Major General John Schofield
This year marks the 150th Anniversaries of some of the Civil War’s most iconic engagements. The sesquicentennial of Chancellorsville and Stonewall Jackson’s death has just passed, while the Vicksburg and Gettysburg commemorations are in the future, followed by Chickamauga. Yet focusing on any one event over others obscures some of the key historical currents that run through this period of the war.
The 7-month period that started May 1, 1863 saw events and blood-lettings unlike any previous time-frame in American history. At the end of November, the United States had a better feel for how victory (and the resulting new Union) would be defined. Continue reading
Posted in Campaigns, Memory, Sesquicentennial
Tagged Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of Chickamauga, Battle of Gettysburg, Chattanooga, Chris Kolakowski, George Washington, Gettysburg, Henry Slocum, Jefferson Davis, John Parke, Knoxville, Otto von Bismarck, Philip Sheridan, Port Hudson, Siege of Chattanooga, Siege of Knoxville, Siege of Vicksburg, Stonewall Jackson, Tullahoma, Ulysses S. Grant, Vicksburg
As the victorious Union army began to muster out at the close of the war, veterans now faced the task of assimilating back into civilian life. But what of the weapons they faithfully carried?
On May 29, 1865, Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant wrote Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, “I understand that great numbers of soldiers going out of service are very desirous of retaining their arms by paying for them. As the government has now a great surplus of arms I would suggest that an order be published authorizing all soldiers who desire to do so to retain their arms by paying the value to the Ordnance Department, or by having them charged on their muster-out rolls.” The department determined the following prices: muskets – $6, Spencer carbines – $10, all other carbines – $8. Continue reading
A lesser known part of the Chancellorsville campaign is the battle that swirled around Salem Church on May 3rd and 4th, 1863. Continue reading
Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Emerging Civil War, National Park Service, Photography, Sesquicentennial
Tagged Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Salem Church, Chancellorsville, Logothetis-Photos, Photography, Salem Church
Guest-poster Caroline Davis is wrapping up an internship at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. Now that the dust has settled from the Chancellorsville sesquicentennial, we asked her to reflect on what she learned from the commemoration. Because her work this year has allowed her to dip into the park’s archives, she pulled together some interesting parallels between this year’s events and those from the Centennial fifty years earlier….
The 150th commemoration of Chancellorsville has been stirring up excitement at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County National Military Park over the past two weeks. A similar event takes place every five years or so, but until now the largest celebration was the 100th anniversary. During the opening ceremony on the first of May, 2013, John Hennessey pointed out that we are no longer celebrating but rather commemorating the events that happened here. Back in 1963, the anniversary was viewed as celebratory; but today, rather than host parades and grand spectacles, we turn to more solemn thoughts and actions. “We are a remembering people,” said Hennessey. How we choose to remember, though, has changed significantly. Continue reading
Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Civil War Events, Memory, National Park Service, Sesquicentennial
Tagged Bud Robertson, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, FRSP, FSNMP, James Robertson, John Hennessy, Sesquicentennial
On November 15 1864, Sherman began marching south, dividing his army into two wings. On November 22, a large (4,500) group of Confederate soldiers under General Pleasant J. Phillips met part (1,500) of the right wing of Sherman’s troops, commanded by General Charles C. Walcutt. The Battle of Griswaldville ended so badly for the South–94 Union casualties and losses versus 1,123 Confederate–that Confederate troops initiated no more major conflicts. Instead, they tried to anticipate Sherman’s line of march, working ahead of the Union forces and wreaking their own brand of havoc in front of Sherman’s men. In an attempt to slow the Union juggernaut, bridges were burned and wrecked, trees were felled across roads, and barns with provisions and fodder were burned before Sherman had a chance to use them.
Not that the Union was innocent of inflicting harm. Far from it! Continue reading
Posted in Armies, Battles, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Common Soldier, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Personalities, Politics, Western Theater
Tagged Camp Lawton, Champ Ferguson, Henry Wirz, March to the Sea, Sherman