Author Archives: Steve Davis

Civil War Medicine: Andersonville’s Medical Horrors

Historians are still getting their arms around the number of men who served in the Federal and Confederate armies. For a long time it was over 3 million: 2.75 for the North, .6 for the South.1 Recent scholarship, however, has … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Wharton’s War

Gabriel Colvin Wharton, Virginia-born in 1824, ranks among the Confederacy’s 425 generals, but not among those best-known. Or illustrious, for that matter, despite a colorful Confederate career. VMI-trained, he was elected major in the 45th Virginia. He then raised the … Continue reading

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What If…George Thomas Had Marched Through Snake Creek Gap?

On May 7, 1864, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman set his three armies marching. At the time, they were stretched on a long front, from Red Clay on the Georgia-Tennessee line to Lee’s and Gordon’s Mills, more than a dozen … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Encyclopedia of Confederate Generals

Reviewed by Stephen Davis The first thing that catches your eye about this impressively comprehensive volume is the number 426. Like most of you, I grew up on Ezra J. Warner’s number of 425 Confederate generals. But Mitcham alertly reminds … Continue reading

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Southerners Have Fun with McClellan’s “Change of Base”

At the end of the day, June 27, 1862, George McClellan knew he had been whipped. Fitz John Porter’s V Corps had been fiercely attacked. Its center had broken and Porter’s troops retreated, leaving behind twenty-two guns.1 Porter was north … Continue reading

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Book Review: The Oxford Handbook of the American Civil War

A good reference book bears several elements, beginning with its title: The Oxford Handbook of the American Civil War thus telegraphs its purpose. Another is heft: this one has 675 pages. Third is a big raft of contributors, and recognizable … Continue reading

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John Steele, Editor of the Atlanta Intelligencer

When asked by America’s Civil War to write about a little-known Atlantan, I chose John H. Steele, editor of the Atlanta Daily Intelligencer from March 1863 to his death in January 1871. (The paper folded three months later anyway, victim … Continue reading

Posted in Newspapers, Personalities | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

“A Piece of Bone,” Bishop Polk, and the National Tribune

Editor’s note: Stephen Davis’ forthcoming book, The National Tribune Remembers the Atlanta Campaign, will be published next year by Savas Beatie. The National Tribune, a weekly newspaper published in Washington from 1877 to 1943, was arguably the most comprehensive repository … Continue reading

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Reading Jeff Davis

“No major figure in the Civil War stands more in need of a thoroughly researched and judiciously presented biography than Jefferson Davis,” wrote James I. Robertson in Civil War Times Illustrated in August 1972. But that doesn’t mean that a … Continue reading

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Book Review: Ends of War: The Unfinished Fight of Lee’s Army after Appomattox

Caroline Janney is a rising star in the literature of Confederate war-memory. At UVA she wrote her dissertation, “The Ladies Memorial Associations of Virginia” under Gary Gallagher. She drew from it for an essay in Peter Wallenstein and Bertram Wyatt-Brown, … Continue reading

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