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Auction of Civil War soldier’s skull criticized

Plans to sell the skull of a Civil War soldier by a Pennsylvania auction house on Tuesday have drawn sharp criticism from some of the country’s leading Civil War historians. According to a news account in the York Daily Record in York,...Show More Summary

“Porte Crayon” in Harrisonburg, June 2, 1864

It’s been an extraordinarily busy past few months, and postings here have suffered mightily for it. That said, last night I happened to “catch-up” with David Hunter Strother, as the Federal army advanced up the Shenandoah Valley toward Staunton. As of June 2, Strother awoke (near New Market) to find his “fine bay horse” gone… […]

Bosse on Massachusetts Maps in Lexington, 7 June

On Saturday, 7 June, the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library in Lexington will host a lecture by David Bosse, Librarian and Curator of Maps at Historic Deerfield, on “Map and Chart Publishing in Boston in the Eighteenth Century.” For most of the century, Boston’s market for maps wasn’t big enough to support full-time professionals. Show More Summary

Civil War Soldier’s Skull For Sale

Yes, you heard that right. Tom Taylor with Estate Auction Company had this to say: It’s really one of the neatest things I’ve ever seen. This person may have given their life for their country. It’s something of honor and historical significance. Yes, it is, but do you really believe that auctioning it off is […]

“Building a Handsome Church” in Essex County, 7 June

On 7 June, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem will host a symposium titled “Building A Handsome Church”: St. Michael’s, Marblehead, 1714. It will bring together “historians, architects, architectural historians, ecclesiastical scholars, and the general public” to discuss the 300-year-old Anglican church and its place in Marblehead history. Show More Summary

Destination Petersburg 150th

I thought we would never get here, but in roughly two weeks the 150th anniversary of the Petersburg Campaign kicks off. The staff at the Petersburg National Battlefield has put together a helpful handbook [PDF] that includes all the information you need related to events between mid-June and the end of September. There is quite […]

Talk on German Prisoners in Washington, D.C., 4 June

On Wednesday, 4 June, the Society of the Cincinnati’s Anderson House museum and library in Washington, D.C., will host a talk by Daniel Krebs on “German Prisoners During the American Revolution.” Out of about 37,000 Crown soldiers hired...Show More Summary

The 48th/150th: The Final Ten Days of May: From Spotsylvania to Totopotomy Creek. . .

On May 21, 1864, the soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania left Spotsylvania behind, though the memories of the sanguine fields there would never drift far from the memories of those who survived the bloodshed. The regiment turned left...and...Show More Summary

Joint effort to preserve more of the Franklin battlefield

The two major Franklin, Tenn., battlefield preservation organizations that have already rescued almost 20 acres of the Franklin battlefield have joined  an effort to expand that preserved area a bit more. This week, Franklin’s Charge ...Show More Summary

What’s In a Logo?

As many of you know, last year Richmond’s Museum of the Confederacy and American Civil War Center decided to join forces and form one museum. Today the American Civil War Museum moved one step closer to becoming a reality by unveiling its new logo. A brief history of the logo can be found here. American […]

Hey AP History Graders, This Year Share the Best of the Best

It’s that time of the year when historians and history teachers from across the country gather to grade the A.P. History exams. Over the past few years the grading process has become something of a public event as participants share the best of the worst responses to Free Response and DBQ questions. I know that […]

The Second Amendment’s Historic Moment

In considering the Second Amendment, I think it’s valuable to recognize the unusual historical moment in which it was enacted.Whig political philosophy had long warned against a large “standing army”—i.e., the sort of military we now have—as likely to oppress people’s natural rights during peacetime. Show More Summary

“The Values For Which They Sacrificed to Preserve For All Americans”

R.E. Lee Camp, SCV, parading in the 2014 National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. [Uploaded to YouTube on March 29, 2014]

William Hogeland on the Second Amendment

With the American public once again focused for a time on how our policies enable crazy men to easily obtain guns, William Hogeland, author of The Whiskey Rebellion: George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and the Frontier Rebels WhoShow More Summary

The Mysteries of Dido Belle’s Portrait

Yesterday’s Guardian contained an article by Stuart Jeffries about the painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle and Lady Elizabeth Murray that inspired the new movie Belle. This painting was once attributed to Johann Zoffany but is now considered to be by an unknown artist, making its interpretation harder. Show More Summary

Recently Published Civil War Books in 2002

Al Mackey has been posting old CSPAN videos of various Civil War events some of which are quite interesting. I perused the CSPAN archives and came across this session from one of Gary Gallagher’s UVA conferences on the Fredericksburg Campaign from 2002. The session features Gary along with Bob Krick, George Rable, R.E.L. Krick, Bill […]

Lecture on the Crater Tomorrow Night in Walpole

For those of you in the Boston area I will be speaking tomorrow evening at 6:30pm at the Walpole Public Library on the battle of the Crater. I am going to talk specifically about the experiences of white Union soldiers and how they responded to having to fight alongside a division of black soldiers. The […]

The Challenge of Carter’s Grove

I first visited Colonial Williamsburg a little over twenty years ago. [It appears that folks in Virginia think they had something to do with the Revolution as well. Who knew?]One of the things I most enjoyed about that trip was visiting Carter’s Grove, a plantation mansion some distance from the restored village. Show More Summary

A Black Confederate For the Intellectually Challenged

This is the first black Confederate headstone dedication that I’ve come across in quite some time. There is nothing particularly unusual about this story except for the fact that there is no attempt to hide the fact that the individual in question is clearly not a soldier. It couldn’t be any clearer. Stover was the […]

Mum Bett Presentations at Royall House, 31 May

On Saturday, 31 May, the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford will host two performances of “One Minute’s Freedom: The Story of Mum Bett” by storyteller Tammy Denease. This presentation introduces children aged seven and up to Elizabeth Freeman, a woman who helped end slavery in Massachusetts by suing for her freedom in 1781. Show More Summary

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