Minnesota’s Battle »

There’s a battle going on at the Minnesota state capitol: Turns out some really beautiful canvasses were removed for restoration, and the discussion is now ongoing over whether to replace them with more modern and inclusive artwork. I am a little torn; I am all for modernizing and inclusive-izing the artwork, but one of the […]

Kauai and the American Civil War »

I do love the ripples in the pond effect of the war across the globe. Here’s a ripple I hadn’t considered before, though: The war’s influence on Hawaii. Turns out there were soldiers from there, and sectional arguments as well. With Union-impressed ships and Confederate privateers on the prowl, the war diminished Hawaii’s trade. Two […]

‘Dixie’s loss is Montana’s gain’ »

I’ve always been fascinated by the westward expansion after the war, though my focus was always on the Missouri guerrillas and how they laid the shaky foundations of the Wild West. The more sedate yet lasting effects regular immigrants caused hadn’t much occurred to me. Among those profiled were James, William and Charles Conrad from […]

Southern Unionist Strongholds »

I’ve started my Civil War year by listening to Gary Gallagher’s excellent Teaching Company lectures (more about these later). One of the themes he emphasizes is how the border states were dragged into the Confederacy by their richer, more extremist Deep South cousins.  Every Confederate state would have at least some Unionist supporters, and some had […]

King Cotton »

Here’s a quick look at South Carolina’s addiction to cotton.  Like other kinds of junkies, its love of the white stuff led it to make rash decisions and sacrifice its future.  By the looks of it, the effects of the Civil War are still plaguing the state. “The story of cotton itself is as interesting […]

Unfriendly Fires »

Like Wisconsin, Indiana was a Union-heavy state that contributed much in the way of men to the cause. They didn’t contribute many colored troops, though, because according to this article Indiana was quite hostile to blacks.  There is even the rumor of native black troops being poisoned. The young Townsend, from Putnam County, bought a […]

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. […]

Wisconsin: The Civil War years »

Wisconsin is one of those forgotten states for me – I can only spot it on the map by counting away from Illinois, and it’s never made it onto my must-see list. During the Civil War, though, it was a keystone for the Union. This short article details Wisconsin’s contributions to the Federal cause. By […]

Alexandria, Virginia »

This is an interesting chronicle of life in Alexandria, Virginia – just a short walk from downtown Washington, DC.  During the war it was Confederate territory, occupied by the Union.  Citizens and returning soldiers write about their lives on the front line of the Confederate homefront. Voices from the Past, Alexandria, Virginia 1861-1865 | Fort […]

Visiting Historic Richmond »

My return visit to Washington was sadly lacking in triumph – Protip: Check that your GPS maps are correct before setting out – and I was too strapped for time to get over to Richmond.  If anyone is considering a visit, though, this piece sums up all the great Civil War sites to visit in […]