Major Sullivan Ballou and the Letter to His Wife Sarah

On July 14th, 1861, Major Sullivan Ballou wrote a letter to his wife Sarah at home in Rhode Island one week before he fought and died in the First Battle of Bull Run.  Sullivan Ballou was born to Hiram and Emeline Ballou, a distinguished Huguenot family in Smithfield,...

The Election of 1864

Voting for President during the Civil War In November 1864 Abraham Lincoln was running for reelection against his former top Civil War general, the Democratic candidate, George B. McClellan.   Interestingly, since the 1864 election occurred during the Civil War, only...

Happy Halloween

On October 31, 1863, Harper’s Weekly featured a cartoon by artist Henry Louis Stephens about the controversial campaign of Clement Vallandignham, a leading Peace Democrat or “Copperhead” who was running for governor of Ohio. Under the image it...

Merry Christmas

On January 3, 1863, Harper’s Weekly ran the following Thomas Nast image of Santa Claus visiting the Civil War Soldiers What can you see in the picture?  There is so much to see in this photo.  From the drummer boys playing with the Jack-in-the-box to the troops...