Who are Civil War bloggers?

Posted on July 18, 2012 by


I know, I know… three blog posts in one day!? Are you nuts, Robert? Especially considering my trend over the last three months, of maybe blogging once a week, or every other week.

Still, Harry just posted something interesting, and I figured that I’d pose another question…

Who are Civil War bloggers?

I left the following comment over at Harry’s blog…

You know… another interesting thing to consider is “Who are Civil War bloggers?” What’s interesting about this is, the majority are not academians (despite what some may imply), nor do the majority “do” history as a means of supporting themselves. Granted, some may have made their way through the ivory tower(s) at some point, maybe even written a book… or two… or three… etc., but their approach [meaning, for the most part, in the blogs] is not academic in nature… and that, frankly, is a good thing.

It’s that chance given to these folks (myself included), through the blogs… that ability to express their passion for different aspects of the subject. That’s pretty awesome. I also like that chance that it offers to break free from those chains that seem to continue to keep writing “static” when it appears in print.

Let me offer this picture of the majority of the folks who have Civil War blogs…

From what I’ve seen and know… the typical (average… which might also be the majority of us) Civil War blogger is not one who teaches… in any institution, at any level. Instead, the majority have a wide range of occupations. They are professionals in some field… and in those day jobs… it most likely isn’t working in a passion that they have for Civil War history (I call it working to support my habit!)… though there are some rather lucky folks out there, who do Civil War blogs, and get to do the National Park thing… I think to myself… “ahhhh… to only dream”. So, in some ways, writing about the Civil War is that chance to touch the thing they love. He/she writes with that passion behind the fingers that strike away at a keyboard… in a study/library, in a living room, bedroom, a restaurant (woot! I got my chance at that just yesterday)… wherever. He/she comes home from a day of work and, at some point, sits down in front of the computer to express him/herself through the subject matter (maybe even at work sometimes… but we won’t go there…). Thoughts may have been bubbling-up in the mind all day… or over a couple of days… or longer. But, what they are doing is “sharing” those feelings within themselves, that what they are writing about is important to them… or seems to strike a nerve on that day, or at some point leading up to that day. Maybe they hope that someone else shares that passion as well. Maybe they want to make a point, feeling strongly about something.

What do you think? Do you assess Civil War bloggers based on people you know who blog about the Civil War, or… are you just guessing you know them?

Honestly, I’ve made contact with some great folks within the Civil War blogosphere. I’ve even had the chance to interact with them in person on occasion. I’ve had a chance to meet with several, and sometimes tour a Civil War site or two together. Most recently, I had the chance to meet Kevin Levin, while I was in Boston. We had a great time. Otherwise, when we’re not blogging, or interacting in-person, some of us spend time offline, through emails, tossing around thoughts about the war; sometimes thoughts about the science of blogging. It’s an interesting network of people, and a diverse range of folks at that, but they share one thing… one thing is central and creates that “sphere”… it is the Civil War.

Now, let’s see if I can juggle this and my current run of posts about Southern Unionists… not to mention my thoughts that will come out in the next several days about Gen. John Pope’s series of general orders. And that’s another thing… when we aren’t writing/blogging… how much time do we spend thinking about what we want to write about? I’m getting exhausted just thinking about it!

This is a view from my perspective as a blogger… from Saturday. Sitting back in my recliner, in my family room, with one of my dogs asleep next to me. Not from within a classroom or a professor’s office. Just plain old me kicking back on a Saturday morning, away from work and ready to jump into some Civil War history.