Author Archives: Kevin Pawlak

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 , , , , , , | 6 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

A Logistician’s View of the War in Virginia

Abraham Lincoln’s administration did not possess a blueprint about how to fight a war between North and South in the summer of 1861. Indeed, with open armed hostilities between the United States and Confederate States only a few months old, … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Antietam: The End of the Overland Campaign…of 1862

  An unknown Confederate soldier lies dead next to the recent grave of Lt. John A. Clark, 7th Michigan Infantry The Battle of Antietam signaled the end of the Civil War’s first Overland Campaign. That’s an intriguing thought. The first … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Pope’s “Headquarters in the Saddle.” Sort of…

“Headquarters in the Saddle.” For a man that uttered many phrases that often make him the main course of mockery for Civil War historians, John Pope’s infamous dateline certainly receives its fair share of jokes. It did too in 1862. … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Campaigns, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

More Closely Engaged Than Any: Lt. Charles Parsons at the Battle of Stones River

Just before noon on New Year’s Eve, 1862, William S. Rosecrans’ Army of the Cumberland had been partially routed and battered by Confederate assaults against its right flank. Braxton Bragg’s attacks ripped four Federal divisions and captured 28 guns. Rosecrans’ … Continue reading

Posted in Artillery, Battles, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments