Category Archives: Trans-Mississippi

Civil War Echoes: The Battle of Okinawa

Today 74 years ago Operation Iceberg, the invasion of Okinawa, got underway as the first of 183,000 soldiers and Marines of U.S. Tenth Army swarmed ashore at Hagushi on the island’s west coast. It was the largest amphibious operation of … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Ties to the War, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Question of the Week: 2/25-3/3/19

The Trans-Mississippi theater of the war encompasses the region and military actions west of the Mississippi River. Who is your favorite commander in that area? Why? And if you need a reminder for some of the major campaigns and actions, … Continue reading

Posted in Question of the Week, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , | 14 Comments

Remember Poison Spring!

If you have seen the 2012 film Lincoln, you may remember the first two scenes: a gruesome hand-to-hand fight between white Confederate troops and African-American Federal soldiers, and two USCTs speaking with their commander-in-chief. Besides the overarching themes of race, … Continue reading

Posted in Trans-Mississippi, USCT | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Primary Sources: Thoughts and Favorites

A primary source is defined as one produced by an eyewitness to an event offering their recollections. Some primary sources provide just basic facts with limited additional details. Other sources, like battle reports, provide more details but often offer little … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Primary Sources, Trans-Mississippi, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Good Cheer Prevailed” – Celebration and Reflection for a Confederate Surgeon in 1863 Arkansas

Christmas of 1863 was one of relief for the five-thousand men of the Confederate District of Arkansas. They had been settled in their winter encampment just west of Camden, Arkansas after months of battlefield defeats at Prairie Grove, Helena, and … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Medical, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Grinch of St. Joseph, Missouri

Nearly 100 years before the 1957 classic Dr. Seuss book appeared on the shelves, there was another Grinch who lived in the frontier town of St. Joseph, Missouri during the Civil War. Typically, we think of Christmas during the Civil … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays, Newspapers, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

William Freret: From Folly to War to Success

William Freret Jr. enjoyed one of the most unusual careers during the Civil War, including brief service in the Washington Artillery. He also had one of the most successful postbellum professional careers; by the time of his death, he was … Continue reading

Posted in Antebellum South, Artillery, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“What Shall Be Done with the Slave?” The 9th Illinois Cavalry and Practical Emancipation

I am frequently sidetracked when scanning through historic newspapers on a quest for specific information. What can I say, the headlines are still doing their job. Such was the case while digitally flipping through August 1862 issues of the Chicago … Continue reading

Posted in Cavalry, Newspapers, Primary Sources, Slavery, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Confederates Invade San Francisco?

Shortly before his death in 1886, James I. Waddell, former captain of the CSS Shenandoah, wrote in his memoirs: “I had matured plans for entering the harbor of San Francisco and laying that city under contribution.”[i] Waddell never did pass … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Navies, Trans-Mississippi, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Unexpected Turn

In my conclusion to Turning Points of the American Civil War, I suggest that Lincoln’s assassination was perhaps a turning point of the war rather than just a tragic coda that followed the surrender at Appomattox. In his outstanding book … Continue reading

Posted in Lincoln, Reconstruction, Trans-Mississippi | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments