Happy Presidents Day 2020 from Emerging Civil War

Traditionally celebrated with acknowledgements to Washington and Lincoln, we’ve prepared a photo and an account from the Civil War to mark the holiday… Continue reading

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Question of the Week: 2/17-2/23/2020

Imagine this…you have to time travel and talk with any former U.S. President about the American Civil War. Who will you spend your hour with? What questions do you want to ask them related to the Civil War or Reconstruction?

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Week In Review: February 10-16, 2020

Book reviews, Black History, reasons soldiers fought, Lincoln’s birthday, and a originally town named after John C. Breckinridge… We’ve got a good mix of interesting history and topics for our weekly review! Continue reading

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Saving History Saturday: Volumes of Black History Records Sent For Preservation

Do we all dream of finding pieces of “lost history” deep in archives? What happens when books or documents have been recognized as historically important and need preservation before they can be fully read, explored, and used?

An example of this situation happened in Buck County, Pennsylvania, earlier this week. Sixty-one books were carefully moved from the county archives to Vermont for preservation. Robin Robinson who serves as Bucks County Recorder of Deeds explained the historical significance of the volumes which contained records of enslaved men, women, and children. Within the pages, there are records of “manumissions”—the formal records of the enslaved granted freedom. Some of the manumissions seem to have been recorded by Quakers in the county and some of the emancipation moments came just after a bill of sale for that enslaved person, suggesting that Quakers in the community were purchasing enslaved people and setting them free. Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Breckenridge, Colorado

Taking a winter ski trip to the western mountains? Headed to Breckenridge, Colorado? I’ve got a little Civil War history for you. Continue reading

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“To Defy The Predictions Of The Universe”: A Wedding Goes Crazy, The Love Story Goes Well

Winfield Scott Hancock, Civil War era

It’s February 14 and Valentine’s Day… So that means I get to bless (or torture) you with a blog post about a historic love story.

Now, did you know that February 14 also happens to be a Union general’s birthday? Winfield Scott Hancock. And what better opportunity to give a salute to his life and love story which started in St. Louis, Missouri, when he got an army band to serenade Miss Almira Russell? As the story goes, she listened from behind closed shutters, but tossed out her glove (gasp, ooh and ahh) which young Hancock caught as a token of her affection.

Lieutenant Hancock and Miss Russell married on January 24, 1850, and the bride later wrote her memories of the day: Continue reading

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Book Review: “The Fight for the Old North State: The Civil War in North Carolina, January—May 1864”

The Confederacy faced a series of ever-increasing problems by the winter of 1863-1864. Logistically, they were running out of supplies. Politically, the war that seemed to have no end to its bloody lists was wearing down the morale of the Southern people. There were whispers of pro-peace politicians who were starting to believe that maybe negotiations with the Federal government, and not sustained warfare, was the way to go in the new year.

Those problems seemed especially pertinent coming out of North Carolina, a state that had major portions of its eastern coast under Federal control since 1862. Determining that something needed to be done, both to secure more food and equipment, and to renew the martial spirit of the Carolinians, Lee green-lit a campaign that would launch Confederate forces against Federal strongholds around New Bern and Plymouth. That campaign is the subject of a new book by Hampton Newsome.

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ECW Podcast “A Conversation about the Civil War & Pop Culture” Is Now Available

It’s finally here!

ECW has been celebrating the Civil War in books, movies, TV shows, and songs. Join Chris Mackowski, Sarah Kay Bierle, and Terry Rensel as they extend the conversation from our newest book and our blog to our podcast.

This podcast is available to all ECW Podcast subscribers via Patreon. Not enlisted as a subscriber? It’s easy at Patreon. For more details about our podcast, please check out our customized Patreon Page.

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A Birthday Party for Lincoln?

Gotta love those images on Pinterest and Etsy!

It’s February 12th and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. So…as I ate lunch today, I started wondering if Lincoln had any birthday parties during his lifetime. Now, my research and reference books were not with me, but thinking through what I remember and doing a little digging on the history of birthday parties, I’m going to venture the conclusion that the sixteenth president probably did not have a birthday celebration in the way we think of those parties today. (And if you have historical evidence that suggests otherwise, please add a comment! I’m always willing to learn.) Continue reading

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Symposium Spotlight: Phil Kearny

A print from the Civil War showing Phil Kearny. His missing sleeve is testament to his injuries at Churubusco. (LOC)

Welcome back to another installment of our 2020 Emerging Civil War Spotlight series. Each we have introduced you to another of our outstanding topics that will be presented at the Seventh Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium August 7-9, 2020. Today we have Kris White preview his talk on fallen leader Phil Kearny.

When Chris Mackowski first told me about the theme for the 2020 ECW Symposium, I was intrigued by the topic. The theme, as he explained, was meant to explore more than commanders who fell in battle and what immediate impact their demise may have led to on the battlefield. Mackowski wanted us to think outside of the box and look at the term fallen in less conventional terms. To me, the traditional tales of the wounding of Stonewall Jackson or Albert Sidney Johnston were off of the table; as was the death of John Sedgwick or James McPherson (the general and not the very much alive historian).

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