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Civil War Humor

Civil War Humor

The image at the top of this post is rare. Victorians seldom smiled in photographs and almost never grinned. The reason is that long exposure times for early photographic equipment meant holding a pose for an uncomfortable stretch; the slightest movement meant a...
McClellan’s Last Word on the Civil War

McClellan’s Last Word on the Civil War

Considering the eventual fortunes of Ulysses S. Grant and George McClellan, the start of the American Civil War promised a very different outcome for each. Grant stated to a reporter after his presidency: “I was anxious to see McClellan. McClellan was then in...
African American Victorian Women

African American Victorian Women

“The negro in slavery, before and during the War, was lazy and idle—he will always be that—but he was simple, true, and faithful. What he has become since his emancipation from servitude is a queer comment on the effect of the liberty bestowed upon him.”...
Not Your Typical Southern Belle

Not Your Typical Southern Belle

“I don’t believe in Secession, but I do in Liberty. I want the South to conquer, dictate its own terms, and go back to the Union, for I believe that, apart, inevitable ruin awaits both. It is a rope of sand, this Confederacy, founded on the doctrine of...
The Terrible Cost of Care

The Terrible Cost of Care

“‘A hospital is no place to form attachments,’ said one lady in this hospital to another. The former had surprised the latter in a sudden flood of tears, in the pantry of Ward 1. The occasion was the arrival of that order for the kitchen man, and...
Betrayed and Entombed

Betrayed and Entombed

In the Gallagher Law Library at the University of Washington one day, I found a remarkable little book. I was looking for vintage true crime. I found a gem. Carlotta Shotwell was a young, wealthy woman who had been defrauded by her “husband,” the former...
Grant and Lee in the Civil War

Grant and Lee in the Civil War

One thing about being a publisher of historical works, a passionate consumer of the same, and having an interest in psychology, is that I can’t help viewing with fascination the way we view historical figures. Grant and Lee in the Civil War are a prime example....
Custer’s Wolverines in the Civil War

Custer’s Wolverines in the Civil War

“Come on, you Wolverines!” With this spirited shout, young General George A. Custer led his Michigan cavalry into the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War. After his death at the Little Bighorn, Custer was at first lionized as a heroic martyr. In the...
Sealed with a Yankee Kiss

Sealed with a Yankee Kiss

The desperate times of the American Civil War spawned many a true romance. One of the most popular songs of the day was “The Girl I Left Behind Me,” which is referred to in nearly every Civil War memoir and regimental history. Many a soldier boy had his...
U.S. Grant as Horse Lover

U.S. Grant as Horse Lover

THE HUMAN SCALE OF HISTORY It’s history at the human scale that I find so compelling. When I get to peer behind the frozen images created by the mythology around historic people and events, they come alive in a way I can relate to; in a way that stirs my...

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