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Heading to Gettysburg… Again

Tomorrow my wife and I head to Gettysburg for the weekend. On Saturday afternoon at 3:30 I will deliver a presentation (followed by a book signing at 4:30) as part of the Gettysburg Foundation’s Sacred Trust Talks on the massacre of United States Colored Troops by Confederates at the Crater. It looks like an amazing […]

Don’t Know Much About…

President Obama is — according to a recent survey — the worst American President since World War II: He narrowly beats out his predecessor, George W. Bush, 33% – 28%. I’m sure that each one of the 1446 respondents worked their way carefully through each postwar President, mentally cataloguing their performance. Show More Summary

“It has been copied so many times, for the last fifty years”

It’s no surprise that British soldiers composed a song about the Battle of Bunker Hill, as quoted yesterday. After all, they won the fight, and then they had several months in Boston to fill. What’s surprising is that the song was printed and preserved in American broadsides and archives. Show More Summary

Confederate Veterans Parade in Jacksonville (1914)

One hundred years ago last month Confederate veterans gathered in Jacksonville, Florida for a reunion. Around 50,000 people took part in the festivities. The video below contains just under 17 minutes of footage from the parade and it is incredible. [Video uploaded to YouTube on July 1, 2014]

“A SONG Composed by the British Soldiers…”

This is the last day the Boston 1775 staff is accepting entries into the Bunker Hill Poetic Challenge, with the prize of a paperback copy of Nathaniel Philbrick’s Bunker Hill. Many thanks to all who have shared their verses so far. For...Show More Summary

Campaign launched to preserve Lee’s headquarters at Gettysburg

Gen. Robert E. Lee’s headquarters during the Battle of Gettysburg, a small stone house on Seminary Ridge, has never risen to the high level of interest and protection that the battlefield and other related buildings have been given.Show More Summary

Online Course Explores Lincoln’s Toughest Relationships

[View the story "Week 3, Father Abraham and the Challenges of Leadership" on Storify]

The Blogging World Just Got a Little More Bad Ass

A big welcome to my good friend, Megan Kate Nelson, who earlier today unveiled her website, Historista. Megan has been talking for some time about diving into the blogosphere and given her recent career move now is the perfect time. In her inaugural post Megan explores some creepy connections between two books with the same […]

Hope and Pain on Bunker Hill

Yesterday I quoted the start of a 12 July 1775 letter from Richard Hope, surgeon for the British army’s 52nd Regiment in Boston. That was actually Dr. Hope’s second report on the Battle of Bunker Hill to relatives back in England. He...Show More Summary

Preservation campaign announcement expected at Gettysburg Tuesday

The Civil War Trust has scheduled a 10 a.m. news conference Tuesday at the Gettysburg National Military Park for what is billed as a “major preservation announcement to protect one of the most important parts of this hallowed battleground.” Read full article >>

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 […]

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