Digging History Magazine – North and South: Profiles in Courage

When I decided to feature a Civil War theme for the April issue of Digging History Magazine, I knew I needed to find two compelling stories of men who fought on opposite sides.  While researching stories for the March issue related to the Zimpelman family (“Who Were You Roy Simpleman?” and “Feuding and Fighting:  The El Paso Salt War”), I decided the character I would feature to represent the Confederacy was George Bernhard Zimpelman, a German-born Texan.  What I didn’t fully realize was just how valiantly he served.

I also looked for a Union soldier to feature and found the riveting story of Francis Jefferson Coates.  He grew up as a Wisconsin farm boy and joined the much-heralded “Iron Brigade”, an amalgamation of hard-scrabble farmers and lumberman of Wisconsin.  After being wounded at South Mountain he was promoted to corporal and later sergeant, about four months before Gettysburg.  Gettysburg would be his last military battle, but not his final life challenge.

Two different backgrounds, two brave soldiers, two powerful stories.  The April issue is available on sale as a single issue, or start a subscription of any length (3-month, 6-month or one year) and receive it as your first issue.  SPECIAL OFFER:  Everyone who purchases a subscription of any length between now and June 30, 2018 is entered to win either a 10-hour block of genealogical research or a custom family history chart, valued up to $300.  Recommend a friend and get TWO more entries.

Sharon Hall, Publisher and Editor, Digging History Magazine



  1. I enjoyed the article on “States Rights” and this one. April is Confederate History/Heritage month — now, that wouldn’t mean much to this Iowa farm girl except for the last 30+ years I have been living in the south and do so enjoy their history.

    • Thanks for stopping by! You only read just the wee-est of portions of the stories for April. There is very little free content available at Digging History any longer. We are now a monthly digital magazine. How about trying a subscription to read more stories like this one? It’s easy — you may also pay by check (subscriptions only). E-mail me at seh@digginghistorymag.com if you’re interested in a subscription (3-month = $9; 6-month = $18 and one-year = $36). All subscriptions purchased between now and June 30, 2018 get you an entry to win either a 10-hour block of genealogical research or a custom pedigree (family history) chart. Valued at up to $300.


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