Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gettysburg Daily

One of my favorite sites of late is Gettysburg Daily. I'm not sure who the author(s) is but they seem to be well connected among the guides there. Guides make frequent appearances in pictures and text. And they don't agree with the new pricing structure. At one point they had a post that explained how to get into the museum for free. But its a good way to keep in touch of what is happening in Gettysburg. A couple weeks ago they had several posts about the road repaving and how asphalt was touching a flank marker (and was eventually fixed). Yesterday's post was about the work being done on the Wills House. One great feature is that every picture tells you the compass direction the camera was facing, even on shots inside buildings.

I've added it to the blog list on the side but in some respects its not like a standard blog around here. It doesn't allow comments. It doesn't have a list of blogs, nor even previous entries. It does offer a list of categories but its pretty broad.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks by W. Craig Gaines

Encyclopedia of Civil War Shipwrecks by W. Craig Gaines
Recently my local library got in a bunch of newer Civil War books, and I've been reviewing them lately. I'm not much of a naval buff but this looked interesting so I picked it up. This book turns out to be a wonderful resource on Civil War era shipwrecks. It includes ships that were lost because of battle, raiding and those that sank for no war related reason. This includes ships that faced bad weather, accidental ran aground or just suffered mechanical failure.
The listings are grouped by area lost, such as Bahamas, East Indies, Lake Erie, Mississippi River, Florida, and Oklahoma (in the Arkansas River). There even was a listing for Wisconsin. The Berlin City was "stranded on July 8, 1861, at Oshkosh." It was a 74 ton side wheel steamer built in 1856. Next time I'm in Oshkosh (I have quite a bit of family there) I'll have to head to the library and find a newspaper to learn the rest of the story.
At the back is an index to all the ships listed so if you were looking for a particular ship you could find the section it is mentioned in without previously knowing where it sank. The dust jacket says there are over 2000 ships referenced in this book.
I really like this book and wish I had the shelf space to add it to my own library. For now I'll have to be content with borrowing my county library's copy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War by HW Crocker III
After reading Kevin Levine's post on this book I thought I was in for a horrible read. I didn't think it was that horrible. Sure it perpetuates some Lost Cause beliefs but it is not so horribly pro-Confederate. I thought both sides were presented mostly evenly. The section on the battles was fairly evenly done. The biographies, Lee, Thomas, Grant, Sherman, Longstreet, Forrest, Jackson, AP Hill, McClellan, Hampton, Stuart, Sheridan and Custer was even handed. Grant is not portrayed as a butcher. Lee receives a bit higher marks than I would give him but its not like Lee is portrayed as God on Earth. There is a small section on what if the Confederacy had won, and that was probably the worst area but even there I saw some points I could agree with.
Every so often there is a gray box titled, "Books Yankees Don't Want You to Read." That was a silly selection in the book and did not need to be there. Basically it is books that do not portray the South (and her generals, culture, etc) in a negative light. These were the most pro-Confederate sections in the book. Some of them were silly additions too. Like "Gone With the Wind" was listed. "Gone With the Wind" considered a classic book, and movie. Is it 100% true? No, but that's why its called fiction. I'm not sure who these "Yankees" are making the banned book list but I don't think I've ever heard of anyone wanting "Gone With the Wind" banned. There are certainly historians who lament that people get their history from "Gone With the Wind" but ever sort of mass market Civil War novel/movie is going to provoke that feeling among historians. I cannot think of a single movie I've watched that I could recommend whole heatedly as the truth.
Another book Yankees don't want you to read is Douglas Southall Freeman's four volume biography of Lee. If someone truly thinks the premier biography of a major participant of the war should be banned then they truly do not care about history. Not learning about a chief player in the war, no matter his side, is a serious mistake.
I will not keep this book in my library as it is too general a book for me but I think it would be a fine addition to a new student's library.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Diabetes Walk Recap

The diabetes walk was a success. I raised $195, which was more than last year. I think our team total is over $800 (a few envelopes have not come in yet). We had 7 walkers (plus one in a stroller) this year which was 2 more than last year, but we had 4 walkers drop out the day before the event so we nearly had double our 2007 turnout. All the pictures are on my dad's camera so I don't have any yet to share but will do so later this week. Thank you to everyone who donated to the American Diabetes Association, whether it was sponsoring me or donating to the walk in your area.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Haunted U.S. Battlefields by Mary Beth Crain

Haunted U.S. Battlefields: Ghosts, Hauntings, and Eerie Events from America's Fields of Honor by Mary Beth Crain

Once again I was wandering the library and saw this book in the new book section. Even though I'm not a believer in ghost stories I thought it might be interesting so I picked it up. The book has stories from all wars in America plus a few from locations outside the country.

I flipped to the Civil War sections and skimmed one about the ghost Chamberlain saw at Little Round Top, and thought the book was junk. But then I read the one about the green eyed ghost at Chickamauga, which is supposedly the spirit of Lt. Col. Julius Peter Garesche, Rosecrans chief of staff, who was decapitated by a cannon ball. Very spooky stories indeed but the problem is that Garesche was killed about nine months earlier at Stones River. So while his ghost may haunt a battlefield I doubt its Chickamauga. I put the book back in the library bag. I got through all of 4 or 5 pages but if this ghost story has this large of an error on something that can be checked quite easily how accurate can the stories be that cannot be double checked by a reader? How can I check if Joe Simpson was really at Brock Field on the evening of July 21, 1992? I can check when Garesche was killed (although in this instance I didn't have to check it, its standard knowledge). If the author made that part of the story up what's to say that she didn't make up the entire book?

Once again, a book I'm glad I did not waste money on. Although I'm a tad upset that the library wasted my taxpayer money on it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sherman's March in Myth and Memory by Edward Caudill and Paul Ashdown

Sherman's March in Myth and Memory by Edward Caudill and Paul Ashdown

I did not like this book. It was not what I thought it would be, although I had previously read their volume on Nathan Bedford Forrest so I knew what I was getting into. When I saw this on the library shelves I thought it might tackle the march in some constructive terms. For instance many authors describe this march as a nonstop looting and pillaging, leaving nothing but ashes in their wake. But if you follow the march today you see too many antebellum houses for this to have been true. I hoped in examining the myth of the march the authors would have done some sort of study into just how much was destroyed. Maybe an examination of census records to see what the value of property (houses and crops) was in 1860 versus 1870. Even a population comparison would have made sense. If Sherman really turned this area into a wasteland than there should be far fewer people living there in the 1870 census. Instead the authors focused their efforts on Sherman's march in the public memory. They discussed how the march, and Sherman, has been portrayed in books and movies. This seemed to be their focus. And that's fine, but when I think of a book examining the myth of the march I expect some sort of calculation of how severe it actually was. Maybe it was every bit as brutal as has been portrayed, or maybe it was much less severe. I want to know what the author thinks. I do not want to read a book about how Sherman and the march have been portrayed in novels, that does not interest me at all.

I liked their volume on Forrest. I didn't agree with all of their conclusions but I thought it was a good book, mostly because it challenged you to think more critically about Forrest. I did not come away with the same feeling on this book. I'm glad I got this book from the library and did not waste my money on it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New toy

Sorry I've been a little lax lately with my daily postings but I got a new toy. We got a new scanner at work which allows me to scan big batches of loose paper quickly. Then I can turn it into a pdf file. So I've been going through books that I'd previously made copies of, scanning them in and creating pdfs. I'll be able to throw away the paper copy thus saving shelf space. So far I haven't been able to bring myself to throw away the paper copies but I'm slowly pushing that pack-rat mentality aside. I have found one glitch though, it scans pictures in too dark. This is really a scanner for documents. So when its slow at work I've been making digital copies instead of focusing on what my next blog will be.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shenandoah 1862: Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign by Peter Cozzens

The other day I picked up Peter Cozzens' newest book, Shenandoah 1862: Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign, from the library. This book came out just a tad late to be of use to me during the recent roundtable study group on this campaign. But I was still interested to see the book. I haven't been able to sit down and devote a ton of time to reading it (its an impressive tome at over 600 pages) but I have skimmed it and read some sections on particular battles. I think this just might be the new main resource on the campaign, pushing Robert Tanner's book (Stonewall in the Valley) to the side. I like Cozzens' maps, although I wish they were larger and more plentiful. But they are nice maps nonetheless. I particularly like how the cartographer used shading to denote slopes and hills.

I've always liked Cozzens' work (Corinth-Iuka, Stones River, Chickamauga and Chattanooga). I was a bit surprised to see him leave the Western theater but his foray into the East is a very valuable addition to the history of this campaign. Now I hope he returns to the West and gives us the same treatment of a battle there.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Prentiss at Shiloh

In the December 2008 issue of Civil War Times Tim Smith has an article that examines how Prentiss came to be the hero of Shiloh. How despite commanding roughly 12% of the Hornets' Nest defenders he became the general chiefly associated with this defense in the stories of the battle.

I thought it was a very good article, I wished it had been longer but that's just my Shiloh bias speaking. Basically Smith focuses on why Prentiss got the credit and not on an examination of the fighting in the Hornets' Nest (perhaps he will do that in a future article).

To crudely summarize the article Prentiss became the synonymous with the Hornets' Nest primarily because his chief compatriot WHL Wallace was mortally wounded during the battle. Prentiss gives Wallace credit in his report but as time progresses people seem to forget about Wallace. The cyclorama that was painted in 1885 features Wallace and Prentiss though Prentiss is more prominent. Later paintings tend to leave Wallace out and only show Prentiss. This extends to writings, contemporary and modern historians have mostly given the credit to Prentiss. Perhaps the oddest oversight comes from the park service which features Prentiss prominently in the orientation movie as well as on the iron tablets that dot the battlefield. This iron tablets also minimize the efforts of Everett Peabody whose early morning reconnaissance revealed the Confederates' presence. The tablets simply state that a reconnaissance patrol from Prentiss' division started the battle and does not list the brigade commander directly responsible.

All in all I thought it was a good article although I'd have preferred more Hornets' Nest details. But as far as a dose of Shiloh writing in the major magazines this will admirably fill the void.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I was recently reading "Duty, Honor and Country: The Civil War Experiences of Captain William P. Black, Thirty-Seventh Illinois Infantry" [positive review forthcoming in Civil War News] and he relates an interesting episode I'd never heard of before.

In Black's letter of January 14, 1864 he talks about the January 12th battle of Matamoras, Mexico. At the time Black was stationed in Brownsville, Texas and it appears that the Union soldiers traveled back and forth from Brownsville to Matamoras all the time. The local Mexican leaders were in the midst of a power struggle which came to a head on January 12th.

Juan Cortina led a force of 600 men and 6 cannon against the current Governor Manuel Ruiz's 800 men and 4 cannon. The battle lasted about 18 hours but they took an hour break when Union soldiers arrived on the scene. The US Consul asked for a guard from the Union commander in Brownsville and he sent 4 companies of the 20th Wisconsin, 94th Illinois and Battery B 1st Missouri Artillery. The consul was worried for his family's safety as well as the safety of the roughly 1 million dollars he had in gold in silver. When the Union soldiers arrived both Mexican forces stopped fighting and sent couriers to the Americans to see why they were there. When the commanding officer convinced the Mexicans that they were only there to protect the consul the Mexicans went back to their own battle. Later the Union soldiers transported the consul and the gold and silver to Brownsville.

Cortina won the battle and became the new governor. Ruiz fled to Brownsville. There were roughly 150-200 Mexican casualties.

I found this little battle amazing because it seems so weird. The Union soldiers rush into foreign territory to protect their consul and the specie (probably more so the specie). And then the two Mexican forces pause their battle to find out what this third force intends to do. I'd never heard of it before, just goes to show you can learn something new everyday.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rocky Mountain Civil War Roundtable Symposium

As you all might know I am a member of Rocky Mountain Civil War Roundtable and part of their symposium planning committee. Last April we had a very good symposium, our first attempt, which convinced us we can do this again. I've been sending out invitations for a few months now, and having some horrible luck. Last time I got my 5 presenters from 8 invitations, and the 3 rejections were pretty much expected (those were the guys that seem to be booked 2 years in advance). This year the early rejections were again from the previous time's rejections so I wasn't too worried, but then we had a hard time filling the list after that.

But this weekend I got a bunch of emails and it looks like our panel is nearly set. I'm just clarifying a few things with the various guys so I don't want to list our full panel yet but things are looking very good. I'm pleased with the list. Perhaps in two weeks I can reveal the entire panel.

Our theme for the next symposium will be Lee Invades the North. We will have a presenter for Antietam and Gettysburg. Also one to provide an overview and put the campaigns into some context. We will have one to give a history of an army unit that saw extensive action in both battles. And we'll finish off with one on the history of the parks from the end of the battle to today. The only thing we're changing from last time is that we will have a panel discussion at the end of the day. In retrospect we thought that would have been a nice touch. We weren't 100% sure how to handle it the first time so we didn't do it then, and since it was our first attempt we wanted to keep it as simple as possible.

I know its a long way off but our next symposium will be October 3, 2009. Mark it on your calendars now.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: JEB Stuart by Jeffry Wert

Cavalryman of the Lost Cause: A Biography of JEB Stuart by Jeffry Wert

This is a very good book. I think this is one of the better biographies I've read recently. I think Wert does a very good job of being even-handed with his praise and criticism of Stuart. Usually biographies are written by people who hate or love their subject. But Wert is very even. He doesn't lavish the praise nor does he heavily criticise Stuart. When there is praise to be given Wert also explains the things that went wrong in the operation. And when he criticises Stuart he also will pick out the things that Stuart did well in that action, and how it could have been worse. I think this will now rank as the premier Stuart biography.

Another thing I liked about the book is that it was very readable. I do most of my reading at the end of my day and I'm usually very tired, chasing a 5 year old will do that to you. If a book is a tough read I'll soon find myself having to reread paragraphs as my tired eyes and mind are making their slow march towards sleep. But with Wert's book I had no problem avoiding sleep, I even stayed up late a few nights to finish chapters.

I thought Wert did a good job of mixing in Stuart's personal life as well. I mainly read biographies to better understand what the man did during the war. I don't like biographies that then treat those 4 years as only 10% of the man's life. Those 4 years were probably the most important years of his life, I want that to be the focus. I do want some insight into his personal life and Wert provides this. There is a significant portion on Stuart's life before the war, but not so great that you get impatient waiting for the war to begin. Then throughout the book Wert provides other details of his personal life. The estrangement between his wife and her father (who stayed in the Union army) is covered in some detail. When Wert deals with the personal side of Stuart it is normally in how he interacted with his children and the grief he felt over the loss of his daughter during the war.

One thing Wert brought to my mind was that Stuart is often blamed for Brandy Station. He was then and continues to be today. While Wert does lay some blame for this at Stuart's feet he also does a good job of explaining that this is when the Union cavalry has finally caught up. That their success in surprising Stuart at Brandy Station, plus the good fight they put up there, can also be attributed to the fact that they have now become a good fighting force. Wert also points out that had Stuart lived he probably would have had the same amount of success against the Union as his successors did, that there is only so much one man could have accomplished and that the two cavalry forces were on even footing by then. In fact by 1864-65 the Union cavalry will be superior as Confederate horseflesh dwindles. That the late war success of the Union cavalry can be attributed to their improvement from training as well as a superiority of equipment (guns and horses) as the Confederate infrastructure crumbles.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Diabetes Charity Walk

Last year I participated in the "Step Out" Diabetes charity walk with my then-girlfriend. I had a great time and raised some money to help fund a cure for diabetes. This year I'll be walking again and this time she's my wife.

When I did the walk last year I had some idea of what being diabetic was like. I had been dating my girlfriend for about 6 months so I had been around it a bit. This past January we bought a house and I can honestly tell you I had no idea what its like for her.

I knew she had to constantly monitor her blood sugar levels, and eat or take insulin accordingly. But it goes well beyond that. Everything she does has to be considered in light of the diabetes. Some things are simple and require no thought. But other things require a bit more vigilance from her. And by now she's been dealing with Type 1 Diabetes long enough that she knows what she can and cannot eat, and what she must do to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Diabetes is a unique disease in that each person who has it reacts differently to the various medications and lifestyle changes prescribed. Some medications work wonders for some people but not at all for others. Finding what works and what doesn’t takes time. There is no cure, just various methods of controlling diabetes. I worry that someday I might get this disease because of my family history. I worry about the health of my wife too as she struggles daily with diabetes.

Doing the charity walk will be a small step from me in fighting this disease. But obviously I cannot do much alone. I’m asking for your support. You can help by donating directly to the American Diabetes Association, participating in a walk in your hometown, or contact a legislator about a variety of diabetes related bills. I don’t mean this to sound like begging for dollars. If you donate to the American Diabetes Association at all I will be happy, if your donation is for my walk that’d be great but not necessary. If this just makes you have your own blood sugar tested to see if you are at risk, or might already have diabetes, that’d be great too. Mostly I’m hoping to raise a little awareness with this post and if in the process some money gets donated to the American Diabetes Association for research for a cure that would be wonderful.

The Center for Disease Control says that 23.6 million Americans suffered from diabetes in 2007. This was 7.8% of our population. They also estimate that roughly 57 million Americans had pre-diabetes conditions. That means about a quarter of this country currently deals with diabetes in some form, although for many of them they do not realize the condition they are in. You may have heard during this past year that Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (the same type as my wife). [Trust me, if you watch a Broncos game at any point this year you'll hear about Cutler's diabetes. I'm all for educating the public about diabetes, especially the differences between type 1 and 2, but for those of us living in Denver we've heard quite a bit about Cutler and diabetes.] He played all last year with it, not understanding why he was losing weight and was so tired all the time. Finally during the off season a blood test was performed as part of end of year team physical. Now he wears an insulin pump to control his blood sugar levels.

Diabetes is currently the 7th leading cause of death as listed on death certificates. The CDC though thinks that this is under reported as 35-40% of diabetics didn't have their diabetes listed at all on the death certificate and only 10-15% of diabetics listed diabetes as the primary cause of death. Most likely the other 85-90% of diabetics deaths were attributed to some of the things diabetes does to your body; like heart disease and kidney disease. Diabetes also causes high blood pressure, blindness (the leading cause of new blindness cases for the over 20 crowd) and nervous system disease (primarily a loss of sensation in the feet).

All of this scares me. It seems to me that if I can maintain a healthy lifestyle (or in my case do some improvements to get back to healthy and then walk the straight path again) and prevent type 2 diabetes that likely the other health problems will take care of themselves too. The life style that would prevent type 2 diabetes would also be healthy enough to prevent heart and kidney disease, assuming no other factors like family history.

Also I've said a bit about type 1 and type 2 diabetes but have not really defined it. The easiest way I know how to describe it is that in Type 2 diabetes you can "control" it with diet and exercise. You may have to take insulin but diet and exercise will also help lower your blood sugar level. In fact some people with Type 2 can diet and exercise enough that they can stop taking insulin. Type 1 diabetics do not have this luxury. Diet and exercise do still help them but they will always have to take insulin. Their pancreas just does not produce enough of it. With diet and exercise they may have to take a little less insulin but they will have to do daily injections, or have an insulin pump for the rest of their lives.

Beyond my wife, type 2, I've had other diabetics in my family. Most of them have had type 2, which happens to many Americans as we age. I'm sure the Wisconsin lifestyle of everything fried, with plenty of cheese and butter has not helped prevent my family members from getting diabetes as they aged. I'm guilty of that one too, I love cheese and I loved things fried, I love fried cheese too. My dad's mom had diabetes. I'm not sure how old I was but when I was young she had to have part of her leg amputated and my only memories of her are laying in a hospital bed at home. When we went there on vacation I spent a lot of time in her room, watching tv and talking. I know from pictures that there were vacations where she had two full legs and played with me. The first time I saw those pictures I was kinda shocked because I had no memory of that at all. Eventually she died of a heart attack but since heart disease is one of the things that diabetes causes her heart attack was probably diabetes related.

For more information visit the American Diabetes Association online. To donate to the walk I’ll be participating in go to my page.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Historical Marker Database

I am a big fan and user of Historical Marker Database ( With some prodding from Craig Swain from that site, as well as his blog "To the Sound of the Guns," I have decided to enter some monuments and markers into the Historical Marker Database site. My first entry there was a repeat of one I made here, the Wisconsin state monument at Shiloh. There are some differences, the biggest one being that Historical Marker Database lists GPS coordinates for all of its entries. I've used the database many times to look for markers, now I'll be helping out my fellow travelers. You can see my first entry here.

Monday, October 6, 2008

the "most historically accurate reenactment"

Friday as I was leaving work I saw a news story for the "most historically accurate reenactment." I was intrigued so I clicked the link and it brings up the following story:

civil war reenactment scheduled for october 3
published: October 01 2008 11:25 AM updated:: October 01 2008 11:25 AM
The Helen Ross McNabb Center and the Frank H. McClung Museum present Bash at the Clash, October 3 at a reconstructed fort on the Clapp Family Farm near the intersection of Millertown Pike and Circle Road. The event will begin promptly at 6:00 pm and will be held rain or shine. Dress for the event is casual.Bash at the Clash is designed to be the most historically accurate reenactment of the Civil War's Battle of Fort Sanders complete with live cannon and musket fire. The event begins with cocktails and a brief history of the battle leading up to a special viewing of the reenactment of the full battle, followed by heavyhors d'oeuvers (served by Knoxville’s own Regas Restaurant) and period music. Individual tickets are $100 each and tables of 10 are $1,000. The ticket price includes transportation to the battle site, admission, food, beverages and entertainment. All proceeds go to the Helen Ross McNabb Center and the Frank H. McClung Museum.For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Nicole Randall at or 865-329-9030.

The part that caught my eye was: "complete with live cannon and musket fire." Its been awhile since I reenacted but I've been a hunter since I was old enough to tote a gun. In my experience live ammunition means it has powder and bullet. Maybe this means something different in reenacting circles but as far as I know live ammunition is the kind that propels a bullet down range into some sort of target (paper or animal). I certainly hope in reenacting circles live ammo means something different or this reenactment will truly be the most historically accurate because there will be real wounds, not guys bursting blood packs or ketchup packets.

So far I have not seen a review of the event, but since I didn't see anything on the news this weekend about the tragic killing of a few hundred reenactors I assume live ammo means something different to reenactors than it does to hunters.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gettysburg Fees

Once again my recent Shiloh focus has been shifted to Gettysburg. Today I read the horrible news that Gettysburg's museum is no longer free. Now its $7.50 a person, which also gets you into their new movie and the cyclorama. I would be fine in making a ticket package for the movie and cyclorama but including the museum really upsets me. Except for those parks that have an entrance fee I cannot recall being at a park that charged to see the museum. I feel that those items are held by the NPS for the public.

I will pay the fee the first time I'm there but doubt I'll ever do so again. Partly that is because when I go to the parks I go to see the ground. If the museum was free I'd probably rarely go through it. I love Shiloh and have been there more than any other battlefield and I probably rarely get into the museum part. When I do go its because I had a question about a display I remember seeing previously and wanted to do a quick double check. There is no way I'd pay $7.50 to do that.

I understand that the new visitor center is experiencing a financial shortfall (isn't all of America right now) but this seems like such a drastic move away from how I think the parks should be run. I think the parks should be open for the public. Even small entrance fees give me some pause, but I rationalize it that all that money stays at the park (probably 100% doesn't but in the case of a few bucks I don't worry as much). Our national treasures are there for our entire population to share. I'm sure people donate their artifact collections to NPS parks because they know it will be kept safe and will also be there for all to enjoy. Otherwise they'd either keep it in a private collection or sell to a fee-based museum.

I could understand starting to collect fees if the Gettysburg VC was operating like any other museum in town, but they are not. If revenues slump there is no chance of the park going bankrupt. They'll continue to get money to operate. They might not have enough to do all the things they want to do, like tree cutting or repaving roads, but they are not going to sell off the cannons for scrap metal or the monuments to be broken up for gravel. They are not going to have to board up the new VC. Congress will come through with the money to keep them open, they just might not get enough to cover much beyond the normal daily operations of a park.

I think that all the associated costs with the new VC were higher than anyone anticipated, plus the cash spent by visitors is down too, and the park came to a decision it probably didn't really want to make but didn't see any other way out. And now they took a step that they can never take back.

The other part of this is that revenue was down because fewer people were willing to pay $8 to see the new movie than they had anticipated. How confident are they that people won't turn away completely from $7.50? I'd guess that for the people who are making their first and last visit to Gettysburg they will pay the $7.5o. They'll figure that they came this far and might as well pay the fee even though they might wonder why no part of the new VC is free. But the repeat visitor will probably pay it just once and never again. And with the bad press the new museum has gotten there might even be some repeat visitors who will never pay the fee. They'll remember the old museum and figure that there can be nothing too exciting in the new one to be worth the cost.

Just some of my thoughts. When my dad returns in a few days from Gettysburg I'll see what he has to say. I bet he'll pay the $7.50, well $6.50 for him since he's retired military. But I'm not sure, I'm interested to find out.

Click here for the news story.