1882_pic_war_horseWith much gratitude to Al Eelman of Philadelphia, who was kind enough to share both this photo and the accompanying narrative with me. For a larger version of the photo, click the image.

I often tell the stories of forgotten cavalrymen. Today, I get to tell the story of a cavalryman’s horse, which is not something that I get to do very often. When I saw this photo and heard the story associated with it, I had to share it with you. Hence, I bring you this forgotten cavalryman story.

As some of you may know, a number of years ago, I edited and published a new edition of the memoir of the Appomattox Campaign written by Lt. Col. Fredric …

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220px-Alonzo_CushingThe soldier in the image is Lt. Alonzo Cushing, who is set to receive a Medal of Honor on September 15, 2014, 151+ years after his death at Gettysburg on July 3, 1863. Of the following facts, there is no dispute or doubt: Alonzo Cushing was a brave and very capable young soldier who died as a hero. Cushing, although horribly wounded, stood to his gun and pulled the lanyard, blasting canister into the faces of the Confederate soldiers of Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead’s brigade at point-blank range at the climax of the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge. He was an incredibly brave young man who died a hero’s death doing his duty. These facts are not in dispute. I admire …

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Layout 1Time for some shameless self-promotion. Over the weekend, I signed off on the page galleys for my newest book, The Devil’s to Pay: John Buford at Gettysburg. A History and Walking Tour. The file has been sent to the printer, and in about five weeks, my publisher, Savas Beatie, LLC, will have books.

This is, in many ways, the culmination of my life’s work. I began researching what started out as a bio of John Buford not long after Susan and I got married din 1992. This study of John Buford at Gettysburg has been percolating all that time. The book will feature 17 of Phil Laino’s excellent maps (including two that have never before been mapped) and …

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I received the following challenge:

List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t over think it. They don’t have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just books that have impacted you in some way.

So, here goes, in no particular order:

1. The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War. This was the one that started it all for me. Bruce Catton’s wonderful prose and THE coolest maps ever made.

2. William Manchester’s marvelous The Arms of Krupp, 1587-1968. My master’s thesis was a direct result of having read this book.

3. Carlo D’Este, Patton: A Genius for War. Simply put, THE finest military biography that I have …

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ImageHandler.ashxI have long been an enthusiastic supporter of the gang at Emerging Civil War. Chris Mackowski and Kris White founded Emerging Civil War to create a place for the next generation of Civil War historians to try out their voices. And they have formed a very talented team that includes Chris Kolakowski (whom I’ve known for about 10 years now), Dan Davis, Phil Greenwalt, Rob Orrison, Meg Thompson, and others. As I travel around the country, I see far, far more gray hair in the groups that attend the events where I speak and too few young people. Consequently, I constantly worry about the future of Civil War scholarship.

I’m pleased to tell you that after attending an event …

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GarageToday is a happy day. The demolition of the Fleetwood Hill McMansion and the brick ranch house in front of it has begun!

Thank you to everyone who donated to make this long-awaited day possible.

From today’s Fredericksburg Freelance-Star:

Brandy Station battle site is being restored
BY CLINT SCHEMMER / THE FREE LANCE–STAR

History lovers, rejoice.

On Saturday, the Civil War Trust began restoring the most important scene of America’s largest cavalry battle, Fleetwood Hill near the village of Brandy Station in Culpeper County.

Spotsylvania County contractor J.K Wolfrey is removing a garage and brick ranch house—one of two modern dwellings—on the 56-acre property, said Jim Campi, director of policy and communications for the national nonprofit trust.

The strategic

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My world, and welcome to it. :-)

The stuff that people feel that they have to share with us at book signings is pretty astounding.

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Please don’t mistake my sarcasm for a lack of gratitude. I really appreciate it that folks feel like they can approach me and for the most part, I enjoy the interactions. Every now and again, someone will bring something to my attention that is of great interest to me, and I completely lose myself in the conversation. As just one example, at one of my first speaking engagements after my book Glory Enough for All: The Battle of Trevilian Station and Sheridan’s Second Raid was published, a fellow approached me and handed me a copy of …

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7711085_115341389416Many thanks to friend Clark B. Hall for sharing this poem with me.

Capt. William W. Blackford was J.E.B. Stuart’s able engineering officer in the spring and summer of 1863. He was 31 and one of several brothers serving in the Confederate service. Blackford had a bird’s eye view of much of the day’s action, and he wrote this interesting poem about the June 9, 1863.

In case you were wondering why we fought so hard to save Fleetwood Hill, this poem ought to answer those questions.

Twice a thousand men in blue
And twice a thousand gray
Are pricking fast the space between
And ne’er a finer sight was seen
And ne’er a bolder band I ween
Then rode

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23 May 2014, by

Hilarity

First, please allow me to apologize for the absence. I had my portion of the Second Battle of Winchester book to write, and then I needed a break. I’m back in the saddle again, and I have some very funny stuff for you today.

kilpatrick_webThis article appeared in the December 2, 1868 edition of the Weekly Atlanta Intelligencer, and it’s a riot.

What is thought of it–The Forrest-Kilpatrick Affair–Interesting and Spicy Correspondence.

The following correspondence explains itself. In consideration of the modesty of some parties, we give only initials:

New York, November 10

General J__n M. C___e:

Dear General,

Forrest says that I am “a liar, poltroon, and scoundrel.” What do you think about it?

Truly, etc.

Judson Kilpatrick

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9 Feb 2014, by

Fun stuff

I was asked how many Civil War battlefields and sites I have visited. It took a lot of thought to answer that question, but here goes, in no particular order:

Ball’s Bluff
Gettysburg
Westminster, MD (Corbit’s Charge)
Carlisle (I went to college there–that made it easy)
Hanover
Monterey Pass
Boonsboro
Williamsport
Hunterstown
Fairfield
Sporting Hill
Oyster Point
McConnellsburg
Cunningham’s Crossroads
Greencastle
Hagerstown
Funkstown
Falling Waters
Smithsburg
Aldie
Middleburg
Upperville
First Brandy Station (August 20, 1862)
Second Brandy Station (June 9, 1863)
Third Brandy Station (August 1, 1863)
Fourth Brandy Station (October 11, 1863)
Culpeper (September 13, 1863)
First Rappahannock Station
Second Rappahannock Station
Buckland Mills
Mine Run
First Winchester
Second Winchester
Third Winchester
First Kernstown
Second Kernstown
Orange Court House …

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