Author Archives: Dave Powell

About Dave Powell

I'm a middle-aged guy with a fascination with the American Civil War, and especially the battle of Chickamauga. In my day job, I am president and an owner of CBS Messenger, a courier company in Chicago, but whenever I can am off pursuing all things Chickamauga. I am also a wargamer, having designed more than fifteen boardgames on various battle topics. Join me as I ramble about things that hold my attention.

A Hoosier’s view of Champion Hill

Hometown newspapers are a treasure trove of Civil War source material. I first appreciated how rich a vein they could be when I was researching my work on Chickamauga, and now they are a mainstay of my work on other … Continue reading

Posted in Battles | Tagged , | 6 Comments

A very private war: Rocky Face Ridge, May 8 to 11, 1864

On the morning of May 8. 1864, Colonel Emerson Opdycke’s 125th Ohio infantry drew an unenviable assignment. One of the regiments comprising the Third Brigade, Second Division, of O. O. Howard’s Fourth Corps in the Army of the Cumberland, the … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Emerging Civil War | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

CW & Pop Culture: Civil War Rock and Roll, or, Who was Larkin Poe?

When it comes to the Civil War and popular culture, I admit I am hard to please. For example, with a couple of notable exceptions, I am generally disappointed by film portrayals of the American Civil War. Even the ones … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War in Pop Culture, Ties to the War, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Playing the numbers: Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia, and Maryland in 1862

The Army of Northern Virginia crossed the Potomac River into Maryland on September 4, 1862, embarking on what history has come to call The Antietam (or Sharpsburg) Campaign. In three months, since Lee took command outside Richmond, he had won … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Books & Authors, Campaigns, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Change is in the wind

Army of Tennessee, General Orders No. 1: July 18, 1864. Soldiers of the Army of Tennessee: “Strap in. Things are going to change!” Signed, Gen. John B. Hood, Commanding. With those stirring words, the burden of command of the Confederacy’s … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Campaigns, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Confederate, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , | 30 Comments

I fits mit Sigel – New Market, May 15, 1864

There are certain figures in Civil War history who are always good for an easy laugh. Braxton Bragg, on harmonious leadership. George McClellan, concerning rapid movement. Franz Sigel. On, well, most anything.

Posted in Battles, Campaigns, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

(Obscure) Civil War Weekend Exploring

How far out of your way would you go to see something related to your favorite battlefield Park? I confess that I visit plenty of obscure historical sites. Goes with the territory, I guess. I visit artifacts, too. When the … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, National Park Service, Western Theater | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Artillery: Chickamauga – “The terrible roar of artillery . . .”

When one thinks of effective artillery use in a Civil War Battle, Chickamauga doesn’t leap immediately into the forefront. Certainly Gettysburg or Malvern Hill take those honors. Or Antietam, remembered by the Confederates as “Artillery Hell.” But not Chickamauga – … Continue reading

Posted in Artillery, Battles | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Book Review—That Bloody Hill: Hilliard’s Legion at Chickamauga

Author: Lee Elder Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2017. 239 pages, $35.00 paper Endnotes, Bibliography, maps and photographs This review also appears on Chickamaugablog. It wasn’t that long ago that single-volume overviews of the battle of Chickamauga – let alone individual unit … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review | 7 Comments

Chickamauga Seminar in the Woods, 2018

Every March for about the past fifteen years, I have been organizing a two-day, in-depth battlefield tour of Chickamauga and surrounding battlefields. With that in mind…

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 6 Comments