Tag Archives: Henry Halleck

Halleck and Meade in the Days After Gettysburg

Making fun of Henry Halleck is almost a cottage industry unto itself. For instance, when I mention him in talks, I tend to point out that he looks like he spent the night on a park bench before shuffling into … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Leadership--Federal, Lincoln, Personalities, Primary Sources | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

The Battle of Memphis and Its Fallen Federal Leader

One of the most consequential battles of the war—and one of the shortest—took place on June 6, 1862: the battle of Memphis. Federals suffered only a single casualty, Col. Charles Ellet, Jr., the man most responsible for the victory in … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Battles, Civilian, Leadership--Federal, Navies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Reading Jeff Davis

“No major figure in the Civil War stands more in need of a thoroughly researched and judiciously presented biography than Jefferson Davis,” wrote James I. Robertson in Civil War Times Illustrated in August 1972. But that doesn’t mean that a … Continue reading

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A Whiff of Treason? John Hay, George B. McClellan, and the Incident with Major John J. Key

ECW welcomes guest author Alexander B. Rossino A scandalous incident occurred in Washington, D.C. soon after the end of the 1862 Maryland Campaign. In late September, Maj. John J. Key, an officer attached to the staff of general-in-chief Henry Halleck, … Continue reading

Posted in Leadership--Federal, Personalities, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Question of the Week: 11/8-11/14/2021

Henry Halleck was so worried about sullying his reputation as “Old Brains” that he utterly failed to rise to the occasion when he became general in chief of the army. He became, I think, the ultimate “CYA” man. Secretary of … Continue reading

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A Chronology of the Confederacy’s 1862 Counterstrokes

Several months ago, I crossed an item off my Civil War bucket list: visiting the Perryville battlefield. While at the visitor center, I watched a video which put the Confederate invasion of Kentucky into the larger context of the war. … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Campaigns, Leadership--Confederate, Trans-Mississippi, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

ECW Weekender: National Museum of the United States Army

Today’s ECW Weekender highlights a new museum that most of our readers have yet to see. Originally set to open in June 2020, COVID-19 delayed the National Museum of the United States Army’s plan. It opened on November 11 that … Continue reading

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The Post-Shiloh Musings of General Sherman

There is little doubt that the Battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862, changed not only the nature of the American Civil War, but also the trajectory of William Tecumseh Sherman’s career.  Going into the battle Sherman was working diligently to … Continue reading

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Stephen Hurlbut and the Quest for Redemption

Few Civil War generals and politicians had an odder career than Stephen Hurlbut. He was born in South Carolina to Yankee parents, but fled north becoming a political power broker in Illinois. As a politician he was mostly a back … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

“You can do a great deal in eight days”: Ulysses S. Grant’s Forgotten Turning Point (part two)

Part two of two With an escort of twenty cavalrymen, Ulysses S. Grant rode on the evening of May 3, 1863, into the newly captured town Grand Gulf, Mississippi. He passed the now-abandoned Confederate forts, Cobun and Wade, and made … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Leadership--Federal, Navies, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments