Civil War

Upon the clash of arms near a little Maryland creek hung the slave’s freedom and the survival of the Union

At Fort Wagner the Negro soldier was asked to prove the worth of the “powerful black hand”

On the eve of the Civil War differing loyalties sent some West Pointers north, others south, but their academy friendship survived the conflict.

“The President came forward and the sun burst through the clouds.”

Missives, one by Mark Twain, the other by Walt Whitman, reflect the impact of the Civil War on the nation.

Hardly a person in America was untouched by the Civil War, and Mark Twain and Walt Whitman were no exceptions. Because they were perhaps the most distinctly “American” writers of their time, their reactions to the conflict are particularly interesting. Read more >>

Two adroit diplomats successfully prevented an open breach between London and Washington during the Civil War

The Civil War soldier marched to his own individualist cadence, but he was much like today’s G. I.

If Buchanan had met the Kansas problem firmly we might have avoided civil war
The fourth in a series on TIMES OF TRIAL IN AMERICAN STATECRAFT

Along the Mississippi the spirit of vanished culture lingers in the ruined columns of the great plantations

A southern woman’s memoir of a by-gone era

There are many ways of looking at the now-vanished plantation society of the pre-Civil War South. One of them is the way of legend—white-pillared plantation, a leisured and courtly life centering in it, charming women and gallant men consciously living up to a tradition which has lingered on as a memory long after the reality has gone. A small bit of that legend—faithful to the magnolia-and-roses tradition, but embodying an authentic fragment of real human experience—is presented here, in a memoir written years ago by Cornelia Barrett Ligon, who spent her girlhood on Newstead Plantation, near Jackson, Mississippi, and who in 1932, as very aged woman, set down her reminiscences of the old days. From notes she wrote and dictated, her daughter Lucile Ligon Cope of Port Arthur, Texas, has put together the following account of what life on legendary Old South plantation was like, and how the war finally came to the plantation and ended an era. AMERICAN HERITAGE presents this memoir as an interesting fragment of the legend and the tradition of fabulous Dixie.     Read more >>

Our American heritage is greater than any one of us.

The sun goes down every evening over the muzzle of a gun that has been a museum piece for nearly a century, and where there was a battlefield there is now a park, with green fields rolling west under the sunset haze to the misty blue mountain wall. You can see it all just about as it used to be, and to look at it brings up deep moods and sacred memories that are part of our American heritage. Read more >>