Tag Archives: Henry Halleck

Heroic Burnside

By this point in 1862, Ambrose Burnside’s excellent plan for a late-year campaign had already begun to unravel. His Right Grand Division under Maj. Gen. Edwin V. Sumner stole a march on Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia and, … Continue reading

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The Army of the Potomac’s March from Harrison’s Landing

On August 14, 1862, the Army of the Potomac began departing its safe haven of the last month: its camp at Harrison’s Landing on the James River. George B. McClellan’s army lost nearly 16,000 men in late June and early … Continue reading

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Lee’s Last Great Field Victory: A Reassessment of Cold Harbor

ECW welcomes guest author Nathan Provost. On June 3, 1864, Federal soldiers waited anxiously to assault the seven-mile-long Confederate line near Mechanicsville, Virginia. The largest engagement of the battle of Cold Harbor was about to take place. Unbeknownst to them, … Continue reading

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Pope’s “Headquarters in the Saddle.” Sort of…

“Headquarters in the Saddle.” For a man that uttered many phrases that often make him the main course of mockery for Civil War historians, John Pope’s infamous dateline certainly receives its fair share of jokes. It did too in 1862. … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Campaigns, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lincoln Develops a More Modern Command System – Part 2: Frustration to Breakthrough

Emerging Civil War welcomes back JoAnna M. McDonald (This piece follows the introductory reminder of wars and republics and Part 1: Growing Pains) Thus far, in the first fourteen months, President Abraham Lincoln’s command systems had failed to generate success … Continue reading

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Railroads – Tracks to the Antietam: The Railroad Supplies the Army of the Potomac, September 18, 1862

“We can distinctly hear firing again this afternoon in the direction of Harpers Ferry,” wrote a Union soldier in the Washington defenses on September 17, 1862.[1] Closer to the Antietam battlefield, one onlooker attempted to count the number of Federal … Continue reading

Posted in Arms & Armaments, Artillery, Battles, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Was Lee’s “Lost Order” a Turning Point? (part one)

(part one of three) Civil War campaigns could often turn on a dime in favor of one army or the other. A sudden change in initiative marked the turning points of the war that scholars love to toss around the … Continue reading

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Grant Ascending . . .

The events of July 4, 1863, cemented Ulysses S. Grant’s position as a household name firmly into the public mind. The capitulation of the Confederate bastion of Vicksburg to “Unconditional Surrender” Grant of Donelson fame – on Independence Day no … Continue reading

Posted in Engaging the Civil War Series, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Voices of the Maryland Campaign: September 2, 1862

Remnants of the crushed Army of Virginia, together with pieces of the Army of the Potomac, came reeling into the defenses of Washington following the stinging defeat they just received on the plains of Manassas on August 30.  Fresh off … Continue reading

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In the Wake of Vicksburg, U. S. Grant as Commander of the Army of the Potomac?

By early August, 1863, Ulysses S. Grant had settled into administrative routine following the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi—but Grant wasn’t one to sit idle long. He had set his eye on Mobile, Alabama, which he was “very anxious to take” … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments