Category Archives: Armies

Stones in The Road: Conclusion of a Series

On the evening of March 23, 1864, a telegram arrived at Phil Sheridan’s headquarters in Loudon, Tennessee. It was addressed to Sheridan and had been forwarded from Major General Henry Halleck, the Army’s Chief of Staff. It read: “Lieutenant General … Continue reading

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A Precipitate Retreat: General Joe Johnston and the Confederate Withdrawal from Northern Virginia March 6- 10, 1862

After their victory at the First Battle of Manassas in July 1861, the Confederate armies of the Potomac and Shenandoah combined and settled into a defensive position from Leesburg in the west and the Potomac River near Occoquan in the … Continue reading

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Another Mighty Scourge: Weather and the War

With the terrible winter of 2013-14 going on, it occurred to me that it must have been terrible to fight during such a winter as the one we are having just now. The American Civil War took place at the … Continue reading

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“If You Have Any Orders to Give Me, I am Prepared to Receive and Obey Them”: The Command Struggles of Gen. George Meade, September 1863-March 1864 (part II)

The second in a two-part series During the Bristoe Station Campaign, George Gordon Meade believed that Lee had been the superior general. “I am free to admit that in the playing of it he has got the advantage of me,” … Continue reading

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Review Battle of Big Bethel: Crucial Clash in Early Civil War Virginia

Battle of Big Bethel: Crucial Clash in Early Civil War Virginia J. Michael Cobb, Edward B. Hicks and Wythe Holt Savas Beatie, 2013 312 pages, 140 images, 5 maps In the spring of 1861, our Nation was ripped apart by … Continue reading

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“If You Have Any Orders to Give Me, I am Prepared to Receive and Obey Them”: The Command Struggles of Gen. George Meade, September 1863-March 1864 (part I)

The first of a two-part series As the Army of the Potomac went into winter quarters in Culpeper County in 1863, Maj. Gen. George G. Meade could say without a doubt that he was the most successful commander of the … Continue reading

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“I shall come out of this fight a live major general or a dead brigadier.”

Another installment in the series “Tales from the Tombstone” Unfortunately, the Confederate officer who made the statement in the title died shortly after making it, pierced by seven bullets when leading a counterattack at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House on … Continue reading

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Top 15 Posts of 2013—Number 5: Making Hardtack

The parks are all closed and you are at your wit’s end trying to figure out what to do. You have watched Gettysburg about as many times as anyone could possible stomach and . . . stomach? Have I got … Continue reading

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Top 15 Posts of 2013—Number 10: Fateful Lightning: Was Sherman’s March To the Sea a War Crime? Part I

You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm as against these terrible hardships of war. They are inevitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop the war, … Continue reading

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Top 15 Posts of 2013—Number 13: Repatriating Court Documents Stolen from Stafford Courthouse, Virginia, by Union Troops in 1862

Guest post by George H. Bresnick, director of the H. Stanley Bresnick Foundation The countryside around Stafford, Virginia, was devastated by the occupation forces of the Union Army in November, 1862. So severe was the physical damage and the loss of population … Continue reading

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