Gridiron Glory

Visitors to UNC’s pre-game festivities on Oct. 30 can catch a special glimpse of Tar Heel football history. A showing of archival film clips in Wilson Library will feature highlights from games past, including footage of football legends such as Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice and “Famous Amos” Lawrence. In addition, Woody Durham, the “Voice of the Tar Heels,” provides narration to the clips.

“Gridiron Glory” will run in a twenty-minute continuous loop in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room during the University’s Tar Heel Town. Showings will begin at 12:30 and will continue until 3:30. The showings are free and open to the public.

Find out more about the event at this link:

The Sword to the City

N.C. Miscellany’s Washington correspondent (a Tar Heel who, by circumstance, is forced to live in exile) shares this bit of news with us: William Richardson Davie’s sword has returned to Salisbury. The city bestowed the ceremonial weapon upon Davie in 1780. Davie, you may recall, interrupted his law studies in Salisbury to lead a local cavalry troop in the Revolutionary War. He’s credited with a few other notable achievements, too. How many can you name before you check out the link above?

George Washington, packing heat from Charlotte?

“The rifle became so popular in the South that a factory for making the hunting rifle was established at Charlotte, N. C., about 1740. The founders came from Leman’s Rifle Factory at Lancaster, Pa….

” ‘General Washington’s favorite weapon was the rifle,’ says George W. Park Custer, in a…   memorandum printed… for private distribution…. ‘His was presented to him in 1787 [and] was made in Charlotte, N. C. It is four feet in length of the barrel, and the entire piece is handsomely mounted with silver. The lock is beautiful work. I have known the General to kill a deer at 150 yards with this rifle.’

“This same Charlotte rifle-making firm in 1777 presented General Washington with the finest and undoubtedly the first pair of rifle pistols ever made in America. They had twelve inch barrels carrying four ounce balls and would shoot with the accuracy of a rifle at fifty or sixty feet. They saved the General’s life at Germantown [in October 1777] but that story, though a most interesting one, does not belong here.”

— From the Washington Post, June 16, 1901 (as quoted in “Hornets’ Nest” by LeGette Blythe and Charles Raven Brockmann [1961])

A colorful and intriguing account indeed, but I’ve been unable to turn up any supporting evidence on Washington’s weaponry (or on George W. Park Custer).

This caution flag is from an online bio of Henry E. Leman (1812- ), a gunsmith in Lancaster County, Pa.:

“Claims have been made on a number of occasions that gunsmiths named Leman worked in Lancaster County in the eighteenth century…. The records of the Lancaster County Court House do not support the hypothesis of Leman production before the time of Henry E. Leman.”

Thoughts, anyone?

UPDATE: Internet findings suggest “Charlotte, N.C.” was actually  Charlottesville, Va. Alas.… And “George W. Park Custer” was almost certainly George W. Parke Custis, Washington’s step-grandson and adopted son.