Through the Cornfield

Before dawn on September 17, 1862…. Maj. General Joseph Hooker’s men waited pensively in the woods North of Sharpsburg, Maryland.  Neither Hooker nor his troops knew what awaited them on the other side of the Miller cornfield.  Through the pre-dawn mist, Hooker could barely make out a small white building, that would be their target.  HookerContinue reading “Through the Cornfield”

Reynolds and Destiny

Lincoln summoned Major General John F. Reynolds to the White House on June 2, 1863. The situation was pressing as Lee’s army continued its drive northward. Reynolds left his beloved First Corps on the dusty roads of Virginia to hear the entreaties of his Commander-in-Chief. No firsthand accounts remain, but a preponderance of evidence indicateContinue reading “Reynolds and Destiny”

Memorial Day Tribute

Thomas Jefferson Truitt enlisted in… Company D of the 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers on July 24, 1861.  He was a carpenter working near Kellersburg in Armstrong County PA.  His father, Anderson, died suddenly in October of 1860, leaving the family deep in debt and without a steady income.  To make ends meet, the widowed Sarah CaldwellContinue reading “Memorial Day Tribute”

Lincoln’s Duty

In his first inaugural address, Lincoln was prophetic. He told the nation that a civil war would only be started by their “dissatisfied fellow countrymen” actively looking to destroy the Constitution. Lincoln did not recognize secession, and rightfully so. The rebels started the war, so he now had to defend that government. Secession was notContinue reading “Lincoln’s Duty”

Slavery Caused Secession

Neo-secessionists and revisionists struggle uselessly to blame the Civil War… on Federal overreach, inequitable tariffs, and outmoded economic theory- they fail to see the forest for the trees.  The historical record settles matters plainly and without ambiguity. Future Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens delivered the clearest, most definitive explanation… for secession and the existence of aContinue reading “Slavery Caused Secession”

Facts in Five

Lincoln and Military Justice Edition: Lincoln was petitioned with over 1,600 military justice cases 343 military pardons were issued during his time in office Three time offenders, rapists, and traitors were shown no mercy Lincoln’s liberal pardoning policy was unpopular with his Generals Though disliked by his Generals, Lincoln’s use of military clemency was popularContinue reading “Facts in Five”

A New Look at Grant

Frank P. Varney, General Grant and the Rewriting of History, California, Savas and Beatty, 2013 A critical examination of Grant’s memoirs and their effects on the historical record.    Professor Frank Varney’s first book is a bold effort to right historical wrongs…. and the wrongs were perpetrated by none other than US Grant.   Varney proposesContinue reading “A New Look at Grant”

Chancellorsville By the Numbers

Chancellorsville is often called Lee’s “perfect battle”… facing the longest odds, using the boldest tactics, and winning the ultimate triumph- but a closer examination of the battle’s casualty statistics reveal a very different picture.  Far from perfect, Lee’s victory over Hooker was a costly, bloody gamble with marginal payoff. Twice dividing his outnumbered force beforeContinue reading “Chancellorsville By the Numbers”

Confederacy and Freedom

For too long defenders of Confederate heritage… have associated it with freedom and individual rights for all whites. The specter of the conquering Yankee invading the homeland to oppress the yeoman and steal his acre was the rallying cry.  Policy makers in the Confederacy used this propaganda to dupe poor whites  to defend the landedContinue reading “Confederacy and Freedom”

Lincoln and Majority Rule

Abraham Lincoln succinctly explained the insanity of secession in his First Inaugural Address. The majority rules in our democratic-republic. Failure to accept this is not patriotism, it is anarchy. “From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, theContinue reading “Lincoln and Majority Rule”