Volume 1 | October 2016
Emerging Civil War  ·  October 2016
Check out our new series of  ECW Digital Shorts  ·  News & Notes  ·   10 Questions with... Dave Powell
From the Editor:
Knowing, as we do, the fallout from the 1860 election, it's easy for us to keep this year's election in some context. Whether you are frustrated by either or both of the candidates, the media, the entire political system—or even just your angry friends on Facebook—we all know things have been much worse.

What might be harder to remember is the fact that upwards of 750,000 men died in the fight to preserve our political system, and that doesn't even count the sacrifices of the wounded and of civilians on the homefront. In the wake of that sacrifice, millions of free blacks received not only their citizenship but their franchise—only to have rampant at violence and intimidation suppress those newly acquired rights across the South. The election of 1876, then, capped off the failure of Reconstruction and ushered in Jim Crow.

ECW’s ongoing series this month, “ 1860s Politics,” edited by Sarah Kay Bierle with contributions from across our spectrum of writers, looks at the ups and downs of this tumultuous period. We hope it helps you keep things in perspective and gives you some insights.

Whatever your feelings this year, please remember the hard-fought victories and bitter losses America has gone through so that you have the ability to participate in the political process.

Chris Mackowski
Introducing Emerging Civil War Digital Shorts
If you’re looking for more good reading from Emerging Civil War, we have a treat for you: ECW is pleased to unveil our new Emerging Civil War Digital Shorts Series, edited by Edward Alexander.

ECW Digital Shorts are read-in-one-sitting pieces available for download from Amazon.com. T he Digital Shorts Series will offer a mix of original material and updated, expanded versions some of our most popular long-form pieces from the blog. Each Digital Short is available for $2.99, with proceedings going to support ECW's annual symposium.

“We will roll out new Digital Shorts in batches every three or four months,” explains Alexander, who oversees the series. “We wanted to take readers beyond the blog into some deeper territory. We thought this would be a great way to explore some in-depth material.”
News & Notes
For folks unable to attend the Third Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, C-SPAN3’s “History TV” has been airing segments. You can find the lectures in C-SPAN’s online archive. And don't forget, tickets are already on sale for the Fourth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge, "Great Defenses of the Civil War," Aug. 4-6, 2017.

Edward Alexander led a tour of Pamplin Park’s Hart Farm property as part of the Park’s annual symposium earlier this month. (And in case you missed it, Historian Will Greene gave ECW a great shout-out at Pamplin’s symposium.) Edward also gave talks on behalf of both Pamplin Park and ECW in Reading, PA, last month and at the Manassas Museum and in Fredericksburg earlier in October.

Rob Orrison spent a couple days recently with Blue & Gray Magazine editor Dave Roth, prepping for Rob’s upcoming article, “Battle Along the Potomac,” which will appear in the December issue. The article looks at action along the river in 1861 and 1862.

Meanwhile, Dan Davis spent the day with Roth on the Bentonville battlefield. Dan’s article, inspired by his ECWS book Calamity in Carolina: The Battles of Averasboro and Bentonville (co-written with Phill Greenwalt), will be in Blue & Gray in early 2017.

Dan also had an article in the most recent issue of the Civil War Trust’s Hallowed Ground. The issue focused on lost battlefields. Dan’s article focused on the cavalry battle at Yellow Tavern on May 11, 1864, where Phil Sheridan’s troopers mortally wounded Jeb Stuart.

And, in case you missed it, the new issue of Hallowed Ground also featured a great little piece about Emerging Civil War’s fifth anniversary!

In his official capacity as director of the MacArthur Memorial, Chris Kolakowski was invited to drop the puck at the Norfolk Admirals hockey game on October 19. It was the Admirals’ 1000th home game. They lost to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits 2-0. “It was still a great game,” Chris said.

ECW Treasurer Jennifer Mackowski was inducted as the new president of the Kiwanis Club of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
10 Questions with . . . Dave Powell
Our ECW spotlight this month shines on Dave Powell, author of The Chickamauga Campaign: Barren Victory—The Retreat into Chattanooga, the Confederate Pursuit, and the Aftermath of the Battle, September 21 to October 20, 1863 . Barren Victory wraps up a definitive three-volume microtactical study of the Western Theater’s biggest battle.

Now that you’ve finished your impressive three-volume set on the Chickamauga Campaign, is there anything left to write on the battle?

Funny you should ask, since I know of two new books on the subject under review as we speak. One is a cavalry study, focusing on the actions of Wilder's and Minty's brigades (Federal) on September 18. The other is Dr. William G. Robertson's operational campaign study, which I think will be published by UNC.

My own work is a very tactical exploration of September 18-20, 1863, and I tried to make it comprehensive. But I view it as a departure point. Chickamauga is at least as rich as as any other civil war battle in terms of further study, and I look forward to seeing those works.

How did a guy from northern Illinois get hooked on a battle in northwest Georgia?

Because Gettysburg was already taken.

More seriously, because I would go to Gettysburg and see it thronged with crowds, even in the winter; but I would go to Chickamauga and have the place to myself. I am at heart a guy who likes to dig deeply, the better to understand. Military history volumes of all periods which do just that line my shelves, but there were very few such works on Chickamauga. When I started, I regarded it as one of the great untold stories of the war.

Can you tell us a little about your annual Chickamauga battlefield tour?

I tell folks that I started the tour because I wanted to have Park Historian Jim Ogden take me around the battlefield, but the park wouldn't let me monopolize his time all by myself. My solution was to establish an annual weekend of battle walks. The idea grew out of trips I and friends would take every year to various parks and other historic sites. So every year in March, (the 10th and 11th, in 2017) we spend two days studying aspects of Chickamauga. Friday is a bus tour of some kind, while Saturday is devoted to walking the ground. The tour is essentially free, though we do charge a small fee ($45) for the Friday bus. Saturday is completely free, just show up and join the fun.

Now that the magnum opus is finished, what’s next?

Several things. I have a book about Franz Sigel and New Market finished, and being evaluated. I hope to see that in print in 2017. I am now working on a maps study of Chattanooga, similar to the Maps of Chickamauga, and I am also working on a book about Chattanooga for the Emerging Civil War Series.

However, I like to also always be working on the next big project, and for me, that is the Atlanta Campaign. I like Gordon Rhea's four volumes on the Overland Campaign quite a bit, and I am thinking to do something similar with Atlanta. I have been collecting source material for the past year or so, and already have a big set of files on the subject.

Now for the Lightning Round—super-quick answers. Go: Eastern or Western Theater?
Western. No surprise there, right?

Favorite Trans-Mississippi site?
Pilot Knob. I reenacted there in the 1980s.

Best commander of the Army of Tennessee?
Alexander P. Stewart, at the very end.

Most over-rated person from the Civil War era?
Joseph E. Johnston

What’s one Civil War book you would recommend as essential?
Bruce Catton, Stillness at Appomattox

What is one Civil War-related question no one has ever asked you but you wish someone would?
Why is it seemingly so hard to pin down the real effects of technological change—i.e. rifled muskets—on Civil War tactics?

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

9th: Edward Alexander, “The Battle of Rappahannock Station,” Central Ohio Civil War Roundtable, Columbus, OH

12th: Kristopher White, “Don’t give an inch: The Second Day at Gettysburg,” at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Carnegie, PA

14th: Bert Dunkerly, “The Richmond Bread Riot,” Western North Carolina Civil War Roundtable

19th: Chris Kolakowski, “The Last Act: C.S.S Shenandoah,” North Carolina Civil War Roundtable, Burlington NC

Other Events
From  Chris Kolakowski :

Please join us for the second film of our Fall Film Festival at the MacArthur Memorial. Come see Minter Dial II’s, The Last Ring Home, on Thursday, November 10, 2016, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. It is a free event as always, but please register. 

From  Sarah Kay Bierle:

Gazette665 is pleased to announce its 2017 Civil War History Conference—1862: Searching For Victory. Saturday, June 3, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hosted at the beautiful conference center in Temecula, CA, the event features seven historians and researchers sharing topics related to the second year of America's divisive conflict. It's an all-day event, with plenty of opportunities for Q&A, discussion, presentations, and book shopping! Scheduled speakers are James Denton, David Dixon, Meg Groeling (ECW member!), Edward Headington, Michael Shaffer (from Kennesaw State University), and Sarah Kay Bierle (ECW member!). Mark Schoenberger will be sharing a special display about California's 1862 Civil War experience.  Click here for more information and early registration. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months...

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