Veteran Reserve Corps »

At our Civil War Round Table last night, we had an excellent presentation about medicine, and the question arose of what happened to troops who were wounded, and what happened to them.  In the North, the “Invalid Corps” gave duties to the lightly injured, and did so with dash – they had their own special […]

Remembering the Columbia Burning »

February 17th marks the 150th anniversary of the burning of Columbia, South Carolina, and the town is memorializing the event with a series of lectures. If you live in or can get to Columbia in the next month, there are some interesting topics being covered.  Click the link below for the full list of speakers. […]

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 […]

Hay and Nico in the Library »

One last post devoted to my favorite secretaries, John Hay and John Nicolay, and then I’ll move onto other topics! The secretaries spent years compiling an official history of the Lincoln administration: Abraham Lincoln: A History – volume I Abraham Lincoln: A History – volume II In addition, John Hay’s diaries provided more details of […]

Lincoln’s Men »

Speaking of Hay and Nicolay, I finished an excellent book about the secretaries a few months ago: Lincoln’s Men: The President and His Private Secretaries. It’s a delightful look at the boys who ran the White House and kept Lincoln company in the best and worst moments of his Presidency.  It’s thanks to their labor of […]

Hay and Nico, Together at Last »

I’m working on a special project for 2014, and went looking for a photo of John Hay and John Nicolay – Lincoln’s secretaries.  There’s one famous photo of them with Lincoln between them, but shockingly, given their half-century friendship, there are none of the BFFs together.  However, one eagle-eyed websurfer has found them together, amongst […]

How the “Lincoln” Movie Reconstructed Thaddeus Stevens »

I wasn’t much of a fan of Lincoln, but thoroughly enjoyed Tommy Lee Jones in it. His portrayal of Thaddeus Stevens stole the (dull) show, but this article suggests Stevens’ influence in the Amendment talks was nowhere near as great as the film would have us believe. For the sake of simplicity, the film also […]

The Humiston History »

On October 19th, I mentioned the anniversary of Whose Father Was He?, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s story about Amos Humiston, whose body was found on the Gettysburg body clutching a photo of his children.  Today is the anniversary of Mrs. Humiston’s response to the Inquirer, and for those interested in reading more about the tragedy of […]

Whose Father Was He? »

Today is the sesquicentennial of a Civil War event that always fascinated me: It was on this day in 1863 that the Philadelphia Inquirer published a story titled “Whose Father Was He?”, describing in detail the ambrotype found clutched in a dead soldier’s hand on the Gettysburg battlefield. After the battle an unidentified dead soldier […]

Podcast #14 – “Soothing the Gallant Soldiers” »

Life has conspired to keep me away from my blog and my podcasts.  I wanted to make an effort for this week’s, though, as I find the Sanitary Commission a fascinating topic in the Civil War. The podcast can be downloaded here.