As Hurricane Matthew battered the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, it dredged-up a few reminders of a previous and more violent affair. While walking the shoreline on Folly Beach Island, a local resident discovered 16 Civil War artillery shells that washed ashore in the wake of Matthew. News outlets reporting the story used words like “uncovered, discovered, unearthed, and revealed” in their headlines. Sadly, such words only told half the story. Read more
From the outset of the Civil War to the end of the century, no other publication did more to reflect and shape public opinion than Harper’s Weekly. Most notably, the journal carried the most extensive coverage of the Civil War and strongly influenced political discourse through its masterful illustrations, thought-provoking editorials, and scathing political cartoons. Read more
We recently worked the 38th Annual Southeastern Civil War and Antique Gun Show in Marietta, GA. In addition to enjoying the rich history on display, we also got a chance to visit with some old friends. I was reminded of the time many of us spent together just a year before, trading stories of some of our favorite Civil War artifacts and recoveries. In case you missed it, here’s a small sampling…
While violence and destruction reigned supreme during the Civil War, the American Bible Society (ABS) waged another kind of war; a war for the souls of the fighting men. The ABS, along with other religious-based organizations, began to distribute pocket Bibles to both Confederate and Union soldiers. By December 1861, the ABS was printing and distributing approximately 7,000 New Testament pocket Bibles a day to soldiers in both armies. Read more
One of the most significant casualties of the Civil War was pocket change. That’s right, pocket change. When it became clear that our nation was in for a long and bloody conflict, government-issued coinage began to disappear.
“Reader, did you ever eat a mussel? Well, we did, at Shelbyville. We were camped right upon the bank of Duck River, and one day Fred Dornin, Ed Voss, Andy Wilson and I went in the river mussel hunting. Every one of us had a meal sack. We would feel down with our feet until we felt a mussel and then dive for it. When we got to camp we cracked the shells and took out the mussels. We tried frying them, but the longer they fried the tougher they got. They were a little too large to swallow whole. Then we stewed them, and after a while we boiled them, and then we baked them, but every flank movement we would make on those mussels the more invulnerable they would get.”
At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, hundreds of little people from Aquidneck, a small isolated island in the Atlantic Ocean, enlisted in the Union Army. Some joined ordinary—that is, non-little people—regiments, but others formed an all-dwarf voluntary infantry: the 13th Rhode Island Infantry Regiment, organized at Providence, RI. This regiment would form the core of what would come to be called the Dwarf Brigade.
“Colonel Woodward did not weigh more than 110 lbs, had long curling hair flowing over his shoulders. His very small legs were stuck in high cavalry boots reaching above his knees; and on which, was an enormous pair of Mexican spurs. He had a cavalry saber that was much too long for him and an army pistol attached to his belt; which contrasted with his size, looked like a small cannon. His grey pantaloons were stuffed in his boot, while a dark grey hunting shirt with a narrow brimmed corduroy slouch hat completed his apparel. All this, with an extremely dust-begrimed face, made a picture ridiculously amusing.”
We recently attended the American Digger Magazine Civil War Relic Show & Sale, in Mt. Pleasant, SC. While publishers Butch and Anita were busy managing the show and greeting visitors, we were fortunate enough to be entrusted with running their merchandise table. In addition to meeting the many fans of the magazine, we also had the opportunity to see some amazing Civil War relics and American history. Here are a few highlights.
After waking up from sweet dreams of finding a CSA (Confederate States of America) plate (buckle or accoutrement), Butch Holcombe set out with his metal detector to explore a site in North Georgia that saw action during the Civil War. It was 1973, a time in which finding Civil War artifacts was much more prevalent than it is today – especially those rare relics that are coveted by collectors both then and now.