Civil War–150 Years Later and Ridgely Howard

July 3, 2013

My cousin, Dear MYRTLE, made a comment on Facebook about the Civil War and that she and Mr. Myrt were watching a program on Gettysburg. Last night, I found a link to a program on Gettysburg online, so I decided to watch this 88 minute program.

What I didn’t realize, until about 50 minutes into this program, that I had seen this program before. I knew that I had from how the program was done, but didn’t connect the dots as to what this program was about.

“Ridgely Howard” was mentioned, as a 33 year old, slave holder from Baltimore and that his grandfather served with George Washington during the War of Revolution, and that this family was of the “plantation class”. I know this guy. I spend a summer researching Ridgely Howard trying to find out who he was.

I did a series of blog posts on my search for Ridgely Howard:

There may be a couple of blog posts in that series that is not about this research, but about the 3rd blog post is the end, at that time, of my search.

It turns out that David Ridgely Howard (1844 – 1927) was my 5th cousin, 4 times removed.



I was reminded about James Wallace, whose grandfather served in the same regiment as did Ridgely Howards grandfather with George Washington.

What I didn’t catch the first time, was that David Ridgely Howards house has been reported to be haunted. I’ll have to look into that.

After Ridgely was wounded, on this day, in the morning of 3 July 1863, he would return and be wounded a second time, but this time he lost a leg. The amazing thing is that he lived until 1927.



Robert J Driver Jr, First & Second Maryland C.S.A. (Bowie, Maryland:  Heritage Books, Inc, 2003), page 205 – Capt. James McHenry Howard (left), 1st Maryland Infantry, and his brother David Ridgely Howard, Co A, 2nd Maryland Infantry, were photographed in Canada in their Confederate uniform at at the war’s end. David has a metal “cross button” pinned to his breast, which is believed to have been the insignia of the Maryland Line (see Plate H2, Dave Mark Collection).  H. R. Worthington – Book Shelf

Revolutionary Challenge

March 7, 2013

In support of the Photo Detective, Maureen Taylor, and Verissima Productions, and the Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell, I would like to make you aware of this project, a film called Revolutionary Voices. As an introduction to the project, I ask that you visit Judy’s Blog, A Revolutionary challenge. There is more information about this project, including a short video by Maureen Taylor, and other details. posted this update, so that you can see what has happened since March 1, 2013.

I have made a contribution to this very worthwhile project. Please note, that you too can join in by making a submission as noted below on your Revolutionary War connection.

Thank you.


Project Update #2: Week One Wrap-Up

Posted by Maureen Taylor & Verissima ProductionsLike

What a whirlwind week it’s been! We couldn’t be happier with the $11,266.00 in pledges we have so far. Don’t forget, we don’t get any of the money pledged until we’ve reached our full goal, so there’s still lots of work to do!

We had an amazing response to Judy Russell’s “Revolutionary Challenge” posted to her Legal Genealogist blog last week ( as well as a great outpouring of support from social media and our direct email appeals.

But now the challenge really begins – many Kickstarter campaigns lose momentum after week one… let’s make sure to keep our pace strong! A second $10,000+ week would make a huge impact on the potential success of our campaign and our film. Here are two quick steps to help us make that a reality: 

1. Keep sharing – (so far, about 50% of our donors have come from sharing and social media efforts ( Please blog about us, tweet about us, write down the link and hand it out at your next historical society meeting– any and all kinds of networking will help us reach and surpass our goal! 

2. Tell your own Revolutionary Story. Do you have family ties to the revolutionary war? Are you a history buff with a great story or factoid? Do you own an artifact or photo that has a Revolutionary connection? Let us know! Anyone who has pledged to the campaign so far can send us a Kickstarter message or email ( that’s 1-3 sentences telling us about your ties to the Revolution. We’ll use Twitter & Facebook to highlight it as thanks for partnering with us to help make this campaign a success. Here’s your chance to show how far the roots of the Revolution spread! 

Thanks again for all of your financial and networking support! 

With Appreciation, 

The Revolutionary Voices team 

Fun Fact: Molly Ferris Akin’s story of bravery during the Revolution was oral history passed down in the family until a descendant wrote in down in 1984. You can start telling your own story now!

A Day of Remembrance–Pearl Harbor Day

December 7, 2012

I find it interesting that yesterday, I received a phone call from my brother. During that call, he told my that our Uncle (Uncle Max) was on board the SS Calvin Coolidge (a.k.a. USS Calvin Coolidge) when it sunk on October 12, 1942.

I guess my uncle and I never shared our “sea stories”. So, today, December 7, 2012, I started to find out more about the Coolidge. I hope that in the near future, my brother will share any “genealogical” information he might find while he visits my aunt and uncle.


I did some searching on to see what I could find about the Coolidge or my uncle. But I DID find a Cruise Book for the Ship that my former Father-In-Law was stationed on. The USS Cabot (CVL28)


USS_Cabot-CVL28-Page 11


It was then that I remembered what today really is and what happened this day so many years ago.


We WILL Remember.




Content Source:  Navy Department Library
Publication Title:
U.S. Navy Cruise Books, 1918-2009
Content Source:
Navy Department Library
Fold3 Publication Year:
Fold3 Job:
United States
Short Description:
U.S. Navy cruise books for various years and ships, 1918 to 2009.
USS Cabot
Ship Classification:
Year Range:

Special Orders #191, the Lost Orders

September 10, 2012

A month or so ago, I posted this: 

Planned Weekend Trip – Day 1

It was a day trip, for me, to be in Frederick, Maryland to hear more about Special Orders #191. I went and had a great time. I learned a lot, not only about what happened to the Lost Orders, but why it was important to the Civil War.

The National Park Service, just posted a YouTube Video about Special Order #191

Special Orders 191


There was a lecture on the topic, and a panel discussion by three Civil War Historians. In attendance were descendants of the two gentlemen who discovered these orders.

I won’t go into the details, but what is important to me, and why I spend the day driving, was that the Monocacy National Battlefield has, within it’s borders a Worthington House.

I got to see the actual paper that these orders were written on, as seen in the video and are on display at the battlefield, but to be WHERE they were found. Or at least the area. That was close enough for me.


What I learned from that visit, was not so much about the orders themselves, but more about what I learned from the Inferential Genealogy study that I did “in Second Life”. You may recall I mentioned two people, at the Battle of Gettysburg, who fought against each other and that their Grandfathers fought with George Washington. Brother against Brother took on a new, real, meaning for me.

Author Dennis E. Frye, September Suspense, Lincoln’s Union in Peril” was the presenter and was on the panel, described Frederick, Maryland during the time of the Civil War. What surprised me, was that Frederick was “Union” friendly. Knowing that Baltimore was 50 miles (plus or minus) away, but was a “split town”, as was Maryland, split between the North and South. The study I did was on Confederate’s during the Civil War. Why were towns, so close together in my mind, so far apart at the time of the Civil War.

I had a chance to ask Mr. Frye about this. What he explained to me, was that the settlers of Frederick were Welsh and had come down to this part of Maryland from the port of Philadelphia and not the port of Baltimore. Knowing the Philadelphia area, and a bit of it’s history, that all made sense to me. Having just driven from northern New Jersey to Frederick that morning, it made total sense.

The lecture was fantastic. He told the STORY of Special Orders #191, “including citations”. Of course a Historian would have citations, but the reading of the articles he quoted helped put the “story” into a real place. His book has 23 pages of End Notes, and 6 pages of Bibliographical information.

The Panel included two other Civil War historians. The moderator took questions from the audience and asked the panel, in turn, to answer the questions. That is when the discussion became interesting, as each historian, had their own interpretation of the data from their studies.

50th Anniversary of Vietnam

May 28, 2012

After watching President Obama speak at the Vietnam Wall in Washington, DC, this Memorial Day, 2012, I thought I would give only a glimpse of the 22th of January,  1968, when this picture was taken.


The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Half Moon sailed from New York Harbor on April 1,1967 bound for duty in the waters of the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam. Homeported at Coast Guard Base, St.George, Staten Island, she joined four sisters ships making their way to the war zone in the far east.

The High Endurance Cutter was one of the original Coast Guard ships of Squadron Three sent to Vietnam. With a crew of 160 officers and men, Half Moon participated in Operation Market time, designed to stop the flow of arms, ammunition and supplies to Viet Cong units in South Vietnam.

While in Vietnam, Half Moon complied a most enviable record. In addition to conducting endless patrols and boardings of suspect vessels off the coast, she was always ready to respond to a call for gunfire support from U.S. and allied forces ashore.

Some of her impressive statistics: 13 Viet Cong killed, 64 military emplacements and structures destroyed or damaged, four sampans sunk, four secondary explosions observed and significant military equipment damages or destroyed.

When not inspecting vessels or providing support with her guns, the cutter served as a home base for 50-foot Navy Swift boats.

The 311-foot cutter’s return to New York marks the end of yet another assignment. WELL DONE.

Returning From Duty in Southeast Asia
January 22, 1968
New York, New York

In 1967, Half Moon’s colors were proudly displayed at such poarts as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Miami, Florida; Panama Canal Zone; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Subic Bay, Philippines; Hong Kong; Kaoshiung, Taiwan; Bangkok, Thailand; Sasebo, Japan; Vung Tau, Nha Trang, and an Thoi, Vietnam.

The ship’s Commanding Office, CDR Emmett G. McCarthy of Silver Spring, Maryland is looking forward to a well deserved rest for his officers and men when Half Moon docks at the U. S. Coast Guard Base St. George, Staten Island on January 22nd. Half Moon, in performance of her duties has upheld the highest traditions of the Coast Guard by putting into practice her service’s motto “SEMPER PARATUS” meaning ALWAYS READY.”


US Coast Guard Squadron Three


The Anniversary of the Coast Guard while off Vietnam:



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,453 other followers

%d bloggers like this: