Friday, December 20, 2013

Scandalous Women

I had the pleasure to be invited to provide a guest post on the fantastic blog Scandalous Women where I wrote about Spiritualist trance medium Nettie Colburn who served as on of President Abraham Lincoln's "Team of Mediums."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Signing

I will be signing my book "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at Myztic Isle at 1:00 PM.

Myztic Isle
8036 La Mesa Blvd
La Mesa, CA 91942

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Spotlight: Battlefields of Honor: American Civil War Reenactors

Battlefields of Honor: American Civil War Reenactors
Mark Elson's beautiful photographs and Jeannie Stein's introduction and captions welcomes the reader to the often misunderstood world of Civil War reenacting. As a Civil War reenactor (or living historian) myself I have seen how the media usually portrays reenactors as uneducated, conservative, rednecks who strap on their Confederate flags and play soldier in an attempt to bring back the glory days of the "lost cause." In fact in a feature Vanity Fair magazine referred to Civil War reenacting as something that is only done in conservative red states, in comparison to the sophisticated, liberal blue states. Rather, Civil War reenacting is a national pastime and can be found in such unlikely places as in Hawaii and has became as equally popular in Europe. 

This is what is celebrated in Elson's and Stein's gorgeous coffee table book. Through photographs taken both with period wet plate cameras and more modern cameras, Elson presents a vibrant picture of reeacting. In the pictures the reader sees the passion for history that makes the best reenactor stands out. We are a dedicated bunch, not only are we devoting our weekends to attend reenactments, but being a reenactor is not cheap as an accurate outfit (soldier or civilian) can cost hundreds of dollars. For me reenacting is a chance to become connected to the time and period, even if just for the moment. Wearing the clothes and studying the mannerisms of the Civil War acts as a bridge from today to the past and I stand in awe at the bravery of the average person who lived through such a dramatic, chaotic moment in US history. When I watch the battles, I wonder about the thoughts and feelings of the average soldier who stood facing an enemy whose duty was to try to kill each other. At the conclusion of each battle taps is solemnly played followed by recall when all the dead and wounded soldiers rise again and the audience claps. For me, that brings the reality of the Civil War home to me. At the conclusion of Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, and Shiloh there was no recall where the dead and wounded rose unscathed, but death and destruction with grieving families North and South. Battlefields of Honor: American Civil War Reenactors is a beautiful tribute to those who spend their time bringing the Civil War back to life so that we can learn the lesson of history. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Citizens' Companion Feature Article

On news stands and mailboxes now is the August/September 2013 issue of The Citizens' Companion featuring my article on Jennie Wade, the only civilian killed during the battle of Gettysburg.  If you do not have access to a hard-copy of my article "'Was Not That Genuine Heroism?' The Heroism and Sacrifice of Jennie Wade" can be viewed online here:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

America's Civil War September 2013

On newsstands now is the September 2013 issue of America's Civil War Magazine which published my letter to the editor on pg. 11 regarding Peter  Cozzens fantastic article on Elizabeth Keckley which was published in the July 2013 issue.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

San Diego Civil War Roundtable

I am pleased to announce that I will be lecturing tomorrow evening at the San Diego Civil War Roundtable.

"'I Would Still be Drowned in Tears': Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House"
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
7:30 P.M.
Palisades Presbyterian Church
6301 Birchwood St., Allied Gardens, San Diego.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Civil Warriors Round Table of Los Angeles/West San Fernando Valley

I am pleased to announce that I will be speaking tomorrow evening at the Civil Warriors Round Table of Los Angeles/West Fernando Valley at 7 p.m.

Civil Warriors Round Table Los Angeles/West Fernando Valley
Weiler's West Hills Deli
22323 Sherman Way--West Hills
Canoga Park, CA 91303

See you there!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Inland Empire Civil War Roundtable

Tomorrow evening I will be speaking at the Inland Empire Civil War Roundtable which meets at the fantastic Lincoln Memorial Shrine.

Inland Empire Civil War Rountable
Wednesday, March 12, 2013 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
125 West Vine St.
Redlands, CA 92373