I traveled home from Fredericksburg to Erie Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving this year. It was my first trip back since arriving here in late June. As I have an serious allergy to the commercialism of Black Friday, I decided to make it History Friday.
After a brief visit to the Fort LeBoeuf Museum in Waterford, a story more suited for our friends at Emerging Revolutionary War, I headed for downtown and the Erie Historical Society and the Watson-Curtze Mansion, a place that I haven’t been to in over 20 years. Continue reading
Nast’s First Santa
Santa, as we know him, is a creation of artist Thomas Nast who created the bearded old elf for the 1862-63 Christmas edition of Harper’s Weekly. In his famous drawing, he showed Union soldiers opening their Christmas boxes from home. One soldier gets a stuffed stocking (hopefully the other one was in there somewhere!), and another got a fancy new pipe. Santa is handing out toys, including a Jeff Davis puppet, and many soldiers hold their gift boxes close to their hearts. Winslow Homer showed soldiers on Christmas Day in 1861, and everywhere are boxes from home. They were packed with more love than sense if letters home are any indication. Spoiled food or broken glass was a common complaint, and once in a while, the bottle holding the traditional Christmas cordial arrived empty. For the most part, soldiers loved getting a box from home, no matter what the season. Continue reading
Welcome back to another installment of our 2020 Emerging Civil War Symposium Spotlight. Over the coming weeks we will continue to feature introductions of all of our speakers for the 2020 Symposium, as well as you give a sneak peak of their talks. We’ll also be sharing suggested titles that you may want to read in preparation for these programs. This week we feature longtime ECW member Kevin Pawlak. Continue reading
Did you have a chance to hear Meg Groeling’s podcast about what happened when the battles ended? She has accomplished insightful research on the ordeals for the wounded and the burials of fallen soldiers. This podcast is available to all ECW Podcast subscribers via Patreon.
Today, we’ve combed through the archives and found a few articles related to the subject “Aftermath”: Continue reading
My wife will tell you that I can find Civil War History wherever we go. I’m equally proud and embarrassed to admit that she’s right. We recently joined a few friends for a late season, kids free, just-what-the-doctor-ordered trip to the Florida Keys. While poking our heads into many (ok…too many) of the bars on Duval Street I casually mentioned to my wife that there was a lot of Civil War history in Key West. Construction of the 1848 Key West Lighthouse was supervised by George Meade, sir, that’s right! Our very own general of our very own corps. See that…I quote Gettysburg and I have your attention. Moving on… Continue reading
Here’s a look back at the previous week at Emerging Civil War: Continue reading
December 7, 1941. “Day which will live in infamy,” according to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the weeks and years of war following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States official involvement in World War II, a wave a patriotic propaganda hit communities. Recruitment posters, warnings and reminders, encouragement to buy war bonds, rationing motivation emblazoned short messages with memorable images.
Since the first time I studied World War II, I’ve been interested in this “war art.” It says a lot about attitudes, beliefs, and motivations. One thing I find particularly interesting: the historical themes in this now historic posters. People were motivated by words and historical stories from the decades of American history which preceded the 1940’s. There are examples of Civil War imagery and stories in some of the posters, but today one particular illustration stands out: Continue reading