Author Archives: Derek Maxfield

About Derek Maxfield

Associate Professor of History Genesee Community College

In Search of the dreaded Andersonville

I have seen the ugly photos of the crowded pen. And like many others, I have recoiled in horror at the sight of the skeletal men released from the Andersonville POW Camp, but now it was time for me to … Continue reading

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BOOK REVIEW – Crossing the Deadlines: Civil War Prisons Reconsidered

I have long believed that Civil War prisoner of war facilities were the final frontier in Civil War scholarship.  Under-explored and under-appreciated, it has only been relatively recently that POW camps began to be researched and monographs written. A recent … Continue reading

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The Ravages of Spring: Elmira’s POW camp swamped by Chemung River

Since receiving the cover art of my first book, HELLMIRA: The Union’s Most Infamous POW Camp of the Civil War, I have been waiting not-so-patiently for the right opportunity to announce my book to the world. The time has arrived. … Continue reading

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General Sherman’s Christmas in Savannah

Despite the dire predictions of what the terrible Sherman might do to the fine city of Savannah once he got his claws on it, the people of the city soon found that the lion had turned pussycat.  Of course, anything … Continue reading

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Assault on Ft. McAllister announces Sherman’s arrival outside Savannah

Nearing the end of his militarily unorthodox March to the Sea through the heart of Georgia, in early December 1864, Sherman approached the outer lines of Savannah cautiously. Wishing to avoid a frontal assault on the Confederate lines, which would … Continue reading

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Mapping his way through the Carolinas: A profile of Major Robert M. McDowell (Part 2)

Maj. Robert M. McDowell was an engineering officer on the staff of Gen. Slocum during Sherman’s Carolinas campaign.  His diary recounts the adventure. (Part two of two) Part of the army’s rear echelon, the staff major was not ordinarily in … Continue reading

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Mapping his way through the Carolinas: A profile of Major Robert M. McDowell (Part 1)

(Part one of two) Recently while doing research at the Chemung Historical Society in Elmira, NY, I was delighted to discover the Civil War diary of Robert Morris McDowell in the collection, which revealed a new view of Gen. Sherman’s … Continue reading

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Remembering Gen. Lovell Rousseau at Cave Hill Cemetery

On a recent trip that took me through Kentucky, I stopped to visit Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery. A student of Victorian death ways, I had long wanted to visit this unique garden cemetery. What had been a 300 acre rural … Continue reading

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One of Sherman’s Pioneers: The Story of Levi Lindsay

Born in Caton, NY, on November 15, 1839, Levi Lindsay was the second son of Allen Lindsay, Jr. (1810-1891) and Harriet Benson (1825-1860). He had four siblings: Horace (1837 – 1871), Charlotte (1844 – 1876), Hannah (1846 – 1860) and … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Common Soldier, Memory, Personalities | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Gen. Isaac F. Quinby: A Math Professor Goes to War

It is no secret that I spend a lot of time in the 19th century. The Victorians are endlessly fascinating and the Civil War was a defining, if incredibly destructive, moment in our history. The cast of characters in that … Continue reading

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