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.

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

Grant Ascending . . .

The events of July 4, 1863, cemented Ulysses S. Grant’s position as a household name firmly into the public mind. The capitulation of the Confederate bastion of Vicksburg to “Unconditional Surrender” Grant of Donelson fame – on Independence Day no … Continue reading

Posted in Engaging the Civil War Series, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

“I know it will gratify you when I tell you nearly every wound was inflicted with the saber.”

“I know it will gratify you when I tell you nearly every wound was inflicted with the saber.” So wrote Col. Edward M. McCook at 2:00 a.m. on October 3rd, 1863, in a dispatched dashed off to Acting Union Cavalry … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 1 Comment

A Confederate at Antietam

You never know what you will find in an archival collection. Back in June, I spent a day at Emory University, digging through their vast Civil War holdings, much of which were collected by the late (and great) Bell I. … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Common Soldier, Emerging Civil War, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Major Tom Taylor at Ezra Church

On July 28, 1864, the Union Army of the Tennessee reached a point west of Atlanta from where they could threaten the Macon Railroad, which entered Atlanta from the southwest. In an effort to thwart that move, Confederate General John … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Campaigns, Common Soldier, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Personalities, Primary Sources, Weapons, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

East Tennessee and Confederate Copper

On November 25, 1863, Colonel Eli Long rode into Cleveland, Tennessee, at the head of 1,500 Union cavalrymen. They were there to wreak general havoc. When it comes to Civil War cavalry raids, Long’s Cleveland incursion does not garner much … Continue reading

Posted in Cavalry, Economics, Material Culture, Weapons, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

The Other Rock of Chickamauga?

One of the joys of research is turning an unexpected corner to find out something new. That happens every so often, and when it does, I always get a little buzz of excitement. Most recently, that buzz came when I … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Campaigns, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Memory, Personalities, Politics, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

We Happy Few…

Here’s a little curtain-raiser for Battle Above the Clouds. In September 1863, United States Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton initiated one of the more remarkable troop movements of the American Civil War. Stanton, alarmed by the recent Union defeat at … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Personalities, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments