Year in Review 2020: #1

We’ve done it! We’ve made it all the way to #1! To kick off 2021, we’re going to share with you ECW’s most-read post of 2020.

The honors for this year’s most-read post go to Jon-Erik Gilot.

On October 4, the Discovery Channel aired a documentary called The Lost Lincoln that showcased a newly discovered photograph of a man purported to be Abraham Lincoln taken shortly after Lincoln died. This would be big news, of course, because Secretary of War Edwin Stanton notoriously put a lock-down on photography of Lincoln’s body during funeral services and the long train ride back to Springfield, Illinois.

Controversy over the new photographic discovery immediately erupted in Civil War circles. Was it Lincoln? Was it legit?

Enter Jon-Erik, who put up a fantastic post on October 7—just three days after the documentary aired—titled “Discoveries in a Civil War Photograph.” His post took a close-up look at a photograph of Deens’ Company, Departmental Corps, Department of the Monongahela. The post had nothing to do with Lincoln or the new photograph—nothing to do with Lincoln at all, in fact. But because people, in the wake of the Lincoln documentary were Googling things like “photo discovery,” Jon-Erik’s post came up in a ton of searches. The WordPress app for Android even featured the post for a day.

And pleasantly, not everyone who went there and found out that the post wasn’t about Lincoln clicked away right away. A lot of them stayed. And a lot of them have stayed on since. (So, if you’re one of those folks, thank you!)

#1: Discoveries in a Civil War Photograph posted by Jon-Erik Gilot on October 7, 2020:

A few weeks ago I shared a story about the threatened invasion from Canada along Lake Erie and the subsequent Federal response at Erie, PA. In that post I shared a photograph of Deens’ Company, Departmental Corps, Department of the Monongahela. This photograph had previously only been published in a handful of local publications. If you can’t recall, here’s the photo in question….

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