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.

Recruiting The Regiment: Politics by other means – the 36th Illinois Infantry Regiment goes to war

The 36th Illinois is really the closest thing I have to a hometown regiment. Company H of the 36th was recruited in Algonquin Township of McHenry County, Illinois, where I now live, and I find the graves of their veterans … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Regiments | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

That Other Cavalry Guy: Benjamin H. Grierson

April is a significant month in Civil War history. Some argue that the war both began and ended in Aprils four years apart. Lincoln was assassinated in April. The war’s first really bloody battle—the foreshadowing of what was to come—occurred … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Cavalry | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Not Written in Letters of Blood: Tullahoma

On July 7, 1863, William Rosecrans, in reply to a telegram from Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, wrote: “I beg in [sic] behalf of this army that the War Department may not overlook so great an event because it is … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Martyr or Murderer?

I stop and read historical markers. I’m the guy pulled off on the shoulder in the middle of nowhere, reading that bronze sign by the side of the road. You know the type. Frankly, if you are reading this blog, … Continue reading

Posted in Memory | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

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 , , , , , , , , , | 5 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