Firsthand accounts Archives

Firsthand accounts

  • Wild West Magazine

    Nat and Robert Martin Pinned Together by an Arrow

    Because the west was so wild in the mid-1860s, with hostilities between Plains Indians and soldiers running rampant and danger seemingly waiting for emigrants and homesteaders around every corner, stories of survival from that time and...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Verdigris Kid Ended His Short Criminal Career in a Gun Battle in...

    His real name was Sam McWilliams, but he rejoiced in the title of the Verdigris Kid. Fancy handles like that weren’t uncommon in the West. Among the other “kids” who roamed the frontier were Billy the Kid, Harry the Kid, the Sundance...

  • Wild West Magazine

    To Josephine Marcus: Hopkins & Allen .22-caliber

    Earlier this year I got my hands on a gold-plated Hopkins & Allen Czar revolver that has “SAN.FRANCISCO” engraved on the right octagonal barrel flat and “TO JOSEPHINE MARCUS” on the left barrel flat. When I found the gun at a...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Great Bend Bender Left Lawyer Frozen

    Town’s first funeral a doozy. In the Old West, many men who died with their boots on were buried with very little ceremony. Sometimes, though, dead men received fond farewells with well-attended funeral services. And sometimes these...

  • American History Magazine

    The Defeat of John L. Sullivan

    More than 10,000 fight fans jammed the New Orleans Olympic Club on September 7, 1892, to watch a heavy- weight title bout between 10-year-champion John L. Sullivan and relative newcomer James John Corbett. As the fight wore on, it became...

  • American History Magazine

    Eyewitness: Custer’s Last Stand

    On June 25, 1876, one of the Indians facing Custer and his 7th Cavalry was 34-year-old Northern Cheyenne Two Moon. A minor chief of the tribe’s Kit Fox Society, he had been a warrior from the age of 13 and had briefly served as a...

  • American History Magazine

    Aftermath of an Assassination

    Recently discovered letters and a review of the life of Henry Ames Blood, historian, public servant, poet and playwright, present an intriguing snapshot of our nation’s capital in the wake of Lincoln’s murder in 1865. In June 2005, two...

  • American History Magazine

    Sworn Enemies to be Good Friends

    For nearly four years, Baroness Riedesel, wife of a German general, was shuttled around the colonies as part of the convention army—British and German soldiers captured at the Battle of Saratoga in October 1777. The tale of her odyssey...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Aboard Sultana

     ‘I could see fire and hear groans and screams and seemen jumping in the river by the hundreds . . . . ’ William French Dixon—20 years old—was farming in Henderson County, Kentucky, when Lincoln’s call for volunteers in 1861...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Early Days- Martin A. Haynes

    The war’s first large land battle began with both sides confident of quick victory. But as one Union participant remembered in 1865, few things in wartime are really as they first appear. About a mile beyond was the little village of...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Missing the Signs

    Objectivity is part of a historian’s creed, but every decision he makes about a piece of evidence is filtered inevitably through his own perspective. The contents of a document are fixed, but the meaning of its words is oftentimes open...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    The Moral Regiment at the Battle of Vicksburg

    A Union regiment enough, an Illinois unit that fought at Vicksburg was known as the “Moral Regiment”(or “Teachers Regiment”). However, as the diary of Sergeant composed only of men with high moral character? Oddly William Murray...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    A Dog’s Life

    Our own regiment had a pet of great value and high regard in “Little Jim,”…a small rat terrier of fine blooded stock…given by a friend to John C. Kensill, with whom he was mustered into the United States service “for three years,...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Dead Horses in Sheridan’s Ashes

    William Daniel Cabell of Norwood, Virginia, served the Confederacy as the captain of the New Market Home Guard from 1861-65. During this time New Market, a village near the Tye River’s entrance to the James  River, was renamed...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    The Letters of James Quilliam

    James Daniel Quilliam was born on February 2, 1836, to James and Margaret Cain Quilliam, who had emigrated to the United States from the Isle of Man. The family had purchased land in the rural area of Westfield, N.Y., where J.D. Quilliam...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Desperate Deeds of Valor

    New Englander Warren Lee Goss caught “the war fever” after hearing that Confederate sympathizers in Baltimore had attacked the 6th Massachusetts on its way to Washington, D.C., on April 19, 1861. He soon found that Army life required a...