The Military Context for Juneteenth

June 19 is the day, and quite possibly, in future years, will be a day that is marked as a national holiday. That is a good thing. A good thing for many reasons. From my perspective, I’ve always approached the Civil War as an event with a broader context. Yes, I am a military historian.Continue reading “The Military Context for Juneteenth”

“The future of the race is a matter of serious moment”: Foster suggests conscription to fill USCT ranks

On February 2, 1865, Major-General John Foster, commanding the Department of the South, sent this letter to Major-General Henry W. Halleck, Army Chief of Staff in Washington: Headquarters Department of the South, Hilton Head, S.C., February 2, 1865. Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck,  U.S. Army, Chief of Staff, U. S. Armies: General: The experience ofContinue reading ““The future of the race is a matter of serious moment”: Foster suggests conscription to fill USCT ranks”

Emancipation: The lasting legacy of Sherman’s March

Often when historians offer a “wrap-up” of Sherman’s March to the Sea, there is focus, for good reasons, on this letter to President Abraham Lincoln: It is the numbers – 150 guns and 25,000 bales of cotton – which often get some play as representative of the damage to the Confederate war effort.  Facts are,Continue reading “Emancipation: The lasting legacy of Sherman’s March”