Category Archives: Western Theater

Into the Volcano with the Ironclad CSS Arkansas

Part I of this tale left the lonely Arkansas and Captain Isaac N. Brown on July 15, 1862, facing a gauntlet of Yankee deep-water warships, steam rams, river ironclads, gunboats, and bomb vessels as he ran down the Mississippi toward Vicksburg. … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War, Navies, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Conversation with Dave Roth (part three)

(part three in a five-part series) I’ve been talking this week with Blue & Gray Magazine editor Dave Roth, the recipient of this year’s Emerging Civil War Award for Service in Civil War Public History. Yesterday, he shared a few … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Books & Authors, Trans-Mississippi, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Wake of Vicksburg, U. S. Grant as Commander of the Army of the Potomac?

By early August, 1863, Ulysses S. Grant had settled into administrative routine following the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi—but Grant wasn’t one to sit idle long. He had set his eye on Mobile, Alabama, which he was “very anxious to take” … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Major Tom Taylor at Ezra Church

On July 28, 1864, the Union Army of the Tennessee reached a point west of Atlanta from where they could threaten the Macon Railroad, which entered Atlanta from the southwest. In an effort to thwart that move, Confederate General John … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Campaigns, Common Soldier, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Personalities, Primary Sources, Weapons, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Down the Yazoo with the Ironclad CSS Arkansas

Running downriver with the surging Mississippi in the CSS Arkansas on July 15, 1862, Captain Isaac N. Brown peered through the morning mist and saw: “A forest of masts and smoke-stacks—ships, rams, iron-clads, and other gun-boats on the left side, … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Emerging Civil War, Navies, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

East Tennessee and Confederate Copper

On November 25, 1863, Colonel Eli Long rode into Cleveland, Tennessee, at the head of 1,500 Union cavalrymen. They were there to wreak general havoc. When it comes to Civil War cavalry raids, Long’s Cleveland incursion does not garner much … Continue reading

Posted in Cavalry, Economics, Material Culture, Weapons, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Battle of Kennesaw Mountain & Baseball

On a recent tour of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Georgia, I toured the museum in the visitor center. Near the end of the exhibits was a wall of faces of people who fought at the July 27, 1864 … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Common Soldier, Emerging Civil War, Memory, National Park Service, Photography, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

On Location: The Site of Leonidas Polk’s Death

On June 14, 1864, Confederate Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk was inspecting Federal movements from atop Pine Mountain when Federal artillery opened fire on him. I went On Location, on the anniversary of Polk’s death, to the spot where he was … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Leadership--Confederate, On Location, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Gettysburg Campaign Begins

By the time the Gettysburg campaign began 154 years ago tomorrow, Robert E. Lee, vaunted commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, had been preparing his army for weeks. Lee had much to do. Following the army’s victory at Chancellorsville … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Books & Authors, Campaigns, Cavalry, Civil War Trails, Common Soldier, ECW Weekender, Emerging Civil War Series, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Memory, Monuments, Personalities, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Other Rock of Chickamauga?

One of the joys of research is turning an unexpected corner to find out something new. That happens every so often, and when it does, I always get a little buzz of excitement. Most recently, that buzz came when I … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battles, Campaigns, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Memory, Personalities, Politics, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments