Welcome to America Comes Alive!, a site I created to share little-known stories of America's past. These stories are about Americans - people just like you - who have made a difference and changed the course of history. Look around the site and find what inspires you. Kate Kelly

Civil War Stories

Jefferson Davis and his Dog Traveler

Confederate President Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) acquired his dog, Traveler, during his retirement years. Immediately after the war, Jefferson Davis was on the run from Union... continue »

Confederate Dog in the Civil War: Sawbuck

Loyal dogs populated both armies in the Civil War. For every Union dog, there was... continue »

Why Emancipation Day is Held April 16 in Washington, D.C.

Slaveholding was still a way of life for some residents of Washington, D.C. even after the Civil War began.  But in 1862 that changed. The... continue »

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Anti-Slavery Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) grew up in a family who cared deeply about social issues, including the abolition of slavery. Stowe chose to use the... continue »

Dog Jack, Mascot and Volunteer for the Union

Jack, a young mastiff, was to become one of the best-known mascots of the Civil War because his story was reported by a reporter with... continue »

First Female Surgeon in Civil War: Physician Mary Walker

• Volunteered with the Union Army but had to serve as a nurse, not a physician because of her gender; eventually surgeons were so badly... continue »

Elizabeth Thorn (1832-1907): Six Months Pregnant and Burying the Dead at Gettysburg

Stepped in to serve as cemetery caretaker since her husband was off fighting for the Union Often referred to as "Angel of Gettysburg" Elizabeth Masser... continue »

Little-Known Story about the Gettysburg Address

For Americans, the mere mention of "Four score and seven years ago..." brings to mind President Lincoln giving the address he delivered at Gettysburg 149... continue »

A Civil War Dog: Harvey and the Barking Dog Regiment of Ohio

We are 150 years from the time of the Civil War, so during our first week of the Dog Days of Summer I wanted to... continue »

Sallie, Civil War Mascot

In 1861 the captain of the brand new Pennsylvania infantry unit (the 11th Volunteer Infantry)  was busy training his regiment in West Chester, Pennsylvania, when... continue »

The 1864 Battle at Monocacy That Saved Washington

Sometimes we lose in order to win. This was very much the case with the... continue »

The Signal Corps: War Communication Before Technology

Today our military has access to many ways to observe the enemy. From unmanned drones that fly reconnaissance missions to satellite imagery and infrared sensors... continue »