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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thank You, SavasBeatie!

It was a few years ago that Ted Savas contacted me about writing the revision of The Destruction of the Weldon Railroad that became The Battles for the Weldon Railroad, August 1864.  SavasBeatie does a fine job with its books.  They can do footnotes, which I greatly prefer to endnotes.  They use fonts that are easily read by old cadgers such as myself.  They take care of their authors, as well.  In 2015 SavasBeatie arranged for me to speak to the Chicago Civil War Round Table (CWRT), do an interview at Chicago's Abraham Lincoln Bookshop, and do a book-signing at Petersburg National Battlefield Park.  This year SavasBeatie set me up to speak to Northern Illinois CWRT, Salt Creek CWRT, Lincoln-Davis CWRT, and South Suburban CWRT.  Next year I expect to talk to the Orange County (Ca.) CWRT, the Greater Orlando CWRT, the San Francisco CWRT and the Civil Warriors CWRT in Los Angeles.  I might have been able to do more but I'm still practicing law.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thank you, Lincoln-Davis Civil War Round Table and South Suburban Civil War Round Table!

Thank you, members of the Lincoln-Davis and South Suburban Civil War Round Tables.  It was very kind of you to invite me to talk about the fighting around Petersburg in August 1864.  Both of your meetings are within a few miles of my home and office, and I elected to focus on color bearer and Medal of Honor winner Pvt. Henry M. Hardenbergh of Company G, the Preacher's Company, of the 39th Illinois Veteran Volunteers (Yates Phalanx).  On August 16, 1864, the day Hardenbergh won his Medal of Honor by capturing the flag of the 10th Alabama, the 39th lost thirty-six killed or mortally wounded out of scarcely more than 200 taken into action.

I learned from you, too.  At the Lincoln-Davis meeting, I learned that descendants of the Indians who inhabited Cook and Will Counties, Illinois, still live among us.  At the South Suburban Civil War Round Table I learned that Atlanta's famous Cyclorama, the painting depicting the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864, has in it a soldier with the face of none other than Clark Gable!  I can't wait to visit the Cyclorama as soon as it reopens.

Happy Thanksgiving to y'all!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Confederate Field Marshals?

One could win a marshal's baton (the symbol of the rank) by winning a major battle as well as capturing a major fortress.  The Confederacy, however, would have produced fewer field marshals than the Union had the rank existed for them.

General Joseph E. Johnson might have won a marshal's baton for First Manassas.  Nothing he did after that merited one.

General Albert Sidney Johnson did nothing to merit a marshal's baton.

General Robert E. Lee won several victories that could have made him a field marshal--The Seven Days, Second Manassas, the capture of Harper's Ferry, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville.

General Braxton Bragg's victory at Chickamauga would have earned him a marshal's baton had the field marshal's rank existed.

What about General Pierre Gustave Toutant "Gus" Beauregard?  His service as unofficial chief of staff at First Manassas would not have made him a field marshal.  His successful defense of Charleston in 1863 might have.  His victory over Beast Butler at Second Drewry's Bluff on May 16, 1864 might have.  His successful defense of Petersburg June 15-18, 1864, also might have.  The Davis Administration would probably not have given him the benefit of the doubt, though--Beauregard and Davis detested one another.