160 Years Ago: Engagement at Gloucester Point

On April 17, 1861, a majority of delegates at the Virginia Secession Convention in Richmond passed an ordinance of secession, pending the results of a popular referendum to be held on May 23. Virginia Governor John Letcher appointed Col. Robert E. Lee, recently resigned from the U.S. Army, as overall commander of the Virginia Provisional…

Added Stub Pages for Ten Indiana Regiments

There were ten volunteer Indiana infantry regiments that participated in the first three months of the Civil War, and in my latest update I added stub pages for all. These mainly fought in the Union Army of the West, with two exceptions: the 11th and 12th regiments, which were unattached. The 11th operated under the…

Detailed Casualties Added for Indiana Units

Accuracy and detail is what will set this encyclopedia apart from other early Civil War resources, and a big piece of that is detailed and accurate casualty lists. Books and articles often cite figures from other works that are not primary sources. Even official reports and contemporaneous newspaper articles tend to exaggerate or downplay casualties.…

Page Added for Action at Greenbrier River

While I was browsing the Ohio muster rolls for detailed casualty lists, I came across a previously un-reported engagement near the Greenbrier River between a Union scouting party from Burdsall's Dragoons and Confederate guerillas in present-day Pocahontas County, West Virginia. The Union patrol was ambushed and suffered one killed, one mortally wounded, and two wounded.…

Illustration of John B. Magruder

With his upturned mustache, large mutton chops, and plumed hat, “Prince John” Bankhead Magruder (1807-1871) cut a dashing figure. He was a veteran of the Mexican War and amateur actor with unconventional views on warfare for the time period. On April 21, 1861, four days after the Virginia Secession Convention formally adopted articles of secession,…

Detailed Casualties Added for Ohio Units

Accuracy and detail is what will set this encyclopedia apart from other early Civil War resources, and a big piece of that is detailed and accurate casualty lists. Books and articles often cite figures from other works that are not primary sources. Even official reports and contemporaneous newspaper articles tend to exaggerate or downplay casualties.…

Page Added for the Skirmish at Bowman’s Place

I almost wrote this one off. For a long time, I questioned whether the Skirmish at Bowman’s Place, which is listed in The War of the Rebellion, Series I, Vol. II and elsewhere by simply a name and date, even happened. The usual sources revealed few other details besides the Union regiments involved and a…

Illustration of Thomas J. Jackson

Thomas Jonathan Jackson (1824-1863) was born in what is today Clarksburg, West Virginia and graduated from West Point in 1846. He fought in the Mexican War, then taught at the Virginia Military Institute from 1851 to 1861. He was a devout Presbyterian and owned six slaves, mostly acquired through marriage. He established a Sunday school…

160 Years Ago Today: Gosport Navy Yard Captured

In early spring 1861, events were at a boiling point in the United States. By February, six Southern states: South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas, had seceded and formed the Confederate States of America. It was an act newly inaugurated President Abraham Lincoln's administration, and many others, saw as illegal and a…

160 Years Ago Today: Robert E. Lee Resigns from the U.S. Army

President Abraham Lincoln’s call on April 15, 1861 for 75,000 volunteers to “suppress the rebellion” in six Southern states inflamed passions in states like Virginia, which had, until that time, resisted calls to secede and join the nascent Confederacy. On April 17, the Virginia Secession Convention voted in favor of secession, subject to a popular…