Category Archives: Material Culture

General Custer’s Stirrup

July 4 marked my 6th wedding anniversary, and apparently, that is to be celebrated by the exchange of iron. It is supposed to signify strength and stability. I gave my husband some irony, but he gave me an actual iron … Continue reading

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

“It is a beautiful morning & it finds me well healthy hale hearty & strong:” A Gettysburg Casualty Writes Home on August 14, 1863

158 years ago today, Daniel Shapley lay in bed at the Market Street Hospital in Newark, New Jersey and wrote a letter home. A member of the 157th New York Infantry since his enlistment in August 1862, he had been … Continue reading

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

The Appomattox (or Shenandoah) Parole Passes and Confederate Cavalry After Appomattox

Following the combat at Appomattox Court House on the morning of April 9, Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia prepared to surrender. Lee and Union Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant met in the parlor of Wilmer McLean’s … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Material Culture, Memory | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

An Update on the Adams County Historical Society’s New Exhibit Gallery, Archives, and Education Center

With the anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg coming up next weekend, we thought we’d check in with our friends at the Adams County Historical Society to see how they were coming along on the construction of their new Exhibit … Continue reading

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Recruiting The Regiment: The Tale of a Rabbit Conscript?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: There are some amazing and strange things to be found in the Civil War digitized collections from Library of Congress. Did you ever think you’d see a rabbit in Union uniform? … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Material Culture, Regiments | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

On a Hot Stove in the Old Ironclad

Illustrating Civil War history can be challenging. Maps, photos, drawings, paintings, prints–period and modern–are tools of the trade. But addressing the complex and esoteric technology of naval vessels calls for another method: the digital graphic drawing. Historical illustrator Jim Caiella … Continue reading

Posted in Material Culture, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Remember Ellsworth!”

On May 24, 1861, realities of loss and war hit the Lincoln White House. Twenty-four year old Colonel Elmer Ellsworth became the first Union officer to die in the Civil War. The incident happened as Federal forces took possession of … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Material Culture | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Stumped at Spotsy?

What does this cement block have to do with the battle of the Mule Shoe at Spotsylvania Court House? Spotsy Stump marker

Posted in Battles, Material Culture, Ties to the War, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

“At Liberty Gap . . . Every Man is a Hero”: The Story of an Ohio Soldier 

While I have spent many years collecting Civil War artifacts and photographs, at some point I made a conscious decision to limit the scope of my collection to only those items from a specific geographic area, namely southeastern Ohio and … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Common Soldier, Material Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Saving History Saturday: Restoration of an 1861 Union Flag

The New Milford Historical Society in Connecticut has been spending its “closed due to Covid-19 restrictions” working on a special project inside—specifically, the restoration of a Civil War flag.

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