Author Archives: Bert Dunkerly

The Louisiana Tigers at Gaines’ Mill

Major Chatham Roberdeau Wheat and the Louisiana Tigers loom large in Civil War history. Such a famous, and ferocious unit, and its commander, met its end outside of Richmond in June, 1862. At six feet, two inches, and weight about … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Common Soldier | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

April Anniversaries

Every April I reflect on the events of 1865.  I’ve always been interested in this transitional period as the war ends and Reconstruction begins.  Having worked at Appomattox Court House and researched the surrender in North Carolina, it is only … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Memory | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

My Most Important History Teacher

I was on the fence about where to go. Two schools had emerged at the top of my list, with good history programs. Then I heard about Chris. She’s the reason I chose St. Vincent College, in Latrobe, PA. Dr. … Continue reading

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The 44th Mississippi at Stones River: True Courage

In 1861 men from the far reaches of Mississippi were organized into the 1st Mississippi Infantry Battalion, or Blythe’s Battalion. These volunteers came from Calhoun, Clay, and De Soto counties in the north, as well as from Amite County in … Continue reading

Posted in Battles | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Governor Wise’s Response To John Brown’s Raid

When violence broke out at Harper’s Ferry, Henry A. Wise was governor of Virginia. In the aftermath of the raid, Virginians were on edge: fears of slave revolt were everywhere and the feeling grew that the Federal Government could not … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Eternal Flame of the Confederacy

Today there is not much tangible Civil War history in Atlanta, its battlefields largely paved over and few antebellum buildings surviving the war. Yet Atlanta has something unique: an Eternal Flame of the Confederacy. The term “Eternal Flame” conjures up … Continue reading

Posted in Memory | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

The Origins of Memorial Day

Across the country there will be Memorial Day ceremonies today. I recently had the chance to visit two towns that claim the origins of Memorial Day.  Last September I was in upstate New York, near Waterloo. Reading up on the … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Holidays, Memory | Tagged | 7 Comments

Brown’s Island Victims

The worst war-time disaster to strike the Confederate home front occurred on March 13, 1863. An explosion rocked the Confederate Laboratory on Brown’s Island in the James River, in the heart of Richmond, Virginia. My research indicates that ten were … Continue reading

Posted in Arms & Armaments, Civilian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Primary Sources: Confederate Veteran – A Source With Endless Possibilities

Published between 1893 and 1932, Confederate Veteran magazine is an incredible source that I mine for many different topics. Not only is it a good source for battle or wartime accounts, the magazine documents early preservation efforts, and is a window … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 14 Comments

Surprises Don’t Last

December is when my thoughts turn to an fascinating battle I like to study, Stones River. The Confederates were able to mass and overwhelm the Army of the Cumberland on the first day of the battle, December 31, 1862. Yet … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 16 Comments