Boston’s Civil War Monument and the Emergence of the Massachusetts Grand Army of the Republic

About two hundred thousand people crowded the streets of Boston on the day the city’s Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument was dedicated. The octagonal granite shaft, ornamented with large bronze statues and low relief panels, had been ten years in the making from conception to completion. It stood 137 and ½ feet tall on Flagstaff Hill,Continue reading “Boston’s Civil War Monument and the Emergence of the Massachusetts Grand Army of the Republic”

Arriving at Camp Misery

The inexperienced recruits of the 11th Rhode Island Infantry marched along a road slick with wet, red clay as they left their camp on Miner’s Hill near Arlington, Virginia on January 14, 1863. They had been posted on that hill since their arrival in Virginia about two months before. Some felt a bit sentimental aboutContinue reading “Arriving at Camp Misery”

Rainsford Island Hospital and Marginalized Veterans

My dissertation focuses on the improvised, decentralized network of relief organizations and programs that formed to aid the Civil War veteran during and in the years immediately after the war. I argue that these forms of support were, contrary to some interpretations, generally successful. However, one cannot turn a blind eye to the failures. AndContinue reading “Rainsford Island Hospital and Marginalized Veterans”

Winslow Homer’s “Veteran in a New Field” and Postwar Toil for Civilians and Soldiers Alike

In the summer of 1865, as hundreds of thousands of former Union soldiers returned home, Winslow Homer painted “Veteran in a New Field.” Homer had worked as an “artist-correspondent” for Harpers Weekly during the war. He spent much of the Peninsular Campaign of 1862 virtually on the front lines. His vast body of wartime workContinue reading “Winslow Homer’s “Veteran in a New Field” and Postwar Toil for Civilians and Soldiers Alike”

Soldiers’ Barracks and Mayhem in Downtown Boston

The degree to which Boston was dominated by a strong martial presence during the Civil War is often overlooked. Regiments from four states converged on the city to board ships or trains headed southwards. For four years, soldiers paraded through the streets, drilled on Boston Common, and were barracked by the thousands in any numberContinue reading “Soldiers’ Barracks and Mayhem in Downtown Boston”

Civil War Hospital Cars to Boston

The Executive Committee of Boston Associates of the United States Sanitary Commission (now there’s a mouthful) set a high priority on extending hospital car service from New York to Boston. More informally known as the “Boston Branch”, the Boston Associates organized in 1863 to manage special relief efforts in the city and to aid returningContinue reading “Civil War Hospital Cars to Boston”

Published article in the New England Quarterly

Another of my research interests has to do with the clash of abolitionists and anti-abolitionists in Boston. I was very happy to have a paper on the subject published in the March 2021 issue of the New England Quarterly. This represents the culmination of a great deal of research and editing of this piece. The resultContinue reading “Published article in the New England Quarterly”

My short article for “the Beehive”

Back in the “before times” in 2019, I was honored to received a Mellon Short-term Research Fellowship with the Massachusetts Historical Society. Over the course of a few months, I did a deep dive into their collections related to the U.S. Sanitary Commission and returning Civil War soldiers. It was a great opportunity and I’mContinue reading “My short article for “the Beehive””