Finest Two Minutes

Lincoln thought he failed November 19, 1863…  obligatory applause from a damp crowd in Gettysburg offered him little consolation.  Lincoln had just followed a masterful two-hour speech from America’s greatest orator, Edward Everett.  The President sat down in his seat and commented to his friend, Ward Lamon, that the speech wouldn’t “scour” (would fail to clearContinue reading “Finest Two Minutes”

Citizen Soldiers Pt. 2

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain answered his… nation’s call with extraordinary valor.  His standing in the social circles of Maine could have won him a Colonel’s commission, but Chamberlain deferred- he wanted to  learn the craft of soldiering before commanding troops.  His training was hands-on and brutal.  The 20th Maine’s baptism of fire was on the killingContinue reading “Citizen Soldiers Pt. 2”

Citizen Soldiers Pt. 1

Olive Wendell Holmes Jr. was a soldier…  Many present day Conservatives strongly dislike him. They accuse him of being a eugenicist (tantamount to being a communist these days,)  and his opinion on national security makes their blood boil.   If ever there were sunshine soldiers and summer patriots, they are in the modern Conservative movement.  OliverContinue reading “Citizen Soldiers Pt. 1”

Burnside Bridge too Far

General George McClellan ordered the Union IX Corps…. across the Antietam creek as early as 9am on September 17, 1862.  As the battle raged to the North, General Ambrose Burnside’s men stumbled about the East side of the creek searching for an easy ford.  The Rohrbach bridge was defended by Confederates protected in rifle pits.  The properContinue reading “Burnside Bridge too Far”

Duel at the Sunken Road

Lee’s army was under pressure the morning of…. September 17, 1862.  The flow of reinforcements from the southern end of his line to the maelstrom in the Cornfield created weaknesses in the Confederate positions.  Fresh troops crossing the Antietam extended the Union front to the south- and the exposed Confederate line.  The center of Lee’s line wasContinue reading “Duel at the Sunken Road”

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”

Facts in Five

The Young Napoleon Edition   George McClellan’s father was a renowned physician and founder of the Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia McClellan graduated West Point ranked second in the vaunted class of 1846- his classmates included Thomas J. Jackson, Jesse Reno, Cadmus Wilcox, AP Hill, and George Pickett Jefferson Davis was an influential mentorContinue reading “Facts in Five”

Not a Real Debate

Real debates are history On August 27, 1858- Abraham Lincoln stood before nearly… 12,000 spectators in Freeport, Illinois.  For just under 60 minutes he lambasted the most powerful man in Congress- pushing the mighty Stephen Douglas nearly to his breaking point.  The Freeport debate is considered the finest of the seven Lincoln/Douglas debates.  Lincoln wrylyContinue reading “Not a Real Debate”

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”