“Honor and Glory are Before Me”: The Brief Career of George Bayard

George Bayard

Over the course of the last month I’ve written posts on Benjamin “Grimes” Davis and Elon J. Farnsworth. These men share a common trait: their promising careers were cut short in battle during the Gettysburg Campaign. Davis was in the prime of his and it appeared the recently promoted Farnsworth  had a bright future ahead. After giving the subject some additional thought, I realized there is another individual who also fits in this category who died several months earlier, Brig. Gen. George Bayard.

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Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Cavalry, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Down the Yazoo with the Ironclad CSS Arkansas

CSS Arkansas

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, and ordinary river steamers and bomb-vessels along the right.”[i]

His battered ship and crew confronted a gauntlet of enemy men-of-war mounting hundreds of guns lining the eight-mile path to refuge under the heavily fortified cliffs of Vicksburg. How did he get in this fix?

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Grant Memorial Poetry: “A Nation’s Sorrow”

One of the things I found most interesting about the Albany Evening Journal‘s coverage of U.S. Grant’s time at Mt. McGregor is the juxtaposition of national and local perspectives. After all, Grant’s decline was one of the biggest stories in the country, and the paper—like all papers—covered it as such. But the Albany Evening Journal also had the benefit of being a relatively local paper (The Daily Saratogian had the inside track as the most local paper). The Evening Journal‘s coverage, then, offered a more personal take on the story than the national papers did.

As I share with you the memorial poems written in honor of Grant after his death on July 23, 1885, consider this original piece that appeared in the Evening Journal on August 3. It was written specifically for the paper by a resident of Schoharie, NY—reflecting the paper’s local flavor—although it speaks to a tragedy felt across the nation.  Continue reading

Posted in Civil War in Pop Culture, Newspapers, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

A William Clarke Quantrill Symposium—in Ohio?

Quantrill young

William C. Quantrill photograph courtesy of the Dover Historical Society

by Kelly Mezurek

Amid the heated debates over Confederate flags and statuary, which even affected the 154th Annual Gettysburg Civil War battle commemorations, it may seem odd that an Ohio community is holding a William Clarke Quantrill symposium. It is actually the right time to do so. Exploring the full life of Quantrill, while providing the opportunity for local citizens to participate in conversations that expand discussions about Dover, Ohio, and its role in the Civil War, will help us to better understand the complex and untidy past, and the complicated ways in which it continues to impact us today.  Continue reading

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Grant Memorial Poetry: “Let Us Have Peace”

AEJ mastheadWhen Ulysses S. Grant arrived on Mt. McGregor on June 16, 1885, for what would be the last six weeks of his life, the regional newspaper, the Albany Evening Journal, provided extensive daily coverage. One of the world’s biggest stories had arrived by the afternoon train in the newspaper’s backyard.

Grant finally passed away on Thursday, July 23, at 8:08 a.m. In the days that followed, the Evening Journal was crammed full of news about funeral arrangements, biographical information about the late hero, updates about friends and family, and condolences from around the world.

The newspaper also printed several memorial poems about Grant—poems either sent in by the paper’s loyal readers or reprinted from other sources. As we lead up to the 132nd anniversary of Grant’s death, I want to share some of those memorial poems with you, one a day between now and July 23. Continue reading

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Last-Minute Symposium Lodging at Stevenson Ridge

Tobacco-Barn-outdoor-2.jpgDue to a last-minute cancellation, Stevenson Ridge has a vacancy available on site during the Emerging Civil War Symposium. The Tobacco Barn is available for a two-night stay (Friday and Saturday) at a special Symposium rate of $350 + tax.

A high-peaked ceiling and exposed-log crossbeams reveal the Tobacco Barn’s past life as a place for hanging tobacco leaves to dry. Now converted to a one-room guest house, it features a cozy fireplace, soapstone floors, a homey sitting area, and a tall, high-post bed. The pressed-tin ceiling and whiskey-barrel sink in the bathroom add to its charm. The front porch swing, perfect for summer evenings, offers a relaxing view of the woods and some of our other historic houses. For more pictures, click here.

The Tobacco Barn will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Email info@stevensonridge.com.

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East Tennessee and Confederate Copper

Eli Long

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 attention. It was not a spectacular bit of insolence, like J.E. B. Stuart’s Ride around McClellan (well-covered by the press at the time) or of extreme duration, such as John Hunt Morgan’s disastrous jaunt across Indiana and Ohio. Long’s expedition lasted only four days and traveled barely 30 miles.

And yet it was one of the more successful raids of the war, undertaken in support of Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s full-scale assault on the Confederate Army of Tennessee atop Missionary Ridge. Long’s primary mission was to damage and disrupt the railroads all he could, thus ensuring that James Longstreet’s 20,000 Confederate troops in East Tennessee could not return to Missionary Ridge or effect a speedy junction with Braxton Bragg’s army somewhere in northern Georgia. Continue reading

Posted in Cavalry, Economics, Material Culture, Weapons, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Let Us Know Which “Engaging” Cover Mock-Up You Like Best

We’re getting excited about the fall release of the first book in our “Engaging the Civil War” Series, a publishing collaboration with Southern Illinois University Press. The first book in the series is an essay collection edited by ECW co-founders Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White titled Turning Points of the American Civil War.

We’ll offer more details soon, but in the meantime, here are a pair of cover mock-ups to whet your appetite. Which of the mock-ups do you like more?  Continue reading

Posted in Engaging the Civil War Series | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

Question of the Week: 7/17-7/23/17

Last week we asked if you thought there was a “textbook perfect” campaign. This time let’s reverse the question:

Which Civil War campaign seems least effective or most disastrous to you? Why?

Posted in Campaigns, Question of the Week | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

ECW Week in Review July 10-16

Week in Review-header

It has been another busy week at Emerging Civil War. The topics of our posts have ranged from the Gettysburg Campaign to preservation news to discussions of public history engagement. You may click on the links below to view the full post.

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