Author Signings at the Emerging Civil War Symposium

We are excited to announce the full list of authors who will be on hand to sign copies of their books at the First Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge. Participants are welcome to bring copies of books they already own, or they will have the opportunity to purchase books on site.

Signings will be held on Friday, August 15, from 6 PM – 7 PM; and Saturday, August 16, from 4 PM – 5 PM. Click here for a full schedule of events.

Click here to register for the event. Continue reading

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Stewart on the Removal of Joe Johnston

Lt__Gen__John_B__HoodThe following is courtesy of author Stephen “Sam” Hood. Hood is a descendant of Confederate Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood, one of the most controversial commanders in the Confederacy; and is the author of the award winning book , John Bell Hood: The Rise, Fall, and Resurrection of a Confederate General.

July 17, 2014 is the 150th anniversary of the controversial removal of Gen. Joe Johnston as commander of the Army of Tennessee, and the promotion of Gen. John Bell Hood. In Hood’s recently discovered personal papers is a letter Hood received from Gen. A.P. Stewart, who recalled the events of July 17, 1864. It will be among approximately 200 letters in my forthcoming book “The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood.”

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Today is the Day

Confederate President Jefferson Davis

Confederate President Jefferson Davis

July 17, 1864. Davis had had it. He had given Confederate Joseph E. Johnston every chance possible. He had sent General Braxton Bragg down to Atlanta to personally check out the situation of the Army of Tennessee, he had thought everything over carefully–an unusual tactic for Davis, who was known to hire and fire on a whim–and he finally came to a conclusion: Johnston had to go. He’d never liked the guy anyway. Continue reading

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Dan McCook’s Death

Daniel_McCook,_JrAmong the men of both sides who fell killed or mortally wounded at the Battle of Kennesaw, arguably the most prominent is Union Colonel Daniel McCook Jr., who suffered a mortal wound on June 27, 1864 while leading his brigade against the Confederate line. Shot in the right lung, he was carried from the field by his men, many of whom had known only him as their brigade commander in the war.

Although wounded, McCook lingered for three weeks and evacuated from the battlefield. After a wagon trip from the field hospital to the railroad, he traveled by train back to his hometown of Cincinnati, where he lived his last days with his mother and his wife Julia. He died of complications on July 17, 1864, just 5 days shy of his 30th birthday. Continue reading

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John Tyler: The Brief Civil War Career of Virginia’s Elder Statesman

Monroe-sidewalkThe grave of James Monroe sits in a cage on the crown of a knoll in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery. The ornate metalwork that holds him in looks like an oversized birdcage, although whether it’s to keep grave robbers from plundering Monroe’s sarcophagus or to keep Monroe’s spirit from flying away still remains unclear to me.

Monroe’s gravesite sits center-circle, with walkways radiating outward and clusters of other graves crammed around. One of those is that of another chief executive, John Tyler, the 10th president of United States. Relatively obscure, Tyler is best known as the first vice president to ascend to the presidency because the elected president died in office (thus earning him the nickname “His Accidency”). A principled man during office, he nevertheless failed to achieve renomination by his party, which at one point even threatened to impeach him.  Continue reading

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The Presidents’ War

DeRose-coverI’ve been spending time with an interesting and highly readable book by Chris DeRose called The Presidents’ War: Six American Presidents and the Civil War that Divided Them.

These days, former presidents tend to keep their noses out of the business of the current president, but that wasn’t always the case. When Abraham Lincoln became a candidate for the White House, the five living ex-presidents opposed his candidacy for various reasons (for those keeping count: Van Buren, Tyler, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan). Once Lincoln was elected, they all second-guessed him in various ways and with various degrees of publicity and effectiveness.  Continue reading

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Was Early’s Raid to Washington D.C. a Success?

Today we welcome guest author Kyle Rothemich.

Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early

Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early

Lt. Gen. Jubal Early’s Army of the Valley crossed the Potomac River near White’s Ford back into Virginia on July 14th. When his small force found themselves back on southern soil, many of his men were happy to be back in the south. One of them was a Georgian, G.W. Nichols who remembers, “We were all glad to back to Dixie land, for we never loved to cross the Potomac going north.”[1]As Early retreated back west, the Union 6th Corps, under Maj. Gen. Horatio Wright followed his movements, keeping a close eye on Ol Jube.

Early’s campaign in the early summer of 1864 was utterly successful. First, he cleared the Shenandoah Valley of Union forces under Maj. Gen. David Hunter following the Battle of Lynchburg. Second, his rag tag force marched hundreds of miles towards the Union capital at Washington D.C. The Valley of Virginia was once again, “a valley of humiliation” for Union high command. Gen. Robert E. Lee attempted to use Early’s movements in the Valley as a distraction. With Early running rampid through the Valley in the early summer and threatening Washington D.C., Grant was forced to defend the Union capital. Nearly 15,000 soldiers of the Union 19th and 6th Corps filed into the fortifications of Washington as Early approached D.C.in early July 1864. However with the capital saved, Grant lost crucial men in his effort to crush Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and capture Richmond. Continue reading

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The Road to Atlanta: Bragg’s Bittersweet Visit

Bragg 4On July 13th, 1864, Braxton Bragg arrived in Atlanta on a grim mission, one that might suit his grim appearance. Bragg’s mission was to confer with Joseph E. Johnston and determine what his plan was to defend Atlanta—if there even was one.

That evening, after meeting with Johnston, Bragg telegraph President Jefferson Davis that there didn’t seem to be much hope for a change in how operations had been going.

On July 14th, Davis determined that he must replace Johnston—but with who? That decision would come in a few days. Continue reading

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Calhoun in Charleston

CalhounGrave-Tree

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In Honor of the Ft. Stevens 150th

FtStevens

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