Category Archives: Fighting for Liberty

1851 (Fighting for Liberty) Dickinson Gorsuch

Dickinson Gorsuch (House Divided)

Sources
The key primary sources on on Dickinson Gorsuch and the Christiana Riot are William Still’s The Underground Rail Road (1872), David R. Forbes’ A True Story of the Christiana Riot (1898), and Jonathan Katz’s Resistance at Christiana: The Fugitive Slave Rebellion, Christiana Pennsylvania, September 11, 1851: A Documentary Account (1974). Important secondary sources include William Uhler Hensel’s The Christiana Riot and the Treason Trials of 1851: An Historical Sketch (1911),  Thomas Slaughter’s Bloody Dawn: The Christiana Riot and Racial Violence in the Antebellum North (1991), and Fergus M. Bordewich’s Bound for Canaan: The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America’s First Civil Rights Movement (2006). You can also read Mark G. Jaede’s short essay about the riot in the Encyclopedia of Slave Read the rest

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1859 (Fighting for Liberty) Dangerfield Newby

Dangerfield Newby (House Divided)

Sources
Important primary sources on Brown’s Harpers Ferry raid include James Redpath’s The Public Life of Capt. John Brown (1860), Franklin B. Sanborn’s The Life and Letters of John Brown, Liberator of Kansas, and Martyr of Virginia (1885), and Richard J. Hinton’s John Brown and His Men; With Some Account of the Roads Traveled to Reach Harper’s Ferry (1894). Osborne Anderson, who participated in Brown’s raid but managed to escape, also published his account  in 1861: A Voice from Harper’s Ferry: A Narrative of Events at Harper’s Ferry. Important secondary sources include Benjamin Quarles’ Allies for Freedom; Blacks and John Brown (1974), Paul Finkelman’s His Soul Goes Marching On: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid (1995), … Read the rest

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1859 (Fighting for Liberty) Osborne Perry Anderson

Osborne Anderson (House Divided)

Sources
Anderson published his account of Brown’s raid in 1861 as  A Voice from Harper’s Ferry: A Narrative of Events at Harper’s Ferry. Other important primary sources include James Redpath’s The Public Life of Capt. John Brown (1860), Franklin B. Sanborn’s The Life and Letters of John Brown, Liberator of Kansas, and Martyr of Virginia (1885), and Richard J. Hinton’s John Brown and His Men; With Some Account of the Roads Traveled to Reach Harper’s Ferry (1894). Important secondary sources include Benjamin Quarles’ Allies for Freedom; Blacks and John Brown (1974), Paul Finkelman’s His Soul Goes Marching On: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid (1995), David S. Reynolds’ John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Read the rest

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1861 (Fighting for Liberty) Ivey W. Duggan

Duggan - (History of the Baptist Denomination in Georgia)

Sources
A profile of Duggan is in Samuel Boykin’s History of the Baptist Denomination in Georgia (2001). In addition, Dave Dameron discusses the unit that Duggan served with in  Benning’s Brigade: A History and Roster of the Fifteenth Georgia By (1997).

Artifacts
The Georgia Archives has the 15th Georgia Infantry Regiment flag.

Images
An image is in Samuel Boykin’s History of the Baptist Denomination in Georgia (2001).

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1861 (Fighting for Liberty) James Smith Colwell

James Colwell (Cumberland County Historical Society)

Narrative
James Smith Colwell, who worked as a lawyer in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, was one of the men who answered President Abraham Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers after Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Colwell joined the Carlisle Fencibles, a local volunteer company under the command of Robert Henderson, as a first lieutenant. Six weeks later the Fencibles left Carlisle for Camp Wayne in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where they received training and were designated Company A of the 7th Regiment, Pennsylvania Reserve Corps. His wife, Ann, had not been happy with that decision. “You left me without talking about it,” as Ann reminded him. While James admitted that “[he] err[ed] frequently,” … Read the rest

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1863 (Fighting for Liberty) Amos Humiston

Amos Humiston


Narrative
Amos Humiston was a farmer and tanner from upstate New York who yearned to see the world and even served for a year on a whaling ship when he was a young man. He married Philinda Smith (1831-1913) and the couple raised three children –Franklin Humiston (1855-1912), Alice Humiston (1857-1933), and Frederick Humiston (1859-1918)—before Amos entered the Union army as a sergeant in the 154th New York infantry regiment. He was killed on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, found clutching an image of his young children, but with no other identification. Eventually, the Philadelphia Inquirer published the story in an article entitled, “Whose Father Was He?” which was reprinted across the North and which eventually led to the discovery … Read the rest

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1863 (Fighting for Liberty) First Arkansas Regiment


Black soldiers recruited in Arkansas in early 1863 (later 46th USCT) who found themselves surrounded by Confederate forces in June 1863 as part of a counter-offensive aimed at disrupting the Union occupation of eastern Louisiana (during Grant’s Vicksburg campaign). Seized as prisoners of war, more than two dozen still listed as POWs in 1865. There are powerful comments about this engagement from Grant, local diarist Kate Stone, and various officers. Lindley Miller, the first white colonel in charge of the regiment (and son of a US senator from NJ), also appears to have been the author of a well known marching song inspired by “John Brown’s Body,” sometimes attributed to Sojourner Truth, and recorded in the twentieth century by activists such as Pete Seeger. Includes … Read the rest

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1863 (Fighting for Liberty) Francis A. Donaldson

Francis A. Donaldson

Sources
The best source on Donaldson is J. Gregory Acken’s Inside the Army of the Potomac: The Civil War Experience of Captain Francis Adams Donaldson (1998). For more information on the regiments that Donaldson served in, see History of the Corn Exchange Regiment: 118th Pennsylvania Volunteers (1888) and Antietam to Appomattox with 118th Penna. Vols (1892). In addition, you can learn more about other soldiers’ experiences in the Charles S. Swain collection at the University of Michigan, which has a scrapbook of material related to Swain’s service in the 118th Pennsylvania.

Places to Visit
The 118th Pennsylvania Infantry’s monument at Gettysburg National Military Park was built in 1889 and is located on Sickles Avenue. See this page to learn more about this … Read the rest

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1863 (Fighting for Liberty) Frederick Stowe

Frederick Stowe (House Divided)

Sources
You can learn more about Stowe’s regiment in Alfred Seelye Rowe and Charles Nutt’s History of the First Regiment Heavy Artillery Massachusetts Volunteers (1917). Another important source is Edwin Bruce Kirkham’s “Andover, Gettysburg and Beyond: The Military Career Of Frederick William Stowe,” Essex Institute Historical Collections 109, no. 1 (1973): 87-93. In addition, Frederick’s mother, Harriet Beecher Stowe, wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) and  A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1853).

Places to Visit
You can visit the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Images
An image of Frederick Stowe is available on his House Divided profile.

The slideshow below includes images related to the Battle of Gettysburg.

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1863 (Fighting for Liberty) Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman (House Divided)

Sources
Important sources include Sarah H. Bradford’s Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman (1869) and Harriet, the Moses of Her People (1886). In addition, the National Archives has a 1898 affidavit related to her claim for a pension (Page 1 ; Page 2). One of the best studies on Tubman’s life is Kate Clifford Larson’s Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero (2004). Check Larson’s website for excerpts, a timeline, and other resources. Other secondary sources include Dorothy Sterling’s Freedom Train: The Story of Harriet Tubman (1954), Catherine Clinton’s Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom (2004), and Milton Sernett’s Harriet Tubman: Myth, Memory, and History (2007). Also see the “Harriet Tubman: Online ResourcesRead the rest

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1863 (Fighting for Liberty) Julius Leinbach

Julius Leinbach (A Johnny Reb Band from Salem)

Narrative
Julius Leinbach was part of a Moravian regimental band that traveled with the 26th North Carolina.  They actually played on the battlefield at Gettysburg, an event recorded by Leinbach in his diary.

Sources
Donald McCorkle edited Leinbach’s diary and published it in Regiment Band of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina (1958). Important secondary sources on the 26th North Carolina include Archie K. Davis’ Boy Colonel of the Confederacy: The Life and Times of Henry King Burgwyn, Jr. (1985), Rod Gragg’s Covered with Glory: The 26th North Carolina Infantry at Gettysburg (2000), and Earl J. Hess’ Lee’s Tar Heels: The Pettigrew-Kirkland-MacRae Brigade (2002). Also see Steven Cornelius’ Music of the Civil War Era (2004).

Places to Visit
The … Read the rest

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1863 (Fighting for Liberty) Marie Brose Tepe

Marie Brose Tepe (House Divided)

Sources
Important secondary sources include Linda Grant De Pauw’s Battle Cries and Lullabies: Women in War from Prehistory to the Present (2000), Larry G. Eggleston’s Women in the Civil War: Extraordinary Stories of Soldiers, Spies, Nurses, Doctors, Crusaders, Others (2003), and Richard Hall’s Women on the Civil War Battlefront (2006). Tepe is also featured on the PA Civil War 150 website.

Places to Visit
See the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Images
Images are available on Tepe’s House Divided profile and on the PA Civil War 150 site.

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1863 (Fighting for Liberty) N. Claiborne Wilson

Click on the Image to go to this collection.

About N. Claiborne Wilson – “During the Civil War he served as a Major in the 28th Virginia Infantry Regiment. He was killed at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863.”

About Collection – “Of the N.C. Wilson portion of the collection, the most significant item is a diary-account book fragment which includes entries (July 25th-July 3, the day of his death) from Pennsylvania and the battlefield at Gettysburg.”

Diary from June 25 – July 3, 1863 – see page images of Wilson’s diary and read the transcript.

Learn more about the other materials in this collection here, as VMI does own a few other letters from Wilson to his father. Note that … Read the rest

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1863 (Fighting for Liberty) Samuel Wilkeson

Lieutenant Bayard Wilkeson leading Battery G, 4th U.S. Artillery at the Battle of Gettysburg

Narrative
Sam Wilkeson was a war correspondent for the New York Times who had sons in the Union army, including Lt. Bayard Wilkeson, an artillery officer who was mortally wounded on the first day at Gettysburg. The story of Bayard’s death became a northern sensation since he was one of the youngest artillery officers in the army, the son of a prominent journalist and also because he died in a particularly heroic fashion. The young lieutenant covered the retreating forces from the Union XI Corps on the battle’s first day and reportedly had to amputate his own shattered leg when doctors were forced to flee in the face of the … Read the rest

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1863 (Fighting for Liberty) Susie King Taylor

Susie King Taylor (House Divided)

Sources
A key primary source is Susie King Taylor’s Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops Late 1st S. C. Volunteers (1902). Also see Taylor’s profile online at the New Georgia Encyclopedia and Catherine Clinton’s “Susie King Taylor: ‘I Gave My Services Willingly,’” in volume 1 of Georgia Women: Their Lives and Times (2009).

Places to Visit
Taylor is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, which is located in Mattapan, Massachusetts.

Images
An image of Taylor is available on her  House Divided profile.

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