The Civil War Connections Blog

Author Archives: shawanda.davis

Walt Whitman “Beat! Beat! Drums!”

This poem, written in 1861, in a sense was meant to awaken America to the coming of the war.  The beating of the drums and the blowing of the bugle would sound into every aspect of American life. Walt Whitman “Beat! Beat! Drums!”   Beat! beat! drums!—blow! bugles! blow! Through the windows—through doors—burst like a […]

Contrabands of War

Escaped slaves were referred to as contrabands of the war. Many escaped slaves in Hampton Roads made their way to Fort Monroe. Here, General Benjamin Butler struggled with the deciding what to do with these slaves. The Fugitive Slave Law required that they be returned to their owners. Naturally, this would not be the case […]

Work ordered to begin on a new ironclad

CSS Virginia was the first ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy and was one of the participants in the Battle of Hampton Roads in March, 1862 opposite the USS Monitor. As you’ll recall, when Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, one of the important federal military bases threatened was Gosport Shipyard, now Norfolk […]

Two Americas: Observing July 4th in the Southern Confederacy

Richmond Enquirer, July 4, 1861 We are happy to see many proofs in our Confederate exchanges, that the 4th of July is to be generally observed throughout the Southern Confederacy. We are glad of this because of the association of the day itself, and of the grand event of which it is the anniversary. Let […]

Who Actually Gains From This War?

Who gains from war? This is certainly a timeless question. A light approach to answering this question, as it relates to the Civil War era, would be INVENTORS! In a previous post, I suggested that many argue that the Civil War was the first modern war. Below is an excerpt from an article entitled “Inventors the Prosperous Class,” […]

Timeless Literature

Taken from the September 1861 edition of Southern Literary Messenger: A Magazine Devoted to Literature, Science and Art, “Unknown Heroes,” written by William Howard Perrigo, is a timeless poem.  This poem, fitting to the time period in which it was written and is certainly relevant today as many continue to make the ultimate sacrifice. UNKNOWN […]

Shawanda Davis

Hello all.  I just wanted to take a moment to quickly introduce myself  as I am now one of the new contributors to Civil War Connections.  While I have chosen to spend my summer serving as an intern at The Mariners Museum, I am also a 6th grade United States history teacher in York County, Virginia.  I would like […]

The War Goes Aerial: The “Unofficial” Air Force of the United States

Many argue with the notion that the Civil War was the first “modern” war. There were certainly many technological advances and innovations unlike any previous war: photography, railroads, submarines, ironclads, telegraphs, and advances in weaponry such as the repeating rifle and minié ball. In early June 1861, Thaddeus S.C. Lowe sent the first telegraphic transmission […]

Slowly Disappearing Were the Days of the Southern Belle

Upon scrolling through the June 1861 edition of the Southern Literary Messenger: A Magazine Devoted to Literature, Science, and Art, I stumbled upon a poem that was likely written just before the onset of the war, but to me, shows the struggle of women during the war. “Fallen” was a submission written in early 1861 […]