Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary defines sidebar as “a short news story or graphic accompanying and presenting sidelights of a major story” and as “something incidental.” Editors often ask journalists to write a sidebar to give readers, listeners or viewers tangential information that adds context to the facts of their assigned story.
When designing lesson plans, teachers of all disciplines, especially history, often include supplementary reading assignments for their students. Supplementary reading is education’s version of a sidebar.
While writing Moss Bluff Rebel, A Texas Pioneer in the Civil War, I made several notes about events that occurred at the same time, often on the same days, that William Duncan was living along the Gulf Coast before, during and after the Civil War. I made other notes explaining conditions, circumstances and challenges he faced, often including information that Duncan himself could not have known.
I decided not to include all those notes in Moss Bluff Rebel because one person’s appetite for context is not necessarily another’s and, in my estimation, they were not crucial to Duncan’s story. However and especially for the many readers who enjoy additional context with their history, I include them on this website.
They are organized by chapter, so you can read a chapter of the book, then log on to read its associated sidebar(s). I hope you enjoy and find them interesting.