Short Takes

by Fred Ray on March 9, 2012 · 0 comments

The Indiana University Press is having a 50% off spring sale coming up March 20-22. All regularly priced items are half off, free shipping on orders of $30 or more in the US. Use the code SAVE50 at checkout.

Karen Thatcher of Martinsburg, WV, recently identified a photo of a Civil War relative.

“That’s Uncle Dave!”

In an instant, for posterity, the soldier was given back his name — and his story.

He was a teenager named David M. Thatcher, from Martinsburg, who enlisted in Company B, Berkeley Troop, First Virginia cavalry, and was killed in battle at age 19 outside Warrenton in 1863.

Here in The Old North State artifacts from the blockade runner Modern Greece are being re-excavated.

And this week – just in time for events marking the 150th anniversary of its sinking – thousands of artifacts from the Modern Greece were recovered from underwater.

For the second time.

A team of East Carolina University graduate students and UNC Wilmington interns sponsored by the Friends of Fort Fisher waded into the muck of half-century-old storage tanks at the Department of Cultural Resources’ Underwater Archaeology Branch facility on the grounds of the historic fort. Their job: Pull out the artifacts, clean and catalog them and put them in indoor tanks where they could finally begin to receive modern preservation treatment.

“It was just the right time to do this,” said Mark Wilde-Ramsing, deputy state archaeologist and head of the Underwater Archaeology Branch. “There are a lot of reasons, but the bottom line is it would be a bit irresponsible to just leave it there. We don’t even know what we have there.”

And finally, the ultimate steampunk/sci-fi gun, which just happens to be a real one—Samuel Colt’s 1835 prototype revolver (complete with bayonet for close-quarter work). Too bad George Lucas didn’t see this before filming Star Wars.

I need not tell you how this invention changed history, or that “wheel guns” are still very much in use. All this is part of a nice online exhibit of vintage Colts as well as the story of their development at The Autry (as in Gene Autry, the singing cowboy).


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Check out the Siege of Petersburg Online for daily posts on battle accounts in newspaper articles, diary entries, letters and more!

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