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How Should We Refer to the Chevalier D’Eon?

Four years ago I reported on art dealer Philip Mould’s identification of a portrait as showing the Chevalier d’Eon. A French diplomat and spy, D’Eon ran afoul of his own government and took refuge in London. Dressing as a woman while teaching men to fence, D’Eon became a celebrity, eventually claiming to have been a woman all along. Show More Summary

Thompson House Restoration

The widow Mary Thompson House, as the sun sets over the McPherson Barn and the Blue Ridge mountains in the background. The Civil War Trust purchased this property and is performing restoration of the landscape to its 1863 appearance....Show More Summary

The Standing Member from Massachusetts

Before leaving that day when the Constitutional Convention debated whether the size of the U.S. Army in peacetime mattered, I want to address another tradition that’s arisen about it.Several recent books (e.g., Isaacson, Chernow, Beschloss,...Show More Summary

“He would produce a better one”

In investigating the anecdote about George Washington’s whisper at the Constitutional Convention, I started to wonder about the political views of Maryland delegate John Francis Mercer. Mercer arrived at the Philadelphia convention on 6 Aug 1787. Show More Summary

“The army shall not consist of more than — thousand men”

When John Francis Mercer arrived late at the Constitutional Convention on 6 Aug 1787, he was only twenty-eight years old—the second youngest man there. But he wasn’t shy about speaking up.The day after Mercer signed in, James Madison’s...Show More Summary

Temporary National Cemetery Parking Lot

While the old Cyclorama Parking Lot is being replaced (out of sight to the right of this view), a temporary parking lot has been established south of the National Cemetery. This lot used to be used by employees of the National Park Service when the the old Visitors Center complex was located nearby. Show More Summary

Union officer killed at First Manassas honored in U.S. and Ireland

Irish native Capt. James Haggerty of the 69th New York State Militia was one of the first officers to die 155 years ago today, July 21, at First Manassas. A hero of the day, it wasn’t until 1992 that a memorial stone was placed at his grave.

Washington’s Whisper

In 1817, the Philadelphia Federalist magazine The Port Folio (possibly cribbing from an unnamed newspaper) published this anecdote about the Constitutional Convention:Anecdote of [George] Washington.—In debate, in the house of delegates of Virginia, 1817, on the bill relative to a map of the state, in which something was said of military roads, Mr. Show More Summary

Should This Civil War Museum Change Its Logo?

Even the Museum of the Confederacy/American Civil War Museum gets it. The Confederate battle flag is a toxic symbol that ought to be displayed exclusively in a setting where it can be properly interpreted. You will not find battle flags welcoming visitors at its branches in Richmond or at Appomattox. The producers of Destination DC […]

Cyclorama Parking Lot Update

A number of trees are being removed in the area of the Cyclorama parking lot. We took two panoramas yesterday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to give you the latest update. You can compare them to our panoramas from previous days (click to enlarge). We have also included a few photos […] The post Cyclorama Parking Lot Update appeared first on Gettysburg Daily.

Patrick Henry’s Gerrymandering

Elizabeth Kolbert’s New Yorker essay “Drawing the Line,” a review of David Daley’s new book on modern computer-aided gerrymandering, starts out with this snatch of early Virginia politics:Sometime around October 20, 1788, Patrick Henry...Show More Summary

What is the Purpose in Reconstructing the Hancock Avenue Gate?

Welcome to the next battle of Gettysburg. What should be the appearance and purpose of this and any other National Military Park? As part of the Cyclorama parking lot deconstruction there will be a structure placed along the Taneytown Road. Show More Summary

New to the Civil War Memory Library, 07/19

Announcement: Earlier today I learned that the University Press of Kentucky will bring Remembering The Battle of the Crater: War as Murder out in paperback next spring. I’ve been hoping for some time that they would do this and I couldn’t be more excited. I will provide additional information as it becomes available. Douglas R. […]

Taking Stock of Richard Stockton

Back in 2008 I wrote a series of postings about Richard Stockton, a judge from New Jersey who signed the Declaration of Independence in August 1776. Four months later he was in the custody of the British army. As I discussed in my first...Show More Summary

Old Cyclorama Parking Lot Deconstruction

The National Park Service is cutting down trees in the area of the old Cyclorama Center parking lot, which is now the National Cemetery Parking lot in order to reduce the size of the parking lot, to restore a ravine that was in this location at the time of the battle. This view was taken […] The post Old Cyclorama Parking Lot Deconstruction appeared first on Gettysburg Daily.

Conference planned on the Union’s fiery destruction of Shenandoah Valley

In 1864, the Union systematically destroyed the agricultural riches of the northern part of the Shenandoah Valley, leaving behind a starving population as winter closed in. This campaign against civilians marked a policy change in the then three-year-old war. The Burning is the subject of a one-day conference on Aug. 13 at James Madison University. […]

Fear Mongering With History

Over the weekend I heard a distinguished and recently retired Civil War historian lament the state of history education today. It’s not the first time that I have had to sit through such a doomsday scenario, but I don’t mind admitting that it was just a bit more painful given that it took place in […]

Visit the History List for Signed Books and More

The History List is an online resource of events at historical sites, tours, reenactments, conferences—whatever organizations choose to list.You can visit the site to see what’s coming up in your state or sign up for one of its weekly...Show More Summary

East Cemetery Hill Restoration Work

The Civil War Trust is tearing down a structure that they purchased on East Cemetery Hill. They are doing their part to restore the ground to the way that it looked in 1863 when this line was lightly defended by Ohio soldiers who were overrun by Louisiana soldiers on the evening of July 2, 1863. Show More Summary

Jerks, Shockers, and Lucky Dogs at the J.A.R.

The Journal of the American Revolution has just concluded one of its popular group interviews, in which chief editor Todd Andrlik asks a bunch of us contributors for our opinions on various questions. Sometimes we agree, sometimes there are almost as many answers as respondents. Show More Summary

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