Tag Archives: 1861

Black Fridays at the Start of the War

As the opening acts of the Civil War played out, a pattern emerged with most of the notable events all occurring on a Friday. Some newspaper editors even dubbed the unfortunate coincidence “Black Friday,” eight years before the 1869 gold … Continue reading

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Forged in Fire – The Battle of Athens, Missouri, Part I

By the early summer of 1861, Missourians across the state plunged into war in response to the Camp Jackson Affair and its polarizing aftermath. Devoted Unionists were called to arms by Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon to join the Home Guards … Continue reading

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1861 in Gone With The Wind

On the 82nd anniversary of Gone With The Wind’s movie premiere in Atlanta (December 15, 1939), I thought it might be interesting to look at the book and movie’s treatment of the first year of the Civil War. For better … Continue reading

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Under Fire: “A Scene of Consternation and Confusion” according to Sam Watkins

On July 21, 1861, Sam Watkins of “Co. Aytch” in the 1st Tennessee Infantry Regiment sat on a train “a hundred miles” from the fight along Bull Run Creek near Manassas. In fact, the locomotive pulled his regiment into Manassas … Continue reading

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Recruiting The Regiment: The Erie Regiment

On April 21, 1861 John W. McLane of Erie issued a call for volunteers, for a term of service of three months. In 1859 he had formed the Wayne Guard, a company of volunteers that served as a mostly ceremonial … Continue reading

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Recruiting the Regiment: The First Missouri Confederate Infantry Regiment

For Missouri Volunteer Militiaman and U.S. Army veteran John S. Bowen, it was a tumultuous early summer of 1861. On May 10, he and approximately 600 Missouri militia had been captured by Capt. Nathaniel Lyon’s Federal troops in St. Louis … Continue reading

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Recruiting The Regiment: Politics by other means – the 36th Illinois Infantry Regiment goes to war

The 36th Illinois is really the closest thing I have to a hometown regiment. Company H of the 36th was recruited in Algonquin Township of McHenry County, Illinois, where I now live, and I find the graves of their veterans … Continue reading

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Question of the Week: 5/24-5/30/21

As we continue to move through the anniversary timeline for 1861… In your opinion, what was the event that shocked the nation (or a particular side) and made them realize “this is war”?

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Weekly Whitman: Eighteen Sixty-One

This is the second piece of poetry in Whitman’s collection Drum Taps which was inspired by his Civil War experiences.

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On The Eve Of War: Los Angeles, California

On April 24, 1861, a Pony Express Rider carried the news into San Francisco, California: Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina had been fired upon. The account was not unexpected and released a flurry of activity along the coast … Continue reading

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