Brownlee 58th IN copy

Confederate Civil War reenactors at Franklin, April 2010.

Confederate Civil War reenactors at Franklin, April 2010. Photo credit: BattleofFranklin.net

Most historians agree that nearly 2,900 major actions, engagements and/or battles took place in Tennessee during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Only Virginia saw more significant action than Tennessee. About 187,000 Tennessee soldiers served in the Confederacy. There are 39 sites identified by CWSAC in Tennessee. Seven are major or Class A engagements: Shiloh, Fort Donelson, Franklin, Nashville, Stone’s River,  and Chattanooga. CivilWarTours.US leads tours to all seven of these sites. To learn more or to get on a battlefield tour waiting list visit this page.

TN battles

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Though records for Confederate soldiers are more sparse than those for Union soldiers, we do have good data on the average soldier who fought for the Army of Northern Virginia (Lee’s army). About 800,000 men fought for the Confederacy. Most Confederate reenactors like the ones in this picture (from a Jackson, MI event in August 2014) tend to be older and more plump.  The average Rebel was abut 5’7″ and 145 pounds.

148 Rebs

Source: The Civil War Monitor (2015)

Average age: 25

Birth origin: 96.6% born in U.S.

Of those, only 4% born in the north.

Foreign born: 3.4%

Marital status: 62.5% single, 37.5% married

Of those married, 31.2% had children at home.

Economic class:

Lower: 41.7%
(Less than $799 in combined assets)

Middle: 22.8%
(Assets between $800-$3999)

Upper: 35.5%
(Assets $4000 or more)

Prewar Occupations:

Farmers: 53.7%

Students: 13.8%

Unskilled workers: 13.2%

Professionals: 10.2%
(Teachers for example)

Skilled workers: 9.2%

Slaveholding

Personally owned slaves: 13%

Resided in slaveholding households: 44.4%

Check out the Civil War battlefield tours CivilWarTours.US is hosting this year.

Check out the Civil War battlefield tours CivilWarTours.US is hosting this year.

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From the publisher

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 8.27.54 PMFrom the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom, a powerful new reckoning with Jefferson Davis as military commander of the Confederacy

History has not been kind to Jefferson Davis. His cause went down in disastrous defeat and left the South impoverished for generations. If that cause had succeeded, it would have torn the United States in two and preserved the institution of slavery. Many Americans in Davis’s own time and in later generations considered him an incompetent leader, if not a traitor. Not so, argues James M. McPherson. In Embattled Rebel, McPherson shows us that Davis might have been on the wrong side of history, but it is too easy to diminish him because of his cause’s failure. In order to understand the Civil War and its outcome, it is essential to give Davis his due as a military leader and as the president of an aspiring Confederate nation.

Davis did not make it easy on himself. His subordinates and enemies alike considered him difficult, egotistical, and cold. He was gravely ill throughout much of the war, often working from home and even from his sickbed. Nonetheless, McPherson argues, Davis shaped and articulated the principal policy of the Confederacy with clarity and force: the quest for independent nationhood. Although he had not been a fire-breathing secessionist, once he committed himself to a Confederate nation he never deviated from this goal. In a sense, Davis was the last Confederate left standing in 1865.

As president of the Confederacy, Davis devoted most of his waking hours to military strategy and operations, along with Commander Robert E. Lee, and delegated the economic and diplomatic functions of strategy to his subordinates. Davis was present on several battlefields with Lee and even took part in some tactical planning; indeed, their close relationship stands as one of the great military-civilian partnerships in history.

Most critical appraisals of Davis emphasize his choices in and management of generals rather than his strategies, but no other chief executive in American history exercised such tenacious hands-on influence in the shaping of military strategy. And while he was imprisoned for two years after the Confederacy’s surrender awaiting a trial for treason that never came, and lived for another twenty-four years, he never once recanted the cause for which he had fought and lost. McPherson gives us Jefferson Davis as the commander in chief he really was, showing persuasively that while Davis did not win the war for the South, he was scarcely responsible for losing it.

Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson, S.C. Gwynne.

From the publisher

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 8.32.54 PMFrom the author of the prizewinning New York Times bestseller Empire of the Summer Moon comes a thrilling account of how Civil War general Thomas “Stonewall” Jacksonbecame a great and tragic American hero.

Stonewall Jackson has long been a figure of legend and romance. As much as any person in the Confederate pantheon, even Robert E. Lee, he embodies the romantic Southern notion of the virtuous lost cause. Jackson is also considered, without argument, one of our country’s greatest military figures. His brilliance at the art of war tied Abraham Lincoln and the Union high command in knots and threatened the ultimate success of the Union armies. Jackson’s strategic innovations shattered the conventional wisdom of how war was waged; he was so far ahead of his time that his techniques would be studied generations into the future.

In April 1862 Jackson was merely another Confederate general in an army fighting what seemed to be a losing cause. By June he had engineered perhaps the greatest military campaign in American history and was one of the most famous men in the Western world. He had, moreover, given the Confederate cause what it had recently lacked—hope—and struck fear into the hearts of the Union.

Rebel Yell is written with the swiftly vivid narrative that is Gwynne’s hallmark and is rich with battle lore, biographical detail, and intense conflict between historical figures. Gwynne delves deep into Jackson’s private life, including the loss of his young beloved first wife and his regimented personal habits. It traces Jackson’s brilliant twenty-four-month career in the Civil War, the period that encompasses his rise from obscurity to fame and legend; his stunning effect on the course of the war itself; and his tragic death, which caused both North and South to grieve the loss of a remarkable American hero.

Kentucky Rising: Democracy, Slavery, and Culture from the Early Republic to the Civil War by James A. Ramage, Andrea S. Watkins

From the publisher

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 8.47.22 PMKentucky’s first settlers brought with them a dedication to democracy and a sense of limitless hope about the future. Determined to participate in world progress in science, education, and manufacturing, Kentuckians wanted to make the United States a great nation. They strongly supported the War of 1812, and Kentucky emerged as a model of patriotism and military spirit.

Kentucky Rising: Democracy, Slavery, and Culture from the Early Republic to the Civil War offers a new synthesis of the sixty years before the Civil War. James A. Ramage and Andrea S. Watkins explore this crucial but often overlooked period, finding that the early years of statehood were an era of great optimism and progress. Drawing on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, Ramage and Watkins demonstrate that the eyes of the nation often focused on Kentucky, which was perceived as a leader among the states before the Civil War. Globally oriented Kentuckians were determined to transform the frontier into a network of communities exporting to the world market and dedicated to the new republic. Kentucky Rising offers a valuable new perspective on the eras of slavery and the Civil War.

Such Troops as These: The Genius and Leadership of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson – by Bevin Alexander

From the publisher

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 8.37.07 PMAcclaimed military historian Bevin Alexander offers a fresh and cogent analysis of Stonewall Jackson’s military genius and reveals how the Civil War might have ended differently if Jackson’s strategies had been adopted.

The Civil War of 1861–65 pitted the industrial North against the agricultural South, and remains the most catastrophic conflict in terms of loss of life in American history. With triple the population and eleven times the industry, the Union had a decided advantage over the Confederacy in terms of direct conflict and conventional warfare. One general had the vision of an alternative approach that could win the War for the South—his name was Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.

It was Jackson’s strategy to always strike at the Union’s vulnerabilities, not to challenge its power directly. He won a campaign against the North with a force only a quarter of the size of the Union army, and he was the first commander to recognize the overwhelming defensive power of the new rifles and cannons. With most of its military forces on the offensive in the South, the North was left virtually undefended on its own turf. Jackson believed invading the eastern states along the great industrial corridor from Baltimore to Maine could divide and cripple the Union, forcing surrender. But he failed to convince Confederate president Jefferson Davis or General Robert E. Lee of the viability of his plan.

In Such Troops as These, Bevin Alexander presents a compelling case for Stonewall Jackson as a supreme military strategist and the greatest general in American history. Fiercely dedicated to the cause of Southern independence, Jackson would not live to see the end of the War. But his military legacy lives on and finds fitting tribute in this book.

BearssSavas Beatie LLC announced today that Ed Bearss has won the Douglas Southall Freeman Award for 2014 for his book entitled The Petersburg Campaign. The award is given to the best published book of high merit in the field of Southern history.

Edwin C. Bearss is a world-renowned military historian, author, and tour guide known for his work on the Civil War and World War II. Ed, a former WWII Marine wounded in the Pacific Theater, served as Chief Historian of the National Park Service (1981-1994) and is the author of dozens of books and articles. He discovered and helped raise the Union warship USS Cairo, which is on display at Vicksburg National Military Park.

About the book (Savas Beatie web site)

Layout 1The wide-ranging and largely misunderstood series of operations around Petersburg, Virginia, were the longest and most extensive of the entire Civil War. The fighting that began in early June 1864 when advance elements from the Union Army of the Potomac crossed the James River and botched a series of attacks against a thinly defended city would not end for nine long months. This important—many would say decisive—fighting is presented by legendary Civil War author Edwin C. Bearss in The Petersburg Campaign: The Eastern Front Battles, June–August 1864, the first in a ground-breaking two-volume compendium.

Although commonly referred to as the “Siege of Petersburg,” that city (as well as the Confederate capital at Richmond) was never fully isolated and the combat involved much more than static trench warfare. In fact, much of the wide-ranging fighting involved large-scale Union offensives designed to cut important roads and the five rail lines feeding Petersburg and Richmond.

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The Civil War Gazette (CWG) is published by Kraig McNutt, Director of The Center for the Study of the American Civil War. The CWG was first launched on to the World-wide Web in 1995.

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