Monday, May 23, 2011

Article: Affairs in Rebeldom: Story of an Illinois Scout

Here is another New York Times article about a scout from the 113th Illinois Regiment doing some reconaissance in Mississippi and Alabama in early 1863. If anyone knows about anything about the second Jackson Arsenal explosion occuring that February, please send it to me. Because I can't find any mention of it beyond this article.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.9

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New York Times article: Southern Arsenals and Armories

This is a New York Times article listing the Southern arsenals and armories in existence as of February 1863. Thing is, there were other facilities for cartridge making, and some women did it at home. Got to keep digging...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.9

A listing of federal arsenals at the time of the Civil War

This is a listing of federal arsenals in existence at the time of the Civil War. I need to find out to what degree women were involved at each of these...and the Southern arsenals I will link to in a moment. I've got my work cut out for me.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.9

Monday, May 16, 2011

New York Times article about the Jackson Arsenal Explosion

This is one of the few primary sources about the Jackson Arsenal (well, one of the few sources period) that I've been able to find thus far. It is an article from the November 23, 1862 New York Times, a reprint from a Southern newspaper

I found another Times article from 1864 interviewing an Illinois soldier. According to that article, during the Vicksburg campaign of the previous year, a shell hit the arsenal again and killed 126 people. I need to explore that incident more before I post anything about it...
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.9

Sunday, May 15, 2011

National Archives Mid-Atlantic Division Online Exhibit: Blasting Through the Silence: Allegheny Arsenal Explosion and the Creation of Public Memory


I am so excited that the Mid-Atlantic division of the National Archives in Philadelphia has put together this online exhibit about the Allegheny Arsenal explosion and its legacy. It is very well-done, and the painting at the beginning is especially striking. I still need to hit them up for primary sources about it one day. It presents sources that lets the reader be the judge about what caused the explosion.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Article: The Most Appalling Disaster: Jackson, MS Arsenal Explosion

Until now, I had no idea an arsenal in Jackson existed, let alone that an explosion took place there. But that it did, and I will have to add this to my ever-growing pile of research. This incident, which took place November 5, 1862 in an old schoolhouse that was used for the making ("choking" was it was often called) cartridges. The accidental explosion killed 34 people, about half women and girls. Over the years, this has largely been forgotten, but hopefully I can find all I can about it for my work. H. Grady Howell has done an excellent job here.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Check out my Facebook page!

Go here, like it, all that fun stuff. Tell your friends too!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Monday, May 9, 2011

Article: Public Education and the National Park Service: Interpreting the Civil War


This is an excellent article my sister found about an issue all Civil War historians, as well as the National Park Service, face: how to interpret slavery and its related politics as the root cause of the war. It is baffling that until the late 1990's, the NPS avoided any mention of it as the cause at its Civil War sites (makes me wish I had paid closer attention, as an 8 year old, at my first trip to Gettysburg). And it is still a point of contention to this day, the sesquicentennial.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Civil War Road Show!

The Pennsylvania 150 Civil War Road Show made its inaugural stop in Pittsburgh this weekend at the Senator John Heinz History Center. Besides the 53 foot exhibit trailer, there was period music, living historians (some of whom I know), and tintype photography demonstrations. All in all, it was a great time, and I encourage everyone to go when it makes a stop in your county in the next few years. These pictures are in reverse order because that's what Blogger likes to do.

Some photos and artifacts inside the trailer.

A comic-strip sort of thing about the real-life mascot of our adopted regiment, a Staffordshire terrier named Sallie Ann Jarrett, who is honored at Gettysburg.

Some minie balls, a belt buckle, and a horseshoe. Some artifacts, such as these, were real while others were reproductions.

Some Grand Army of the Republic artifacts.

One of the stereoscopes of John Burns, the only known civilian to have joined in battle at Gettysburg.

A collage of period photographs taken in all 67 Pennsylvania counties.

Part of the entrance path.

The outside of the trailer. Where it was parked is the site of the former Fort Pitt Foundry, where the Rodman gun was developed (the largest in the world at the time) as well as many material contributions to the war effort.

A fly.

A brass Napoleon (I believe)

One of the road show trucks.

The trailer again.

What I could get of the 105th Pennsylvania Wildcat Band.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Thursday, May 5, 2011

PA 150 Civil War Road Show, starting this weekend

This is the link from Heinz History Center for the kickoff weekend to PA 150's Civil War Road Show, which will stop in every county in the state from now until 2015. There will be living history demonstrations (always interesting to be on the other side of that for once!), period photography demonstrations, music, exhibits, a chance to talk about them, and more. Admission is just $5 this weekend, which also gets you into the Fort Pitt Museum at the Point in Pittsburgh. They have French and Indian War-era living history and such of their own going on this weekend too. Oh, and moms get in free on Sunday! It would be a great way to spend the day with her (my own mother has other plans, but I will be going with my sister, who is a great and busy mom).

I highly recommend that everyone goes to this, even if you would rather wait for it to hit your own county. But this weekend, you can see and do it all!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pennsylvania Civil War Trails

This is the VisitPa site for Pennsylvania Civil War Trails. It points out the various sites throughout the state that played some part in the war. It also offers road trip ideas if you want to hit several of these sites in a day (or 2, or 3). I highly suggest checking it out!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Article: New Threat Looms on Civil War battlefields

You know, it's bad enough when battlefields are threatened by another Wal-Mart (because the world needs more of those, right?) or a casino. But a power plant overlooking the Monocacy battlefield? I sincerely hope that these plans are shot down. It is said that Civil War battlefields are lost at an acre per hour.

The History Channel is doing something that I can finally get behind: the Give 150 project. Go to to give $1.50, which will go directly to the Civil War Trust and the National Parks Foundation.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.7