Author Archives: Eric J. Wittenberg

About Eric J. Wittenberg

Award-winning Civil War historian Eric J. Wittenberg focuses on cavalry operations in the Civil War.

Do We Still Care About the Civil War: Eric Wittenberg

The cover story of the newest issue of Civil War Times asks, “Do we still care about the Civil War?” ECW is pleased to partner with Civil War Times to extend the conversation here on the blog. Of course, the … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Cavalry Tactic: How Technology Drove Change (Part Eight)

(conclusion to a series) Young Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson, a member of the West Point class of 1861 who was known as Harry to his family and friends, commanded the Cavalry Corps of the Military Division of the Mississippi, … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Cavalry Tactics: How Technology Drove Change (Part Seven)

(part seven in a series) In the previous two installments of this series (here and here), we examined how the development of rifled muskets made Napoleonic cavalry charges obsolete, and also how repeating weapons transformed the mission of cavalry from … Continue reading

Posted in Arms & Armaments, Artillery, Cavalry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Evolution of Cavalry Tactics: How Technology Drove Change (Part Six)

(part six in a series) In the previous installment of this series, we demonstrated how the advent of rifled muskets and rifled artillery made the Napoleonic cavalry charge obsolete. Now, we will examine how the evolution of the technology employed … Continue reading

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The Evolution of Cavalry Tactics: How Technology Drove Change (Part Five)

(part five in a series) Having established the backdrop for the meat of this discussion, we can now examine the actual impact of technological advances upon battlefield tactics for cavalry in the Civil War.

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The Evolution of Cavalry Tactics: How Technology Drove Change (Part Four)

(part four in a series) During the early days of the Civil War, Dennis Hart Mahan’s teachings were implemented by the Union high command in particular. Gen. Winfield Scott vigorously resisted the incorporation of volunteer cavalry regiments into the Union … Continue reading

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Primary Sources: The National Tribune

One of my very favorite primary sources is The National Tribune. The Trib began as a monthly newspaper intended for Union veterans of the Civil War, and was published monthly until 1881. Beginning in 1881, it was published weekly, and continued to be … Continue reading

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Railroads – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad: Confederate Target, Crucial Union Lifeline

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (“B&O”) was chartered in 1828 as one of the first commercial railroads in the world. Construction began that year, connecting Annapolis, Maryland to Wheeling in the far northwestern corner of antebellum Virginia. The B&O eventually … Continue reading

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Railroads – The Virginia Central Railroad: A Target For Union Raids

The Virginia Central Railroad was chartered as the Louisa Railroad in 1836 by the Virginia Board of Public Works. The name was changed to the Virginia Central Railroad in 1850. It ran from westward from Richmond and ended in Gordonsville, … Continue reading

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The Battle of Aiken: “Why spend the effort to write a book on a battle that didn’t last very long or have many casualties?”

“Why would you spend the time and effort to write a book on a battle that only lasted a few minutes and which had minimal casualties?” I wish I had a dollar for every time that I’ve been asked that … Continue reading

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