Book plate created by Eli Lilly and used by his men - Ramsay Archives

This year marks the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. All over America various organizations are marking this year in all sorts of ways and throughout this year I will share a few of these projects and some interesting links.

I want to start with the daily blog DISUNION from the New York Times.

Each day there is a new post, “using contemporary accounts, diaries, images and historical assessments to follow the Civil War as it unfolded.” A fascinating concept as the reader can walk through history as it happened day by day.

I was tickled to hear from and then read three posts by a Wabash man, Daniel Crofts [W1963]. A history major at Wabash, Dan went on to Yale and then to the College of New Jersey where he has taught history for over thirty years. It is not suprising that he was asked to write for the Disunion series as he has studied and written extensively about this period in American history. Daniel’s posts for Disunion, so far are: “The Diary of a ‘Susseader’”, “No Better Southern Man” and “A Baptism of Blood?” You can search the blog for CROFTS and these will pop up for you.

His first book, published in 1989 by the University of North Carolina Press was  Reluctant Confederates: Upper South Unionists in the Secession Crisis. The last of his five books, published by the Louisiana State University Press in April of last year is A Secession Crisis Enigma: William Henry Hurlbert and “The Diary of a Public Man”. More information on these and his other works can be found at

Civil War artifacts of Benjamin Marshall Mills, only son of Caleb Mills who was the first member of the Wabash College faculty. Benjamin died soon after the war of illness contracted during his service. It is said that Caleb Mills never recovered from this loss. Near our campus is Marshall Street, which Caleb named for Benjamin following his death.

I will close with a couple of great links for those who are interested in pictures from the War of the Rebellion as it was called for many years…these photos are from a Library of Congress collection donated by the Liljenquist Family.

The next link is also to the Library of Congress web page. This is their Civil War Photograph collection page. In addition for the photos, there are all sorts of other links to more information – about their collection, about photography during the war and about specific photographers.

So if you have some free time, take a look at these various projects all connected to the War Between the States…


Beth Swift
Wabash College