Gettysburg ‘Witness Trees’ »

Turns out one of the “witness trees” on Gettysburg has proven to be unusually resilient. Though water-loving honey locusts usually do not live much more than 100 years, this one is approaching 170 on high ground in the cemetery. Even more, it seemed doomed a decade ago after a wind storm sheared off much of […]

How hardtack won the Civil War »

Another small town article that I enjoyed. This one’s not quite as compelling as the Virginia story, but still has some fun facts to impart. Bakers of the day played their part as well. They made the biscuits as hard as possible because the biscuit would soften and become more palatable with time, due to […]

Virginia debated ending slavery after Nat Turner’s revolt »

One of the reasons I check out every small-town paper’s Civil War related stories is that you occasionally find some delicious wheat amongst the “round table meets tonight” or “Lincoln impersonator to speak at library” chaff. This article is one of the kernels that makes it worthwhile. A surprisingly in-depth look at some radical proposals […]

Atlanta History Center acquires rare flag »

The Atlanta History Centre has made a rare purchase, and boy is it a beaut! This USCT flag looks in great shape. I loved the added detail that there were famous flag-painters. Quite a niche specialty, but one that must have been a heyday during the war!     Measuring 72 by 55 inches, the […]

Charleston lab restores Civil War cannons »

There are dozens of new “cannons recovered from swamp/river” stories every month, but this one is far more interesting and involved than most of the local news reports. Not only do you get a behind the scenes look at the preservation efforts, but you get a good deal of history – it was news to […]

The Lincoln Memorial as a pyramid? »

The WaPo looks at the discussions (and arguments) that marked the Lincoln Memorial planning. We forget that the now beloved monument was once an edgy and divisive design. Included in this article are some of the designs that were rejected. It’s interesting to wonder if they’d have been accepted as the Greek temple eventually was. […]

La Niña and the Civil War »

This article briefly touches upon the La Niña which occurred during the Civil War, and it made me conscious of the fact that weather must have played a part in some of the war’s big events. (Meade’s failure to chase Lee on July 4th comes to mind.) The only book I could find on the […]

Mystery Submarine »

I’m disappointed that this article doesn’t have more answers as to why and when this sub was designed, but its guesses that it was an answer to the blockade of New Orleans’ port certainly fits. Strange that there’s no accompanying history to the Hunley and the David, both of which were well-known and documented. Imagine […]

How Memorial Day began »

Happy Memorial Day, my American friends! Being Canadian, I’m celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday today instead, but I’ll spare some thought for the American celebration. It’s worth remembering that it was only in the past few years that the Memorial Day origins came to light, discovered in an archive by the Yale professor David Blight. This […]

The insane victory that inspired the Confederate army’s only medal »

A short but intriguing (but questionably written) article about the only government-sanctioned medal struck for Confederate soldiers. The Confederate Army had better things to do than decide how it would award medals to its fighting men. In that era, Americans weren’t really into medals and ribbons, as it was considered a very European military tradition. […]