Category Archives: Leadership–Federal

General Francis Barlow and The Letters He Destroyed on July 1, 1863

General Francis C. Barlow placed his division of the Union XI Corps on a rise of high ground, north of the town of Gettysburg. Without adequate reinforcements to anchor a defensive line, his exposed troops took the brunt of the … Continue reading

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“My Responsibility For These Men”: A Leadership Letter from Petersburg

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain has received criticism in recent decades for some of his writings which have been questioned for accuracy, purpose, and perspective. As a professor, educator, and gifted writer, Chamberlain seemed to seek a refuge in post-war writings – … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Leadership--Federal, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

“As glorious a death as a man can die”: Col. Guilford Bailey at the Battle of Seven Pines

Silas Casey’s Federals huddled behind their breastworks constituting the division’s main line of defense and listened to the growing cacophony of musketry and artillery to their front. For nearly two hours, they heard Confederate attacks slam against Casey’s front line … Continue reading

Posted in Artillery, Battles, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

General Hartsuff’s Nine Lives

With a bullet wound to his left arm and a ball lodged in his chest, 25-year-old Lieutenant George L. Hartsuff submerged himself in a pond of brackish water hoping to evade detection. He did everything in his power to keep … Continue reading

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I fits mit Sigel – New Market, May 15, 1864

There are certain figures in Civil War history who are always good for an easy laugh. Braxton Bragg, on harmonious leadership. George McClellan, concerning rapid movement. Franz Sigel. On, well, most anything.

Posted in Battles, Campaigns, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Civil War Echoes: The Golden Spike

150 years ago today, at 12:47 PM local time, the Golden Spike was driven near Promontory Point, Utah. This ceremony (pictured) completed the Transcontinental Railroad by joining the Central Pacific and Union Pacific. At least two noteworthy Civil War veterans … Continue reading

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With Sedgwick at Spotsylvania

Nothing like a monument dedication to spark some controversy. Subscribers to the National Tribune veterans’ newspaper or the Southern Historical Society Papers could expect a flurry of related articles immediately after a new monument appeared. John Watson Mauk, the Pennsylvania … Continue reading

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The Night March into Fredericksburg, May 2-3, 1863

The orders made no sense. Their recipient lacked the creativity to make them work. The Union army dawdled as its commanders traded confused messages, while Lee and Jackson struck their masterpiece victory. To explain why Joseph Hooker’s Chancellorsville campaign failed, … Continue reading

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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

From West to East – John Pope and Counter-Insurgency, Part II

(Part II in a series) In June 1862, John Pope assumed command of the Eastern Theater’s newest army made up of disparate forces – the Army of Virginia. Unfortunately, Pope’s strong ego and dislike for the Army of the Potomac’s … Continue reading

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