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A Father’s Day story with a Sesqui tie-in

It’s ironic, but today is the 150th anniversary of an event that is unique… it’s about fathers… and it happens to fall on Father’s Day. That said, I wish I could say it will leave you with a warm feeling, but… June 15, 1864 was a Wednesday. Of that day, David Hunter Strother remembered Early […]

Capt. Bancroft and the Sight of the Enemy

Yesterday I started quoting from the reminiscence of the Battle of Bunker Hill credited to Ebenezer Bancroft, captain of a company from Dunstable, Massachusetts. According to Bancroft, Col. William Prescott had given him charge of two cannon left in the redoubt on Breed’s Hill by the artillery company of Capt. Show More Summary

Have You Seen This Virginia Flagger Cap?

Let’s hope this story has a happy ending for all parties involved. Megan Everett pictured above: “One of the issues we had was, she [Megan] wanted to home-school my daughter,” said Baumann. “I didn’t want that to happen. She didn’t want Lilly to learn about black history. She just wanted her to learn about the […]

Strother and the 1st New York Cavalry on African-American Conscripts in Winchester

I’ve been enjoying myself much this morning by reading through David Hunter Strother’s coverage of events from March to June 1864. Whenever I read Strother, I’m never disappointed at his observations and what he is thinking. That said, I’m pretty sure if I actually had the opportunity, this guy would be at the top of […]

The Dumbest Fucking Guy on the Planet

Is back, and Politico thinks that he’s worth quoting on Iraq: “This is the education of Barack Obama, but it’s coming at a very high cost to the Syrian people to the Iraqi people [and] to the American national interest,” said Doug Feith, a top Pentagon official during the George W. Show More Summary

Capt. Ebenezer Bancroft and the Embrasures

With the anniversary of Bunker Hill coming up, I’m going to share some accounts of that battle, said to be from eyewitnesses. And in most cases I’m sure they really are from eyewitnesses. The first comes from Ebenezer Bancroft (1738-1827) of Dunstable, Massachusetts, who was a captain in the provincial army. Show More Summary

The Jersey Prison Ship Records on Ebenezer Fox

As I wrote yesterday, on 5 May 1781 two Royal Navy ships captured the pride of the Massachusetts navy, the Protector, and its crew, including young Ebenezer Fox of Roxbury. (The picture here shows him over fifty years later.)The National...Show More Summary

Confederate Defeat and the Lost Cause

Not much going on today, but I did want to pass on a short video produced by the Florida Humanities Council that explores Confederate defeat and the evolution of the Lost Cause. It hits all the main points and is ideal for classroom use. [Uploaded to YouTube on October 4, 2013]

The 48th/150th: Roads South To Petersburg. . .June 12-16, 1864

150 years ago, the Army of the Potomac began its shift southward, marching for the James and, ultimately, to Petersburg beyond....Late on June 12, the 48th Pennsylvania abandoned its position near Cold Harbor, marched through Burhamville and headed for Turnstall's Station and the Chickahominy River beyond. Show More Summary

Ebenezer Fox on the Jersey

Ebenezer Fox was a teenaged sailor aboard the Massachusetts warship Protector when two Royal Navy vessels captured it off the coast of New Jersey on 5 May 1781. In his 1838 memoir Fox told this story of what happened next:About a third...Show More Summary

I Don’t Know Is Not An Answer

Justin Wolfers gives David Brat a pass on a confession of ignorance: When an MSNBC interviewer asked David Brat, the economics professor at Randolph-Macon College who toppled Eric Cantor in a primary challenge Tuesday, whether he opposed...Show More Summary

The Dark Side of the Civil War Needs To Lighten Up

I welcome the fact that the recent and ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have made it easier for Americans to explore some of the more unpleasant aspects of the American Civil War. Studies focusing on battlefield medicine are a welcome development as is the increase in studies of the experiences and challenges that veterans […]

James Madison in Virginia

In February the Colonial Williamsburg podcast featured an interview with the actor now portraying James Madison, Bryan Austin. He portrays the future fourth President as a young lawyer. In other news, this Charlottesville article cheekily...Show More Summary

“Let Them Go To the Devil”: Desertion Among USCTs

Continuing with the theme of desertion [and here] from the past week here is a fascinating passage from Heny McNeal Turner, who served as an army chaplain for the United States Colored Troops. The following excerpt was written at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia on September  18, 1864 and appeared in The Christian Recorder a week later. […]

The Forgotten War (aka Spot the Errors!)

Chillicothe, Ohio unveiled a memorial to the Korean War this last Memorial Day. Unfortunately, the creators do not seem to have had the best historical sense in the world: The mistakes kind of confirm Korea’s status as “The Forgotten War,” sadly enough. List of the problems.

A Season of Turn

The A.M.C. television series Turn reached the end of its first season Sunday, and I filed my review of that episode at Den of Geek. Earlier in the week the website published my article on Maj. Richard Hewlett, which I wrote before guessing that the Battle of Setauket, New York, would provide the climax for the season. Show More Summary

H.K. Edgerton Addresses His White “Babies” In Tennessee

This address by H.K. Edgerton took place this past weekend in Elizabethton, Tennessee during a memorial service for “black Confederate” Robert Stover. The event was organized by the  Lt. Robert J. Tipton, Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp. H.K. is still going strong and will no doubt always have an audience among his white”babies.” [Uploaded to […]

Touring Revolutionary Worcester, 21 June

Preservation Worcester is offering a ninety-minute bus tour of the city’s Revolutionary sites on the afternoon of Saturday, 21 June. This is part of Worcester’s commemoration of the role it played in breaking down royal rule in Massachusetts...Show More Summary

There Are No Monuments To Deserters on Civil War Battlefields

Regardless of the assumptions and background knowledge that we bring, the presence of monuments on our Civil War battlefields may be one of the greatest obstacles to understanding the full range of soldier experiences. The monuments allow us to focus in on the most heroic stories and themes, which no doubt reinforces feelings of national […]

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