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A Boy Named Chancy

Union General O.O. Howard named his son after one of the North’s worst defeats. The Army of the Potomac’s XI Corps suffered a resounding a defeat on May 2, 1863 at Chancellorsville. The onslaught by Lt. Gen. Stonewall Jackson’s that overwhelmed the corps stands as one of the most devastating surprise attacks in American military …

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The Minstrel Man: Thomas Brigham Bishop

Forgotten songwriter and impresario Thomas Brigham Bishop still casts a long shadow in American culture. UNION TROOPS WERE IN FIRM COMMAND of Chattanooga, Tenn., by the fall of 1863, and soldiers, traders, adventurers, poor whites, refugees and escaped or newly freed slaves—drifting in on the currents of war—mingled uneasily in the strategic railroad hub. Even …

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‘Brave But Vain Valor’: Letter from the Battle of Malvern Hill

Lieutenant George W. Finley’s previously unpublished letter describes the ordeal he and the 14th Virginia endured during the July 1862 Battle of Malvern Hill. BORN AT MELROSE PLANTATION in Yanceyville, N.C., and raised in Clarksville, Va., George Williamson Finley belonged to a group of students dismissed from Washington College (Va.) in March 1858 for burning …

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Letter from the Editor: Four Great Days

Months before the 150th anniversary commemorations at Gettysburg, the Civil War Times staff decided it was important to be on hand. All of us were excited about going, but as the battle anniversary dates drew closer, that decision seemed questionable. The pace in our office had been frenetic: A steady stream of special issues, regular …

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Mary Boykin Chesnut’s Ballgown Rescued

A ball gown worn by Mary Boykin Chesnut has been rescued from the ravages of time, thanks to a collaboration of historic groups in Columbia, S.C., where Chesnut lived during the Civil War. In 1981, the Historic Columbia Foundation received a donation from Catherine Glover Herbert, a descendant of Mary Boykin Chesnut. The items comprised …

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Jefferson Davis: More Than a Figurehead- Interview of Bertram Hayes-Davis

In his early 20s, Bertram Hayes-Davis was chosen to head the Davis Family Association, dedicated to commemorating his great-great-grandfather, Jefferson Davis. In speaking of his ancestor today, Hayes-Davis points out that his career as a public servant has largely been forgotten in light of his brief stint as Confederate president. He is now the executive …

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Blue and Gray: Poor George Gordon Meade

An unsent letter has plagued the general for more than 150 years. On July 14, 1863, Abraham Lincoln drafted a letter to Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade, whose Army of the Potomac had recently mauled the Army of Northern Virginia in the Battle of Gettysburg. “I am very—very— grateful to you for the magnificent success …

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Past and Present- Civil War Times December 2013

Help sought for a timeworn memorial In 1879 the survivors of Battery B, 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery—often called “Cooper’s Battery” after James H. Cooper, the battery’s captain—put up a small monument on Gettysburg’s Cemetery Hill to commemorate their role in silencing Confederate artillery on July 2. When Keith Foote and some friends visited the monument …

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Letters from Readers- Civil War Times December 2013

Lee’s Loyalty I have great respect for Robert E. Lee as a man and a soldier, but disagree with his example, cited in Gary Gallagher’s October article, “A Question of Loyalty,” of George Washington as a person who had to change his conduct after fighting against the French in the service of the British king …

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Mastodon discovery shakes up understanding of early humans in the New World
An Ice Age site in San Diego, Calif., preserves 130,000-year-old bones and teeth of a mastodon that show evidence of modification by early humans. Analysis of these finds dramatically revises the timeline for when humans first reached North America, according to new research.
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