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Volunteer at crowdfunded Lindisfarne dig finds Anglo-Saxon name stone

The monastery of Lindisfarne, famous for the beautiful illuminated gospel made around 700 AD that bears its name and as the landing place of the first Viking raiders in 793, was founded in 7th century by Irish missionary Saint Aidan. King Oswald of Northumbria had been raised and educated at the monastery on the island [...]

At the Start of the Civil War, Few Union Army Surgeons Had Ever Treated A Gunshot Wound

In this three-page, handwritten document, Baltimorean P.J. Horwitz, who served as Surgeon General of the Navy for the Union during the Civil War, tries to get his fellow medical officers up to speed on the presentation and treatmentShow More Summary

Is the Greatest Collection of Slave Narratives Tainted by Racism?

When Josephine Anderson, a formerly enslaved Floridian, was visited by a white government interviewer in the fall of 1937, she told him a ghost story. Anderson described to Jules Frost a “white man” who walked alongside her as she traversed the railroad tracks one morning. Show More Summary

A Plymouth County Protest “as if written with a sunbeam”

The letters I quoted yesterday described the arrival of about a hundred British soldiers in Marshfield on 23 Jan 1775, sent by Gen. Thomas Gage to support the local Loyalists. Those letters also reported that Patriots in the region had started to muster against those troops but hung back. Show More Summary

Four 17th c. tapestries repatriated to Sweden

The National Museum of Sweden, has acquired four tapestries that graced an elegant home in late 17th century Stockholm but have been out of the country for more than a century. A large bequest from Gunnar and Ulla Trygg gave the museum, which has no acquisitions budget, the rare opportunity to bring these wall hangings [...]

No More Questions For Confederate Flag Wavers

This coming Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of the removal of the Confederate battle flag on the state house grounds of Columbia, South Carolina. At the time I was in Frankfurt, Germany, but as you can see their newspapers gave it front page coverage. To mark the anniversary a group calling itself The South Carolina […]

Lindisfarne monastery

Evidence found by amateur archaeologist An amateur archaeologist has unearthed what is believed to be evidence of one of England’s earliest Christian monasteries in a dig on Lindisfarne. The rare grave marker, thought to be from the mid 7th-8th Century, has been described as a “stunning find”. A £25,000 project off the north-east coast was […]

Appomattox Court House park looking for a few good volunteers

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park in Appomattox, Va., needs a few hardy volunteers to take on the dirty work of sanding three trail bridges, clearing away dirt and debris and then repainting the spans. The bridges are a quarter- to half-mile apart. This is pretty strenuous stuff for volunteers who usually do nothing more physical […]

Marshfield’s Special Spot on the Road to Concord, 7 July

On Thursday, 7 July, I’ll speak on “The Road to Concord: How Massachusetts Moved Toward War in 1774-75” at the Winslow House in Marshfield. There will be a book signing and light refreshments afterwards. Admission is $5 for members of the Historic Winslow House Association, $7 for others. Show More Summary

Inscribed wood barrel stave found at Vindolanda

The Vindolanda site in Northumberland just south of Hadrian’s Wall is best known for the more than 700 wooden writing tablets preserved for millennia in the waterlogged soil, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to organic archaeological remains. Vindolanda has the largest collection of Roman leather in the world. Everything [...]

“If I Fall On The Battlefield It Will Be For A Good Cause:” Private Thomas Major (ca. 1840-1862), Company E, 48th Pennsylvania Infantry

Although I have not been posting as frequently as I once did and not even as much as I did during the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War (2011-2015), I still maintain this site/blog and keep it active largely now as a resource for those hoping to discover more about the 48 th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment and especially its soldiers. Show More Summary

Important Recollections About Lincoln

In 1895, the Chicago Times-Herald launched a series of recollected accounts about Abraham Lincoln which the editors claimed would introduce new elements to the Lincoln story.  These rare recollections have never since been republished as part of their own series, but modern scholars have used some of them to powerful effect.  However, this summer, student interns […]

“We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable”

On this Independence Day, Boston 1775 pauses to recall these stirring words:When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for a people to advance from that subordination in which they have hitherto remained, & to assume among...Show More Summary

Benjamin Franklin’s lightning rods

In 1746, Peter Collinson, wealthy merchant, philanthropist, botanist and Fellow of the Royal Society of London, gave Benjamin Franklin one of those newfangled Leyden jars that were all the rage. Well, technically he gave it to the Library Company of Philadelphia, but that was founded by Franklin and Collinson was a long-time friend and supporter [...]

Pickett’s Charge Failed 153 Years Ago Today

Today is the 153rd anniversary of “Pickett’s Charge” – the final drama of a campaign that began with Confederates hunting down free blacks and fugitive slaves once they crossed into Pennsylvania. It’s a moment in the Civil War that has inspired some of the most outlandish counterfactuals and even great works of literature such as […]

New Words from Richard Henry Lee

The American Antiquarian Society just announced that retiree Kathy Major, back in the archive as a volunteer, had identified three previously unknown letters from Richard Henry Lee. Lee is best recalled for having proposed independence...Show More Summary

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