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O Captain! My Captain!

There are many excellent reasons why Walt Whitman is considered the poet laureate of the American Civil War. His poetic style is much closer to that of the 20th century’s free verse rather than the labored rhyme schemes so popular in the 1800s, making his work easier for a modern reader to scan. 294 more words

Emerging Civil War

William Child at Ford's Theater

Northerners across the country had reason to celebrate in mid-April 1865.  The war had ended in a Union victory, with the Union restored and the emancipation of millions of African Americans from bondage.  948 more words

Common Soldier

William Child in Washington

When 1865 brought forth another year of the war and the Army of the Potomac still occupied its miles of trenches at the front around Petersburg, William Child, surgeon of the 5th New Hampshire Infantry was a man of mixed sentiments.  604 more words

Common Soldier

Thoughts on Appomattox (part three)

One of the dearly held tenets of the Lost Cause is that Southerners didn’t lose because they were outfought. Rather, Ulysses S. Grant only won because he had more soldiers and so overwhelmed the Confederates. 170 more words


Breakthrough at Petersburg: "April Fool, Johnnies!"

After the thrilling Union victory at Five Forks on April 1, Lt. Col. Horace Porter raced back with a report to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s headquarters near Dabney’s Mill. 2,736 more words


A Soldier's Letter: "I will ask no greater honor"

“Every man was born for some purpose and if it is my lot to leave earth on the battle field, I can only say . . 140 more words

Common Soldier

The Sounds of Spring

Here in Petersburg, Virginia we are happy to finally once more see the ground after a recent and unusual spell of endless snow and ice. With a cheered spirit I took a look into the archives to search for the opinions of the soldiers in the trenches in 1865 as the weather warmed. 315 more words

Common Soldier