Joe Johnston is a guest contributor who is writing articles related to the Civil War. To read others in the series, click here. His latest book, The Mack Marsden Murder Mystery, was published by the Missouri History Museum in 2011 and received a 2012 National Indie Excellence Award (True Crime category).
In this letter to Molly, James repeats much of the information that he wrote in yesterday’s letter to Alex, including his problems with the commander of his company, Captain William S. Herd, his threats to resign, and his new position as adjutant. He also tells Molly about the loss of his trunk and its contents, including her letters. Fortunately, he kept her photograph, poem, and ring in his breast pocket, so they were not stolen. In his pocket, James also kept a copy of the poem, "A Woman’s Answer," written by English poet Adelaide Anne Procter in the early 1860s.Read more »
In his letters to Molly, James frequently mentions writing to her brothers, William and Alex. While the James E. Love Papers consist almost entirely of letters from James to Molly, the collection also contains two letters from James to Alex, including this one dated November 26, 1862. At the start of the Civil War, Alex lived with Molly, their mother, aunt, brother John, and sister Sallie. They all lived in a house on North Ninth Street, where the convention center is today.
Sometimes libraries and museums acquire items from collectors. In other cases, people donate objects and papers from their own lives. In this video, librarian Emily Jaycox shows the wide variety of items given to the Archives as gifts over the years. From yearbooks to restaurant menus, these items are “not available in stores.” Read more »
In November 1862, James had time to rest in Nashville, Tennessee, where he and his regiment were on provost duty to help preserve order in the town. Union General William S. Rosecrans ordered the companies of the 8th Kansas Infantry regiment that had remained in Kansas to join the rest of the regiment in Nashville. James finally started to receive his mail, including newspapers that provided information on the war in other parts of the country, and the recent election in Missouri. On November 4, 1862, citizens of the 1st Congressional district in Missouri, which included part of St.Read more »
I often tell people I have the best job at the Missouri History Museum. A big part of that job is interviewing fascinating people for our growing oral history collection. I have interviewed all sorts of people—activists and architects, weavers and photographers, test pilots and zookeepers. And on more than one occasion I had the great pleasure of interviewing Rose Church. Rose was a nurse at McDonnell Aircraft in the 1950s and ’60s, and when the company landed the contracts to build and test NASA’s Mercury and Gemini spacecraft, she became McDonnell’s first aerospace nurse. Read more »
Earlier this week, St. Louisans voted to return control of the police department to the local government, thus ending 151 years of state oversight. Most people wonder why the governor ever had control of the city police.[...]
Left: Members of the Jefferson Guard, a division of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police. Photograph by Byrnes Photographic Company, 1903. Missouri History Museum.Read more »
James and his company marched from Bowling Green, Kentucky, to Nashville, Tennessee, a distance of 60 miles in four days. In this letter, James describes each day of the march, including a skirmish with a band of guerrillas near Nashville on November 7. He also mentions Wolford, a reference to Colonel Frank Lane Wolford, who, with the 1st Kentucky Cavalry, chased Confederate general John Hunt Morgan out of Kentucky.
As part of my research for the Civil War Love Letters series, I decided to travel to the three battlefields where James Love was present. I spent a week driving from one battlefield to the next, many times driving through the same areas where James marched 150 years ago. Read more »
Since his last letter, James and his regiment left Lebanon, Kentucky, on October 27 and marched to Bowling Green, arriving on November 1. During this time the regiment experienced changes in command at many levels. Union general Don Carlos Buell was replaced by General William Rosecrans, and the regiment became part of the Army of the Cumberland. Major General Alexander McD McCook became the new corps commander, replacing Major General Charles C. Gilbert. Finally, Major General William E. Woodruff became their new division commander, replacing Major General Robert B.Read more »
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