Tag Archives: Bruce Catton

September 16, 1862: The Night Of No Return

Civil War soldiers vividly remembered, and recalled, certain days of their military careers, both the highs and lows, the good ones and the bad ones. For those soldier participants in the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, the September 17, … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Memory | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Grant, the Wilderness, and the Loneliness of Command

On the evening of May 6, 1864, Lieutenant General U.S. Grant considered the day’s events. The Battle of the Wilderness had just ended its second day, and Grant’s forces had been  beaten and battered in a way he’d never seen. … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Leadership--Federal, Personalities, Ties to the War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ed Bonekemper’s Lost Cause Fact-Check (part one)

Part one of two Historians debunked the myth of the Lost Cause decades ago, but it still defines the way many (if not most) Americans remember the narrative of the Civil War. Its influence on popular imagination holds sway over … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Emerging Civil War, Memory, Reconstruction, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Thoughts on Ken Burns: Chris Kolakowski

This series really brought the war to life in a human way for me. It still holds up all these years later, and will do so for a long time to come. In that sense it belongs in the category … Continue reading

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A Surfeit of Heroes: Custer At Gettysburg, July 3, 1863 Part I of a 2-part Series

In American history, it is doubtful if any battle has been studied more closely than the battle of Gettysburg, July 1-3, 1863. Strategy, tactics, weather, politics, communications, personalities, and just plain luck have been written about ad nauseam. The historiography … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Battlefields & Historic Places, Battles, Campaigns, Civil War Events, Emerging Civil War, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal, Personalities, Politics, Sesquicentennial | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Eastern Theater versus Western Theater: Where the Civil War Was Won and Lost: The Conclusion to a Series

The conclusion of a series. This series was put together from one of my extended graduate school research papers. The sources used were the current research between 2007-2008, obviously the historiography of the Civil War expands on a monthly basis, … Continue reading

Posted in Memory, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Telling History vs. Making Art: “a tension between Art and Science”

Part one in a series As a battlefield guide at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park (FSNMP), I frequently speak with folks who’ve come to the battlefields because they’ve read The Killer Angels, which in turn inspired them to come … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Memory, National Park Service | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Pick #1 on My Top Ten List–The Army of the Potomac, a Three-Volume set by Bruce Catton.

Part of a Series: Books Every Civil War Buff Ought to Own My #1 pick for Civil War books we should all have on our bookshelves is Bruce Catton’s trilogy The Army of the Potomac. This classic, first published in … Continue reading

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My Top Ten List, or Building Your Civil War Library

“Everyman his own historian,[1]” is a quote bandied about in many classrooms, but it is rarely more true than when it is describing Civil War folk. I use the word folk because I have no wish to begin a Sumter-like … Continue reading

Posted in Emerging Civil War | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

American Oracle and the dangers of political fanaticism

Reading David Blight’s American Oracle this weekend, I’ve noticed a subtle, cautionary note that keeps playing itself as an occasional undertone. It reminds me again why the study of history has something to tell us about current events—and also that no one … Continue reading

Posted in Books & Authors, Memory, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments