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America's Civil War

America's Civil War May 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.
america’s civil war online

FIRST FIGHT Ulysses Grant and Robert E. Lee meet at last at the Battle of the Wilderness. bit.ly/firstfight IF LOOKS COULD KILL Confederate General Earl Van Dorn’s blue eyes, long wavy hair, and bushy mustache helped make him a ladies’ man…until a jealous husband took his life. bit.ly/vandornmurder CLOSING IN The fiery Union General William Tecumseh Sherman captures Atlanta. bit.ly/capturingatlanta 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…

1 min.
america’s civil war

Michael A. Reinstein Chairman & Publisher David Steinhafel Publisher Alex Neill Editor in Chief Chris K. Howland Editor Jerry Morelock Senior Editor Sarah Richardson Senior Editor Nancy Tappan Senior Editor Dana B. Shoaf Consulting Editor Stephen Kamifuji Creative Director Brian Walker Group Art Director Jennifer M. Vann Art Director Melissa A. Winn Director of Photography ADVISORY BOARD Gordon Berg, Jim Burgess, Tom Clemons, Peter Cozzens, D. Scott Hartwig, Larry Hewitt, John Hoptak, Robert K. Krick, Ethan S. Rafuse, Ron Soodalter, Tim Rowland, Craig Swain CORPORATE Doug Neiman Chief Revenue Officer Rob Wilkins Director of Partnership Marketing Tom Griffiths Corporate Development Graydon Sheinberg Corporate Development Shawn Byers VP Audience Development Jamie Elliott Production Director ADVERTISING Morton Greenberg SVPAdvertising Sales mgreenberg@mco.com Rick Gower Regional Sales Manager rick@rickgower.com Terry Jenkins Regional Sales Manager tjenkins@historynet.com…

2 min.
king’s tragedy and legacy

Frank Jastrzembski’s well-written article on the tragedy of Union Brig. Gen. Rufus King [“Haunted,” March 2020] is the sad story of an otherwise fine officer and troop commander unfairly victimized by bad luck, unfortunate timing, and “army politics.” The author makes a convincing case that King’s epilepsy, not drunkenness, prompted his erratic behavior at Second Bull Run; but he soon was embroiled in the high-level finger-pointing in the wake of the battle as Union commanders scrambled to shift blame for the crushing defeat from their own actions to those of their senior subordinates. King’s decision to “soldier on” and refuse to request a court of inquiry—which likely would have either exonerated him or at least made public the mitigating facts in his favor—speaks to his principled character. Larry TalbotCheyenne, Wyo. Eye-Opener Your article…

1 min.
from our facebook page

» In response to “Sherman’s Secret Weapon” (November 2019, P. 46) Joe Schwenz Sr.: This was a fascinating story! Having used military maps during my career as an infantryman, I can appreciate the importance of good, detailed maps. I’m a bit ashamed of myself, that as much of a history buff as I am, I had never heard of LTC Merrill and his work with map making for Generals Rosecrans, Sherman, and Grant. » In response to “Nameless No Longer” (Blog Roll, January 2020 Issue, P. 10) Michael A Peake: “In October 1861, the 1st German, 32nd Indiana Infantry was delivered to Louisville, Ky., by the steamboats Lancaster and City of Madison. Before dawn October 2, Private Rudolph Kranefus, Company G, [made] a juvenile attempt to leap from one boat to the other.…

5 min.
paper lions

IN ITS NOVEMBER 1862 report on the disastrous surrender of the U.S. garrison at Harpers Ferry, Va., two days before the Battle of Antietam, the Army commission investigating singled out the performance of one regiment as worthy of special condemnation, calling attention “to the disgraceful behavior of the One hundred and twenty-sixth New York Infantry.” Recruited from the state’s Finger Lakes region, the 126th New York had been in service for barely three weeks when it was surrendered at Harpers Ferry on September 15, 1862. The 126th had been ordered to Harpers Ferry only a week after mustering in, along with the equally green 111th and 115th New York. In reality, the regiment consisted of uniformed and equipped civilians, with no training in marching, maneuvering, or in firing their weapons. Harpers…

6 min.
salvage effort

AT ABOUT DUSK, an exhausted Confederate officer, accompanied by a bugler holding a flag of truce, passed a few frightened but curious citizens as they rode into Carlisle, Pa., in search of the town’s Union commander. They did so to deliver Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee’s ultimatum: Surrender or the shelling would resume. Unfortunately for Fitz Lee, he was not facing an easily rattled local militia officer. Brigadier General William F. “Baldy” Smith was an experienced, combative former Army of the Potomac corps commander, who had no intention of surrendering Carlisle. So he sent the messenger back to Lee with his response—reported as either “shell away” or “if he wanted the town he must take it.” Whether it was bluff, bravado, or genuine confidence, “Baldy” Smith’s decision to defend Carlisle had…