Author Archives: Sarah Kay Bierle

About Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, historian, editor, and historical fiction writer. When sharing history, I try to keep the facts interesting and understandable. History is about real people, real actions, real effects and it should inspire us today.

Ball’s Bluff: “Has Sparta More?”

Recently, I came across some poems written about the Battle of Ball’s Bluff which was fought on October 21, 1861. This one was penned by a Union general from Massachusetts, Frederick Lander, and I’ve included a few historical notes after … Continue reading

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Photographic Portraits: Cadets Identified, Girl Unknown

“Those are cadet uniforms,” I thought while sorting through thumbnail files of digitized Civil War images on Library of Congress’s website. It was not at all what I was looking for at the moment, but I bookmarked the page to … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Common Soldier, Photography | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Conspiracy – Civil War Style?

In a year with an exceptional plethora of “tell-all” books and a variety of conspiracy theories from multiple sides and perspectives, old historical sources never fail to add a little perspective and humor. While seeking an escape from the election … Continue reading

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Appomattox – Photos with the Lens of Change

Yesterday an autumn drive on Virginia backroads led to Appomattox Court House. The rainy day with splashes of vibrant colors on the trees offered a different view and perspective on the historic site. I hope you’ll enjoy these photos from … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Tom’s Brook “Battlefield”

“There’s nothing to see at Tom’s Brook,” my battlefield buddy told me. “Well, I know there aren’t monument and markers, but I have book with a driving tour so we can see some of the battleground. Let’s just see what … Continue reading

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“The Foot That Is Gone Pains Me The Most”

May 8, 1862 My leg has given me a good deal of pain since yesterday, owing to its being too tightly bandaged. The last ligature is away, and it ought to heal rapidly now. The foot that is gone pains … Continue reading

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Home Libraries: There’s A Method To The Madness

I’ve always been particular about how my books are organized. In fact, when I was about 12 and had about 12 Civil War books, those slim volumes stacked in a very precise order on the file cabinets that sat beside … Continue reading

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The Apple Barrage

Private William McCarter of the 116th Pennsylvania Infantry (Irish Brigade) wrote a colorful memoir and included this autumnal story about soldier and civilian interactions near Charlestown (now West Virginia) in October 1862. Here’s the account in his own words, and … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Mark Twain’s Home Library (Virtually)

This week I’ve been trying to find some virtual tours of home libraries from the 19th Century. While Mark Twain’s connection to the Civil War is loose (he headed for Nevada Territory in 1861), his post-war friendship with Ulysses S. … Continue reading

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Home Libraries: Where Is That Book?

It’s one thing to be unable to locate a book on the shelf or find it hiding out like the proverbial “snake that would’ve bit you” on your desk. It’s another dilemma when you can’t remember which library to look … Continue reading

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