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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Thanks, Miami Civil War Round Table Book Club

My presentation met with a pleasant reception on the evening of January 18 at the Miami Civil War Round Table Book Club.  I talked about the Petersburg Regiment (12th Virginia Infantry) on August 19, 1864, when it took losses in excess of forty percent in that incident of the Globe Tavern struggle that Lt. Col. William H. Stewart of the 61st Virginia in the Petersburg Regiment's brigade called, "The No-Name Battle."  It was a toe to toe fight between the 600 of Weisiger's Virginia Brigade and 150 Georgians knocked loose from Colquitt's Georgia Brigade, and 1,120 Federals from a decimated division of IX Corps.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Publication Schedule for My Next Book: The Petersburg Regiment

Looks like Savas Beatie is scheduling my next book for the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019--"The Petersburg Regiment in the Civil War: The Battles and Campaigns of the 12th Virginia Infantry 1861-1865." Men from my wife's family served in this unit. John Wilkes Booth stood in the ranks of one of this remarkable regiment’s future companies at John Brown’s hanging. The regiment refused to have Stonewall Jackson appointed its colonel. Its men first saw combat in naval battles. In their first action on land, they embarrassed themselves. Their role at Gettysburg remains controversial. Yet by war’s end they would number among the Army of Northern Virginia’s most renowned shock troops. The accompanying picture, overused to illustrate other books, was painted in 1869 to depict the soldiers of the 12th Virginia in defense of Petersburg.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Plans for the Eastern Campaign in 1864

One of the reasons Halleck responded coolly to Grant's proposal of January 1864 for a raid with 60,000 men from Suffolk, Virginia to Raleigh, North Carolina, was that Old Brains doubted that forces sufficient for the raid as well as the defense of Washington, D.C. could be mustered.  Yet eventually such forces materialized.  The Army of the Potomac came up with about 103,000 present for duty, IX Corps with about 21,000.  The Army of the James mustered around 33,000.  Combining IX Corps with the Army of the James would have left the Army of the Potomac with 103,000 men to defend the capital while about 54,000 marched from Suffolk through Raleigh, wrecking railroads as they went, and seized Wilmington from behind.  Richmond would still have had rail links with the rest of the South with the Virginia Central, South Side and Richmond & Danville Railroads.  With the benefit of hindsight, the best plan may have been Maj. Gen. John G. Foster's.  This former Union commander in North Carolina recommended sailing up the James and seizing Petersburg.