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5 must-read blog posts of 2014 for Civil War fanatics

From scary-looking dental devices to a highly symbolic stump, there were many Civil War blog posts you loved this year. Here are your favorites, readers. 

1. 3 Surprising facts about Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman

Sherman is a fascinating figure—and not just because of his "march to the sea." You may be surprised to learn that he loved the South and was a California gold rush pioneer. This post was read over 11,000 times, a record-breaker among our Civil War posts!

Portrait of Sherman in uniform, facing camera

2. 150 years after the battle, the story of an African American waiter and the Spotsylvania Stump

It's been in Smithsonian collections for 126 years, but the Spotsylvania stump still looks like it was just removed from the battlefield.

3. A wedding, a chase, and the "Gray Ghost" of the Confederacy's cape

Too bad Confederate Colonel John S. Mosby barely got to wear this dapper cape, lined in scarlet. Find out why in the post.

Mosby's cloak

4. Are these John Wilkes Booth's field glasses?

Spoiler alert: We aren't 100% sure if President Lincoln's assassin used these field glasses, which had a special setting for use in theaters. But the clues are enticing!

5. Lost and found at the Battle of Shiloh: One half of a very fancy denture

Many of the soldiers who participated in the Battle of Shiloh had probably lost a tooth at some point, but false teeth would have been relatively rare, especially a denture of this quality. We took the mysterious denture to our conservation lab for some analysis.

Other Civil War blog posts we don't want you to miss: the story of a Civil War nurse stationed right here in Washington, D.C., and our exploration of props and uniforms from the set of Glory.

Next year, we'll bring you blog posts focusing on the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln. Have an artifact or topic you want us to blog about? Share it in the comments!

Erin Blasco is an education specialist in the New Media Department. Want to learn more about her work with the blog and social media? Apply for a summer internship with New Media!