Author Archives: Kevin Pawlak

Constant and Devoted Friends of the Soldier: Seneca and Elmira Simmons

The Pennsylvania Reserve Division is likely not one of the first to come to mind if you were asked to name a famous unit of the Army of the Potomac. Yet it was one of the hardest fighting divisions within … Continue reading

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Emerging Civil War Symposium Update

We appreciate everyone’s continued patience as we head into the home stretch for the Seventh Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, Aug. 7-9, 2020. At this point, the governor’s timetable still calls for Virginia to be in Phase … Continue reading

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Henry Hunt Reflects on the Battle of Chancellorsville

Chancellorsville was a black eye for the Army of the Potomac. But while it no doubt marked the beginning of the end of Joseph Hooker’s stint as army commander, it did not sour the desire for victory among the army’s … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Artillery, Battles, Common Soldier, Leadership--Federal, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ending the War: James Tanner and his Cherished Memories of the Awful Night

James Tanner had never seen Tenth Street so full of people. The crowd packed the street in front of his second-floor apartment. Tanner sat on his porch, looking down into the mass of people. Dignitaries and generals came and went, … Continue reading

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David Reed: Shiloh’s Veteran Historian

Gettysburg has John Bachelder. Antietam has Ezra Carman. Shiloh has David Reed. Each of these men forever influenced the battlefields they devoted their lives to documenting. Two of them–Carman and Reed–participated in the battles they studied. I’ll admit, Carman and … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Memory, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Book Review: The Cornfield, Antietam’s Bloody Turning Point

Alongside Spotsylvania’s Bloody Angle and Shiloh’s Hornet’s Nest, the fighting in David Miller’s Cornfield on the Antietam battlefield ranks as one of the toughest Civil War landscapes to make any sense of. It should then come as no surprise that … Continue reading

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Battle of Bristoe Station: A New Era in the Army of the Potomac

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Shaara wrote in Killer Angels of the Army of the Potomac on the eve of the Battle of Gettysburg: it was the “last of the great volunteer armies, for the draft is beginning that summer in … Continue reading

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

Book Review: Custer’s Gray Rival

Biographies abound of the Confederacy’s more well-known cavalry officers, especially J. E. B. Stuart and Nathan Bedford Forrest. But similar works detailing the lives of the next tier of Confederate cavaliers are less easy to find. Sheridan R. Barringer’s Custer’s Gray … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Cavalry, Leadership--Confederate | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Emerging Civil War Symposium Update

With the spread of coronavirus and the declaration of a pandemic, Emerging Civil War wants to updates its readers about the status of the 2020 Symposium. The event is nearly five months away and we are still all systems go … Continue reading

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“The First Blood Spilt to Freedom”: Dangerfield Newby, the Boston Massacre, and Crispus Attucks 250 Years Later

Every quest for liberty has its first martyr. Two-hundred and fifty years ago this evening, the cause of American liberty gained its first five when British soldiers fired on a crowd of Bostonians in an event immortalized as the Boston … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Revolutionary War, Slavery, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments