No Foolin' - Just Facts

March 31-April 2, 2017


On The Road Again...

Our 18th Annual Conference in 2017 will give attendees and opportunity to see some of the out-of-the-way places that we read about in books on the Civil War and Lincoln assassination, but likely never visit.  We encourage you to spend Conference Friday with us in Southern Maryland as we explore the sites and stories that played a role in American history.  Our Sunday trip will take us to Gettysburg where we can some of the new and revamped historic sites and museums.

Treasures of Time and Tide
March 31, 2017   8:30am - 5:30pm

Hitch up the buggies, we're putting wheels on history and taking you into Southern Maryland again to learn the background and culture of two more counties whose heritage goes deeply into the 1600s - St. Mary's, the first colony, and Calvert. These colonial areas, influneced by the tides of the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers, the Wicomico River, and the Chesapeake Bay, were dependent on tobacco and the waterways - and slave labor for over 200 years. From these labor-intesnive pursuits came support for the Confederacy in 1861.

Because of distances involved, we will not be able to visit all the sites and villages along the way. We'll discuss some of them along the way. Unfortunately, one of the biggest Union influences was one of the "Andersonvilles of the North, " Point Lookout Prisoner of War Camp, established soon after the Battle of Gettysburg.  Because of the distance involved, we will not be able to visit the site on this trip, but we will include some history on it as we go along.

We will also pass by early-colonial healing waters at Ye Coole Springs, site of one of the first sanitariums in the country. Nearby is Charlotte Hall Miliatry Academy, which once stood where a moder veteran's home is today. The military academy dates before the Revoluntionary War. It is often mentioned in assassination-related books as being where John Surratt and David Herold were educated - not so!  Neither of these men matriculated there, but Roger B. Taney did, as did Lincoln's friend, Edward Bates.  In the 20th century, Sylvester Stallone studied there for at least one year.  In this same area is the village of Mechanicsville, believed to be the site of a skirmish where Union patrols supposedly crossed paths with a contingent of Mosby's Rangers who had been pulled in the area to assist Booth.  

This area was, and continues to be, a choice farm area for German immigrants of the Amish faith.  Don't be surprised if we share the road with a few families out in their buggies.  On Wednesdays and Saturdays, we would encounter a good number of theses selling their products along the way.

Our first stop of the day will be at Sotterly Plantation, where we will experience life along the Patuxent in pre-Revlutionary days. From manor house to slave quarters and period gardens, we'll learn the history of this site and of the folks who lived here for hundreds of years. Because we're visiting before the height of tourist season, you should be able to relax and enjoy the serenity of the property.

From Sotterley, we will head to Solomons Island, across the river from Patuxent Navel Air Station, where Navy pilots and even astronauts have trained. If you don't like bridges, keep your eyes closed as we cross the bridge onto the island - it's a tall one!

We'll be having lunch at Stoney's Kingfisher overlooking the water and then go a very short distance to the grounds of the Calvert Marine Museum, where you will have plenty of time to explore the "wonders of the deep" from around the Southern Maryland shores.  Make sure you meet the friendly otters and also learn of the oyster's importance to Southern Maryland as you view the many exhibits in this tide treasure.

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What's New in Gettysburg?
April 2, 2017    8:00am - 7:00pm

On Sunday, we will visit Gettysburg, PA. Our first stop will be the Shriver House at 309 Baltimore Street. This house was taken over by Confederates who used the attic as a sharpshooter's nest. The blood stains on the floor attest to the men who were wounded and died there. From here we will visit the newly refurbished Lincoln Train Museum. Many new exhibits have been added such as a dispplay of Presidential items, baseball and football items, and lots of model trains to see. You will even see Casey Jone's whistle, remember that old song about him? You will now "ride" in a full sized Lincoln funeral car with a holographic Lincoln who will share his love of America with you. When we leave here we head to a buffet lunch at General Pickett's Restaurant. Our last stop will be the new Seminary Ridge Museuem where you will visit four floors of exhibits. This builiding was a lookout post and a hospital for both sides during the battle. Be sure to visit all four floors.  After this full day we head back to Surratt House and you head home well satisfied.