The Ohio Humanities Council

Documentary filmmaking is expensive. There’s research, equipment, personnel, travel, usage fees; and the list goes on and on.

Unless you are independently wealthy – and I’m not, you need some one to help out financially.

There aren’t many patrons for documentary filmmaking in general or historical documentary filmmaking, in particular.

That brings me to the Ohio Humanities Council.

Anyone, who works in the humanities in Ohio, knows about this organization.

The Ohio Humanities Council helped underwrite this documentary. Without OHC’s assistance, “Rebels on Lake Erie” could not have been made.

The Ohio Humanities Council hasn’t been around long – only since 1972, which means it’s celebrating its 40th birthday this year. That means OHC is younger than I am.

In a sense, OHC is a product of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s “Great Society” initiative of the 1960s. In 1965, bending to the will of the White House, Congress passed the act that made the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts possible. The Washington Post called the creation of the endowments “a momentous step.” President Richard Nixon must have agreed because he greatly expanded the funding for both NEH and NEA.

The state humanities and arts councils followed. The state agencies – including the Ohio Humanities Council – were set up to bring the humanities down to the state and local levels — to the neighborhood, if you will. According to its website, the OHC’s mission is “to increase Ohioans’ appreciation and understanding of the humanities….”

Former OHC director Gail Peterson once observed that the council brought the humanities to a wider audience and bridged the gap between scholars and the general public. If you look at the work of the OHC recently, you see that the organization has been true to that mission. OHC sponsors summer institutes for K-12 teachers. It sponsors the annual Ohio Chautauqua. It arranges the Museum on Main Street.

It also supports media projects.

“Rebels on Lake Erie” isn’t the typical story of the Civil War. It doesn’t deal with generals and battles directly. It deals with what remains one of the most controversial elements of the Civil War – prisoner of war camps. It deals with a college-educated Virginia pirate who tried to liberate Confederate officers imprisoned at Johnson’s Island. It’s also a story about the subterfuge that came to be known as the Northwestern Conspiracy.

The OHC always endorses presenting both sides of a story. We think we’ve done that. This documentary doesn’t provide simple questions or simple answers. But war is like that.

So thank you, OHC, for giving us an opportunity to tell this story and we hope that the thousands of Ohioans who watch this on April 23 at 10 p.m. on WNEO/WEAO and later on other stations in the state will enjoy the program.

AJHA & Rebels

The American Journalism Historians Association. It’s one of my favorite organizations. The group hosts my absolutely favorite convention.

What does all this have to do with “Rebels on Lake Erie,” the documentary?

It’s hard to find lots of southern voices in Akron, Ohio, today.
About 90 years ago, it wouldn’t have been a problem. Thousands came up from West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas in search of jobs in Akron’s thriving rubber factories.
Southern twangs were a familiar sound in virtually every Akron factory, church, store and bar.

Things have changed in Akron. The richness of the Southern drawl is rare around this Midwestern city.
And that represented a real problem for me – and the documentary.

I needed lots of Southern voices, voices of prisoners at Johnson’s Island, voices of conspirators, voices of the Confederacy.

Where can you find that many Southern voices?

How about Tucson, Arizona, in October 2010?

That’s when the American Journalism Historians Association held its convention.
And there are LOTS of Southern gentlemen in that organization, scholars who are more than willing to help out a Midwesterner in search of a Southern drawl.

Did I need a voice of Decimus et Ultimus Barziza, the blustering belligerent Confederate prisoner from Texas? Patrick Cox, director of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin, volunteered for the challenge – and lived up to Decimus’ bravado.

David Sloan of the University of Alabama was typecast as the intellectual college professor/Johnson’s Island prisoner Luther Mills.

The young Glenn (Pete) Smith Jr. of Mississippi State became Capt. Joe Barbiere of the Gayoso Guards.

Jim Martin of the University of Northern Alabama convincingly portrayed Edmund DeWitt Patterson of the 9th Alabama.

With some elocution advice from his Southern wife Katie, Leonard Teel of Georgia State offered his interpretation of the depressed Col. D.R. Hundley of Alabama.

But who could portray the Confederate spy John Breckinridge Castleman?
Jim Aucoin of the University of Southern Alabama agreed to do it, although he never thought he had much of a Southern accent. When you see the documentary, you decide.

David Davies, an Arkansas native who teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi, served as Johnson’s Island prisoner Lt. Horace Carpenter of the 9th Louisiana. David can make the word “damned” stretch across five syllables. Unfortunately, you won’t hear that in the documentary. When we had to cut the last three minutes, David’s “damned” was sacrificed. Contrary to what many might say, that “damned” edit didn’t make up the whole three minutes.

The soft-spoken David Copeland of Elon in North Carolina served as Capt. William M. Norman of the 2nd North Carolina.

I’m no audio specialist – and I wasn’t going to have any help when I did the audio recording in that hotel in Tucson. Yet with some training from UA Communication engineer Rick Kent, the newest version of audacity on my laptop, a blue icicle and one of the school’s better microphones, I was ready for the challenge.

The staff of the Hotel Tucson went out of their way to find a quiet location, where all the voiceovers could be recorded.

I can’t say the process was seamless. I ran into one technical snafu but engineer Rick Kent, back in Akron, talked me through it. I must have done pretty well because our audio editor Gabor Smith hasn’t had too much work to do on the voiceovers I recorded in Tucson.

It’s kind of nice to know that AJHA isn’t just an organization where you present research. It’s a place where friends help each other out.
As a result, “Rebels on Lake Erie” is a documentary that draws on talent from across the nation.
– Kathleen Endres

My Son Jon

Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling, my son Jon
Went to bed with his stockin’s on,
One shoe off, one shoe on,
Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling, my son Jon

Twenty four years ago, my son would giggle with delight when I recited that silly nursery rhyme.
Jon’s always been a good sport.

Over the past year, I’ve tested the bounds of his sweet nature as I worked on the documentary, “Rebels on Lake Erie.

“Jon,” I’d whine, “could you do me a favor?”
At first, he’d respond, with an upbeat “sure.” Then I’d ask him to animate a map that would trace John Beall’s route from Detroit to Kelley’s Island on Lake Erie. Or I’d ask for a map that would illustrate General Grant’s war plans in Summer 1864. Since Jon was teaching himself AfterEffects, this gave him an opportunity to show off.

Eventually, Jon got wiser.
My inquiry, “could you do me a favor?” was met with an equivocal “maybe.” Then I’d ask him to Photoshop a picture — or two — or 10 – or 20. Since Jon’s an ace at Photoshop, I didn’t hear that many complaints.

Lately, my inquiry, “could you do me a favor?” has been met with his own question, “got any money?” Rather than put on my motherly guilt look, I just pull out a $20 and thanked my stars that my son Jon’s so talented — and that he’s willing and able to do all the animations, Photoshop work, and anything else that my editor and I can dream up.

Jon’s an English major at The University of Akron. After six years, he’s close to graduation. When he walks across the stage at EJ Thomas this August, his father and I will applaud wildly. We’ll wish him only the best – a wonderful job and a happy life.

We’d like to think we’ve been helpful to him along the way. We’ve encouraged him, praised him, answered his MLA questions, reassured him, paid his bills – and taken advantage of his talents. How many other 24-year-old English majors have had an opportunity to work on documentaries, do voiceovers, design logos, do videos and animate maps (or anything else)?

So when you tune in to “Rebels on Lake Erie” (April 23 at 10 p.m. on WNEO/WEAO), I’d like you to watch for the animated maps, the photos that look flawless and the graphics that capture the mood – and remember Diddle, Diddle Dumpling, my son Jon.

Midnight on Lake Erie

Documentary production can take you to some strange places at odd times. In this case, midnight on Lake Erie on a sailboat.

Here’s the inside story….
In September 1864, John Yates Beall, our Virginia pirate, and his band of compatriots sailed out onto Lake Erie, intent on liberating the Confederate officers imprisoned on Johnson’s Island.
On board the ferryboat they commandeered, Beall and his band reached Marblehead Lighthouse, which marks the rocky shores along the narrow entrance into Sandusky Bay, where Johnson’s Island is located.
In the documentary our expert observes, “it was dark; it was very dark.”

So how could you show this dramatic moment without going out on Lake Erie in the dead of night?
Even I wasn’t willing to take the chance in the fall, when the treacherous narrow entrance into Sandusky Bay is especially shallow.
But nothing could stop us from doing it at midnight one night in July 2011.
The problem was finding someone willing to take us out in a sailboat.
I made lots of calls. Some politely declined; a couple laughed, and one just grumbled and hung up.
Finally Capt. Jim of Erie Spirit Sailing agreed.

There were five of us that night – experienced videographer Chris Collins and his wife, University of Akron Communication major Ryan Keeper, UA Communication graduate student Gabor Smith and me.
We were all eager for this new adventure – although a few of us (the passengers over the age of 30) were a little apprehensive.
Capt. Jim seemed like a nice enough guy and a competent, experience seaman — and his 33-foot sailboat gave us all a lot of confidence.
After Capt. Jim went over all the safety instructions, we were ready to sail.

It was a warm, beautiful night. Quiet. Dark.
It took about an hour to reach the lighthouse. (That’s just a guess. It was so dark that you couldn’t really see anything, except the lights along the shoreline and the stars in the sky. No one wanted to pull out a cell phone to check the time, lest it ruin the mood – or fall overboard.)
Chris started shooting; then Ryan, more sure footed on the boat, tried his hand.
Shooting at night takes a special skill and good equipment. The University of Akron’s School of Communication has three JVC 700 HD cameras, which are used by the advanced undergraduate and graduate students. As one of the top shooters in the school, Ryan was used to “Alfred,” the camera we took out that evening. Ryan opened “Alfred’s” aperture to its widest and cranked up the shutter speed. Then Ryan climbed over everyone, stabilized the camera and went to work.
When you watch the documentary, you’ll see the dark waters of Lake Erie at midnight, the strange glow from the Marblehead Lighthouse and the twinkling stars in the heavens above. Those set the mood for a mutiny on Lake Erie.
Not to be outdone, Gabor, our audio specialist, recorded all the sounds that night. The ambient sounds that accompany the video are not effects purchased on the internet; they are Gabor’s work.

We spent so much time along the Marblehead Peninsula shoreline, our sailboat must have looked like it was in distress. Another boater pulled alongside and asked if we were all right. Capt. Jim assured him of our safety and we continued with the shoot.

That dark, quiet night on Lake Erie, I wondered about Beall’s trip on Lake Erie. He and his men had been sailing all day. They must have been exhausted by the time they saw the light of the Marblehead Lighthouse.

If you want to know what happened next, you’ll just need to tune in to the “Rebels on Lake Erie” broadcast on Western Reserve Public Media on April 23 — or come to the free public preview on April 19 at the old Quaker Inn in Akron
Kathleen Endres

Spring Cleaning — & Documentary Production

Yesterday the local newspaper carried a special section on spring cleaning.
This distressed me because I’m in no mood for cleaning anything.
I’m in the last throes of the production of “Rebels on Lake Erie” – and my husband is trying to finish his documentary, “Soljer Boy,” about Portage County in the Civil War.
Two documentaries being produced at the same time in the same household.
No wonder our Christmas tree is still up, and presents are still piled in the living room.
Time stands still and domestic chores are ignored when a producer is working on a documentary.
There are just too many things to do — the last minute corrections that Western Reserve Public Media wants before the Rebels documentary is broadcast on April 23 at 10 p.m., organizing a public preview (Thursday, April 19, at the Quaker in Akron), getting up a Facebook page, and working on this blog…. You get the idea.
The work of a producer never seems to be done.
It’s not that I don’t have help.
My cats – all five of them (Si, Mongo, Joe, Bailey, Karen) – are trying. Everyday I come home to a freshly smashed glass Christmas tree bulb. It’s only a matter of time before the whole Christmas tree is bare.
My dog – a German Shepherd named Sadie – is always at my feet, encouraging me to fix that moire pattern or work on my music cue sheet. She’s also pro-active, pulling down the last of the Christmas lights that still cling to bushes outside.
My daughter suggests that I might need to hire someone to help me clean – or, at least, take down that embarrassing Christmas tree. Impossible, I respond. I’d have too much cleaning to get the house ready to be cleaned.
Everything is just going to have to wait until after April 23. Wish me luck.
–Kathleen Endres

“Rebels” Team

One of the reasons I like working on documentaries is the collaboration – the sense of team.
Of course, there are times when documentary preparation can be a solitary activity.
In the beginning stages, when you’re wrestling with the idea, you usually work by yourself – and are grumpy to your family.
In the research stage, most of the work is done alone at archives, at libraries, in homes where letters are still held.
If you’re lucky, you meet some nice people along the way – a helpful archivist, a friendly librarian, or a person with a good sense of humor.
Eventually, the solitude is over and you start to put a team together.
Working on a documentary in a university environment is very different from working on one in a professional production house.
Ken Burns at Florentine Films works with most of the same individuals in each of his documentaries. He even has a reasonable budget.
It’s different working on a documentary at a university.
First, there’s that pesky issue of budget, or lack thereof. Unless you have a grant (and even if you do), you’re borrowing equipment, pleading for a lower shooting fee, or searching for copyright-free images.
Second, you are working with students, who are still honing their craft. That means they make mistakes – and every mistake has to become an “educational moment.”
Third, students graduate. An undergraduate or graduate student starts the project, understands where the film is going – and then they’re gone.
But enough whining.
Let me introduce you to some of the behind-the-scenes team that is “Rebels on Lake Erie.”
Phase 1 – Fall 2010: Graduate student Keith Aukeman and UA Communication alum Mike Wendt shot all the interviews – up at Johnson’s Island and the audio studio. In September 2010, we got to Johnson’s Island before dawn so they could shoot in the “sweet spot” of the day. The beautiful fall shots are all their’s!
Phase 2 – Winter 2010/2011: If you’ve been following the blog, you already know graduate student Keith Aukeman and UA Communication alum Georges Yazbek were weaving their magic with the camera — Keith after a blizzard on Johnson’s Island and Georges on St. Patrick’s Day on Governors Island.
Phase 3 – Spring 2011: Graduate student Gabor Smith joins the fun – he’s the behind-the-scenes guy working with the narrator in the audio studio and doing the “lion’s share” of the scheduling.
Phase 4 – Summer 2011: We’re back at Johnson’s Island with a new team. Gabor is back and he’s brought Communication major/videographer Ryan Keeper, who is fearless on land and sea (you’ll read about that later). Chris Collins, an experienced Akron videographer, joins in the adventure.
Phase 4 – Fall 2011 and Winter 2011/2012: Our editor, the Emmy-award-winning Matt Rafferty, joins the party. We – Matt, Gabor and me – spend every Saturday in the Avid-editing lab in Kolbe Hall. Two things about working on Saturdays at the University of Akron – the parking lots near Kolbe Hall are almost always closed for some game (that means we need to drag our equipment and supplies across campus) and, in the winter, it always seems to snow. Gabor really is the assistant editor – and quite the audio expert. No more clunks in our documentary! Gabor also brings another Communication undergraduate into our mix – Katrina DeFord, a former music major. You’ll be reading a lot more about her later.

Johnson’s Island, after a blizzard

It’s days like today that make me realize how lucky I am to live and work in Ohio.
Temperatures are in the 70s, and not even the threat of rain can dampen my spirits. I’ve been revitalized by spring break, a semester winding to a close and the documentary “Rebels on Lake Erie,” nearing completion.
As I reflect on the long documentary journey, I’m reminded of one particular day – Feb. 4, 2011.

It had been a hard winter, one of the worst in recent Ohio history.
We had just emerged from the “blizzaster,” a language abomination that seemed to perfectly describe the rain, ice, snow and sleet of Groundhog Day 2011 and the day after.
That storm had not just paralyzed the state but much of Midwest and the eastern seaboard. Boston, New York, Chicago, Cleveland – and Sandusky, Ohio, had all been battered by the storm.
Could there be any better reason to trudge – slowly – across the state of Ohio and get the ideal winter shot on Johnson’s Island?

February 4, 2011: With the turnpike open and much of the storm damage cleared away (or so we thought), my videographer (University of Akron graduate student Keith Aukeman) and I packed up the HD camera, the tripod, and the mike into my little Prius and headed out to Johnson’s Island, on Sandusky Bay.
I’d read enough about the Confederate officers imprisoned on Johnson’s Island during the Civil War complaining about the winter weather. I was going to see it for myself – and that meant videographer Aukeman had to see it too.
The trip across the state was long, cold and desolate. The sun reflected off the sparkling snow.
Keith and I talked about the shot, the weather, and the seemingly endless semester.
Two hours later, we left the turnpike, found Ohio 2, and headed for Bayshore Drive. For the first time ever, I didn’t miss Gaydos Drive.
We reached the causeway – but the code wouldn’t work so I loaded the machine with quarters and took the long road across Sandusky Bay to Johnson’s Island.
As I slowly drove on the narrow two-lane causeway, I started to think maybe this hadn’t been one of my best ideas. I suspected that if anything happened to us – getting lost, sliding off the road, running out of gas, we might not be found until spring.
On Johnson’s Island, the road was plowed — to the cemetery at least. We parked on the road. We didn’t have to worry about traffic because there was NO ONE on the island.
We unloaded the car. I took the lightest equipment. I’m tenured and old. Keith, who is much younger, handled the heavier gear.
We weren’t quite ready for the depth of the snow. It was over my knees. Although I was wearing my unfashionable big heavy winter boots, the snow got in, soaking my socks and freezing my toes.
I wasn’t ready for the wind either. I was wearing a heavy coat, a sweatshirt and thermals – but I was still cold, cold to my very bones.
After I fell – it’s tough to walk in knee-high snow, Keith asked if I was okay. Sure, I responded. Only my pride was injured.
Once we got near the bay, Keith got the shots of the cemetery and the statue first. Then I reminded him, we were up there for other shots – of the frozen bay, of the snow whipping around, of the desolation.
I wish we could have captured the feel of the cold, the bone-chilling cold, on film.
If you haven’t been up on Johnson’s Island in the winter, you just can’t appreciate it.
I wondered how the Confederate soldiers endured these temperatures – and the wind – in barracks that were heated only by a stove.

After an hour or two (in the cold, it’s hard to figure out time), we eagerly went back to the car, loaded up the gear and headed out. The first thing I did was turn up the car’s heater.
As we tried to warm up, I thought about those prisoners and how to work that bone-chilling sense of cold into the documentary. I’m not sure if we succeeded – or if anyone could convey it. I still get chills thinking about it.
We drove back over the causeway and headed into Sandusky.

We were cold, tired and hungry – and not much was opened in the city.
We stopped at one diner.
“Sorry,” the owner said, “we’re closed.”
We wandered down the street and stopped at another restaurant.
This one was closed permanently — or so the official notice said.
We finally found a bar and drank lots of coffee and ate our lunch at about 3 p.m. Such is the life of a documentarian.

Reasonably warm and no longer hungry, we wandered back to the car and planned what to do next – get a couple more shots of the bay.
That sounded easy enough.
We headed for the waterfront. But nobody wanted us down there. The plows were still trying to clear away about a foot of snow.
We weren’t going to be stopped, however. We eventually found a reasonably cleared parking lot – and a park right on the bay. We got to work.
Keith captured the lonely seagulls and the frozen bay. They are beautiful shots.
The wind blew off the bay, freezing everything – including my face. I had gloves on but my hands were still cold. After about half an hour, I retreated to the car. About 45 minutes later, Keith joined me.
We were ready to head back to Akron.

It had been a good day and we accomplished a lot.
The next day, another storm barreled across Ohio. Akron was snowed in yet again.

On Groundhog Day 2011, Punxsutawney Phil, my favorite forecaster, didn’t see his shadow, predicting an early spring. That February, snow storm after snow storm battered Ohio.
I’ll never trust a rodent again.

St. Patrick’s Day & John Beall

Being the daughter of an Irish war bride (maiden name: Bridget Tierney, Knocklong, Co. Limerick), St. Patrick’s Day has always been a big date on my calendar. I’ll never forget the Irish dancing at Toledo’s Commodore Perry Hotel or Mass at old St. Pat’s.
But St. Patrick’s Day, 2011, has to go down as one of the more memorable.
That’s the day we shot on Governors Island in New York for “Rebels on Lake Erie,” a new documentary.
Here’s the inside story behind that day….
John Yates Beall, one of the main characters in our story, had been executed outside Fort Columbus (now Fort Jay) on Governors Island on Feb. 24, 1865.
I wanted that shot for the documentary but timing was important.
First, we had to get it before Governors Island was crowded with tourists.
Second, we had to schedule it when Georges Yazbek, a tremendously talented videographer (and a University of Akron graduate), was available.
Third, we had to go before the government shut down in one of the many budget crises of 2011.
Thanks to the cooperation and assistance of Michael Shaver, supervisory park ranger at Governors Island (and perhaps a small intervention from St. Patrick), all that happened on March 17, 2011.
It was a bright, sunny St. Patrick’s Day, when our plane landed at LaGuardia.
We (graduate student Keith Aukeman and I) caught a cab and hoped to make the 10 a.m. ferry to Governors Island.
At 9:15, we were caught in traffic with little hope of ever getting to the pier on time.
Georges called. He was parked at the pier – but where were we?
Stuck in traffic, we replied.
Just when it appeared we’d never make it, the cab driver saw an opening, switched lanes and we never looked back.
We made it with lots of time – 15 minutes — to spare.
Georges drove his car on board the ferry and we were on our way to a great St. Patrick’s Day shoot.
Once we landed, we were dispatched to Building 107, command central for the National Park Service.
The rangers on Governors Island are experienced in dealing with the press, videographers and documentarians.
We were given relatively free access to the island and the fort – and a park ranger to keep us out of trouble.
After shooting our way into the fort – wait, that doesn’t sound right. After driving into the fort with a camera strapped to the hood of the car (you’ll see that shot in the documentary), we were ready to start our work.
We were able to go virtually everywhere (except one location that our ranger, by then a pal, warned us against. Something about open culverts and falling in.)
Since Georges brought battery-operated lights, we were able to shoot in John Yates Beall’s cell, where he spent his last days.
It was cold and damp and very dark. You’ll see that cell in the documentary.
Since I had read the letters Beall had written from that cell and the reminiscences of his friends who had visited him there, I was moved by the whole experience. I know that sounds a little weird, but I’d been researching the topic for about a year and had never really visited a location like this before.
At about 1 p.m., roughly the time of Beall’s execution, we went out to shoot where the National Park Service believes the hanging took place. You’ll see that location – framed beautifully by Georges – in the documentary.
You’ll also see the actual path Beall took on his way to the gallows. It’s another moving scene in the documentary.
We have lots of footage from our day at Governors Island that doesn’t appear in the documentary – inside the magazine, on the second floor of the fort, or along the shore of the island. Perhaps we’ll issue some outtakes.
By 2:45 p.m., we were ready to head back to the 21st century and New York City.
Georges volunteered to take us back to LaGuardia – we had a flight back that afternoon, but I figured we could easily find a cab.
What was I thinking?
After a couple of cabbies gruffly declined the fare, we got lucky and made it back to LaGuardia in plenty of time to eat, check in and get through security.
In the mercifully uneventful flight back to Akron, I reflected on St. Patrick’s Day 2011 and wondered how this documentary would come together.
This St. Patrick’s Day, the documentary is close to completion. It’s scheduled for broadcast in April on Western Reserve Public Media. We still have lots to do and you’ll hear all about it in this blog.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day and wish me luck as we finish up the documentary.

A great idea — and a great student

Every time I talk about this “Rebels on Lake Erie” documentary, I’m asked – where did you get the idea?
I always credit a very good student in my magazine article writing class in Spring 2007.
That semester, I asked the students to go to a newsstand and find an unusual magazine. That student found Pirates magazine.
When she brought her treasure back to class, the students talked about possible story ideas for the magazine. I playfully inquired if there had been any pirates on Lake Erie.
Anticipating my question, she responded, yes, there had been – during the Civil War.
I don’t recall if she did a story on John Yates Beall or if she submitted any story to the magazine. And, quite frankly, after bragging to my husband about my tremendously talented student (he teaches at Kent State and I teach at University of Akron, so you get an idea what dinner conversation is like), I forgot all about it.
Two years later, I was at a conference where scholars were talking about the forthcoming sesquicentennial of the Civil War.
I guarantee you the words – pirate and documentary – weren’t uttered, but the conference got me thinking again about that pirate on Lake Erie.
And the rest, I might add is history.
When I got home from the conference in 2009, I started the research process – reading everything I could about the prison on Johnson’s Island and Lake Erie pirate.
It certainly was a compelling tale – one that begged for a documentary, instead of the traditional scholarly journal article.
And, so to the talented student who found Pirates magazine and introduced me to John Yates Beall, I thank you now – and in the credits of the documentary, which will be premiering in April in Ohio.

Rebels on Lake Erie — The Blog

Welcome to Rebels on Lake Erie – the Blog.
This blog is designed to give you the inside story of the documentary, “Rebels on Lake Erie,” which will be premiering in Ohio in April. But it also will deal with broader questions of the Civil War from an Ohioan’s perspective.
The documentary itself deals with the Confederate prisoner-of-war depot on Johnson’s Island in Sandusky Bay and the abortive attempt to liberate it. You’ll find out about the Northwest Conspiracy, a college-educated Virginia pirate and plots and schemes hatched by the Confederates in Canada.
Ah, it’s just the right blend of adventure, intrigue and history to make a riveting hour of television.
This blog is written by me, Kathleen Endres, producer, director, writer, researcher, publicist, caterer and go-fer for the documentary.
As if those aren’t enough hats to wear, I also teach in the School of Communication at The University of Akron. My specialty is journalism and historical research.
Stay tuned to the blog for some strange, inside stories of the Rebels on Lake Erie, some great Civil War music, and some fun.
Kathleen L. Endres