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Full-Text Articles in History

One Year On: Preparing A Somber Holiday, John M. Rudy Jul 2014

One Year On: Preparing A Somber Holiday, John M. Rudy

Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public

Newspapers are built by bits and pieces. Type is set all throughout the week, long before the paper in Gettysburg goes to press. July's first edition in 1864 was cobbled together in the last few days of June and the first few days of July. Dropping sorts into the frames must have been agonizing work. It was labor intensive, requiring the meticulous placing of each letter and every space into the plate for every single word. [excerpt]


One Year On: Obliterated By Degrees, John M. Rudy Jul 2014

One Year On: Obliterated By Degrees, John M. Rudy

Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public

The battle anniversary loomed in the waning days of June. And Gettysburg was preparing. Aside from the feasting in the Spangler Meadow on the 4th, the holiday would undoubtedly see tourists swarming the fields and hills where just a few dozen weeks before time had stood still and Death held a grand carnival. [excerpt]


One Year On: June 28th, John M. Rudy Jun 2014

One Year On: June 28th, John M. Rudy

Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public

A year ago, rebels swarmed the street. Now they don't. A year ago, the town was on edge. Now it's not. A year ago, time stood still. Now it rushes on. "The arrangements are in process of completion," the Adams Sentinel trumpeted, "for a handsome celebration at Culp's Hill." The town was organizing a grand picnic. The moment wasn't simply for the people of the borough so recently made famous by fate and bad luck. "There will be many strangers here," the newspaper's tight print reminded Gettysburgians, "and we hope that every one of our ...


Broken Record. Broken Record. Broken Record., John M. Rudy Jun 2014

Broken Record. Broken Record. Broken Record., John M. Rudy

Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public

I've been helping a friend workshop some posts for an upcoming anniversary (surprisingly for me, not a Civil War event but a deviation into the land of the Revolutionary War). And again and again, I find myself repeating some variation on a single nugget of interpretive wisdom. This is no fault of my colleague. I am often a broken record. [excerpt]


Gettysburg's Tragedy In Virginia, John M. Rudy Jun 2014

Gettysburg's Tragedy In Virginia, John M. Rudy

Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public

Jacob and John Kitzmiller were brothers-in-arms, fighting through the thickets of Virginia with the 138th Pennsylvania. And spring of 1864 was one hell of a slog.

The two boys were the youngest members of their family. When the war erupted, their mother and father, Samuel and Jane, lived alongside their daughter Catharine. Jacob was an apprentice blacksmith in B.G. Holabaugh's shop. John still lived at home with his parents. [excerpt]


Pride Overcometh, John M. Rudy May 2014

Pride Overcometh, John M. Rudy

Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public

A couple weeks ago I got the chance to wave to Ben Franklin and Mark Twain. They waved back from the stage as the curtain dropped. Jess leaned in to me. "I didn't realize that this is what history is to you," she said, with a bit of derision in her voice. I understand my wife's derision. Disney World is not the first place that comes to mind when most people think of powerful and meaningful history. But for me, it is where I began to find the magic in history. [excerpt]


Name Calling: It's What's Not There That Matters, John M. Rudy May 2014

Name Calling: It's What's Not There That Matters, John M. Rudy

Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public

The article in the Adams Sentinel May 17th, 1863 was innocent enough.

David McConaughy, prominent local lawyer, moderate Republican and progenitor of the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association was passing along a simple request. "I am very anxious to have a collection of trophies and interesting relics from the Battle-field of Gettysburg," Margaretta Meade wrote to McConaughy. The famed General's wife was appealing to Gettysburg to create one of the central attractions for the Great Central Sanitary Fair in Philadelphia that summer. [excerpt]


Mom, John M. Rudy Apr 2014

Mom, John M. Rudy

Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public

I study the Civil War because of my mother. It's a simple truth.

My Mom, more than anyone else in my life, taught me to be the historian that I am. She is present in so much of what I do when I process the past.

I lovingly refer to her as my idiot-filter. She was a theology major in her undergraduate training, studying comparative religions. I've never read her thesis, I know it's in a cupboard at my parents' house, but I vaguely remember that it was centered around comparing Christ with the other messianic figures ...


Everyday Sesquicentennial: Ghoulish Capitalism Takes Root, John M. Rudy Apr 2014

Everyday Sesquicentennial: Ghoulish Capitalism Takes Root, John M. Rudy

Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public

Nothing was happening in Gettysburg in the spring of 1864.

That's not quite true. There was tons happening in the first few weeks of April 15 decades ago. But that "tons" was not massive or earth shattering. A dozen men and women died. Another handful of men and women found new lives in each others' arms. Life continued in this place just as it had a year before. It continued on in spite of the new cemetery, in spite of the war, in spite of the rebel arms and heads poking out of gardens alongside the budding spring flowers ...


Postage Due: Stewardship, Stamps And A Watch Pocket, John M. Rudy Apr 2014

Postage Due: Stewardship, Stamps And A Watch Pocket, John M. Rudy

Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public

Why do we forget that people are human? I've been asking myself that question more and more lately. Partially it's driven by a laundry list of things happening in the world, vitriolic attacks on humanity, both strangers and friends. I just see cruelty looming sometimes, particularly over the lowest in our society. [excerpt]


Confederates In The Swimming Pool, John M. Rudy Jan 2014

Confederates In The Swimming Pool, John M. Rudy

Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public

I was swimming last night and thinking about dead Confederates. Someday, it's utterances like that which are going to see me involuntarily committed to an asylum. But it's true. I swam and thought about dead Confederates. [excerpt]


For Gods' Sake, Copy-Edit That Textbook On The Wall, John M. Rudy Jan 2014

For Gods' Sake, Copy-Edit That Textbook On The Wall, John M. Rudy

Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public

So, my social streams flooded on Monday with an article from the Denver Business Journal, a weekly Colorado publication with a circulation rate of about 16,000 issues. The internet is an amazingly powerful force for magnification. It can make a rant from one irate museum goer with very-close-to-nil circulation seem like a meaningful and broadly held opinion. [excerpt]


Gettysburg College Journal Of The Civil War Era 2014 Jan 2014

Gettysburg College Journal Of The Civil War Era 2014

The Gettysburg College Journal of the Civil War Era

No abstract provided.