Crossing the Pontoons: Forbes recalls his crossing of the James

Edwin Forbes was among the best known illustrators of the Civil War.  Working for Frank Leslie’s Magazine, Forbes produced some vivid drawings depicting the action… and inaction… of life with the armies.  Forbes also provided a great narrative of his wartime experiences in Thirty Years After: An Artist’s Memoir of the Civil War.  Here’s hisContinue reading “Crossing the Pontoons: Forbes recalls his crossing of the James”

A fine network of wig-wags: Signal stations for the Army of the Potomac, Winter 1864

When the Army of the Potomac went into winter quarters in December 1863, it carried into the season a basic communication network which used semaphore flags, established at the close of the Mine Run Campaign.  Although the area occupied by the army remained at most a few hours ride in width and breadth, the needContinue reading “A fine network of wig-wags: Signal stations for the Army of the Potomac, Winter 1864”

150 Years Ago: Pontoon bridges over the Potomac

Strategic mobility.  That’s what the pontoon bridges provided the Army of the Potomac.  I’ve written at length about the bridges used in June 1863 at Edwards Ferry.   But that is getting ahead a year in sesquicentennial coverage. The important pontoon bridges in the last week of October 1862 were over the Potomac at Berlin, MarylandContinue reading “150 Years Ago: Pontoon bridges over the Potomac”