Author Archives: Caroline Davis

Fallen Leaders: George Custer and the Question of Leadership

Over the past month, we have read many stories about fallen leaders of the American Civil War. We have mostly looked at those who have lost their lives in the midst of battle or its aftermath. However, a sometimes-forgotten fallen … Continue reading

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A Poet’s Perspective: Melville on Running the Batteries at Vicksburg

It was the spring of 1863, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was concocting a plan to seize the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi. As President Abraham Lincoln had made clear, Vicksburg was key to achieving victory over the Confederates and ending … Continue reading

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A Poet’s Perspective: Melville On Pickett’s Charge

So few poets chose to write about the American Civil War that it is sometimes described as the “unwritten war.” Herman Melville, however, was among the few who chose to do so. His collection of poems on the war, in … Continue reading

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A Poet’s Perspective: On Stonewall Jackson’s Death

“I have always desired to die on Sunday.” — General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. On May 2, 1863, shots rang out from the 18th North Carolina line in the woods at Chancellorsville. Unbeknownst to the soldiers at the time, they were … Continue reading

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A Poet’s Perspective: Melville and The Stone Fleet

I have a feeling for those ships,  Each worn and ancient one, With great bluff bows, and broad in the beam;  Ay, it was unkindly done.      But so they serve the Obsolete—      Even so, Stone Fleet! It was apparent from … Continue reading

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A Poet’s Perspective: March into Virginia

By July 1861, the tension described in “Misgivings” and “The Conflict of Convictions” had been realized. The United States was at war with itself. In his poem “March Into Virginia,” Melville describes the first battle fought between the North and … Continue reading

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A Poet’s Perspective: Herman Melville and the Civil War

It was November of 1860, and America had a new president. He was highly popular among the northern states, but he was widely disliked in the South. At the same time you have Herman Melville, famous for his 1851 novel … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Books & Authors, Civil War Events, Civilian, Emerging Civil War, Memory, Newspapers, Personalities, Ties to the War | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

My Favorite Historical Person: Antonia Ford

The art of spying is as old as war itself, or so it has been said. While many people when asked who is their favorite figure from the Civil War would immediately think of generals and politicians, I tend to … Continue reading

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Union Balloon Corps: Part 3

(Part 1 and Part 2 are available for reference.) The Union Balloon Corps received little recognition for its successes, and many in the military Sevens Days Battles considered them nothing more than entertainment. The conclusion of the Seven Days Battles, … Continue reading

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Union Balloon Corps: Part 2

After thoroughly impressing President Lincoln with the ability to gather and transmit intelligence from the air, Thaddeus Lowe was granted funding to start producing hot-air balloons for the Union Army. He named the first balloon Union.

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Common Soldier, Personalities | Tagged , , | 1 Comment