Getting ready to roll with day two of the Tri-County Mountaineer excursion from Grundy, Va., to Devon, W.Va., and return. Many thanks to the hard work of our team, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and the volunteers for making this excursion possible. All aboard!
Silent Film Star Matt B. Snyder Was A Gunner In The Civil War
Matt B. Snyder 1835 - 19170 American stage and silent screen actor and a Civil War Veteran. He is amongst the earliest born actors to appear in motion pictures and at his death the oldest actor in movies. Snyder was born when Andrew Jackson was President and died when Woodrow Wilson was President.
During the Civil War Snyder served in the Union Navy and was a gunner on the USS Essex at Vicksburg. In the Victorian and Edwardian eras Snyder and his wife performed on the stage, sometimes on Broadway and much in touring companies as was the norm before motion pictures. In film he had an important role in the 1913 King Baggot Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. His last film was The Crisis, a film by novelist Winston Churchill about the Civil War which he did not live to see released. The Crisis is a surviving film at the Library of Congress and Snyder can be seen in this role in a still photo in Daniel Blum’s Pictorial History of the Silent Screen with his young costar Marshall Neilan.
David Dixon Porter, Rear Admiral - Destroyed A Confederate Fleet
In March of 1862, Porter, with his mortar fleet, and Union Flag Officer David Farragut, with his blue water ships, collaborated in an attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip guarding the Mississippi River approach to New Orleans, 70 miles below the Crescent City. As Porter recognized, New Orleans was the key to the Mississippi River. Though the mortars were not as effective as Porter had hoped, Farragut’s fleet fought its way past the forts, destroyed a Confederate fleet, and captured New Orleans.
“We made a great mistake, Mr. Hill, in the beginning of our struggle, and I fear, in spite of all we can do, it will prove to be a fatal mistake. …in the beginning we appointed all our worst generals to command the armies, and all our best generals to edit the newspapers. As you know, I have planned some campaigns and quite a number of battles. I have given the work all the care and thought I could, and sometimes, when my plans were completed, as far as I could see, they seemed to be perfect. But when I have fought them through, I have discovered defects and occasionally wondered I did not see some of the defects in advance. When it was all over, I found by reading a newspaper that these best editor generals saw all the defects plainly from the start. Unfortunately, they did not communicate their knowledge to me until it was too late. … I have done the best I could in the field, and have not succeeded as I could wish. I am willing to yield my place to these best generals, and I will do my best for the cause in editing a newspaper.” Robert E. Lee
Although the first car wash appeared in 1914, it would take a few decades to figure out the best way to go about it. Since dirt roads were the norm back then, the car undercarriages would get extremely dirty.
One solution was a flooded circular basin, such as Chicago’s “Auto Wash Bowl” depicted here, in 1924. The cars were driven around, and then detailed by hand up top. (via Findery)