The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

The Civil War Began and Ended at the Same Guy’s House

The Civil War Began and Ended at the Same Guy’s House

When a war breaks out on your front lawn, and your chimney explodes from enemy fire, it’s time to find a new place to live. Neighborhoods like those are no place to raise children. That was Wilmer McLean’s opinion in the Civil War, anyway. That’s exactly what he did when the Battle of Bull Run erupted in front of his property.  The Confederate Army and the Union Army in the Civil War The real fighting didn’t break out until three months later when the Confederate Army and the Union Army met in...

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Past Presidents Who Served In The Military

Past Presidents Who Served In The Military

Looking Back at Past Presidents Who Served in the Military With the blood and fire in which the United States was forged, it is unsurprising that, looking back at past Presidents who served in the military, the number is a considerable one. Whether leading the US Army during the War of Independence in the 18th century or serving in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, almost two thirds of all men who have acted as Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces have also...

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Mary Walker: Civil War’s Only Woman Doctor

Mary Walker: 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 – The Battle of Stones River

Civil War – The Battle of Stones River

It was cold at the turning of the year in Murfreesboro, right in the middle of the state of Tennessee. The little town nestled under a crook in the arm of the Stones River, near where the water rushed and chattered over a long shallow ford. The Civil War had raged across the country for nearly two years. At the end of December in 1862, the Union force called the Army of the Cumberland was maneuvering into position to challenge the Confederacy's Army of Tennessee. Opposing Forces of the Battle...

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Civil War – The Battle of Fort Donelson

Civil War – The Battle of Fort Donelson

After the successful siege of Fort Henry by Federal troops on February 6th, 1862, the Confederate forces hurried back to the neighboring Fort Donelson, which was located a few miles away. The Federals sought control over the waterways of Cumberland and Tennessee, knowing full well the advantage that it would afford them in the Western Theater of the Civil War. The chief agitator of the move to conquer the forts was Brig. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who had sent several telegrams to his superior...

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MajGen Frank Baldwin, U.S. Army (1861-1906)

MajGen Frank Baldwin, U.S. Army (1861-1906)

Receiving the Medal of Honor for valor in combat puts one in the hallowed company of but a few thousand individuals to ever grace the earth. But by the time you earn two Medals of Honor, you are one of 19 persons to have ever done so. Perhaps it is because the Medal of Honor is quite often awarded posthumously but receiving two and living to talk about it is a rare feat in the world. Frank Baldwin would do just that in the 1800s and live to become a General by World War 1. His first would come...

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Civil War – The Battle of Nashville

Civil War – The Battle of Nashville

On Dec. 15, 1864, Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood had the unfortunate job of going up against the Union's only undefeated general officer, Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas. Thomas, nicknamed "The Rock of Chickamauga" for preventing a disaster for the Union in 1863, would keep that record throughout the Civil War. After the two-day Battle of Nashville, his nickname would become "The Sledge of Nashville," after he effectively destroyed the Confederate Army of Tennessee. Sherman's Famous March to the...

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MajGen Joshua Chamberlain, U.S. Army (1861 – 1866) – His Lost Medal of Honor

MajGen Joshua Chamberlain, U.S. Army (1861 – 1866) – His Lost Medal of Honor

The long-lost Medal of Honor belonging to the "Lion of Little Round Top" has been found. It awarded to then-Colonel (and later Maj. Gen.) Joshua Chamberlain, for his "distinguished gallantry" in leading the 20th Maine volunteers on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg, came by mail to the Pejepscot Historical Society in Maine in July from a donor who wished to remain anonymous. The Location of Joshua Chamberlain's Original Medal of Honor Historians from the Smithsonian Institution, the...

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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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