Life in the Past Lane

Official blog of award-winning romantic historical and military fiction author Jessica James

Today in history ‘Burnside’s Quagmire’

"The auspicious moment seems to have arrived to strike a great and mortal blow to the rebellion, and to gain that decisive victory which is due to the country." - General Ambrose Burnside to his Union Army of the Potomac, just before getting stuck in the mudJanuary...

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Birthday of Confederate hero Robert E. Lee

"Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less." - Robert E. LeeJan. 19, marks two great historic events. First, it is the anniversary of the publication of my historical fiction novel Shades of Gray, and second it is the 202nd...

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The tradition & history of Inaugural balls

"Never have so many paid so much to dance so little."- Lyndon B. Johnson, about the overcrowded 1965 ballsOur president-elect plans to attend 10 Inaugural balls. Do you know when the first Inaugural ball was held? Visit my blog to find...

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Inaugural balls have long tradition

Like many of the traditions that go along with the Inauguration of a new president, I found that Inaugural balls have quite a history.The first Inaugural ball traces its roots to New York City on May 7, 1789, one week after the Inauguration of George Washington. But...

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Presidential inaugurations: A look back

Since we are one week away from a historic Presidential Inauguration, I thought it would be interesting to look back at the customs and history of Inauguration Day. Rather than go into all the background, I've picked out a few odds and ends that I found interesting...

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Winter Wonderland in Gettysburg

Just wanted to add one photo of the Winter Wonderland in Pennsylvania (and all over the Northeast) that I missed putting on my blog.The camera lens doesn't quite capture the sparkling beauty of the landscape, but it gives those in warmer climates at least an idea of...

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Off topic: A world that glitters

Rather than complain about the quarter inch of ice that enveloped my car earlier this week, I decided to take a walk with my dog and enjoy the glittering, sparkling world outside my window.For those of you who live in warm climates and only see news clips of crews...

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Thanks to Civil War reading poll voters

Just a short note to thank everyone who stopped by and voted in my poll. I never expected 99 people to respond - and I didn't really know what the outcome would be - but sure am please with the results!For those who don't know the reason for it, I was told by...

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A true Civil War love story

Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. I found that out many times in doing research for Shades of Gray. Here is an unusual story about a well known Confederate general - George Edward Pickett - who of course gained infamy for Pickett's Charge during the...

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Civil War novel tops ’08 Favorite Book list

"If you only buy one book in 2009, make it this one." - The Book ConnectionI know this is a little off topic, but it's the end of the year, so I've given myself permission to stray a little bit. Since I never wrote about the wonderful early Christmas present I...

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