Category: Civil War Research

  • Picketing, Skirmishing, and Sharpshooting in the Civil War

    My essay on Picketing, Skirmishing, and Sharpshooting in the Civil War is up at Essential Civil War Curriculum, a Sesquicentennial project of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies at Virginia Tech. Primary sponsors are Dr. James I. (Bud) Robertson and Professor William C. (Jack) Davis, both Professors at Virginia Tech. The security of an […]

  • Union Brigade Sharpshooters

    One of the most interesting but at the same time frustrating parts of researching sharpshooters is finding new sharpshooter units. Of course if you find one there are probably more, but the information on them if often maddeningly vague and incomplete. I’ve recently come across evidence of Federal brigade sharpshooters. We’ve know about the Confederate […]

  • Did the Hunley’s Own Torpedo Kill Its Crew?

    Intriguing article by a biomedical researcher at Duke University, whose research suggests that the crew of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley died from the effects of their own torpedo. … after an exhaustive three-year Duke study that involved repeatedly setting blasts near a scale model, shooting authentic weapons at historically accurate iron plate and doing […]

  • A Most Uncivil War

    There was gallantry during the conflict and the larger armies generally observed the rules of war. However, in smaller actions the conduct of both sides was often extremely brutal. Here’s a letter from Thomas J. Bond of the 2nd Ohio, who describes how some suspected guerillas were summarily dealt with. The letter is up for […]

  • More on the Origins of “Sharpshooter”

    As part of the continuing quest to find the origins of the term “sharpshooter,” I directed a query to the Museum of Military History (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum) in Vienna, Austria. The Austrians, after all, were the first to employ rifle units and true light infantry in the 18th Century, and Central Europe (the Tirol, southern Germany, […]

  • New Whitworth, Buck & Ball vs. Minié

    Cap and Ball tries out the new Pedersoli Whitworth rifle reproduction. Unfortunately this rifle remains vaporware here in the US. It was supposed to become available in mid-2016 but no one has actually seen one for sale. Too bad, since I think there’s a ready market for them out there. Suggested retail was to have […]

  • Short Takes

    A tour around the web for Civil War topics… A look at a recently acquired archive of Civil War telegraph messages, thought to be lost. As the article points out, there is quite a bit of similarity between the telegraph messages of the 19th Century and today’s text messages. Some are ciphered and the code […]