Providing fresh perspectives on America's defining event
Emerging Civil War   July 2016
ECW is Turning Five  —  10 Questions: Chris Kolakowski  —  News & Notes  —  New on the Bookshelf
From the Editor
Next month, Emerging Civil War turns five. Oh, where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday that Kris White, Jake Struhelka, and I were sitting on the porch of the caretaker’s cottage at the Jackson Shrine (right), re-fighting the war and smoking cigars and hatching an idea that has since grown well beyond our initial expectations. We are so fortunate that so many people have contributed to ECW and supported our work in the five years since.

This past year, we branched out to the Revolutionary War era with Emerging Revolutionary War, and we helped Savas Beatie resurrect the respected Civil War Regiments Series (look for the first digital volumes VERY soon!). We also entered into a collaboration with Southern Illinois University Press for an upcoming book series “ Engaging the Civil War.” Most importantly, Ted Savas has continued to show his unwavering, unqualified support of the Emerging Civil War Series, which has grown to twenty-two titles (as of this newsletter) in just three and a half years. (And we launched this newsletter, too.)

We’re not finished, either—not by a long shot. At next month’s symposium, we’ll announce several new initiatives that will let us share the story of the Civil War in even more ways with more people. We have an incredible pool of talent here at ECW, and we’re doing everything we can to share their great ideas, great writing, and great stories. Look for details in the next newsletter.

In the meantime, thank you all for all you’ve done for us. You make this job a privilege.

-- Chris

Chris Mackowski, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Emerging Civil War
10 Questions with . . . Chris Kolakowski
Check out Chris’s full bio at Emerging Civil War.

1) By day, you are executive director of the Douglas MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia. What's a Civil War guy doing at a World War II site (or what's a World War II guy doing writing about the Civil War)?

I have this reputation as a "Civil War guy" because most of my resume is dealing in some way with the Civil War. That's great, and I have had experiences doing Civil War history that remain very meaningful to this day. But I've often told people that I'm a student of all military history, and in the last few years I've been able to stretch beyond the Civil War professionally. (And by the way, the Memorial does cover the Civil War—our storyline starts with Douglas' parents in the Civil War era.)
2) How did you get hooked on the Civil War?
When I was 11 I got into military history through the encouragement of my parents. I started with WWII, but quickly moved back into the Civil War thanks to my father's Civil War library, various Avalon Hill and Victory Games board games, and the fact I was growing up in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
3) What's an experience you had with a Civil War book that turned out to be particularly important to you?
When I was a teenager I read Lt. Col. Joseph B. Mitchell's Decisive Battles of the Civil War. It was an excellent overview of the ebb and flow of the battlefronts, while touching on many battles I had never heard of before. Mitchell was my introduction to much of the war, including Stones River, Chickamauga, and the Battles for Atlanta, and I have never quite forgotten the spark he ignited. He also did an excellent job putting East and West into one story. I devoured the book, and referred to it again and again.
4) What's it like being not only one of a bunch of Chrises at ECW, but one of two "Chris -owskis"?
You'd be amazed how many people get us mixed up. I tell them I'm the good-looking one!
Now the lightning round:  
  • Eastern or Western Theater? Both; it's not an either/or proposition for me
  • Army of the Potomac, Army of the Cumberland, or Army of the Tennessee? Cumberland
  • Favorite Trans-Mississippi site? Glorieta Pass
  • Most over-rated person from the Civil War era? John F. Reynolds
  • What’s one Civil War book you would recommend as essential? The Civil War by Bruce Catton  
What is one Civil War-related question no one has ever asked you but you wish someone would?
A question about the Civil War's place in global history—both in terms of its place in the 1860s and how it related to other similar conflicts.  
ECW at B&N Fredericksburg
The Fredericksburg Barnes & Noble will host a special book signing for Emerging Civil War authors on Thursday, August 4, 2016, from 4-8 p.m. Right now, at least six of our authors will be on hand: Edward Alexander, Sarah Bierle, Dan Davis, Chris Mackowski, Rob Orrison, and Kris White. ECW's Steward Henderson will be there, too, as a member of the 23rd U.S.C.T.

The Fredericksburg B&N is located at  1220 Carl D. Silver Parkway in Central Park.

The ECW signing was scheduled in advance of the Third Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium (Aug. 5-7), which is now sold out, but the B&N event will give folks in central Virginia the chance to still connect with some of our writers. We hope to see you there!

News & Notes
On July 9-10 in San Pedro, California, a historical timeline came to life, and Sarah Kay Bierle was there. Old Fort MacArthur Days brought more than 1,000 living historians and re-enactors to the early 20th Century defense fortifications and surrounding community parks for a unique weekend of education and fun. From Ancient Times to the Vietnam Era, it was a timeline learning experience to wander through the camps, attend weapon demonstrations, and mock battles. The American Civil War was well-represented by the community of re-enactors and local CWRTs, and it was a great learning experience to see the Blue and Gray uniforms, weaponry, tactics, and social life placed in the timeline of warfare. Sarah attended the event, working with the Civil War era "shop" Kansas Mercantile; she also did a book signing on Saturday. Her favorite part of the event? “That's a tough decision,” she admits. “But the dance on Saturday night was definitely entertaining. Where else can you dance with a Roman legionnaire, Scots-Irish warrior, Continental Militiaman, Union Infantryman, Buffalo Soldier, WWI Doughboy, and WWII G.I. all in one hilariously fun line dance?”

Edward Alexander  recently installed his first researched and designed wayside exhibit at Pamplin Historical Park. The wayside covered the experience of the Hart Family during the campaign, Edward explains: “They were Pennsylvania natives who moved to Dinwiddie just before the war, had the husband conscripted into Confederate service, captured by Federals, and sent to a northern prison, and had the Confederates construct earthworks and their winter camps across their property. Vengeful Union soldiers threatened to burn the house after the Breakthrough before an officer intervened and placed a guard on the house while Mrs. Hart, her children, and a house slave sought refuge in the cellar.” Edward had discovered new source material about their story over the winter, and Pamplin Park just placed several new waysides at the house.

Steve Davis is now serving as the new book review editor for Civil War News. Steve has been writing a monthly column for Civil War News called "The Critic's Corner," where he looks at classic Civil War titles and offers his thoughts on them.

Phill Greenwalt recently celebrated one year at his post as a supervisor ranger for the National Park Service at Shark Alley in the Everglades.

Chris Mackowski published an invited book review of Brian Steel Wills’s The River was Dyed with Blood: Nathan Bedford Forrest & Fort Pillow in the newest issue of The Historian (vol. 78, no. 3). The Historian is the peer-reviewed journal of the Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society. "Our circulation is now the largest among scholarly history journals," The Historian touts, adding that it is "one of only two journals that include all fields of history and all time periods."

The Chickamauga Campaign—Glory or the Grave by David A. Powell is the recipient of the Richard Barksdale Harwell Book Award for the best Civil War book of the year, awarded by the Atlanta Civil War Round Table. Dave is the first author to win the award twice.  Dave will have a new book out in September, Barren Victory, vol. 3 of The Chickamauga Campaign, September 21 to October 19, 1863. He will be signing the new volume at Chickamauga the weekend of September 16-18. “In the first week of August,” Dave tells us, “I am also planning research visits to Gettysburg (looking at the files of those XI and XII Corps troops who traveled west in late 1863 to join what would become Sherman's Atlanta Campaign) and the New York State Library in Albany—ending the week, of course, at the Emerging Civil War Symposium.”

Matt Stanley recently reviewed page proofs for his upcoming book, The Loyal West: Civil War Reunion and Middle America, coming from the University of Illinois Press. “Should be available in time for Christmas,” he says, “an ideal stocking stuffer for a very specific type of humanities nerd, or the perfect ‘Scrooge’ gift for that relative or coworker you secretly dislike.”

New on the Bookshelf from the Emerging Civil War Series
The latest Emerging Civil War book is “one big adrenaline rush,” says co-author Kris White. Don’t Give an Inch: The Second Day at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863—Little Round Top to Cemetery Ridge, by White, Chris Mackowski, and Daniel T. Davis, recounts the fighting on the south end of the field, picking up the action where its predecessor, Fight Like the Devil: The First Day at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863, left off. “There really is no low point in the battle, so the story flows from one exciting story to the next,” Kris says. Read Liam McGurl’s story about the book at Emerging Civil War.

Rob Orrison and Dan Welch are pleased to announce their latest effort, The Last Road North: A Guide to the Gettysburg CampaignLast Road North work takes readers on the most in-depth tour of Gettysburg campaign-related sites. Each chapter focuses on a different route, following diverse elements of each army as they moved northward more than 153 years ago and then raced back southward. Rob and Dan enjoyed visiting all of these sites, exploring their individual importance to the campaign, and being able to share them with readers. “We hope you enjoy the expansive story that is the Gettysburg campaign,” Dan says. Read Chris Mackowski’s story about the book at Emerging Civil War.

A number of books in the Emerging Civil War Series have gone into second editions recently. In most cases, we’ve tried to clean up some typos and make other similar minor adjustments, but we’ve also included some all-new material in some of them, too. Check out new editions of
  • Aftermath of Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead by Meg Groeling
  • Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga by William Lee White
  • Fight Like the Devil: The First Day at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863 by Chris Mackowski, Kristopher D. White, and Daniel T. Davis
  • Hurricane from the Heavens: The Battle of Cold Harbor by Daniel T. Davis and Philip Greenwalt
  • No Turning Back: A Guide to the 1864 Overland Campaign by Robert Dunkerly, Donald C. Pfanz, and David Ruth
  • To the Bitter End: Appomattox, Bennett Place, and the Surrenders of the Confederacy by Robert Dunkerly
Finally, Amazon is offering a special deal on the Kindle version of Fight Like the Devil during the month of July:
August Speaking Engagements
  • 5th-7th: Third Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, with keynote speaker Jim Ogden of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.
  • 3rd: Steward T. Henderson, "St. George's Episcopal Church in the Civil War," St. George's Episcopal Church, 905 Princess Anne St., Fredericksburg, VA
  • 8th: Daniel T. Davis, “The Battle of Cold Harbor,” Western North Carolina Civil War Round Table, Sylva, North Carolina
  • 9th: Dwight Hughes, Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable, Book presentation and signing
  • 20th: Edward Alexander, “The Battle of Sutherland Station” Car Caravan Tour, Pamplin Park
  • 23th: Sarah Kay Bierle, “Awakened Hearts: The Power & Patriotism of Civilians,” Pasadena Civil War Round Table, Pasadena, California

If your roundtable or historical society is interested in scheduling a speaker from Emerging Civil War, we will be updating the listings in our Speakers Bureau soon.
Watch the website for details!

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