A Look Back at ECW’s Past Thanksgivings

stock-graphics-vintage-thanksgiving-postcard-01991In 2012, ECW celebrated Thanksgiving by publishing its 500th post. For Thanksgiving this year, we don’t hit any nice, tidy milestones, but we’re up to 1,738 posts (as of this one).

None of our success over the past four and a half years would have been possible without the amazing support we continue to get from YOU, Constant Reader. Thanks for all you do for us. YOU are what we’re most thankful for this holiday.

While the staff at ECW enjoys the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. you might want to take a look back at some of our popular Thanksgiving-related posts from years past. Continue reading

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Happy Thanksgiving 2015

We asked a few of our authors to share what they were thankful for this year. Assuming everyone would say “family and friends,” we asked them what else they were thankful for. Here are a few of their answers: Continue reading

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Two Presidents’ Invitations To Give Thanks

Modern media apprises its viewers of the president’s plans and habits for the Thanksgiving holiday. Some presidents have returned to their private homes, others celebrate at the White House, and one flew to Iraq to be with U.S. troops. During the Civil War, Thanksgiving Day was not an official holiday, but both presidents – Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln – issued proclamations calling for days of thanksgiving. Continue reading

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Beat the Black Friday Rush!!!!!

Looking to beat the Black Friday rush? Looking for the perfect Christmas gift? Give the gift of the Third Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge. Early-bird admission is just $75.00!!

Symposium admission includes:

  • Admission to the Friday night roundtable discussion.
  • Eight outstanding speaker presentations-including our Keynote Speaker James Ogden.
  • Sunday’s walking tour of the second Battle of Fredericksburg-Marye’s Heights Sector.
  •  Friday evening hors d’oeuvres; Saturday afternoon Lunch.
  • Raffle ticket for our grand prize drawing.
  • and more!!!!!

Click here to purchase tickets online.

To Pay by Check: Continue reading

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Ed Bonekemper’s Lost Cause Fact-Check (part two)

Myth of the Lost Cause-coverPart two of two

During his adventures traveling the country, talking to Civil War groups, Edward Bonekemper III kept encountering the same Lost Cause quandary. “I continued to speak to well-informed groups of people and was surprised by the great number of them who didn’t have all the facts,” he says. “In particular, I was surprised by the number of them who still believed the Civil War was caused by ‘states rights,’ not by slavery or white supremacy. I decided, ‘I have really got to dig into this question.’

“The fact that there has been this ongoing Confederate flag controversy—not just this past summer but for the past few years—provided a good reason to look into it,” he added.

Bonekemper began his investigation by framing his research questions: “What did the Confederacy stand for? What was the myth of the Lost Cause and what aspects of it deserved deeper probing?” Continue reading

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Discovering Long Lost Earthworks

Backyard baseball field as viewed from a Google Earth aerial shot in 2005

Backyard baseball field as viewed from a Google Earth aerial shot in 2005

I spent many summer vacation evenings during high school playing baseball in my friend Scott’s backyard. The field had tiny dimension so we used a wiffle bat and wrapped duct tape around a wad of cotton for the ball. Hitting it into the sheep pasture awarded you a home run and most backyard games turned into home run derbies. Even my 5’2 frame (at the time) could occasionally slink a blooper into the pasture. Our frequent tread around the bases wore a distinct diamond into the grass.

In 2005 the Google Earth software was released to the general public. I was always fascinated with maps and traced many familiar places from overhead. I panned over to Scott’s house and sure enough the aerial imagery showed our field.

I marveled at the time about the wonders of technology but could scarcely imagine that a decade later I would be going back to the same software to discover long lost Civil War fortifications.

Continue reading

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Question of the Week 11/23 – 11/29


This week’s QotW comes from Bert Dunkerly who asks:

What are some topics that you don’t see covered when you go to historic sites?

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Ed Bonekemper’s Lost Cause Fact-Check (part one)

BonekemperPart one of two

Historians debunked the myth of the Lost Cause decades ago, but it still defines the way many (if not most) Americans remember the narrative of the Civil War. Its influence on popular imagination holds sway over national memory, controls commemorations and remembrances, and provides lively fodder for Roundtable discussions. It’s either America’s Great Romance or it’s alternative history akin to a viral blight.

No matter how you cut it, says historian Edward Bonekemper III, “The Lost Cause is the most successful propaganda campaign in American history.”

Bonekemper, author of half a dozen books and the book review editor for Civil War News, is the latest researcher to explore this “alternative reality” of the war. His new book, The Myth of the Lost Cause: Why the South Fought the Civil War and Why the North Won, explores and explodes that mythology. Continue reading

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“The Particulars of Col. Sillers Death”

Today, we are pleased to welcome back guest author Mike Block

It is often the sad duty of the officer in charge of a unit the burden of sending a note or letter home documenting the last moments of a soldiers life. But what if it’s the commander who dies? Who writes his letter?

Following the Battle of Kelly’s Ford, on November 7, 1863 the letter writing responsibility fell to Captain Gary F. Williams, Company A, 30th North Carolina Infantry. He wrote to the family of the regiment’s late commander, Lieutenant – Colonel William W. Sillers. Sillers was mortally wounded on the 7th, and died two days later in Gordonsville, Virginia.

Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Common Soldier, Leadership--Confederate, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“It is for us the living…”

LincolnSeatedFour score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

— speech delivered at the dedication of the national cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Nov. 19, 1863

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