Tag Archives: Harper’s Weekly

“The prison over the Pearl River at Jackson, Mississippi, where Union prisoners have been confined.”

In researching my forthcoming book on the battle of Jackson, Mississippi—which took place on this date in 1863 as part of Grant’s campaign through Mississippi to take Vicksburg—I stumbled on a little bit of a mystery, although I didn’t know … Continue reading

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Sailor and an Artist – Robert Weir of the USS Richmond

Aboard the USS Richmond, floating just off Pensacola Bay, Third Engineer Robert F. Weir sat in his “little cosey, hot, office,” hard at work penning letters to his wife and composing sketches for Harpers Weekly. These letters, accompanied by doodles … Continue reading

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Santa in Camp

One of my Christmas traditions is to read The Battle for Christmas by Stephen Nissenbaum – a fine book by a great historian.  But this season, I have been enjoying Santa Claus: A Biography by Gerry Bowler.  A cultural historian … Continue reading

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Waud’s Sketchy Spotsylvania (part four)

(part four in a series) I’ve been tracking Alfred Waud across the Spotsylvania battlefield, trying to figure out why one of his sketches, “Advance on Spotsylvania,” bears the date “May 9” although it depicts events from May 10. The first … Continue reading

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Alfred Waud’s Sketchy Spotsylvania (part one)

(part one in a series) In my capacity as historian-in-residence at Stevenson Ridge on the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield, I recently did some work to pin down the approximate location where IX Corps division commander Brig. Gen. Thomas Greely Stevenson … Continue reading

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Untangling the Marmillions, Part 1

On January 30, 1864, Harper’s Weekly published a set of accounts from formerly enslaved blacks from New Orleans. Emancipated by Benjamin Butler during the Federal occupation of the town, these individuals came forward to give their testimonies to the atrocities … Continue reading

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Santa’s November Dress-Rehearsal for Christmas

While you might be familiar with the famous image of Santa Claus on the cover of the  January 3, 1863, issue of Harper’s Weekly, you might not be familiar with the image of Santa that appears inside that same issue. … Continue reading

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Cartooning Contraband: Humor in Harper’s Weekly

ECW welcomes back guest author Cameron Sauers No major battle had yet occurred in May of 1861, but a major military decision had already altered the course of war. Union General Benjamin Butler had decided the fate of three slaves … Continue reading

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Santa For the Yankees, Too

Santa, as we know him, is a creation of artist Thomas Nast who created the bearded old elf for the 1862-63 Christmas edition of Harper’s Weekly. In his famous drawing, he showed Union soldiers opening their Christmas boxes from home. One soldier … Continue reading

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“Christmas Eve”

As I was working on my annual Christmas in the Civil War talk, I came upon a letter from Colonel Phillipe Regis Denis de Keredern de Trobriand. In it, de Trobriand asks his wife if she has seen an engraving … Continue reading

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