ECW on C-SPAN: Turning Points Panel

Turning Points Panel copyC-SPAN’s coverage of the Fifth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge continues this weekend.

Our “Turning Points Panel” makes its debut this Saturday at 6 p.m. EDT and then re-airs Sunday at 4 a.m. EDT on C-SPAN 3. This year’s panel featured (from left to right) historians Kevin Pawlak,Paige Gibbons Backus, Bert Dunkerly, Steve Phan, and the best-dressed man in the Civil War community, Drew Gruber of Civil War Trails. ECW Editor-in-Chief Chris Mackowski moderates.

Here’s a preview:

Continue reading

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A Historian Working In Retail

Even the money has historical personages on it…

This past summer I took a part-time job as a cashier in a retail store. Yes, I’m still very involved with Emerging Civil War. No, I’m not quitting the history field. But it was time to take a steady job and be able to save for research trips or other long term goals without worrying about the bank accounts.

You know, work has those days occasionally, but overall it’s fascinating to briefly meet so many people and hopefully make their day a little better, a little happier. I thought you might find it rather amusing how history facts and lessons follow me to work. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired or encouraged to bring history to your own workplace, club, or community. Continue reading

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American Battlefield Trust at Chickamauga LIVE

It’s the 150th anniversary of the battle of Chickamauga. Our friends at the American Battlefield Trust are on there, broadcasting through Facebook LIVE. If you haven’t been following along, we encourage you to tune in throughout the day on Thursday. In the meantime, you can check out Wednesday’s broadcasts on their Facebook page (even if you don’t have Facebook!).

You’ll see a couple familiar ECW faces: Kris White and Dan Davis. Plus Garry Adelman and legendary NPS historian Jim Ogden. They have a great line-up of guests, so be sure to tune in!

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From The ECW Archives: Longstreet Goes West

Longstreet Portrait

Let’s take another look at western theater Civil War history – especially since we’re now in the 155th Anniversary of the Battle of Chickamauga.

In 2016, Dave Powell wrote a fantastic nine-part blog post series, evaluating Confederate General James Longstreet’s time in the western theater. You’ll find history and observations on the Battle of Chickamauga and other conflicts.

Check-out the archived series here: Longstreet Goes West

And if you’re visiting Chickamauga battlefield this week, share your photos with us on Facebook or Twitter!

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ECW Podcast “Reaping The Whirlwind at Bennett Place” Is Now Available

We’re releasing our podcasts on Tuesdays! Our second podcast for September appeared this morning on Patreon.

It’s taking a closer look at the 1865 events at Bennett Place, the site of the Confederate surrender in North Carolina in a Civil War discussion with Eric Wittenberg and Chris Mackowski.  Continue reading

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Commemorating the Anniversary of Antietam


The dead along the Hagerstown Pike at Antietam.

“America will never forget what your loved ones did for all of us,” President Trump told audience members attending a 9/11 commemoration ceremony at Flight 93 National Memorial last week. The official White House video of the event ended with the admonition “Never Forget.”

As I first explained in 2012, the events of Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 17, 1862, have become inextricably linked in my mind. In recognition of both events—and as a continuing cautionary tale against forgetting either of them—I offer a repost of a reflection I put up during ECW’s first year, Remembering 9/11 and the Lesson of Antietam.

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“A Fury Unequaled”: A North Carolinian’s Account of Antietam

Finding personal accounts of battlefield experiences always raises my eyebrows, as it does for many of you. The details and immediate stories they contain are the stuff historians crave.

James Shinn and the 4th North Carolina fought in Antietam’s Bloody Lane.

When I read the account of James W. Shinn, a soldier in the 4th North Carolina Infantry, about the Battle of Antietam, I knew it was one of the best accounts I had seen of the battle. But Shinn’s account was also different. While it does get into the nitty-gritty of the action, it does not lose sight of the larger picture and how he viewed Antietam’s combat.

Here are a few excerpts for you on the 156th anniversary of the battle.  Continue reading

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Antietam and the Emerging Civil War Series

Kevin with HazardWhile there are, of course, plenty of good books out there about Antietam, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that the Emerging Civil War Series added two great Antietam books to the line-up this year, including one that’s hot off the Savas Beatie presses.

Earlier this year, we were proud to announce the release of That Field of Blood: The Battle of Antietam by Dan Vermilya. Dan, a licensed battlefield guide at Antietam and former historian there, now works for Gettysburg National Military Park at its Eisenhower Unit.

And just last week, the latest ECWS book shipped from the printer: To Hazard All: A Guide to the Maryland Campaign, 1862 by Rob Orrison and Kevin Pawlak. (Kevin was so excited to get his box of books, we asked him to send us a picture!)  Continue reading

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Question of the Week: 9/17-9/23/18

This week it will be 155 years since the Battle of Chickamauga.

Do you have a favorite officer from that battle? Why do you admire his leadership?

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Antietam Eve: The Night of September 16, 1862

“The quiet that precedes a battle has something of the terrible in it,” wrote an Ohio soldier recalling the night of September 16, 1862.

The sunrise of September 17, 2012.

That night in the fields and woodlots surrounding Sharpsburg was an awful night for those who experienced it. The soldiers on the front lines suffered from a drizzling of rain. Occasional musketry volleys and random shots punctuated the soothing sounds of the water falling through the tree canopies. Those farther back from the scene of the impending action felt an eeriness in the air. But all on that battlefield knew what the next day would bring–tenacious conflict. Each soldier reflected on what tomorrow could bring. For the Confederacy, one more victory might bring its independence. For the United States, one more loss could spell the end of its nationhood. Continue reading

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