The Summer of Eads, Part II

Note: This is part two in a series I have titled “The Summer of Eads”. Dealing with a subject (James B. Eads) that is impossible to fit into a single Distilled History post, I’ve decided to write a few. Part one can be found here. A couple of weeks ago, I spent some time strolling…

Elijah Parish Lovejoy, Part I

One of my favorite television programs is American Experience on PBS. Known for their well-produced and in-depth historical documentaries, American Experience has been simply killing it lately. “Death and the Civil War“ aired back in November, a film based on the fantastic book This Republic of Suffering by Drew Gilpin Faust. Recently, they aired another…

The (Almost) Civil War Bicycle Tour of St. Louis

I am a big fan of travel writing. I like to read about the different perspectives and experiences offered by people who seek out hidden corners of the world. Travelogues often contain a great amount of historical discovery. Guys like Paul Theroux and Simon Winchester write great books that see back in time. A few…

The Duel on Sunflower Island

This is a view of the city of Alton, Illinois from “Smallpox Island”. No longer an actual island, it’s now a recreation area on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River. It’s located about nine miles north of the city of St. Louis. Before the Civil War, it was called “Sunflower Island”. The name changed…

Grant Gets Married

Note: This is one of the original Facebook “history finds” posted in November 2011. Like the others, I plan to expand on this post in the future with more stories and information. In the meantime, I will add that I am somewhat fascinated by historical locations that are long gone. Many are overlooked if the original…