Thursday, March 29, 2012

Video: Women and the Civil War

Lectures in History: Women and the Civil War | C-SPAN

The C-SPAN American History TV library has lots of great Civil War lectures with which you can easily lose track of time. This one is a lecture by Professor Caroline Janney of Purdue with an overview of women's involvement in the Civil War. It mentions the dangerous work of women in the arsenals, with specific mention of the Washington Arsenal explosion. So when you have 55 minutes to spare, check it out!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Latest issue of Civil War Monitor

The Civil War Monitor | American Civil War History Magazine

The latest issue of Civil War Monitor has an article about the children who worked (and often died) in Confederate laboratories. I will post the article itself once it becomes available online, but if you can't wait (and I might not be able to), it is available on newsstands and some bookstores.

Allegheny Arsenal Monument on Find a Grave

Arsenal Monument ( - 1862) - Find A Grave Memorial

Find a Grave is itself a good time-killing website, but here is the page for the Arsenal Monument at Allegheny Cemetery. If you like, you can leave "flowers" there in honor of those who died.

For those of you into all things paranormal...

Arsenal Terminal and the Arsenal Tunnels By Brian Schill founder of IPRFinc.

Here's a well-done page about the Allegheny Arsenal explosion and the 40th Street Bridge-connected tunnels beneath it. The purpose of the tunnels is yet unclear (possible storage?) And access to them is restricted but there may be some activity there.

Monday, March 19, 2012

SWCW Conference 2012!

Page Title

Here are the details about this year's Society for Women and the Civil War's conference, held at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, July 27-29. I am the keynote speaker for Friday night. It looks like it will be a great time.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stealing sissy's blog post, with rant of my own

I'm stealing another of my sister's posts, not just because period fashion plates are fun to look at, but her rant about living historians dressing according to one's place in society (their impression, that is), also it brought a few things to mind for me.

One, there are reports of women wearing hoopskirts while working in the arsenals. First off, most of these ladies were the working poor and might not have even owned hoops, let alone worn them to work, wearing them out. Secondly, women and girls were supposedly hired for their smaller frames and could thus be packed in like sardines. I know from personal experience that hoops take up a lot of space.
Two, there is a theory (about which I will post momentarily) that static electricity from ladies' dress material created enough charge to spark the Allegheny Arsenal explosion.

Some food for thought...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Walking Tour of Civil War Richmond

Industry and Commerce: Richmond Civil War Tour from
Civil War Traveler has put together a Civil War walking tour of Richmond that you can listen to right from your phone. One of the stops is near Brown's Island, today a spot for concerts and festivals. Since only two wartime buildings still stand in Richmond, tourists need to use their imagination a bit.

Reconstructing Richmond

An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia - Reconstructing Richmond - Virginia Historical Society - Virginia Historical Society
The Virginia Historical Society with a local radio station has recorded segments about life in wartime Richmond, including one about the Brown's Island explosion. Listening to them all paints a broad picture of Civil War Richmond.