Announcing This Cruel War – My New Civil War Blog



As most who follow along with the CWDG on Facebook will know, I’m about to begin another Civil War blog called This Cruel War. Its focus will be much different from this one.

Though I welcome all who wish to read, I want to caution you that many of the readers of the CWDG might not appreciate the new direction. I won’t be covering battles or troop movements, but will instead be looking at the politics and issues that led up to the war and still reverberate into the present.

That said, I hope to be as fair and even-handed as I was when writing the CWDG.

Because of this new project, unfortunately, I will not be re-running the CWDG. It will remain as it is for the indefinite future. However, on the CWDG Facebook site, I’ll be reposting articles on an almost daily basis.

And speaking of Facebook sites, This Cruel War has one as well – right here! Like us on Facebook and keep up.

This Cruel War will feature new posts Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays starting on August 24. See you then!


CWDG Fundraiser! Huge Book Sell-off! Over 100 Titles Listed on Ebay!

Dear Readers!

1864 Virginia

I just wanted to let you know that I’m selling off a bunch of Civil War books on Ebay. This is to raise money to help defray the costs of running this website.

Every two years, I pay around $200ish for hosting, and that time has come around again.

While this sesquicentennial blog ended in 2015, I am still reposting for the 155th Anniversary on our Facebook page. Also, it’s a nice resource to have around for years to come. Here’s how to help.

I’m selling nine different lots of books, each focusing on a specific subject and containing a dozen or so titles.

You can go here to see all of the listings.

And here are all of the titles (with links!)

The Early War in the East
Chancellorsville by John Bigelow, Jr (HB – no dustjacket)
Campaign in Western Virginia by George B. McClellan (PB)
Lee vs. McClellan by Clayton R. Newell (HB)
West Virginia and the Civil War by Mark Snell (PB)
Six Years of Hell by Chester G. Hearn
The Baltimore and Ohio in the Civil War by Summer (HB)
On To Richmond by Stephen W. Sears (PB)
Counter-Thrust by Cooling (HB)
The Seven Days by Clifford Dowdey (PB)
Return to Bull Run by John J. Hennessy (PB)
Chancellorsville by Stephen W. Sears (HB)
Chancellorsville 1863 by Earnest B. Furgurson (PB)
The Civil War in West Virginia by Stan Cohen (PB)

1864 in Virginia
The Wilderness Campaign by Gary W. Gallagher (PB)
The Dahlgren Affair by Duane Schultz (PB)
Cold Harbor by Gordon C. Rhea (PB)
The Battle of the Wilderness by Gordon C. Rhea (HB)
The Battles for Spotsylvania Court House and the road to Yellow Tavern by Gordon C. Rhea (PB)
To the North Anna River by Gordon C. Rhea (PB)
Jubal Early’s Raid on Washington by Benjamin Franklin Cooling (PB)
Out of the Storm by Noah Andre Trudeau (HB – no dustjacket)
Sheridan in the Shenandoah by Edward Stackpole (PB)
The Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864 by Gary W. Gallagher (PB)
Shenandoah Summer by Scott c. Patchan (PB)
From Winchester to Cedar Creek by Jeffry D. Wert (HB)
The Last Battle of Winchester by Scott C. Patchan (HB)

William Tecumseh Sherman: 1864-65
Southern Storm by Noah Andre Trudeau (HB)
Marching with Sherman by Henry Hitchcock (PB)
Sherman’s 1864 Trail of Battle to Atlanta by Philip L. Secrist (PB)
Clash at Kennesaw by Russell W. Blount, Jr (HB)
Kennesaw Mountain by Earl j. Hess (HB)
Autumn of Glory by Connelly (HB)
Sherman’s March Through the Carolinas by John G. Barrett (PB)
The Day Dixie Died by Gary Ecelbarger (HB)
Decision in the West by Albert Castel (PB)
Marching Through Georgia by Lee Kennett (HB)

The Wartime Navy and the Carolinas
The Siege of Charleston by E. Milby Burton (PB)
North Carolina in the Civil War by Michael Hardy (PB)
The Civil war in North Carolina by John G. Barrett (PB)
The Bombardment of Charleston by W. Chris Phelps (PB)
Guns on the Western Waters by H. Allen Gosnell (PB)
Civil War on Western Waters by Fletcher Pratt (HB – no dustjacket)
Wolf of the Deep by Stephen Fox (HB)
Gate of Hell by Stephen R. Wise (HB)
Success is All That Was Expected by Robert M. Browning, Jr (PB)
From Cape Charles to Cape Fear by Robert M. Browning, Jr (PB)
Thunder at Hampton Roads by A.A. Hoehling (PB)

Confederate Biographies
Rebel; Life and Times of John S. Mosby by Kevin Seipel (PB)
Bedford Forrest and His Critter Company by Andrew Nelson Lytle (PB)
Robert E. Lee and the Fall of the Confederacy by Ethan S. Rafuse (PB)
Stonewall Jackson by James I. Robertson (HB)
The Devil Forrest by John Allan Wyeth (PB)
P.G.T. Beauregard by T. Harry Williams (PB)
The Mosy Myth by Paul Ashdown and Edward Caudill (PB)
Joseph E. Johnston by Craig L. Symonds (PB)
Braxton Bragg and Confederate Defeat Volume I by Grady McWhiney (HB)
Braxton Bragg and Confederate Defeat Volume II by Judith Lee Hallock (HB)
General George E. Pickett in Life and Legend by Lesley J. Gordon (HB)
The Devil Knows How to Ride by Edward E. Leslie (PB)
Gray Ghost by James A. Ramage (PB)
The confederacy’s Greatest Cavalryman by Brian Steel Wills (PB)
Pemberton by John C. Pemberton (PB)

Mississippi and Some Other Stuff
Vicksburg 1863 by Winston Groom (PB)
Vicksburg is the Key by William L. Shea & Terrence J. Winschel (PB)
Sherman’s Mississippi Campaign by Buck T. Foster (HB)
Island No. 10 by Larry J. Daniel (PB)
Port Hudson; Confederate Bastion on the Mississippi by Lawrence Lee Hewitt (PB)
Vicksburg by Michael B. Ballard (PB)
Thunder Along the Mississippi by Jack d. Coombe (HB)
When the Devil Came Down to Dixie by Chester G. Hearn (PB)
A People’s History of The Civil War by David Williams (PB)
Apostles of Disunion by Charles B. Dew (PB)
The Road to Disunion Vol. 1 by William W. Freehling (PB)

Armies of Armies!
The Army of Tennessee by Stanley F. Horn (PB)
Autumn of Glory; The Army of Tennessee by Thomas Lawrence Connelly (PB)
Nothing But Victory; The Army of the Tennessee by Steven E. Woodworth (PB)
Days of Glory; The Army of the Cumberland by Larry J. Daniel (PB)
Army of the Heartland; The Army of Tennessee by Thomas Lawrence Connelly (PB)
Lee’s Miserables by J. Tracy Power (HB – no dustjacket)
The Sword of Lincoln; The Army of the Potomac by Jeffry D. Wert (PB)
A Glorious Army; ANV by Jeffry D. Wert (HB)
Mosby’s Rangers by Jeffry D. Wert (PB)
Mr. Lincoln’s Army; AoP by Bruce Catton (PB)
Damage Them All You Can by George Walsh (PB)

The Early-ish War in the West
Black Flag by Thomas Goodrich (HB)
The Darkest Days of the War by Peter Cozzens (PB)
The Civil war in Kentucky by Lowell h. Harrison (HB)
The Stones River and Tullahoma Campaigns by Christopher L. Kolakowski and Douglas Bostick (PB)
Bloody Valverde by John Taylor (HB – no dustjacket – bit of water damage)
The Battle of Glorieta Pass by Thomas S. Edrington and John Taylor (PB)
The Civil War in Kentucky by Kent Masteron Brown (HB)
Where the South Lost the War by Kendall D. Gott (HB)
Pea Ridge by William L. Shea & Earl J. Hess (HB)
Fields of Blood by William L. Shea (HB)

The Late War in the West
Hood’s Tennessee Campaign by James K. Knight (PB)
Confederacy’s Last Hurrah by Wiley Sword (PB)
Chickamauga and Chattanooga by John Bowers (PB)
Mountains Touched with Fire by Wiley Sword (PB)
Richard Taylor and the Red River Campaign of 1864 (HB)
This Terrible Sound by Peter Cozzens (HB)
The Knoxville Campaign by Earl J. Hess (HB)
Price’s Lost Campaign by Mark A. Lause (HB)
General Sterling Price and the Civil War in the West by Albert Castel (PB)
The Chessboard of War by Anne J. Bailey (PB)
In the Lion’s Mouth by Derek Smith (PB)
The Shipwreck of their Hopes by Peter Cozzens (PB)
Six Armies in Tennessee by Steven E. Woodworth (PB)

Each listing is starting off at $10 plus whatever shipping is applicable. And yes, I will combine shipping for all who want to bid on more than one lot.

Hopefully, this will generate enough funds to cover the next two years!

And We’re Back (Sort of)

Today marks the 155th anniversary of the day that Abraham Lincoln was elected president. Five years ago, I chose this day as a fine day to start the Civil War Daily Gazette. While the entire blog is available for all to read, on our Facebook page, each day I’ll repost the article that corresponds to the events that happened 155 years ago.

So if you don’t already, head over to the Facebook page and like us!

In other news, my new Civil War blog, This Cruel War is off to a pretty good start. It has basically become my exploration of the institution of slavery and how it related to the events that led up to the Civil War, as well as how it effected things during and after. It’s definitely more “heady” than the CWDG, and focuses upon politics and issues rather than battles and leaders.

There’s also a Facebook page for that – This Cruel War.


Farewell, Dear Readers!

May 30, 2015 (Saturday)


On this date I bid you, dear readers, a very fond farewell. For the past (nearly) five years, I have sat myself down each day, researching and composing, detailing in writing whichever given day of the Civil War, 150 years prior. It has been a hell of a ride and, though trying, difficult and, if I’m being honest, at times incredibly weird, I do not regret a day of it.

I started this project in August of 2010. Then, having an interest in the Civil War, I had convinced myself of a few common and understandable misconceptions. First, I believed that the war was not really about slavery. I believed that there could have been multitudes of black Confederates. I thought Lincoln a tyrant, and his Emancipation Proclamation meaningless. I held that while some slaves were treated poorly, that many more were not in such bad conditions as our history books tell us. I believed, in short, that the South was right.

I was so very wrong.

It did not take long for me to change my thoughts on all of these matters. Even before the first shot was fired at Fort Sumter, after reading the declarations of secession, which state slavery as the main and ultimate cause of the Southern rebellion, I had begun to reconsider my position. And since that time, my opinions have evolved with the study of such primary sources.

Across these nearly five years, I’ve been accused of ‘Yankee sympathies’ by a small minority of readers still clinging to the idea that the South should have won. I quickly began to understand just how preposterous my ideas been when I was among their number. It is not unlike rooting for a football team to win a Super Bowl that they had lost 150 years ago. It’s absurd, pointless, and a disgrace to the memory of those who fought – whichever side they had taken.

What is neither absurd nor pointless is the study of the Civil War. To all, from the Southern diehards to the Yankees in Massachusetts, I urge you to study history by first breaking the chains that bind you to your heritage. History should not be concerned whatsoever with our sentiments, our likes and dislikes. It does not care who our favorite general is or to which regiment our great-great grandfather belonged. And while you can certainly honor your ancestors and your country and states with all your heart, I have found that history is best studied with your head.

Be willing to let go of your prejudices and your notions as to what you believed happened (or should have happened). Shy away from so-called scholars whose ax to grind is writ large even on the back cover of their vanity press paperback. Seek instead timely primary sources as much as possible, and learn from historians who do likewise. We owe this to ourselves and our collective heritage.

These past five years have been wonderfully difficult. Much has happened in my own life across that span. While getting engaged and married were the obvious, there was much other change as well. We moved into Seattle proper. I took up the hobby of film photography. We traveled across the country a few times. I’ve made new friends, reconnected with old ones, and still work at the same place as I did when I started (I’m a screen printer).

I’ve been asked what I planned to do after this project is complete. In all honesty, I say ‘nothing’. I’ve worked about two hours each day on this blog, and I think I’ll simply enjoy the summer. For those interested, I publish a blog for my film photography as well as one for my J.R.R. Tolkien studies. I’ve done both for the past couple of years, and with the closing of this work, I don’t plan to really expand either, and will probably take a break from both. Free time it is, then!

And so, dear ones, it’s my pleasure to thank you for following this project, and to effectively muster you out. May you make as good of citizens as you made readers. I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve, etc. Still, give yourselves three cheers and a tiger!

Hugs & Kisses,

Johnson Offers Amnesty to All Persons….

May 29, 1865

On this date, President Andrew Johnson issued his proclamation of amnesty to (almost) all who participated in the Rebellion against the United States. There were, of course, some notable exceptions….

Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson

Whereas the President of the United States, on the 8th day of December, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-three, and on the 26 day of March, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-four, did, with the object to suppress the existing rebellion, to induce all persons to return to their loyalty, and to restore the authority of the United States, issue proclamations offering amnesty and pardon to certain persons who had directly or by implication participated in the said rebellion; and whereas many persons who had so engaged in said rebellion have, since the issuance of said proclamations, failed or neglected to take the benefits offered thereby; and whereas many persons who have been justly deprived of all claim to amnesty and pardon thereunder, by reason of their participation directly or by implication in said rebellion, and continued hostility to the government of the United States since the date of said proclamation, now desire to apply for and obtain amnesty and pardon:

To the end, therefore, that the authority of the government of the United States may be restored, and that peace, order, and freedom may be established, I, ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States, do proclaim and declare that I hereby grant to all persons who have, directly or indirectly, participated in the existing rebellion, except as hereinafter excepted, amnesty and pardon, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and except in cases where legal proceedings, under the laws of the United States providing for the confiscation of property of persons engaged in rebellion, have been instituted; but upon the condition, nevertheless, that every such person shall take and subscribe the following oath, (or affirmation,) and thenceforward keep and maintain said oath inviolate; and which oath shall be registered for permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to wit:

I, _______ _______, do solemnly swear, (or affirm,) in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by, and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves. So help me God.


The following classes of persons are excepted from the benefits of this proclamation: 1st, all who are or shall have been pretended civil or diplomatic officers or otherwise domestic or foreign agents of the pretended Confederate government; 2nd, all who left judicial stations under the United States to aid the rebellion; 3d, all who shall have been military or naval officers of said pretended Confederate government above the rank of colonel in the army or lieutenant in the navy; 4th, all who left seats in the Congress of the United States to aid the rebellion; 5th, all who resigned or tendered resignations of their commissions in the army or navy of the United States to evade duty in resisting the rebellion; 6th, all who have engaged in any way in treating otherwise than lawfully as prisoners of war persons found in the United States service, as officers, soldiers, seamen, or in other capacities; 7th, all persons who have been, or are absentees from the United States for the purpose of aiding the rebellion; 8th, all military and naval officers in the rebel service, who were educated by the government in the Military Academy at West Point or the United States Naval Academy; 9th, all persons who held the pretended offices of governors of States in insurrection against the United States; 10th, all persons who left their homes within the jurisdiction and protection of the United States, and passed beyond the Federal military lines into the pretended Confederate States for the purpose of aiding the rebellion; 11th, all persons who have been engaged in the destruction of the commerce of the United States upon the high seas, and all persons who have made raids into the United States from Canada, or been engaged in destroying the commerce of the United States upon the lakes and rivers that separate the British Provinces from the United States; 12th, all persons who, at the time when they seek to obtain the benefits hereof by taking the oath herein prescribed, are in military, naval, or civil confinement, or custody, or under bonds of the civil, military, or naval authorities, or agents of the United States as prisoners of war, or persons detained for offenses of any kind, either before or after conviction; 13th, all persons who have voluntarily participated in said rebellion, and the estimated value of whose taxable property is over twenty thousand dollars; 14th, all persons who have taken the oath of amnesty as prescribed in the President’s proclamation of December 8th, A.D. 1863, or an oath of allegiance to the government of the United States since the date of said proclamation, and who have not thenceforward kept and maintained the same inviolate.

Provided, That special application may be made to the President for pardon by any person belonging to the excepted classes; and such clemency will be liberally extended as may be consistent with the facts of the case and the peace and dignity of the United States.

The Secretary of State will establish rules and regulations for administering and recording the said amnesty oath, so as to insure its benefit to the people, and guard the government against fraud.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, the twenty-ninth day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.


By the President: WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State