Author Archives: Derek Maxfield

About Derek Maxfield

Associate Professor of History Genesee Community College

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 , , , | 4 Comments

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

Posted in Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

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