War Chicken Redux: The War Horse War Chicken

ECW is pleased to welcome back historian Joe Owen, co-author (with Randy Drais) of Texans at Gettysburg: Blood and Glory with Hood’s Texas Brigade.

Every one in a while, I find a humorous story about the soldiers of Hood’s Texas Brigade. I would have loved to sit at the campfire and listen to their stories—to laugh and cry with these brave men.

Here is a wonderful story of “Jim Longstreet” (no, it’s not who you think it is), and his demise at Gettysburg, as told by S. O. Young of the 5th Texas. It comes from True stories of Old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches (1913).

Please tell me if you’ve heard this one before: Continue reading

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ECW Honors the Mahoning Valley (OH) Civil War Roundtable

As part of our fifth anniversary, Emerging Civil War is pleased to inaugurate a new Roundtable of the Year Award. The first recipient of this award is the Mahoning Valley Civil War Roundtable in Boardman, Ohio.

“The folks with the Mahoning Valley Civil War Roundtable have been big supporters of Emerging Civil War since our earliest days,” says ECW Chief Historian Kris White. “They’re really a great bunch of folks.”

Mahoning Valley CWRT clipping

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Beverly Ford Road at Brandy Station

Beverly Ford RoadThis past Saturday, I had an opportunity to visit the Brandy Station battlefield. On the walk out to Buford’s Knoll (Brig. Gen. John Buford’s command post during the engagement) I captured this picture. The tree line in the center foreground marks the Beverly Ford Road. Remnants of the original road trace still remain,  but today the bulk of the highway is paved while part of it is in gravel. This area also witnessed the opening phase of the battle.

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

ECW5: “Not too bad for three idiots sitting on a porch.”

The following article originally appeared in the July 2016 issue of Civil War News and appears with the kind permission of editor Jack Melton.

Shrine Caretakers Cottage

The birthplace of Emerging Civil War

The caretaker’s cottage at the Stonewall Jackson Shrine sits behind a tall row of boxwood that obscures it from view. Visitors who come up the paved driveway circle past the hidden cottage as they follow the loop to the Shrine’s parking area. Before them sits the little white building where the Confederate general “crossed over the river” on May 10, 1863.

But it was at the nearby caretaker’s cottage, in the summer of 2011—some 148 years after Jackson died—that Emerging Civil War was born.

“There were three of us sitting on the porch, smoking cigars and ‘refighting the war,’” explains historian Kristopher D. White, co-founder of Emerging Civil War (ECW). “We started talking about ways we could share that kind of dialogue and those kinds of stories with larger audiences—something that would be livelier than the kinds of Civil War books people generally turned to.” Continue reading

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2016-17 ECW Speakers Bureau Now Available

Speakers Bureau 16-17 coverThe 2016-2017 Emerging Civil War Speakers Bureau brochure is now available. You can download it by clicking here or by checking out the “Speakers” tab under out main menu.

If your roundtable, historical society, library, or other group is looking for a speaker, wait until you see what we have to offer!

We’ve had several folks join the line-up, and we’ve had several others change up some of their talks, so there’s plenty new to see.

This year’s line-up of speakers: Continue reading

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Mapping the Petersburg Campaign: Sutherland Station

Sutherland Station (Greene)

Click on image for larger version

I have come to believe that the primary reason why Petersburg is an often overlooked campaign in the scope of the Civil War is the challenge of understanding its nine and a half month progression. There is no shortage of thrilling stories, detailed primary accounts, or battlefields to visit. It is just a matter of not being able to wrap one’s head around it. (I’ll here similarly admit I tend to avoid reading about cavalry actions for the same reason.)

Rather than continuing to bemoan this fact, however, I’ve determined to be the change you want to see. I hope those who attended the Third Annual ECW Symposium left with a better appreciation for the final day of the campaign, even if it was based off the maps I created more so than my own interpretation. Nearly every Civil War scholar and buff could draw a pretty accurate map of Gettysburg, Antietam, Shiloh, Chancellorsville, or Chattanooga. Let’s do that with Petersburg.

Last week I prepared handouts for a Pamplin Historical Park sponsored car caravan tour of the Sutherland Station battlefield. On the afternoon of April 2, 1865, a Confederate quasi-division led by John Rogers Cooke repulsed two charges from Nelson Miles’s II Corps division before being flanked and forced to withdraw. This yielded the South Side Railroad–Petersburg’s final supply line–to the Federals.

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ECW Honors Ted Savas

Theodore_P._SavasAs part of Emerging Civil War’s fifth anniversary commemoration, we are pleased to inaugurate the second of two new awards: The Brig. Gen. Robert Greely Stevenson Award for Service to Emerging Civil War. This award is given as occasion dictates to a person or entity that has performed invaluable service to Emerging Civil War. The recipient of this year’s inaugural award is Theodore P. Savas, managing partner of the publishing firm Savas Beatie, LLC.

“Simply put, Emerging Civil War would not be where we are today without Ted Savas,” said ECW’s editor-in-chief, Chris Mackowski.

ECW’s Chief Historian, Kristopher D. White, made the initial contact with Savas in the fall of 2012. “He agreed on the spot to support what became the Emerging Civil War Series,” White explains. “The move proved to be a watershed event for us and for Ted. We made the jump from the blogosphere to the bookshelf.” Continue reading

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Longstreet goes West, Part One: Machiavellian or Misunderstood?

Longstreet PortraitConfederate General James Longstreet remains one of the war’s most controversial figures. Detractors see him as a scheming subordinate whose ambition overreached his talents; supporters hail him as a clear-sighted realist who understood the changes in warfare better than most of his contemporaries, and who tried to change with the times.

Short of Gettysburg, no aspect of Longstreet’s Civil War career stirs more controversy than his trip west to reinforce the Army of Tennessee in September, 1863. Was this venture a duplicitous effort to get out from Robert E. Lee’s thumb, undermine Braxton Bragg’s command of that army, and at last let Longstreet take his rightful place in the sun? Or was it a trip motivated by the increasingly disastrous course of the war in the West, a feeling that no matter how well the South did in Virginia, the war was not being won in the Old Dominion State? Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Confederate, Memory, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

“A Twitter Feed” of the Civil War–What Historians Really Do, Part 2

la-1471386823-snap-photoSometimes things just fall into our laps, and sometimes we have to break down walls just for the chance to be turned away.  This opportunity is one of the former, and a beautiful opportunity it is! Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Campaigns, Civil War in Pop Culture, Emerging Civil War, Internet, Websites & Blogs, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Personalities, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Question of the Week: 8/22-8/28/16

Question-HeaderIf you could receive a personal letter from a historical person in the Civil War era, who would you like to receive one from?

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Personalities, Question of the Week | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments