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A New Face of the 48th? Help Identify Who This May Be!

Last week, Buck Zaidel, an acquaintance of mine who is a Civil War image collector and co-author of Heroes for All Time: Connecticut Civil War Soldiers Tell Their Stories, shared with me an image from his collection, purportedly of a 48th Pennsylvania soldier, or at least, as he said, that is how it was sold to him. Show More Summary

Enoch Brooks’s Curious Bible

On 1 May 1785, Enoch and Hannah Brooks of Princeton, Massachusetts, had a son. The couple already had children Elisha (born in 1772), John (1774), Ezra (1776), Samuel (1779), and Hannah (1781).Enoch Brooks had been the town’s assessor for four years before becoming its treasurer from 1780 until 1816, with only a couple of years off. Show More Summary

A vivid description of mounted cavalry combat

Dr. John Wyeth, who documented the exploits of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry in the latter portion of the Civil War, started out as a private in the 4th Alabama Cavalry of Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler’s corps. Wyeth was present at the June 27, 1863 Battle of Shelbyville, Tennessee, during the Tullahoma Campaign. Show More Summary

A Book “Taken in ye Field of Battle”

Last month the blog of the Clements Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan, noted an unusual way of identifying books in its collection: as “battle estrays,” or books known to have been picked up in battle. No other library is known to use this term.One example shown is the third volume of Jonathan Swift’s Miscellanies as published in London in 1742. Show More Summary

Orations at Old South, 21 Mar.

On Wednesday, 21 March, the Old South Meeting House will host “Speak Out!”, its fourth annual remembrance of the Boston Massacre orations.From 1771 to 1783, Boston had a yearly town meeting to commemorate the fatal violence on King Street. Show More Summary

“Various reports have been current”

I came across this report from America in The North-British Intelligencer: or Constitutional Miscellany, published on 8 May 1776. It gives a sense of the difficulty that the British people, and the British government, faced gathering information about what had happened in New England two months before. Show More Summary

A Blanket the British Army Left Behind

Today is Evacuation Day, the anniversary of the day in 1776 when the British military left Boston. Back in 2013, Patrick Browne wrote on his blog Historical Digression about something the British left behind, an artifact now at the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society:A number of British regiments were camped upon Boston Common. Show More Summary

“Enlisted for six months & served that time”

Capt. Moses Harvey’s November 1775 advertisement (which I quoted Wednesday) pointedly described five men who had deserted from his Continental Army company in the preceding summer. What happened, I asked myself, to those men? And quickly...Show More Summary

The Problem with Ens. Eliphalet Hastings

Yesterday I quoted Capt. Moses Harvey’s newspaper advertisement from November 1775, minutely describing five soldiers who had deserted from his Continental Army company. Harvey surmised that those men had left for these feeble reasons:They...Show More Summary

“Deserted from Col. Brewer’s regiment…”

On 9 Nov 1775 and again a week later, the New-England Chronicle ran this advertisement, which offers characterizations of Continental soldiers worthy of a Smollett novel:Deserted from Col. [Jonathan] Brewer’s regiment, and Captain Harvey’s...Show More Summary

Newburyport Newspapers

Through Alexander Cain of Untapped History, I learned about this database of digitized documents from Newburyport, Massachusetts. At the top are the links to (as of today) 646 pages from the 1770s and 1,131 from the 1780s. Those are mostly pages from Newburyport’s only newspaper at the time, the Essex Journal. Show More Summary

Lecture Series at Bunker Hill Museum Starting 15 Mar.

This week the National Parks of Boston will launch a spring lecture series at the Bunker Hill Museum. Here’s the lineup:Thursday, 15 MarchCurtis WhiteCustoms Enforcement in Massachusetts, 1760-1775: Prelude to WarRanger White from Salem...Show More Summary

“Henry Knox’s Mission” Lecture in Cambridge, 15 Mar.

On Thursday, 15 March, I’ll speak at Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site in Cambridge about “Myths and Realities of Henry Knox’s Mission.”Here’s the set-up:On November 16, 1775, Gen. George Washington gave Henry Knox a mission to travel to New York and bring back cannons for the Continental Army. Show More Summary

Seasholes on “The Changing Shape of Boston,” 14 Mar.

On Wednesday, 14 March, the Old North Church will host a talk by Nancy S. Seasholes on “The Changing Shape of Boston: From ‘One if by land, and two if by sea’ to the Present.” This talk is co-sponsored by the Leventhal Map Center atShow More Summary

Peale Portraits of the Hancock Children Brought to Light

Last month Pamela Ehrlich published an article in Antiques & Fine Art magazine and at the Incollect site titled “A Hancock Family Story: Restoring Connections.” Ehrlich wrote:While researching portraits of Lydia [Hancock], I discovered...Show More Summary

“Myth, Memory, History and Heritage” in Newport, 23 Mar.

Speaking of historical memory, on Friday, 23 March, the Newport and Rhode Island Historical Societies together will host a panel discussion on “Myth, Memory, History and Heritage.”The panelists will be: Ruth Taylor, Executive Director...Show More Summary

Men Who Brought Us Dorchester Heights

On 5 Mar 1776, Gen. William Howe and his colleagues in the British military woke up to find Continental troops positioned and protected on the heights of the Dorchester peninsula. The cannon up there threatened not only Boston, already under artillery fire from other positions, but the all-important naval and supply ships in the harbor. Show More Summary

“Throw up such works on the two commanding Eminences”

I’ve often wondered how Gen. Artemas Ward reacted to the letters he received from the headquarters of his commander, Gen. George Washington, on 2-3 Mar 1776. Those letters were full of details about how to manage the Continental Army’s...Show More Summary

New to the Civil War Memory, 03/18

Keisha N. Blain, Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018). Christopher Hager, I Remain Yours: Common Lives in Civil War Letters (Harvard University Press, 2018). Paul E. Johnson, Sam Patch, the famous jumper (Hill and Wang, 2003). Mitch Landrieu, In the Shadow of […]

Update on Black Confederates Manuscript: Reader Reports

Many of you have emailed over the past few months asking for an update about this manuscript. Earlier today I received the reader reports from the University of North Carolina Press for Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth. Both reports recommended that the manuscript should be published with some necessary revisions. […]

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