Hi! I’m Meg
I’ve has been working for over five years on First Fallen: the Life of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth, the only biography written about Ellsworth since Ruth Painter Randall’s, published in 1960. I’m challenging the assumptions made about Ellsworth and use his life as a lens through which to view the attitudes and events of the urban North prior to the Civil War.
I retired in June from teaching math at Brownell Middle School, named for E. E. Brownell, a California educator who was named for Colonel Elmer Ellsworth and is related to Corporal Francis Brownell, the man who shot the man who killed Ellsworth. I also taught at other public schools in California and Maryland. My undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in American History was from California State University, Long Beach, and I received my Masters degree in Military History, with a Civil War emphasis, in 2016, from American Public University.
Savas Beatie published my first book, The Aftermath of Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead, in the fall of 2015. This is a volume in the Emerging Civil War Series, although it differs from the others in that it takes on a much broader range of subject. The book has received excellent reviews and has already gone into its second printing.
I am a regular contributor to the blog Emerging Civil War, exploring subjects beyond the battlefield such as personalities, politics, and practices that affected the men who did the fighting. I live in a 1928 California bungalow with my husband, Robert, and two cats. Our house is covered with flowers on the outside and books on the inside.
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George Nicolay, Elmer Ellsworth, and John Hay were friends from the Lincoln-Herndon law office in Springfield, IL. Upon Abraham Lincoln’s election to the presidency in 1860, Nicolay and hay went with him as private secretaries. Ellsworth went also, to help keep the Inaugural Express running smoothly, and to obtain a job as a militia liaison in Washington.