Civil War Christmas


Merry Christmas General Lee
By Mort Kunstler
December 25, 1862
It was a passing moment of cheer amid the harsh realities of war. General Robert E. Lee has attended a holiday dinner hosted by General Stonewall Jackson at Moss Neck Plantation near Fredericksburg, Virginia. General Lee is leaving the festivities, heading back to his winter headquarters.

During [Read More ...]

Elizabeth Keckley


Dressmaker and Confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln

Elizabeth Keckley was a former slave who became a successful seamstress and author in Washington, DC, after buying her freedom in St. Louis. She created an independent business with clients who were the wives of the government elite: Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis, Mary Randolph Custis Lee, wife of Robert E. Lee, [Read More ...]

Fannie Jackson Coppin


Teacher of African American Children

For 37 years Fannie Jackson Coppin was teacher, then principal at the Institute for Colored Youth in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, making her the first African American woman to receive the title of school principal. During her tenure, she made many improvements at the school, believing that a broader range of education would be necessary to enable [Read More ...]

Arabella Griffith Barlow


Civil War Nurse and Wife of General Francis Barlow

Arabella Griffith Barlow became a Civil War nurse after her husband, Francis Barlow, joined the army in 1861. Barlow began the war as a private in the Twelfth Regiment of the New York Militia. Arabella became attached to the Sanitary Commission in 1862, but nursed her husband back to health after [Read More ...]

Martha Coston


Inventor of Night Signal Flares for the U.S. Navy

Martha Hunt Coston was born in 1826 in Baltimore, and moved to Philadelphia with her widowed mother, brothers, and sisters in the 1830s. At the age of 16, Martha eloped with Benjamin Franklin Coston, a promising young inventor.

The young couple were living a charmed life. Benjamin was appointed Master in [Read More ...]

Kate Cumming


Civil War Nurse from Alabama

Kate Cumming is best known for her dedicated service to sick and wounded Confederate soldiers. She spent much of the latter half of the Civil War as a nurse in field hospitals throughout Georgia. In 1866 she published A Journal of Hospital Life in the Confederate Army of Tennessee from the Battle of Shiloh to [Read More ...]