Volume 03, Issue 5 | November 2018
November 2018 Newsletter
Happy Thanksgiving!
ECW Bookshelf · ERW News
Happy Thanksgiving!
Rather than share a few words to open this month’s Emerging Civil War newsletter, I want to share with you a few words from my colleagues as a way to commemorate Thanksgiving. I asked each of them to tell me, in a couple sentences, about something Civil War-related in their own lives that they were thankful for this year.

“Given that the very idea of a national day of Thanksgiving has its roots in the Civil War, this is appropriate,” Dave Powell replied.

It goes without saying that we here at Emerging Civil War are especially thankful for YOU, Faithful Readers, for all the support you give us online, at our talks, buying our books, attending our Symposium, listening to our podcast, and on and on. We’re also grateful that you continue to share your passion for the Civil War, America’s defining event.

As we sit down this year to remember the things we’re thankful for, please know that we are grateful for you and for all you do.

Chris Mackowski

* * *

Edward Alexander: I'm thankful for organizations and individuals that have embraced digitization as a way to collaboratively expand our understanding of the war.

Todd Arrington: I'm thankful that my family moved to Gettysburg, PA, when I was ten years old. Living there got me interested in the Civil War and history in general, which led to me to study history in college and have a wonderful career as a historian. I can't imagine doing anything else!

Paige Gibbons Backus: I’m thankful for the opportunity that I had to work at Ben Lomond Historic Site and be able to write my first booklet and really get involved in the Civil War and Emerging Civil War community through that site. I’m getting transferred this winter to Brentsville and, while Ben Lomond will always have a special place in my heart, I’m excited for the opportunity to delve into the history, both Civil War and non-war history, there. 

Sarah Bierle: I'm thankful for Google Maps! Nothing can replace walking a battlefield, but sometimes this resource is a lifesaver for topography, mapmaking, or just getting a reminder since, living on the West Coast, I can't drive over to the battlefields every weekend.

James Brookes: I'm grateful for my current research fellowship with the Smithsonian. On a recent Saturday morning, I was able to watch the sunrise from Benner's Hill on a snow-covered Gettysburg battlefield with old and new friends, before paying tribute to, and following in the footsteps of, the soldiers who fought there. Without the fellowship, this would not have been at all possible. I'm looking forward to many similar opportunities as my time in the States continues. [James is from England.]

Sean Chick: I am thankful for being given the chance to write about Shiloh.

Doug Crenshaw: I have always had a strong interest in writing about the war, and would like to thank a few people who have encouraged and assisted me along the way. Bert Dunkerly has really been incredibly helpful and has introduced me to a lot of people and opportunities. Bobby Krick opened his library to me repeatedly, read my work. and offered constructive criticism. His library at the Richmond National Battlefield Park is amazing! I would be remiss if I didn't mention Ashley Luskey, who suggested my first book topic on Fort Harrison. Finally, Chris Mackowski, who enthusiastically welcomed me into the ECW fold. I've learned a great deal about writing from Chris

Caroline Davis: What I am most thankful for was my ability to find my passion again. It didn't hit me till I was standing in the middle of the Spotsylvania Battlefield while in the area for the symposium this past summer. Part of my issue last year and some of this year was that I had forgotten what it was all about—what history is all about. I realized for me it’s more than the battle, the regiments, and even the stories its about finding that one thing that is all yours. For me, I have always been “the history girl.” Family and friends would have a question about history, and my phone would start ringing. They did this not because I would know the answer (though normally I did) but because they knew I loved it. A friend of mine who passed away had a favorite quote: “Sometimes to change the world, all one needs to do is find a small piece of it and love it deeply.” I had forgotten how deep my love for history was. So while my answer is not 100% Civil War-related, I am thankful for the people in my life who remembered for me, who pushed me to find my passion again, and who kept me going when I had forgotten. I'm thankful that I found the small piece of the world again and have renewed my love for it. History is my small piece of the world that I get to love and nurture, and for that I am extremely thankful. I know that’s more than “a couple sentences,” but what can I say—I learned from McPherson, and have you seen Battle Cry Of Freedom ? ;-)

Dan Davis: I am thankful for the efforts of the American Battlefield Trust, other smaller organizations, and their members for preserving not only our Civil War battlefields but battlefields and sites across the United States that make up the fabric of our shared American experience.

Steve Davis: I'm thankful that this past winter Mercer University Press agreed to publish my next book, Flawed Image: Confederate General John Bell Hood in 1864. It's as of now scheduled to appear in December 2019.

Bert Dunkerly: Thankful for support and camaraderie from a great group like the ECW historians. For finally getting my own set of the OR (Yes, all 128 volumes), and for having the shelves to put them on. For being able to buy a house in a historic district where I can reflect on the Revolutionary and Civil War actions that took place literally out my front door. For the ability to travel and visit historic sites (visited battlefield #500 this summer). For family and friends who support me and my obsessive interests.

Phill Greenwalt: I was thankful this year to find Civil War history in Florida and start digging into the state's connection with the war. I’m also thankful to continue to find new ways to explore the passion of American history and make connections to present day through the social and personal levels of the conflict. In a small way, it keeps the bond with my father, whom I walked many a field with.

Meg Groeling: I am very thankful that First Fallen: The Life and Times of Elmer Ellsowrth is finally queued up to become a real book. The process has been long, but everything gets better with each suggestion and rewrite. It may be another year or more, but Ellsworth will be remembered! [ First Fallen will be forthcoming in ECW’s Engaging the Civil War Series with Southern Illinois University Press.]

Steward Henderson: As the Thanksgiving holiday season approaches, I am thankful for the American Battlefield Trust. I was happy to appear on the American Battlefield Trust’s Facebook LIVE from Chancellorsville with my friends from Emerging Civil War, Kris White, Chris Mackowski, Dan Davis, Ed Alexander, and Ryan Quint. Later in the year, I recorded the voiceover for the Battle of New Market Heights on the Richmond Battle App, quoting Sergeant Major Christian Fleetwood of the 4th USCT. Ironically, I carried the 4th USCT flag in the 150th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of New Market Heights. I am especially thankful for the 20th Anniversary celebration of the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum and the announcement of its expansion!

Dwight Hughes: I’m thankful for all our Civil War ancestors who were such avid and literate chroniclers of that fascinating era. We are blessed with an embarrassment of riches in journals, letters, newspapers, memoirs, articles, reports, etc. from Commander-in-Chief to lowliest soldier and citizen. Our challenge is to empower their voices to tell their story, distilling vivid accounts into insightful narrative history. It can be almost overwhelming at times but so fulfilling for writers and readers.

Frank Jastrzembski: I’m grateful for stumbling across William Styple’s fascinating book Generals in Bronze . Artist James E. Kelly sketched and interviewed dozens of Civil War generals years after the war. It was even more enjoyable listening to the audiobook because it felt like I was actually listening to the generals speak during the Kelly interviews. 

Chris Kolakowski: I'm thankful for the ever-growing audience at the symposium. It shows there's an enduring hunger for and interest in the kinds of perspectives we are presenting. I look forward to next year!

Derek Maxfield: I am thankful for the opportunity to research and write a book on the Elmira Civil War POW camp, to be published by Savas Beatie as part of the Emerging Civil War Series. It is a quite personal project as Elmira is close to where I grew up. Also knowing that I had a great grandfather who served in the Veterans Reserve Corps and was stationed in Elmira brings the war closer to home. The book realizes a life-long dream.

Kelly Mezurek: I am thankful for the opportunity to work with such a diverse group of people who are committed to Civil War scholarship. My first graduate course at Kent State University, taught by Dr. Frank L. Bryne, was on the American Civil War. There I met two incredible mentors, Dr. John T. Hubbell and Dr. Leonne M. Hudson. Through them I was introduced to former graduate students who I have had the pleasure of working with, including Kent alumnus Michael P. Gray. His edited volume, Crossing the Deadlines: Civil War Prisons Reconsidered , is now available from The Kent State University Press. It was my great fortune that Dr. Gray asked me to contribute the chapter, “‘De Bottom Rails on Top Now’: Black Union Guards and Confederate Prisoners of War.” The ECW team invited me last year to share some of my research on the United States Colored Troops and Union prisons at the 2017 Emerging Civil War Symposium, connecting me to another group of talented Civil War researchers and enthusiasts. Words cannot express adequately my appreciation for the tutelage and support I have received from all of these wonderful people

Julie Mujic: I’m thankful that in a year of immense change for me professionally, my Civil War history colleagues were a source of constant support and inspiration. It’s a community that gives me roots.

Rob Orrison: I am thankful for my job every day and that I never have a truly bad day at work.

Kevin Pawlak: I'm thankful that the Union Army performs better than the Buffalo Bills! Oh wait, I'm getting my passions mixed up. Oops. Anyway, this year I'm thankful for being surrounded by a great group of friends and fellow historians with whom I can freely discuss the Civil War and all of its fascinating elements. It's great to be surrounded by people who have as much of an interest as I do!

Kristen Pawlak: I am thankful for how the Civil War continues to humble me. The sacrifice, bloodshed, heroism, and selfless devotion to their cause, country, and fellow soldiers is something I take inspiration from. As a historian, I can read their words, see the sights they saw, look at their faces in photographs, study their experiences, and understand their times. Anytime I feel down or am in need of inspiration, I look to them. 

Dave Powell: More than anything, I am thankful for all the people—Park Service employees; historians, both academic and amateur; reenactors; and aficionados—who have taught me so much about this history. If I have learned anything, it is that everyone has a piece of the story to share, and they are all so willing to share it.

Ryan Quint: I’m thankful for the historians who are working to study and write about the smaller details of the Civil War. The conflict was not only fought at big places like Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, and the research coming out about the war’s peripheries is a goldmine for the next generation of historians.

Dan Welch: I am thankful for all of the Civil War-related sites I was able to travel to this year. I was able to spend time at the Wilderness, Fort Monroe, Williamsburg, Bristoe Station, Gettysburg, Gettysburg campaign sites, Antietam, Glendale, and many more. I am also thankful that many of these trips were with friends and colleagues, making each trip an incredibly rewarding experience. 

Lee White: I have a couple of things to be thankful for this year. First, the continued expansion of historic records being made available on the internet. Second, the publication of the Index of the National Tribune by Savas Beatie—one of the most important contributions for historians in recent years.

Eric Wittenberg: This year, I am grateful for everyone who has donated their precious time and/or money to the cause of battlefield preservation, because saving hallowed ground for generations yet to come is one of our most critical tasks.
Only One Month of Early Bird Symposium Ticket Sales Left!
Early bird ticket sales for the Sixth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge last through the end of December, so time is running out to take advantage of the special. Tickets are $135 each and cover events of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 2-4, 2019.

Our theme this year is "Forgotten Battles of the Civil War" with keynote speaker A. Wilson Greene. Please join us!
ECW Bookshelf
On Thanksgiving Day, 1863, the Army of the Potomac rumbled out of its camps to cross the Rapidan River in a surprise attempt to get into the rear of the Army of Northern Virginia. The resulting encounter along Mine Run proved anti-climactic from a military point of view. “The campaign of Mine Run was celebrated for the fighting which did not take place, and for its failures,” one soldier said. However, the campaign had far-reaching implications for both armies and especially for Union commander George Gordon Meade.

Chris Mackowski’s new Emerging Civil War Series book, The Great Battle Never Fought: The Mine Run Campaign, Dec. 26-Nov. 2 , published by Savas Beatie, recounts the story of the campaign that history forgot. Said another Union private, “The charge was not made, the battle was not fought, and Mine Run, as a great battle, has no place in history.”

Signed copies are available if you order online from Savas Beatie.
November's Emerging Civil War Podcast
For November, the Emerging Civil War Podcast focused on Gettysburg. In the month’s first podcast, Chris Mackowski spoke with Sarah Bierle about the civilian experience before, during, and after the battle. In the second podcast, Chris, Kris White , and Dan Davis talked about some of the most iconic landscapes of the Civil War: the Roundtops, Devil’s Den, the Wheatfield, the Peach Orchard, and the rest of the July 2 battlefield.

Subscribe to the Emerging Civil War Podcast here: https://www.patreon.com/emergingcivilwar

For a complete list of episodes, or for more information, click here . We’d love to have you listen along and join in the conversation!
Emerging Revolutionary War News

In early November a few of the historians from  Emerging Revolutionary War  ventured into the Carolinas to visit the sites of important engagements during the Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution. Meeting with local historians and VIPs, the trip was a great success and helped pave the way for future volumes of the  Emerging Revolutionary War Series. We also did a series of Facebook LIVE broadcasts, which you can watch on our Facebook page .
Stay up-to-date by perusing the blog at  www.emergingrevolutionarywar.org .
Picture shows, from left to right, Phill Greenwalt, Rob Orrison, Mark Maloy, and Mark Wilcox. 
Upcoming Presentations
December 2018

1st: Sarah Kay Bierle, Civil War Christmas Living History Event at Drum Barracks, Wilmington, CA

10th: Doug Crenshaw, The Seven Days, Richmond Civil War Roundtable

10th: Phill Greewalt: “Prospect Hill and the Battle of Fredericksburg,” Western North Carolina Civil War Roundtable

10th: Chris Mackowski, "Plenty of Blame to Share: Ambrose Burnside and the Battle of Fredericksburg," American Civil War Museum, Richmond, VA

10th: Kevin Pawlak, “Antietam Endgame: September 18-20, 1862,” Mahoning Valley Civil War Round Table, Canfield, OH

12th: Edward Alexander, “Dawn of Victory: Breakthrough at Petersburg,” Lynchburg CWRT, Lynchburg, VA

17th: Chris Mackowski, “Simply Murder: The Battle of Fredericksburg,”  Central Delaware Civil War Roundtable , Dover, DE

January 2019

9th: Chris Mackowski, “Strike Them a Blow: Battle Along the North Anna River,” Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Porter Branch, Stafford, VA

10th: Chris Mackowski, “Second-Guessing Richard Ewell,” Montgomery County (MD) Civil War Roundtable

15th: Sarah Kay Bierle, “Then Christmas Came: The Justification & Condemnation of War,” Orange County Civil War Round Table, CA

23rd: Chris Mackowski, “The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson,” St. Louis (MO) Civil War Roundtable