Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789

Americans don’t know it and children aren’t taught it, but George Washington is responsible for our Thanksgiving holiday. It was our first president, not the Pilgrims and not Abraham Lincoln, who led the charge to make this day of thanks a truly national event.

Save Tennessee Hallowed Ground

With the American Battlefield Trust, help is needed to save two critical parcels of historic land at Lookout Mountain and Franklin, Tennessee, for a combined total of 303 acres.

Christmas During the Civil War

Christmas During the Civil War

ByByJustin M.November 28, 2020

“Christmas in Camp,” an illustration by Thomas Nast for Harper’s Weekly By the mid-19th century, most of today’s familiar Christmas trappings — Christmas carols, gift giving and tree decoration — were already in place.  Charles Dickens had published “A Christmas Carol” in 1843 and indeed, the…

Saved By His Bible – Sam Houston, Jr.

Saved By His Bible – Sam Houston, Jr.

ByByNathan MoteNovember 25, 2020

After attending preparatory school at Baylor University, he enrolled at the Bastrop Military Academy.. Sam Jr. inherited his mother’s artistic ability and was frequently drawing and sketching. Although his father opposed secession, Sam Houston Jr., enlisted as a private in The Bayland Guards, Company C, of the 2nd Texas Infantry,…

Civil War Railroads

Civil War Railroads

ByByJustin M.November 25, 2020

On a hot summer day in 1861, Union and Confederate troops lined up along Bull Run Creek preparing to fight the first major battle of the Civil War. Behind the Confederate lines was the town of Manassas Junction. There the Manassas Gap Railroad came east from the Shenandoah Valley. At…

Battle of New Market Heights

Battle of New Market Heights

ByByJustin M.November 24, 2020

Events leading to the Battle of New Market Heights began during the blistering summer of 1864, when overall Federal commander Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant directed the Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade, to relentlessly push the Confederates south from the Rappahannock River toward the…

Christmas During the Civil War

It can be difficult to relate to the men and women of the Civil War era.  Despite the extraordinarily different circumstances in which they found themselves, however, we can connect…

Saved By His Bible – Sam Houston, Jr.

On May 25, 1843, Sam Houston, Jr. was the first of eight children born to General Sam Houston and Margaret Lea. Sickly when he was born at Washington-on-the Brazos, Texas,…

Civil War Railroads

Confederate troops were rushed by rail to confront the Union army led by Brigadier General Irwin McDowell at Bull Run. Among those who rode by rail was a brigade under…

FEATURE 1
DOCUMENTS

READ what those who lived through America’s past said about their challenges and choices

FEATURE 2
LIBRARY

EXPLORE biographies, battles, and events throughout America’s historical past

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RESOURCES

DISCOVER historical exhibits, sources for research, images of American history

Jacques Cartier

Cartier, JACQUES, French navigator; born at St. Malo, France, Dec. 31, 1494; was commissioned by Francis I., King of France, to command an expedition to explore the Western Continent. On…

Pedro Menendez

Menendez de Aviles, PEDRO, naval officer; born in Aviles, Spain, in 1519; entered the Spanish naval service in his youth. After successfully battling with French corsairs, Philip II. of Spain…

Samuel de Champlain

Champlain, SAMUEL DE, French navigator; born in Brouage, France, in 1567. His family had many fishermen and mariners, and he was carefully educated for a navigator. In early life he…

Beaver Wars

Beaver Wars

The Beaver Wars, also known as the Iroquois Wars or the French and Iroquois Wars (French: Guerres franco-iroquoises), encompass a series of conflicts fought intermittently during the 17th century in America. They were battles for economic welfare throughout the Saint Lawrence River valley in Canada and the lower Great Lakes region which pitted the Iroquois against the northern Algonquians and the Algonquians’ French allies.…

Antelope Hills Expedition

Antelope Hills Expedition

The Antelope Hills Expedition was a campaign from January 1858 to May 1858 by the Texas Rangers and members of other allied native American tribes against Comanche and Kiowa villages in the Comancheria. It began in western Texas and ending in a series of fights with the Comanche tribe on May 12, 1858 at a…

Comanche Wars

Comanche Wars

The Comanche Wars began in 1706 with raids by Comanche on Spanish colonies in New Mexico and continued until the last bands of Comanche surrendered to the United States in 1875 although a few Comanche warriors continued to fight in conflicts such as the Buffalo Hunters’ War in 1876 and 1877.[1] In the 18th century, the Comanche established…

Arikara War

Arikara War

The Arikara War was an armed conflict between the United States, their allies from the Sioux (or Dakota) tribe and Arikara Native Americans that took place in the summer of 1823, along the Missouri River in present-day South Dakota.[5] It was the first Indian war west of the Missouri fought by the U.S. Army and its only conflict ever with…

Sabine Expedition

The Sabine Expedition was an expedition approved by the United States Congress in 1806.[1] It was led by Major General Edmund Pendleton Gaines. It consisted of volunteers provided by Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee,…

Cherokee: Opening engagements

Henderson and frontiersmen thought the outbreak of the Revolution superseded the judgments of the royal governors. The Transylvania Company began recruiting settlers for the region they had “purchased”. As tensions…

Beaver Wars

The Beaver Wars, also known as the Iroquois Wars or the French and Iroquois Wars (French: Guerres franco-iroquoises), encompass a series of conflicts fought intermittently during the 17th century in America. They were battles for economic…

Database of Battles

From Native Indians, The American Revolution,
and American Civil War

The Battlefield of Yellow Tavern, Virginia

Though this battlefield has been lost to time, with effort, lingering traces of the ultimate Confederate cavalier’s last battle can still be found hidden in the Richmond suburbs.

First Battle of Bull Run

The First Battle of Bull Run, also known as First Manassas (the name used by Confederate forces), was fought on July 21, 1861, in Prince William County, Virginia, near the city of Manassas….

Battle of Fort Donelson

The Battle of Fort Donelson was fought from February 11 to February 16, 1862, in the Western Theater of the American Civil War.

Battle of White Marsh

Battle of White Marsh

Battle Summary General George Washington spent the weeks after his defeat at Germantown encamped with the Continental Army in various locations throughout Montgomery County, just north of British-occupied Philadelphia. In early November, the Americans established an entrenched position approximately 16 miles north of Philadelphia along the Wissahickon Creek and Sandy Run, primarily situated on several…

The Battle of Yorktown

The Battle of Yorktown

The Siege of Yorktown or Battle of Yorktown in 1781 was a decisive victory by combined assault of American forces led by General George Washington and French forces led by General Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by General Lord Cornwallis. It proved to be the last major land battle of…

The Battle of Eutaw Springs

The Battle of Eutaw Springs

Background Seven years of British determination to bring South Carolina to her knees met failure. The spirit that had long resisted royal edict and church canon, the fierce desire and indomitable will to be masters of their own destinies, and the dauntless courage that had carved a new way of…

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse

Overview On the bright, late winter day of March 15, 1781, the Revolutionary War came to a remote county seat in north central North Carolina. Guilford Courthouse, with its population of considerably fewer than 100, was on this day the temporary residence of 4,400 American soldiers and their leader, Maj.…

The Battle of Cowpens

The Battle of Cowpens (January 17, 1781) was a decisive victory by American Revolutionary forces under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, in the Southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War. It…

The Capture of Savannah

The American commander Brigadier General Robert Howe of North Carolina, with only 700 men, made a feeble attempt to defend the city.

The Battle of Yorktown

In 1780, 5,500 French soldiers landed in Rhode Island to try to help their American allies in assaulting British-occupied New York City. The two armies met North of New York…