War Front and Home Front, Father and Son: A Family’s Contribution to the Civil War (Part I)

War Front and Home Front, Father and Son: A Family’s Contribution to the Civil War (Part I)

Surrounded by the capitol city that has grown up around it, Ten Broeck Mansion was built in 1797-8 outside Albany, NY and remained a private home until it was presented to the Albany County Historical Association in 1948.  Although its early history remains a strong focus—to this day it retains the name of its builder and first owner, General Abraham Ten Broeck—the mansion witnessed another upheaval of American History, the Civil War.  At the time, the family of Thomas Worth Olcott owned and resided in the house.  He and his son, Dudley, both offered their service to the cause of the United States, although in entirely different ways.

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"Come and Go with Us": Legacies of Union, Freedom, and Civil War at Yorktown

"Come and Go with Us": Legacies of Union, Freedom, and Civil War at Yorktown

Yet with their retreat, and the subsequent Union occupation of Yorktown for the rest of the war, the success of this siege had far more deep implications for the legacies of Yorktown and the Revolution.

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Reporting from USITT: Curating 101

Reporting from USITT: Curating 101

Even if you do not work for a big museum, there are opportunities to put together exhibits at colleges, libraries, local sites, or special events. These steps will vary depending of your specific exhibit, but hopefully this framework will help inspire more creative exhibits!

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Reporting from the AHA: Success Tips for the Academic Job Market

Reporting from the AHA: Success Tips for the Academic Job Market

Several sessions at this year’s meeting of the American Historical Association focused on the job market, and how to successfully land your first job in academia. Here are tips from historians on how to nail your interview and transition to your first job.

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Book Review: The Politics of Mourning by Micki McElya

Book Review: The Politics of Mourning by Micki McElya

On first glace, Micki McElya’s The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery appears to be a history of the creation and development of the United States’ most famous national cemetery. Very quickly, however, the reader realizes that this book is a much deeper analysis of how Arlington National Cemetery grew from a family home and plantation to the country’s most sacred burial grounds, one that considers race, gender, memory, and politics. As a result, this work illuminates not only the history of the National Cemetery, but the society in which it developed.

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When Did Slavery Really End in the North?

When Did Slavery Really End in the North?

The perception about the United States in the period before the Civil War is that the North was “free” and the South was “slave.” Now, in some senses this division is accurate; certainly the two regions would end up going to war against each other for issues very related to this debate over slavery. However, the demise of slavery in the North was far more complicated that usually presented. It is certainly not the oversimplified story of slavery ending in the North after the Revolution, leading to a “free” region, as we sometimes see presented in classrooms.

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Top Ten Civil Discourse Posts of 2016: #1-5

Top Ten Civil Discourse Posts of 2016: #1-5

New Year's Day and Civil Discourse's second anniversary are just around the corner, so today we finish our look at the top ten posts of 2016. Earlier this week we cracked the top ten, and in today's posts we bring you the five most popular posts of the year. Whether your a Civil Discourse regular, an infrequent friend, or a first-time visitor to our blog, examining our top posts of the year is a great way to get a feel for the stories we share on our blog. So without further ado, here are our top post of the year! You can read more by clicking a post's title!

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Top Ten Civil Discourse Posts of 2016: #6-10

Top Ten Civil Discourse Posts of 2016: #6-10

We're approaching a new year and Civil Discourse's second anniversary in 2017! As we did last year, we're finishing 2016 with a look back at the year's top ten posts. These popular pieces not only shed light on the Civil War but also allow us to understand the conflict from new perspectives. Without further ado, we begin our top ten countdown with posts six through ten!

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Diary Disclosures: David Hunter Strother on Civil War Leaders

Diary Disclosures: David Hunter Strother on Civil War Leaders

Forty-five years old at the start of the Civil War, David Hunter Strother had built his career through pen and pencil. A renowned artist, known via his pen-name "Porte Crayon," Strother traveled throughout the nation in the antebellum years, sharing sketches and stories of his travels via popular magazines of the day. Yet as the nation collapsed in 1861, Strother, who hailed from western Virginia, decided to put his artistic talents to use for the Union army. In the war's early years, Strother served as a topographer for Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley and western Virginia; he eventually earned a commission as a Union officer. Besides Strother's daily work of scouting terrain and sketching maps, the observant Virginian also kept a meticulous, detailed diary which would eventually span dozens of journals. In today's post, I want to share David Hunter Strother's experiences and opinions of various important Civil War figures with you. All of these diary entries date from September, 1861-February, 1862; these diary entries were not published in Cecil Eby's Virginia Yankee. While I have edited lightly for clarity, I have largely left Strother's words and occasional misspellings as they were. After each entry, I have offered a small note with my thoughts and biographical information.

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'A Most Dangerous Precedent:' Charting the Progress of Freedom in the Civil War

'A Most Dangerous Precedent:' Charting the Progress of Freedom in the Civil War

 Yet here we are, as Maury and her peers were, confronted with a people demanding recognition even without the protection or support of the law.  In this moment, freedom existed alongside slavery, making it all the more difficult to reckon with both for contemporaries and for historians. 

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Roundtable: Our Favorite Civil War Regiments

Roundtable: Our Favorite Civil War Regiments

All of our bloggers possess extensive experience studying the Civil War and, more specifically, spending time visiting and interpreting both the war's battlefields and its participants. We've all become familiar with countless regiments, but from the many we've encountered, a few have stuck out. Here are some of our authors favorite regiments.

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Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story? David Ireland and the 137th New York

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story? David Ireland and the 137th New York

We all know the story of Joshua Chamberlain holding the left of the Union line at Gettysburg. But, did you know that a similar action occurred on the right of the Union line as well? Guest author Justin Voithofer gives us a look at David Ireland's 137th New York Infantry at Culp's Hill.

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The "Derangement" and Death of Private Ludwig Salzwedel: A Suicide and Cover-Up in the Civil War

The "Derangement" and Death of Private Ludwig Salzwedel: A Suicide and Cover-Up in the Civil War

As the hot Kansas sun rose over the camp of the Ninth Wisconsin Infantry on June 17, 1862, the German immigrants who formed the bulk of the regiment were abuzz with the terrible news of last evening’s events. Rumors ran rife that a soldier in Company F killed himself during the night. And indeed, fifty-one year old Private Ludwig Salzwedel, a German immigrant to La Crosse, Wisconsin and the father of a family of five, had committed suicide that night.

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The Great Locomotive Chase: Part IV, The Medal of Honor

The Great Locomotive Chase: Part IV, The Medal of Honor

While the Andrews Raid was a failure that resulted in the deaths of many of the participants, the Raiders went down in history in an additional way. Six of the raiders were the first men to ever receive the Medal of Honor.

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The Great Locomotive Chase: Part III, the Raiders’ Fate

The Great Locomotive Chase: Part III, the Raiders’ Fate

Andrews was tried first on crimes of spying and treason, but the following trials were disrupted by Mitchel who continued to move towards Chattanooga. At the beginning of May, the Raiders were transferred to Madison for a period of time and then returned to Chattanooga. At the end of May, twelve of the Raiders were transported to Knoxville for trial. The same day, Andrews received the result of his trial, a death warrant for his execution on June 7.

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The Great Locomotive Chase: Part II, The Chase

The Great Locomotive Chase: Part II, The Chase

The crew was sitting down to their breakfast when they heard the sounds of the engine and saw it start to pull away from the station. A local resident rode off toward Marietta, and the nearest telegraph, to alert authorities, but William Fuller knew the train would be long gone before the word went out. Fuller took off after the train on foot, followed by his engineer, Cain, and Anthony Murphy. The “Great Locomotive Chase” had begun.

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