Cloudy With A Chance Of Battle

sun and cloudsWhat was the weather like in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania during July 1863? Good question. And I found that – much like time – there are different reports in primary sources.

A good rule to keep in mind is that it can be dark and stormy in one place and just a few miles away the sun may be shining. (Also, a person’s written thoughts on the weather may be effected by their positive or negative feelings.)

So how did I interpret a variety of recorded weather conditions when I was writing my historical novel? Continue reading

Clara Barton: “Angel of the Battlefield”

Clara Barton

Clara Barton

New year, new month, new historical theme of the month! We’re starting 2016 with a requested blog series “Destined To Serve: Nurses In The American Civil War.” Back in August 2015, a single blog post on nurses during the Civil War was quite popular and some folks asked for an expanded series…so here’s the beginning!

(Read Nurses of the American Civil War (An Overview) for an introduction to this month’s subject.)

Clara Barton is one of the better-known nurses of the war. Today we’ll talk about a few important elements of her medical service during the conflict and the lasting impact of her efforts. Continue reading

“What Time Was It?” – A Historian’s Challenge

I glance at the clock. I’m on the west coast of the United States, so I calculate a three hour time difference between my location and the library I need to call on the east coast. That’s not hard: 10am in California is 1pm in Virginia.

1859 Pocket Watch (Photography by suebun, via Wikimedia Commons)

1859 Pocket Watch
(Photography by suebun, via Wikimedia Commons)

I’m reading a Gettysburg primary source. The soldier says the fighting began at daybreak. When’s daybreak? Reading on… What time did the Eleventh Corps break lines and retreat? What time did Pickett’s Charge begin? Oh, easy – “Captain Rob Smith” said it was at 3:00. How do you know Captain Rob Smith’s watch was accurate?

Here’s a few things I learned about “time past” during my Gettysburg research for Blue, Gray & CrimsonContinue reading

Happy 2016 (and setting some goals)


It’s the new year! And I’ve got a few goals for Gazette665 which I’m willing to share…

#1. Start Putting Page Breaks In Blog Posts

This doesn’t mean blog posts are going to change; it’s really just a formatting thing. It will clean up the blog “home page.”

#2. Host An AWESOME History Conference

There’ll be an official announcement soon, but you’ll have the “preview” of this exciting event if you CLICK HERE.

#3. Travel

Whether it’s for book signings, research, or pleasure, I’m looking forward to traveling in 2016 and might write about my adventures after I’ve returned home.

Those are all the goals I can share right now… For better or for worse, I agree with the wisdom of General “Stonewall” Jackson: “Mystery, mystery is the secret of success.”

So…enjoy the day! Set some goals. Eat junk food. Go on a walk. Read a book. Write blog posts. However you choose to celebrate…I wish you a very Happy New Year filled with many opportunities and blessings.

Your Historian,

Miss Sarah