Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Henry C. Davis - Civil War Veteran

Post by Doris McCraw

aka Angela Raines

Photo (C) Doris McCraw

This year I am beginning a series of posts about the Civil War veterans buried in Evergreen or Fairview Cemetery in Colorado Springs. This month's post is about Henry C. Davis who served with Company I, Pennsylvania 51st Infantry.

There are many with the name Henry Davis in the records of this conflict. By starting with his short obituary in the paper where they stated he was seventy years old. From his death date of March 1914 and going backward his birth date is probably 1844. .   

He is found in the rolls of the 51st. This is a list of some of the battles in which the 51st took part:

1862 - 2-6- Battle of Roanoke Island, 3-14- Battle of New Berne, 6-17 to 7-4-Siege of Vicksburg

1863 - 12-5 to 12-29- Pursuit of Longstreet

1864 -  Battles of the Wilderness 5-5 to 5-7, Spottsylvania 5-8 to 5-12, Ny River 5-9, Spottsylvania Court House 5-12 to 5-21, Assault on the Salient 5-12

1865 - Seige of Petersburg 6-16-1864 to 4-2-1865, Pursuit of Lee to Farmville

According to one source, the regiment lost 12 Officers and 165 Enlisted men killed/mortally wounded and another 137 Enlisted to disease for a total of 314.

Photo (C) Doris McCraw

Having joined as a private, probably in 1861 when the 51st began by the time the regiment was dissolved in 1865, Henry left as a Corporal. Henry filed for his pension on January 25, 1893. The name of N. Bickdord is the attorney listed on the application. 

At the time of his death on March 28, 1914, he was living up Ute Pass from Colorado Springs in the small town of Green Mountain Falls where he owned the home he was living in. Census records show he was single while living in the Pikes Peak Region. 

Why the Pikes Peak Region as a place he would move to and work as a laborer (street worker)? His death certificate indicates he died of chronic asthma. When you add that to the area where those with 'wasting' diseases would come to be cured, it would make sense he would try this area. 

There were probably many stories he could have or did tell, but I've yet to find any of those. As I take this journey into the history of those who reside at the cemeteries I will find more to add to a larger picture. 

For those who would like to read more about this regiment here is a link to Google Books and the "History of the 51st Regiment of  P.V. and V.V". https://books.google.com/books?id=HZodAQAAMAAJ

As always:

Until Next Time Stay Safe & Stay Well


Thursday, January 11, 2024

On This Day in the Old West: January 12

 Today we’ll take a look at medical technology. Specifically, the X-ray, now a ubiquitous aid to medical science. In the Old West, however, it was simply a parlor trick to most people—and nobody realized the dangers of radiation yet.


On January 12, 1896, three junior students at Davidson College in North Carolina bribed a janitor to let them into the physics lab after hours so they could play around with X-rays. Their professor, Dr. Henry Louis Smith, future president of the college, was the first in North Carolina to work with X-Rays, but the first Americans to actually take an X-ray were his mischievous students.


Six days before the students’ escapades, the Associated Press had announced that German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen discovered a new form of radiation. He had been experimenting with cathode rays and found a mysterious “X” ray that passed through various substances. He put his hand in front of the rays and saw the silhouette of his own bones. Juniors Oben Hardin, Pender Porter, and Osmond L. Barringer decided they needed to see this with their own eyes.

Many physics labs around the world had the equipment on hand with which to duplicate Roentgen’s experiments. Dr. Smith’s three students placed various objects on photographic paper, taking a series of what were then called Roentgenograms of an eggshell with a button inside it, a rubber-covered magnifying glass, a cadaver’s finger with a ring on it, a pin, two cartridges, and two more rings. It was years before their little experiments were made public, but now the original X-rays are on file at the college’s archives.


Dr. Smith took up his own X-ray work and the following month published an X-ray photograph of a cadaver’s hand with a bullet inside it in the local newspaper. Later in the year, he used his X-ray machine to locate a needle inside a man’s knee, allowing doctors to accurately remove it surgically. This was the first use of X-ray technology in a medical procedure in the United States. Smith also saved a child’s life by showing that, despite her doctor’s belief that the girl was suffering from tonsillitis, a thimble she swallowed had lodged inside her throat, blocking access to her stomach, and causing her to slowly starve. Smith’s X-rays allowed for another successful surgery.


Dr. Gilman D. Frost, Professor of Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, also had the chance to utilize the X-ray in a medical procedure. On January 19 of the same year, young Eddie McCarthy fell while skating on the Connecticut River and fractured his left wrist. A week later, a New York newspaper, The Sun, carried a more detailed article about Roentgen and his X-rays. Dr. Frost and his brother Edwin, a professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth, immediately began testing the numerous vacuum tubes in the laboratory to see which, if any, could produce the mysterious rays.


After obtaining the proper tube and figuring out how to energize it, Dr. Frost arranged to take an X-ray of young Eddie’s wrist to see where the break was. This endeavor was photographed for posterity by Henry H. Barrett on February 3, 1896, making this the first pathological use of an X-ray in America (Dr. Smith’s needle search was later in the same year).


Your characters may not have experienced an X-ray for themselves, but if they lived anywhere near a college or hospital, they may have been to a demonstration. Remember that no one realized how dangerous exposure to X-rays was, so they were treated as party entertainment. For a time, you could even get an X-ray of your foot inside your new shoe to show if it fit properly or not.

J.E.S. Hays



Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Western Movies Taglines – 2024 Blog Series #westernfictioneers #westernmovies

Welcome to my 2024 blog series — Western Movies Taglines — which I will post on the first Wednesday of the month.

As I compiled this list of movies, I discovered many western movies didn’t have taglines or the taglines were terrible. I’ll get these out of the way first.

WHAT is a tagline?

A tagline is a short, clever line or couple of lines found on a movie’s poster or on a book cover,.

I’ll share 20-ish movies each month February through November. January and December will look like this:

JANUARY: 1) Great taglines from well-known non-western movies to show how a tagline can enhance our interest in the movie. 2) Many western movies that have awful taglines or no taglines at all.

DECEMBER: 1) I’ll list the movie taglines I think are outstanding, as in I'm saving the best for last. 2) I’ll offer my tagline suggestions for western movies I think deserved better taglines. 3) I will also have a spreadsheet with all the movies and taglines from this series available for downloading.

Good taglines of non-western movies to get us in the mindset:

Mr. Majestyk
He didn't want to be a hero...until the day they pushed him too far.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
We are not alone.

The Sound of Music
The Happiest Sound in All the World.

Taxi Driver
On every street in every city in this country, there is a nobody who dreams of being a somebody.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The nearer they get to the treasure the farther they get from the law.

Who ya gonna call?

Dirty Harry
You don't assign him to murder cases. You just turn him loose.

The 'Burbs
He's a man of peace in a savage land...Suburbia

This is the weekend they didn't play golf

Saturday Night Fever
Catch it

Monsters, Inc.
We scare, because we care

Forrest Gump
Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

…from the other side to our side

Shindler's List
The list is life.

There can be only one

O’ Brother Where Art Thou?
They have a plan, but not a clue…

Christmas Vacation
Yule crack up

12 Angry Men
Life is in their hands – Death is on their minds.

The first casualty of war is innocence

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Have the adventure of your life keeping up with the Joness

Chicken Run
Escape or die frying

Star Wars
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away

You’ll never go in the water again

JANUARY WESTERN MOVIE TAGLINES that are missing or are terrible:

How the West was Won (1962)
24 Great Stars In The Mightiest Adventure Ever Filmed!

Rio Lobo (1970)
Give ‘em Hell, John (1970)

Westward the Women (1951) No tagline

Arrowhead (1953) No tagline

Bandolero! (1968)
There are “Westerns” and “Westerns”. Every now and then comes a NEW kind of Western. This is “BANDOLERO!

The Big Sky (1952)
Theirs the great adventure… (sic)
Giants who carved America from wilderness! SURGING from the pages of the best-seller that thrilled millions…the towering story of the men who conquered the untamed Norwest!

Bite the Bullet (1975)
In the tradition of Shane and High Noon. A new Western Classis is born!

Viva Zapata! (1952) No tagline

Broken Lance (1954 No tagline

Burning Hills (1956)
The shy guy from “Battle Cry’
The girl from ‘Rebel without a Cause’

Wild Times (1980) No tagline

The Man who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Together for the first time—James Stewart – John Wayne—in the masterpiece of four-time Academy Award winner John Ford.

Fort Apache (1948) No tagline

Shalako (1968)
Sean Connery is SHALAKO!
SHALAKO MEANS Action! Action Means Bardot!

I Will Fight No More Forever (1975) No tagline

Lonesome Dove (1989)
The epic film as big as the West.

My Darling Clementine (1946) No tagline

Rio Grande (1950) John Ford’s greatest romantic triumph!

Quick and the Dead (1987) No tagline

River of No Return (1954)
Engulfs you in a flood of excitement! And she can sing, too!

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
John Ford’s New and Finest Picture of the Fighting Cavalry!

The Sacketts (1979) No tagline

Unforgiven (1960)
Stands Tall and Proud Among the Screen Giants!

Gone to Texas (1986) No tagline

The Lonely Man (1957) No tagline

The Virginian (1946) No tagline

The two on this list I’m most disappointed in are How the West was Won and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. I will remedy this most egregious Hollywood oversight in December.

See you in February with more western movies taglines,

Kaye Spencer