Atop Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Last week I gave a presentation to the Western North Carolina Civil War Round Table and took advantage of the proximity to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park for the first time. My visit included a trip to the tallest point in the park–Clingmans Dome. As I had happened to assume, the site is named for General Thomas Clingman.

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Spotlight: ECW & MacArthur Memorial Symposium

In 1951, General Douglas MacArthur described himself as “the reunion of blue and gray personified.” The experiences of his family in the Civil War helped mold and inspire MacArthur during his military career. MacArthur ancestors served in the East and West, and were present at some of the most important battles of the war, from the battles of 1862 to Appomattox in 1865.

Emerging Civil War and the MacArthur Memorial are co-sponsoring a free, one day, symposium on September 28, 2019 to explore the MacArthur Civil War story. Today’s post will highlight one of our presenters, Chris Mackowski, and the story they will tell. For more information about the symposium or to register, please visit Continue reading

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He Wrote What? Health and Weight in Civil War Letters

(NOT an authentic Civil War era scale… Illustrative and theme purposes only.)

“You stated that you had been weighed, what is your weight?”[i] asked Private Walter Dunn in a letter to his fiancée. It’s a little shocking to modern readers! There are a few questions that are usually considered taboo to ask a woman: her age and her weight.

However, Walter Dunn is not the only mid-19th Century correspondent to talk or ask about bodily weight, leading to the question: why? Was it just a matter of curiosity? Or was there something more significant behind the questions or journaled entries of weight?

Over the years of reading primary sources, I seen various references to bodily weight and almost always in positive context. Some young women even happily recorded those details in their private diaries. Walter’s straight forward question, though, was the first time I’d noticed such a topic under discussion between an unmarried couple and I decided to pull out other references and see if the context and social view could be clarified. Continue reading

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Of Dentists & Elections

Benjamin Brown French

I’ve been reading 1864 entries from Benjamin Brown French’s journal this summer as part of my tangent study for perspective on how folks in the north  responded to the impending presidential election. French offers quite a contrast of subjects in his entries at the end of August and beginning of September. Continue reading

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ECW Podcast “General Douglas MacArthur: Ties To The Civil War” Is Now Available

General Douglas MacArthur referred to himself as the “reunification of Blue & Gray personified.” This week, Emerging Civil War’s Polish brothers, Chris Mackowski and Chris Kolakowski, talk about MacArthur’s many Civil War connections and influences.

UPDATE: For a summer surprise, Chris and Chris decided to make this podcast free! Just head over to the Patreon page and listen at your convenience. (You don’t even need to create an account to enjoy this one.)


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Tying Young Women to Civil War History

Timeline Ties 02.jpgby ECW Correspondent Meghan Hall

Emma Bickford, a 19-year-old college student, finds herself lamenting the decline of interest in history, especially among her peers. Instead of watching the trend continue, Bickford decided to step up. She’s making an effort to tie young people back to the roots that formed the world they live in. By creating a business that meshes historical lessons with fashion—aimed specifically at women her own age—Bickford is attempting to advocate for a resurgence of interest in history. Continue reading

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Question of the Week: 8/19-8/25/19

Last week we noticed an interesting question from one of our readers and thought it would make a great discussion starter:

Have your views on aspects of the war changed over the course of your learning? If so, please give specific examples.

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Week In Review: August 11-18, 2019

From battlefield visits to upcoming events, articles by our correspondents, and details of a brigade’s route to Gettysburg, we’ve rounded up the blog posts of the week at Emerging Civil War. Happy reading!

Sunday, August 11:

Check out what Maine at War has been publishing recently…

Monday, August 12:

Question of the Week was a little different this week! It’s a 2020 Symposium question and announcement. Continue reading

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Promotion Day?

August 17 – and guess what? Three very (or moderately) famous Civil War officers got promoted on this day, but in different years. Now you’ve got history trivia for the weekend: Continue reading

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Saving History Saturday: Headstone from Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence Discovered

Officials from Lecompton city and township prepare to move James O’Neill’s headstone to Maple Grove Cemetery. Courtesy of Carolyn Kaberline.

Deep within a forest in Lecompton, Kansas, two large 19th-century headstones were discovered. One is believed to be of a man killed in Missouri guerrilla Capt. William Quantrill’s infamous Raid on Lawrence, Kansas in 1863. Continue reading

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