Pivotal episode in Civil War history

book cover featuring man in top hat with sword and title "The 116." Chronicles the Frontier Guard at start of Civil War

Daniel Read (D.R.) Anthony served as a Frontier Guard in a pivotal episode at the start of the Civil War. For nine days in April 1861, he and 115 other Kansans bivouacked on the floor of the White House. Their mission? To protect the recently-inaugurated President Lincoln from abduction and probable death. James P. Muehlberger […]

Civil War Nurse Who Outranked General

Mary Ann Bickerdyke, Civil War Nurse

For those who prefer to read, here’s the text of the video. I love Mary Ann Bickerdyke for her fierce devotion to the soldiers she called “her boys.” As a Civil War nurse, she was a particular favorite of the soldiers. Bickerdyke set up more than 300 field hospitals for soldiers and made sure they […]

Susan B. Anthony’s Brother Worked near Frederick Douglass

five-story building front and side

Correction: The Anthonys worked in the Reynolds Arcade, across the street from this building. Frederick Douglass had his office in the Talman Building. Sorry for the confusion. This is the Talman Building in Rochester, NY, where Susan B. Anthony’s brother and father ran an insurance business. The brother will be the focus of my talk […]

Quelling Charlottesville Fury Avoids Historic Mistake

Susan B Anthony family

    In Charlottesville young white nationalists tossed verbal grenades against blacks and Jews that quickly exploded into injury and death. Sadly, it coincided with the August 1863 Lawrence Massacre, which I discussed in my last post. Then, a band of racist ruffians killed 180 men and boys. Unlike this month, the 1863 officials made […]

Defenseless town massacred

Susan B Anthony family

A band of 400 proslavery ruffians–many teenagers–led by a madman named Quantrill conducted the Lawrence Massacre in 1863 in Kansas on this day.  Most of the the town’s men were off fighting for the Union. As a result, 180 died and the town became ashes. Personal Experience Daniel Read Anthony knew the town of Lawrence […]

The Anthonys on President Lincoln

Susan B Anthony family

On April 14, 1865 President Lincoln suffered a fatal gunshot wound from John Wilkes Booth. The news of his death reached D.R. Anthony, his wife Annie, and his sister Susan where she was visiting them in Leavenworth. In her diary, Susan recorded that they attended different churches to hear the ministers’ pulpit commentary on the assassination. It’s […]

Spymistress Elizabeth Van Lew

Susan B Anthony family

Today’s blog on one of my most-admired American women features my favorite historical novel (pictured) as well as a quiz on spies! During the Civil War, Union Spy Elizabeth Van Lew lived in Richmond, VA, the very heart of the Confederacy. A wealthy churchgoing woman, she cited simple compassion for prisoners as her reason for […]

Saving Lincoln from Abduction

Susan B Anthony family

When the city of Washington was under siege at the onset of the Civil War, the White House feared that President Lincoln would be abducted. Read all about it in James Muehlberger’s excellent account entitled The 116: The True Story of Lincoln’s Lost Guard.

“The Battle Hymn of the Republic”

Civil War soldier with rifle in front of large line of cannons, 1865, Library of Congress

“The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was one of the most popular and stirring songs of the Union troops in the Civil War. Did you ever wonder why it has almost the same tune as “John Brown’s Body?”