Author Archives: Edward S. Alexander

The “Emerging Civil War Series” Series: Dawn of Victory

The structure for Dawn of Victory: Breakthrough at Petersburg evolved out of the battlefield tours I gave while at Pamplin Historical Park. I believe that frequent retelling of the narrative while working on the book benefitted the overall writing process. … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Emerging Civil War Series | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Under Fire: Battlefield Guide Map for the Charge of the First Maine Heavy Artillery

The First Maine Heavy Artillery famously participated in the last desperate attempt in June 1864 to simply seize Petersburg by direct assault. Many incorrectly assume the battle was the first for these callups from the Washington defenses, though a Sesquicentennial … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Regiments, Sieges | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Key to Richmond

A New York private and two of his comrades carefully crept their way into Petersburg, Virginia on the morning of April 3, 1865. Separated from their regiment after the chaotic previous day, the trio could not resist the temptation to … Continue reading

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Fighting on the Same Ground: The 10th New York Infantry at Gaines’s Mill and Cold Harbor

Civil War soldiers oftentimes found themselves marching and fighting on the same battlefield multiple times. Veteran members of the 10th New York Infantry have a distinction of attacking the exact spot they had defended two years prior, both times as … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Regiments | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Preservation Setback at the Haw’s Shop Battlefield

In a February 2019 testimony before a congressional subcommittee, American Battlefield Trust president Jim Lighthizer warned that “in the next decade, most unprotected battlefield land will be either developed or destroyed.” Sadly, just over a year later his prediction has … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Cavalry, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Making a Modern Map of the Valley

Once after presenting a program in which I used my own maps to illustrate troop movements, an attendee remarked how impressive it was that I hand drew all the mountains. I think he was disappointed upon learning clarification that the … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Return to Burgess Mill

“I am now outside the main rebel line, moving southwesterly over the old Boydton Plank Road, which has ceased to have any vestige of a plank crossing it as long ago when the war was on. There is now nothing … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Joe and the Illini: The Unclear Origins of Two “Fighting” Nicknames

Every few years my alma mater, the University of Illinois, renews the discussion of renaming its sports teams and creating a new mascot. In 2007 the school retired Chief Illiniwek and the trademarked Chief logo in an attempt to distance … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Newspapers, Personalities, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Bizarre Life of States Barton Flandreau

Few Civil War soldiers have a story quite like States B. Flandreau. The New York native first fought in a Confederate regiment, switched teams across the Rappahannock, and was separately wounded and captured while serving in both armies. Throughout his … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

World War II Amphibious Training on the Hatcher’s Run Battlefields

The Petersburg area Civil War battlefields are famously known as a training ground for the United States Army during World War I. Due to the prevalence of trench warfare, the area was a logical choice for the establishment of a … Continue reading

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