This Day in History: The origins of the Battle Hymn of the Republic

On or around this day in 1861, Julia Ward Howe is inspired to write the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Did you know that this much-loved patriotic song has its roots in the Civil War years? Julia was the daughter of a Wall Street broker and a poet. She was well-educated and was able to […]

This Day in History: USS San Jacinto picks a fight with Great Britain

On this day in 1861, the captain of the USS San Jacinto fires shots at a British mail steamer, the RMS Trent. He seizes two Confederate emissaries who were aboard. The so-called “Trent Affair” nearly provoked a war between the United States and Great Britain! Can you imagine? What if Union forces had been at […]

This Day in History: Union and Confederate forces face off at Antietam

On this day in 1862, Confederate General Robert E. Lee decides to make a stand! His decision would lead to the bloody Battle of Antietam. Federal forces were then reeling from their defeat at the Second Battle of Bull Run. (See August 30 history post.) That battle had left Union General John Pope’s army retreating […]

This Day in History: Confederate forces win the Second Battle of Bull Run

On this day in 1862, Confederate forces win the Second Battle of Bull Run. The two-day battle would prove to be one of the bloodier battles of the Civil War. Union General John Pope was then chasing Confederate General Stonewall Jackson across northern Virginia. Pope thought he knew where Jackson was going, and he thought […]