"The trouble with Jeff is that he lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech."

Category Archives: Western Mass History

Massachusetts Civil War Monuments Project

In the interest of blatant self-promotion, I wanted to share widely and boost the signal of an informal project that I’m very happy to have become involved with. A little earlier this year on Memorial Day Weekend, long-time friend and historian Patrick Browne (he of the Historical Digression blog, which you really need to follow […]

The Case for Major General William Shepard

Major General William Shepard was a man with a complicated legacy. At one turn, hero of the French and Indian War of 1754-63 and the American Revolution, Shepard commanded the 4th Massachusetts Militia through 22 actions as its colonel before it was sent home in the winter of 1783, one of the last to leave […]

“One Woman in a Thousand Years”

(Editor’s Note: The is the fourth in an ongoing grouping of posts dealing with my research on 22nd MVI veteran, draftee and Springfield resident Orrin Cook. See the series of posts under the “Orrin Cook” category here.) Orrin Cook, late of the 22nd Massachusetts, was a well-lettered man. His war diary belies his literacy and […]

Orrin Cook and the Fairy Tale Lost

One of the things that some of us who would prefer to lean towards the “living history” side of the reenacting hobby tend to do is adopt a first-person persona. In essence, we try to become like actors, pretending to be a person from the period we are attempting to recreate. Some make their persona […]