800px-UnionInfantryHollowSquareOn one of the forum boards that I regularly visit, someone asked for examples of infantry forming squares in echelon to defend against cavalry charges. The first response on the list was Brig. Gen. James H. Lane’s Confederate infantry brigade forming square at Gettysburg on July 1.

There’s a problem with that response. There is no proof that it happened. And it completely ignores the documented instance of Confederate infantry forming square to defend against a feinted cavalry charge that DID occur earlier in the afternoon of July 1, 1863.

For those unfamiliar with forming squares in echelon, it’s a classic Napoleonic tactic for infantry to defend against a cavalry charge. A good, concise explanation of the tactic, and how …

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brandyThe current issue of Civil War News has an article about the Civil War Trust’s efforts to raise the money to purchase Fleetwood Hill. Disregard the astonishingly pathetic, lame excuse by Useless Joe McKinney as to why the BSF did nothing about the Lake Troilo episode (nice try, Useless Joe, but it does nothing to lend any credibility to your claims to support preservation), and you’ve got a nice overview of the situation here:

CW Trust Contracts For 61 Brandy Station Acres; Must Raise $3.6 Million
By Scott C. Boyd
(February/March 2013 Civil War News)

BRANDY STATION, Va. – The Civil War Trust announced Dec. 20 it has a contract to buy 61 acres on historic Fleetwood Hill at Brandy

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The Friends of the Bentonville Battlefield are putting on what promises to be an excellent seminar on September 14-15, 2013. The focus of the program is the Civil War in North Carolina in 1865, and it promises to be a first-rate offering. Saturday’s program will be in Smithfield, and then there will be a battlefield tour led by Mark Bradley and Ed Bearss on Sunday. I’m honored to be on the program with the finest scholars of the 1865 Carolinas Campaign working today.

Here’s the program for Saturday:

Bentonville Battlefield’s NC 1865 Civil War Symposium Agenda
Saturday : September 14, 2013
8:00 am to 8:45 am Welcome and Refreshments. Paul A. Johnston Auditorium at Johnston Community College.
8:45 am …

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Protecting the Flanks CatalogThe new edition of Protecting the Flank is at the printer! That means that in about a month, we will have books.

I’m really excited about the new edition. The original edition was always one of my favorites, but it was a bit muddled in places, and the spacing of the book always bugged me. Further, new material surfaced after it was published in 2002.

And then we have a cretin who posted a negative review of the first edition of the book because the first edition failed to address Carhart’s festering pile of turds. Given that the book was published two years before Carhart’s, that would have been a really neat trick to have addressed a theory that had …

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bob-kirby-and-craig-bashein_420A couple of years ago, a prominent lawyer from Cleveland named Craig Bashein hired me to lead a personal tour for him and a friend, mostly of sites associated with the retreat from Gettysburg and the Wagon Train of Wounded. We had two very good days together, and I got to know Craig a little bit as a result. During our time together, Craig told me a little bit about the incredible collection of Civil War artifacts that he had accumulated over the years. From what he was telling me, it sounded like he had accumulated quite an impressive stash of artifacts.

Today, it was announced that Craig has donated some of that very impressive collection of artifacts to the …

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YSfpPicYou Stink! Major League Baseball’s Terrible Teams and Pathetic Players is a Homerun!

Written By Michael Aubrecht and Eric Wittenberg. Published by Kent State University Press (Black Squirrel Books)

2012-2013 Amazon Best-Seller: Listed in Top 100 ‘Baseball’ and Top 10 ‘Baseball Statistics’ categories. Now available in both Paperback Edition and improved Kindle Edition

There are countless volumes celebrating the best teams in professional baseball. Unfortunately, winning represents only one side of the game. For every champion’s record-setting season, there has been an equally memorable story of defeat. These teams and their shameful contributions to America’s national pastime have been a neglected topic in the annals of baseball history. Until now. You Stink! includes franchise origins, detailed stats, player profiles, photos, …

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11 Jan 2013, by

Bibliographies

Time for a good rant. I haven’t had one in a long while.

I was recently asked to write a review of this book for the next issue of Civil War Times magazine. I have lots of serious problems with this book–the author did virtually no research before writing it, and it is also horribly deficient in maps–but it also features my pet peeve about books.

When a new Civil War book is published, the first thing that I do is to look at the bibliography, as doing so tells me what sources were consulted by the author in writing the work. More importantly, a review of the bibliography shows me how deeply the author has delved into the primary …

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10 Jan 2013, by

Good riddance!

cyclorama-building-fall-2010Here’s some more good news on the “goodbye to ugly buildings on historical ground” front….

The National Park Service is finally able to tear down the hideous Cyclorama building at Gettysburg, which was constructed in a place that never should have been chosen for it, the site of Ziegler’s Grove, in the Pickett’s Charge portion of the battlefield. The family of the architect of the hideous thing protested and dragged the National Park Service through years of needless litigation while the building continued to deteriorate. It’s finally time to be done with it.

From WITF today:

National Park Service to demolish Gettysburg Cyclorama building
Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Jan 10, 2013 12:21 PM

(Gettysburg) — The

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At the request of the Civil War Trust, I’ve written an article on the fighting for Fleetwood Hill that occurred on June 9, 1863. That article was posted today, and can be found here. I appreciate all of your help and support for our efforts to preserve THE most fought-over piece of ground on the North American continent.

You can donate here.

Scridb filter

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The Brandy Station Foundation has finally issued a statement about the purchase contract for Fleetwood Hill:

MAJOR NEWS: CIVIL WAR TRUST TO BUY FLEETWOOD HILL

It is my pleasure to inform you that on December 19, the Civil War Trust and Mr. Joseph A. Troilo, Jr., reached agreement for the Trust to purchase Tony Troilo’s fifty-seven acre property at the southern end of Fleetwood Hill. A link to an article from the December 21 edition of the Culpeper Star-Exponent is:

http://www.dailyprogress.com/starexponent/news/local_news/article_8eb4f41c-4af0-11e2-a40e-001a4bcf6878.html.

This agreement is the culmination of more than twenty years preservation efforts in Culpeper County. However, major work remains: now the Trust must raise $3.6 million to pay for the property. We encourage you to support the Trust with

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