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Category: Civil War

Here’s to you Sullivan Ballou…

Here’s to you Sullivan Ballou…

On this day, July 14, 1861, on the eve of the first major Civil War engagement, the First Battle of Bull Run, Sullivan Ballou, from Camp Clark, Washington D.C., wrote home to his wife in Smithfield, Rhode Island. How beautifully and compelling he wrote…I wish we still communicated this way. My very dear Sarah:  The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days — perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I…

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Welcome to another island paradise…residents beware?

Welcome to another island paradise…residents beware?

JOHNSON’S ISLAND, Ohio — If you’re in the right age bracket, you would remember Gilligan’s Island. But regardless of how many years you have, I’d be willing to wager you’re not all too familiar with Johnson’s Island. To cut to the chase, one is fiction; unfortunately, the other is not. Folks from around the world have certainly seen Johnson’s Island without ever realizing it. Put it this way…if you’ve ever been atop one of the roller coasters at Sandusky, Ohio’s…

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Lee surrenders at Appomattox

Lee surrenders at Appomattox

It must have been quite a moment when Civil War generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee shook hands inside the front parlor of the Wilmer McLean house (Appomattox Court House) on April 9, 1865. After four bloody years and 600,000-plus dead Americans, the Civil War was finally over. If I had the power to travel back in time, Lee’s surrender at Appomattox would be high on my list. To witness those indelible moments inside the parlor must have…

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