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Civil War Times April 2021

Biographies, battles, eyewitness accounts & period photos of America’s greatest internal conflict. Civil War Times delivers the thrilling, extraordinary history of America’s most deadly internal struggle, from biographies to battle stories, eyewitness accounts to period photographs, plus travel guides, perceptive book reviews and more.

United States
6 Issues

in this issue

4 min
return fire

GRAY GHOST RIDERS On page 29 of the December 2020 issue, there is a numbered image of 15 members of Mosby’s Rangers. I was hoping that you could tell me the names of the 15 using the name and number together. My mother’s side of the family was from Middleburg and Upperville, Va., and she had Triplett and Lackee ancestors who were part of Mosby’s Rangers. I have been a subscriber for a long time and love your magazine. William FreeburnSeverna Park, Md. Editor’s Note: We asked Eric Buckland, Mosby expert and author, if there were any men named Triplett or Lackee in the Rangers. He responded: “There were at least eight Tripletts who rode with Mosby. No one named Lackee that I have a record of. The Tripletts were: Benjamin Addison; F.…

8 min

MEADE’S CRITICAL RIGHT Dovetailing nicely with our War in their Words article on page 56, astounding news from Gettysburg National Military Park in late January revealed that new efforts to interpret the Culp’s Hill area of the Gettysburg battlefield are underway. Trees and brush will be removed and invasive species treated on all earthworks stretching from Spangler’s Spring to the summit of Culp’s Hill, where key battle action occurred July 2-3, 1863. A new trail will also be constructed from the 150th New York Infantry monument to Forbes Rock, a prominent landmark named for the artist Edwin Forbes, who created several paintings of the Culp’s Hill area that popularized the rock. The conservation efforts will allow visitors to experience the rugged terrain traversed by soldiers during the epic battle, as they never…

3 min
candid camera

THE LOCATION OF THIS IMAGE, the photographer, and the year in which it was taken are unknown. Based on other identified photographs from the war, however, it’s a good guess it’s an Eastern Theater scene, and in a semi-permanent location for the Union Army, such as the massive 1863-64 Army of the Potomac winter encampment at Brandy Station, Va., or the accumulation of buildings that were quickly constructed at the large and important supply base of City Point, Va., during the Siege of Petersburg. It could also have been taken in or near a fort that protected Washington, D.C., or one of the large assembly camps in that region. What we do know is that the image portrays three animals and 10 humans in an informal setting. The long exposures…

5 min
‘old brains’ and ‘granny lee’

THE RELATIONSHIP between soldiers and their commanders can be indicated by nicknames, which also provide insights into how opponents and civilians on both sides thought about various generals. Nathan Bedford Forrest, lauded by Confederates as the “Wizard of the Saddle,” vexed William Tecumseh Sherman as “that devil Forrest.” Rebels cursed Benjamin F. Butler as “Beast” and “Spoons” and mocked Nathanial P. Banks, whose army abandoned supplies during the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign, as “Commissary Banks.” Saddled with the un-martial nickname “Old Brains,” Henry W. Halleck might have envied James Ewell Brown Stuart, whose three initials created “Jeb,” a splendid piece of luck for a dashing cavalryman. Richard S. Ewell (“Old Bald Head”) and William Farrar Smith (“Baldy”) certainly harbored no doubts about how they acquired their informal monikers. No general experienced…

8 min
relics and graves

REMINDERS OF PATRICK CLEBURNE are sprinkled throughout Tennessee—on battlefields at Chattanooga, Stones River, Spring Hill, and Franklin; in Ashwood, where his remains once rested among the oaks and magnolias; and in Nashville, where today you can examine for yourself a poignant artifact associated with the Irish-born general’s death. But I begin my journey on the trail of “The Stonewall of the West” in aptly named Wartrace (population 700), “The Cradle of the Tennessee Walking Horse,” and according to a town source, a center of paranormal activity. My guide is 73-year-old Philip Gentry, a retired AT&T project manager, Vietnam War Purple Heart recipient, former gold panner, and longtime curator of the town’s Tennessee Walking Horse National Museum. (He poo-poos that ghost stuff.) Gentry lives with his wife, Laura, and a black Lab/German Shepherd…

6 min
preserving authentic experiences

IN OCTOBER 2020, David Duncan took over the position of president of American Battlefield Trust, following Jim Lighthizer’s long tenure. A lifelong Virginian, Duncan became a member of the Civil War Trust in the 1990s. When Jim Lighthizer became the president in 1999, he hired Duncan as chief development officer for his background in direct mail and fundraising. Over Duncan’s two decades in that role, the organization—renamed the American Battlefield Trust in 2018 with an expanded mission—has raised $240 million and preserved nearly 45,000 acres of battlefield. CWT: Tell me the challenges you are facing. DD: Jim announced his intention to retire formally in October 2019, and the world had not so radically changed at that point. My first interview with the search committee was in February [2020], and when it was…