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Colonial Comics Classes and Events in April

During Massachusetts’s upcoming school vacation week, I’ll speak about the Colonial Comics series alongside top editor Jason Rodriguez, my fellow assistant editor A. David Lewis, and other contributors and comics creators in various combinations. Show More Summary

“I Want to See Richmond”

There are a number of powerful images from yesterday’s concluding event in Richmond marking the 150th anniversary of the city’s fall and liberation. This one,…

Another Newly Discovered Poem by Jupiter Hammon

For the second time in four years, a researcher has identified a previously unstudied poem by the enslaved preacher Jupiter Hammon in an archive.In this case, the poem had not already been properly catalogued, like the last time. It was filed under the name of Phebe Townsend in the Townsend Family Papers at the New-York Historical Society. Show More Summary

Two Talks, Two Subjects

For those of you in the Greater Boston area I will be giving two talks next week. The first will be held on Wednesday evening…

April is Confederate History Month

For the states that still recognize it, I can’t think of a better month and day to acknowledge Confederate History Month. The entrance of United…

Fall of Richmond in 1865 celebrated in Chicago newspaper and streets

In the all-capital-letters headline style of the day, the Chicago Tribune on April 4, 1865 greeted its readers with, “RICHMOND IS OURS” and “THE OLD FLAG FLOATS OVER THE REBEL CAPITAL,” followed by an equally exuberant editorial ending with, “We do well to rejoice because, for this is the grandest event that ever happened to us as a people.”Read full article >>

Not Your Grandfather’s ‘Fall of Richmond’

The week-long commemoration marking the fall and liberation of Richmond, the evacuation of Petersburg by Lee’s men and its eventual surrender at Appomattox Court House…

For Your Listening Pleasure

Here are some podcast episodes I’ve enjoyed recently, beyond those every audiophiliac fan of eighteenth-century American history should visit regularly, such as the Junto Cast, Ben Franklin’s World, and Colonial Williamsburg’s Past and Present. Show More Summary

Report From the Field: Student Reflections

Over the past few days I’ve been going over student reflections from last week’s Civil War battlefields trip. There is simply no substitute for taking…

Magill, on the initial hours of the evacuation of Richmond

Picking-up from the previous post, and continuing with Magill’s account: No pen can describe the horror of the moment. In the streets all was confusion. Officers hurried to the different departments of the Government. The Banks were open, and the depositors eagerly embraced the opportunity to withdraw their gold, while the Directors superintended the removal […]

The 48th/150th: The 48th's Last Battle: The Attack on Fort Mahone: April 2, 1865

...Where Gowen Fell...Fort Mahone Today Throughout the four years of the American Civil War--by rail, by foot, and on water--the 48th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry traversed nearly 5,000 miles of ground, campaigning in several different theaters of operations, and across seven states. Show More Summary

David Hartley: “singular in his dress”

Last month I wrote about David Hartley (1732-1813), the Member of Parliament who went from being a far-out-of-power rookie lawmaker in 1774 to signing the Treaty of Paris for Britain in 1783. He was by no means a typical British gentleman of the time, and not just because of his scientific talent or progressive views on slavery. Show More Summary

April 2, 1865, from a vantage point within St. Paul’s

Taking the time to read various works of fiction from the antebellum period (and shortly after the war), one comes to understand that, quite often, the authors of these works were writing accounts of their own experiences. Mary Tucker Magill was one of those authors. Interestingly, in 1886, Magill’s story (which had originally appeared in […]

The Calm Before the Storm in the Capital of the Confederacy

Sallie A Brock’s narrative of the final days of the Confederacy in Richmond was published in 1867 and based largely on Edward Pollard’s The Last…

Present for the last gasps… on the 150th of Five Forks

I thought about how this post might come together, and I think my reflections are on both the meaning of the day, and on the manner in which I’ve taken-in a lot of the Sesqui. So… … it was on this day, 150 years ago that the Army of Northern Virginia suffered a critical defeat […]

David Coy Remembers His Service in April 1777

On 11 Mar 1853 a man named David Coy appeared before a magistrate in Kendall, New York, and swore that in 1777 at the age of eighteen he was drafted from “a Regiment of Militia to go and serve as a soldier in Rhode Island…, to serve as he believes for three months.” His commanding officer was Capt. Show More Summary

The Death of a Colonel and a Cause

Today is the 150th anniversary of the battle of Five Forks outside of Petersburg, Virginia. One of the most popular stories from that fight is…

Ringing bells to mark anniversary of end of the Civil War

On April 9 at 3:15 p.m., thousands of bells, large and small. are expected to ring out in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, Va. Although not the official end of the Civil War, many Americans consider it the symbolic end of the fighting.Read full article >>

More “Black Regiments” in Eighteenth-Century Massachusetts Culture

In the 1760s, friends of the British royal government in Massachusetts such as Peter Oliver (shown here) claimed that James Otis, Jr., had spoken of the value of having a “black Regiment” of clergymen on his side in political disputes. Show More Summary

Did the Civil War End in 1865?

It’s a question that has come to frame Civil War era studies more and more over the past few decades. I pose the question to…

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