Life in the Past Lane

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

Letter from a Civil War soldier

HAZEN HOOKER In a letter home 19-year-old Private Hazen Blanchard Hooker, Co. G, Third Vermont Regiment, asked his family to write more upbeat letters and ones that reported on the ordinary, day-to-day activities. He urged family members to not be downhearted, and...

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Civil War ghost story

Pensacola LighthouseIt's a little late for Halloween, but I just ran across this story from the 290 Foundation, written by Ian Dewar and thought I would share. It's about the Pensacola Lighthouse that has towered over Pensacola Bay since 1858 and remains in use...

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Book signing at Edinburg ‘Ole Time Festival

Edinburg MillI'm looking forward to signing books at the 32nd annual Edinburg 'Ole Time Festival on Saturday in Edinburg, Va., located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley. On the third weekend of each September, this sleepy little town comes alive...

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150th anniversary of Antietam

I had a wonderful time signing books at the 150th Battle of Antietam re-enactment on Saturday, and had the great fortune to sign along side best-selling historical fiction author Jeff Shaara, who just released his latest book, A Blaze of Glory, A Novel of the...

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Signing books at 150th Antietam re-enactment

The Lost Orders.I'm so excited to have the opportunity to sign copies of my Civil War historical fiction novels Noble Cause and Shades of Gray at another 150th event -- the battle of Antietam (or Sharpsburg).To give you a little background on the battle, the Army...

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The “Bell” Battery in the Civil War

I thought this was an interesting facet of the Civil War, and am sharing it from the North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial. It is taken from the The North Carolina Booklet, Volume V, No. 1, July 1905, and shows the sacrifice a North Carolina town...

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Treasure hunting in historic Civil War country

We made a last-minute decision to go to the Shenandoah Valley this weekend for the annual "Yard Crawl" -- 43 miles of yard sales and flea markets. The sales start in Winchester,Va., but the official starting point is Stephens City on old Rt. 11, and it runs down to...

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Another Civil War battlefield off my bucket list

I hope everyone is having a great summer! I'm back from my whirlwind trip to Texas and thought I'd update everyone on some of the highlights.The trip started out a little shaky when we stopped for a brief break at a rest stop on the first leg of our journey, and...

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Vermont statue at Gettysburg features hatchet

Can you see it?If you visit the Gettysburg Civil War Battlefield, make sure to look up at the 13th Regiment Vermont Volunteers monument located on the east side of Hancock Avenue.Though not real obvious, you might notice by the figure's right foot something...

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