Author Archives: Derek Maxfield

About Derek Maxfield

Associate Professor of History Genesee Community College

Sherman in the Days Before Disunion

As the dark clouds of war gathered in early 1860, William Tecumseh Sherman’s career took yet another turn. He was called by old army friends like Braxton Bragg and P.G.T. Beauregard to become superintendent of the Louisiana Seminary of Learning … Continue reading

Posted in Personalities, Politics, Primary Sources, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Book Review: The Scourge of War: The Life of William Tecumseh Sherman

The Scourge of War: The Life of William Tecumseh Sherman By Brian Holden Reid Oxford University Press, 2020 $34.95 Reviewed by Derek D. Maxfield There is no shortage of biographies of William Tecumseh Sherman. Although Civil War studies are seemingly … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sherman’s Huzzah

While many minds are on Gettysburg, early July always finds me reflecting on the siege and surrender at Vicksburg. In the larger picture, I have always found the Vicksburg victory more important because it leads to the important result of … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Western Theater | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

The Post-Shiloh Musings of General Sherman

There is little doubt that the Battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862, changed not only the nature of the American Civil War, but also the trajectory of William Tecumseh Sherman’s career.  Going into the battle Sherman was working diligently to … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

“Reflections” on Lincoln by Alexander Stephens

It is well known that President Abraham Lincoln and Alexander H. Stephens, who served as Vice President of the Confederacy during the Civil War, were friends despite being on opposite sides of the war. Becoming acquainted during their service in … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Politics | Tagged , , | 54 Comments

A Beecher ventures to Corning

Elmira can be an unforgiving, frigid place to spend time – even if you are well clothed and sheltered. For a Confederate soldier from the deep South suddenly transported to the prisoner of war camp there it could be a … Continue reading

Posted in Civilian | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Gen. Sherman Sends Christmas Greetings to His Children

During a break from the scourge of war, Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman penned a Christmas letter to his daughter Maria, whom he affectionately calls “Minnie.” The general and his army were in occupation of Savannah, Georgia, after a long march … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Sherman’s Christmas, 1864

I love this image from Leslie’s Illustrated depicting General William Tecumseh Sherman placing the city of Savannah, Georgia, in Uncle Sam’s stocking. Sherman arrived in front of Savannah in December after marching his army across Georgia from Atlanta in an … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Sherman in Savannah . . . Sort of

Before the pandemic shut down the production, a colleague – Tracy Ford – and I traveled the country performing the three-act play Now We Stand by Each Other Always about the friendship between Union generals Ulysses S. Grant and William … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Civil War in Pop Culture, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Ithaca Book Sale…Like A Pilgrimage For The Historian

If you are into history, then you are into books. That is just the way it is. And if this is true, you need to go to Ithaca, NY, for the semi-annual book extravaganza. The pandemic has been cruel is … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors | Tagged , , | 2 Comments