Category Archives: Primary Sources

November 1862 in Fredericksburg: “Continued reports of the enemy approaching”

A couple mornings ago I headed into historic downtown Fredericksburg to shoot some photos before the streets got busy. My walk took me toward the city dock which in 1862 became one of the crossing points for Burnside’s Union troops. … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Meet Mike Maxwell—Researcher Extraordinaire! (pt. 5)

Mike Maxwell and I met on one of the darkest corners of the web—the Emerging Civil War blog. Many of you will recognize his name from the “Reply” section. Luckily for me—and for Abraham—Mr. Maxwell was as fascinated by the … Continue reading

Posted in Internet, Websites & Blogs, Personalities, Primary Sources | Tagged , | 9 Comments

A Little Justice Here, Folks! (pt. 1)

On February 6 of this year, I wrote a blog post about Abraham, a formerly enslaved person who was “blown to freedom” at Vicksburg. I found something very compelling about this man. He is young, seems to be relatively healthy, … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Civilian, Internet, Websites & Blogs, Personalities, Primary Sources, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Soldier’s View of Harper’s Ferry

Following the battle of Antietam, as the Army of the Potomac made its slow way northward, the Union II Corps found itself, on September 21, 1862, encamped atop Bolivar Heights near Harper’s Ferry. Lt. Josiah Favill of the 57th New … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

John Wise (The Governor’s Son) Responds To John Brown’s Raid

Twelve-year-old John Wise watched history happen. He would later recall “The End of An Era” in a book with the same title, detailing his memories of growing up in Antebellum Virginia, living through the Civil War, and actually embracing many … Continue reading

Posted in Personalities, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Book Review: Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

Kevin Levin, a historian, educator, and blogger based in Boston, has waded into this argument keyboard blazing. The first three chapters discuss in depth the definition of a “camp slave.” When a slave-owning family sent one of their men to … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Book Review, Books & Authors, Leadership--Confederate, Monuments, Photography, Primary Sources, Sesquicentennial, Slavery, USCT | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

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

Posted in Battles, Campaigns, Civilian, Common Soldier, Emerging Civil War, Primary Sources | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Gen. Jackson and Mr. Hyde: Which Account of Stonewall Jackson at Harpers Ferry is the Correct One?

On the morning of September 15, 1862, Stonewall Jackson had just completed a profound military achievement. Three separate columns all nominally under his command converged on a single point–Harpers Ferry–nearly simultaneously. They ensnared the Federal garrison positioned around the town … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Confederate, Memory, Personalities, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Campaigns, Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Civilian, Common Soldier, Medical, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments