October 26, 1864: Bloody Bill Anderson Killed

LeBoeuf: The force of law! This man is a notorious thumper! He rode by the light of the moon with Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson! Rooster Cogburn: That men was patriots, Texas trash! LeBoeuf: They murdered women and children in

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Elections

Something for the weekend.  The score to the movie Lincoln (2012).  Go here to read my review of this masterpiece.  One hundred and fifty years ago there was little doubt now that Lincoln was going to be re-elected and the

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Saint Albans Raid

When one thinks of the Civil War, bucolic Vermont usually does not come to mind, except for the troops from Vermont who fought for the Union.  However, on October 19, 1864 the Civil War came to Saint Albans, Vermont. 21

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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 was

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October 19, 1864: Battle of Cedar Creek

The last major battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley in the Civil War, it was fitting that the topsy turvy nature of the battle of Cedar Creek reflected the see-saw fights waged by the Union and the Confederacy for control of

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Picture on the Wall

Something for the weekend.  Picture on the Wall.  Written in 1864 by Henry Clay Work, it captures the overwhelming tragedy of each of the 650-800,000 deaths in our Civil War.  One victory that can be claimed by each of the

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Field of Lost Shoes

Field of Lost Shoes, a film on the role played by cadets of the Virginia Military Institute at the battle of New Market on May 15, 1864, is in limited release now.  If I cannot see it in a theater, I will

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Abraham Lincoln

Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should

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Price’s Raid

The last significant military offensive of the Confederacy west of the Mississippi, Price’s Raid started on August 28, 1864 when Major General Sterling Price, a former governor of Missouri, departed Camden, Arkansas on his horse Bucephalus.  Leading three divisions of

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October 12, 1864: Death of Roger B. Taney

Death came for Chief Justice Roger B. Taney of the United States Supreme Court 150 years ago.  Nominated as Chief Justice by his friend President Andrew Jackson and had sat on the court for 28 years.  Although he had authored

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The Civil War In Historical Memory

Any understanding of this nation has to be based, and I mean really based, on an understanding of the Civil War. I believe that firmly. It defined us. The Revolution did what it did. Our involvement in European wars, beginning

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October 5, 1864: Hold the Fort

  Few battles have inspired a hymn, but the successful defense by a Union garrison of Allatoona Pass, fought 150 years ago,  did.  At a meeting held in Rockford, Illinois, on April 28 through April 29, 1870 Daniel Webster Whittle, formerly a Major in

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Abraham’s Daughter

  Something for the weekend.  Abraham’s Daughter.  One hundred and fifty years ago the presidential election was in full swing.  I doubt if this song was popular with either the Republicans or the Democrats since it mentions both Lincoln and McClellan,

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October 2, 1864: First Battle of Saltville

  By 1864 the Confederacy was running short on everything, including salt.  Therefore it comes as no surprise that the Union targeted the major Confederate saltworks located at the aptly name town of Saltville in southwestern Virginia.   On October 2, 1864 some

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September 28, 1864: Hood Launches His Tennessee Campaign

After the fall of Altlanta, General John Bell Hood, commander of the Army of Tennessee, faced a quandry.  He confronted an army led by Sherman that heavily outnumbered his force.  Confederate manpower reserves were used up, and he could look

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September 25, 1864: Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle

  Nathan Bedford Forrest again demonstrated that so long as he was in the vicinity no Union supply line was safe.  On September 23, 1864, near Athens, Alabama, he and 4500 troopers were engaged in destroying a Union controlled  rail

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September 21, 1864: Battle of Fisher’s Hill

After his defeat at the Third Battle of Winchester on September 19, 1864, go here to read about it,  Early retired south to a strong position near Strasburg, Virignia, with his right anchored on the North Branch of the Shenandoah

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September 7, 1864: Beginning of Sherman-Hood Correspondence

After Sherman determined upon his March to the Sea, he contacted his opposite number, Confederate General John Bell Hood, regarding the evacuation of Atlanta of the civilian population of the town, prior to Sherman burning around one-third of the town. 

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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, and

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Republican Party Platform 1864

    Last week we looked at the Democrat party platform of 1864.  Go here to read it.  It was one long attack on the conduct of the War by the Lincoln administration.  Today we look at the Republican platform.

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So Atlanta Is Ours, and Fairly Won

In the above dispatch on September 3, 1864 Sherman informed Chief of Staff Halleck of the news that Atlanta had fallen.  Hundreds of telegrams, and thousands of letters, of congratulation from the great and humble of the North  descended on Sherman’s headquarters.  In his

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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 in

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August 31, 1864: Battle of Jonesborough

  Frustrated by his failures to cut the railroad lines to Atlanta,  Sherman at the end of August 1864 decided to use most of  his force to accomplish that goal.  On August 25, Sherman marched six of his seven corps

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August 29, 1864: Democrat Party Platform

  The convention of the Democrats in 1864 to nominate a standard bearer for President opened on August 29, 1864 in Chicago.  The convention was badly split between War Democrats and Peace Democrats.  The Peace Democrats were strong enough to

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In Defense of John Bell Hood

Yellow-haired Hood with his wounds and his empty sleeve, Leading his Texans, a Viking shape of a man, With the thrust and lack of craft of a berserk sword, All lion, none of the fox.              When he supersedes Joe Johnston,

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August 25, 1864: Second Battle of Ream’s Station

  The massive casualties taken by the Army of the Potomac since the beginning of Grant’s drive on Richmond had destroyed the combat effectiveness of many units in the Army, with large numbers of veteran troops either killed or in hospital

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August 23, 1864: Secret Cabinet Memo

Something for the weekend.  We are Coming Father Abraham, written by Stephen Foster in 1862.  Few songs better conveyed Northern determination to win the War.  However, by August 1864 that determination seemed to be wearing thin.   With the War stalled

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August 22, 1864: Lincoln Addresses the 166th Ohio

  Lincoln, six feet one in his stocking feet, The lank man, knotty and tough as a hickory rail, Whose hands were always too big for white-kid gloves, Whose wit was a coonskin sack of dry, tall tales, Whose weathered

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August 18, 1864: Capture of the Weldon Railroad

    On August 17, 1864 Grant was heartened when he received a telegram of support from President Lincoln.  Go here to read about it.  Grant remarked to his staff after reading the telegram:   “The President has more nerve than any

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August 17, 1864: Lincoln to Grant

The gaunt man, Abraham Lincoln, lives his days. For a while the sky above him is very dark. There are fifty thousand dead in these last, bleak months And Richmond is still untaken.                               The papers rail, Grant is a

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Ye Cavaliers of Dixie

Something for the weekend.  Ye Cavaliers of Dixie, sung by Bobby Horton who has fought a one man crusade to bring Civil War music to modern audiences.  Written by Benjamin F. Porter, the song was a riff on the popular

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August 14, 1864: Second Battle of Deep Bottom

 In late July Northern newspapers were filled with the raids into the North being staged by Jubal Early and his corps in the Shenandoah Valley.  In order to distract Lee from sending reinforcements to Early, Grant decided to make another

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Battles Around Atlanta

Following the Battle of Atlanta, the Union effort to put Atlanta under siege began.  Of course, so long as the Confederates controlled the rail lines out of Atlanta leading to the Atlantic & West railroad and the Macon & Western railroad,

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