Author Archives: cbdavids

“Sojourner Truth, The Granite State, and the Cooper Shop Volunteer Refreshment Saloon” – as told from Inside Camp Gilmore in Concord, New Hampshire

By the time John H. Mathews left Point Lookout Prison in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, most of the remaining Confederate prisoners had been shipped out and sent home. The war was over, but Mathews had not yet mustered out of the Veteran Reserve … Continue reading

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“The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the search for John Wilkes Booth” – as written by Provost Guard John H. Mathews from inside Point Lookout Prison, Maryland

John H. Mathews enlisted in the 77th Illinois Infantry Regiment when the Civil War began, and he fought in numerous battles during the bloody Vicksburg Campaign. He was grievously wounded on May 22, 1863 during the second major assault at the … Continue reading

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“Boojum (The Bigfoot of N.C.) and the Eagle’s Nest Hotel” – a retelling by Clifford B. Davids

Eagle’s Nest Mountain towers at the southern edge of the Balsam Mountain Range, and was once home to the ill-fated Eagle’s Nest Hotel, built in 1900 by an eccentric developer from Waynesville, N.C. After the grand opening, the guests discovered … Continue reading

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“The Re-Election of Abraham Lincoln: From Horace Greeley to the King of the Copperheads” – as written in the Civil War letters of Mary Brown and W.B. Mathews

The presidential election was just a few short months away in July of 1864, but Abraham Lincoln’s return to the White House was still far from certain. The final outcome of the war remained in doubt, and many of the … Continue reading

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“The Siege of Petersburg, the Overland Campaign, and the Pleasures of Washington, D.C.” – as told from Inside Soldier’s Rest, Alexandria, VA

By 1864, the United States had been ravaged by three years of catastrophic civil war. In March of that year, President Abraham Lincoln appointed Ulysses S. Grant as his overall commanding general, convinced he had finally found a military leader … Continue reading

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“The Disorder on the Border” – Letters Home from Inside the Military Hospital at Jefferson Barrracks, St. Louis, Missouri

John H. Mathews was slow to recover from the grievous wounds he received during the second assault at the Siege of Vicksburg on May 22, 1863. By the middle of November he had finally been transferred from the Jackson Hospital in … Continue reading

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“From the Battle of Chickamauga to the Carnage at Kennesaw Mountain” – The Untold Tale of William M. Perry

By the summer of 1863, the South had lost control of Memphis, Nashville, and New Orleans, three of its most strategic cities. On July 4th, General Ulysses S. Grant and the Army of the Tennessee would finally prevail at The … Continue reading

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“The Battle of Vicksburg, the Gunboats of the Mississippi, and the Knights of the Golden Circle” – as written in the Civil War letters of Thomas C. Mathews

Many of the most decisive battles of the Civil War were  fought in the territory west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Mississippi River – a section of the country known during the war as the “Western Theater.” … Continue reading

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“The Siege of Vicksburg, the Guns of Memphis, and the Healing Power of Sassafras Tea” – the Civil War letters of John Mathews

The Union triumph at The Siege of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863 is widely considered to be a significant turning point in the Civil War. The ultimate capture of that highly strategic town, located on a bluff above the Mississippi River, … Continue reading

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“The Battle of Bloody Ridge and the Lost Confederate Gold” – a retelling by Clifford B. Davids

The White Sulphur Springs Hotel was the last “Grand Dame” of Appalachia. Located in the Great Balsam Mountain Range, her breathtaking vistas and cool breezes were a soulful tonic. Her lavish rooms were a playground for the upper crust. It … Continue reading

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“The Spirit Fiddler’s Ghostly Dancers and the Hotel Gordon” – a retelling by Clifford B. Davids

When the Spirit Fiddler picked up his worn wooden instrument he could make it whisper in your ear like a long lost friend, seduce you like an exciting new lover, or thrill you like the perfect dance partner. In his … Continue reading

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“Lost Boys of the Haunted Orphanage” – by Clifford B. Davids

I have traveled across the American South for a decade and more, constantly searching for the most interesting and compelling stories to tell. Some years ago I became personally involved in a remarkable project – uncovering the fascinating tale of a long … Continue reading

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“Ghost Train of The Mighty Balsams” – by Clifford B. Davids

The quiet, peaceful waters of Lake Logan, N.C., provide a welcome respite for the discerning visitor in a remote mountain setting. Located in the heart of the Mighty Balsams and surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine wilderness, this majestic wildlife sanctuary calls itself … Continue reading

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