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”

Presidential Election Upsets Ranked

Many Presidential elections are decided… long before the votes are cast.  Technology makes predicting election results an acceptable part of the modern campaign cycle.  Historical analysis provides election scorecards on races prior to modern media technology.  Despite all the prognostication, there are several key elections which defied expectations. 5.  1892–  Grover Cleveland became the firstContinue reading “Presidential Election Upsets Ranked”

Carry a Big Stick

Theodore Roosevelt spelled out a clear foreign policy… built on strength, defending interests, and standing with allies.  People rarely look past Roosevelt’s quoting  an old African proverb to describe his foreign policy approach.  However, TR not only carried a big stick, but altered American foreign policy forever.  Later Presidents would use the example set in 1904Continue reading “Carry a Big Stick”

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”

Selective Historical Outrage, Part 2

Academic historians like Kevin Kruse and Manisha Sihna take to social media to criticize the current President.  There is merit in using history to critically analyze current events. Their analysis begins to fall apart when they bemoan the manner in which Donald Trump was elected. Like many “progressive” intellectuals they despise the electoral system andContinue reading “Selective Historical Outrage, Part 2”

Echoes of Zachary Taylor

General Zachary Taylor was playing it cool… during the campaign of 1848.  Both political parties of the day were seeking his candidacy, but he was not willing to commit; “It is to me a matter of perfect indifference whether I am even elected [as president] or not. I do not intend any party shall useContinue reading “Echoes of Zachary Taylor”

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”

Madison on Republics

Remember the thoughts of Madison on Constitution Day: “Hence, it clearly appears, that the same advantage which a republic has over a democracy, in controlling the effects of faction, is enjoyed by a large over a small republic,–is enjoyed by the Union over the States composing it. Does the advantage consist in the substitution ofContinue reading “Madison on Republics”

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”