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.

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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Which Uncle Tom ?

Which Uncle Tom ?

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was the first American book to sell more than one million copies.  It earned its author international fame, admiration in the northern United States, and the scorn of most Southern commentators.  The novel enjoyed popular...

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After Lincoln Book Review

After Lincoln Book Review

Bookshelves groan under the weight of the accumulated Civil War canon.  One area, however, receives scant attention in comparison to the battles and leaders of the War – Reconstruction and the entire post-war saga.  A. J. Langguth’s After Lincoln: How the North Won...

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Clara Barton and the Missing Soldier’s Office

Clara Barton and the Missing Soldier’s Office

“To the friends of missing persons: Miss Clara Barton has kindly offered to search for missing prisoners of war.  Please address her at Annapolis, Maryland giving name, regiment, and company of any missing prisoner.” – Abraham Lincoln, 1865 As the Civil War was...

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Letters, E-Mail and History

Letters, E-Mail and History

For those of us who write historical non-fiction, logs, diaries, journals and letters are the essential ingredients of our research.  First-hand accounts are the sine qua non of our work. My first book, Your Brother in Arms, was based on 41 letters written by a Civil...

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When History Grabs You by The Arm

Robert C. Plumb is a writer, marketing consultant, and former marketing executive for two Fortune 500 companies. He is the author of Your Brother in Arms: A Union Soldier’s Odyssey and has written for the Montgomery Historical Society’s journal, the Washington Post,...

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