Category Archives: Sieges

“A Mosquito Fighting an Elephant”: A Carolinian’s Recollection of the Breakthrough

I found it challenging while writing Dawn of Victory to not slant my narrative too largely toward the Federals. This was largely the result of a paucity in material from the southern perspective. Many Confederate officers did not see the purpose in … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Common Soldier, Newspapers, Sieges | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

“Little Billy’s” Big Mausoleum

Another installment in the “Tales From the Tombstone” series. Although never a physically imposing man, William Mahone, left a lasting impact on 19th century Virginia, as a civilian, military officer, and politician. In one way or another, all these pursuits … Continue reading

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Sunset on the Father of Waters

A view of the Mississippi from the bluffs at Vicksburg. This picture was taken from Battery Benton, which was manned by elements of the 1st Missouri Light Artillery and the 34th Iowa Infantry late in the Siege of Vicksburg. The Battery derived its name from its … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Common Soldier, Navies, Sieges, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

“England Girds Its Armour”: John ‘Bull’ Doughty at the Breakthrough

John Balderson Doughty was born in 1842 in Frodingham, Lincolnshire, England, to Thomas and Elizabeth Doughty. When he was nine the family departed for New York on board the Albert Gallatin. Arriving on November 28, 1851, the three set off … Continue reading

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Breakthrough at Petersburg: First Man Over the Works

Charlie Gould seemed destined for adventure in his life. The young lad scarcely made it safe through his toddler years before his heroic deeds in front of Petersburg at the end of the war caused many to declare him the … Continue reading

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Breakthrough at Petersburg: “April Fool, Johnnies!”

After the thrilling Union victory at Five Forks on April 1, Lt. Col. Horace Porter raced back with a report to Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s headquarters near Dabney’s Mill. He swiftly picked his way through the mess behind the … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Common Soldier, Holidays, Sesquicentennial, Sieges | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Sounds of Spring

Here in Petersburg, Virginia we are happy to finally once more see the ground after a recent and unusual spell of endless snow and ice. With a cheered spirit I took a look into the archives to search for the … Continue reading

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No Bluffing the King of Spades: Digging in along Hatcher’s Run

The Army of Northern Virginia had a thirty-seven mile front to defend during the early months of 1865. Its commander wanted to guarantee the earthworks protecting Richmond and Petersburg were up to his standards. “Opinions seem to differ as to … Continue reading

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The Joy and Sadness of Archibald Gracie

Brigadier General Archibald Gracie was an unlikely Confederate general: a New Yorker by birth and pedigree. Gracie’s family was prominent in New York City from the Colonial era on. Gracie received his education at West Point, graduating in 1854. His … Continue reading

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“Therefore we prefer bad weather at this time”

In the spirit of the holiday I thought I would highlight a curious item that a soldier in the trenches at Petersburg was thankful for. “We have had some very cold weather, the ground has been frozen hard but now the weather is … Continue reading

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