Author Archives: Derek Maxfield

About Derek Maxfield

Associate Professor of History Genesee Community College

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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Reconstructed prison building taking shape at “Hellmira”

ELMIRA – Come June Elmira will finally acknowledge it’s dark history.  Hellmira, in part, will be reborn. For decades rumors have swirled that lumber from one of the Elmira prisoner of war camp buildings was in storage and someday would … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 2 Comments

In Search of Sherman

During the past week I have been on a campaign of my own seeking out historic sites associated with the famed Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman.  I began my quest in St. Louis, a city much loved by the … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | 18 Comments

Modern Photography: The View From Lookout Mountain

When the photo series began, the pictures that jumped to mind first were from my trip to Chattanooga, TN.  From atop Lookout Mountain, it seems like the whole world is at your feet.

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My Ancestor Wore Gray?

With six great-grandfathers who fought in the Civil War, that conflict has always been very personal to me.  Although all six fought for the Union, for a time I believed that one – Thomas C. Birch – was Confederate.  This … Continue reading

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Ceremony at Upton homestead causes reflection

I’m not sure I would have liked Emory Upton. By all accounts, Upton was intense, ambitious and many times intolerant of others who were not zealous as he was in all things. Just a few days ago, the dedication of … Continue reading

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