Category Archives: Primary Sources

E.P. Alexander’s Research Methodology

Every Civil War scholar should be familiar with the writings of Confederate First Corps artillerist Edward Porter Alexander (no relation). Many know him through Gary Gallagher’s compilation of his papers from the Southern Historical Collection at the University of North … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Arms & Armaments, Leadership--Confederate, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Petersburg Picket’s Letter

Primary source research is a grinding ordeal but a necessary one for a group of historians whose mantra is to provide fresh perspectives on America’s defining event. It is a rewarding task, too, when you land on a juicy quote … Continue reading

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Recollections of Myers Hill: Charles T. Bowen, 12th US Regulars

Emerging Civil War welcomes back guest author Nathan Varnold. The Central Virginia Battlefield Trust unveiled Myers Hill a month ago at their 2019 Annual Conference. This 73.3 acre tract of land became the focal point of the Union Army of … 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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“Boys like me should have been at home with their mothers”: Private William Perry at the Wilderness

William Wallace Perry did not stand an imposing figure on a battlefield like his namesake. The fourteen year old barely fit into the uniform he was assigned. It is unclear how the youngster managed to escape detection when he joined … Continue reading

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“Good bye from your soger boy”: One Last Letter before the Wilderness

Sometimes he signed his letters “with affection” or “good-night” or “good-bye.” Sometimes he wrote his full name, other times just initials, sometimes with the familiar name to his family and friends: “Will.” Most of his correspondence went to his younger … 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

Easter “Outside My Window”

LeRoy Wiley Gresham’s diary offers remarkable insight to an invalid’s life, the reporting of news on the homefront, culture and literature, and medical practices. The Georgian teenager found himself suffering from a cruel disease that racked his body and worsened … Continue reading

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Of Dawn & Dusk, Beginnings & Endings

Wait for it. Dawn creeps along the horizon. The coming day is foretold with growing light, long before the sun’s disk crests the horizon. Like a saga of history – an event long looming on time’s horizon, then bursting suddenly … Continue reading

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On To Appomattox…

As the days passed and the armies slogged forward in the days after the breakthrough at Petersburg, civilian and soldier alike sensed a coming end of the Army of Northern Virginia. Through the week, Union cavalry and infantry cut off … Continue reading

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