I Was a 12-Year Old Civil War Spy

Steven Hale
3 min readFeb 21, 2020
Painting courtesy Library of Congress

The loneliness of the long-distance boy soldier.

In 1960, toy manufacturers geared up to profit from the upcoming centennial of the bloodiest chapter of American history, the Civil War (aka “War Between the States” to white southerners, aka “Wah of Nawthun Aggression” to the “Hell no, I ain’t fergittin” crowd). Kid-sized uniforms, plastic muskets, tiny battle flags, play money based on “real” Confederate…

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Steven Hale

Music: Discovering the lost and forgotten. Politics: Exposing injustice. Screenwriting: Emotional storytelling.