From The Doorstep: Winchester Women Record Evacuation & Occupation, Part 2

This is the final post for “From the Doorstep: Winchester Women.” Part 1 is available here. 

Mary Greenhow Lee started a letter on March 11, intending to send it to a friend. Instead, she kept writing, writing, writing until November 1865. Her private journal differs from other Winchester women’s primary sources. Widowed in 1856, it seems like she had more time to write; with no children of her own and grown nieces living with her in her widowhood, she played the hostess frequently, visited friends regularly, and wrote rather extensively about the war in Winchester.

Through her own hospitality, family connections, and her niece’s beaux, she often had an insider perspective on military happenings. Her first journal entry – which started as a letter – is not exception. Through Mary Greenhow Lee, we can note little details about leaders and military happenings. For example: Continue reading

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Civil War News’ Matthew Borowick

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As part of our series with Civil War News, ECW is pleased to welcome Matthew Borowick. 

Borowick-CWN thumbnailCivil War round tables. They’ve been around a long time, dating back to the oldest one, The Civil War Round Table, born in 1940 in Chicago. Today, hundreds of round tables around the world provide people of various ages, races, opinions and expertise a forum to discuss this period in our nation’s history.

Round tables differ in the ways they are run, how often they meet, the trips they take and how formal they are. Some conduct their meetings over dinner. Others involve a few people debating a given topic. They are wholly independent of each other and not chapters of a larger corporate hierarchy.

Yet, Civil War round tables (CWRTs) play an essential role in the study of The War Between the States. That role ensures the sacrifices made by those men and women many years ago shall never be forgotten, or bulldozed over, or erased from the history books. Continue reading

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From The Doorstep: Winchester Women Record Evacuation & Occupation, Part 1

It is a truth (mostly) universally acknowledged that if you want the long version of a story, ask a woman. I say this not as criticism, but rather as praise Civil War women and their primary sources. After recording the podcast with Chris and Dan, I started thinking about an event that illustrates an intersection of women’s voices telling military happenings during the 1860’s conflict. Although there are numerous accounts to highlight, here’s one that is especially interesting.

On March 11, 1862, Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson and his troops left Winchester, Virginia. The general had held a council of war which had determined – against his own wishes – to abandon the town and move further up (south) in the Shenandoah Valley. Logically, this maneuver would cover Joseph Johnston’s flank east of the Blue Ridge Mountains and maintain communication while seeking better battleground than defending a city. Continue reading

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The Evolution of Cavalry Tactic: How Technology Drove Change (Part Eight)


Major General James H. Wilson

(conclusion to a series)

Young Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson, a member of the West Point class of 1861 who was known as Harry to his family and friends, commanded the Cavalry Corps of the Military Division of the Mississippi, in 1865. Wilson’s Corps consisted of roughly 13,500 troopers organized into three divisions, commanded by Brig. Gens. Edward M. McCook, Eli Long, and Emory Upton. Each trooper carried seven-shot Spencer carbines, meaning that this was the largest, best armed, best mounted force of cavalry ever seen on the North American continent to date. Capable of laying down a vast amount of rapid and effective firepower, Wilson’s Corps proved to be a juggernaut. In short, Wilson commanded a mounted army that could move from place to place quickly and efficiently and was capable of laying down a previously inconceivable amount of concentrated firepower.

On March 22, 1865, Wilson’s mounted army began a lengthy raid through Alabama intended to eviscerate what remained of the Confederate Deep South, all while operations around Petersburg, Virginia moved toward their climax, and on the day after Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s ultimate battlefield victory at Bentonville in North Carolina. Wilson’s mounted army was to deliver the coup de grace to a dying Confederacy. Continue reading

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Symposium Spotlight: Burnside’s Sand March: The Forgotten North Carolina Expedition

In this installment of our 2019 Emerging Civil War Symposium Spotlight we a take a behind-the-scenes look at Dwight Hughes’ presentation on the North Carolina Expedition. Continue to follow our series each Wednesday morning for another look into this year’s speakers and Forgotten Battles. Continue reading

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Civil War News’ Stephanie Hagiwara

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Hagiwara-CWN thumbnail.jpgAs part our series with Civil War News, ECW is pleased to welcome Stephanie Hagiwara.

A stereo card of Lt. George Custer lounging on the grass next to his dog launched my interest in the Civil War. My husband, who collects antique stereo cards and has ancestors who fought on both sides of the War, wanted to buy it. To make a long story shorter, he took up digitally restoring and colorizing historical images. I was along for the ride as he pursued his interest in the Civil War and 3d photography. Continue reading

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ECW Podcast “Celebrating Women’s History Month” Is Now Available

Looking for some recommended sources or wondering why we’ve voted these diaries among the best from the Civil War homefronts? Curious to learn about ECW managing editor’s thoughts on how military and civilian history fit together?

In the new podcast, Sarah Kay Bierle joins Chris Mackowski and Dan Welch to talk about some of the best sources to learn about women’s experiences in the Civil War. Continue reading

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Civil War Connections & Community Outreach

Julie Mujic shares about her journey in the history field.

Graduate school for academic history is quite the silo. Unless you are entering a public history program, which I did not, the focus is truly on developing enough content knowledge to drive a publishing record and a subsequent career as an academic historian. There is (or at least was when I was there) little effort to develop teaching skills, connect history to ongoing conversations in the public discourse, or learn how to manage the administrative and service responsibilities that come with academic department membership. I worked within this silo, largely ignorant of these shortcomings, for several years until I made the decision to leave it. To be fair, the demands of the tenure track do not really allow for deeper engagement with what it means to be a historian. The academic history profession is now beginning to address many of these issues, thankfully. Continue reading

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Question of the Week: 3/4-3/10/19

Who is your favorite Civil War nurse? Why?

(And don’t forget both men and women served as nurses in Civil War hospitals.)

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March-April 2019 Presentations


11th: Chris Mackowski, “Grant’s Last Battle,” Broome County Arts Council, Binghamton, NY

13th: Dan Welch, “The Last Road North,” Cleveland Civil War Round Table, OH

14th: Chris Mackowski, “Second-Guessing Richard Ewell,” Cape Fear Civil War Roundtable, Wilmington, NC Continue reading

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