Author Archives: Sarah Kay Bierle

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, author, speaker, and researcher. Past and present, everyone has a story. What will we discover and discuss?

ECW Weekender: Lavender at Cross Keys Battlefield?

It’s one of those places that I’ve always driven by in a rush (or couldn’t persuade my fellow battlefield explorers to stop). Off Route 276 and just about half a mile from the left turn to the Cross Keys Ruritan … Continue reading

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Captain Barton: Advising His Daughter To “Serve and Sacrifice”

For Father’s Day Clara Barton wanted to make a difference. She wanted to go to the battlefield and camps to care for the sick and wounded. For long weeks of 1861, she had been laying her plans, strengthening her political … Continue reading

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“There is not one of you a slave now”: Escaped Union Prisoners Announce Freedom in South Carolina

While Juneteenth started as a celebration of the announcement of emancipation in Galveston, Texas in 1865, other accounts of freedom announcements to enslaved communities also offer joyful moments during the Civil War years. In his published narrative Seven Months a … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: York County History Center

Recently, a project at my real job took me to York, Pennsylvania, and when I finished my task, I had a about 90 to spare before I wanted to get on the road to home. Since it was rainy, I … Continue reading

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Unpublished: Transcribing for Research & Publication

One of the joys (and disadvantages) of working with unpublished primary sources is that they are time consuming. Life consuming, if not handled with care. Later, in the blog series, I’ll share about a couple of unpublished diaries, but since … Continue reading

Posted in Primary Sources | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

ECW Weekender: Don’t Miss The Sunset

I hope wherever you live there are beautiful sunsets, and in the summer season, twilights can be especially spectacular. So why talk about summer sunsets on a history blog? Can I tell you a story first? I promise there is … Continue reading

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Battle of Port Republic: “The Place To Try Mens Soulds”

Some accounts in the historiography of the 1862 Valley Campaign give the impression that only the Confederates marched long distances at speed. While the accounts of Stonewall Jackson’s “foot cavalry” are impressive, it must be remembered that these long marches … Continue reading

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A Morning Surprise for “Stonewall” and His Staff Officers on June 8, 1862

Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson is famed in the history books for his surprise flank attack at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. Lost in the storytelling about Stonewall’s surprise at Chancellorsville and his Shenandoah Valley Campaign “brilliance” in 1862 is … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Battles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“To Keep The Little Children Out Of The Park”: A Vermonter’s Adventures in New York City

Sometimes military and civilian interactions take surprising turns. This account that Wilbur Fisk of the 2nd Vermont Infantry wrote in a letter for newspaper publication offers some humorous antics of children pestering soldiers. The regiment quartered in the “beautiful park” … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

To Smile or Not To Smile… That is a Question

“Hey, let’s take a selfie.” I confess I said those words at the top of the observation tower, near the Bloody Lane at Antietam National Battlefield last weekend. And as soon as I said them, I was cringing inside. I … Continue reading

Posted in Memory | Tagged , | 16 Comments