Author Archives: Edward S. Alexander

If You’re Not First, You’re Last: Charles Gould’s Medal Citation

Recently I have fielded a couple inquiries about who I really believe was the first Union soldier to breach the Confederate earthworks outside of Petersburg, Virginia. I still remain convinced that Captain Charles Gould, 5th Vermont Infantry, was the first … Continue reading

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Appomattox Campaign Driving Tour Map

Blue and gray soldiers raced westward during the first week of April 1865. After spending forty-one weeks around Petersburg, Robert E. Lee hoped the Army of Northern Virginia could leave its adversaries behind. Ulysses S. Grant’s strategic and personnel decisions … Continue reading

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Vermont Brigade at the Petersburg Breakthrough

April 2, 2019 marked the 154th anniversary of the last day of fighting around Petersburg, Virginia. My research has largely focused on the breakthrough assault by the Sixth Corps southwest of the city during the early morning. I have devoted … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender – Drewry’s Bluff

Drewry’s Bluff is the most unique and iconic location among Richmond National Battlefield Park’s thirteen units. The last stop on the Park Service’s recommended seventy-mile see-it-all driving tour, the site is certainly worth an extended visit on its own merits.

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Remarkable Photograph of a Civil War and World War I General Together

Two years ago I took advantage of a roundtable talk in Ohio to visit the Clark County Historical Society in Springfield. I found some fantastic material on the 110th Ohio Infantry, one of the units who made the Breakthrough attack … Continue reading

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McClellan’s Brother

The official reports from the Sixth Corps are woefully incomplete for the 1864 Overland Campaign. Many officers waited until the fall to write and by then the entire organization had seen significant change, eliminating any chance for full reports. After … Continue reading

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Fort Harrison Trail Map

One hundred and fifty four years ago, Union soldiers clambered over the earthen walls of Richmond’s outer defense line. The Army of the James succeeding in capturing Fort Harrison but suffered heavy losses in the assault, particularly among its leadership. … Continue reading

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Modern Development at Rappahannock Station

Earlier this week, Chris Mackowski highlighted the new housing development on the November 7, 1863 Rappahannock Station battlefield. Preservationists over the last decade attempted to draw attention to this possibility but could not rally enough cooperation and interest. I overlaid … Continue reading

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Reams Station Trail Map

Tomorrow marks the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Reams Station. The Union Fifth Corps cut the Petersburg & Weldon Railroad on August 18, 1864, and Confederate counteroffensives failed to drive them off the position. While Gouverneur Warren’s men built … Continue reading

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The Superhuman Henry Recor at the Petersburg Breakthrough

I have yet to find a Civil War story as compelling and consequential as that of Captain Charles G. Gould, the first Sixth Corps soldier to breach the Confederate lines on the morning of April 2, 1865. Union soldiers from … Continue reading

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