Category Archives: Primary Sources

Fallen at Cedar Creek: Charles Russell Lowell, Jr.

On October 15, 1864, Colonel Charles Russell Lowell Jr. wrote to his wife from the camp of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry near Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah Valley: “I’ve only ten minutes to write to you; I was out all … Continue reading

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The Texas Color Bearer at Devil’s Den

ECW’s friend, Joe Owen, passed along this great primary source recently. Joe is the editor of a number of works about Texans in the Civil War focused on sharing primary documents. This one comes from Color Sergeant George Branard of … Continue reading

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Waud’s Sketchy Spotsylvania (part four)

(part four in a series) I’ve been tracking Alfred Waud across the Spotsylvania battlefield, trying to figure out why one of his sketches, “Advance on Spotsylvania,” bears the date “May 9” although it depicts events from May 10. The first … Continue reading

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Reconsidering Barlow’s Knoll

The First Division of the Eleventh Corps of the Army of the Potomac arrived in Gettysburg on the afternoon of July 1, 1863. Only 29 years old, Brigadier General Francis Barlow commanded the division. He resented the men he commanded, … Continue reading

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The Iron Brigade of the Cumberland at Chickamauga (Part Two of Two)

The anonymous author of the pamphlet Willich at Chickamauga continues with the resumption of the battle on September 20, 1863: What a glorious morning ushers in this Sunday, Sept. 20th, 1863, and shines as fair a sun as ever gladdened this hemisphere. … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Emerging Civil War, Immigrants, Leadership--Federal, Primary Sources, Western Theater | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Good Words from a Johnny

I’m working on a book for Savas Beatie tentatively titled “The National Tribune Remembers the Atlanta Campaign.” In the National Tribune of Jan. 27, 1898, I came came across this sad tale of a Union veteran. The “Good Words from … Continue reading

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The Iron Brigade of the Cumberland at Chickamauga (Part One of Two)

Few moments in the life of a historian compare with uncovering fresh primary sources. Fortunately, I have experienced this thrill on numerous occasions. Small rewards for thousands of hours spent squinting at period handwriting in archives and attics across the … Continue reading

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Sherman in the Days Before Disunion

As the dark clouds of war gathered in early 1860, William Tecumseh Sherman’s career took yet another turn. He was called by old army friends like Braxton Bragg and P.G.T. Beauregard to become superintendent of the Louisiana Seminary of Learning … Continue reading

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Aftermath of Battle at Gettysburg’s Spangler’s Spring

While battles themselves are glorified and the focus of most historical coverage, every battle has an aftermath. This aftermath is a horrifying sight, and something that veterans were deeply affected by every time they experienced it. This post explores the … Continue reading

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Alfred Waud’s Sketchy Spotsylvania (part three)

(part three in a series) I’ve come to believe Alfred Waud’s sketch “Advance on Spotsylvania,” dated May 9, is actually mis-dated. In the first two posts of this series, I’ve tried to lay out some of the breadcrumbs that led … Continue reading

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