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America's Civil War

America's Civil War January 2020

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Published since 1987, America’s Civil War strives to deliver to our readers the best articles on the most formative and tumultuous period of American history — the Civil War. Noted authors present the many battles, personalities and fascinating stories of the period.

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United States
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
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1 min.
america’s civil war online

HISTORYNET.com/AMERICAS-CIVIL-WAR MANGLED BY A SHELL A jagged, spinning piece of iron disfigured Union Private Oliver Dart at the Battle of Fredericksburg. bit.ly/MangledByShell LAST CAVALRY RAID As General Robert E. Lee was surrendering at Appomattox, a vengeful Union cavalry horde led by Maj. Gen. George Stoneman made Southern civilians pay dearly for the war. bit.ly/LastCavalryRaid WAR ON THE WATER How the Confederates put an abrupt halt to Federal plans at Sabine Pass by disabling Union gunboats. bit.ly/WarOnWater HISTORYNET NOW Sign up for our FREE monthly e-newsletter at: historynet.com/newsletters LET’S CONNECT Like America’s Civil War Magazine on Facebook FOLLOW US @ACWMag GO DIGITAL America’s Civil War is available on Zinio, Kindle, and Nook. A complete America’s Civil War index from 1988 to present is available at aferguson.net NATIONAL ARCHIVES, COURTESY OF JOHN BANKS…

7 min.
‘give us hood!’

JOYOUS FAMILY TIES Your September 2019 article “Give Us Hood!” nearly flew right off the page at me! Richard Watson York (his descendants call him Richard, not “Watt”) is my wife’s great-uncle. As a Civil War enthusiast, I have been accumulating information about Richard for many years, including a copy of The Bloody Sixth, the history of his regiment—the 6th North Carolina. I also have his complete military record, as well as some other interesting bits of information. He had a remarkable career—most of us think of him as having been an attorney. It is mentioned in the article that, after the war, Richard wrote “occasional articles about the regiment and what he had seen while serving.” This is the first I had heard about this, and I was wondering if you could…

5 min.
nameless no longer

THE OFFICER STOOD OVER the freshly exhumed grave with a pencil and ledger in his hands. He told others to search the remains as he struggled to decipher the crude etching on a weathered piece of wood. The faded and worn lettering seemed to read “W.A.W.” A worker called the officer’s attention to a hat badge indicating the deceased was from New Hampshire, but no additional identifiable information was found, prompting the officer to record in the ledger book, “Grave #1221, W.A.W., NH, removed from O’Bannon’s Farm.” A pile of bones and decayed clothing was then placed into a rough wooden coffin for transport to the newly established Fredericksburg National Cemetery. The aforementioned scene was repeated more than 15,000 times in Fredericksburg, Stafford, and Spotsylvania counties from 1866 to 1868. During…

5 min.
‘such a charge’

IT IS FREQUENTLY PRESUMED that Pickett’s Charge, on July 3, 1863, was doomed to defeat before a single cannon opened fire or a Confederate soldier stepped off toward Cemetery Ridge. No question, Lee’s plan for a massive frontal assault against the Union center on Gettysburg’s third day was a huge gamble that might cost him dearly in casualties. Two days earlier, however, he had watched his soldiers successfully execute a frontal assault on Seminary Ridge. The scale was smaller, but the risks were similar. The attack on Seminary Ridge by Maj. Gen. Dorsey Pender’s troops, of A.P. Hill’s Corps, is not well known in the popular memory of the battle, and it doesn’t help that a portion of that hotly contested ground, owned by the Lutheran Theological Seminary, now holds a…

7 min.
infernal machine

LIKE THE MISTS THAT ROSE AT DAWN, the rumors began drifting down the Roanoke River in the summer of 1863, alarming the Yankees occupying the dingy river port of Plymouth, N.C. Somewhere upstream, hidden by the juniper and cypress bogs that surrounded this valuable Union supply depot at the entrance to Albemarle Sound, the Confederates were apparently building something dangerous—something that could challenge the Union flotilla anchored in the Roanoke as well as threaten the 3,000 bluecoats defending Plymouth. What the rumors didn’t specify was that a 19-year-old engineer-inventor, the unknown Gilbert Elliott, was the one constructing this infernal machine—to be christened CSS Albemarle—in a makeshift shipyard in the middle of a fallow cornfield on Peter Smith’s Edwards Ferry plantation. Even though the sea was, to some degree, in Elliott’s blood—his…