Life in the Past Lane

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

Emotions ran deep even after Civil War

I ran across this interesting tidbit and, though it's a strange time of year for it, thought I would share.See if you can answer the following question:After 1863, in which southern town was the Fourth of July holiday not officially celebrated again until 1944, near...

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Real-life hero a model for historical fiction

Since this week is the anniversary of Colonel John Singleton Mosby's birthday -- the real-life Confederate officer that the main character in my Civil War novel Shades of Gray is based upon -- I wanted to post a few snippets about him.The following excerpts from...

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Anniversary of Civil War hero’s death

Probably few people north of the Mason-Dixon line have heard of Sam Davis, but the courage he showed in the face of death durng the Civil War is the stuff that legends are made of. He lived his life with integrity, valor, and honor -- and his death is just one of the...

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Civil War proclamation still resounds

At a time when everything that surrounds us seems to be global in nature, it is nice to have a day set aside that is distinctly American. Established by President Abraham Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War in 1863, Thanksgiving celebrates the American spirit - a...

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Historical fiction book signing in Virginia

I cannot count or remember how many book signings I have attended, but I do know that I have taken a camera to every event -- and I do know that I have yet to remember to take any pictures.I especially regret not having pictures for the one I attended on Saturday at...

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Civil War museum a bit one-sided

Very disturbing to hear the news that the much-anticipated Jefferson Davis statue will not be placed at the American Civil War Center in Richmond. I guess I am more disappointed than surprised considering the way political correctness has seeped into our institutions,...

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A relevant poem from the Civil War era

This poem was sent to me by a friend in Virginia from out of a Civil War manuscript. I thought it was very relevant for today's children, and also that it bears repeating. It was written down by Elizabeth Cary Johnson, who says:I set down in writing the following...

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Civil War love letters

I stumbled across a great site for Civil War love letters today and had to share this one that I remember reading years ago when I was doing research for my Civil War novel Shades of Gray.It is from Harvey Black in Brandy Station, Virginia, who served as a surgeon to...

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“Damn the Yankees’ – not the right ‘oath’

I am always interested in reading first-person accounts of the Civil War, and so was pleased to find an article in my inbox this morning concerning the unpleasant task imposed upon Southerners of taking the oath of allegiance.After the War Between the States, loyal...

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Civil War warriors had soft hearts

In the midst of the chaos of today's society, it is sometimes hard to imagine the type of devotion that plays out in my Civil War novel Shades of Gray. One would not expect, after all, to hear sweet murmurings of love from those great soldiers we have come to know as...

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