Author Archives: David T. Dixon

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the 1864 Election

Among the many rich rhetorical legacies US presidents have left to future generations, the Gettysburg Address dwarfs them all. Lincoln took scarcely more than two minutes to deliver a worthy tribute to fallen Federal soldiers and paint an inspirational vision … Continue reading

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The Astonishing Life of an Italian American Civil War Soldier

Lt. Charles DeRudio inched along on his belly through dense underbrush to the bottom of a dry creek bed, concealing himself to avoid capture and certain death. Pistol shots rang out nearby, followed by female voices. DeRudio raised his head … Continue reading

Posted in Cavalry, Immigrants, Personalities, USCT | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Tactical Innovation in the Civil War?

The mere typing of this blog post title fills me with dread and nervous anticipation. As an historian who does biography, I focus on the life story of my central character— how she developed her social and political beliefs, changed … Continue reading

Posted in Arms & Armaments, Common Soldier, Weapons, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

Biography: No Longer the Stepchild of Civil War History

For much of the twentieth century, biography was a genre ignored or demeaned by many academic historians. Traditional cradle-to-grave biographies focused on the so-called “great men of history.” They consigned women, immigrants, people of color, and lesser known figures to … Continue reading

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Enemy on the Georgia Home Front

Wesley Shropshire returned home from the secession convention in Milledgeville, Georgia dejected and distressed. Once final passage of the secession ordinance was certain, most Union delegates changed their votes to give the measure more force, but not Shropshire. He departed … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Civilian, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments