Menu Close

FALL 2013





For the past century, historians have relied on the number 620,000 for Civil War deaths (the equivalent of 5.9 million today).  However, Professor J. David Hacker, in the December 2011 issue of Civil War History, wrote convincingly that the figure is really closer to 750,000—a 20% increase—and representing 7.8 million casualties based on today’s population.  Professor Hacker’s work, now accepted by many historians including this columnist, is game-changing and adds to the enduring impact—and tragedy—of the Civil War.

The Spoken Word and Group Activities

The final panel from the 2013 Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College aired on August 10 on C-SPAN 3 (History TV).  Panelists included Peter Carmichael, Scott Hartwig, Robert Sandow, Kevin Levin, Judkin Browning, Maime Martinez, and Christopher Stowe.

On August 12, C-SPAN 3 broadcast a portion of the Future of Civil War History conference at Gettysburg College.  Scholars discussed the contributions of U.S. Colored Troops and how they are remembered at various battle sites.  The panel took a critical look at the characterization of black troops in the 1989 popular film Glory which focused on the 54th Massachusetts.

On August 31, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society hosted Kenneth Winkle, author of Lincoln’s Citadel: The Civil War in Washington, D.C., who talked about the transformation of the capital city during the Civil War.

The Civil War Round Table of New York heard Harold Holzer on September 11 discuss Civil War in 50 Objects, which he authored for the New-York Historical Society.

C-SPAN 3 presented John Burt’s discussion at Yale University on “The Presidency: Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address” on September 8 and October 27.  Burt detailed how Lincoln’s precise use of language conveyed his ideas of the central issues at stake in the Civil War.  He is the author of Lincoln’s Tragic Pragmatism: Lincoln, Douglas, and Moral Conflict.

On September 10, James M. McPherson delivered the 2013 R. Gerald McMurtry Lecture, “Lincoln and the West,” at the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne.

Frank J. Williams presented “Abraham Lincoln—Fighting the ‘Pesky Mosquitoes’: An Evolving Commander-in-Chief” at DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, on September 12.  He spoke, too, on September 14, at the Civil War Reenactment & Living History Weekend at Chase Farm Park, Lincoln, RI on “Gettysburg at 150.”

On September 17, Walter Stahr discussed his book, Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man, at the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia.

Kevin Kenny discussed “Lincoln’s Views on the Irish and Other Immigrants” at the September 21 meeting of the Lincoln Group of Boston.

The Lincoln Memorial Shrine and University of Redlands, CA, hosted 1863: The Turning Point—A Civil War Symposium on September 21 and 22, with Frank J. Williams (“Civil Liberties and Draft Riots”), Joan Waugh (“Grant and Vicksburg”), Don McCue (“The Emancipation Proclamation”), J. David Hacker (“A New Appraisal of Civil War Casualties”), Kathy Feeley (“The Civil War in Film”), Craig Symonds (“Gettysburg”), and Hans Davidson (“Civil War Medicine”).

Mississippi State University presented a symposium, Lincoln, the Movie and the Man, on September 23 and 24.  Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln was viewed on September 23.  On September 24, Frank Williams moderated a panel on Lincoln, with George Buss, John F. Marszalek, Stephen Middleton, and John David SmithSid Salter moderated a “Press Conference with Abraham Lincoln (George Buss),” John David Smith discussed “Lincoln and the Black Troops,” John Marszalek presented “Lincoln and Grant’s Military Leadership,” Stephen Middleton discussed “Lincoln, African Americans and the 13th Amendment,” and Frank Williams gave a powerpoint presentation of film clips of “Lincoln in the Movies Over the Years.”

Harold Holzer presented “Lincoln, Leadership, and Emancipation” as the Myles Martel Lecturer at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, on September 25; and at the Cape May Library at Cape May, NJ, on September 29.

Sally Heinzel presented “‘We, the Republican Party, are the White Man’s Party’: Racial Conservatism Among Illinois Republicans in the 1860 Election,” and Mark Pohlad hosted the teacher workshop “Teaching Abraham Lincoln with Spielberg’s Film” at the September 26 Conference on Illinois History in Springfield.  Roger D. Billings presented “The Matson Slave Case: A Counter-Culture View of Lincoln’s Law Practice,” and Geoff Rogal presented “Abraham Lincoln’s Constitutionalism Regarding the Unilateral Suspension of Habeas Corpus” on September 27.  Carol Manning presented a teacher workshop, “Teaching the Gettysburg Address,” also on that day.

The Lincoln Heritage Museum of Lincoln College, Lincoln, IL, held its annual Grand Soirée on September 28 with a preview of the new Lincoln Heritage Museum.

Steve Germes presented “Fun Facts About Abraham Lincoln” at the Lincoln Club of Topeka meeting on October 1.

Also, on October 1, Kenneth J. Winkle discussed Washington, D.C., during the Civil War—“Lincoln’s Citadel”—at the New-York Historical Society.  Harold Holzer moderated.

John F. Marszalek presented the 2013 Richard F. Sokup Lecture on October 4 in Freeport, IL, for the Lincoln-Douglas Society.

On October 5, Fritz Klein as Abraham Lincoln and Larry Werline as Ulysses Grant presented at the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, St. Louis.  Because of the Federal Government shutdown, the annual Grant lecture on John Y. Simon Day (October 12) at White Haven—part of the Grant National Historic Site—with William C. “Jack” Davis, was cancelled.

On October 16, Thom Bassett presented “Sherman, Lincoln, and Colored Troops” to the members of the Rhode Island Civil War Round Table.

The 50th Annual Department of History Symposium of Rhode Island College, Gettysburg Resurrected, was held on October 17, with Frank J. Williams (“Political Ramifications of the Battle of Gettysburg for Abraham Lincoln”), John C. Rodrigue (“The Battle of Gettysburg and its Political Significance in its Aftermath”), and the keynote address by Mark H. Dunkelman (“From Frank Leslie to Errol Morris: The Saga of an Oft-Told Gettysburg Tale”).

The 2013-2014 Cottage Conversations at President Lincoln’s Cottage, Washington, featured Richard Moe comparing the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt on October 17; Chris DeRose discussing his book, Congressman Lincoln: The Making of America’s Greatest President, on November 21; Kenneth Winkle talking about Washington, D.C., during the Civil War on December 5; John Taliaferro discussing John Hay on April 24, 2014; and Stephen Mansfield discussing his book Lincoln’s Battle with God: A President’s Struggle with Faith and What it Means for America on May 15, 2014.

The Boston Marathon bombings prevented Harold Holzer from speaking at the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester (MA), but he was able to reschedule his talk to October 18, when he discussed the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address.  On October 18, he delivered the 2013 McCreight Lecture in the Humanities, “Emancipating Lincoln: Abe Lincoln Creates a State,” in Charleston, WV.

Harold Holzer presented the annual St. Clair Lecture at the University of Greensburg, Pittsburgh on October 21 on “Emancipating Lincoln: The Prose and Poetry of the Emancipation Proclamation.”

Frank J. Williams presented “Abraham Lincoln: Leader for Today” to the Spokane (WA) College Women’s Association on October 23.

On October 29, John Taliaferro discussed John Hay at the New-York Historical Society.  He authored All the Great Prizes: the Life of John Hay, From Lincoln to RooseveltHarold Holzer moderated.

On November 1, Carol Reardon presided over the panel “Should Military History be Central to the Study of the Civil War?” at the 79th annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association in St. Louis.  Panelists included Gary W. Gallagher, Lesley J. Gordon, and James K. Hogue.

The Lincoln-Douglas Society of Freeport, IL, hosted Maria Boundas Bakalis who presented “Mary Todd Lincoln: Reflections on a Life of Shattered Dreams” on November 2.

On November 5, Bill Stumpff presented the “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass” at the Lincoln Club of Topeka.

James Oakes discussed his prize winning Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 at the November 6 meeting of the Lincoln Group of New York.

To celebrate the exhibition Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War, the Worcester Public Library hosted Frank J. Williams on November 6 for its Lincoln lecture, “Emancipation.”

The 21st annual Symposium on the 19th Century Press, the Civil War, and Free Expression was held at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on November 7-9.

Sara Vaughn Gabbard presented “The Gettysburg Address: 150 Years Later” at the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, on November 10.

David Blight presented the 52nd Annual Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture at Gettysburg College on November 19.

On November 19, President Lincoln’s Cottage, Washington, hosted D.C. Poet Laureate Dolores Kendrick who performed a dramatic solo recitation of the address.

Joseph R. Fornieri presented “Abraham Lincoln’s Political Faith in the Gettysburg Address” and Martin P. Johnston delivered “Lincoln’s Journey to Gettysburg” for the Lincoln Legacy Lectures of the University of Illinois-Springfield on November 19.

The Fabre Club, directed by Patrick T. Conley, hosted a book launch for The Rhode Island Home Front During the Civil War Era on December 4 at its headquarters in Providence.  This publication by the Rhode Island Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission included contributions from Mac Owens, Maury Klein, Jim Tackach, Patrick T. Conley, and Frank J. Williams.

On December 14, Jean Edward Smith, author of Grant, discussed at the New-York Historical Society, “General Ulysses S. Grant and the Way We Look at War.”

On January 7, James M. McPherson, John F. Marszalek, and Harold Holzer discussed “Grant Takes Vicksburg” at the New-York Historical Society.

On February 8, 2014, John Rodrigue will discuss his recently published book, Lincoln and Reconstruction, and on April 5, David A. Fleishman, an ophthalmologist, will talk about Lincoln’s spectacles for the Lincoln Group of Boston.

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum of Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN, and Ford’s Theatre Center for Education and Leadership, will host Abraham Lincoln and the Technology of War on February 10, 2014.

The 45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NEMLA) will host High Water Mark of War: The Battle of Gettysburg in Fiction and Film on April 3-6, 2014 at Susquehanna University, Harrisburg, PA.

The Civil War and Reconstruction Area of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association is calling for papers on the American Civil War and Reconstruction for its national meeting April 16-19, 2014 in Chicago.  Abstracts should be sent to Dr. Randal Allred, Brigham Young University Hawaii, 55-220 Kulanui Street, Laie, HI 96762.

International Legacy

On September 21, Kevin Kenny discussed “Lincoln’s Views on the Irish and Other Immigrants” at the Lincoln Group of Boston.

Robert E. May is the author of Slavery, Race, and Conquest in the Tropics: Lincoln, Douglas, and the Future of Latin America (Cambridge University Press).

Kevin Peraino’s Lincoln and the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power has been published by Crown.  It was reviewed in Foreign Affairs (Nov./Dec. 2013), and in the Library Journal (Sept. 1, 2013).

The Cambridge Companion to Abraham Lincoln, edited by Shirley Samuels, contains articles by Paul Giles (“America and Britain During the Civil War”); Betsy Erkkila (“Lincoln in International Memory”); and Robert Fanuzzi (“Lincoln’s Hemispheric Relations”).

The German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., held lectures on “Prussian Emancipation: Revolution Against Serfdom in Germany and its Atlantic Afterlives,” by Andrew Zimmerman (George Washington University) on October 10; “The ‘Other’ Emancipation of the 1860s: Freeing Russia’s Serfs” by Peter Kolchin (University of Delaware); and “Emancipation Through Colonization: Brazil and Cuba,” by Ursula Prutsch (University of Munich).

Artist Kazuhiro Tsuji’s “realistic sculpture” portrait depiction of Abraham Lincoln was on exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library from June to September,

Harold Holzer served as a U.S. State Department representative on a public diplomacy program to Argentina September 16-20.  He addressed two university classes, hosted a screening and discussion on Spielberg’s Lincoln for high school students, and addressed several American and Library organizations in Buenos Aires, and then made a day-long trip to the town of Lincoln, named for America’s 16th President in July 1865, where Holzer spoke at the local library and visited the “Lincoln School.”

Amy S. Greenberg’s A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico (Knopf, 2012) was reviewed in the Journal of American History (Dec. 2013), and in Foreign Affairs (Nov./Dec. 2013).

The Marshall Islands has issued three stamps/souvenir sheets in November celebrating Lincoln’s first Thanksgiving national holiday; and in May a series depicting the faces of a variety of presidents, including Lincoln.  Uganda, in July, issued a souvenir sheet depicting Sojourner Truth and Abraham Lincoln; and in April, Liberia issued a souvenir sheet depicting Union Major General David Hunter, Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, and Harriet Tubman.

Arts & Entertainment

Sidney Blumenthal, on July 22, reviewed Ron Maxwell’s newly released film, Copperhead, for The Atlantic.  Blumenthal believes the movie is in the same tradition as Gone With the Wind and Gods and Generals, with its history highly revisionist.

Peter Cronin of Nashville has helped produce two CDs for the 1861 Project.  This collection of new, original songs, brings to life the stories of the soldiers and civilians in the Civil War.

Salvador Litvak has produced and directed Saving Lincoln, a story about the great friendship between Ward Hill Lamon and Abraham Lincoln (  After a big-screen run in New York, Litvak has brought out a DVD edition.

Lincoln, Colored Warriors and the Spirit of Freedom commemorated the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation when people gathered in homes, churches, and open fields waiting for word that the president had signed the proclamation.  The event occurred on August 3 in Springfield at the Old State Capitol.

University of Illinois students now have a new life-size bronze sculpture of Abraham Lincoln at their Urbana campus.  Lincoln sits on a bench outside the Alice M. Campbell Alumni Center, his hat upturned in his lap and holding notes for his Second Inaugural Address.  The statue was donated by Gail Kellogg, Class of 1965.

Maya Angelou told the audience on November 8 at Music Hall, Cincinnati, “You cannot become great if you’re not willing to sacrifice” before she took the stage as narrator of Aaron Copland’s stirring Lincoln Portrait.  The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra invited Ms. Angelou to take part in the French conductor Louis Langrée’s inaugural concert as the orchestra’s 13th music director.  It was the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Andre Kostolanitz, that first commissioned Lincoln Portrait and staged its premiere in 1942.  One reviewer, Zachary Woolfe (New York Times, November 11, 2013), commented that, “Ms. Angelou brought her inimitable combination of majesty and folkiness to the speaking part, drawn from Lincoln’s writings, ferociously digging into the final words of the Gettysburg Address.”

Artist Michael Mayosky has begun work on a mural depicting Abraham Lincoln leaving Springfield from the Great Northern Depot (now Lincoln Depot) in 1861.  It will be installed on the west wall of a warehouse building which faces the current Amtrak station across the 10th Street tracks from the depot where Lincoln said goodbye to his neighbors and friends on February 11, 1861.

Penzey’s Spices’s Thanksgiving 2013 catalog was a tribute to Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation with recipes from patrons who are either named Lincoln or who live in towns and cities named Lincoln.

Alex Greig wrote about professional colorists, Jordan Lloyd and Mads Madsen, who combined their skills with photographs to create a fascinating series of American Civil War Color Photographs.  (

The 2014 calendar of the Civil War from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History included photographs of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Clara Barton, and Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.  Copies of prints of Civil War soldiers, John Brown, and U.S. Colored Troops were also included.

A limited edition of 300 of Matthew Lew’s Color Blind Print with Abraham Lincoln is on sale by  The artist created this tribute to a legacy of freedom with a “Color-Blind” over Lincoln’s eyes.  Lew’s mantra, “When you are color blind, all color is equal, all color is one, all color is united.”


The Oregon History Museum in Portland, OR is hosting Windows on America: The Challenges of Presidential Leadership, featuring Melvin Mark’s private collection of Presidential memorabilia.  It includes a draped bust of Lincoln by Leonard Volk, a swatch of fabric from Lincoln’s Ford’s Theatre chair, and an original John Wilkes Booth wanted poster.  The exhibit runs from June 15 to October 31.  A Lincoln exhibit is planned for later next year.

Artist Nathan Greene has made available prints of two of his paintings of Lincoln at Antietam, “In the Darkest Hour” and “Nowhere Else to Go” (

Lincoln, the Constitution and the Civil War, a traveling exhibit from the National Constitution Center and the American Library Association was at Salem, Oregon’s Willamette Heritage Center from June 21-26.  Dr. Richard W. Etulain presented “Lincoln and the Oregon Country,” at the Heritage Center’s “History Pub” on July 18.  Dr. Etulain also had his book available, Lincoln and Oregon Country Politics in the Civil War Era.

Philadelphia 1863: Turning the Tide, sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Foundation of the Union League of Philadelphia, was on exhibit at the League’s Heritage Center in Philadelphia.  Among the more than 50 artifacts and documents from the League’s collection, they include items from the J. Howard Wert Gettysburg Collection, including the podium allegedly used by Abraham Lincoln when he delivered his Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863.

A mass of photographic portraits and writings have been assembled by the National Gallery of Art in Washington for the exhibition, Tell it With Pride, which opened September 15.  It explores the black soldiers honored in the Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ 116-year-old bronze memorial to Col. Robert Gould Shaw and his colored troops of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment.  The gallery owns and exhibits Saint-Gaudens’ original painted plaster sculpture of the Shaw Memorial in Boston.  The exhibit then traveled to the Massachusetts Historical Society and will be on view from February 21 through May 23, 2014.  Philip Kennicott reviewed the exhibit in the September 11 Washington Post.

The Springfield Art Association gallery opened Hidden in Plain Sight: The Material Life of Early Springfield which portrays Abraham Lincoln’s world from the 1820s through the 1850s.  The exhibit ended on October 5.

The Museum of East Tennessee History’s exhibit, A Pen and Sword, was open through October 15 and includes artifacts and documents that recount the region’s Civil War history.

On November 3, Treasures of the Degolyer Library: 100 Years of Collecting at Southern Methodist University included photographs by Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner.

Freedom Rising can be seen through December 31 at the Museum of African American History in the restored African Meeting House, Boston, MA.  The exhibit commemorates the 150th anniversary of the final Emancipation Proclamation and African American military service.

Louise Taper and Andrew James Wulf curated A. Lincoln: Railsplitter to Rushmore at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

Civil War Sesquicentennial

The Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site in Springfield, IL, is planning three special presentations on Abraham Lincoln’s “least known son,” along with the subjects of African-American heroes of the Civil War, and immigration in Central Illinois.  Spirits of the Civil War initiated the program with the life of Edward Baker Lincoln, the Lincolns’ second son on September 7.

The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources hosted the “Lay My Burden Down” conference on October 17 and 18 in Winston-Salem, examining freedom at the conclusion of the Civil War, with presentations by Hari Jones, curator of the African-American Civil War Foundation and Museum, Washington (“For Light and Liberty: African Descent Spies of the Rebellion”), Ira Berlin (“Freedom”); and David Cecelski (“Abraham Galloway, Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation”).

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum of Lincoln Memorial University has produced, with Carol Borneman of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, The Civil War at Cumberland Gap.  The project includes lesson plans for middle and high school students to accompany a DVD of Cumberland Gap during the Civil War.  On April 4-5, 2014, the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum will host Lincoln and the War.

Filmmaker Ken Burns has brought Republicans and Democrats together in our “House Divided” by asking them to recite the Gettysburg Address.  The website learntheaddress features videos of notable names reciting the speech, including all the living American presidents and former Governor Mario M. Cuomo, Harold Holzer, and celebrities like Steven SpeilbergKen Burns and his collaborators are encouraging everyone in America to video record themselves reading the speech and upload it to the site.  “It’s a complicated country with lots of points of view,” Mr. Burns said in a telephone interview, “but there is some glue that still holds us together, and some of that glue begins, ‘Four score and seven years ago,’” as reported in the “Arts” section of the November 12 New York Times.

Awards and Prizes

The 2013 Empire State Archives and History Award was presented to James M. McPherson on November 7 with a conversation between him and Harold Holzer at the Center for the Performing Arts, Albany, NY.

Harvard University presented its W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to both Steven Spielberg, who produced Lincoln, and the film’s playwright, Tony Kushner.  The medals, awarded since 2000, are Harvard’s highest honor in the field of African-American studies.

Architect and preservationist Wally Henderson was honored at the Old State Capitol, a place he helped to restore, by being named the 2013 First Citizen.

Frank J. Williams received the 2013 Captain Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Award from the Civil War Round Table of Greater Boston in co-sponsorship with the Massachusetts Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission on November 9.  He spoke on “Gettysburg at 150.”


The Swann Auction, held on November 10, included a very early printing of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed in type by Abraham Lincoln and William H. Seward, with a printed transmittal note signed by William H. Seward as Secretary of State.  Estimated between $15,000 and $25,000, it sold for $37,500 plus commissions.


Michael E. Ruane wrote “Search for Lincoln papers at Archives could be halted” for the July 23 Washington Post.  As reported in this column earlier, the Papers of Abraham Lincoln may have to halt its project of locating and digitizing all documents relating to Abraham Lincoln as its funds will run out in June 2014.  The overall project at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL, would continue, but the research in the Archives, where the majority of Lincoln documents are located, would be suspended.

Dave Evensen wrote “The Making of the Sandburg Collection” for the summer LAS News of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  All of Sandburg’s papers are located at the University of Illinois through the efforts of Professor Bruce Weirick, a friend of the poet and Lincoln biographer.

On September 5, the State Journal-Register reported that a $24,000 grant from Amazon Web Services was awarded to the Papers of Abraham Lincoln for storage.

Betty J. Hickey, widow of Jim Hickey, curator of Illinois’s Lincoln Collection from 1958 to 1985, donated 77 documents from Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert, his wife, and their descendants, to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield.

The Hartford Courant, on October 8, reported that a trial had commenced regarding items formerly owned by Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, Gideon WellesWelles’s descendents are fighting over family heirlooms that include a rifle fired by President Lincoln.  A Superior Court Judge must decide whether it was appropriate, three years ago, for a Coventry, CT Probate Judge to reopen the 1955 Estate of Ruth Trost Welles, who was married to Thomas Welles—the grandson of the Civil War Navy Secretary.  In 2010, the Superior Court Judge wanted to determine if her estate had accounted for numerous historical items related to Lincoln.

Nathan Raab of the Raab Collection set the price at $80,000 for a 164-year-old letter penned by Abraham Lincoln which called for transparency and bipartisanship in Washington writing as Congressman from Springfield, IL, the 40-year-old future president, then a member of the Whig Party, instructed the recipient to conduct the people’s business in the open.

C24 Gallery hosted the second solo exhibition of artist Skylar Fein, The Lincoln Bedroom, on November 1 in New York City.  This is a replica of the bedroom that Lincoln shared with Joshua Speed, above Speed’s store, in the 1830s in Springfield, IL.

The December Civil War Times included Kim A. O’Connell’s review of the new Seminary Ridge Museum at Gettysburg.  It is from the cupola of this building that Union Cavalry General John Buford spotted the advancing Confederates on July 1, 1863.  Located on the grounds of the Lutheran Theological Seminary, the museum offers four floors of exhibits and access to the cupola.  The museum is seeking funds by enclosing, with its request, a 150th anniversary student edition of the Gettysburg Address.

Six years ago, John Richter, Director of the Center for Civil War Photography, magnified a stereograph taken by photographer Alexander Gardner on November 19, 1863, on the grounds where Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg speech.  Richter believed a figure on horseback in the distance to be Abraham Lincoln, wearing a stovepipe hat and saluting the troops.  Ever since the finding was announced, skeptics questioned the veracity of the supposed Lincoln photo.  Then, earlier this year, Christopher Oakley, working on a 3-D animation of “Honest Abe,” wondered if the Library of Congress (owner of the image) had ever created a high-resolution copy of the photo’s left-sided negative.  It had not, but did so for Oakley for a payment of $73.  Oakley’s investigation noticed two critical images in the enhanced stereograph.  First, the man Richter and others assumed to be Lincoln was apparently wearing a coat with military-style epaulets on the shoulders.  Lincoln was wearing a plain overcoat on November 19.  But Oakley identified a man with a trim beard and stovepipe hat standing exactly where Lincoln would have stood—near Secretary of State William Seward.  Oakley told Smithsonian magazine: “All the landmarks—jawline, beard, hair, cheekbones, heavy brow, ears—line up perfectly,” for being Lincoln.  But again, as with the Richter photograph, his findings did not sit well with all historians.  Could it be Lincoln?  Once again, a Gettysburg photo stirs up a debate.

The October Smithsonian included “The New Lincoln” by Franz Lidz who wrote about the photo.

Books and Pamphlets

Thomas A. Bogar is the author of Backstage of the Lincoln Assassination: the Untold Story of the Actors and Stagehands at Ford’s Theatre (Regnery History).

Easton Press, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of Abraham Lincoln, has republished, with a slipcase, The Nation’s Tribute to Abraham Lincoln in leather.  The book uses speeches, newspaper reports, along with official records and testimony from the trial of Lincoln’s assassins, representing a documentary history of President Lincoln’s last days.  The book is rich with tributes and eulogies from across America and around the world.

Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen: A Culinary View of Lincoln’s Life and Times, by Rae Katherine Eighmey, has been published by Smithsonian Books.

David C. Keehn is the author of Knights of The Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Southern Secession, Civil War (Louisiana State University Press).

The Long Shadow of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address by Jared Peatman has been published by Southern Illinois University Press.

Shirley Samuels is the editor for The Cambridge Companion to Abraham Lincoln with contributions by Ivy G. Wilson (“Rhetorically Lincoln: Abraham Lincoln and Oratorical Culture”); Faith Barrett (“Abraham Lincoln and Poetry”); Carol Payne (“Seeing Lincoln: Visual Encounters”); Stephen Cushman (“Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address”); Timothy Sweet (“Lincoln and the Natural Nation”); Bethany Schneider (“Abraham Lincoln and the American Indians”); Deak Nabers (“Abraham Lincoln and the Self-Governing Constitution”); Harold K. Bush, Jr. (“Abraham Lincoln and Spiritual Crisis”); Paul Giles (“America and Britain During the Civil War”); Betsy Erkkila (“Lincoln in International Memory”); Robert Fanuzzi (“Lincoln’s Hemispheric Relations”); and Anne Norton (“Lincoln on Hallowed Ground”).

Don Thomas has authored The Reason Lincoln Had to Die for Pumphouse Publishers.

John Fabian Witt’s Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History, winner of the Bancroft Prize, has been published by Free Press in paper.

Children’s Books

Lincoln, Booth, and Me: A Graphic Novel of the Assassination, by Horatio, the Cat, as told to Pat Carr, has been published by El Amarna Publishing.

Civil War Sesquicentennial and Related Books

Union Heartland: The Midwestern Home Front During the Civil War has been edited by Ginette Aley and J.L. Anderson, with a foreword by William C. (“Jack”) Davis (Southern Illinois University Press).

Michael B. Ballard has written Grant at Vicksburg: The General and the Siege for Southern Illinois University Press.

Thomas Fleming wrote A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War for Da Capo Press.

Elizabeth Varon is the author of Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War (Oxford University Press).

Frank J. Williams and Patrick T. Conley have edited The Rhode Island Home Front in the Civil War (Taos Press, PO Box 294, East Lyme, CT 06333).

Magician of Light and Silver, Circa 1860: Mathew Brady, a Biography, by Robert Wilson, has been published by Bloomsbury.

Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear edited The Vicksburg Campaign: March 29-May 18, 1863 for Southern Illinois University Press.


The Fall 2012 Lincoln Herald included Jason H. Silverman’s “‘One of the principal replenishing streams’: Lincoln and his Evolving Relationship with Immigrants and Ethnic Groups,” Gerhard Mulder’s “Abraham Lincoln and the Doctrine of Necessity,” “Lincolniana” and “Publication/Playback Review” by Michael Burkhimer.

The Summer Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association contained Mark B. Pohlad’s “Charles Turzak’s Abraham Lincoln: Biography in Woodcuts (1933)” and Natalie Sweet’s “A Representative ‘of our people’: The Agency of William Slade, Leader in the African American Community and Usher to Abraham Lincoln.”

The Summer Civil War Monitor published its 150 Gettysburg anniversary special with a reappraisal of Abraham Lincoln’s address (“The Paradox of the Gettysburg Address” by Glenn W. LaFantasie) and a profile of Daniel Sickles (“Mad Dan” by Allen C. Guelzo).

Twilight of the Confederacy: How Gettysburg Changed History” by Allen C. Guelzo appeared in the July 15 National Review.

Gillian M. McCombs wrote “Abraham Lincoln, Management Guru! Lessons for Library Leadership on Resilience, True Grit, and Bouncing Forward” for the July portal: Libraries and the Academy.

The August 6 Daily News included J. Mwamba’s “Emancipation Proclamation Progress.”

Gerald J. Prokopowicz, James Oakes, Matthew Pinsker, Jason Emerson, and Peter H. Wood discussed Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln for the spring 2013 Civil War MonitorBrooks D. Simpson wrote “Enemies Front & Rear: Grant & the Campaign for Vicksburg” for the same issue.  The summer issue was devoted to the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg and included Glenn W. LaFantasie’s “The Paradox of the Gettysburg Address.”

Andrew Delbanco wrote “Uncompromising Compromise—How Lincoln pursued justice and efficacy at the same time” for the August 19 New Republic.

Issue 2 of Four Score and Seven Year for 2013 (a publication of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation) featured James M. Cornelius’s “Abraham Lincoln and the Union Pacific Railroad” and reports of the Lincoln leadership prize dinner and the presentation to the 2013 recipient President William Jefferson Clinton.  It also announced a new online resource, Under His Hat: Discovering Lincoln’s Story From Primary Sources.

The September Civil War History included the transcript from the film round table for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln with Catherine Clinton, Allen C. Guelzo, Kevin Levin, John R. Neff, Megan Kate Nelson, and Matthew PinskerBrian Craig Miller acted as round table facilitator.

John Elliff wrote “Did Douglas Throw the 1860 Election to Lincoln?” for the 2013 special edition of The Lincolnian.

James I. (“Bud”) Robertson, Jr. wrote “Remembering the U.S. Civil War Centennial Commission, 1957-1966,” for which commission he served as Executive Director, for Vol. 82 of The Journal of East Tennessee HistoryRobert Hodges provided “Unionism and Wartime Reconstruction in West Virginia and Tennessee, 1861-1865” and Aaron Scott Crawford contributed “Patriot Slaveholder: Andrew Jackson and the Winter of Secession,” for the same issue.

The September 9 carried Kevin Peraino’s “How Lincoln Shaped Obama’s World.”

The Washington Post, on September 13, included Michael E. Ruane’s “Edits made Gettysburg Address memorable.”

The State Journal-Register, on September 12, included a piece on the 1863 New York City Draft Riots; on September 19, the paper included an article of a petition by Native Americans in Kansas to President Lincoln complaining of theft by white settlers in the need for farm implements; on September 26, the paper discussed the completion of the Rock Island Arsenal and Illinois governor Richard Yates; and on October 17, it discussed how Thanksgiving became a national holiday on Lincoln’s watch with the urging of Sarah J. Hale—editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book.  On October 10, the State Journal-Register published “On Lincoln’s Mind: A Black Soldier Demands Equal Pay,” including Corporal James Henry Gooding’s letter seeking equal pay.

“Midpoint—1863” by Frank Williams appeared as a Preservation News column for the October Civil War News.

Sara Gabbard edited the Fall Lincoln Lore, which included an interview with Allen Guelzo on his book, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion.  John F. Marszalek provided “Ulysses S. Grant, The President,” and Frank J. Williams did “1863—Midpoint”—a timeline for the year.

The newsletter of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin, The Lincoln Ledger, for October, published “Tours of the Wisconsin Lincoln Heritage Trail.”

The Mini Page published in many papers on November 2, including The Westerly Sun, the “Gettysburg Address,” “Lincoln Fights for Freedom,” and “Gettysburg Battle Casualties.”


Paul H. Bergeron, Andrew Johnson’s Civil War and Reconstruction When General Grant Expelled the Jews, rev. by Robert G. Wick, Lincoln Herald (Fall 2012).

William A. Blair and Karen Fisher Younger, editors, Lincoln’s Proclamation: Emancipation Reconsidered, rev. by Allen C. Guelzo, Lincoln Herald (Fall 2012).

Orville Vernon Burton, Jerald J. Podair, and Jennifer L. Weber, editors, The Struggle for Equality: Sectional Conflict, the Civil War, and the Long Reconstruction, rev. by Edward R. Crowther, Civil War History (September 2013).

Benjamin Franklin Cooling, III, The Day Lincoln Was Almost Shot: The Fort Stevens Story, rev. by Thomas A. Horrocks, Civil War News (November 2013-but erroneously using 2012 in the masthead).

William J. Cooper, We Have the War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861, rev. by David M. Ackerman, The Federal Lawyer (October/November 2013).

Hank H. Cox, Lincoln and the Sioux Uprising of 1862, rev. by Jerry Carrier, Lincoln Herald (Fall 2012).

William C. Davis and James I. Robertson, Jr., Virginia at War, 1865, rev. by Amy Morsman, Civil War History (September 2013).

Brian Dirck, Abraham Lincoln and White America, rev. by Matthew Norman, Journal of Southern History (August 2013).

Jason Emerson, Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln, rev. by Kenneth D. Ackerman, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Summer 2013).

Richard W. Etulain, Lincoln in Oregon Country Politics in the Civil War Era, rev. by Michael Green, Lincoln Lore (Fall 2013).

Eric Foner, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, rev. by Orville Vernon Burton, Journal of Southern History (August 2013).

David Goldfield, America Aflame: How the Civil War Created a Nation, rev. by Carl E. Kramer, Civil War History (September 2013).

Allen C. Guelzo, Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction, rev. by George C. Rable, Journal of Southern History (August 2013).

Jonathan Hennessey, with art by Aaron McConnell, The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation: Using Lincoln’s Words to Tell the Whole Story of America’s Civil War, 1776 to the Present, rev. by Frank J. Williams, Civil War News (November 2013-but erroneously using 2012 in the masthead).

Feie Hogan, Lincoln, Inc.: Selling the Sixteenth President in Contemporary America, rev. by John Hoffmann, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Summer 2013).

Glenn LaFantasie, editor, The Union Forever: Lincoln, Grant, and the Civil War by John Y. Simon, rev. by Leonne M. Hudson, The Journal of Southern History (November 2013).

Brian McGinty, The Body of John Merryman: Abraham Lincoln and the Suspension of Habeas Corpus, rev. by Cynthia Nicoletti, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Summer 2013).

James M. McPherson, War On the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865, rev. by George E. Buker, The Journal of Southern History (November 2013).

Megan Kate Nelson, Ruined Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War, rev. by Judith Gliesberg, Civil War History (September 2013).

James Oakes, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865, rev. by Henry Cohen, The Federal Lawyer (October/November 2013).

Richard Striner, Lincoln and Race, rev. by Matthew Norman, Journal of Southern History (August 2013).

Jonathan W. White, Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman, rev. by Cynthia Nicoletti, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Summer 2013).

Robert Wilson, Magician of Light and Silver, Circa 1860: Mathew Brady, a Biography, rev. by Dwight Garner, New York Times (August 9, 2013).

Kenneth J. Winkle, Abraham and Mary Lincoln, rev. by Brian Dirck, Civil War History (September 2013).


Historian David Neville, who since 2003 was owner and editor of the highly respected Military Images magazine, has sold it to Ronald S. Coddington of Arlington, VA.  The magazine was founded by Harry Roach in 1979 to document the photographic history of United States soldiers and sailors from the birth of photography in 1839 through World War I—although the vast majority of published images date from the Civil War.  Roach sold the magazine in 1999 to Phillip Katcher who, four years later, sold it to Neville.

Harold Holzer spoke to the Greenwich Academy as part of its “leadership” theme for the 2012-2013 academic year.  As one of the country’s leading authorities on President Lincoln and the Civil War, Holzer described the social and political climate of America in the 1860s, pointing out that the mid-1800s newspapers were more partisan than today’s.

Krissah Thompson’s profile of General Flora Darpino, the first woman to serve as Judge Advocate General in the Army’s 236-year history, which she wrote for the September 11 Washington Post, discussed Joseph Holt, a predecessor who was Abraham Lincoln’s Judge Advocate General and the man who prosecuted the conspirators who assassinated the 16th president.

Lincoln and Political Culture

Andrew Adam Newman wrote “Freshpet Dog Food Promotes Products Sourced in U.S.” for the June 14 business section of the New York Times.  One advertisement features Abraham Lincoln sitting next to a dog with the caption “If you said Honest Abe said his pooch processed foreign ingredients, he would call you a liar.”

Vandalism at the Lincoln Memorial and Washington National Cathedral’s historic Bethlehem Chapel provoked Maggie Fazeli Fard and Michael E. Ruane to write “Red-hot over green paint on Lincoln” for the July 27 Washington Post.  They reported that young visitors studying leadership called these acts of vandalism “very disrespectful.”  Fifty-eight-year-old Tian Jiamel, homeless, was charged with defacing property.

Mark Derewicz wrote about presidents considered insignificant in “White House Whiteout” for the July/August (North) Carolina Alumni Review.  The author discusses Michael Gerhardt’s The Forgotten Presidents: Their Untold Constitutional Legacy covering presidents from Martin Van Buren to Jimmy Carter.  He does not consider them “…weak, ineffectual leaders.”  Gerhardt believes that Abraham Lincoln took a lesson from Zachary Taylor when Lincoln refused to let Southern states secede.

With the misquote of Dr. Martin Luther King brushed out of his memorial in Washington, Rachel Manteuffel wrote “What Else Should We Fix?” for the August 16 Washington Post.  She includes the Emancipation Memorial dedicated in 1876 where a slave whose chains have been broken kneels before Lincoln.  Her fix: “Maybe just change the title from ‘Emancipation’ to ‘We try not to endorse this way of thinking anymore, that it was some great gift on behalf of some Americans to stop enslaving their fellow humans.  Or that emancipation just happened one day to the passive slave population.  Lincoln’s speeches were very nice, though, go read a couple at his big memorial instead of at this one.’”

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., did 50 years earlier, many speakers invoked the name of Abraham Lincoln at the March on Washington anniversary events at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, on August 27.  Michael D. Shear discussed President Obama’s challenge in “Shaping a Speech, 50 Years After ‘I Have a Dream,’” in the August 22 New York Times.  “Mr. Obama … faces an unenviable task: to offer Americans a stirring, resonant moment that goes beyond his sometimes professional remarks, without falling into a politically dangerous mimicry of Dr. King’s cadences and rhythms.”  Perhaps President Obama confronted the same challenge in considering the invitation to keynote the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address on November 19; he turned the invitation down.

The U.S. Government’s first shutdown in 17 years affected Illinois on October 1, forcing the furloughs of thousands of civilian workers and the closing of such historic sites as the Lincoln Home in Springfield.

On November 10, during a re-examination of John F. Kennedy’s presidency by Adam Clymer in the New York Times, the paper published charts demonstrating that Abraham Lincoln is a “steady favorite” among Americans today, receiving the highest rating running close to 25%.  Lincoln is still credited for ending the Civil War and freeing the slaves.  He remains more popular than George Washington, who “had arguably equal accomplishments—creating the American presidency and getting a new country on its feet.”  Yet, “He is a much more austere figure than the relatable Honest Abe.”


John E. Elliott and Barry M. Cauchon have produced A Peek Inside the Walls: The Final Days of the Lincoln Conspirators (  This third in the series discusses “the mystery of John Wilkes Booth’s autopsy photo.”

Works in Progress

Charles Hubbard is editing Lincoln: Presidential Leadership and the Rule of Law for Southern Illinois University Press.  Chapter titles include “Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, Leader, President” by Daniel Stowell; “Lincoln’s Divided House: The Constitution and the Union” by Charles Hubbard; “The Quality of Mercy: Abraham Lincoln and the Power to Pardon” by Ron Soodalter; “Abraham Lincoln on Civil Liberties in Wartime” by Frank J. Williams; “Lincoln’s ‘Electric Cord’: Ethnicity, Nativism, and Immigration” by Mark Steiner; “The Enemy Within: Abraham Lincoln and the Potter Commission on the Loyalty of Government Employees” by Natalie Sweet; “Lincoln and the Art of Leadership: Achieving Black Freedom” by Edna Greene Medford; “Lincoln’s Choices: The President and Confederate Civilians” by Burrus Carnahan; and “The Lincoln Image and the Idea of Equality in American Presidential Rhetoric” by Jason R. Jividen.


Distinguished historian Pauline Maier, who taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and who believed Thomas Jefferson was “overrated,” died at 75.  Her American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence, published in 1997, argued that the documents encased at the National Archives, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, seemed “pretty dead.”  She chipped away at the mythology that had come to surround the Declaration in the 19th century, culminating in Abraham Lincoln’s elevating it to “the father of all moral principles.”  She believed that the people in 1776 did not see it so grandly and only as a simple announcement that America was now independent and a rationalization as to why.

Award-winning actress Julie Harris died on August 24 at age 87 from congestive heart failure.  She received a Tony Award for portraying Mary Todd Lincoln in The Last of Mrs. Lincoln, a play by James Prideaux.  She was the “best actress” in spite of the play’s being critically reviewed and closing only six weeks after its December 1972 opening.  The play was later broadcast on public television, with Harris again in the starring role.

Within a week of each other, two icons of Hildene—the Robert Lincoln home in Vermont—passed.  Gerrit Kouwenhoven, Executive Director before current director Seth Bongartz, died on August 27.  He served Hildene for 15 years.  Bob Schmid died in Virginia at age 97.  Following the death of Peggy Lincoln Beckwith in 1975, Bob and his wife Mary were among the first to seek a way of saving Hildene.  He was one of 10 volunteers honored, in September, on Hildene’s Friends Walk.

Sculptor Ron Tunison passed on October 19.  Early in his career, he did a praiseworthy sculpture of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg and was at work, at the time of his death, on a statue for the Lincoln at the Crossroads Alliance to mark the spot where Lincoln participated in General George B. McClellan’s Grand Review in the fall of 1861.

Author’s Note

I want to thank Thom Bassett, Randal Berry, Roger Billings, Kenneth L. Childs, Aaron Crawford, Harold Holzer, Richard Sloan, Tom Lapsley, William D. Pederson, Dennis E. Stark, Joseph Fornieri, Thomas Horrocks, Wayne C. Temple, Edward Steers, Jr., David J. Stiller, Jo Dzombak, Guy Fraker, Malcolm Garber, Mike Marlow, Ralph S. McCrea, William K. Miller, Tracey Minkin, David Warren, John Schildt, Philip W. Stichter, Thomas J. Trimborn, Justice William P. Robinson III, Judges W. Dennis Duggan and Dennis Curran, Frank and Virginia Musgrave, and Virginia Williams for providing information for this column.  I welcome news concerning Abraham Lincoln.  Please contact me at 300 Switch Road, Hope Valley, RI 02832; fax (401) 364-3642; e-mail