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For those interested in the upcoming Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Kelly’s Ford (fought on March 17, 1863), my friend and fellow BSF board member in exile Craig Swain is leading a commemoration of the battle next Sunday (St. Patrick’s Day), from 2:00-3:15. The commemoration will occur on the battlefield proper, at the time when the battle was taking place. The event is to both commemorate the battle, but also to dedicate a new interpretive spot on some of the ground preserved last year by the Civil War Trust.

Craig has further details on his blog. If you’re in the area, please check out this event!

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While I’ve known about this for some time, it’s only just become a matter of public knowledge, and I’m excited about this preservation opportunity.

The Civil War Trust has announced a campaign to raise funds to pay for 964 acres of core battlefield land at Kelly’s Ford, near Brandy Station. This represents almost 50% of the battlefield from the important March 17, 1863 cavalry battle between William Woods Averell and Fitz Lee’s troopers. The map shows where this particular parcel may be found. The land in yellow is the land in question. It was the scene of the most severe fighting of the battle. Click on the map to see a larger version of it.

With this large acquisition, combined …

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Craig Swain and Don Caughey have invited me to join their Battle of Kelly’s Ford micro-blogging data compilation project. I’m pleased and honored to be a part of it.

As some of you may know, my 2003 book The Union Cavalry Comes of Age: Hartwood Church to Brandy Station, 1863 contains the most detailed account of the March 17, 1863 Battle of Kelly’s Ford ever published. Consequently, I have accumulated quite a bit of primary source material that will be a perfect addition to the project.

I’m looking forward to participating and I’m looking forward to seeing just how much information we can compile. Please check the site regularly.

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9 Feb 2014, by

Fun stuff

I was asked how many Civil War battlefields and sites I have visited. It took a lot of thought to answer that question, but here goes, in no particular order:

Ball’s Bluff
Gettysburg
Westminster, MD (Corbit’s Charge)
Carlisle (I went to college there–that made it easy)
Hanover
Monterey Pass
Boonsboro
Williamsport
Hunterstown
Fairfield
Sporting Hill
Oyster Point
McConnellsburg
Cunningham’s Crossroads
Greencastle
Hagerstown
Funkstown
Falling Waters
Smithsburg
Aldie
Middleburg
Upperville
First Brandy Station (August 20, 1862)
Second Brandy Station (June 9, 1863)
Third Brandy Station (August 1, 1863)
Fourth Brandy Station (October 11, 1863)
Culpeper (September 13, 1863)
First Rappahannock Station
Second Rappahannock Station
Buckland Mills
Mine Run
First Winchester
Second Winchester
Third Winchester
First Kernstown
Second Kernstown
Orange Court House …

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battle-of-kellys-fordToday marks the Sesquicentennial of the Battle of Kelly’s Ford, fought March 17, 1863, along the banks of the Rappahannock River in Culpeper County, Virginia. Please click on the image to see a larger version of this contemporary depiction of the fighting at Kelly’s Ford that St. Patrick’s Day.

That day, Brig. Gen. William Woods Averell’s Second Cavalry Division of the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac forced its way across the Rappahannock at Kelly’s Ford and brought the Confederate cavalry brigade of Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee to battle. The fight lasted for most of the day. First, Averell’s men had to force a crossing of the river, pushing through Confederate rifle pits. They then had to force …

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3 Apr 2011, by

Upcoming events

I wanted to announce a number of upcoming events, in case anyone is interested.

First, this Saturday, April 9, 2011, I am one of the presenters at a conference being held at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia. The topic is “Railroads, Raids, and Ruins–Laying the tracks of destruction in Virginia’s Civil War”, and it focuses on precisely what it sounds like. The speakers are Professor Peter Coogan (Hollins), Chris Calkins, Gordon Hamilton, a special appearance by Dr. James I. “Bud” Robertson, and me. My friend Clark “Bud” Hall was also supposed to present, but some pressing personal business has forced Bud to cancel, which means that I’m going to cover his slot. My first talk–the one I was scheduled …

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JanewayJim Lamason went to the New Jersey State Archives for me to look for information on the role of the 1st New Jersey Cavalry’s role in the fighting on Brinkerhoff’s Ridge and East Cavalry Field at Gettysburg for the new edition of Protecting the Flank: The Battles for Brinkerhoff’s Ridge and East Cavalry Field, Battle of Gettysburg, July 2-3, 1863 being published by Savas Beatie later this spring. Unfortunately, Jim didn’t find anything useful there, but he did locate a report of the June 9, 1863 Battle of Brandy Station penned by Maj. Hugh Janeway, in temporary command of the regiment at the time, to the Governor of New Jersey. This report is different from the one in the Official

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31 Mar 2010, by

Upcoming Tour

I have agreed to do a tour for David Woodbury’s Historical Tours company in September. The tour will focus on the Battles of Kelly’s Ford, Brandy Station, and Trevilian Station, and will be based in Culpeper, Virginia. I’ve done this tour previously, and it’s a good one. The cost of the tour is $270, which includes everything but lodging at the Best Western in Culpeper. For those interested in cavalry actions, this will be a good opportunity to learn about the evolution of the Union cavalry, as it evolved into one of the largest, most effective mounted force the world had ever seen. We will visit the sites of the two largest cavalry battles of the Eastern Theater of …

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One of the posters on my Civil War forum boards wrote a post today that indicated his interest in the Civil War is waning, and wondering if there was something wrong with him.

I responded. I made the point that I grow through intensive Civil War burnout regularly.

Keep in mind that in some ways, this is a second job for me. Consequently, I can’t even remember the last time that I just went to Gettysburg to go to Gettysburg and have fun, as opposed to going there for some event, to lead some tour, etc. Honestly, I don’t even remember when that was. I’ve been there twice so far this year, and on both instances, I ended up working–leading …

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We’re home from our banzai run. We left on Friday, headed for my home town of Reading, PA. My mother’s 85th birthday is tomorrow–happy birthday, mom!–so we went in to celebrate the occasion a little early. Yesterday morning, we took off for Culpeper County, VA for the 20th anniversary picnic commemorating the founding of the Brandy Station Foundation. It had rained hard the whole time we were in Pennsylvania, and I was scared that the weather would not cooperate for the picnic. Fortunately, my fears turned out to be groundless, because it was a gorgeous day in central Virginia, about 80 degrees, not humid, and gentle breezes. The weather was just ideal.

The picnic was held on the grounds …

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