Week In Review: September 10-16, 2018

We hope all our readers are safe this weekend. Weather the big storm and we’ll be back on the battlefields soon! And while we wait, here’s a look at the posts featured on the ECW blog this past week…

Monday, September 10

Question of the Week got a good discussion about Civil War ships and ironclads started.

Guest author Joseph Mieczkowski wrote about heroes buried at Annapolis. Continue reading

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Preservation News: A Message From American Battlefield Trust

Emerging Civil War is pleased to assist preservation efforts and share the following message and call to action from President Jim Lighthizer from American Battlefield Trust about an important piece of congressional legislation.

Dear Friends,

My name is Jim Lighthizer — and it is my privilege to serve as president of the American Battlefield Trust, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today.

Since the founding of the Trust’s first predecessor organization — the Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites — in the summer of 1987, we have successfully saved more than 50,000 acres of American battlefield land in 24 states.

But we have not reached this milestone alone. Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: The MacArthur Memorial

In the heart of downtown Norfolk stands the former Norfolk City Hall. Opened in 1850, in May 1862 Norfolk’s mayor surrendered to the Union Army on its front steps. Today, it is the resting place of one of America’s most prominent generals and is known as the MacArthur Memorial.

The MacArthur Memorial opened in 1964 as a museum and archive dedicated to the life and times of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. It is a place to study and honor the men and women who have served this country from the Civil War forward through the Korean War. The City of Norfolk operates the Memorial in close partnership with the nonprofit General Douglas MacArthur Foundation. The MacArthur Memorial averages over 45,000 visitors per year, and is open free of charge. Continue reading

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ECW on C-SPAN: Scott Hartwig

The Fifth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge is back on C-SPAN this weekend.

Scott Hartwig’s keynote address debuts at 6 p.m. EDT on Saturday on C-SPAN 3. It will then re-air Sunday morning at 4 a.m. Hartwig’s talk, “‘If We Fail Now the North Has No Hope:’ The Antietam Campaign of 1862,” looked at Antietam as a turning point of the war.

You can catch a preview of Scott’s talk here:

Continue reading

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Modern Development at Rappahannock Station

Earlier this week, Chris Mackowski highlighted the new housing development on the November 7, 1863 Rappahannock Station battlefield. Preservationists over the last decade attempted to draw attention to this possibility but could not rally enough cooperation and interest. I overlaid troop movements onto modern aerial maps that show the subdivision under construction and the obliteration of the heart of the battlefield. Walter Taylor called Rappahannock Station “the saddest chapter in the history” of Lee’s army. The same statement can also frustratingly be said for the battlefield’s preservation legacy.

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From The ECW Archives: Voices of the Maryland Campaign

Last year ECW author Kevin Pawlak shared an impressive series which highlighted primary sources from the Maryland Campaign of 1862. Running from September 1-20, the collections gives a “boots on the ground” perspective into the campaign and Battle of Antietam.

Want to check it out for yourself since we’re in the campaign’s anniversary dates and approaching the battle date? Here’s the link to every article in the series: Maryland-62

Just curious about what happened today (September 13) during the march?  Continue reading

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On Watching Gone with the Wind in 2018

The movie poster that hangs on my wall.

Patricia Dawn Chick (born Acker) was my mother. Her favorite movie was Gone with the Wind. It might seem odd since she was from Indiana, but her roots went back to the Dossett family of Kentucky. They were ripped apart by the Civil War. They fought on both sides, veterans of Fort Donelson, Vicksburg, Tullahoma, Brice Crossroads, Tueplo, Franklin, Nashville, and Selma. Some chased John Hunt Morgan during his Kentucky raids. One rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest. Another was on the staff of William Loring before he deserted and ran off with the horse he was given. Their fates were varied, from death and desertion, to chronic illness, dishonorable discharge, and fighting to the bitter end. My mother was no doubt drawn more to the romance and sweep of the film, but the family lore was clear that the Dossetts had some tense family meeting in the decades after.

After Mom died in 2014, I avoided watching Gone with the Wind. Yet, a poster of it hangs on my wall. I had it framed as a Christmas present, a gift she never saw. As time went on I wanted to see it again, but then statues started to come down and a theater in Memphis decided to stop showing it. I worried if it would it now feel tired, dated, silly, and racist? It flies in the face of the current orthodoxy about the Civil War. It is considered a Lost Cause relic, and even a centrist historian like Jon Meacham thinks there is no value in this old interpretation. Continue reading

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Rethinking What Civil War Soldiers Remembered

Living History [photograph by Bierle]

Recently, I spent a day at a Civil War living history event here in California. It was a welcome break from a full week of research and writing, and I certainly enjoyed visiting with friends and networking with some of the Civil War history groups here on the West Coast.

It always surprises me what I learn at living history events or how history “comes alive” through specific experiences. During this past event, I chatted with a new acquaintance who was participating as a soldier at his first living history event. Unknowingly, he said two particular things in our conversations which created “aha moments” when paired with the recent archival documents I had been studying. Perhaps a glimpse into these conversations and the history that later came to mind will be useful to your own research or battle studies. Continue reading

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Laid To Rest At Annapolis

Emerging Civil War welcomes back guest author Joseph Mieczkowski

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act despite our fears.” – John McCain

Senator John McCain was buried in the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery. McCain, a six-term senator from Arizona and 2008 Republican presidential nominee, died of brain cancer at age eighty-one. Flying from an aircraft carrier on a bombing mission in 1967, he was shot down over Hanoi, the capital of North Vietnam, and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war.

Not far away from the grave of John McCain is the stone sarcophagus of the Union Navy officer William B. Cushing. Continue reading

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Question of the Week: 9/10-9/16/18

Let’s talk Civil War Navies…

Do you have a favorite ship or ironclad from the conflict? Why?

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