Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Book Update - North Carolina in 1864

  LOC - 99447455
I am happy to announce that my book about North Carolina in 1864 is under contract with the University Press of Kansas.

The book is an in-depth study of Confederate efforts to seize Federal bases in eastern North Carolina during the first several months of 1864. It covers Pickett's New Bern expedition in February, Hoke's assault on Plymouth in April, the fall of "Little" Washington, and Hoke's final approach on New Bern in May. Although it focuses on military operations, the book also sets these events in a broader context. Particularly, it explores the two principal motives behind the Confederate efforts: 1) to dampen the emerging peace movement in the state and 2) to ease the supply crisis plaguing Robert E. Lee's army. The manuscript also delves into the deployment of the Confederate ironclads Albemarle and Neuse, the gubernatorial contest between Governor Zebulon Vance and William Holden, the social transformations brought on by the war, the activities of North Carolina Unionists including those recruited into Federal units, and Union strategy for coastal North Carolina.  

The manuscript received the thumbs up from readers at the Press, and now I'm busy finishing up final changes before it goes into editing. I don't have a release date to share at this point but will provide updates as things move along.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Other Hatcher's Run: Feb. 5-7, 1865

"5th Corps, 7th of February" by Alfred Waud (Library of Congress)
Description on back of the sketch:  "The 1st Div 5th Corps charging some temporary breastworks of logs piled against trees on the morning of Tuesday 7th Feb. Thick pine woods. The ground smooth and covered with fine leaves. A.R.W. Near Hatchers Run."

Second Hatcher's Run  . . .  Is Missing Its Monograph

In early February 1865, Federal forces launched an offensive south of Petersburg to gain ground and threaten Confederate supply lines. Two corps from the Army of the Potomac, the Second and the Fifth, marched south and west and, over the course of several miserable winter days, fought William Mahone's division under temporary command of Joseph Finegan. The offensive, called variously "Hatcher's Run," "Second Hatcher's Run," and "Dabney's Mill," is covered in various books about the overall campaign. In addition, Brett Schulte has posted a detailed summary over at Beyond the Crater. However, there is no book treatment out there. Hopefully, someone will fill this hole in the campaign's historiography.

Thursday Feb. 9, 65

https://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Talks-Reminiscences-Veterans/dp/0813931754/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516551280&sr=8-1&keywords=civil+war+talksBack at camp again after a very severe five days campaign beginning Sunday afternoon, ending yesterday afternoon. Monday evening our division led by Gen. Finnegan charged the enemy & drove them beautifully for more than a mile. The engagement took place in a body of woods on the right of Hatcher’s Run & about 3-1/2 miles below Burgess Mill. The enemy had first attacked Pegram’s division, turning it back, and had been in turn driven by Evans’s division, which they then drove back & were driven just as we were put in line of battle. We lost in our reg’t 23 kd & wd. The kd were Billy Willson of our company, a good fellow & a fine soldier, Geo. Spence of Co. H, a good soldier, Pattaway of Co. K and Baughn of Co. G. Among the wd were “Billy” Scott & Hamilton Martin of our company, both excellent soldiers. Lt. Ben Grasswit & Doncey Dunlop of Co. C, Bob Eckles & Jackson Bishop of Co. A, I myself received a slight scratch on the cheek, the position of my head only saving me from a dreadful wound or perhaps death. In company E several others were struck--David Meade, Thad Branch, Ben Peebles & Ello Daniel. I hope to return to my friends as safe guard today.

George S. Bernard, 12th Virginia in Civil War Talks