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Hidden History of Rhode Island and the Civil War

297 pages3 hours


The smallest state to defend the Union and one far from the battlefront, Rhode Island's stories of the Civil War are often overlooked. From Brown University's John M. Hay, later to become Lincoln's assistant secretary, to the city of Newport's role as the temporary headquarters for the U.S. Naval Academy, the Civil War history of the Ocean State is a fascinating if little-known tale. Few know that John Wilkes Booth visited Newport to meet his supposed fiancee just nine days before he assassinated President Lincoln. The state also contributed several high-ranking officers to the Union effort and, more surprisingly, two prominent officers to the Confederacy. Remarkably, Kady Southwell Brownell also openly served as a soldier in a Rhode Island infantry regiment. Join author Frank L. Grzyb as he investigates Rhode Island's rich Civil War history and unearths century-old stories that have since faded into obscurity.

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