Volume 03, Issue 06 | December 2018
Emerging Civil War · December 2018 Newsletter
Peace on Earth · 10 Questions with Terry Rensel · News & Notes · ECW Bookshelf · ERW Update ·
From the Editor
I sit by the multi-colored lights of our family Christmas tree as I write this, but I’m thinking of soldiers here in Fredericksburg who, 156 years ago, were instead hunkered around campfires and cookfires, trying to stay warm. Perhaps thoughts of home warmed them, too, or perhaps those thoughts only made them feel colder and more lonely.

For me, that’s always the mixed legacy of Christmas in Fredericksburg. The holiday came just weeks after a devastating battle, and men in both armies just wanted to be home. To make it worse for the men of the Army of the Potmac, the season lay like a burden on many of them because of the extent of their recent loss.

New Year’s likewise stirs mixed feelings. It’s a time of year to look forward with anticipation, but 156 years ago, the armies in central Tennessee ushered in 1863 by bleeding each other out at Stones River. How many men didn’t even get to see the new year?

I don’t offer these reminders to dampen anyone’s holiday, trust me! Rather, they are solemn reminders of why we remember the Civil War in the first place. Men and women just like us, who would have much preferred a peaceful holiday and a home full of loved ones, instead sacrificed and suffered. May we remember them so that we can better appreciate—and more nobly practice—the true meaning of “peace on earth and good will toward man.”

Chris Mackowski, Ph.D.
Editor in Chief, Emerging Civil War
The December Emerging Civil War Podcast
In December, the Emerging Civil War Podcast featured conversations between Chris Mackowski and co-hosts Dan Davis and Chris Kolakowski. Dan talked about a family ancestor, Levi Bowen, who served in the 7th Pennsylvania Reserves. Chris talked about the oft-overlooked but vitally important Tullahoma campaign.

Subscribe to the Emerging Civil War Podcast through our Patreon page for only $1.99 per podcast!
10 Questions with . . . Terry Rensel
This month, we’re pleased to profile one of the behind-the-scenes folks who help keep Emerging Civil War operating, Terry Rensel. A resident of Homer, Alaska, Terry is posing here in front of the Civil War monument in his hometown of Gerard, PA (the monument was commissioned by Dan Rice, who wintered his circus in town).
You serve behind-the-scenes as a member of ECW’s editorial board. Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I am part of a team of people who make up the Editorial Board. We go over guest pieces that are submitted for publication on the blog, provide feedback to the authors, and decide if they meet the high standard to be published on the site.
Do you have an area of Civil War history that's of particular interest to you?
I am very much a generalist. I tend to find things that interest me and follow them wherever they lead, which usually leads me to something I had not previously known about, which leads me down another rabbit hole.
Aside from your background in history, you also have a degree in professional leadership. I suspect you could look at the Civil War as being a huge collection of leadership lessons.
That's a very good point. Whether it's civilian, or military, it is all about leadership and the lessons from that. Joe Hooker losing faith in Joe Hooker; Grant making his HQ in the field with the Army of the Potomac; Sherman cutting his lines and heading for the sea; Captain Waddell and the CSS Shenandoah : all offer opportunities to learn about others, and ourselves, by the decisions we make.
By day, you work in the radio industry. Can you tell us a little about that?
I am the general manager of KBBI-AM, a public radio station in Homer Alaska. I've been here for almost 12 years now, the first 9 as the program director. Homer's a small town, at the end of the North American road system. When I look out my office window, I'm looking at mountains and glaciers. What we do here makes a huge difference in our community. 
Word is you're Chris Mackowski's "evil twin" (or he's yours). How did that misfortune befall you?

Well, Dr. Mackowski and I met as college freshmen in the same orientation group. We found out that we share a birthday (day and year) and we were both Yankees fans. He went from communications into history and I went from history into communications. It started as a joke that, when he first became a college professor, he became an “upstanding member of his community,” which left me to be the dark side of “our” personality, a.k.a. the “evil twin.” Of course, as we are all the heroes of our own stories, from my perspective maybe he's the “evil” one!
Lightning-Round (short answers):

Most overrated person of the Civil War? 
All the major commanders and political leaders. Throughout history we place these figures on pedestals and turn them into mythical figures. They were men of their times, some of them achieved a level of greatness, but all flawed in some way. None of them are as great as their biographer's, or history, makes them out to be.
Favorite Trans-Mississippi site? 
I have never visited any of the Trans-Mississippi sites, but the most interesting battle to me was the Red River Campaign. The Union was lucky that their misadventures didn't cost them a significant setback in either the short, or long, term. 

Favorite Regiment? 
Being from Erie, PA. originally, I'd have to say 83rd PA. Sometimes I wonder what might have been different if Vincent hadn't died at Gettysburg. Would Day 2 have gone differently? Would he have contributed in any major way to the rest of the war?
What one Civil War book do you consider to be essential? 
You mean besides EVERYTHING from the ECW Imprint? I found Sherman's memoir an incredibly modern, and interesting, read.

What’s one Civil-War related question no one has ever asked you that you wish they would?
I've never really thought about that. I've been spending some time recently reading about the Founders, and they saw that slavery was an issue that would eventually divide the nation. So, I guess a good question would be, “Was it all inevitable?”
The Sixth Annual Emerging Civil War Symposium at Stevenson Ridge

The 2019 Emerging Civil War Symposium is getting closer, and symposium co-chairs Dan Welch and Rob Orrison are hard at work. The early bird registration rate of $135/ticket expires on Dec. 31, 2018. Order your tickets here .
Did you get your accommodations? A special rate link for a nearby hotel has also been added to the Symposium webpage.
Dan and Rob have also begun our Symposium Spotlight series on the blog . Check out more behind-the-scenes looks at the Symposium with our presenters and more every Wednesday morning.
ECW News and Notes
Emerging Civil War was pleased to bring aboard two new regular contributors in December: Jon-Erik Gilot and Kristen Pawlak . Both have written as guest bloggers for us for a while. We’re glad to be featuring their work on a more regular basis!
Sean Michael Chick is putting the finishing touches a biography of P. G. T. Beauregard and is working on the final edit of Grant's Left Hook: The Bermuda Hundred Campaign , an upcoming title in the Emerging Civil War Series set for release in spring 2019.
Steve Davis , author of two ECWS paperbacks on the Atlanta Campaign, continues to focus on the subject. His book review of Earl J. Hess,  The Battle of Peach Tree Creek  will be published in  Louisiana History,  Fall 2018. Steve’s article on the battle of Pickett's Mill, fought May 27, 1864, is scheduled to appear in  America's Civil War  in May 2019.
Meg Groeling is trying to avoid her own Civil War by planning holiday visits very carefully and remembering to play nicely with others, especially those who drive her nuts with their political and historical opinions. She is also reviewing books for  Civil War News  and Louisiana State University, and will soon increase her duties at  Civil War News  by doing some editing of other people's book reviews. In between all these time-consuming activities she is anxiously awaiting the return of Game of Thrones, trying to raise her armor level to 365 in World of Warcraft, and petting cats. Her New Year's Resolution is to get her new ECW book— Binding Up the Nation's Wounds —done by this time next year. Happy Holidays to everyone!

From Steward Henderson : “My fellow living historians and I will be representing both the 54th Massachusetts Co. B and 23rd USCT regiments in an Emancipation Program at the Israel Metropolitan CME Church, in Washington, DC, at 10 am, on January 1, 2019. This church was formerly Israel Bethel AME Church, organized in 1820 under the leadership of Reverend Henry McNeal Turner, is one of the oldest black churches in Washington. Rev. Turner later became an AME Bishop and was the first African American Chaplain chosen by President Abraham Lincoln. He was the Chaplain of the 1st United States Colored Troops. Dr. Frank Smith, Founding Director of the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum (Washington, DC) will be the keynote speaker.”

Dwight Hughes , ECW’s Civil War naval scholar, has been requested by the U. S. Naval Institute Press in Annapolis to review and endorse a new book due out next year on the lives of officers and sailors in the Confederate Navy. Works have been published covering Union seamen, but this will be the first for the Rebels. Dwight’s book,  A Confederate Biography, The Cruise of the CSS Shenandoah  was published by the Naval Institute in 2015.
Frank Jastrzembski just had two articles published: one in the March 2019 edition of America’s Civil War on the feud between generals John Gibbon and Joshua T. Owen and the other in the January 2019 edition of Military Heritage on General Edward O.C. Ord. 
On another note, Frank says, “I just had the satisfaction of seeing a tombstone erected over the unmarked grave of Lt. Colonel William Montrose Graham, killed at the Battle of Molino del Rey during the Mexican War. The staff at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. were kind enough to send me a photo of the recently erected marker on Monday. I realized Graham was buried in an unmarked grave while doing research for my next book. I felt compelled to do something about it. I gathered the proper documentation and submitted it to the National Cemetery Administration to put in the request. The marker was then sent to the cemetery to be installed. It’s been a long process, but very much worth it.”
Finally, Frank is wrapping up his second book, Admiral Albert Hastings Markham: A Victorian Tale of Triumph, Tragedy, and Exploration , scheduled to be released in 2019, and he received a sample of its cover from his publisher. (see the photos, above)
Chris Kolakowski is hard at work on his next book, Nations in the Balance: The India-Burma Campaigns, December 1943 - August 1944 . December 24 kicks off the 75th Anniversary of the beginning of the North Burma Campaign.

Rudely Stamp'd has performed three shows to date with their new two-man show Now We Stand by Each Other Always , featuring an engaging conversation between generals Grant and Sherman in March 1865 at City Point, Virginia. ECW contributor and professor of history Derek Maxfield portrays Grant while Gen. Sherman is played by English professor Tracy Ford. Both teach at Genesee Community College in Batavia, NY. The next shows are Jan. 12th at 1:30 PM at Seymour Public Library in Brockport, NY and March 22nd at the Morgan Manning House in Brockport at 7:00 PM. The play is available to any groups interested in hosting it. Contact Derek Maxfield at ddmaxfield@genesee.edu .
Julie Mujic is heading to Michigan in January to do research for a paper that was accepted to the Agricultural History Society’s 100th meeting in Washington DC in June 2019. The paper is titled “Global Sales, Local Rewards: The Midwestern Economic Boom during the American Civil War.”
Authors Kevin Pawlak and Rob Orrison recently did a book signing of their new book To Hazard All  at the Antietam National Battlefield Visitor Center. If you haven't picked up this new ECW title, you can find it here .
In November, Kevin made a visit to the Berks County Historical Society to research George Durell's Battery D PA Light Artillery—specifically their role during the Maryland Campaign. “I went through some of his letters and was even able to see a saber of his, his wartime sashes, and his escutcheon,” Kevin says.
Dave Powell , while conducting new research, came across a newly digitized collection. If you have not visited in person Michigan State's collection of Civil War letters, diaries, and memoirs, now you can look at them online. A great find, Dave! You can access the collection here .
ECW Bookshelf
Eric J. Wittenberg ’s latest,  Holding the Line on the River of Death: Union Mounted Forces at Chickamauaga, September 18, 1863 , is the first monograph to focus on the determined stands by the cavalry brigade of Col. Robert H. G. Minty at Reed’s Bridge, and Col. John T. Wilder’s legendary Lightning Brigade of mounted infantry at Armstrong’s Bridge on September 18, 1863, the first day of the battle of Chickamauga.

Although Minty’s Brigade was outnumbered by 10-1, his troopers held off nearly 10,000 Confederate infantrymen for an entire day. Wilder’s Lightning Brigade made a similar stand against similar odds later in the day at Armstrong’s Bridge. The stands by these two brigades forced Braxton Bragg to change his entire plan for what became the Battle of Chickamauga, and also alerted the Union commander, Maj. Gen. William S. Rosecrans, that his army was in danger of having its lines of communication, supply, and retreat to Chattanooga cut off. That, in turn, bought time for Rosecrans to realign his army to meet the threat, leading to the bloodletting at Chickamauga that followed on September 19 and 20.
The book, published by Savas Beatie, features 19 maps by master cartographer Mark Anderson Moore and approximately 50 illustrations. The book features Wittenberg’s usual deep research and understanding of cavalry tactics. An appendix goes into great detail to explain the sort of tactics employed by Minty and Wilder. The book also includes another popular feature found in many of Wittenberg’s books: a detailed walking and driving tour that features not only driving directions but also GPS coordinates. This book was intended to complement Wittenberg’s award-winning 2014 book,  The Devil’s to Pay: John Buford at Gettysburg. A History and Walking Tour .
Emerging Revolutionary War Update
by Phill Greenwalt

The month of December in American Revolutionary War history conjures up two important places: Valley Forge and the Battle of Trenton. The former, in which the Continental Army entered winter quarters on December 19, 1777, was a period of transition and transformation accompanied by deprivation, starvation, and political intrigue. Valley Forge is also the subject of one of the next two volumes of the  Emerging Revolutionary War Series (ERWS) , due out in 2019. 
The Battle of Trenton helped revive the American effort for independence when Washington struck the Hessian garrison in the New Jersey town on December 26, 1776. (Pictured, below, is the site of Washington's Crossing.) ERW Historian Mark Maloy recently spoke at the Old Barracks Museum on December 6, as part of their Fall Lecture Series. On the way, he took some time to do a few Facebook Live videos. Check them out on the  Emerging Revolutionary War's  Facebook page at the link below. His book,  Victory or Death The Battles of Trenton and Princeton, December 25, 1776 - January 3, 1777 , is one of the first two volumes of the ERWS and is available for a holiday present to that history enthusiast on your list. 
To see the Facebook Live videos of Trenton, visit ERW's Facebook page , click "videos," and see the Trenton playlist.
As always, continue to check out the blog for new content on the American Revolutionary War Era:  www.emergingrevolutionarywar.org .
Upcoming Presentations
8th: Chris Kolakowski, “MacArthur and the Remaking of Asia after WWII,” Kempsville Lodge, Virginia Beach, VA

9th: Chris Mackowski, “Strike Them a Blow: Battle Along the North Anna River,” Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Porter Branch, Stafford, VA

10th: Chris Mackowski, “Second-Guessing Richard Ewell,” Montgomery County (MD) Civil War Roundtable

15th: Sarah Kay Bierle, “Then Christmas Came: The Justification & Condemnation of War,” Orange County Civil War Round Table, CA

21st: Chris Kolakowski, “The Kentucky Campaign,” Tom Smith Camp SCV, Suffolk, VA

23rd: Chris Mackowski, “The Last Days of Stonewall Jackson,” St. Louis (MO) Civil War Roundtable

9th: Sarah Kay Bierle, Living History Open House, Lincoln Memorial Shrine, Redlands, CA

13th: Chris Kolakowski, “Military Freemasons,” Virginia Beach Lodge, Virginia Beach, VA

21st: Phill Greenwalt, “If This Valley Is Lost,” Powhatan County Civil War Round Table, Powhatan County, VA
Happy New Year!
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