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Confederate Generals

Summary List of Famous Confederate Civil War Generals during the American Civil War

There were many important confederate generals and commanders during the American Civil War. Some, like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Nathan Bedford Forrest are household names. Others are less well known but are still important, as the southern generals were the commanders that led the troops and helped decide the ultimate outcome of most civil war battles. Here is a list of important confederate generals and commanders, along with links to more information and articles about each one.

List of Confederate Generals

Robert E. Lee

General Robert E. Lee was the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia and is known as the most accomplished Confederate general. Learn more about Robert E. Lee

Stonewall Jackson

General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson fought boldly and with great success from Bull Run to his death from a mistaken shot from a Confederate sharpshooter at the battle of Chancellorsville. Learn more about Stonewall Jackson

J.E.B. Stuart

General J.E.B. Stuart was an accomplished cavalry commander known for his skill at reconnaissance. Read more about Jeb Stuart

Nathan Bedford Forrest

Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest was one of the most feared Confederate leaders. He was an innovative cavalry commander who started the war as a private. Read more about Nathan Bedford Forrest

James Longstreet

General James Longstreet was Robert E. Lee’s most capable and consistent generals. He led the First Corps of the Army Of Northern Virginia. Read more about James Longstreet

Braxton Bragg

General Braxton Bragg led the Army Of Mississippi and Tennessee from the battle of Shiloh to Chattanooga. Read more about Braxton Bragg

George Pickett

General George Pickett was a Confederate general whose unsuccessful attack on the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg is now known as Pickett’s Charge. Read more about George Pickett

Bloody Bill Anderson

William T. "Bloody Bill" Anderson was a brutal killer, leading pro-confederate units on attacks against Union forces throughout the war. Read more about Bloody Bill Anderson

Albert Sidney Johnston

Albert Sidney Johnston fought and battled in five U.S. wars, the last being the Battle of Shiloh, where he was shot and later bled to death. Read more about Albert Sidney Johnston

John Mosby

John S. Mosby was a Confederate Cavalry Commander known for his speed and elusiveness. Read more about John Mosby

P.G.T. Beauregard

Pierre Gustave Toutant (PGT) Beauregard was a Confederate General who gained fame for being the man to fire the first shot of the civil war when he bombarded Fort Sumter. Read more about P.G.T. Beauregard

A.P. Hill

A.P. Hill was a confederate General best known for commanding the "Light Division." He was commander Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson’s most trusted general. Read more about A.P. Hill

Richard Ewell

Richard Stoddert Ewell led numerous battles during the Civil War, but his failure to capture Cemetery Hill on day one at Gettysburg led to his men and himself to be captured and imprisoned at Richmond. Read more about Richard Ewell

Joseph Johnston

General Joseph Johnston was the highest ranking officer to leave the U.S. army to join the Confederacy. He fought in many of the Civil War’s major battles and died of pheumonia. Read more about Joseph Johnston

Jubal Early

Jubal Anderson Early was known for his aggressive and sometimes reckless style. Read more about Jubal Early

Kirby Smith

Edmund Kirby Smith commanded armies in Tennessee and the Trans-Mississippi Theaters. Read more about Kirby Smith

John Bell Hood

John Bell Hood (1831-1879) was reputed for his aggressive and bold commands, a reputation which continued in battles despite his physical disabilities. Read more about John Bell Hood

Barnard Bee

Barnard Elliot Bee Jr. fought only until the First Bull Run and is known for giving the nickname "Stonewall" to Brigadier general Thomas J. Jackson. Read more about Barnard Bee

Lewis Armistead

Lewis Addison was a successful Confederate General who fought and died at the Battle of Gettysburg. Read more about Lewis Armistead

Porter Alexander

Edward Porter Alexander was a Brigadier General known for being the first man to use signal flags to send messages using signal flags. Read more about Porter Alexander

John Pemberton

For a list of northern civil war generals, please see our union generals page. For a list of all important generals from the civil war, please see our civil war generals page.


 

Articles Featuring Confederate Generals From History Net Magazines

America’s Civil War: The South’s Feuding Generals

Imagine a situation in the modern American army where officers refuse to fight under other officers, where generals openly defy and even strike their superiors, where officers are cashiered or relieved of command at a whim, where dueling challenges are routinely issued and accepted with no fear of official censure or retaliation.

Such a detrimental state of affairs would never be tolerated by either the civilian leadership or the military high command. Yet, this was precisely the situation that existed in Civil War armies on both sides, although the Confederate Army suffered more from its consequences.

The Confederate officer corps was a collection of highly individualistic, temperamental and ambitious men. Honor and personal pride seemed to be at the root of most of their personal differences with each other, even to the point where these considerations were placed above the best interests of the Confederacy. These differences affected military decisions, strategic planning and campaign operations throughout the war and contributed greatly to the eventual demise of the Confederacy.

The Confederates began bickering among themselves at the first important battle of the war. At the Battle of Manassas, the oversized egos of Generals Joseph Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard were found to be too large for the same battlefield. In a dispute that was to be repeated again and again during the war, they argued over who should command their combined forces. Unfortunately for Beauregard, his opponent was better armed for the debate, having brought along a telegram from Southern President Jefferson Davis strictly establishing the relationship between them. Specifically, Johnston’s commission made him a full general, while Beauregard was only a brigadier general. Therefore, Johnston officially commanded their forces that day.

However, the wily Creole got in the last word; while Johnston napped in his tent after his long train ride from the Shenandoah, Beauregard drew up the battle orders, to which he attached his name. Later he awoke Johnston to have the commanding general cosign under Beauregard’s name. Wanting to avoid argument, or perhaps too sleepy to notice, Johnston signed, and history gave Beauregard the credit for the first great battlefield victory of the war.

Other disputes on the Confederate side were neither as harmless nor as fortunate in their outcome. Some, indeed, became legendary, such as those involving the fearsome cavalry leader Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest was a bear cat for a fight. He once gutted one of his lieutenants with a pocketknife after the disgruntled officer had first shot the general. Such a man was not to be trifled with lightly.

On two different occasions, Forrest insulted superior officers in the bluntest terms, and probably only his lethal reputation as a duelist prevented them from taking action. On the first occasion, Forrest resented being placed under Brig. Gen. Joseph Wheeler’s command in 1862 and, when Wheeler committed their troopers to an ill-conceived attack on Fort Donelson in early 1863, Forrest flew into a rage. He told Wheeler, ‘This is not a personal matter, but you will tell General Bragg in your report that I will be in my coffin before I will fight under you again. (If it had been a personal matter, Forrest probably would have just shot Wheeler and been done with it.) Forrest then ended his tirade with the ultimate military gesture of protest: If you want my sword, you can have it.

Later in the war, Forrest told General Braxton Bragg just what he thought of that vacillating, indecisive officer after Bragg had twice tampered with Forrest’s cavalry command. The confrontation occurred at Bragg’s headquarters on Missionary Ridge during the ridiculous Confederate siege of Chattanooga. Forrest said: I have stood your meanness as long as I intend to. You have played the part of a damned scoundrel, and are a coward, and if you were any part of a man I would slap your jaws and force you to resent it…. If you ever again try to interfere with me or cross my path, it will be at the peril of your life.

Major General A.P. Hill, one of Virginia’s favorite sons, was also known for his fiery temper. One historian calls him probably the most contentious of the Army of Northern Virginia’s officers. Hill quarreled with every officer he served under. After the Seven Days’ Battles, he engaged in a war of newspaper releases with Maj. Gen. James Longstreet over who deserved the most credit for the successfully completed campaign. After several volleys in the Richmond Whig and Richmond Examiner, Hill cut off all communications with Longstreet’s headquarters and demanded to be relieved from serving under Longstreet.

For his part, Longstreet heartily endorsed the request, adding a sardonic note that it was necessary to exchange the troops or to exchange the commander. When commanding General Robert E. Lee delayed taking action, the feud only grew worse. After Hill’s refusal to forward even routine reports to headquarters, Longstreet placed him under arrest and confined him to quarters. Hill took the next step, issuing a challenge to his commanding officer to duel. The two men began making arrangements to settle their differences on the field of honor.

The possibility of losing one or both of his finest commanders finally moved Lee to take action. He restored Hill to his command, then transferred his division to Stonewall Jackson’s corps in the Shenandoah Valley. The friendship between Hill and Longstreet was shattered beyond repair, and their relations henceforward were no better than coldly courteous. Lee had merely rearranged his problems, not solved them. Within a week, Hill and Jackson were squabbling, this time over Jackson’s uncommunicative command style and their differing interpretations of military protocol. That feud soon surpassed the Longstreet-Hill feud.

On the march into Maryland in the late summer of 1862, Jackson finally grew so exasperated with Hill’s failure to follow his prescribed marching orders that he rode to the head of Hill’s division and began personally issuing orders to Hill’s brigadiers.. At this moment, Hill galloped up and addressed Jackson in high dudgeon: General Jackson, you have assumed command of my division, here is my sword; I have no use for it. Jackson calmly replied, Keep your sword, General Hill, but consider yourself under arrest for neglect of duty.

For the rest of the advance, Hill was ordered to march in the rear of his division. Jackson’s charges against Hill were not for insubordination, as one might expect, but for allowing his command to straggle, a fine distinction, perhaps, that was lost on Hill.

Although Hill was restored to command before the campaign was over, and later fought magnificently, he did not forget or forgive. He preferred charges of his own against Jackson. The charges and countercharges persuaded Lee to step in again, this time to call a peace conference of the principals in order to defuse what was tepidly building toward an explosion that would have been extremely damaging to the Confederacy. The peace conference settled nothing, and the charges were still pending when Jackson was killed at Chancellorsville the next spring.

Jackson himself was a legendary feudist, even more obstreperous than Hill, if such a thing could be. At one time or another, he placed Turner Ashby, Richard B. Garnett and Hill all under arrest and ordered their courts- martial`and this was a man who died before the war was half over. On another occasion, he placed five of A.P. Hill’s colonels under arrest for letting the men use a fence for firewood. Jackson was chronically unable to get along with subordinates, in contrast to Hill, who was chronically unable to get along with superiors.

In the summer of 1861, Jackson began court-martial proceedings against a number of his officers. He blamed Garnett, commander of Jackson’s old Stonewall Brigade, for the defeat at Kernstown, and that was just the beginning. Other officers were brought up on charges ranging from insubordination to cowardice under fire. Jackson pressed so many charges that, at one point, all of his subordinate officers were on courtmartial duty.

Garnett’s court-martial for unauthorized retreat began in August 1862, but was never settled because the war intervened. Jackson was killed at Chancellorsville, and there are those who say that Garnett went to his death at Gettysburg a few months later in Pickett’s Charge glad for the opportunity to vindicate his besmirched honor.

As for Ashby, he was also reprimanded by Jackson after the Battle of Kernstown for the undisciplined state of his cavalry. The proud Ashby briefly considered challenging Jackson to a duel, but shooting the sanctimonious Stonewall did not seem sufficient to assuage his wounded pride. Instead, he announced his intention to leave the army. When word of this got out, his troopers announced they would follow Ashby out of the army rather than serve under anyone else. Faced with a mutiny of major proportions, Jackson backed down for the first and last time in his life. He restored Ashby to full command.

Jackson even quarreled with the sainted Lee on one occasion. In December 1862, he reacted angrily to Lee’s request that he transfer some of his artillery to other commands not so well equipped. Lee did not force the issue. It had been conjectured that the subsequent lack of communication between Lee and Jackson during the Seven Days’ Battles was at least partly because the two proud leaders felt a sense of rivalry and bent over backward to avoid stepping on each other’s toes.

As serious as the situation was in the Army of Northern Virginia, it was nothing compared to the situation in the Western armies. The surrender of Fort Donelson offers a case study in how to lose a campaign through jealousy and infighting. The Confederates began the campaign for the Tennessee River at a disadvantage because they were attempting to fight with a divided command. Brigadier General John Floyd, a former secretary of war, was the senior officer at Fort Donelson in February 1862, when Union forces under U.S. Grant initially besieged the fort. However, when Brig. Gen. Gideon Pillow arrived from Columbus, Ky., he immediately assumed command with no other authority than his own presumptuousness. Simon B. Buckner’s arrival on the night of February 11, 1862, put a third brigadier on the scene. From that point on, there was a definite lack of cooperation among the Confederate high command responsible for holding Fort Donelson.

Pillow and Buckner were already enemies from before the war, when Buckner had blocked Pillow’s ambition to become a US. senator from Tennessee. Old insults were not easily forgotten, even in the face of a common enemy, and their mutual hostility was hardly kept under wraps. The fact that Pillow was a take- charge kind of person, in a situation calling for tact and diplomacy, did not help. The 55-year-old Floyd might have served as a counterweight to the other two, but he was totally under Pillow’s influence despite his own impressive credentials.

While the three generals struggled to mount an effective defense of the vital fort, Grant tightened the noose. By February 15, a mood of defeatism had infected the Confederate side. That night there occurred one of the most amazing examples of a cumulative collapse of will in the annals of American warfare. The three generals held a council of war to decide on a course of action. Should they fight, retreat or surrender? Floyd and Pillow decided to surrender.

Having decided the fort could not be held, Pillow and Floyd then refused to surrender it personally to Grant. They feared they might be confined in a Yankee prison for the duration of the war, or worse, hanged as traitors. They turned the onerous task over to Buckner in the following famous exchange:

Floyd: I turn the command over, sir.

Pillow: I pass it.

Buckner: I assume it.

Several ironies resulted from this military fiasco. Although President Davis initially relieved Floyd and Pillow from command, the Southern press at first hailed them as heroes for refusing to surrender and castigated Buckner for turning over the keys to the fort and the Tennessee River. Pillow later was restored to command. Meanwhile, Buckner, arguably the best officer of the three, was marched off to a Northern prisoner- of war camp.

The Army of Tennessee had more than its share of general feuds, which usually seemed to start at the top with the general commanding. During his tenure at the head of the Army of Tennessee, Braxton Bragg made history by single-handedly setting military science and personnel management back to the Stone Age. It was Bragg, one should remember, who once got into an argument with himself while commanding a frontier post and serving at the same time as post quartermaster. Such a background did not bode well for a man who was expected to control a collection of temperamental, quarrelsome lieutenants against a superior enemy in a vast, sprawling theater far from Richmond’s authority.

Bragg quarreled, at some point, with everybody who served under him. It was not just that his cold, imperious manner offended everyone; he also displayed appalling incompetence, which only he failed to discern. Long before Forrest became fed up with Bragg and told him so to his face, other general officers had reached the same conclusion, although they expressed their opinions with more circumspection.

Bad feelings first surfaced during the Murfreesboro campaign, when Bragg’s two corps commanders, Leonidas Polk and William Hardee, refused to visit headquarters except as required by necessity, and even then they kept their visits as short as military matters permitted. It is doubtful that the men in the ranks failed to sense the cool relations between their senior officers.

After the Battle of Stones River, a strategic reverse for the Confederacy, Bragg took the highly unusual step of canvassing his officers to ask for their frank assessment of his leadership. All his division commanders advised him to resign immediately. Polk even wrote a personal letter to Jefferson Davis asking that Bragg be relieved. It was no coincidence that shortly thereafter Bragg placed Polk under arrest for his conduct in the recent battle and forwarded formal charges against him to Richmond. Davis, who considered both Bragg and Polk personal friends, refused to take action, and the charges were dropped. Worse still, Polk stayed with the army.

Bad news travels fast, and when Longstreet in Virginia heard of the problems in the Western army, he dashed off a letter to Secretary of War James Seddon making a thinly veiled offer to take Bragg’s place, because I doubt if General Bragg has the confidence of his troops. He also added, disingenuously, I am influenced by no personal motive. Longstreet, who always coveted independent command, probably dreamed of escaping Lee’s immense shadow and expected to whip the Western army into the same sort of fighting trim as the Army of Northern Virginia.

It is doubtful that Longstreet ever felt comfortable in the designated role of Lee’s Old Warhorse,’ a nickname Lee himself bestowed upon his lieutenant. Longstreet always saw himself in a grander role than his superiors allowed. On this occasion, Davis was not willing to put Longstreet in command, but he compromised by dispatching Longstreet and two of his divisions to Georgia after the Battle of Gettysburg to join Bragg’s army.

After Bragg snatched stalemate from the jaws of victory at Chickamauga, Longstreet took up the pen again, this time writing the secretary of war to request that Lee be sent west to replace Bragg. He seemed to have good cause this time` Bragg was busy cashiering senior officers like they were corporals and alienating those he did not dismiss. At the end of September 1863, he removed Generals Polk and Thomas Hindman, sending them to Atlanta to await further action from Richmond. Again, Davis intervened by ordering charges dropped.

The controversy swirling around Bragg was far from over. In fact, it was just climaxing in the famous Round- robin Letter, also known as the Revolt of the Generals. The dump-Bragg clique, now headed by Longstreet, was still hard at work. A letter was circulated among the senior officers of the army urging Davis to replace Bragg. When it finally reached the president’s desk, it bore the signatures of John C. Brown, William Preston, Leonidas Polk and D.H. Hill, among others.

The round-robin drawn up by Bragg’s senior officers was a devastating vote of no-confidence and secured the desired response from Richmond. Davis dropped all other matters and came to the army’s headquarters in person to investigate the problem. In a subsequent meeting called by Davis, the president polled the army’s senior officers for their opinions, while Bragg himself looked on uncomfortably. Longstreet, Hill, Benjamin Cheatham, Patrick Cleburne and Alexander Stewart all spoke up and said that Bragg was unfit for command and should be relieved. Only Lafayette McLaws defended Bragg, but his voice was drowned out in the chorus of naysayers.

Unfortunately for the Army of Tennessee, the majority opinion was not shared by the president of the Confederacy. With practically everybody wanting to get rid of Bragg except Davis, the decision to retain him in command was carried by a majority of one.

Longstreet continued to be a lightning rod for controversy in the West, and he apparently learned nothing from his experience in the Generals’ Revolt. His campaign against Knoxville was badly bungled in the winter of 1863 ; and he blamed his subordinates, specifically Brig. Gen. J.B. Robertson, commanding Hood’s Texas Brigade, and Maj. Gen. Lafayette McLaws, one of his division commanders.

McLaws’ list of faux pas began when he sided with Bragg earlier against the Longstreet faction in the Generals’ Revolt. On that earlier occasion, Longstreet had criticized Bragg for blaming his military setbacks on his subordinates; ironically, he now found himself doing the same thing. On December 11, 1863, he sent a curt note to McLaws containing odd, third person references to himself and an even odder ultimatum that one of them had to go and, since the commanding general could not leave, McLaws had to be the one.

The charges against McLaws included neglect of duty, failure to instruct and organize his troops, and poor command decisions. Longstreet charged that McLaws had the poor judgment to exhibit a want of confidence in the efforts and plans which the commanding general had thought proper to adopt. The irony of this vague charge from the same man who at Gettysburg had opposed the efforts and plans of his commanding general, seemed not to have registered on Longstreet.

McLaws sought exoneration by insisting on a full court-martial, which was his right and, like most wartime courts-martial, this one dragged on for months, sapping the energy and distracting the attentions of all the officers involved. The court, in May 1864, delivered a guilty verdict on only one of the three principal charges and handed down a relatively light sentence of 60 days’ suspension. Davis immediately set the verdict aside and restored McLaws to full command. The president’s action put Longstreet in a bad light, besides reuniting two unhappy officers.

McLaws’ case dragged on the longer of the two, but Robertson’s case was just as ugly. On January 21, 1864, Longstreet filed court-martial charges against him for alleged delinquency and pessimistic remarks during the [Knoxville] campaign. A military court was never convened to hear the charges; instead, a more subtle punishment was meted out by transferring Robertson to the Trans-Mississippi Department, where he finished out the war commanding reserve forces.

Bragg may have taken some secret delight in Longstreet’s command problems, but that did not improve his own situation. Eventually, after as much damage as possible had been done to the Army of Tennessee, he was replaced by Joe Johnston, whose last assignment prior to taking over the Army of Tennessee had been the poorly organized defense of Vicksburg. Unfortunately, Johnston was no better served by his lieutenants than Bragg had been. His officers during the fight for Atlanta in the summer of 1864 raised dissension to a kind of art form, which eventually contributed to his downfall.

Before that happened, however, the second great internal brawl of the Army of Tennessee occurred. A week after Johnston had assumed command, while the army was encamped at Dalton, Gal, Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne tossed a bombshell into the officer corps by proposing that the Confederacy arm its slaves and use them to fill up the depleted ranks of the armies. Other officers had already advised him not to bring up the controversial subject, if not out of consideration for army unity and morale, then out of consideration for his own promising career.

A furious uproar soon spread far beyond the confines of Johnston’s headquarters. General W.H.T. Walker complained to President Davis in a long letter also signed by Generals Alexander Stewart, Carter Stevenson, Patton Anderson and William Bate. Davis tried to put the lid on the entire matter, ordering Johnston to hush up any further discussion of it in the army. This Johnston did, but Bragg and others in Richmond hereafter associated Cleburne’s name with a traitorous scheme of abolition, and Cleburne never won corps command, despite a sterling combat record.

The Confederate situation, while not unique in military history, was nonetheless extremely disruptive. Reading through the records, one gets the feeling sometimes that more swords were surrendered to fellow officers during the war than to the enemy.

The quaint practice of surrendering swords at least provided a peaceful method of resolving personal differences. In other instances, Southern officers preferred to use their sidearms on each other rather than surrendering them. This is what happened on September 6, 1863, at Little Rock, Ark., between Generals John S. Marmaduke and Lucius M. Walker. Both commanded cavalry divisions in Arkansas, and Marmaduke impugned the personal courage of Walker, who had already been declared unfit as an officer by no less an authority than Braxton Bragg. A duel resulted in which Walker was mortally wounded. Following his death the next day, Marmaduke was arrested but quickly released because the army could not afford to lose two cavalry commanders while the enemy was active in the vicinity. Furthermore, Marmaduke was a well-liked officer, and popular opinion in the army was clearly on his side.

In April 1865, three days before Lee surrendered, Colonel George W. Baylor shot Brig. Gen. John A. Wharton, the latter being unarmed at the time. Baylor said Wharton called him a liar and slapped his face, sufficient provocation for any red-blooded Southern gentleman, but Wharton’s friends said Baylor was angry about being passed over for promotion and blamed Wharton for holding him back. Baylor was never charged with any crime, and even if he had been, it is doubtful whether other Southern gentlemen, particularly if they were Texans, would have convicted him.

There is no telling how many dueling challenges were issued and never acted upon. After Malvern Hill, General Robert Toombs challenged D.H. Hill to a duel for accusing him of taking the field too late and leaving it too soon. While Hill’s unofficial criticism had said nothing about Toombs’ brigade, Toombs interpreted the insult to be aimed at both himself and his brigade, and therefore demanded the satisfaction usual among gentlemen.

The two men sparred back and forth in a series of letters, with Hill reminding Toombs that they were prohibited from issuing or accepting challenges to duel by the plainest principles of duty and the laws which we have mutually sworn to serve. In the end, Toombs had to be satisfied with publicly calling Hill a poltroon, a taunt which no one else took seriously because of Hill’s well-known courage on the battlefield.

Constant squabbling among senior officers, accompanied by bitter recriminations and indiscriminate dismissals and transfers, ate away at the army’s heart and soul. Jefferson Davis himself never understood this fact and incredibly drew the opposite conclusion from his personal experience. After the Revolt of the Generals, he stated with more wishful thinking than common sense, I have learned that cordial cooperation between officers is not vital to success.

Noted historian Bell Wiley was closer to the truth when he observed: Perhaps the most costly of the Confederacy’s shortcomings was the disharmony among its people….One who delves deeply into the literature of the period may easily conclude that Southerners hated each other more than they did the Yankees.

Texas-based author Dr. Richard Selcer wishes to dedicate his article on Southern generals to the memory of his friend and colleague Colonel Harold B. Simpson, author of Brawling Brass, North and South. See also Colonel Red Reeder’s The Southern Generals.

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Tennessee TensionNeither Braxton Bragg nor William Rosecrans was a stranger to controversy. Which one could weather their meeting at Stones River?
September - October 1862

General Lee heads north, producing a bloodbath in Maryland. And Abraham Lincoln presses emancipation

September

2 – In the aftermath of the Union's second loss at Bull Run, George McClellan is restored to full command of the Army of the …

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Book Reviews - July 2012

The Global Lincoln by Richard Carwardine, Jay Sexton, eds. Oxford University Press 2011, $29.95

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July - August 1862

Rebels go marauding, emancipation occupies Abraham Lincoln and starving Sioux get restless

 

July

1 – Battle of Malvern Hill ends the Seven Days' battles with a Union victory.

The Revenue Act of 1862 establishes the Bureau of Internal Revenue …

Unknown Soldier: Manning Ferguson Force, the Hero of AtlantaHow a bookish Ohio attorney inspired a Union stand against a furious Confederate assault
In the hot seat over GettysburgSouthern vets had long blamed James Longstreet and Jeb Stuart for their loss, but had Lee called a formal inquiry?
A Killer's MetamorphosisFrank James, Jesse James' older brother, renounced the outlaw life after Jesse's death and slipped quietly into old age.
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Major General Adelbert Ames: Forgotten Man of the 20th MaineJune Issue Extra: Adelbert Ames preceded Joshua Chamberlain as colonel of the 20th Maine
1862: May and June

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May

3 – Confederate General Joseph Johnston orders troops to evacuate Norfolk, Va. Evacuation is completed May 10, and on May 11, the crew of …

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
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Confederates at Shiloh

On April 6, 1862, following the first day of fighting, General Ulysses Grant ordered Union gunboats on the Tennessee River to fire broadsides all through the night, in an effort to unnerve the enemy. John S. Cockerill of the 70th

Louisa May Alcott Goes to WarEager to support the North, the budding author volunteered for a fledgling corps of female nurses
March and April, 1862

Stunning events on land and sea: Naval warfare is reinvented and a placid church gets a bloodbath

March

March 3 – President Lincoln appoints Andrew Johnson, the only Southern U.S. senator to remain loyal after his state seceded, military governor …

Fearless French MaryBattlefield held little terror for feisty Marie Tepe as she focused on aiding her beloved Zouaves
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George Crook at the Battle of KernstownDid the Union general’s refusal to listen cost him the Second Battle of Kernstown?
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Civil War Times - February 2012 - Table of Contents

FEATURES:

The Loyalty of Silas Chandler
Was he a heroic black Confederate—or a slave forced to do his master's bidding?
By Myra Chandler Sampson and Kevin M. Levin

'Terrible Has Been the Storm'
William Sherman's men took out years of …

Diaries of a Liberty Hall Volunteer return home

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In Time of War - 150 years ago

January

1 - The Lincoln administration releases Confederate emissaries James Mason and John Slidell from Fort Warren in Boston Harbor, ending the Trent Affair. The diplomats continued their voyage to Europe, on an unsuccessful mission to win support for the …

Wounds from the Washita: The Major Elliott AffairThe death of popular 7th U.S. Cavalry officer Major Joel Elliott at the 1868 Battle of the Washita—and Lt. Col. George Custer's response to it—spawned disunity within the ill-starred unit
Unfinished Railroad Cut at Second ManassasA railroad to nowhere gave Confederates a tactical advantage at Second Manassas.
Antietam Battlefield’s Miller farmhouse gets a facelift

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David Miller's cornfield became an icon of the battlefield, after …

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Churchill Imagines How the South Won the Civil WarIn Winston Churchill’s fanciful alternative history, Robert E. Lee wins at Gettysburg, and Jeb Stuart prevents World War I

The War List: Overrated Civil War OfficersHistorian Gary W. Gallagher picks Union and Confederate officers whose hype doesn't match reality.
The art of war

The 150th anniversary of our greatest conflict implores us to take another look

Back in February, the London-based Art Newspaper, the most important journal in the museum world, published a front-page article bemoaning the shocking absence of American art …

What a difference a day makes


Confederate soldiers under the command of Gen. Robert E. Lee camp on the outskirts of Hagerstown, Maryland, in September of 1862. Image courtesy of Weider History Group archive.

War seemed far away to the editors of a Maryland weekly newspaper–until

Gaming board says no to Gettysburg casino

No gambling for historic Civil War town

Preservationists claimed victory in Gettysburg this spring when for the second time in five years, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board rejected plans for a casino on the fringes of Gettysburg National Military Park.…

Irreconcilable DifferencesWinston Groom, author of Vicksburg 1863, explores the reasons the North and South found themselves at war.
Irvin McDowell's Best Laid Plans


The orderly advance of Union troops at the start of the battle would become a distant memory in the hellish retreat that followed the fighting. Picture credit: Frank Leslie'sThe 'unexpected' Rebels he met at Bull Run weren't unexpected at all

New Gettysburg Film from Ridley and Tony Scott

Scott brothers produce Gettysburg film for History channel

The famed filmmaking Scott brothers—Ridley (Gladiator; Black Hawk Down; American Gangster) and Tony (Unstop­pable; Man on Fire; Top Gun)—have teamed with the cable channel History to produce Gettysburg, …

Union Cavalry Escapes from Besieged Harpers FerryIn September 1862 some 1,600 Union cavalrymen seemingly trapped at Harpers Ferry carried out one of the Civil War's most successful missions of stealth and deception.
Gettysburg's Best and Worst MonumentsWhat are Gettysburg's best and worst monuments?
Where is General George MeadeHow Union General George G. Meade became the Rodney Dangerfield of the Civil War
Stonewall Jackson at Harpers Ferry

Jackson, Johnston and conflicting interests
The fate of strategic Harpers Ferry hung on the leadership styles of two Southern commanders


Confederate Battery at Harper's Ferry. Courtesy of the Harper's Ferry National Historic Park.

Ten weeks before earning the sobriquet "Stonewall" …

Building the Army of the PotomacStephen Sears writes of how the Army of the Potomac's politically appointed generals and short-term volunteer troops nearly unhinged Lincoln’s plans in 1861 to win the Civil War.
Ask MHQ—North or South: Whose Was the Army of the Rebellion?Nowadays "Army of the Rebellion" is most commonly used to refer to the Confederates, but during the American Civil War the term was often applied to the Union forces as well.
Last Chance for Peace: Fort Sumter at 150For months the Confederates trained dozens of guns on Fort Sumter. But no one seemed eager for war.
Ten Civil War ClassicsThe country’s bloodiest war has been captured in novels, memoirs, and battle narratives. Here are 10 classics
Battle of Big BethelA skirmish near the tip of Virginia’s Peninsula served as a harbinger of the four-year bloodbath to come.
Black Jack John Logan Goes to WarUnlike most politicians, John Logan played a pivotal role on the battlefield.
Two Virginias Two Civil Wars

Two 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 …

James Lighthizer, Civil War Trust President

Education, Preservation, Dedication
Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer has made saving endangered battlefields his life's passion
Jim Lighthizer. Photo by Kevin Johnson.

What is the biggest threat to Civil War battlefield preservation right now?
No question about it, development—the …

Lee to the RearA Texas private’s long-forgotten account of Robert E. Lee’s brush with death at the Battle of the Wilderness.
Battle Of Franklin: Civil War Sites - Carnton, Carter House, Lotz HouseThe Carter House, Lotz House and Carnton Plantation still stand as witnesses to the five bloody hours of fighting in the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, November 30, 1864.
Survivors Remember Shiloh7 Lives Altered by Shiloh: Two Fateful Days Can Make Reputations, Shatter Families, and Shape Destinies
Pre Civil War Peace ConferenceAs secession fever spreads through the South, political patriarchs try to avert war—-but at what price?
10 Battles That Shaped AmericaAmerica was born of war, and the following 10 battles helped forge the nation and forever change world history.
Gen. George McClellan at Second ManassasGeneral Disobedience: ‘Little Mac’ let John Pope twist in the wind; With response from Prof. Ethan S. Rafuse
Confederate Alamo

Remembering the Confederates' last stand at Petersburg: The Confederate Alamo: Bloodbath at Petersburg's Fort Gregg on April 2, 1865
by John J. Fox III
Angle Valley Press, 2010, $34.95

Although it typically doesn't attract the attention it merits, April 2, …

Segways appear at Fredericksburg NMP

Segways 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 …

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.

John Howard, Superintendent, Antietam National Battlefield

Superintendent John Howard plans to retire at year's end after 16 years at the helm of Antietam National Battlefield. Here he shares a few parting thought.

What accomplishment stands out most in your time at Antietam?
John Howard. Photo by …

Gettysburg is an Endangered Battlefield

A proposed casino near the site of Pickett's Charge has landed the Gettysburg National Military Park on the Civil War Preservation Trust's list of the 10 most endangered battlefields in 2010.

In its annual report History Under Siege­, CWPT identified …

True Causes of the Civil War

Irreconcilable Differences
Simmering animosities between North and South signaled an American apocalypse

Any man who takes it upon himself to explain the causes of the Civil War deserves whatever grief comes his way, regardless of his good intentions. Having acknowledged …

Murder in the Civil War

Getting away with murder
The battlefield claimed many a brave officer, but there were a few others who met not-quite-so-honorable ends

The death toll among general officers during the Civil War was staggering. Because military necessity often placed a general …

Richard Ewell at GettysburgSecond-Guessing Dick Ewell: Why didn’t the Confederate general take Cemetery Hill on July 1, 1863?
Lee's Unwritten MemoirWhy didn’t Robert E. Lee write his memoirs?
Civil War Times - August 2010 - Table of Contents

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Second-Guessing Dick Ewell
Is it fair to blame General Richard Ewell for the Confederate defeat at Gettysburg?
By Chris Mackowski and Kristopher D. White
PLUS: 5 Battle Maps by David Fuller

The Proclamation and the

Is General Stanley A. McChrystal more like General John Pope or George McClellan?MSNBC's Keith Olbermann compares President Obama's predicament with General McChrystal to Lincoln's decision about General John Pope.
At Gettysburg with the Lousiana Tigers

The Louisiana Tigers in the Gettysburg Campaign, June-July, 1863
By Scott L. Mingus Sr.,
Louisiana State University Press, 2009

The legendary Louisiana Tigers, one of the more feared units in the Army of Northern Virginia, get a welcome and comprehensive …

'The Roar and Rattle': McClellan's Missed Opportunities at AntietamThe Battle of Antietam resulted in more pivotal changes, across a broader spectrum of events—military, political, diplomatic, societal—than any other battle of the war. Yet if evaluated in purely military terms, it was not decisive at all.
Explosion at the Allegheny Arsenal‘Noble Union Girls’: The thousands of Northern women who worked in Federal arsenals risked their lives for the cause.
Israel Richardson at Antietam

A Rising Star Struck Down in His Prime
Until Antietam: The Life and Letters of Major General Israel B. Richardson, U.S. Army, by Jack C. Mason, Southern Illinois University Press

Up to the moment he was mortally wound­ed along Antietam's …

Joseph Wheeler managed to keep Braxton Bragg from drowning at MurfreesboroFightin’ Joe: Taunted by subordinates and sometimes ignored by his commander, Joseph Wheeler managed to keep Braxton Bragg from drowning in a Tennessee bloodbath
Emmitsburg Road Preservation Campaign

Civil War Preservation Trust announces latest campaign

Fundraising has begun for the preservation of a crucial two-acre parcel on the Gettys­burg battlefield. The property, originally part of the historic Philip Snyder farm, lies along the Emmitsburg Road and is entirely …

1864: McClellan vs. Lincoln Gallery EXTRAIn the 1864 “bayonet election,” the soldier vote—and a timely Union success—helped a pro-war civilian, Lincoln, defeat a pro-peace general, McClellan.
Irvin McDowell: The Most Unpopular Man in AmericaTwo words came to define McDowell’s military prowess for the general’s most critical superiors: ‘Bull’ and ‘Run’
Gettysburg maps sesquicentennial strategyCivil War battle strategy can be tricky enough itself to convey, but that wasn’t what was giving German journalist Hermann Schmid problems in Gettysburg last fall.
Lincoln’s Political Generals

Lincoln's Political Generals, by David Work
University of Illinois Press, 2009

Abraham Lincoln made his share of mistakes as commander in chief during the Civil War, but did his politically motivated appointments of nonmilitary men as Union generals help or …

Will Biographers Ever Get out of a Rut?

Biographies of Civil War generals have appealed to generations of Americans. Famous commanders often attract readers who end up pursuing a lifelong interest in the conflict. J.E.B. Stuart played that role for me.

As an 11-year-old, I was drawn to …

Staying the Course at GettysburgLincoln's remarks gratified the war's proponents and silenced his critics
Who kept U.S. Grant sober?John Rawlins used his brains and blue language to keep his boss in check.
Gettysburg Grows by 45 Acres: December/January 2010

Gettysburg residents Wayne and Susan Hill recently donated 45 acres to the Gettysburg Foundation. Located near the eastern base of Big Round Top at the southern end of the battlefield, the acreage encompasses an area where Union skirmishers maneuvered on …

Masters of their Medium: October/November 2009The Civil War era has attracted more than its share of gifted writers. Unexcelled political drama, compelling individuals in and out of uniform and storied battles provide rich material for anyone seeking to tell a gripping story.
Murder and Mayhem Ride the Rails - Union Soldiers Rampage in Virginia

Smoke and fire filled the skies south of Petersburg in December 1864 as the Army of the Potomac's V Corps targeted the Weldon Railroad. Dur­ing a raid along this vital supply line linking southeastern Virginia with North Carolina, liquor-fueled Federals …

A Promise FulfilledThe Emancipation Proclamation all but guaranteed the death of slavery, but exactly what that document did–and did not–do remains the subject of heated debate
Edwin Forbes Gettysburg Paintings - GalleryScenes from the Battle of Gettysburg painted by the reporter and artist Edwin Forbes.
Capital Defense - Washington, D.C., in the Civil War

When the first inklings emerged early in 1861 that a fighting war pitting North versus South would soon break out, the residents of Washington, D.C.—at least those whose sympathies were with the Union—began to feel more than a little threatened. …

Tennessee town memorializes Nathan B. Forrest’s horse

In 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, …

Robert K. Krick, Chronicler of Robert E. Lee's Army

 

Robert Krick worked for 31 years as the chief historian at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park and is a renowned expert on the Army of Northern Virginia Interview by Kim A. O'Connell

How did a California kid get …

The South's Last Great VictoryAn alliance of the Confederacy’s eastern and western armies earned a bloody triumph at the September 1863 Battle of Chickamauga
Lincoln or Bust

Abraham 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 …

Here’s evidence that Abraham Lincoln was as good as his wordsKaplan has done a service to Lincoln scholars and general readers alike by reconstructing Lincoln's self-education, and showing how the books he read and reread may have shaped his mind.
Believe it or not, here's something new on LeeRobert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy, 1863-1865
by Ethan S. Rafuse
Rowman & Littlefield, 2008

Is it really possible there's anything new to say about Robert E. Lee, who probably has had more written about him than …

The Long Shadow of the March to the Sea

 

Sherman's March in Myth and Memory
by Edward Caudill and
Paul Ashdown
Rowman & Littlefield, 2008

Memory studies are now a recognized discipline within the canon of Civil War historiography, with leading historians Gary Gal­lagher, David Blight and …

Did Robert E. Lee Doom Himself at Gettysburg?By blindly relying on poor intelligence and saying far too little to his generals, Lee may have sealed the Rebels’ fate.

Fighting Words: Inspiration From AnnihilationThe Civil War was one of the deadliest conflicts in history. Some 620,000 troops died, an estimated two-thirds from disease rather than combat. This number represented about 2 percent of the American population, and far more than the casualties of any previous conflict of the United States. It is not surprising, therefore, that several of the terms born during that conflict incorporate the word “dead.”
Ever Heard a Real Rebel Yell?: August/September 2009

Many Union soldiers wrote about the soul-chilling yells of attacking Confederates. Thanks to the Museum of the Confederacy, you can hear the real thing on a CD featuring the authentic yell as performed by two elderly Confederate veterans. The two …

Abraham Lincoln Museums - An OverviewFour museums dedicated to presenting the life of Abraham Lincoln, each one different in character, are examined in detail, with photos.
Key Third Winchester Site Saved: April/May 2009Third Winchester, the bloodiest battle to take place in the Shenandoah Valley, will likely draw more visitors than ever now that a larger portion of the battlefield is being preserved
Grant and Lee: MIA in New York: April/May 2009Visitors to the New-York His­tori­cal Society’s ongoing ex­hibit on Ulysses S. Grant and Rob­ert E. Lee will likely be intrigued by the first artifacts they see: artwork created by the legendary com­manders themselves long before they were famous.
Let the Chips Fall Where They Will: April/May 2009Historians interested in the Confederacy navigate in perilous interpretive waters.
They're Called Killing Grounds for a Reason: February/March 2009A 10-year study of the geomorphology of Civil War battlefields reveal connection between geological features and casualties.
Go To Gettysburg!: February/March 2009Noted historian Gary W. Gallagher gives his perspective in the Civil War Times bi-monthly column Blue and Gray.
Fighting Dick and his Fighting Men

On a bleak hillside overlooking the battleground of Sailor's Creek, General Robert E. Lee watched as hundreds of his men fled through the fields and wooded ravines below. "Men without guns, many without hats," one witness recalled, "all mingled with …

Shiloh's False HeroIn exchange for waving a white flag, Benjamin Prentiss was hailed as the savior of the “Hornets’ Nest”
Ox Hill Battlefield: Honoring Second Bull Run’s Bloody PostscriptThe Battle of Ox Hill or Chantilly, in Virginia, has been commemorated with a new battlefield park along Rt. 608. The Sept. 1, 1862, battle was fought in a rainstorm and resulted in the death of Union generals Philip Kearny and Isaac Stevens.
Nicholas Biddle:The Civil War's First BloodJust days after Fort Sumter, a pro-Confederate mob in Maryland turned ex-slave Nicholas Biddle into the war's first casualty.
Union General Daniel SicklesOn two separate battlefields, Union General Daniel Sickles carelessly exposed his men -- and the entire army -- to possible defeat. Only the quick actions of other Federal officers managed to compensate for Sickles' errors and keep his mistakes from becoming disasters. It was life as usual for 'Devil Dan.'
Ask MHQ - Did Confederate Generals Consider Attacking Washington?Did Confederate generals ever consider a direct attack on Washington during the Civil War? Noted author Steven A. Sears answers that question for a Military History Quarterly reader.
Stumbling in Sherman's PathStandard histories of Major General William T. Sherman’s celebrated March to the Sea invariably portray the Confederacy’s response as inconsequential. Such broad generalizations may assuage wounded Southern pride, but they also rewrite history.
Recently Discovered Memoir about Gen. T. J. 'Stonewall' JacksonAn overlooked manuscript in Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, contains a memoir about Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson by a man who was with him from VMI to Manassas.
O. T. Reilly - Relic Collector and Early Antietam Tour GuideO. T. Reilly was an early relic collector and tour guide living near the Antietam battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland. This article includes photos of many of the relics he collected.
Shot by Cupid's Bow - Fanny and John Brown GordonConfederate General John Brown Gordon and his wife Fanny shared a loyal and passionate marriage for nearly 50 years. She spent much of the Civil War nursing him as he recovered from wounds and illness.
The 9 Lives of General John Brown GordonIndestructible Confederate general John B. Gordon survived multiple wounds and serious illnesses during the Civil War. From First Manassas to Appomattox, he proved nothing could keep a good man down.
Worn Out, Hungry and Broke: Confederate Discontent after GettysburgThe Civil War letters of two North Carolina soldiers reveal discontent in the post-Gettysburg Army of Northern Virginia.
Feeling the Past at GettysburgThe presence of the past can be felt at the Gettysburg battlefield, where so many Civil War soldiers laid down their lives.
Field Guide Vicksburg: Gibraltar of the ConfederacyTake a photographic tour of the National Military Park at Vicksburg, Mississippi, with this collection of photos of monuments and terrain at the "Confederate Gibraltar."
John Burns of GettysburgBret Harte's poem, John Burns of Gettysburg, celebrates an elderly civilian who took up arms in defense of his home.
'A Stupid Old Useless Fool'William Nelson Pendleton was far more effective behind a pulpit than he was as Robert E. Lee's chief of artillery in the Army of Northern Virginia.
Daniel Sickles: An Unlikely Union GeneralThe Civil War salvaged Dan Sickles' career and saved him from financial ruin.
Death and Civil War America: Interview with Drew Gilpin FaustDrew Gilpin Faust discusses her book, "This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War," a thoughtful study of the impact of the war's massive death toll on society and government.
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.
Coming Apart From the Inside: How Internal Strife Brought Down the ConfederacyPoliticians and generals on the Confederate side have long been lionized as noble warriors who heroically fought for an honorable cause that had little chance of succeeding. In reality, the Confederate leadership was rife with infighting.
America's Civil War Monuments: Hartford's Stately Bridge Over Troubled WatersGeorge W. Keller's Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Hartford was a first-of-a-kind memorial in the United States.
The Union's Bloody Miscue at Spotsylvania's MuleshoeUlysses S. Grant's human battering ram assaults failed to break Robert E. Lee's position at the Muleshoe despite twenty hours of fighting at the Bloody Angle.
The Day of Doom: The Battle of Gravelotte/Saint-PrivatOn a single day of the Franco-Prussian War, the armies of Helmuth von Moltke and François Achille Bazaine nearly annihilated each other in an epic slaughter at Gravelotte/Saint-Privat that would not be matched until World War I.
Singer's Secret Service Corps: Causing Chaos During the Civil WarEdgar C. Singer and his Secret Service Corps pioneered underwater mine and submarine research for the Confederacy from tiny La Vaca, Texas.

Sculpting a Scapegoat: Ambrose Burnside at AntietamA fresh examination of Major General Ambrose Burnside's actions at the Battle of Antietam suggests he was made into a scapegoat for others' failings.
Wild West: Rescue of the Mountain Meadows Orphans

In the fall of 1857, a party of emigrants from Arkansas camped in southern Utah Territory at Mountain Meadows, a lush alpine oasis on the Spanish Trail where wagon trains rested before crossing the Mojave Desert. The party was made …

William J. Palmer: Forgotten Union General of America's Civil WarWilliam J. Palmer raised the Anderson Troop, a mounted contingent of elite scouts, then recruited the 15th Pennsyl­vania Cavalry before being sent on spying missions that landed him in a Richmond prison.
Unraveling the Myths of Burnside BridgeIt is clear that Union general Ambrose Burnside’s failures at Antietam cannot be written off to ineptness or petty insubordination, but what really did happen at "Burnside's Bridge?"
Letter From America's Civil War - September 2007

September is America's cruelest month. The three most costly events in human terms suffered by our country occurred in that ninth month of the year.

On September 11, 2001, jets fell out of clear blue skies to kill roughly 3,000 …

Antietam Eyewitness AccountsEyewitness accounts from soldiers who experienced the carnage of Antietam, America's bloodiest day.
War's Lingering Devastation In the Antietam ValleyWilliam Roulette's farmstead was in the middle of mayhem at the Battle of Antietam. Determined to rebuild, Roulette painstakingly detailed the devastating losses suffered by his famiiy.
Battle of Antietam: Union Surgeons and Civilian Volunteers Help the WoundedUnion surgeons and civilian volunteers struggled to cope with thousands of Antietam wounded with makeshift hospitals in barns and barnyards, houses and churches, haystacks, pastures and flimsy tents around Sharpsburg, Maryland.
William T. Sherman's First Campaign of DestructionBefore Gen. Willliam T. Sherman made Georgia howl, he burned a path through Mississippi, waging a war of destruction that left Southern civilians just enough for survival but not enough to support Confederate military activity.
At Washington's Gates: Jubal Early's Chance to Take the CapitolIn July 1864, Lt. Gen. Jubal Early led a Confederate army to the gates of Washington. What stopped him from capturing the Northern capital and its president, Abraham Lincoln?
Intelligence: The Secret War Within America's Civil WarSpies, slaves, fake deserters, signal towers, and newspapers were all sources of intelligence Union and Confederate commanders used to peer into the enemy's plans.
Fighting and Dying for the Colors at Gettysburg

Nearly two months after the battle of Gettysburg 24-year-old Isaac Dunsten of the 105th Pennsylvania Infantry lay on officers' row at Camp Letterman, the large tent hospital established just east of the town. On July 2, 1863, the second day …

Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig: World War I's Worst General

Visiting the Somme battlefield in northern France is largely a matter of going from one Commonwealth Graves Commission cemetery to another. The graveyards are everywhere, some of them very small, comprising only a handful of white Portland marble stones, many …

American Indian Sharpshooters at the Battle of the Crater

Lieutenant Freeman S. Bowley was fighting for his life in the man-made hellhole that was the Petersburg Crater when he noticed that the former slaves in his company of the 30th United States Colored Troops were not the only men …

Visiting Stonewall Jackson's Left Arm at ChancellorsvilleGeneral Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's amputated arm got its own grave at Ellwood Cemetery in Orange County, Virginia.
Custer's Last Stand Still Stands UpThe Battle of the Little Bighorn is like a 10,000-piece jigsaw puzzle on the south-central Montana landscape - the stuff of legend and historical gamesmanship.
Who Captured Union Colonel Percy WyndhamWho really did capture Percy Wyndham, adventurer, son of an English lord, and a colonel in the 1st New Jersey Cavalry during America's Civil War?
Letter From April 2007 Civil War Times

The Age of Machines and Steel

It will hardly be revelatory to most people reading these pages to point out that the Civil War materialized on the cusp of a technological revo­lution. What may be surprising to some is the …

Burning High Bridge: The South's Last Hope

In the final week of the war in Virginia, small villages, crossroads and railroad depots previously untouched by the fighting took on enormous importance as Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant sought to bring General Robert E. Lee to bay and …

Ulysses S. Grant: The 'Unconditional Surrender Continues

For most general officers, a headline-making victory accompanied by the abject surrender of an entire enemy army, such as Ulysses "Unconditional Surrender" Grant accomplished at Fort Donelson in February 1862, would have been quite enough for one career. But Grant …

Letters from Readers -- January 2007 America's Civil War

Firing the First Shot
Regarding the July issue, I especially liked Dana Shoaf's editorial about the Wisler house and J.D. Petruzzi's fine article on the first shot at Gettysburg. Like countless others, I've risked life and limb to climb the …

Battle of Chickamauga and Gordon Granger's Reserve CorpsMajor General Gordon Granger's Reserve Corps of the Army of the Cumberland faced hard fighting at Chickamauga.
Ulysses S. Grant: The Myth of 'Unconditional Surrender Begins at Fort Donelson

In January 1943, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill met in secret near Casablanca, Morocco, for their second wartime summit meeting. At the final press conference on January 24, Roosevelt announced to the world that the Allies would not stop …

General Bragg's Impossible Dream: Take KentuckyThe 1862 invasion of Kentucky had great promise, but disappointing results.

By Frank van der Linden

Battle of Cold Harbor: The Folly and HorrorThe blame for a broad command failure that led to 7,000 unnecessary Union casualties in a single hour applies to more than just the commander in chief.

By Robert N. Thompson

America's Civil War: Why the Irish Fought for the Union

The Irish experience in the Civil War has probably received more attention — and celebration — than that of any other ethnic group. Mention of the Irish commonly conjures up images of the Irish Brigade's doomed charge at Fredericksburg, of …

American's Civil War: Collision at Sabine Crossroads During the Red River CampaignConfederate Major General Richard Taylor had only 11,000 troops to oppose Major General Nathaniel P. Banks' 25,000 Federals, but as they closed in on the town of Mansfield, La., he found a place to make a stand.

By Pierre Comtois

Battle of Gettysburg: General George Sears Greene at Culp's HillGeneral George Sears Greene led way on Culp's Hill on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.
America's Civil War: Defense of Little Round TopUnion Colonel Joshua Chamberlain has long been lauded as the hero of Gettysburg's Little Round Top. But do Chamberlain and the 20th Maine deserve all the credit, or did he have some unheralded help?

America's Civil War: Little Round Top RegimentsRenowned for their valorous stand at Gettysburg, the Little Round Top Regiments saw many more days of combat, glory and horror before the Civil War ended.
Battle of Gettysburg FinaleGrievously wounded in body and spirit, the Army of Northern Virginia limped painfully away from Gettysburg while Union commander George Gordon Meade followed slowly -- too slowly, thought Abraham Lincoln.
America's Civil War: The Fall of RichmondWhile Jefferson Davis and his stunned Cabinet crowded onto a refugee-jammed train, thousands of less exalted Richmond residents wandered the fire-reddened streets of the capital.

By Ken Bivin

Battle of Salem Church: Final Federal Assault at ChancellorsvilleWhile a dazed 'Fighting Joe' Hooker reeled from the brilliant Confederate flank attack at Chancellorsville, Union Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick fought his way past Rebel defenders to attack the enemy rear. At Salem Church, he tried to open a second front -- and possibly save the day.

By George Rogan

America's Civil War: Expedition to Destroy Dismal Swamp CanalEager to improve the regiment's somewhat tarnished reputation, Colonel Rush Hawkins' 9th New York Zouaves set off through North Carolina's Dismal Swamp to attack the canal at South Mills. What followed was not exactly what Hawkins had in mind.

By Joseph F. von Deck

Battle of Antietam: Two Great American Armies Engage in CombatThe opposing armies at Antietam were two very different forces commanded by two very different men.

By Ted Alexander

Battle Of Stones RiverWhile an unwary Union artillery captain -- Warren P. Edgarton -- took his horses for water, 4,400 battle-hardened Confederates were massing to unleash a devastating pre-dawn attack.

By Robert C. Cheeks

Battle of Antietam: Federal Flank Attack at Dunker ChurchWith Union Major General Joseph Hooker's I Corps lying shattered in the blood-soaked cornfield at Antietam, Brigadier General George Greene's 'Bully Boys' somehow managed to punch a salient in the Confederate line. But would they be able to hold it?

By Robert C. Cheeks

Battle of Peachtree CreekNear the sluggish creek on the outskirts of Atlanta, new Confederate commander John Bell Hood struck the first 'manly blow' for Atlanta,living up to his lifelong reputation as a fighter--but accomplishing little. It would be a bad omen for all Hood's subsequent campaigns.

By Phil Noblitt

Battle of Ox HillWith Union General John Pope reeling in defeat after the Battle of Second Manassas, Stonewall Jackson confidently set out to block Pope's retreat. It would be easy pickings--so Jackson thought.

By Robert James

Battle of Gettysburg: Fury at Bliss FarmBack and forth, for 24 hours, soldiers at Gettysburg contested possession of a no man's land with an incongruous name--Bliss farm.

By John M. Archer

Battle of Gettysburg -- Day TwoIf Robert E. Lee's bold plan of attack had been followed on Day 2 at Gettysburg, there might never have been a third day of fighting. As it was, confusion and personal differences between commanders would severely affect the Confederate assault on Cemetery Ridge.
Battle of Dinwiddie Court HouseUlysses S. Grant sent his trusted cavalry commander Phil Sheridan to flank Robert E. Lee out of Petersburg. The crossroads hamlet of Dinwiddie Court House soon became the focal point for one of the most pivotal cavalry battles of the war.

By Mark J. Crawford

Battle of Cold HarborNot until World War I would so many men die in so little time. Why didn't Northerners hear about Grant's botched battle of Cold Harbor?

By David E. Long

Hoodwinked During America's Civil War: Confederate Military Deception

'In the conditions of real war, the feeling of uncertainty is magnified, and this makes the opponent much more sensitive to crafty deception — so that even the most threadbare ruse has succeeded time after time.'
– Sir Basil Liddell

17th Maine Infantry in the Battle of GettysburgThe 17th Maine helped transform a Gettysburg wheatfield into a legend.

By Jeffry D. Wert

James Longstreet: Robert E. Lee's Most Valuable Soldier

The words resonate through Confederate history like an unwelcome truth. As General Robert E. Lee made preparations for an assault on the center of the Union line at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, his senior subordinate, Lieutenant General James Longstreet, …

Battle of Gettysburg: Who Really Fired the First ShotWhen Lieutenant Marcellus Jones touched off a shot in the early morning of July 1, 1863, at Gettysburg, he could not have realized that his bullet would create a controversy argued over for decades.
Battle of Antietam: 7th Maine's Senseless Charge On the Piper Farm

It had no effect on the battle — other than adding to the casualty lists — and there was no good reason for ordering it in the first place. But for the whim of a subpar brigade commander, whose sobriety …

George Smalley: Reporting from Battle of AntietamNew York Tribune reporter George Smalley scooped the world with his vivid account of the Battle of Antietam.
Account Of The Battle of ShilohIn the aftermath of a staggering Confederate surprise attack, skulking Union fugitives huddled alongside the bluffs overlooking the Tennessee River near Shiloh.
Battle of Shiloh: Shattering MythsEvents that have been distorted or enhanced by veterans and early battlefield administrators have become part of the accepted story of the April 1862 battle -- until now. Case in point: The Sunken Road wasn't.
Robert E. Lee and His Horse TravellerRarely have horse and rider gone so well together as Traveller and Robert E. Lee.
Leonidas Polk: Southern Civil War GeneralUnion artillery brought a deadly end to the career of clergyman-turned-soldier Leonidas Polk.
Hoodwinked During America's Civl War: Union Military DeceptionHoodwinked During the Civl War: Union Military Deception
Robert Charles Tyler: Last American Civil War Confederate General Slain in CombatAgainst impossible odds and following orders issued half a year earlier, Robert Charles Tyler became the last Confederate general slain in Civil War combat.
Battle of Fisher's HillGeneral George Crook's flank attack at Fisher's Hill swept down on the Rebel left like a force of nature.
Siege Of Corinth By Henry Halleck in 1862For one Union general -- Henry Halleck -- the march into Mississippi continued straight on to Washington.
Trail of Black HawkOutnumbered and harried through trackless swamps, Black Hawk's starving band of Sauk and Fox Indians made a desperate stand along the Mississippi.
Ephraim Dodd: An American Civil War Union PrisonerShould a Texas Ranger expect justice or death from his Union captors?
The Civil War Experience: 1861-1865 (Book Review)

Reviewed by Partick Alan
By Jay Wertz
Presidio Press

Civil War enthusiasts are unable to rest until everyone they know stops tolerating their mania and starts sharing it. It is the great crusade that lies at the heart of the …

Baltimore & Ohio Railroad: The Union's Most Important Supply LineThe Baltimore & Ohio Railroad survived numerous hardships of the Civil War in its service to the Union.

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