New Primary Source: Battles and Leaders of the Civil War

by Brett Schulte on February 23, 2010 · 0 comments

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared at Beyond the Crater and has been reposted here at TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog.

I’ve added a new Battles and Leaders section under the Resources tab in the top menu of Beyond the Crater. For those of you who don’t know, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War was a four volume set of books consisting of first person accounts of the various battles of the Civil War as written by prominent leaders in those actions. The books, published in 1887-1888, originally appeared as a series of essays published in Century magazine from November 1884 to November 1887. All of the Battles and Leaders essays pertaining to the Bermuda Hundred Campaign, the Petersburg Campaign, and the Appomattox Campaign were published as part of the fourth and final volume of the set. The essays appearing here at Beyond the Crater: The Petersburg Campaign Online are divided up into the three relevant campaigns mentioned above, and then sorted in the same order they appear in Volume 4 of Battles and Leaders of the Civil War.

The first post at Beyond the Crater from this famous primary source is P.G.T. Beauregard’s article on The Defense of Drewry’s Bluff. At the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff on May 16, 1864, Beauregard’s Confederate forces from the Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia were able to not only stop Benjamin Butler’s Union Army of the James from reaching either Richmond to the north or Petersburg to the south, but they also managed to push Butler’s men back to the Bermuda Hundred peninsula, giving rise to Grant’s famous phrase about Butler being in “a bottle tightly corked.”1 The end result was that Butler was unable to captured either of these relatively lightly defended but critically important cities, the end result of which was the long and bloody Petersburg Campaign this site was created to study. For an excellent multi-post look at Butler and Grant during this time frame, check out Mark Grimsley’s notes at Civil Warriors on the subject.

Check out Beyond the Crater: The Petersburg Campaign Online!

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  1. As an aside, does anyone know the source for this quote from U.S. Grant? I tried looking for it and cannot find where Grant said this. Was it in his memoirs? Somewhere else?


Check out the Siege of Petersburg Online for daily posts on battle accounts in newspaper articles, diary entries, letters and more!

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Want to read some interesting Civil War content from amateurs and pros alike? Check out the Top 10 Civil War Blogs and Top 10 Civil War Blogs: 11-20.

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