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Symposium Schedule of Events

Come one, come all! If you’re on the East Coast, and want to hear some really great speakers on the topic of ‘Civil War Legacies,’ attend the Emerging Civil War’s 2015 Symposium held at Stevenson Ridge in Spotsylvania, VA. Check out ECW’s page for more information!

Emerging Civil War

Second Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge
“Civil War Legacies”

Schedule of Events:

Friday August 7:

6 PM:

-Welcome reception with hors d’oeuvres and cash bar
-Author Book Signings

7-8:30 PM:

-Author/Speaker Roundtable Discussion Emceed by Chris Mackowski

Saturday August 8:

8:30-9 AM:

-Welcome and Registration

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Mourning Keepsakes

Mourning Keepsakes were a popular item during Victorian England and Civil War America. Check out how they became even more popular in the United States after Licoln’s death- over at the Emerging Civil War blog.

Emerging Civil War

A large mourning badge worn after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln A large mourning badge worn after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Mourning jewelry and other similar keepsakes became popular objects created and worn to honor a loved one or a person of importance. Queen Victoria unknowingly propagated the trend upon the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861. In the United States, the Civil War took this trend to new heights, as the death toll rose upwards of 620,000. Oftentimes, a family’s only keepsake of a loved one was a lock of hair, sent either as a token of love or deep appreciation, or clipped after death. These keepsakes were woven into jewelry or framed serving to honor or remember the deceased. Abraham Lincoln’s assassination caused an entire nation to openly grieve (or in some cases pretend to grieve), and a variety of mourning keepsakes  remembering the president still survive.

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A visit to the Hospital

July 20
Sat. morn.

Dearest Chuck:

Oh how I wish I was home last nite.  Now I’m not very sick, but sure do feel lousy.  I’d have given any thing to be home.  In my last letter didn’t I tell you that I had a cold and sure felt lousy?  Well, I got off duty yesterday morning and couldn’t hardly take it any longer.  Got in bed and tossed and turned till about 1-got up and called the Hosp and here I am!  It would have been nice to be on 4th and have a fellow come see me, but as it is, I’m on 2nd and will be out in time to really be feeling perky when he does come.

It was awfully nice of you to send me a wire  Really makes me feel swell.  I wonder tho!  You didn’t sign it love.  Guess you meant it tho or you wouldn’t have been so concerned.

You just make your plans and come on out here.  I’ll be ready.  Should be out in a couple of days.  Maybe tomorrow if my temps goes down and my coughing lets up.  I’m kinda glad your not here.  I’d hate to have you catch cold and I know you would.  I haven’t dreamed of those kisses for nothing!

I just had a trip down the hall and called Lee.  Would have called granny but the line was busy.  She’ll probably be mad when Lee calls her and tells her where I’m at.  Lee’s going to come see tonite and bring me some ice cream.  I haven’t had a very good couple of days and this Hosp. grub is nothing special.

I talked to Dr. Jewell this morning, and He doesn’t think those people will be selling the car.  How else have you planned to come?  What day do you think you’ll make it?  The 31st on the dot or before?  Bet we have a heavenly time.  If only I could have talked to you-we could have made better plans.

It is now eve. and Lee is up here.  She’s going to mail my letters.  I’ll dream of you tonite.  Say, Lee brought me some ice cream, do you want a disk?

I’ll wire you tonite.

All my Love-

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Reactions to Lincoln’s Death

Want to learn more about how Americans felt about John Wilkes Booth’s assassination of Lincoln? Check out my post at the Emerging Civil War!

Emerging Civil War

The New York Herald's announcement on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The New York Herald’s announcement on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Six days after the surrender of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln while at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC.  Almost immediately, a word of mouth network began diffusing throughout the city. As news of the president’s death spread, disbelief, sorrow, and even joy crossed the minds of many Americans. Many exclaimed their opinions publicly, while others quietly expressed their grief or exultation in their letters and diaries.

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Lincoln Continued

National Geographic did a really neat spread on portraits of Lincoln before and throughout his presidency.  While I feel the post Chris Mackowski did over at Emerging Civil War really captured the quick aging of the president, considering the amount of stress that was put on him throughout his presidency, the very brief National Geographic article covers several photographs over the span of eight years.  Here’s a few photos I’ve compiled from the Library of Congress, covering 1860, before the start of the war, to just before his death on April 14, 1865:

Lincoln in 1860, 1863, 1864, and 1865.

Lincoln in 1860, 1863, 1864, and 1865.


Lincoln did a lot for the United States, at several great costs to both the North and the South, finally succeeded in reuniting the country just before his heartbreaking assassination.  His legacy and the progressive choices he made in a time of extreme turmoil came with improvements, consequences, and altered ways of life.  Yes, it took America a long time to get to where it is today (perhaps with some backwards steps here and there), but Lincoln set in motion the amendments that would free around 4 million slaves.

What do you think?  Can you see a difference in the photographs above?  Do you think his legacy still lives?

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The Lives of Victorian Writers Told in Limericks

Happy Friday! Here’s some crazy limericks from Edward Lear’s 1846 Book of Nonsense.

Interesting Literature

The literary lives of twelve famous Victorians, told in the poetic form they knew so well

Nobody knows for sure why limericks are named limericks. They’re obviously named in honour of Limerick, the city in Ireland, but beyond that nothing is known for certain about why a five-line comic poem should be so named. But the limerick is probably the most recognisable poetic Book of Nonsense Coverform: ask people to name the usual number of lines in a sonnet or villanelle, and you’ll doubtless find some who are in the know, but many will be unable to say for sure. Conversely, it is almost universally known that a limerick is five lines long, with the first, second, and fifth lines usually rhyming (and, to complement this, the third and fourth lines).

As limericks were such a favourite literary pastime of the Victorians – as attested by the popularity of Edward Lear’s limericks in…

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