The American Civil War (1861-1865)

The sesquicentennial is upon us. We need to talk more about the Civil War.

Book Review: Protecting the Flank at Gettysburg

by Scott Manning January 6, 2014
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Clausewitz tells us “war is nothing but a duel on a larger scale. Countless duels go to make up war.” We can go one-step further in that countless duels make up a battle, especially larger battles. Historians such as Eric J. Wittenberg understand this and with a seemingly over-analyzed battle such as Gettysburg, he continues […]

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Naming the American Civil War

by Scott Manning November 4, 2013
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The following was inspired by Jamel Ostwald’s question on who gets to name wars. Here are some battles with competing names from the Civil War. Using Google’s Ngram Viewer, we can get an idea of how often these phrases appear in books over the past 150 years. Antietam is a clear favorite over Sharpsburg. However, Bull […]

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Bring Your Black Friends to Civil War Events

by Scott Manning August 2, 2013
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After several people recently lamented the lack of black people at Civil War events along with potential reasons why this is the case, Jimmy Price described an experience at the macro level that I have experienced on a micro level. Quite simply—black Americans, especially men, are just as interested in discussing the topic of war, especially the Civil War, like any […]

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The Three Types of Civil War Buffs

by Scott Manning July 23, 2013
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When friends and coworkers discover I frequently visit Civil War battlefields, they often ask me if I reenact. I do not. Never had the desire. Of course, this leads to the next question—then what the hell are you (and your friends) doing out there? Their tone usually indicates they could not conceive what else people […]

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John Cummings’s “Harvest of Death” Location

by Scott Manning July 10, 2013
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For nearly two years, John Cummings has gone through a discovery process to find the location of one of the most iconic images from Gettysburg, and the Civil war—Alexander Gardner’s “The Harvest of Death” and its companion, “Field where General Reynolds Fell.” I still remember these images from my textbook in grade school. When I […]

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The 150th of Pickett’s Charge from the Peter Rogers House

by Scott Manning July 9, 2013
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Roughly 15,000 people were there for the 150th of Pickett’s Charge. After walking these fields numerous times, I can confidently say you just cannot get to a spot where you can see all the highs and lows of the hills between Cemetery and Seminary ridges. Here is what I saw. By 12:00 PM on July […]

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Why I Keep Going Back to Gettysburg

by Scott Manning June 27, 2013
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Next week, I will spend five days and four nights at Gettysburg. Over the past few years, I have been there more than two dozen times. Every time I visit, I bring people with me—family, friends, coworkers, Temple students—giving them tours that last the entire day. I often have to explain my obsession, literally answering […]

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Bud Hall’s Brandy Station Battlefield Tour

by Scott Manning June 11, 2013
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This past Saturday (June 8), my buddy Brian and I had the privilege of attending a tour of the Brandy Station battlefield to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the battle. The Loudoun County Civil War Roundtable set up the whole thing and had Bud Hall on hand to lead the tour group of over a […]

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Connecting with the Chancellorsville Battlefield

by Scott Manning May 1, 2013
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After 150 years, the Battle of Chancellorsville (1863) remains a textbook example of maneuver warfare, of Sun Tzu’s maxim to avoid strength and attack weakness. Quite literally, it was one of several examples in my maneuver warfare course at AMU a few years ago. Battlefields always require some imagination, but few battlefields offer visitors such […]

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William Freehling on Why another Lincoln Biography

by Scott Manning March 24, 2013
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This past Friday, I had the privilege of hearing Dr. William Freehling deliver the keynote lecture at the 18th Annual James A. Barnes Conference, at Temple University in Philadelphia. Freehling has written much about the Civil War, but now he is taking on an effort to write a Lincoln biography. Given that Lincoln’s life is […]

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