Category Generals

Confederate General James Longstreet at Gettysburg

Here’s Cory Pfarr talking about James Longstreet during the Battle of Gettysburg. The video’s description reads, “Author Cory Pfarr gave a detailed reassessment of Confederate General James Longstreet’s oft-criticized performance during the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. Mr. Pfarr argued that Longstreet’s post-war politics — joining the party of Lincoln and advocating for reconciliation with the […]

Commanding the Army of the Potomac

This book by Stephen R. Taaffe looks at the various commanders of the Army of the Potomac beginning with George B. McClellan. Although not the commander of the Army of the Potomac, Taaffe ends with Ulysses S. Grant as general-in-chief of United States armies because of the great influence he exerted over the army. Taaffe […]

The Great Partnership

Here’s Dr. Christian Keller delivering a lecture at the National Archives based on his new book about Lee and Jackson. It’s a fine presentation, but there were a couple things he claimed that I flat out don’t think are right. He claimed the Anaconda Plan was followed. It wasn’t. In the Q&A, he claimed Lee […]

George H. Thomas and Nathan Bedford Forrest

Here’s Professor Brian Steel Wills of Kennesaw State University delivering a typically wonderful presentation. This one compares Union General George H. Thomas and confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest. The video’s description reads, “Kennesaw State University Civil War Center Director Brian Wills compared the careers and leadership styles ofUnion General George Henry Thomas and Confederate General Nathan Bedford […]

2019 Civil War Institute Day Four

Monday, June 17, was the day for our tours at other battlefields. I chose “Stonewall Jackson at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville,” led by Greg Mertz of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. As you might expect, we saw Jackson’s position at Fredericksburg as well as his movements at Chancellorsville and the spot where he was […]

2019 Civil War Institute Day Three

Day Three of the best five days a Civil War student has each year was Sunday, June 16, 2019. We began with Dr. Jennifer Murray of Oklahoma State University giving a wonderful presentation on the history of the Gettysburg National Military Park. You can watch it here: Next, Dr. Aaron Sheehan-Dean talked about “Violence […]

Union General William Rosecrans

Here’s Professor William Kurtz of the University of Virginia giving a fine presentation on Major General William S. Rosecrans at the 2019 Nau Center for Civil War History Signature Conference. The video’s description reads, “William Kurtz of the University of Virginia talked about General William Rosecrans’ career, reputation, and clashes with superiors such as General Ulysses S. […]

Lincoln, Meade, and Gettysburg Letters

I came across these interesting letters. First, this letter from Lincoln to Meade, never sent, which is very well known. The genesis of it was a message from Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck to Meade on July 14: “The enemy should be pursued and cut up, wherever he may have gone. This pursuit may or […]

Decisions at Gettysburg

This book by Matt Spruill details nineteen decisions he identifies as crucial to the outcome of the Gettysburg campaign. The first decision he analyzes is Lee’s decision to begin the campaign and go north. “Essentially, he had four options. He could remain on the defense in Virginia, conduct tactical offensive operations against the Army of […]

Challenges of Command in the Civil War Volume 1: Generals and Generalship

This is the first volume of a two-volume collection of essays and lectures the late Dr. Richard J. Sommers delivered over his illustrious sixty-year career of scholarship. Here we have ten chapters distilling what Dr. Sommers learned over a lifetime of Civil War studies. He explains the setup in his Preface: “Some of these analyses […]