Life in the Past Lane

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

Civil War anecdotes from Lincoln

Somehow I missed President Abraham Lincoln's real birthday on Feb. 12, but since today is President's Day, I thought I'd go ahead and print a couple of his humorous anecdotes from the Civil War.A.K. McClure writes in his book Lincoln's Yarns and Stories, "I recall...

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Prison break a part of Civil War history

Today is an important day in Civil War history - not for a famous battle or skirmish - but for an event that required no less courage and perseverance than the bloodiest encounter.On Feb. 8, 1864, Yankee prisoners in Richmond's infamous Libby prison finally tunneled...

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Words of love straight from the heart

Find out who wrote the stirring words below - and why the date and the time are so important. You might be surprised that a man was writing a sweet, enduring love letter to his wife at this moment in our nation's history.Now, I go; but remember always that I love you...

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Words from the heart during the Civil War

I couldn't let Valentine's Day approach and not write something on the art of letter writing, which was so important during the Civil War.Eloquently written love letters were part of Victorian era courtship and continued through a couple’s marriage. Today, no form of...

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Civil War hospital contains diary on walls

I always get excited when I’m invited to a historic venue for a book signing, and could not be more pleased to be attending a Civil War author Meet and Greet at Historic Blenheim in Fairfax, Va., on Feb. 21.I don't know about anyone else, but I had never heard about...

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What a difference a hundred years makes

This is basically an email I received, but I thought it was worth sharing to show how different life is now from a mere 100 years ago. For instance, did you know that in 1909 the average life expectancy was 47 years?Other things that were different 100 years ago...

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Sidesaddle soldiers part of Civil War past

Many readers of Shades of Gray have said they didn't know women took such an active role in the Civil War. There are actually many documented cases of women dressing as men and taking part in the fighting. I had never heard, however, that there was an entire cavalry...

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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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