Author Archives: Edward S. Alexander

A.P. Hill’s Death Wish?: The Problem with Using Quotes

Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell Hill rode to his death during the immediate aftermath of the April 2, 1865 breakthrough at Petersburg. Hill sought to meet Major General Henry Heth at the division commander’s Pickrell house headquarters. Instead he encountered Pennsylvania … Continue reading

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“What Shall Be Done with the Slave?” The 9th Illinois Cavalry and Practical Emancipation

I am frequently sidetracked when scanning through historic newspapers on a quest for specific information. What can I say, the headlines are still doing their job. Such was the case while digitally flipping through August 1862 issues of the Chicago … Continue reading

Posted in Cavalry, Newspapers, Primary Sources, Slavery, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

ECW Weekender: Cold Harbor Battlefield Park

Many visitors to the Cold Harbor battlefield expect to see the infamous ground of the failed Union assault on June 3, 1864. Unfortunately much of that land is publicly inaccessibly, though the National Park Service interprets a portion where the … Continue reading

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Petersburg, the most researched battle of late?

The Petersburg Battlefields Foundation hosted its first stakeholders meeting yesterday to present its strategic plan to potential partners. As the organization’s tourism chair, I planned to spotlight a few new Petersburg publications to illustrate how scholarship on the campaign has … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Campaigns, Sieges | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Race Outta Richmond: Meadow Bridge Battle Map

This past weekend I tried following the path of the Union cavalry raid on Richmond during the Overland Campaign. I forgot that the Richmond Raceway was hosting the Toyota Owners 400 Nascar race and found myself stuck in traffic on … Continue reading

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“Whipt ’em Everytime”: The Poorly Titled Diary of Bartlett Yancey Malone

Researching the VI Corps of the Union Army of the Potomac has also made me quite familiar with Richard Hoke’s brigade of North Carolina infantry. These Tarheel regiments–the 6th, 21st, 54th, and 57th–frequently found themselves matched up against those whose … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Books & Authors, Common Soldier, Memory | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Bittersweet Appomattox

First Lieutenant Robert Pratt belonged to the 5th Vermont Infantry, a regiment that rightfully claimed credit as the first unit to irreparably break the Confederate lines southwest of Petersburg on April 2, 1865. Pratt played a pivotal role in the … Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: Spot Where A.P. Hill Was Killed

It’s a bold claim to set in stone that you are on the exact spot of a historic event. In 1912 the Sons of Confederate Veterans felt confident enough in their research on the death of Lieutenant General Ambrose Powell … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, ECW Weekender, Leadership--Confederate, Monuments | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stolen Pie, but a Bigger Prize for Sergeant Young at Petersburg

Today is the favorite holiday for math teachers. March Fourteenth (3-14) represents the first three numbers in the mathematical constant pi. I’ve been using pi (3.14159…) a lot more than I had anticipated as a historian. Each time I rescale … Continue reading

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Celebrate the Expected Capture of Richmond with a New Stove!

I found this humorous newspaper article while searching through historic Vermont newspapers. Burlington entrepreneur J.B. Wardell hoped to cash in on the public’s joy at what he anticipated to be the end of the Civil War by attaching that jubilation … Continue reading

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