Thursday, May 15, 2014

Coming soon: a new newspaper for the war capital

At the moment I am working on a series for the Concord Monitor on the 150th anniversary of the paper’s debut as the Concord Daily Monitor. Concord was a printing town and had several weeklies, but the Monitor was the city’s first year-round daily. Over the decades it absorbed the other papers and became the only game in town.

That first paper came out May, 23, 1864. Its publishers were two men with connections to Our War. One, P. Brainard Cogswell, was an abolitionist who accompanied the governor’s son on a mission to rescue sick men from the 16th New Hampshire. I tell this story in the book.

The other publisher was George H. Sturtevant, the older brother of Edward E. Sturtevant. Both were from a Keene family, and both came to Concord in search of printing jobs two decades before the Civil War. Edward was New Hampshire’s first volunteer and later died at Fredericksburg. He appears in several chapters of Our War.

My series will explore the Monitor’s history, but its major thrust will be that first paper and life in Concord in 1864. Thus I will post it on this blog.


The last month has been exciting for the blog. Readership has climbed steadily, especially during the first two weeks of May. The site surpassed 35,000 hits all-time yesterday. Thanks you for reading!

One consequence of the recent readership bounce was a big move up for a blog post on the 1888 North-South reunion at Gettysburg. In fact, it is the new No. 1 on the all-time list. But I’ll get to that in a moment. Here are the 10 most popular entries so far of those posted between March 15 to May 15.

Note that all four parts of my series on Henry S. Hamilton, the English immigrant and later cornet player for the 3rd New Hampshire, made the top 10. If you missed them, the best order in which to read them is Coming to America (No. 2 on the list), An immigrant’s first taste of camp life (10), An immigrant bandsman in the face of battle (7)  and So what became of Henry S. Hamilton? (4).

Hamilton wrote a terrific memoir, and telling his story on the blog was a pleasure.

Here are the all-time top 25, with hits ranging from 180 to 746. No. 1 has received more than 500 hits since April 15. The number in parentheses is last month’s rank:

           Exeter’s Civil War general (3)


18. History’s touch (18)

             My friend Chester (21)

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