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February 2015

Civil war sword returned to soldier killed in battle

HONOLULU —The Pacific Diamond and Swiss Watch Exchange is an unlikely place to find a civil war sword, but shop owner Ted Gonzalez had one. He bought it in 2012 in from an estate dealer.

"I thought it was unusual just because I've never bought one before I decided to buy it and decided to keep it," said Gonzalez.
He didn't know what to do with it until client Paul Perrone noticed the name Lt. Edwin Coe engraved on the weapon. The history buff then found a photo of Lt. Coe.
Coe was a union solder from Worcester, Massachusetts. He served in the 57th Massachusetts Regiment and died on June 16, 1864, leading a charge during the Battle of Petersburg.
Documents show he was only 19.

The Ponder House, Atlanta, 1865

The Ponder House, Atlanta, 1865

The house of Ephraim Ponder sheltered Confederate sharpshooters during the siege of Atlanta; its perforated facade testifies to its absorption of countless rounds of Union shellfire

At the conclusion of the Civil War, George N. Barnard, a former staff photographer for Mathew Brady, retraced General William Tecumseh Sherman’s bloody march through the Carolinas and Georgia. Barnard compiled sixty-one landscape views into a deluxe album that he published in time for the Christmas market in 1866.

Photo by George N. Barnard,  1819–1902

For the Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

The Dog Tent

The Dog Tent:
 The smallest and least effective tent the Union used, was the Dog Tent. So named because you had to crawl in on your hands and knees like a dog. Open at both ends it afforded little protection from the elements but it was very portable, could sleep two men, and was better than nothing. It later morphed into what is now known as a Pup tent which is enclosed on all four sides.

From Wild Bill Burroughs on Tumblr

Handmade Confederate Playing Cards

Handmade Confederate Playing Cards,  The Perkins Gallery, Duke University

During the fair-weather campaign season, soldiers could expect to be engaged in battle one day out of 30. Their remaining days were filled with almost interminable drilling, punctuated with spells of entertainment in the form of music, cards and other forms of gambling. -The Civil War Trust Life of the Civil War Soldier in Camp 

Cards from the St. Clair Dearing Papers

From The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

Delightful Civil War-era child’s primer


  • 4085
  • Union-a-b-c


“The Union ABC”, published in Boston by Degen, Estes & Co. [n.y], 12 pp., bound in thread. This patriotic booklet, measuring a healthy 6 x 8 1/2”, is printed in red and blue and was meant to teach youngsters the alphabet and a history lesson, as well. Some of the entries include: H is for Hardtack you scarcely can gnaw, J is for Jig which the Contrabands danceN is for Negro no longer a slave, P is the President who ruled the great nation, T is a traitor that was hung on a tree, and U is the Union our Soldiers did save. The back cover advertises Toy Books, Games (“Patriot Heroes: Or, Who’s Traitor.”), Union Reward Cards and the Chicken Little Series. Utterly charming; evocative of Civil War society. Cover has two edge tears internally repaired with period paper tape. Generally in excellent condition. (Est. $200-300)

From the collectibles site

A copy of this book is in the Library of Congress.

From Civil War Talk

This week in the Civil War for February 22, 1865


The Union army, in its latest blow to the Confederacy, captured Wilmington, North Carolina, this week 150 years ago in the Civil War. The federal victory meant President Abraham Lincoln's troops had shut down the last major East Coast port of the Confederacy — and a critical route for supplies to the Southern army. The fighting that led to the fall of Wilmington began in mid-February of 1865 as Union forces confronted Confederates defending Fort Fisher. Union gunboats pounded the fort and Confederates ultimately had to pull out the night of Feb. 18, 1865, and early the following day as Union forces marched toward the rear of the fort. Between Feb. 21 and 22 of that year, federal forces put up relentless pressure as the fighting forced the Confederacy to remove its forces and retreat from Wilmington.

From The Associated Press and ABC News

A fallen soldier

Tumblr_nk356pygBm1rs5g28o1_540A Fallen Soldier

"This skull belonged to a soldier of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers, an African-American unit that took part in a July 1863 assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston Harbor. The regiment sustained 272 killed, wounded, and missing during the attack.

By examining the skull, researchers determined how this soldier died. The size of the wound and the remains of the projectile indicate that he was killed by an iron canister ball from one of the fort’s two 12-pound field howitzers. The ball entered behind his left ear and traveled upwards through the lower part of the brain.”

(Photo and Caption taken from display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Washington DC)


This week in the Civil War for February 15, 1865

Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's army advanced into Columbia, South Carolina, this week 150 years ago in the Civil War. The march into the Carolinas came after Sherman gained permission from Washington to move further to break the morale of the Confederacy after the capture of Atlanta and Savannah in neighboring Georgia in recent months. Tens of thousands of Union troops entered Columba, the state capital, on Feb. 17, 1865, and the mayor surrendered. Soon looting and fires broke out in the occupied city, and much of the downtown burned include a business district and residential area.

From ABC News and The Associated Press


Hardtack: A staple food source for men of both sides of the Civil War. This is a 50 pound box made in Brooklyn. Bill often told the old standard Union tale of how he bit into his hard tack and and found something soft, when he went to see what it was he found it was a nail!!

From Wild Bill Burroughs on Tumblr

This week in the Civil War for February 8, 1865

Union forces bidding to sever Confederate supply lines near Petersburg, Virginia, took the offensive against Confederate rivals this month 150 years ago in the Civil War. Union Cavalry fanned out down the Boydton Plank Road on a mission to search out and destroy Confederate supply wagons. Other Union troops taking part in the fight found themselves pushed back by fierce Confederate resistance. The fighting that began on Feb. 5, 1865, dragged on for two more days. In the end, Confederate soldiers thwarted the Union raiders but federal fighters at the end of the battle had gained new ground in what was part of the larger Richmond-Petersburg campaign.

From the ABC News and the Associated Press