When fighting a war, one of the best things a soldier can have are good leaders. That is not guaranteed even when the leaders are well-trained officers. When they’re untrained volunteers picked by a popularity contest, it’s a toss-up at best.
Even in times of war, some soldiers find ways to make life as normal as possible. Confederate cavalry general Jeb Stuart was certainly one of those men. In the fall of 1862, when General Lee was moving his army north into Maryland, General Stuart decided to hold a ball to honor their arrival in the border state. It didn’t go as smoothly was he would have liked.
Lincoln said it was the key. The Union army needed to capture Vicksburg, Mississippi, to open the Mississippi River and split the Confederacy in two. After many ideas and many attempts, nothing Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant tried worked and the city was still in Confederate hands. But now he was on the right track.
The Union soldiers’ experience at the Battle of Fredericksburg was horrible. Attack after attack was sent toward the Confederate line only to be beaten back in defeat. After the final assault ended that day, many men in blue were still on the field under the guns of their enemy. That was where they spent the night.
Famous last words. Some people, soldiers especially, should learn not to tempt fate. On this day in 1864, Maj. Gen. John Sedgwick was personally directing his men when he and his staff came under sporadic fire at the Battle of Spotsylvania. Showing a bold front, the general told his men searching for cover, “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” Famous last words.
Everyone has met someone like them: the well-meaning person for whom something always goes awry. These unfortunate souls are found in all times and all places. The Civil War was no different. In his book Hardtack and Coffee, John D. Billings writes of people like this he encountered during his service in the Union… [Continue Reading]
May 2, 1863, was one of the greatest days of Robert E. Lee’s military career. It was also one of the worst. A little after 5:00 that afternoon a Confederate flank attack led by Lt. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson had slammed into the Union right flank at the Battle of Chancellorsville. It was key to what would be Lee’s greatest victory. But later that night General Jackson, Lee’s “right arm,” was badly wounded in a case of mistaken identity.
Captured and sent to Point Lookout prison camp, a Confederate soldier is determined not to stay long. He soon finds an opportunity to try and get away and takes advantage of it. Published in Confederate Veteran in 1914, the following article details one Confederate soldier’s adventures as the war was coming to a close.
As civil war began in the United States, everyone had an opinion on what the outcome would be. This wasn’t restricted to this country, as the war itself would impact other nations. The following article was published in the British publication The Economist on June 29, 1861. The war was just beginning, but they had their opinion on how it would end.
In times of war, everyone wants God on their side. There are many accounts of Civil War soldiers, both North and South, stating that God favored them in the conflict. It was on this day in 1864 that the U.S. Congress made it official.
Gatehouse Press was founded in 2008, but its roots go back much further. In October 1969, Morningside Bookshop, founded by Robert J. Younger, issued its first catalog of Civil War books. The next year, Morningside published its first book, a reprint of Charles Loehr’s War History of the Old First Virginia Infantry Regiment. Since then, Morningside has published more than 150 books and carried, at one point, more than 2,200 Civil War books by other publishers.
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