Tag Archives: Army of the Potomac

The Wilderness, Part 1 — One last fine spring day dawned on the 20th Maine

  When Pvt. Theodore Gerrish of the 20th Maine Infantry awoke to a perfect morning on Sunday, May 1, 1864, he never imagined that he and his friends would not see such a day again. Ulysses Simpson Grant believed that shoving the Army of the Potomac through a godless central Virginia forest that spring would […]

Eyewitness to slaughter

  What was Robert E. Lee thinking? Among the battlefields preserved by Richmond National Battlefield Park, Malvern Hill is my favorite site. Standing amidst the cannons aligned east of the Crew House, I can see the open fields across which Lee hurled his infantry on July 1, 1862. These cannons, sited to approximate the Federal […]

Civil War lore confirmed as a historical fact

The Civil War created many legends, from the eccentric Virginia Military Institute professor transformed into “Stonewall” Jackson to the borderline alcoholic and military strategist — Ulysses Simpson Grant — who whipped Southern troops wherever he encountered them. And the war generated a historical lore that, to this day, requires historians to sift fact from legend. […]

A horse here, a horse there, the 1st thing you know, you’ve got a cavalry regiment

Among the storied Maine outfits deployed against Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was the 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment. No cavalry history of the Army of the Potomac would be complete without repeated mention of the 1st Maine Cav. But this hard-fighting regiment did not exist in spring or summer 1861. In fact, the […]