An Olfactory Follow-Up

On Thursday, I stirred up a big stink in Atlanta from July 1864. That wasn’t the only one:

COMPLAINTS.–Some of the inmates of the Gate City Hospital complain that an old building near the hospital is filled with hides, which omit an intolerable stench, permeating and infecting the atmosphere of the hospital, to the detriment of its inmates. Will not the authorities have the nuisance abated?

–Atlanta Intelligencer, June 28, 1864.

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Third Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge

Sympoisum Flyer Pic

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You Could Feel Atlanta in Your Olfactory

“You can feel it in your olfactory,” as Loudoun Wainwright famously phrased it.

…which is the subject of this editorial in the Atlanta Intelligencer of July 2, 1864. Under title of “The City,” the paper’s editors commented on a big rainstorm that suddenly hit the city the day before, causing everybody in the streets to scurry for cover.

Then they proceeded to a topic which they called: Continue reading

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Remembering Stoneman’s Raid in the Chancellorsville Campaign

George Stoneman

George Stoneman

Today marks the 153rd Anniversary of the beginning of Stoneman’s Raid. After weeks of delay due to poor weather, Stoneman’s troopers began crossing the Rappahannock at Kelly’s Ford. Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker intended for Stoneman’s cavalry corps to wreak havoc on the Confederate rear and upset enemy logistics. Hooker hoped this manuever would force Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia to abandon his position at Fredericksburg and withdraw south to protect his lines of communication. This would open the way for Hooker to pursue the retreating Confederates and trap them between his infantry and cavalry somewhere between Fredericksburg and Richmond. Unfortunately for Stoneman, the plan did not shake out as his chief envisioned.

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Symposium Spotlight: Ryan Quint and the Cornfield at Antietam

quint-ellwoodRyan Quint, Emerging Civil War’s Book Review Editor, will make his second appearance at the Emerging Civil War Symposium.

It seems that some of the most simply named places on Civil War battlefields, witnessed the most horrific moments of the war. The “Wheatfield,” the “Sunken Road,” the “Crater,” all have simplistic names, that when uttered, usher in thoughts of  untold human suffering. David R. Miller’s “Cornfield,” near Sharpsburg, Maryland, is another of those simply named places.

Ryan’s talk is entitled, The slain lay in rows precisely as they stood in their ranks a few moments before”: The Fighting in Antietam’s Cornfield.

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A Q&A About Publishing

slant-black-heart-outline-clip-art-polyvore“I hope you can find a way to make it clear SB is ‘your’ press and will remain so,” Ted Savas said to me this week. Ted, the managing partner of Savas Beatie, LLC, has been Emerging Civil War’s publisher for three and a half years. He and I were talking about ECW’s collaboration with Southern Illinois University Press about the new Engaging the Civil War Series, announced on Tuesday.

For some folks, that might seem to be an eyebrow-raiser: Is ECW leaving Savas Beatie?

No way!

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Thoughts On The Movie “Union Bound”

Union Bound

Since I first saw the trailer for the new Civil War movie Union Bound (released in select theaters on Friday, April 22, 2016), I knew I wanted to go see it. After all, how often does a film based on the real adventures in a Union Soldier’s diary make it to the box office? And a story about an escaping prisoner and slaves’ quest for freedom? Even better! Continue reading

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Engaging the Civil War Series Announcement

All of us at Emerging Civil War are proud to announce a new partnership with Southern Illinois University Press. This new partnership has created Engaging the Civil War, a new book series that will tie the rigors of academic history, with the accessibility of public history.

Emerging Civil War co-founders Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., and Kristopher D. White, will serve as series editors, and seven member advisory board will assist with series development. See our full press release below.

Engaging the Civil War Logo

SIU Press Logo

ECW Logo Small



April 26, 2016
For Immediate Release


Southern Illinois University Press and Emerging Civil War are collaborating to launch a new book series intended to help readers engage Civil War history in new ways.

Published by Southern Illinois University Press, the Engaging the Civil War series will be edited by Emerging Civil War cofounders Chris Mackowski, Ph.D., and Kristopher D. White. A seven-member advisory board will assist in series development:

  • James J. Broomall, Ph.D., Shepherd University
  • Brian Matthew Jordan, Ph.D., Sam Houston State University
  • Derek Maxfield, Genessee (NY) Community College
  • Kelly D. Mezurek, Ph.D., Walsh University
  • Julie Mujic, Ph.D., Sacred Heart University
  • Terrianne Schulte, Ph.D., D’Youville College
  • Matthew E. Stanley, Ph.D., Albany State University (Georgia)

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Mexican-American War 170th: “The Dogs of War are Now Indeed Let Loose”

Mexican War-header

In the month since the Army of Occupation under Zachary Taylor had arrived at the Rio Grande, they had started construction of a series of forts, and stared warily across the river at Mexican forces in Matamoros.

The tension continued to build, and nearly came to a boiling point with the murder of Col. Truman Cross, an American officer. Nearly every morning, Cross “was in the habit of riding out every morning for the purpose of exercise,” but on April 10, he failed to return. Search parties failed to find Cross until nearly two weeks later, when American soldiers discovered Truman’s corpse “stripped, and the flesh torn from it by vultures.” Furious, Taylor sent a demand for explanations across the river, but the Mexican commander in Matamoros insisted his men had nothing to do with Cross’ death—it must have been guerillas, bandits not part of the regular Mexican Army.[1] With no concrete proof, Taylor had no choice but to withdraw his accusations.

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Question of the Week: 4/25-5/1/2016


Which hill was most crucial to the Federal victory at Gettysburg and why (i.e. Culp’s Hill, Cemetery Hill, etc…)?

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