Friday, June 13, 2014

Fredericksburg Memorial Day

I have be remiss in posting photos. Below are photos taken at the Fredericksburg National Cemetery at the Memorial Day weekend luminaries. Pictures do not do the event justice, it is incredibly beautiful.  Every half hour Taps was played, it was a moving experience.

My apron is a reproduction of an original patriotic apron by a Union woman during the Civil War.  The original is now on display at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitors Center.  The flag is also a reproduction of a US Civil War flag.  

President Lincoln was also in attendance.

The Memorial Day service at the Fredericksburg National Cemetery had renowned Civil War historian Ed Bearss who was also a decoraref World War II veteran. He put the days events in proper perspective.

At the Memorial Day service with members of the Civil War Civilians of Spotsylvania.

I had the pleasure to meet historian Ed Bearss and had my book autographed.

Stonewall Jackson Shrine

On Monday, June 9, I visited the Stonewall Jackson Shrine which is located in Caroline County, Virginia and is part of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

After General Jackson's wounding at the Battle of Chancellorsville on the night of May 2, 1863, the general was taken to the Fairview Plantation owned by the Chandler family near Guinea Station.  The original plan was to move the general to Richmond, but Union cavalry had disrupted the rail lines.  It was here, in the office building of the plantation that Jackson died on May 10, 1863.

The actual bed in which Jackson passed over the river to rest under the shade of the tree's.

The room where Jackson died. The clock on the mantle is original and was placed there by Mrs. Chandler to make the room look nice for the general, and it still work's!

The third original item at the Jackson Shrine is this blanket that is placed on the edge of the bed that Jackson died in. The blanket was on the bed when the general died. It is now only half it's original length because when the Chandler family donated the blanket they cut off a swath as a souvenir. 

Jackson's doctors and staff officers used this room as a waiting room, it was in this room that the doctors informed Mrs. Jackson that her husband would not recover.

Upstairs the doctors and staff officers shared this room--though as Jackson's illness progressed the doctors got little rest.

Jim Lewis, Jackson's manservant was placed alone in this room--no one was expected to share a room with an enslaved man. Jackson hired Lewis from his owner in Lexington, Virginia at the start of the war. 

If you are interested in General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's wounding and death I recommend two fantastic books, "Calamity at Chancellorsville: The Wounding and Death of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson" by Matthew Lively and "The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson: The Mortal Wounding of the Confederacy's Greatest Icon (Emerging Civil War)" by Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White, both are from Savas Beatie LLC.  As an extra bonus, Chris Mackowski is also a NPS volunteer at the Stonewall Jackson Shire and I had the pleasure of talking to him during my visit.

Now Available!

You've listened to the radio show, now read the book!

"I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House is available now in paperback:


Barnes & Noble:

The Whaley House Gift Shop, Old Town San Diego, CA

Battlefield & Beyond Military Book Shop, Gettysburg, PA

Coming Soon in ebook from Savas Beatie LLC

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Beyond the Edge Podcast

The long awaited Podcast is available, thank you Eric for fixing the technical glitch!  Below is the link:

Birthday at Chancellorsville

On Sunday night I was the guest speaker on Beyond the Edge Radio and had a blast.  Eric, Lon, and Amy were so much fun to talk too.  The podcast will be up shortly, there was a technical glitch during recording--but don't despair I will have a link to it as soon as it gets posted.

Yesterday was my 30th birthday, to celebrate I spent the last two days visiting sites that were connected to the last days of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.  Some pictures from my travels:

The first photo is summer intern Chuck starting the Stonewall Jackson wounding tour at Chancellorsville, the battlefield is part of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

It was in this area that General Jackson was accidentally shot by his own troops on the night of May 2, 1863.

The Chancellorsville Battlefield was, and still is, a thick forest of 2nd growth trees making it difficult for soldiers to recognize friend from foe.

The Jackson monument commentating where the general fell wounded from his horse.

Close to the Jackson monument is the grave of an unknown Civil War soldier. I left a penny for good luck--I always leave a penny for remembrance.

The modern battlefield--near the ruins of the Chancellor House.

The ruins of the Chancellor House. The house was built in the 1700s and expanded in 1815 and again in the 1840's. Mrs. Chancellor, a widow, moved to the house in 1861 with her 7 daughters and 1 son with her 20 slaves. The house became the center of the battle on May 3, 1863 when it was hit by cannons and burned to the ground. It was rebuilt, but burned down again in the 20th century.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Book Update

I can now reveal the big news for "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House, the book has been picked up by Savas Beatie LLC which will publish the book as an ebook, a print book is planned next if the sales for the ebook are good.  Production is moving quickly, I will be announce the date for release when it becomes available.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

From Phantoms and Monsters

Just had to share the ad for my appreance on Beyond the Edge on Sunday June 8, 2014 at 8:00 PM EST

Join Eric, Lon & Sean as we welcome historian, lecturer & author Michelle L. Hamilton to 'Beyond The Edge' Radio.

CLICK HERE and join us LIVE in the chat room

Michelle L. Hamilton
 earned her master's degree in history from San Diego State University in 2013. Her work can be seen in the magazine The Citizens' Companion. Fascinated with the American Civil War and the life of Abraham Lincoln since as long as she could remember Hamilton pursued her love of history by working as a docent at the Whaley House Museum in Old TownSan Diego. While working at the Whaley House, Hamilton became fascinated with the unknown world of the paranormal after having numerous personal experiences. 

After being admitted into San Diego State University’s graduate history department, Hamilton found a way to combine her love for history and the paranormal through her groundbreaking research into Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s interest in Spiritualism during the Civil War. In her free time, Hamilton is a Civil War living historian. Born and raised in California, Hamilton now resides in Ruther Glen, Virginia. "I Would Still Be Drowned in Tears": Spiritualism in Abraham Lincoln's White House is her first book. You can follow her at her blog

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Phantoms & Monsters: Strange Encounters
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