Category Archives: Armies

At Chancellorsville…

May 2nd, 1863. On this date, this famous man was shot and badly wounded at Chancellorsville Obviously not Stonewall Jackson. Instead, this is Friedrich Karl Franz Hecker, the famous Republican hero of Germany. Wait, who?

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Mexican-American War 170th: “The Dogs of War are Now Indeed Let Loose”

In the month since the Army of Occupation under Zachary Taylor had arrived at the Rio Grande, they had started construction of a series of forts, and stared warily across the river at Mexican forces in Matamoros. The tension continued … Continue reading

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The man in the corner…

Colonel Anson Stager is not exactly a household name, even to many students of the Civil War. If your reading has taken you into the arcana of military codes, or if you are a fan of late 19th Century industrialization, … Continue reading

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East Pascagoula Raid

On April 9, 1863, the residents of East Pascagoula, Mississippi, had a day like no other. Union warships lurked offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Their presence was nothing abnormal for Southern residents along the coast. The Union military had … Continue reading

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The Cosmopolitanism of the Union Army: What Did It Mean?

I was recently assessing the demographic makeup of Union and Confederate armies in my Civil War and Reconstruction class when one of my students asked a thought-provoking question: “What percentage of the Union Army was northern, white, English-speaking, and native-born?” … Continue reading

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Mexican-American War 170th: “Incessantly By Day, But With Alacrity, Our Troops Piled the Pick and Shovel”

Shortly after reveille on April 7, 1846, American soldiers with shovels and pickaxes began construction of a permanent installation on the north side of the contested Rio Grande. Brig. Gen. Zachary Taylor, commanding the force sent the previous month from … Continue reading

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“Seizing Destiny” looks at the Valley Forge of the Army of the Potomac

Author Albert Conner found inspiration for his new book in the usually forgotten transitional period between two well-known battles. It’s an unconventional approach among typically battle-focused Civil War scholarship. But that forgotten history, Conner contends, was one of the most transformational … Continue reading

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Hardtack & Matzah

My Spring Break starts today. It isn’t politically correct to say “Easter” any more, so “Spring” will have to suffice. I thought a short column on Easter and the Civil War might be interesting, but it turns out Easter was … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Civil War in Pop Culture, Common Soldier, Emerging Civil War, Holidays, Leadership--Federal, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Falling Out Between John McClernand and Ulysses S. Grant

Today, we are pleased to welcome guest author Sean Chick Butler, Banks, Sigel, McClernand. These are just the most infamous of the “political generals” of the American Civil War. The four named here are usually considered military incompetents, their victories … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Common Soldier, Leadership--Federal, Memory, Personalities, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

On Meade’s Mind, 152 Years Ago

George Gordon Meade had much on his mind as he waited for the train from Washington to arrive. Onboard, the general-in-chief of all Union armies, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, was coming from Washington to take his place with the … Continue reading

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