After the favorable response that my post on Henry Washington Sawyer of last week, I realized that this story was so compelling that I had to tell in full detail. Consequently, I have proposed to Dana Shoaf, the editor of both America’s Civil War and Civil War Times, an article that tells the story in detail. I spent most of the afternoon working on it today, and think that the full version is a very compelling story.

I will keep you posted as to progress. Hopefully, Dana will like it and will want to run it in one of the two magazines.

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A reader left me a comment today, and I figured I would answer his question. Reader Robert Alton left this comment:

Mr. Wittenberg, you have a very nice blog site. I like the template & graphics layout you are using. Very well done. I am interested in starting my own and was wondering if you could give me a synopsis/101 on how you got started, cost, etc… VR/Robert

First, thank you for the kind words, Robert. I just changed the template last week. I do so periodically when I get bored with the existing one, and after about a year, it was time for a change.

Now, to the substance of your question.

The answer is that it’s possible to …

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Dan Hoisington, the owner of Edinborough Press , which is the publisher of my Dahlgren bio, informed me today that the books finally shipped from the printer yesterday. That means that some time next week, I will FINALLY have books in hand. The printer’s screw-up means that the book is being released a month later than it was supposed to. But, it’s all good now that it’s finally out.

Stay tuned.

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19 Jul 2009, by

New Project

I just signed a contract with The History Press for a second installment its Civil War Sesquicentennial Series. The first, of course, is my Brandy Station project, which is just about finished. The manuscript is pretty much done, subject to some feedback from old friend Clark B. “Bud” Hall. I had a nearly finished manuscript that was looking for a publisher when I signed that contract.

This project, however, is completely different. This one starts from scratch, and will be titled The Battle of Yellow Tavern: Jeb Stuart’s Last Battle, and will be a study of Phil Sheridan’s May 1864 raid on Richmond, with particular focus on the May 11, 1864 Battle of Yellow Tavern, where Jeb Stuart received …

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Some good news today in the fight to prevent Wal-Mart from building a superstore on the threshold of the Wilderness battlefield. The Civil War Preservation Trust issued the following press release today:

July 15, 2009

For more information, contact:
Jim Campi (Civil War Preservation Trust), 202-367-1861 ext. 205
Nord Wennerstrom (National Trust for Historic Preservation), 202-588-6380
Beth Newburger (Epoch Communications), 571-436-0887


In bipartisan letter to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, Virginia’s top officials urge county to reconsider proposal to locate a Wal-Mart superstore on Wilderness Battlefield

(Richmond, Va.) – In a bipartisan letter to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, Virginia

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13 Jul 2009, by

Dr. Clark Donlin

Clark DonlinI first met Dr. Clark Donlin at a Civil War cavalry conference convened in Winchester, VA in 1996. Pretty much anybody who was a cav guy was there, and Clark was no exception. At the time, I had no idea who Henry Sawyer was, but Clark knew everything there was to know about Henry Sawyer. He told me that he portrayed Sawyer, and also told me that he was hoping to write a book on Sawyer.

Clark and I were in infrequent contact. He would call me once or twice a year to ask me a question, or run something by me, or look for advice, and we would e-mail. He was always very pleasant to talk to, and I …

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Here is another installment in my infrequent profiles of Civil War cavalrymen. This particular soldier has a fascinating tale.

Henry Washington SawyerHenry Washington Sawyer was born in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania on May 16, 1829. He received a common school education in Lehigh County and then learned the carpenter’s trade. In 1848, he moved to Cape May, New Jersey, where he worked as a carpenter until the outbreak of the Civil War. He married and had three children.

When President Lincoln issued his first call for volunteers on April 15, 1861, Sawyer was among the first to offer his services to New Jersey Gov. Charles S. Olden at Trenton. However, there was no organization for troops ready for muster-in yet, and because secessionists …

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Dan Hoisington, my publisher for the Dahlgren bio informed me today that the book continues to be delayed, and apparently will be for another week. The bindery screwed up and apparently they had to be re-done. The book is now significantly late, thanks to the bindery screw up. Dan says he believes it will finally ship next week. Let’s hope so. I’m getting tired of waiting for it…..

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For those of you who read Gettysburg Magazine, the new issue is out. Issue 41–hard to believe it’s been more than 20 years since I bought issue 1 in Gettysburg–contains the usual interesting stuff. The first article is one of mine. It’s title “A Charge of Conspicuous Gallantry: The Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry at the Battle of Brandy Station”. The title is pretty self-explanatory, and represents one of the few instances where the magazine has run a piece dedicated to the Battle of Brandy Station as the opening engagement of the Gettysburg Campaign rather than the main battle in Pennsylania. Thanks to publisher Andy Turner for doing a fine job with the article.

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5 Jul 2009, by


As some of you may remember from prior years, there is no place I want to be any less than I want to be than Gettysburg on the anniversary of the battle. The town is too small for the massive influx of touristas, it’s impossible to find a place to stay, it’s even harder to find a place to eat, and hardest of all is finding a place to park. The town simply cannot handle being overwhelmed by the folks who come for the combination of the anniversary of the battle and the annual reenactment. I’ve been there on the anniversary three or four times, and each time it happens, I swear it’s going to be the last time.


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