ECW’s July 2016 Newsletter Now Available

July2016NewsletterPhotoEmerging Civil War’s July 2016 newsletter went out this week. It contains thoughts on ECW’s upcoming 5th anniversary from editor-in-chief Chris Mackowski, a flash conversation with Chris Kolakowski, news & notes from some of our contributors, and a look at the latest releases on the bookshelf from ECW authors.

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look—and don’t forget to sign up if you’re not already. There’s a button right at the top of the newsletter that lets you sign up conveniently. (And if you think you should’ve received the newsletter but didn’t, be sure to check your junk mail or spam filter because, alas, sometimes we end up there if you weren’t expecting us.)

At the top of each newsletter, we’ll include a photo from a battlefield or historic site somewhere. In this post, you’re looking at this month’s photo. Can you guess where it was taken?

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“I could not answer for what might happen.” Part I

The Civil War was an intense international concern from the beginning. The neutrality—or lack thereof—by foreign powers was a decisive element in a conflict that might have spread beyond American shores. Both sides warred on enemy commerce; both American navies sailed into the vortex of a diplomatic maelstrom, and contributed to it. On the Union side, President Lincoln was determined to interdict trade with seceded states, starving them of funds, war materials, and necessities. It was proposed that he simply declare southern ports administratively closed, providing the navy an excuse to stop and turn back merchant vessels under the guise of enforcing customs duties not collectable in rebel-controlled harbors.

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“Little Mac’s” Final Moments: The Death of George B. McClellan

Emerging Civil War is pleased to welcome back guest author William Griffith

George B. McClellan, c. 1880

George B. McClellan, c. 1880

“The startling announcement was made on Thursday [actually Friday] morning that General McClellan was dead,” read New Jersey’s The Orange Journal on Sunday, October 31, 1885, “…very few knew that General McClellan was in the least ill, and no one but his physician, perhaps, knew of the serious character of the disease that was afflicting him.” Less than a week before he had been seen riding in his carriage through West Orange in what was described as “the picture of perfect health.” Only days later, George Brinton McClellan, one of the Army of the Potomac’s most beloved and controversial generals was dead at the age of fifty-eight.[1]

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Civil War Echoes: Mrs. Longstreet and the B-29

Of all American weapons produced in World War II, including the atomic bomb, the most expensive was the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Developing and producing the plane cost $3 billion and involved a massive industrial undertaking from plants in all regions of the country. The plane made key contributions to victory in the Pacific and in the prosecution of the Korean War before being retired in the 1950s.  B-29s_dropping_bombs

Thousands of subcontractors made components and systems for the plane, which was the most advanced of its day. The B-29s themselves were assembled at four main plants: Boeing facilities in Renton, Washington and Wichita, Kansas; a Martin plant in Omaha; and a Bell plant in Marietta, Georgia. It is this last plant that offers an echo of the Civil War and a symbol of national reconciliation.

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Question of the Week: 7/18-7/24/16

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Have you read an unforgettable historical account of a child’s experience during the Civil War era?

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ECW Weekender: 2nd S.C. String Band

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I love the 2nd South Carolina String Band, and you should, too!

155th MANASSAS-BULL RUN

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Amazon Offers “Fight” Special on Kindle

In case  you haven’t seen it, Amazon is running a special deal on the Kindle version of the Emerging Civil War Series title Fight Like the Devil: The First Day at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863 by Chris Mackowski, Kristopher D. White, and Daniel T. Davis.

 

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Creating Music For A Historical Drama: An Interview With Dane B. Frazier

Dane Bryant Frazier composed the orchestral score for the 2016 Civil War film "Union Bound"

Dane Bryant Frazier composed the orchestral score for the 2016 Civil War film “Union Bound”

Have you ever tried to watch a movie that has no soundtrack? Plots and conflicts may be perfect and paired with dialogue that is realistic, but the film will probably lack the emotional context. Music has a way playing with human emotions, giving us a sense of thrill, satisfaction, or sadness. It sets the mood for a scene in real life or a film, giving us clues of how we should feel at certain points.

The 2016 Civil War film Union Bound masters the challenge of using music to enhance the storyline and draws inspiration from 19th Century music. Dane Bryant Frazier – the composer for the orchestral section of the Union Bound soundtrack – created a beautiful score to support a story of American heroism.

Union Bound is the story of a soldier’s escape from Confederate prison and his journey back north. Along the way, he encounters conflicts of survival, trust, and the universal quest for freedom. “He went to war to the free the slaves, and was freed by them” is a compelling summary of the storyline which is based on the primary source journal of Union soldier, Joseph Hoover. (For more details about the film, please refer to Emerging Civil War’s movie review). Continue reading

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The Rebirth of the Army of the Potomac (part four)

Part four of a series.

Joe_HookerDesertion and “Demagogues” 

Desertion was also a disease in the army, though of a different kind.

With Hooker assuming command the army officially went into winter camp. Morale was still dangerously low and homesickness was a real problem. The men of the Army of the Potomac had been through a great deal since March of 1862. The army had made its way to the Virginia Peninsula and all the way to the gates of Richmond, only to be thwarted by Gen. Robert E. Lee. Lee wrestled the initiative away from Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, and pressed north towards Manassas Junction, won the Second Battle of Manassas, and took the war across the Potomac.

While Antietam was a tactical Union victory, in the wake of the victory the men lost their beloved McClellan, relieved of command on November 7, 1862. They endured the 77 day tenure of Ambrose Burnside, which included the debacle at Fredericksburg and the humiliating “Mud March.”  A command upheaval that included the arrest and/or sacking of numerous high ranking officers left many in the army questioning the high command. “The president it seems has prepared a list of officers who are to be dismissed [from] the service for speaking disrespectfully of his jokes,” snidely remarked Capt. Henry L. Abbott. “His military genius, of course, none but the most demoralized man could jeer at, which…includes all the officers of the Potomac army, who are ‘demoralized as hell’…” Continue reading

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Don’t Give an Inch is “one big adrenaline rush”

Layout 1Emerging Civil War’s latest book about Gettysburg tells the story of a battle hailed as “one, big adrenaline rush” by one of the book’s co-authors.

Don’t Give An Inch: The Second Day At Gettysburg, July 2, 1863—from Little Round Top to Cemetery Ridge, co-written by Chris Mackowski, Kristopher D. White, and Daniel T. Davis, focuses on two main themes: the faults in the Confederates’ plan and the fury Confederate Gen. James Longstreet brought into the battle, despite his apparent disapproval of the plan.

Along with their focus on these topics, the book’s authors also aimed to debunk long-standing misconceptions regarding the second day at Gettysburg—which White and Davis said are usually created and continued by popular culture. Continue reading

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