Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thespians and Captains for a day Adamski (L) and Lyons(R) pose on the USS Constellation, taking a break from their starring roles.

Camp members launch acting careers as Captains by Steve Adamski
Two Gilmor Camp members were each awarded the rank of Captain recently. However, before the Camp plans a surprise party to celebrate, you might want to read on. 

The story begins late in the evening on September 25, 1860, when the USS Constellation captures the slave ship Cora while patrolling the waters off West Africa. The story continues on Nov. 8, 1861, when the Union frigate San Jacinto stopped the neutral British mail packet RMS Trent and removed, as contraband of war, two Confederate emissaries, resulting in the international diplomatic incident known as the “Trent Affair”.

But what do these two distinctly separate events have in common? Well, they are both part of the story of Commander Donald Fairfax, who lived in Hagerstown, Maryland, after the Civil War. Fairfax was executive officer of USS Constellation when the Cora was captured, and was executive officer of the USS San Jacinto
during the Trent affair. 

On October 29, 2011, if only for a few hours, Bob Lyons and Stephen Adamski became Captain James Moir of the RMS Trent and John Latham of the Bark Cora, of New York, respectively. Stephen (Captain Latham) was arrested, roughed up, handcuffed and led away. Bob (Captain Moir), looking very distinguished, artfully recited a letter. This all took place just below the main deck onboard the USS Constellation, under the direction of Steve Bockmiller. In a recent interview Mr. Adamski was quoted
saying “If I’d known what I’d be going through, I would have asked my agent to get me a better role.”

The backstory is the City of Hagerstown is filming a collection of 6 five minute stories of Hagerstonians
who did significant things in the Civil War. The series premiered in Hagerstown on September 29, 2012.

The other 5 stories are about:
--Edward Kershner: Assistant Surgeon of USS Cumberland when it was sunk by the CSS Virginia at
Hampton Roads
--Henry Kyd Douglas
--Abram Ryan: the poetpriest of the Confederacy
--Elias Recher: Hagerstown's Civil War photographer
--Jacob Wheaton: the first African-American in MD to cast a vote (Hagerstown Mayoral election of 1868)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012