I just found a very interesting tidbit….

A certain Gettysburg licensed battlefield guide has stated a theory that Farnsworth’s Charge occurred a mile or so away from where traditional accounts place it. I’ve always maintained that that theory is just that–a theory. J David Petruzzi and I wrote a very lengthy essay rebutting this theory that appears as an appendix to the second edition of my book Gettysburg’s Forgotten Cavalry Actions, the content of which was largely based on the words and comments of the veterans of the battle.

I just found a new one. In this one, a private of the Fifth Corps, wrote, “During this time the Union cavalry made its appearance on our left in rear …

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AlfieIt’s an open question as to who was the worst, biggest, most pathological liar: Alfred Pleasonton or Phil Sheridan. Both were incapable of telling the truth, and both were known for prevaricating in the interest of self-promotion. As I have described him here previously, Pleasonton was a lead from the rear kind of a guy who was a masterful schemer and political intriguer. Pleasonton was the sort of guy who would start a fight on the playground and then step back and watch the chaos that he had started. And he was known for telling whoppers in the hope of promoting himself and his moribund career; his persistent lying and scheming ultimately cost him his command with the Army of …

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Yesterday was the 152nd anniversary of the Battle of Morton’s Ford, fought on February 6, 1864. I had wanted to get something posted yesterday, but I was presenting at a symposium and then had a 7.5 hour drive today to get home. So, unfortunately, this is a day late. Let’s hope it’s not a dollar short. 🙂

Waren-MFFor a larger view of this map, please click on it.

This is a brief but comprehensive article on the battle written by Clark B. “Bud” Hall that appeared in the :

“A Curious Affair:” The Battle of Morton’s Ford, February 6, 1864 Proceeding south on Batna Road (Rt. 663), one observes an isolated hillock to the west. Called “Stony Point” in the

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One of my partners in the law firm where I practice law mentioned to me last week that he had an ancestor who was a Civil War soldier, and that one of his letters home had survived. Those sorts of things always interest me, so, at my request, John brought me a copy of the transcription of the letter today. After reading it, and realizing that its content was both very rare and very interesting, I asked John for permission to share it here on the blog. Thanks to John Cook for giving me permission to do so.

John’s ancestor was Maj. Alonzo W. Baker of the 139th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.The 139th Ohio Infantry was organized at Camp Chase in …

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Ten years ago today–September 24, 2005–I made the first post on this blog. 1395 posts later, I’m still here.

I had been intrigued by the concept of blogging, which was still a relatively new phenomenon, and I saw a blog as an opportunity to address things that I wanted to address, whether it was trying out theories or ideas, or spreading the word about battlefield preservation, or telling the stories of forgotten cavalrymen. For a long time, I posted several times per week, and nearly burned out from doing so. I post much more infrequently now–now, it’s when I have something that’s worth saying, but I still use this blog as a forum for trying out new ideas. As just …

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There were many important early chroniclers of the American Civil War. Most have been long forgotten in the tidal wave of books on the Civil War that has marked the last 150 years. Few were more important than Bvt. Maj. Gen. John Watts DePeyster of New York. DePeyster wrote a number of very influential works on the war, including treatises on tactics and a vigorous defense of Maj. Gen. Daniel E. Sickles’ conduct during the Battle of Gettysburg. DePeyster was very influential in his time, but he is almost completely forgotten by history today.

John Watts DePeyster was born on March 9, 1821, the son of Frederic de Peyster, a wealthy and powerful New York lawyer, investor and philanthropist. His …

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A guest post.

Today, we have a forgotten cavalrymen post on Capt. William Wallace Rogers by his descendant, Capt. John Nesbitt, III, formerly of the U.S. Army. Rogers served with honor in the Civil War and in the post-war Regular Army.

Captain William Wallace Rogers descended from William and Ann Rogers who immigrated to Wethersfield, Connecticut by way of Virginia in the mid-1630s, and then to Long Island, where they were early settlers of Southampton (the Southampton Historical Museum is housed in the Rogers’ mansion built on the Rogers’ homestead by a descendent of Obadiah Rogers, a son of William and his wife). William is also considered a founder of Huntington, L.I., having been one of the men who negotiated …

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The following editorial in support of the creation of the Culpeper County Civil War Battlefield State Park appears in today’s edition of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star:

Editorial: A state park fitting for Culpeper Civil War sites
BY THE EDITORIAL PAGE STAFF OF THE FREE LANCE-STAR

Over the years, the green rolling Piedmont hills around Brandy Station in Culpeper County have engendered visions of hundreds of houses and condominiums, a multiplex theater, a water park, an equestrian center, a hotel and even a Formula One race track.

Each of the proposals generated high-profile struggles between the would-be developers and preservationists because these fields were the place where the largest cavalry engagement of the Civil War occurred.

Today, it appears the

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Conclusion of a series.

Cross-posted at Emerging Civil War.

After examining the evidence, it seems clear that Senator Wade’s inflammatory and defamatory statements about Meade’s conduct of the pursuit of the Army of Northern Virginia were simply incorrect. Given the circumstances under which he was forced to operate, the army commander did everything possible. His army had suffered massive losses, had lost its three most aggressive corps commanders, was saddled by constraining operating orders, faced severe logistical challenges, and then had to confront an incredibly strong defensive position under the command of one of the greatest military minds ever born in the North American continent.

“When Lee retreated to the river he selected a splendid position and fortified it …

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Part five in a series

Cross-posted at Emerging Civil War.

In the previous installment, we examined George Gordon Meade’s decision to defer an all-out assault along the lines at Williamsport for a day, instead of following his own aggressive instincts. Instead, he listened to the opinions of a majority of his subordinates, who cautioned against the attack. Not to be deterred, Meade ordered an all-out assault for July 14. However, when that all-out assault kicked off, the Army of the Potomac discovered that the Confederate army was gone, having retreated across the Potomac River. In this installment we will examine the question of whether that all-out assault might have succeeded had Meade launched it on July 13 instead. Unlike …

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