My wife and I had a pleasant time at the Orange County (California) Civil War Round Table last Tuesday night, January 17. I talked about the fight between around 600 men from Weisiger's Virginia Brigade and about 150 men from Colquitt's Georgia Brigade against approximately 1,120 men from White's division of IX Corps. The fight took place on August 19, 1864, off by itself on the eastern side of the Globe Tavern battlefield. A participant called it "The No Name Battle." David Zieve, a college classmate I had not seen in 45 years showed up for the meeting.
Saturday, January 21, 2017
Saturday, January 14, 2017
On page 310, I mistakenly wrote that Hampton and his cavalry departed Petersburg for South Carolina in 1864. Correct of course is that they departed in 1865.
Saturday, January 7, 2017
I took pictures of most of the exhibits at the Civil War Naval Museum December 23. To see them, click here. Then click on any of the pictures for a full screen view. My favorite was the picture of CSS Jackson, a rare photo of a Confederate ironclad in Confederate service.
Friday, December 23, 2016
I was down at the Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, Georgia today and took photos of a model and a reconstruction of CSS Albemarle. Click on this link to see them.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Recent historians need to fashion patches for their accounts of the fighting on the North Anna River May 24, 1864. As I followed the Petersburg Regiment of Weisiger's Virginia Brigade of Mahone's division down to the North Anna, I could see a conflict between sources in the regiment and general histories of the campaign. Sources from the Petersburg Regiment reported fighting Crawford's division of V Corps as Ledlie's brigade of IX Corps dashed itself to pieces against the Mississippi Brigade of Mahone's division to the right of the Virginia Brigade. I considered deferring to the judgment of the general historians but decided to take a look. The men from the 12th Virginia, the Petersburg Regiment, were right. Sources on Bates' (Coulter's until Coulter was wounded) brigade of Crawford's division (11th Pennsylvania, 12th Pennsylvania, 12th Massachusetts, 97th New York, all available online) show that this brigade struggled with the sharpshooters of Weisiger's Virginia Brigade and Sanders' Alabama Brigade as Ledlie's brigade assaulted the Mississippians.
Saturday, December 17, 2016
My last post, on Pickett's Charge, may seem odd for a blog entitled The Petersburg Campaign. I'm a student of the 12th Virginia Infantry, however, which was also known as The Petersburg Regiment because it had, in its final form, six of ten companies from the Cockade City. This regiment belonged to Mahone's Brigade, which at Gettysburg formed part of Anderson's Division. I'm putting the finishing touches on a history of the 12th Virginia with nine diagrams and thirty-two maps by Hampton Newsome, Esq., author of Richmond Must Fall (on the October battles around the Cockade City) and co-editor (with Dr. John Selby and me) of Civil War Talks: Further Reminiscences of George S. Bernard and His Fellow Veterans. Civil War Talks is the sequel to War Talks of Confederate Veterans, published by Bernard in 1892. Civil War Talks was ready for publication in 1896 but disappeared until it showed up in a flea marked in 2004. Purchased at a flea market for $50 by some lucky fellow, it was sold to the History Museum of Western Virginia for $15,000!
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Mathematical modeling based on Lanchester equations developed during the First World War to determine the numbers necessary for successful assaults shows that with the commitment of one to three more infantry brigades to the nine brigades in the initial force, Pickett’s Charge would probably have taken the Union position and altered the battle’s outcome, but the Confederates would likely have been unable to exploit such a success without the commitment of still more troops. Michael J. Armstrong and Steven E. Soderbergh, “Refighting Pickett’s Charge: mathematical modeling of the Civil War battlefield,” Social Science Quarterly 96, No. 4 (May 14, 2015), 1153-1168. The authors do not include Wilcox’s and Lang’s brigades in the initial force. Ibid., 161. Timelier commitment of Anderson’s entire division with the initial force would have supplied five additional brigades and from 4,950 more men, making the attack force fourteen brigades and almost 18,000 men. Ibid., 161, 164. According to the modeling, this number would have practically guaranteed a lodgment at the Angle and refuted Longstreet’s assertion that “thirty thousand men was the minimum of force necessary.” Longstreet, From Manassas to Appomattox, 386.