Tag Archives: primary source

On The March to Gettysburg with the 20th Maine

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s description of the 20th Maine Regiment’s march to Gettysburg in the night of July 1, 1863, reads like colorful, creative writing. Here’s the excerpt:

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Civilians Under Siege: A Confederate Woman’s Diary of the War in the Trans-Mississippi

I first encountered Brokenburn: The Journal of Kate Stone, 1861–1868 in an undergraduate course on the topic of great Civil War writers. Looking at the syllabus at the start of the term, I circled the diary as a text I … Continue reading

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Question of the Week: 6/21-6/27/21

What is your favorite letter written in the Civil War era? And why is it your favorite?

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“For an Affectionate Mother like Yourself”

Cadet Beverly Standard (called “Jack” by his peers) wrote a delightful collection of letters to his widowed mother from Virginia Military Institute during 1863-1864. (I’ve written about them in detail here.) In April 1864, he wrote a letter which follows … Continue reading

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Hancock’s Response To The 1880 Election Results

As I’m writing this on the evening to November 4 to be published in the morning of the 5th, the modern presidential election remains undecided. I’ve spent the day keeping an eye on projections and results until my head was … Continue reading

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“Almost Scared Speechless”

Sergeant D. H. Hamilton battled with the First Texas in Hood’s Brigade, a unit known for its fierce courage. But in the autumn of 1863, he had a “creepy” experience that reads almost like a classic ghost story. Read it … Continue reading

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Along The River: Corporal Lynch’s Summer Breaks

Charles Lynch’s diary is one of my favorites for a Union soldier’s perspective on infantry fighting in the Shenandoah Valley during 1864. He promoted to corporal after the Battle of Piedmont and served with the 18th Connecticut. It’s also one … Continue reading

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“From Son & Brother, The Soldier Boy”: Crossing The James River, Heading For Petersburg

In June 1864, the armies gathered at Petersburg, Virginia. For campaign or battle anniversaries, I enjoy finding primary sources or battle reports that I haven’t seen or explore before. Last night—while procrastinating on my current events and Civil War history … Continue reading

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Second Fredericksburg: “What A Picture!”

A few weeks ago, I was working on a project at work for the Second Battle of Fredericksburg. It’s inspiring to think that attacking troops actually did capture Marye’s Heights—but on May 3, 1863, not December 13, 1862. Since the … Continue reading

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Ending The War: “That’s Meade!”

Many accounts of Appomattox focus on Grant and Lee, but Theodore Lyman left a fascinating record the Army of the Potomac’s commander on April 9, 1865. Lyman had reached out to General George G. Meade in August 1863, requesting to … Continue reading

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