Tag Archives: Rev. John McNair

Rev. John McNair’s Poetry

Besides being a minister, an evangelist, a Chaplain in the Army and public speaker, John McNair was a poet.  He published his book of poetry Eighty Original Poems Secular and Sacred Chiefly Adapted to the Times  in 1865, after the … Continue reading

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Alfred Willis McNair: The Son We Hardly Know

Sometimes you just don’t have many documents about a person to form much of opinion about them. They don’t take shape in your mind’s eye. There are no descriptions about their physical appearance or their personality and all you have … Continue reading

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Deconstructing a Civil War Regiment Part III: Seeing the Forest and the Trees of History

It is important in interpreting your ancestor’s Civil War experience that you read a lot of history books. For some of you that will be great news, for others you are wondering just how many do I have to read??? … Continue reading

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Deconstructing a Civil War Regiment Part II: Photos from the Library of Congress

You have probably noticed that I often use photos from the Library of Congress to illustrate some aspect of my blog post. Their digital archives are vast and are usually available without copyright infringement problems. (Always check to see what … Continue reading

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An Undistinguished Civil War Regiment Deconstructed

When first looking at the history of Rev. McNair’s 31st New Jersey Regiment, one notices that they are only remarkable in that their nine months of military life passed without a major battle or an interesting story to tell. Even … Continue reading

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Chaplains in the Civil War

I have been researching the experience of Chaplains in the Civil War for my book on Rev. John McNair and have learned some interesting facts about what Chaplains experienced. There were 30 chaplains serving in the Army before the war … Continue reading

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When Someone Doesn’t Like Your Ancestor

It shouldn’t be surprising that our ancestors were not universally loved, even the most virtuous of them. Therefore, when we are writing a biography of an ancestor, how do we include their bad press? Watching the political race this season … Continue reading

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