Fought on March 23, 1862, the First Battle of Kernstown was the initial engagement of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862. The conflict was also Stonewall Jackson's only defeat as commander of a large force during the Civil War.
Although Brig. Gen. Felix K. Zollicoffer’s main responsibility was to guard Cumberland Gap, in November 1861 he advanced west into Kentucky to strengthen control in the area around Somerset. He found a strong defensive position at Mill Springs and decided to make it his winter quarters. He fortified the area, especially both sides of the Cumberland River.
John W. “Jack” Hinson was a man who found himself firmly on both sides at the outset of the Civil War. He claimed neutrality and achieved it by giving intelligence reports to both sides, including one report to then-Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.
In his 1775 treatise, Taxation No Tyranny, British author Dr. Samuel Johnson rhetorically asked, “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?” The paradox that Dr. Johnson called out in 1775, is a question Americans continue to grapple with to this day—the institution slavery. The institution of slavery had been a part of American society for more than 150 years when the Revolutionary War began in 1775. Slavery existed, and was protected by law, in all 13 American colonies when they declared their independence from Great Britain in 1776.
The following is taken from General Robert E. Lee After Appomattox, edited by Franklin L. Riley (New York, 1922), pp. 182–95. Following, this contribution appeared in the “Lee Memorial Number” of the Wake Forest Student, published in January, 1907.—Editor; REV. J. WILLIAM JONES
During the early 19th century, and especially after the War of 1812, American society was profoundly transformed. These years witnessed rapid economic and territorial expansion; the extension of democratic politics; the spread of evangelical revivalism; the rise of the nation's first labor and reform movements; the growth of cities and industrial ways of life; radical shifts in the roles and status of women; and deepening sectional conflicts that would bring the country to the verge of civil war.
The massive Federal assault against Vicksburg’s defensives on May 22, 1863, started with such promise. For a time the Stars and Stripes even floated above the soaring ramparts of the Railroad Redoubt. But the tides of battle shifted and things swiftly went off the rails.
Along the banks of Stones River, just outside Murfreesboro, Tennessee occurred an often-overlooked battle during the New Year’s holiday of 1862-1863. Fought during miserable weather that saw bitterly cold rain and sleet, the three-day engagement would involve more than 80,000 soldiers and inflict staggering casualties, with over 23,500 men killed, wounded, or missing. The fighting was some of the most brutal and desperate of the war. Those who fought and died there witnessed incredible bravery alongside great cruelty, while great leadership mingled with the criminally inept.
Unknown to the family who built their homestead at the time, the Mount Joseph Plantation would serve as a pivotal intersection for supply routes during the American Revolution. Situated on the western banks of the Congaree River, the site became valuable for its access to the waterways connected Charleston to the Carolina interior. It would be here, at the site of the plantation house owned by the Motte family, the British would capture, occupy, and hold as a supply depot during the hotly contested fighting in South Carolina.
Forts played important roles in American history from the moment the Spanish, French, and English settlers landed in North America. One of the first things that these settlers did was to build a palisade fort. Forts existed in the American colonies throughout the 17th and 18th centuries to defend seaports from foreign navies and to defend the frontier from Native American attacks. They often played critical roles in the frontier warfare of the French and Indian War between 1754 and 1763. When fighting broke out in 1775 between the British empire and the American colonists, many of these forts immediately became important military targets.