Question of the Week: 2/1-2/7/21

What’s your favorite Civil War account in a newspaper? (1860’s or veterans’ writings)

Does it seem accurate or is it the inaccuracies that make it a favorite?

3 Responses to Question of the Week: 2/1-2/7/21

  1. “CAPTURE OF NEW ORLEANS” proclaimed the New York Herald on its Front Page of 28 April 1862. EVERYONE knew the importance of the loss to the South of their largest city. But even more important: until this edition of the Herald (and other papers across the North and South) appeared, a running contest had persisted, with both North and South proclaiming “they” had won the Battle of Shiloh. Important for the North because of the embarrassment and effect on morale an actual Loss at the hard-fought battle would mean; and important for the South because of ongoing efforts to convince British and French emissaries in Richmond that, “our Victory at Shiloh entitles us to recognition as a Nation.” The undeniable Loss of the South’s Largest City made the outcome at Shiloh moot; and any chance for European Recognition of the Confederacy dissipated like a puff of smoke.

  2. As my research skills improved over the years, I began to notice that–at least in accounts concerning Ellsworth or the Zouave Cadets–newspaper accounts did not differ one word from New York to Sacramento and areas in between. Ah! Well, that is what a news service does, and it was easily understood in this context. My concern came with footnotes. The same article in the Sacramento Bee was also in the Omaha Star, and I am sure several other newspapers. I chose to note the paper I found first, but it would be nice–what with all the wonderful sources now available online–if there was a change in footnoting that would allow a writer to note that something was an Associated Press offering. I love finding stuff that might not necessarily be battle-related, but certainly impacts us today, such as how we get our news.

  3. The account of the Battle of Gettysburg in the London Illustrated News. The edition went to bed with the information as to what happened at the end of July 2nd, making it appear the Confederates were on the verge of victory. It wasn’t until the next edition that Pickett’s charge had taken place. Interesting snapshot in history.

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