Category Archives: Civil War clothing

Tail coats

“Men in claw-hammer coats and tall, beaver hats and ladies in silk dresses and sunbonnets were standing looking down at us from above the red-clay walls we had tried so hard to climb…” So says Private Lafayette Bolton of the … Continue reading

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Parson Brownlow’s wife Elisa

In the novel, the historical Elisa Brownlow and my fictional Leila Ellis are close friends. This photo of Mrs. Brownlow was taken in Philadelphia, Pa, soon after the war began when the Confederates had kicked her husband out of Knoxville … Continue reading

Posted in "Knoxville 1863", Civil War clothing, Parson William Brownlow, Parthenia Leila Ellis, Susan Brownlow | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Correction: “new gray shell jackets”

I’m now convinced I made a mistake in attributing the Mississippi Brigade’s new shell jackets to a gift from the state of North Carolina in the late summer of ’63 when their motley collection of railroad cars stopped en route from Petersburg, VA, … Continue reading

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Strawberry Plains, 1863

The guard on this bridge 20 miles northeast of Knoxville probably is Union but the photo was taken soon after Dec. 3, about the time when Longstreet’s retreating troops passed this way, so who knows? Biggerize the photo with a … Continue reading

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2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway … Continue reading

Posted in "Knoxville 1863", Civil War armament, Civil War clothing, Families Divided By The War, Robert E. Lee, USS Monitor | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The “ballad” of Ephraim Shelby Dodd

Private Dodd was one of Terry’s Texas Rangers who’d been captured by the federals and was housed in Knoxville’s Castle Fox jail during the Union occupation. A curious conjunction of events, ranging from Gen. Longstreet’s hanging of two alleged Union … Continue reading

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Gettysburg’s 150th

I’m not sorry to be missing Gettysburg’s 150th anniversary these next three days. Too much of the occasion will be taken up by reenactment events, which reenactment participants call “impressions.” But too many of the reenactors are too corpulent and all … Continue reading

Posted in Boy Battery, Civil War armament, Civil War clothing, Eighteenth Georgia, Eighteenth Mississippi, Eighth Georgia, Gen. Benjamin Grubb Humphreys, Gen. James Longstreet, Gen. Lafayette McLaws, Gen. William T. Wofford, President Abraham Lincoln, Reenactors, Seventeenth Mississippi, Sixteenth Georgia, The Phillips Georgia Legion, The Sesquicentennial, Thirteenth Mississippi, Twenty-First Mississippi | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Reprise: French seams

Some slaves/servants were highly-skilled domestic craftsmen. The novel’s widow Parthenia Leila Ellis’s housekeeper/slave Natalie, for instance. Natalie was skilled at sewing French seams even in silk, while her mistress was afraid of sewing silk at all. The French seam remains in use … Continue reading

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