Culture & Literature
Civil War Times

Civil War Times October 2018

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.

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6 Issues

in this issue

5 min.
stuck in cyberspace

Editor’s note: The CWT team recently discovered that cwtletters@historynet.com had not been configured to send your comments to our inboxes. When that was fixed, 160 e-mails dating to 2016 poured into our computers. I apologize to everyone who wrote in during that time, and I am thrilled that we now receive your thoughtful comments. Some of the “misplaced” e-mails are printed below. NOT POSSIBLE As an employee of the National Archives I feel compelled to point out an error you made regarding my agency in the February 2017 issue. In your “Details” column about the frequently misidentified Andrew Russell photograph of New Jersey troops at Fredericksburg in 1863 (above), it states that the National Archives purchased the image from Mathew Brady’s studio in the mid-1870s, but that is not possible as the…

1 min.
dead men do tell tales

In 2014, Manassas National Battlefield Park employees digging a maintenance trench discovered evidence of a burial pit. NPS experts, assisted by Douglas Owsley and Kari Bruwelheide, forensic anthropologists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, excavated and studied the site in October 2015. Two complete sets of remains, 11 amputated partial limbs, and several artifacts were recovered from the burial site, associated with the location of a field hospital from the Second Battle of Bull Run. ¶ The complete remains are from two Caucasian males, 25-34 years old. One of the soldiers was found with an Enfield bullet still lodged in his upper thigh bone, and three fired lead buckshot were found with the other casualty. It is likely that a field surgeon determined that both soldiers had injuries…

1 min.
lee’s name stays

FOLLOWING THE 2015 murder of nine black parishioners in Charleston, S.C., by an avowed white supremacist, a Washington and Lee University panel convened to make recommendations regarding Confederate imagery at the Lexington, Va.–based university, where Robert E. Lee’s name and image are prominent. In May, the panel recommended keeping the school name, but removing any images of Lee in uniform and retaining only those showing him when he was the college’s president from 1865 to 1870, such as the statue above. One of the most dramatic recommendations involves the Lee Chapel, where the general’s remains lie in an above-ground coffin. The panel recommended that the space, now used to initiate incoming undergraduates, be converted into a museum. Additional recommendations included creation of educational materials about the school’s history and outreach…

1 min.
the mission remains the same

As of May 8, 2018, the Civil War Trust has been brought under a new parent organization, the American Battlefield Trust. The new entity also encompasses the preservation of battlefields related to the Revolution and the War of 1812. In June, the American Battlefield Trust honored Ed Bearss with the organization’s first Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual conference, held this year in Newport News, Va. The organization is also creating the Battlefield Preservation Hall of Fame with Bearss as its first member. A granite marker honoring Bearss will be erected on the Vicksburg Battlefield to recognize his deep research on the significance of that battle. Bearss served as the National Park Service’s chief historian from 1981 to 1994 and has long been recognized for his engaging in-depth battlefield tours.…

2 min.
the war on the net

digitalsc.lib.vt.edu/AmericanCivilWar In May 1861, William S. Tippett joined the 1st Virginia Infantry in Wheeling, Va. His enlistment paralleled that of thousands of Virginians that spring, but his was a Union unit. When the regiment’s three-month commitment was up, Tippett continued his service in the 1st West Virginia Infantry and fought for the duration of the war. He colorfully explained in 1864 that, “one dont like to quit when the war is most over.” Tippett’s wartime diaries—six volumes covering 1861 through 1864—are held at the Library of Virginia and are not available online. But one eight-page letter that he wrote—regarded as one of the most detailed descriptions of Civil War prison life and food—has been digitized and is available. Tippett wrote it when he was about to be paroled in the spring…

1 min.
on wisconsin!

A Civil War–era flag takes center stage in Neville Public Museum in Green Bay, Wis., thanks to a $10,000 preservation project. Distinguished by a great star formed of 34 stars within the blue field, the 12- by 8-foot flag was hand-sewn in 1861 by local resident Mattie Underwood. Script on one of the stars reads “From Major Shaylor, Old Fort Howard during the War, 1865.” From these details, museum curator Lisa Kain determined the flag flew at Fort Howard, an 1861 recruiting center for Union troops. The 34 stars in the canton represent the states in the Union in 1859. The flag went on display on May 30, 2018, the 200th anniversary of the creation of Brown County, home to Green Bay.…