Slaughter On Cemetery Ridge

In only minutes, Union guns at Gettysburg silenced the Confederacy's bold invasion of the North

Not until 2:30 p.m. on July 3, 1863, did the ear-splitting bombardment finally slacken on the rolling farmland of southern Pennsylvania. Nothing like it had ever been experienced before in America, or would be again. “The very ground shook and trembled,” wrote a witness, “and the smoke of the guns rolled out of the valley as tho there were thousands of acres of timber on fire.” For close to 90 minutes, 163 Confederate cannon had blanketed the Union battleline in a bedlam thick with smoke and deadly iron fragments.Read more »

Lincoln The Orator

Our most talented writer-president always wrote his own material and sweated hours over it

On February 27, 1860, Abraham Lincoln stood before a crowd of 1,500 at Cooper Union Hall in New York City. Until he had declared his candidacy for President of the United States, the former one-term Congressman had drawn little attention outside his home state of Illinois. Now the rail-thin prairie lawyer attracted a sizeable audience, including the “pick and flower of New York culture,” along with an army of journalists eager to record and reprint his words. Read more »

The Gettysburg Gospel

Reading America’s Most Famous Speech

No presidential speech has been as widely analyzed, memorized, or canonized as Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It has inspired more words to amplify and celebrate its mere 10 sentences than any oration since the Sermon on the Mount: articles, recitals, chapters, set pieces in films and plays, and, at last count, seven major books, most notably, until now, Garry Wills’s Pulitzer Prize– winning Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America . Read more »

Resources

A book entitled George Nelson in the Compact Design Portfolio series succinctly summarizes its subject’s career in words and pictures. Original Nelson/Harper/Miller clocks are available from dealers who focus on vintage items. One of them, Evan Snyderman of R 20th Century ( www.r20thcentury.com / 212-343-7979), says prices range from less than $2,500 for the most common to the mid-five-figure range for rare ones.Read more »

The Buyable Past

George Nelson Clocks

George Nelson said he got into furniture design by accident, and indeed the architect didn’t actually create many of the mid-twentieth-century modernist icons synonymous with his name. The bubble lamp, the coconut chair, the sling sofa, and others he’s commonly credited with were styled by associates in his New York City office. Read more »

The 3 Faces Of George Washington

How Mount Vernon Rebuilt The First President

What did George Washington really look like? We have a lot of familiar pictures of him, but they never quite agree with one another, and more were made when he was old than when he was young. So when the people who run Mount Vernon, Washington’s estate on the Potomac River in Virginia, wanted exact life-sized likenesses of him at the ages of 19, 45, and 57 for their new visitors’ center, they turned to the tools of forensic anthropology.Read more »

History Now

The 3 Faces of George Washington The Buyable Past Resources The Gettysburg Gospen

Tales Of A Gettysburg Guide

Alone among all American battlefields, the scene of the Civil War’s costliest encounter is patrolled by government-licensed historians who keep alive for visitors the memory of what happened there

Like his father, his grandfather, and his great-grandfather before him, Dave was a Michigan farmer. His great-grandfather had emigrated from Poland in 1X61, briefly worked in the Detroit area, then enlisted in the 24th Michigan. Months later, at the Battle of Gettysburg, Dave’s great-grandfather saw his regiment shot to pieces. On McPhcrson Ridge the black-hatted men of the 24th fought the 26th North Carolina Regiment to a standstill, but at dusk only ninety-nine of the nearly five hundred men of the 24th remained.Read more »

The Children Of Gettysburg

The storm broke over their small town and changed their lives forever

Beside [our] little front porch … lay two dead Union soldiers. I had never before seen a dead man, yet I do not recall that I was shocked, so quickly does war brutalize.” Charles McCurdy of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was ten years old in July 1863 when he came upon those corpses.Read more »

The Day The Civil War Ended

Gettysburg, Fifty Years After

The most dramatic and tragic moment of the American Civil War was the climactic point of Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg on the afternoon of July 3,1863. This doomed assault brought the Southern Confederacy to what looked like the verge of triumph, broke up in dust and fire, and put the armies on the road that led inevitably to the surrender field at Appomattox. Nothing in all the war has been written about so exhaustively. Read more »