Category: Anecdotes

  • Et Tu, VMI?

    Virginia Military Institute is now offering coloring books as part of its student “stress busters” program. “Stress Busters is held on Reading Day of each semester,” the school said. “This is an opportunity for cadets to unwind and relax before studying for finals. This event often includes stress reduction activities such as yoga, therapy dogs, […]

  • Short Takes

    Most students of the Civil War have at least heard of Clement Vallandigham, an Ohio lawyer who served in Congress and stood for governor of Ohio during the Civil War. Vallandigham was a prominent Copperhead Democrat who advocated a peaceful solution to the bloodshed, and was arrested, convicted by a military court martial, and eventually […]

  • The “Confederate Column” in the Richmond Times Dispatch: A Gold Mine of First Person Accounts

    Recently K. S. McPhail, who runs the excellent New Kent County History web site, has been sending me a ton of excellent first person accounts from post-war newspapers, many of which you’ll find on my Siege of Petersburg Postwar Newspaper accounts page.  The articles Mr. McPhail has been sending along are mostly from papers which […]

  • Hagood’s SC Brigade at the Battle of Globe Tavern: Postwar Accounts of the Siege of Petersburg

    I wanted to take a moment to thank K. S. McPhail (New Kent County History) for sending along multiple postwar accounts of the Siege of Petersburg, including a lengthy reminiscence on the August 21, 1864 action at the Battle of Globe Tavern by Confederate veteran John H. Neil.  Neil was a member of the 7th […]

  • Origins of “Sharpshooter”

    Some time ago I did a post on the origin of the word “sharpshooter” – that it came into the English language by way of the German mercenary riflemen hired by the British crown in the late 18th Century. A couple of commenters, however, took issue with that analysis and insisted that it came from […]

  • You Can See the One That Gets You!

    So they said during  the Late Unpleasantness, meaning that if you could see a cannon or Minié ball you were in trouble because it was probably the one that would take you out. So why would that be? Normally a projectile travels too fast for the eye to see, but if it’s headed straight at […]

  • Need Help With US Grant Quote

    I am looking for a cite for a U. S. Grant quote. It was supposedly made while touring in France after the war when someone asked him what he’d learned from Napoleon. I faced two problems during the war. One was the rifled musket behind works and the other was moving huge amounts of men […]