Fleetwood Hill (photo by Chris Mackowski)
By ECW Correspondent Liam McGurl
After a major year in preservation, the Civil War Trust has offered Brandy Station Battlefield a new conservation opportunity.
This project consists of the acquisition and preservation of 33 square acres of land at the most critical point of the battlefield, Fleetwood Hill.
Specifically, 28 acres of the north-facing slope of Fleetwood Hill—overlooking the Rappahannock River—and another 5 acres on the southern slope, are the subject of the fundraising campaign. Through consistent fundraising and generous donations, $555,000 has been raised for this effort, and the possibility of an official state park seems closer than ever.
Despite these advancements, there is still a great deal of unprotected, core battlefield ground that needs to be preserved—and the efforts to do so remain imperative. Continue reading
Today, we are pleased to welcome guest author Ray Shortridge.
Part one in a series.
Territory and Military Department of New Mexico, U.S. War Department, 1859. Courtesy of Sharlot Hall Museum.
In early July, 1861, Henry Hopkins Sibley met with Jefferson Davis in Richmond. He had resigned from the United States Army while serving as a major in New Mexico Territory. Sibley proposed a campaign to conquer what is now New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, and the northern Mexico states of Chihuahua and Sonora. Only a few regiments of U. S. troops and a handful of Mexican units patrolled this vast region. Davis did not document the meeting nor record his thoughts about the risks and benefits of the mission. Perhaps, because it was an easy decision — hazarding a battalion of about three thousand Texans in return for a vast southwestern empire. Davis authorized Sibley to raise three regiments of mounted infantry in Texas and lead them on an invasion of New Mexico Territory.
Posted in Armies, Arms & Armaments, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Common Soldier, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Personalities
Tagged 1s New Mexico Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Edward Canby, Fort Craig, Fort Union, Henry Sibley, Jefferson Davis, John Fremont, Kit Carson, Stephen Kearny, Trans-Mississippi
Abraham Lincoln’s best-known words, delivered on a November afternoon at the new Soldiers National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, laid out a call to action at a specific moment in the American Civil War. Attendees at the dedication, he said, must rededicate themselves to victory. He knew the newspapers would reprint the speech, so he aimed his comments at more than just the assembled crowd. It was a call to all Americans at that moment.
Perhaps disingenuously, he predicted “the world will little note nor long remember” his words. It’s become almost obligatory to point out the irony of Lincoln’s comment considering the number of school kids who’ve had to memorize the Gettysburg Address.
For me, the real irony—a deeply disappointing one—centers on those words of Lincoln’s we did forget: the far more ambitious vision of his Second Inaugural Address.
A century and a half ago today, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated for a second term as President of the United States. He then took the podium and gave his second inaugural address, the words of which are immortalized on the Lincoln Memorial today. He concluded: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.” Continue reading
Posted in Leadership--Federal, Memory, Reconstruction, Ties to the War
Tagged 13th Amendment, 14th Amendment, 15th Amendment, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Gettysburg Address, Lincoln Second Inaugural Address, Lincoln's Second Inauguration
One of the enduring myths of the Revolution is that the Americans won by using superior tactics, using cover and concealment while the British fought in lines. Yet in reality, the Americans found that they had to create an army modeled on the European tradition that they were in fact struggling against: a permanent, standing army of disciplined troops. The Continental army also had to adopt the linear tactics used by their enemies, matching them at this to beat them. The source of this tradition may be traced to the early victories of the war at Lexington, Concord, and even Bunker Hill (an American loss, but at a dear price to General Gage), as well as later victories like Kings Mountain.
From the beginning of February to the latter part of March, 1865 Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s Army Group traversed the swamps, rivers and lowlands of the Carolinas. This was no small undertaking. Sherman faced a heady task. He would have to move 60,000 men at the height of winter and cut off from all supplies. Such an endeavor had been attempted before and was successful; late the previous year, Sherman had marched across Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah. There was no reason to believe that it could not be done again by the force Sherman described as “having a confidence in itself that makes it almost invincible”. Even for seasoned veterans, that confidence would carry them a long way on an extended campaign.
Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Common Soldier, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Memory, Sesquicentennial, Western Theater
Tagged Army of Georgia, Army of the Tennessee, Henry Slocum, James Morgan, John Schofield, Joseph Johnston, Judson Kilpatrick, Oliver O. Howard, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Wade Hampton, William Carlin, William T. Sherman, XXIII Corps
In the midst of the Sesquicentennial, which march was more important and why: Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s “March to the Sea” or his march through the Carolinas?