Civil War Daily Gazette

A Day-By-Day Accounting of the Conflict, 150 Years Later

CWDG T-Shirts! Coming Soon!

Writing this blog isn’t exactly an expensive endeavor, but neither is it free. Apart from the low cost of hosting the site, books are my only expensive. And as any Civil War buff knows, books aren’t cheap – even the used ones.

In the past, quite a few folks have donated money and books to help me out. It was a huge relief and there’s really no way to thank them enough. But I’ve always felt a little strange just taking money for what is, essentially, a hobby.

So lately I’ve been batting around the idea of making and selling t-shirts for the CWDG. I’m a screen printer, so I’ll be printing them myself.

I’ve come up with two somewhat similar designs and want to know your opinions on them.

The first image, “Hurrah without the H,” is probably my favorite illustration from the amazingly wonderful book Hardtack & Coffee by John D. Billings.

Click on us to see larger image!

Reed, through his more or less crude drawings completely captures the war. Many of his pieces are funny, even hilarious. I try to keep the CWDG from becoming too dry, too serious. It’s serious when it needs to be, but I try my best to add a little bit of humor and spice whenever I can.

The second shirt, featuring early war soldiers posing in camp, is my favorite image from all of the war. I love how carefree and jovial everyone is. They’re cocky, full of spirit, and believed they were ready for anything. They had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Look at the fellow with the knife – it’s all so beautiful and sad.

On the upper back of each shirt will appear the Photoshopped Antietam sign, a line drawing which reads: “This blog was not in existence at the time of the battle.”

Click us, too!

The shirts themselves are 100% cotton, tan/brown, heavy weight t-shirts Union made in the USA. I figure that if I’m making a shirt about our nation’s history, there’s no reason to outsource anything. Even the cotton was grown in the US! They’re a couple bucks more, but very worth it.

Since I’m not at all sure how these will sell, I’ll be taking orders for the shirts in the near future. There will be a cut off date (late July, I suspect) and then I’ll print them up and ship them out. I’ll post about them here and on Facebook. I believe they’ll be $16 with $4 shipping (US addresses). But all of that will be determined.

So, what do you think?

14 Responses

  1. Craig says

    More on the great photo of the soldiers from Smithsonian magazine, Jan. 1999. But I still think it a great image for your shirt, as all these boys were in the C.S.A. army two years later.

    Who Are Those Guys?
    By Ralph Graves
    Smithsonian magazine, January 1999, Subscribe

    To anyone interested in the Civil War, this vintage photograph of young soldiers is irresistible. The faces are so fresh and confident, so unscarred by war. The picture has appeared dozens of times in books, newspapers and TV documentaries, but it is often misidentified. Writers and editors frequently label the soldiers as eager Confederate recruits, just after Bull Run (July 21, 1861) or just after Fort Sumter (April 12,1861). Neither description is accurate.

    The photograph was taken in November 1859, before the Confederacy existed. The men are not Confederate soldiers but Virginia militiamen, mostly Richmond Grays. The real story of the photograph is that it was taken about the time of John Brown’s execution after he was convicted of treason for his failed raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia). The Richmond Grays were dispatched to nearby Charles Town, the site of Brown’s hanging, to guard against any uprisings and reprisals from antislavery factions.

    The photograph is owned by the Valentine Museum of Richmond, Virginia. Teresa Roane, head of Reference Services, says she informs borrowers that the picture is from 1859 when she sends it out, “but they always come out Confederate soldiers.”

  2. Tony de Jong says

    I like both and would like to get on order for one of each.

  3. Craig says

    Actually, the group photo is of Company A of the 1st Virginia Infantry Regiment, also known as the Richmond Grays. It was taken in 1859 in Charles Town, Virginia (now West Va.) where they had been sent from Richmond to act as guards during the execution of John Brown. My g-grandfather was in the 1st Va. Inf.

    • Eric says

      Thanks so much for the info. That’s much earlier than depicted in Photographic History of the Civil War, which makes it seem like it was taking right before Bull Run. I really appreciate it and will update the description.

  4. Sean Williams says

    You know I’ll buy whatever you print, but I prefer the second with the image of the soldiers ready for whatever comes next… despite having no conception. I’ll be ready to take off your hands a couple of whatever you screen.

    • Eric says

      Thanks! It’s looking like most folks will want the old photo of soldiers as opposed to the guys puking – who would have thought?! :) I’ll be printing both!

      The form for pre-orders will be up… tomorrow, I think. A bit more testing, but it’ll work.

  5. Denny Gibson says

    I’m in.

    So you do the research, write the blog, run the website, design the shirts, and do the silk screening. I assume that the only reason you’re not growing and spinning your own cotton is because of the short growing season in Seattle.

    Love the idea and would be proud to own either design.

    • Eric says

      Thanks! Actually, I can’t grow anything. I’ve got a black thumb. We somehow managed to kill a cactus that’s native to western Washington. No idea how we did it, but there ya go.

  6. Neil Brown says

    I will take (buy) either, but the pic one grabs me more. I owe you that, and more, for the daily enjoyment streaming out of your keyboard.

    • Eric says

      Thanks! I’ve got a feeling that I’ll be printing both.

  7. Meg Thompson says

    Huzzah!

  8. Bud Burner says

    I am not big into pictures on t shirts. I would be happy with something like CWDG printed over the pocket area or maybe something like:

    Civil War
    Daily Gazettee

    in half circle or something over the pocket area and nothing on the back.
    But may be interested in what you have too.

    • Eric says

      Thanks, Bud. I think I’ve got the designs picked out. It’s possible that I could throw together a left chest print, though. I was also thinking about doing one with just the logo (no photo). I just didn’t want it to get too confusing (for me or the folks who will be ordering shirts).

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