20 December 2007 by Published in: General musings 8 comments

The Civil War Education Association is putting on some nifty programs this year. I’ve already posted about the cavalry tour I’m leading for CWA next June.

Old friend Bruce Venter, who is probably THE authority on the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid, is leading a really interesting tour for the CWEA. 1864 was a leap year, just as 2008 is, meaning that both years had a February 29. The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid began on February 28 and ended on March 1. Bruce is going to be leading a real-time tour of the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid for the CWEA, commencing on the evening of February 28 and ending on the evening of March 1.

Given my interest in the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid, I could not pass up the opportunity to attend this event, so I signed up this morning. The truth is that I’m actually rather looking forward to just being a participant and not having to lead a tour or give a talk. I just get to sit back and enjoy the program.

We have a new airline here in Columbus called Skybus. Skybus specializes in some off-the-beaten path airports, and one of the airports it services is Richmond, Virginia, which is the home base for this program. Skybus is a low cost airline, and I was able to book a round-trip flight to Richmond today for $90.00. When the taxes and fees were added in, the total was $110. The drawback is that there is only one flight per day, and it departs Columbus at 6:00 AM. It arrives in Richmond at 7:15. The program doesn’t begin until 8:00 that evening, so I’m going to have the whole day to kill. I had to rent a car anyway, so I called Bobby Krick today to see whether he might be available to do some battlefield stomping with me, and he is available to do so.

You will recall that earlier this week, I posted about another book idea that I had that will focus on the evolution of cavalry tactics during the latter phases of the Overland Campaign of 1864. I mentioned that I hadn’t seen some of those sites, and that I was going to need to spend some time with Bobby getting the lay of the land. That process will begin in February when I’m in Richmond.

It’s going to be terrific trip. Perhaps some of y’all who find the saga of the Dahlgren Papers interesting might come along, too. If so, see you in Richmond.

Scridb filter


  1. Todd Berkoff
    Fri 21st Dec 2007 at 12:57 am

    Hi Eric. I’m a local Civil War historian based in Arlington, Virginia. I’ve published a few articles on the Battle of Bristoe Station, Brawner’s Farm, Francis Barlow, and I’m currently editing the much-quoted diary of Robert S. Robertson. I focus the majority of my research on the US Second Corps, Army of the Potomac. I provided Gordon Rhea with 2nd Corps material from the Battle of Cold Harbor and helped map out the trench lines that went into his maps that eventually appeared in the book. On a side note, I recently discovered some very impressive trenches on private property at Cold Harbor probably built by Gibbon’s division after June 3, trenches that include front line rifle pits, 6-8 feet high artillery lunettes for a full battery, and covered ways very near the front.

    I came across some information recently that I thought would interest you — you may already be aware. This is pretty random but did you know Anderson Cooper of CNN fame is the great-great grandson of Judson Kilpatrick??
    See this link — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloria_Laura_Mercedes_Morgan-Vanderbilt

    Todd Berkoff
    Arlington, Va

  2. Fri 21st Dec 2007 at 2:32 am

    This looks very cool Eric. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to do a “staff ride” and this looks very close to that. Thanks for posting. Am seriously considering attending!


  3. Fri 21st Dec 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Eric–remember that you can’t bring food or drink onto Skybus, and have to pay for each checked bag! I flew them from Cols. to NH, not bad.

  4. Fri 21st Dec 2007 at 6:09 pm


    I actually was aware of the Anderson Cooper connection. I discuss the connection between Kilpatrick and Cooper’s mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, in the epilogue to my book on Monroe’s Crossroads.

    Your discoveries sound very interesting indeed. Have you taken Bobby out there to see them?


  5. Fri 21st Dec 2007 at 6:10 pm


    I hope you can make it.

    Actually, I conduct most of my tours like a staff ride. It’s a good way to use the battlefield as a classroom.


  6. Fri 21st Dec 2007 at 6:11 pm


    Other than griping about that particular policy, I haven’t heard too many complaints about Skybus. One of the folks I work with flew on Skybus to Kansas City last week, and she had nothing but good things to say about it.

    Besides, for $90 roundtrip, how can I go wrong?


  7. Todd Berkoff
    Fri 21st Dec 2007 at 8:03 pm

    Hi Eric. Thanks for the response. By the way, I have enjoyed your books and this blog. Keep up the good work!! Bobby is aware of the works at Cold Harbor.

    Just to add to your post about John B. McIntosh – I remember reading an article in North and South some years back about the Battle of Meadow Bridge. During the battle McIntosh relied on a local guide to lead his cavalry column but the guide led McIntosh’s troopers to a Rebel ambush, either intentionally or unintentionally. Whatever the case, McIntosh pulled his pistol and summarily executed the guide on the spot and then fled the hail of bullets. This incident speaks volumes about McIntosh’s mettle. I have always been a fan of the lesser-known US cavalry commanders (and infantry too), men like McIntosh, J. Irvin Gregg, Henry Davies, and A.M. Pennington.


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