Civil War

Civil War Wreck Gets 3D Treatment

Few people probably remember the sinking of the iron-hulled Union ship, USS Hatteras, off the coast of Galveston, Texas, during the Civil War. But the ship played a key role in the struggle over...

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...

Sojourner Truth & Talking to Ashes

Sojourner Truth was once told that if she dared to preach, the building where she spoke would be burned. The famous abolitionist responded, "Then I will speak to the ashes." You gotta love it. This past...

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...

Chicago Politics and How Lincoln Got Nominated

Chicago politics was alive and well in May of 1860 when the Republican party nominated Abraham Lincoln as its presidential candidate at the convention in the Windy City. Check out this fascinating article, which...

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 Lincoln League’ Off the Press

Print copies of the The Lincoln League are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other sources. It's also available as an e-book on Kindle, Nook, and iBook. The Lincoln League is based on the...

The Myth of Black Confederates

My two worlds converged recently. In my world as a writer for the University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I recently did a story about the "Myth of Black Confederates"--a subject that...

The Lincoln Movie Trailer

Ted Johnson, a wonderful actor I got to visit with at this year's Gideon Media Arts Conference, plays a small but very important role in the upcoming Stephen Spielberg movie, Lincoln. He has pointed...

The Civil War in Living Color

During the past month, I have been doing research on the wet-plate photographic method, also known as the collodion process. This early photographic process was introduced in the 1850s, and by the time the...