Firsthand accounts Archives| HistoryNet

Firsthand accounts

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Dueling Diarists in Winchester

    Of all the towns and villages in the Union or Confederacy during the Civil War, Winchester, Virginia, was fought over most. The sleepy town of just 4,400 residents changed hands 72 times, including 13 times in one  day. This...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Seven Devils to Each Man

    As evening fell over Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, exhausted troops realized that the fight was not yet won. Sergeant Valerius Giles of the 4th Texas Infantry, Robertson’s Brigade, recalled the futile Confederate assault on Little Round...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    ‘You may judge how it was when I tell you how we...

    George W.W. Hawk was the oldest child and only son of Daniel and Phoebe Hawk of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. He had four younger sisters whom he mentioned in several of his letters home:  Mary, age 20; Harriet, 17; Sadie, 14; and...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    That Ramrod Did the Work

    William Patteson was 15 and living near Culpeper Court House when the war, quite literally, came home. Fleeing ahead of a Union army charged with confiscating or destroying civilian property, Patteson joined up with the 21st Virginia...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    The Boys From Brenham

    When the Civil War began, Virginius Pettey was a 25-year-old bachelor practicing law in Brenham, Texas. His office was on the second floor of a building near the county courthouse. He lived in a small nearby settlement called Hog’s...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Wrath Awaits the Invader

    Captain John Dickison and his men staked their claim to a piece of the southern partisan legend at Gainesville. On a swampy, hot Monday in midday August 1864, a subdivision of the U.S. Army embarked upon an invasion expedition from Baldwin...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    ‘I Could Do But Little for Them’

    The 13th South Carolina Regiment was with the Army of Northern Virginia from April 1862 to the end of the war. It saw combat at the Second Battle of Manassas in late August 1862 and then at Chantilly on September 1. Dr. Spencer Glasgow...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    ‘What I Thought At Antietam’

    John Rankin was a 19-year-old private in Company A of the 27th Indiana Volunteer Regiment when, in September 1862, he fought in the Battle of Antietam. Years later he recorded his impressions of that harrowing experience. He seemed...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    Old Soldier Stories: ‘Not Its Forte’

    Union Colonel Robert Gould Shaw did have a soft side, as shown in his many letters to his family and future wife, Annie, but he was also a stickler for military discipline and had little patience for the Federal government’s handling of...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    ‘I Feel Out Of Place’

    “The army that marched Sherman from Atlanta to the Atlantic was probably the with finest army of military ‘workmen’ the modern world has seen. An army of individuals trained in the school of experience to look after their own food...

  • World War II Magazine

    Surprised Outside Strass

    An unexpected encounter with an enemy outpost on the fringes of the Hürtgen Forest taught a young infantry lieutenant a costly lesson about the confusion and carnage of infantry combat. On December 16, 1944, the German army crashed...

  • World War II Magazine

    One Man’s War: Donald Love

    NAME: Donald Love DATE ENTERED SERVICE: January 6, 1936 CAMPAIGNS: Operation Market-Garden DECORATIONS: 1939-45 Star, Aircrew Europe Star with France & Germany clasp, Defense Medal, War Medal The ground phase of Operation Market-Garden...

  • World War II Magazine

    Secretary to a Master Spy

    My career in “espionage” began with my friend Marianne, who worked at the German Embassy in Tokyo. Given that the wartime situation made it difficult for the embassy to get qualified typists from Germany, she told the employment...

  • World War II Magazine

    Final Spasm on Sulfur Island

    Comfortably bedded down for the night, VII Fighter Command personnel on Iwo Jima were rudely awakened by the sudden appearance of hundreds of Japanese soldiers bent on their destruction. Almost again standing at ease, Lieutenant General...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Letters from Readers- March 2006

    GREETINGS FROM GUAM I deeply apologize for my long delay in letting you know that I received the magazine with your article on the George Ray Tweed story you sent me (“Undercover,” June 2005). You did a great job. It was well written,...

  • World War II Magazine

    One Man’s War: Walter B. Shambarger

    NAME: Walter B. Shambarger DATE ENTERED SERVICE: October 8, 1942 CAMPAIGNS: Normandy, Northern France DECORATIONS: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster Walter Shambarger was in his third year at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University when he...