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.

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

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 , , , | 9 Comments