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1367RE: [TalkAntietam] Re: Spinning Wheels on South Mountain

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  • Rawlings, Kevin
    May 5, 2004

      Hope you have not given up on me. I have been running here at work the last
      several days and have not had time to respond like I wanted.

      The "White House" property is no longer owned by CMHL, but is owned by a
      person who does reside on the current BOD. Since the Iron Brigade site is
      now owned by the State (CMHL donated it to the State), I would opine that
      the property is contiguous. I believe he joined the board after his purchase
      of the property. The owners are required to open the house for tours one
      weekend out of the year for walk throughs by the public per Maryland
      Historic easements or requirements ( I can't think of the entity on the tip
      of my tongue just now). Not that this is currently happening for all I know.
      The guy that bought it is a little strange.

      I agree with your statement about Al having a conflict of interest sitting
      on CMHL's board and brought that up when I rejoined the board. I was
      promptly told by Bill Wilson I was a troublemaker and my opinion was of no
      account as the rest of the board saw no conflict. As far as "crackpot
      hobbyist" I take it you refer to George B. or Steve S.? If you meant George,
      I don't know if I would go so far as calling him a crackpot, but he did
      manage to damage his creditability, especially with the State, by having the
      media tantrum he had. It did not help that Bill Wilson and his minions
      helped to undermine George at the same time and eventually knifed him in the
      back. The tea shop owner at the Lamar House is a good friend of Bill's and
      he was very instrumental in overriding our opposition to it. Because of our
      opposition to the tea shop, Bill managed to convene illegally a special
      board meeting and removed George from the organization. Following that
      meeting several of us were told we were next if continued to oppose Bill's
      agenda as Executive Director. One of the items Bill pushed long and hard on
      was to have the Executive Director's position to have a BOD vote. Currently
      he and his wife Molly both sit on the Board.

      Now I was on the BOD when you say the CMHL said it was not interested in
      Crampton's Gap. What I remember being discussed was the several groups that
      were involved in Crampton's Gap/Gathland, including Paul Gilligan's new
      group. We agreed we would only serve to muddy the waters by adding another
      group to the mix and decided to stay out of any involvement with Crampton's
      Gap/Gathland. We figured we had all we could do to just take care of Fox's
      and Turner's Gaps and our addition to Crampton's Gap/Gathland would involve
      too many cooks' hands in the soup. We had also gotten fed up with Paul's "I
      want to be involved with you/I don't want to be involved with you" stances
      on any wind direction that happen to be blowing any given day. There was
      already group infrastructures for Crampton's Gap/Gathland/Burkettsville
      where there was none at the other gaps. That is the way I remember it unless
      there were some things said afterwards that I was not privy to. It was not
      because we were uninterested in Crampton's Gap.

      My opinion of Greenbriar Lake being associated with the budget of the SMSB
      is preposterous and should be its own entitiy. Unfortunately, the turf
      politics from within the State Parks will not allow that separation and thus
      lake tourism requiring picnic tables and such will take precedent over
      historic and battlefield needs and the budget for SMSB will continue to
      starve, unless I am off the mark.

      I don't know what the score is or what is needed any longer. I threw up my
      hands in fustration with the turn of events at CMHL and kept to myself for
      the last several years. But I don't like what I see happening on South
      Mountain and have slowly begun to get back involved. But as of this writing,
      I am not sure with whom or what group. I just know I cannot sit on the
      sideline and tsk-tsk all that is wrong or incompetent that I see. I am
      involved with George and a new group at this time but I am not even sure
      what we are working at is doable or right. I am not even sure another group
      is the answer. My feeling of "I have done my time in the trenches, let
      someone else carry the burden awhile" on top of working on another book,
      just does not leave enough time in the day or the week.

      On a side note, did Joe Hooker spend some time recuperating in Middletown
      after Antietam? If he did, do you know where he stayed? I believe Hayes
      stayed at the Rudy House (504 Main Street?).

      Good seeing you and Jan the other night in Boonsboro. The book you have
      coming out on the Maryland Campaign, is that the 70 page book you are
      talking about or is it a longer book?

      All the best,
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