Author Archives: Ryan Quint

Edwin V. Sumner, Fredericksburg, and Lessons Learned Along the Chickahominy

Ambrose Burnside’s campaign in the winter of 1862 went belly-up because of his inability to get across the Rappahannock River. Standing on the far bank of the river, swollen because of winter rain and snow, Burnside could do nothing but … Continue reading

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Home Libraries: Truly Making it Home

I’ve moved three times over the past five years. Packing for the moves is always the most time-consuming part of the process, and it’s not all that bad. Except for the books. When my wife and I last moved, we … Continue reading

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“I Confess That My Life at West Point Was Wretched”: O.O. Howard’s Plebe Year

Had his cousin William been in better physical shape, O.O. Howard probably would have never gone to West Point. Otis, as his family called him throughout his life, was in his senior year at Bowdoin College in Maine when his … Continue reading

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Book Review: “Meade and Lee at Bristoe Station”

Here’s an understatement: there have been a lot of books written about the American Civil War. Hundreds of them about Gettysburg; thousands about Lincoln; biographies, campaign monographs, and studies about the home front. You name it, there’s probably a plethora … Continue reading

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Book Review: “Lincoln Takes Command: The Campaign to Seize Norfolk and the Destruction of the CSS Virginia.”

When the CSS Virginia steamed into Hampton Roads on March 8, 1862 and tore through the Federal ships there, naval warfare changed forever. An ironclad, the Virginia seemed impenetrable as the Federal vessels poured broadside after broadside at her. Though … Continue reading

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Book Review: “The Fight for the Old North State: The Civil War in North Carolina, January—May 1864”

The Confederacy faced a series of ever-increasing problems by the winter of 1863-1864. Logistically, they were running out of supplies. Politically, the war that seemed to have no end to its bloody lists was wearing down the morale of the … Continue reading

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December 20, 1861: The Battle of Dranesville and the Confederate Battle Flag’s Debut

On a chilly morning, four regiments of Confederate infantry started off from their camps near Centreville, Virginia. They accompanied a battery of four cannon, 150 cavalry troopers, somewhere between 200-400 wagons, and were led by Brig. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart. The … Continue reading

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Fighting Rebels and Fighting Fires: The Life of George F. Griffin (Part 2/2)

Part 1 Can Be Found Here The grizzled veteran George F. Griffin, having survived the war’s gruesome last year, was mustered out of service on July 12, 1865. He had lost two brothers, one even mortally wounded by his side. … Continue reading

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Fighting Rebels and Fighting Fires: The Life of George F. Griffin (Part 1/2)

Sometime around midnight of April 19, 1880, a defective range stove started a fire on the first floor of No. 18, Travers Street, in Boston, Massachusetts. A passing patrolman in the police department saw the flames and raced to a … Continue reading

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Book Review: “Hymns of the Republic”

When the topic of the Civil War’s turning points come up, the traditional answers have always included the Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, or Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation. Recently, though, historians have advanced the idea of 1864 as … Continue reading

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