Rob and Bill and Blue & Gray

bg-blockade-coverIf you haven’t seen it yet, check out the latest issue of Blue & Gray magazine. The featured story this issue, the Potomac blockade, was written by ECW’s Rob Orrison and BIll Backus. Rob—a regular contributor at ECW—and Bill are co-authors of A Want of Vigilance: The Bristoe Station Campaign.

Rob says the blockade fascinates him, in part, because “It’s a period and event in the Civil War that so few people know anything about.” The results of the blockade, however, had enormous repercussions during the war. “It is easily skipped over,” Rob says, “but it had a huge impact on how the Lincoln administration conducted the war in the east for the first two years as well as foreign policy.”

Rob, as historic sites supervisor for Prince William County in Virginia, has spent a lot of years along the banks of the river, familiarizing himself with the story. He shares the knowledge in the issue’s “General’s Tour,” the portion of Blue & Gray devoted to helping readers explore modern sites related to the main article. “One thing I think people will find surprising is how many of these sites still exist today and are preserved,” he says.

1 Response to Rob and Bill and Blue & Gray

  1. Shout out to Rob Orrison and Bill Backus on a superb article on a subject I was very ignorant of. I start to get excited when it’s time for my B&G to arrive. You guys took me a giant step further then the usual great B&G articles do. Being a huge CW fan I generally have some knowledge of whatever the subject/battle is. Knowing nothing of how the blockade affected plans and logistics I was glued to the article as with every paragraph I was not only learning something new going forward but also looking back decisions on both sides that I didn’t grasp at the time make perfect sense now. As for the Generals Tour Rob wrote it so flawlessly I felt I was walking the banks myself along with him as he pointed out and explained every important part of the river. The Generals Tour is very important to me being on disability I cannot visit these places I spend so much time reading and studying about and there is no doubt Rob did right by Dave and Jason Roth. I do have 1 suggestion for Rob-a couple friends of mine who are also CW fanatics were walking the banks a few years back and apparently ran into more then one cottonmouth so maybe you should invest in a pair of snake boots if you havn’t already so we can all continue enjoying your articles. I do have a B&G related question for anyone who reads this article. I’ve been trying desperately for months now to purchase 2 back issues using everything from Amazon and EBay to calling the park’s themselves per Jason Roth’s advice. As all CW fans of the western theater know Timothy Smith has written several books recently and I really enjoy using the many maps in B&G as I read them. The 150th anniversary issues of the Battles of Forts Henry and Donelson (volume xxviii issue 4) and also 150th anniversary Shiloh Issue have alluded all my efforts. If anyone can help me out feels free to use my public E-mail at jeffrey_r_ross@yahoo. Again GREAT article guys, keep it up!

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