Tag Archives: Civil War



I’ve been reading Colonel Robert Bateman’s series on the Battle of Gettysburg at Charles Pierce’s Politics blog at Esquire. The good Colonel has used exemplarary moments to capture the battle’s human consequences in his necessarily episodic and compressed essays. Bateman emphasizes the Union’s remarkable successes in crucial smaller scale confrontations with larger Confederate forces. These eventually lead into the large scale catastrophe of Pickett’s Charge.


This map was patched together from a scan of the two page map in The American Heritage History of the Civil War, a favorite book from my youth.

On thie 150th anniversary of the battle, the web resources are many and I highly recommend searching the terms /interactive /Gettysburg / /map.


by Herman Melville

O Pride of the days in prime of the months
Now trebled in great renown,
When before the ark of our holy cause
Fell Dagon down-
Dagon foredoomed, who, armed and targed,
Never his impious heart enlarged
Beyond that hour; God walled his power,
And there the last invader charged.

He charged, and in that charge condensed
His all of hate and all of fire;
He sought to blast us in his scorn,
And wither us in his ire.
Before him went the shriek of shells-
Aerial screamings, taunts and yells;
Then the three waves in flashed advance
Surged, but were met, and back they set:
Pride was repelled by sterner pride,
And Right is a strong-hold yet.

Before our lines it seemed a beach
Which wild September gales have strown
With havoc on wreck, and dashed therewith
Pale crews unknown-
Men, arms, and steeds. The evening sun
Died on the face of each lifeless one,
And died along the winding marge of fight
And searching-parties lone.

Sloped on the hill the mounds were green,
Our centre held that place of graves,
And some still hold it in their swoon,
And over these a glory waves.
The warrior-monument, crashed in fight,
Shall soar transfigured in loftier light,
A meaning ampler bear;
Soldier and priest with hymn and prayer
Have laid the stone, and every bone
Shall rest in honor there.

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The Fight for a Nation

civil war at national geographic
When I was a kid, say around nine years old, my favorite war was the Civil War. I would look at battlefield maps for the famous battles and try to get right into them from their bird’s eye views. My friend Stewart and me would replay battles using pencils and legal, drawing charges with scribbled arrows. I would spend hours building terrains with blankets on top of books and manage both sides. Boys have favorite wars and the carnage is abstract and obviously unreal.

A few years later, while on a drive with my family to South Carolina, we stopped at Gettysburg. From the ground the viewpoint was wholly first person, yet the nature of the long past battle had long been stripped from the Pennsylvania countryside.

The National Graphic has a web portal devoted to the preservation of Civil War battlefields. There is an interesting graphic presentation by Michael Melford about the status of the war’s historical sites.

The New York Times has an excellent topic page for the Civil War. However, I highly recommend jumping to the timeline where the underlying commentary tracks the events leading up to including the war itself and its resolution.

A few more finds:

Civil War Chronicles: America’s Oddest Election The Sure Win That Lincoln Nearly Lost
By Harold Holzer, American Heritage Magazine

The American Civil War – The History Channel

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