Happy Valentine’s Day from the CWI


We at the Civil War Institute want to wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day. As for Thanksgiving and Christmas, CWI Fellow Megan McNish ’16 has once again created a Buzzfeed post for your browsing pleasure with help from Jen Simone ’18 and Alex Andrioli ’18. This time, they’ve created a set of Civil War-themed Valentine’s Day memes for your viewing pleasure.

If you’ve been keeping up with our posts this week, you will have noticed that we were feeling the season of Valentine’s Day this year. We ran a series of posts on romance in the Civil War, which for your convenience we’ve collected below.

On Monday, Jeff Lauck began our week of Civil War love stories with the tragic tale of Francis and Arabella Barlow. Mrs. Barlow followed her husband off to war as a nurse, cared for him when he suffered multiple injuries, and earned a reputation for her courageous and diligent service. Sadly, only one of them returned from the war.

Next we published Elizabeth Smith’s discussion of the controversy over the author of the letters collected in The Heart of a Solider:  As Revealed in the Intimate Letters of General George E. Pickett. Was Pickett truly the author of these letters written to his beloved wife LaSalle? Or did she forge these letters for profit and to preserve the memory of the man she loved?

Then, on Wednesday, Meg Sutter explored the wartime relationship of Kate Corbin and Alexander “Sandie” Pendleton. Pendleton found himself torn between his love for Kate and his loyalty to General Stonewall Jackson. Corbin and Pendleton were brought together by the tides of war, but tragically their new life together did not long endure.

We took a break from new Valentine’s Day coverage to #ThrowbackThursday to former CWI Fellow Bryan Caswell’s 2015 narrative of the love between Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and his devoted wife Fanny. Chamberlain’s wartime wounds and post-war responsibilities took a tragic toll on their relationship, but they rekindled their love in the twilight of their lives.

Finally, on Friday, Ryan Nadeau ’16 explored the close partnership between General Ivan Turchin and his beloved wife Nadine, who followed him to war.

Happy reading, and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day.


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