Tribute to Wiley Sword
Wiley Sword was a good friend and confidant, and I am proud to have been his editor and publisher on numerous projects. His passing in November was a shock and surprise. Recent heart surgery had been successful and he said he felt the subsequent complications had been resolved. I figured a brief lapse in communication was because he was back on the golf course, or writing, collecting war letters, and just enjoying life. He will be missed.
An Excerpt from the Current Issue: Volume 32, #1
by Robert D. Jenkins, SR
When he stepped off the train at the Western & Atlantic depot at Dalton, Ga., on the evening of December 26, 1863—the same depot where telegraph operator Edward R. Henderson tapped out the dispatch that would eventually lead to the capture of the Andrews Raiders in April 1862—the newly-appointed Confederate commander, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, considered his new assignment. Asked to take over the helm of the South’s second largest army, restore its morale, and advance it once again into Tennessee to take the initiative in the Western Theater and recover lost territory, Johnston was doubtful. He believed his Commander in Chief was asking the impossible.
An Excerpt from the Current Issue: Volume 31, #6
The North Anna Campaign
by J. Michael Miller
As 1864 opened yet another year of war, President Abraham Lincoln determined to challenge his most successful commander, Ulysses S. Grant, by elevating him to lieutenant general and command all of the Armies of the United States. Lincoln reasoned the war was turning now in favor of the Union, but the coming year would prove decisive in both bringing the conflict to a successful resolution and determining the future leadership of the United States with the upcoming Presidential election in the fall. Grant’s proven skill in defeating the enemy armies in the West would now be tested at a new level—that of grand strategy.
In his address to Congress on December 8, 1863, Lincoln had laid out his policy for ending the war and beginning the process of reconstruction. “We have the new reckoning. The crisis which threatened to divide the friends of the Union is past,” said the President. “In the midst of other cares, however important, we must not lose sight of the fact that the war power is still our main reliance. To that power alone can we look, yet for a time. . . . Hence our chiefest care must still be directed to the army and navy.”
North Anna Battlefields
In 1993, Mike Miller wrote a B&G feature article on the North Anna Campaign. At that time his book on the subject, The North Anna Campaign: “Even to Hell Itself,” May 21-26, 1864, was still a current event. The issue’s Driving Tour was six pages and the presentation of Mike’s feature was accompanied by only five maps. The issue had a Preservation Message by John F. Cummings that told about hopes and plans to save the North Anna battlefields from impending development.
An Excerpt from the current issue: Volume 31, #5
Rosebud Table of Contents
Sample Tour/Battle Map
Civil War Rivals George Crook and George Custer, and the Beginning of the Great Sioux War, 1876
by Robert F. O’Neill
Within a year of the surrender at Appomattox Court House, Va., nearly one million men had been mustered out of the volunteer ranks of the U. S. Army. In July 1866, President Andrew Johnson signed a measure limiting the new standing army to 54,302 officers and men. Over the next eight years the size of the army was reduced three more times, until it numbered just 30,000 enlisted men in 1874. And, in July 1870, Congress ordered that the grades of general and lieutenant general be abolished upon the retirement of William T. Sherman and Philip H. Sheridan. That bill also reduced the number of major generals to three and set the limit for brigadiers at six. Competition for these nine appointments, especially the brigadier positions, would be fierce, though the chance for promotion of any kind in the post-Civil War army would be depressingly low.
Battle of the Rosebud
It’s been almost ten years since we published Neil Mangum’s feature article on Custer and the 7th Cavalry at the Little Bighorn. It was very well received and successfully crossed the line into the realm of Indian Wars buffs. The Blue & Gray logo was prominently displayed in the Little Bighorn bookstore until there were no copies left.