Tag: nathaniel banks

  • The Road Not Taken

    After musing on the battle of Mansfield in my previous post, I come to the question of whether Banks was on the wrong road. The basics of the situation are this: by the first week of April 1864 U.S. forces had advanced as far as Grand Ecore and Natchitoches; it was about 75 miles further […]

  • The Ewell Contribution

    A few days ago I wrote about the ‘Ewell Option ‘ — a plan for General Richard Ewell to strike at US forces in northern Virginia in April or May 1862 — and how instead Ewell decided to stick with Stonewall Jackson and support his efforts in the Shenandoah Valley. The resulting campaign became famous and […]

  • The Minutemen of ’61

    Last month I wrote a bit about the Massachusetts Militia before the war.  That led me to think about the response of Massachusetts at the start of the war 152 years ago this week. Years later chroniclers of the Massachusetts militia boasted of their impact:  “To the fact that Massachusetts for years had maintained a […]

  • “I like a camp, and long for a war”

    In a comment on my previous post [Rattling the Saber], “Let Us Have Peace” suggested I explore further what made the 1859 encampment of the Massachusetts militia different than other militia events. As I see it, the 1859 encampment was significant for its size and its publicity. My theory is that the man at the […]

  • Rattling the Saber — The Massachusetts Militia in 1859

    Previously I posted an illustration by Winslow Homer depicting the review of the Massachusetts Militia conducted in September 1859.  Below are two other images of the same event.  The first is titled ‘Camp Massachusetts at Concord, Sept. 7,8 & 9, 1859’ with the subtitle ‘His Excellency Nath. Prentice Banks Commander in Chief’.  The illustration is […]

  • “You have let me sleep in peace for the first time.”

    Recently the NY Times had a blog post by Richard Slotkin titled Washington in Disarray the focus of which was on the crisis in Washington at the beginning of September 1862 and President Lincoln’s decision to keep Gen. George McClellan in charge of the army.  There is an element to the story that I feel […]

  • Morale and Willpower – thoughts on the low point of Jackson’s command in the Shenandoah Valley

    Since  it is the 150th anniversary of the Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1862, I am going to discuss a particular aspect of the campaign – the condition of Major General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s command at the end of April.  During the preceding weeks Major General Nathaniel Banks had advanced up the Shenandoah Valley as far […]