Civil War

From The Archives: Tough Broads of the Civil War

November 10, 2015

Just to prove that I’ve been thinking about nurses and other women who played a role in the American Civil War for a while now, here’s a post that first appeared in the Margins in 2011: I’ve said it before:  If you hang out in Popular History Land, or even Book World these days, it’s […]

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“Our Army Nurses”

November 3, 2015

About a million years ago, I wrote a study guide to Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage for a reference book called The Literature of War. In the course of my research, I was introduced to the flood of material produced about the American Civil War some twenty or thirty years after it ended: […]

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October 30, 2015

When we write the history of national conflicts, we tend to assume that “our” side stood united in monolithic opposition to “them”. It’s a simple and enjoyable version of history, but it simply isn’t true. Sympathizers with the “other side”* are a fact of war. Sometimes they engage in fifth column activities.** Sometimes they simply […]

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Mercy Street (aka A Moment of Blatant Self-Promotion)

October 23, 2015

Just so you know, this is what I spent the last ten weeks doing: It’s the companion volume to a new PBS historical drama about nurses in the Civil War. The PBS series uses a real Civil War hospital as the setting for a fictionalized (and quite gorgeous) drama. (Check out some of promotional pieces […]

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Was Prof. Bhaer A 48-er?

September 25, 2015

Unlike most of the women I know who grew up reading Little Women, I was never indignant that Jo March married Professor Bhaer instead of the adolescent golden boy, Laurie.  That kiss in the rain under the umbrella defined romance for me.   I was always firmly on Team Professor.  And now I think I know […]

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History on Display: The Gettysburg Cyclorama

September 27, 2013

Cycloramas were the I-Max of the nineteenth century. Viewers stood in the center of a specially constructed auditorium, surrounded by a huge cylindrical oil painting of an exciting historic event or dramatic scene. Sometimes the exhibit included music or a narration of the events. With or without a soundtrack, when you went to see a […]

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History, Myth, and the Gettysburg Address

August 16, 2013

Recently I’ve been working on a piece about the Gettysburg Address.* As always, I’ve done more research than required,** wandered down some interesting by-ways that were not relevant to the project, and had my preconceptions about the topic turned upside down and shaken. As always, My Own True Love has convinced me to remove some […]

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The First Memorial Day

May 27, 2013

My Own True Love and I just got home from a Memorial Day service in Grant Park.  It was held at the foot of a statue commemorating General John A.Logan. Before today, Logan on horseback was just another obscure Civil War statue. One I hadn’t paid much attention to. Never again. Like most Memorial Day […]

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A lagniappe

July 17, 2011

Dear Readers:  I’m guest-blogging today at Karen Elliot’s Blog:  Finding Your Way Through the Civil War Visit.  Say hi.  Sit a spell.

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Tough Broads of the Civil War

July 15, 2011

I’ve said it before:  If you hang out in Popular History Land, or even Book World these days, it’s impossible to ignore the American Civil War and its sesquicentennial. Civil War references are everywhere. The most recent bit of Civil War “stuff” to start my brain churning was a review of a new book by […]

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