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 Post subject: Name That Hill/Ridge
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 22, 2001 8:03 pm
Posts: 2243
Location: USA
I grew up in America's countryside. There were more hills, valleys, ridges, and streams that had to be crossed than Carter had Little Liver Pills. The only hills, valleys, or ridges that had names were either the real big ones or some of those that were in town. Only the streams were practically all name worthy. How come wherever an ACW battle was fought that every hill, dale, ridge, and change in elevation of more than 5 feet had a name? I would venture to say that Cemetery Ridge would just be a nameless slope where I came from. Is this because they were given names after the battle so that there would be easy references or did these names actually exist before the battles?

Lt Col Ned Simms
3/2/VI/AoS
Blood 'n Guts hisself, a land lovin' pirate. Show me some arty tubes and we'll charge 'em.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 5:11 pm 
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Location: Massachusetts, USA
Maybe there was a Cemetary on it. And a Seminary on Seminary Ridge! [:D][:D][;)]

<b><font color="gold">Ernie Sands
LtGen, CO XXIII Corps, AoO
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President, Colonial Campaigns Club
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 5:22 pm 
Nedd

Part of the issue may be the era. The more people moved on and depended on the land the more they tended to name every reference point.

They plowed, hunted, fished, gathered, foraged, or just rode or walked over the land, and to describe to others where they were going or had been they named it. Every notable hill, gully, creek, point, bend, copse or significant tree or rock; it all mattered.

In more recent times we ride on the roads and only the roads. We name the roads, but not the land. We have become trapped in the narrower dimension of the car and its limitations, and our thinking and language have become equally restricted. Our ancestors moved in every direction and knew the whole land and could speak about it.

Lt Col Mike Kaulbars Image
3rd "Freiheit" Division
VIII/AoS
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2004 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 5:41 am
Posts: 873
Location: Somewhere between D.C. and the battlefield
I also think we must not believe that all those names on the map were "official" so to speak in that they would have appeared on maps. Battle accounts of the era are full of mentions of features that were "locally known as ...". Indeed, maps, especially good ones, were in short supply anyway. The Union army in VA both in 1862 and in 1864 was basically marching through uncharted country, with the resulting errors coming from reliance on local guides who like as not would have varying names for local terrain features. Especially the Peninsula campaign is full of such instances. At Malvern Hill, an entire Reb corps marched off the field rather than attack because a local guide led it onto the wrong one of two roads locally named identically, of which only one was on the maps with this name.

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:48 am 
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Gentlemen,

Good explanations. I have a humorous story about directions: After retiring from the USAF, my Dad worked for a while doing delivery and repair work on household appliances (dishwashers, etc.). Although he worked out of a small town, the service calls often came from way out in the boondocks.

One day he received a write-up from the service desk to go to a home out in the country with very explicit directions, one of which was '. . . then turn right at the red barn . . . '. Not too tough, and Dad has an unerring sense of direction, so he took off.

Several hours later, he called the office back to contact the customer and re-check the directions. As it turned out, the 'red barn' had burned down years before, but the locals all knew where it was so they still gave directions based on it!

To this day, when we want to tease Dad, we just playfully suggest that he go out and 'turn right at the red barn'! [:D]


Your humble servant,
LGen 'Dee Dubya' Mallory

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="3" face="book antiqua" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by D.S. Walter</i>
<br />I also think we must not believe that all those names on the map were "official" so to speak in that they would have appeared on maps. Battle accounts of the era are full of mentions of features that were "locally known as ...". Indeed, maps, especially good ones, were in short supply anyway. The Union army in VA both in 1862 and in 1864 was basically marching through uncharted country, with the resulting errors coming from reliance on local guides who like as not would have varying names for local terrain features. Especially the Peninsula campaign is full of such instances. At Malvern Hill, an entire Reb corps marched off the field rather than attack because a local guide led it onto the wrong one of two roads locally named identically, of which only one was on the maps with this name.

Gen. Walter, USA
AoS / War College
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

David W. Mallory
ACW - Lieutenant General, First ('Grey Line') Corps, AotM
CCC - Corporal, Georgia Volunteers, Southern Regional Deaprtment, Colonial American Army


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