Author Archives: Meg Groeling

About Meg Groeling

CW Historian

Book Review: The Families’ Civil War: Black Soldiers and the Fight for Racial Justice

As Civil War history becomes more specific, books like Holly Pinheiro’s The Families’ Civil War use case studies of particular groups to show readers how the methods of microhistory are well-suited for issues relating to minorities, ethnicity, race, and gender. … Continue reading

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Pairings, Partridges, and Pear Trees—Drink Up #5

Pairings were NOT a thing in the 1860s. Red meat/red wine, white meat/ white wine, and pork/rose were about as far as anything went unless you were a sommelier and had to know extra things. One could afford imported wine … Continue reading

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If Aunt Elizabeth from New York Shows Up…Drink Up #4

Not everyone drinks alcohol. Some folks are too young. Some do not care for it, and some have personal, medical, or religious reasons. Some are ill and concerned with drug interactions. These are all modern reasons to refrain from imbibing … Continue reading

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Eggnog? You’ll LOVE It!—Drink Up #3

Eggnog has been part of our history since the colonies even had a history. Originally a “posset” in Europe (particularly England) was a hot drink made of milk curdled with wine or ale. It was beaten to smooth out its … Continue reading

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Frankly My Dear, I’d Love a Mint Julep!—Drink Up #2

The iconic Confederate drink, then and now, is the Mint Julep. Captain Frederick Marryatt (1792-1948) was a Royal Navy officer, a well-respected novelist, and an acquaintance of Charles Dickens. He often wrote about America, which he had visited several times. … Continue reading

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Happy Holidays from 1862—Drink Up! #1

To complement Sarah Kay Bierle’s outstanding work concerning holiday food, I thought I would chime in this year with a few posts about drinking–for the holidays, of course. America was founded as a nation of drunkards–er–drinkers. After all, water wasn’t … Continue reading

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George Washington Harris, Sut Lovingood, and Abe Lincoln: The Second in a Series of Looks at Civil War Humor

Any Confederate-leaning humorist who had the nerve to title a book Sut Lovingood Travels with Old Abe Lincoln is undoubtedly a person to be reckoned with. George Washington Harris, the real author of Sut Lovingood’s yarns, was a strong, secessionist-supporting Democrat. As … Continue reading

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Civil War Medicine: So . . . Just What is a Wound Dresser? 

Walt Whitman, American poet extraordinaire, is also well known for working in the hospitals around the Washington area during the Civil War. Initially a huge proponent of the conflict, he wrote poetry and newspaper columns that almost literally beat the … Continue reading

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“If I Did Not Laugh I Should Die:” The First in a Series of Looks at Civil War Humor

Sometimes the world is not very funny, but the anecdote concerning Abraham Lincoln’s reading of a piece by political humorist Artemus Ward immediately before presenting the Emancipation Proclamation deserves a nod. Apparently, on September 22, 1862, Lincoln was waiting in … Continue reading

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Book Review: Decisions at Perryville: The Twenty-Two Critical Decisions That Defined the Battle

Okay, everyone–get out the sandbox and the toy soldiers! The University of Tennessee Press has added Perryville to its series “Command Decisions in America’s Civil War.” Although part of the 1862 Kentucky Campaign, series editors decided that the battle of … Continue reading

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