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biographies : The Civil War Podcast

David Blight on Frederick Douglass »

David Blight’s voice has become very familiar to me – I listened to his entire Yale iTunes U course on the Civil War, and have sought out his podcast appearances since then. This is the first time I’ve seen him speak, and this brief clip from a 2009 interview beautifully summarises Douglass’ life. By all […]

Life in One Union Prison Camp »

This was a three-part story, I see, though the paper doesn’t bother linking to the previous two entries. This one deals with one soldier’s “last post”; a Union prison camp. I went through a phase of research in my teens where I read widely on Southern prisons – Andersonville especially – but I can’t recall […]

The Union’s Mad Scientist »

I knew about Thaddeus Lowe, chief of the Union Army’s Balloon Corps, but clearly I’ve never read about him in-depth, as most of these facts were new to me. Sounds like I have some entertaining research ahead of me! There was a definite need for air superiority, and using hot air balloons to get a […]

John Yates Beall »

I find the conspiracy theories around Lincoln’s assassination pretty fascinating. There is so much we don’t know – due in large part to Stanton’s interference with evidence in the case – that many connections or ideas become plausible. I noticed a mention of John Yates Beall while perusing Wikipedia, and found this little tidbit in […]

James Henry Hammond »

Here’s another entry in this unintentionally unpleasant theme week.  Jamed Henry Hammond, a real peach of a man, was the originator of two phrases that distilled the fire-eaters’ essence: “King Cotton” and “Mudsill Theory“.  The rest of his biography reads as you’d expect of one who saw the average human being as someone on whom […]

Vinnie Ream »

A short documentary on Vinnie Ream, the sculptor of Lincoln and lover of Tecumseh Sherman.  If you can ignore the overblown soundtrack, this is a neat insight into a young artist’s life.  The sculpture is lovely. ▶ Abraham Lincoln’s Young Sculptor – YouTube.

The ‘Early Memoir’ of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain »

To commemmorate the sesquicentennial of Gettysburg, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s alma mater has published Blessed Boyhood! The ‘Early Memoir’ of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain I’m not sure how useful this will be for Civil War buffs, but it’s probably more enjoyable an experience than the Star Wars prequels. Bowdoin College wanted to do something permanent to mark the […]

William B. Hazen »

This article purported to be about battlefield promotions, but instead offers a history of William B Hazen’s service in the war.  Hazen is one of those characters who served nobly but isn’t mentioned a lot. It was a nice surprise to read the article and pay him a bit of overdue respect. Civil War promotions […]

The Scourge of the South »

I couldn’t find space in my podcast calendar for Champ Ferguson, but in fairness there are more pleasant stories to tell.  His short biography here, though, is worth a read – it reminds us that, while some joined for honor or patriotism or social values, others signed up to avenge themselves and settle old scores. […]

Podcast #16 – “The Belle of the North and the Boy Governor” »

It was on this day in 1863 that Kate Chase married William Sprague.  It was the social event in Washington during the Civil War era, but there was no fairy tale ending for the beautiful politician’s daughter.  To listen to Kate’s story, click here.