January 2021 Newsletter
From the Editor
As I listened to the Inaugural Address of Joe Biden on January 20, standing on the steps of a capitol building besieged by Confederate flags just two weeks earlier, I was struck by the several Civil War references in the president’s speech. His most powerful allusion came in a line that evoked the conflict between blue and gray: “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.”

I called to mind a similar call for unity from another president. “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” Abraham Lincoln warned in a speech to his home-state Republican convention in 1858. In his First Inaugural Address, Lincoln again sounded a call for unity even as the country dreaded an impending civil war:

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Compare that to the note of harmony he struck four years later. By March 1865, the war was clearly winding down but not yet over. Lincoln once more urged Americans to come together, articulating a powerful vision for human compassion:

With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and all nations.

A lasting peace among ourselves—just imagine it. And the best thing of all: that effort starts with us. We can each embrace that mindset. We can overcome our cynicism and rise to the occasion. We can be the solution. We can choose the better angels. We can choose.

— Chris Mackowski, Ph.D.
Editor in Chief
Symposium Ticket Sales to Close January 31, 2021
With thanks for outstanding sales over the past month, we have made the decision to close ticket sales for our annual symposium, effective January 31. Facing the realities of the ongoing pandemic and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to limit our sales for this year, thus allowing for appropriate social distancing at Stevenson Ridge. We will continue to monitor both Virginia and Federal guidelines, and if circumstances permit, we may reopen limited ticket sales closer to the symposium date. 
 
For those considering attending, we encourage you to purchase your tickets now at the rate of $175. This year's symposium will be held August 6-8, 2021, with the theme “Fallen Leaders.” Our keynote speaker will be Gordon Rhea, and our Sunday tour, by Greg Mertz, will focus on the wounding of James Longstreet at the Battle of the Wilderness. Find out more info and order tickets here.
 
We look forward to seeing everyone back at Stevenson Ridge and thank you for your continued support of Emerging Civil War! 
ECW Bookshelf
According to the National Park Service, “The concentration of Civil War resources found in the Richmond area is unparalleled.” Here you can explore battlefields, naval stations, hospitals, prisons, cemeteries, government buildings, industrial sites, the and the home front. Richmond is a city proud of its history, with dozens of museums, monuments, outdoor exhibits, and historic sites." 

Embattled Capital: A Guide to Richmond in the Civil War by Bert Dunkerly and Doug Crenshaw, part of the Emerging Civil War Series published by Savas Beatie, tells the story of the city through the four years of war and offers readers an up-to-date guide to visiting its historic places. In recent years, hundreds of acres of battlefield land have been preserved, new trails added, new museums opened, new markers and monuments placed, and a few removed. The book also discusses the recent events surrounding Civil War memory in Richmond, a city at the heart of the conflict. Click here for details.
Chance are, if you’re a member of the American Battlefield Trust, you love those maps they send you, don’t you? Well, the Trust has just published a second map book: Battle Maps of the Civil War: The Western Theater. Steve Stanley did the maps and ECW co-founder Kris White, senior education manager at the Trust, wrote the text. The book was published by Knox Press. All proceeds benefit the American Battlefield Trust and battlefield preservation. See here for details.
ECW News & Notes
Sean Michael Chick: “I have found a small collection of letters and diaries at Camp Moore Museum and Confederate Cemetery in Kentwood, Louisiana. Most are by Louisiana Confederates.”

Bert Dunkerly has been enjoying Michael Harris’ Germantown book. If you want to sink your teeth into a great battle study, check it out! He and Doug Crenshaw have several Zoom or online talks coming up for their newly released Embattled Capital book, and they look forward to someday doing them in person (and selling the book). The profits from this work will go to battlefield preservation in the Richmond area.

Meg Groeling is worrying about getting a new photo for book publicity, what with COVID hair going on and all. She is also planning the first chapter of Walt Whitman and the Secession War, the working title of her new book. She is also chasing the kitten around. Meg survived her birthday on January 18. "I'm old, guys!! OLD!" she says.

Steward T. Henderson will be the monthly speaker for the Rappahannock Valley Civil War Roundtable on February 8. He will also be one of the participants in a Black History program at MITRE Corporation on February 4.

Dwight Hughes got his first look at the proofs for his new ECW Series volume, Unlike Anything that Ever Floated: The Monitor and Virginia and the Battle of Hampton Roads, March 8-9, 1862. Almost ready for the printer. “There is nothing quite like seeing what the thing really looks like after years of work and with the help of a terrific editorial team. Amazing,” Dwight says. “We hope to hit the shelves in time for the March anniversary.”

Chris Kolakowski, director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, says, “The Veterans Museum continues to offer virtual events free and open to the public. For more information, see here. Recordings of past events are available at www.youtube.com/wisvetsmuseum1."

Chris Mackowski and Kris White have an article in the March 2021 issue of America’s Civil War magazine: “The Ultimate Price: A Common Farmer from Virginia and a Millionaire General from New York Transcended the Horrors of the Wilderness Through Simple Acts of Decency.” (A statue of Wadsworth, pictured above, stands in his home town of Geneseo, NY.)

Rob Orrison has a review in the February 2021 issue of Civil War Times of the new National Museum of the United States Army in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Rob’s review specifically discusses the Civil War section of the museum. “[T]he focus of the gallery . . .” he writes, “is not on the overall military history of the Civil War, but on the northern soldiers who fought in it” because “the mission of the museum is the history of the United States Army.”

“In Tullahoma, David A. Powell and Eric J. Wittenberg provide a first-rate study of this remarkable campaign,” writes reviewer Ethan Rafus in the February issue of Civil War Times.

Lee White’s bookshelf gets a shout-out in the February issue of Civil War Times. “What are you reading,” the magazine asked. A Fine Body of Men: The Orleans Light Horse, Louisiana Cavalry by Donald Peter Moriarty, Lee answered, offering a short review of the book.

Some of ECW's historians got together recently for a Zoom-based happy hour (see below). As geographically separated as we all are, Zoom has become a great way to get together as a community. Fun was had by all!
10 Questions . . . with Doug Crenshaw
Doug Crenshaw is the co-author of the newest Emerging Civil War Series release, Embattled Capital: A Guide to Richmond in the Civil War. You can read his full ECW bio here.

You have a new book that's just come out. Please tell us about it.

Bet Dunkerly and I have a new book out titled Embattled Capital. It’s full of information about Richmond during the Civil War, and would be a great tool for anyone touring the city, or someone who needs some research information. We cover battlefields, hospitals, the slave trade, prisons, monuments, landmarks, defenses, and much more.

What do you appreciate most about Richmond as a Civil War site?

Richmond is such a diverse and interesting Civil War area. You can go deep into battles such as Cold Harbor, the Seven Days, Butler’s campaign, cavalry raids. The list goes on. Physical evidence of the struggle still stands in the form of earthworks. Many of the hospitals and slave trading sites are still here. The civilian story is rich and compelling, and the city was the seat of the Confederate government. Also, between the museums, the state library, and the Richmond National Battlefield Park, there is a wealth of research information. I don’t know of any other area that has such a diversity of interesting topics. If that’s not enough, Fredericksburg and Petersburg are close by!

I know you live in Richmond, but was there something new you learned about the city while researching and writing the book?

I’ve lived in Richmond for many years, but knew very little about the slave trade. Much of the trading area was destroyed when Route 95 was built through the city, but after some research I found a number of interesting and very compelling sites.

You have another book for the Emerging Civil War Series in the pipeline, too, that you've co-authored with Drew Gruber. Care to give us a sneak peek?

Drew and I have finished up a book on the Peninsula Campaign, and that is at the publisher’s as of this writing. Drew is an expert on the actions on the lower Peninsula and Williamsburg. I think it will be a good read.

What else is on the horizon for you?

I also have another book in the works on the Confederate High command during the Seven Days’ campaign. Other topics are in the pipeline. I plan to do a book on the lost battlefields of Richmond (places like Seven Pines and Yellow Tavern come immediately to mind, but there are many more). This could be interesting and beneficial to people who try to visit the sites, but find they have been built over. I’m also considering doing a book on the Federal High Command during the Seven Days.

Lightning Round:

Favorite Primary Source: The O.R. is my favorite primary source, but there are many other excellent ones.

Favorite Monument: A. P. Hill’s in Richmond. He’s buried there, and only I live a block from it. I have to enjoy it while it’s still there.

Favorite Unsung hero: Maybe George Stannard. He was with the Union XVIII Corps and played important roles at Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, and Fort Harrison, but few people have heard of him.

Bucket-list site: Three stand out: Chickamauga, Shiloh, and Vicksburg. Those are musts, but there are many others.

Favorite ECW title: A tough question, because there are so many good ones. It’s a tie: No Turning Back and Strike Them a Blow: Battle Along the North Anna River. I visit these sites frequently, and they are great resources to carry with me.
ECW Behind-the-Scenes: Website Archives
We asked Jon-Erik Gilot, archivist extraordinaire, to tell us a little bit about housekeeping at the Emerging Civil War blog.

After nearly ten years and more than 5,500 posts, the amount of information contained at Emerging Civil War is simply staggering. As an archivist and records manager by day, I can tell you that having information is only as good as your ability to find it. To that end I've started doing some housekeeping at ECW to make sure that our readers can easily dig into our archives. 
 
Want to relive the ghosts of symposiums past? Check out the Past Symposiums page to find more than fifty (!) hours of video from ECW historians and friends. If you'd rather dig into a book, check out ECW Publications, with our three popular series. Need to restock your book wish list after the holidays? See what's Coming Soon in the Emerging Civil War Series from Savas Beatie, with ten titles poised for publication and a dozen more in various stages of production. If you're looking for a quick read next to the fireplace during the cold winter months, check out one of our ECW Digital Shorts at the bargain price of only $2.99! 
 
We also want you to dig into all of the terrific blog content. Each of our blog posts are indexed, first more broadly by categories and then more specifically by tags. With sixty categories, you can quickly target posts relating to slavery, cavalry, or even book reviews. You can locate each of the categories in the drop down bar on the right side of the blog.
 
If you're looking for more specific information—a certain regiment, battle, or personality—try searching the ECW Archives, also located on the right side of the blog. This search function will quickly scan through the content of each blog post as well as nearly 12,000 unique tags. We're working on cleaning up and standardizing these tags to improve targeted searching. 

As always, thank you for reading! 
ECW Multimedia
Have you been following the ECW YouTube page? You can check it out here. Or, go to YouTube and search “Emerging Civil War.”

In December, we gave a special focus to Stones River National Battlefield. Chris Mackowski visited the Slaughter Pen, Hell’s Half Acre, the Federal last line, McFadden Ford, the national cemetery, and more.

Sarah Kay Bierle, Chris Mackowski, Kevin Pawlak, and Cecily Nelson Zander (pictured) spent time reflecting on “What We’ve Learned Since the Sesquicentennial.” The discussion tied into a series we ran on the blog to kick off the 160th anniversary of the Civil War.

One good Johnston deserves another—or so Chris Mackowski, Greg Mertz, Angela Riotto, and Kris White discussed. The four historians talked about Albert Sidney Johnston and Joseph E. Johnston when each was assigned command of the western armies of the Confederacy.

Plus, we have all sorts of other cool stuff going on there. Be sure to subscribe to the Emerging Civil War YouTube channel to get all the latest.
 
We also make a number of our interviews available as free podcasts on the ECW Patreon page.
Emerging Revolutionary War News
By Phill Greenwalt

January marks the beginning of the new year and the chance to start anew, usually with resolutions that last a short period of time. During the American Revolution, the “Ten Crucial Days” wrapped up on January 3, 1777, with the victory at Princeton in New Jersey. That victory was a catalyst for the cause of American independence because it boosted morale both in the army and on the home front, and it encouraged new enlistments. 
 
If the “Ten Crucial Days” interest you, check out Emerging Revolutionary War's blog (www.emergingrevolutionarywar.org) to find information on the first-ever bus tour covering the engagements in New Jersey in those ten days of 1776-1777. We are doing it over three days, November 12 - 14, 2021. 
 
In other news, the Second Annual Emerging Revolutionary War Symposium is still on track for May. Updates and posts about the speakers and their topics will debut in early February. 
 
And a reminder, as well, that “Rev War Revelry” Sunday night historian happy hours returned on January 24 with a discussion on “Light Horse” Harry Lee. As we start 2021, we are going every other Sunday. Our Facebook page has the topics and events for you to sign up for and be notified about. 
 
We hope you and yours have had a great start to 2021, and the ERW crew looks forward to seeing you, either virtually, in the field, or at the symposium this year!
You can help support ECW
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