Tag: Civil War

“Ample Justification for the Deed”: Public Interest in the “Sickles Tragedy” as Gender Performance

Congressman Daniel Sickles murdered Philip Barton Key on February 27, 1859, just steps from the White House. The day before, Sickles’s wife, Teresa, had tearfully confessed to an affair with Key, who was then the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. When Key, oblivious to this new development, appeared in view of the Sickles… Read more →

Understanding Trauma in the Civil War South: A Conversation with Diane Miller Sommerville

As I’ve written about for Nursing Clio previously, there’s been much debate in recent years about so-called ‘dark’ Civil War history. In that debate, Diane Miller Sommerville has been a vocal advocate for increased attention to the physical and psychological trauma wrought by the war. Her new book, An Aberration of Mind: Suicide and Suffering… Read more →

Mange, Morphine, and Deadly Disease: Medicine and Public Health in Red Dead Redemption 2

Spoiler warning: This essay discusses major plot points about the ending of Red Dead Redemption 2. It’s dead midnight, there’s moonlight on the corn, and Thomas Downes owes me money. He protests he doesn’t have anything to spare, but I insist he does, and so we end up wrestling against the wood fence. Then, bruised… Read more →

Demanding to Be Heard: African American Women’s Voices from Slave Narratives to #MeToo

The #Metoo movement has made public what women have long known: that sexual assault and harassment are endemic in many workplaces. Using the power of social media, brave women have revealed the abuses men in positions of power have inflicted on the women who worked for them. Women have been revealing the abuses of powerful… Read more →

Civil War Soldiers’ Wet Dreams

The American Civil War is arguably the most written about topic in American history. Yet for all that has been researched and published, sexuality during the Civil War has been difficult to uncover. This is not due to lack of interest; instead, it is the product of the silences surrounding sexuality during the era. As… Read more →

Falling Out of Love with the Civil War

On Thursday morning, as the President of the United States tweeted his tacit support of the Confederacy, three different friends sent me messages. Each was struggling with the same thing: how do we convince our friends and families that statues of former Confederates need to come down? One friend had spent the previous evening in… Read more →

A Historian’s Trip to the Graveyard

bardo, noun (In Tibetan Buddhism) a state of existence between death and rebirth, varying in length according to a person’s conduct in life and manner of, or age at, death. Origin: Tibetan bár-do, from bar “interval” + do “two.”1 For someone who spends their time obsessing over history, I don’t read much historical fiction. Given… Read more →

The Spoils of War: A Review of Sex and the Civil War

Many years ago when I was first starting my dissertation research on Civil War disability, I had an opportunity to sit in on a question and answer session with historian Marcus Rediker, who was talking about his book, not yet released at the time, The Amistad Rebellion. Part of the conversation revolved around the experience… Read more →

Sex and the Civil War

The image of Donald Trump signing an order reinstating the global gag rule this February was striking. Surrounded by a group of men — and one woman, all of them white — Trump approved an order that will affect millions of women and girls around the world who rely on programs supported by the United… Read more →

The Young and the Gangrenous

Bandages, Blood, and Bickering, Oh My! A Civil War is brewing within the walls of Mansion House Hospital, the setting of the new PBS drama Mercy Street. Taking a page from the highly regarded Downton Abbey, the producers have created a Civil War soap opera with a cavalcade of characters that spend most of their… Read more →