Civil War

Sgt. William Harvey Carney, U.S. Army (1863-1864)

Sgt. William Harvey Carney, U.S. Army (1863-1864)

Today, we may remember the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, also Sgt. William Harvey Carney, at the Civil War Battle of Fort Wagner from the 1989 film "Glory." The critically-acclaimed film was released more than 30 years ago, but it stands the test of time for many reasons.  The most important reason is that it's reasonably true to the history of the unit, with a few of Hollywood's usual dramatic licenses. The 54th Massachusetts was the first all-Black regiment raised in the Union to fight...

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Civil War – The First Battle Of Bull Run

Civil War – The First Battle Of Bull Run

Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was sitting down to breakfast in the Virginia house of Wilmer McLean in 1861 when a cannonball burst into the room via the chimney. The destruction of the fireplace ruined the morning meal. Beauregard was using McLean's house as his headquarters for the First Battle of Bull Run. Three months had passed since the Confederate shelled Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and booted the Union garrison out of the state. The Federal army was making a play for the...

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The Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address

From July 1 to July 3, 1863, the invading forces of Gen. Robert E. Lee's Confederate Army clashed with the Army of the Potomac under its newly appointed leader, General George G. Meade at Gettysburg, some 35 miles southwest of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Casualties were high on both sides: Out of roughly 170,000 Union and Confederate soldiers, there were 23,000 Union and 28,000 Confederate casualties; more than one-quarter of the Union army's effective forces and more than a third of Lee's army...

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Silas Soule and Joseph Cramer

Silas Soule and Joseph Cramer

The Sand Creek Massacre, occurring on November 29, 1864, was one of the most infamous incidents of the Indian Wars. Initially reported in the press as a victory against a bravely fought defense by the Cheyenne, later eyewitness testimony conflicted with these reports, resulting in a military and two Congressional investigations into the event. Two of those eyewitnesses were cavalry officers Capt. Silas Soule and Lt. Joseph Cramer who had the courage to order their men not to take part in the...

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Emperor of Nicaragua

Emperor of Nicaragua

On November 8, 1855, in front of the Parroquia Church in the town square of the Nicaraguan city of Granada, a line of riflemen shot Gen. Ponciano Corral, the senior general of the Conservative government. Strangely, the members of the firing squad hailed from the United States. So did the man who had ordered the execution.  His name was William Walker. Though later generations would largely forget him, in the 1850s, he obsessed the American public. To many, he was a swashbuckling champion...

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Civil War – Andersonville Prison

Civil War – Andersonville Prison

There were 150 prison camps on both sides in the Civil War, and they all suffered from disease, overcrowding, exposure, and food shortages. But Andersonville was notorious for being the worst. Some men agreed to freedom and fought for the South as galvanized soldiers, fearing the dangers of imprisonment to be greater than those of the battlefield. Officially named Camp Sumter, the most notorious Civil War stockade was hastily constructed in early 1864 near the town of Andersonville in...

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Andersonville Prison

Andersonville Prison

There were 150 prison camps on both sides in the Civil War, and they all suffered from disease, overcrowding, exposure, and food shortages. But Andersonville was notorious for being the worst. Some men agreed to freedom and fought for the South as galvanized soldiers, fearing the dangers of imprisonment to be greater than those of the battlefield. Officially named Camp Sumter, the most notorious Civil War stockade was hastily constructed in early 1864 near the town of Andersonville in...

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From Manassas to Appomattox Court House

From Manassas to Appomattox Court House

The Civil War started because of uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states. When Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 election as the first Republican President on a platform pledging to keep slavery out of the territories, South Carolina legislature passed the "Ordinance of Secession," which declared that "the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states,...

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The Civil War’s Most Productive Spy

The Civil War’s Most Productive Spy

Espionage was big business during the American Civil War. Both sides had thousands of spies including hundreds of women. Many of the spy rings were located in each of the capital cities, Washington D. C. and Richmond, sending valuable information back to their respective governments, and each side had a number of independent spies working for them. Some of these independent spies were under contract, but others did their dangerous work out of love for their country. To be sure, it was a very...

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Civil War – The Battle of Gettysburg

Civil War – The Battle of Gettysburg

Gen. Robert E. Lee led his Army of North Virginia only two times into the North throughout the American Civil War. The winner of the first battle was inconclusive; the second determined the winner of the war.   The first battle fought on northern soil took place in September 1862, when Gen. Robert E. Lee's army invaded Maryland. It was near Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Maryland where his Army of Northern Virginia was confronted by Maj. Gen. George McClellan's Army of the Potomac. Fierce...

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Civil War’s Only Woman Doctor

Civil War’s Only Woman Doctor

Mary Edwards Walker, was an American feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, alleged spy, prisoner of war and surgeon. She is also the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor. Mary Walker became the Army's First Female Surgeon Prior to the American Civil War, she earned her medical degree, married, and started a medical practice. The practice didn't do well, and at the outbreak of the War Between the States, she volunteered with the Union Army as a surgeon. Despite her training, however,...

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Civil War – Sherman’s March to The Sea (1861-1865)

Civil War – Sherman’s March to The Sea (1861-1865)

The March to the Sea, the most destructive campaign against a civilian population during the Civil War (1861-65), began in Atlanta on November 15, 1864, and ended in Savannah on December 21, 1864. Union General William T. Sherman abandoned his supply line and marched across Georgia to the Atlantic Ocean to prove to the Confederate population that its government could not protect the people from invaders. He practiced psychological warfare; he believed that by marching an Army across the state...

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