First timer? In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above. To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”
Landing number 2284; A Landing A Day blog post number 714.
Dan: After a brief sojourn to UServille, it’s back to OSers (11 of my last 12 landings), with today’s West Virginia landing. Yes, I’ve landed in WV one other time since I changed my random lat/long methodology.
If the last paragraph is a head scratcher, check out “About Landing (Revisited),” above. If you have no itch to scratch, just keep reading . . .
Here’s my regional landing map:
And my local landing map:
My watershed analysis is based on three streams-only maps. I’ll start with this one:
It shows that I landed in the watershed of Manning Branch; on to the Laurel Creek. Zooming back a little, we can see that the Laurel discharges to the Cherry River (first hit ever!), on to the Gauley R (2nd hit):
OK, so I have to zoom back one more time so we can see that the Gauley makes its way to the Kanawha (13th hit), on to the Ohio (139th hit):
Of course, the Ohio joins the MM (895th hit).
You’ll never guess what comes next. OK. So you (and every other regular reader) guessed. Well, here’s my Google Earth (GE) spaceflight to SE WV. Click HERE, enjoy the trip, and hit your back button.
There was no worthwhile GE Street View coverage for my landing, but I did find coverage for the Cherry River:
Here’s what the Orange Dude sees (looking downstream):
Moving right along . . . before I checked out Richwood, I noticed this Panoramio shot while perusing GE:
The Panoramio picture of Nancy Hart’s grave is less than inspirational, but I went to Wiki where they had a better one:
I wasn’t thrilled with the Wiki article about Nancy, but found CivilWarWomenBlog, with a post about Ms. Hart by Maggie MacLean. Quite the lady, that Nancy Hart. Here are some excerpts (most of the post, actually) – it’s a little long, but well worth the read:
Nancy Hart, a Confederate spy and soldier, was born in 1846, in Raleigh, North Carolina. When she was an infant, her family moved to Tazewell, Virginia.
In 1853, Nancy and her family moved in with her sister and brother-in-law, Mary and William Clay Price. In the next six years, Nancy lived in the wilderness of Roane County, Virginia—now West Virginia. She became an excellent shot with a rifle and an expert rider.
After the Civil War began, western Virginia became a dangerous place. The citizenry held divided loyalties—some pro-Confederate and many pro-Union. Neighbors, friends, and families were separated by their opposing beliefs.
William Price didn’t volunteer for service, but he aided the Confederate army when he could. In October 1861, a party of Union soldiers rode into the Prices’ yard. They announced that they were taking William to the town of Spencer for questioning. William never made it to Spencer. He was found three days later, shot in the back.
This fueled Nancy’s hatred for the Union cause. Three days later, she joined the Moccasin Rangers—a group of pro-Southern guerrillas led by Perry Conley. Nancy Hart rode at the head of the column with Perry for about two years, during 1861 and 1862, throughout the central counties of western Virginia.
[She rode at the head of the column! Either she impressed Perry greatly, or . . .]
She carried messages between the Southern Armies, traveling alone by night and sleeping during the day. She also saved the lives of many wounded Confederate soldiers by hiding them with sympathizers.
Nancy posed as a farm girl and peddled eggs and vegetables to the Yankees in order to spy on them. She scouted isolated Federal outposts in the mountains and reported their strength, population, and vulnerability to General Stonewall Jackson. Nancy led Jackson’s Cavalry on several raids against Union troops.
[Her resume is getting quite impressive!]
After Perry Conley was killed by Union troops in the summer of 1862, the Moccasin Rangers disbanded and Nancy married Joshua Douglas. They moved into the mountains of Nicholas County, near the Confederate lines, where she continued to carry information to the regular forces while passing as an innocent country girl.
Later that same summer, a large reward was offered for Nancy’s capture. She was recognized, captured and held prisoner in Summersville WV in the upstairs portion of a dilapidated house, with soldiers quartered downstairs and a sentry with her at all times.
While in captivity, she was photographed:
One evening, Nancy grabbed the pistol from her naive young guard, and shot him dead with a single shot. She leapt out a second-story window into a clump of tall jimson weeds, stole a horse, and escaped behind Confederate lines.
About a week later at 4:00 am, Nancy returned to Summersville with 200 Confederate cavalrymen. The Rebel troops came storming up the road, overran the pickets located about a quarter of a mile from the headquarters, and entered the streets of the town without opposition. The officers and soldiers were caught sleeping and fell an easy prey.
After setting fire to three houses,destroying two wagons, and taking eight mules and twelve horses, the raiders retreated, taking their prisoners with them. Nancy had her revenge.
Nancy faded out of the picture as an active partisan after that incident, but it is more than likely that she lent a helping hand, whenever possible, until the end of the war. She knew that a rope awaited her if captured again
After the war, Nancy and her husband settled down on a mountain farm near Richwood and there they passed the rest of their lives.
Nancy Hart Douglas died in 1913 (outliving her husband by 8 years), and was buried on Manning’s Knob, a mere half mile from one of the “landing” locations associated with the world-famous blog, “A Landing A Day.
There you have it. Moving on to Richwood. After perusing Wiki, the only thing that caught my eye was this:
Richwood calls itself the “Ramp Capital of the World” and hosts a large festival every April in honor of the pungent wild leek.
Ramp? Pungent wild leek? This requires research!
Well, I didn’t have to look any further than the town’s website. Here’s a screen shot of part of the website:
And this, also from the website:
Ramps (wild leeks, part of the Ramson family of plants) are the first green things to show their heads in spring in the Appalachian woodlands and are found in the rich woodlands of upper elevations. They taste somewhat like an onion with a garlicky flavor and a strong odor. The plants grow about a foot tall and, when eaten, a strong odor emanates from the skin of the ramps gourmand.
[Wait a sec! The skin of the ramps gourmand (i.e., the eater), stinks? I can only imagine what the festival smells like . . .]
At the Festival, the “little stinkers” will be served with ham, bacon, fried potatoes, brown beans and cornbread.
The website has a couple of videos. First, here’s a Ramp Festival feature on a local TV news show (WCHS, Charleston)7:
And then, here’s a video on how to harvest ramps:
The website had links to numerous recipes; I selected this quick and easy one by Emeril Lagasse (on the Food Network website):
2 pounds ramps, trimmed and cleaned
1/4 pound apple-smoked bacon, julienned*
Salt and black pepper
In a large pot bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil and add ramps. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath and remove when chilled. Drain on paper towels.
In a skillet cook bacon until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel to drain. Add ramps to bacon fat in skillet and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté until lightly caramelized and serve immediately, garnished with reserved crispy bacon.
*I’m no foodie, so I had to look up “julienne.” It means to cut into short, thin strips.
Next time I see ramps at the market, I’ll have to pick some up . . .
I’ll close with this GE Pano shot by by Niro, taken about 12 miles SE of my landing. And, no, there is no typo in the previous sentence. The photographer’s handle is “by Niro.”
That’ll do it . . .
© 2016 A Landing A Day