Blue & Gray, Fall 2005

Blue & Gray magazine is one of the top Civil War magazines available. The main articles usually contain endnotes, and the maps are very detailed and numerous. Blue & Gray has an “article and tour guide format”. That is, the magazine contains a main article on a battle or campaign, and later in the issue you will see a tour guide of the area. If you are a battlefield tramper, this is the magazine for you. The Fall 2005 issue focuses on the little-known “Battle” of Falling Waters, a skirmish between the forces of Robert Patterson and Stonewall Jackson that occurred on July 2, 1861. It was the baptism of fire for most units there that day, including elements of the famous Stonewall Brigade.

Page 6
The End of Innocence: The Battle of Falling Waters by Gary Gimbel
was the baptism of fire for many units, including the Stonewall
Brigade. It was the start of the little-known 1861 Valley Campaign. Robert
Patterson, in charge of the Union forces, was tasked with keeping Joe
Johnston’s Army of the Shenandoah occupied while Irvin McDowell’s Army
of Northeastern Virginia attacked Pierre Beauregard’s Confederate Army
of the Potomac. The “Centennial
, as Dimitri Rotov is fond of calling it, says that Patterson
failed badly and basically did nothing as Johnston reinforced Beauregard
and beat McDowell at First Manassas. Recent scholarship, ignoring the
Centennial Doctrine and using new sources and new research, is not so sure. What does author Gary Gimbel think? He doesn’t really say too much about it, although he does point out that Patterson was the only one of his Generals who advocated an attack on Johnston during a council of war on July 9. This piece is more of a tactical history of the skirmish, rather than an overview of the ’61 Valley Campaign. Gimbel is well suited to the task, having lived near the battlefield since 1989.
Page 22
Wiley Sword’s War Letter Series – Where in the Name of God is Grant?
In this column, author Wiley Sword selects a letter from his large collection and informs readers of the background of the letter. In this case, the letter is an order from Gen. Grant to Gen. Ord prior to the Battle of Iuka. Through some misunderstanding between Ord, Grant, and Rosecrans, Ord did not attack while Rosecrans fought the Battle of Iuka alone. The order led to the almost legendary dislike between Rosecrans and Grant.

Page 25
On The Back Roads – Lawrence, Kansas, Symbol of Abolition, Target of Border Ruffians by Michael O’Brien
On The Back Roads is a feature of Blue & Gray dealing with lesser-known and smaller Civil War tourist attractions. In this particular entry, Lawrence, Kansas resident Michael O’Brien summarizes the burning and murder which occurred in Lawrence on August 21, 1863. Quantrill’s raiders committed these atrocities in retaliation for the acts of “Jayhawkers” terrorizing pro-slavery families in Missouri. O’Brien writes that not all of Quantrill’s men committed murder. Most stood by while a portion took their revenge. There seem to be quite a few sites from the War remaining in Lawrence.
Page 28
On The Back Roads – Heros von Borcke’s Home and Grave in Poland
by Stefan Slivka
In this second installment of On The Back Roads, German resident Stefan Slivka writes about the former home and current burial site of Heros von Borcke, famous German aide to Gen. “Jeb” Stuart. The site was called Giesenbruegge during von Borcke’s lifetime, but in the intervening years the German-Polish border was moved westward, making the site the current-day town of Gizyn, Poland.
Page 32
Book Reviews
Books reviewed in this issue:

1. Charlestonians
in War: The Charleston Battalion

2. The
Struggle for the Life of the Republic: A Civil War Narrative by Brevet
Major Charles Dana Miller, 76th Ohio Volunteer Infantry

3. Red
Clay to Richmond: Trail of the 35th Georgia Infantry Regiment, C.S.A.

4. Women
at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America

5. Now
for the Contest: Coastal and Naval Operations in the Civil War

6. Army
of the Potomac, Volume II: McClellan Takes Command, September 1861-February

Page 51
Driving Tour – The Battle of Falling Waters and the 1861 Valley
The Driving Tour for the Battle of Falling Waters was written by Gary
Gimbel, the same author who wrote the main article. This is usually the
case with B&G. The tour starts in Williamsport, MD and ends in Martinsburg,
West Virginia, with 13 stops along the way. Some of the more interesting
sites include an aqueduct of the old C&O Canal over Conococheague
Creek near Williamsport, the Falling Waters waterfall, and the Railroad
Roundhouse complex in Martinsburg. You can support preservation efforts
of the Falling Waters Battlefield Association by going to their web

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4 responses to “Blue & Gray, Fall 2005”

  1. Bill Avatar

    That’s funny that you say it’s little known compared to the 1863 battle. With me it’s the reverse: I’ve read about the 1861 battle in several books, but have yet to read about the 1863 one, beyond the page or two in Coddington’s Gettysburg campaign book. That’s because in my reading I’m very slowly working my way from 1861 to 1865 in all 3 land theaters and trying not to skip anything chronologically.

  2. Brett Schulte Avatar


    Interesting point. I think the reason I assumed the 1863 version was the more well-known is due to the massive number of books on Gettysburg versus all the other Campaigns in the entire war. I don’t know what the correct answer would be. For me personally, I know a lot more about the finale of the Gettysburg Campaign than I do the opening blows of the 1861 Valley Campaign. If anyone else wants to weigh in I’d love to hear it.

  3. Bill Avatar

    Sorry that I wasn’t clear: I actually meant that I’ve only just arrived at Gettysburg and have read only 2 books so far–Coddington and Nye’s Here Come the Rebels!–so you’re probably right that Falling Waters 1863 is more well known than FW 1861. I assume I’ll run across a lot more on FW 1863 as I read more Gettysburg books. I also assume the Masterton Brown book has a lot to say about it.

    It seems strange that the 1863 battle in Maryland was named after a hamlet in Virginia on the other side of the river.

  4. Brett Schulte Avatar


    No need to apologize. You are definitely correct on the Brown book. I need to pick that up soon. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.


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