Category Archives: Common Soldier

Ending The War: Soldiers of the Breakthrough

ECW author Edward Alexander has written many posts over the years about the Breakthrough at Petersburg and accounts about individual soldiers’ experiences in that historic moment. We’ve combed through the archives and invite you to “meet” and study the breakthrough … Continue reading

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BookChat with Brian Luskey, Author of Men is Cheap

I was pleased to spend some time recently with a new book by historian Brian Luskey, associate professor of history at West Virginia University. Luskey is the author of Men Is Cheap: Exposing the Frauds of Free Labor in Civil War … Continue reading

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Traveling to Gettysburg: Pt. 1

In a time when it seems that the whole world is quarantined, everyone is stuck at home, and traveling is almost certainly out of the current realm of possibilities, cases of cabin fever are bound to increase. Here in Youngstown, … Continue reading

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“Because of My Love for My Whole Adopted Country”

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! A couple of weekends ago, I made a drive to Antietam National Battlefield, and in an effort to support the battlefield and local economy, I felt it was fitting and proper to add to my library. … Continue reading

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Common Soldiers Writing Song: “Oh, How Do You Like The Army?”

I’ve been reading through some Civil War songs and poetry, looking for something suitable for Women’s History Month that I haven’t shared before. Though I’ve found some splendid pieces, they are rather sad and fully of sensibility and 19th Century … Continue reading

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BookChat with David Silkenat, author of Raising the White Flag

I was pleased to spend some time recently with a new book by historian David Silkenat, senior lecturer of American history at the University of Edinburgh. Silkenat is the author of Raising the White Flag: How Surrender Defined the Civil … Continue reading

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A Member of the 8th Missouri Infantry Reflects on Why He Enlisted

One of the most thorough and remarkable diaries I have come across from a Missouri soldier is from a non-commissioned officer in the 8th Missouri Infantry. A German immigrant and Peoria, Illinois resident, Phillip A. Smith joined the “American Zouaves” … Continue reading

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An 1863 Staff Ride with the Russians?

Over the holidays, I had a couple of long flights which is the perfect opportunity to catch up on reading. One of the books I had “gifted myself” for Christmas is the edited letters of Theodore Lyman who served on … Continue reading

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1861 Winter Quarters in Photographs

This week I searched for images of Civil War winter quarters in the online Library of Congress catalog, and here are a few of the results. I think it’s especially interesting to look at the types of shelters and the … Continue reading

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The Civil War Versions of “NUTS”!

Welcome back, JoAnna M. McDonald History does not quite repeat itself in the literal sense, but it does rhyme.   For example, cheeky responses to surrender demands are apparently a tradition in American military history (and in military history in general).  … Continue reading

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