Paula Tarnapol Whitacre – A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time

January 15, 2018 – Our time machine travels back to the Union-occupied city of Alexandria, Virginia, to get an abolitionist woman’s perspective during America’s Civil War. Our guide on this journey is Paula Tarnapol Whitaker, author of A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time: Julia Wilbur’s Struggle for Purpose. Paula met up with us in Virginia at the Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, where we felt close to this woman ahead of her time. In the fall of 1862, with the Civil War raging, 47-year-old Julia Wilbur said goodbye to the family farm near Rochester, New York, and boarded a train to the capital of a divided nation. An ardent abolitionist, Wilbur spent most of the next several years in Alexandria, Virginia, just across the river from Washington, D.C. Pushing back against the limitations women faced at the time, Julia Wilbur aided escaped slaves and hospitalized Union soldiers, later serving in the Freedman’s bureau as African-Americans made their first steps to full citizenship. Based on diaries, letters, and other primary sources, A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time introduces us to a woman who threw herself into a changing society, and helped bend it in the direction of liberty. You can…

Stephen Davis – All the Fighting They Want

December 11, 2017 – This week, our time machine travels back to the American Civil War in All the Fighting They Want: The Atlanta Campaign from Peach Tree Creek to the City’s Surrender, July 18-September 2, 1864. Our guide on this journey is Stephen Davis, a longtime Atlantan and Civil War enthusiast since the fourth grade. All the Fighting They Want serves as a companion to his previous paperback, A Long and Bloody Task: The Atlanta Campaign from Dalton through Kennesaw to the Chattahoochee, May 5-July 18, 1864. The books are part of the Emerging Civil War Series, published by Savas Beatie LLC. Learn more about their titles at or on Twitter @SavasBeatieLLC. Stephen Davis has served as Book Review Editor for Blue & Gray magazine for more than twenty years, and you’ve seen his many articles in scholarly and popular journals. His previous books are 2001’s Atlanta Will Fall: Sherman, Joe Johnston and the Yankee Heavy Battalions, and 2012’s What the Yankees Did to Us: Sherman’s Bombardment and Wrecking of Atlanta.     Podcast: Download (Duration: 56:52 — 130.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | More

Gene Barr – A Civil War Captain and His Lady: Love, Courtship, and Combat from Fort Donelson through the Vicksburg Campaign

May 15, 2017 – This week, for our 100th interview, our time machine visits some of the most heated fighting — political and on the battlefield — during the American Civil War. We’ll experience the great conflagration through the eyes of a soldier and his young love, whose father just happens to be a Democratic state senator, who begins to doubt Lincoln’s war effort as it drags on year after year. Letters aren’t rare from the American Civil War. But what is rare — very rare — is to have both sides of a correspondence preserved. Into this historical void steps today’s guest, Gene Barr, who benefited from the chance discovery of love letters from young Jennie Lindsay and her soldier in Union blue, Irish immigrant Josiah Moore. This treasure-trove also included pictures, and gives us a full picture of a romance that adds tremendously to the historical record. Gene Barr’s book is, A Civil War Captain and His Lady: Love, Courtship, and Combat From Fort Donelson through the Vicksburg Campaign. You can find him on Twitter @GeneBarr_55, or at       Podcast: Download (Duration: 45:27 — 104.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | More

Noah Andre Trudeau – Lincoln’s Greatest Journey

February 13, 2016 – This week’s episode falls on the day we observe Lincoln’s birthday, so our time machine travels back to the final days of the American Civil War, as Abraham Lincoln turns his weary eyes forward to ending the rebellion and pushing for his vision of a new, reunited United States. The Great Emancipator does so by leaving the White House for his longest break since the war began, and spending them with General Ulysses S Grant’s command at City Point — known today as Hopewell — 130 miles south of the nation’s capital. Our guide on this trip is Noah Andre Trudeau who brings us, Lincoln’s Greatest Journey: Sixteen Days that Changed a Presidency, March 24 – April 8, 1865. Mr. Trudeau is the author of several books on the Civil war. His first, Bloody Roads South, which won the Civil War Round Table of New York’s prestigious Fletcher Pratt Award, and his fourth, Like Men of War — a combat history of black troops in the Civil War — earned the Grady McWhiney Research Foundation’s Jerry Coffey Memorial Book Prize. You can browse all his works at         Podcast: Download (Duration: 46:32…

Paul Kahan – Amiable Scoundrel: Simon Cameron, Lincoln’s Scandalous Secretary of War

October 3, 2016 – This week, our time machine has a familiar face in the passenger seat. It’s Paul Kahan, who joined us previously to discuss The Bank War: Andrew Jackson, Nicholas Biddle, and the Fight for American Finance. You can catch that interview at History or wherever you’re listening now, and you enjoy the video we produced illustrating the political and journalistic changes occurring at the time of the Bank War. Paul joins us again to discuss his latest work, Amiable Scoundrel: Simon Cameron, Lincoln’s Scandalous Secretary of War. From abject poverty to undisputed political boss of Pennsylvania — no easy feat in the notoriously fractious Keystone State — Simon Cameron served as senator, and ultimately Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of War as the nation tore itself apart over slavery, at the outset of the Civil War. You can visit this week’s guest at, or follow him on Twitter @Paul_Kahan, and check out his subject at the The John Harris – Simon Cameron Mansion in Harrisburg, PA.         Podcast: Download (Duration: 58:12 — 53.3MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | More

Candice Shy Hooper – Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives

June 13, 2016 – Today, we’re spinning back in time to the days when America tore itself apart: The Civil War. But we’ll be talking about a different sort of union, exploring the bond between the men who led the northern armies, and the women by their sides in Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives: Four Women Who Influenced the Civil War — for Better and for Worse. With 70,000 books on the war produced since its end, it’s incredible that Candice Shy Hooper is the first author to map the wartime travels of Julia Grant, Nelly McClellan, Jessie Fremont, and Ellen Sherman. But to borrow the chapter title from today’s book: “The woman who is known only through a man is known wrong.” Candice is just the person to give us the full picture of these engaging figures, and how they interacted with their powerful husbands and Abraham Lincoln as president. You can learn more at           Podcast: Download (Duration: 50:54 — 46.6MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSS | More

Jim Leeke – Matty Boy

August 31, 2015 – In our last episode of August, we introduce you to our first History Author Show correspondent: Amanda Read. Amanda Read grew up across the States and overseas as an Army brat before her family settled on Fair Hill Farms in Alabama. She graduated from Troy University Magna Cum Laude in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in History and a minor in Political Science. She’s done voice-over work on previous shows, performing dramatic readings from war diaries and the letters of First Lady Dolley Madison. Amanda has a love of old fashioned things, from dipping pens to vintage dresses. She even dresses her horse in period tack. She is passionate about two historical figures in particular: Isaac Newton and Harvey Wiley. Keep up with Amanda’s wide range of work at,, or on Twitter @SincerelyAmanda. While we’re meeting Amanda, we also enjoy her first interview: A chat with Jim Leeke, author of Matty Boy: A Civil War Novel for Young Readers. Amanda seemed perfect for this conversation. She not only counts both Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee as ancestors, but she’s the eldest of nine children. We’ll also hear from Jim Leeke again…

Jane Singer – Lincoln’s Secret Spy

August 24, 2015 – “What is worse? A confederate con man claiming he was Lincoln’s spy throughout the Civil War, or the Union veteran who pursed his claim all the way to the Supreme Court?” That’s the central question of Jane Singer’s book, Lincoln’s Secret Spy: The Civil War Case that Changed the Future of Espionage. In it, she introduces us to William Alvin Lloyd. Con man, bigamist, charlatan, Lloyd hobbled out of the defeated Confederacy and into the capital of the newly re-United States with a claim that made people listen: The government owed him money for serving as Abraham Lincoln’s covert operative. John Wilkes Booth had shot down the Great Emancipator just a month earlier in April 1865, and couldn’t refute the story. So, armed with Lincoln’s signature on a travel pass and a skill for duping people — including no less than Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who was at the president’s side when he died — Lloyd teamed up with lawyer Enoch Totten, who’d served in the Union Army during the conflict. The story of their conspiracy to defraud the American people is brought to us by my guest, Jane Singer, and her co-author, John Stewart….