The Regional Review

Volume II - No. 6

June, 1939



Manassas to Appomattox, an illustrated booklet of 32 pages 8" x 10-1/2" in size, has just been distributed by the Service as the first in a series of eight pamphlets, all dealing with historical areas, which have been made possible through a special allotment of funds. It was prepared editorially by the historical staff of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park and produced by the Government Printing Office. Designed for distribution to visitors in the national military parks of Virginia, the booklet contains half a dozen maps and numerous photographs, some of them made during the War Between the States, others showing battlefield scenes of today.

It would be hard to find anywhere in a narrative of similar length a more accurate and satisfying account of the campaigns and battles of 1861-65 in eastern Virginia than is contained in the new publication. In a one-page description of a tour of the Virginia Civil War parks, illustrated by a route map, the authors define the areas to be discussed and explain how they best may be visited. Virginia's place in the national conflict is brought into focus in a brief "The War as a Whole", after which the struggle in the eastern theater of war is outlined. Following are one-page descriptions of the long series of battles which occurred in the five service areas situated around Manassas, Fredericksburg, Richmond, Petersburg and Appomattox Court House. Altogether, the booklet is an achievement in compressive writing which affords, in restricted space, a series of sketches of the campaigns and battles so clean-cut that they are capable of conveying not only to the average uninformed visitor an intelligent idea of the war operations but also of providing even the critical military student with a substantial reference work when he finds himself on the fields of battle.

Manassas to Appomattox sets a high standard for the other booklets soon to be published. Each will contain 16 pages and will be illustrated by maps and photographs. Areas to be described by the series are Colonial and Morristown National Historical Parks, Ocmulgee and Forts Marion, Matanzas and Pulaski National Monuments, and Gettysburg and Vicksburg National Military Parks. -----Joseph Mills Hanson.


"A Survey of the Herpetology of Great Smoky Mountains National Park," published in the May issue of The American Midland Naturalist, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 531-582, describes the results of some five years of field work carried forward by Associate Wildlife Technician Willis King in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and lists 31 species previously unreported in the area and a new salamander, first described by the author in 1937. Completion of the survey gained for Mr. King this month a doctorate from the University of Cincinnati. A reprint of his paper is expected to be available soon.

The new species, designated as Desmognathus wrighti in honor of the late George M. Wright, former Chief of the Wildlife Division, was discovered on Mt. Le Conte at a high elevation where its chosen habitat is under small logs and stones in moderately moist spruce-fir forests. The author's complete list totals 70 species of reptiles and amphibians comprising 25 salamanders, 11 frogs and toads, 8 lizards, 21 snakes and 5 turtles. A collection is on display at the park headquarters in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.


The inaugural issue of Travel News made its appearance this month in the San Francisco office of the United States Travel Bureau. The first number, a 10-page mimeographed pamphlet, was prepared by J. A. Fraser, news editor, under supervision of J. L. Bossemeyer, in charge of the bureau. It is designed to "aid in disseminating up-to-the-minute travel information to civic and commercial agencies and to individuals interested in travel within the United States and its Territories".


The Service has assembled for permanent record a collection of 342 photographs of western areas made by William H. Jackson, pioneer cameraman who, in the 1870's, was first to snap many scenes now famous to travelers the world over. The photographs, ranging from 3x4 to 11x14 inches, represent remarkable triumphs of the days of wet plate picture-making. Two copies of the collection have been made. They are accompanied by an introduction by Director Arno B . Cammerer and a reprint from The American Annual of Photography (1939) of "William H. Jackson, Photographer, Artist, Explorer," written by Fritiof Fryxell. Mr. Jackson, born April 4, 1843, and still an active, sharp-headed worker despite his 96 years, was a member of the United States Geological Survey expedition of 1871 under the leadership of Dr. F. V. Hayden. An interesting biographical sketch of the hardy photographer has just appeared in Readers Digest, Vol. 34, No. 206 (June, 1939), pp. 29-32, "Portrait of a Pioneer," condensed from a Washington Post article by Karl Detzer.


Acting Superintendent James W. Holland, of Fort Pulaski National Monument, Georgia, transmits a bibliographical item of 1938 which, he suggests, may not have come to general attention in the Service. Prof. Henry Van Der Schalie, of the University of Michigan, published in Nautilus, Vol. 51, No. 4 (April, 1938), pp. 132-135, an article, "On The Occurrence of Helix lactea Müller in North America," which paints out that so far as biologists now know, the edible snail in question is confined in North America to two localities. They are Cockspur Island, in the mouth of the Savannah River, once guarded by old Pulaski, and Long Key, a coastal island off south Florida. The item adds to the zoological interest of the Monument, which has been largely restricted hitherto to its ornithological aspects.

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Date: 04-Jul-2002