Volume 02, Issue 1 | June 2017
Newsletter  ·  June 2017
From the Editor: "Unity"  ·  Symposium 2017  ·  10 Questions with . . . Lee White  ·  
Behind the Scenes: 10 Questions  ·  News & Notes  ·  ECW at Gettysburg  ·  and more!
From the Editor

Years after the surrender of Joe Johnston to William Sherman at Bennett Place, North Carolina, supporters of the site raised a monument to commemorate the events that took place there. Dedicated in 1923, the monument has one word inscribed across the top: “Unity.” Nearly seventy years and a World War after Confederate surrender, it represented an ongoing vision of reconciliation for America.

The monument always gets me thinking, though, because I wonder what “unity” really meant. Certainly it meant unity between North and South. But what about unity for whites and blacks? Or, in the midst of the Roaring Twenties, what about unity between rich and poor? After the failure of the League of Nations following WWI, did “unity” have any kind of international relevance?

I last stopped at Bennett Place in mid-June. A week later, I stopped in Philadelphia to visit Independence Hall for the first time, and there, the idea of “unity” took on even more complex tones. Thirteen disparate colonies had to break from England and somehow come together to eventually form a new nation—a process marked by significant events in Philadelphia in both 1776 and 1787.

The one issue that proved most contentious—slavery—threatened to scuttle the whole deal, so the Founders had to take it off the table in order to make their compact with each other work. In other words, they all felt the cause of unity transcended the various competing visions of liberty they professed to embrace. It would take the Civil War to finally settle part of that conversation, although America’s troubled racial legacy continues to pose significant challenges today.

Throughout our national history, we have come back to that idea of “unity” again and again. I invite you to consider what it means today—for you and for modern America.

—Chris Mackowski
   Editor-in-Chief, Emerging Civil War
Fourth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge
We have a few seats left for the Fourth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, and we’d love to have you join us. The theme this year is “Great Defenses of the Civil War.”

The event, held  Aug. 4-6, 2017, on the Spotsylvania Court House battlefield, costs only $125. That includes our line-up of ten speakers, including keynote speaker Brian Matthew Jordan (finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history); our Friday night panel discussion; a Sunday morning tour of Brandy Station with Eric Wittenberg and Dan Davis; appetizers, beverage service, and Saturday lunch.

Click here  for more information;  click here  to register.
10 Questions with . . . Lee White
Lee White is a park service historian at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Historical Park and author of the ECWS book Bushwhacking on a Grand Scale: The Battle of Chickamauga . At this year’s Fourth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, Lee will be talking about the Confederate defense at Kennesaw Mountain during the Atlanta Campaign. Read his full bio here:

So, let’s get the big question out of the way first: Chickamauga or Chattanooga? Why?
Well Lincoln himself stated the importance of Chattanooga when he said taking the city was just as important as taking Richmond. Then the fighting around here is so dramatic. Chickamauga is a soldier's fight, and I have always loved the stories of the common soldiers, who they were, what they went through, etc.

You were literally born on the Chickamauga battlefield. Tell us about that.
LOL, yeah, I was born at what was Tri-County Hospital, about a quarter of a mile from the Chickamauga Visitor Center, its on a little hill where Col. Dan McCook's Brigade formed on the afternoon of September 20th to face off against Bedford Forrest's Cavalry.

You grew up, went out into the world, and then you came back to Chickamauga. What brought you back?
Family and honestly a lot of luck. I never imagined that I would be able to work for the NPS at Chickamauga, but it was a lot of being at the right place at the right time.

What’s your favorite place in the park to work or favorite story from the park you like to share? 
I like just being out in the woods, but my favorite spot is where Carne's TN Battery was over run on September 19th, pretty much annihilating them. A beautiful monument and cannon mark the spot, but it gets little visitation due to being off the beaten path. It also saw a lot of action as General A.P. Stewart's breakthrough attack swept over the spot and recaptured the guns.

You have an important span of the war to concentrate on at Chick-Chatt, but you also have a deep interest in the battle of Franklin. How did that develop? 
During a visit there when I was kid, I remember staring at the little diorama that they have on display at the Carter House, and that started it. As I learned more about the high drama of it all, the intensity and the tragedy all come together and shake me to the core.

Lightning Round (short answers):
Who’s the most overrated person of the Civil War era?  N. B. Forrest

What’s your favorite Trans-Mississippi site? Pea Ridge, Arkansas

What’s your favorite regiment? 15th Arkansas Infantry Regiment (Cleburne's)

What’s one Civil War book you would recommend as indispensable?
Now that is a hard question! I will go out and say Stephen Woodworth's Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West.

What’s one question about the Civil War no one’s asked you but you wish they would?  Ultimately, what did it cost us as a people? We know about the bigger issues from the war, but what about the loss of that generation—what potential did we lose?  That’s one I have spent a lot of time thinking about.

Behind the Scenes
A Year of Ten Questions

This issue marks the one-year anniversary of the ECW newsletter. One of our regular features has been our "10 Questions" profiles. In case you've missed any, here's a chance to catch up!

News & Notes

Have you caught Emerging Civil War on YouTube yet? We now have our own channel, featuring our popular OnLocation videos. More content will be coming later this summer.  Tune in!

ECW is pleased to announce the promotion of Sarah Kay Bierle to co-managing editor of emergingcivilwar.com. Sarah does most of our day-to-day operations at the blog, and she has overseen several of our blog series, including the recent “Favorite Historical Person from the Civil War Era” series. Sarah will serve as co-managing editor alongside Dan Davis, who handles most of our larger blog maintenance. Please join us in congratulating Sarah for the great work she’s been doing for us.

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ECW is also pleased to say hello to Todd Arrington. Todd is currently the site manager at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor, Ohio. He formerly blogged for We’re History. Please join us in welcoming Todd to the fold.

The Essential Civil War Curriculum has published a pair of articles by Steve Davis: The Atlanta Campaign: Dalton to the Chattahoochee and The Atlanta Campaign: Peachtree Creek to the City’s Surrender on the Essential Civil War Curriculum website. The articles are based on Davis’s two Emerging Civil War Series books on the Atlanta Campaign, A Long and Bloody Task and All the Fighting They Want.

“Faithful old warhorse” Meg Groeling was retired from active duty as a math teacher on June 9, 2017. She spent the last thirty-three years teaching unwilling students to appreciate the amazing qualities of numbers, but finally gave it all up. She will be allowed to run free in the pastures of her native Hollister, California. When she gets over the shock of not having to get up so early, she will dedicate the rest of her remaining years to trying to teach unwilling students to appreciate the amazing qualities of Elmer Ellsworth. She looks forward to this next challenge in her life. Wish her well. Huzzah! (and maybe a “t-i-g-e-r”?)

Chris Kolakowski, through his work at the MacArthur Memorial, recently hosted a symposium on the 75th Anniversary of the battle of Midway. You can catch up on the program through C-SPAN's taping of the event here.

Civil War Book Review, affiliated with Louisiana State University, has published a book review by Chris Mackowski of Earl Hess’s Braxton Bragg: The Most Hated Man in the Confederacy. You can read the review here.

Julie Mujic was elected on Thursday, June 22, to the Board of Trustees for the Columbus Historical Society.

Dan Welch has returned back to Gettysburg National Military Park as a Park Ranger for their interpretive season of summer programming. If you travel to Gettysburg over the coming summer months, stop in to say hi or look for him out on the battlefield. 

Upcoming Presentations  ·  July 2017
1st: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  Emerging Civil War Series book signing, Gettysburg Visitor Center, Gettysburg National Battlefield, featuring Dan Davis, Dwight Hughes, Chris Mackowski, Rob Orrison, Ryan Quint (others TBA)

7:00 p.m. Emerging Civil War authors at the Gettysburg Heritage Center (see below for more info)

6th: Edward Alexander, “Dawn of Victory: Breakthrough at Petersburg,”  North Shore Civil War Roundtable, Huntington Station, NY

11th: Dwight Hughes, “The Cruise of the CSS  Shenandoah,” Richmond (VA) Civil War Round Table

13th: Dan Welch, Lancaster Civil War Round Table, Baldwin Wallace University

15th: Chris Mackowski, “Grant’s Last Battle,” Grant Cottage, Wilton, NY

18th: Bert Dunkerly, "The Confederate Surrender at Greensboro," Civil War Roundtable of Chicago, Chicago, IL

22nd: Chris Mackowski, “Stonewall’s Greatest Joy,” United Daughters of the Confederacy commemoration ceremony, Manassas Battlefield Visitor Center, 10:30 a.m.

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