Civil War: A few tweets from the past

  • Updated: January 9, 2013 - 12:48 PM

The real-life characters featured in the Minnesota Historical Society's Twitter re-enactment each tell their own story of the Civil War.


Madison Bowler (left), part of the Minnesota Historical Society Twitter Civil War re-enactment.

Photo: Eric Mortenson, Minnesota Historical Society Pho

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The dozen or so Minnesotans were chosen for their varying perspectives -- the tweets inspired by their diaries, letters and newspaper accounts of the day.

All of the tweets are compiled on the @MNCivilWar Twitter profile, but characters, including the following, also have individual accounts.

Robert Hickman

Handle: @_RobertHickman

Sample: "As soon as I know my family is safe, I'll start planning our way North ... "

Bio: Hickman escapes slavery in Missouri before landing in Minnesota, where he co-founded Pilgrim Baptist Church in St. Paul.

Shares: His clandestine plans and harrowing journey, in a way that makes you simultaneously cheer for him and question the wisdom of putting it all out there.

James Madison Bowler

Handle: @MadisonBowler

Sample: "Stationed with the rest of the 3rd Regt in St. Paul. Waiting to receive marching orders."

Bio: Bowler, an idealist from rural Dakota County eager to fight to free the slaves, serves in the 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Regiment.

Shares: A rocky marriage for all to see as he exchanges tense letters with his wife, Elizabeth, who tweets as @lizziebowler about being angry and alone at home. Sound like anyone you know?

Thomas Christie

Handle: @TomChristieMN

Sample: "Practice the rule of health better than any of the others: Cleanliness, changing clothes once a week, and bathing regularly when I can."

Bio: Christie, an Irish immigrant, joins the 1st Minnesota Light Artillery with his brothers, including William, who tweets as @WillChristieMN.

Shares: The Christies tweet about everything, from battles to hygiene, and in more detail than you ever wanted.

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