Category Archives: Material Culture

Robin Hood & The Civil War: A Child’s Game? (Part 4)

Check this out! A set of children’s playing cards from the Civil War era, preserved by The Valentine Museum in Richmond. I own a debt of gratitude to fellow ECW member Bert Dunkerly for helping me track the artifact photos … Continue reading

Posted in Material Culture, Newspapers | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

ECW Weekender: The Green Machine Regiment Band at Ball’s Bluff

The 8th Green Machine (GM) Regiment Band will be performing an hour-long concert at Ball’s Bluff Regional Battlefield Park on Saturday, October 24th starting at 1:00 pm to commemorate the 159th anniversary of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. Since 2018, … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War Events, Material Culture, Ties to the War, Upcoming Events | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Pink Confederate Battle Flags

ECW welcomes back guest author Bryan Cheeseboro In a recent conversation I had with a friend, we discussed the painting The First Battle Flags by Don Troiani, which depicts the events of November 28, 1861, at Centreville, Virginia.  On that … Continue reading

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John A. Dix, Troubleshooter

ECW welcomes back guest author Leon Reed A single patriotic envelope with an enigmatic message led me to the story of one of the Civil War’s more interesting figures. John A. Dix was a New York politician and businessman who … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Material Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Patriotic Covers and Northern Attitudes about Slavery

ECW welcomes back guest author Leon Reed Patriotic envelopes (also known as covers) provide important insights into public opinion in the Civil War. These envelopes were made for profit by commercial printers, who would have carefully tracked what was selling … Continue reading

Posted in Material Culture, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fences

I recently re-read Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War, the alternate history by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen, and I wanted to share a couple lines from the first page that really struck me: “As [Lee] approached the … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Civil War in Pop Culture, Material Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What Doomed the Crew of the HL Hunley?

On February 17, 1864, the Confederate submarine H L Hunley became the first combat submarine to sink a warship when she snuck up on and rammed her spar torpedo into the hull of the screw sloop-of-war USS Housatonic outside Charleston … Continue reading

Posted in Material Culture, Navies, Preservation, Weapons | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Burning Bridges to Baltimore

It’s always fun when researching obscure primary sources to come across a good story that has nothing to do with the original search. One such source is the memoir of a Union telegrapher published in 1910 in which he addresses … Continue reading

Posted in Material Culture, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Faulty Philately

Say what you will about the Confederate Constitution, but in one respect it got things right. The C.S. Postal Service, for example, after a year had to be financially self-supporting. Not so the USPS, as we all know. And for … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War in Pop Culture, Material Culture | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Supporting the Cause: Union and Confederate Patriotic Envelopes

ECW welcomes guest author Leon Reed About three years ago, my cousin, Jim Reed asked if I’d like to see a scrapbook that had been kept by a civil war ancestor of his. What I got was an incredible collection … Continue reading

Posted in Material Culture, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments