Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Website

Introducing my updated website Michellelhamilton.net where you can connect to Facebook, Amazon, and this blog all in one handy-dandy spot.  You can also contact me through the site and request my articles, along with a calender of events detailing my next book signings and events.

Hope you enjoy!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Book in Digital

Today Savas Beatie, LLC which publishes the digital format of "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears" is advertising the book on its Facebook page.  For more information about this book and other great history titles please Like Savas Beatie, LLC


To get "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears" in digital visit:


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Civil War Christmas

Here is a link to my latest article on the Street Caroline Blog about Christmas during the Civil War!  Enjoy and Marry Christmas!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Amazon Sale

Interested in "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House?  Amazon is having a 25% off sale which ends on December 14th at 11:59 est.  For more details, follow the link!


Monday, December 8, 2014

Gettysburg Remembrance Day 2014 Part 1

In November I went to Gettysburg, PA for my first Remembrance Day.  It was an incredible experience, and incredibly cold!  But I managed to keep warm, participated in two book signings and had the opportunity to meet renowned historian Harold Holzer.

 Upon arriving in Gettysburg on Friday, I got dressed as quickly as possible in my 1860s clothing.  Fortunately I was warm in my winter dress, the wool cloak, leather gloves, rabbit fur muff, and long johns kept me warm.
Posing with the statue of Jennie Wade.
That afternoon, I had an appointment to get my likeness taken by the renowned photographer Rob Gibson, whose work has appeared in the movie Gods and Generals.
 Rob Gibson is preparing the plate for the image.
Getting settled in for the photograph, the plate takes a few minutes to get prepared which allows for a little chit chat before having to sit still for the photograph.
Trying out a pose.
Getting my hoop to cooperate.
Rob making sure everything is in its right place and since I am an author I was given a book to hold as a prop.
While the image was being made I had to remain perfectly still for 30 seconds.  The image taken is stunning, I got a copy as a wet plate and four CDVs which I will scan and post here soon!
After lunch I visited the grave of Jennie Wade in Evergreen Cemetery and left a wreath.
While passing by the Hall of Presidents I found a familiar face.
This sycamore tree is called the Abraham Lincoln Witness Tree and is one of two on Baltimore Avenue.  Witness trees are trees that where there during the battle and are still alive.  This witness tree not only say the battle, but witnessed the parade of dignitaries, including President Lincoln, heading to the National Cemetery for Dedication Day on November 19, 1863.  The things that this tree has witnessed!
My first book signing was at Battlefields and Beyond, here I am chatting with fellow authors.  I enjoyed talking to the group about everything from Civil War history to the TV show Hogan's Heroes.

No visit to Battlefields and Beyond is complete without meeting Melville.
At first Melville was not interested in book.
He finally decided that he would take a peek after all.  Before the evening was over, Melville decided that he would hang out under my hoop and preceded to wrap himself around my feet.
Civil War Santa Claus made an appearance.
Finishing the day at the Lincoln Diner.
 The merging of time period's at dinner as I wrap up a very fun and busy day.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Wicked Domain

Tonight I had the pleasure of talking with Alex Matsuo on The Wicked Domain.  Missed the live show?  Don't worry, because the show is online!


If you like what you heard tonight and want to "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House the book is available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com!


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Lincoln vs McClellan

Attack ads, smear campaigns, dire predictions of the destruction of the county.  Are we talking about mid-term election of November 2014?  Nope, we are talking about the presidential election of 1864.  While today we are in the process of decompressing from the mid-term elections held earlier this week, 150 years ago today Americans (okay white males) where heading to the polls to vote for the next president.  At stake was the very future of the United States, would Americans support the continuation of the Civil War to end slavery and restore the union as championed by Republican President Abraham Lincoln? Or would they vote for the Democratic candidate George B. McClellan who favored peace at any cost by letting the Confederacy become an independent country at the expense of the freedom of four million slaves?  The election was perfectly illustrated in the political cartoon reproduced below.

(Image courtesy of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site)

I don't think there has ever been an presidential election with so much at stake for the future of the country.  It was a tough and ugly campaign and due to political and military set backs even Lincoln at times doubted that he would win a second term.  For the first time, soldiers were allowed to vote in the field, and those whose states demanded that they had to return to there homes where actually granted furloughs by their commanders to return home to vote.  But timely military victories and the loyalty of the Union soldiers Lincoln won a resounding victory.  Now secure, Lincoln's goals for the country could be completed and the bloody Civil War was now in its last final months.  But much bloodshed was still to come.


Lincoln Funeral

Next year marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's assassination and funeral.  There had never been an American president that had been assassinated, though there had been three previous presidents that had died in office.  The next two weeks witnessed the largest state funeral this country had ever seen (or likely to see again) as President Lincoln's body was returned to his home in Springfield, IL.  To commemorate this solemn occasion, the Lincoln Funeral Coalition is staging a re enactment of the Lincoln funeral in Springfield on May 1-3,2015.  I will be attending as a mourner.  Please consider attending either as a re enactor or just as a spectator as we say good bye again to a great American.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Blue & Grey Christmas

I am so thrilled about this upcoming event!  I am on the planning committee for a new event, a Blue & Grey Christmas to be held in Gordonsville, Virginia on Saturday, December 20 from 4:30 pm to 10:00 pm.

We are planning a Civil War Church service at the historic Presbyterian Church with a special guest General Stonewall Jackson!  There will be a Civil War Santa, children's games, and more.  I will be telling ghost stories at the Gordonsville Library.  To conclude the evenings festivities there will be a ball, conducted by the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Dancers with music provided by the Shenandoah Valley Minstrels.

For more information:


Local Author Reception

On Tuesday, November 11 (Veterans Day) I will be participating in a reception for local authors at the Central Rappahannock Library Porter Branch from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Over 30 authors will be attending and they will be selling copies of their works.  I will be selling my book "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears"!

Central Rappahannock Library Porter Branch
2001 Parkway Blvd
Stafford, VA 22554

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

On Facebook

My book "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House has its own Facebook page!  Like it and you can get exclusive updates and pictures.  Join today!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Love is Eternal

On this date in 1842 Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd where joined together in holy matrimony.  The couple where married in the bride's sister's home in Springfield, IL.  Mary's sister, Elizabeth Edwards, had objected to the match and had played a role in the couple's separation.  In this battle of will, Mary Todd was determined to get what she wanted--and she wanted to marry Abraham Lincoln.  With the help of sympathetic friends, the couple resumed their courtship in secret and got engaged.  In fact, Elizabeth Edwards was only informed of the engagement when Mary announced on the morning of November 2 that she was going to marry Lincoln that evening!

Realizing that she had lost, and worried that it would look bad that Mary was married elsewhere--as Elizabeth had been charged to look after her younger sister and act as her chaperon--Elizabeth declared that Mary would marry in the Edwards' mansion.  It was a rushed wedding, Mary had to borrow the white muslin dress she wore from another married sister.  Legend holds that when the wedding cake was cut it was still warm from the oven.

Historians like to debate about the background of the wedding.  Some insist that Mary lured Abraham into a marriage that he did not want.  I strongly disagree with that, my research into Lincoln's character shows a man that could never be convinced to do something that he did not want to do.  He had already extracted himself from an engagement when he realized that he did not love Mary Owens.  Those who see Mary as the villain like to point out a statement Lincoln made before going to his wedding.  The son of his landlady spotted him leaving his lodgings and seeing the usually sloppily dressed Lincoln dressed in his best suit asked him where he was going.  Lincoln responded that he was going to hell.

My interpretation of this statement is that Lincoln was nervous before his marriage, and was likely concerned that Elizabeth would try to prevent the wedding.  Besides the meddling of Elizabeth, Lincoln had also broken his first engagement to Mary because he felt that he was unworthy to have the wealthy and cultured Mary Todd.  The Todds' were wealthy and Mary had been raised in the lap of luxury.  Lincoln worried that he could never support Mary in the style that she had become accustomed too.  After all he was only a poor country lawyer with only the promise of a successful political career.  But Mary did not care!  She loved Abraham and would have no other man but him.

The couple was married that evening, a hundred and seventy years ago tonight, in the parlor of Elizabeth Edwards with only thirty guests in attendance.  And when it came time for Abraham Lincoln to slip the wedding ring on the fourth finger of Mary's left hand the ring carried this inscription, "A.L to Mary, Nov. 4 1842.  Love is Eternal."  Mary would wear this ring on her left hand for the remainder of her life--in fact Abraham was holding Mary's left hand when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865.  Upon her death on July 16, 1882, Mary was buried wearing her wedding ring and the ring still rests with her in the Lincoln tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery.

(As a side note, Abraham Lincoln never wore a wedding ring as men of the time did not wear wedding rings--this tradition would only come into fashion around World War II.)

Happy 172nd Anniversary Abraham and Mary Lincoln!


(For more information and great images related to the wedding of Abraham and Mary Lincoln visit: http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln49.html)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Famously Haunted Podcast

Missed my appearance on Famously Haunted? Don't despair the podcast is now available!


The Wicked Domain

I am pleased to announce that this Sunday, November 9, at 9:00 est I will be on The Wicked Domain hosted by Alex Matsuo on LiveParanormal.com.  I had the pleasure to meet Alex at ParaAmericon and besides sharing a love for the paranormal and history, we are both graduated with or MA's from San Diego State University!

For more information visit:


Join the Facebook invite page, I will be there...will you?


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Civil War News

The November issue of Civil War News has been published, the issue features the annual massive Civil War Book section. I submitted my book in for review, while sadly it did not get selected for review, it was featured in the "Books Received For Review" column on page 42, so at least that is something!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book on Ebay

I was bored tonight and decided to visit eBay.  I am a big fan of eBay and used the site extensively while looking for copies of obscure sources while writing "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears."  eBay can be a dangerous place, especially if you broke, or in my case saving up for Remembrance Day Weekend in Gettysburg--so tonight I was purely browsing.

On a whim I decided to type my book title in the search engine and was shocked to see my book being issued for sale.  Instantly my anxiety kicked in and I began to fret that my book was being sold by unhappy buyers.  Realizing that I can't satisfy everyone, I noticed that the books where being sold by book dealers.  I found it interesting that one of the copies was being sold for more than it is offered by Amazon or when you purchase from me at an event.

It is flattering to see that people are watching the auction, but when you buy from a used book dealer the author receives none of the profits.  I have nothing against used book sellers, having used them for rare and out of print books, but it is important for the public to know who gets the profits for a book currently in print.  Regardless it is still kind of cool to see your name on eBay, and I hope that no matter how my work reaches the public that they are satisfied after spending time with my work.   

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Monday, October 6, 2014

Lee's Headquarters

On Saturday I had my book signing at Lee's Headquarters in Fredericksburg, VA.  It was a lovely fall day and I enjoyed meeting readers and seeing friends all while being across the street from the Fredericksburg National Military Park and Cemetery.  In fact the store, Lee's Headquarters and its next door neighbor the Battlefield Restaurant are located on land where men fought and died in December 1862 in the bloody fight for Marye's Heights.  I gave the waitresses at the restaurant a fright when they saw me crossing the street--for a moment they were unsure if I was flesh and blood or a spirit.  It turns out that they have a spirit of there own which they have have dubbed the "Battlefield Ghost" which likes to play harmless pranks on the restaurant staff.   My next book signing will be on Sunday, November 16 at the Gettysburg Heritage Center.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Paramericon 2014

On Saturday, September 27, I attended Paramericon, it was a great experience and it is always fun to connect with my readers.  Below are some photos taken at the event.

 My booth

Another image of me at my booth, photo by event organizer Suzanne Sorrell

At Paramericon had the pleasure to meet fellow author and Aztec alumi (San Diego State University) Alex Matsuo, photo taken by Alex Matsuo

My new fan Dani N., it is always a pleasure to meet and interact with my readers!  Photo taken by Dani

The event was great and there will be Paramericon II next year.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Three Days

Three days until ParAmeriCon and I am very exited!  Stop by my booth where I will be selling "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House.  I will be next to Miss Katie Lee Gammage who will be selling her new book, doing readings, and serving as the convention mascot Miss Meri!

Tickets are available only online and are selling quickly.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Upcoming Events

This Saturday, September 27, I will be appearing at ParAmeriCon from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm where I will be selling (and signing) ''I Will Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House


Next week, Saturday October 4, I will be having a book signing at Lee's Headquarters Civil War Store in Fredericksburg, VA from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

1016 Lafeyette Blvd.
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

On Sunday, November 16, I will be having a book signing at the Gettysburg Heritage Center in Gettysburg, PA from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gettysburg Book Signing, November 16


Save the date, I will be signing books on Sunday, November 16, 2014 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Gettysburg Heritage Center during Remembrance Day Weekend.

For updates on the other fantastic authors that will be participating visit: http://www.gettysburgmuseum.com/

Gettysburg Heritage Center
297 Steinwehr Ave
Gettysburg, PA 17325
(717) 334-6245

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Just Arrived

Just received shipment of my books ready to sign for ParAmeriCon!

Come join me on Saturday, September 27, 2014 in Manassas Park, VA for the first ParAmeriCon. Tickets are $20.00 and are available for purchase only at

Monday, September 15, 2014

History Witch

I am a huge fan of artist Lisa Graves work.  Under her blog title "History Witch," Lisa produces gorgeous drawings about famous, infamous, and fascinating women.   In August, Lisa devoted her blog to First Ladies and drew (after much bugging from me) this lovely image of Mary Lincoln.  For September and October she is dedicating her blog to ghostly women.  I hope she does Jennie Wade--I will keep you posted.  Visit her website and become a fan!  http://historywitch.com/

(Courtesy of History Witch, Mary Lincoln by Lisa Graves 2014)

ParAmeriCon September 27, 2014

I am pleased to announce that I will be selling (and signing) my book "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House at ParAmeriCon on Saturday September 27, 2014 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Please come to support this wonderful convention celebrating the women of the paranormal community.  This is the first convention and I hope that this will become a yearly event.  Tickets for the event are $20.00 and can only be purchased online.

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Manassas Park Community Center
99 Adams Street
Manassas Park, VA 20111


Book Signing


Mark your calendars!  I will be signing copies of my book "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House at Lee's Headquarters The Civil War Shop in Fredericksburg, VA on Saturday October 4 from 10:00 am to 2:00 PM.  The store is located across the street from the Fredericksburg National Military Park and National Cemetery.

Lee's Headquarters
1016 Lafayette Blvd
Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Arcane Radio

Today I had the pleasure of talking to Sean Forker and Lon Strickler for their new radio show Arcane Radio.  I had an absolute blast as we talked about my book "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House.  The episode will be downloaded tonight.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Spotlight: Jane Austen Cover to Cover


Received a copy of the book from the Goodreads First read giveaway.   

Author's Note: Though this book is not devoted to the Civil War era, I have been a fan of Jane Austen's for several years and felt that I should share my review of this excellent book.

I remember my first encounter with the works of Jane Austen. I had received my yearly Christmas gift certificate from an historic house that I volunteered at. The house had an fantastic gift shop and on sale that particularly Christmas was a Dover Thrift edition of Jane Austen's Emma, it was 2005 and the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice was being released in theaters. I took that book with me to read between my college classes and my life changed. I feel in love with both Jane and her characters, a feat that few authors achieve. I was pleased to see a picture of my book in Margaret C. Sullivan's delightful Jane Austen Cover to Cover: 200 Years of Classic Book Covers.

Margaret C. Sullivan's book is a celebration of Jane Austen's timeless appeal through an examination of Austen's book covers from the first editions published during her lifetime to the ebook covers of today. The covers are grouped by era and follow a chronological tour of the development of the publishing industry and the development of book cover art. I particularly enjoyed the sections devoted to movie-tie in editions and the growing number of books devoted to young readers. The book concludes with a chapter devoted to foreign editions, a fascinating peak into how non-English speaking cultures view the works of the very English Jane Austen. At the end of each chapter Sullivan provides a brief but insightful essay on a particular topic related to Jane Austen such at the fashion of her era, what she really looked like, and the growth of Jane Austen scholarship. My favorite essay was devoted to the growth of the cult of Jane Austen in antebellum America. 

The covers detailed in Sullivan's book range from the elegant collectors volumes to the hideously tacky. Personally some of my favorite covers were the delightfully horrid ones, the ones where you had to question if the book editors had even read the book. While fashions in book covers and art my change, as the book illustrates, Jane Austen has achieved the rare distention of being truly timeless, there are few authors who has remained as popular as her. 

Jane Austen Cover to Cover is a delightful romp through the publishing history of Jane Austen's books and belongs in the collection of every Janeite. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Spotlight: With Malice Toward None--Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address


Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural address has been revered as one of the greatest speeches given by an American for nearly 150 years. Given during the waning days of the Civil War, Lincoln laid out the causes and effects of the war in beautiful, soaring terms unlike anything that is produced by today's politicians. The beauty of the speech was immediately recognized, Frederick Douglass declared that the speech "was a sacred effort." While the speech failed as an inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln failed to provide any details on the plans his administration had for the Reconstruction that would bring the southern states back into the Union and the place the four million freed slaves now had in the Union. Lincoln, in my opinion can be forgiven this oversight, and likely if the speech had rambled on and on detailing dry policy it would have quickly been forgotten like the majority of presidential inaugural addresses. 

Jack E. Levin's beautiful book, With Malice Toward None: Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, perfectly illustrates why Lincoln's address has survived the test of time. The address is faithfully reproduced along with images and drawings from the Civil War era that where carefully chosen by Levin. The images selected by Levin, a professional artist, perfectly highlights Lincoln's words. In an era when newspapers where just starting to include images, Lincoln used his words to paint the images he wanted to convey, a fact that is illustrated in Levin's book. The book presents Lincoln's address with the illustrations and then again at the end in its original format with Lincoln's spelling and paragraph break.

With Malice Toward None is a wonderful volume that can be enjoyed by all ages. A wonderful introduction to Lincoln for young readers, though some may struggle with fully understanding what Lincoln was trying to understand making this the perfect book for parents and children to read together and discuss what they take from Lincoln's words as Lincoln wrote his address to be read out loud. Levin's beautiful book will be cherished in family library's for years to come. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

On Facebook

"I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears" has it's own Facebook page!  Follow the link to like the page and join the spirit circle!  I will be posting updates and photos: https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Would-Still-Be-Drowned-in-Tears/1456092021333545?ref=stream

Book Available in Gettysburg

I am very pleased to announce the my book "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House" is now available at the American History Shop in Gettysburg. Whenever I am in Gettysburg I always visit the American History Shop and I am so proud that now my book will join the ranks along some of the best history authors in the US.


American History Shop
461 Baltimore St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325

My book can also now be found at the Gettysburg Heritage Center (formerly the Civil War Wax Museum).  The Gettysburg Heritage Center is currently undergoing a massive remodeling and I can't wait to see the completed museum which will tell the story of the Gettysburg civilians.  I am also very proud to have my book selected to be featured in the center's gift shop which features the best author's in the field of Civil War studies.


Gettysburg Heritage Center
297 Steinwehr Ave
Gettysburg, PA 17325

Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Spotlight: Ghosts of Gettysburg VII


What lurks on the battlefields of Gettysburg after dark? Does the spirits of those killed in July 1863 rise from their graves and re enact their bloody deaths over and over and over again? There might be something to the ghostly tales author and paranormal researcher Mark Nesbitt suggests in his latest installment in his widely popular Ghosts of Gettysburg series. Nesbitt, a former National Park Service Ranger/Historian began publishing the stories of the ghosts and haunting's of Gettysburg in 1991 and each volume offers its fair number of spine tingling tales. Fans of the series will not be disappointed as the author offers follow up of some of the series classic tales such as the elevator in Gettysburg College's "Old Dorm" which occasionally takes unsuspecting riders into a hellish visit to the past when the doors open, not to the modern world, but to a Civil War hospital. While there are several updates, there are also plenty of new stories that are as intriguing as they are curious. My person favorite was the woman who bought an electronic voice recorder after hearing bangs and knocks in the General Lee suite at the Quality Inn at General Lee's Headquarters to only recieve an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) of a southern voice saying "General Lee will be with you." 

What stands out in Nesbitt's books that can be found lacking in other books of the topic, is Nesbitt's firm footing as an historian. All the stories and paranormal activity are connected back to the historic record, this helps explain the activity people are witnessing. For example, people for decades have smelled the strong sent of perfume on the main streets of Gettysburg. The activity makes more sense when it is revealed that following the battle the stench of the dead was so overpowering that the ladies of Gettysburg soaked their handkerchief's in perfume to mask the smell.  Not only does the reader get a good ghost story, but also a good dose of history in the process!   The only place that I disagree with Nesbitt is his claim that the Confederate sharpshooter that accidentally killed Jennie Wade was behind the rubble barricade on Baltimore Street.  In my research, I am of the opinion that the shot likely came from the Rupp Tannery, but this is a small disagreement caught by a very picky reader!

A must read for all fans of the paranormal and of the Civil War. I have been a fan of Mark Nesbitt since I first saw him on the History Channel in the 1990s and this volume does not disappoint and I can't wait to see the next installment in the Ghosts of Gettysburg series as the dead have more to tell us!