Sunday, March 3, 2013

Civil War Sunday - What If Social Media Had Existed During the Civil War?

I love historical "what if modern ___ was around during (some other point in history)" as long as they are done well.  They help people grow in their understanding and love of history if they can frame something that happened in another time and place within the context of their own lives and culture.  As long as it is done with accuracy, I think there is a place for something like what I am about to describe.

Yesterday and today, in the 15 Day Author Blog Challenge I am participating in, the prompts involved if we, as bloggers, have a Facebook fan page for our blog and if we tweet.  (I'll answer that for this blog at the end of this post.)

So I got to thinking:  what if social media had been around during the United States Civil War?

Various satirists have done article or books on the subject of "what would have happened if Facebook had been around for _____" 

So, I thought about it some more.  Had anyone actually set up parody or serious "what if" accounts on the real Facebook or Twitter for Civil War historical figures?

Apparently, there is at least one Twitter account for the Confederate General Robert E. Lee (not kept up for very long) and one for Union General U.S. Grant, which is being kept up.  Robert E. Lee has a Facebook "public figure" page, which is not the same as a "fan page" (I don't think, anyway).  The links earlier in this paragraph are what I found out in a brief search.  You may discover something unique (or not) if you look - who knows!

As far as my own Facebook and Twitter accounts for this blog,if you are interested:

RamblinWithAM has a Facebook Fan Page.  I use it mainly to post links to my blog (not every day, but usually) and I also post articles or posts from other blogs that fit into some of the themes I discuss in my blogs - farmers markets, local food, gardening, the Civl War, and autism, for example.  I find I am using Facebook less and less - and I use it mainly to keep in touch with far flung relatives plus some game playing.  It excels at visual content. 

I have a Twitter account under @RamblinGarden.  I do not automatically follow back anyone who follows me, nor do I expect anyone I follow to follow me back.  I use Twitter mainly as a way to keep track of breaking news, which I have found it excels at. I usually tweet my daily blog posts and also retweet tweets that interest me.

It would have been interesting to know if any actual Civil War figures would have utilized Facebook or Twitter (or You Tube, as another example of social media) if they had been around 152 years ago.  Do you have any opinions about that?


  1. What a strange, yet fun topic! LOL

    Now you have me wondering what President Lincoln would have tweeted or what Eisenhower would have written on a Facebook page. :)

    1. It's fun once you get into it, isn't it? When I visited the Antietam battlefield near Sharpsburg, MD last year and my cell phone service disappeared, I wondered what a modern general would have done.

  2. I also use twitter to keep up to date with the world, just nice that you can link all social media!

    1. I have to admit that I find a lot of what is on Twitter a waste. My non-tweeting husband calls making a Twitter post "twitting" - but when it comes to keeping up with world events, Twitter is where I go.

  3. I think Lincoln would've been all over it :) I can see his Facebook update now... "Four score and seven seconds ago, my country went to war with itself. I beg you all to just get along!" hehe Great post. Very fun. WRITE ON!


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