By Mike Movius
Early on, the founders of CWRT Congress realized that one of the best ways to promote and to achieve CWRT sustainability would be for the Congress to develop an attitude of providing value. But, at the time, we were simply holding annual conferences that emphasized the experiences of our own CWRTs. It wasn’t until the Harrisburg conference that we decided to develop a website and to fill it with ways to achieve sustainability. Continue reading
It was a beautiful day to be on the battlefield today….
The view from the observation tower on Mount Davis. Author photo.
In the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania, far from the great battlefields of Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia, are the rugged Allegheny Mountains. This remote part of Somerset County has the highest ridges in the state, with an unlikely Civil War connection. Mount Davis, at 3,213 feet, is the highest point in the state. Mount Davis is named for Civil War veteran and local resident John Nelson Davis. Continue reading
American Battlefield Trust announced the opportunity to preserve two important tracts totaling 301 acres at Lookout Mountain and Franklin in Tennessee.
According the news release: Continue reading
ECW welcomes guest author Sheritta Bitikofer
In January of 1930, a new soldier’s pension application was submitted in the state of Florida. While at first glance, this was nothing unusual for the time. Soldiers were growing older and desired compensation for their sacrifice to the Southern cause for independence. However, this application was special and marked up in unusual places. Instances where the word “he” were typed – referring to the applicant – had been crossed out and changed to “she.” The veteran, Delilah “Delity” Powell Kelly, born June 4th, 1851, was not looking for a widow’s pension. She was looking for a soldier’s pension for her services as a young nurse in the Confederacy.
Excerpt from Delity Powell Pension Application (Floridamemory.com)
Posted in Civilian, Personalities
Tagged Battle of Olustee, Camp Dunham, Delilah Powell Kelly, Edward Moody McCook, Edward Powell, Gainesville, Horse Landing, Milton's Light Artillery, Pensions, Rock Island Prison, Samuel Jones
I have the good fortune of being able to do a lot of work with the American Battlefield Trust, as do many of my Emerging Civil War colleagues. In particular, we do a lot with ABT’s education department. (As an example, check out our coverage of the Trust’s 2019 Teacher Institute or the bajillion Facebook programs we’ve helped with). I have to give a big shout out to ABT’s Chief Historian Garry Adelman, as well as ECW alum Dan Davis and, of course, ECW co-founder Kris White, who all let us come and play in ABT sandbox.
Because of ECW’s own commitment to education, the latest letter from the Trust’s Jim Lighthizer caught my immediate attention. Jim retired as president on September 30, but he sent one final mailing before stepping down. It’s an appeal near and dear to my heart and, I know, many of yours because it addresses the importance of history education.
Whenever I talk to roundtables, wherever I go, people lament the state of history education in general and Civil War education in particular, so I know it’s an issue on a lot of people’s minds.
So, understanding how important this is for so many ECW readers, I asked the Trust if I could pass along Jim’s letter. I hope you’ll take a moment to read it:
POWs building the Bridge on the River Kwai, sketched by a fellow prisoner. (Imperial War Museum)
Being captured in battle can be a dramatic and traumatic experience. Instantly you are cut off from what was familiar and definite, and cast into a situation unfamiliar, out of your control, and with a most indefinite future.
The same is true of being surrounded and placed under siege, facing pressures from the enemy ringing your position while hopefully awaiting relief. Earl Ziemke in Stalingrad to Berlin summed up the effects well: “A sudden encirclement of a modern army is a cataclysmic event, comparable in its way to an earthquake or other natural disaster. On the map it often takes on a surgically precise appearance. On the battlefield it is a rending, tearing operation that leaves the victim to struggle in a state of shock . . . Escape is the first thought in the minds of commanders and men alike, but escape is no simple matter.”
These have been on my mind over the past few months, as in broad parallel this is what has happened when coronavirus hit the United States and prompted lockdowns starting in mid-March 2020. I have been reaching into accounts of both prisoners of war (POWs) and besieged forces to try and get perspectives about what is going on, and the stresses they faced. I also wanted to see how they coped in those situations in case any of those lessons might be applicable now.
This post summarizes my findings so far. Continue reading
Posted in Primary Sources, Sieges, Ties to the War
Tagged Chinese Gordon, Corregidor, James Stockdale, Java, Khartoum, Leningrad, prisoners of war, Vietnam War, Wladyslaw Anders, World War II
The Federal defeat at Ball’s Bluff was small in scale but large in its repercussions. (LOC)
In his diary on October 22, 1862, John Haley of the 17th Maine recounted his experience camping near the Ball’s Bluff battlefield a year after the battle:
“[W]e were sent on picket on a strip of land between the Potomac and the Baltimore & Ohio Canal, nearly opposite Ball’s Bluff, a place of most unhappy memory so far as we are concerned…” he wrote…. Continue reading