Monday, July 31, 2017

How to Handle Monday Madness

How to Handle Monday Madness

  We all have those days, don't we? When every day feels like Monday. But Monday's really are the worst!

  It seems like it's been much longer than two days since you last looked at that pile of papers, and your To-Do list, both of which have grown exponentially since Friday evening when you left for home! Or if you work from home, and you step into your home office, suddenly you are confronted with what seems way more than you left on Friday!

  So, what can we do to make the day seem a little less stressful?

  Let's start by prioritizing the work load. We're going to put things into three categories: Immediately, Afternoon, and Tomorrow. Yeah, it really is that simple.

  If it's papers lying on the desk, you'll want to make three piles. Go through those papers, or files, and place them in the appropriate category: Things you must take care of immediately, those things that can wait until afternoon, and those things that could wait until tomorrow if you can't get to them today. (Yeah, I have those days,too. Sometimes, there simply isn't enough hours in the day!)

  Now, let's look at those pesky emails. Because I get so many "junk" emails from sponsors and different groups, it is easier for me to go through and instead of deleting, I scroll through to those items that need my immediate attention, and take care of them as I go through them. When I get to the bottom of the emails, I've already done those things that needed done immediately. Now, in my email folders, I keep two folders for Afternoon, and Tomorrow. Okay, you guessed it! I go back through the emails and file those items that need to be moved into their appropriate folder. Once I've moved those two categories over, I'm left to either read through the other emails, or delete as I choose. (A little hint on your emails, go through those junk emails and mark them as junk.That way they will go into your Spam folder. Now, once a month, go through your Spam folder and unsubscribe from all those junk emails. You should find an unsubscribe link at the bottom, or top, of each of those. And if not, simply block the sender.This will help keep those pesky junk emails to a minimum.)

  Have you checked you voicemail messages yet? Sometimes I do that first, but usually my phone alerts me to those things, so I can wait until now to look at them. Be sure to listen carefuly to each one. Again, prioritize your voicemail's. If it's Mom, and she just wants to confirm dinner for Wednesday evening, it can wait till you take your lunch break. However, if it's a new client who'd like to speak to you about a research project, then get back to them immediately. Never put off a business call for later, unless you absolutely have to. Keep a good rapport with clients is what keeps the business going!

  Now let;s look at the postal mail. Yeah, I know, even that is becoming a thing of the past. Right? Well, we still need to look at it. Toss the junk mail directly into the trash. Yes, you heard me. Don't open it. Don't look at catalogs, or magazines. Unless a magazine is work related, toss it. (You're much better off subscribing to a digital version of magazines you enjoy reading for pleasure. But make sure you read it at home, on YOUR times. Never when at work!) And you can also subscribe to digital work related magazines as well! Many of them allow you to archive them, so you can always go back and look at past editions. Some even archive them on their website, which makes for a super way to read anything you want! But, wait until you've finished your regular work before reading work related magazines. Or, even wait until you are at home. Or during your buss or train commute. Again, you need to utilize the the Immediately, Afternoon, and Tomorrow strategy with the mail. Take care of those things that need immediate care first. Place the others into the two piles appropriately. 

  Now your desk has three piles on it. Begin with that one you have labeled Today. Simply start at the top of the pile, and work until the pile is gone. When it is, take a coffee break.15-minutes only! Now get back to it. Let's work on that Afternoon pile. Work completely through it. Don't leave any of it for tomorrow. Take your lunch break, and an afternoon break, as you should. Then get right back to it. If there's time, get started on the Tomorrow pile once you've completed the Afternoon pile.

  In this manner, you should be able to complete any incoming work daily.

  Of course, you'll have your regular work to accomplish, as well, depending upon what your job is. If it's research, you'll need to set aside time for research, writing reports, etc. But with this method, you should be able to work your way through those mundane, "housekeeping" chores of the office.

  Of course, if you're really one of the lucky ones, you've got a secretary who can handle all of these things for you! And if not, then consider hiring a VA (virtual assistant) to help out with these chores. They are relatively cost effective and leave you to attend to the nuts and bolts of your work.

If you have found this article helpful, please don't hesitate to share your comments!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday Singing - It's Church Time!

Time for Church ya'all! Gather round! Get yerself's a seat, and get ready to start singing and praisin' the Lord!

Git yerself all comfortable! There's 163 videos in this selection!
Enjoy this first one with George Jones singing "Angel Band".

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Shopping Saturday - Let's Go Shopping

Saturday Shopping
Let's Go Shopping!

Detroit Grocery Store

Let's imagine for a moment that we've just pulled up in front of the grocery store. Not by car, but by haywagon. Yeah, a haywagon. Mom and Pop are seated on the hard wooden seat, with the even harder leaf-type springs. Not a lot of give to those when you hit a bump in the road. The kids are piled up in the back of the wagon. Well, at least the youngest ones. The older ones are left at home on the farm to do chores. What do you expect? Just cause the folks have gone after a few essentials, doesn't mean the farm's gonna take care of itself!

You climb down off that wagon, you step over the sideboard, put one booted foot on a wooden wheel rung, and jump the rest of the way down. Pop gives each of you youngin's a hard look. He doesn't have to say a thing. It means "Look! Don't touch! And don't ask for anything, we ain't got the money for it anyway!"

Mom's dressed like she was headed to Sunday School and Church. So are the girls. The boys are clean and neat, but not so prettied up. Clean overalls and a shirt. At least everyone has shoes or boots on their feet! At home, in summer time you just ran barefoot.

You step through the doors into the mercantile or general store. Mr. Jones is behind the long mahogany counter.

"Welcome folks! What can I do ya for?" he asks the folks. Mom reaches into her reticule and hands Mr. Jones a piece of paper on which she's penciled down the few items she needs for home: a 10-pound bag of beans, a pound of salt, two pounds of sugar, two pounds of coffee, a 25-pound sack of flour, and some baking powder. Pop has added a box of nails for that fence you're gonna help him mend later this evening.

"It'll just be a few minutes, missus," Mr. Jones tells Mom. While they wait for the items to be gathered up, Mom walks through the store and wanders over to the sewing goods. There she peers at a bolt of fine cotton. She's imagining it made into little dresses for the girls. She never worried about buying material for her own clothes, instead, she was always dreaming about the fine dresses she could make her girls. Or the linen she could make shirts of for her boys. 

"Is that something you'd like for yourself?" Pop whispers in her ear.

"Don't be silly," Mom scolds. "Besides, it's a nickle a yard! We can't afford that!" Still, she dreams of the pretty little dresses she could make.

Pop walks over to look at an axe handle. The one he has now is fixing to split any day. And he's thinking 'bout maybe going ahead and getting this handle. It's oak and would last a good while, so long as he didn't accidentally hit it on the handle when chopping wood! He looked at the price handwritten on the handle, 75-cents. Nope, not today! He'd have to wait till another day for that extra.

"Got your things right here!" calls out Mr. Jones. A small wooden crate sits on the big counter. The flour sack sits waiting on the floor in front of the counter.

Mom walks to the counter and opens up her reticule.

"That'll be $2 missus," says Mr. Jones. "Sorry 'bout the price, but coffee has gone up 3-cents in the last 2 weeks!"

"Well, we've gotta have our coffee in the morning!" Mom says. She knows she'll cut it with a little chickory just to make it go a little farther.

"I've thrown a piece of stick candy in for each of the youngin's," Mr. Jones added. "Including them is at home," he says.

"Oh, well, no, let me pay you for that!" Mom says.

"Nope, nope, you folks are good customers! You just keep coming back for more, okay?"

"Well, thank you kindly, Mr. Jones," Pop says. "Children, what do you say?"

"Thank you, Mr. Jones!" you all answer in unison. 

Mr. Jones carries the crate out to the wagon and sits it in the back. Then he helps Mom up onto the seat that sits high above the ground.

"Now, ya'all be careful heading home!" Mr. Jones calls out. "And come again real soon!"

Mr. Jones heads back into the store, where Mrs. Jones enters from their private rooms behind the store.

"Who was that?" she asks her husband.

"Well, that was Mr. and Missus Smith from up the mountain a ways," he answers.

"I always did admire them folks. Hard workers. And never ask for credit, always pays cash on the barrel head," she says.

"Yep, mighty fine folks, wish they all was!"

"Mom, can we have the candy?" your little sister asks while you are bumped and jostled in the wagon.

"No, sweetie. Not till after dinner, and then you can all have a piece for dessert."

"Yippee!" you all yell.

Pop looks over at Mom and smiles. "All in all a good day, right Mom?"

"You're so right, Pop!"

It will be another hour and a half before the wagon gets home. Your chores will need to be done before you can sit done and have dinner, which the girls will help Mom cook. Then they'll clean up the kitchen before Mom will pass out the candy. A stick to every one of the kids. Mom and Pop just opt for another cup of that chickory laced coffee.

Yep, life was pretty darned good!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Follow Friday - Family History Daily

Follow Friday
Family History Daily

Genealogical Delight

I have been following Family History Daily for a while now. I actually began by following their articles on Pinterest  before following their website. They can really catch your attention!

Editors for the website are Melanie Mayo, and Kate Jackson. They don't really tell us anything about themselves on their site, so I'm not sure about their credentials, but they do know their stuff!. Their articles are always informative and bring you up to speed on what's happening in the genealogical community at large.

They also write some pretty awesome genealogy classes, that are perfect for the genealogist, family history researcher, who is just starting out! They offer two courses, and they are meant to take 8-12 weeks each to complete. The cost is very economical, and I highly recommend them!

I'd like to take the opportunity to add this website to my personally recommended site for further genealogy learning. I know you'll find a great deal of help in getting and giving you a better understanding of how to perform research.

So, head on over to Family History Daily. And when you do, tell them "Hey, Texicanwife (Aka Cyndi) over at Mountain Genealogy recommended you!

Give us your review of the site in the comments below!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Those Places Thursday - The Little Schoolhouse

Those Places Thursday
The Little Schoolhouse

While this doesn't show the building's full view, I wanted to share this one with you.

This is now a community center in the little town of Waiteville, in Monroe County, West Virginia. It served as a school house for the community for many years. 

Inside, there is a central hall, with a back door directly behind the front at the end of that central hall.

To the right is a large classroom, that at one time had a folding wall that could separate it into two classrooms, but when opened could be used for assemblies. Behind that room are two restrooms, a janitor closet, and steps that lead down into a basement, where years ago the school cooks made lunch for the children. Today, the kitchen is located on the main floor, directly across the hall from the restrooms. And as you enter from the front, on the left are two large classrooms.

This is the school where my Dad attended. Photographs of him are in the hall as one of the schools attendees. There aren't many photographs, as the community was, and remains, quite small, and rural. Dad left school after the 8th grade, went into the Navy and and earned his GED. But the school taught children from 1st grade through 12th for many years.

I have a first cousin who attended school here through junior high, and then went across the mountain to Gap Mills for high school..

I have another first cousin, who attended school here in the lower grades before the school house finally closed its doors.

About 20-years ago, the community purchased the building and lovingly restored it as a community center. Since our family is originally from this area, we rented the building for our family reunions, which are held every two years.

So, the building holds a place dear in our hearts, as I'm sure it does to all who attended school there.

Is there a building in your the community, thought of as your family's community, that holds fond memories? Please feel free to share with us here! We'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Travel Tuesday - Locating Those Old Houses

Travel Tuesday
Locating Those Old Houses

Have you ever taken a parent down a lane, and they tell you that the "old homeplace" was located "over there", and all you see is a field, grown up with weeds, and trees? No longer is a foundation discernible. Nothing that a home ever existed?

Don't dismay. If they can remember that a home used to be there, chances are that someone, somewhere down the line, will have a photograph of the home.

The trick to proving it was actually on the spot first mentioned by your parent is to get a photograph, as best as you can, of the location. Make sure you stand back far enough that you can get a photograph of the site from a few different angles. You can save these to your digital files, and mark them something like "Grandpa Jones Homesite - 1", "Grandpa Jones Homesite-2", etc. Now, someday when that certain photgraph you've been trying to locate comes up, see if you can match the background images with the background images of the house! Watch for hills, mountains, old trees, barns, cliff faces, etc. Chances are, if the photos you took were in the correct place, you will be able to match up something in the background with the old photographs.

Let me show you a few photographs of my family's "old homeplace" and let's see if you can understand better what I mean.

These two photographs, the upper one taken about 1910, the lower one sometime in the 1970's we believe, are the oldest known photographs of the this home.

You can see, that except for the south end chimney being gone, the home is basically the same from the first to the second photograph.

Now look to the right of the photograph, and in the 50 to 60 years difference of the ages of the photograph, you will see the tree line remains basically unchanged. There does appear to be a fence of some kind across the front border of the yard in the upper photograph that is no longer there in the bottom.  Otherwise, there is not much changed.

Now look at this photograph:

This is a photograph of the same home in 2001, about 30 years after the second photograph. While you can no longer see the same view of the trees to the right of the home, you can definitely see the woodlands there. However, the house is essentially, unchanged. Except for a small window change on that south end, where in the top photograph, had once been a chimney. The home has otherwise not changed a great deal. 

So let's move forward a bit.

I think that you can see, some extensive remodeling, and fixing up has been done since the 2001 photograph. (This photograph was taken in 2007.) A fan light was added in the upper eave of the south side. The bottom of the old stone chimney was salvaged, and a window was replaced where the old chimney had once been. New siding and windows have been added to the home. But the structure is intact, and basically remains the same. We can still see those same trees to the right of the home, although not well in this photograph.

Now look at this photograph, and the very first photograph. DO you see it? Look at that tree line to the right of the home? In almost 100 years, that tree line has remained unchanged! The same would be true if the house were still there or not! This is providing documented proof that the home is not only the same home, but sits in the same place it did in 1910.

And here is yet another view. In this one, the north end of the home. Here you can see that original chimney that was noted on the first photograph, and you can see that it is stone, just as the original showed it. You can see the trees to the right of the home, but the tree line view is a bit different from this angle.

And here are two more photographs of the same home. These are taken from a field across the road from the house.

Do you notice that distinctive tree line to the right of the home?

This is a close up of the photograph above.
You can see the trees are essentially unchanged, except more mature.
(The bottom two photographs were taken in 2009.)

I hope that this helps you to understand how you can use photographs from different time eras to determine if a location is the same one or not.

Remember, hills, valleys will remain unchanged. Trees may or may not remain unchanged. Timber gets cut down. Trees are cut down, or grow differently. Creeks or rivers change courses. But the topography basically remains unchanged.

In towns, or cities, houses, or business buildings may remain unchanged. I've often noticed things like church steeples in the distance of an older photograph that are still visible in the later one. Or streets remain unchanged, including names sometimes!

Use the clues around you to determine if the location is correct.

So, while there may not be a house where your old family "homestead" used to be, go ahead and snap a few photos of the site from different angles. You never know when other photographs may come up!  (Incidentally, I started only with the last 2 photographs you see here. The others were added through later research. )

Let us know if this article helps you!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Amanuensis Monday - Reading 18th or 19th Century Documents

Amanuensis Monday
Reading 18th or 19th Census Documents

I have often used this following document as an example of reading an 18th or 19th century document. It can be difficult to read. It is a copy, of a copy, of a copy. Not the best example in the world, but something you will, given enough time, have to utilize, in order to get the information you choose to find.

Indenture Contract of William Bean
Dated 15 Sept 1804

When you receive a document like this, you will need to transcribe it into something legible, or readable. There are a few rules you need to follow:

NUMBER ONE: ALWAYS TRANSCRIBE THE DOCUMENT EXACTLY AS IT IS WRITTEN. Meaning that, all spelling and grammatical errors, including punctuation errors, are to be kept intact. What may seem a mistake, a date that doesn't make sense, a misspelled name, etc. are very important in proving the document that you transcribed is real. Also, be sure to add to the transcription where you received the copy from. An individual, a courthouse record, or the website where you copied it from. (If you don't know how to find the exact location of a document, or a photograph, you can simply copy the URL of the page. But the best way is to copy the properties of the document or image. To get that, you need to simply right-click on the image, click on Properties or Property and copy the unique URL of the document. Each imageon the web has its own URL that is different from the website URL. We will discuss this in a later lesson, in more detail.)

NUMBER TWO: If you know the relationships of the individuals listed in the document, make sure you add an addendum that describes the relationships.

Now, you will note that the document above uses some flowery handwriting, at least that's what I call it. It is an elaborate handwriting with a lot of curlicues, and flourishes. While this may seem hard to understand at first, with practice, you will be able to read this better, and better.

So, let me interpret the document above for you:

"This indenture made this 18th of Sept 1804 one thousand eight hundred and four between Jas. Christy owen Neal Robt Johnston and henry McDaniel of the one part overseers of the poor for monroe County and henry Smith of the other part witnesseth that the so overssers doth bind an orphan boy named William Bean aged twelfth years to the said henry Smith of the county aforesaid and State of virginia to Serve the said henry Smith until he arrives at the age of twenty one years, during all which time the Said William Bean Shall faithfully Serve his Master and all his lawful Commands obay he Sall not suffer any Damage to be done to his Said Masters goods without giving him notice thereof he Shall not frequent Still houses or taverns he shall not play at Cards dice or any unlawful game or at any time abscond himself from his masters business without his Masters leave he Shall not commit fornication nor Contract matrimony during said term but as a true and faithful servant shall truely and diligently Serve his Said Master until he arrives at the age aforesaid and the henry Smith in Consideration thereof doth Covenant and agree to have the so William Bean taught the art trade or Mastery of a Black Smith and provide for him a sufficiency of everyt thing thats requiset for an aprentice during the term of his aprenticeship likewise he is to have him taught to read the holy Scriptures planely to write a plane hand and arithmatic through te rule of three which Education he is to be thoroughly acquainted with at the Expiration of his time and also to give him Such freedom dues as the law direct taking Care to have Said aprentice instructed in the Principals and duties of the Christian religion as far as Said Master is Capable In writing whereof the partys have interchangeably set their hands inscribed this day and year above writen Signed Sealed ad delivered in the presents of  - John Hinchman - Owen Neal - Henry Smith - Jas. Christy"

You will note a lot of misspelled words, grammatical errors, and punctuation errors, as well as abbreviated words used. However, this is a true copy of the document. 

Once you have transcribed the document, you might also want to add a note that says :The above transcription is a true and intact copy of the original document as translated (name)  on 
(date) , followed by your initials. (initials) This just makes it more official that you are the one that transcribed the document. If you really want to be official, you can even have this copy notarized. (I have done that for clients, who have had documents questioned by other relatives and wanted proof that the documentation was real.) But that really isn't necessary, unless you want proof that is unarguable, which serves no real purpose, unless the proof must be taken into a court of law.

I do hope this helps you in deciphering your 17th or 18th century documents. While the information will not change, the handwriting, and the way it is written, is much different than that of today. 

Practice reading some early documents that you come across. This will prepare you for reading more documents of the era.

As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let us know!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Singing - Time for Church Ya'all!

It's time to put on our Sunday duds, and walk down the lane to that little church in the woods.
Here we'll congregate, and when the singing starts, we'll feel the excitement as the Spirit moves over us, and we just can't help but Praise the Lord!

Some come on in, I've got you a seat saved right here!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sorting Saturday - What To Do With All That Paperwork?

Okay, be honest. Is this what your genealogy research looks like?

Yes, that's my honest-to-goodness "needs to organized" pile of research that needs to be tackled. Now, you are probably wondering why someone who does this for a living would allow it to get so out of control. And the answer is simple.

When I get going with a case, I lose all interest in getting the papers filed away neatly! Most of these are simply forms that I use when I am doing the research. The originals are all digitized. I find this makes it so much easier to handle. Then the original documents (birth,death, marriage, or other purchased records) are put into archival sleeves, and placed in binders under the individuals name,

Here's what the final files look like:
And I have about 12 of these 6-inch, super wide, binders. These are archival quality binders. I have one for each of my major research lines for my family. And then I have one for ancillary research (let's say that I find out I'm related to Queen Elizabeth, then I'd add her and our common ancestry into that one). The others are reserved for direct ancestors, and their children. I sometimes, not always, but sometimes will follow a cousin down to the 3rd or 4th removed, but seldom past there, unless I find that there's something unusual or interesting further down the line. So, for instance, I have a notebook marked BEAN, for my Dad's family. This goes back to the 1790's. And there is one marked DREHER for my Mother's family. Now, when it comes to my Dad's mother, she is mentioned in the BEAN notebook, but is cross-referenced to another notebook with her birth surname, FAUDREE. Then we go further back and my Dad's grandmother in the BEAN notebook is Margaret Smith PERKINS. So, then, there is a PERKINS notebook. And Dad's great-grandfather, William,'s wife is listed in the BEAN notebook, but then there is a separate notebook for her maiden name of WISEMAN. And so on. So, how do I organize the interiors? Well, the first page will start with the earliest noted ancestor. There will be an individual record sheet for him, and then a family record sheet. This will go under a tab marked WILLIAM BEAN. I use gold colored tabs for my direct ancestor's. And then that person's children will be in blue tabs. Their children will be in red tabs, and so on. This allows me to go directly to an ancestor without much effort. Again, these are all original documents. They are kept much the same way in files on my computer once they have been digitized.

I usually go through my paperwork about once a month and digitize any originals. I then make sure that they, and their information, got properly placed into my genealogy program before sliding the document into an archival sleeve and placing into the archival notebooks. This process has been known to take 3 days when I've had a particularly good month! But usually takes but a few hours any more.

These large six-inch notebooks completely fill one of my 6-foot tall bookcases. But they are readily available should I need to see them for clarification at any time. As are the digitized versions on the computer. When we have family reunions, I usually bring a few notebooks, and then set up a slide show on my laptop of just photographs. Everyone loves that! You'll see large groups of people gathered around the display table just watching the slide show! Or groups going through the notebooks,. And you know they're enjoying all of it because of the "oohs" and "ahhs", and the "I remember that!" comments heard.

The forms that have piled up? Once they are put into proper perspective in my genealogy program, and digitized, I then discard them. I still have the digitized versions, and can easily print one out if I need to for clarification.

What do you do with all of the paperwork that tends to build up with your research? Do you keep all of it? Or just the documents you've had to pay for? Or if you digitize, do you keep any of it? Let us know! We'd love to hear what you do with it all!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Follow Friday - The National Genealogical Society (NGS)

National Genealogical Society

While there is a yearly Membership fee of $65 to receive all benefits, this is one of those sites that I feel is well worth the membership fee! If you are serious about learning how to perform an analytical research of your family tree (not just copying someone elses research), and really finding out all that you possibly can regarding your ancestors, then this is the place to go and learn it.

Their storefront offers a ton of informational books and pamphlets, most of which, are downloadable pdf format documents, so it's instant gratification when it comes to waiting for that genealogy information in the mail! And they have a super fine blog, which is always full of information that you don't want to miss!

Upfront,  the NGS blog can be found by clicking here.  And you don't have to be a member to read it. Which is super cool!

The NGS sets the "Standard" to which all genealogists hold themselves to. Or should hold themselves to.

They can be found on Facebook, You Tube (Although, there are no recent uploads located here, you can find all kinds of recent videos uploaded on its other venues, all for free.) Google+, and Twitter (again the Twitter posts are not as up ton date as some of the other, but you can look back through and still get some great insight.)

When I have the time for a relaxing day of just reading for pleasure, this is the place I go to. I enjoy reading about the conferences, and new announcements. And I enjoy watching the videos. And I nearly always come away with having learned something new!

So I hope you'll give the National Genealogical Society a look, and maybe even consider becoming a member yourself. It will be money well spent. Let us know if you're a member, or plan to become one!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Those Places Thursday - Don't Overlook State Parks!

So, you're probably wondering how a State Park can figure into finding out more about your ancestry. Am I right?

Well, I found out a lot about what happened to two of my ancestors, on a particular date, by walking through a State Park!

To be exact, Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, located at Droop Mountain, in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.

This is the tower overlook at the top of the mountain.
From here, you can look down the steep slope where the climb can easily be seen.

Let's allow Wikipedia to give us more on the battle:

"The Battle of Droop Mountain was a battle in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, that occurred November 6, 1863, during the American Civil WarConfederate forces engaged, but failed to prevent Union forces under Brigadier General W.W. Averell from a rendezvous with other Federal troops in a joint raid on Confederate railways. Droop Mountain was one of the largest engagements in West Virginia during the war. As a result of the Union victory, Confederate resistance in the state essentially collapsed.


Assigned command of one of two brigades involved in the planned raid on the railroads, Averell moved toward southwestern Virginia with the purpose of disputing movement on the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad. The second column, under Brigadier General Alfred N. Duffié, destroyed enemy military property en route, while Averell probed for Confederate defenders.


Map of Droop Mountain Battlefield core and study areas by the American Battlefield Protection Program.
On November 5, 1863, Averell attacked Confederates at Mill Point in Pocahontas County, driving the Southerners from their position back to the summit of Droop Mountain, where they were reinforced by a force under Brig. Gen. John Echolsconsisting of Patton's Brigade and one regiment from Albert G. Jenkins's command. The Confederate position was a relatively strong one, reinforced by breastworks commanding the road.
The following day, Averell elected to attack. Throughout the morning, Echols' smaller Confederate force held the high ground and blocked the highway with artillery. However, in the early afternoon, Averell turned Echols' left with his infantry, and then sent dismounted cavalry in a frontal assault on the main Confederate lines. After a brief yet violent battle, many Confederates fled, throwing away their arms and scattering for safety. Averell's cavalry pursued until dark, capturing several prisoners and a large quantity of arms, ammunition, and materiel. Echols rallied much of his force, but was forced to retreat into Virginia.


Averell's victorious force rejoined Duffié's brigade at Lewisburg on November 7. The reunited Union columns, burdened with prisoners and captured livestock, were in no condition to continue their raid, but they had effectively ended Confederate resistance in West Virginia.
The battlefield site is preserved and administered by West Virginia as a state park.
The unknown Confederate dead are buried in the Confederate Cemetery at Lewisburg, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987."

As you walk the battlefields, you are in awe that you are walking where so many men died.

There are two Memorial markers on the field:



For me, at least, there is a reverence there, in that place, much as there is when you visit the Alamo, in San Antonio, Texas. So many died there that day. And the feelings of bravery, and death, still haunt those places.

A lone cannon, of the era, marks the edges of the battlefield.

A tiny museum sits next to the battlefield. A log cabin that was added after the Civil War.

It's three room interior is filled with memento's of the Civil War, and the bloody battle of Droop Mountain.

Getting to actually walk the grounds, and see the relics, the battle of Droop Mountain became very real for me. And I feel particularly blessed to have been there to see it through the eyes as a descendant of two survivors of the battle.

Pvt. Henry (Gottleib) Dreher, who served in the Union's 47th Ohio Infantry, which fought that bloody day.

And Pvt. William Bean, who served in the 14th Va. Infantry.

Two men. Fighting on opposite sides. Dreher, my gr-gr-grandfather. Bean, my gr-grandfather. Either of the men could have been killed! And if either had been, I would not be the one sitting here this afternoon, in my nice, air-conditioned home, writing this post. But for the grace of God....

Do you have ancestors who fought during the Civil War? If so, do you know any of the battles they might have fought in? And if so, do you know if any of your ancestors fought against other of you ancestors in the same battle?

Let us hear from you below. 

Don't forget to check out museums, battlefields, and yes, even State Parks, for places of interest in your ancestors!

And if you are interested in visiting Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, it is located directly on US 219 between Hillsboro, WV (where the author/missionary Pearl S. Buck was born) and Mill Point, WV. Pack a picnic lunch, because you will want to take your time walking over the site, and going through the museum. There are several picnic areas, which are very nice, and hiking trails to make your outing complete.