Back in April the Springfield Republican launched a series aiming to tell of Springfield’s role in the Civil War and of how the community and environs weathered the difficult years of the War. Springfield native and local historian Wayne Phaneuf – who is in charge of all editorial operations at The Republican – introduced and laid out the four-year project:
We at The Republican are launching a four-year project to tell the story of how our community coped with 48 months of war, from April of 1861 to April of 1865.
On the first Sunday of each month we will run a report of what was happening here 150 years ago during that month.
Follow the course of Springfield and its citizens – sometimes day-to-day – during the Civil War by linking to the newspaper’s interesting series. Get a sense this important era in history from a western Massachusetts perspective.
You can read the first of the 48 articles here which includes the details of the newspaper’s investigation that revealed the “shocking” information that – “Southern sympathizers within the federal government had arranged for more than 100,000 Springfield-made muskets to be distributed to other arsenals “for safe keeping.” These arsenals just happened to be in six southern states, one being in Charleston, South Carolina, the community that had become the eye of the upcoming storm.” The most recent entry in the series here recounts the story that “the 27th Massachusetts under the command of former (Springfield) city clerk Horace C. Lee would be leaving the city in two days to began an odyssey of war to such places as Roanoke Island, Newbern, Andersonville, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. Of the nearly 1,500 men who would serve from 1861-1865 in this regiment, 401 never returned home.”
Kudos to the Springfield Republican as they and other Massachusetts newspapers like the Lowell Sun and the Lawrence Eagle Tribune bring the War to life as part of the national sesquicentennial remembrance of the American Civil War.