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:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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

GOVERNOR KAINE AND SPEAKER HOWELL URGE ORANGE COUNTY TO MOVE WAL-MART SUPERSTORE AWAY FROM BATTLEFIELD

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…..

Scridb filter

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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.

Scridb filter

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5 Jul 2009, by

Gettysburg

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.

J.

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Brett Schulte at TOCWOC came up with a brilliant idea, which was to get a number of Civil War bloggers to list their ten favorite/most influential Gettysburg books on the anniversary of the battle. Brett was kind enough to ask me to participate, so here’s my list. I have not included any of my work on this list, as it would be immodest to do so.

1. Edwin B. Coddington, The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command. This book is the bible for any serious student of the campaign. The treatment of the retreat is a little weak, only because Prof. Coddington died before it could be completed, and someone else had to finish the work.

2. Harry W. …

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I hereby nominate this new blog for the 2009 Most Irritating Civil War Blogger Award. This guy insists on wasting other people’s bandwidth to announce his every blog post, and then he does so by referring to himself in the third person. Here’s a prime example of what I’m talking about here. Now, I’m all for shameless self-promotion, and I’ve certainly done more than my fair share of it. However, I have never once referred to myself in the third person in doing so.

The blog’s content is okay but pretty pedestrian. Although there’s nothing outstanding there, but he nevertheless feels compelled to tell the world whenever he posts, as if it’s announcing the publication of a new book. I …

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From today’s AP wire:

Wal-Mart step closer to store near Va. battlefield

By STEVE SZKOTAK Associated Press Writer
June 25, 2009

ORANGE, Va. – Wal-Mart has won the backing of Orange County planners for a Supercenter near the Wilderness Battlefield in Virginia.

The 5-4 vote Thursday sends the proposal to the Board of Supervisors. That board is believed to be leaning toward approval of the 138,000-square- foot store within a cannon shot of the Civil War battlefield.

Supervisors will conduct a public hearing before taking a vote on the proposal. It has been criticized by some of the nation’s top historians.

They have said the store is an affront to 29,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who were killed or injured

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