Author Archives: Todd Arrington

Remembering Sergeant Carney

One hundred and eighteen years ago today—May 23, 1900—William H. Carney received the Medal of Honor for actions in July 1863 during the Civil War.  President William McKinley, who issued the Medal in the name of Congress (hence the oft-used … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Emerging Civil War, Personalities, Slavery | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

“We Come to Hail This Hero”: Dedicating the Admiral Farragut Statue

On the evening of April 25, 1881, President James A. Garfield sat down to write in his diary as he did most nights.  Garfield had only been president for about seven weeks, and much of his time had thus far … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Navies | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

From the ECW Archives: Creating the Medal of Honor

March 25 is Medal of Honor Day. When the Civil War began, the U.S. military had few medals or awards to recognize bravery or exemplary conduct.  General George Washington created the Purple Heart in 1782 to recognize “singularly meritorious action;” … Continue reading

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February 27, 1860: Lincoln at Cooper Union

On this day 158 years ago-February 27, 1860-Abraham Lincoln of Illinois delivered an invited speech at the Cooper Institute in New York City. Lincoln had gained a reputation and a following among some Republicans in 1858 when he skillfully debated … Continue reading

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The Homestead Act, Early Republicans, and the Coming of the Civil War

Nearly everyone knows that the Emancipation Proclamation became effective on January 1, 1863.  This document formally established abolition of slavery as one of the Union’s goals in fighting and winning the Civil War and enabled the North to recruit African … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Emerging Civil War, Lincoln, Reconstruction, Slavery | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Battlefield Markers & Monuments: Lake County, Ohio Soldiers’ Monument

Lake County is the smallest county in the entire state of Ohio.  It lies along Lake Erie in the northeastern corner of the state; its county seat, Painesville, is about 30 miles from downtown Cleveland.  It is a beautiful county … Continue reading

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Garfield and Chamberlain

On June 14, 1881, Joshua L. Chamberlain of Brunswick, Maine, wrote a letter to President James A. Garfield.  The President’s wife, Lucretia Rudolph Garfield, had been ill with malaria for much of the spring, and Chamberlain offered this advice: It … Continue reading

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Dan Sickles and the Temporary Insanity Defense

The Civil War spawned a number of so-called “political generals” for both the Union and the Confederacy.  In most cases, these were well-connected men that had little or no military experience but had the means to help raise and equip … Continue reading

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President Abraham Lincoln’s Message to Special Session of Congress, July 4, 1861

Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives: Having been convened on an extraordinary occasion, as authorized by the Constitution, your attention is not called to any ordinary subject of legislation. At the beginning of the present Presidential term, four … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Personalities, Politics, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Something Abides”: Joshua L. Chamberlain and Civil War Memory

As it was for millions of his generation, the Civil War was the defining event of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s life.  Veterans from both sides took understandable pride in their service, wrote their memoirs, and joined veterans’ organizations.  In all of … Continue reading

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