Each Map in Blue & Gray is placed on the page in several layers. During our review of the printer’s online digital proof prior to printing, we noticed the three two-page Battle Maps were marred by stray lines and marks. In the process of correcting the matter, the titles of those Maps were sent to a different layer and, unfortunately, did not print. The titles should have appeared as follows:
Map, Pp. 16-17, “Bentonville Battle Map 7, March 20, 1865”
Map, Pp. 58-59, “Bentonville Battle Map 8, March 21, 1865”
Map, Pp. 60-61, “Bentonville Battle Map 9, March 21, 1865”
The line of blue infantry crested the hill just as the officers gave the order to halt. Men caught their breath and then looked to their weapons in anticipation of resuming the fight. As his men enjoyed a few minutes of rest, Maj. Gen. Joseph A. Mower took stock of the situation. A veteran of Corinth, Vicksburg and the Red River Campaign, Mower had watched as his division shattered the thin Confederate left flank. He was now well beyond the Union position.
Mower stood poised to push even farther and inflict more damage in the enemy’s rear. Through the course of the attack, his brigades had lost cohesion, and he had been forced to break off the advance. The pause was fatal. Suddenly, in the distance, a line of infantry in ragged gray and butternut appeared, bearing down on their foe. Mower’s opportunity had withered away.
The End in North Carolina
We featured Bentonville more than 20 years ago when Mark Bradley’s and Nathaniel Cheairs Hughes’ books on the battle were published concurrently in 1996, followed by Mark A. Moore’s excellent maps in his Historical Guide to The Battle of Bentonville (1997). Since then there has been scant new material focused solely on the Bentonville battle and campaign. When one considers that Sherman’s campaign through the Carolinas that led to the Confederate surrender at Bennett Place is the Western Theater equivalent of Grant’s final campaign that led to Appomattox, there is a huge gap in the amount of literature between the two major theaters.
Formed from headwaters that flow through four states before passing the United States capital, the Potomac River has rightfully been called the Nation’s river. First used as a highway of exploration and settlement by European settlers, the river famously served as an avenue of invasion by British forces during the War of 1812. Forgotten today, between Spring 1861 and early Spring 1862, Confederate batteries effectively stopped all riverine traffic. While the Confederate Blockade of Washington, D. C., never realistically put the fate of the city in doubt, it severely embarrassed the Lincoln Administration, particularly during a time of repeated Union disasters.
Folks often call or email inquiring about upcoming issues. For callers, when I’d say the blockade of the Potomac, after a moment or two of silence the response most often was, “What blockade . . . there was a blockade of the Potomac River? When was that?” Truth be told, my reaction was similar when Rob Orrison, Virginia Historic Site Operations Supervisor for Prince William County (Va.), pitched the idea to me in February. I wasn’t sure there would be enough to warrant a “General’s Tour” treatment. Rob and his coauthor Bill Backus said there was. Bill is Manager of Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park in Prince William County. For the historical enrichment and enjoyment of us all, they were right. Read more
After a wild couple of days, the website and and online store are back to full functionality…shop away!
By Rob Orrison and Bill Backus.
Shown is a view of the Potomac River from Confederate fortifications at Freestone Point near Dumfries, Virginia
In the late spring of 1863, the situation was growing increasingly dire for the embattled Confederate bastion at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee, after audaciously cutting its supply lines to live off the land, had maneuvered some 31,000 Confederate soldiers into their earthworks at Vicksburg and was slowly starving them into submission, with unfettered access of the Mississippi River as the prize.
Helena For the First Time
There’s a special thrill seeing a Civil War battlefield for the first time. We’ve done several issues on Arkansas, but they were all in the western part of the state: Pea Ridge, Prairie Grove, action in and around Fort Smith. One exception was a brief stop in a field near the defunct Civil War town of Mound City, a short distance north of Memphis on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi River. There a soybean farmer and a Memphis attorney located the buried remains of the illfated steamboat Sultana. It was part of a 1990 “General’s Tour” feature.