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D.H. Strother observes… “negro servants bearing arms”

This afternoon, I spent some time revisiting Strother’s recollections of the early war. As always, “Porte Crayon” never fails to disappoint… Still a civilian at the time, Strother made various notes regarding what he saw on Saturday, June 15, 1861 153 years ago this month), while in Charles Town, Virginia… Looking along the line you […]

“The Second Battle of Gettysburg”

My first visit to Gettysburg came after the destruction of the National Tower on July 3, 2000. I was reminded of it earlier today while reading Jen Murray’s, On a Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2012. Jen does a fabulous job of exploring the controversy surrounding the construction […]

Dr. Richard Hope’s “great contusion”

A month ago I was in London, visiting the British Library and the National Archives (as well as friends).One set of documents I looked at in the latter institution was a collection of fifteen letters from Dr. Richard Hope, surgeon attached...Show More Summary

Ambrose Bierce on “Bunker’s holy hill”

Here’s an example of poetry inspired by the Battle of Bunker Hill from Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914?), published in 1886: Liberty“‘Let there be Liberty!’ God said, and lo! The skies were red and luminous. The glowStruck first Columbia’s...Show More Summary

Pic of the Day, 06/28

I thought I would share this photograph given that the Supreme Court was in the news this week. This billboard was sponsored by the John Birch Society and unlike many of their billboards this one includes a Confederate flag. Also interesting to note the reference to Belmont, Massachusetts.

How a memory of seeing Stonewall Jackson’s beard on display let to its rediscovery  

In the 1960s, the future history professor and Civil War historian Kenneth Upstart spent his teenage summers with relatives in Lexington, Va., always paying a visit the Stonewall Jackson House, where Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson had lived before the Civil War. He was befriended by the two elderly women who worked there. Read full article >>

Scrapping Gettysburg’s Virginia Memorial

Jen Murray’s new book, On a Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2012, is full of surprises. Yesterday I shared a paragraph from Jen’s book on a plan to hide some of the battlefield monuments with shrubs and other vegetation. I think most of you will be even more […]

Following the Drums Along the Mohawk

American Heritage Living History Productions and the Historical Society of Rockland County, New York, are teaming up to offer an overnight guided bus tour on the theme of “Drums Along the Mohawk.” Taking place on the weekend of 9-10 August, the tour starts on Saturday morning by taking on passengers at two spots: West Nyack and New Paltz. Show More Summary

The 48th/150th: Digging the Petersburg Mine. . .

Private William Duffy, Company F, 48th Pennsylvania used this modified pick to tunnel under the Confederate lines at Petersburg The tag on the handle reads: "Pick used by Wm. DuffyPvvt 48th PVI BeforePetersburg June 25-July 29, 1864Show More Summary

Gettysburg’s Civil War Monuments “Merely Exist”

I love exploring the many monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield. While they were intended to commemorate the events that took place in July 1863, the monuments ultimately tell us much more about how the veterans and Americans decades later chose to remember their actions and the broader meaning of the war. It is with this […]

The Bunker Hill Poetic Challenge

The last two postings have shared some verses inspired by the Battle of Bunker Hill and published in 1775 by Ezekiel and Sarah Russell, printers of (at that time) Salem. Now it’s your turn.The publisher of Nat Philbrick’s book Bunker...Show More Summary

New To the Civil War Memory Library, 06/26

Congratulations to my friend, Jennifer Murray, who just published her first book, On a Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013, (University of Tennessee Press). Jen worked for nine seasons at Gettysburg as a seasonal interpretive ranger. She knows the battlefield like the back of her hand and Jen […]

Civil War Institute, 2014

Back in Boston after 5 days at Gettysburg College’s Civil War Institute. I am exhausted and recharged. All of my presentations went well and I heard some wonderful talks, a few of which you can find on C-SPAN 3. Here are just a couple brief observations about the conference, which focused on the war in […]

“Warren step’s beyond their path”

When Ezekiel and Sarah Russell put together their “ELEGIAC POEM” about Bunker Hill, they didn’t stint. Their customers didn’t get just sixty woodcut coffins and four columns of poetry. The Russells also provided “An ACROSTIC on the late...Show More Summary

Lincoln Course Heats Up with Honest Abe and War Powers Panel

[View the story "Week 2: Understanding Lincoln as Honest Abe" on Storify]

The Russells’ Poetic Broadside on Bunker Hill

After the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Ezekiel Russell print shop in Salem issued “AN ELEGIAC POEM” on the battle. That broadside probably appeared toward the end of 1775 since a note on its bottom said Russell’s almanacs for the following...Show More Summary

The 48th/150th: June 24, 1864: Pleasants Finalizes His Plan and the Mine Project is Approved

On June 24, 1864....150 years ago....Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Pleasants, commanding the 48th Pennsylvania, finalized his plans to tunnel under the Confederate lines southeast of Petersburg. Entrance To Mine, Petersburg, Virginia TheShow More Summary

Week 1 from Lincoln Course –The Railsplitter

[View the story "Week 1: Understanding Lincoln, The Railsplitter" on Storify]

Reports of Lt. Col. James Abercrombie’s Death

The highest-ranking British officer to be killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill was Lt. Col. James Abercrombie, commander of a special battalion of grenadiers. Sometimes Salem Poor is credited with shooting Abercrombie rather than the most popular target among the British officers, Maj. Show More Summary

The 48th/150th: "We Can Blow That Damned Fort Out Of Existence. . . "

Lt. Col. Henry Pleasants, 48th Pennsylvania 150 Years Ago, began working out his plan to tunnel under the Confederate lines 150 years ago, outside Petersburg, Virginia, and after Lt. Gen. Ulysses Grant decided against any more frontal attacks upon the Confederate defenses, the soldiers in blue settled in for a siege. Show More Summary

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