Civil War Talks on the Life of Jacob Cox, the Battle of Antietam, the Battle of Franklin, and the War in West Virginia

John Hunt Morgan: Confederate Raider of No Consequence

My new book, Civil War Rogues, Rascals, and Rapscallions, is the second in my series, “Civil War Personalities, 50 At a Time.”  Over the next few days I will be presenting samples from the book, which is available, along with all my other books, at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK

“Rogue, rascal, rapscallion – these were all “titles” which Morgan earned during his various schemes to ride around the North and embarrass the Union.  In fact, other than destroying some property, scaring a few civilians, and stealing a few chickens, Morgan’s raids had next to no impact on the Civil War.  The fact that his antics have brought him fame, statues, and several biographies is a testament to the continued fascination by some elements of the population with “legendary bad boys.”

Morgan made his most famous raid in the summer of 1863 into Indiana and Ohio, though it was done in violation of General Braxton Bragg’s orders not to cross the Ohio River.  Inevitably the raid struck fear into the residents as Morgan looted, killed home guards, and brought the war home to these people for the first time, though broadly speaking it had little effect in the war.  After several weeks of harassment by Union troops, Morgan and most of his troops surrendered in late July.  Morgan escaped from prison in Columbus that December and made it back to Kentucky.

General Jacob Cox, whose forces captured Morgan in Ohio in 1863, wrote of him, “it cannot be said that he showed any liking for hard fighting.  Like boys skating near thin ice, he seemed to be trying to see how close he could come to danger without getting in…Morgan achieved notoriety by the showy temerity of his of his distant movements, but nobody was afraid of him in the field at close quarters…his raid into Ohio and Indiana was of very little military importance.”

On the other hand, one historian summarized why Morgan is so well remembered: “For the Southern people, Morgan personified adventure and romance in combat in which they could not participate directly…He gave them an outlet for their suppressed fear and aggression…The public’s identification with their “knight” was affectionate and familiar.”

Below is a picture of the book, of Morgan (top left of the book cover0, and of the statue of Morgan designed and funded by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, dedicated in Lexington, Kentucky in 1909.

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Quantrill the Rapscallion

My new book, Civil War Rogues, Rascals, and Rapscallions, is the second in my series, “Civil War Personalities, 50 At a Time.”  Over the next few days I will be presenting samples from the book, which is available, along with all my other books, at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK

“At the Vicksburg battlefield park, Missouri’s monument is the only one commemorating both sides of the conflict.  Eminent historian James McPherson noted that “More than any other state, Missouri suffered the horrors of internecine warfare and the resulting hatreds which persisted for decades after Appomattox.” Confederate guerrilla leader William Quantrill, as much as anyone else, is responsible for turning large areas of that state into a no-man’s land of hit-and-run raids, arson, ambush, and murder.  (Battle Cry of Freedom). 

In early 1861 Quantrill joined Confederate General Sterling Price’s forces, and later he created his own army, “Quantrill’s Raiders,” consisting of pro-Confederate bushwhackers.  Among his recruits were William “Bloody Bill” Anderson and Jesse James’s brother Frank.  Over the next several months the group, with Quantrill now officially recognized as part of the Confederate forces, attacked several cities and Union army encampments.  They burned and laid waste as they went in what can only be called a nihilistic spirit.

The group’s most vicious attack was on Lawrence, Kansas on August 21, 1863.     Quantrill led a horde of 450 men against that Unionist town, hoping also to kill Republican Senator Jim Lane.  Quantrill ordered his men to “kill every male and burn every house.” They did, murdering 183 men and burning down 185 buildings.  Quantrill escaped a massive manhunt, even killing some 100 Union soldiers in another raid on the way.  Soon after, Quantrill was praised by Confederate General Price for his “gallant struggle…against despotism and the oppression of our State.”

For a different viewpoint, here is a link to the “William Quantrill Society:

http://www.wcqsociety.com/

Below is an image of Quantrill:

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TWO RASCALS FROM WEST POINT

My new book, Civil War Rogues, Rascals, and Rapscallions, is the second in my series, “Civil War Personalities, 50 At a Time.”  Over the next few days I will be presenting samples from the book, which is available, along with all my other books, at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK

Today I’ll highlight two graduates of the West Point Class of 1848: Confederate Generals William “Grumble” Jones and Nathan “Shanks” Evans.

“The West Point class of 1848 had two Confederate generals who always seemed upset about something: William “Grumble” Jones and Nathan “Shanks” Evans.”  The latter got the nickname at West Point because of his spindly knock-kneed legs.  Throughout the war there were three constants with Evans: hard fighting, hard drinking, and hard-fought arguments with colleagues.   As for Jones, when and how he earned the nickname “Grumble” is not known.  But he was an effective and hard-fighting (often with his own commanders) General for the Confederacy, though several of his colleagues would have agreed that the nickname fit.

During the Maryland Campaign, after an intense argument, Evans ordered General John Bell Hood arrested, an order which Lee lifted just before the Battle of South Mountain.. Evans was assigned to North Carolina after Antietam, and he twice was arrested for drunkenness and disobedience of orders.  He was acquitted both times, but his superiors, tiring of his abrasiveness and drinking, did not give him a new command for several months.

Jones, like JEB Stuart, his commander, was surprised when the Union cavalry attacked at Brandy Station, the largest cavalry battle of the war on June 9, 1863.  Before the battle Jones had annoyed Stuart by disrupting one of his ostentatious cavalry parades.  After Brandy Station, Stuart did not have Jones accompany him to Gettysburg.  Afterward, Jones issued a written reproach to Stuart, who in turn had Jones court-martialed.  He was convicted on the minor charge of disrespect, but Lee intervened and had Jones transferred to the West.”

Below are pictures of the two men and of the book.

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Evans                                                                           Jones

 

 

 

 

“CIVIL WAR ROGUES, RASCALS, AND RAPSCALLIONS” NOW AVAILABLE!

UPDATE!!!

This second book in my series, “Civil War Personalities, 50 At a Time” is now available in paperback and ebook format at:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DC69HRS

The first book in the series, Civil War Trailblazers and Troublemakers, is selling well, and I appreciate the support.

The new book, Civil War Rogues, Rascals, and Rapscallions, takes a look at 50 Civil War personalities like George Custer, Jesse James, Belle Boyd, “Grumble” Jones, Jim Lane, William Quantrill, Phil Sheridan, and many others who made this era one of the most colorful in our history.   As in each book in this series, each “character’s” life is summarized in a 2-3 page essay, complete with a photo from the era, a list of further reading, and an additional item, e.g. a map of a battle or a relevant political cartoon.

This book and the others I have written will soon be available via my amazon.com author’s page:

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK

Below are copies of the new books.  Each, as you will see, has nine subjects on the cover.   See if you know who they are!

50 men and women who inalterably changed the civil war era

50 MEN AND WOMEN WHO INALTERABLY CHANGED THE CIVIL WAR ERA AND AMERICAN HISTORY

 

 

“CIVIL WAR ROGUES, RASCALS, AND RAPSCALLIONS” NOW AVAILABLE!

UPDATE!!!

This second book in my series, “Civil War Personalities, 50 At a Time” is now available in paperback and ebook format at:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DC69HRS

The first book in the series, Civil War Trailblazers and Troublemakers, is selling well, and I appreciate the support.

The new book, Civil War Rogues, Rascals, and Rapscallions, takes a look at 50 Civil War personalities like George Custer, Jesse James, Belle Boyd, “Grumble” Jones, Jim Lane, William Quantrill, Phil Sheridan, and many others who made this era one of the most colorful in our history.   As in each book in this series, each “character’s” life is summarized in a 2-3 page essay, complete with a photo from the era, a list of further reading, and an additional item, e.g. a map of a battle or a relevant political cartoon.

This book and the others I have written will soon be available via my amazon.com author’s page:

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK

Below are copies of the new books.  Each, as you will see, has nine subjects on the cover.   See if you know who they are!

50 men and women who inalterably changed the civil war era

50 MEN AND WOMEN WHO INALTERABLY CHANGED THE CIVIL WAR ERA AND AMERICAN HISTORY

 

 

“Kill Cavalry” Kilpatrick” Colorful Troublemaker:

Every now and then I found, when looking for subjects for my book, Civil War Trailblazers and Troublemakers, that some of the wildest, orneriest, most colorful men and women were also very good at their jobs.  Judson Kilpatrick certainly fits into that category.  See for yourself by getting the book at:

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK

Here are some excerpts from the book about Judson Kilpatrick and why he earned the nickname “Kill Cavalry”:

“Looking at his picture, one might find it difficult to see “Kill Cavalry” Kilpatrick as a “ladies’ man” and a hard-driving military commander.  However, these quotes from other Union generals explain it all:

“His notorious immoralities and rapacity set so demoralizing an example to his troops that the best disciplinarians among his subordinates could only mitigate its influence…the value of his services made his commander willing to be ignorant of escapades which he could hardly condone…he was quite capable of …dare-devil recklessness that dismayed his opponents and imparted his own daring to his men.” (General Jacob Cox).

 I know that Kilpatrick is a hell of damned fool, but I want just that sort of a man to command my cavalry on this expedition.” (General William T. Sherman)

Kilpatrick transferred to Sherman’s command for the Atlanta campaign and March to the Sea.  During the latter, he performed effectively in implementing the “hard hand of war” against the Southern economy.  Perhaps not surprisingly, during that campaign he was almost taken prisoner when Confederate troops raided his headquarters where he was asleep with a lady not his wife.  Kilpatrick fled in his underclothes, but went on to further duties until Johnston surrendered to Sherman. ”

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Clara Barton, Trailblazer

One of most recognized Civil War Trailblazers in my book, Civil War Trailblazers and Troublemakers is Clara Barton.  Her contributions to medical care during and after the war were truly epic.  However, and this is one more of those oddities about the war, Barton insisted that she was not a nurse.  You can read about her in some excerpts below and in the book at:   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK

“Like most of the hundreds of women who engaged in nursing during the Civil War, Clara Barton had neither medical training nor any hint that she would be “good” at this profession.  However, acting on her own initiative, she overcame the prejudices of the age and provided vital services at a time when medical practices were barely adequate.  Modern American nursing was “born” on Civil War battlefields, and Clara Barton was one of its most important parents, even though “nurse” was a title she repeatedly rejected.

Barton was a patent clerk in Washington when she had her first nursing experience, aiding Massachusetts troops attacked by a pro-secessionist mob in Baltimore in April 1861.  Having seen how unprepared medical personnel were, she began to organize and gather supplies in her offices.  In her memoirs, Barton emphasized that she performed this work “to get timely supplies to those needing” rather than being a “nurse.”

After the war, she turned to another trailblazing effort, discovering the identity of the dead and wounded.  Barton solicited letters from families in search of the fate of their loved ones.  Barton claimed that her “Office of Missing Soldiers” identified over 20,000 men out of the nearly 200,000 reported missing and helped arrange for their proper burials.    Barton also was the founding President of the American Red Cross, an organization she led from 1881 to 1904”

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Henry Stanley: Troublemaking Civil War Deserter and Explorer

One of the more unusual troublemakers discussed in my book, Civil War Trailblazers and Troublemakers, is Henry Stanley.  Most people know that he uttered those words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume” in central Africa.  Most don’t know that he was a Civil War  soldier and sailor on both sides!  Here are some excerpts from the book, available at   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK

“Before he met Dr. Livingstone in 1871 in Africa and allegedly uttered those timeless words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume,” Henry Morton Stanley had established an unenviable record in the United States during the Civil War.  Stanley joined the Confederate army and fought at the Battle of Shiloh, after which he was taken prisoner. While in a Union prison,  he agreed to become a “Galvanized Yankee,” joining the Union army.  Not long afterward  he deserted,  and after service on merchant ships, joined the Union navy.  He deserted from the Navy in early 1865.  As a result, he was not only one of the few individuals to have served in both armies and the Union navy, but also to have done so as a non-citizen!

After his final desertion, Stanley launched a successful career as a trailblazing journalist and explorer.  His trip to find Livingstone was only one of his many adventures.  Those included searching for the source of the Nile and claiming what would become the Belgian Congo for the King of Belgium.  He was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1899 for his service to the British Empire.”

Below is an image of the meeting between Stanley and Livingstone.  Note that Stanley’s assistant is holding an American flag!

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Braxton Bragg: Disputatious Troublemaker

Following is an excerpt from my article about General Braxton Bragg in my book, Civil War Trailblazers and Troublemakers.  With the current controversy over the naming of bases after Confederate generals, knowing who Bragg was is important.  Even his latest biographer calls him “The Most Hated Man in the Confederacy,” though I think Ben Butler is a more likely “winner” in that category.  In any case, here is an excerpt, and the book is available at                                           https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK

“Ulysses Grant wrote the following story about Confederate General Braxton Bragg in his memoirs.  It seems that while serving on the frontier, he once held two different positions at a fort at the same time.  Having made a mistake while serving in one, he brought charges against himself while serving in the other!  Bragg referred the matter to his commanding officer, who responded, “My God, Mr. Bragg. You have quarreled with every officer in the army, and now you are quarreling with yourself!”  The story was likely apocryphal, but Grant’s point was to underline the stiff, formal, uncompromising, cantankerous nature of the man.

 

Bragg and trouble were almost always close companions during the war, especially because he frequently acted in unexpected ways, almost always to his own detriment.  Even when he won victories, he was disinclined to follow up because he lacked confidence in himself or in his subordinates, with whom he constantly quarreled and/or blamed for mistakes.

Eminent historian James McPherson has posited that “bumblers like Bragg and Pemberton and Hood lost the West.” But of course the Union forces led by Grant, Sherman, Thomas, and Schofield had a lot to do with it too.”

Following are a picture of a young Bragg and the book.  Bragg is pictured as an older man on the cover of the book.

50 men and women who inalterably changed the civil war era

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Fighting Joe Hooker, a Troublemaker and His Own Worst Enemy

Following are excerpts from my article about General Hooker in my book, Civil War Trailblazers and Troublemakers.  For obvious reasons, I classify him as a troublemaker, but in many ways he could have been a greater success.  Unfortunately, the person standing in his way was usually himself.  The book is available at                       https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK

“Lincoln’s order giving Hooker command of the Army of the Potomac on January 26, 1863 is one of the strangest examples of its kind.  It is also a superb example of the degree to which Abraham Lincoln was an excellent judge of people, especially someone like the much-disliked and overtly-ambitious Hooker.  It read in part:

“GENERAL: I have placed you at the head of the Army of the Potomac.  Of course I have done this upon what appears to me to be sufficient reasons, and yet I think it best for you to know that there are some things in regard to which I am not quite satisfied with you.  I believe you to be a brave and skillful soldier, which, of course, I like…You are ambitious, which, within reasonable bounds, does good rather than harm; but I think that during General Burnside’s command of the army, you have taken counsel of your ambition, and thwarted him as much as you could, in which you did a great wrong to the country and to a most meritorious and honorable brother officer.  I have heard, in such a way as to believe it, of your recently saying that both the Army and the Government needed a dictator… What I now ask of you is military success, and I will risk the dictatorship…I much fear that the spirit which you have aided to infuse into the army, of criticizing their commander and withholding confidence from him, will now turn upon you…  And now beware of rashness…go forth and bring us victories.”   

             Allegedly, when Hooker received this order, he said that while he was somewhat chagrined, he was also was touched by its tone of mingled authority and kindness, stating, “He talks to me like a father…I shall not answer this letter until I have given him a great victory.”  Hooker never responded to the letter because he never gave Lincoln a great victory.”

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