Historian and Author Tom Perry's thoughts on history and anything that comes to mind.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Revised Book: Notes From The Free State Of Patrick

Notes From The Free State Of Patrick REVISED 2010 Edition relase set for February 28, 2010, at Mount Airy Museum of Regional History and on March 6, 2010, at the Bassett Historical Center Symposium.

You can purchase the book at www.amazon.com

All of Tom Perry's books will soon be available at Barnes and Noble and other outlets through Ingram distribution.

This revised edition originally published in 2008 contains articles, speeches, blogs, and stories in 241 pages with chapters on J. E. B. Stuart’s great-grandfathers who fought in the American Revolution, Reynolds Homestead, Virginia Tech “Hokie” History, two chapters on Stoneman’s 1865 Raid, United States History, North Carolina History, Virginia History, Patrick County People and History, African-Americans in the Civil War, the World War Two Plane Crash on Bull Mountain in 1944, the men who lost their lives from Patrick County in Vietnam, J. E. B. Stuart and Patrick County and Thomas Jefferson: First American Architect. The latter is Perry’s first paper written for eleventh grade English at Patrick County High School in 1978. Found by Perry’s mother in 2009, he revised it for this book. Perry includes ideas about using history and tourism to promote Patrick County along with a chapter on the Patrick County Oral History Project.

This book begins with an essay titled “Cobblestones on Crawford Avenue” that deals with Perry’s love of history that stems from many people including his maternal grandparents who lived in Augusta, Georgia, near Crawford Avenue. The book ends with a talk given at the Patrick County Courthouse in 2006 about the men and women, who called The Free State of Patrick “Home” during the War Between the States.

This book is dedicated to Perry’s friends and second set of parents Theodore C. and Bertie Hill Guynn. Perry spent many years as a youth staying with the Guynns on their farm along the Ararat River while his parents worked. Walking and working the farm at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains exposed Perry to many stories and history that still influence his writings. Included in the book is a story titled "Everything I Know I Learned From Theodore Guynn," given as a talk at Guynn's eightieth birthday party in 2007.

To learn more specifics about this book visit http://www.freestateofpatrick.com/notes

To see the table of contents and index visit http://www.freestateofpatrick.com/notestitles.pdf

J. E. B. Stuart’s biographer Emory Thomas describes Tom Perry as "a fine and generous gentleman who grew up near Laurel Hill, where Stuart grew up, has founded J. E. B. Stuart Birthplace, and attracted considerable interest in the preservation of Laurel Hill. He has started a symposium series about aspects of Stuart’s life to sustain interest in Stuart beyond Ararat, Virginia." Perry holds a BA in History from Virginia Tech in 1983.

Perry started the J. E. B. Stuart Birthplace Preservation Trust, Inc. in 1990. The non-profit organization preserved 75 acres of the Stuart property including the house site where James Ewell Brown Stuart was born on February 6, 1833. Perry wrote the original eight interpretive signs about Laurel Hill’s history along with the Virginia Civil War Trails sign and the Virginia Historical Highway Marker in 2002.

He spent many years researching traveling all over the nation to find Stuart materials including two trips across the Mississippi River to visit nearly every place "Jeb" Stuart served in the United States Army (1854-1861). He continues his work to preserve Stuart’s Birthplace producing the Laurel Hill Teacher’s Guide for educators and the Laurel Hill Reference Guide for groups and the organization to share his lifetime of research on the only preserved site in the nation relating to the birthplace and boyhood home of James Ewell Brown Stuart.

Tom can be seen on Virginia Public Television’s Forgotten Battlefields: The Civil War in Southwest Virginia with his mentor noted Civil War Historian Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Perry has begun a collection of papers relating to Stuart and Patrick County history in the Special Collections Department of the Carol M. Newman Library at Virginia Tech under the auspices of the Virginia Center For Civil War Studies. He is the author of ten books including Ascent to Glory, The Genealogy of J. E. B. Stuart, The Free State of Patrick: Patrick County Virginia in the Civil War, and Images of America: Patrick County Virginia and Notes From The Free State Of Patrick from which the program on February 28 will be based.

In 2004, Perry began the Free State Of Patrick Internet History Group, which has become the largest historical organization in the area with over 500 members. It covers Patrick County Virginia and regional history. Tom produces a monthly email newsletter about regional history entitled Notes From The Free State of Patrick that goes from his website www.freestateofpatrick.com.

In 2009, Perry used his book Images of America Henry County Virginia to raise over $25,000 for the Bassett Historical Center, “The Best Little Library in Virginia,” and as editor of the Henry County Heritage Book raised another $30,000 of the $800,000 raised to expand the regional history library. He will donate proceeds from the sale of all his books to the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History on the day of the program “Makers of History:” African-Americans in the Civil War.

The program will cover many aspects of several people from Frederick Douglas, the slave who acquired his freedom and became the first in a long line of African-American leaders. Along with Perry’s personal research on the slaves at the Laurel Hill Farm, the birthplace of J. E. B. Stuart just outside Mount Airy, North Carolina, in Ararat, Virginia to Booker T. Washington and Kittie Reynolds of the Reynolds Homestead, Perry tells the story of many fascinating people who were born to slavery and survived to experience the promise of freedom the war brought. In modern times Perry discusses John Hope Franklin and Martin Luther King, Jr. and the many aspects and the relationships these people had with the War Between the States. From life during the war for the slaves and “free people of color” to the Civil Rights Movement of the twentieth century, Perry explores how the war is still with us in 2009.

Tom Perry will present Frank Stringfellow: Martinsville Minister, Confederate Spy at the Bassett Historical Center Symposium, March 6, 2010, 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Site is the Old John D. Bassett High School, now EMI in Bassett, Virginia.

Visit the website www.bassetthistoricalcenter.com for more information.

A Message From Dan River Supervisor Roger Hayden

Dan River Supervisor in Patrick County, Virginia, sent me the following message and it is posted as a public service.

The message below is sent on behalf of Rondi Furgason, CenturyLink General Manager-V
Link Below, Please Help! It is imperative that we defeat Defeat HB378.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am writing to alert you to an urgent situation that has developed at the Virginia General Assembly that could have a severe impact on CenturyLink’s customers and the Company’s ability to continue broadband investment in the 34 mostly rural counties and 7 cities we serve in Virginia, including your area.

I have provided a more detailed explanation below, but in sum certain members of the General Assembly are considering a bill that would ultimately force companies like CenturyLink to eliminate the equivalent of its entire annual capital budget over the next year. Our capital dollars are the very dollars that enable broadband, improve service quality and ensure safety and reliability for services such as 911 for emergency and homeland security threats. During the past year, CenturyLink invested over $20 million dollars in Virginia. We are expecting to make a similar investment in Virginia this year, although the pending bill could certainly affect that decision.

As introduced, this legislation is bad public policy with virtually no consumer benefit. I hope that you would agree with me that access to broadband services and the ability to build infrastructure for new businesses are critical components of a comprehensive effort to bring new jobs and more opportunities to rural Virginia. If you agree, I hope that you will call your state delegate and state senator today and ask them to oppose House Bill 387. The initial votes on this bill could occur as early as next week. If you do not know who represents you in Richmond, you can find that information by going to the General Assembly’s website at http://legis.state.va.us/ and selecting the “Who’s My Legislator” button.

Background. As you probably know, on July 1, 2009, Embarq became CenturyLink. Also in 2009, the State Corporation Commission issued an order that requires that CenturyLink reduce a major component of its “access charges” by 25% on July 1, 2010 and another 25% by July 1, 2011 and stated that it would address the remaining 50% in a proceeding to begin in July of this year. “Access charges” are the charges paid by long distance companies, such as Sprint and AT&T, to local Virginia companies, such as CenturyLink, to connect calls from customers who are served by Virginia local telecommunications companies. Although CenturyLink disagrees with the Commission’s action, the Commission was sensitive to the possible adverse effects of the revenue loss on CenturyLink’s investment and consumers’ rates and provided an opportunity for CenturyLink to manage the loss over time. The current bill, which was instigated by Sprint, would interfere in the pending case and force the complete elimination of over $20 million over a much shorter timeframe. At the same time, the “savings” that companies like Sprint receive would not stay in Virginia to benefit our citizens, but rather go back to their out-of-state corporate headquarters.

Your help on this issue is critical for rural Virginia. We may not have as many votes in Richmond as the large metro areas, but I believe that those of us who live, work and invest in rural Virginia need to work together ensure that our voices are heard.


Rondi Furgason
General Manager, VA

From Roger T Hayden
Dan River District Supervisor, PCBOS
390 Cox Ridge Road'
Claudville, Va 24076
"Together WE can make a Difference in Twenty-Ten"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sundays At Augusta: Cobblestones on Crawford Avenue

"A boy never gets over his boyhood, and never can change those subtle influences which have become a part of him, that were bred into him when he was a child.” —Thomas Woodrow Wilson

Augusta, Georgia, in the summer is hot when compared with the mountain breezes coming off Groundhog Mountain in The Hollow, present day Ararat, Virginia. Every summer as a youth, I made a sojourn to the Peach State to spend two weeks with my maternal grandparents Floyd Thomas and Elizabeth Prescott Hobbs. They lived at 1815 Fenwick Street.

Today getting to the home of “tradition like no other. The Masters on CBS” is easy straight down I-77 to I-20 and before five hours are up you arrive at the Savannah River. Augusta is one of the oldest urban areas in Georgia and is full of history.

Getting to my grandparent’s home involved crossing a two-lane bridge over the Savannah River, which terrified me as a young boy. (My fear of heights came from my paternal Uncle Buddy throwing me in the air.) After crossing the river, we made our way up Walton Way named for George Walton, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He along with Lyman Hall and Button Gwinett signed from Georgia.

Next was a right turn onto Crawford Avenue. The street, named for George Crawford, an Attorney General and Governor of Georgia, who served as Secretary of War under President Zachary Taylor 1849-50 was bricks or cobblestones. Crawford voted for secession and lived until 1872. To arrive at my grandparent’s home you drove across Crawford Avenue for a couple of blocks bouncing on the cobblestones. Bricks in the street were unheard of in Ararat. In fact, pavement on the roads was almost unheard of in the western end of the county in the decades of the 1960s and 1970s.

The Civil War dominates Georgia whether it is Gone With The Wind or the many fine homes of Washington just northwest of Augusta. The state of my mother’s birth was where I first came into an awareness of the conflict that nearly tore our nation apart and the source should not surprise anyone who knows my mother or me.

My grandmother Elizabeth “Momma Lizzie” worked at Bailey’s framing shop at the corner of 8th and Ellis or Greene Street. One of my favorite memories of her is riding with her on the bus to downtown where she worked. I remember getting to pull the cord on the bus that signaled the driver to stop and let us off. We would get off the bus near the Presbyterian Church and manse, where young Thomas Woodrow Wilson experienced the War Between the States first hand in Augusta. As his father was pastor of the church Wilson spent his youth in Augusta and Columbia, South Carolina, after being born in Staunton, Virginia.

Wilson’s boyhood home is now a museum that I visit every time I go to Augusta. Authors and the City of Augusta document its Civil War history very well. The Arsenal, now Augusta State University and gunpowder factories from the American Revolution and Civil War still sit beside the Augusta Canal. The grave of E. Porter Alexander, the best writer of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia is in the city.

“Momma Lizzie” always left me presents in a special drawer the mirrored chest of her guest room where I slept during my visits. Elizabeth Hobbs and her history are still with me. Today that chest sits in my bedroom with the bed. Her love seat and my grandfather’s writing desk and lamp are in my office area where I work on my historical research. Their guest room faced the street where I can remember the streetlights shining in the room at night and sound of trains in the middle of the night rumbling into Georgia’s “Garden City.”

The making of chicken and dumplings was a work of art when my grandmother did it. She left the dumplings out over night. She often spoke to me about her family history while needing the dough with her youngest grandchild. Her favorite topic was the War Between the States and William Sherman was a dirty word to this devout Baptist woman. She attended Crawford Avenue Baptist Church just around the corner from her home.

On our trips downtown we would often pass the First Baptist Church where my parents were married on December 22, 1957, a good year for Chevrolets. My father stationed in the United States Army in Stuttgart, Germany, won a football contest in the Stars and Stripes Newspaper. The prize included a trip home. Erie Meredith Perry came home and married my mother Betty Jane Hobbs in Augusta. He continues to pick winner in newspaper football contests along with every other member of our family including the cats whose names appear from time to time on forms. My mother has often had to pretend to be a cat when picking up my father’s ill-gotten gains from the Mount Airy News.

My grandfather Floyd Thomas Hobbs grew up outside Augusta. He worked in the shipyards of Savannah and Wilmington, North Carolina, during World War II. He worked as a mechanic after the war and hurt his neck when a car struck him on Broad Street. One story about him I remember was the embarrassment he felt after running a red light and the resulting police officer pulling him over with his grandson in the car. He had a green thumb growing roses and azaleas around his small house on Fenwick Street that are also growing around his daughter’s home in Ararat, Virginia.

Just around the corner was my grandmother’s sister Pearl, who married Restie
Usry. She had a 1965 purple Ford Galaxy 500 that had plastic on the seats. She parked it behind the house in a garage, where my mother’s sister Kathryn now lives near Walton Way. Her son James Randall Usry died of leukemia and was the first person to receive a complete blood transfusion at the Medical College of Georgia.

Augusta is home to The Masters golf tournament, which I have visited on practice rounds many times in my life. Now you have to be in a lottery to get tickets. During my youth, you could walk up to the gate with ten bucks and walk in. Another ten dollars would allow you to eat and even buy a small souvenir. Many people talk about the snobbery around the Augusta National Golf Club not letting women in as members, but that golf tournament is the best run event I ever saw. I have seen Jack Nicklaus, my golf hero, in person play the course he won on six times. I saw him skull a shot once in a practice round when arrived late for a practice round with Arnold Palmer, who won four times and Greg Norman, who should have won it that many times.

The Savannah River separates the city from North Augusta, South Carolina. My mother’s brother Ed Hobbs and his wife Cleopatra lived near Edgefield. Pat worked at the top-secret Savannah River Plant, where she worked on “secret” things that I think involved radiation and probably contributed her health problems later in life. They were great to me. They were fond of their dogs. They had Chinese Pugs: Sam, Sissy, and Samantha among others. Edgefield was home to Strom Thurmond and Confederate General James Longstreet, whose birthplace we pass going to visit my aunt and uncle. They also had a trailer up on Clark Hill Lake on the river north of town, where I spent many pleasant days and my wedding night.

President Wilson was not the only occupant of the White House with an Augusta connection. Dwight David Eisenhower, the hero of World War II, played golf at the Augusta National Golf Club and attended Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church on Walton Way.

Like another Augusta resident, soulful singer James Brown, the city makes me “feel good” by bringing back many good memories. This is my personal history.

Woodrow Wilson as a young man saw Confederate President Jefferson F. Davis brought through the city in chains after his capture and Robert E. Lee after waiting several hours during the former’s visit after the war. Wilson once said, “The only place in the country, the only place in the world, where nothing has to be explained to me, is in the South”

Augusta first visited by the Spanish explorer DeSoto, George Washington, and me at the end of The Great Wagon Road that ends along the Savannah River after starting on Market Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a place that history is alive. The Great Wagon Road crosses the far eastern border of Patrick County, Virginia.

Patrick County, Virginia, has many good people and much interesting history. This book is my attempt to share some of the stories from my monthly email newsletter in five hundred word stories about the people and history. There are chapters from men who shared their interest in particular subjects such as Clarence Hall on the World War II plane crash on Bull Mountain. There are several of my speeches included from topics varying from the American Revolution to the Civil War. I present these to the reader not because I know everything about the history of my home county. I believe that the history of the county would be a great way to promote the county, but most of all I believe in sharing this history and not hording it for some future unknown reason that will never happen. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Patrick County History began for me with the Virginia historical marker written by Douglas Southall Freeman and placed at the Laurel Hill Farm in the 1932 to mark James Ewell Brown Stuart’s one-hundredth birthday. An article in the Mount Airy Times from that year stated, ‘The marker, which is beautiful in its simple way, marks a spot near Mount Airy that should be of universal interest to residents of this section. The effort to commemorate the birth of Stuart in this section is one worthy of commendation.’ This marker became the obsession of life and fueled my interest in Jeb Stuart and history.

It is my hope that by sharing this information, history will pass to visitors and those involved in the future preservation of the many faceted heritages it represents. By sharing this history across the region, I hope that man made boundaries of state or county will not keep people from realize that Laurel Hill and Civil War history can be a great magnet for visitors and those in the region who love history. For me history began with cobblestones of Crawford Avenue.

This is the Foreword to my newly revised Notes From The Free State Of Patrick available today at www.amazon.com and soon to be around the region. I will be speaking at the Mount Airy Museum on February 28 at 3 p.m. on Makers of History: African-Americans in the Civil War, which is a chapter in this newly revised version of collection of articles, speeches, blogs, and ideas about Patrick County, Virginia, and Regional History. You can order this book from Amazon here.

I like to blog occasionally on the history of my mother’s hometown, Augusta, Georgia, and the history around it and that I have come face to face with. Taking a cue from The Masters golf tournament I call them Sundays at Augusta as I blog about it on Sundays.

Here is a link to the Table of Contents and Indes for Notes From The Free State Of Patrick.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Heritage Book Deadline February 1

The deadline for submission of articles for the book and purchase of the Henry County Heritage Book is February 1, 2010. The non-profit group has met publishing goals but the large number of still incoming submissions has led the committee to extend the deadline. The book has sold over 500 copies with over 400,000 words submitted. Stories from nearly every state including from as far away as Texas, California, and Florida have been submitted and even stories from France with a Henry County connection have come into the Bassett Historical Center. Pioneer Stories are 1,000 words and 2 photos free. (A Pioneer Family is one which was in Henry County before 1800). Family Stories are 500 words and 1 photo free. Community Stories are the editor’s discretion at 1,000 words and two photos. Military Stories are 100 words with a photo preferably in uniform. Church Histories are 250 words with one photo. (Churches over 100 years old get 500 words and two photos.) Topical Stories are 250 words and one photo. Articles can go over these guidelines at a cost of 10 cents a word and extra photos or enlargements are at $12.50. Send stories via email if possible to Tom Perry at freestateofpatrick@yahoo.com. Photos must be 300 dpi. Email submissions are accepted. All profits go to the building fund of the Bassett Historical Center. www.bassetthistoricalcenter.com.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shovels In The Ground

When you are part of something that is successful and something you know will be here long after you are gone, it is a source of great pride. I have twice had that feeling in my life. First, twenty years ago when I led the effort to preserve the Birthplace of J. E. B. Stuart and now as construction is underway to double the size of our regional history library, the Bassett Historical Center.

With tough economic times in Henry County, Virginia, and our region it is amazing that this group raised $800,000 including a $200,000 matching grant from the Harvest Foundation. I donated all the royalties from my book Images of America: Henry County Virginia and the profit the from Henry County Heritage Book will raise $50,000 for the expansion of the library that will add over 4,000 square feet to the building.

Construction crews have started pouring footings along the Smith River in Bassett, Virginia, and “The Best Little Library in Virginia” will soon begin to have four new walls creating more workspace and a meeting room for programs. There are many collections at the library with Patrick County material including mine, O. E. Pilson, Eunice Kirkman, and Lela Adams. There is material on every county in Virginia and all the surrounding North Carolina counties.

Tom Perry presenting Phil Dalton of the Building Fund Committee of the Bassett Historical Center. The book Images of America: Henry County Virginia raised $25,000 for the expansion of our regional history library. James I. Robertson, Jr. of Virginia Tech came to raise money for the Bassett Historical Center in May 2009.

Read related stories from Martinsville Bulletin

The Bassett Historical Center has been called 'the best little library in Virginia'. The Center has grown considerably since we merged with Blue Ridge Regional Library in 1992. From that time through 2004, our patron count increased 1359% over a period of 13 years. Since 1998 we have had an increase of 125% per year. People from all 50 states and 9 foreign countries have visited the Center. Our family files now number 9496, local history files number 2518, and our books number 11,074.

The Historical Center's history is tied closely with the Bassett Branch Library. Both were a part of the early efforts made by members of the Bassett Garden Club, spearheaded by Mrs. Effie Noland in 1939, who dreamed of a Library for the community. In early years, the genealogy material was housed in a single file cabinet and one shelf. Until the flood of Labor Day, 1987, the material was kept in the Library basement. Immediately the need was realized by the Bassett Public Library Board to bring this material to the upper level, which necessitated a building addition. This addition was realized in November 1988, and housed the genealogy materials and the children's area. Genealogy was kept in the room that currently holds the American Indian and the Civil War material. In 1992, the Bassett Public Library had become a part of the Blue Ridge Regional Library System. The Bassett Branch was again bursting at the seams and the Board of Directors named a committee to lead a community effort to raise money to purchase the building across the street for the "regular" library. This project was completed in November 1998, leaving the genealogy materials in the original building. For a few months the staff thought it might take a very long time before all the shelves would be needed, however, collections are donated to the Center on a continuing basis and the shelves are again getting full.

The early collection consistently grew through the efforts of dedicated people such as Mrs. Effie Noland, Mrs. Shirley Brightwell Bassett, Mrs. Lelia Adams, and Mrs. Martha Jane Clark. The present-day collections are growing due to the staff and the volunteers who faithfully care for the patrons and the data on the shelves just waiting to be uncovered again. Patrons and researchers have been extremely generous with their files and books. The Center currently houses over 11,000 genealogy books, around 7000 genealogy family files, 995 genealogy files Pilson Collection, over 2500 local history files and 112 personal computer genealogy collections. Local company collections from DuPont, Tultex, Bassett-Walker, and Blue Ridge Hardware & Supply Co., are housed here. Henry County is one of the five counties in Virginia that has a Cohabitation List. Slaves were not permitted to marry legally but did have families, with the counties keeping records of which slaves were cohabitating. Also available is the "Afro-American Marriages of Henry County, Virginia,” by Harris and Millner, which would be helpful to find an ancestor dating back to the early or mid-1800's. The collection of Mr. John B. Harris, African-American educator and historian, is also housed here. Mr. Richard Gravely is responsible for the "Bicentennial Collection,” a collection of county records and loose papers found in the Henry County Courthouse, being housed here.

Researchers have visited the Historical Center from every state in the Union and from Sweden, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, England, Canada, Luxembourg, Taiwan, and Italy.

The information in the Historical Center focuses on 5 immediate counties in Virginia: Henry, Patrick, Floyd, Franklin, Pittsylvania; and 3 bordering counties in North Carolina: Rockingham, Surry, and Stokes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

He's Back

I am a notorious early riser and for years I watched Imus in the Morning on MSNBC. For years I have been unable to watch Don Imus and sideman Charles McCord as they were on RFD with talk of pork futures, but now He’s Back!

Don Imus is now on the Fox Business Network from 6 until 9 a.m. every morning. After his stupid remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team and his firing from MSNBC he spent several years on RFD, but now he is back. I have watched nothing else in the early hours as I work on book manuscripts since he came back near the end of 2009.

The irreverent humor of Imus, who is “fighting a courageous battle with prostate cancer” cracks me up. From Rob Bartlett’s “Gangsta Mickey,” Mickey Mouse with a “negro dialect” as Harry Reid might say,Tony Powell, who does a poetic Reverend Jesse Jackson or Producer Bernie “Cardinal Eagan,” no one is off limits.

With some the beautiful women from Fox appearing as guests and musical guests, Imus is back and I hope he destroys the pathetic Morning Joe on MSNBC that took his place in the ratings. Among the ladies is Dagen McDowell, who hails from Brookneal, Virginia, and graduated from Wake Forest, and engages Imus with talk of her family that leads to much good natured Southern bashing.

Imus is well known for his ranch in New Mexico, where every summer he and his wife, Deidre, host kids with cancer.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Free State Of Patrick In New York Times

Ever wonder where the term Free State Of Patrick comes from. Well, in my book The Free State Of Patrick: Patrick County Virginia in the Civil War I state that I think it comes from the Civil War. Patrick County descends from Lunenburg County “The Old Free State.” During the War Between the States when secession was all the rage, the idea that if Virginia did not secede that Patrick County would, but of course Patrick County did not vote to secede until after Abraham Lincoln called on troops from the South to put down the “rebellion” after the firing on Fort Sumter. There is the Free State of Jones or the State of Jones that is the subject of several books that took the opposite view in Mississippi that the county was pro-Union or at least anti-Confederate within the state that the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis called home.

Back to Patrick County, Virginia, and the Free State Of Patrick, the first time I have found it called that in print comes from the New York Times of June 18, 1882, reported from Danville, Virginia, three days earlier on June 15 from a reporter of the Baltimore Sun wrote “The Want in Patrick County VA.” This was two years before Taylorsville became Stuart, Virginia.

This newspaper is not the New York Times today, but a struggling newspaper, one of many in Gotham at that time. This NYT was thirty-one years old when this article appeared. It was believe it or not a mouthpiece of the Republican Party and would not support a Democrat until two years later in 1884 when the county seat became Stuart, Virginia.

In 1882, Patrick County Virginia, was suffering through a drought and the article implies that the 13,300 people were starving. That is another story, but here are the first two mentions I know of it print of the term The Free State Of Patrick.

“These people have ever lived in their mountain county almost to themselves, being entirely independent of the balance of the world, and having the least possible intercourse with it. So notorious is this face that the county has from time immemorial enjoyed the sobriquet of ‘The Free State of Patrick.’”

“The year 1880 found them with nearly enough old grain to carry them through the 12 months. They had no way to get it to market, and hence there was no inducement to the farmer to pitch a crop. Can it be wondered that the people of ‘The Free State of Patrick’ made the year 1880 a kind of holiday and gave their usual avocations but little attention?”

Here is the link to the entire story from the New York Times

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Text $10 To Red Cross For Haiti

Text the word "Haiti" to 90999 to donate $10 On behalf of the Red Cross in the U.S.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Imitation Is The Most Sincere Form Of Flattery

Boyd's Restaurant in Ararat was the scene of a gathering on Jan. 5 of local residents who are excited about planning a festival for the Ararat community. Participants included Dan River District Supervisor Roger Hayden. Other interested citizens attending included Janet Epperson, representing the Dan River Park; and representatives of Boyd's Restaurant, Windy Hill Orchard, grow-your-own produce farms, racing, accommodations and other attractions in the area. Jeanie Puckett of Doe Run Farm and Cindy and Gary Hoback of Wolf Creek Farm Bed and Breakfast Inn initiated the meeting. Gary and Alesia Nester of Rolling Thunder Raceway also voiced their enthusiasm for helping increase tourism in the Ararat area. The group agreed that it should build on existing assets including the mountain views, orchards, greenhouses, history, local craftspeople, music, and the Dan River Park. Participants reviewed lists of festivals in Patrick County as well as neighboring areas in North Carolina, and agreed it would be a benefit to the community and tourists to hold a festival in the near future. Anyone who would like to present ideas or make comments, or who may be interested in helping this committee is welcome to attend the next planning session on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. at Boyd's Restaurant, located across from Blue Ridge Elementary School on the Ararat Highway. You do not have to be a business owner to participate. If you have questions, please call Jeanie Puckett at 276-251-8287 or Cindy Hoback at 276-251-7645.

For years I tried to form a group like this. Last year we had a festival at the Ruritan Club that only two of these people participated in. I hope this group is successful and I will bring my tent to their festival and sell books to raise money for a cause of my choosing until then I believe that “Imitation is the sincere form of flattery.”

Someone in Henry County recently said to me that unless you are going to Ararat for a reason “Why would anyone go to Ararat?” Well, that is the sort of attitude that I love to hear because I can begin my preaching.

Ararat, Virginia, is the most historic community in Patrick County. No one place has produced the number of famous people. There is J. E. B. Stuart, who never set foot in the county seat that bears his name, but is probably the most important historic figure from Southwest Virginia, much less The Free State Of Patrick

There is Orleana Hawks Puckett, who lived only a short time on top of the mountain and probably not in the cabin that bears her married name. She lived at the foot of Groundhog Mountain, where her own children are buried just up the road from the Doe Run Church and The Hollow History Center.

There is Reverend Robert “Bob” Childress made famous in the most popular book along the Blue Ridge Parkway The Man Who Moved A Mountain. Bob was born and spent half his life in Ararat, Virginia. I have researched and marked many of the places with a connection to his life when he was the “Hellion From The Holler.”

There is the Epperson Family, who made radio stations a business mainly in North Carolina. There are soldiers like the late “Levi” Barnard, who lost his life in Iraq last year and James T. W. Clement, who lies at Hunter’s Chapel, who was with Stuart and Turner Ashby on the day they both received mortal wounds in the Civil War.

There is racing history from the days that Anthony Terry and Bernie Epperson went from Bassett to Martinsville to Bowman Gray Stadium and the Rolling Thunder. There is “The Dinky” or the Mount Airy and Eastern Railroad that ran over a hundred years ago through the middle of Ararat to the Dan River. Anthony Terry found some of the rails a few years back and they are now on display at The Hollow History Center.

Janet Epperson asked me to come up with some ideas for historical interpretation for the walking trail at the Dan River Park and these are some of the ideas I gave her. Athletics and history might bring some people to The Hollow as well. These are just some examples of the history in Ararat, Virginia, which if promoted correctly could bring visitors to the community for multiple reasons.

I am working on a book about the history along the Ararat River, which runs from Bells Spur Church to Siloam, North Carolina, that includes all of this. Ararat is and always will be more associated with Mount Airy and it is the “Granite City” that tourism should focus on. I hope they will continue to use my ideas because as I said “Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.”

Friday, January 15, 2010

Black Confederates Part Two Free People

Patrick County’s population, according to the 1860 Census of the United States, was just over 9,300 people. Of these, twenty-two percent were slaves and one percent were "free persons of color." There were two hundred fewer people in the county than in 1850 and less than three hundred people lived in the county seat of Taylorsville, but better known as Patrick Court House.

The life of free Blacks and slaves in Patrick County during the war included tight control and forced service to the South. A law passed in 1793 required all “Free Negroes” to register at their local courthouse every three years and purchase a certificate at a cost of twenty-five cents. The law required them to give their name, age, color (mulatto or black), status, to report what court had emancipated them and made it illegal to employ a free person without the above certificate. In June 1861, four free black women Hannah Going, Ruth Going, Jennie Johnson, and Rachel Johnson registered at Taylorsville, now Stuart, Virginia.

Five hundred thousand “free people of color” lived in the entire nation in 1860, and a quarter million lived in the South. Virginia’s free black population reached nearly sixty thousand. One hundred and thirty-one called Patrick County home in 1860. Between 1820 and 1860, never more than 140 “free people of color” lived in Patrick County. As blacksmiths, wagoners, wheelwrights, farmers and laborers, these “free people” made up a productive part of the population, though only five owned real estate. Always suspected of being runaway slaves, they lived under a harsh set of rules that forbade them entry into certain professions and even prevented selling agricultural products without a license.

The Virginia General Assembly passed a law on February 12, 1863, calling for the “enrollment and employment of free Negroes” in the war effort. On September 29, 1863, Confederate authorities conscripted James or Jarvus Beaver, Alis Fenly, Josephus Givny, Soloman Johnson, Edward Loggin, Jackson Loggin, Samuel Nelson, Governor Phillips, Peter Rickman, Harrison Steward, Henry Steward, Salie Stuart, Granville Stuart, William H. Travis and John Vaughan into service. This service was for laborers, not soldiers.

Records exist relating to several of these people. Governor Phillips stood five foot ten inches tall with black eyes, black hair, and black complexion. On July 1, 1864, he reported to Lieutenant Poole under the direction of the Confederate Quartermaster Department commanded by I. H. Lacy at New Bern in Pulaski County, Virginia. Granville Stewart, Josephus Goins, William Harris, James M. Hickman, Soloman Johnson, and Jacob Lac reported to New Bern also. These men enrolled from several counties, but all were born in Patrick County.

With this second post about “Black Confederates,” I am trying to bring out the facts that history based on evidence is what a historian does. These are the facts, not based on the emotions of the descendants of slave or free people of African descent or ideas about loyalty from these same ancestors to a people and system that enslaved them. The history of the War Between the States, the Civil War or whatever you choose to call it is not “Moonlight and Magnolia” of Gone With The Wind. It is many times harsha, but it always involves about people who tried to survive and do the best they could for their families. Real history is not playing dress up, but in the records and recorded memories of those who participated. It is not a pretty history, but it is our history, good and bad.

Black Confederates Part One Slave Requisitions

There is much talk these days on blogs and the internet about “Black Confederates.” Now the only “Black Confederate” I have encountered is H. K. Edgerton shown in the cartoon above. Several years ago I spoke with Mr. Edgerton of Asheville, North Carolina, at the Memorial Day remembrance at the Patrick County Courthouse in the town formerly known as Taylorsville. You can read more about him here.

The idea that African-Americans fought for the Confederate States of America is something that many members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans have taken on as a “cause celeb,” but I have found little evidence in Patrick County records to support the idea. In the famous photo showing a reunion of the Confederate Veterans in uptown Stuart, there is supposedly a Rufus Staples, who filled this role. I have been unable to find any evidence in the photo or in the records that Mr. Staples served in the Confederate armies.

What I have found is evidence that many enslaved men found themselves digging ditches for the armies of the South, but I find no evidence that they fought for these same armies. Near the end of 1862, Patrick County’s “Gentlemen Justices” received a request from Governor John Letcher (a cousin of J. E. B. Stuart) for non-combatant slaves “to labour on fortifications and other works necessary for the public defence.” This information comes directly from the Order Books in the Clerk’s Office in Stuart, Virginia.

The county appointed a committee including Barnes Carter, Asa Wood, G. H. Ashworth, J. W. Brammer, Reuben Ziglar, and Richard Wood to procure slaves in each of their districts. Sheriff Turner received 63 slaves on December 30, 1862. The use of slaves as teamsters, cooks, personal servants to officers, and laborers to dig trenches and build earthworks enhanced the Confederate war effort and made up for the disparities in numbers between Union and Confederate forces. September 1863 brought another requisition of forty-eight slaves for delivery on October 12, 1863.

As the war progressed signs of the pressure citizens dealt with included the refusal of Barksdale, Stovall and Company in 1864 to release a list of slaves for possible requisition by the government. During January 1865, the county received the third request for slaves from the Confederate government. Local officials allocated nineteen persons to appear at the courthouse on April 17 and reported 214 able-bodied male slaves in Patrick County. As the war in Virginia ended on April 9, 1865, it is doubtful that these seventeen people ever saw service for the South. The total number of slaves requisitioned for Confederate service throughout the war totaled 130souls. (This information comes from my book The Free State Of Patrick: Patrick County Virginia in the Civil War. Below is a list of the slave owners and the number of their slaves requisitioned into service.)

Slave Requisitions by Virginia and Confederate Authorities From Patrick County

Name of Owner 1862 1863 1865
Adams, Joshua 1 0 0
Anthony, Mrs. Ben 0 1 0
Auggker, Phillip 0 1 0
Ayres, Martha 0 1 0
Barnard, Isham 0 1 0
Brim, Jospeh 0 1 0
Burwell, William 0 1 0
Carnaday, William 0 1 0
Carter, Madison 1 0 0
Clark, James H. 1 1 0
Clark, Jane 0 1 1
Clark, Robert M. 0 0 1
Clark, Thomas M. 0 1 1
Cobb, John 0 2 1
Cochram, Edward 1 1 0
Conner, William 1 0 0
Critz, Gabe 0 1 0
Critz, James P. 1 1 1
Critz, William 0 1 0
Davis, B. A. 0 1 1
DeHart, Charles 1 0 0
Foster, Abram 5 1 0
Frans, Joseph 1 0 0
Gray, David(Daniel) 0 1 0
Hairston, Samuel 0 3 0
Hubbard, Mrs. E. 0 0 1
Hubbard, Mrs. John 0 1 0
Hylton, Gabe 0 1 0
Hylton, George 1 1 0
Hylton, Valentine 0 0 1
Joyce, John 0 1 0
Kennerly, Joseph 0 2 0
King, Ben S. 0 1 0
Langhorn, James S. 0 1 1
McCabe, Mrs. Mary 1 0 0
Moir, James 0 1 1
Morrison, Thomas 0 1 0
Murphy, Mrs. 0 1 0
Nelson, Charles 1 0 0
Nowlin, Spencer F. 0 1 0
Parker, John 0 1 0
Penn, George 1 0 0
Penn, Jackson 3 1 1
Penn, James A. 1 1 0
Penn, Jane 0 1 0
Penn, Mary 0 1 1
Penn, Mrs. 0 1 0
Penn, Mrs. James 0 1 0
Penn, Mrs. Gabriel 0 1 0
Penn, Peter 0 1 0
Penn, Polly 0 1 0
Penn, Thomas 5 1 1
Rangeley, James 0 1 0
Reynolds, Hardin W. 5 1 1
Sayars (Sawyers), James 0 1 0
Scales, Farmer 1 1 0
Spencer, William B. 0 1 0
Staples, Mary 1 0 0
Staples, Mrs. C. 0 1 0
Staples, Samuel G. 0 1 1
Shelton, Lewis 0 1 0
Smith, Alexander 0 0 1
Stovall,Barksdale 0 4 0
Tatum, Edward 0 1 0
Tatum, Pryor 0 1 1
Tatum, William F. 0 1 0
Thomas, Mrs. Richard 1 0 0
Tuggle, Henry 1 1 1
Turner, E. B. 1 0 0
Via, Alexander C. 0 2 1
Wilson, Samuel 6 1 2
Ziglar, C. 0 2 0
Zentmeyer, John N. 0 1 0

Total 63 48 19 130 Total Persons

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cavalry Seminar At Liberty University

Here is another cavalry seminar this spring. I will be setting up selling books myself at this event. I am particularly looking forward to hearing my good friend Horace "The Manly Man" Mewborn speak on John Mosby. Dr. Robertson will give the keynote speech on Friday night. He is working with the Chaplain's Museum at Liberty University.

The 14th Annual Liberty University
Civil War Seminar
"Jine the Cavalry": The US and CSA Cavalry in the Civil War.
March 26 @6:30 PM–9:30 PM March 27 @8:30 AM–4:30 PM March 28 @9:00 AM–10:00 AM

March 26–Kickoff Banquet at Pate Chapel at the Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, VA

March 27–Speaker Presentations and Artifact Displays at The Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center on the Campus of Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA

March 28–Period Worship Service at The R.C. Whorley Prayer Chapel on the Campus of Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA

Contact Info: 434-592-4366 or klburdeaux@liberty.edu
Dr. James I. Robertson, Key Note Address
Kent Masterson Brown, John Hunt Morgan
Scott Patchan, Phillip Sheridan
Dr. Brian Wills, Nathan Bedford Forrest
Eric J. Wittenberg, Custer and the Calvary Actions at Gettysburg
Jeffrey Wert, JEB Stuart
Horace Mewborn, John Mosby
Dr. Brenda Ayres, Flora: Mrs. J.E.B. Stuart
Steven Alexander, George Custer During the Latter Part of the Civil War
Delanie Stephenson, Libbie Custer: In the Shadow of Her Husband
Rev. Alan Farley, Period Church Service Sunday, March 28, 2009)

Admission: Everyone is encouraged to secure reservations for this seminar by Monday, March 1. Admission to the seminar prior to March 1 is $60 (which includes all of the seminar sessions, the Friday night banquet, and Saturday's luncheon). After March 2 the admission price is $65. After March 24 the admission price is $75. Admission for Friday only is $35 which includes the kick-off banquet. Admission for Saturday only is $40 which includes breakfast and lunch.

Other Info: In addition to the speakers presentations, there will be a silent auction on Friday, March 26, 2009 to benefit the National Civil War Chaplains Museum. There will also be displays and vendors on Saturday, March 27, 2009.
Breakfast and lunch on Saturday also provided.

Cavalry Seminar At Longwood

There are two Civil War Cavalry Seminars nearby in 2010. One below at Longwood College and another at Liberty University, which I will post later. These are serious seminars by published authors and one who is not at Longwood. Longwood is FREE. Both will feature Jeffry Wert who wrote Cavalryman of the Lost Cause, the new biography of J. E. B. Stuart. It was my great pleasure to assist Mr. Wert with this book. He found some new information about Stuart's family that he shared with me.


Cavalry Generals J.E.B. Stuart (CSA) and Philip Sheridan (USA)


February 27, 2010


9:00 a.m. Doors open

9:25 a.m. Introduction by Dr. David Coles, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy, Longwood University

9:30 a.m. Robert Dunkerly
“Horsepower and Firepower: Weapons of the Cavalry.”

10:00 a.m. Eric Wittenberg
“Little Phil: A Reassessment of the Civil War Leadership of
Gen. Philip H. Sheridan.”

11:15 a.m. Jeffery Wert
“‘He Stood out from the Great War Canvas’: Jeb Stuart.”

12:30 Lunch

After lunch Scott C. Patchan will speak on “Overview of cavalry operations in the 1864 Valley Campaign.”


Bert Dunkerly is currently a park ranger at Appomattox Court House NHP, where is the park’s historic weapons safety officer. He has worked at several other National Parks, including Gettysburg, Stones River, Jamestown, Kings Mountain, and Moores Creek. He has authored several articles and books on the Revolution, Civil War, and historic preservation.

Scott Patchan was born and raised in Ohio, and attended college at James Madison University. He has written dozens of articles for Civil War Magazine and other periodicals, is a contributing writer and historical consultant for the Time Life Series Voices of the Civil War and for the Kernstown Battlefield Association. He is a frequent lecturer on many aspects of Civil War history and is often requested as a battlefield tour guide. He is the author of Shenandoah Summer: The 1864 Valley Campaign. His first book The Forgotten Fury: The Battle of Piedmont, Virginia received critical acclaim when it was published in 1996 and is now out of print. He has a forthcoming book on the Battle of Third Winchester.

Jeff Wert graduated cum laude with a B. A. History from Lock Haven University in 1968. In 1976, he completed his M. A. in History at Penn State. Wert taught at Penns Valley Area High School from 1969 to 2002 and was Pennsylvania’s “Teacher of the Year” in 1999. He is now a full time author and an historian. He has written articles for Civil War Times Illustrated, American History Illustrated, Blue & Gray Magazine, America’s Civil War, Military History, Virginia Cavalcade, Pennsylvania History, and the Civil War News. Wert has contributed and edited Historical Times Illustrated’s “Encyclopedia of the Civil War.” He has wrote seven books including: From Winchester to Cedar Creek: The Shenandoah Campaign 1864; Mosby’s Rangers; General James Longstreet: The Confederacy’s Most Controversial Soldier; Custer: The Controversial Life of George Armstrong Custer; A Brotherhood of Valor, Gettysburg—Day Three, The Sword of Lincoln; and Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of J. E. B. Stuart. His books have won numerous awards. Wert has appeared on the History Channel’s “Civil War Journal”; C-Span 2’s “Book Talk”; and PBS’s “Valley of Fire.” Wert is an Honorary Board of Directors for the Civil War Preservation Trust; serves on the Advisory Council for the Lincoln Award at Gettysburg College; and is on the Historical Advisory Board for the Friends of Gettysburg.

Eric J. Wittenberg
An attorney in Columbus, Ohio, Eric Wittenberg has long been a student of Civil War cavalry operations. Wittenberg has published fifteen books on Civil War history, most of them centering on Virginia. Additionally, his articles have appeared in Gettysburg Magazine, North & South, Blue & Gray, Hallowed Ground, America’s Civil War, and Civil War Times Illustrated. He is very active in battlefield preservation, and serves as the vice president of the Buffington Island Battlefield Preservation Foundation and also serves on the Governor of Ohio Commission on Ohio’s Civil War Sesquicentennial. He is also active with the Civil War Preservation Trust and the Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation. He is a graduate of Dickinson College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

This annual seminar is sponsored by Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Eastern National Bookstore, The Department of History, Political Science, & Philosophy, and the Center for Southside Virginia History at Longwood University.
This seminar is FREE and open to the public. Parking available on Longwood University campus except in 24 hour reserved spaces, handicapped, or tow-away zones.
Lunch is available at the Longwood University Dining Hall. Signs will be posted on the Longwood University Campus. For directions to the campus go to www.longwood.edu. For more information contact Dr. David Coles at 434.395.2220 or Patrick Schroeder at 434.352.8987, Ext. 32

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Reenactors Batte In Court

Stanardsville Civil War dispute ends in courtroom stalemate
Published: January 7, 2010

STANARDSVILLE — In a Civil War re-enactment that went too far, two Union and Confederate cavalry commanders who tussled on the field of battle each were found not guilty of assault.

The two pressed charges against each other after the Sept. 19, 2009, re-enactment of the Battle of Stanardsville.

The Confederate commander, Doug Nalls, claimed his Union counterpart, Joseph Ferguson, knocked off his hat and Nalls allegedly responded by firing his revolver. While the weapon was not loaded with a bullet, the Union commander suffered facial injuries from the revolver’s powder blast, according to a prosecutor.

This chapter of the Civil War ended in a draw: A judge concluded yesterday that he could not find either man guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The Greene County commonwealth’s attorney said the re-enactment gone bad was the result of “bad blood” between the men that boiled over on the battlefield, located about 20 miles north of Charlottesville.

Confederate re-enactors testified during the several-hour trial that the two had exchanged words before the violent encounter. According to Confederate witnesses, the Union commander used archaic slurs such as “blaggard” and “knave” to describe his Confederate counterpart.

The prosecutor, Ronald L. Morris, said today that more contemporary insults were also exchanged. He said courtroom accounts of the physical exchange were in dispute except for two points: “The hat came off and the gun was fired.”

Nalls’ father testified he had to wade into battle to separate the men.
Ferguson left court unhappy with the outcome. “The feud on the battlefield goes on,” he said.

Injuries, accidental or otherwise, are not uncommon during Civil War re-enactments. In 2008, a Confederate re-enactor brought a loaded weapon into a battle being filmed for a documentary and shot and wounded a Union re-enactor. — The Associated Press

I saw this the other day, but leave it to Eric Wittenberg to post it first.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ghosts of Peyton Past

Useless Trivia Question: How many games did Tennessee Quarterback Peyton Manning winning at the University of Florida’s Griffin Stadium, Florida Field? Hint: Peyton never beat the University of Florida while at the University of Tennessee.

Answer: http://www.hokiesports.com/football/stats/showstats.html?5892

I know this bit of useless trivia because I was sitting there on December 30, 1994, watching it as the 1994 Virginia Tech Hokies lost to freshman Peyton Manning 45-23 and hearing “Rocky Top you’ll always be home sweet home to me” over and over again. VT lost to Peyton’s father Archie in the 1966 Liberty Bowl as Mississippi beat the Hokies 34-17 after Tech led 17-0 early in the game. Frank Beamer played in that game. No games with Eli Manning during his college career.

What I remember about that night is it was COLD even though it was in Florida. The Gator Bowl moved from Jacksonville because the stadium was under renovation for the Jacksonville Jaguars. So, the ex and I found ourselves in the town where many of the members of Lynyrd Skynyrd are buried.

It was Maurice DeShazo’s last game and the game Jim Drukenmiller tried to bring back the Hokies. Antonio Freeman and Brian Still were on the team. Both went on to the NFL playing wide receiver. On the defense for the “Fighting Gobblers” was Cornell Brown, the first big recruit to play for Bud Foster’s defense and Torrian Gray, who now coaches for Frank Beamer. It was the second year of the 17 year streak the team is in under Beamer. The first was a defeat of Lee Corso’s Indiana team in the 1993 Independence Bowl. It was the next to the last bowl game I went too. The 2000 National Championship Game in New Orleans was the last. I find HDTV much better than obnoxious drunk fans these days. In 1995, VT beat another UT (Texas) in the Sugar Bowl and the rest is history.

That leads to New Year’s Eve. When the Volunteers from Knoxville faced a far different Virginia Tech Football Program. I sure hope Peyton was watching and that he got tired of the Hokie Pokie. At 4 p.m. on New Year’s Day after the Criminoles from Florida State had won the Gator Bowl, Frank Beamer found himself all by himself as the number two active coach with 229 wins. Jim Tressell at Ohio State tied Beamer later that day and the two will no doubt go back and forth behind Joe Pa until he goes to the big creamery in the sky.

Call me cynical, but I doubt if any football program is clean, but I can’t imagine Frank Beamer losing his job for striking a player or locking a player in a dark room after a concussion. For six years in a row his team has won ten games. No one scored on Bud Foster’s defense in the second half of the last five games. If VT cheats I think the Hoos would have turned them in years ago, but it is football and no one is perfect. Something the arrogant Lane Kiffin and his fans in burnt orange learned on New Year’s Eve. I enjoyed it because it erased the Ghosts of Peyton Past.