Monday, May 06, 2013


Welcome to the Third American Civil War Blog Challenge roundup. This year I decided
to post the Challenge entries today on May 6 in commemoration of the six day Battle of
Chancellorsville which concluded on 6May 1863. It was the second bloodiest battle of the
Civil War and was where Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was fatally wounded
by his own men. 

These were the questions I posed in the Challenge:
"Did you have ancestors in America during the Civil War? If so, where were they
and what were their circumstances? How did the Civil War affect them and
their family? Did the men enlist and did they perish in battle or die of illness?
On which side did they fight, or did you have relatives fighting on BOTH sides?
How did the women left at home cope, or did any of them find ways to help
the war effort? Were your ancestors living as slaves on Southern plantations
and if so when were they freed?  Or were they freemen of color who enlisted
to fight?"

There are nine blogposts this year but I think the quality makes up for the lack of
quantity. There are posts based on letters, eyewitness accounts, music, a diary, and
documents, and they cover events ranging from Gettysburg to El Paso. So sit down
with your beverage of choice, relax, and read!

Civil War Monument, Hobart Park, Whitman, Ma

Sara Campbell says this about her post "My research goal is always to personalize the 
individuals and gain an understanding of their lives beyond the bare dates and places found 
in the records. After developing a profile of this family for a talk at the Chicopee Library 
in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I have 'adopted' them and 
want to know more " You can read what Sara learned in her blogpost  entitled
Civil War Research - Holyoke's Richard Wall  at her Remembering Those Who came 
Before blog.

Diane MacLean Boumenot recently discovered some fascinating letters written by

a relative who served in the Union Army . She shares them with us, along with the background 
of the soldier and how the letters were preserved at her blog One Rhode Island Family.
The post is entitled The Civil War Letters of William Wilberforce Douglas .

Heather Wilkinson Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy had done many posts about her distant 
relatives The Hutchinson Family Singers She says " As the first celebrity musical act in
American history, the Hutchinson Family Singers used their fame to advance progressive 
causes.  They sang  about women’s suffrage, abolitionism, temperance, Native American 
causes, and worker’s rights.  They are most famous for their Civil War Era songs." You 
can read the lyrics to  some of the songs and learn more about the Hutchinsons in
Hutchinson Family Singers Civil War Song Lyrics

Civil War Monument, Marshfield Hills Cemetery, Marshfield, Ma.

From A to Zophar is Wendy Grant Walter's blog devoted to her 2x great grandfather
Zophar Skinner. He was another soldier in the Union Army and kept a diary of his
experiences during the year 1863 which included being present at the Battle of Gettysburg.
You can read his entries for July 1st to July 5th 1863 and see pictures of Zophar and his 
diary in Zophar Skinner and the 2nd RI Infantry at Gettysburg

LindaRe shares family stories and  history from Copiah, Jefferson, and Lincoln Counties
in Mississippi at her Between the Gate Posts blog. Her contribution to the Challenge 
deals with what happened during April 1863 when Union cavalry under the command of Col. 
Benjamin Grierson came raiding through the area. The story is told through the eyewitness
accounts of the slaves working that day when they saw A Body of Cavalrymen Coming up the Road .

Like many of us Caroline Cohoe Shultz has some families and relatives that are hard nuts to 
crack as far as information about them goes. Her 2x great granduncle Ralph Fielding was 
one such person for Caroline. Then a record in's lead her to a Civil War
Pension file, which not only yield answers about Ralph but provided more information
about the rest of his family, Follow Caroline's investigation. at her Calling all Cousins
blogpost, Third American Civil War Challenge - I Found Him! The Elusive Ralph Fielding!
It shows why pension files are a valuable resource for genealogists.

Civil War Memorial Bridge, Abington, Ma

Over on her genealogy musings blog, Holly Timm takes a look at the whereabouts of her 
family in the late great unpleasantness...   It illustrates that while you may not have ancestors 
who fought in some great battle, they still were effected someway or another by events that 
happening hundreds of miles away from where they lived.  

Carol A. Bowen Stevens' 2x great grandfather Peter Preston Holsinger was a Virginian and
a Confederate cavalryman who twice was captured in battle and sent to a prisoner of war
camp. Carol shares the details of Peter's experiences along with some documents she
found about them at her geneablog Reflections From the Fence. Read all about it in 
Peter Preston Holsinger, Civil War Veteran, Third American Civil War Challenge

Finally, during my research on the family of my great grandmother Clara Ellingwood West
I've discovered a number of Ellingwood men who fought on the Union side during the War.
The most colorful story I've found so far is that of my distant cousin Ralph Everett Ellingwood
 He was a farm-boy from Ohio who has seen more adventure by the time he was twenty-one
than most men see in an entire lifetime.

Inscription, Civil War Monument, Mayflower Cemetery, Duxbury, Ma.

And that concludes this year's American Civil War Challenge. There will be two more
before the Challenge ends in April 2015 on the 150th anniversary of the War's conclusion.
So if you have any Civil War family stories to share, please blog about them and share them
with us next year in the next edition of the American Civil War Challenge!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Thanks so much, Bill, I've been looking forward to this! I won't get anything done this afternoon with all this wonderful reading about the Civil War. Thanks, too, for hosting and for including my story about the Hutchinson Family Singers. Love your photos of the monuments, too.

mdingrimsby said...

Fantastic, thanks so much for organizing this. I've put all the stories into my Flipboard mag so I can read them on the go:)