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Welcome Back Listeners! Ready for another exciting episode of The Struggling Archaeologist’s Guide to Getting Dirty?

Well get ready for our newest installment “Johnny Reb Ain’t Got No Ale!” (You guessed it, it’s our Civil War episode!)

I thought I’d do a Civil War podcast in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg that just passed. Would have been nice to have it out July 1,2, or 3 wouldn’t it? Well, I was on vacation so deal with it (joking, love you guys!). Better late than never right?

There’s still time to learn all about what’s going on in Civil War archaeology, from underwater excavations to prison camps to the recovery of human remains from battlegrounds such as Antietam. And if you have an opinion on the controversial practice of relic hunting then I’d like to hear it (yeah brace yourself for a bit of a lecture… no offence to my hobbyists and collectors out there!), if you’d like to share your thoughts please leave a comment on our new facebook page ( or email me at!

Oh yeah- I told you I was drinking a Chamberlain Ale and here’s my proof! And next to my favorite General’s beer is the man himself, hopefully resting in peace as my nephew and I paid our respects… If anyone ever makes it up to Brunswick, Maine make sure to check out the little cemetery next to Bowdoin College where he and his family are buried. The Chamberlain museum is directly across the street from the entrance to campus as well. Both worth a visit (yeah, Maine’s pretty cool too I guess, you might want to stay for a bit and have some lobstah!)

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Speaking of JLC (Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain), check out the crazy awesome job they did casting Jeff Daniels in the role. It’s still hard for me to look at him in Dumb and Dumber and NOT see my hero…



                  Just picture him yelling “BAYONETS!”




And finally, here’s a pic I took of the monument to the 20th Maine and Mr. “Damnit Tom d0n’t call me Lawrence” Chamberlain on Little Round Top at Gettysburg itself…

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Oh yeah, remember when I said my husband’s great great uncle’s were Vermont Sharpshooters? Well here he is at their monument at Antietam (yes, this is the exact regiment and company). Unfortunately George Keith was fighting here without the help of his brother Charles, who had been killed in action only 19 days earlier… Next to it is a view of the sunken road at Antietam often called “Bloody Lane”

Lee at Antietam Bloody Lane

And finally, to brighten up your day after the depression I’ve no doubt brought upon during this melancholy episode, here is a great pic I got of a new bloom overlooking the fields of Pickett’s Charge. You really should see Gettysburg in the springtime, it is quite lovely…

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That’s all for this week friends, be sure to check out the rest of our podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, Podbean, or right here on!

McNiven OUT!






Episode 8 “Johnny Reb Ain’t Got No Ale!”
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