Author Archives: Meg Groeling

About Meg Groeling

CW Historian

Cathay Williams / William Cathey: Buffalo Soldier

My father was a freeman, but my mother was a slave, belonging to William Johnson, a wealthy farmer who lived at the time I was born near Independence, Jackson County, Missouri.[1] So begins the story of Ms. Cathay Williams, the … Continue reading

Posted in USCT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Book Review: “The Limits of Loyalty: Ordinary People in Civil War Mississippi”

Easy as it is to imagine the Confederacy made up of a solid group of Union-hating slave owners and their friends, the reality of the situation is much more complex. Jarrett Ruminski, a freelance writer, researcher, and consultant, investigates this … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Books & Authors, Economics, Memory, Slavery | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Prince Greer: Slave, Freedman, and Entrepreneur

One of the issues facing newly freed men and women was how to make a living in a world that had never paid them a living wage for their contributions. Even the USCT initially were paid less than white soldiers, … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Holidays, Medical, Memory, Personalities, Reconstruction, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An Unusual Valentine: Elmer E. Ellsworth, Esquire

Every biography or biographical article about not-yet-colonel Elmer Ellsworth says the same thing: It is not known if Ellsworth passed, or even took, the Illinois State Bar Examination. I know this is not a bombshell issue for most people, but … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Lincoln, Personalities, Politics, Preservation, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Not the Same African Americans We Always See

I was watching a television show a couple of weeks ago, and the subject of Black History Month was mentioned. One of the characters complained that America always trots out the same four African Americans every year to stand in … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Common Soldier, Memory, Personalities, Politics, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Be of Good Cheer!

I regularly inspect caches of images concerning the Civil War. It is in this way that I have made some amazing finds, most of which are eventually shared here at ECW. In a historic period where it took a few … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Photography | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Lincoln’s Yard Sale

Into the grind of sourcing a book some sun must shine once in a while. As I rechecked an endnote from Harold Holzer’s Lincoln, President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter 1860-1861, I also checked those little sticky tabs … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War in Pop Culture, Lincoln | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Mummy Currently Known as “John” or How John Wilkes Booth Went On To a Second Career

Hallowe’en is certainly the time for one to ponder the unknown. It had never occurred to me that John Wilkes Booth would fit into this category, but once again . . . I was wrong. Most people agree on an … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War in Pop Culture, Civilian, Holidays, Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Battlefield Markers & Monuments: Colonel Elmer Ellsworth and the Marshall House Hotel Plaque

This relatively small, gold & brown marker is attached to the side of the newly purchased Hotel Monaco*, the latest incarnation of the Marshall House, in Old Town Alexandria, VA. It commemorates the death of James W. Jackson, reading: The … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Monuments, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

A Place for Historical Fiction: Savas Beatie Tests the Waters

Really? Savas Beatie published a novel? No way! . . . and then I talked to publisher Ted Savas. The following is an interview concerning the publication of Six Days in September, a novel of Lee’s army in Maryland, 1862.

Posted in Book Review, Books & Authors, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments