The “Emerging Civil War Series” Series: All Hell Can’t Stop Them

Very early in the writing process for the book that became Battle Above the Clouds, the publisher, the editor, and myself all decided that instead of trying to encompass all of the fighting for Chattanooga into one ECW Series volume, we would do two books. The first volume, of course, covered the campaign up to and through the Battle of Lookout Mountain. “All Hell Can’t Stop Them” covered the rest of the fighting—the fighting for Missionary Ridge and Ringgold Gap. Though the time frame for Battle Above the Clouds was much longer, spanning the months of October and most of November, 1863, “All Hell Can’t Stop Them” spanned less than a week. The disparity in time, however, was more than offset by the increase in action. Continue reading

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The November 2021 ECW Newsletter Now Available

From right: Edward, Alison, and Madison Grace Alexander

The November 2021 edition of the Emerging Civil War newsletter went out yesterday. Did you get your copy?

We have a new baby in this issue, and more!

Here’s a quick run-down:

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A Most Terrible Scene: A Collision on the B&O and One Regiment’s Deadliest Day

Civil War train wrecks could be catastrophic for those on board.

We don’t often hear about railroad accidents today. That’s not for a lack of reporting, but that railroad travel is exponentially safer now than it was 160 years ago. Traveling by railroad during the Civil War involved risking life and limb to get from Point A to Point B. As such, railroad accidents rank among some of the most tragic non-battlefield incidents of the Civil War. This doesn’t have so much to do with the death tolls, but that so often they seemed to occur while carrying men to or from the war, and often involved catastrophic injuries. One such accident on October 24, 1864 proved especially difficult for one town and one regiment. Continue reading

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The “Emerging Civil War Series” Series: To Hazard All

I have always enjoyed tour guides. They’re a useful tool for Civil War historians. I can read it from the comfort of my home and use it later when visiting the sites of a Civil War battle and/or campaign. It was a real pleasure for me to be able to co-author To Hazard All: A Guide to the Maryland Campaign, 1862 as part of the Emerging Civil War Series alongside my good friend, Rob Orrison. Continue reading

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“The Daylight of Deliverance” – Nathaniel Lyon Responds to the 1860 Election Results

A carte-de-visite of Nathaniel Lyon in his Federal officer’s uniform. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery.

Two months after the death of Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon at Wilson’s Creek, The Last Political Writings of Gen. Nathaniel Lyon was published. Utilizing many of Lyon’s political articles and letters he wrote while in Kansas to The Manhattan Express, this remarkable source reveals much of Lyon’s personal opinions on the tumultuous few months leading to the war.

One chapter in this compilation of Lyon’s writings was from the wake of the 1860 Presidential Election. Here, the Army officer (rank of captain at that time) shows his true hatred of secessionists, and his love for Republicanism and country, and for the punishment of anyone who would want to break apart the Union.

Thanks to the success of Republicanism in Kansas, we have telegraphs and presses to which we have been indebted for the early intelligence of the results of the election, which reached us, at this point, about forty-eight hours from the closing of the polls on election day.

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Question of the Week: 11/29-11/5/21

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, a day to support nonprofits and worthy causes at the beginning of the holiday season.

What are your favorite nonprofits or associations connected to Civil War education, preservation, public history etc.?

We’d love to see your shout-outs and get inspired!

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The “Emerging Civil War Series” Series: Attack at Daylight and Whip Them

by Gregory A. Mertz

The best resource for any battle is the battlefield itself. The Emerging Civil War books are different from many other volumes because it has a guide-book component to it and an inherently strong connection between the narrative of the battle with the actual battlefield resources. That aspect of the series not only attracted me to the Emerging Civil War as a reader, but also as an author for the book on the battle of Shiloh. Continue reading

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Week in Review: November 22-27, 2021

This past week saw lots of ECW-related news, the continuation of the “Emerging Civil War Series” Series, and the return of Sarah Kay Bierle’s annual Civil War Cooking series.

Here’s what we had cooking: Continue reading

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The “Emerging Civil War Series” Series: That Field of Blood

by Dan Vermilya

In taking the time to reflect on the Emerging Civil War series and all of its accomplishments over the past decade, I wanted to pen a few words about my entry, That Field of Blood: The Battle of Antietam. In doing so, a quote comes to mind from the great Bruce Catton:

“What America is and hopes to be dates from the fight along Antietam Creek. The fight cost an enormous number of lives, and inflicted pain and disability on many thousands more; but in the infinite economy of the advance of the human race it may have been worth what it cost.”

Catton penned these words for a 1958 article titled “Crisis at the Antietam,” in the American Heritage Magazine. They are a fitting summary of what September 17, 1862 means for so many of us who study and revere its history. Continue reading

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Civil War Cooking: Dr. Potter’s Fine Dining on May 31, 1863

The most complicated food menu experience ends the series this year…

Civil War surgeons had a hard and unenviable experience, but some of them ate pretty well between battles. Multiple menus from surgeons’ dining tables caught my eye this year, but Dr. William Potter of the 57th New York Regiment won the prize for the most elaborate to recreate and explore history through taste. It was also one of the most expensive historic menus to recreate thus far. As you’ll see, they were eating well at the surgeon’s dinner party on May 31, 1863.

What’s significant about the calendar date? Dr. Potter kept a diary and made occasion notes about his dining habits, so – assuming he wrote correctly – we know exactly what he had to eat and drink that evening. It’s also between two large campaigns: Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Continue reading

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