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America's Civil War

America's Civil War March 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.
these come with our stamp of approval… just add yours.

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1 min.
america’s civil war online

HISTORYNET.com/AMERICAS-CIVIL-WAR DESERT WARRIORS The Civil War in its least understood and appreciated theater—the Southwest Borderlands. bit.ly/SWBorderlands BAPTISM OF FIRE The mostly green Midwestern troops of the Iron Brigade found themselves in a scrape at Brawner Farm. bit.ly/BrawnerFarm LOOTING FREDERICKSBURG The Federals’ shameful orgy of destruction and wretched loss. bit.ly/FBurgLooting HISTORYNETNow 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…

7 min.
in defense of longstreet

We thank Timothy J. Orr for his overall positive review of our book, Gettysburg’s Peach Orchard, in the November 2019 issue. His tightly summarized positive comments were outweighed, however, by two detailed criticisms. First, he criticized our premise that Gettysburg historians have generally ignored the importance of the Peach Orchard, citing a 1910 book by veteran John Bigelow and an excellent 2008 essay by Ranger Eric Campbell to make his point. We cited both in our bibliography, and respectfully disagree with Dr. Orr’s assessment that this meant we were unable to “master the battle’s voluminous historiography.” Our premise remains that no full-length treatment of the Peach Orchard’s significance, on both July 2 and July 3, has appeared until now. As Gettysburg’s legion of enthusiasts knows, the historiography on Day 2…

9 min.
fatal sabbath

Benjamin S. Williams, adjutant of the 47th Georgia Infantry, penned this memoir for the October 29, 1911, issue of the Charleston, S.C., Sunday News. Williams moved to South Carolina after the war and died at 87. AT THE CLOSE OF DAY, September 19, 1863, [Maj. Gen. John C.] Breckinridge’s Division, of [Lt. Gen.] D.H. Hill’s Corps, weary, worn, and hungry, was on the edge of the battlefield of Chickamauga. Many of our wounded passed us in ambulances. [Lt. Gen. James] Longstreet’s Corps had been sent from Virginia to reinforce [Gen. Braxton] Bragg; many of the wounded were newly arrived soldiers of the Virginia army. Bragg ordered Breckinridge to move to the right and farther front. We passed many dead Confederates and a few Federals. We rested under orders to sleep on our…

4 min.
sands of time

LATE ON SEPTEMBER 17, 1862, as Confederate Colonel John B. Gordon surveyed the carnage in Antietam’s Sunken Road, he came upon an old man lying beside his son. “The son was dead, the father mortally wounded,” Gordon wrote in his 1903 memoir. “The gray-haired hero called me and said: ‘Here we are. My boy is dead, and I shall go soon; but it is all right.’” Concluded Gordon, “Of such were the early volunteers.” Since the first recorded armed conflicts, nations have relied on young men to carry the weight of war. Yet the Civil War saw the voluntary participation of countless others whose involvement was not necessarily solicited: women, boys, even old men. These unsung heroes voluntarily did their part usually for no other reason than a commitment to a…

5 min.
‘murderous’ fire

ON THE SURFACE, the attack by the 11th Connecticut Infantry upon the Lower Bridge (Burnside Bridge today) during the September 17, 1862, Battle of Antietam was a straightforward affair. In the standard account, the 11th advanced in the first assault upon the bridge, hoping to draw enemy fire and allow Colonel George Crook’s 2nd Brigade, 9th Corps, to storm across Antietam Creek. But suffering heavy casualties as it neared the bridge, the regiment had no choice but to retreat. The general framework of this is true, but when we probe further, we discover a story more complex and interesting than a simple regimental advance and retreat. The 11th’s commander that day was West Point–trained Colonel Henry W. Kingsbury. When Kingsbury took command of the regiment earlier that summer, he found the…