Category Archives: Battles

“The Batteries On Each Side Ceased Firing”: Civilians In Antietam’s Cross Fire

While the Confederate and Union artillery guns dueled during the morning hours of September 17, 1862, their shells flew over the farm land and homes of local civilians. Long before the Sharpsburg area became a battlefield, it was quiet community … Continue reading

Posted in Artillery, Battles, Civilian | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

“The Hand of a Master”: Confederate Artillery on the Left Flank at Antietam

By sunrise on September 17, 1862, the Confederate guns waited on the left flank. Ordered to guard “Stonewall” Jackson’s flank and use the high ground advantage to blast Union attackers, the assembled cannons and crews prepared for battle. General J. … Continue reading

Posted in Artillery, Battles | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ECW Podcast “Forgotten Battles” Is Now Available

Following up on the Sixth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, ECW’s Chief Historian, Chris Kolakowski, and Editor-in-Chief, Chris Mackowski, offer their perspectives on “Forgotten Battles” in the newest episode of the ECW Podcast.

Posted in Battles, Podcast | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Antietam Eve: September 16, 1862

Each of the approximately 100,000 soldiers bivouacked in the fields and woodlots around Sharpsburg, Maryland and along Antietam Creek knew what the morrow would bring. With the Army of Northern Virginia and the Army of the Potomac having been in … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Campaigns, Civilian, Common Soldier, Emerging Civil War, Primary Sources | Tagged , | 1 Comment

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

An Ancient and Fearsome Weapon: The Ram

The ram—the main armament of sleek and swift Greek triremes powered by 180 rowers—turned back a Persian invasion at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BC and launched Western Civilization. Rowing galleys ruled the Mediterranean for two more millennia, the … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Navies, Weapons | Tagged , , , , , | 2 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

Kelly’s Ford: Standing Where It Happened

“Mom, I’ve waited about 13 years to come here,” I said in an undertone as we looked at Kelly’s Ford on the Rappahannock River. The river ran low on that August day (just last week), and – though rivers change … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Cavalry | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Question of the Week: 7/22-7/28/19

Union General McDowell had protested that his troops were “green,” but others pressured him to fight before the 90-day enlistments expired. In your opinion, should the First Battle of Bull Run have been fought or delayed?

Posted in Battles | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Manassas: Moment of Truth

The heat bore down oppressively. Not the soaring temperatures I’d known in California, but rather a choking, wet warmth that signaled I had come back to the land of war. That was one of the first things I noticed, stepping … Continue reading

Posted in Battles | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments