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The Civil War

Facts, Events & Information about The American Civil War: 1861-1865

First Battle of Bull Run Kurz & Allison
First Battle of Bull Run Kurz & Allison

Civil War Facts

Location

Eastern Theater, Western Theater, Trans-Mississippi, Gulf Coast, Sioux Uprising

Dates

1861-1865

Soldiers Engaged

Union: over 2,100,000

Confederate: over 1,000,000

Civil War Casualties

Union: over 350,000

Confederate: over 250,000

See Details Of Civil War Casualties

Outcome

Union Victory

Civil War Pictures

The Civil War was the first war that was widely photographed. Many American Civil War Images, Pictures and Photos have survived.

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Civil War Maps

The Civil War made wide use of battle maps.

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Civil War Timeline

See a timeline of events of the Civil War from 1860-1865. See events by year and important Civil War dates.

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Civil War Battlefields

The battlefields of the Civil War cross the nation, and made famous many previously unknown towns, crossroads and farms like Antietam Creek, Shiloh and Gettysburg.

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More Civil War Facts

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Civil War Articles

Explore articles from the History Net archives about the Civil War

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Civil War Summary: The American Civil War, 1861–1865, resulted from long-standing sectional differences and questions not fully resolved when the United States Constitution was ratified in 1789. With the defeat of the Southern Confederacy and the subsequent passage of the XIII, XIV and XV amendments to the Constitution, the Civil War’s lasting effects include abolishing the institution of slavery in America and firmly redefining the United States as a single, indivisible nation rather than a loosely bound collection of independent states.

Milestones

It was a war that saw many “firsts.” The long list of Civil War firsts include America’s first income tax, the first battle between ironclad ships, the first extensive use of black soldiers and sailors in U.S. service, the first use of quinine to treat typhoid fever, America’s first military draft, and many others. There were advances in medical treatment, military tactics, the chaplain service, and other fields. Over the course of the Civil War weapons ranged from obsolete flintlocks to state-of-the-art repeaters. During the Civil War, women took on new roles, including running farms and plantations and spying; some disguised themselves as men and fought in battle. All of the nation’s ethnic groups participated in the war, including Irish, Germans, American Indians, Jews, Chinese, Hispanics, etc.

Other Names for the Civil War

Northerners have also called the Civil War the War to Preserve the Union, the War of the Rebellion (War of the Southern Rebellion), and the War to Make Men Free. Southerners may refer to it as the War Between the States or the War of Northern Aggression. In the decades following the conflict, those who did not wish to upset adherents of either side simply called it The Late Unpleasantness. It is also known as Mr. Lincoln’s War and, less commonly, as Mr. Davis’ War.

Troop Strength and Casualties

Between April 1861 and April 1865, an estimated 1.5 million troops joined the war on the side of the Union and approximately 1.2 million went into Confederate service. An estimated total of 600,000 were killed in action or died of disease. More than twice that number were wounded but survived at least long enough to muster out. Casualties of the Civil War cannot be calculated exactly, due to missing records (especially on the Southern side) and the inability to determine exactly how many combatants died from wounds, drug addiction, or other war-related causes after leaving the service. An untold number of civilians also perished, primarily from disease as entire towns became hospitals.

Naval Battles

Most naval actions occurred on rivers and inlets or in harbors, and include history’s first clash between two ironclads, the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (a captured and converted ship formerly called the Merrimac), at Hampton Roads, Virginia, on March 9, 1862. Other actions include the Battle of Memphis (1862), Charleston Harbor (1863), and Mobile Bay (1864), and the naval sieges of Vicksburg in 1862 and again in 1863. The most famous clash between ocean-going warships was the duel between USS Kearsarge and CSS Alabama off Cherbourg, France, June 19, 1864. Throughout the war, the Union had a decided advantage in both numbers and quality of naval vessels.

The War Between The States Begins

On April 10, 1861, knowing that resupplies were on their way from the North to the federal garrison at Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, provisional Confederate forces in the city demanded the fort’s surrender. The fort’s commander, Major Robert Anderson, refused. On April 12, the Confederates opened fire with cannon. At 2:30 p.m. the following day, Major Anderson surrendered.

On April 15, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the Southern rebellion, a move that prompted Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and North Carolina to reverse themselves and vote in favor of session. (Most of the western section of Virginia rejected the session vote and broke away, ultimately forming a new, Union-loyal state, West Virginia.)

The United States had always maintained only a small professional army; the nation’s founders had feared a Napoleon might rise up and use a large army to overthrow the government and make himself a dictator. Many graduates of the U.S. Army’s military academy, West Point, resigned their commissions in order to fight for the South—this was especially true in the cavalry arm, but no members of the artillery “went South.” The Lincoln Administration had to rely on large numbers of volunteers from the states and territories.

In Richmond, Virginia, the President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, faced a similar problem in raising and equipping armies. Neither side expected a war of long duration. Volunteers were asked to serve for 90 days. “One big battle, and it’ll be over,” was the commonly expressed belief on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. Southerners thought Northerners too weak and cowardly to fight. Northerners thought a dependence upon slave labor had rendered Southerners too weak both physically and morally to present a serious battlefield threat. Both sides were due for a rude awakening.

The Challenges of North and South

To win the war would require Lincoln’s armies and navy to subdue an area from the East Coast to the Rio Grande, from the Mason-Dixon Line to the Gulf of Mexico. To prevent a Northern victory, the South would have to defend that same large area, but with a smaller population and less industry than the North could ultimately bring to bear. A short war would favor the South, a long one the North.

Theaters of War

Actions in the war were divided into the Eastern Theater, primarily comprised of Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the coast of North Carolina. The Atlantic Coast farther south was the Lower Seaboard Theater. The Western Theater began west of the Alleghenies (West Virginia excepted) and continued to the Mississippi River, but it also included the interior of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida. Events farther west are considered to have occurred in the Trans-Mississippi Theater and the Far West.

1861

The first inland clash between significant bodies of troops occurred on the morning of June 3, 1861, when 3,000 Union volunteers surprised 800 Confederates at Philippi in (West) Virginia. Lasting less than half an hour, the affair would barely qualify as a skirmish later in the war, but the Union victory there and subsequent ones in the region elevated the reputation of Major General George B. McClellan, commander of the Department of the Ohio.

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The first real battle took place July 21, 1861, on the hills around Bull Run creek outside Manassas, Virginia, a railroad junction some 30 miles south of the Northern capital at Washington City (Washington, D.C.) and about 90 miles north of the Confederate capital at Richmond on July. It is known as the First Battle of Bull Run (Northern name) or the First Battle of Manassas (Southern name). During the war, the North named battles for the nearest body of water, and the South used the name of the nearest town.

The Union army made progress early in the battle, but Confederate reinforcements arrived late in the day from the Shenandoah Valley and routed the Federals. The unfortunate Union commander, Irvin McDowell, was made the scapegoat and was replaced with an officer who had some victories to his credit: George Brinton McClellan.

On September 10, a Union victory at Carnifax Ferry in the Big Kanawha Valley of (West) Virginia virtually ended Confederate control in most of the western counties, although there would be raids and guerilla warfare there. A successful naval invasion of North Carolina took place in August.

The Western Theater saw only minor skirmishing. Kentucky was attempting to remain neutral and had vowed to take sides against whichever side first moved troops into it. That was the Confederacy, which felt compelled to establish Mississippi River forts and establish camps within the state to repel any attempted Union move south.

Near Springfield, Missouri, in the Trans-Mississippi, the South won a major battle on August 10, 1861. The Battle of Wilson’s Creek, also known as the Battle of Oak Hills, saw some 12,000 Confederates defeat less than 5,500 Union soldiers and take control of southwestern Missouri, but the Southerners did not immediately pursue northward. The Union commander, Nathaniel Lyon, was killed, the first Federal general to die in action during the war. The South had already lost Brigadier General Robert S. Garnett in a skirmish at Carrick’s Ford, (West) Virginia, and Brigadier General Bernard E. Bee at First Manassas. After Wilson’s Creek, Confederate forces won another Missouri victory at the First Battle of Lexington, September 13–20, 1861.

During the fall and winter, both sides swelled their ranks, trained troops, and obtained additional weapons, food and equipment, and horses and mules for the coming year’s campaigns.

1862

If 1861 had disabused Americans north and south of the notion this would be a short war, 1862 showed how terrible its cost in human life would be, beginning with the two bloody days of the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee and continuing through a series of battles in Virginia and America’s bloodiest single day, the Battle of Antietam in Maryland.

The year saw the first clash between ironclad warships, in the Battle of Hampton Roads. Lincoln announced his Emancipation Proclamation. The South found two heroes: Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, for his Shenandoah Valley Campaign, and Robert E. Lee, who took command of the main Confederate army. Lincoln would be hard-pressed to find a commander Lee could not out-general. Farther south along the Atlantic Coast, Federals captured territory in North and South Carolina and Georgia, but lost a chance to shorten the war when they were turned back at the Battle of Secessionville, South Carolina.

In the Western Theater, Union forces made deep penetrations into Dixie, beginning the year along the Ohio River and finishing it in control of Middle and West Tennessee, with outposts in Mississippi. Even New Orleans was under the Stars and Stripes again.

Beyond the Mississippi, initial Confederate successes in New Mexico territory were nullified by a defeat at Glorietta Pass. Texans lynched 50 Unionists in what became known as the Great Hanging at Gainesville and attacked German immigrants trying to leave the state, executing nine of the wounded after the Battle of the Nueces.

In August, starving Sioux Indians in Minnesota, angered because they’d not received badly needed payments promised by their treaty, began an uprising that killed at least 113 white men, women and children. Three hundred Sioux were sentenced to hang, but Lincoln cut that number to 38—still the largest mass execution in U.S. history.

Antietam and Shiloh

If 1861 had disabused Americans north and south of the notion this would be a short war, 1862 showed how terrible its cost in human life would be, beginning with the two bloody days of the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee and continuing through a series of battles in Virginia and America’s bloodiest single day, the Battle of Antietam in Maryland. September saw simultaneous Confederate invasions into Maryland and Kentucky in September. Neither, however, was long lived.

The year 1862 ended—and the new year would begin—with another bloodbath, on the banks of Stones River outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Overall, the scales were still nearly balanced between the two sides in their struggle to restore the Union or to establish a Southern Confederacy.

1863

The tide of war shifted noticeably in favor of the Union in 1863, despite a brilliant victory by Robert E. Lee in the Battle of Chancellorsville, a battle that cost the life of his daring lieutenant Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Lee then suffered a major defeat at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in early July. The victor, George Gordon Meade, did not pursue aggressively, and the Confederate “Gray Fox” escaped to fight another day. The two antagonists met again in November in a confused, inconclusive affair known as the Mine Run Campaign.

Battle of Chancellorsville

On April 17, the Army of the Potomac, under yet another commander, Maj. Gen. Joseph “Fighting Joe” Hooker, attempted to outflank Lee at Fredericksburg by crossing the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers above the town. In response, Lee divided his force, leaving part of it to guard the river at Fredericksburg. On April 30, Hooker and Lee collided near a mansion called Chancellorsville in a densely thicketed area of woods known as The Wilderness. After a brilliant flank attack that disorganized Hooker’s right, Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was mortally wounded by his own men in the darkness. He died May 10. Lee, learning the Federals had captured Fredericksburg, divided his force again and defeated them at Salem Church. Hooker gave up the campaign and withdrew on the night of May 5–6. The Battle of Chancellorsville is regarded as Lee’s most brilliant victory. Read more about the Battle of Chancellorsville.

Vicksburg, Chickamauga, and Chattanooga

The “Confederate Gibraltar,” Vicksburg, Mississippi, fell to Ulysses S. Grant on July 4 after a 47-day siege. Confederates won their greatest victory in the Western Theater at the Battle of Chickamauga in September, but failed to capitalize on it and in late November were routed from the hills above Chattanooga, opening the road to Atlanta for the Union’s Western armies. Grant was placed in command of all Western armies, a prelude to an even greater promotion that would come the following spring.

Two massacres marked 1863. In response to raids by Shoshoni Indians in the Idaho Territory of the far northwest, U.S. troops under Col. Patrick E. Connor attacked the camp of Chief Bear Hunter on January 29. A number of Shoshoni women, children and old men were killed along with Hunting Bear’s warriors in the Bear River Massacre (Massacre at Boa Ogoi). On August 21, Confederate guerrillas under Captain William C. Quantrill sacked and burned Lawrence, Kansas, a center for pro-Union, anti-slavery Jayhawkers and Redlegs, killing 150–200 men and boys.

Gettysburg

In mid-June, Lee led his Army of Northern Virginia into Maryland and Pennsylvania in his second invasion of the North, hoping to take pressure off Virginia’s farms during the growing season and seeking a victory on Northern soil. His men encountered the Army of the Potomac, now under George Gordon Meade, at a crossroads town in southeastern Pennsylvania on July 1. Capturing the town but failing to take the high ground around it, Lee assailed the Union flanks the next day. The fighting on the Union left was particularly costly to both sides, memorializing Little and Big Round Top, Devil’s Den, the each Orchard and the Wheatfield. On the right, the Confederates nearly broke through on Culp’s and Cemetery hills before being repulsed. On July 3, Lee made perhaps his greatest mistake of the war, ordering a frontal attack across open ground against the Union center on Cemetery Ridge. Known as “Pickett’s Charge” for the commander of the largest Confederate division involved, George Pickett, the attack failed, leaving thousands of Southern soldiers dead and wounded. On Independence Day, a wagon train of wounded over 14 miles long began Lee’s retreat. With the Confederate’s loss of Vicksburg, Mississippi, that same day, July 4, 1863, is often described as the turning point of the Civil War. Read more about the Battle Of Gettysburg

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The year also saw an event unique in American history. Counties of western Virginia had refused to leave the Union when the state seceded in 1861. On June 20, 1863, West Virginia entered the Union as the 35th state, although the U.S. Constitution requires a mother state’s permission before a new state can be carved out of it.

At the end of 1863, both sides still had significant forces, and the Confederates enjoyed good defensive terrain in Virginia and North Georgia. If they could inflict enough losses on their Northern opponents, they might win at the ballot box what they could not on the field of battle: Lincoln was vulnerable and in the 1864 elections might be replaced by a Democrat who would make peace with the Confederacy.

1864

Since the beginning of the war, Lincoln had sought in vain for a general who understood that destroying the Confederate armies in Virginia was more important than capturing Richmond, and who wouldn’t turn back in the face of a defeat in battle. He believed he’d found that man in Ulysses S. Grant, who was put in charge of all Union armies in March 1864. “Unconditional Surrender” Grant proved Lincoln right, but the cost in lives led many, including the president’s wife, Mary, to call the general a “butcher.”

The Wilderness

Following his promotion, Grant attached himself to the North’s largest army, the Army of the Potomac, while leaving George Gordon Meade, the victor of Gettysburg, in command of that force. On May 2, the Army of the Potomac crossed Virginia’s Rapidan River. Three days later, it collided with Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia in a wooded area thick with underbrush, known as The Wilderness, near the old Chancellorsville battlefield, site of Lee’s most brilliant victory. There was no such clear-cut outcome this time. After two blood-soaked days of close-quarters fighting, Grant maneuvered his army to outflank Lee’s right. Lee anticipated the move, and the two armies tore at each other again for two weeks in May around Spotsylvania Courthouse. Again, Grant sidestepped, and again Lee met him in the Battle of the North Anna. Grant intended to “fight it out along this line if it takes all summer,” and the two armies clashed again and again, moving ever southward. At Cold Harbor, Grant made one of the worst mistakes of his career, suffering 7,000 casualties within 20 minutes while Lee’s losses were negligible. Eventually, the Federals maneuvered their opponents so close to Richmond and Petersburg—a town essential to the Confederates’ supply line—that Lee had to give up his ability to maneuver and settle into trench warfare. The siege of Richmond and Petersburg had begun. Read more about the Battle Of The Wilderness

Petersburg and Richmond

On July 30, the Union exploded a mine beneath a portion of the Confederate works around Petersburg. A tardy advance by a large number of Union soldiers into the 30-foot-deep crater it created allowed the Southerners time to recover. They poured fired into the densely packed Federals; eventually, the fighting was hand-to-hand. Angered by the blast and the presence of black troops, the Confederates gave no quarter and the Battle of the Crater resulted in 4,000 Union casualties for no gain. Read more about the Battle Of Petersburg

Although much of Lee’s army was tied down in the defense of Richmond and Petersburg, other portions resisted Union advances in the Shenandoah Valley. After a victory at Lynchburg in June, Jubal A. Early took his Army of the Valley across the Potomac and boldly marched on the Northern capital at Washington, D.C. A desperate delaying action on July 9 at Monocacy, Maryland, by an outnumbered force under Lew Wallace—the future author of Ben Hur—bought the capital time to prepare. When Early attacked Fort Stevens outside the city on July 11—12, President and Mrs. Lincoln came out to watch the fighting. After Early retired back down the Shenandoah Valley, Grant ordered Philip Sheridan to lay waste to the Valley. On October 9, Early surprised Sheridan’s camps on Cedar Creek near Winchester. Sheridan galloped to the sound of the guns, arriving in time to halt the Union rout and crushed the Confederates, effectively ending Early’s ability to take offensive actions to protect the Valley.

When Grant went east his friend and subordinate, William Tecumseh Sherman, took command of the armies of the Tennessee and the Cumberland at Chattanooga. While Grant bludgeoned and sidestepped his way toward Richmond, Sherman was slugging through the mountains of North Georgia. There, Confederate general Joseph Johnston made superb use of terrain to slow the Federal advance. After a series of clashes followed by maneuvers around Johnston’s defenses, Sherman lost patience and ordered a frontal assault on Kennesaw Mountain that cost 3,000 Union lives compared with 1,000 for the Confederates. But gradually, his armies closed in on the rail center of Atlanta. Finally, on September 2, Sherman’s men entered Atlanta after the Confederate army, now under the command of John Bell Hood, evacuated the town, setting fire to it before leaving.

The capture of Atlanta was one of the most crucial events of the war. The South’s last remaining hope was that war-weary Northern voters might turn Lincoln out of the White House in the November elections and replace him with a Peace Democrat. The Democrats had nominated George B. McClellan, the former commander of the Army of the Potomac, as their candidate. The party made many missteps during the campaign, and for the first time ever, the North allowed soldiers to vote in the field. Both of those contributed to Lincoln winning a second term, but had Sherman not taken Atlanta, the long casualty rolls from Grant’s Overland Campaign and the on-going stalemate around the Confederate capital might have been enough to convince Northerners to “give peace a chance” and vote against Lincoln and the war.

Sherman’s March To The Sea

Sherman left Atlanta November 15 on his march to the sea. Along the way, he intended to “make Georgia howl,” letting his men live off the land and burning all they couldn’t take with them. He reached Savannah by Christmas, leaving a 60-mile wide swath of ashes, wrecked railroads and utter destruction behind him. Read more about Sherman’s March To The Sea

In an attempt to pull Sherman back into Tennessee, John Bell Hood swung the Army of Tennessee through upper Alabama and struck north for Nashville. Sherman detached George Thomas and the Army of the Cumberland to deal with him. At the town of Franklin, Hood ordered frontal assaults that after five hours of intense fighting, left his army in tatters; five generals were dead. Hood’s reduced force then besieged Nashville—the most heavily fortified city in America after Washington, D.C. After an ice storm melted, Thomas came out of his works and finished the job of shattering the Confederate army. Its remnants withdrew to Tupelo, Mississippi.

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In the spring of 1864, Nathan Bedford Forrest began an expedition that reached Paducah, Kentucky, on the Ohio River before rampaging against Federal installations in West Tennessee. Stories that his men massacred Union soldiers, particularly members of the United States Colored Troops captured at Fort Pillow, a poorly designed Mississippi River fort north of Memphis, gained instant credence in the North, but two official inquiries were unable to reach a conclusion about what had actually happened. At New Johnsonville, Tennessee, Forrest gained the distinction of commanding the only cavalry group ever to defeat gunboats, when they sunk or frightened crews into scuttling four ships.

On the Gulf Coast of Alabama on August 5, Admiral David G. Farragut steamed into the Battle of Mobile Bay with 18 ships. Tradition has it that when he was warned about torpedoes (mines) in the bay he responded, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” After Farragut’s ships defeated the unfinished ironclad CSS Tennessee, Union infantry captured forts Gaines and Morgan, sealing off the mouth of the bay, but the city of Mobile remained defiant.

By the end of 1864, the Confederacy had nothing left but courage and tenacity. With Lincoln’s re-election, no viable hope remained for a negotiated peace. The smoke rising above Georgia and the thousands of bodies strung out from Nashville to Atlanta to Petersburg and the gates of Washington said there would be no military victory. Legislators of North Carolina pressed Jefferson Davis to make peace before their state suffered Georgia’s fate but to no avail. The South would fight on, no matter cost.

1865

The noose around the Confederacy was strangling it. In mid-January Fort Fisher in North Carolina fell to a combined land and naval force. The port city of Wilmington followed a month later. Sherman’s bummers were advancing north. When they reached South Carolina, where the rebellion had begun, any bit of restraint they may have shown elsewhere was pitched aside. By February 20, the state capital of Columbia was captured; fires destroyed much of the city, but whether they were set deliberately by Sherman’s troops or by retreating Confederates or accidentally by Union soldiers celebrating with too much alcohol has been long debated. Sherman’s men continued on through North Carolina, setting fire to the pine forests that played an important role in the state’s economy. What remained of the Confederate forces, once more under the command of Joseph Johnston, was far too small to stop the juggernaut.

Outside Petersburg, Virginia, Lee launched a costly failed attack against the besiegers’ Fort Steadman on March 25. When Federals under Phil Sheridan captured the crossroads at Five Forks, cutting Lee’s supply line, he withdrew from the Petersburg–Richmond trenches and headed southwest, hoping to link up with Johnston coming up from the south. Before leaving Richmond, the Confederates set fire to the town. On April 9, at Appomattox Courthouse, after discovering Federals had beaten him to a supply cache, he surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Grant. Despite his nickname of “Unconditional Surrender” Grant and his policy of waging total war against the South to end the rebellion, Grant offered generous terms, realizing this surrender would virtually end the war.

Johnston surrendered to Sherman at Bentonville, North Carolina, on April 26. Sherman extended even more generous terms than Grant had but endured the embarrassment of having to go back to Johnston with harsher conditions. Between Lee and Johnston’s surrenders, an event had occurred that reduced the North’s compassion toward their proud, defeated enemies.

Lincoln Assassinated

On the night of April 14, John Wilkes Booth, a staunchly pro-slavery Confederate sympathizer, slipped into the President’s Box at Ford’s Theater in Washington and fired a single bullet into the back of Abraham Lincoln’s head. Lincoln died the next morning, the first American president to be assassinated. Booth was shot weeks later while trying to escape from a barn in Virginia. All those captured who were believed to be his co-conspirators in the plot were hanged, including Mary Surratt, who owned the boarding house where the plotters met.

Jefferson Davis, who had escaped Richmond, was captured in Georgia on May 10 and imprisoned for two years at Fortress Monroe, Virginia, before being released on $100,000 bond.

One after another, the remaining Confederate forces surrendered. Their last army in the field was surrendered by Cherokee Chief Stand Watie in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) on June 23.

The Last Battle

The last land battle, a Confederate victory, occurred May 12–13 at Palmito (or Palmetto) Ranch in south Texas, where word of Lee’s surrender had not yet been received. Far across the Atlantic on November 6, 1865, the sea raider CSS Shenandoah surrendered to a British captain; had the ship’s crew surrendered in America, they risked hanging as pirates.

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On Christmas Day, 1868, President Andrew Johnson issued an amnesty proclamation to all former Confederates, including Jefferson Davis. Only one Confederate was executed, Henry Wirtz, commander of the notorious prison camp at Andersonville. Officially known as Fort Sumter, Andersonville was the largest prison camp in the south and was infamous for its ill treatment of Union prisoners who lacked adequate food and medicine. Southerners have long protested that the death rate in Northern prison camps was higher than that of Andersonville, and Wirtz should not have been punished for war crimes. Learn more about the Andersonville Prison Camp

Causes

There were numerous causes that led to the Civil War, many of which developing around the fact that the North was becoming more industrialized while the South remained largely agrarian. Some causes of the Civil War include:

States’ Rights

Missouri Compromise

Dred Scott Decision

John Brown

Abolitionist Movement

Slavery In America

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Underground Railroad

» See A Full List Of Civil War Causes

Battles

There were over fifty major land battles and over ten thousand skirmishes, engagements and other military actions fought during the Civil War. The first major battle was the First Battle of Bull Run and the last major battle was Appomattox Courthouse. Major Battles include:

Battle Of Bull Run Battle Of Gettysburg

Battle Of Fredericksburg

Seven Days Battle

Battle Of Petersburg

Battle Of Chickamauga

Battle Of Antietam

Second Battle Of Bull Run

Battle Of Vicksburg

Battle Of Shiloh

Battle Of Atlanta

Battle Of Chancellorsville

Cold Harbor

Appomattox Court House Battle

» See A Full List Of Civil War Battles

 

Generals

Several hundred generals were commissioned during the American Civil War in the Union and Confederate armies. These men led the troops into the battles that would ultimately decide the outcome of the war. Prominent Civil War Generals include:

Confederate Generals

 

Union Generals:

» See A Full List Of Civil War Generals

 

Weapons

Weapons were the instruments of war in the Civil War and often played a critical role in deciding many battles. Great advances came in the rifle, muskets, artillery, cannon and bullets, including the Minie Ball. Weapons used in the Civil War include:

Civil War cannon

Civil War guns

Civil War swords

Minie Ball

» Read more about Civil War Weapons

 

Women Of The War

Women played an important role in the Civil War, playing the role of authors, as was the case of Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionists, civil rights activists, and nurses. Prominent Civil War women include:

Mary Todd Lincoln

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Civil War Nurses

» Read more about Civil War Women

 

Armies

There were two main armies engaged in the Civil War were the Union Army and the Confederate Army. But there were other notable armies within them including the Army of The Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia. Some prominent Civil War armies include:

Union Army

Confederate Army

Army Of The Potomac

Army Of Northern Virginia

 

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the central figure of the Civil War. His election as President in 1860 on a platform of anti-slavery was a catalyst for southern states’ secession. He led the nation through the troubled years of 1861 until his assassination in 1865, just before the war ended.

» Read more about Abraham Lincoln

 

Casualties

The total number of casualties in the Civil War is not known precisely as records were not accurately kept during the era. Most sources put the total casualties on the Union and Confederate sides at between 640,000 and 700,000.

» Read more about Civil War Casualties

 

Sherman’s March

Sherman’s March to the Sea refers to the Savannah Campaign by General William Tecumseh Sherman which took place November to December, 1864. It is noted not only for its military success but for the sheer destruction inflicted on the south.

» Read more about Sherman’s March

 

Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation Proclamation, was issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. Delivered soon after the union victory at the battle of Antietam, it freed all slaves in confederate states. The proclamation proved a great motivator for the northern war effort and gave the war a higher purpose.

 

The Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address, written by Abraham Lincoln and delivered after the battle of Gettysburg at the battlefield, is one of the most famous speeches in American History.

» Read more about The Gettysburg Address

 

Soldiers

The common soldier of the Civil War varied greatly. Most were farmers, aged 18 to 29. Most were white protestants though African Americans made up roughly 10 percent of the Union army. Most earned 11 dollars per month.

» Read more about Civil War Soldiers

 

Uniforms

The uniforms for the soldiers of the Civil War are generalized between the blue for the Union and grey for Confederates, but there were many variations depending on location and time period.

» Read more about Civil War Uniforms

 

Confederacy

The Confederacy is the name commonly given to the Confederate States of American which existed from 1860-1865 throughout the Civil War. It was started when southern states seceded from the Union after the election of Abraham Lincoln. The Confederate President was Jefferson Davis.

» Read more about the Confederacy
» Read more about Jefferson Davis

 

Slavery In America

Slavery in America started in the early 17th Century with most slaves coming from Africa and being used in agriculture production. By the 18th Century, the Abolitionism movement began in the north and caused a divide between the northern and southern states. This divide came to the forefront with the election of Abraham Lincoln, who ran on an anti-slavery platform.

» Read more about Slavery In America

 

Civil War Flags

There were many different flags used during the Civil War. On the Union side, there were both 33 star flags and 34 star flags after Kansas was admitted to the Union in 1861. On the Confederate side, there were three national flags as well as the more recognizable confederate battle flag. Additionally, each corps, divisions, brigades, regiments, and even individual companies carried their own unique flags.

» Read more about Civil War Flags

 

African Americans In The War

African Americans served many roles in the Civil War. In the Union army, over 179,000 African Americans served, with more serving in the Navy and in various support roles. In the Confederacy, African Americans remained slaves and their role was limited mostly to labor positions. Also, figures like Frederick Douglass were active abolitionists before and during the Civil War.

 

Reconstruction

The Reconstruction Period generally refers to the period just after the Civil War, from 1865 to 1877. Reconstruction period was as harsh as the war on the Southern states and that they never fully regained their standing. The period of Reconstruction was important to build equal standing among the states and to regain trust.

» Read more about the Civil War Reconstruction Period

Civil War Articles From History Net Magazines

Articles 1

All Things VicksburgThe Union’s eight-month struggle to conquer Vicksburg, Miss., culminated in a 47-day siege that ended on July 4, 1863—one day after the Federal triumph at Gettysburg. Terrence Winschel, former chief historian at Vicksburg National Military Park, has written nine Civil War books, including Triumph and Defeat: The Vicksburg Campaign, first published in 1999. We recently …
Abraham Lincoln Library and MuseumThe Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum at Lincoln Memorial University houses one of the world's largest collections of artifacts, books, and manuscripts related to the 16th President of the U.S.
Was playwright George H. Booth related to John Wilkes Booth?Tell me about George H. Booth (b. 1840 Chicopee Falls, MA and d. 1927 Madrid, IA): Was he related to John Wilkes Booth? His play, The Drunkard’s Dream, is in the Library of Congress; did he have other published works? Craig Krouch ? ? ? Dear Mr. Krouch, As far as I can determine, George …
‘Civil War: The Untold Story’ – Interview with filmmaker Chris Wheeler'Civil War: The Untold Story' examines the war in the Western Theater. Photo by Justin Koehler Civil War: The Untold Story is a five-hour documentary from Great Divide Pictures, which has produced award-winning historical documentaries such as How the West Was Lost and visitor center films for several Civil War National Parks. Currently scheduled to …
How in the world did they shoot Stonewall Jackson?It’s one of the best-known stories of the Civil War: Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson is accidentally shot by his own men during the Battle of Chancellorsville and then dies a few days later. His death, perhaps, alters the course of the war itself.
‘Saving Lincoln’ – Movie ReviewThe independent film 'Saving Lincoln' is a small, shining gem, a movie with heart and brains about Abraham Lincoln and his friend and bodyguard Ward Hill Lamon.
American Experience: The Abolitionists"American Experience: The Abolitionists" is a compelling, 3-part series on the rise, fracturing, decline, resurgence and ultimate triumph of the movement to make all Americans free.
What If…What if “Stonewall” Jackson had been with the Army of Northern Virginia at Gettysburg? Nathan Bedford Forrest had been given command of an army in the Western Theater? Joseph E. Johnston had not been wounded at Seven Pines on May 31, 1862? Abraham Lincoln had not called for 75,000 volunteers to suppress the rebellion on …
Major General Adelbert Ames: Forgotten Man of the 20th MaineJune Issue Extra: Adelbert Ames preceded Joshua Chamberlain as colonel of the 20th Maine
Emory Upton and the Shaping of the U.S. ArmyHow one soldier’s combat experiences and study of the world's great military powers led to a tactical revolution
MHQ Reviews: Cain at GettysburgHistorynet Image MHQ Home Page Cain at Gettysburg By Ralph Peters. 432 pp. Forge, 2012. $25.99. Reviewed by Noah Andre Trudeau I confess to being a fan of Civil War fiction involving real battles. Over the years I’ve come to recognize three types. One alters some aspect of the engagement that changes the outcome, then …
Union at ShilohA letter from Pvt. William Christie, 1st Minnesota Battery, to his father. Christie’s battery lost three men killed and six men wounded. I supposed you have heard of the great battle on the 6th and 7th of this month. You will be proud to know that we were in the front of the battle, and …
Louisa May Alcott Goes to WarEager to support the North, the budding author volunteered for a fledgling corps of female nurses
A vast rebel conspiracy on the Great LakesA speculative rendering of the Canadian merchant Georgian, by Gregory Proch The Georgian started its life as a merchant steamer, but Confederate agents in Canada had darker plans The quiet streets of Toronto stretched away from Dr. James Bates, disappearing into a darkened maze of brick walls and peaked roofs. He glanced furtively over his …
Ron Maxwell Interview – ‘Gods and Generals’ Extended Director’s CutA HistoryNet exclusive interview with director Ron Maxwell about the extended director's cut of his film Gods and Generals, now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Is It MosbyIs this a previously unknown portrait of the Gray Ghost?
The Day New York Tried to SecedeA bird's-eye view of pre-war New York displays the shipping commerce that made the city rich. Image courtesy of Library of Congress. A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Because of a production problem, a portion of this article was omitted from the January 2012 issue of America’s Civil War. It follows here in full. During the …
We Are All RebelsA Louisiana youth wages a personal war with the Yankees on his doorstep Aleck Mouton was 10 years old, barefoot and Confederate to the core when he confronted Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks, who had just invaded the tiny south Louisiana town of Vermilionville. One of the first properties Banks’ Union soldiers reached on the morning …
My Thoughts Be BloodyMy Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry Between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth That Led to an American Tragedy by Nora Titone Free Press, 2010, $30 This new book by first-time author Nora Titone is so intrepidly original in its research and interpretations that intense arguments and heated debates are certain to accompany its inevitable …
Two Virginias Two Civil WarsTwo Virginias, two Civil Wars? The state in the forefront of war remembrance still argues over what happened The state of Virginia has been back in the news, again at war with itself and again over issues relating to the Civil War. On the one hand, the state’s diverse Sesquicentennial Commission masterfully organized its annual …
Camp Misery ExcavationStudents snag chance to probe ‘Camp Misery’ As if the indignity of losing at Fredericksburg were not enough, 100,000 Union soldiers (and 90,000 of their counterparts from the South) settled in to spend the winter along the banks of Virginia’s Rappahannock River at a site that would become known tellingly as Camp Misery. The savage …
The Civil War in the New York TimesThe New York Times Complete Civil War, 1861-1865 Edited by Harold Holzer and Craig L. Symonds Black Dog & Leventhal Publishing, 2010, $40 It is no stretch to say the New York Times was the nation’s most powerful newspaper during the Civil War. The paper’s youthful founder and editor, Henry Jarvis Raymond, had inroads not …
Segways appear at Fredericksburg NMPSegways slipping silently across the battlefield might resemble the charge of the very, very light brigade, but the two-wheel, stand-up scooters could be an ideal way for tourists to inspect hallowed Civil War sites. Beginning in June, the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park offered Segway tours of the Spotsylvania Court House Battlefield, where a …
Antietam RememberedA veteran of Antietam spent his life collecting accounts of the war’s most horrific fighting
What if Lee had been a Yankee?A video giving an opinion of what would have happened had General Robert E. Lee had been a Yankee. To view the video, click here.
Civil War MemoryHarold Holzer explores revisionism and Civil War memory
Soldiering to Citizenship in the Civil WarBecoming American Under Fire: Irish Americans, African Americans, and the Politics of Citizenship During the Civil War Era by Christian G. Samito, Cornell University Press, 2010, $39.95 Christian Samito’s Becoming American Under Fire is a superb study of the expansion of citizenship during the Civil War era. He proves that through active defense of the …
Dred Scott vs. the LawHe signed documents with an “X” and left no known recorded quotes or memoir of his experiences. Yet because of his determination to be free, we know his name: Dred Scott, the intrepid slave who battled an unjust system through a Supreme Court case that shook the United States to its core.Dred Scott. Library of …
Bugle CallsRETREAT: FIRST CALL: CALL TO ARMS: CALL TO THE COLORS: GENERAL QUARTERS:
Lynchburg Town Song  Lynchburg Town chorus 1: Going down to town, I’m going down to town, Going down to the Lynchburg Town, To take my tobacco down.   chorus 2: Times a-getting hard, Money getting sca’ce, Pay me for them tobacco, boys, And I will leave this place.   Massa had an old gray horse, Took him …
Putting a face on the burden of war: Lincoln Face MorphWorry over a nation torn apart etched itself in the visage of Abraham Lincoln.
The Last Photo of LincolnWhen Abraham Lincoln’s remains arrived in New York City on April 24, 1865, hundreds of thousands of its once-antagonistic citizens gathered to mourn him.
Decision 1864(PLACE CURSOR OVER MCCLELLAN’S AND LINCOLN’S HEADS AND LISTEN) As the war-weary Union anticipated the upcoming presidential election, beleaguered incumbent Abraham Lincoln faced the prospect of losing his office to the man he had fired as commander of the Army of the Potomac less than two years before. Lincoln’s reelection wasn’t the only thing at …
Digging deeply into the earthworks at PetersburgIn the Trenches at Petersburg: Field Fortifications & Confederate Defeat by Earl J. Hess University of North Carolina Press, 2009 New biographies that focus on Civil War–era figures inevitably face the dilemma of how to interpret race, politics and equality in light of our own changing attitudes. No Civil War figure can possibly live up …
Riverside resort threatens Harpers Ferry’s viewshedA developer hoping to build a resort near Harpers Ferry, W.Va., faces several regulatory roadblocks. The developer, Rattling Springs Associates of McLean, Va., has submitted plans for a 50-room lodge and as many as 60 cottages along the banks of the Potomac River, not far from Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and the 19th-century downtown. …
Tennessee town memorializes Nathan B. Forrest’s horseIn the annals of American history, no war has produced as many famous horses as the Civil War: Traveller, Little Sorrel and Rienzi are among the best known, but there are others. Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, for example, rode several great mounts, including his loyal horse Roderick. At the March 1863 Battle of …
Lincoln Gets BuzzedLooking notably robust near his 56th birthday, Abraham Lincoln sat for this portrait by an un­known photographer around February 1865.
Lincoln or BustAbraham Lincoln posed for several famous photographs at Alexander Gardner’s Washington, D.C., gallery on November 8, 1863: one with his private secretaries John Nicolay and John Hay, and another full-face close-up that showed the steely-eyed president staring directly into the camera. The pictures were taken just 11 days before Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, adding …
Mary Liked the Clean-Shaven LookIn February 1861, longtime Illinois residents Abraham and Mary Lincoln moved their family to Washington, D.C., where the new president took up residence in the war-riven White House armed with a reassuring new image: that of a bearded statesman. Lincoln had begun growing his now-iconic whiskers only weeks after winning the 1860 election.   By …
The Angola Train WreckNearly 50 people died and many more injured in the 1867 train wreck known as the Angola Horror. John D. Rockefeller narrowly missed being one of them.
Timeline: The Abolition of the Slave TradeWilliam Wilberforce waged a long campaign to convince Britain to abolish the slave trade.
British Textiles Clothe the WorldHow did Britain come to dominate the global production of cloth?

By Claire Hopley

Second Battle of Manassas: Union Major General John Pope Was No Match for Robert E. LeeBrash, bombastic John Pope tempted fate by returning to the old battleground at Manassas. He thought he had caught Robert E. Lee napping. He was wrong.
America’s Civil War: Horses and Field ArtilleryWorking side by side with soldiers, horses labored to pull artillery pieces into battle. Without them, field artillery could not have been used to such deadly effect.
Battle of Stones River: Philip Sheridan’s Rise to Millitary FameWhen Braxton Bragg's Confederates swooped down on the Federals at Stones River, only one division stood between the Rebels and calamitous defeat. Fortunately for the Union, that division was commanded by Phil Sheridan.
John C. Calhoun: He Started the Civil WarIf one person could be called the instigator of the Civil War, it was John C. Calhoun -- genius pragmatist, and racist.
Weaponry: The Rifle-Musket and the Minié BallThe Civil War's deadliest weapons were not rapid-fire guns or giant cannon, but the simple rifle-musket and the humble minié ball.
Gas Balloons: View From Above the Civil War BattlefieldLed by pioneering balloonist Thaddeus Lowe, daredevil aeronauts on both sides of the war took to the skies in flimsy balloons to eyeball their opponents' every move. Soldiers on the ground often did not take kindly to the unwanted attention.
Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi (Book Review)Reviewed by Mike Oppenheim By Michael B. Ballard University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2004 Popular writers tell us the Confederacy successfully fought off the Union until July 1863. Then came Vicksburg and Gettysburg, after which defeat became inevitable. Meant to satisfy both sides, this traditional view pays too much attention to the stalemate in …

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USS Monitor: The Crew Took Great Pride in Serving on the Famous ShipThe crew of Swedish Inventor John Ericsson's Monitor took great pride in serving on the renowned 'cheese box on a raft.'
Battle of Resaca: Botched Union AttackWilliam Tecumseh Sherman waited expectantly to hear that his accomplished young protégé, James B. McPherson, had successfully gotten astride the railroad at Resaca and cut off the Confederate line of retreat. Hours went by with no word from McPherson. What was 'Mac' doing in Snake Creek Gap?
Abraham Lincoln: Tyrant, Hypocrite or Consummate StatesmanThe key to understanding Abraham Lincoln's philosophy of statesmanship is that he always sought the meeting point between what was right in theory and what could be achieved in practice.
Picture of the Day: November 20Julia Ward Howe & The Battle Hymn of the Republic On November 18, 1861, poet and abolitionist Julia Ward Howe accompanied her husband, Dr. Samuel Howe, to Fort Griffin, Virginia to review Union troops defending the capital. The ceremony was cut short when the Federals were forced to give chase to a nearby party of …
Picture of the Day: November 19Gettysburg Address President Abraham Lincoln was asked to deliver a few ‘appropriate remarks’ to the crowd at the dedication of the Civil War cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on November 19, 1863. Lincoln’s address was almost ignored in the wake of the lengthy oration by main speaker Edwin Everett. In fact, Lincoln’s speech was over before …
Picture of the Day: May 27Wild Bill Hickok Legendary gunfighter James Butler ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok was born on May 27, 1837. As a youth, Hickok helped his father operate an Underground Railroad stop for runaway slaves and during the Civil War became a daring Union scout. After the war Hickok’s fame as a skilled marksman, Indian fighter and frontier marshal …
Picture of the Day: October 16On Sunday evening, October 16, 1859, radical abolitionist John Brown and a tiny army of five black and 13 white supporters seized the Federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia). Convinced that local slaves would rise up behind him, Brown planned to establish a new republic of fugitives in the Appalachian Mountains. Brown’s …
Picture of the Day: September 17On September 17, 1862, a small, stone-arch bridge that spans Antietam Creek outside Sharpsburg, Maryland, became one of the most hotly contested structures in American history. During the Battle of Antietam, an entire Union corps spent most of the bloodiest single day of the Civil War waiting to cross the creek over that bridge, opposed …
Picture of the Day: March 11The Dred Scott Case Dred Scott was a slave who accompanied his owner — army surgeon John Emerson — to military posts in Wisconsin and Illinois in 1834-35. In 1846 Scott — backed by abolitionists — sued for his freedom on the grounds that he became free when he lived in an area where slavery …
Book Review: Bloody Bill Anderson: The Short, Savage Life of a Civil War Guerrilla (by Albert Castel and Thomas Goodrich): CWTBloody Bill Anderson: The Short, Savage Life of a Civil War Guerrilla, by Albert Castel and Thomas Goodrich, Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, 800-732-3669, 192 pages, $24.95. Americans like to think of their Civil War as a gentlemen’s disagreement, remarkably free from the barbarity and senseless killing that characterized revolutions in other parts of the world. …
Book Review: The Union Must Stand: The Civil War Diary of John Quincy Adams Campbell, Fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry (edited by Mark Grimsley and Todd D. Miller): ACWThe Union Must Stand: The Civil War Diary of John Quincy Adams Campbell, Fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, edited by Mark Grimsley and Todd D. Miller, University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 2000, $38.   The outpouring of Civil War-era diaries and memoirs continues unabated. Fueled by the historiographical trend in recent years of examining the common …
Banners to the Breeze: The Kentucky Campaign, Corinth and Stones River (by Earl J. Hess) : ACWBanners to the Breeze: The Kentucky Campaign, Corinth and Stones River, by Earl J. Hess, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000, $32.   The year 1862 proved critical for Confederate fortunes in the Western theater. It began with a series of disasters, as Union forces penetrated the Confederacy’s defensive network by capturing the river strongholds …
Battle of Gettysburg: Major Eugene Blackford and the Fifth Alabama SharpshootersAs fighting swirled all around the little town of Gettysburg, Major Eugene Blackford and his sharpshooters infiltrated the usually quiet streets to snipe at Union soldiers often mere paces away. It was dangerous duty, but also a sort of reckless sport.
National Battlefield Tower at GettysburgEditorial on the demise of National Battlefield Tower at Gettysburg.
America’s Civil War: November 2000 From the EditorFrom the Editor America's Civil War The Committee on the Conduct of the War was as much a foe of wayward Union generals as it was of Confederates. The Committee on the Conduct of the War, which moved quickly and eagerly to investigate reports of Confederate forces deliberately slaughtering black and white soldiers at Fort …
Civil War Times: August 2000 LettersLetters - Submit Civil War Times COVER-HOGGING OVERINDULGENCE When I was 10 years old, I was at a friend’s house and happened upon his father’s January 1978 issue of CWTI. I have collected and read cover to cover every issue since February 1978, when William C. Davis was editor. I have never written before this …
America’s Civil War: March 2000 From the EditorFrom the Editor America's Civil War Ulysses S. Grant could thank Assistant Secretary of War Charles A. Dana for his new command at Chattanooga. When Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant arrived in Chattanooga to take command of the beleaguered Union forces there, he had one person more than any other to thank for his new …
Civil War Times: December 2000 EditorialFrom the Editor Civil War Times NATURAL CAUSES Nothing gives you an appreciation for the modern world like a good case of some formerly fatal disease. In my case, it was pneumonia–specifically, mycoplasma pneumonia, which spread all through both of my lungs, and stole the whole month of August from me. Of course, disease never …
Civil War Times: May 2000 LettersLetters - Submit Civil War Times THE END OF THE WAR Thank you, Dr. Castel, for your article in the May issue. Although I count myself a believer in the theory that the Civil War was largely fought and won in the West, I have not until now adequately appreciated the contributions of General William …
America’s Civil War: January 2000 From the EditorAuthor George Washington Cable was one former Confederate who did not regret losing the Civil War. When Union Captain Theodorus Bailey walked unarmed into hostile New Orleans in April 1862, an admiring local teenager watched him covertly from the family store. To 17-year-old George Washington Cable, Bailey’s walk was “one of the bravest deeds I …
This Case is Close to My Heart: August 2000 American History FeatureAlthough ready to retire, famed attorney Clarence Darrow rose to the challenge when asked to defend a black physician against a murder charge. by John F. Wukovits Ossian Sweet wasn’t looking for trouble when he went shopping in Detroit for a house for his young family in the spring of 1925. "He just wanted to …
Multi-Media Review: ANTEBELLUM AMERICA 1820-1855 (CD-ROM) : AHANTEBELLUM AMERICA 1820-1855, Multieducator, $54.95. This CD-ROM documents the major events of the Antebellum period, including the reelection of President James Monroe, the main battles of the Mexican War, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Divided into four sections, the program explores daily life, economics, the arts, and the major military, political, and social figures of the …
Multi-Media Review: ENCARTA AFRICANA (CD-ROM) : AHENCARTA AFRICANA, Microsoft, $69.96. This comprehensive multimedia encyclopedia of Africans and people of African descent contains more than 3,000 authoritative articles; an interactive timeline; 2,500 video and audio clips; maps and photographs; virtual tours that lead the viewer to the 3-D worlds of New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, Senegal, Cuba, Brazil, and Egypt; 100 sidebars …
Multi-Media Review: Civil War Book Review (Periodical) : CWTCIVIL WAR BOOK REVIEW, For subscription information, call 615-292-8926, extension 34. A consuming curiosity about Civil War history and an insatiable appetite for books go together like a saber and scabbard. It’s not television that converts people with a nagging interest in the war into bona fide experts. It’s the Shelby Foote trilogy spread across …
Multi-Media Review: UNDERGROUND RAILROAD (VHS) : AHUNDERGROUND RAILROAD, The History Channel, $19.95. Many of the stories about the organized network used to help runaway slaves reach freedom are chronicled in this 100-minute video, through dramatic re-creations of escapes and acts of heroism. This moving account details the achievements of legendary abolitionist figures, including Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Harriet Tubman.
Multi-Media Review: The Civil War from American Heritage: CWTTHE CIVIL WAR FROM AMERICAN HERITAGEThe producers of American Heritage’s new CD-ROM The Civil War have skillfully and creatively employed multimedia technology to offer a visually interesting, informative overview of America’s greatest conflict. Broken down into six main categories–“Themes,” “Culture,” “Timeline,” “Campaigns,” “People,” and “Rank and Regalia”–the material is fairly detailed and easily accessible. There …
Multi-Media Review: Digital Topographic Maps of Civil War Battlefields (video) : ACWDigital Topographic Maps of Civil War Battlefields, Digital History Corporation, Oakton, Va., $49.95 plus $5 shipping and handling. Digital Topographic Maps of Civil War Battlefields gives scholars a valuable resource that frustrated field generals probably wished for time and time again–accurately drawn, detailed renderings of almost every major Civil War battlefield. From Fort Sumter to …
Multi-Media Review: Andersonville: CWTANDERSONVILLEConsidering the magnitude of suffering at Andersonville prison, it is difficult to understand how the movie industry has nearly completed its first century without someone exploiting that pathos for its cinematic value. With some success Ted Turner has finally done that, but it is disappointing that the production perpetuates so many significant myths that have …
Multi-Media Review: Sid Meier’s Gettysburg – CWTSid Meier’s Gettysburg! Electronic Arts, (800) 245-4525, $49.95. Imagine you’re a Confederate general. It’s July 3, 1863, and you’re in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Across the open fields before you, the Union’s seemingly impenetrable line on Cemetery Ridge glares at you menacingly. After two days of fierce fighting, you have been ordered to lead your tattered division …
Multi-Media Review: ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA PROFILES BLACK HISTORY: AHENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA PROFILES BLACK HISTORY, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., $29.95. A comprehensive look at nearly 400 years of African-American history is presented in this CD-ROM for Macintosh and Windows, which includes detailed discussions of abolitionism, the American Anti-Slavery Society, the 1839 Amistad mutiny, the 1857 Dred Scott ruling, the Ku Klux Klan, the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, …
Multi-Media Review: ABRAHAM AND MARY LINCOLN: A HOUSE DIVIDED (PBS Documentary) : AHABRAHAM AND MARY LINCOLN: A HOUSE DIVIDED, An American Experience documentary, airs on PBS television February 19, 20, and 21. It is almost impossible these days to imagine a TV documentary about the Civil War era that does not feature narrator David McCullogh, the obligatory violin-solo theme music, historian talking-heads offering expert commentary, and cameras …
Multi-Media Review: The Civil War CD-ROM : ACWThe Civil War CD-ROM, Guild Press of Indiana, Inc., Carmel, Ind., $69.95. The Civil War CD-ROM provides an irrefutable argument for the space-saving technology of CD-ROMs. Not only is every dispatch, every sketch and every report from the Official Records crammed into a single compact disc, but room has been found for four other research …
Jim Thorpe and the old Jail Museum – Sidebar: April ’00 American HistoryThorpe A visitor to the town of Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, in 1876 looked in amazement at the rough terrain and tall mountains surrounding it and asked, "How did the people here ever find this place?" Yet it was its location in the heart of coal country that made this small eastern Pennsylvania town on the …
Multi-Media Review: Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided (PBS) : CWTAbraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided, directed by David Grubin, written by Geoffrey C. Ward and David Grubin. Airs on PBS in three two-hour parts on February 19, 20, and 21. Check local listings for times. He was born in a log cabin. He had little formal education. What he knew about the world …
Multi-Media Review: Battleground 5: Antietam (TalonSoft) : ACWBattleground 5: Antietam, a Windows CD-ROM by TalonSoft(800-211-6504, www.talonsoft.com), $54.95. Battleground 5: Antietam, is a historical strategy game dealing with the Battle of Antietam, during which the Union forces of Major General George B. McClellan attacked Confederate forces under General Robert E. Lee. The momentous battle was fought along Antietam Creek on the rolling farmland …
Multi-Media Review: The Lincoln Assassination: AHTHE LINCOLN ASSASSINATION(Arts & Entertainment Television Networks, $29.95). The myths and misconceptions that surround the death of President Abraham Lincoln (1809-65)–the first American president to be assassinated–are unraveled in this two-cassette video presentation. The documentary examines why, from the moment he was elected, Lincoln lived with the threat of assassination, a fact that led him …
MAPPING THE COLORADO – Cover Page: June 2000 American History FeatureMAPPING THE COLORADO In 1869, John Wesley Powell defied the myth of the Colorado River’s invincibility and led the first expedition to navigate through the Grand Canyon. by Carolyn J. Hursch "On my return from the first exploration of the canyons of Colorado," wrote John Wesley Powell in a memoir published in 1895, "I found …
Multi-Media Review: Lincoln’s Letters: The Private Man and the Warrior: ACWLINCOLN’S LETTERS: THE PRIVATE MAN AND THE WARRIORMost presidents’ written records have been pored over by scholars in minute detail. These scholars, in turn, produce volumes of their own, intended to tell us what our leaders’ writings really meant. Abraham Lincoln’s writings need no such interpretation. Love him or hate him, few can deny that …
1948 The Presidential Election: December ’00 American History Feature1948 THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION   The press and the polls agreed: Harry Truman was certain to lose. But instead of giving up, the president decided to "give ’em hell." by Michael D. Haydock FEW PEOPLE BELIEVED that President Harry S. Truman had a chance of winning the 1948 presidential election. The three great national polling …
American History: December 2000 From the EditorAn American Named UlyssesRecent months have seen the publication of no less than three novels about Ulysses S. Grant. Even taking into consideration the public’s enduring fascination with the Civil War, I find that somewhat astonishing. Yet, on further reflection, Grant’s life does provide the raw stuff of fiction, an epic tale of an ordinary …
Attack Written Deep and Crimson – May ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureAttack Written Deep and Crimson By Robert Collins Suhr The strategic railroad town of Corinth was a key target for Confederate armieshoping to march north in support of General Braxton Bragg’s invasion ofKentucky. In late summer 1862, Confederate armies were on the march everywhere. The most notable advance, that of the Army of Northern Virginia, …
The New Bern Raid – June 1999 Civil War Times FeatureThe New Bern Raid John Wood’s swashbucklers set out to seize a Union fleet. BY PHILLIP RUTHERFORD As the new year of 1864 arrived, General Robert E. Lee’s attention focused on New Bern, North Carolina. Stationed there on the Neuse River was a fleet of imposing Federal warships and Yankee ironclads under construction in the …
The Widow-Makers – October 1999 Civil War Times FeatureThe Widow-Makers The Civil War’s deadliest weapons were not rapid-fire guns or giant cannon, but the simple rifle-musket and the humble minié ball. BY ALLAN W. HOWEY By the time the smoke had cleared and the veterans headed back to their homes, the American Civil War had exacted a terrible human cost. In four long …
Frederick Stowe in the shadow of Uncle Tom’s Cabin – January ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureFrederick Stowe in the shadow of Uncle Tom's Cabin By James Tackach The fame of novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe followed her son throughout the Civil War. “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war!” President Abraham Lincoln reportedly said to Harriet Beecher Stowe when he met her at a …
Nurse Pember and the Whiskey War – August 1999 Civil War Times FeatureNurse Pember and the Whiskey War BY MARY C. MESKAUSKAS From atop Chimborazo Hill on the western outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, Phoebe Yates Pember, matron of Chimborazo Hospital Number Two, looked down upon “a scene of indescribable confusion.” A few months earlier, the collapse of the Confederacy had been only a whispered rumor. Now, on …
A Solider’s Legacy – August 1999 Civil War Times FeatureA Soldier’s Legacy SUBMITTED BY REX ROWLAND OF CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE   NAME Calvin Kelley DATES 1834(?) to May 22, 1864 ALLEGIANCE Confederate RANK Private UNIT 8th Arkansas Infantry, Company K SERVICE RECORD Enlisted on October 12, 1861. Wounded in the December 31, 1862-January 2, 1863, Battle of Murfreesboro. Wounded in the September 1863 Battle of …
Civil War Times: October 1999 EditorialFrom the EditorCivil War Times THE LAST FULL MEASURE OF AMBITION I remember standing on Seminary Ridge, looking out over that ocean of a field that stretches to Cemetery Ridge. It was a windy winter day in the late 1980s, and there was scarcely anyone else at Gettysburg National Military Park. I studied the figures …
Hunley Crewmen Found – December 1999 Civil War Times FeatureHunley Crewmen Found BY SCHUYLER KROPF Two of the South’s great loves–college football and the Confederacy–came together in July when archaeologists confirmed the discovery of four members of the submarine C.S.S. H.L. Hunley’s first crew buried beneath the Citadel’s football stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. The skeletal remains were found among two dozen other graves …
Attack Written Deep and Crimson – Sidebar: May ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureCourt-Martial of Van Dorn As the result of his actions before, during and after the Battle of Corinth, the Confederate Army court-martialed Earl Van Dorn. Though other generals had lost battles, Van Dorn had the singular misfortune of having a vocal critic who was so dissatisfied with Van Dorn’s performance that he preferred charges against …
Civil War Times: October 1999 LettersLetters - SubmitCivil War Times THE WOMEN’S WAR Finally a leading Civil War magazine recognizes the fact that Rosie the Riveter started many years before World War II (“Women in the Civil War,” special issue, August 1999), when American wives took the place of their husbands working in munitions factories when the men went off …

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The Sperryville Outrage – March 1999 Civil War Times FeatureThe Sperryville Outrage Three men in blue thought they could get away with rape and terror on an isolated Virginia farm. They were wrong. BY THOMAS P. LOWRY With two months of intense training under their belts, the gunners and horsemen of Battery I of the 1st New York Light Artillery took to the parade …
Literal Hill of Death – September ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureLiteral Hill of Death By Jon Stephenson With Ulysses S. Grant’s army steadily menacing Vicksburg, Confederate General John Pemberton left the town’s comforting defenses to seek out the enemy army. Too late, he found it, at Champion’s Hill. Well after dark on May 15, 1863, the tired foot soldiers of Confederate Colonel Francis Marion Cockrell’s …
Civil War Times: December 1999 LettersLetters - SubmitCivil War Times RIGHT, BUT A LITTLE WRONG I had the great fortune to have been born and raised in the Gettysburg area and recall many instances of looking out over the revered battlefield, experiencing many of the same emotions put forth in your article (“The Last Full Measure of Ambition,” October 1999). …
Stonewall’s Only Defeat – Sidebar: January ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureStonewall’s Cavalry Chief In an army not lacking for larger-than-life heroes, Confederate cavalry leader Turner Ashby had already become a legend by the time of his premature death in June 1862. As Stonewall Jackson’s cavalry chief in the Shenandoah Valley, the Virginia-born Ashby naturally took on some of the glamour of the South’s most-vaunted warrior. …
Smith-Taylor Disagreement – Sidebar: November ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureSmith-Taylor Disagreement The Trans-Mississippi West was hardly a picture of soldierly bliss and harmony, either. There were too many idle generals full of fire and ambition, and not enough combat duties to go around. As a result, they spent their time bickering and intriguing among themselves. Because he had almost dictatorial powers in the department …
THE SAVIOR OF CINCINNATI – February 1999 Civil War Times FeatureTHE SAVIOR OF CINCINNATI Long before he published Ben-Hur, Lew Wallace rose from a career as an obscure small-town Indiana lawyer to take a prominent role in the Civil War. BY ROBERT E. MORSBERGER During the first months of the war, when the Union suffered almost continual setbacks, Wallace received adulatory publicity for leading his …
A Tar Heel’s Tale – October 1999 Civil War Times FeatureA Tar Heel’s Tale SUBMITTED BY LONNIE R. SPEER OF SWANNANOA, NORTH CAROLINA   NAME Charles Dock Jenkins DATES May 16, 1829, to January 20, 1915 ALLEGIANCE Confederate HIGHEST RANK Sergeant UNIT 29th North Carolina Infantry, Company F SERVICE RECORD Enlisted on August 31, 1861. Participated in skirmishes throughout eastern Tennessee. Wounded in the September …
MANTLED IN FIRE AND SMOKE – July ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureMANTLED IN FIRE AND SMOKE By David F. Cross The Battle of Gettysburg, and perhaps the fate of the Union, was decided in one hour of desperate fighting on the rocky ledges of Little Round Top. In June 1863, Confederate military fortunes in the East were at their zenith. The Union Army of the Potomac …
The North’s Unsung Sisters of Mercy – September ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureThe North's Unsung Sisters of Mercy By Alice P. Stein A cadre of dedicated Northern women from all walks of life traveled to the charnel houses of the Civil War to care for the sick and wounded. They came from the paneled drawing rooms of the nation’s great mansions, the log lean-tos of the far …
Heroine or Hoaxer? – August 1999 Civil War Times FeatureHeroine or Hoaxer? Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez wrote a controversial memoir disclosing her activities as a double agent and brave soldier during the Civil War. BY SYLVIA D. HOFFERT In 1876 the American public was introduced to an astonishing and controversial figure by the name of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez. Like so many others, she …
America’s Civil War: January 1999 From the EditorConfederate General Charles Sidney Winder found himself smack in the middle of the Jackson-Garnett feud. When Major General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson abruptly removed Brigadier General Richard Garnett from command of the Stonewall Brigade on April Fool’s Day, 1862, he inadvertently made Brigadier General Charles Sidney Winder the most unpopular man in the Shenandoah Valley. The …
Civil War Times: March 1999 LettersLetters - SubmitCivil War TimesThe Fighting Irish Upon reading James Callaghan’s article “Red on Green” (December 1998), I was amused to see a mention of the wounding of Lieutenant Seneca G. Willauer of the 116th Pennsylvania during the Union’s ill-fated assault at Fredericksburg. Seneca survived this wound, was promoted to captain three months later, and …
Mantled in Fire and Smoke – Sidebar: July ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureThe Colorful 44th New York Regiment Colonel Joshua Chamberlain’s 20th Maine may have won the most fame during the grueling fight for control of Little Round Top, but the largest regimental monument on the battlefield today commemorates a brother regiment that fought alongside the 20th Maine that desperate afternoon–the 44th New York, the “People’s Ellsworth …
America’s Civil War: September 1999 From the EditorGerms, not bullets, were a Civil War soldier’s deadliest foes. Army doctors were a close second. Yellow fever, although justly dreaded during the Civil War, was far from the only disease threatening Union and Confederate troops during the war. Indeed, the soldiers faced such a wide array of deadly diseases, from common childhood ailments such …
Bitter Bushwhackers and Jayhawkers – Sidebar: March ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureGuerrilla Mythmaker Exraordinaire As the years passed by and Bleeding Kansas and the Civil War lost their immediate hold on people’s hearts and minds, a professional journalist and former Confederate cavalryman named John N. Edwards waged a one-man war to refurbish the image of the Missouri guerrillas. How well he succeeded can be seen in …
WHEAT’S TIGERS Confederate Zouaves at First Manassas – May ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureWHEAT'S TIGERS Confederate Zouaves at First Manassas By Gary Schreckengost Recruited from New Orleans’ teeming waterfront by soldier of fortune Roberdeau Wheat, the 1st Louisiana Special Battalion more than lived up to its pugnacious nickname–Wheat’s Tigers–at the First Battle of Manassas. Of all the units that took the field at the First Battle of Manassas …
Stonewall’s Only Defeat – January ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureStonewalls Only Defeat By Lee Enderlin A furious Stonewall Jackson watched impotently as his proud Confederates stumbled down the hillside at Kernstown, Va. “Give them the bayonet,” Jackson implored–but no one obeyed. The Confederate general didn’t want to fight–he wanted to pray. It was, after all, the Sabbath, and if the Good Lord found it …
QUANTRILL’S LAST RIDE – March ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureQUANTRILL'S LAST RIDE By Stuart W. Sanders When Confederate fortunes plummeted in Missouri, fearsome guerrilla leader William Clarke Quantrill and his band of hardened killers headed east to terrorize Union soldiers and civilians in Kentucky. It would be Quantrill’s last hurrah. In July 1857, William Clarke Quantrill wrote to his mother back home in Ohio. …
South’s Feuding Generals – November ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureSouth's Feuding Generals By Richard Selcer It sometimes seemed that Southern generals were more interested in fighting each other than in fighting Yankees. Their inability to get along together contributed greatly to the South’s demise. Imagine a situation in the modern American army where officers refuse to fight under other officers, where generals openly defy …
America’s Civil War: March 1999 From the EditorFrom the EditorAmerica's Civil War Far from being ashamed of their wartime actions, Quantrill’s raiders held gala reunions to relive their deeds. Not all the Confederate guerrillas who rode with William Clarke Quantrill during the Civil War followed their infamous leader’s example by dying young. Some, in fact, lived to an improbable ripe old age. …
A German Partisan Ranger – March 1999 Civil War Times FeatureA German Partisan Ranger SUBMITTED BY FRED BARBER OF LAS VEGAS, NEVADA NAME: Wenzel ErnstDATES: 1839 to 1863ALLEGIANCE: ConfederateHIGHEST RANK: PrivateUNIT: 30th Texas Cavalry, 1st Texas Partisan RangersSERVICE RECORD: Enlisted in the 30th Texas Cavalry, Company E, on July 12, 1862, at Camp McCulloch near Buchanan, Texas. Patrolled the plains of Texas and the nearby …
they paid to enter Libby Prison – February 1999 Civil War Times Featurethey paid to enter Libby Prison A drafty Richmond deathtrap for captured Yankees became a tourist trap after the war–600 miles away! BY BRUCE KLEE The Union officers who stepped into the huge brick prison’s reception room knew all too well what this chamber was. It was the proverbial lion’s mouth. Here, men were swallowed …
Yankee in Gray – October 1999 Civil War Times FeatureYankee in Gray SUBMITTED BY MIKE FITZPATRICK OF ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND NAME James R. MathewsonDATES 1837 to ?ALLEGIANCE UnionRANK CaptainUNIT 7th Massachusetts Infantry, Company BSERVICE RECORD Enlisted on June 15, 1861. Fought in Peninsula Campaign and in the May 1-4, 1863, Battle of Chancellorsville. Wounded in the May 1864 Battle of the Wilderness. Mustered out on …
The Colonel was a Con Man – May 1999 Civil War Times FeatureThe Colonel was a Con Man If he was the son of Lord Byron, if he had been a major general in the Persian army, then why was he a private in the Union army? BY THOMAS P. LOWRY In all the armies of the Civil War, no two tent-mates were as unlikely a pair …
Camp William Penn’s Black Soldiers In Blue – November ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureCamp William Penn's Black Soldiers In Blue By Donald Scott Under the stern but sympathetic gaze of Lt. Col. Louis Wagner, some 11,000 African-American soldiers trained to fight for their freedom at Philadelphia’s Camp William Penn. Three Medal of Honor recipients would pass through the camp’s gates. Major Louis Wagner of the 88th Pennsylvania Infantry …
Bitter Bushwhackers and Jayhawkers – March ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureBitter Bushwhackers and Jayhawkers By Bo Kerrihard For half a decade before the Civil War, residents of the neighboring states of Missouri and Kansas waged their own civil war. It was a conflict whose scars were a long time in healing. The Civil War came early to Missouri and Kansas, stayed late, and was characterized …
Desperate Stand at Chickamauga – July ’99 America’s Civil War FeatureDesperate Stand at Chickamauga By James B. Ronan II Brigadier General John King’s disciplined brigade of Union Regulars found itself tested as never before at Chickamauga. For two bloody days, the Regulars dashed from one endangered spot to another, seeking to save their army from annihilation. In the cold, clear predawn of September 19, 1863, …
The Photographer of the Confederacy – May 1999 Civil War Times FeatureThe Photographer of the Confederacy BY CONLEY L. EDWARDS III In an attempt to explain why he undertook the task of battlefield photography during the Civil War, Mathew Brady said, “I felt I had to go, a spirit in my feet said go, and I went.” The modern student of the Civil War indeed owes …
From Farm to Prison – February 1999 Civil War Times FeatureFrom Farm to Prison SUBMITTED BY BENJAMIN SMITH OF PORTLAND, MAINE NAME: Llewellyn SmithDATES: 1836 to 1883ALLEGIANCE: UnionHIGHEST RANK: PrivateUNIT: 9th Maine Infantry, Company ISERVICE RECORD: Mustered into the 9th Maine Infantry on September 22, 1861. Captured at Bermuda Hundred, Virginia, on August 25, 1864. Incarcerated at Belle Isle Prison until mid-September and at Libby …
Soldier of Misfortune – June 1999 Civil War Times FeatureSoldier of Misfortune BY WALTER R. HAEFELE For more than two years, George St. Leger Grenfel did everything he could to get out of prison legally. His lawyer barraged federal officials with arguments assailing his conviction and his sentencing to life in prison. Friends testified to his impeccable character. Diplomats from his native England put …
America’s Civil War: July 1999 From the EditorFrom the EditorAmerica's Civil War Like Philadelphia’s Catherine Hewitt, Mobile-born Susan Tarleton lost her fiancé-general to an enemy bullet. The Civil War made widows of thousands of young–and not so young–American women. Thousands more, like Catherine Hewitt, lost their sweethearts before they ever got a chance to marry. One of those unfortunate lovers was Susan …
Peace on Earth – But not in Vicksburg – December 1999 Civil War Times FeatureVicksburg On Christmas day 1863, tension and bitter politics invaded the joyful serenity of a congregation’s worship. BY PEGGY ROBBINS December 25, 1863, was warmer than the Christmases Union soldiers in Vicksburg, Mississippi, remembered from up North. Still, it was chilly enough to fog a man’s breath as worshippers–citizens of the Southern city and Union …
William W. Brown – Cover Page: December ’99 American History FeatureWilliam W. Brown After his 1834 escape to freedom, fugitive slave William Wells Brown used his literary talents for the abolitionist cause and to record the history of America’s blacks. By Marsh Cassady At just after 8 p.m. on February 2, 1857, an air of expectancy gripped the crowd assembled in the town hall in …
Why the South Lost the Civil War – Cover Page: February ’99 American History FeatureTen Civil War historians provide contrasting and controversial views on how and why the Confederate cause ultimately ended in defeat.
“All men & women are created equal” – Cover Page: April ’99 American History FeatureAll men & women are created equal Over one hundred and fifty years ago the people attending the first Women’s Rights Convention adopted this radical proposition. by Constance Rynder The announcement of an upcoming “Woman’s Rights Convention” in the Seneca County Courier was small, but it attracted Charlotte Woodward’s attention. On the morning of July …
A Tragic Postscript – Cover Page: August ’99 American History FeatureA Tragic Postscript In a tragic postscript to the Civil War, as many as 1,700 Union soldiers, recently released from Confederate prisons, may have died while en route home aboard the steamer Sultana. By Jerry O. Potter On Christmas day, 1864, John Clark Ely shivered against the cold wind that blew through the small prison …
Remembering Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of GettysburgConfederate Captain Joseph Graham offers a different perspective on the Battle of Gettysburg, particularly its final hours.
THE BURNING OF COLUMBIA FROM THE UNION AND CONFEDERATE PERSPECTIVES – October 1998 Civil War Times FeatureBurning Columbia An excerpt from “Sherman’s March from Savannah to Bentonville.” From Battles and Leaders of the Civil War. BY UNION MAJOR GENERAL HENRY W. SLOCUM The fall of Savannah resulted in the adoption of the plan which Sherman had contemplated. In a letter dated December 24th Sherman says: “Many and many a person in …
The Myth of the 5 Dead Rebel Generals – February 1998 Civil War Times FeatureThe Myth of the 5 Dead Rebel Generals They were killed at Franklin, all right, but it’s not true that all five were laid out on the same porch. By Col. Campbell H. Brown General John B. Hood on November 30, 1864, launched one of his typically ill-considered attacks on the Federal entrenched position at …
BETRAYAL AT EBENEZER CREEK – October 1998 Civil War Times FeatureBETRAYAL AT EBENEZER CREEK Trapped between charging Rebels and a deadly flooded creek, thousands of fugitive slaves watched in horror as the Union army abandoned them. Then came catastrophe–and excuses. BY EDWARD M. CHURCHILL Brigadier General Jefferson C. Davis had few complaints about the able-bodied black men who were supplying the muscle and sweat to …
VOICES FROM THE STANDS . . . – May 1998 Civil War Times FeatureVOICES FROM THE STANDS In our February issue, we asked readers to send us their thoughts on baseball and its connection to the Civil War. Here is a sampling of what we received. All men have a hidden desire to compete and win. Baseball is a sport played for the fun of it, and the …
High Seas Brouhaha – November ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureHigh Seas Brouhaha By Kenneth P. Czech When an overzealous Union captain stopped and searched the British vessel Trent, a full-blown diplomatic crisis erupted between the United States and Great Britain. Interested Southerners watched with glee. As U.S. Navy Lieutenant D.M. Fairfax stood in the bow of a bobbing whaleboat at midday of November 8, …
Judson Kilpatrick – June 1998 Civil War Times FeatureJudson Kilpatrick BY EDWARD G. LONGACRE Union General Judson Kilpatrick was flamboyant, reckless, tempestuous, and even licentious. In some respects he made other beaux sabreurs like fellow-cavalrymen George Custer and J. E. B. Stuart seem dull. Because he was a passionate man, Kilpatrick won many admirers and made many enemies during his Civil War career–and …
CHRISTMAS IN THE CIVIL WAR – December 1998 Civil War Times FeatureCHRISTMAS IN THE CIVIL WAR Whether in camp, in prison, or on the homefront, Christmas came–and so did Saint Nicholas! BY KEVIN RAWLINGS Thomas Nast was in a quandary and his deadline was fast approaching. The editor of Harper’s Weekly, Fletcher Harper, wanted Nast to draw a “special Christmas picture” for the newspaper’s front page, …
Commands: The Quaker-dominated Loudoun Rangers openly defied Virginia tradition to serve the Union. – January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureThe Quaker-dominated Loudoun Rangers openly defied Virginia tradition to serve the Union. By Richard E. Crouch Of all the special units that were formed to combat Confederate partisan rangers in Virginia during the Civil War–the Blazer Scouts, the Jesse Scouts, Cole’s Maryland Cavalry and others–probably the most promising was the Loudoun Rangers, an independent cavalry …
Nothing But Glory Gained – Account of Pickett’s Charge at GettysburgJust before 3 o’clock on the morning of July 3, 1863, Robert E. Lee rose by starlight, ate a spartan breakfast with his staff, and mounted his famous gray horse, Traveller, for the ride up Seminary Ridge at Gettysburg. He went in search of his "Old War Horse," Lieutenant General James Longstreet, commander of I …
War’s Last Cavalry Raid – May ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureWar's Last Cavalry Raid By Chris Hartley Even as General Robert E. Lee was surrendering at Appomattox, a vengeful Union cavalry horde led by Maj. Gen. George Stoneman made Southern civilians pay dearly for the war. It was a last brutal lesson in the concept of total warfare. Six-foot-four-inch Major General George Stoneman, powerfully built, …
Confused First Flight – Sidebar: January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureForgotten Federal Success Despite the censure heaped upon Colonel George A. Porterfield for his conduct at the less-than-epic Battle of Philippi, the men who relieved him– including those who served on the court of inquiry–would do no better than he in wrenching western Virginia free of the tightening grasp of Major General George B. McClellan’s …
Eyewitness to War: Hinton Rowan Helper incurred the wrath of his fellow Southerners by writing a strident anti-slavery treatise – January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureSouthern-born Hinton Helper–not Harriet Beecher Stowe–wrote the most stinging indictment of slavery. By Joseph Gustaitis The myth probably began with Abraham Lincoln. When he met Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in 1862, Lincoln supposedly said, “So you are the little lady who wrote the book that started this great war.” Ever since …
Savage Skirmish Near Sharpsburg – September ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureSavage Skirmish Near Sharpsburg By Scott Hosier With Robert E. Lee’s wily Confederates waiting somewhere in the vicinity of Antietam Creek, Union General George McClellan ordered I Corps commander Joseph Hooker to advance and turn the Rebel flank. But McClellan, for once, was too quick to move, and Hooker soon found himself in an unexpectedly …

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J.E.B. Stuart: Gettysburg Scapegoat?Following the Confederate debacle at Gettysburg, many blamed Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart for leaving General Robert E. Lee in the dark. But was Stuart really to blame for the defeat? And if so, was he the only one at fault?
Confused First Flight – January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureReturn To The Killing Ground By David Mallinson At Philippi, in western Virginia, one overly optimistic young colonel confidentlyawaited reinforcements as Union columns converged on his tiny force from alldirections in the first full-fledged battle of the Civil War. On the morning of May 14, 1861, Confederate Colonel George A. Porterfield of Charles Town, Virginia, …
America’s Civil War: November 1998 From the EditorFrom the EditorAmerica's Civil War ‘Devil Dan’ Sickles ruined his reputation long before his misadventures at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. “Devil Dan” Sickles was notorious and controversial long before his ill-advised sorties imperiled the Union army at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. His sensational murder of his wife’s lover within earshot of the White House not only cemented …
Carnage in a Cornfield – September ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureCarnage in a Cornfield By Robert C. Cheeks Mr. Miller’s humble cornfield near Antietam Creek became the unlikely setting for perhaps the worst fighting of the entire Civil War. On Sunday night, September 14, 1862, Confederate General Robert E. Lee issued orders for his much scattered commands to rally at Sharpsburg, Maryland. His ambitious plans …
Clark’s Mountain – Sidebar: July ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureThe Perfect Cover Story Most accounts of the Second Manassas campaign rely heavily on Major General John Pope’s report from the Official Records. Many historians, in fact, have looked no further. Their trust has not been well-placed. Several clues within Pope’s version of events suggest falsehood, even without additional accounts. The key portion of Pope’s …
Civil War Times: May 1998 LettersLetters - SubmitCivil War TimesFrom Fort To Park About 20 years ago I was beginning work on a book on the Battle of Franklin and a biography of John M. Schofield. In 1975, I spent about three days in Franklin, Tennessee, making a thorough inspection of the battlefield and the surrounding country. I knew exactly …
Out of a Frozen Hell Part 2 – May 1998 Civil War Times FeatureOut of a Frozen Hell part 2 A misplaced pocketbook jeopardizes the escape of three Rebel prisoners struggling to reach Canada. BY ROGER LONG Editor’s Note: In our last issue, we followed four Confederate officers on their daring escape from Johnson’s Island Prison, on Ohio’s Sandusky Bay. Going over the wall on New Year’s Day …
Civil War Times: March 1998 LettersLetters - SubmitCivil War TimesRewriting History I read with some misgiving your announcement “Proposed Legislation Could Clear Dr. Mudd” (“News,” December 1997). President Jimmy Carter did not issue a proclamation absolving Mudd of his conviction as a co-conspirator of John Wilkes Booth, as you state. Carter sent a letter to Dr. Richard D. Mudd, grandson …
Missouri in the Balance Struggle for St. Louis – March ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureMissouri in the Balance Struggle for St. Louis By Anthony Monachello The dark clouds of civil war gathered over the nation as twoaggressive factions–the Wide-Awakes and the Minutemen–plotted to gain political control of Missouri and its most important city, St. Louis.As is often the case, political power began at the end of a gun. On …
Cavalry Clash at Hanover – January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureCavalry Clash at Hanover By Brent L. Vosburg Southern beau sabreur J.E.B. Stuart hardly expected to run head-on into enemy cavalry on his second ride around the Union Army. But a trio of ‘boy generals’ would soon give the famed Confederate horseman all the action he could handle. In mid-June 1863, General Robert E. Lee, …
America’s Civil War: September 1998 From the EditorIn love, as in war, Confederate General John Bell Hood was the personification of bad luck. When Confederate General John Bell Hood rode into Atlanta in July 1864 to take charge of the embattled Army of Tennessee, he was already in the midst of another desperate campaign: a frustrating and ultimately heartbreaking love affair with …
Hard-Fighting John Hammond – Sidebar: January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureHard-Fighting John Hammond Although many citizens heeded the call to defend and preserve the Union, no one in Essex County, New York, felt more strongly about serving his country than John Hammond. The son of Charles F. Hammond, a local businessman in Crown Point, New York, John was born on August 17, 1827. He attended …
Greybeards in Blue – February 1998 Civil War Times FeatureGreybeards in Blue An eccentric Iowa farmer raises a regiment of old-timers with hopes of one dayleading them into battle. BY BENTON McADAMS The idea was a bold one: a regiment of old men in Union blue, risen from their comfortable parlors and front-porch rockers to rally ’round the flag. The sight of these ancient …
Storm Over Fort Pulaski – March ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureStorm Over Fort Pulaski By Peggy Robbins As a young U.S. Army lieutenant, Robert E. Lee helped to construct Fort Pulaski. As a Confederate general 30 years later, he confidently assured fort defenders it could not be breached. Union gunners were not so sure. In late 1860, as North and South stood face to face …
Robert E. Lee on Black Troops and the Confederacy – February 1998 Civil War Times FeatureRobert E. Lee on Black Troops and the Confederacy In the waning days of the Civil War, Gen. Robert E. Lee disclosed his thoughts on the subject of Negroes as soldiers for the Confederacy. In the waning days of the Civil War, when desperation drove the Confederacy to enlist Negroes in her army, General Robert …
Rebels in Pennsylvania! – August 1998 Civil War Times FeatureRebels in Pennsylvania! The spearhead of Lee’s army was about to strike a lethal blow at the very heart of the Keystone State when the Battle of Gettysburg interrupted. BY UZAL ENT Gettysburg was a small rural town with no special significance or importance, like the thousands of other small towns that dotted the American …
A KANAWHA CAVALRYMAN – June 1998 Civil War Times FeatureA Kanawha Cavalryman SUBMITTED BY PAUL E. HAMER OF NORTHBROOK, ILLINOIS NAME: Junius Marion JonesDATES: 1841 to 1880ALLEGIANCE: UnionHIGHEST RANK: CorporalUNIT: 2d West Virginia Cavalry, Company ISERVICE RECORD: Enlisted in the 2d West Virginia Cavalry, Company I, onAugust 5, 1861, in Mason City, Virginia. Promoted to corporal on November 8.Captured on September 14, 1863, near …
NO DRAFT! – June 1998 Civil War Times FeatureNo draft! Angry farmers turn a Wisconsin town into a battlefield when they riot against conscription. BY ADAM J. KAWA A crowd gathered around the steps of the Ozaukee County courthouse in Port Washington, Wisconsin, on November 10, 1862. For the first time ever, Wisconsin men were going to be drafted into the army, and …
America’s Civil War: March 1998 From the EditorContrary to widespread belief, even ‘Beast’ Butler had a better side. He just kept it well hidden. If the Confederate States of America had ever offered a prize for the most hated Union general, New Hampshire-born Benjamin Butler would have won the laurels hands down. Short, stoop-shouldered and cross-eyed, Butler looked the part of the …
THE KEYSTONE OF LITTLE ROUND TOP – August 1998 Civil War Times FeatureThe Keystone of Little Round Top SUBMITTED BY TED KARLE, MENTOR, OHIO   NAME: Orpheus Saeger Woodward DATES: 1837 to June 26, 1919 ALLEGIANCE: Union HIGHEST RANK: Brevet Brigadier General UNIT: 83d Pennsylvania Infantry SERVICE RECORD: Enlisted on August 16, 1861. Elected captain in September. Promoted to colonel in 1864. Brevetted brigadier general in 1865. …
America’s Civil War: May 1998 From the EditorOn the occasion of our 10th anniversary, we look back with pride at promises made and kept. Ten years ago this month, a sergeant in the 4th Alabama Infantry defiantly waved his new national banner from the cover of an equally new magazine–America’s Civil War. Fittingly enough, the painting on the cover, by contemporary artist …
Out of a Frozen Hell – February 1998 Civil War Times FeatureOut of a Frozen Hell The wind was howling, snow was falling sideways, and the temperature was dangerously low. What better time to escape from Johnson’s Island? BY ROGER LONG Part two of this article from Civil War Times Illustrated will appear on TheHistoryNet the week of March 30. Editor’s Note: As 1863 gave way …
A MAN OF TWO TRADES – December 1998 Civil War Times FeatureA MAN OF TWO TRADES SUBMITTED BY DAVID A. WELKER AND F. WILLIAM SPANGENBERG, CENTREVILLE, VIRGINIA NAME: William Findlay RogersDATES: March 1, 1820 to December 16, 1899ALLEGIANCE: UnionHIGHEST RANK: Brevet brigadier generalUNIT: 21st New York InfantrySERVICE RECORD: Organized Company C, 74th New York StateMilitia, in April 1861. Enlisted in the 21st New York Infantry soonthereafter. …
America’s Civil War: January 1998 From the EditorWhether hidden in coffins or hollowed-out watermelons, contraband whiskey regularly found its way into camp. During the Civil War, as with all wars, excessive drinking was not limited to high-ranking officers. Humble men in the ranks also turned to alcohol to relieve the tensions and terrors of battle and the wearying tedium of camp. But …
Civil War Times: October 1998 LettersLetters - SubmitCivil War TimesFact Or Fiction? Readers responded in force to our first-ever use of historical fiction: “Lee in the Wilderness,” an excerpt from Jeff Shaara’s The Last Full Measure that appeared in our June 1998 issue. Here is a sampling of those responses. I thoroughly enjoyed the excerpt from Jeff Shaara’s The Last …
“Captain Sally” – October 1998 Civil War Times Feature“Captain Sally” SUBMITTED BY REED ALVORD OF HAMILTON, NEW YORK NAME: Sally Louisa TompkinsDATES: 1833 to 1916ALLEGIANCE: ConfederateHIGHEST RANK: CaptainUNIT: N/ASERVICE RECORD: Opened Robertson Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, on August 1, 1861. Commissioned captain of cavalry on September 9, 1861. Ceased operating the hospital on June 13, 1865. Born into a wealthy and altruistic family …
A California Soldier writes home – May 1998 Civil War Times FeatureA California Soldier writes home BY E.E. BILLINGS A group of San Franciscans wrote John A. Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, in 1862 offering to provide a company of 100 cavalrymen to be credited to that state’s quota under the draft. The only stipulation was that Massachusetts pay the cost of organizing the company and …
Battle of Gettysburg: Remembering Pickett’s ChargeFew judgments have generated as much controversy as the Confederate decision to make a last desperate attack on the center of the Union lines on the afternoon of July 3, 1863, at Gettysburg.
On the Road Again – February 1998 Civil War Times FeatureOn the Road Again SUBMITTED BY CARL JAMES DECKER, DUNEDIN, FLORIDA NAME: Romanzo Mortimer Buck DATES: May 1833 to December 1902ALLEGIANCE: UnionHIGHEST RANK: Captain UNIT: 4th Michigan Cavalry, Company C SERVICE RECORD: Enlisted in the 4th Michigan Cavalry in 1862. Promoted to first sergeant the same day. Promoted to second lieutenant on December 24.Promoted to …
Man on a Black Horse – May 1998 Civil War Times FeatureMan on a Black Horse SUBMITTED BY ROBERT D. WALKER, CUMBERLAND, RHODE ISLAND NAME: Nimrod Milton GreenDATES: 1827 to February 21, 1882ALLEGIANCE: ConfederateHIGHEST RANK: PrivateUNIT: 4th Virginia Cavalry, Company H–the “Black Horse Cavalry” SERVICE RECORD: Enlisted in the 4th Virginia Cavalry on April 25, 1861. Captured in Warrenton, Virginia, in November 1862 and exchanged for …
“Never Were Men So Brave” – December 1998 Civil War Times FeatureNever Were Men So Brave Their casualties were enormous but their courage and capacity for fun were legendary. General Lee, himself, gave highest praise to these Yankees of the Irish Brigade. BY JOHN F. McCORMACK, JR. Out Hanover Street in Fredericksburg they marched that December morning in 1862, sprigs of green in their caps, a …
Commands: The Quaker-dominated Loudoun Rangers openly defied Virginia tradition to serve the Union. – January ’98 America’s Civil War FeatureThe Quaker-dominated Loudoun Rangers openly defied Virginia tradition to serve the Union. By Richard E. Crouch Of all the special units that were formed to combat Confederate partisan rangers in Virginia during the Civil War–the Blazer Scouts, the Jesse Scouts, Cole’s Maryland Cavalry and others–probably the most promising was the Loudoun Rangers, an independent cavalry …
Pope’s narrow escape – July ’98 America’s Civil War FeaturePope's Escape By John W. Lamb While Robert E. Lee’s entire army massed behind Clark’s Mountain to attack the Union Army of Virginia, a daring Yankee spy swam the Rapidan River to warn Maj. Gen. John Pope of the imminent danger. It was, said one military historian, ‘the timeliest single product of espionage’ in the …
“All We Want Is Make Us Free”: January/February ’98 American History FeatureMake us free An 1839 mutiny aboard a Spanish ship inCuban waters raised basic questionsabout freedom and slavery in the UnitedStates. By Howard Jones Around 4:00 a.m. on July 2, 1839, Joseph Cinqué led a slave mutiny on board the Spanish schooner Amistad some 20 miles off northern Cuba. The revolt set off a remarkable …
Lincoln and the Chicken Bone Case: August ’98 American History FeatureLincoln and the Chicken Bone Case During his long career as a circuit-riding lawyer in Illinois prior to his presidency, Abraham Lincoln won over countless juries with his slow-talking style, his natural wit, and his story-telling ability. By Charles M. Hubbard Abraham lincoln spent only four of his 56 years as president of the United …
The death of Wilhautyah: December ’98 American History FeatureThe death of Wilhautyah When a white settler killed a Nez Perce warrior in 1876, the incident set off a chain of events that led to war. By Mark Highberger From across a freezing Montana battlefield on October 5, 1877, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce rode into the camp of U.S. Army Colonel Nelson …
The 3d Ohio – October 1997 Civil War Times FeatureThe 3d Ohio This Regiment Included Two Future Presidents and an Army Commander BY T. HARRY WILLIAMS AND STEPHEN E. AMBROSE The volunteer citizen army that fought the Civil War for the North was one of the most remarkable military assemblages in history. It represented every facet of the democratic society from which it came–the …
America’s Civil War: September 1997 From the EditorAt Antietam, George McClellan and his ‘bodyguard’ dawdled throughout a long ‘Fatal Thursday.’ This issue of America’s Civil War takes a close look at the Battle of Antietam on this, the 135th anniversary of the battle. There are feature-length articles on the fighting around Dunker church and Bloody Lane, as well as a "Personality" piece …
THE FALL OF A CONFEDERATE COMMANDER – Cover Page: March 1997 Civil War Times FeatureTHE FALL OF A CONFEDERATE COMMANDER EDITED BY CHARLES F. COONEYNotes on the Death of Albert Sidney Johnston In the aftermath of the Battle of Shiloh a perplexing question arose and has continued to be asked. The death of General Albert Sidney Johnston on the first day of that fight created a void in the …
Homecoming – December 1997 Civil War Times FeatureHomecoming SUBMITTED BY THOMAS CARTWRIGHT, FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE NAME: Henry J. Walker DATES: February 19, 1842, to April 6, 1862ALLEGIANCE: ConfederateHIGHEST RANK: PrivateUNIT: 24th Tennessee Infantry, Company BSERVICE RECORD: Enlisted in the 24th Tennessee, Company B, on August 24, 1861. Served under Patrick Cleburne in early 1862 when his unit became part of General Albert Sidney …
BLIND JUSTICE- Cover Page: May 1997 Civil War Times FeatureBLIND JUSTICE Should a Texas Ranger Expect Justice or Death From His Union Captors? BY DANIEL E. SUTHERLAND Ephraim Shelby Dodd sat in his Knoxville jail cell and scribbled a note to a local volunteer who was taking care of him and some other Rebel prisoners. He made a modest request–“a piece of soap, towel, …
DISASTER AT DOVE CREEK – Cover Page: February 1997 Civil War Times FeatureDISASTERAT DOVECREEK BY PHILLIP RUTHERFORD Captain N.W. Gillitine and twenty-three militiamen of the Texas 2d Military District stared into the grave they had just opened. On the bottom lay a two-year-old Indian girl, dead not 48 hours. To Gillitine, she was less a dead child than the final proof he needed for an alarming report …
first thunder at SHILOH – Cover Page: March 1997 Civil War Times Featurefirst thunder at SHILOH A REBEL BATTERY’S FIRST SALVO WAS THE PRELUDE TO A STORM THE UNTESTED CANNONEERS COULD NEVER HAVE IMAGINED JON G. STEPHENSON A Confederate artillery captain peered through his field glasses, calmly studying the distant tree line. It was a lovely day. A breeze ruffled the budding branches of the oaks that …
America’s Civil War: May 1997 From the EditorThe unexpected and unnecessary Loring-Jackson incident almost derailed two promising military careers. When Major General William Wing Loring led the successful Confederate defense of Yazoo Pass in March 1863 (see story, P. 46), he unwittingly earned himself a new nickname. Personally directing his men’s fire, Loring cried in the heat of battle: “Give them blizzards, …
Boys in the Bag – August 1997 Civil War Times FeatureBoys in the Bag The 7th U.S. Infantry’s most powerful foe was John Barleycorn. BY THOMAS P. LOWRY In July 1861, three months after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, the 7th Infantry was in southern New Mexico Territory. Companies A, B, D, E, G, I, and K garrisoned Fort Fillmore, the regiment’s headquarters. Companies C, …
Can We Ever Raise The Monitor? – June 1997 Civil War Times FeatureCan We Ever Raise The Monitor? The fate of a legendary ironclad is about to be decided. BY BERT HUBINGER The mighty U.S.S. Monitor drifted helplessly on the stormy sea some 16 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The scene at midnight on December 30, 1862, seemed “well calculated to appall the …
Amid Bedbugs and Drunken Secessionists – October 1997 Civil War Times FeatureAmid Bedbugs and Drunken Secessionists BY JACK D. FOWLERWilliam Woods Averell was a man on a mission–at least he wanted to be. He had come to Washington, D.C., from his New York home to attend President Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration on March 4, 1861. But after the festivities, the world turned upside down. Forces of the …
Drop Poision Gas from a Balloon – August 1997 Civil War Times FeatureDrop Poison Gas from a Balloon Bombing enemy positions from aircraft during the Civil War? That’s exactly what one Confederate soldier proposed as a way to overcome a Yankee fort in Florida. BY BELL I. WILEY As various historians have observed, the American conflict of 1861-1865 was the last of the old-fashioned and the first …
America’s Civil War: March 1997 From the EditorFor five former American presidents, the Civil War was a heartbreaking trial of loyalty and emotion. Zachary Taylor’s death from acute gastroenteritis in the middle of his presidential term spared him the heartbreak of having to choose sides in the Civil War a decade later. He would never know that his only son, Richard, would …
SAVE THE CONSTITUTION – Cover Page: May 1997 Civil War Times FeatureSAVE THE CONSTITUTION “Old Ironsides,” flagship of the U.S. Navy, beats a hasty retreat in the face of secessionist plots. BY ETHAN S. RAFUSE Baltimore boiled with defiant secessionist zeal in April 1861. On the 19th, an anti-Union mob attacked a unit of Massachusetts troops passing through the Maryland port city en route to Washington, …

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Prelude to a Duel – June 1997 Civil War Times FeaturePrelude to a Duel Terrified of the South’s new deadly weapon–an ironclad gunboat–the Union navy races its own armored ship to Virginia. Will the Monitor arrive in time to save the Union fleet? BY WILLIAM STILL At ten minutes before ten o’clock on the morning of January 30, 1862, the Monitor slid slowly out of …
Warriors for the Union – Cover Page: February 1997 Civil War Times FeatureBY DEBORAH NICHOLS and LAURENCE M. HAUPTMAN It was April 16, 1861, four days after secessionists bombarded Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Colonel William H. Emory, commander of Union forces in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), began to fear attacks on his forts by nearby Arkansas and Texas secessionists. So he withdrew his troops from Forts …
BLIND JUSTICE- Cover Page: May 1997 Civil War Times FeatureThe Other Dodd Within hours of Ephraim Dodd’s hanging on January 8, 1864, in Knoxville, 17-year-old David Owen Dodd, apparently no relation, met the same fate nearly 500 miles away, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Both were Rebels convicted of spying. Both were believed innocent by personal acquaintances. Both were condemned on evidence found in their …
Civil War Times: August 1997 EditorialFrom the EditorCivil War Times CORSETS AND M-16s Sometime or another, every one of us daydreams about traveling in time. There are people who write out their time-travel fantasies in the form of novels or movie scripts, with characters who visit the past and change history. (You know the plot: someone gives Robert E. Lee …
Can We Ever Raise The Monitor? – Sidebar: June 1997 Civil War Times FeatureA Floating Revolution The steam-powered ironclad Monitor was a revolutionary weapon. Designed and built by Swedish-born engineer John Ericsson, the ironclad was a bizarre prototype that featured dozens of original inventions. Nicknamed the “cheesebox on a raft” because of her round two-gun turret mounted on a low, flat hull, the Monitor was the first warship …
David and Goliath – December 1997 Civil War Times FeatureDavid and Goliath An Unstoppable Confederate War Machine Meets Its Match BY MICHAEL MORGAN It was the Union’s turn to suffer. For three years its forces had steadily grown stronger along the North Carolina coast. Federal soldiers occupied most of the eastern part of the state. Few ports remained open, and even those were increasingly …
Amos Humiston: Union Soldier Who Died at the Battle of GettysburgMortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, Union soldier Amos Humiston died clutching the only clue to his identity:an ambrotype of his three small children.
American History: April 1997 From the EditorThoughts on HistoryAs we were preparing this issue of American History, which includes on page 16 an article by Mark Dunkelman about Amos Humiston, a Union soldier who died during the Battle of Gettysburg, leaving a wife and three small children behind, we received a letter from a reader named Anna Pansini, which struck a …
Battle of Fairfield: Grumble Jones’ Gettysburg Campaign VictoryWhile the Battle of Gettysburg raged a few miles away, two very different cavalrymen fought for control of the strategic Fairfield Gap. At stake was the survival or destruction of General Robert E. Lee's army.
Taking of Burnside Bridge – September ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureTaking of Burnside Bridge By John M. Priest While Union commander George McClellan fumed and the Battle of Antietam hung in the balance, a handful of Rebels held off Federal troops at “Burnside Bridge.” The day–September 17, 1862–promised to be long and hot, and the regimental commanders in Brigadier General Samuel Sturgis’ division of the …
Valley of the Shadow – Sept. ’90 America’s Civil War FeatureVALLEY OFTHE SHADOW Overconfident and overextended, the Union Army of the Cumberland advanced into the deep woods of northwest Georgia. Waiting Confederates did notintend for them to leave. At Chickamauga Creek, the two sides collided. By Mike Haskew In the dimly lit log cabin of the Widow Glenn, the military map wasspread. Worried Union officers …
Wintry Fury Unleashed – Jan. ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureWintry Fury Unleashed Union General William Rosecrans bided his time, waiting to attack Braxton Bragg’s Rebel army at Murfreesboro, 30 miles south of Nashville. By Michael E. Haskew Steadily the rain had pelted down all day, and now as wintry winds and darkness ushered in another miserable night at the mercy of the elements, the …
Munfordville, Kentucky’s Civil War Heritage – Nov. ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureMunfordville, Kentucky, proudly preserves its Civil War heritage–including, some say, a wartime ghost. By Darleen Francisco Visitors to Munfordville, a small town in central Kentucky about 70 miles south of Louis-ville, are in for a pleasant surprise. The Hart County village is living proof that, as the old saying goes, “Looks can be deceiving.” For …
The Proving Ground – April ’96 Civil War Times FeaturethePROVINGground The Mexican War gave future civil war generals their first taste of combatJOHN C. WAUGH Chatham Roberdeau Wheat would one day lead a famous Louisiana battalion called “Wheat’s Tigers” into battle for the Confederacy. He would fight and die in the Battle of Gaines’ Mill, Virginia, in 1862. But that was still some 15 …
All-Girl Rhea County Spartans – July ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureBegun as a lark, the all-girl Rhea County Spartans soon attracted the attention of unamused Union officers. By Charles Rice “I must tell you about a candy stew that they had at Uncle Frank’s last night,” young Mary Paine of Rhea County, Tennessee, wrote to her Confederate-soldier brother in January 1863. “Miss Jennie and Manurva …
Virginia Yankee at PerryvilleOn the night of October 7, 1862, the eve of the Battle of Perryville, three Union officers sat around a campfire earnestly discussing the odds of being wounded in battle. Brigadier Generals James Jackson and William Terrill and Colonel George Webster decided to their satisfaction that such a likelihood was actually quite slim, given the …
First Eyewitness to War LetterMy Dear Wife, I this morning sat myself down to write you a few lines to let you know that I am in good health. At this time hoping when these few lines come to hand they may find you and the children all well. My dear wife, I want to see you and my …
Horsepower Moves the Guns – March ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureWorking side by side with soldiers, horses labored to pull artillery pieces into battle.Without them, field artillery could not have been used to such deadly effect.By James R. Cotner The field artillery of the Civil War was designed to be mobile. When Union or Confederate troops marched across country, the guns moved with them. During …
Rebel Stand at Drewry’s Bluff – November ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureRebel Stand at Drewry's Bluff By Jon Guttman While Union Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac slowly advanced on Richmond in May 1862, the Union Navy made its own play to seize the Confederate capital. In mid-May 1862–little more than a year after South Carolina secessionists had fired the opening rounds of …
George Smalley’s Vivid Account of the Battle of AntietamNew York Tribune reporter George Smalley scooped the world with his vivid account of the Battle of Antietam.
In Present-Day Brooklyn, Echo of the Civil War – March ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureOn a leafy side street in present-day Brooklyn, a faintecho of the Civil War can still be heard.By John A. Barnes The Episcopal Church of St. John, in Brooklyn, New York, is considerably less quiet today than it must have been in the days when Captain Robert E. Lee and 1st Lieutenant Thomas J. Jackson …
A Town Embattled- February ’96 Civil War Times FeatureWinchester, Virginia, saw more of the war than any other place North or Southa town EMBATTLEDCHRIS FORDNEY Ten thousand Confederate troops filled the small town of Winchester, Virginia, early in the summer of 1861. Soldiers were quartered in almost every building. Then, in mid-July, a call came to stop a Federal advance on Manassas, and …
Eyewitness- March ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureEyewitness to War A letter from a young Michigan cavalryman gives a vivid–if ungrammatical–account of Gettysburg and its aftermath. Submitted by Nancy Ronemus Ed. note: In order to give the full, authentic flavor of Rice’s letter, editing has been kept to a minimum. Punctuation and paragraph breaks have been added to make the letter easier …
Last-Ditch Rebel Stand at Petersburg – Cover Page: May ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureLast-Ditch Rebel Stand at PetersburgBy Ronald E. Bullock After nearly 10 months of trench warfare, Confederate resistance at Petersburg, Va., suddenly collapsed. Desperate to save his army, Robert E. Lee called on his soldiers for one last miracle. After more than nine months of squalid trench warfare around the beleaguered Southern city of Petersburg, Virginia, …
Civil War Times: August 1996 LettersLetters - SubmitCivil War TimesA Legacy In MemphisThank you and Bruce Allardice for the informative article “The Plot toSeize St. Louis” (May). I was particularly excited to see the deserved butall too infrequent recognition of Colton Greene, a man who was not only avaliant Confederate officer, but a dedicated business and civic leader.Unable to return …
America’s Civil War: November 1996 From the EditorFrom the EditorAmerica's Civil War Judson Kilpatrick’s thwarted raid on Richmond had a sinister motive behind it–nothing less than coldblooded murder. When Major General William T. Sherman called his new cavalry chief, Brigadier General Judson Kilpatrick, “a hell of a damned fool” in a letter to Kilpatrick’s erstwhile commander, Major General George Meade, he was …
Ewell Seizes the Day at Winchester – Mar. ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureEwell Seizes the Day atWINCHESTERBy Dean M. Wells One month after Stonewall Jackson’s death at Chancellorsville, Robert E. Lee turned to Stonewall’s trusted lieutenant, Richard Ewell, to cover his invasion of the North. Was ‘Old Bald Head’ up to the challenge? June 14, 1863, was a hot, cloudy day in northern Virginia. A light breeze …
Did ‘Baldy’ Ewell Lose Gettysburg?After disobeying Robert E. Lee's orders to avoid a general engagement at Gettysburg, Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell received an order to 'press those people.' His failure to do so created a controversy that survives to this day.
Drones in the Great Hive – December ’95 Civil War Times FeatureDRONES IN THE GREAT HIVEBy Christian A. Fleetwood An African-American Medal of Honor-winner writes bitterly of the way the Union army treats its black soldiers. Christian A. Fleetwood was one of 13 African-American soldiers who won theMedal of Honor at the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, Virginia, on September 29and 30, 1864. At one time he …
America?s Civil War: September 1996 LettersAmerica's Civil War MORE WOMEN PLEASEWhy not do research for individual articles that point out howwomen played their part in the Civil War such as the making ofuniforms, etc. How and from where was material obtained? Whatwas the setup for clothing mills at that time: down South andup North. In what role did women play …
Return To The Killing Ground – November ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureReturn To The Killing Ground By Jeffry D. Wert Brash, bombastic John Pope tempted fate by returning to the old battleground at Manassas. He thought he had caught Robert E. Lee napping. He was wrong. A heavy, soaking rain fell across northern Virginia on the night of August 30-31, 1862. Despite the storm’s intensity, it …
‘Home, Sweet Home’, Soldier’s Favorite Song – May ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureORDNANCE John Howard Payne’s haunting ‘Home, Sweet Home’was the Civil War soldier’s favorite song. By Ernest L. Abel A few weeks after the Battle of Fredericksburg (December 13, 1862), about 100,000 Federal soldiers and 70,000 Confederates were camped on opposite sides of the Rap-pahannock River in Virginia. The battle had been one of the bloodiest …
America’s Civil War: September 1996 From the EditorFrom the EditorAmerica's Civil War Jefferson Davis’ Mexican War exploits led directlyto the Confederate White House. When Jefferson Davis took the oath of office as president of the Confederacy, it was with some regret that he assumed a post of political, rather than military, leadership. Indeed, his wife, Varina, recalled that Davis received the news …
An Englishman’s Journey Through the Confederacy – July ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureSuave, gentlemanly Lt. Col. Arthur Fremantle of Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards picked an unusual vacation spot: the Civil War-torn United States. By Robert R. Hodges, Jr. After graduating from Sandhurst, Great Britain’s West Point, Arthur James Lyon Fremantle entered the army in 1852 and soon became an officer in England’s renowned Coldstream Guards (both his …
Day One at Chancellorsville – March ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureNew Union commander ‘Fighting Joe’ Hooker planned to encircle Robert E. Lee at the Virginia crossroads hamlet of Chancellorsville. The plan seemed to be working perfectly, until….By Al Hemingway Early in the evening on April 29, 1863, Major General James Ewell Brown Stuart rode up to the Chancellor farmhouse, a well-known inn 11 miles west …
Iroquois Chief & Union Officer – Sept. ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureA lifelong friend and trusted aide of Ulysses S. Grant, Ely Parker roseto the top in two worlds, that of his native Seneca Indian tribe and the white man’s world at large. Through the Civil War and Reconstructionhe strove to serve both worlds as best he could. By Floyd B. Largent, Jr. When Robert E. …
A Tour of ‘Mosby’s Confederacy’ – Jan ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureTRAVELA tour of ‘Mosby’s Confederacy’ gives a taste of thefamed cavalryman’s hair-raising exploits. By Karen M. Laski “They had for us all the glamour of Robin Hood and his merry men, all the courage and bravery of the ancient crusaders, the unexpectedness of benevolent pirates and the stealth of Indians.” So wrote Sam Moore, a …
Morgan’s Last Battle – December ’96 Civil War Times FeatureMORGAN’SLAST BATTLE “THE YANKEES WILL NEVER TAKE ME A PRISONER AGAIN,” VOWED CONFEDERATE GENERAL JOHN HUNT MORGAN BY WILLIAM J. STIER There was a knock on the bedroom door, and a voice from the hallway announced that breakfast was ready. Still lying in bed, Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan turned to the window. “It …
Eyewitness to War: Stonewall Jackson’s Final Days – November ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureDr. Hunter McGuire, Stonewall Jackson’s 27-year-old medical director, chronicled the general’s last days. By Joe D. Haines, Jr. The circumstances surrounding the death of Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson are well known. Following perhaps his greatest performance, leading a brilliant flanking maneuver against Union Major General Joseph Hooker at Chancellorsville, he was mistakenly shot …
Massachusetts Abolitionist Silas Soule – March ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureDedicated Massachusetts abolitionist Silas Soule ironically gave his life for the red man, not the black.By Bruce M. Lawlor Fate consigns most people to lives of quiet anonymity, choosing only a favored few to shape an era’s epochal events. In the case of Silas S. Soule, a young Massachusetts abolitionist, fate was unusually fickle. It …
Eyewitness- May ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureEyewitness to War Confederate Captain Charles Bruce kept his father apprised of conditions during the crucial Peninsula campaign. Submitted by Faye Royster Tuck On March 29, 1859, two years before the beginning of the Civil War, Charles Bruce, 18, was attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Little did he know then how …
Stuart’s Revenge – June ’95 Civil War Times FeatureSTUART’S REVENGE A stolen hat and wounded pride spurred Southern cavalryman J.E.B. Stuart into action. His vengeance would be swift, daring, and–unexpectedly–funny. By JOHN HENNESSY A battlefield was a strange place for the reunion of old friends. The contorted bodies of men who had fallen in combat two days earlier littered the ground around the …
Hancock’s ‘Well-Conducted Fizzle’ – Jan. ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureHancock's 'Well-Conducted Fizzle' With Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia stubbornly clinging to Petersburg,Ulysses S. Grant decided to cut its vital rail lines. To perform the surgery, he selected one of the North’s proven heroes– ‘Hancock the Superb.’ By Bruce A. Trinque General UIysses S. Grant had hammered and probed the defenses of Petersburg, …
Second Eyewitness to War LetterCharles Town, West Virginia October 8, 1862 Dear Wife, I seat myself to write you a few lines to inform you how I am. I wrote to you and Father some time ago, but I did not know whether you received it or not. I thought I would write again. I am very poorly at …
Travelers to Wartime Richmond – Sept. ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureTravelers to wartime Richmond had a wide choiceof luxurious hotels, inns and taverns. By John K. Trammell The outbreak of the Civil War ushered in an era of radical change in Virginia. Starting with fanatical John Brown’s failed revolution at Harpers Ferry, and ending with a devastating defeat and painful reconstruction six years later, citizens …
Mission to Relieve Fort Sumter – September ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureMission to Relieve Fort Sumter By John D. Pelzer For three long months, Major Robert Anderson and his besieged troops waited forreinforcements at Fort Sumter. Back in Washington, Union navalofficer Gustavus Foxraced against time to organize just such a mission.   The Union soldiers saw no one as they marched out of Fort Moultrie just …
Kill Cavalry’s Nasty Surprise – Nov. ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureKill Cavalry’s NASTY SURPRISE Union General William Sherman considered Judson Kilpatrick, his cavalry chief, ‘a hell of a damn fool.’ At Monroe’s Cross Roads, N.C., his carelessness and disobedience of orders proved Sherman’s point. By William Preston Mangum II Major General William Tecumseh Sherman had made a swift and steady advance through Georgia and South …
Return To The Killing Ground – Sidebar: November ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureVortex Of Hell When James Longstreet’s Confederate divisions advanced to the attack at 4:30 p.m. on August 30, the 1,000-man brigade of Colonel Gouverneur Warren held a wooded hill west of Young’s Branch in the direct path of John Bell Hood’s Confederate division. Warren’s command consisted of two Zouave regiments, the 5th and 10th New …
Tall Tales of the Civil War – August ’96 Civil War Times FeatureTALL TALES OF THE CIVIL WAR Being a compendium of poppycock, balderdash, and malarkey told by civil warveterans for the amusement and amazement of future generations BY: WILLIAM C. DAVIS Men are deceivers ever,” wrote William Shakespeare in Much Ado AboutNothing. Certainly much of what men and women have said about their deedsthrough the ages …
The Lightning Brigade Saves the Day – July ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureThe Lightning Brigade Saves the Day Armed with their new, lethal seven-shot Spencer rifles, Wilder’sLightning Brigade was all that stood between the Union Army and the looming disaster at Chickamauga Creek. By Hubert M. Jordan Historically, the Battle of Chickamauga is recorded as a two-day battle starting on September 19, 1863. For the men of …

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Civil War Railroads – Sept. ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureCivil War railroads did far more than simply transportsoldiers and supplies to the battlefield. By Alan R. Koenig The Civil War is renowned for the introduction and employment of many new weapons, including rifled artillery, machine guns and submarines. To this list should also be added railroad weapons, which were the predecessors of modern armored …
Sergeant Milton Humphreys Concept of Indirect Fire: Jan ’96: America’s Civil War FeatureORDNANCEEighteen-year-old Sergeant Milton Humphreys changed the nature of artillery forever with his concept of indirect fire. By Ben Crookshanks Today, indirect firing–shooting at an unseen target–is an integral part of warfare. During the Gulf War, Tomahawk missiles were launched from ships at targets hundreds of miles away. Out in the desert, banks of artillery pointing …
The 44th Georgia Suffered Some of the Heaviest Losses – March ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureThe hard-fighting 44th Georgia suffered some of the heaviest losses of any regiment in the Civil War.By Gerald J. Smith On March 10, 1862, companies of Georgians from Henry, Jasper, Clarke, Spalding, Clayton, Putnam, Fayette, Pike, Morgan, Henry and Greene counties all assembled at Camp Stephens, outside Griffin. Responding to Governor Joseph Brown’s mandate to …
General Samuel Garland – May ’96 America’s Civil War FeaturePERSONALITY When Samuel Garland fell at South Mountain, the Confederacy lost a promising general and a proven leader. By James K. Swisher In the years following the Civil War, the loss of outstanding young leaders in that fratricidal conflict had an immeasurable effect upon state and local affairs. The war had rapidly expanded to a …
Father John B. Tabb Aboard Confederate Blockade Runners: Jan ’96: America’s Civil War FeaturePERSONALITYFather John B. Tabb, an unreconstructed Rebel to the end, had served the Confederacy aboard blockade runners. By Charles A. Earp The Tabbs of Amelia County were one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Vir-ginia, owning vast acreage and many slaves. When the Civil War came, 16-year-old Johnny Tabb wanted to join his brothers …
Stonewall’s 11th-Hour Rally: Jan ’96: America’s Civil War FeatureWith a rusted sword in one hand and a Confederate battle flag in the other,a grim-faced Stonewall Jackson desperately rallied his faltering troops. What Rebelworthy of the name could abandon ‘Old Jack’ in his hour of need?By Robert C. Cheeks It was devilishly hot in the summer of 1862, an oppressive, debilitating heat that ravaged …
Battle for the Bluegrass – Mar. ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureIt had been almost one month since Confederate General Braxton Bragg had pulled off an organizational masterpiece–four weeks since the first troop trains had rumbled into Chattanooga, Tennessee, completing an improbable 800-mile odyssey. Bragg had engineered one of the most innovative strategic strokes of the Civil War. An entire Confederate Army had been lifted from …
Confederate Floating Battery Revival – July ’96 America’s Civil War FeaturePopular during the Crimean War, the floating batterywas revived by hard-pressed Confederates. By Robert Collins Suhr During the Civil War, the South used an 18th-century concept called the floating battery–naval guns mounted on some sort of craft that had to be towed into position. Unable to maneuver to avoid gunfire, batteries usually were covered with …
Union General George Stannard at Gettysburg – July ’96 America’s Civil War FeatureThe first Vermonter to enlist in the war, Union General George Stannard helped turn the tide at Gettysburg.By Anthony Buono The third day of the Battle of Gettysburg was hot and humid. The battlefield, littered with thousands of dead and dying, bore grim testimony to the fierce fighting of the previous two days. The smell …
Decks Covered With Blood – May ’97 America’s Civil War FeatureDecks Covered With Blood Union Admiral David Farragut, preparing to brave the frowning bluffs of Port Hudson, kept his young son by his side. They would “trust in Providence,” he decreed. So would their shipmates. By John F. Wukovits The chief justice of the United States, Edward White, walked toward Admiral George Dewey, recently returned …
Father John B. Tabb Aboard Confederate Blockade Runners: Jan ’96: America’s Civil War FeaturePERSONALITYFather John B. Tabb, an unreconstructed Rebel to the end, had served the Confederacy aboard blockade runners. By Charles A. Earp The Tabbs of Amelia County were one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Vir-ginia, owning vast acreage and many slaves. When the Civil War came, 16-year-old Johnny Tabb wanted to join his brothers …
American History: December 1996 From the EditorThoughts on HistoryFor more than twenty years, my late husband and I lived in Canada. Although we maintained our American citizenship, we lacked the residential requirements necessary to cast an absentee ballot in U.S. presidential elections. Accustomed as we were to this country’s republican form of government, Canada’s parliamentary system took some getting used to. …
American History: October 96 LettersPORTRAITS REMEMBEREDYour article by Harold Holzer in the July/August issue of American History on portraits of Southern gentlemen brought to mymind a childhood memory. I asked my mother what it was like when she was a little girl. She was born in 1884 in the tinyvillage of Big Fishing Creek in West Virginia. On one …
Battle of Gettysburg: Union General George Stannard and the 2nd Vermont BrigadeThe first Vermonter to enlist in the war, Union General George Stannard helped turn the tide at Gettysburg.
Mexican War: The Proving Ground for Future American Civil War GeneralsFor young American army officers of the time, the Mexican War was not only the road to glory, it was the road to promotion--a proving ground for future Civil War generals.

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