Stoker’s Fan Letter to Walt Whitman…


Art here & below: Nathan Gelgud.

‘When Bram Stoker discovered Walt Whitman, he was a young man only just beginning a literary career that would eventually create one of the most enduring and lucrative characters of all time. At the time, Stoker was beginning to cut his teeth as a literary critic, dissatisfied with theater writing in Dublin and publishing his reviews for free in the Mail.

Stoker was also sharpening his critical skills in literary salons and among friends by defending Whitman, whose poetry was beginning to creep across the Atlantic to condescending reviews. The iconoclastic poet spoke to the young writer so intimately that Stoker found himself defending him whenever necessary and recommending him whenever possible.


Writing reviews, reading and defending Whitman, and publishing his first short stories all seem to have been stirred in the same boiling pot in Stoker’s twenties. Stoker felt so overwhelmed, and his first letter to Whitman was so personal, that it went unsent for four years. When he did finally send it, he enclosed with it another letter about his miniature crusade to enlighten his countrymen to Whitman’s gospel.’


Leave Ft. Sumter…a Letter from Gen. Beauregard…


Confederate Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard (Brady, 1860-65).

On April 11, 1861, Confederate Brigadier General P.G.T. Beauregard sent a letter to U.S. Major Robert Anderson, demanding the removal of U.S. forces from Fort Sumter.

The letter read:

“I am ordered by the government of the Confederate States to demand the evacuation of Fort Sumter. My aides, Colonel Chestnut and Captain Lee, are authorized to make such demand of you. All proper facilities will be afforded for the removal of yourself and command, together with company arms and property, and all private property, to any post in the United States which you may select. The flag which you have upheld so long and with so much fortitude, under the most trying circumstances, may be saluted by you on taking it down. Colonel Chestnut and Captain Lee will, for a reasonable time, await your answer.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General Commanding”

That same day, Major Anderson sent a response to General Beauregard, refusing to leave. Anderson’s letter read:

“General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication demanding the evacuation of this fort, and to say, in reply thereto, that it is a demand with which I regret that my sense of honor, and of my obligations to my government, prevent my compliance. Thanking you for the fair, manly and courteous terms proposed, and for the high compliment paid me,

I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, First Artillery, Commanding”

At 3:20 a.m. on April 12, General Beauregard sent word to Major Anderson that the Confederacy would open fire on Fort Sumter…within the hour. True to his word, Beauregard ordered his forces to fire at 4:30 a.m.

These were the first shots fired in the War Between the States.

The New York Times reported on the incident on December 30, 1860, putting blame on Major Anderson. Read the brief article here:

New York Times article about opening shots at Fort Sumter, December 30, 1860 ♢


The Storm Flag, pictured here, was still standing when Anderson surrendered. It was later taken to New York with Anderson’s men. Soon after the surrender, the flag went on a national tour to drum up support for Union forces. On that tour, the flag began to fade, and a face appeared just to the right of the center star. Men who served in Battery E of the 1st U.S. Artillery Regiment had identified the face as that of the bearded Daniel Hough, still wearing his U.S. Army cap.

(Text/images: Scares and Haunts of Charleston; New York Times)

Civil War Photography: Among the Ruins, Chicago No. 11


Among the Ruins Chicago No. 11 by George Barnard, ca. late 1860s. (Source: Syracuse News Times website)


George Barnard, one of Central New York’s own, has slowly gained recognition as among the most important pioneer photographers in documenting the tragedy of America’s Civil War. A 2013 exhibition on Civil War photography at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art included an entire gallery devoted to Barnard’s work.


Civil War Photographer George Barnard is one of four photographers famous for their work in that field. (Source: ibid.)

In November, the Washington Post’s magazine featured an article on war photography titled “Pioneers of the Form.” It highlighted the four Civil War photographers generally acknow-ledged as the most significant in the field: Matthew Brady, Timothy O’Sullivan, Alexander Gardner, and George Barnard.

104 Years later…


A 104-year-old French Resistance fighter who saved the lives of more than 100 servicemen in the Second World War has revealed that she received a personal letter of thanks from Winston Churchill. She is pictured, above, holding the uniform she wore during her service; and below, receiving recognition for her service. (Source: Pinterest)


Le Holocaust…Oubliez toujours…tout le monde…


Eva Kor was a few days short of her eleventh birthday when the Soviets suddenly arrived at Auschwitz along with Vorontsov and his ‘huge’ cameras. “We couldn’t believe that we really were free,” Eva said; “so we kept walking out of the gate and then back in again. To do that without being shot – well, that was such a feeling of freedom that I still do it when I come back all these years later.” Eva is shown here 70 years later pointing to a photograph of hersel at the camp on that day. (Source: Pinterest)