Week In Review: June 19-26, 2022

The Unpublished Series continues, and there are several pieces of exciting preservation news this week! Also check out the book review, podcast, tale of a horse, and more in the ECW Week in Review…

Sunday, June 19:

In the evening, Sarah Kay Bierle posted about Captain Barton and his daughter Clara for Father’s Day.

Monday, June 20:

Question of the Week was focused on unpublished primary sources. Continue reading

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Mr. President, Am I in Command Here?

Beaver Dam Creek meandering its way towards the Chickahominy River northeast of Richmond, Virginia. If you look closely in the middle foreground of the image there is a facial depiction pattern in the creek’s water. Photo by Chris Heisey — Richmond National Battlefields, VA

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Saving History Saturday: Wyse Fork Battlefield Threatened

Proposed US Highway 70 bypass at Wyse Fork. Courtesy, Wade Sokolosky.

The Wyse Fork Battlefield, near Kingston in Lenoir County North Carolina is threatened by a proposed bypass for U.S. Highway 70 in the area. The bypass, if built, would destroy the core battlefield area as defined in the National Register.

The Battle of Wyse Fork, the third largest battle in North Carolina during the war, took place March 7 through 10, 1865 as a part of the Carolina Campaign in the waning days of the Civil War. Forces totaling 20,500 (12,000 Union and 8,500 Confederate) took part in the battle, with joint casualties estimated at 2,800 (1,257 Union and 1,500 Confederate) and resulted in a Union victory.

Continue reading

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Celebrating ECW’s 7,000

Unidentified Union cavalrymen sharing a drink (Library of Congress)

In case you need a reason to celebrate or raise a glass this Friday night, please join Emerging Civil War in toasting our 7000th blog post! (The actual 7000th was actually published earlier today.)

Sending a big thank you to all our subscribers and blog readers! We are so thrilled that you are part of the emerging journey.

We’d also like to gratefully acknowledge the team of writers and editors who share their scholarship, history reflections, and skills with us. Thank you for all your time and effort to keep bringing fresh and meaningful perspectives on American Civil War history.

In addition to the usual publications and projects, ECW is working on a new project to make our web presence a little more user-friendly. Stay tuned and we look forward to sharing details toward the end of the summer.

Cheers…and here’s to the next thousand words and the next thousand blog posts. Happy Friday!

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ECW Weekender: Lavender at Cross Keys Battlefield?

It’s one of those places that I’ve always driven by in a rush (or couldn’t persuade my fellow battlefield explorers to stop). Off Route 276 and just about half a mile from the left turn to the Cross Keys Ruritan Hall to begin the suggested battlefield driving tour, White Oak Lavender Farm offers shade, lemonade and wine, and plenty of calming aromatherapy.

Over the last holiday weekend, my mom and I were cruising around the central Shenandoah Valley, finding fun things to do that were not Civil War history related (mostly.) We ended up at the lavender farm…and of course I later had to see if there was a “Civil War reason” to recommend the site for a visit. Turns out…there is! Continue reading

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Unpublished: A 5th Maine Musician Detailed Mundane and Crucial Events

Unpublished letters written by a 5-4½ musician first class offer historically rich insight into minor and major events involving the Army of the Potomac.

Born in Saco, Maine circa 1834, Samuel Franklyn Parcher lived in Portland prior to enlisting in the 5th Maine Infantry Regiment on June 24, 1861. Mustered the same day, he promptly shipped for Washington, D.C. As his prolific letters reveal, his hazel eyes missed little detail during his army service.

Writing to his mother on April 19, 1863, Musician 1st Class Samuel Franklyn Parcher described the badge recently assigned to 6th Corps — and drew a representative Greek cross to illustrate the symbol. His Civil War letters have not been published. (Courtesy Eric Hill)

Continue reading

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Unpublished: Diary of a Louisiana Conscript

Extraordinary things can come bound in brown leather with tiny, cramped writing. In search of some family history, I took a trip to Tulane University’s Special Collections Archives in New Orleans. It was a trip for firsts. It was not only my first time to the Crescent City, but my first ever archival excursion. Like many budding Civil War historians, I wanted to know if I had any personal connections to the conflict. Amongst my ancestors, I found several soldiers who had served in the Confederacy from Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana regiments on both sides (special mention to one ancestor who served on the 32nd Wisconsin and the ONLY Union soldier in my family tree). I was after a diary written by a member of the 15th Confederate Cavalry, Company G, the same regiment to which one of my ancestor belonged. While the diary didn’t disclose any pertinent information about my ancestor, this unpublished primary source was mind-blowing in other ways.

Jacques Alfred Charbonnet of New Orleans, Private in 15th Confederate Cavalry, Company G (ancestry.com)

The author of the diary, Jacques Alfred Charbonnet was born on November 8, 1840 in St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana to wealthy Creole planter François Léo Charbonnet and his wife Célèste Adathée.[1] He was one of several children, most of whom were girls. In 1850, their property was appraised at $55,000 and according to the corresponding Slave Schedule, they enslaved 33 blacks on their plantation.[2] From his later writings, it can be presumed that Jacques received a thorough education and fluently spoke both English and French. Typical of French Creole families of Louisiana, Jacques was also raised Catholic and his religious convictions are palatable in his diary. Jacques married Marie Nathalie Loew on April 20, 1860 and they were soon blessed with a daughter, named after her mother, on May 20, 1861 just one short month after the outbreak of war. Before the war, the family lived in New Orleans, but from the sounds of his wartime writings, the family evacuated after the city came under Union occupation. Though it’s unsure where they refugeed to, it is certain that his parents also left behind their plantation and relocated to southern Mississippi, close to the Alabama state line near Mobile.[3] Continue reading

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“Old Squeezer”

“Old Squeezer” illustration from The National Tribune

You know Traveler and Cincinnati and Little Sorrel and Rienzi…. (This is starting to sound like the beginning of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”….)

But have you heard the tale of “Old Squeezer”?

I came across this little gem the other day while reading the May 24, 1888, issue of The National Tribune. The account comes from A. Arkle of Wheeling, West Virginia, who once served in Co. I of the 3rd U.S. Cavalry: Continue reading

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ECW Podcast: Tale of Two Stonewalls

It was the best of Jackson; it was the worst of Jackson. The Stonewall of the Valley Campaign was not the Stonewall of the Seven Days. Sarah Kay Bierle, Doug Crenshaw, and Chris Mackowski talk about the tale of two Jacksons.

Listen for free here on our website or by using Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Please be sure to subscribe on your preferred platform to receive two new episodes each month directly into your listening feed. We also invite you to become a paid subscriber on our Patreon page for exclusive bonus content each month!

Learn more about the 1862 Valley Campaign with Sarah’ recent series of articles at Emerging Civil War, and explore Stonewall’s involvement around Richmond–or lack thereof–with Doug’s book in the Emerging Civil War Series, Richmond Shall Not Be Given Up: The Seven Days’ Battles, June 25-July 1, 1862.

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Breaking News: New Battlefield State Park Coming to Virginia!

Cedar Mountain

Breaking news today from the American Battlefield Trust and the Commonwealth of Virginia: Culpeper Battlefields State Park is set to open on July 1, 2024.

Jim Campi, chief policy and communications officer at the Trust, sent a note to battlefield preservation supporters this afternoon to share the news. Take a look: Continue reading

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