Author Archives: Derek Maxfield

About Derek Maxfield

Associate Professor of History Genesee Community College

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

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A Crabby Inmate Recalled at Point Lookout

Perusing prison camp literature recently, I came across an amusing story written by Thad J. Walker of the 2nd Maryland Cavalry.  An inmate at Point Lookout – a Union-run prisoner of war camp – Walker recorded a comrade’s first encounter … Continue reading

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Home Libraries: A Cat To Complete The Collection

No library is complete without a cat… My home library boasts about 1500 volumes. About half of that is Civil War books. Unfortunately, as my collections has grown the burden has been moving it many times. I am certain some … Continue reading

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Sherman and Thomas outside Atlanta

Driving through farm country in Western New York recently, I drove past a scene that harkened me back to a similar scene during the Civil War. There was a farm stand and two men walking together and talking quite intently … Continue reading

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The Original Bohemian: George Alfred Townsend

Having spent the better part of the past two years playing the part of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant for a traveling play—“Now We Stand by Each Other Always”—it has been a restless few months idle as show after show has … Continue reading

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Hellmira’s most distinguished inmate—Anthony M. Keiley

If there is one thing I have learned from studying the Civil War for much of my adult life, it is that it is a period filled with colorful and eccentric figures.  Researching my recently released book, Hellmira: The Union’s … Continue reading

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Hellmira: My First Book

Although I grew up only 30 miles from Elmira, NY, the first time I heard the term “Hellmira” was when I was an undergraduate at SUNY Cortland.  I was shocked to learn that Elmira was home to a prisoner of … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Books & Authors, Common Soldier, Emerging Civil War Series | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments