Civil War News Sells Newspapers

If you are an American Civil War Historian or just have Civil War veterans on your family tree, don’t limit your research to just newspapers which were published during the war years or Ken Burns’ videos, expand your horizons.

Civil War news or information about the war was a big draw used by editors to sell their product and as I mentioned on another blog, the editor’s main job was to sell newspapers.

Many years after the war, newspapers continued to run items about the war and frequently would run biographical pieces about the people who fought in the war.

A good example of “the civil war sells papers” is the Weekly Chronicle a newspaper of Bluffton, Indiana which was published on January 6, 1887”

News about the civil war

News about the civil war

Note that they have biographical sketches about dead and living generals (living at that time), personal insights into commanders of the war and even statistics about the prisoners of war.  These items were of course on the last page of the paper but they were put there to draw customers. Todays local newspapers draw in customers by publishing items about pop stars but don’t have such in-depth reports on the war we are fighting. For of those who forgot, we are still fighting in Afghanistan. 

Thank You.

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Bluffton, Indiana
Weekly Chronicle
January 6, 1887