Posts

Pepperbox Pistols Last Line of Defense

When looking at a pepperbox pistol, one can’t help but to conjure-up nostalgic visions of a bygone era―a gambler firing upon a card cheat, a gold prospector protecting his claim against hostiles, or a Civil War soldier pulling a pistol from his boot as a last line of defense in heated battle.   Read more

Civil War Horse Photographer Alexander B Foals

Alexander Barnard Foal (April 1, 1830 – January 16, 1896) was one of the earliest photographers in American history, best known for his spectacular images of service horses, captured during the American Civil War. His photographs, and those he commissioned, had a tremendous impact during the war, and their reverberations continue to be felt today. He and his employees photographed thousands of scenes, including battlefields, camp life, naval scenes, and portraits of some of the most famous military figures of his time, including Winfield Scott, George B. McClellan, George Armstrong Custer, and of course, their majestic steeds. Read more

While photographs from earlier conflicts exist, the American Civil War is widely recognized as the first major war to be extensively photographed. Thanks in large part to such photographers as Alexander Gardner, Mathew Brady, and Timothy O’Sullivan, for the first time in history, ordinary citizens could view the carnage of war waged on faraway battlefields. As intriguing as their photographs are, I’ve always found them to be incomplete. They seem to lack the emotion and intimacy of what it was like to be a soldier―both on and off the battlefield. It’s for that reason, that I’ve always been drawn to the artwork created by the men that actually fought the war. Read more

The rickety wooden floors pop and squeak under the weight of my footsteps. The dull hum and soft glow of display lights creates a warm and inviting ambiance. The air is filled with a bouquet of earthy notes, hints of acidity, a tang of linseed oil and vanilla, over an underlying mossy dankness. Those unmistakable smells are not that of a well-aged Merlot, but that of the Civil War relics shops that I frequented in my youth. Shops that might as well be listed as “endangered”, right alongside the Civil War battlefields whose history they so beautifully bring alive. Read more

During the American Civil War (1861-1865), soldiers on both sides of the conflict spent more time in camp; or marching, than they did fighting. While resting in camp, soldiers wrote letters to loved ones, read, smoked, played music, gambled, or whittled away their worries on just about any object they could get their hands on. And for most soldiers, their ammo pouch provided the perfect material. Read more

Virginia Wine and Civil War Relics

For those of you that follow our blog, it should come as no surprise to you that I’m an unabashed nerd when it comes to Civil War history and artifacts. As such, I would like to dedicate this article to a delightful “nerd moment” that I recently experienced at The Winery at Bull Run. Read more

Friendships Larry Hicklen

I’m an unabashed, American History enthusiast, and an obsessed collector of Civil War artifacts. To feed my insatiable appetite for history and Civil War relics, I regularly click thru the seemingly endless items offered for sale on online relic shops, visit the few that still operate brick-and-mortar stores, and attend Civil War artifact shows across the country.   Read more

Civil War In Color

The Civil War has long been viewed through a black-and-white lens. Photographs taken by the early pioneers of photography; Matthew Brady and Alexander Gardner, have greatly impacted our perception of the war. Soldiers, towns, battlefields and political figures are remembered as ghostly figures, draped in drab shades of grey. I’ve often wondered if the nostalgia we have for this period in history would be any different if those historical moments were captured in color.  

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Sam Watkins Dead Angle

“The First and Twenty-seventh Tennessee Regiments will ever remember the battle of “Dead Angle,” which was fought June 27th, on the Kennesaw line, near Marietta, Georgia. It was one of the hottest and longest days of the year, and one of the most desperate and determinedly resisted battles fought during the whole war. Our regiment was stationed on an angel, a little spur of the mountain, or rather promontory of a range of hills, extending far out beyond the main line of battle, and was subject to the enfilading fire of forty pieces of artillery of the Federal batteries. It seemed fun for the guns of the whole Yankee army to play upon this point.” – Sam Watkins, First Tennessee Regiment, “Co. Aytch”

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Decoration-Day-Memorial-Day

Approximately 2% of the population, an estimated 620,000 men, lost their lives during the Civil War due to combat, accidents, starvation, and disease. Such carnage led to the creation of the country’s first national cemeteries, beginning in 1862. In the years following the end of hostilities, people in the North and South had begun holding tributes to honor the dead, decorating their graves with flowers and flags.

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