Category Archives: Common Soldier

Just You Wait

It can be hard when researching primary sources from the American Civil War to separate ourselves from the big-picture understanding that we have of the momentous struggle. We know the final outcome and the logical pattern that led to the … Continue reading

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O Captain! My Captain!

There are many excellent reasons why Walt Whitman is considered the poet laureate of the American Civil War. His poetic style is much closer to that of the 20th century’s free verse rather than the labored rhyme schemes so popular … Continue reading

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William Child at Ford’s Theater

Northerners across the country had reason to celebrate in mid-April 1865.  The war had ended in a Union victory, with the Union restored and the emancipation of millions of African Americans from bondage.  As celebrations in the forms of speeches, … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Medical, National Park Service, Sesquicentennial | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

William Child in Washington

When 1865 brought forth another year of the war and the Army of the Potomac still occupied its miles of trenches at the front around Petersburg, William Child, surgeon of the 5th New Hampshire Infantry was a man of mixed … Continue reading

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Thoughts on Appomattox (part three)

One of the dearly held tenets of the Lost Cause is that Southerners didn’t lose because they were outfought. Rather, Ulysses S. Grant only won because he had more soldiers and so overwhelmed the Confederates. Isn’t that the point?

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“It seemed a cruel fate for one so deserving to share in his country’s joy”: The Death of Hiram Clark at Appomattox

The Civil War in Virginia was in its closing moments. As Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia tried its last desperate attempts to break through the ever-tightening Federal cordon, the last men died.

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Common Soldier, Personalities, Sesquicentennial | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Closing Lee’s Western Door: The Battle of Appomattox Station

The evacuation of Farmville and subsequent fight at Cumberland Church continued to force Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia west. By the morning of April 8, Lee’s next objective was Appomattox Station, where he hoped to obtain critical supplies … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Cavalry, Civil War Events, Civilian, Common Soldier, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Memory, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

World on Fire

Today, we are pleased to welcome back guest author Dwight Hughes. This post is based on a forthcoming book on the CSS Shenandoah. In the cool dusk of Sunday, 2 April 1865, Abraham Lincoln sat with Rear Admiral David Porter … Continue reading

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The Battles for High Bridge April 6-7, 1865

After leaving Amelia Court House, Gen. Robert E. Lee headed his columns west in the hopes of putting some distance between himself and the pursuing Union armies under Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Lee knew that his worn out and … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Cavalry, Civil War Events, Common Soldier, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Personalities, Sesquicentennial | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Second Medal of Honor: Thomas Ward Custer at Sailor’s Creek

The scene about to play out was one that had become all too familiar in recent days. Union cavalry squadrons were preparing to assault an enemy position. An artillerist recalled that it was “the grandest sight he had ever witnessed.” … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Cavalry, Civil War Events, Common Soldier, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Memory, Personalities, Sesquicentennial | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments