The Backchat Blog

About this Blog

Author Robert C. Plumb has created this blog to share information, opinions, and ideas about the subject of the American Civil War.  All segments of coverage about the War – academic treatise, “popular history,” and fictional accounts – will be included if they merit coverage and discussion.  After reading this blog if you are informed, enlightened, or encouraged to discover more, the author will consider that this blog is accomplishing what he intended.

Christmas Letters From a Union Soldier

Christmas Letters From a Union Soldier

George P. McClelland served with the 155th Pennsylvania Infantry, Union Army of the Potomac, from August 1862 to June 1865.  He spent three Christmases in the field with his unit and wrote home to his sister Lizzie to report on his condition and to wish her the best...

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Harriet: The Film

Harriet: The Film

The Harriet Tubman movie, directed by Kasi Lemmons and released in November 2019, is a powerful film that does justice to Tubman’s story of compassion for enslaved people and her unrelenting drive to guide them to freedom in the north.  There are a few scenes of...

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The Bloodiest Day

The Bloodiest Day

One-hundred and fifty-eight years ago on September 17, a battle that has been called the bloodiest single day in American history was fought on Maryland farmland adjacent to a small creek from which the battle took its name: Antietam.  More American soldiers died in...

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The Poem, the Anthem, the Hymn

The Poem, the Anthem, the Hymn

Forty-two-year old Julia Ward Howe, mother of six, asked to accompany her physician husband to Washington, DC in November of 1861 so she could witness the marshalling of troops in the capital city.  While Doctor Samuel Gridley Howe was attending to business as a...

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The Blue and Gray — With a Touch of Yellow and Red

The Blue and Gray — With a Touch of Yellow and Red

Ask Civil War enthusiasts about the term “The Blue and the Gray” and most will respond: “Those are the colors of the uniforms men wore during the Civil War; the Union wore blue and the Confederates wore gray.” The answer is more complex. Union and Confederate armies...

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