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”

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”

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”

Honoring the Fallen

Appropriate remarks from former Presidents in regard to men who gave the last full measure of devotion to this country- Lincoln- The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract…The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but itContinue reading “Honoring the Fallen”

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”

Smallpox Blankets and Guilt by Association

“You will Do well to try to inoculate the Indians, by means of Blankets, as well as to Try Every other Method, that can Serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. — I should be very glad [if] your Scheme for Hunting them down by Dogs could take Effect; but England is at too great aContinue reading “Smallpox Blankets and Guilt by Association”