The #CivilWar and the Fight for the Soul of #America! A forthcoming documentary film from American historians
May 13 • 13 tweets • 6 min read
#OTD in 1862 Newton Knight reenlisted in the Confederate Army after being on furlough. He originally enlisted in July of 1861. He deserted in October of 1862 and headed home after he received word the Confederate Army had taken his family's horses for the war effort.
There is much debate and mystery surrounding Knight, his actions during and after the war, and what motivated him. However, Knight's life provides insight into conflicting ideas of race, class, and politics in Mississippi and the South writ large during the Civil War.
May 12 • 6 tweets • 4 min read
The Battle of Palmito Ranch was fought in Texas #OTD in 1865. The Confederate victory is widely considered the last battle of the Civil War. The battle occurred over one month after Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox and two days after Jefferson Davis was captured.
Both sides knew the war was virtually over, but a small contingent of Confederate forces refused to surrender near Brownsville, Texas. Many of the men serving under the Union Army there were members of the United States Colored Troops.
May 11 • 24 tweets • 7 min read
#OTD in 1916 a grand jury indicted Jesse Washington for the murder of Lucy Fryer near Waco, Texas. Fryer was brutally murdered in her home on May 8. The following thread recounts Washington's trial and lynching and contains disturbing details that might be triggering for some.
Washington was quickly arrested and charged with Fryer's death. He was 17 years old, illiterate, and mentally disabled. Furthermore, he was questioned without a lawyer or his parents present, despite the fact he was a minor. Washington initially claimed he was innocent.
May 9 • 15 tweets • 4 min read
John Brown was born #OTD in 1800 in Torrington, Conn. Brown was a militant abolitionist and rose to national prominence during Bleeding Kansas in the 1850s. He led a raid at Harper's Ferry, Virginia in 1859 in hopes of inciting a slave revolt that would destroy slavery itself.
As a boy his family moved to Ohio. His father started a successful tannery business. One of Brown's father's employees was U.S. Grant's father, Jessie Grant. John Brown was raised in an abolitionist family who offered aid to fugitive enslaved people on the Underground Railroad.
May 4 • 8 tweets • 5 min read
#OTD in 1864 the House passed the Wade-Davis Reconstruction bill. The House version of the bill was written by Rep. Henry Davis of Maryland. By this time Congress attempted to preemptively take control of post-war policy, creating a rift with President Lincoln.
Lincoln issued the "Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction" on December 8, 1863. It required only 10 percent of a seceding state's population to take an oath of loyalty before a new state government could be formed. These states would also be required to abolish slavery.
May 3 • 17 tweets • 6 min read
Last night at the Met Gala, Sarah Jessica Parker wore a dress designed in homage to Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley. Keckley was the first Black female fashion designer to work in the White House. She was First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker. Here is a thread about her life.
Keckley was born an enslaved woman in Dinwiddie County, Virginia in February of 1818. As a child she worked with her mother as a house servant for Colonel Armistead Burwell and took care of his infant child. Burwell was also Keckley's biological father.
May 2 • 9 tweets • 4 min read
#OTD in 1865 President Andrew Johnson put out a reward of $100,000 dollars (Approximately $2 million in today's money) for the capture of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Davis and a small group of close advisors had fled Richmond in early April.
They initially fled to Danville, Virginia but had to quickly leave because the Union Army was hot on their tail. They arrived in the town of Washington, Georgia in Wilkes County of May 3rd. He held his last meeting the next day.
Feb 18 • 7 tweets • 5 min read
#OTD in 1865 Charleston, South Carolina Mayor Charles Macbeth surrendered the city to Lieutenant Colonel A.G. Bennett of the 21st United States Colored Troops. The city had been under siege since the summer of 1863 and its harbor contained Ft. Sumter, where the war began.
Confederate General Beauregard ordered the evacuation three days earlier, nearly four years after he commanded the initial assault of Ft. Sumter in April, 1861. By the afternoon a company of the 54th Mass. (USCT) was helping to extinguish the flames set by the retreating rebels.
Feb 16 • 17 tweets • 6 min read
#OTD in 1884 the Chicago Tribune reported on Senate hearings regarding the Danville Massacre in Virginia. The massacre took place on November 3, 1883. The Chicago Tribune’s reporting highlights the tension between white Democrats, Black Republicans and voting at the time.
The Danville Massacre (also referred to as the Danville Race Riot) was a violent white backlash to bi-racial democracy in Virginia during the Readjuster movement. The Readjuster Party supported legislation to help alleviate the state's debt incurred during the Civil War.
Feb 1 • 10 tweets • 5 min read
February 1st marks the beginning of #BlackHistoryMonth and we will be dedicating much of our #OTD posts to Black history throughout the 19th century, particularly during the Civil War Era. You can read about the origins of Black History Month here: asalh.org/about-us/origi…
With that said, #OnThisDay in 1865, Dr. John Rock became the first African American admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court. This occurred the same day President Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment. #History#HistoryMatters#USHistory#AmericanHistory
#OTD in 1861 a fugitive enslaved person named Sara Lucy Bagby became the last person to be returned to their owner under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. It is unclear when Bagby was born but she was sold in January of 1852 in Richmond to John Goshorn for $600 dollars.
Bagby (More commonly known as Lucy), escaped to Ohio via the Underground Railroad in 1860 and settled in Cleveland. For a short time, she worked as a domestic servant for Republican congressman Albert G. Riddle and as a jeweler
Jan 24 • 6 tweets • 5 min read
#OTD in 1848 gold was found at Sutter’s Mill, California. This spurred the California Gold Rush, as northern Free-Soilers and pro-slavery Southerners both flocked to the new territory acquired through the Mexican-American War. #OnThisDay#OnThisDate#TodayInHistory#GoldRush
The battle over California’s fate as a free or slave state ignited intense debate in Congress, deepening the divide between the free North and the slave South. #California#Slavery#CaliforniaHistory
Nov 11, 2021 • 7 tweets • 4 min read
Meet Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, who #OTD was awarded the Medal of Honor for her service during the Civil War. She remains the only woman to be be awarded this honor. She was a suffragist, suspected spy, POW, and surgeon.
In 1855, she earned her MD from Syracuse Medical College. She and her husband opened their own practice, but it failed. She also refused to "obey" her husband, kept her last name, and wore a short skirt with trousers. They divorced.
The @librarycongress has a fantastic Civil War collection. In it includes three manuscript volumes that document daily life in Washington, D.C., by U.S. Patent Office examiner Horatio Nelson Taft (1806-1888).
There are 1240 digitized pages of this collection, and they're amazing to scroll through! Be patient- the images force you to brush up on your paleography skills! (Thank you to @librarycongress staff for transcribing them!)
May 31, 2021 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
#MemorialDay2021 Let's talk about the origins of Decoration Day. In Race and Reunion, historian David Blight highlights the first Memorial Day. Founded by Black Americans, Decoration Day was held May 1, 1865 at a racetrack/ war prison where freedmen reburied Union soldiers.
They then held a ceremony to honor the 257 fallen soldiers (on this site in South Carolina) called "Martyrs of the Race Course." In the days prior, Black men built an enclosure around the burial ground & created a cemetery of neat rows to honor the US.