June 3, 1864

Three days of indecisive movements by Union forces… allowed Robert E. Lee’s army to strengthen its positions near Bethesda Church and New Cold Harbor.  The delay muted the Federal assaults of June 1-2.   The troops in blue knew exactly what awaited them the following day.  The carnage of Grant’s Overland campaign had taken its toll.Continue reading “June 3, 1864”

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”

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”

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”

Little Mac Says Goodbye

George McClellan said goodbye to his beloved… Army of the Potomac on November 11, 1862.  He cared deeply for their well being(much too deeply it turned out) and they repaid him with unwavering affection.  Lincoln had to make the decision- The “Young Napoleon” was fighting like the war could go on for decades.  But toContinue reading “Little Mac Says Goodbye”

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”

Lincoln and Civil Liberties

The Lincoln administration arrested 14,401 people… during the Civil War.  Most were never indicted and denied a speedy trial.  Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus in September of 1861 allowed the detentions to happen.  Current Lincoln scholarship trends hold that Lincoln abused civil liberties and that his historical legacy must be drawn into question.  A closerContinue reading “Lincoln and Civil Liberties”

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”

Friends Only in Peace- Grant

Simon Bolivar Buckner though he knew US Grant… They roomed together at West Point, formed a strong friendship, and Buckner was the Best Man at Grant’s wedding in 1848.  In February 1862, they stood on opposite sides of the walls of Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River.  Grant’s army outnumbered Buckner’s garrison- and the nooseContinue reading “Friends Only in Peace- Grant”

Lincoln’s Logic- First Inaugural

Lincoln effectively broke down the secession crisis in both legal and moral terms during his First Inaugural address. “I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe toContinue reading “Lincoln’s Logic- First Inaugural”