Category Archives: Primary Sources

The 1st Vermont Heavy Artillery and the Gettysburg Campaign

As the Army of the Potomac chased the Army of Northern Virginia into Pennsylvania during the summer of 1863, the garrison left in Washington gritted their teeth, honed their training, and considered how they might perform should the Confederate army … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Words of the Wounded: The Gettysburg Campaign

By the end of the Gettysburg Campaign into Pennsylvania there were an estimated 64,000 killed, wounded and missing between both the Union and Confederate armies. The struggles and the implications on the medical field from the military campaign will be … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Common Soldier, Medical, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

July 4, 1864: “From 10,000 to 20,000 voices…singing, The Star Spangled Banner”

Many of the Union soldiers captured at the Battle of New Market were eventually sent to the infamous Confederate stockade known as Andersonville. I’ve been reading some accounts of soldiers who were there and came across this account of Fourth … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Holidays, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Now I suppose you would like me to describe a battle”: Henry Lyon Writes of His Feelings in Battle

Whether it was the summer of 1862, 1863, or 1864, early July is the climax of military campaigns in all three of those deadly summers. Soldier descriptions of what the experience of participating in a battle was abound in Civil … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Emerging Civil War, Primary Sources | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Vicksburg or Gettysburg? LeRoy Gresham’s Words

It’s a long and continuing debate. Vicksburg or Gettysburg? Which is more important? Or are they inseparable? Certainly, Gettysburg tends to overshadow Vicksburg in public history interest. But how did people of the 1860’s view the two events? Pondering this … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Campaigns, Civilian, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

“Upon The Banks of the Potomac”: Two Lieutenants & The Gettysburg Campaign, Part 4

Part of a Series The rearguard is not always the glamorous place to be. Especially during an advance. However, “our” Lieutenants Dooley and Rhodes both found themselves forming part of the rearguard during the Gettysburg Campaign. That meant that their … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

“One of the Hardest Marches”: Two Lieutenants & The Gettysburg Campaign, Part 3

Part 1 and Part 2 are available. Heat and dust became common themes in soldier’s diaries during the Gettysburg Campaign. Lieutenants Dooley and Rhodes offered no exception. In fact, the difficulties of the march proved so great that Rhodes penned … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“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

Richmond Reports on General Stuart’s Ride Around McClellan

One of our editors was poking around Newspapers.com the other evening and stumbled across announcements of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart’s famous (or infamous) ride around McClelland during the Peninsula Campaign. Occurring between June 12 and 15, 1862, the ride gathered … Continue reading

Posted in Cavalry, Material Culture, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

“The Heat Is Frightful”: Two Lieutenants & The Gettysburg Campaign, Part 2

The Gettysburg Campaign progressed through the second week of June 1863. However, while some regiments marched long miles and battled or skirmished, others waited or moved miles behind the advance forces. The Civil War journals of Lieutenants Dooley and Rhodes … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Common Soldier, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment