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The Internet Can be a Powerful Tool for Historical Research

The internet can be a powerful tool for historical research. Several years ago, I purchased a fine carte-de-visite image of an unknown Union officer in hopes that I might someday identify him. The photographic image, which was obtained for a reasonable price, featured the portrait of a bearded Union officer wearing a double-breasted frock coat with shoulder straps that appeared to indicate the rank of Lieutenant Colonel or Major. The photographer’s imprint on the reverse of the image was very interesting and read: “Barr & Young, Army Photographers, Fort Pickering, Memphis, Tennessee.” Fort Pickering was a Confederate earthen work erected in 1861 as part of the Memphis defenses along the M

Grant Rising: A Book Review

Grant by Ron Chernow. Penguin Press, 2017, 1074p. $40 In the brief history of the United States, few stories of personal accomplishment have rivaled that of Ulysses Grant. Grant’s hardscrabble rise from obscurity, his inglorious fall, recovery, rise and eventual fall, have been chronicled by many eminent biographers from Bruce Catton to William S. McFeely, and now, the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Ron Chernow. What is it that makes Grant’s story worth the retelling? In a tome numbering more than 950 pages of text that is no easy traveling companion given its heft, Chernow answers the question by diving into the Grant story in a way that no others have explored. In his pages, we experienced

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