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

“SEARCHING FOR IRVIN MCDOWELL” WILL BE PUBLISHED THIS WEEK!

My colleague Frank Simione and I will be publishing our book, “Searching for Irvin McDowell, Forgotten Civil War General,” in early August. This is the first biography of this ill-fated Union General, who commanded the largest U.S. army to that point in history at the First Battle of Bull Run, the 160th anniversary of which we have just commemorated.

More information to follow, but here is the planned book cover.

“SEARCHING FOR IRVIN MCDOWELL” WILL BE PUBLISHED THIS WEEK!

My colleague Frank Simione and I will be publishing our book, “Searching for Irvin McDowell, Forgotten Civil War General,” in early August. This is the first biography of this ill-fated Union General, who commanded the largest U.S. army to that point in history at the First Battle of Bull Run, the 160th anniversary of which we have just commemorated.

More information to follow, but here is the planned book cover.

Confederate Statue Removal in Congress voted by House: Read the only book which covers this issue: “The Civil War in Statuary Hall”

Yesterday, June 29, 2021, the House of Representatives voted to remove all Confederate statues from the Halls of Congress. It is uncertain if the Senate will agree to the legislation. Here is a link to the Washington Post article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/congress-confederates-statues-house/2021/06/29/304f7960-d8db-11eb-9bbb-37c30dcf9363_story.html

My book, “The Civil War in Statuary Hall” is the only one which covers these issues, including the Confederate statues which are there now and those which have been removed. Available on my web-site and at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HV4SSWK

CIVIL WAR CRUISING

Civil War Cruising

I just finished my second two week cruise for American Cruise Lines this year.

That company was one of the first to begin cruising after the pandemic, and I was privileged to be the Civil War Speaker on two cruises in April aboard the “American Star” and the “Independence” between Jacksonville and Charleston. We traveled the Intracoastal Waterway, with stops in Jekyll Island, Savannah, Port Royal, Hilton Head, Beaufort, and Charleston.

Then, from May 29 to June 13 I was the Civil War Speaker on two cruises, New Orleans to Memphis and then from Memphis to New Orleans. Along the way we stopped in Natchez, St.Francisville, and Baton Rouge, and of course spent a full day roaming the Vicksburg battle field. For this cruise we traveled on “The American Jazz,” the newest and largest ship in the fleet. Quite an experience.

I have three more cruises scheduled for this year, including one for the entire (or most of) Mississippi River, from New Orleans to St. Paul.

Below is a photo of the American Jazz, and for more information about this great cruise line, see: http://www.americancruiselines.com

CIVIL WAR CRUISING

Civil War Cruising

I just finished my second two week cruise for American Cruise Lines this year.

That company was one of the first to begin cruising after the pandemic, and I was privileged to be the Civil War Speaker on two cruises in April aboard the “American Star” and the “Independence” between Jacksonville and Charleston. We traveled the Intracoastal Waterway, with stops in Jekyll Island, Savannah, Port Royal, Hilton Head, Beaufort, and Charleston.

Then, from May 29 to June 13 I was the Civil War Speaker on two cruises, New Orleans to Memphis and then from Memphis to New Orleans. Along the way we stopped in Natchez, St.Francisville, and Baton Rouge, and of course spent a full day roaming the Vicksburg battle field. For this cruise we traveled on “The American Jazz,” the newest and largest ship in the fleet. Quite an experience.

I have three more cruises scheduled for this year, including one for the entire (or most of) Mississippi River, from New Orleans to St. Paul.

Below is a photo of the American Jazz, and for more information about this great cruise line, see: http://www.americancruiselines.com

CIVIL WAR VIRGINIANS — NOW ON SALE

The latest book in my series, “Civil War Personalities,” CIVIL WAR VIRGINIANS, is now available in both ebook and paperback at:

The four years of Civil War, 1861-5, saw Virginians take leadership roles on both sides. Virginian Winfield Scott was the Union’s General-in-Chief, and Virginian Robert E. Lee would ultimately hold the same position for the Confederacy.  Virginian Francis Pierpont would lead the effort to create West Virginia, and Virginian Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson would fight to hold the allegiance of that region for the Confederacy.  This book takes a look at those people and 46 others who played key roles in many fields during the war.  The historical influence of Virginia likely multiplied their influence and example as they engaged in the “American Iliad.” 

On the cover of the book are four Virginians on each side: Union: Scott, George Thomas, Pierpont, and Martin Delany; Confederate: Lee, Joseph Johnston, Stonewall Jackson, and Phoebe Pember. In the center is the symbol from the state flag.

I hope you enjoy the book.

Civil War Virginians and other books on sale!

Just a short note to let you know that my books in the “Civil War Personalities, 50 At a Time,” are on sale at amazon.com. The eight produced so far have gotten a most welcome response from you, the reading, public, and I look forward to the same when the next one, “Civil War Women, volume two,” comes out soon. All the best.

CIVIL WAR VIRGINIANS COMING SOON!

The latest book in my series, “Civil War Personalities, 50 At A Time,” is entitled CIVIL WAR VIRGINIANS, and I hope to have it published and available by the end of the month of April.

Virginia was in many ways the pivotal state for the Civil War era. It did not secede at first, and in fact early in 1861 its representatives to a secession convention voted against secession. When Virginia officially left the Union, not all of its citizens went along.

My book covers a wide gamut of Virginia leaders on both sides of the Civil War, from Unionists like Winfield Scott and George Thomas to Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee and Edmund Ruffin.

Below is the cover of the book.

Salvador Dali on Monument Avenue? Almost!

While writing an article for my next book, “CIVIL WAR VIRGINIANS,” about Sally Tompkins, a Richmond woman who not only ran a Confederate military hospital during the Civil War, and was the only commissioned woman officer during the war, I discovered an odd and quirky moment in Civil War history.

It seems that in the mid-1960’s, as the Centennial celebrations of the Civil War were ending, some Richmonders thought it was time to add more Confederate monuments to Monument Avenue, where Davis, Lee, Jackson, Stuart, and Maury were already celebrated. Sally Tompkins was deemed an appropriate honoree, and some Richmonders contacted appropriate sculptors to offer designs.

Surrealist artist Salvador Dali was among those contacted, and he proposed a unique design for a statue which was, not surprisingly, immediately rejected. As you can see, it depicted Sally holding an upraised sword about to slay a dragon. As if that were not quirky enough, the two figures, Sally and the dragon, were to be standing on a mound which is in turn is resting on the extended index finger of Dali himself!

As it turned out, there were no more statues added during the Centennial, and the only addition came in 1995’s statue of Arthur Ashe. And of course, in the last year several of the statues have been removed/defaced as Richmond debates the future of Monument Avenue. One can only wonder what the debate might have been about if it had included, “When Sally met Dali!”

Confederate Ohioan Roswell Ripley, the Ever-Irascible

One section of my new book, Civil War Ohioans, features Ohioans who fought for and/or defended the Confederacy. Among the better known of the latter was Ohio politician Clement Vallandigham.

Among the better known Ohioans in the Confederate army was General Roswell Ripley. When reading about him, you might get the impression that he was a matter of “addition by subtraction” for the Union effort.

One biographer wrote of him, ““General Roswell Ripley could not get along with anyone.  Not even Robert E. Lee.  For nearly four years, Roswell Sabine Ripley wore the wreath and three stars of a Confederate general officer, despite being an unmistakable Yankee by any definition. He hardly fit the image of the gallant Southern officer nobly defending the “Lost Cause,” even expressing distaste for Robert E. Lee…Roswell Ripley ran afoul of troubles with women, booze, and scornful colleagues in daunting numbers, and left behind a record that might be characterized as ‘Mixed at Best,’ but ‘Colorful Always.”

Born near Columbus, Ohio, Ripley graduated from West Point in 1843. After duty helping prepare the Confederate coastal defenses, during which he excoriated Lee’s abilities, Ripley joined the Army of Northern Virginia in the summer of 1862. One of his colleagues at the time called him “a big fat whiskey drinking loving man.”  At Antietam, where Ripley’s men helped defend the center, the general was accused of cowardice by General D.H. Hill.  One Colonel noted that “Ripley had been wounded, unfortunately for his reputation, not fatally.” 

He was then sent back to Charleston, where he again commanded its defenses until early 1865.  During his tenure there he underwent a trial on charges of drunkenness on duty, but apparently was adjudged not guilty.  In March 1865 he and his division were sent to join Joe Johnston, just in time to be defeated at the Battle of Bentonville. 

            After the war Ripley spent most of the rest of his life in England, where he engaged in a variety of schemes.  He returned to the U.S. in the late 1880’s, and he died in New York City.  Neither his estranged wife nor any of his family attended the funeral. 

Below is a copy of the cover of the book and a photo of Ripley.

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