Category Archives: Arms & Armaments

The Reason for Harpers Ferry and Why John Brown Raided It

While working as a ranger at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, I often began my tours about the United States Armory with this simple question to visitors: “Why are you here today?” Common answers included vacation, an interest in history, … Continue reading

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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

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

Brown’s Island Victims

The worst war-time disaster to strike the Confederate home front occurred on March 13, 1863. An explosion rocked the Confederate Laboratory on Brown’s Island in the James River, in the heart of Richmond, Virginia. My research indicates that ten were … Continue reading

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Civil War News’ Joe Bilby

As part of our series with Civil War News, ECW is pleased to welcome Joe Bilby. I write a column about firearms for the Civil War News and have been doing so since the early days of the publication. At … 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

Posted in Arms & Armaments, Cavalry, Emerging Civil War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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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