One of my favorite pastimes is reading about the American Civil War. I also like thinking and writing about what I read. It helps me to process through it, whether it’s from a book, a Confederate soldier’s diary, or a letter written by a Union soldier to someone back home.
Each small story, every new experience, and the preceding, present, or proceeding scenes of battle amaze me. I’m getting the opportunity to peak in on a bit of history and hear firsthand how it affected certain individuals. We’re given many snapshots of what life was like during the war.
They’re the deconstructed pieces of the American Civil War meta-narrative. Each story is merely a part of the larger overall story that so many people have lived, contributed to, and even died for. These stories are woven together like a tapestry, interrelated and built upon one another.
When I read about the Civil War, I think of my favorite band, the Decemberists. They came out with an album in 2009 called “The Hazards of Love.” I was so impressed by this record, because each individual song told a unique story that connected to the larger overall story, which was the rest of the songs on the CD.
My hope in writing this blog is to piece together different stories I read about the Civil War in order to understand its comprehensive story. I invite you to enter into the lives of those that have gone before us and to think with me on what that must have been like for them.
I’ll post one entry per week, but I’m always sharing some of what I’m reading throughout the week on Twitter. Check out the hashtag #civilwartweet to find out more. Or, to feed your insatiable appetite for all things Civil War, check out one of my favorite sites: Daily Observations from the Civil War.
Teaser: Next week, I’ll be explaining how I picked Hardtack Rat as my website name. Please check back to find out!
Until next time, keep soldiering on…