Creamer, Please. No Sugar

19-year-old William McKinley

19-year-old William McKinley

I had an idea the other day, and acted on it! I sort of made a “coffee run,” if you will . . .


Starbucks Customer Service / PO Box 6363 / Dover, DE 19905-6363

Meg Thompson / Hollister, CA 95023 / July 12, 2014

Dear Starbucks,

Please find enclosed a wonderful article about coffee during the American Civil War. It is from the New York Times “Opinionator” column, which follows the war daily during this 150th sesquicentennial.

Continue reading

Posted in Civil War Events, Common Soldier, Economics, Internet, Websites & Blogs, Personalities, Preservation, Sesquicentennial, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Question of the Week: July 28, 2014

Historians have given much attention to the decision to replace Joseph Johnston with John Bell Hood, but little attention is given to the Federal command change that happens at the same time. When Army of the Tennessee commander James McPherson is killed, several possible candidates are available as a replacement. The job ultimately goes to Oliver Otis Howard.

What do you think of that decision?

Posted in Emerging Civil War | Tagged | 6 Comments

At Harris Farm

IMG_0450The First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Monument at Harris Farm. This will be one of the stops on the Mackowski/Davis tour, at the upcoming First Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge.


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The Lost Tower Rising

StyplePassWe’re pleased today to welcome guest author William B. Styple to Emerging Civil War. Styple is the author of a number of must-have Civil War books too numerous to mention here (but if you don’t have them, go visit his website ASAP!).

Forty years ago, in 1974, all I wanted for my 14th birthday was a two-day visit to Gettysburg. My parents obliged, and we had a great tour of the battlefield, and later in the afternoon, we went to a NPS program inside the Cyclorama. The park ranger mentioned that the controversial “National Tower” was opening the following morning, so being a typical inquisitive 14 year-old, I got up at 6:00 am and walked over to the site, Who knew I was to be first in line? When the Tower opened for business, I was surrounded by numerous reporters covering the event and was interviewed–I was even quoted in the New York Times! My father said, “They should give you a life-time pass,” which they did, and I have still. Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Memory, National Park Service, Preservation | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Emerging Civil War Symposium-Press Release

July 25, 2014
For Immediate Release


SPOTSYLVANIA, VA—1864 proved to be the tipping point for American Civil War. Historians from the blog Emerging Civil War will examine the key events of that pivotal year at an upcoming conference to be held in Spotsylvania next month.

The first annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, co-sponsored by publisher Savas Beatie, LLC, will be held August 15-17, 2014. Stevenson Ridge is a historic property that sits on a part of the Spotsylvania battlefield adjacent to the National Park.

Registration for the symposium is $55 and includes events on Friday evening, a daylong series of presenters on Saturday, including keynote speaker Eric Wittenberg; and battlefield tours on Sunday.

“The Civil War’s sesquicentennial has provided the perfect opportunity to not only revisit the events of 150 years ago but also spend time reflecting on what those events meant—and what they continue to mean,” says historian Kristopher D. White, Emerging Civil War’s co-founder. Continue reading

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Battle of Second Kernstown

Brig. Gen. George Crook

Brig. Gen. George Crook

Welcome back guest author Kyle Rothemich.

After the Battle of Rutherford’s Farm on July 20th, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s Army of the Valley was located south of Strasburg near Fisher’s Hill. With Union forces defeating Stephen D. Ramseur’s forces at Rutherford’s Farm on July 20th, Union command was convinced Early was in full retreat. This rise in confidence causes the Union 6th Corps under Maj. Gen. Horatio Wright to be ordered out of the Shenandoah Valley. This corps headed back to reinforce Grant around Richmond. This left the only Union forces in the Valley under the command of Brig. Gen. George Crook. Crooks Army of West Virginia consisted of roughly 12,000 men and was located south of Winchester in the vicinity of Kernstown.

Early was concerned. He was ordered by Gen. Robert E. Lee to keep Union forces occupied in the Shenandoah Valley and prevent them from getting back towards Richmond. Therefore, when he heard news of the fleeing 6th Corps, he had to act in an attempt to keep them in the Valley. Prior to the battle on July 24th, Early sent out numerous cavalry parties to skirmish with Union soldiers at Kernstown. Many of the Union commanders viewed this as a screen, protecting Early’s retreat. Crook himself believed Early’s time in the Valley was complete and he was withdrawing back towards Richmond. Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Leadership--Confederate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ECW Series: “That Furious Struggle”

Layout 1We’re delighted to announce the upcoming release of the newest book in the Emerging Civil War Series: That Furious Struggle: Chancellorsville and the High Tide of the Confederacy by ECW co-founders Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White.

That Furious Struggle will be available in bookstores and online in early August.

A sneak-peak “first release” of the book will take place on Saturday, August 2 at 2:00 p.m. at Ellwood Manor on the Wilderness Battlefield (part of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park) in Locust Grove, VA. To launch the book, the Friends of the Wilderness Battlefield are presenting a program called “The Legend of Stonewall’s Arm” by co-author Chris Mackowski, with a book signing to follow. Jackson’s arm, amputated after he was shot by his own men during the battle of Chancellorsville, is buried at Ellwood.

The official launch of That Furious Struggle will coincide with the First Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge during the Friday evening reception on August 15.

From the back book cover: Continue reading

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General Grant, R.I.P.

GrantInPhillyUlysses S. Grant died on this date, at 8:03 a.m.. back in 1885.

Continue reading

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Shot Pouch’s Eighth Shot

whtwalkerTo say that Major General William Henry Talbot “Shot Pouch” Walker was a difficult man is an understatement. Known for his quarrelsome personality, he was a West Point classmate of Braxton Bragg and Joe Hooker and had demonstrated personal bravery on many fields and in many wars. His nickname of “Shot Pouch” came from being shot so many times in the Second Seminole War and the War with Mexico (he was wounded in the battle of Lake Okeechobee, Florida, five times alone). After Mexico, he spent time recruiting and then as commandant of cadets at West Point before becoming one of the first United States officers to resign his commission during the Secession crisis, doing so on December 20th, 1860, to offer his services to his native state, Georgia.

Walker took a commission as a colonel in the Georgia Militia and, shortly thereafter, was made a major general for the state. He soon transferred to Confederate service with the rank of colonel and then brigadier general, only to resign seven days later in disgust over lack of significant assignments. Walker returned back to state service as a general. Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Campaigns, Leadership--Confederate, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Death of Francis Marion Walker


Col. Francis Marion Walker

It seemed that the slow bleeding of the Confederate officer corps reached its zenith on July 22. Throughout the campaign, in the nearly continuous fighting from Dalton to the Gate City, the Army of Tennessee was slowly losing its best and brightest. Now as Hood launched the battle for the city, the losses continued to mount at an even faster rate.

As Frank Cheatham’s Tennessee Division rolled over the open space toward the works of the veterans of MacPherson’s Army of the Tennessee, Col. Francis Marion Walker was in the forefront urging his men forward, “his good sword swept in glittering circles above his head.” Walker was on the verge of being promoted to general; indeed, he had commanded Gen. George Maney’s Brigade at the Dead Angle fight at Kennesaw. However, he was now back with his regiment. Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Campaigns, Leadership--Confederate | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment