The Scourged Back »

Disunion presents a piece on Civil War photographers, but introduces it with the background of that most famous of slave pictures, “The Scourged Back”.  I’d never heard it before, and assumed that the photo was from earlier than it was actually taken. The image made its way back to New England, where it was converted […]

Forty Acres and a Mule »

Sherman’s famous field order is one of the war’s great what-ifs.  A terrific idea nixed by a man who can only be described as the anti-Lincoln.  Reconstruction in microcosm. Congress created the Freedmen’s Bureau shortly after Sherman’s Field Order No. 15 demanded the redistribution of land to former slaves. The Freedmen’s Bureau was created to […]

The Role of Cotton »

This site was suggested to me by a reader, which is always a thrill – it’s nice to hear from you, and to exchange new knowledge! Reading about cotton was a bit like reading about salt; it’s one of those commodities that’s so omnipresent I never spared it much thought.  But this tshirt sales site […]

Then, Thenceforth and Forever Acid Free »

I’m proclaiming this week Emancipation Proclamation week here at the CWP.  It’s just too big an anniversary for all the mainstream news outlets to ignore, and they’re proffering some fantastic articles I want to share. The video here lets you see what the Proclamation actually looks like. As the article says, it’s wonderfully, revealingly banal. […]

Watch Night »

Came across this while researching yesterday’s podcast, but sadly, the writing got away from me and I had to cut the reference.  This is a really lovely callout to history – it wouldn’t fit on my podcast but I might just put it on my bucket list. A tradition began Dec. 31, 1862, as many […]

It’s Heeeeere! »

I’m in under the wire of my deadline, but I can proudly say I’ve checked a resolution off my list already: The first ever Civil War Podcast is ready to go! (Take that, 2013!) To marvel at my lucid writing and dulcet tones (I know, I know – I am an admitted amateur!) click the […]

Black Confederates »

The Union County Historic Preservation Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve a plan for a privately funded marker to honor 10 black men, nine of whom were slaves, who eventually received small state pensions for their Civil War service. It will be one of the few public markers of its kind in the country, and […]

Modern War, Modern Wandering »

If you decide to take one of the self-guided tours I linked to yesterday, remember that technology allows us to carry a guide with us.  The group mentioned in the article below has created a free, online guide to the Fredericksburg-area battlefields.  Isn’t technology wonderful? Via YouTube, iPods, iPads and smartphones, people can view video […]

William Still and the Underground Railroad »

A short biography of William Still includes this little Underground Railroad glossary. I’m all about the words this week, it seems. Named after the emerging steam railroad system, the Underground Railroad used many of the same railroading terms. Those who went south to find slaves looking for freedom were called “pilots.” Those who guided them […]

Smalls’ Wonder »

One of the anniversaries I missed due to my recent blog hacking was the swashbuckling escape of Robert Smalls.  It’s a more exciting action-adventure than anything Hollywood could dream up. He was conscripted by the Confederates to serve as a pilot on the Planter, a Confederate side wheel ammunition ship. Smalls took the Planter about […]