Category Archives: Battles

Ending The War: A Union Prisoner on Lee’s Retreat

First Lieutenant Elias Brookings, Jr., 31st Maine Infantry, found himself in an unusual situation at the end of the war. His unit had been overrun during the frantic fighting around Fort Mahone on April 2, 1865. The Federals ultimately won … Continue reading

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Surprise at Shiloh

The western battles of 1862 included three surprise attacks, although only one was planned as such. The opening Confederate attacks at Fort Donelson and Stones River caught the Union forces unprepared. Yet, neither caused a scandal, likely because both battles … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Emerging Civil War | 9 Comments

John S. Bowen’s Brigade and the First Day at Shiloh

In the early afternoon of April 6, 1862, General Albert Sidney Johnston raised the tin cup he had grabbed from a Union camp earlier that day and tapped the line of bayonets of his Rebel troops to rally them forward. … Continue reading

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Question of the Week: 4/6-4/12/20

It’s the anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh. In your opinion, who was the best commander at that battle? Why?

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Ending The War: Fallen Cities

On April 3, 1865, Union troops entered Richmond, Virginia. The moment that so many soldiers had been fighting and waiting for during the four years of war. Other significant Southern cities had or would be occupied by Union troops in … Continue reading

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Ending The War: Soldiers of the Breakthrough

ECW author Edward Alexander has written many posts over the years about the Breakthrough at Petersburg and accounts about individual soldiers’ experiences in that historic moment. We’ve combed through the archives and invite you to “meet” and study the breakthrough … Continue reading

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Battle of Bristoe Station: A New Era in the Army of the Potomac

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Shaara wrote in Killer Angels of the Army of the Potomac on the eve of the Battle of Gettysburg: it was the “last of the great volunteer armies, for the draft is beginning that summer in … Continue reading

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Traveling to Gettysburg: Pt. 1

In a time when it seems that the whole world is quarantined, everyone is stuck at home, and traveling is almost certainly out of the current realm of possibilities, cases of cabin fever are bound to increase. Here in Youngstown, … Continue reading

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Drewry’s Bluff: Victory Without Satisfaction

Few campaigns in the American Civil War seemed to hold as much potential as Benjamin Butler’s Bermuda Hundred landings. Butler was expected to threaten and if possible capture Richmond, the long sought brass ring in the Eastern Theater. He could … Continue reading

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Fact vs Interpretation at the Bloody Lane

There is a movement afoot to reinterpret key parts of the Maryland Campaign. In some cases, battlefield interpretation is being changed or removed based on new sources and/or new perspectives. I am all for reexamining history based on new or … Continue reading

Posted in Artillery, Battles, Leadership--Confederate, National Park Service, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments