Author Archives: Edward S. Alexander

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 , , , , , , , | 11 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

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Geneseo Gunner on the Virginia Peninsula

I have had difficulty connecting my hometown to the Virginia battlefields I primarily research. Geneseo, Illinois sent its fair share of soldiers to the western theater but had no formal units in the east. While researching a blog article two … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Common Soldier, Newspapers, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The State of A.P. Hill’s Physical Remains

Most of Richmond’s monuments no longer stand where Confederate organizations placed them in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Protesters pulled down several, including Jefferson Davis and Williams Wickham, and the city expedited the removal of the remainder in … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Confederate, Monuments, Newspapers | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Granger’s Juneteenth Orders and the Limiting of Freedom

Juneteenth is recognized as the symbolic end of slavery in the United States. Galveston, Texas, held out as a Confederate stronghold after Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. Once occupied by Union forces, Major General Gordon Granger established his headquarters … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Memory, Newspapers, Primary Sources, Reconstruction, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Many Deaths of A.P. Hill

I hope to share more about the story of A.P. Hill’s death at this year’s Symposium. Previous historians and two of the participants themselves have ironed out the well-known event, so I am basing my presentation on the sequence through … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Memory, Newspapers | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Aunt Jemima and the Lost Cause

Quaker Oats has just announced they will retire the Aunt Jemima brand name and imagery. The ready-made, self-rising pancake mix got its start in 1889 at the Pearl Milling Company in St. Joseph, Missouri. The initial owners soon went bankrupt … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Memory, Personalities, Slavery, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

A Night of Protesting on the Streets of Richmond

On Saturday evening, June 6th, I accompanied the “Shut It Down” march through Richmond as part of the larger Black Lives Matter rallies in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. Across the country we are having discussions … Continue reading

Posted in Monuments, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments