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.

6 Ideas For Finding Her Story

Just some afternoon research thoughts on women’s studies… In addition to my military history project on horse artillery, I’ve been sifting through primary sources and piecing together a clearer life story for Arabella W. Griffith Barlow, wife of General Francis … Continue reading

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Can I Really “Jine the Cavalry”?

I was about ten years old when I first read a reference to the Civil War song “Jine the Cavalry” in a kid’s biography book about J.E.B. Stuart. Curious, I wrote a friend, asking if he knew the lyrics and … Continue reading

Posted in Cavalry | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

July 4, 1864: “From 10,000 to 20,000 voices…singing, The Star Spangled Banner”

Many of the Union soldiers captured at the Battle of New Market were eventually sent to the infamous Confederate stockade known as Andersonville. I’ve been reading some accounts of soldiers who were there and came across this account of Fourth … Continue reading

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General Francis Barlow and The Letters He Destroyed on July 1, 1863

General Francis C. Barlow placed his division of the Union XI Corps on a rise of high ground, north of the town of Gettysburg. Without adequate reinforcements to anchor a defensive line, his exposed troops took the brunt of the … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Slavery, USCT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Vicksburg or Gettysburg? LeRoy Gresham’s Words

It’s a long and continuing debate. Vicksburg or Gettysburg? Which is more important? Or are they inseparable? Certainly, Gettysburg tends to overshadow Vicksburg in public history interest. But how did people of the 1860’s view the two events? Pondering this … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Campaigns, Civilian, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

June 28, 1864: “Hereby, Repealed”

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That section three and five of an act entitled “An act respecting fugitives from justice and persons escaping from the service … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Upon The Banks of the Potomac”: Two Lieutenants & The Gettysburg Campaign, Part 4

Part of a Series The rearguard is not always the glamorous place to be. Especially during an advance. However, “our” Lieutenants Dooley and Rhodes both found themselves forming part of the rearguard during the Gettysburg Campaign. That meant that their … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Keedysville, Maryland

I’d spent the day driving and researching at three different libraries. By the time the late sunset hour approached, I needed to get out-of-doors, but I didn’t really feel like going battlefielding that evening. Then, I remembered Keedysville… It’s a … Continue reading

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“One of the Hardest Marches”: Two Lieutenants & The Gettysburg Campaign, Part 3

Part 1 and Part 2 are available. Heat and dust became common themes in soldier’s diaries during the Gettysburg Campaign. Lieutenants Dooley and Rhodes offered no exception. In fact, the difficulties of the march proved so great that Rhodes penned … Continue reading

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“My Responsibility For These Men”: A Leadership Letter from Petersburg

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain has received criticism in recent decades for some of his writings which have been questioned for accuracy, purpose, and perspective. As a professor, educator, and gifted writer, Chamberlain seemed to seek a refuge in post-war writings – … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Leadership--Federal, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments