Culture & Literature
Civil War Times

Civil War Times February 2019

Biographies, battles, eyewitness accounts & period photos of America’s greatest internal conflict. Civil War Times delivers the thrilling, extraordinary history of America’s most deadly internal struggle, from biographies to battle stories, eyewitness accounts to period photographs, plus travel guides, perceptive book reviews and more.

United States
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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
petersburg assault

I really enjoyed the article by A. Wilson Greene about the June 15, 1864, assaults at Petersburg featured in the December 2018 issue. Those opening attacks of the Petersburg Campaign are usually overshadowed by the events at the Crater and later battles around Petersburg. Also, the role of the USCTs in early June are usually overlooked by actions such as New Market Heights and Battery Wagner, which have gotten more attention and press. But what the USCTs did along the Dimmock Line established their reputation as hard fighters. Luckily for us, a lot of the battlefield where those men fought is preserved along the beginning of the park tour road of the Petersburg National Battlefield Park’s Eastern Front Unit. Robert Orrison Historic Site Operations Supervisor Prince William County, Va. SHARPSHOOTER ONE MORE…

1 min.
the trauma of prisons

A study led by UCLA economics professor Dora A Costa examined how the terrible conditions in Civil War POW camps affected not only the inmates, but also any offspring conceived after their father’s imprisonment. The report specifically compared outcomes for POWs who survived imprisonment before 1863, when exchanges were possible, to POWs who were held when no exchanges were permitted and deprivation of food and comfort occurred. The researchers also looked through military and pension files at the National Archives for more than 6,000 Union Army veterans and their wives, and at census data for nearly 20,000 offspring. Surviving deprivation in POW camps as prisoner exchanges ceased between mid-1863 and July 1864 was correlated with lower income, poorer health, and earlier death among veterans who lived past 1900. That group…

1 min.
lincoln for sale

Harold Holzer, a member of the Civil War Times advisory board, sold his Lincolniana collection at Swann Galleries on September 27, 2018. John C. Wolfe’s portrait of a beardless Lincoln, at $40,000, was the best-selling item, well above the $20,000 estimate. The painting is believed to be based on a photo taken in 1860. Another standout from the sale was the commission of William Stoddard as the president’s secretary, which brought in $18,750. A ticket to Andrew Johnson’s impeachment brought $2,125.…

1 min.
tar heel tales

The North Carolina Civil War and Reconstruction History Center in Chapel Hill has begun a project to assemble 100 stories of the era, one from each of the state’s 100 counties, packaged to be shared digitally and suitable for school-age children. The project comes on the heels of the controversy surrounding the toppling of “Silent Sam,” a 1913 monument to North Carolina Confederate soldiers, on August 20, 2018. The university removed the controversial statue and faces a self-imposed deadline of November 15, 2018, for deciding what to do with it.…

1 min.
pain across the pond

Atrove of recently discovered Civil War–era poetry in England shines an unexpected light on the reach of the American Civil War. During 1861-65, when U.S. shipments of cotton to England were blocked, textile workers in Lancashire mills were thrown out of a job. Their plight is portrayed in poems evoking the rift in the United States, the shutdown of their industry, and the poverty they endured. The poems were discovered by researchers at England’s University of Exeter, who were scouring archives for forgotten literary creations. The first 100 poems in the database were posted in July at cottonfaminepoetry.exeter.ac.uk, and others will be added, with a formal launch of the project scheduled for 2019. Poems were written both in local dialect and standard English, and each is annotated. Nearly all were written…

2 min.
the war on the net

americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/civil-war In 1873, artist and Union Army veteran Julian Scott painted a piece he titled Surrender of a Confederate Soldier. It features a Confederate officer standing alongside a road, raising a branch with a white cloth. His wife sits behind him, cradling an infant, while an enslaved man stands to the side. The work is featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) exhibition “The Civil War and American Art,” organized by senior curator Eleanor Jones Harvey. She explains that Scott purposefully portrayed this scene of an antebellum Southern domestic unit—husband, wife, child, slave—to highlight what the war forever changed. Scott presented the officer as proud, but defeated, while his wife stares at the ground, lost and confused. Only the enslaved man looks to the opportunities in the distance, considering, Harvey…