Author Archives: Derek Maxfield

About Derek Maxfield

Associate Professor of History Genesee Community College

Rudely Stamp’d: Emory Upton Featured in a New Play

Rudely Stamp’d, a roving theater company that produces history-themed plays, recently performed their newest production “Brothers at Odd’s: The Brisbane Story” in Batavia, NY, after Derek Maxfield was commissioned to write and direct the play for the Landmark Society of … Continue reading

Posted in Ties to the War | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Civil War Song Pulls the Heart’s Strings

You know your Civil War library is significant when you are browsing for something and come across an item or items you had completely forgotten about. Such was the case when I stumbled upon a two-volume set – The Union … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier | Tagged | 4 Comments

Santa in Camp

One of my Christmas traditions is to read The Battle for Christmas by Stephen Nissenbaum – a fine book by a great historian.  But this season, I have been enjoying Santa Claus: A Biography by Gerry Bowler.  A cultural historian … Continue reading

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

The “Emerging Civil War Series” Series: Man of Fire

Man of Fire: William Tecumseh Sherman in the Civil War is expected out in Spring 2022. Finding Sherman in a Ford  I, of course, never met William Tecumseh Sherman – and yet I know him. This feeling is borne of … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Emerging Civil War Series, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Emerging Civil War Series” Series: Hellmira

Making of Hellmira not so Hellish Having grown up just thirty miles from Elmira, it is easy for me to sympathize with John R. King—a Confederate prisoner of war who was incarcerated at the POW camp along the banks of … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Emerging Civil War Series | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

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 , , | 56 Comments