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On the eve of his fifty-second birthday, on February 11, 1861, Abraham Lincoln prepared to board a train in Springfield, Illinois.

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Mississippi author, Allie Stuart Powell, prefaces his recent work, Rebels in Repose: Confederate Commanders After the War, with remarks about the sad fate of Confederate monuments. Powell neither laments nor lauds their removal, but the controversy surrounding them causes him to wonder, “Who…

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“I began to realize what camp life is, when I washed my face & hands in a horse bucket and wiped them in my handkerchief.” In this way young George Bernard of Petersburg, Virginia described his early experiences soldiering with what was to become the Army of Northern Virginia.

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When students of the Civil War think about that irrepressible conflict, they generally consider political factors that led to war, battlefield tactics and results, and great personalities who held leadership positions during the wartime era.