Peering through the fog of history

by Ned B. on March 17, 2012 · 1 comment

Editor’s Note: Please welcome Ned B., one of a number of new amateur Civil War bloggers here at TOCWOC.  Ned and the rest of the group are here to bring some fresh new perspectives to TOCWOC, a blog I founded back in late 2006.  My goal is to bring you the reader fresh content from a variety of perspectives five days a week.  I look forward to what Ned and the others will bring to the table.

I am obsessed with the Civil War, thinking about it whenever my mind wanders throughout the day. So I was excited when Brett welcomed me to join the Order of Civil War Obsessively Complused.  Why is it that I am so obsessed?

The Civil War is a central part of our national drama, full of triumph and tragedy. Yet, while I have enjoyed learning about the political and social issues of the time and have engaged in some hearty debates about the nature of secession, none of that is what really draws me in.

The Civil War was a moment of transition in warfare – armies could use new technologies like steam trains and telegraphs to move and communicate like never before, and yet battles were still fought by armies marching on foot and engaging each other in close proximity. Military commanders often faced a fog of war and had to make weighty decisions while faced with uncertainty.  I have the mindset of an engineer and project manager, dwelling on process, risks, constraints and unknowns.  I like to unravel the logistics and the logic of the action.

The commanders in the Civil War were fascinating personalities and we understand history through the documents they left behind.  But that record is incomplete. Like the fog of war, we must piece together information as we strive to make sense of what happened. How do we interpret what is said and conjecture at what is unsaid? What keeps me thinking about the Civil War is a sense that we haven’t figured it all out yet.

Through my involvement with this blog I want to explore some of these issues and as I share my thoughts I hope that I express something of interest.  Thank you for reading.


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Steve March 18, 2012 at 7:36 am

Always enjoy the articles on the Civil War Blog!! Great job. I too have a passion for the Civil War.
Is there any online programs to learn about the Civl War in an orderly fashion. I get bits and pieces but so much to learn, sometimes a person don’t know where to start??
Thanks for all the work on the blog!!!


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