What It Means to Be American
A National Conversation

Places

Did the Midwest Win the Civil War?

States Like Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin Fed and Armed the Union—and Sent Men to Die for Their Country, Too

Wisconsin, Civil War, Civil War Museum

By Lance J. Herdegen
October 24, 2014

Fort Sumter. Bull Run. Antietam. Vicksburg. Gettysburg. Appomattox Courthouse. These are the places you usually think of when you think about the Civil War. Not Milwaukee, Detroit, Indianapolis, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Des Moines.

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When Bowie Knives Were in Fashion

In the Rough-and-Tumble 19th-Century Mississippi River Valley, Everyone Carried a Weapon. Some of Them Were Even Works of Art.

When Bowie Knives Were in Fashion

By Bill Worthen
September 22, 2014

At an interesting time in our history, folks started wearing weapons as a part of their daily attire, to work and to play. In the 1830s, citizens of the Mississippi River Valley, in such communities as New Orleans, Natchez, Vicksburg, and Little Rock, armed themselves. They chose small weapons popular at the time—single-shot pistols, sword canes, and knives—as business accessories.

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