Category Archives: Common Soldier

Native Americans & The Civil War

November is Native American Heritage Month. Across the United States, many historical museums, research libraries, and organizations take this opportunity to highlight the culture and experiences of Native Americans in a particular region or era of history. Looking through the … Continue reading

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Question of the Week: 11/11-11/17/19

Some Civil War veterans were still alive when World War I ended in 1918 on Armistice Day (November 11). Do you have an ancestor or favorite Civil War veteran to research who lived into the 20th Century? What makes him … Continue reading

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A Casualty at Antietam

The afternoon grew late before the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry finally joined the fray. The battle at Antietam had waged since the early morning hours of September 17, 1863. However, as part of Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside’s IX Corps, the … Continue reading

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A First Maine Artilleryman

Emerging Civil War welcomes Doug Ullman, Jr. James S. Emerson could not have been pleased with how his army career had ended in 1862.  Standing at five feet, six inches, he had been one of the early volunteers, enlisting in … Continue reading

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Antietam Eve: September 16, 1862

Each of the approximately 100,000 soldiers bivouacked in the fields and woodlots around Sharpsburg, Maryland and along Antietam Creek knew what the morrow would bring. With the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac having been in … Continue reading

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Willie Preston: “Who Thinks of Victory Now?”

He was nineteen. Full of life. Full of ideas of soldiering. He left Lexington, Virginia, joining up with the Fourth Virginia Infantry and soldiering with other friends from his home town. Before long though, he was anxious to secure a … Continue reading

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Yellowhammers and Environmentalism: Following the Path of Law’s Alabama Brigade to Gettysburg

Ten Days in Culpeper From Raccoon Ford, Joe and I drove into nearby Culpeper, A.P. Hill’s hometown. Law’s Brigade camped with Hood’s Division south-east of Culpeper, near Pony Mountain, and paralleling the Fredericksburg Pike (modern-day Virginia Route 3) from Friday, … Continue reading

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“I Felt Keenly All the Horrors of War”: Psychological Experiences of Civil War Generals During the Mexican War

There is no shortage of connections between the Mexican War (1846-48) and the American Civil War. When Lee and Grant met at Appomattox in April 1865, the two adversaries eased the tension by evoking memories of the Mexican War. Lee … Continue reading

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The Text Message Correspondent

Last month I compiled a selection of material written during the Gettysburg campaign by members of the 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery. The unit began its service as the 11th Vermont Infantry but spent the first year and a half of … Continue reading

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He Wrote What? Health and Weight in Civil War Letters

“You stated that you had been weighed, what is your weight?”[i] asked Private Walter Dunn in a letter to his fiancée. It’s a little shocking to modern readers! There are a few questions that are usually considered taboo to ask … Continue reading

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