civil awr

Abraham Lincoln inlaid his bench mallet with his initials and the year 1829

The Indiana State Museum unveiled a previously unknown artifact that connects Abraham Lincoln to his life in Indiana. The museum displayed his bench mallet, “the rail splitter’s rail splitter.”

The mallet has been passed down five generations of the Carter family and is currently owned by Keith Carter of Evansville and his sister Andrea Solis of Saline, Michigan. 

Photo by Rachel Hoffmeyer, 

Hand Colored Lithograph Print From “GODEY’S LADY’S BOOK”. Published In New York Circa 1860

Godey’s Lady’s Book, alternatively known as Godey’s Magazine and Lady’s Book, was a United States women’s magazine that was published in Philadelphia from 1830–1878. It was the most widely circulated magazine in the period before the Civil War.

The magazine was expensive for the time; subscribers paid $3 per year (for comparison, The Saturday Evening Post was only $2 per year).

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It Is Widely Believed That Lincoln Anticipated His Assassination- 

The probe used by Dr. Barnes to locate the ball and the fragments of Lincoln’s skull removed at autopsy. Part of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP)

According to Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln’s friend and biographer, three days before his assassination Lincoln discussed with Lamon and others a dream he had, saying:

“About ten days ago, I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. I saw light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. ‘Who is dead in the White House?’ I demanded of one of the soldiers, 'The President,’ was his answer; 'he was killed by an assassin.’ Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which woke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since.”

On the day of the assassination, Lincoln had told his bodyguard, William H. Crook, that he had been having dreams of himself being assassinated for three straight nights. Crook advised Lincoln not to go that night to Ford’s Theatre, but Lincoln said he had promised his wife they would go. As Lincoln left for the theater, he turned to Crook and said, “Goodbye, Crook.” According to Crook, this was the first time he said that. Before, Lincoln had always said, “Good night, Crook.” Crook later recalled: “It was the first time that he neglected to say 'Good Night’ to me and it was the only time that he ever said 'Good-bye’. I thought of it at that moment and, a few hours later, when the news flashed over Washington that he had been shot, his last words were so burned into my being that they can never be forgotten.”

After Lincoln was shot, Mary was quoted as saying, “His dream was prophetic.”


Hilarious -Conan Becomes A Civil War Reenactor -

Finally something that both Southern rebels and the Union can agree on: Conan would be a TERRIBLE soldier

Reenacting the American Civil War began even before the real fighting had ended. Civil War veterans recreated battles as a way to remember their fallen comrades and to teach others what the war was all about.  

Categories of Reenactors

  • Farbs” or “polyester soldiers" are reenactors who spend relatively little of their time or money maintaining authenticity with regard to uniforms, accessories, or even period behavior. The ‘Good Enough’ attitude is pervasive among farbs, although even casual observers may be able to point out flaws. Blue jeans, tennis shoes, polyester (and other synthetic fabrics), zippers, velcro, snoods, and modern cigarettes are common issues. 
  • Mainstream-Another group of reenactors often is called "Mainstream.” These reenactors are somewhere between farb and authentic. They are more common than either farbs or authentics. Most mainstream reenactors make an effort at appearing authentic, but may come out of character in the absence of an audience. Modern items are sometimes used “after hours” or in a hidden fashion. The common attitude is to put on a good show, but that accuracy need only go as far as others can see.
  • Progressive-At the other end of the spectrum from farbs are “hard-core authentics” or “progressives”, as they prefer to be called. Sometimes derisively called “stitch counters”,many people have misconceptions about hardcore reenactors. Hard-cores generally seek an “immersive” reenacting experience, trying to live, as much as possible, as someone of the 1860s might have. 
  • Character reenactors-Some reenactors portray a specific officer or person such as General Robert E. Lee, General Ulysses S. Grant, President Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, or a less well known officer such as Col. Abram Fulkerson. Character reenactors may also portray a civilian man, woman, or child of significance. These reenactors often do not participate in the actual combat portion of the reenactment and serve as narrators to the audience during the battle. Often, character reenactors have extensively researched the person they portray and present a first-person narrative of his story.
1863 American Civil War Hardtack Oldest Cracker Ever Eaten Military MRE Food Review Tasting Test
Here is the oldest thing I've ever eaten - American Civil War Hardtack from 1863 - making it a 153 year old cracker. Witness the madness and see for yourself...


Other Half went to the Military Rations Museum, these cracker-like squares were a staple ration for American soldiers on both sides of the Civil War.

Hard Tack-Alternative names ANZAC wafers, barewis, cabin bread, dog biscuit, hard tack, molar breakers, pilot bread, sea biscuit, sea bread, sheet iron, ship’s biscuit, shipbiscuit, tooth dullers, worm castles.

During the siege of Richmond, some soldiers who cracked the hardtack open to find it teeming with worms were disgusted and threw the crackers into the bottom of the earthen trenches they occupied. An officer of the day yelled at the men, asking whether they hadn’t been told repeatedly not to throw the hardtack into the trenches.

Back came the reply, “We’ve thrown it out two or three times, sir, but it crawls back.”


FREE STATE OF JONES- Starring Oscar Winner Matthew McConaughey

Epic action-drama set during the Civil War, and tells the story of defiant Southern farmer, Newt Knight, and his extraordinary armed rebellion against the Confederacy. Banding together with other small farmers and local slaves, Knight launched an uprising that led Jones County, Mississippi to secede from the Confederacy, creating a Free State of Jones.

Knight continued his struggle into Reconstruction, distinguishing him as a compelling, if controversial, figure of defiance long beyond the War.

In Theaters May 13, 2016

African American Rhoda Ray- Nursed Soldiers At The Battle Of Wilson’s Creek

During the Battle of Wilson’s Creek, on August 10, 1861, Rhoda and her children initially sought shelter in the cellar of the Ray house, then helped treat the wounded after the house was occupied as a Southern field hospital. 

Rhoda was freed in 1865 and moved to Springfield, Missouri, where she married John Jones in 1868; she took in laundry and her husband worked in a stone quarry. Rhoda Jones died in Springfield, Missouri, on November 4, 1897, and is buried in Hazelwood Cemetery.

Rhoda Ray was born a slave about 1824; she and her children were owned by John Ray. She was referred to as “Aunt Rhoda” by the Ray family, and she and the children worked on the Ray farm.

This undated post-Civil War photograph was taken at Prof. Walter Mitchell’s Fine Art Gallery, Springfield, Missouri, circa 1897. “Slave of G-Mother Ray” is written on the back.

Carte-de-Visite by Prof. Walter Mitchell’s Fine Art Gallery, Springfield, Mo.

Image Courtesy Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield; WICR 01755-MM

ColorByStaceyPalmer @thecivilwarparlor