Author Archives: Neil P. Chatelain

Unpublished: A Trio of Favorite Unpublished Primary Sources from the Civil War and Beyond

When I saw Emerging Civil War would feature favorite unpublished primary sources of its members, three immediately came to mind. All hold special significance for me through different avenues, but only one is from the Civil War. Nevertheless, I thought … Continue reading

Posted in Primary Sources, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Newly Uncovered Letter in the Most Ungentlemanly Porter-Miller Exchange

Anyone who has read their fair share of Civil War correspondence knows it is often very cordial, even when notes are exchanged between officers on opposing sides. However, occasionally it devolves into arguments akin to modern-day social media rants, especially … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Navies, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blockade, Privateering, and the 1856 Declaration of Paris

In April 1861, the commanders in chief of both the United States and Confederacy issued far ranging proclamations. Abraham Lincoln declared a blockade of Confederate ports while Jefferson Davis issued a call for privateers to make war on US seaborne … Continue reading

Posted in Navies, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

George N. Hollins’ Fall From Grace

Circumstances change amidst battle and combat leaders often have great discretion in carrying out orders. The maxim of marching to the sound of the guns comes to mind, especially during the US Civil War. Commanders were often praised for following … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Leadership--Confederate, Navies | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

On the March to Sailor’s Creek with Tucker’s Naval Battalion

One thousand Confederate sailors and Marines defended Richmond by April 1865. Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes commanded the James River Squadron’s ironclads, wooden steamers, and torpedo boats. The Confederate Naval Academy, officers in training, operated CSS Patrick Henry. Captain John R. … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Leadership--Confederate, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The First Draft of Naval History: USS Minnesota’s Deck Log and the Battle of Hampton Roads

In naval circles, the deck log is sacred. It is a ship’s official record, documenting location, weather, personnel and supply transfers, and changes in course and speed. Anything significant, important, or novel is recorded in a ship’s log and signed … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Navies, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Invasion of Ukraine and the U.S. Civil War: Comparative Watersheds in Portraying War

Like many others, I have been captivated by the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian people’s desire and resolve to maintain their independence has been a source of inspiration for many and has stirred global actors, ranging from … Continue reading

Posted in Photography, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Symposium Spotlight: Ambitions and Challenges of a Confederate Navy European Ironclad Squadron

Welcome back to our yearly spotlight series, highlighting speakers and topics for our upcoming symposium. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to feature previews of our speaker’s presentations for the 2022 Emerging Civil War Symposium. We’ll also be sharing … Continue reading

Posted in Navies, Symposium | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Attrition Rates of City-Class Ironclads

Perhaps nothing is more identifiable with the Mississippi River valley’s naval campaigns as the city-class ironclads. With February 2022 marking the 160th anniversary of the Fort Henry/Fort Donelson campaign, where these ironclads were first extensively used, it is worth collectively … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Navies, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Memorials and Memory on a French Quarter Dog Walk

My wife and I, along with our spunky mutt Mouton (named after General Jean-Jacques-Alfred- Alexandre Mouton), spent the week before Christmas 2021 in New Orleans. My younger sister got married that week and we were sure to not miss out. … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Monuments | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments