Category Archives: Armies

Playing the numbers: Robert E. Lee, the Army of Northern Virginia, and Maryland in 1862

The Army of Northern Virginia crossed the Potomac River into Maryland on September 4, 1862, embarking on what history has come to call The Antietam (or Sharpsburg) Campaign. In three months, since Lee took command outside Richmond, he had won … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Books & Authors, Campaigns, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Fall of Fort Henry and the Changing of Confederate Strategy

Fort Donelson has “Unconditional Surrender” Grant. It has an early morning Confederate attack, a breakout by Nathan Bedford Forrest and, in short, the stuff that makes good history. But from this outsider’s perspective looking in on the Western Theater, I … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Campaigns, Leadership--Confederate, Navies, Politics, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Yellowhammers and Environmentalism: Following the Path of Law’s Alabama Brigade to Gettysburg.

This post continues my story of following Law’s Brigade and delves into the unit’s background. Joe Loehle and I were at our starting off point, Raccoon Ford, where the area had layers of historical depth. We were where Evander McIver … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Campaigns | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Change is in the wind

Army of Tennessee, General Orders No. 1: July 18, 1864. Soldiers of the Army of Tennessee: “Strap in. Things are going to change!” Signed, Gen. John B. Hood, Commanding. With those stirring words, the burden of command of the Confederacy’s … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Campaigns, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Confederate, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , | 30 Comments

“But I Tell You the Balls Flew Like Hail Around Us”: An Ohioan’s Monocacy Letter

Today is the 155th Anniversary of the Battle of Monocacy, and as in the past, I wanted to share a primary source from the action known as “The Battle that Saved Washington.” This year’s source comes from Private Henry C. … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Common Soldier | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Lew Wallace Secures the B&O– For the First Time (Pt. 2)

Part 1 is available here. It was a busy June for Lew Wallace. He and his 11th Indiana Zouaves had been posted at Cumberland, Maryland to guard the vital Baltimore & Ohio Railroad bridges across the Potomac River. Their raid … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Arms & Armaments, Artillery, Battles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lew Wallace Secures the B&O– For the First Time (Pt. 1)

Lew Wallace, the Hoosier lawyer-turned soldier, readied his command for its move. His objective was a vital connection of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad whose trains were badly needed to transport material and manpower. Wallace wrote later, “The need of … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Artillery, Battles, Campaigns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Friendly Rivalries at the Brandy Station Grand Review

Rivalries between military branches are well-known (Army vs. Navy, anyone?). Throughout the Civil War, jabs between infantrymen and cavalrymen of the same armies can be found in letters, diaries, and postwar accounts of soldiers. On June 8, 1863, at the … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Cavalry, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

E.P. Alexander’s Research Methodology

Every Civil War scholar should be familiar with the writings of Confederate First Corps artillerist Edward Porter Alexander (no relation). Many know him through Gary Gallagher’s compilation of his papers from the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Arms & Armaments, Leadership--Confederate, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , | 10 Comments

George B. McClellan Papers Now Available Digitally

Say what you will about George McClellan– a great organizer, though timid in combat; beloved by his soldiers though a bane to Lincoln’s cabinet. Or maybe you’re an avid McClellan devotee, who defends the Young Napoleon to any passerby you … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Leadership--Federal, Primary Sources | Tagged , , | 11 Comments