January 2023 Newsletter · Happy New Year!

From the Editor

I frequently describe myself as a “Stonewall Jackson fanboy.” People who know me find it amusing, but I wonder how people who don’t know me take it.

 

Dead Confederate generals are well out of fashion these days. Most people don’t bother with nuances and assume the word “Confederate” equals “Lost Cause.” The terms aren’t interchangeable, but that conflation is an unfortunate part of the Lost Cause’s legacy. It has made all things Confederate almost radioactive these days. In fact, I’ve seen that radioactivity spill over to the Civil War writ large, where people think it’s all a bad thing to be interested in.

 

I prefer to think in terms once laid out for me by my friend John Coski, historian at the former Museum of the Confederacy: there’s a difference between the study of the Confederacy and the reverence of it. The former is important if we want a fuller understanding of our own history; the latter inhibits and clouds understanding.

 

This has all come to mind for me on the weekend of Jackson’s 199th birthday. Furthermore, I recently spent time in New Orleans tracking down a pair of Stonewall Jackson monuments in two of the city’s historic cemeteries. New Orleans, a place Jackson had never visited, is the only location that still has two Jackson statues on display. (Pictured: Jackson's bust on the Confederate monument in NOLA's Greenwood Cemetery.)

 

I have a fondness for Jackson because he was my gateway into the Civil War. When I first met him, I had my eyes clouded by magnolias and moonlight. In the two-plus decades since, I’ve come to appreciate what a truly human man he was, filled with inconsistencies, successes and failures, and crazy quirks (and not just the stereotypical lemon sucking). He had a mixed record as a commander, and the cause he fought for was deeply flawed, but he was unwavering in his affection to his family and his devotion to God and duty as he understood it (perhaps too rigidly at times, it seems to me).

 

There’s an old saying that you should never meet your heroes, and that would be true for me and Stonewall. He doesn’t strike me as someone I’d want to have a beer with (especially since he didn’t drink). But I’ve found a lot to admire about him and a lot to learn from him. I acknowledge his faults and imperfections and even embrace them with humor. Most importantly, there remains for me that sentimental attachment one has for all old friends, even after life has taken them on different roads.

 

That is what it means to me to be a Stonewall Jackson fanboy.

 

— Chris Mackowski, Ph.D.

Editor-in-Chief, Emerging Civil War

Ninth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium

at Stevenson Ridge

If you're thinking about attending the 2023 Emerging Civil War Symposium, don't delay getting your tickets! We anticipate selling out by the spring.

 

This year's Symposium will focus on "1863: The Great Task Before Us," touching on a variety of military history topics in our programs and tours. Follow the Symposium Spotlight blog posts on Wednesdays as we announce the speaker panel and other exciting details. More details—and a link to order tickets—are on the website.

 

Join us on August 4-6, 2023, at Stevenson Ridge in Spotsylvania, Virginia, for an in-person weekend of history, discussion, and camaraderie! 

ECW News & Notes

Sarah Kay Bierle enjoyed starting 2023 by hiking Second Manassas Battlefield on the 2nd day of January! 

 

Neil Chatelain was busy over the winter break from classes with a Christmas trip to New Orleans to see family and do lots of research and writing. He had a blast speaking about his book Defending the Arteries of Rebellion at the Brunswick Civil War Round Table in North Carolina to the Brunswick Civil War Roundtable on January 3—a wonderful group that had over 300 in attendance! (see photo, below)

 

Stephen Davis’s new book is just out: I Thank the Lord I Am Not a Yankee: Selections from Fanny Andrews's Wartime and Postwar Journals (Mercer University Press, 334 pages, $35 hardback). It's a new edition of Andrews' The War-time Journal of a Georgia Girl (1908) and her postwar diary (2002)—rather, excerpts from both books, chosen by Steve as most expressive of her Confederate patriotism, Southern pride (even in defeat), and continued excoriation of Yankees.

 

Bert Dunkerly has been working with Appomattox Court House Historian Patrick Schroeder to edit Chris Calkins' The Battles of Appomattox Station and Appomattox Court House (originally published in 1987). The book has been updated and has new maps and photos. Savas will be releasing it this spring. 

 

Phill Greenwalt writes from the Caribbean: “Off my right shoulder, where the cannon is pointing, is the island of St. Eustatius (Sint-Eustatius). On November 16, 1776, in response to the United States vessel Andrew Doria firing a salute, the governor of the Dutch island, Johannes de Graaff, ordered a reply salute fired by guns of the island's defenses. This was the first salute given to an American vessel and flag following the Declaration of Independence signed that summer in Philadelphia. President Franklin D. Roosevelt presented a plaque to the island in 1939. Some cool American history in the warm Caribbean :-)” (See photo, below)

 

Meg Groeling’s neighborhood has been hit hard by the heavy California rains. She says: “Still paddling.”

 

Steward Henderson gave a Martin Luther King Day presentation at Jubilation in Fredericksburg, Virginia, on Monday evening: “African Americans in the Civil War: Predecessors to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” About 50 of their residents attended. Jubilation by the Silver Companies is a luxury seniors community. In February, he will present the “United States Colored Troops in the Overland Campaign” for the Chambersburg Civil War Seminars as part of a line-up that also includes ECW’s Dan Davis, Chris Mackowski, and Kris White among others.


Dwight Hughes spoke in January 20, to the Falls Church Military History Forum, Falls Church, VA, on “Burnside’s Sand March: The Forgotten North Carolina Expedition.”

 

Pat Kelly-Fischer is looking forward to finally meeting some ECW folks in person in February, and taking advantage of being on the East Coast to visit the Monocacy and Antietam battlefields for the first time.

 

From Frank Jastrzembski and his work with Shrouded Veterans:

“Government-issued veteran headstones for Colonels George W. Gowen and John W. Kester recently arrived at St. Luke’s Episcopal Churchyard in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Gowen was killed at Petersburg, Virginia, in 1865. Kester died at the Friends Asylum in Philadelphia. Both markers will be installed this spring.

 

“Two projects need support:

 

“First, Colonel Semyour Tredwell Moore’s veteran headstone arrived at Wooster Cemetery in Wooster, Ohio, but the cemetery won’t install it until the $216 foundation fee is paid. You can send an email to fjastrzembski10@jcu.edu if you’re interested in donating to help cover the expense.

 

“Second, there’s an ongoing project to mark the grave of Brigadier General Jean Napoleon Zerman’s grave in Colma, California. His wife and grandfather will also be honored on the custom marker. You can read about Zerman’s fascinating life as a soldier of fortune and donate to this cause by visiting the GoFundMe page.”

 

Chris Kolakowski has appeared several times on the podcast Vanguard: Indo-Pacific, the official podcast of the Consortium of Indo-Pacific Researchers (most recently Episodes 10 & 11): https://anchor.fm/vanguard-indo-pacific/episodes/Episode-11-Lessons-from-World-War-II-in-the-Philippines-e1tdma9/a-a95un6q.

 

Also, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum is partnering with the CWRT of Central Louisiana on a monthly series called Wisconsin Wednesdays, covering a variety of topics related to the Badger State in the Civil War. These happen on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Check out the CWRT's Facebook page for details.


The February 2023 issue of Civil War News gave a great review to Chris Mackowski’s book The Battle of Jackson, Mississippi (Savas Beatie, 2022). “[L]ong ignored by historians, Chris Mackowski has written a comprehensive, eminently readable, lavishly illustrated, and historically accurate account of the Battle of Jackson fought May 14, 1863,” wrote reviewer Wayne L. Wolf. “[Chris] tells the story in his clear, engaging style, replete with primary source material and including the battle’s human side. . . . This book is highly recommended as a must have on the shelf of any historian interested in the western theatre or the fall of Vicksburg.”


Chris Mackowski, Kris White, and Garry Adelman visited New Orleans in early January to film a virtual field trip for the American Battlefield Trust. Aimed at middle- and high-school students, the virtual field trip is intended to tell the city’s story through expert interviews and visits to its most famous and most historic sites. Kris is the project coordinator and Chris is the on-air host. The trip included a visit to Jackson Square special access at the historic Cabildo, a walk through the French Quarter, a tromp across the Chalmette battlefield where the Battle of New Orleans took place, a cruise down the Mississippi on a riverboat, gumbo at the New Orleans School of Cooking, beignets at Café Du Monde, explorations of historic “cities of the dead,” live jazz, a behind-the-scenes visit to Confederate Memorial hall, and a tour the National World War II Museum. Because it’s a field trip for school students, Kris, Chris, and Garry confined their Bourbon Street visit to the daytime (pictured below).

Phill in the Caribbean

Kris, Garry, and Kris in NOLA

Neil in Brunswick, NC

ECW Bookshelf

Hot off the press: Grant at 200: Reconsidering the Life and Legacy of Ulysses S. Grant, co-edited by Chris Mackowski and Frank J. Scaturro, published by Savas Beatie.

 

“This is one of the coolest projects I’ve ever been able to work on,” Chris says. “It not only features essays by an A-list of Grant scholars, but we actually have contributions from all six living U.S. presidents.”

 

Grant at 200 celebrates the bicentennial of the birth of a man whose towering impact on American history has often been overshadowed and in many cases, ignored. This collection of essays by some of today’s leading Grant scholars offers fresh perspectives on Grant’s military career and presidency, as well as underexplored personal topics such as his faith and his family life.

 

Contributors:

  • Charles W. Calhoun
  • Ulysses Grant Dietz
  • Alvin S. Felzenberg
  • Curt Fields
  • Gary W. Gallagher
  • Ben Kemp
  • Chris Mackowski
  • John F. Marszalek
  • Nicholas W. Sacco
  • Frank J. Scaturro
  • Ryan P. Semmes
  • Timothy B. Smith
  • Joan Waugh
  • Ronald C. White
  • Frank J. Williams

 

With special contributions from all six living presidents! Plus: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Jack Kemp, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

 

Proceeds from this volume will go to support the Ulysses S. Grant Association and the Grant Monument Association.

ECW Multimedia

On the Emerging Civil War Podcast in January:

 

·     ECW historians Chris Mackowski and Kris White talked about the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation on its 160th anniversary.

 

·     ECW’s new chief historian, Cecily Nelson Zander, shared her goals for her new position in a wide-ranging conversation that also touched on the role of women in history and the value of public history for understanding the Civil War.

 

The Emerging Civil War Podcast is available through Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever fine podcasts are available. You can also subscribe to our podcast through Patreon, where we are now also offering exclusive bonus content for subscribers. That’s just $3.99/month, and proceeds go toward defraying the production costs of the podcast.

 

In January, for Patreon-only content, we featured a talk Chris Mackowski gave at Grant Cottage about Ulysses S. Grant as a writer.

 

On the ECW YouTube page, we featured video versions of our discussions with Cecily Zander and Kris White. In addition:

 

Upcoming Presentations

February

1: Neil Chatelain, "Defending the Arteries of Rebellion," Inland Empire Civil War Round Table, Redlands, CA, Virtual Presentation


1: Jon Tracey, "Camp Letterman at Gettysburg," Wilmington (DE) CWRT


2: Neil Chatelain, "Fought Like Devils: The Confederate Gunboat McRae," Civil War Round Table of Central Louisiana, Pineville/Alexandria, LA.


2: Chris Mackowski and Frank Scaturro, "Grant at 200," American Civil War Museum, 6:30 p.m., virtual event


6: David Dixon, “Emotions and Allegiance: Augustus R Wright and the Loyalty of the Heart,” Rock River Valley CWRT


7: Jon-Erik Gilot, "Dangerfield Newby's Fight for Freedom," Lunch With Books, Wheeling, WV


13: Dave Powell, Grant at Chattanooga, Ann Arbor (MI) CWRT


20: Jon-Erik Gilot, "Jenkins's 1862 & 1863 Trans-Allegheny Raids," Greater Pittsburgh Civil War Roundtable, PA


23: Neil Chatelain, "The Persistence of the Mardi Gras Spirit in Civil War New Orleans," part of the War and Tragedy in New Orleans panel, Virtual Presentation connected with the Louisiana Historical Association's 2023 Conference

March

1: Jon-Erik Gilot, "Dangerfield Newby's Fight for Freedom," Great Stone Viaduct Winter Lecture Series, Bellaire, OH


9: Dwight Hughes, “Unlike Anything That Ever Floated: The USS Monitor, the Virginia, and the Battle of Hampton Roads,” Milwaukee Civil War Round Table, Milwaukee, WI


10: Dwight Hughes, “Unlike Anything That Ever Floated: The USS Monitor and the Battle of Hampton Roads,” Chicago Civil War Round Table, Chicago, IL


11: Chris Mackowski, Civil War Roundtable of Louisville (KY)


14: Kristopher D. White, "The Ides of May: The Wounding of James Longstreet," Richmond Civil War Roundtable, VA


15: Chris Mackowski and Frank Scaturro, "Grant at 200," American Civil War Museum, 6:30 p.m., virtual event


16: Jon Tracey, "The Realities of Civil War Medicine," Hampton Roads (VA) CWRT


28: Meg Groeling, "First Fallen: The Story of Col. Elmer Ellsworth," Baltimore Civil War Round Table (VIRTUAL) 4:30 p.m. PST

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