Revisiting “Battlefield Travesty” in Advance of a Clean-Up

Trash Park 03-afterA few months ago, I shared the unfortunate story of a Civil War site on the edge of the Chancellorsville battlefield that had fallen victim to vandalism and neglect. I’m pleased to report that local students, in partnership with local preservationists, are stepping up to keep it clean!

Anderson Ridge sits on the far eastern edge of the Chancellorsville battle. There, Confederates dug in along a ridgeline to resist an expected Federal advance toward Fredericksburg. (Stonewall Jackson soon arrived on the scene, though, and essentially said, “Nice job, guys. Let’s go,” shifting Confederates from defense to offense—one of the most fateful decisions of the campaign.)  Continue reading

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Railroads: The B&O and the Battle of Monocacy

Eric Wittenberg has written an overview of the B&O here. The following blog post examines the B&O’s role more in depth as it pertains to the events leading up to the Battle of Monocacy.

Messages kept coming across the desk of 43-year old John W. Garrett. They told of Confederate forces, with unknown size, moving down the Shenandoah Valley towards the Potomac River. And for the president of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, that meant his entire company was in danger.

John W. Garrett

With tracks and trains running into the Ohio Valley, Garrett worried what kind of damage those Confederate soldiers could do if left unopposed. And so he started to wire officials in Washington, raising the alarm and trying to get someone, anyone, to listen to his concerns. Garrett’s first wire, dated on June 29 1864, read: “I find from various quarters statements of large forces in the Valley. Breckinridge and Ewell are reported moving up. I am satisfied the operations and designs of the enemy in the Valley demand the greatest vigilance and attention.” But to Garrett’s chagrin, no one in Washington took the warning very seriously.


Continue reading

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ECW Podcast “Gettysburg Civilians” Is Now Available

One of the things that made the battle of Gettysburg so compelling is that it not only saw an incredible clash of armies, but that an entire town was caught in between. Sarah Kay Bierle joins Chris Mackowski to talk about the civilian experience during the battle of Gettysburg. Want to hear their conversation? It’s available on our podcast, exclusively distributed on the Patreon platform.

Sarah Kay Bierle studies civilian experiences during the American Civil War, and the accounts from Gettysburg were part of one of her first research and writing projects. You’ll hear about Mary Virginia Wade, Peter and Eliza Thorn, lesser-known civilians, interactions with the soldiers, and more in the recording.

This podcast is available to all subscribers to the Emerging Civil War Podcast via Patreon. Not enlisted as a subscriber? It’s easy at Patreon. For more details about our podcast, please check out our podcast information page here on the website or visit our customized Patreon Page.

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Railroads – “The Seventh Have Come!”: The 7th New York, 8th Massachusetts, and the Rescue of Washington

Emerging Civil War welcomes back guest author Nathan Marzoli

Battle of Baltimore Harper’s Weekly

Washington was in trouble in the spring of 1861. Secessionist fever had broken into conflict with the attack on Fort Sumter, prompting President Lincoln to issue a call three days later for 75,000 volunteers to help put down the rebellion. Lincoln needed some of these citizen soldiers in the nation’s capital as soon as possible; the city was surrounded by secessionist-leaning Virginia and Maryland, leaving it vulnerable to an attack. Any northern regiments traveling to Washington on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad first had to pass through the city of Baltimore itself, however – a city that was a hotbed of secession. The stage was set for a potential disaster.

On April 19, 1861, the 6th Massachusetts Regiment clashed with several thousand furious citizens of that city as they tried to make their way from President Street to Camden Station. As the crowd hurled bricks, stones, and dishes at the Yankees, the nervous soldiers opened fire and literally had to fight their way through the streets. The war’s first bloodshed resulted in four soldiers and at least nine civilians killed. Continue reading

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Question of the Week: 11/5-11/11/18

What’s your favorite account of a Civil War general, soldier, politician, or civilian riding on a train?

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Week In Review: October 29-November 4, 2018

Our railroad series is still “on track” and steaming ahead with lots of historical details about trains, tracks, and the soldiers and civilians who rode the rails. This week we also featured some discussions about scary stories, a movie anniversary, a bored soldier, and preservation history.

Please enjoy this week in review and the links below to explore some Civil War history! Continue reading

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Railroads: A Few Extra Videos

Since Chris Mackowski’s On Location video at Tunnel Hill was quite popular this week, we thought you might enjoy some more short videos about railroads or railroad cuts.

Take a journey through the history facts or battlefields with these clips from American Battlefield Trust! Continue reading

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Railroads: A Little Music, A Little History About A Great Locomotive Chase

You’ve probably heard of Andrews’ Raid…but have you heard the musical piece by Robert W. Smith memorializing this ill-fated Civil War adventure on the tracks? Continue reading

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Preservation News: Camp Nelson National Monument

Although the presidential decision and designation has been politicized and received controversially, historians can still rejoice in the creation of a new national monument with Civil War significance.

This week Camp Nelson in Kentucky received designation as a national monument, ensuring its protection and historical interpretation. Continue reading

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November-December 2018 Presentations


1st: Chris Kolakowski, “Life and Times of Arthur MacArthur,” North Shore CWRT (Long Island)

11th: Julie Mujic, “Hidden Monuments: War Memorialization and the Search for World War I in Columbus, Ohio,” Franklin County Memorial Hall, Columbus, OH

13th: Kevin Pawlak, “Antietam Endgame: September 18-20, 1862,” First Defenders Civil War Round Table of Berks County, Reading, PA Continue reading

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