Orton Plantation

Not far from where I lived as a boy was beautiful Orton Plantation.  It fits almost everyone’s image of a prototypical antebellum southern mansion.  It is located on the west side of the Cape Fear River about seven miles downriver from Wilmington. The first home at Orton was built in 1725, but it was destroyed […]

Cape Fear

Cape Fear Cape Fear is the name of a cape (pictured above) and a river that flows into the Atlantic just southwest of the cape. As a young boy I lived about fifteen miles north of this point in the resort town of Carolina Beach. As this map shows, the eastern coast of the United […]

General Beauregard’s Bones

As a young boy living at Carolina Beach I was fascinated by the protruding bones of a shipwreck lying less than a hundred yards offshore.  We knew that it was a Civil War blockade runner.  Later I learned that the ship was originally christened as the Havelock and launched in Glasgow, Scotland.  During our Civil […]

The Last Retreat

In early April 1865, General Robert E. Lee withdrew his troops from their lines around Richmond and Petersburg and retreated west.  He hoped to link up with the army of Joseph Johnston in North Carolina, but it was not to be.  The remnant of Lee’s once formidable army was trapped near Appomattox and forced to […]

Perspective

  As I watched the Confederate statues come down I had the following thoughts. It is difficult for us to appreciate the perspective of our forefathers. With our modern sensitivities we are often prone to denounce them for behavior that their contemporaries may have considered normal or perhaps even worthy of praise. It is also […]

Traitors

  Confederate Monument At Gettysburg    Confederate statues and symbols are being torn down and destroyed all over the country. Recently I read that some people are calling for the removal of Confederate monuments from the fields at Gettysburg.  How sad.  Do they wish to erase history? Was the Union army fighting against ghosts?  It […]

Blockade Runners

  Blockade Runner Modern Greece Run Aground Near Fort Fisher in 1862 When I was a young boy growing up near Greensboro, North Carolina, there were still reminders of the Civil War around us.  It was 65 only years in the past, less time than now separates us from the Korean War.  There were a […]

Silent Sam

Final arrangements were recently concluded for the disposition of the statue Silent Sam, a memorial to the thousands of North Carolinians who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.  Silent Sam had been ripped from his pedestal on the University of North Carolina campus during a demonstration in 2018.  Recently, many other Confederate monuments […]

The unHappy Plantation

Slavery has existed since the beginning of recorded history.  The great civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome were built on a foundation of slave labor, and slavery continued to exist in various parts of the world until the modern era. The African slave trade was a very profitable business, and many nations and peoples reaped […]