Category Archives: Primary Sources

‘Citizen Archivists’ and Civil War Documents

When I began my research on an Ohio African American Civil War regiment, the 27th United States Colored Troops (USCT), the only option I had if I wanted to read the soldier’s compiled military service records and pension files was … Continue reading

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At the Utterance of “Spottsylvania”

From The Thirty-Second Maine Regiment of Infantry Volunteers: An Historical Sketch by Henry C. Houston of Co. C (Portland, ME: Press of Southworth Brothers, 1903), pp. 144-145: The utterance of the single word “Spottsylvania” [sic] is enough to bring most … Continue reading

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The Amazing Archivists of Springfield, Illinois: An interview with Mr. John A. Lupton

I first met John Lupton during my on-going search for anything and everything Ellsworthy. I wrote about an exciting part of my journey HERE and promised that I would interview John Lupton in the near future. Readers, meet Mr. John Lupton.

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Book Review: “The War Outside My Window: The Civil War Diary of LeRoy Wiley Gresham, 1860-1865”

nLet me say right up front that The War Outside My Window is NOT the feel-good book of 2018. In fact, it is just the opposite. The war is lost, the boy dies, and animals are harmed in the passing … Continue reading

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Bittersweet Appomattox

First Lieutenant Robert Pratt belonged to the 5th Vermont Infantry, a regiment that rightfully claimed credit as the first unit to irreparably break the Confederate lines southwest of Petersburg on April 2, 1865. Pratt played a pivotal role in the … Continue reading

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Read Along With Me: William Tecumseh Sherman’s Memoirs

Introduction to a series Last weekend, I went to Half Price Books and came across this Penguin Classics edition of Sherman’s Memoirs for $7.99. I was especially interested to discover that this version was edited and annotated by the late Michael … Continue reading

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Artillery Sketches of Alfred Waud

Talk about being in the right place at the right time . . . our own Meg Groeling wrote a series of posts for ECW several years ago called “Drawing the War.” It featured the newspaper artists who were embedded … Continue reading

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Watching the “Merrimac”

One of the joys of a historian is finding that perfect eye-witness account of momentous events, one that puts you alongside our ancestors and sees through their eyes. The following is just such a viewpoint. “IN March, 1862, I was … Continue reading

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“Here They Come Boys”: George A. Custer at the Battle of Upperville

Recently, while reviewing the National Tribune, I came across an article written by a member of the 6th Ohio Cavalry. The individual shares his experiences about the fighting in Virginia’s Loudoun Valley during the Gettysburg Campaign. Of particular interest was his narrative … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Cavalry, Civil War Events, Leadership--Federal, Memory, Personalities, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

An Unusual Valentine: Elmer E. Ellsworth, Esquire

Every biography or biographical article about not-yet-colonel Elmer Ellsworth says the same thing: It is not known if Ellsworth passed, or even took, the Illinois State Bar Examination. I know this is not a bombshell issue for most people, but … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Lincoln, Personalities, Politics, Preservation, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments