wedding day: burying the bourbon.

According to legend, if the bride and groom bury a bottle of bourbon upside down at the site of their wedding, …

 

Expectation and Anticipation

from Chris

I always love the sense of possibility I feel when I walk into the Lodge and the room is arranged and the table linens are set for an event. Anything could happen. The event decorations have yet to appear, and people have yet to fill the room–both, in their ways, will transform the space. Right now, though, the room is a fresh, clean slate, waiting to become something special for someone. That in itself makes the room special. …

 

Saving Some Nearby Battlefield

Army of the Potomac commander George Gordon Meade was nearly captured by Confederates on Myer’s Hill. A newspaper artist sketched the incident, “Narrow Escape of Genl Meade.”

from Chris

Our friends at the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust (CVBT) announced some big news recently: they’re saving a key piece of Civil War battlefield at Spotsylvania Courthouse that’s right across the street from Stevenson Ridge.

The property is known as Myer’s Hill, and it saw a lot of action on May 14, …

 

First Blush of Fall

from Chris

The first faint blush of fall has crept into the leaves at the Ridge. We’re getting a few random yellow leaves blowing into the pond from the surrounding forest, but the trees directly around the pond are all still full green—except, that is, for a single small blush of dark crimson. See if you can spot it!

 

 

 

A Civil War-Time Image of Stevenson Ridge

from Chris

I’ve written in the past of two wartime images that show the property that is now Stevenson Ridge. We’ve recently come across a third image that shows the property, and it’s the earliest image of the three.

Sketched on May 10, 1864—the same day that Thomas Greeley Stevenson was killed nearby–the image shows reinforcements from the Federal IX Corps marching down the Fredericksburg Road past the Gayle House toward the front. Artist Joseph Becker captured the scene for …

 

Boots On!

from Chris

It’s been a “boots on” week for me. That’s my version of “game on” or “being ready to rumble.” I own a pair of cowboy boots—something I earned honestly because my daughter’s been a horse owner for a decade and a half—and I get them out when it’s time to get down to business.

This week marked the start of my nineteenth year teaching writing at St. Bonaventure University in western New York. I always wear my boots …

 

First Wedding of October

from Chris (with a special appearance by Elizabeth!)

Preparations have been underway all day for our first wedding of this first weekend of October. While it promises to be a busy few days, it was nice to enjoy the quiet before the storm with a stroll around the property to enjoy the wedding decorations as they came together. At the center of the decor are luscious full chrysanthemums in vibrant magenta, lemon, and rust. And, of course, there are pumpkins …