The Western Federal

Today, we are pleased to welcome guest author Jim Taub.

As Joseph Polley, a sergeant of the 4th Texas Infantry, moved through the dense Georgia underbrush, the sounds and smells of battle overwhelmed his senses. The cracking of musketry and thunder of the artillery could be heard to their front. As the Texans began passing wounded soldiers of General Bragg’s Army of Tennessee near the clearing of the Viniard Field, the Western Rebels began taunting the recent arrivals from Virginia. Sgt. Polley reported hearing:

“them fellers out thar you ar goin’ up again, ain’t none of them blue bellied, white-livered Yanks an’ sassidge-eatin’ forrin hirelins’ you have in Virginny that’ll run quick at the snap of a cap- they are Western fellers, an’ they’ll mighty quick give you a bellyful of fightin.”

The mettle of the Federal soldier of the Western Theatre was something that was never in question. The man that Polley was passing might have been shouting the warning to the Texans to poke fun at their recent arrival transfer from the Army of Northern Virginia; however, there absolutely was a feeling by the men going into that fight near Chickamauga Creek that they weren’t fighting the “Yankees” of the Army of the Potomac anymore.

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Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Common Soldier, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sarah Morgan Dawson: A Unique Case Study in Southern Nationalism

Today, we are pleased to welcome back guest author Ashley Webb.

Mrs. Ridgley posed with the Confederate flag in this photograph, c. 1861-1865. It is much like the one Sarah Dawson would have made and worn in May, 1862. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Mrs. Ridgley posed with the Confederate flag in this photograph, c. 1861-1865. It is much like the one Sarah Dawson would have made and worn in May, 1862. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

As a social historian, I love reading detailed diary entries that capture a single moment in time. Diaries provide an intimate glimpse into an author’s thoughts and feelings, as well as provide an accurate account of day to day happenings.  For many Southern women during the Civil War, keeping a diary was a way to record the hardships of everyday life, and if not as a record, then as a way to pass the time when travel was difficult and social visits were non-existent.   While many women’s diaries focus on the mundane aspects of everyday life, they highlight social status, as well as a woman’s ongoing role with the war.  Many Southern women wrote as a means of defying Union sentiments, as well as a way to reinforce their views quietly when verbalizing their thoughts and opinions had repercussions.  The diary of Sarah Morgan Dawson is no exception to this.

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Posted in Civilian, Memory, Personalities, Western Theater | Tagged , | 1 Comment

A Visit to Arlington for Veterans Day

CivilWarUnknowns-Arlington Continue reading

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Thank You

On this Tuesday in November, the authors at Emerging Civil War would like to say “Thank You” to all of our Veterans, both past and present.

Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg.

Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg.

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Civil War Trust Launches “Campaign 1776″ to Preserve Rev War and 1812 Battlefields

The reflection of Independence Hall hangs over the Liberty Bell (photo courtesy Barbara Cawley Close)

The reflection of Independence Hall hangs over the Liberty Bell (photo courtesy Barbara Cawley Close)

Our friends at the Civil War Trust have announced some very exciting news this morning in honor of Veteran’s Day:

Nearly 240 years after the “shot heard ‘round the world” signaled the beginning of the journey toward American independence, historians and preservationists gathered in Princeton, N.J., to launch the first-ever national initiative to protect and interpret the battlefields of the Revolutionary War. The new effort, titled ‘Campaign 1776,’ is a project of the Civil War Trust, the nation’s most successful battlefield preservation advocate. Campaign 1776 will employ the same proven strategy of harnessing public-private partnerships to permanently protect hallowed ground that has made the Civil War Trust one of the country’s top charitable land conservation organizations. Continue reading

Posted in National Park Service, Preservation, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Closing Out the Valley: Recollection of a Public Historian at a Sesquicentennial Event

I wanted to write this post for about two weeks, but I just did not know how to start this blog entry or what to title it. So, after contemplating what to write for a few days, I figured I would just jump right in with my thoughts and let the words flow.

Living Ramseur Family members re-dedicating the monument to Major General Stephen Dodson Ramseur, approximately 150 years to the exact minute, their ancestor died.

Living Ramseur Family members re-dedicating the monument to Major General Stephen Dodson Ramseur, approximately 150 years to the exact minute, their ancestor died.

When I am not blogging for the Emerging Civil War, I am a professional historian and park ranger for the National Park Service. When big events, commemorations, anniversaries, etc. are scheduled by national parks, that particular site can ask for rangers to be detailed in to help.

I was lucky, privileged really, to assist with the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek and joined for a few days the great historians at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Common Soldier, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Memory, National Park Service, Photography, Sesquicentennial | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

ECW’s Dave Powell Publishes New Chickamauga Book

Savas Beatie has just published the long-awaited first volume of a new trilogy on the battleLayout 1 of Chickamauga, written by our own Dave Powell. The Chickamauga Campaign, Vol. I: A Mad Irregular Battle provides an in-depth examination of both the pre-battle maneuvering and the first and second days’ fighting of the battle of Chickamauga on September 18 and 19, 1863.

The culmination of more than a decade’s worth of research and study, A Mad Irregular Battle explores both Union Major General William Starke Rosecrans’s ambitious 1863 effort to wrest the strategic city of Chattanooga away from Confederate control, and Rebel General Braxton Bragg’s counter-blows, which finally brought about the deadly collision along the banks of West Chickamauga Creek. Continue reading

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Veterans-Day-Thank-You-3Tuesday is Veteran’s Day, and the difference between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day is one of mortality. Veteran’s Day honors those serving, and living veterans. Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those who gave their last, full measure, has its roots specifically in the Civil War, with Ladies Associations and Remembrance Days. Continue reading

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“Littlepage’s Big Contributions to the Confederacy”

This is another installment of “Tales From the Tombstone.”

Major General Carter Littlepage Stevenson

Littlepage was the middle name of Carter L. Stevenson, a Confederate major general that saw extensive service in the west during the American Civil War. Born in Fredericksburg, Virginia to a wealthy and prominent family, Stevenson finished his education with a degree from West Point Military Academy, as part of the class of 1838, which would include notable Civil War generals Irvin McDowell, Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, Edward Johnson, A.J. Smith, and William Hardee. Stevenson graduated near the bottom of the class was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the infantry.

First seeing action in the Second Seminole War, Stevenson also saw service in on the frontier and distinguished himself in action during the Mexican-American War at Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. When the war ended in 1848, Stevenson again served on the frontier and in the Deep South before returning to fight in the Third Seminole War in Florida. Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Rectortown and Mosby’s Confederacy

One of the best preserved landscapes in Virginia is that of “Mosby’s Confederacy” located in southern Loudoun County and northern Fauquier County. The area’s roads, farms and fences are mostly on the same locations as they were during the Civil War. Very little has changed in the landscape of this area. One can easily see how this area became a prime area for partisan activity for Colonel John S. Mosby and his men.

One particular special place in “Mosby’s Confederacy” is Rectortown. Located at the corner of Maidstone Rd. (Rt. 713) and Lost Corner Rd. (Rt. 624) in Rectortown, VA, the Civil War Trails sign at the crossroads covers not only the Mosby Lottery, but also Gen. George McClellan’s removal from command in 1862 while his headquarters were located here. Several of the buildings around the railroad crossing date to before the 1860. The prisoners that drew the lottery tickets were held in the warehouse building in front of the Trails marker. The old depot along the railroad is also a Civil War era building as is another nearby storage building. Mosby used Rectortown often to call a rendezvous of his men. Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Cavalry, Civil War Events, Civilian, Common Soldier, ECW Weekender, Emerging Civil War, Internet, Websites & Blogs, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Memory, Personalities, Preservation, Sesquicentennial | Tagged , , | 1 Comment