Author Archives: Sean Michael Chick

Book Review: The Impulse of Victory

The Impulse of Victory: Ulysses S. Grant at Chattanooga By David A. Powell Southern Illinois University Press, 2020, $19.95 hardback Reviewed by Sean Michael Chick Every Civil War battle has its share of controversies, from the smaller ones like Belmont … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

Confederates on the Titanic

A large number of Civil War veterans no doubt read about the sinking of the R.M.S. Titanic, one of history’s deadliest maritime disasters. Some of those veterans may have noted a few familiar names. At least one Confederate and the … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Navies | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

On the Eve of War: New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is often called America’s most unique city. If not as true today, it certainly was in 1861. One major reason other major city in the country was acquired by America with a non-Anglo Catholic culture fully in place. … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Stephen Hurlbut and the Quest for Redemption

Few Civil War generals and politicians had an odder career than Stephen Hurlbut. He was born in South Carolina to Yankee parents, but fled north becoming a political power broker in Illinois. As a politician he was mostly a back … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Book Review: Storming Vicksburg

Storming Vicksburg: Grant, Pemberton, and the Battles of May 19-22, 1863 By Earl J. Hess University of North Carolina Press, 2020, $40.00 hardback Reviewed by Sean Michael Chick In 2020 Earl J. Hess and Timothy B. Smith, two of the … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The 1858 New Orleans Mayoral Election

This article was co-written with Michael Kraemer, a PhD student at The Ohio State University In 1803, the United States bought the Louisiana Territory from Napoléon Bonaparte. It contained many independent Native American nations, as well as New Orleans, which … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Conrad Wise Chapman and “The Life Insurance Brigade”

After Fort Donelson, Colonel John Eugene Smith of the 45th Illinois Infantry observed “The Boys were constantly wishing they could have a fight. You do not hear any such wishes now.” The soldier’s lament over the horrors of war is … Continue reading

Posted in Personalities | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Some Thoughts on the Status of the Lost Cause

The Lost Cause was at first a subject of scholarly inquiry. It then became one of scorn, used at times as a slur. For a serious student of the war, it is a label few desire as its mythology has … Continue reading

Posted in Memory | Tagged , , | 28 Comments

My Hunt for the C.S.S. Alabama

Among my first introductions to the American Civil War was Robert Paul Jordan’s 1969 book The Civil War. It was a volume in a series of National Geographic Society illustrated books. Most were about regions, but there were the odd … Continue reading

Posted in Navies | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

Writing About History in a Manichean Age

Given current events, I find myself asking how one will be able to write about the American Civil War now and in the future. This question has been brewing in my mind since 2015 when the debate over statues began … Continue reading

Posted in Memory | Tagged , , , , | 47 Comments