Author Archives: Edward S. Alexander

Centennial Shad Bake

Chris Mackowski’s recent post about George Pickett’s culinary legacy reminded me of seeing a few newspaper articles that featured cooking shad while researching the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the battle of Five Forks. None of those articles were … Continue reading

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“Shoot and Be Damned”: Lawrence Berry at Fort Gregg

For a few early afternoon hours on April 2, 1865, three hundred Mississippi infantrymen and a pair of gun crews from the Washington Artillery of New Orleans clung to Fort Gregg as they held back two full XXIV Corps divisions. … Continue reading

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Struck by a Fired Ramrod, Part 3: Who Shot Major Ellis?

This is part three of a three-part series. Part one. Part two. For decades after William Ellis’s death, his story concluded for all but his mother. Later that month, August 1864, the already widowed Catharine Ellis began the process of … Continue reading

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Struck by a Fired Ramrod, Part 2: Mysterious Death and Elaborate Funeral

This is part two of a three-part series. Part one can be found here. Major William Ellis returned to the Army of the Potomac near Petersburg in mid-June. He knowingly cut short his recovery from a gruesome wound received from … Continue reading

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Struck by a Fired Ramrod, Part 1: Delayed Mortal Wounding at Spotsylvania’s Bloody Angle

“This has been a Sabbath to me,” confessed Surgeon George T. Stevens to his wife, Harriet, in a letter written Thursday evening, August 4, 1864. “No day since the campaign commenced last May has seemed like Sabbath before, but this … Continue reading

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Confiscating Confederate Tobacco: Thomas Hyde at Gaines’ Mill

Thomas Worcester Hyde served as a distinguished inspector general and infantry commander in the VI Corps for much of the war. His bold assault at Antietam earned him the Medal of Honor and his New York Times obituary championed him … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Campaigns, Common Soldier, Material Culture, Personalities, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Nelson Miles and the Bayonet in 1865

Prevailing opinion today suggests that a war that began in 1861 as one of bayonets and bravado on open battlefields transformed into trenches, firepower, and raids on supply by 1865. Frontal attacks had become a thing of the past and … Continue reading

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Mapping the Attack on Fort Mahone, April 2, 1865

The VI Corps assault on the morning of April 2, 1865 unraveled the Confederate earthworks in Dinwiddie County and forced Robert E. Lee to issue orders to evacuate the lines around Petersburg and Richmond. Their dawn attack that I frequently … Continue reading

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Book Review: “On to Petersburg: Grant and Lee, June 4-15, 1864”

I’m not a fan of writing traditional book reviews. I suppose it reminds me too much of my standard weekly assignments during all four undergrad years as a history major at the University of Illinois. Gordon Rhea’s latest publication, On … Continue reading

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Dinner with Charles Gould and Horatio Wright

I am always amazed at the amount of source material that is out there for historians who are willing to mine the depths of the treasure troves at our disposal. I had keyword searched “Fort Welch” on Newspapers.com in hopes … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Leadership--Federal, Memory, Newspapers, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments