by Jennifer M. Murray | | Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 15:33


Visitors to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, will find no shortage of tourist and trinket shops in town, each selling a variety of Civil War souvenirs, memorabilia, and paraphernalia. The battle, its generals, and its leaders have been commercialized and commodified, their images placed on innumerable products, ranging from t-shirts to bobble-heads to decorative art. Recently, one tourist store offered interested buyers a framed Gettysburg collage.

by Matt H. Wallace | | Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 00:00


After Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman took Atlanta in the fall of 1864, the Union army commenced Sherman’s famous “March to the Sea.” As an auxiliary effort to his main campaign, Sherman ordered an expedition up the Broad River in South Carolina. Sherman hoped to either cut the railroad between Charleston and Savannah in half, trapping the rebels in Savannah, or spread a weakened rebel force across the state. The resulting encounter between the Union and rebel armies resulted in a Union defeat at the battle of Honey Hill.

by Casey Bowler | | Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 14:38


Narratives of African American men in the Civil War usually begin in 1863, with the establishment of the Bureau of Colored Troops and the federal push for the enlistment of black soldiers into the Union army. For black men in Louisiana, however, involvement began over two years earlier, with the formation of a Confederate militia to be drawn from the state’s significant population of free men of color. They were called the First Native Guards.

by Matt H. Wallace | | Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 13:30


On July 30, 1864, the Union army exploded a mine to expose a breach in Confederate lines at Petersburg in the hope of breaking the stalemate and ending the siege. The ensuing assault, which became known as the battle of the Crater, resulted in a Union failure and thousands of casualties in the worst racial massacre of the war. The black troops of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) faced much greater danger at the Crater than their white Union counterparts.

by William B. Kurtz | | Monday, October 29, 2018 - 17:06


Of the six Albemarle-born men who joined the Union navy during the Civil War, no one left behind a larger paper trail than Alexander Caine. Caine, a barber living as a freeman in Philadelphia at the war’s outbreak, joined the Union navy in 1862 as a landsman and served on an ocean-going sloop called the U.S.S. St. Louis off the coast of West Africa. Even after leaving the navy in February 1865, Caine quickly signed up for another tour of duty, traveling to every major port in Europe and the Mediterranean.