Another Bridge – Another Question

As I prepared my last post describing Union attempts to burn the Waterloo Bridge, I was also reading Seizing Destiny, The Army of the Potomac’s “Valley Forge” and the Civil War Winter that Saved the Union, by Albert Conner Jr., and Chris Mackowski.  One of the first offensive operations described by the authors is the…

A Medal of Honor at Waterloo Bridge

My wife and I spent a very pleasant afternoon recently at our favorite vineyard, Winding Road Cellars, on Leeds Manor Road in Markham. On the way home, as we passed through the historic hamlets of Hume and Orleans, we noticed multiple signs announcing the local effort to Save the Historic Waterloo Bridge. There was a time,…

Kill Jeff Davis

Last week I joined Bruce and Lynne Venter, of America’s History, LLC, on their Kill Jeff Davis: The Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid on Richmond in 1864 tour. Bruce is the author of the recently released, and highly-regarded, book of the same title. The tour was well-timed, as most of the participants had recently read Bruce’s book. I had…

Reprimanded – Custer, Meade, Humphreys and ‘Bushwhackers’

The editors of the Official Records assumed a staggering task when they began gathering and organizing the thousands of battle reports, telegrams, letters and other documents held by the War Department following the Civil War. The work was actually authorized before the final guns went silent in the spring of 1865. The task took decades,…

Maj. William Atwood and George Washington’s Portrait

Jeb Stuart wrote his wife, Flora, on September 4, 1862, following the victory at Second Manassas. Several weeks earlier, Col. Thornton Brodhead and his 1st Michigan Cavalry had unceremoniously driven Stuart and his staff from their slumbers, forcing them to beat a hasty and humiliating retreat. Forgotten and left behind in the rush to safety was…

a terrible hand-to-hand fight ensued

Maj. Gen. John Pope, commanding the Army of Virginia, certainly thought the gods of war were smiling on him as the sun broke over the horizon on the morning of August 30, 1862. Most of the intelligence Pope was receiving indicated the Army of Northern Virginia was retreating. Overly confident, Pope not only made little effort…