“Reconnaissances by our cavalry… without cessation” Part 2

On July 22, General Rufus King sent Lieut. Col. Judson Kilpatrick, with a mixed force of cavalry and infantry, including a detachment of the 14th Brooklyn, to investigate reports of a Southern force posted near Carmel Church, south of Fredericksburg. After skirmishing with the enemy for several hours on the 23rd, Kilpatrick destroyed the campsite…

George Custer Symposium Announced

I am proud to again be a part of our second George Custer Symposium.  This event will be held at and hosted by the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Unfortunately the link in the announcement below will not work but you may go to the homepage of the museum and find an active…

“Reconnaissances by our cavalry…without cessation” Part 1

I do not usually offer an introduction to the stories I post on this site, but in this case, I feel an explanation is necessary. I seldom know when I start where each story will end. Rarely does the final version resemble in any sense what I set out to put on paper. Due to…

“Cavalry should …be…all ears and eyes, spurs and sabers.”

1st Massachusetts Cavalry Part 2 Thirty-three years after the uprising in the camp of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry at Readville, former officer and regimental historian, Benjamin Crowninshield believed, “the effects [of the mutiny] were never wholly eradicated from the regiment.” Indeed, a simmering tension rippled through the command as the men and officers seemed perpetually…

George Custer Symposium

Good friends Jim Hessler and Chris Army have organized a one day symposium in Gettysburg this August 3, titled George Armstrong Custer and the Indian Wars.  For $45 you get an in-depth tour of East Cavalry Field led by Jim and Chris, two of the very best Gettysburg Battlefield Guides, and three talks, one by…

Words and Deeds to Honor the Dead

In August 1861, William Wintersteen left his widowed mother in New Jersey and made his way to Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he enlisted in the 2nd New York Cavalry. [Originally envisioned as a regiment of U.S. Regular Cavalry, several companies came from states other than New York]. An officer officially mustered Wintersteen, (aka Winterstein and Winterstean)…

Examination Boards

Officers in the Regular Army, especially veterans of the Mexican War, had “a regular’s contempt for ‘fancy volunteers.’”  Men like George McClellan denigrated untrained and undisciplined volunteer officers as the dregs of society, kicked out of “county courthouses, & low village bar rooms.”  Unyielding in his disdain, McClellan sought to double the number of officers…