Category Archives: Civilian

Christmas in the Hospitals: Bringing Cheer to a Dreary Holidays

It is never fun to spend the holidays in the hospital and it was no different during the Civil War. Soldiers in pain from battle wounds or suffering from diseases or infections, sometimes exasperated by wartime shortages, made the holiday … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Common Soldier, Holidays, Medical | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

December 12: Fredericksburg Is On My Mind

Thinking about the river crossings that happened on December 12, 1862, at Fredericksburg, Virginia? It’s been on my mind today even though I’m literally thousands of miles away. I’m signing my Christmas cards today…I think about the generals writing their … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Civilian | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Historic Pianos and Music – Postscript

There’s one more story about music and a piano in Mrs. Hancock’s book. It’s not quite clear when this event took place, but since she references President Pierce, it probably happened in Missouri when Winfield Hancock was still a captain. … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Thanksgiving 1863: A “vivid contrast” between home and the front

In 1863, Thanksgiving fell on November 26. That morning, as the rest of the country was preparing for roast turkey and fat puddings and homemade pies, the Army of the Potomac, encamped around Brandy Station, Virginia, rumbled to life for … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Common Soldier, Holidays | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil War Cooking: Harvesting a “Mess of Beans” During Battle

By July 2, 1863, Joseph Broadhead just wanted a good meal. In the past week, he had experienced more adventures than he ever wanted to and now had no way to stop or change the battle unfolding in his community. … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Holidays | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Conversation with Brian Steel Wills about Inglorious Passages (part two)

(part two of two) I’m talking with historian Brian Steel Wills, author of one of my favorite Civil War books from last year, Inglorious Passages: Noncombat Deaths in the American Civil War. Inglorious Passages received the Harwell Award at the … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Civilian, Common Soldier | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A Conversation with Brian Steel Wills about Inglorious Passages (part one)

(part one of two) When I first read Brian Steel Wills’ book Inglorious Passages: Noncombat Deaths in the American Civil War, I had to let it sit with me for a bit. By that, I mean that I’d had such … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Civilian, Common Soldier | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Railroads – Targeted: The Virginia & Tennessee Railroad

In early May 1864 as Union General Franz Sigel inched his way up the Shenandoah Valley and Confederate General John C. Breckinridge scrambled to assemble an army, Union cavalry commanders George Crook and William Averell aimed for Saltville and the … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Civilian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Railroads: Women Refugees and the Railroads

Over the course of the Civil War, thousands of civilians left their homes and became refugees seeking safety. Several thoughts and questions quickly went into the minds of those put into unimaginable situations that turned their lives upside down. Where … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Railroads – Her Journey: Ladies Traveling In Mid-19th Century America

The Civil War gave women reasons to travel like they had never had before. Some refugeed away from the armies. Others journeyed to be with loved ones in military camps or hospitals. Others packed their trunks, stretched society’s traditional feminine … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment