Volume 02, Issue 09 | March 2018
ECW Newsletter · March 2018
Happy "Eastover" · "Pop-Up" Tour! · 10 Questions with Caroline Davis · ECW Bookshelf · News & Notes
From the Editor...
Easter falls this year on April Fool’s Day. To celebrate both days, I’m not going to hide any Easter eggs, but still I’ll tell the kids I did and send them on their hunt.

No, not really! That kind of April Fool’s Day tomfoolery seems in direct contrast to the spirit of the holiest day on the Christian calendar. However, I’m sure many of us will manage just fine to celebrate Easter and also engage in some good-natured April Fool’s fun.

A colleague pointed out that Passover also coincides with Easter weekend this year. “As we say in our house, Happy Eastover,” he said. His greeting—surprising and clever—was an especially delightful way to combine the two traditions in the spirit of good faith.

I think of these examples because the study of the Civil War teaches us, if anything, that history is complicated. It’s subtle and nuanced. It teaches us that the world is not black and white but gray and blue. Many of the perspectives are incompatible, not just between North and South but between now and then.

And yet, if we approach our study with open minds and avoid imposing our preconceived notions, there’s much history can offer to enrich our present perspectives and understandings. We don’t necessarily have to reconcile our differences so much as find a way to live with them in the spirit of good faith.

—Chris Mackowski, Ph.D.
"Pop-Up" with ECW at Antietam National Battlefield
Get ready for Emerging Civil War’s first-ever “Pop-Up” Tour! Join ECW’s Kevin Pawlak and Dan Welch for a special trip across part of Antietam National Battlefield.

WHEN: Saturday, May 26, 2018, from 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

WHO: Joseph Hooker's 1st Army Corps opened the fighting for the Army of the Potomac at the battle of Antietam. During its one-and-one-half hour fight through and around a 24-acre cornfield, none of its brigades suffered more casualties than that of George Hartsuff. This brigade—comprised of Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, and Massachusetts men—held its position around the Cornfield for only a brief time before being compelled to fall back.

Explore one piece of the fighting in the Cornfield through the eyes of this brigade that experienced some of Antietam's most vicious minutes. 
WHAT: A caravan tour focusing on the actions of George Hartusff's Union brigade in the battle of Antietam. After walking through the brigade's actions on September 17, 1862, participants will also visit the site of one of Antietam's largest hospitals as well as Antietam National Cemetery, the final resting place of some of the members of Hartsuff's brigade.
WHERE: The tour will begin at the New York State Monument located adjacent to the Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center and end at Antietam National Cemetery.
Make your reservations via PayPal —only $20 per person. Proceeds will go toward ECW’s preservation projects with Civil War Trails. 
10 Questions with . . . Caroline Davis

March is Women’s History Month. To help celebrate, we’re asking our 10 Questions to Caroline Davis. Caroline hails from Indiana, but her Civil War career—as she’s about to share—has taken her all over. You can read her full bio here .
You’ve had a chance to work at a number of different national parks and historic sites. Can you outline some of those experiences for us?

Over the years, I have spent my summers at Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania National Military Park, Stones River National Battlefield, and lastly, George Washington Birthplace National Monument. Each experience has helped me gain a better understanding of what it means to be a historian. I have also gained many wonderful friendships and a support system. Most importantly, though, with each of my experiences, my love and passion for the Park Service and historical interpretation has grown and led me to pursue a career in which I never have to go to work—because, as the saying goes, if you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life.
If you had to pick one highlight from each place you’ve worked, what was your favorite thing about each one?

Things that stand out to me from the places I have worked deal mostly with artifacts I’ve been able to work with. For example at Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania, in the collection was a book owned by Robert E. Lee in which he had pasted the map that Stonewall Jackson had drawn and given him before marching his troops on the famous flank attack at Chancellorsville. Also included in the book were Stonewall’s and Lee's signatures.
At George Washington Birthplace, I was working specifically with the curator. A fellow intern and I were tasked with scanning and archiving a new collection of papers from the Thomas Stone family. One of them was a letter written right after the battles of Lexington and Concord, informing the recipient of the letter of the conflict.
At Stones River, I think my favorite moment was working with the reenactors. It was a two-day event in the middle of July. We were all sweaty and all around gross by the end of the day, but there were a ton a younger kids there who were so interested in what was going on. I spent large part of my day speaking with the kids, and it was really amazing just seeing their raw interest in history.
Your experiences have given you an exceptionally well-rounded view: historical interpretation, material culture, curatorial work, natural resources, and cultural resources. How has that helped you grow as a historian?

My experiences have helped me grow as a historian in many ways. Most importantly, though, is that they have helped define what the term "history" really means, or even what it means to be a historian. There are so many different aspects when it comes to history. At its most basic, we are passing down stories from generation to generation; however, on a more in-depth level, there are many different things that have to line up for history to be passed on. Interpretation, material culture, curatorial, natural resources and cultural resources are all import. For example, working at Fredricksburg or Chancellorsville, as a historian we used all of our resources to tell a the history of the location, and while we may have still be able to do it with one of those pieces missing, it added so much more for the visitor and the historian to have all of the different resources come together to tell the story.
With all that diversity of experience, do you have any particular favorite topic of focus?

My favorite historical topic to study is Civil War navies. My love for the navies started at a very young age, when my family would visit Wilmington, North Carolina. It was there that I first heard the story of the Union blockade and the Confederate blockade runners who still attempted to get supplies to the Southern States. Unfortunately, I’ve not yet had the opportunity to work in a location where I am specifically working with naval history.

However, with historical interpretation, I enjoy reading the different landscapes and learning how they have changed over the years. What sparked my interest in the actual landscapes was a day spent at the Stonewall Jackson Shrine with Frank O'Reilly. He asked me if I knew why there was a line of trees in one particular spot. I explained I had never thought about it and had just assumed they had been planted there. He went on to say that due to the type of trees, it was because at one time there would have been a fence line there that birds would sit on, and these particular trees would have sprouted up from the bird droppings.

What projects are you working on right now?

Currently I am working on a book about the battle of Stones River, as well as a blog series about Civil War poems written by Herman Melville. The blog series is a new way for me to interpret the war, looking at specific events through the poems that were written shortly after the war ended. It has provided me with a new perspective on the war.
Lightning Round (short answers):
Most overrated person of the Civil War? Abraham Lincoln. 
Favorite Trans-Mississippi site? Vicksburg 
Favorite Regiment? Any regiment in the Orphan Brigade.
What one Civil War book do you consider to be essential? Three come to mind: The Hard Hand of War by Mark Grimsley; The Confederate Nation by Emory Thomas; What This Cruel War was Over by Chandra Manning 
What’s one question no one has ever asked you that you wish someone would? In what ways was weaponry in the Civil War developed and how did technology advance?
ECW Bookshelf
The next book in ECW’s “Engaging the Civil War” Series is now out: Where Valor Proudly Sleeps: A History of Fredericksburg National Cemetery by Donald C. Pfanz.
Don is a former historian at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and during his career there, he spent decades studying and documenting the history of the national cemetery there. Where Valor Proudly Sleeps not only represents the culmination of his research there, but it also provides an excellent case study that sheds light on the creation of the National Cemetery system as a whole.
The “Engaging the Civil War” Series is published in collaboration with our partners at Southern Illinois University Press. Click here to order !
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Our excitement about history has spilled over into a new era! We hope you’re familiar with our sister site, Emerging Revolutionary War. Well, now ERW has its own book series, too: The Emerging Revolutionary War Series!
We’ll offer you more details later this week, but in the meantime, here’s a preview of our first two titles, now available:
A Single Blow: The Battles of Lexington and Concord by ERW co-founders Phill Greenwalt and Rob Orrison and Victory or Death: The Battles of Trenton and Princeton by Mark Maloy.
Stay tuned for details!
You Know You Want to . . .
You know you want to come to the Fifth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge. WE know you know you want to come, too. So order your ticket today! You owe it to yourself to listen to that little voice inside you that's saying, "I want to go."

Turning Points . . . Scott Hartwig . . . fabulous speakers . . . roundtable discussion . . . a tour of Stonewall Jackson's wounding and death . . . all for only $155. August 3-5, 2018.

You know you want to come—so come! (We can't wait to see you!)
News and Notes

Sarah Kay Bierle has been doing research at The Huntington Library for her nonfiction book about the Battle of New Market and collecting some cavalry reports for ECW colleagues. She says it's been an amazing experience, and that if she disappears and we can't find her to start looking in the basement where the Civil War and medical history books are kept! 
Dwight Hughes will be speaking at the North American Society for Oceanic History Annual Conference in May on “Civil War on the Rivers.”
Rob Orrison and Phil Greenwalt will be presenting book talks and signing their latest Revolutionary War books on April 15 at Lexington Historic Society and April 26 at Congressional Cemetery along with fellow Emerging Revolutionary War author Mark Maloy.

Dan Welch has been wrapping up research and writing on the Smoketown Hospital and the aftermath of the battle of Antietam. It will be released as a Digital Short soon, so look for this amazing story.
From Meg Groeling : “ The Artillerist  magazine reached out to me about reworking an article previously published at ECW. The piece in question is the one concerning Alfred Waud, which was part of the ‘Drawing the War’ series done several years ago. I had the pleasure of working with their publisher, Jack Melton, who showed me where I needed to tweak the original, and he promised to illustrate it with Waud's drawings of artillery. The amazing result can be found in the Spring 2018  Artilleryman  magazine. I think we did Waud proud. It was a pleasure working with Jack, and the end result is just spectacular. I am humbled when I see results like these. Check it out.
“I also have a non-Civil War piece due to be published in the May 2018  American Bungalow Magazine . My husband and I own our own piece of history: a working-class California bungalow built in 1928. Restoring it has/is a terrific job, and very rewarding. Last summer I ‘remodeled’ the kitchen, trying to bring it back to a ‘between-the-wars’ sort of vibe. I used products made in America. My contractor was a gentleman with whom I had taught for ten years, and our contract was a handshake. We used images from Pinterest, found resources on the Internet, and ordered online. Pictures of our progress were posted to the  American Bungalow Facebook page almost daily, and people had comments, suggestions, and compliments. When it was finished, I loved it—still do! I ran the idea of writing an article about the project past the editor of AB , she gave me the go-ahead, and my piece was accepted for publication. Not Civil War, but history none-the-less.”

The April 2018 issue of Civil War News featured some work by ECWers:

Stephen Davis , the paper’s book review editor, focused his monthly column on McDonough and Jones’s classic War So Terrible. In another piece, he offered “A Southerner’s Perspective on Sherman’s March.” He also reviewed John C. Brown of Tennessee: Rebel, Redeemer, and Railroader by Sam Davis.

James Broomall reviewed The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America by Edward Ayers.

Doug Crenshaw ’s ECWS book on the Seven Days, Richmond Shall Not Be Given Up! , received attention from reviewer Doug Ullman, who called it “an enjoyable, easy read, full of plenty of information....”

Upcoming Presentations
April 2018

5th: Chris Mackowski: "A Season of Slaughter: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House," Petersburg (VA) Civil War Roundtable, Pamplin Park, Petersburg, VA

6th: Daniel T. Davis, "Out Flew the Sabres: The Battle of Brandy Station" Talk and Book Signing, American Civil War Museum, Richmond, VA

7th: Kevin Pawlak, "Shepherdstown in the Civil War: One Vast Confederate Hospital," "Bedlam on the Borderlands: A Civil War Symposium sponsored by the Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation."   

11th: Dan Welch, "The Smoketown Hospital and the aftermath of the battle of Antietam," Central Ohio Civil War Round Table

13th: Chris Mackowski, "A Season of Slaughter: The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House," Capital District Civil War Round Table , Watervliet, NY (Albany region)

17th: Dwight Hughes, "Rebel Odyssey: The Cruise of the CSS Shenandoah," Sons of Confederate Veterans, Keysville, VA

18th: Meg Groeling, "The Aftermath of Battle," Elk Grove Civil War Round Table, Elk Grove, CA

19th: Sarah Kay Bierle, "Awakened Hearts: The Power & Patriotism of 1861 Civilians," Powhatan Civil War Round Table, Powhatan County, VA

21st: Eric Wittenberg, Bus Tour of Sheridan's First Raid, Central Virginia Battlefields Trust Annual Conference

28th: Sarah Kay Bierle, "Dr. Hunter McGuire: Medical Director, Surgeon, Confidant," National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Frederick, MD

28th: Eric Wittenberg, Bus Tour of the Retreat from Gettysburg, Mosby Heritage Area Association
Emergingcivilwar@gmail.com | www.emergingcivilwar.com