Tag Archives: primary source

“I helped…to pack haversacks and cartridge boxes”

Susie King Taylor accompanied the 33rd United States Colored Troops (originally designated as the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment) during their service. Her husband served in the unit, and she was officially listed as a laundress, though she also … Continue reading

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A Future President Reflects On An Ending War

Recently, I was sorting through some letters and diaries of U.S. Presidents who fought during the Civil War and I came across an online archive of Rutherford B. Hayes’s wartime letters and diary entries. I’m looking forward to spending some … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Primary Sources | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

An 1863 Staff Ride with the Russians?

Over the holidays, I had a couple of long flights which is the perfect opportunity to catch up on reading. One of the books I had “gifted myself” for Christmas is the edited letters of Theodore Lyman who served on … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

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

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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

Of Dentists & Elections

I’ve been reading 1864 entries from Benjamin Brown French’s journal this summer as part of my tangent study for perspective on how folks in the north  responded to the impending presidential election. French offers quite a contrast of subjects in … Continue reading

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

Words of the Wounded: The Gettysburg Campaign

By the end of the Gettysburg Campaign into Pennsylvania there were an estimated 64,000 killed, wounded and missing between both the Union and Confederate armies. The struggles and the implications on the medical field from the military campaign will be … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Common Soldier, Medical, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vicksburg or Gettysburg? LeRoy Gresham’s Words

It’s a long and continuing debate. Vicksburg or Gettysburg? Which is more important? Or are they inseparable? Certainly, Gettysburg tends to overshadow Vicksburg in public history interest. But how did people of the 1860’s view the two events? Pondering this … Continue reading

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

Musings on Arthur Fremantle’s “Three Months in the Southern States”

When historians look at a primary source, it is often to cut and run. You go to the part of the source that deals with your subject and that is it. In the case of Arthur Fremantle’s Three Months in … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Campaigns | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Captured Letter from the Battle of Brandy Station

On June 9, 1863, one of the largest cavalry fights on the North American continent occurred. Known in the history books as the battle of Brandy Station, this conflict started when elements of Union General Alfred Pleasonton’s cavalry attacked Confederate … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Cavalry, Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments