Temporal Fractures

It’s a little weird sometimes, being this engrossed in the Civil War. The major re-enactments run on a five year cycle, so right now in the re-enactment world, it’s August of 1864. Of course here in Sesquicentennial Madness world, it’s August of 1859, which is fracturing my weird little world even further. This temporal dislocation occasionally causes awkward moments, like when I was discussing getting the Emergency Backup Dog with my friend at Blackthorn Kennel, and said I was looking at getting a pup in late 2010 or early 2011, so as to have the EBD ready to go in time for Fredericksburg in December, 1862. Because in my head, that made sense.

So anyway, step over here into my temporally fractured and weird little world for a moment. It’s August, 1859. The country is headed towards war; it’s beginning to look like a when and not an if. What are our principle actors up to?

John Brown
He’s been plotting his uprising at Harpers Ferry for two years now, seeking weapons and financing from wealthy abolitionists and recruiting supporters. In August, he makes a trip to Chambersburg, PA to visit Frederick Douglass. Douglass declines to join the trip to Harpers Ferry, saying the plan will end in disaster.

Abraham Lincoln
Mr. Lincoln is occupied with his work as a lawyer, in the early days of the month he spends time on defending a Mr. Harrison, who is accused of murder. His client is acquitted. Later in the month, he travels with Ozia M. Hatch on railroad business.

Ulysses S. Grant
Grant, working as a bill collector, applies this month for the position of county engineer in St. Louis, Missouri.

Robert E. Lee
Colonel Lee has been on leave from the Army for nearly two years, living at his plantation at Arlington and trying to cope with his father-in-law’s complicated will.

Thomas J. Jackson
Stonewall is at White Sulphur Springs, recovering from a sore throat and a deranged liver this month. No, I’m not kidding, he really was. In fact, since I am an obsessive quoter, here, don’t even click on the link:

The inflammation or irritation of my throat passed down so low as to make me afraid to let Dr. Green treat me & consequently I gave up the idea of going to him so long as it remains so low; it appears to be about the collar bone. But whilst I was unwilling to let the Dr. treat me I concluded that I would visit this place & try to get my liver right; as I was disposed to think that the state of the throat depended on that of the liver. After you left, my liver apparently became much deranged. I reached this place on Thursday last & I feel improved. It appears to me that smoking mullein has been of great benefit to me. I am fearful that I will not be able to visit you this summer & I feel it greatly.

See? Deranged liver.

William Tecumseh Sherman
This year, Sherman takes a job as the first superintendent of the Lousiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy (later Lousiana State University). Next month, his daughter Ellie is born.


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