Category Archives: Memory

Ball’s Bluff: “Has Sparta More?”

Recently, I came across some poems written about the Battle of Ball’s Bluff which was fought on October 21, 1861. This one was penned by a Union general from Massachusetts, Frederick Lander, and I’ve included a few historical notes after … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Civil War in Pop Culture, Memory | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Conspiracy – Civil War Style?

In a year with an exceptional plethora of “tell-all” books and a variety of conspiracy theories from multiple sides and perspectives, old historical sources never fail to add a little perspective and humor. While seeking an escape from the election … Continue reading

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Joe and the Illini: The Unclear Origins of Two “Fighting” Nicknames

Every few years my alma mater, the University of Illinois, renews the discussion of renaming its sports teams and creating a new mascot. In 2007 the school retired Chief Illiniwek and the trademarked Chief logo in an attempt to distance … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Newspapers, Personalities, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Imagining Wild Bill

ECW is pleased to welcome our friend Paul Ashdown, co-author of the newest book in our Engaging the Civil War Series, published in partnership with Southern Illinois University Press: Imagining Wild Bill: James Butler Hickok in War, Media, and Memory. … Continue reading

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Space, “Western Theater” not the Final Frontier

(Editor’s Note: The ECW YouTube page will feature videos from Phill’s trip over the next few weeks, kicked off by this discussion, which is also available as an ECW Podcast.) Recently, I had the opportunity to visit a few battlefields … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Civil War Trails, Emerging Civil War, Memory, Monuments, National Park Service, Photography, Preservation, Ties to the War, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ECW Weekender: Erie History, Lost and Found

I recently made a road trip to Pennsylvania to look in on family and friends, as I needed to check in on a few things in person. Since I was going to be in Erie, I decided to spend part … Continue reading

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Resolved: The New York Fire Department

Today is September 11. It’s been 19 years since 343 firemen lost their lives during the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers in New York City. They rush forwarded into deadly danger to save lives. There wasn’t time to … Continue reading

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Public and Private Recollections of Confederate General Edward Porter Alexander

ECW welcomes back guest author Abbi Smithmyer Nearly fifty years after the conclusion of the American Civil War, Edward Porter Alexander’s book Military Memoirs of a Confederate became available to the public. Alexander’s opening remarks begin with the following passage: … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Martyr or Murderer?

I stop and read historical markers. I’m the guy pulled off on the shoulder in the middle of nowhere, reading that bronze sign by the side of the road. You know the type. Frankly, if you are reading this blog, … Continue reading

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Some Thoughts on the Status of the Lost Cause

The Lost Cause was at first a subject of scholarly inquiry. It then became one of scorn, used at times as a slur. For a serious student of the war, it is a label few desire as its mythology has … Continue reading

Posted in Memory | Tagged , , | 28 Comments