Donald R. McClarey

Myths of the Civil War

  An excellent post at the blog Letters From Cato on Myths of the Civil War: Jesse Kelly tweeted this out the other day:* 1. Slavery is a repulsive thing and a stain on the history of our country. 2.

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Donald R. McClarey

November 30, 1864: Battle of Franklin

With Sherman embarking on his March to the Sea, John Bell Hood and his Army of Tennessee were left confronting the Union forces in Tennessee, some sixty thousand troops to the 39,000 under Hood.  The odds were actually longer than

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Donald R. McClarey

Gettysburg Addresses

              Presidents during their presidencies make hundreds of speeches.  Most are utterly forgotten soon after they are delivered.  Even most of the speeches by a president who is also a skilled orator, as Lincoln was,

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Donald R. McClarey

Civil War Find

Last Thursday my bride and I went to a book sale in Normal, Illinois.  There I found something highly unusual:  a one volume history of the Civil War that I was unaware of.  Written by Peter J, Parish, then a

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Donald R. McClarey

And Sheridan Twenty Miles Away

  Thomas Buchanan Read was an artist and poet who served as a staff officer in the Civil War.  Inspired by Sheridan’s decisive victory at Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864, Read dashed off the poem, Sheridan’s Ride in an hour.  The poem

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Donald R. McClarey

With Malice Towards All

The good people of Madison, Wisconsin are now presumably safe from dead Confederates: The mean-spiritedness of the American Left is a stark feature of our public life. In recent weeks, it has been a daily staple of newspaper headlines. But

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Donald R. McClarey

Ten Years of TAC: The Almighty Has His Own Purposes

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from October 13, 2010.  The above video is a new addition to the post.)   My

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Donald R. McClarey

September 20, 1863: Rock of Chickamauga

On the second day of the battle of Chickamauga the Confederates came close to destroying the Army of the Cumberland.  They were prevented from reaching this goal by a stubborn defense of Major General George Thomas, who earned that day

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Donald R. McClarey

September 4, 1864: Death of General John Hunt Morgan

  One of the most colorful cavalry commanders in American history, General John Hunt Morgan had enough exploits during the War for several lifetimes.  Go here and here to read about two of them.  Alas Morgan had only one lifetime,

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Donald R. McClarey

August 31, 1864: Death Comes For Father Emery

    Destiny attended Emmeran Bliemel at his birth on the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel, patron saint of soldiers, in 1831 in Bavaria.  From his early boyhood his burning desire was to be a missionary to German Catholics

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Donald R. McClarey

Grant: The Successful Failure

Dear Sir:  I hope you will allow one who, when a boy, laid down his arms at Appomattox and pledged allegiance to the Union, to express his warmest sympathy for you in your suffering. I have watched your movements from

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Donald R. McClarey

Ten Years of TAC: Dagger John and Honest Abe

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from February 11, 2009.) Archbishop John Hughes (1797-1864) of New York, was a titan within the

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Donald R. McClarey

Robert E. Lee and Hatred

Sometimes I wonder if we learned anything from the Civil War at all:     On March 9, 2018, a book was pulled from both the Washington and Lee University Bookstore and the Lee Chapel Museum Shop after a W&L

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Donald R. McClarey

May 20 1861: Kentucky Proclamation of Neutrality

“I hope to have God on my side but I must have Kentucky.”  Anyone, North or South, who could read a map would have agreed with that sentiment of Abraham Lincoln for their side in 1861.  With Kentucky part of the

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Donald R. McClarey

General Benjamin Butler

    Something for the weekend.  General Butler sung by Bobby Horton who wages a one man crusade to bring authentic Civil War music to modern audiences.  Butler was cordially hated by the South due to his tenure as military

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Donald R. McClarey

April 27, 1865: Sultana: Death on the Mississippi

After the massive bloodletting of the Civil War, one would have hoped that Death would have taken at least a brief holiday in the US.  Such was not the case.  On April 27th 1865, the SS Sultana, a Mississipi paddlewheeler

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Donald R. McClarey

April 3, 1862: Johnston Begins His March to Shiloh

It is rare for any soldier to attain the rank of general, but Albert Sidney Johnston managed that feat in three armies:  rising from Private to Brigadier General in the army of the Republic of Texas, brevet Brigadier General in the

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Donald R. McClarey

A Palm Sunday One Hundred and Fifty-Three Years Ago

    It is poor business measuring the mouldered ramparts and counting the silent guns, marking the deserted battlefields and decorating the grassy graves, unless we can learn from it some nobler lesson than to destroy.  Men write of this,

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Donald R. McClarey

March 2, 1864: Grant Confirmed as Lieutenant General

I can’t spare this man, he fights! Lincoln’s response to calls for Grant’s removal from command after Shiloh. Few men in American history have had a more meteoric rise than Ulysses S. Grant.  In March 1861 at age 38 he was

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Donald R. McClarey

What If Abraham Lincoln Had Died Young?

On his 209th birthday it is perhaps appropriate to consider how the world would have changed if Abraham Lincoln had died young.  Unlike many great figures in history, Lincoln did not matter in a historical sense until around the last

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Donald R. McClarey

February 11, 1865: Robert Todd Lincoln Goes To War

      A  biography of Robert Todd Lincoln a few years ago is entitled Giant in the Shadows, and that is an accurate description of him.  One of the foremost attorneys of his day, a noted philanthropist, Secretary of War

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Donald R. McClarey

January 28, 1861: Sam Houston Stands Alone

But if, through division in the ranks of those opposed to Mr. Lincoln, he should be elected, we have no excuse for dissolving the Union. The Union is worth more than Mr. Lincoln, and if the battle is to be

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Donald R. McClarey

Glory Music

We bide our chance, Unhappy, and make terms with Fate A little more to let us wait; He leads for aye the advance, Hope’s forlorn-hopes that plant the desperate good For nobler Earths and days of manlier mood; James Russell

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Donald R. McClarey

Make the Sign of the Cross, and Go In!

  My avatar when I blog and when I comment on blogs is Major General William Rosecrans. Outside of his family, General William S. Rosecrans had three great passions in his life:  His religion, Roman Catholicism, to which he had

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Donald R. McClarey

Reb Marines

  Born on March 16, 1861 by an Act of the Confederate Congress,  the Confederate States Marine Corps had an authorized strength of 45 officers and 944 enlisted men, increased in 1862 to 1026 enlisted men.  The Marines never had

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Donald R. McClarey

Yankee Marines

      During the Civil War the United States Marine Corp had its authorized strength increased to 3000 men, minuscule compared to the Union Army that reached over a million men.  Marine Commandant Colonel John Harris was a traditionalist

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