In the past week, we told you about the official closing of Ft. Monroe by the U.S. Army and its importance in terms of Civil War history. For those interested in searching for a family connection from the days of slavery in Virginia, the Virginia Historical Society has made available an unusual database of Virginia slave names taken from the society’s files of court papers, letters, wills and other documents. The free database may be searched by name, gender, occupation or plantation.

We also told you why there were only 2,000 tickets available to watch the reenactment of the Battle of Ball's Bluff in Leesburg, Va. on Oct. 22. It is being held on the actual battlefield and there is little room for spectators.

Planning Ahead: Dance to Civil War music and help preserve historic barns at a benefit in Cashtown, Pa. on Oct. 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. The benefit is for the Historic Gettysburg Adams County’s barn preservation project. The $25 per ticket event includes ham and bean soup cooked over an open fire, a tour of the 1842 barn with a timber frame expert and dancing to the 2nd South Carolina String Band in a bunting-filled barn.

(More events, and reads from elsewhere around the web, after the jump.)

Also on Oct. 1, an 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. guided bus tour of the Civil War fortifications around and in Washington that still have significant remains including Forts Stevens, Foote, C.F. Smith and Marcy. Tickets are $75 for members of the sponsoring organization, Friends of Fort Ward, and $90 for non-members. Deadline to register is Sept. 29.

Must reads in other publications:

In the Mobile, Ala., Press-Register, book page editor John Sledge's review of "The Perfect Lion" by John H. Maxwell is in itself a good read about the new biography of Confederate Maj. John Pelham, known during the war as the “gallant Pelham.”

The New York Times continues its Civil War series “Disunion” with a horrifying account of several hundred slave lynchings around Natchez, Miss. in 1860 and 1861 because some plantation owners had become convinced that their slaves were planning an insurrection and a mass execution of all white people.They tortured some slaves in to a false confession.