As the Army of the Potomac settled into its winter quarters around Brandy Station and Culpeper in December 1863, Lt. Col. Theodore Lyman—George Gordon Meade’s aide-de-camp—toured the camps with the Army of the Potomac’s chief of staff, Andrew A. Humphreys. Perhaps it was the frustrations of the recent, impotent fall campaign or perhaps the unusually harsh early winter weather, or maybe even the fact that his boss, Meade, “has been rather sad, of late,” but Lyman seemed in a dour mood. “There is much, very much, of detail that is neglected in this army,” he wrote in his journal on Dec. 10: Continue reading
Posted in Armies, Cavalry, Common Soldier, Leadership--Federal
Tagged Andrew Humphreys, camp life, cavalry, common soldier, discipline, Meade's Army, Theodore Lyman, VI Corps
High in the California mountains, a towering tree – named for a Civil War general – is the nation’s Christmas Tree. Designated with the holiday title by President Calvin Coolidge in 1926, the Sequoia tree still stands and is visited by thousands of tourists and wilderness aficionados every year.
More than a Christmas Tree (and certainly different than any “traditional” holiday tree), the living flora monarch is also a history lesson. It’s called the General Grant Tree, and it was named after the Civil War commander! Continue reading
Emerging Civil War is pleased to welcome guest author Mike Wright.
The Christmas season of 1864 at Petersburg would never be forgotten by the soldiers who manned the trenches or the citizens of the town, including the members at Second Presbyterian Church. If only these walls could talk.
Second Presbyterian Church, which was formed in 1851, had been worshipping in a structure owned by the High Street Congregation, but in 1860, they decided to build their own church. There were 150 members at the time, and the cost would be around $30,000. The minister since 1854, Rev. Theodorick Pryor, actually designed most of the architecture himself. Building a building of this size in the early years of the war was quite a daunting task. With the city of Petersburg and the state of Virginia gearing up for war, finding the materials and manpower must have been a challenge. Continue reading
Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Civilian, Holidays, Sieges
Tagged 49th North Carolina, Blanford Church, Capt. Henry Chambers, Churches, civilians, Frank E. Coyle, John Miller, Mike Wright, Petersburg, railroads, religion, Second Presbyterian Church, Siege of Petersburg
I have a feeling for those ships,
Each worn and ancient one,
With great bluff bows, and broad in the beam;
Ay, it was unkindly done.
But so they serve the Obsolete—
Even so, Stone Fleet!
Herman Melville, “The Stone Fleet”
Stone Fleet Sailing From New Bedford, November 16, 1861
In July 1861, the Blockade Strategy Board suggested to Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles the most obvious method of halting Confederate commerce was by putting down material obstructions, and, “the most convenient form of obstruction, for transportation and use, is that of old vessels laden with ballast…sunk in the appropriate places.”[i]
Today 75 years ago the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, catapulting the United States into World War II – a conflict that turned out to be the country’s bloodiest save for the Civil War.
Many of the U.S. ships in Pearl Harbor that day have names with Civil War ties. On this 75th Anniversary, I note these for our readers:
Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Leadership--Federal, Navies, Ties to the War, Western Theater
Tagged Admiral David G. Farragut, Antietam Campaign, Battle of Antietam, Battle of Gettysburg, Battle of Mobile Bay, Battle of the Wilderness, Battle of Wilderness, Bennet Place, blockade, California, CSS Virginia, David Dixon Porter, David Farragut, Early's invasion of Maryland, Fall of New Orleans, Fort Fisher, Japan, Medal of Honor, Monitor, Monitor and Merrimac, New Orleans, Pearl Harbor, Roger B. Taney, St. Louis, Tennessee, USS Cumberland, USS Monitor, West Virginia, West Virginia statehood, World War II
Emerging Civil War is pleased to welcome guest author Jake Wynn
“Military Execution of a Private of the Lincoln Cavalry For Desertion and Attempted Communication With the Enemy, December 13, 1861” Originally published in Frank Leslie’s
Assembled in a field near the Fairfax Seminary just beyond Alexandria, Virginia, an entire division of 10,000 soldiers stood in a hollow square with one side missing. At the center stood twelve men, muskets at the ready. Ahead of them sat 23-year-old Private William H. Johnson atop a coffin with a white handkerchief tied over his eyes. The drums rolled and the order to fire was given. A volley of eight muskets landed home in Private Johnson’s chest. Continue reading
Recently, Civil War Trust has been featuring Civil War states – their history, units, and commanders. Do you have a favorite Civil War era state? Why?
Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson
On this date in 1831, seven-year-old Thomas Jonathan Jackson lost his mother.
Julia (Jackson) Woodson was thirty-three years old and had suffered for yours from a pulmonary ailment that turned out to be tuberculosis. Since her husband’s death five years earlier, she and her three children—Warren, Thomas, and Laura—had struggled financially. When she remarried in 1830, her husband—fifteen years her senior—proved to be a Harsh and verbally abusive parent,” according to Jackson biographer James Robertson, Jr.
Life had taken such a downward turn that Warren, 10, was sent to live with his grandfather while Thomas and Laura went to live with their father’s brothers at Jacksons Mill near Weston, Virginia.
On October 7, Julia gave birth to another son, William Wirt—and that seemed to take the last of everything from her. She summoned her children to say her goodbyes. Continue reading
Original Painting “Christmas on the Rappahannock” by Ray W. Forquer.
If you are looking for the perfect Christmas gift, look no further. Buy that special someone an admission to the Fourth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge. The early bird admission rate is only $110.00. For that $110.00 you will see ten lectures, get a tour of the Brandy Station Battlefield, participate in the roundtable discussion, and so much more.
Time is running out so take advantage of this special offer soon!
Our outstanding line-up of speakers includes: Continue reading
Posted in Speakers Bureau, Symposium, Upcoming Events
Tagged Antietam, Bloody Lane, Brandy Station, Brian Matthew Jordan, Chris Mackowski, Eric Wittenberg, Fourth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, Gettysburg, Kennesaw Mountain, Monocacy, Stevenson Ridge