Category Archives: Personalities

Book Review – Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

ECW welcomes back guest author Nathan Varnold. Understanding the life of the most famous and most outspoken black abolitionist in American history is no easy task, but David W. Blight has spent most of his career attempting to simplify a … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Personalities, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Visit to the Site of the Final Surrender

To reach the site of the last Confederate surrender, I first have to cross a cemetery. Along the back wall, three brick stairs offer access to a gravel pathway that leads off into the woods and the 35-acre Doaksville archaeological … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Saintly Civil War Veteran: Brother Joseph Dutton

By the age of 40, former Union lieutenant Ira Barnes Dutton felt disgusted with how he had spent most of his twenties and thirties in sin. To atone for these misdeeds, he decided to devote his remaining years to helping … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Personalities, Reconstruction | 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

“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

Who Will Lift this Flag? Carrying on Dr. Richard J. Sommers’s Legacy

Just days after Dr. Sommer’s passing, Dr. JoAnna M. McDonald wrote this tribute about her friend and asked to share it on the ECW Blog. We welcome her memorial writing for this fine historian… Civil War and Military Historian, Richard … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Personalities | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Saving Franz Sigel?

Recently, Dave Powell shared historical perspective on Union General Franz Sigel and the Battle of New Market. As we had previously agreed, here is my follow-up piece on the commander and why I had to be extra careful in my … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Confederate, Memory, Personalities | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

In Memoriam: Hodge on Horwitz

“If there’s one book I’ve wished I’d written, it’s Confederates in the Attic,” I said in a 2012 post about the iconic book. It’s not only well written and well researched, but it’s an outstanding example of immersive journalism by a … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Personalities | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

“And over here we have…”

On this day in history, Colonel Elmer Ellsworth walked into a two-star inn-and-boarding house in Alexandria. It was early in the morning, and a man in his nightshirt and pants was the only person awake on the first floor. The … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Monuments, Personalities | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Lydie Clinedinst & Moses Ezekiel: A Devoted Friendship Begun at New Market

Tears blurred the candlelit scene. Seventeen-year-old Thomas Garland Jefferson struggled for his final breaths. Former roommate and battlefield comrade—Moses Ezekiel—supported the dying cadet’s body while nearby a young civilian woman—Eliza Clinedinst—held a candle. Eliza’s sister, Anna, her mother, and the … Continue reading

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