Category Archives: Common Soldier

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

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Civil War Events, Common Soldier, Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“My poor brother…”

Some of our readers may be aware that Chris Mackowski and I have embarked on another major writing project. Our new project is a detailed battle study of the third day at Chancellorsville, specifically focusing on the action around the … 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

Posted in Armies, Civilian, Common Soldier, Holidays, Memory, National Park Service, Ties to the War | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Top 15 Posts of 2013—Number 12: Making Sense of Chickamauga

I’ve heard the phrase “hot mess” before, but Chickamauga National Battlefield gave it a whole new meaning. The first time I visited, about seven years ago, temperatures soared into the upper nineties with a humidity of about 700%. Because few … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Books & Authors, Common Soldier, Emerging Civil War Series, National Park Service, Sesquicentennial | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

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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Celebrating the Season with the Army of the Potomac—Repost

The following is a post that originally ran on December 23, 2011: Christmas of 1862 was a bleak holiday for the men of the Union Army of the Potomac. Many, given the option, may have preferred to celebrate Festivus, the … Continue reading

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A Post-Fredericksburg Message from Lincoln to the Army

For a president renowned for his literary skills, President Lincoln’s message to the Army of the Potomac following its loss at the Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862, stands out as a particularly feeble piece of writing. Certainly the … Continue reading

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“Respect the Flag” and the Breakthrough at Prospect Hill

In commemoration of the battle of Fredericksburg 151 years ago today, we offer up a piece passed along to us by Daniel Weinfeld, an ECW reader with the White Plains (NY) Civil War Roundtable. This is a poem by Rev. … Continue reading

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A Stop Along the River: Fredericksburg 151

I walked down to the banks for the Rappahannock River last night. I’d had a lovely dinner with family at one of William Street’s excellent restaurants, and walking back to the car, I had an open view down the hill … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Common Soldier | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments