Tag Archives: The Civil War

The Dedication of Grant’s Memoirs

On April 27, 1822, military leader and U.S. president Ulysses S. Grant was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio.

Years after his presidency, in 1884, the Grant family was reduced to poverty as the result of a failed business venture. That same year, President Grant was diagnosed with terminal throat cancer.

Racing against time and while in considerable pain, Grant wrote his personal memoirs in hopes that they would provide his family with some financial security after his death.  The two volumes were published by Grant’s friend and admirer Mark Twain the books enjoyed near overnight success. The books eventually earned the Grant family over $400,000.

Grant completed the text just days before his death on July 23, 1885. His memoir is widely considered to be the best military autobiography ever written.

The full text of both volumes can be searched and read by Accessible Archives users in The Civil War: The Generals’ Perspective.

From the Preface

In preparing these volumes for the public, I have entered upon the task with the sincere desire to avoid doing injustice to any one, whether on the National or Confederate side, other than the unavoidable injustice of not making mention often where special mention is due. There must be many errors of omission in this work, because the subject is too large to be treated of in two volumes in such way as to do justice to all the officers and men engaged. There were thousands of instances, during the rebellion, of individual, company, regimental and brigade deeds of heroism which deserve special mention and are not here alluded to. The troops engaged in them will have to look to the detailed reports of their individual commanders for the full history of those deeds.

The first volume opens with:

These volumes are dedicated to the American soldier and sailor. — U.S. Grant

Grant's Dedication

Grant’s Dedication


Cookery for the Sick-Room III – November 1862

During the Civil War years Godey’s Lady’s Book carefully avoided taking a position or even directly mentioning the war from an editorial position.

However, there were many patriotic songs published and other peripheral items. This set of Sick-Room Remedies was published during the height of the war in 1862.

  • RICE BLANCMANGE — Steep a tablespoonful of rice in half a pint of cold milk for seven or eight hours. If the milk dries up too much, more must be added, but it must be no more than sufficient to make the rice soft and moist. Boil half an hour. Any flavor, either of almonds, lemon-peel, cinnamon, or nutmeg, may be added. When the rice is entirely pulped, it must be put into a mould until cold, when it will turn out.
  • ISINGLASS BLANCMANGE — An ounce of isinglass dissolved in a pint of boiling milk, and flavored with bitter almonds, lemon-peel, etc., if boiled for some time together, will form an agreeable nutritious blancmange for a convalescent. When put into a mould, it should be stirred occasionally until it begins to stiffen.
  • SAVORY MEAT JELLY — Chop a knuckle of veal and a scrag of mutton, so that they may be placed one bone on another. Scrape and slice three carrots and two turnips, cut small one head of celery, butter the bottom of a stone jar or well-tinned saucepan. Lay in layers the meat and vegetables alternately, packing them closely together. Sprinkle over each a very little salt; cover the jar closely, and put it in a slow oven for half an hour; then open it and pour in as much hot water as will cover the ingredients; cover the jar again closely, quicken the oven, and let it remain in it for five hours. Strain the liquor away from the meat and vegetables; when cold, remove the fat from the surface and the sediment from the bottom: the jelly will then be ready for use. It will not keep long unless boiled up again about the second day.
  • GLOUCESTER JELLY — Dissolve one ounce of isinglass in half a pint of spring water; bruise and add to it half an ounce of nutmeg and half an ounce of cinnamon; let all simmer in a pipkin until the isinglass be perfectly dissolved; strain it off, and set in a cool place to jelly; cut it in pieces, add a bottle of port wine and the spice before boiled in it; sweeten it to taste, and let it simmer until the jelly be again dissolved, when it is ready for use. Half a wineglass may be taken at bedtime. Observe, the wine must not be simmered in a saucepan, but in an earthen vessel, put into a saucepan of cold water, and set over the fire to warm gradually.
  • CARROGEEN, OR IRISH MOSS JELLY — Wash and pick an ounce of this moss; boil it in a pint and a half of water for twenty minutes; strain it and pour into a basin to jelly. For invalids, and for children when weaned, it is an excellent food mixed with warm milk.
  • ARROWROOT JELLY — Put into a saucepan and boil together half a pint of water and one glass of sherry, or a tablespoonful of brandy, a little grated nutmeg, and fine sugar. When boiling, mix with them by degrees a dessertspoonful of arrowroot, previously rubbed smooth in a tablespoonful of cold water; boll all together for three minutes, and then pour it into glasses or small cups. If the invalid is not allowed to take wine, the jelly may be flavored with lemon or orange juice, or with the juice of any fruit which may be in season.
  • APPLE WATER — Slices of apple, and a little lemon-peel and sugar put into hot water, make a pleasant drink.


Collection: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Publication: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Date: November 1862
Title: Cookery for the Sick-Room
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Cookery for the Sick-Room II – October 1862

During the Civil War years Godey’s Lady’s Book carefully avoided taking a position or even directly mentioning the war from an editorial position.

Many patriotic songs and poems were published during those years. This set of Sick-Room Remedies was published during the height of the war in 1862.

  • LEMON WATER — Cut into an earthen teapot, or a covered jug, two or three slices of lemon, with one lump of sugar, and a spoonful of capillaire. On these pour a pint of boiling water, and cover it closely for two or three hours, when it will form an agreeable beverage for the thirst of a feverish patient.
  • RASPBERRY VINEGAR — A dessert spoonful of which, in a tumbler of cold water, forms a very efficacious gargle.
  • TAMARINDS and hot water, when cool, may in some cases be given; but no acid drinks should be given to patients without the knowledge of their medical attendants.
  • WHITE-WINE WHEY — Dilute half a pint of new milk with an equal quantity of hot water; boil both together, and while boiling pour in at the moment two wineglasses of white-wine. A curd will form, which, after boiling the mixture for two or three minutes longer, will settle at the bottom of the saucepan. The whey must be strained carefully from the curd; it should be perfectly clear. Sugar may be added to please the taste. Warm white-wine whey promotes perspiration, and hence is useful in the commencement of some complaints; but taken cold, it has a different effect, and often, in cases of low fever, it is an excellent beverage; also, in the early stages of convalescence, it is as safe and sufficient a stimulant as can be given.
  • MILK WHEY — Steep in a cup of hot water, for four or five hours, a small piece of rennet, about an inch and a half square. Pour the water, not the skim itself, into two quarts of new milk. When the curd is come, pour it into a sieve or fine earthen colander, and press the whey gently out of it into a jug. This may be given either cool, or made the warmth of new milk, whichever the patient prefers.
  • LEMON AND VINEGAR WHEYS — Instead of wine, pour into the boiling milk and water a tablespoonful of lemon-juice or of vinegar. The whey obtained in this manner, being less stimulating than that of white-wine, is sometimes given to an invalid in preference.
  • GROUND RICE MILK — Rub a spoonful of ground rice, very smooth, in a little cold milk; add to it three half pints of milk, some cinnamon, lemon-peel, and a little nutmeg; boil altogether for a quarter of an hour. Sweeten to the taste.
  • SAGO MILK — Wash in cold milk a tablespoonful of sago, pour off the milk, and add to the sago a quart of new milk. Boil slowly till reduced to a pint. Cinnamon may be added if required; but neither sugar nor spice is usually added to this food.
  • ARROWROOT AND MILK — Mix smooth, with a very little cold milk, one dessert spoonful of arrowroot. Boil half a pint of new milk, and the moment it rises to the boiling point, stir in gently the arrowroot and cold milk. Boil it till it becomes thick.
  • MILK PORRIDGE is sometimes made by adding milk to fine groat gruel. Another way is to mix a tablespoonful of oatmeal in a basin with cold milk, and pour it, when perfectly smooth, into a saucepan containing half a pint of boiling milk. If this does not thicken it sufficiently, it must be boiled a little longer.


Collection: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Publication: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Date: October, 1862
Title: Cookery for the Sick-Room
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Bedgown for an Invalid in Godey’s Lady’s Book

Throughout the Civil War the publisher and editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book avoided reporting on the conflict and avoided taking sides. As a result, the magazine became something of an oasis away from the war for its readers. Although they never addressed the conflict and the casualties, this sewing pattern and instructions from July 1862 may provide a sideways hint that all was not well in the United States.

This dress is intended to be worn by those who are so ill that the necessary change of clothes is attended with pain and difficulty. It is in two entirely detached pieces, united on the shoulders by buttons, and at the sides by strings. They can be made very much ornamented or entirely plain, and of any material. (more…)

US Postal Service Forever Stamps 2012

Second Set of Civil War Sesquicentennial Stamps Issued

Today the U.S. Postal Service issued the second of an annual series of Forever stamps that pay tribute to one of the most searing, traumatic and consequential events in our nation’s history: the American Civil War. There are ten philatelic products available for this stamp issue.

The dedicated stamps, The Civil War: 1862, remember the Battle of New Orleans, the first significant achievement of the U.S. Navy in the war, and the Battle of Antietam, which marked the bloodiest day of the war.

The American Civil War engulfed the nation from 1861 to 1865 and profoundly changed the country, bringing an end to slavery and transforming the social life of the South and the economic life of the nation.

“These stamps help us pause to remember a period in our history that had a profound impact on our country for many years to come. A major achievement of the United States Navy during the war, the Battle of New Orleans placed the Confederacy’s most vital port in Union hands. As a result, Southern trade, finance, and shipbuilding were greatly disrupted. Five months later came the bloodiest single day of the Civil War — and in fact, the bloodiest one-day battle in American history — the Battle of Antietam”

–Dean Granholm, vice president, Delivery and Post Office Operations.

The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony took place at the National WW II Museum in New Orleans.

Antietam Forever Stamp 1862

Antietam Forever Stamp 1862

Also speaking at the unveiling were Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District, U.S. House of Representatives; William M. Detweiler, consultant for military and veterans affairs; Timothy Pickles, military film producer and director; and Bruno Tristan, district manager, U.S. Postal Service.

Art director Phil Jordan created the stamps using images of Civil War battles. The Battle of New Orleans stamp is a reproduction of an 1862 colored lithograph by Currier & Ives titled “The Splendid Naval Triumph on the Mississippi, April 24th, 1862.” It depicts Admiral David G. Farragut’s fleet passing Fort Jackson and Fort St. Phillip on the way to New Orleans.

The Battle of Antietam stamp is a reproduction of an 1887 painting by Thure de Thulstrup. The painting was one of a series of popular prints commissioned in the 1880s by Boston publisher Louis Prang & Co. to commemorate the Civil War.

New Orleans Forever Stamp 1862

New Orleans Forever Stamp 1862

For the stamp pane’s background image, Jordan used a photograph of Union soldiers in the vicinity of Fair Oaks, VA, circa June 1862.

The stamp pane includes comments on the war by David G. Farragut, James C. Steele, Walt Whitman, and the New York Times. It also includes some of Charles Carroll Sawyer’s lyrics from the popular 1862 song “Weeping, Sad and Lonely,” or “When This Cruel War Is Over” (music composed by Henry Tucker).

Civil War Mail Service

Mail was a treasured link among Civil War camps, battlefields and home. Recognizing its importance to morale, both northern and southern armies assigned personnel to collect, distribute and deliver soldiers’ mail. Wagons and tents served as traveling Post Offices.

Download this news release (PDF) for additional information.

Postal Service Commitment to Veterans

While the Postal Service does not maintain records on the thousands of Civil War veterans who worked for the Post Office Department, today’s Postal Service stands proud as the nation’s largest civilian employer of veterans. More than one-fifth of the Postal Service’s half-million career employees are veterans.

How to Order the First-Day-of-Issue-Postmark

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:

The Civil War: 1862 Stamp
PO Box 50336
New Orleans, LA 70150-0036

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by June 24, 2012.

How to Order First-Day Covers

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items post­marked with the official first day of issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic Catalog, online at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-782-6724.

Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service
Catalog Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

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