Thursday, July 05, 2007

Brooke Boothe, Homecoming Queen

I read in the "Morning Star" that Brooke Boothe, the 2007 homecoming Queen, at Delmar High School will compete in the America's Homecoming Queen competition. This is another pageant I have never heard of. Neverless, Good Luck Brooke Boothe.

Parsonsburg Dune Line

I was riding out by Parsonsburg today and went by a new development called "Senate Heights".

Now as everyone knows the area around Parsonburg and North and South of it is even more sandy than the Eastern Shore of Maryland which is pretty sandy by itself. You notice the sand more in the winter time or spring time before vegetation is growing on it. You also notice it in new housing developments where the trees, etc have been removed.

It looks very much like the beach and the dunes at the beach. This is because about 30,00 years ago Parsonsburg was beach front property and the dunes were created in that area. It is referred to as the Parsonsburg Dune Line. The sand was blown around and it made a strip of sand extending up in to Delaware and over to Dorchester County Maryland. If you read anything on Geology the Parsonsburg sands are usually mentioned. If you read the comprehensive plan for the various towns in about a thirty mile radius of Parsonsburg you will find the Parsonsburg sand layer being mentioned in the description of the soil for that town.

Besides the dune line, when the water receded it left a large back bay from Parsonsburg to Berlin. The decaying vegetation create oil and gas deposits so in the 1930's to 1960's we had oil exploration crews drilling test wells in those areas. I think the conclusion was there was not large enough oil and gas deposits to make it worth the while for oil companies to invest in this area.

In 1913, the Wicomico Oil and Gas Company was formed. Their intend was to drill ten wells between Parsonburg and Pittsville that would produce oil. Two wells were drilled, with one striking sufficient natural gas to be connected to the homes in the village of Parsonburg. Everything was going fine until one Sunday when people returned from church to find their homes flooded with water coming out of the natural gas pipes. The company went out of existence shortly afterwards.

From the Salisbury Advertiser 1914

The contract for the drilling of the first well on the property of the Wicomico Oil and Gas Company has been awarded to Messrs. Flint & Strother of Clarksburg, W. Va.

Mr. John Flint, senior member of the firm, arrived in Salisbury Monday of this week with his force of rig builders, and the construction of the derrick is now under way on the property of Mr. S. P. Parsons, where the first well will be located. Engine and belt, together with all necessary equipment for the work has been shipped from Clarksburg, and is expected to arrive at Parsonsburg this week. As soon as the derrick is finished the machinery will be placed and actual drilling begun.

The erection of an 80-foot oil derrick is something entirely new for this section, and is attracting many visistors to the scene. There seems to be a feeling of general satisfaction among the people of the community that the territory is to be thoroughly tested and the question settled one way or another as to whether there is oil under the Parsonsburg ridge.

Delmar, Maryland Sidewalks

I think the new and the repaired sidewalks on Bi-State Blvd on the Maryland side of town really looks good. The crew that is doing this seem to do good work. Did you notice the crew that was doing the concrete work were almost all Mexican?

4th of July in Laurel

We spent the 4th of July in Laurel Delaware.

Fireworks everyone who has a digital camera has to try and take photos of the fireworks they usually always turn out lame as this photo demonstrates.

Randie and Susan watching Fireworks

Scott and Wendy watching fireworks

Alex demonstrating how he can multitask by watching fireworks and drinking

Megan and Casie watching fireworks

After the fire works we came back home and roasted a few Hot Dogs

Even had a couple of people from the OC Police Department stop by

Eating and Talking

Eating and Talking on in to the early hours of Thursday Morning

Roasting Dogs

Chowing down on those Hot Dogs, I think we have enough left overs to be eating this for the next week.

Kelly and Eva

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Laurel 4th of July Parade

Laurel, Delaware had their 4th of July Parade. As usual it was a very good parade that lasted a little over an hour. Elbert has at his blog even more photos of the parade.

They had politicians

Tom Wagner

Jack Markell

Matt Denn

Beau Biden

What would a Delmarva Parade be without Fire Trucks and they had them

A couple of charmers from Blades

Laurel High School Steel band

Gospel Cafe had a rockin sound going

Carey Towing

Horses Horses Horses

The Horse Clean up crew at work


Cub Scouts

There were several older tractors
And there were beauty Queens working on perfecting the hand wave

Rachel Buckler and Allison Dayton

Ashley Brice and Sydney Beard

Brittany Cooper and Hannah Davis

Alissa Mercie

Desiree Payne and Staci Hammerer

A whole buch of beauty queens

Mariah Reid

Bonanza Newspaper Box

I saw an article in the Daily Times about school students decorating newspaper boxes. I decided to do a "me To" and take a photo of the one out at Bonanza (Which was also shown in the Daily Times). Any surprise that it is orange and blue and has paw prints on it?

Boat Plant to Close in Salisbury

I was just reading about the Brunswick Corporation deciding to close the Bayliner plant in Salisbury. Good, it was never a good company to work for. They constantly laid people off and than three months later were advertising for people. It was a very seasonal company but it effected skilled labor. Supposedly 180 people will lose their jobs. In truth the 180 would have been laid off in the normal work year for them anyway. The area may need manufacturing jobs but it doesn't need companies like Bayliner.

Middletown Delaware New Police Force

I read in the News Journal today about plans Middletown Delaware has of creating a 17 officer police force from scratch. The town of about 12,000 use to have a police force in 1973 but than decided to go to county protection. Creating a Police Force of 17 sounds like something that is easier said than done. They will be looking for 17 certified policemen, sometimes in advertising for open positions in Delmar it is hard to find six that are actually qualified. Usually the Town has to send them to the Police Academy and pay for their training so they are qualified. We will wait and see how smoothly they pull this off. It should be good money put into the economic as they will need uniforms, guns, badges, cars, radio equipment, etc. Sounds like a lot of grant money. By all means look at the article and particularly read all the comments by clicking the "view all comments".

Special People

Every day a little bit of shit is shoved down out the throats of the American people. Today it is President Bush commuting Lewis Libby's prison time. Found guilty by a jury of his peers and sentenced to 30 months in jail President Bush gave the big Fuck You to the American people and basically said the law only apply to people who are not my friends or work for me.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Spendid Little War - X

From July 1st through the July 3rd the American Army was involved in trying to take El Caney and a group of hills called the San Juan Heights. They had to take these positions before surrounding the port city of Santiago. These three days are the best known about the Spanish American War because of the newspaper publicity Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders received. Although the Rough Riders played a part in the capture of San Juan Hill It was really the Tenth Cavalry (Negro) and a number of other units such as the 6th, 16th infantry, 24th, 9th, 13th, 71st NY 6th, 3rd, 9th cavalry that took San Juan Hill.

The 24th Infantry was a Negro regular army unit. It was one of the units known as Buffalo Soldiers. The Negro unit had white officers and one of those officers was Lt Alfred Laws. He was the son of William L Laws and Cornelia Dixon Laws, from the east of Salisbury, Maryland in Wango. He was born August 6, 1868, graduated High School in Salisbury, May 1888, entered West Point and Graduated 1893. He requested assignment to the Negro 24th infantry and served in New Mexico and Utah before Cuba as Regimental Quarter Master. After Cuba he was sent to the Philippines for the Philippines Occupancy. He died April 3rd 1908. There is a risqué story involved in his death which I may tell later. There is a wealth of personal papers of Albert Laws at the Nabb Research Center at Salisbury University. One group of papers is his description of the taking of San Juan Hill as told to his mother and I will use them as a description of the taking of San Juan Hill.

On the morning of July the first we were ordered to march a few miles toward San Juan Hill and go in camp until the next day. Left early in the morning, about three o’clock, we started. Had slept but very little during the night. As we were going along. We kept hearing the reports of guns in the distant. As there had been fighting going on at El Caney. We were only finishing up the work there, as Gen XXX said we would fix them up in a half hour. As we went on, with a road only wide enough for two men to walk in. The country was all a growth of bramble and bushes that you could not go through in our condition. The fighting became more frequent the further we went the louder and nearer we seemed to be getting to the scene of action. After a short time we commenced to see wounded men, being carried to the rear. It was not long before the order came to us to forward march to San Juan. We had not gone far before we came to a river which we had to ford. We started in, the river bottom was full of holes, woods and every thing that was bad to walk to walk through. how deep was it?, I do not know , I know I went through it and we were under fire then and all the time and when we crossed the river, the bank had to climb up was about three feet, very steep, right on the top of that was barbed wire fence, which was to be cut, which we did as every man was supposed to have a pair of scissors with him. When we got through that, there was a clear field except for the wire fences and tall grass. The firing was incessant there was not anything to shield us the sharp shooters were in the trees shooting with smokeless powder and the fire from the block houses an the hill were pouring volley after volley into the flank of the battalion men were falling an all sides when the order was given to go forward.

One of our company did not seem to hear it as they were behind. Col. Liscum told me to go back and repeat the order. I started back to give the order that was the first time I felt any fear. In the midst of the din and roar of battle you will have foolish thoughts. I had a letter from a Salisbury a few days before from a lady and her sister who wrote a postscript in which she siad “Albert don’t come home shot in the back”. I could see those lines before my eyes and expected to be shot in the back. I went and repeated the order turned to go back to Col Liscum, as Col Wikoff had been in command but was killed then the command devolved of Col. Wassell he was wounded so Col. Liscum was in command. As I started back to Col Liccum he was about a hundred yards ahead with a company it seemed a mile to me to walk alone. I could see the blades of grass cut by the bullets all the time just as I got up to Col. Liscum he fell wounded in the shoulder and his collar bone broken. I stopped, cut his blouse, bound up his wound and told him I would have to leave him and go on. I went on and met two of our men and told them to take Col. Liscum and take him to the rear. There was no stop made until we got to the top of San Juan Hill. The Spaniards were litterely mowed down. Men that had been together for months were speaking to each other and shaking hands as though they were strangers just met. The horror noise and confusion can never be described to anyone that never witnessed anything like it. Capt Ducat was wounded. Capt Brett and lt. Augustine and Gurney were killed. The firing ceased about four o’clock in the afternoon.

We had not had time to eat since an early breakfast as soon as we could we let our men have supper. When night came we commenced to dig our trenches. We did not have any thing to dig with except tomato cans and bayonets. We did not get any picks until next morning and no sleep until after three o’clock. At five the Spaniards commenced firing at us and we returned it. It kept up all day that was 2nd of July.

I was wounded in the night in the right arm, the bone was not touched. I felt the shock all over me. I did not know at first where I was hit. I had to walk six miles to the hospital to have the arm dressed with two soldiers as escorts. As we were going along the Spanish sharp shooters were picking off all they could we saw one Spaniard that had been shot in his tree hanging by one foot. Later the Spaniards said we picked off your officers of the 24th as we saw your men were colored. We thought they would get to see their officers gone and a panic would ensue but they came on like tigers what kind of people are you? While in the hospital the doctor that was shot while dressing a wound died that night beside his cot. I was ordered home but said my wound was to slight to leave my post.

I went back in our trenches where we stayed for fifteen days, for several days at a time my clothes were not dry and water would be in some places when we would awake in the morning......I subsisted two days on three hard crackers and divided with one next to me but I did very well as I knew the situation. I did not hear a murmur along the lines. The hot sun broiling down on us and the frequent showers of rain kept us so wet with no change of clothing. Our cooking utensils were tomato cans and tin cups. I fared as my men fared. We had no writing material while there. I know of men that would have give five dollars for a sheet of paper and an envelope but could not get it.

I do not know which regiment was first on top of the hill as all the regiments were mixed up. The 71st, 13th, 6th and 24th were all together, no regiment was separate. They were all brave men and you never hear any complaining from the Regulars, we knew it was impossible to fare there as if we were at home and if no one did get enough to eat it was his own fault you were expected to take as much with you and if you eat all at one time why of course that was your fault

Letter sent to his Mother by his commander and printed in Salisbury Advertiser July 30, 1898

My Dear Mrs Laws

I am happy to inform you that your son, Lieutenant Laws, was but slightly wounded in the arm. His wound is such that it may heal in a few days and I think on this account he concluded to remain in Cuba with the regiment as to be to the front from first to last.

You have nothing to worry about and everything to be thankful for.

Your boy bound up my wounds and ran to my side when I fell and I shall never forget his kindness.

He made himself conspicuous for his bravery in battle and in due course of time will be rewarded properly.

He was with the foremost charge with us and was the first officer I saw when we gained the works. All honor to him.

Yours sincerely
A.C. Ducat, Capt 24th infantry

Writeup of Albert Laws raising him to rank of Captain
Brevet commissions for “distinguished conduct and public service in the presence of the enemy” in the action before Santiago, Cuba, in which the regiment had 22 officers, 8 small companies and 476 men.

First Lieutenant Albert Laws, 24th infantry to be Captain by brevet, for conspicuous coolness, good judgment and valuable service on the firing line at the Capture of Fort San Juan Block-house near Santiago, Cuba, July 1st, 1898, going back and forth from the firing line to the river crossing under what may, without exaggeration, be called a murderous fire from all actions of July 2nd and 3rd in which he was shot through the arm, and taken to the hospital, but came back to the trenches the next day and worked while wounded, and staid.
Major A. C. Markley

Albert Laws Tombstone at the Laws Family Cemetery on Laws Road

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sparklers For Sale

The great thing about the flea markets is they usually plea ignorant when it comes to selling fireworks in Delaware. These were at Bargain's Bills today. Now I think fireworks should be legal in Delaware and I am sure the fact they are illegal isn't going to stop anyone from setting them off this 4th of July as they have been set off every 4th of July.

Laurel Carnival

The Carnival is starting to set up in Laurel


The great battle of Gettysburg started today in 1863. I don’t get involved in history for the War for Southern Independence or the Civil War as there are a zillion amateur historians out there who can handle it.

Three individuals from Delaware received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their courage at Gettysburg, James Parke Postles , John B. Mayberry and
Bernard McCarren

Although all were deserving of the medal for their courage it can not compare to the sacrifice of James W. Riggin and Julia Ann J. Hastings Riggin of Laurel, Delaware who gave their son, James H. Riggin. James H. Riggin died at Gettysburg July 2nd 1863. As we know the name Riggin is one of the oldest names on Delmarva. His stone is in the Riggin family plot in Laurel.

His tombstone is at Oddfellows Cemetery in Laurel Delaware
His worn tombstone says
James H Riggin
A Soldier of the Union
Enlisted July 1, 1861 in Battery F
43rd PA artillery RVC Army of the
Potomac. He fought bravely in many
battles and fell in the front at
Gettysburg July 2nd 1863
Aged 21 years

I assume his stone is a monument, as opposed to marking a grave site, unless his family really went to Gettysburg to retrieve the body. I have no ideal why he joined the Pennsylvania regiment of the 43rd Light artillery. Instead of a Delaware Regiment. See also 43rd