Document Type

Blog Post

Publication Date


Department 1

Civil War Era Studies


Samuel J. Vandersloot, a 25 year old Gettysburg attorney, enlisted as a private the 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment on April 20th, 1861. Less than a month after he and his comrades published their paper, on the 26th of July Vandersloot was mustered from service at Harrisburg. Five days before, the Army of Northeastern Virginia had its nose bloodied at Manassas. Picnickers, keen on sightseeing and eager to witness the one great battle of the war became entangled on the roads among the retreating Federal forces. Civilian and soldier alike became prey to the advancing rebel forces, some captured and sent South to prison at Richmond. The nation realized this might be a longer war than 90 days. Vandersloot, for his part, escaped his short taste of soldier life unscathed. The unit never saw substantial action before being mustered out. [excerpt]


Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public is written by alum and adjunct professor, John Rudy. Each post is his own opinions, musings, discussions, and questions about the Civil War era, public history, historical interpretation, and the future of history. In his own words, it is "a blog talking about how we talk about a war where over 600,000 died, 4 million were freed and a nation forever changed. Meditating on interpretation, both theory and practice, at no charge to you."

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License