Field And His Staff Officers Of The 39th U.S. Colored Infantry,  in front of St. Petersburg Va., Sep. 1864- From: Mathew B. Brady and Levin Corbin Handy photographic studios collection

The 39th United States Colored Troops lost 38 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded and 3 officers and 239 enlisted men to disease during the Civil War.


March 22-31 Organized at Baltimore, Md.
April Attached to 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 9th Corps, Army of the Potomac
May-June Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River, Va. Guard trains of the Army of the Potomac through the Wilderness and to Petersburg.
June 15-19 First Assault on Petersburg
June 16- December 7 Siege of Petersburg and Richmond
July 30 Mine Explosion, Petersburg,
August 18-21 Weldon Railroad
September Attached to 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 9th Corps
September 29-30 & October 1 Poplar Grove Church
October 27-28 Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher’s Run
November On the Bermuda Hundred front
December 7-271st Expedition to Fort Fisher, N. C. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 25th Corps, then 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 25th Corps


January 7-152nd Expedition to Fort Fisher, N. C. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Terry’s Provisional Corps, Dept. of North Carolina
January 13-15 Bombardment of Fort Fisher
January 15 Assault and capture of Fort Fisher
January 19 Sugar Loaf Hill
February 11 Federal Point
February 18-20 Fort Anderson
February 22 Capture of Wilmington
February 22 Northeast Ferry
March 1-April 26 Campaign of the Carolinas. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 10th Corps. Dept. of North Carolina
March 6-21 Advance on Kinston and Goldsboro
March 23-24 Cox’s Bridge
April 9-14 Advance on Raleigh
April 14 Occupation of Raleigh
April 26 Bennett’s House. Surrender of Johnston and his army.
May-December Duty at various points in the Dept. of North Carolina
December 4 Mustered out

Archival Collection Details: Link to Finding Aid: Curatorial Area: Beinecke Library Catalog Record: A record for this resource appears in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Series I. Mathew B. Brady Studio: Albumen Photographic Prints on “Original Photographs” Mounts


one thing I noticed about civil war was this cut where they were all suddenly dressed in their suits so i can only assume

General Ulysses Grant and His Staff at Cold Harbor

Grant pulled out of Cold Harbor after nine days of trench warfare and continued to try to flank Lee’s army at Petersburg. Grant later expressed remorse for the egregious Union casualties at Cold Harbor, stating, “I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made […] no advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained.”

  • The Cold Harbor battlefield is roughly 12 miles from Richmond and is a part of the Richmond National Battlefield Park. The 50-acre park includes hiking trails and numerous Civil War trenches and rifle pits.


April 9th 1865: The American Civil War ends

On this day in 1865, 150 years ago, Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union general Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, thus ending the civil war that had ravaged America since 1861. Sectional tensions over slavery, which had existed since the nation’s founding, came to boiling point with the election of the anti-slavery Republican Abraham Lincoln as president in 1860. The outraged Southern states feared the government would attempt to emancipate their slaves, whose labour provided the basis for the Southern economy, and thus seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Hopes for peace were dashed when shots were fired upon the Union Fort Sumter in April 1861, and the nation descended into civil war. The Confederacy, largely led by General Lee, initially had great success and defeated the Union in key battles including at Manassas and Fredericksburg. However, the Union’s superior resources and infrastructure ultimately turned the tide of war in their favour, crushing the Confederates at Gettysburg and with the destruction of Sherman’s march to the sea. Lee surrendered to Grant when hope of Confederate victory was lost, though Grant - out of respect for Lee and his desire for peaceful reconciliation -  defied military tradition and allowed Lee to keep his sword and horse. While more armies and generals had yet to surrender, Lee’s surrender essentially marked the end of the deadliest war in American history, which left around 750,000 dead. Union victory ensured the abolition of slavery, opening up questions about what was to be the fate of the four million freedpeople. These debates, as well as how to treat the seceded states and how to negotiate their readmission into the Union, defined the challenges of the postwar Reconstruction era. The Civil War remains a pivotal moment in American history and in many ways, 150 years later, the nation is still struggling to unite the sections and cope with the legacy of slavery. 

“The Confederates were now our countrymen, and we did not want to exult over their downfall.”
- Grant upon Lee’s surrender

150 years ago

In 2016, Hurricane Matthew uncovered more than a dozen Civil War cannonballs on a beach in South Carolina. Even though the eroded artillery looked harmless after 150 years buried in sand, they were still prone to detonating and able to send shrapnel more than ¼ mile), so the US Air Force promptly blew them up. Source


Ambulances Through History

Ambulances post-date mobile medical units by several hundred years - the first evidence of “mobile hospitals” dates back to the units set up by the Knights Hospitallier during the first Crusades in the 11th century - but they are much more ancient than our current high-tech, specially-equipped vehicles may suggest.

The first consistent military ambulances emerged in the 15th century to transport Spanish troops away from the action, and the first wide-spread civilian ambulance services were developed during the cholera epidemics in 1830s London.

Many of our current ambulance services were developed during the U.S. Civil War, World War I, and World War II.

In recent decades, many ambulance services have expanded into specialty care (cardiovascular, obesity, stroke, and athletic), and in the United States and United Kingdom, almost all municipal fire departments are directly affiliated with a public or private ambulance service.


National Museum of Medicine

Wikimedia Commons



Although I think – I hope – most people know by now that she dies in Civil War (of old age, not of anything plot-related), and that’s the only spoiler here.

I took screenshots of Peggy’s obit in tonight’s Agents of SHIELD episode. Unfortunately you can’t read the whole thing (the camera only panned across part of it), but here are the parts fic writers might be interested in:

  • She was born April 9, 1921 in Hampstead, and was 95 when she died, putting her canonical death approximately when the movie came out (2016)
  • Her parents’ names were Harrison and Amanda.
  • Peggy’s career began as an office worker under the British Royal Military; she moved on to be a code-breaker and work for British intelligence (as we know).
  • Even if her brother Michael turns out to be alive in canon, he is still thought by the general public to have died in WWII; the obit mentions his death in the war as Peggy’s inspiration for joining the SOE. The obit also says that Michael is her only sibling.
  • She married and had two children who are both still alive as of 2016 (cagily, the obit only says that she married, but doesn’t say who).
  • Much of Peggy’s life is still classified.
  • The obit also describes her childhood as “one of adventure that served as a precursor to her later life as a spy and feminist pioneer”. Given that she grew up in Hampstead (an affluent suburb of London), I have no idea what THAT is supposed to mean. The family traveled a lot? They were once kidnapped by pirates who inexplicably wandered through Hampstead? Have fun, writers. :D

Full Length Double Portrait, Two Sergeants, With Swords- From: Randolph Linsly Simpson African-American Collection

Sitters identified as Alexander Herritage Newton and Daniel S. Lathrop, quartermaster sergeants with the twenty-ninth Connecticut Infantry.

Officially designated U.S. Colored Troops (U.S.C.T), the famous 54th, along with other all-black companies, received the most basic of training before being sent out to fight. Black troops made important contributions to the Union victory with 120 infantry regiments, 12 heavy artillery regiments, 10 light artillery batteries, 5 engineer regiments, and 7 cavalry units. The U.S.C.T contributed approximately 180,000 men, or 10% of the total Union army. Many thousands more served in vital support roles such as porters, carpenters, laborers, cooks, guards, and scouts.

Beinecke Library Catalog Record:A record for this resource appears in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog