Passionate Love, Civil War and Tragic Loss

The letters exchanged between General Stonewall Jackson to his wife Anna tell the story of this remarkable couple. Even in the midst of the most difficult military campaigns of the Civil War, the general made time to write extensive letters of love and devotion to his bride. Theirs was one of the great love stories of the war.

Image: A Ride With Anna by John Paul Strain
Riding along the …Read More...

Educator and Suffragist

Mary Stafford Anthony was the youngest sister of the famous social reformer and feminist Susan B. Anthony. Often overshadowed by her older sibling, Mary was a suffragist and educator who served as the first female school principal in western New York. She played an active role in several social reform organizations, including the New York Women's Suffrage Association.

Image: Mary Stafford Anthony
At about 25 years of age

Early Years
Mary Stafford Anthony was born …Read More...

Caring for the Wounded in Our Nation's Capital

Federal General Hospitals
The title of United States Army General Hospital applied to facilities where soldiers from any military unit, unlike Division or Corps Hospitals.

Image: Harewood Hospital
Washington DC

From 1861 through 1865, General Hospitals treated more than one million soldiers with a mortality rate of only eight percent, the lowest ever recorded for military hospitals and better than many civilian facilities. Washington's sixteen General Hospitals comprised nearly 30,000 …Read More...

Civil War Nurse

Also known as Mary Phinney von Olnhausen, Mary Phinney was the widow of a Prussian nobleman when she served as a Civil War nurse at the Mansion House Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia. Her journals, published as Adventures of an Army Nurse in Two Wars, give a glimpse into the life of a Union nurse.

Early Years
Mary Phinney was born February 3, 1818 in Lexington, Massachusetts to lawyer Elias Phinney and Catherine Barlett Phinney, …Read More...

Survivor of the Worst U.S. Marine Disaster

Late in April of 1865, the Mississippi River stood at flood stage. Four years of war had ruined many levees, and the foaming water was over the banks for miles. More people died in the sinking of the steamboat Sultana than on the Titanic 47 years later, yet the tragic story is rarely mentioned in history books. Newspaper reports covered the latest event in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln: John Wilkes …Read More...

African American Women in Antebellum America

Amid the harshness of slavery, American women of African descent managed to preserve the culture of their ancestry and articulate their struggles. Black female poets and writers emerged throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Many prominent free black women in the North were active in the Abolitionist Movement.

Slave Women
Enslaved women in every state of the antebellum Union undoubtedly considered escaping from bondage, but relatively few attempted it - often to …Read More...