2018 Fifth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium Tickets
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This week we’ve had another full schedule as the Artillery Series continues and we a special interview appeared on the blog.
Sunday, June 17:
Artillery: On Sunday evening we shared an article for the artillery series from the archives, explaining how shrapnel was invented.
Monday, June 18:
Artillery: Question of the Week focused on artillery’s role in battle outcomes.
Artillery: Doug Crenshaw shared about artillery at the Battle of Malvern Hill.
In his second inaugural address, President Lincoln observed, “Both [sides] read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other.” He referred to a religious situation, but I meant no disrespect when this quote came to mind as I looked at a secular book in the archives last week. The book wasn’t just secular. It was a manual of instruction for making war. Making war with artillery in effective, terrifying ways. And this book of war – like others written even earlier – was studied by officers on both sides of the American conflict.
Both sides read the same manual, loaded similar cannons, and each pulled the lanyards, hoping to send death crashing into their countrymen. Continue reading
ECW welcomes back Kristen Pawlak
Before dawn on the morning of August 10, 1861, the men of Capt. William E. Woodruff’s Pulaski Light Artillery Battery prepared their breakfast of green corn foraged from the farm fields in the Wilson’s Creek valley just fifteen miles southwest of Springfield, Missouri. The 71 men of the Pulaski Light Artillery Battery nervously awaited action, like nearly every other soldier in Brig. Gen. Benjamin McCulloch’s Western Army. Just one month before, McCulloch’s Confederate army – made up of Arkansans and Texans – joined forces with Brig. Gen. Sterling Price’s Missouri State Guard to liberate Missouri from the Federal grasp of Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon’s Army of the West. They were now on the brink of a major engagement along Wilson’s Creek and the Wire Road. Continue reading
Walt Whitman wrote a short, evocative poem called “Cavalry Crossing a Ford” that has stayed with me for many years:
A line in long array where they wind betwixt green islands,
They take a serpentine course, their arms flash in the sun—hark
to the musical clank,
Behold the silvery river, in it the splashing horses loitering stop to
Behold the brown-faced men, each group, each person a picture,
the negligent rest on the saddles,
Some emerge on the opposite bank, others are just entering the
Scarlet and blue and snowy white,
The guidon flags flutter gayly in the wind.
I mentioned a few days ago a letter written by Confederate Lt. William Drenner, trapped in Vicksburg by the besieging Federal army. A letter to his wife turned into a running account of his time trapped in the beleaguered city.
155 years ago today, he wrote an entry I found especially poignant: Continue reading