Author Archives: Neil P. Chatelain

Reality vs. Myth Regarding Abraham Lincoln’s War Elephants

It almost sounds like any typical Civil War engagement. A bugle sounds in the foggy distance and Confederate soldiers raise their muskets for a crushing volley. They quickly notice something is different. Deeper thuds have replaced horse gallops. As the … Continue reading

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Repurposing Captured Enemy Vessels Part 4: Star of the West

In Part 1 of this four-part series, I examined how the United States was able to capture and repurpose three Confederate ironclad warships. In Part 2, I continued that examination, expanding it to examine wooden vessels of the Confederacy captured … Continue reading

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

Repurposing Captured Enemy Vessels Part 3: US Vessels Flying the Confederate Flag

In Part 1 of this four-part series, I examined how the United States was able to capture and repurpose three Confederate ironclad warships. In Part 2, I continued that examination, expanding it to examine wooden vessels of the Confederacy captured … Continue reading

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Repurposing Captured Enemy Vessels Part 2: Confederate Wooden Vessels Flying the US Flag

In Part 1 of this four-part series, I examined how the United States was able to capture three Confederate ironclad warships, repurposing them into the US Navy. In Part 2, I will continue that examination, expanding it to include wooden … Continue reading

Posted in Navies, Weapons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Repurposing Captured Enemy Vessels Part 1: Confederate Ironclads Flying the US Flag

Ever wonder why there was a US Navy warship during the Civil War named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg? Or why there is a Confederate warship named after US President James Buchannan’s niece and de facto first lady? These confusing … Continue reading

Posted in Navies, Weapons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Civil War Medicine: Andrew Henderson, John Pope, and a Challenging Medical Decision at Sea

Civil War era warships were cramped with little privacy with sailors still sleeping in hammocks instead of beds. Officers generally had better living conditions, with the tradeoff of separation from the enlisted crew in status, activity, and expectations. Though they … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Medical, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Loyalty in a Lighthouse on the Confederacy’s Fringe

Loyalty consistently emerges when studying the U.S. Civil War. Would someone remain loyal to the United States or support the Confederacy? Would they join their native state or family? Would they honor sworn oaths? For many, what side to support … Continue reading

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Reflections from the Mule Shoe

I had the privilege of speaking at the 2022 Emerging Civil War Symposium. It was a great experience to share my research with the larger community of both historians and the group’s supporters and fans. I made the trek from … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Monuments | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Shellbacks, Polliwogs, and Crossing the Equator Amid Civil War

Anyone watching a movie about sailing ships can quickly become confused with the overwhelming distinct terminology. There are much more than words that signify a sailor, however. Spending months at a time at sea, sailors have developed their own vocabulary, … Continue reading

Posted in Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Unexpected London Run-In with President Lincoln

I recently had the privilege of taking a long-awaited trip to Europe, the first stop being England. It was a greatly expected trip, as my wife and I originally had it planned for the summer of 2020. Needless to say, … Continue reading

Posted in Lincoln, Monuments | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments