ECW Weekender: Maryland Heights Overlook (Harpers Ferry, WV)

ECW Weekender-Header

With cooler weather and autumn foliage on the way, it might be a good time to break-out your hiking boots, if you like to explore history in the great outdoors. How about a hike to see this view?

Harpers Ferry from Maryland Heights Overlook

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A Brief Observation on the Army of the Potomac’s Winter Encampment in Stafford County

Early morning on a I Corps campsite

Early morning on a I Corps campsite

Recently, I came across a letter written by James Christiancy. Christiancy began the war as an officer in the 17th Michigan Infantry before he transferred to the 9th Michigan Cavalry. After the Gettysburg Campaign, he joined Brig. Gen. George A. Custer’s staff. James was  the son of a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court and one of Custer’s political connections, Isaac Christiancy. In late August 1863, Christiancy passed over the remnants of the Army of the Potomac’s encampment from the previous winter in Stafford County. In a letter to Judge Daniel Bacon of Monroe, Michigan (Custer’s future father-in-law) Christiancy described the scene. “The country I assure you looked desolate enough-as far as the eye could reach could be seen nothing but dilapidated remains of log cabins-mud chimneys, ovens and similar objects incident to a deserted camp ground.” Interestingly, Christiancy wrote the countryside from Stafford east to King George Court House was “romantic and picturesque in the extreme.” Christiancy accompanied Custer back to Monroe for his wedding in February, 1864 and was wounded at the Battle of Haw’s Shop during the Overland Campaign.

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Jackson House’s Michael Anne Lynn to Retire

jackson-houseWe were surprised to learn recently that Michael Anne Lynn, director of the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington, Virginia, will be retiring at the end of this month.

Lynn, who has served at the Jackson House for 35 years, will retire effective Oct. 1.

“Michael is irreplaceable,” said Col. Keith E. Gibson, director of the Virginia Military Institute Museum System, which oversees the Jackson House. “The standard she has set and the work she has accomplished will be a legacy for all who follow her.” Continue reading

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ECW on C-SPAN: Great Attacks of the Civil War

Our panel discussion on “Great Attacks of the Civil War,” from the Third Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, airs on C-SPAN 3 this weekend. The program will appear Saturday night at 6pm ET. Here’s a preview:

Also, Jim Ogden’s keynote address on Longstreet at Chickamauga gets a re-air Saturday at 1:45pm ET.

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1st Massachusetts Cavalry Monument at Aldie

1st Massachusetts Cavalry Monument

1st Massachusetts Cavalry Monument

Last week, I had an opportunity to stop at the Aldie battlefield in Loudoun County, Virginia. Fought on June 17, 1863, it was the first of three clashes in the Loudoun Valley as Union cavalry under Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton attempted to locate Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia early in the Gettysburg Campaign. Confederate cavalry under Maj. Gen. James Ewell Brown “JEB” Stuart engaged the Federals there, at Middleburg on June 19 and again at Upperville on June 21. Stuart’s gray troopers managed to keep Pleasonton at bay and shield the Confederate infantry west of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the eyes of the Union horsemen. While there, I snapped a close up of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry monument. One of my first blog posts for Emerging Civil War was on the regiment’s experience during the battle and can be read here.

Posted in Armies, Battles, Campaigns, Cavalry, Common Soldier, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Memory, Monuments | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

ECW5: Steward Henderson


I cannot believe that it has been five years since Kris White and Chris Mackowski informed me that they were starting a blog, “Emerging Civil War,” and asked me to be an author. I had often thought about writing a Civil War book on African Americans in the Civil War; however, after talking with them, I thought it was a great idea to write blog posts.

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Question of the Week: 9/26-10/2/16

Question-HeaderWould you consider Vicksburg a combined campaign? How dependent was General Grant on the naval forces of Admiral David D. Porter?

Posted in Armies, Battles, Campaigns, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Question of the Week | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Mexican-American War 170th: Battle of Monterrey, Conclusion

Mexican War-header

This post wraps-up ECW’s 170th Anniversary coverage of the Battle of Monterrey. Click here for the other posts relating to the battle.

For three days, the American and Mexican armies had fought for control of the city of Monterrey. Now, as American soldiers watched on, Gen. Pedro de Ampudia brought his defeated forces out of the city and marched south into the heartland of Mexico.

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ECW’s September Newsletter Now Available

If you haven’t seen it yet, the September edition of the Emerging Civil War newsletter is now out. This week’s 10-question interview features Meg Groeling. Plus there’s info about new book releases by Dave Powell and Chris Kolakowski, news & notes, and a look at ECW’s contributions to Virginia Tech’s Essential Civil War Curriculum.

Can you guess where the cover image for this month’s newsletter was taken?


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Baseball In The Blue And Gray (Part 2)

Emerging Civil War welcomes guest author Michael Aubrecht for Part 2 of his article. (You can find Part 1 here.)

Abner Doubleday

Abner Doubleday

It has been disputed for decades whether Union General Abner Doubleday was in fact the “father of the modern game.” Many baseball historians still reject the notion that Doubleday designed the first baseball diamond and drew up the modern rules. Nothing in his personal writings corroborates this story, which was originally put forward by an elderly Civil War veteran, Abner Graves, who served under him. Still, the City of Cooperstown, New York dedicated Doubleday Field in 1920 as the “official” birthplace of organized baseball. Later, Cooperstown became the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Continue reading

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