For God’s Sake Forward

Civil War Art at the Battle of Gettysburg For God’s Sake Forward General John Reynolds (left center, between two trees) and the 2nd Wisconsin at the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. Soldiers of the 2nd Wisconsin Infantry Regiment, a unit of the Iron Brigade, charge to relieve General John Buford’s cavalrymen at McPherson’s Ridge. Civil War Art by Don Troiani Highest Ranking Soldier Killed at Gettysburg Pennsylvania native John Reynolds was a West Point graduate, and soon after the American Civil War began, he was promoted to brigadier general. During the 1862 Peninsula Campaign in Virginia; Reynolds was taken prisoner by the Confederates but was released some weeks later. After his return to the army, Reynolds was named commander…

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Phoebe Couzins

Phoebe Couzins: Pioneer Lawyer and Suffragist In the 1870s, Phoebe Couzins (1842-1913) became the third or fourth female lawyer in the United States and a popular public speaker in support of women’s rights. After her father died in 1887, the U.S. government appointed her as the first female in the U.S. Marshal Service, and she finished her father’s term of service. Early Years Phoebe Wilson Couzins was born September 8, 1842 in St. Louis, Missouri to John E.D. Couzins and and Adaline Weston Couzins, both of whom were tireless public servants. John Couzins was the chief of police in St. Louis and acting provost marshal of Missouri during the Civil War. After the onset of the American Civil War, Adaline…

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Winnie Davis

Daughter of Confederate President Jefferson Davis Varina Anne ‘Winnie’ Davis As the daughter of President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis, Varina Anne ‘Winnie’ Davis appeared with her father at numerous Confederate veterans’ events after the American Civil War and became known as ‘Daughter of the Confederacy.’ She also authored two novels and wrote for Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World newspaper. Early Years Varina Anne Davis was born June 27, 1864 in the White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia – ten months before the end of the American Civil War. ‘Winnie,’ as she was called, was the second daughter and the youngest of six children born to Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his wife Varina Howell…

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Julia Dent Grant

Wife of General and President Ulysses S. Grant Julia Boggs Dent was born January 26, 1826 at White Haven plantation near St. Louis, Missouri, the fifth of seven children. Her parents were Frederick and Ellen Dent, who owned about thirty black slaves; they refused to free them only when the law required it. From about 1831 through 1836, Julia attended the Misses Mauros’ co-ed, one-room boarding school in St. Louis. Growing up at White Haven, she fished, rode horses, and played in the woods. Image: First Lady Julia Dent Grant, 1870 Julia Dent met Ulysses S. Grant, whom she called ‘Ulys,’ who was a classmate of her brother Frederick at West Point; she was soon head-over-heels for Grant and agreed…

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Civil War Vivandieres

Typical Uniform of a Zouave Vivandiere Vivandieres first appeared in France as women who were part of a regiment and sold spirits (an alcoholic drink) and other items and cared for the sick. These women wore uniforms similar to that of the regiment in which they served, and they displayed great courage by giving immediate medical assistance to the wounded in the midst of battle. When the Civil War began in 1861, hundreds of American women were ready to brave those same conditions for the Union Army. Uniforms of vivandieres in the American Civil War varied from regiment to regiment. All had in common a knee-length skirt worn over full trousers, a tunic or jacket, and a hat. This style…

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Diaries of Fredericksburg Women

Civil War Diarists of Fredericksburg, Virginia Fredericksburg, Virginia was occupied on three separate occasions by Union forces. These ‘invasions’ had an impact on the townspeople. The diaries of Fredericksburg residents allow us to experience their anxiety and fear toward enemy armies, as well as the loss of loved ones and the damage or destruction of homes and personal property. Lizzie Alsop in 1862 Elizabeth Maxwell Alsop Elizabeth (Lizzie) Maxwell Alsop began writing her Civil War diary in 1862. She was the sixteen-year-old daughter of Sarah and Joseph Alsop, who lived at what is today 1201 Princess Anne Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Her father was one of the richest members of the Fredericksburg community; a large part of his wealth consisted…

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Hannah Forster Sumner

Wife of Union General Edwin Vose Sumner Early Years and Marriage Hannah Wickersham Forster was born January 31, 1804 in Erie, Pennsylvania. Edwin Vose Sumner was born in Boston, Massachusetts January 30, 1797 and entered the United States army as a career soldier in 1819. He fought in the Black Hawk War (1832) and various campaigns against Native Americans, and with distinction in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). General Edwin Vose Sumner and His Civil War Staff Sumner and his son Brigadier General Edwin V. Sumner Jr. are knee-to-knee in the center of this colorized image. Seventeen-year-old Hannah Wickersham Forster, daughter of an army officer, married Edwin Vose Sumner March 31, 1832 in Sackets Harbor, New York. The couple had six…

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Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Abolitionist and Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe published more than 30 books, but it was her best-selling antislavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin that brought her worldwide fame and a very secure place in history. She also wrote biographies, children’s text books, and advice books on homemaking and childrearing. The informal style of her writing enabled her to reach audiences that more scholarly works would not. Early Years Harriet Elisabeth Beecher was born June 14, 1811 in Litchfield, Connecticut to the Rev. Lyman Beecher and Roxanna Foote Beecher; the sixth of 11 children. She was called Hattie by her brothers and sisters. Roxanna Beecher died when Harriet was only five years old, and her oldest sister Catharine became…

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The Fighting 69th

A Regiment in the Famous Irish Brigade When the Civil War broke out, thousands of Irishmen joined the Union Army. Three all-Irish infantry regiments were raised in New York City, and these units would become the core of the Irish Brigade: the 63rd, 69th, and 88th Infantry Regiments, New York State Volunteers. Confederate General Robert E. Lee gave them the nickname ‘Fighting 69th’; that designation continued in later wars. General Thomas Meagher and the Irish Brigade, Fredericksburg, Virginia, December 2, 1862 The Fighting 69th’s battle flag appears next to the U.S. flag. Fighting 69th, the Paintings In 1991, artist Mort Kunstler had accepted a commission from the U.S. Army War College to paint Raise the Colors and Follow Me!, which…

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Harriet Morrison Irwin

Harriet Morrison Irwin (1828-1897) of Charlotte, North Carolina holds a special place in American history as the first woman to patent an architectural design. The structure she created in 1869 was a hexagonal house. She and her husband built at least one version in Charlotte, and she may have designed other hexagonal houses. In addition to her work in architecture, Irwin wrote primarily nonfiction articles related to history and progress. This 1949 image shows Harriet Morrison Irwin’s two-story hexagonal house on the right. West Fifth Street looking toward the intersection of Irwin Avenue in Charlotte. Early Years Harriet Abigail Morrison was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1828 to Mary Graham Morrison and Dr. Robert Hall Morrison – founder and…

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