Author Archives: Rob Orrison

“A remarkable military position” The Battle of Cockpit Point and the Potomac Blockade

On October 16, 1861 pro-Unionist Lewis McKenzie of Alexandria sent US Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles a report on the newly constructed Confederate batteries along the Potomac River. McKenzie called the batteries at Cockpit Point “a remarkable military position. … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | Leave a comment

On The Trail with Sterling Price and John Brown

Recently I was “dragged”  on a family trip out to the far west….well, the Civil War far west, Kansas and Arkansas.  My friends and family who live in the region promised me “there are some really cool Civil War sites … Continue reading

Posted in Arms & Armaments, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Memory, Monuments, Personalities, Politics, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Future of Civil War History: Rob Orrison

During my studies for my Masters of Arts in History at George Mason University, I had the privilege of having Dr. Joseph Harsh as one of my professors and advisor. Those who knew Joe Harsh had a great appreciation for … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Robert E. Lee’s 209th Birthday – An Annual Visit to Stratford Hall

Every year for the past 15 years on January 19, I find my way to Stratford Hall. As many of you know, January 19, 1807 was Robert E. Lee’s birthday and Stratford Hall commemorates the occasion with free admission and … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War in Pop Culture, Emerging Civil War, Holidays, Leadership--Confederate, Personalities, Reconstruction | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Coming Soon: New Interpretive Trail at Brandy Station’s Fleetwood Hill

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be part of something special. As many know, the fight to preserve Fleetwood Hill at Brandy Station has been long and arduous. With the help of so many people, the hill was saved by the … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Cavalry, Preservation | Tagged , | 1 Comment

“I Guess We Better Charge” – 152nd Anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station

Every year on October 14th, I grab a cigar and walk over the battlefield of Bristoe Station. It is a weird tradition that many of my non-history friends don’t understand, but for me it’s a fitting way to remember the men … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Memory | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

JEB Stuart’s Tight Spot — October 13, 1863

One of the most written about episodes that took place during the Bristoe Campaign was that of “Stuart’s Hideout” on the evening of October 13, 1863. The Confederate cavalry was very active during the entire campaign and performed admirably. Maj. … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Cavalry, Leadership--Confederate, Personalities | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

“A spectator would have said that the opponents were afraid of each other”: The Battle of James City

As Lee’s infantry made its way westward to Madison Courthouse, Stuart took Maj. Gen. Wade Hampton’s cavalry division (Hampton was still recovering from wounds suffered at Gettysburg) ahead to screen the infantry’s movements. Stuart knew that Maj. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick’s … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Cavalry, Civil War Events, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“We were in fit shape for a rift with Meade” The Fall Campaign of 1863 Begins

By October 1863, the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac stared at one another on either side of the Rapidan River. Lee’s army held the land south of the Rapidan around Orange. North of the Rapidan, Meade’s … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Question of the Week: “The Civil War” by Ken Burns, 25 Years Later

As I sat last night and watched the re-released historic documentary by Ken Burns, I was taken back to 1990.  At that time I was in the 8th grade and had an interest in history.  I can remember distinctly watching … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Armies, Arms & Armaments, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Civil War Events, Civilian, Common Soldier, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Memory, National Park Service, Newspapers, Personalities, Question of the Week, Slavery | 9 Comments