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?

Posted in Navies, Question of the Week | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Week In Review: September 3-9, 2018

It was a slower week on the blog. (Perhaps our authors are returning from the long holiday weekend?) However, we still had exciting and interesting content every day!

And…ECW podcasts release on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, so our first podcast for September made its appearance. There’s a half-hour of conversation of Florida during the Civil War that you won’t want to miss.  Continue reading

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The Lost Line at Rappahannock Station

I had the chance yesterday to explore the former Rappahannock Station battlefield, courtesy of my ECW colleague Rob Orrison. I drive through the battlefield all the time, but believe it or not, I’ve never even realized it. Rob generously took some time to orient me, but he warned me, “This is the ‘penny tour,’ not even worth a nickel.” There wasn’t going to be much to see.

The town of Remington has sprouted up since the war, and houses, stores, and a neighborhood now occupy most of the attack field (which also has Routes 15/29 running down part of it). But most distressing is that the Confederate position was recently turned into a housing subdivision within the last two years.

Confederate Line at Rappahannock Station  Continue reading

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Preservation News: 120 Acres at Fisher’s Hill

News from Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation’s press release and website: 

There is a chance to save the center of one of the most iconic battlefields in the nation – Fisher’s Hill. Long in the making, this property first came to attention as part of a larger project in 2016. Now this 120-acre preservation project is on the cusp of success, but it’s going to take all of us to make it happen.

Fought on September 21-22, 1864, Fisher’s Hill was one of the key battles of the 1864 Shenandoah Campaign. During the battle, the seemingly-strong Confederate position, bristling with guns, would be undone by a shortage of troops and a stunning Union flank attack, resulting in a Federal victory that would open the Valley to “The Burning.” Continue reading

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ECW Weekender: 1781 Brewery & Wilderness Run Vineyards

1781? That’s a Revolutionary War date! Why is it on a Civil War blog? Hold your horses – let us explain, and maybe you’ll be planning a trip to this brewery (and winery) and historic location.

During the Fifth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium in August, we hosted a Saturday night hang-out at this brewery and winery near Chancellorsville Battlefield. It was a wonderful evening with plenty of opportunities to talk about history, sample beverages, and enjoy some delicious cuisine. One of the historical details discussed that evening revolved around the history of the brewery’s location. Continue reading

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Perspectives from Cincinnati – Takeaways from the Civil War Congress

National Civil War Museum (photograph from museum website)

Darryl R. Smith from the Cincinnati Civil War Round Table shares his thoughts from the recent Civil War Round Table Congress, adding another perspective and voice to event discussions.

Convinced by a fellow board member to attend the recent Civil War Round Table Congress, held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania at the wonderful National Civil War Museum, and having some extra time on my vacation calendar, I decided that attending the congress might be beneficial for both our round table, as well as the Cynthiana Battlefields Foundation, as I serve on the boards of both organizations. Taking a couple of extra days off from work would also allow me to get some battlefield walks on the iconic Gettysburg battlefield, so a trip east would be a complete immersion into the Civil War. Okay, count me in! Continue reading

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