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.

Play Review – “Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley: From Slavery to Modiste”

In June 2018 I had the opportunity to attend a production of the new stage play Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley: From Slavery to Modiste at The Old Globe Theater in San Diego, California. Entering the theater, I was unfamiliar with the … Continue reading

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Equestrian Casualties at Gettysburg

“Three miles before we got into town we could see the marks of Cavalry skirmishes, passed some dead horses which were slowly burning up.”[i] The aftermath days of Gettysburg – and other Civil War battles – presented horrifying scenes at … Continue reading

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Artillery: John Pelham – Artilleryman, Gallant Fool, Splendid Boy

Advancing Union troops were convinced a full battery raked their flank as they moved toward the Confederate position at Prospect Hill near Fredericksburg. Multiple Union batteries opened fire from Stafford Heights, trying to drive out the artillerymen delaying General Meade’s … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: The Historic Artillery Battery at Virginia Military Institute

There are many battlefields and historic sites to visit to study the creation, use, and preservation of artillery pieces. For today’s Weekender post (keeping with the artillery series theme), we’ll journey away from the battlefields to a location where young … Continue reading

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Artillery: Henry J. Hunt, Chief of Artillery for the Army of the Potomac

From Little Round Top, Henry J. Hunt – Chief of Artillery for the Army of the Potomac – observed the opening shots of the Confederate artillery barrage near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1863. From his vantage point gained during … Continue reading

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Artillery: Primary Source – Practical Hints For Pointing

Here’s an section from Instructions for Field Artillery (1860). Found in the chapter on “pointing and range,” this excerpt gives tips for aiming cannons and using projectiles effectively in battlefield situations, particularly against cavalry. These paragraphs give an example of … Continue reading

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Artillery: Finding An Artillery Manual

In his second inaugural address, President Lincoln observed, “Both [sides] read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other.” He referred to a religious situation, but I meant no disrespect when … Continue reading

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Herman Haupt: Reopening The Rail Lines To Gettysburg

“I am now at Hanover Station. A bridge is broken between this place and Littlestown. I will proceed at once to repair it, and commence to send off wounded; then return and take the Gettysburg Railroad and commence repairing it. … Continue reading

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A Review of Masterpiece’s “Little Women”

Over Memorial Day weekend I binge-watched the new version of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Though my review was delayed due to history conference coordinating, I’m delighted to share a few thoughts on the new show. I suppose I could … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Pack’s Frozen Custard

“And that’s a good place to stop for frozen custard…” Our battlefield tour guide announced, nodding toward a small stand as we zoomed by on Route 211, heading to New Market Gap. The next day – after I had dragged … Continue reading

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