Antietam- Crisis in Command

During the battle of Antietam… George McClellan was concerned with prudence.  He was managing his resources carefully that day, he would not allow his army to fail.  His insistence on preventing the Army of the Potomac from being defeated cost it the chance at decisive victory.   McClellan claimed in his report of the battle thatContinue reading “Antietam- Crisis in Command”

Civil War History Loses a Legend

Ed Bearss possessed a wealth of knowledge most Civil War scholars can only dream about. He’d forgotten more about the conflict than many of us will ever know. To add insult to an already injurious 2020, the Civil War history community lost one of its brightest stars. Ed Bearss has passed on. The booming baritone,Continue reading “Civil War History Loses a Legend”

Texas and Secession

Far from being a stronghold of secession in 1860, Texas gave substantial support to Constitutional Union Party candidate John C. Bell. The Unionist spirit in Texas sprang from its First Citizen, the venerable Sam Houston. Sam Houston…. had some emphatic words for the lunatics who took his proud state out of the Federal Union heContinue reading “Texas and Secession”

Essential Civil War Reading

Battle Cry of Freedom, by James McPherson.  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this is the best one volume account of the War told by its greatest storyteller.  It traces the conflict from Free Soil to the assassination of Lincoln in an authoritative voice that has yet to be rivaled. To the Gates of Richmond, byContinue reading “Essential Civil War Reading”

Facts in Five- Lee and Slavery

Robert E. Lee and slavery edition: misinformation, hyperbole, and unfounded revision are clouding the facts behind Lee’s slave owning There is very little evidence Lee personally owned slaves- his mother, Ann Carter-Lee, may have willed him six slaves upon her death in 1829; the same year he graduated from West Point and entered military service.Continue reading “Facts in Five- Lee and Slavery”

Book Review- Chernow’s Grant

Chernow, Ron, Grant, Penguin Press; 1st edition (October 10, 2017)      A hefty, yet easily digestible biography  continues the author’s attempts at re-imagining supposedly misunderstood figures.  The actual result is consensus history masquerading as newly discovered insight.    The success of his biography of Alexander Hamilton… and the subsequent musical it inspired, brought about unprecedentedContinue reading “Book Review- Chernow’s Grant”

Memorials to War Dead

Virginia’s Governor, his past indiscretions aside, celebrated the triumph of his party in the State legislative election by promising more iconoclasm in the Old Dominion.       There are over 660 Confederate monuments across the United States.  A scholarly study conducted in 1982 found that nearly half of these are specifically memorializing Confederate war dead.  AnotherContinue reading “Memorials to War Dead”

Confederate Monument Dilemma

Practically Historical Offers the Following Solutions The Confederate flag should never be flown over government buildings or property The Confederate flag should not be banned Monuments to Confederate leaders, political or military, should not be kept on government or public property Monuments dedicated to unnamed soldiers who fought for the Confederacy should be allowed onContinue reading “Confederate Monument Dilemma”

The Sykes Monument

A New Memorial Well Deserved George Sykes is one of two Union Corps commanders without… an equestrian memorial at the Gettysburg National Military Park.  Dan Sickles declined one in his honor, claiming “the whole damned battlefield is my monument.  The exclusion of Sykes is misunderstood and often erroneously remembered by historians and students of the battle.Continue reading “The Sykes Monument”

July 3, 1863

Rising to the occasion is a concept so misunderstood… it borders on the cliché.  When used in the wrong context it cheapens actual heroic achievement.  Too often, historic deeds are overlooked because well-worn studies have rendered them routine because of historic scope.  In the pivotal battle of the war, at its decisive moment, actions speakContinue reading “July 3, 1863”