Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Death of A.P. Hill

Where Hill Fell Marker
Southwest of Petersburg on the northwest side of Boydton Plank Road (US 1) less than a mile northeast of Airport Road and the intersection with Interstate 85
Petersburg, VA 23803

Ambrose Powell Hill was born on November 9, 1825 in Culpeper, Virginia. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1842, and was commissioned as an officer in the 1st U.S. Artillery. Hill served in Mexico during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) during the closing stages of the war. Following the war, Hill went on to serve against the Seminoles in Florida, and with the U.S. Coastal Survey in Washington, D.C. In March 1861, Hill resigned from the United States Army to join the Confederate cause.

Hill served with distinction in a number of the major campaigns and battles of the Civil War including the Peninsula Campaign (March – July 1862), the Second Battle of Bull Run/Second Manassas (August 28 – August 30, 1862), and the Battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862). During his service with the Confederate Army, Hill had two feuds with Confederate generals James Longstreet and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The latter feud resulted in Hill being arrested for neglect of duty during the 1862 Maryland Campaign. He was reinstated prior to the Battle of Antietam.

Hill was plagued with bad health throughout the second half of 1864 and early in 1865. He returned to the army in time to participate in the Siege of Petersburg. During this time, Hill continued to battle health problems. On April 2, 1865, Hill was riding close to the front lines with a staff officer and was shot dead by a Union soldier. The soldier was part of the Union force that had broken through the Confederate defensive lines at Petersburg. Hill died at age 39, just seven days before Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House.

Below are two links with more information on A.P. Hill along with two photos that I took of the marker in 2009:


Friday, June 24, 2016

Upcoming Event - 2016 New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame 47th Annual Dinner and Induction Ceremony

On Thursday evening, November 3, 2016, the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame will hold it’s 47th Annual Dinner and Induction Ceremonies at the beautiful Venetian, located at 546 River Drive, Garfield, New Jersey starting at 7:00p.m.  Tickets are priced at ONLY $85.00 per person. Fourteen (14) of Boxing’s finest will be inducted in the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, and they are as follows:

Debra Barnes (Holmdel) – Professional Boxing Judge since 1990. She has judged many Championship and top-flight bouts during her career including George Foreman/Gerry Cooney, Roberto Duran/Vinny Pazienza & Sugar Ray Leonard/Hector Camacho.

Scott DePompe (Kinnelon) – former International Boxing Organization Inter-Continental super lightweight title holder. He beat Michael Corleone capture the IBO Title, and was rated just outside the top 10 in the World at the height of his career. He is now an Amateur coach.

Pat English (Lincoln Park) – An Attorney who represented boxers, managers and promoters for over 34 years. He has been involved in various capacities in well over 200 major bouts (World Championship and/or Bouts appearing on HBO, Showtime, etc.). He has represented World Champions, including Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Michael Moorer, Pernell Whitaker, Tomasz Adamek & Nicolai Valuev He also represented several managers including Lou Duva, Emanuel Steward and Vincent Scolpino. He is the current Attorney for Main Events.

Nelson Fernandez (Bloomfield) – Boxing Broadcaster, HBO Latino/Manager. Play by Play boxing commenter for HBO LatinoWorld Championship Boxing. He has managed and/or trained 11 World Champions and 39 Regional/Continental Champions.

Derrick Graham (Newark) – Former New Jersey Amateur Champion. Fought Winky Wright, Dave Hilton and Mean Joe Greene as a Pro. His reputation for being a hard-nose, scrappy fighter garnered invitations to spar with boxing greats such as Bernard Hopkins and Oscar DeLaHoya. He is now an Amateur coach.

Cosmo Liaci (Kearney) – Former AAU Champion, Amateur and Professional trainer and former President of the Veteran Boxers Association Ring 20 and Ring 25. As a trainer he trained Conrad Tucker and John Sullivan in the pro ranks and he also trained several young boxers to Amateur titles.

Pat Lynch (Middletown) – 1997 BWAA Manager of the Year, who is best known for managing Arturo Gatti to two World Titles. He also managed John Molnar & Freddie Cadena. He is the current manager of Julian Rodriguez, Glen Tapia and Clarence Booth.

Leon Muhammad (Newark) – Boxing Manager and Advisor to 8 former World Champions, including Tim Witherspoon, Johnny Bumphus, Eddie Mustfa Muhammad and Michael Spinks. He has also worked as a matchmaker for several top promoters including Lou Duva, Don King, Butch Lewis, Top Rank and Murad Muhammad and still works in the business after 40 years.

Rodney Price (Elizabeth) – Former professional fighter who was a National Golden Glove Finalist, 10 time State Champion in the Junior Olympics, Golden Gloves and Diamond Gloves. He now serves as an inspector for the N.J. Athletic Control Board while serving as an Amateur referee and judge.

Ray Ryan (Wall Township) Served over 25 years as an Inspector and timekeeper for the N.J. Athletic Control Board. Currently the most senior timekeeper with the Board and has worked well over 50 World Title fights.


Jimmy Anest (Hackensack) – He was a deaf mute who fought throughout the 1940’s. He fought some of the best welterweights of his era including Billy Graham, Johnny Bratton and Johnny Cesario.

Phil Berman (Paterson) – NJ Golden Glove and Diamond Glove Champion, who had some of the quickest KO’s both as an Amateur, two under 20 seconds and Pro, including a 28 second KO at Madison Square Garden, which is one of the fastest KO’s ever at the Garden in it’s long history. His career was cut short by an injury he received during World War II, where he received a Purple Heart.

Gerald Hayes (Newark) – N.J. State Super Featherweight Champion who holds a win over Juan Laporte, who was the World Featherweight Champion at the time. He also fought Lupe Pintor, Bobby Chacon, Rocky Lockridge, Alexis Arguello, Bernard Taylor (twice) and Eusebio Pedroza.

Herschel Jacobs (New York) – Gave Rubin “Hurricane” Carter his 1st professional loss. He ended the career of former Light Heavyweight Champion Harold Johnson by stopping him on cuts. He also beat Henry Hank, fought a draw against Jimmy “The Cat” Dupree and went the distance with Ken Norton while being out weighed by almost 30 pounds.

Also, the NEW JERSEY BOXING HALL OF FAME will be honoring their Senior Amateur, Junior Olympic Amateur & Professional Boxer of the Year, as well as the Amateur Official & Coach of the Year, Plus our “2016 Man of the Year”.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

North Carolina at Appomattox Court House

North Carolina Monument at Appomattox Court House
111 National Park Dr.
Appomattox VA, 24522
(Follow the signs for the North Carolina Monument trail)

In 2009, I had the opportunity to visit numerous historic sites in Virginia while stationed at Fort Lee. If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know that I have been adding photos from past trips over the last couple of years. While looking through some old photos this past spring, I came across my photos from Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in Virginia. Appomattox Court House is known for being the site of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses S. Grant on April 9, 1865.

In the tradition of my blog, I decided to cover individual locations and monuments from the park that are often overlooked by visitors. Being a good descendant of a family that has lived in North Carolina for hundreds of years, I decided to cover the history of the North Carolina Monument. The monument was erected in 1905 by North Carolina veterans. The monument sits on the site where the last volley of the Army of Northern Virginia was fired during the Battle of Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. The monument also memorializes the contributions of North Carolina Confederate troops over the span of the war. The monument recognizes the Confederate troops of North Carolina as the ""First at Bethel, farthest to the front at Gettysburg and Chickamauga, and last at Appomattox."

The North Carolina Monument is one of the sites associated with the park that is classified as one of the "places beyond the village." This monument along with a few other places is outside of the Appomattox Court House village area of the park. The monument can be accessed via a marked and improved trail.

Below are two links with more information on the North Carolina troops at Appomattox and the monument, as well as a few photos that I took during my 2009 visit to Appomattox Court House:


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Upcoming Event - Al Savolaine Interview

The Matt Ward History Experience will travel back to the Burrowes Mansion in Matawan, NJ on June 25, 2016 for a second interview with Matawan town historian Al Savolaine. This interview will be part of an upcoming episode of the blog's podcast. In this interview, we will discuss the 1916 Matawan Shark Attacks and Al's new book Stanley Fisher: Shark Attack Hero of a Bygone Age.

If you have any questions that you would like answered by Al, please post them in the comments of this blog entry, send them to me via Twitter @RevWarBuff23 or via Facebook -

For more information on Al Savolaine and the 1916 Matawan Shark Attacks, please visit the following websites:

Stanley Fisher: Shark Attack Hero of a Bygone Age -

Matawan Historical Society Facebook

Matawan Historical Society

1916 Matawan Shark Attacks Commemoration Events Schedule


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

National World War I Museum and Memorial

National World War I Museum and Memorial
100 W. 26th St.
Kansas City, MO 64108

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri. Having visited hundreds of museums and historic sites over the years, I can safely say this museum is now in my top three all-time favorite museums. The museum's collection consists of thousands of artifacts related to the war including uniforms, vehicles, weapons and documents. My favorite object in the collection is the French-made Renault FT-17 tank which was used by the Americans in the war (pictured below).

The main attraction at this site is the Liberty Memorial, which is a 217-foot tower that overlooks Kansas City. Construction began with a groundbreaking ceremony in 1921, and the tower was completed in 1926. The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by American political figures and members of the Allied High Command in World War I, including American General John Pershing and Admiral Earl Beatty of Great Britain. The dedication ceremony was attended by President Calvin Coolidge and 150,000 spectators. The museum is unique in that it chronicles the war in an unbiased way that avoids favoring the Allied Powers over the Central Powers.

Below is a link to the National World War I Museum and Memorial website, along with a few photos that I took during my recent visit:


Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Matt Ward History Experience Podcast - Episode #7

Check out the seventh edition of The Matt Ward History Experience Podcast!



Episode #7 contains the following segment:
  1. The Weigh-In - Interview with sports journalist Wallace Matthews
You can check out Wallace Matthews online via the following websites:

Wallace Matthews' Twitter - @ESPNNYYankees

Below is a photo of Wallace Matthews and I at Yankee Stadium:

First and foremost I would like to thank my guest Wallace Matthews for meeting with me in the Bronx to talk sports.

This episode would not have been possible if it had not been for the technical support of my good friend Peter Lloyd of One Stone Recording and Mastering. Pete mixed and cleaned up the original recordings into the great episode that you can stream on SoundCloud.

Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank all of my readers and listeners - Especially those who submitted questions for this month's segment of The Weigh In.

The Matt Ward History Experience is brought to you by One Stone Recording and Mastering in New Brunswick, NJ. Check out One Stone Recording and Mastering for all of you mixing and mastering needs. Go to and receive 10% off your first session!

One Stone Recording and Mastering: