Category Archives: Civil War

What the Private Saw: Antietam

On Sept. 25, 1861, Private Oney Foster Sweet wrote to his mother, Caroline Foster Sweet, from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He and his comrades in the 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery, Battery F, believed the war would be over in a few months, … Continue reading

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‘The music commenced’— Gettysburg turns tide for Union army

One hundred and fifty-two years ago today, “the music commenced” at Gettysburg. The quoted phrase comes from Private Oney F. Sweet, who made reference to the artillery barrages that signaled the beginning of battle. Confederate General Lee had marched his … Continue reading

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Decoration Day Honored U.S. Civil War Veterans; Later Became Memorial Day

On May 5, 1868, Major General John A. Logan, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans, declared Decoration Day as a time for the nation to honor the U.S. Civil War dead. Logan … Continue reading

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Mother’s Day and the U.S. Civil War

With Mother’s Day just a few days away, I began to wonder about the history of the day purported to honor mothers. Did it exist during the U.S. Civil War? If it did, Oney F. Sweet never mentioned it. It … Continue reading

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St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. Civil War

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day dates back more than 1,000 years, and Irish soldiers and emigrants brought that tradition with them to the British colonies in North America, and later to the USA. During the … Continue reading

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U.S. Civil War Christmas, New Year Holidays Described in Book Excerpt

Descriptions of the holiday season for soldiers during the U.S. Civil War give us pause for thought as we reside in safe, warm places, spending time with family and friends, and cheering in a new year this holiday season . . . … Continue reading

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Civil War Thanksgiving: Nov. 26, 1863

A Civil War Thanksgiving: Something to think about as we sit in safe, warm places, feasting on our turkey dinners this coming Thursday. Private Oney F. Sweet, a Union soldier in the 1st Pennsylvannia Light Artillery, Battery F (Ricketts’ Battery), … Continue reading

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