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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

Featured Article

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.

For more great articles be sure to subscribe to America’s Civil War magazine today!

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Articles 3

Battle of Antietam: Taking Rohrbach Bridge at Antietam CreekWhile 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.'
Battle of Champion’s HillWith 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.
Frederick Stowe: In the Shadow of Uncle Tom’s CabinThe fame of novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe followed her son throughout the Civil War.
Battle of Shiloh: The Devil’s Own DayAt a small Methodist meeting house in southwestern Tennessee, Union and Confederate armies met for a 'must-win' battle in the spring of 1862. No one, however, expected the bloodbath that ensued. It was, said General William Sherman, 'the Devil's own day.'
America’s Civil War: Union Soldiers Hanged in North CarolinaEight months after Major General George E. Pickett led his famous charge, he hanged Union prisoners in North Carolina.
J.E.B. Stuart’s RevengeA stolen hat and wounded pride spurred Southern cavalryman J.E.B. Stuart into action. His vengeance would be swift, daring, and--unexpectedly--funny.
Union General Judson KilpatrickUnion 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.
Battle of Wilson’s CreekThe Battle of Wilson's Creek helped to keep a critical border state out of the Confederacy.
Confederate General Samuel GarlandWhen Samuel Garland fell at South Mountain, the Confederacy lost a promising general and a proven leader.
Battle of Ball’s BluffConfederate soldiers drove inexperienced Union troops acting on faulty intelligence into the Potomac River like lemmings.
Brigadier General John Gibbon’s Brief Breach During the Battle of FredericksburgAlthough overshadowed by the doomed Federal attack on the Confederate center, General John Gibbon's 2nd Division managed -- however briefly -- to make a breakthrough on the Union left.
Brigadier General Thomas F. MeagherBrigadier General Thomas F. Meagher, the colorful leader of the Irish Brigade, fought many battles--not all of them with the enemy.
Military Technology: The Confederate Floating Battery Revival During the American Civil WarPopular during the Crimean War, the floating battery was revived by hard-pressed Confederates.
America’s Civil War: Fort Wagner and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer InfantryThe doomed assault on Fort Wagner won the 54th Massachusetts a place in history, but did not win the battle for the North. No regiment could have carried the fort that day.
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.
1st Louisiana Special Battalion at the First Battle of ManassasRecruited 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.
THE CLASSICS: The Iron Brigade (Book Review)Reviewed by Peter S. CarmichaelBy Alan T. Nolan Alan T. Nolan pioneered the modern regimental history with The Iron Brigade. The voices of the "Black Hat Boys," who comprised one of the fiercest combat units in the Army of the Potomac, still resound in The Iron Brigade, by Alan T. Nolan. George Pickett, although not …
Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi (Book Review)Reviewed by Mike Oppenheim By Michael B. BallardUniversity 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 the …
‘The Birth of a Nation': When Hollywood Glorified the KKKNinety years after its first screening and 100 years after the publication of the novel that inspired it, D.W. Griffith's motion picture continues to be lauded for its cinematographic excellence and vilified for its racist content. The film came from Griffith's personal vision, and as such it reflected the strengths and weaknesses of the man himself.
Battle of ShepherdstownThe savage little Battle of Shepherdstown made for a bloody coda to the 1862 Maryland campaign.
America’s Civil War: Guerrilla Leader William Clarke Quantrill’s Last Raid in KentuckyWhen 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.
Ambrose Bierce’s Civil War: One Man’s Morbid VisionFor Ambrose Bierce, the enemy was not really the gray-clad host at the other end of the field, but death, and the terror of death and wounds.
John Cabell Early Remembers GettysburgMajor General Jubal Early's nephew recalled the famous meeting on July 1 between his uncle and General Robert E. Lee during the 1863 invasion of Pennsylvania.
America’s Civil War Comes to West PointThough the Corps of Cadets was forced apart by political differences in 1860-61, and passions grew intense, there were more tears than hurrahs among the Northerners when their Southern friends resigned. The last institution to divide, the Academy was one of the first to reunite.
America’s Civil War: Front Royal Was the Key to the Shenandoah ValleyThe pretty little town of Front Royal, in the Shenandoah Valley, had a strategic value that belied its size. As Stonewall Jackson knew, it was the key to the valley, the state of Virginia and the war itself.
Eyewitness Account: A Tar Heel at GettysburgAfter capture, Lawrence D. Davis had to undergo being reviewed by 'big & fat' Ben Butler.
THE CLASSICS: Four Years With General LeeReviewed by Peter S. Carmichael By Walter Herron Taylor Of all Robert E. Lee’s subordinates, few were better qualified to write a history of the Army of Northern Virginia than Walter Herron Taylor. Taylor’s Four Years With General Lee, published in 1877, stands as one of the standard works on the Army of Northern Virginia. …
High-Water Mark: The 1862 Maryland Campaign in Strategic Perspective (Book Review)Reviewed Ted AlexanderBy Timothy J. Reese Baltimore, Butternut and Blue Press, 2004 By Mark Dunkelman By fall 1862, Confederate morale was the highest it had been since the start of the war and Confederate armies were on the move on a front more than 1,000 miles wide. In the Western theater, Confederate incursions into Kentucky …
Donnybrook: The Battle of Bull Run, 1861 (Book Review)Reviewed by John HennessyBy David Detzer New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2004 Whether you refer to it as Manassas or Bull Run, you’ll want this book on the war’s first major battle. The First Battle of Bull Run, or Manassas, holds an odd place in the nation’s historical mind. It grabs our attention because it was …
Second Battle of Bull Run: Destruction of the 5th New York ZouavesThe Texas Brigade tide bore down on the isolated 5th New York Zouaves at Second Bull Run. A fine regiment was about to be destroyed.
Immortal 600: Prisoners Under Fire at Charleston Harbor During the American Civil WarKnowingly exposing helpless prisoners to artillery fire seems unconscionable. War, however, has a way of fostering inhumane behavior.
Battle of Gettysburg: Union Cavalry AttacksAfter the conclusion of Pickett's Charge, ill-advised Union cavalry attacks killed dozens of Federal horsemen and a promising brigadier general.

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Battle of Antietam: Carnage in a CornfieldMr. Miller's humble cornfield near Antietam Creek became the unlikely setting for perhaps the worst fighting of the entire Civil War.
Major General George Stoneman Led the Last American Civil War Cavalry RaidEven 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.
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?
Elizabeth Van Lew’s American Civil War ActivitiesEccentric enough to hide in plain sight within the Confederate capital, Elizabeth Van Lew was Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's eyes and ears in Richmond.
America’s Civil War: Assault at PetersburgSixth Corps Yankees stumbled out of their earthworks and toward the muddy pits of the Army of Northern Virginia. It was the beginning of the end at Petersburg.
37th North Carolina Infantry Regiment in the American Civil WarThe service of the 37th North Carolina epitomized the grit and determination of Tar Heel fighters.
Battle of Gettysburg: Fighting at Little Round TopThe 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.
Life at West Point of Future Professional American Civil War OfficersWhether they spent their energy studying or sneaking off to Benny Havens's tavern, the future professional officers of the Civil War left West Point with enough stories for a lifetime -- and an enduring common bond.
Truth Behind U.S. Grant’s Yazoo River BenderMurky facts and contradictions confuse the story of a purported 1863 drinking spree by the general.
America’s Civil War: George Custer and Stephen RamseurGeorge Custer and Dodson Ramseur had a friendship that survived the Civil War -- until the Battle of Cedar Creek.
Sullivan Ballou: The Macabre Fate of a American Civil War MajorMajor Sullivan Ballou gained fame for the poignant letter he wrote to his wife before the First Battle of Bull Run. Not so well known is that after he was mortally wounded in that fight, Confederates dug up, decapitated and burned his body.
America’s Civil War: Union General Phil Sheridan’s ScoutsCivil War Union General Phil Sheridan put together a group of daring scouts who wore Rebel uniforms and captured Confederate irregulars, dispatches and generals.
America’s Civil War: John Mosby and George Custer Clash in the Shenandoah ValleyWhen Civil War's John Singleton Mosby's Partisan Rangers clashed with George A. Custer's Union Cavalry, the niceties of war were the first casualty. Reprisal and counter reprisal became the order of the day.
Harry Macarthy: The Bob Hope of the ConfederacyHe could make tired soldiers laugh, and his 'Bonnie Blue Flag' churned southern audiences into a frenzy. That was why Harry Macarthy was loved from one end of the confederacy to the other.
Battle of Chickamauga: 21st Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry and Their Colt’s Revolving Rifles'My God, We Thought You Had a Division Here!' The 21st Ohio Infantry's unique repeating weaponry was its salvation - and nearly its undoing - at Chickamauga.
Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez: Heroine or HoaxerMadame Loreta Janeta Velazquez wrote a controversial memoir disclosing her activities as a double agent and brave soldier during the Civil War.
Battle of Gettysburg: Confederate General Richard Ewell’s Failure on the HeightsFor the second day in a row, Confederate General Richard Ewell inexplicably failed to take the offensive at Gettysburg. 'The fruits of victory, Robert E. Lee lamented, had not been gathered.
Did Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell Lose the Battle of GettysburgAfter 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.
Battle of Kernstown: Stonewall Jackson’s Only DefeatA 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.
Sultana: A Tragic Postscript to the Civil WarIn 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.
America’s Civil War: Stonewall Jackson’s Last DaysDr. Hunter McGuire, Stonewall Jackson's 27-year-old medical director, chronicled the general's last days.
Second Battle of Winchester: Richard Ewell Takes CommandOne 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?
America’s Civil War: Savage Skirmish Near SharpsburgWith 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 vicious fight.
America’s Civil War: XI Corps Fight During the Chancellorsville CampaignDisliked and distrusted by their comrades in the Army of the Potomac, the men of the XI Corps would find their reputation further damaged by a twilight encounter with Stonewall Jackson's troops in the dark woods at Chancellorsville.
Battle of Chancellorsville: Day OneNew 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....
Battle of VicksburgUlysses S. Grant thought his formidable Army of the Tennessee could take Vicksburg from a 'beaten' foe by direct assault. He was wrong, thanks to near-impregnable fortifications, renewed Southern spirit, and surprisingly suspect Northern generalship.
America’s Civil War: Missouri and KansasFor 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.
Battle of CorinthThe strategic railroad town of Corinth was a key target for Confederate armies hoping to march north in support of General Braxton Bragg's invasion of Kentucky.
America’s Civil War: Robert E. Lee and James Longstreet at Odds at GettysburgAt Gettysburg, Longstreet told Lee that a direct assault would end in disaster -- but Pickett's Charge went forward anyway.
America’s Civil War: Battle for KentuckyIt 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.
Battle of Waynesboro: Jubal Early and Phil Sheridan Meet For the Last TimeWith his once-formidable army reduced to a mere shadow of its former self, Confederate General Jubal Early pulled up at Waynesboro to face his old nemesis, Phil Sheridan, for the last time.
The Dahlgren Papers RevisitedThe mystery surrounding documents detailing a Union plan to murder Jefferson Davis is put to rest by historian Stephen W. Sears.

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Joseph WheelerFightin' Joe Wheeler lived up to his name in two wars and in two uniforms -- one gray, one blue.
The Irish Brigade Fought in America’s Civil WarTheir 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.
Battle of Gettysburg and American MythologyMuch of what Americans believe about Gettysburg is myth, but their flawed knowledge of the battle nevertheless serves to sanctify their national memory of the fight.
General Barlow and General Gordon Meet on Blocher’s KnollOn July 1, 1863, two generals, one badly wounded, allegedly met. The veracity of that encounter, now part of Civil War lore, has long been debated.
America’s Civil War: Last Ditch Rebel Stand at PetersburgAfter 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.
An Englishman’s Journey Through the Confederacy During America’s Civil WarSuave, gentlemanly Lt. Col. Arthur Fremantle of Her Majesty's Coldstream Guards picked an unusual vacation spot: the Civil War-torn United States.
America’s Civil War: The South’s Feuding GeneralsIt 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.
Battle of Boydton Plank Road: Major General Winfield Scott Hancock Strikes the Southside RailroadWith Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia stubbornlyclinging 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 -- Major General Winfield Scott Hancock.
Battle of Nashville: Enemies Front and RearUnion forces under George H. Thomas destroyed the Confederate Army of Tennessee at Nashville as Thomas endured his own battle of resolve with Ulysses S. Grant.
All-Girl Rhea County SpartansBegun as a lark, the all-girl Rhea County Spartans soon attracted the attention of unamused Union officers.
Major General J.E.B. Stuart: Last Stand of the Last KnightMajor General J.E.B. Stuart posted his horsemen at Yellow Tavern -- between Union attackers and Richmond -- and waited for the collision. It would come with a deadliness he could never have imagined.
Battle of Brawner’s Farm: Black Hat Brigade’s Baptism of FireJohn Gibbon's mostly green Midwestern troops found themselves in quite a scrape as the sun set on August 28, 1862.
General Francis Channing BarlowGeneral Francis Channing Barlow's clean-cut, boyish appearance belied his reputation as one of the Union's hardest-fighting divisional commanders.
America’s Civil War: Philip SheridanAt an obscure railroad station in northern Mississippi, an equally obscure Union cavalry colonel faced a personal and professional moment of truth. His name was Phil Sheridan, and his coolness and dash clearly marked him for bigger things.
William Averell’s Cavalry Raid on the Virginia & Tennessee RailroadDespite many misgivings about the upcoming campaign, Union Brig. Gen. William Averell set out in December 1863 to raid the Virginia & Tennessee Railroad at Salem, Virginia. The frigid conditions would test the mettle of both cavalrymen and horses.
Winchester, Virginia: A Town Embattled During America’s Civil WarWinchester, Virginia, saw more of the war than any other place North or South.
Battle of the Wilderness With General Robert E. LeeAs the Union army crossed the Rapidan River to commence its powerful 1864 spring offensive, Confederate General Robert E. Lee scrambled to divine his enemy's intentions. But not even Lee could fully pierce the fog of war.
Old Dominion Brigade in America’s Civil WarThe Virginia regiments originally under the brigade command of William Mahone seemed to save their best for last. After two years of average service, they became Robert E. Lee's go-to troops in the Wilderness and at Petersburg's Crater.
Battle of Port RoyalAs Union warships steamed past the Confederate defenses near Port Royal, Flag Officer Samuel Du Pont proudly noted that army officers aboard his ship looked on 'with wonder and admiration.' A revolution in naval tactics had begun.
Battle of Monroe’s Cross RoadsUnion 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.
America’s Civil War: Drummer Boy of the RappahannockWas the young lad's 'strange and romantic' tale the story of a colorful hero or a clever fake?
J.E.B. Stuart: Battle of Gettysburg ScapegoatFollowing 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?
Battle of HanoverSouthern 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.
Battle of Yellow TavernBadly misunderstanding his opponent's intentions, Jeb Stuart played into Phil Sheridan's hands at Yellow Tavern. A swirling cavalry fight ensued.
America’s Civil War: May 2001 LettersPreservation Donation Thank you so very much, Primedia History Group, for your generous donation of $9,778 to the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust. These proceeds from your recent Chancellorsville reenactment at Ft. Pickett, Va., September 22-24 are a wonderful indication of the support and loyalty of participating reenactors. The gift will allow our organization to purchase …
Book Review:Gettysburg 1863: High Tide of the Confederacy (Carl Smith): CWTGettysburg 1863: High Tide of the Confederacy, by Carl Smith, Osprey Military, London, England, (212) 685-5560, 128 pages, softcover, $16.95. Although a mountain of books have been written about the Battle of Gettysburg over the last 130 years, the logistical enormity of the campaign ensures that new publications will continue to appear. Among the latest …
Book Review: Davis and Lee at War (Steven E. Woodworth) : CWTDAVIS AND LEE AT WAR As the title Davis and Lee at War suggests, Steven E. Woodworth argues that the Confederacy’s president played a critical role in formulating military policy in the East. The towering presence of Robert E. Lee has led historians such as Douglas S. Freeman, Clifford Dowdey, and Alan T. Nolan to …
Book Review: Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend (James I. Robertson) : CWTStonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend,by James I Robertson, Jr. (Macmillian, New York, 950 pages, $40). Forty years have passed since the publication of the last scholarly biography on Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. That’s hard to believe, considering that millions of tons of paper and barrels of ink have been conscripted to publish …
Book Review: How Robert E. Lee Lost the Civil War (Edward H. Bonekemper, III) and Robert E. Lee’s Civil War (Bevin Alexander): CWTHow Robert E. Lee Lost the Civil War, by Edward H. Bonekemper, III, Sergeant Kirkland’s Press, (540) 899-5565, 248 pages, $29.95, and Robert E. Lee’s Civil War, by Bevin Alexander, Adams Media, (800) 872-5627, 352 pages, $24.95. Robert E. Lee is widely regarded as the Civil War’s greatest soldier. Terms like “genius” and “invincible” abound …
Book Review: Conquering the Valley (Robert K. Krick) : CWTCONQUERING THE VALLEY The heart of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign spanned six weeks and ended near the place it had begun: Port Republic, in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There and at Cross Keys, a village five miles northwest of Port Republic, Jackson’s army defeated two Union forces on …
Book Review: Robert E. Lee Slept Here: Civil War Inns and Destinations–A Guide for the Discerning Traveler (Chuck Lawliss) : CWTRobert E. Lee Slept Here: Civil War Inns and Destinations–A Guide for the Discerning Traveler, by Chuck Lawliss, Ballantine Books, New York, New York, (800) 733-3000, 244 pages, softcover, $10. Visiting Civil War battlefields was a popular pastime even before the war ended. Some people traveled great distances to learn about our nation’s history. Now, …
Book Review: A Worth Tribute, Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara — CWTA WORTHY TRIBUTEGods and Generals by Jeff Shaara is the “prequel” to his late father’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Killer Angels. Ronald Maxwell, director of the movie Gettysburg, which was based on Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, was the prime instigator of the younger Shaara’s efforts toward his new novel. We may hope that Maxwell …

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Book Review: General John Pope (by Peter Cozzans): CWTGeneral John Pope: A Life for the Nation, by Peter Cozzens, University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago, 474 pages, $39.95.. The bombastic Union general John Pope knew how to provoke people. The usually unflappable Robert E. Lee called Pope a “miscreant” after Pope declared a harder war on Virginia civilians during the summer of …
Book Review: Lee the Soldier (edited by Gary W. Gallagher) : CWTLEE THE SOLDIERLee the Soldier, edited by Gary W. Gallagher, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 666 pages, $45.00. Transcripts of postwar conversations with Robert E. Lee, and 21 contemporary and modern essays about him and his performance in various Civil War campaigns explore the general-in-chief’s contribution to the Confederate war effort.
Book Review: A Glorious Page in Our History (Robert J. Cressman and Steve Ewing) : WW2The victory at Midway is attributable to several decisions made in the U.S. Navy high command. By Michael D. Hull Midway, the most decisive naval battle since Trafalgar, was the turning point in the Pacific theater. It changed America’s strategy from defensive to offensive. The Battle of Midway, fought June 4­6, 1942, was “a glorious …
Book Review: Shades of Blue and Gray: An Introductory Military History of the Civil War (Herman Hattaway) : CWTShades of Blue and Gray: An Introductory Military History of the Civil War, by Herman Hattaway, University of Missouri Press, Columbia, 295 pages, $29.95. No book answers a question that is not asked. Herman Hattaway obviously has benefited from his recent stint as a visiting professor at the U.S. Military Academy, where soldiers and cadets …
Book Review: The Devil Knows How to Ride AND Quantrill’s War (Edward E. Leslie/Duane Schultz) : CWTTHE DEVIL’S DUEThe Devil Knows How to Ride: The True Story of William Clarke Quantrill and His Confederate Raiders, by Edward E. Leslie, Random House, $27.50. Quantrill’s War: The Life and Times of William Clarke Quantrill, 1837-1865, by Duane Schultz, St. Martin’s Press, $24.95.Anyone interested in the vicious bushwhacker-redleg war in Kansas and Missouri now …
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: General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend (by Lesley J. Gordon): CWTGeneral George E. Pickett in Life and Legend, by Lesley J. Gordon, University of North Carolina Press, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515, 269 pages, $29.95. George E. Pickett is a demanding subject for a biographer. He left behind few personal papers, and his published letters are of doubtful authenticity. His wife LaSalle Corbell …
Book Review: Deeply FlawedMajor General George E. Pickett is widely recognized because of his association with a single event.
Book Review: Jefferson Davis, American (by William C. Cooper, Jr.): CWTJefferson Davis, American, by William C. Cooper, Jr., Alfred A. Knopf, 672 pages, $35. Among historians Jefferson Davis has an image problem. He is seen as aloof and prickly, a man who could sometimes be an intellectual tyrant, always trying to prove others wrong at the expense of the Confederate cause. Davis’s personality has been …
Book Review: Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend (James I. Robertson) : ACWA magisterial new biography of Stonewall Jackson presents all sides of a complex, often inscrutable man. By Richard F. Welch At the time of his death in May 1863, Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was the best-known Civil War commander. Revered in the South and feared in the North, Jackson so personified the Confederacy’s …
Book Review: Lee vs. Pickett: Two Divided By War : ACWLee vs. Pickett: Two Divided by War will stand as a groundbreaking study of a fascinating relationship.
Book Review: Stonewall Jackson: A History of the Confederate Navy (Raimondo Luraghi) : ACWOutgunned and outsupplied, the fledgling Confederate Navy used technological ingenuity to level the playing field. By Kenneth P. Czech When the Civil War erupted in 1861, the Confederate states were determined to protect their seacoasts and inland waterways. However, they lacked an adequate naval force with which to do so. To compound the problem, the …
Sounding the Shallows: A Confederate Companion for the Maryland Campaign of 1862 (by Joseph L. Harsh): ACWSounding the Shallows: A Confederate Companion for the Maryland Campaign of 1862, by Joseph L. Harsh, The Kent State University Press, Ohio, 2000, $18 (paper). Joseph L. Harsh, a history professor at George Mason University, recently published Taken at the Flood, a thought-provoking dissection of Confederate strategy in the 1862 Maryland campaign. As Harsh poked …
Book Review: The Spotsylvania Campaign (Essays) : ACWFor sheer, unmitigated hellishness, the fighting around Spotsylvania outstripped all other Civil War battles. By Cowan Brew The two weeks of horrific fighting around the tiny crossroads hamlet of Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, in May 1864 represented a watershed of sorts for Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and the armies they commanded. Even for …
Book Review: ROBERT E. LEE’S CIVIL WAR (Bevin Alexander) : AHROBERT E. LEE’S CIVIL WAR, by Bevin Alexander, Adams Media Corporation, 338 pages, $24.95. If old soldiers never die, nor do the debates about their place in history. For generations Robert E. Lee’s reputation as a military commander remained relatively unscathed, with only occasional exceptions. Though it is not surprising that Ulysses S. Grant criticized …
Book Review: The Gettysburg Nobody Knows (edited by Gabor S. Boritt) : ACWThe Gettysburg Nobody Knows, edited by Gabor S. Boritt, Oxford University Press, New York, $27.50. No battle in American history was more pivotal than Gettysburg. It is, without a doubt, the best-known engagement of the Civil War–and probably of all American history. It is certainly the most studied battle Americans ever fought. And yet, for …
Book Review: STONEWALL JACKSON: THE MAN, THE SOLDIER, THE LEGEND (James I. Robertson, Jr.) : AHSTONEWALL JACKSON: THE MAN, THE SOLDIER, THE LEGEND, by James I. Robertson, Jr. (Macmillan Publishing, 940 pages, $40.00). “You maybe what ever you resolve to be” was one of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall”Jackson’s favorite axioms, and in this thoroughly researched biography,Robertson, one of the country’s leading Civil War historians, examines why thisConfederate general’s unfaltering determination made …
Book Review: The Pride of the Confederate Artillery: The Washington Artillery in the Army of Tennessee (Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes, Jr.) : ACWThe Pride of the Confederate Artillery: The Washington Artillery in the Army of Tennessee, by Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes, Jr., Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, $29.95. While the wartime experiences of four companies of the celebrated Washington Artillery of New Orleans–those that served in the Army of Northern Virginia–have been thoroughly documented, the exploits of …
Book Review: Blue Lightning: Wilder’s Brigade in the Battle of Chickamauga (Richard A. Baumgartner) : ACWBlue Lightning: Wilder’s Brigade in the Battle of Chickamauga, by RichardA. Baumgartner, Blue Acorn Press, Huntington, W.Va., 1997, $30. Among the many technological advances in weaponry that occured during the Civil War, one of the most noticeable and far-reaching was the Spencer repeating rifle. Called “the gun that can be loaded on Sunday and fired …
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 of …
Book Review: General George E. Pickett in Life and LegendWho was George Pickett, and how did he come to be one of the most recognizable individuals--at least by name--of the Civil War?
Book: Davis and Lee at War (Steven E. Woodworth): ACWDAVIS AND LEE AT WARThe decisive impact of politics on Civil War strategy is currently a hot topic among Civil War historians. Works analyzing thehigh commands of the Federal and Confederate armies and their complex relationships with the political hierarchy of theirrespective governments have proliferated, adding a new layer of knowledge to our understanding of …
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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. …
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 …
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 …
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 …

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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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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. …
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, …
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. …
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 …
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 …
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.
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
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 …
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, …
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?
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 …
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, …
“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 …
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 …

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