Civil War

What Was the Real Lincoln League?

Timothy Webster, the most famous spy during the first year of the Civil War, first encountered the Lincoln League when he was taken to a secluded hideout in the woods. He was taken there...

Elmer-Mania!

Long Before The Beatles, There Was Elmer Just prior to the firing on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, triggering the Civil War in 1861, one of the most famous men in America was Elmer...

Lincoln’s Life Masks

Abraham Lincoln had two "life masks" created--one in 1860 before the Civil War began and the other in 1865, when the war was ending. The masks were made to preserve what he really...

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory

Julia Ward Howe woke up before sunrise one morning in 1861, and history was made. When she woke, Julia heard the tramping of soldiers marching beneath her window in her room in Washington. Suddenly, the...

Baseball, 1860 Style

Whenever I came off the field after a day playing vintage baseball, my hands were often stinging something fierce. That's because we played by 1860 rules, which meant NO GLOVES. And since I played...

Quaker Cannons

Fighting the Union Army With Logs? One of the most effective weapons used by the Confederates against General George B. McClellan's army was the "Quaker Cannon"--simple logs painted black to look like cannons. These artificial...

Infernal Machines, Part 3

Some called it a murdering machine. But the question was: Who faced the greatest risk from this machine—the enemy or the men operating it? Eight men were jammed side by side in this cramped Civil...

Infernal Machines

On a misty night in October of 1863, the aptly named David, a small Confederate torpedo boat, set out to slay the much larger Union vessel, the New Ironsides. The David was the first important steam-powered...

The Rail-Splitter and the Little Dougs

I was listening to the audio version of Adam Goodheart's amazing book, 1861, when the phrase "The Little Dougs" leaped out at me. As a Doug myself, I have to say I like the...

Infernal Machines: Civil War Submarines

"If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate," businessman Thomas J.Watson once said. James R. McClintock, Baxter Watson, and Horace Hunley certainly had their share of failures as they pioneered the...