Author Archives: Meg Groeling

About Meg Groeling

CW Historian

Book Review: A Union Woman in Civil War Kentucky: The Diary of Frances Peter

Reviewed by Meg Groeling Every time a new diary or memoir of someone who lived through the American Civil War is published, history comes incrementally closer to understanding the war that continues to define us as a nation. The 2021 … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Unpublished: Memoirs and Scrapbooks in Kenosha’s Civil War Museum

When Ruth Painter Randall wrote her biography of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, published in 1960, many of the primary sources she used were scattered over museums and historical society collections in Illinois and Wisconsin. Luckily for me, by 2016, all this … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ellsworth Monument

Once again, May 24 is here. One hundred sixty-one years ago, Union Colonel Elmer Ellsworth was killed at the Marshall House Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, becoming the first Union officer to die in the American Civil War. Funeral obsequies were … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Monuments | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

On The March in Quick-Time: A Zouave Demonstration

With the Virtual World Tour for First Fallen: The Life of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, the North’s First Civil War Hero underway, I have been collecting frequently asked questions. The most popular queries by far concern Ellsworth’s actual Zouave drill. What … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

What do Ukraine and the Union Army Have in Common?

We’ve all seen them–the images pouring out of our TVs and computers of the Ukrainian refugees heading toward who-knows-where, carrying armfuls of cats. It seems as if Ukraine is an entire country of cat people! And well-behaved felines, too. I … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Being Wide Awake Today is Woke

Amazing, isn’t it, how everything old is new again? The worst insult or highest compliment in use today is probably some version of the word “woke.” Depending on which side one lands politically, it can mean either being sensitized to … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Newspapers, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Book Review: Invisible Wounds

Invisible Wounds: Mental Illness and Civil War Soldiers By Dillon J. Carroll Louisiana State University Press, 2021, $45 hardcover Reviewed by Meg Groeling In the last ten or so years there have been a nice handful of books written about … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Medical | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Forgotten Fort: Fort Tejon in Lebec, CA

A calm, crisp mountain breeze blew down from the Tehachapi Mountains into La Cañada de las Uvas (Grapevine Canyon). Major Jonathan Letterman, stationed here since December 1859, removed his hat, and wiped his forehead with the back of his hand. … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Book Review: The Howling Storm

The Howling Storm: Weather, Climate, and the American Civil War By Kenneth W. Noe Louisiana State University Press, 2020, $59.95 hardcover Reviewed by Meg Groeling I rarely make statements like this, but Kenneth W. Noe’s book The Howling Storm is an exception: … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

The Willard–Again

As historical as many of the buildings are in Washington, the one building I have always admired is the Willard Hotel–even in its latest iteration. The Willard is a Beaux-Arts style luxury (5 stars!) hotel located at 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Civil War in Pop Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments