Author Archives: dcrenshawjr

A Lost Opportunity: Fort Harrison

During the summer of 1864, Union General U. S. Grant made several attempts to break Lee’s lines by attacking both sides of the James River, hoping to stretch the Confederates to the breaking point. In July, he sent troops to … Continue reading

Posted in Battles | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Hanover Court House: McClellan’s High Tide on the Peninsula

(Part of a chapter from an upcoming book on the Peninsula Campaign) In late May 1862, Union General George McClellan advanced his massive army to the outskirts of Richmond. On his far right, he ordered Fitz John Porter, commander of … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Campaigns | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

African American Soldiers at Fort Gilmer

It was September 29, 1864. General Benjamin Butler’s Army of the James finally arose from its slumber, crossing the James and launching attacks against the outer Confederate fortifications around Richmond. The plan was to pierce the works and then to … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, USCT | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Winter’s Day Walk

One cold January morning fellow ECW/ERW authors Bert Dunkerly, Mark Wilcox, and I experienced a real treat when J. Michael Moore gave us a personal tour. Michael is employed by Newport News as the Historian and Curator of Lee Hall … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mistake or Cover Up? Seven Pines, May 31, 1862

In late May 1862 George McClellan’s massive army was at the outskirts of Richmond, trying to move a few miles closer to the city so it could employ its massive siege guns. Confederate commander Joseph E. Johnston was desperately searching … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Memory | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Artillery: “As Though an Earthquake”: The Guns of Malvern Hill

George McClellan’s army was escaping! Dangerously exposed to enemy attacks, over 100,000 men, 280 guns, thousands of wagons, large numbers of wounded, and even a massive herd of beef were attempting to move safely to a new base on the … Continue reading

Posted in Artillery, Battles | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Preservation Groups: The Richmond Battlefields Association

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Bernie Fisher, president of the RBA about the history and accomplishments of the local preservation organization. The RBA was established in 2001. Julie and Bob Krick provided the spark as a small … Continue reading

Posted in Preservation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Preservation News: Cold Harbor

The Cold Harbor battlefield is the most popular of the many sites in the Richmond National Battlefield Park. This is probably due to several factors, which include the preserved earthworks (impressive) or the legend that 7,000 men were killed in … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Preservation | Tagged | 2 Comments

Seven Pines and Seven Days: Robert E. Lee Replaces “Old Joe” Johnston (part three)

(part three of three) On the morning of June 29, Robert E. Lee was faced with an opportunity few commanders ever have. His enemy, with 100,000 men, hundreds of guns, and thousands of wagons, was retreating across his front. McClellan … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Leadership--Confederate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Seven Pines and Seven Days: Robert E. Lee Replaces “Old Joe” Johnston (part two)

(part two of three) Robert E. Lee’s first actions as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia were to instill discipline and to construct earthworks around the city. He was quickly derided for this in the press and in the … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Leadership--Confederate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments