Civil War

The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes, focusing on events from 1861 through 1865.  The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation.

This Week in the Civil War - #1106

Jun 4, 2015


This Week in the Civil War - #1105

Jun 3, 2015

  Wilmer McLean, the Virginia wholesale grocery of whom it can be proclaimed that the Civil War “began in his front yard and ended in his front parlor” found little success after the war.  Although he had made a considerable wartime fortune smuggling sugar, McLean's money was in Confederate currency which became worthless at the end of the war.  Unable to maintain the mortgage on his Appomattox home, McLean returned to Manassas and later moved to Alexandria, Virginia where he worked at a series of jobs until his death in 1882.  The McLean home at Appomattox fell into disrepair until its pur

This Week in the Civil War - #1104

Jun 2, 2015

  Union general Joshua Chamberlain, the Maine college professor whose gallantry at Gettysburg earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, resigned from the postwar military and was elected as Maine’s governor to four, one year terms.  In 1871, he was appointed president of Bowdoin College and remained there until 1883, when he was forced to resign because of ill health.  He later practiced law in New York City and engaged in numerous business activities.  In 1898, he volunteered as an officer in the Spanish-American War but was rejected due to his advanced age.  In 1905, he became a founding m

This Week in the Civil War - #1103

Jun 1, 2015

  After the war, Union General George McClellan took his family to Europe until 1868.  Returning home, McClellan became the chief engineer of the New York City Department of Docks and in 1882 became the president of the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad.  After another extended, European trip McClellan returned home to be nominated by the Democrats as governor of New Jersey.  He was elected, serving a single term marked by minimal political rancor.  By 1884, he strongly supported Grover Cleveland, desiring to become the next secretary of war, but rival, New Jersey politicians were able to

This Week in the Civil War - #1102

May 29, 2015

  In 1864, the United States government confiscated Arlington House, the home of Robert E. Lee, when property taxes were not paid in person by Mrs. Lee.  Purchased for "government use," Arlington soon became a cemetery as a vengeful Northern military decided to make the property uninhabitable to the Lee family once the war ended.  The Lees never returned to Arlington; after the general’s death in 1870, his son brought suit, claiming the government had illegally confiscated the property.  By a 5 to 4 decision in December 1882 the U.S.