Civil War

U.S. Grant’s Civil War Spy Network

In conducting his Civil War campaigns in Mississippi in 1862-63, Union General Ulysses S. Grant put together a network of spies to provide him with military intelligence. He recruited a young brigadier general to run the operation and they often provided valuable information that enabled him to win several major battles and carry out a…

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April Events in the American Civil War History

During the American Civil War, April lived up to the moniker later bestowed by T.S. Eliot as the “Cruelest Month.” The start of hostilities at Fort Sumter in 1861 initiated the war that defined America and President Lincoln’s assassination in 1865 both occurred in April. The Battle of Shiloh and the Fall of New Orleans…

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April Events in History: Civil War and WWII

Mark takes a look at some significant events that took place in April during the Civil War and WWII. “April is the cruelest month” according to T.S. Eliot, but how accurate is that historically? You decide. Here are some major happenings and a few occurrences that are not so well known: Fort Sumter, Shiloh, Eel…

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Armchair Travel to the Dr. Samuel A. Mudd House

This Good Friday, Mark goes back to Good Friday of April 1865 and President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theatre in Washington with Dorothea Barstow, the curator of the Dr. Samuel Mudd House and Museum. Later that night, assassin John Wilkes Booth, on the run and in desperate need of medical attention for his broken leg,…

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Women in History

In a retrospective of Women’s History month, Mark takes a look at notable women starting with Medieval times and jumping to the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War and WWII. He features a range of heroines from Joan of Arc, who at age 17 led a French army in the Hundred Years…

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Women in the Civil War

General Jack Mountcastle (USA-Ret.), Ph.D., a history professor at the University of Richmond, joins Mark to discuss the role of women in the American Civil War. While we often focus on the pivotal battles, the armies and the leaders, we tend to overlook the important roles that women played. Whether breaking new ground to serve…

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January Historical Events

Often we think that historically, not much has happened in the middle of winter. However, that’s far from the truth. From Charlemagne to Henry VIII, Secession in the Civil War to the Soviets battling the Finns in the snow during WWII, there has been a lot of historical heat generated in January over the centuries….

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Wartime Christmas

Mark looks at some examples of how Christmas was observed during wartime over the last three centuries. Merciful nurses making wounded and sick soldiers more comfortable with what limited means they had, ersatz reindeer in the Civil War, and how a grant for leave could be the greatest Christmas gift a soldier could hope to…

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Jefferson Davis: His Final Days and Passing in New Orleans

Confederate President, Jefferson Davis, died in New Orleans on December 6, 1889. Nearing the anniversary of his death, Mark talks with Mrs. Gladys LeBreton, whose grandfather was a friend of Davis’. As a child, Mrs. LeBreton’s mother lived in the Garden District home where Davis stayed and was there when he passed away. Mrs. LeBreton…

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The Civil War’s Environmental Impact

What was the environmental impact of the Civil War? Considering that a battle was a major man-made disaster, someone had to take care of the biological mess that resulted. Countless dead bodies of men, horses and mules and amputated limbs were left behind. Whole armies encamped and left spills of gunpowder, lead and other substances….

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