Shrouded in Mystery

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Wow. Has it really been almost a month since I posted?!?! I guess it has. But, for better or worse, I’ve had a chance to do some photography in the interim, so maybe I’ll post more regularly for a while!

Last week, we were up in Vermont at Ottaquechee Farm near the hamlet of Woodstock. I’m not one who is given to rising early, but for some reason, I wasn’t able to sleep late so I got up early a couple of mornings (once by choice, the other by necessity) and it was worth it! I showered, dressed and went out armed with my trusty Canon 7D to find scenery. Today’s photo is a result of one morning’s venture. The colors were popping and the mist added an aura to the setting that was irresistible.

There is a small pond on the property, well, two small ponds actually. The morning mist was rising up off the ponds and I thought it would make a nice photo. It was still fairly dark, so this is an HDR image to capture both the highlights and the darks. But I like it! After all, HDR images come closer to what the human eye sees see than a single exposure can do. And when there is a fairly pronounced difference between the lights and darks, it gives you a much better image.

Alas, I’ll probably have to wait another year or two to go back. But when I do, I’ll try this again!

ON THIS DAY IN  HISTORY: in 1864, a guerilla band led by William “Bloody Bill” Anderson sacked the town of Centralia, Missouri, killing 22 unarmed Union soldiers before slaughtering more than 100 pursuing Yankee troops.

The Civil War in Missouri and Kansas was rarely fought between regular armies in the field. It was carried out primarily by partisan bands of guerilla fighters, and the atrocities were nearly unmatched. In 1863, Confederate marauders sacked Lawrence, Kansas, and killed 250 residents.

In 1864, partisan activity increased in anticipation of Confederate General Sterling Price’s invasion of the state. On the evening of September 26, a band of 200 Confederate marauders gathered near the town of Centralia, Missouri. The next morning, Anderson led 30 guerillas into Centralia and began looting the tiny community and terrorizing the residents. Unionist congressmen William Rollins escaped execution only by giving a false name and hiding in a nearby hotel.

Meanwhile, a train from St. Louis was just pulling into the station. The engineer, who spotted Anderson’s men destroying the town, tried to apply steam to keep the train moving. However, the brakeman, unaware of the raid, applied the brakes and brought the train to a halt. The guerillas took 150 prisoners from the train, which included 23 Union soldiers, and then set it on fire and opened its throttle; the flaming train sped away from the town. The soldiers were stripped and Anderson’s men began firing on them, killing all but one within a few minutes. The surviving Yankee soldier was spared in exchange for a member of Anderson’s company who had recently been captured.

That afternoon, a Union detachment commanded by Major A. V. E. Johnston arrived in Centralia to find the bushwhackers had already vacated the town. Johnston left some troops to hold the tiny burgh and then headed in the direction of Anderson’s band. Little did he know he was riding right into a perfect trap: Johnston’s men followed Rebel pickets into an open field, and the Southern partisans attacked from three sides. Johnston and his entire command were quickly annihilated. Anderson’s men scalped and mutilated many of the bodies before moving back into Centralia and killing the remaining Federal soldiers. In all, the bushwhackers killed some 140 Yankee troops.

A month later, Anderson was killed attempting a similar attack near Albany, Missouri.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Iceland uses 100% renewable electricity, making it the “greenest” country in the world.

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