Author Archives: David T. Dixon

Book Review: The Last Slave Ships: New York and the End of the Middle Passage

The Last Slave Ships: New York and the End of the Middle Passage By John Harris Yale University Press, 2020, $30.00 hardcover Reviewed by David T. Dixon A large crowd gathered in the yard of a New York City jail … Continue reading

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Raising the Regiment: Die Neuner

Cincinnati’s German American community responded to the news of the surrender of Ft. Sumter and President Lincoln’s call for troops with unbridled enthusiasm. Handbills posted the evening of April 14, 1861 on the wall at Turner Hall on Walnut Street … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Regiments | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Radical Gettysburg Address

President Abraham Lincoln’s two-minute remarks during the dedication of the Soldiers’ Cemetery at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863 may be the most heralded words ever delivered in the English language. For nearly 160 years, the legacy and mythology surrounding that … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Politics, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Hidden Gem of a Civil War Diary

Several weeks ago, I was contacted by a member of a large Midwestern Civil War round table following my Zoom presentation. “I am in possession of an original diary of a First Lieutenant of Company G, 21st Illinois who was … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Primary Sources | 4 Comments

ECW Weekender: Tramping with Mr. Resaca

The sixty-three-year-old Union general ascended the parapet and gazed through his field glasses at the scene of a bloody stalemate. A Confederate sharpshooter a few hundred yards to the east took careful upward aim and fired. The ball pierced the … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, ECW Weekender, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Book Review: Courage Above All Things: General John Ellis Wool and the U.S. Military, 1812—1863

Courage Above All Things: General John Ellis Wool and the U.S. Military, 1812—1863 By Harwood P. Hinton Hinton and Jerry Thompson University of Oklahoma Press, 2020, $45.00 hardcover Reviewed by David T. Dixon Like many historical figures who were prominent … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Personalities | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Black Brigade and the Defense of Cincinnati

Panic seized citizens of Cincinnati during the first days of September, as the potential consequences of the recent Confederate victory at Richmond, Kentucky became apparent. As defeated Federal soldiers retreated north toward Louisville, Queen City residents worried that Confederate general … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Common Soldier, Monuments, USCT, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

History, Heritage, and Hate: The Fate of Confederate Monuments in my Ancestral Home

Last week, a statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest was taken down by city commissioners in Rome, Georgia. The monument, erected in 1909 by the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, had stood in Myrtle Grove … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Monuments | Tagged , , | 56 Comments

Treüe der Union: A German Union Man Cheats Death in Texas

Three days after the attack on August 10, 1862, Ernst Cramer returned to the battlefield near the Nueces River to search for his wounded friends. Nineteen dead German Americans, bloated, blackened, and putrid in the unrelenting west Texas heat lay … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian, Common Soldier, Immigrants | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

John Wolcott Phelps’ Emancipation Proclamation

The voyage of the U.S. Frigate Constitution ended at Ship island, a barrier island off the Gulf coast of Mississippi in December, 1861. Prior to disembarking, Brigadier General John Wolcott Phelps gathered all passengers on deck and recited one of … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments