Monthly Archives: November 2007

Information wanted!

I am looking for anecdotes, incidents, amusing unusual tales, and human interest stories related to the First Louisiana Brigade of Harry T. Hays (the Louisiana Tigers) during the Gettysburg Campaign, particularly when they were in York County, PA, but I’ll consider any fresh material. These can be newspaper clippings, diary entries, journal entries, letters home, and other primary sources. These will be considered for future publication on my York County Civil War blog, Cannonball, and for a new manuscript I am working on.


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Civil War naval question?


With the recent publication of the Jack Tar rules for 15mm riverine and coastal wargaming in connection with Johnny Reb 3 and with the recent 1:1200 naval games I have been playing, I have been boning up on my ACW naval history.

Out of curiosity, what river / coastal / naval rules do you prefer, and why? What are your favorite makers of model ships? What scale do you prefer? Do yo use special terrain such as Miniature World Maker’s river mats, or do your simply place a blue cloth or felt down for the water?

Categories: Civil War wargaming, Wargaming in general | Leave a comment

Gettysburg Area Gamers


After an absolutely delightful day of tramping Antietam with long-time SHAF member Tom Shay and battlefield guide and musician extraordinaire Stephen Recker and several other friends and acquaintances, I drove back to Pennsylvania on nearly vacant roads in time to wargame last night at the home of a friend of mine in York, Bob Johnson.

We played a 22mm American Revolution game using vintage Airfix HO scale AWI figures (they brought back memories!). Due to folks being busy with Black Friday and thickening their credit card bills, as well as people being out of town, the only participants were the GM Bob and my opponent, veteran gamer Bill Molyaneaux of the Gettysburg Area Gamers. So, the wargame devolved to the head of the Gettysburg gamers versus the head of the Johnny Reb Gaming Society. One on one. Mano a mano. May the best man (well, the best die roller, at least) win!

My British cavalry chased off a flank attack and wrecked Bill’s Continental cavalry, and for a while, it appeared the Brits and their Tory allies would rule the day. However, an ill-advised charge by their Germanic friends from Hesse was repulsed, and the fight on the left flank stalemated. On the right, my British Light Infantry pushed back a line of American militia, but reinforcements swelled the Continentals’ ranks, and they destroyed the attackers. I conceded, with nothing left to push forward any attacks. Bill had prevailed, and my surviving Brits slunk back to our ships and sailed off for New York City and easier pickings the next time.

Bill’s group over in Gettysburg has a website with photos of their “beer and pretzels” games. They meet once a week. Check out their website. One of their members, John Zabawa, runs a very nice miniatures and toy soldiers store in Gettysburg on Steinwehr Avenue, Gettysburg Miniature Soldiers. Why not stop by the next time you are visiting the battlefield and tell John the Johnny Reb Gaming Society sent you!

Gettysburg Area Gamers’ website is at Have a look!

And, if you are interested in preserving the Antietam Battlefield, stop by SHAF’s website and make a donation – it’s tax deductible!!!

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Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation


With the recent publicity about the possibility that President Abraham Lincoln appears in an old photograph of the crowds gathering for the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery in November 1863, I thought it would be appropriate to reprint the proclamation that Lincoln penned on October 3, 1863, declaring the last Thursday of November as a formal “day of thanksgiving” for America.

He traveled to Gettysburg on November 18 for the ceremony at the cemetery and his “few remarks,” and then returned to Washington via Hanover Junction, PA. A few days later, he joined his fellow countrymen in prayer and thanksgiving for what blessings could be celebrated in the midst of the worst year of strife to that point in American history.

Take time this Thanksgiving to carefully read Lincoln’s words – very carefully and thoughtfully. While we are not fighting a civil war, we still have conflicts and personal pains, and can reflect on Lincoln’s words of encouragement. There is a lot to be thankful for, despite all that may be going on around us.

Here are the timeless words of the 16th President of the United States, penned seven score and four years ago this month) …

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Book Review: Lines of Contention: Political Cartoons of the Civil War



J. G. (Jim) Lewin and P.J. Huff have collaborated in the past on other works, but this may be their best effort to date. In this new book from Collins (ISBN 006113788X), they take a fresh look at the political turmoil of the Civil War through the eyes of the satirists and political cartoonists of the era, drawing heavily upon contemporary sketches, woodcuts, and drawings from a myriad host of political commentators of the era. They reproduce scores of old cartoons from the pages of such once famous publications as Vanity Fair, Harper’s Weekly, and Leslie’s Illustrated. As would be expected (and similar to today’s political satirists), a large number of the illustrations deal with President Lincoln and his war policies, with few cartoonists in support of his goals and philosophies. They poke fun of his appearance, his leadership, and his course of action, much like modern cartoonists rip the current president and other leading politicians of both parties.

Lewin and Huff have assembled a delightful collection of period cartoons, an assortment that conveys the artists’ opinions and emotions as to the course of the war, the state of the country (both North and South), and they portray the social, cultural, and political climate in a way that few other books have to date. At 224 pages profusely illustrated with period political cartoons, this book is a definite winner. It is a worthy addition to the body of literature dealing with America at war with itself.

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Announcing the publication of my latest book!


Human Interest Stories of the Gettysburg Campaign, Volume 2, is now in print and ready for shipment! Contact me off-line via e-mail if you want to buy personalized autographed copies as Christmas gifts for those Civil War and Gettysburg buffs on your shopping lists! It makes a great stocking stuffer.

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Thoughts on the JR3 Yahoo Group

For a few years, I have been one of the moderators on the JRIII Yahoo Group, a very active community that has often been a major source of ideas and inspiration for my own Johnny Reb 3 gaming activity. It was this on-line community that inspired me to begin the publication of the hard copy Charge! newsletter, which is now the highest circulation all-Civil War miniature wargaming epistle. I received early encouragement from several members of the message board group and have, over the years, received many constructive suggestions that have helped keep Charge! alive, even when I was ready to throw in the towel and concentrate instead on my fledgling second career as a Civil War author.

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Categories: Johnny Reb 3 | 1 Comment

2007 Gettysburg Remembrance Parade

Lunch at McDonalds for two: $7.76

Photograph taken with a reindeer at Boyds Bear Country: $8.96

Spending Remembrance Day in Gettysburg with my grandson: Priceless!

For photos I took of the day, see my blog entry.

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Some neat articles coming in Charge #18!


Folks are already sending in articles and scenarios for inclusion in the February issue of the hard copy Charge! newsletter. One of the more intriguing submissions so far is an original scenario being developed by Jerry Stefek for the Battle of Milliken’s Bend. This rather obscure little battle took place on June 7, 1863, along the banks of the Mississippi River near the tiny rural village of Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana. A portion of Walker’s Greyhounds, a famed Confederate Texas division, attacked green Union troops deployed on a levee as Union gunboats rushed to provide additional firepower.

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“The Ole’ Lefthander” is gone


I am a baseball nut. Specifically, I am a Cincinnati Reds nut. I grew up in southeastern Ohio in the 1960s and 70s, and some of my fondest memories are tuning into WHIZ-AM radio in Zanesville, Ohio and listening for hours on end to Reds broadcasts with Joe Nuxhall and his broadcasting partners (who, over the years, included Al Michaels and most famously, Hall of Famer Marty Brenneman). “Marty and Joe on the Radio” became a pleasant time of relaxation, listening to their game calls. My Dad and I spent hundreds of hours together listening to baseball while we did other father-son activities.

For 62 years, Joe Nuxhall was associated with the Cincinnati Reds. He was the youngest player in Major League Baseball history, making his Reds debut at the age of 15. FIFTEEN!! Yes, it was during World War II and the big leagues were decimated by players who had left to join the military, but Nuxhall’s accomplishment may stand forever. He spent parts of 15 years with the Reds before taking up the airwaves.

To paraphrase his radio partner Brenneman’s famous catch phrase, “Joe Nuxhall has rounded third and is heading home.”

Goodbye to Joe Nuxhall, and good-bye to another piece of my childhood, so much of which is slipping away. Memories…

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