by Lily Snodgrass | | Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - 16:28
In the 1860 presidential election, only one person in all of Fauquier County, Virginia, voted for President Abraham Lincoln: a wealthy slaveholder named Henry Thomas Dixon. Five years later, after serving as a paymaster in the Union army, he was gunned down in a duel with a former Confederate surgeon on the streets of Alexandria. Dixon, a former student of the University of Virginia, a Southern “gentleman,” and a Unionist, was, like many men of his time, driven by the concept of honor. Historian Joanne B.
by Sarah E. Gardner | | Monday, July 1, 2019 - 10:58
In late summer 1861, Sallie Strickler confessed her befuddlement at recent events. “Wars seem so strange to me,” she recorded in her diary, “although I’ve been reading about them all my life.” Strickler, who lived in Madison County, Virginia, wrote this entry four months shy of her sixteenth birthday and only four weeks after the Confederate victory at Manassas. All of her life she had read of war. All fifteen long years of it. Yet, although she might have stretched a point, it turns out that she had read of war.
by Brian Neumann | | Thursday, June 6, 2019 - 10:27
Every evening, students recalled, the hills around antebellum UVA resounded with the music of La Marseillaise, the anthem of the French Revolution. Joseph d’Alfonce, the university’s gymnastics instructor, began the call to arms in his “splendid baritone,” and soon hundreds of students’ voices filled the air. For d’Alfonce, the anthem’s promise of “cherished liberty” triumphing over tyranny carried special meaning. He had fought in one revolution and lived through another, and twice he had been forced to flee from arrest.
by Matthew H. Wallace | | Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 11:19
Following the disaster at the Crater in the summer of 1864, Lieut. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant planned for another offensive late in the following September. Grant ordered Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler to lead an attack towards Richmond north of the James River with the goals of taking the city and diverting Robert E. Lee’s forces away from Petersburg.
by Matthew H. Wallace | | Monday, April 29, 2019 - 09:24
Of the Union veterans who attended the University of Virginia, nearly a dozen pursued military careers after the Civil War, including Wray Wirt Davis, George Worth Woods, Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, Charles Eversfield, John Fox Hammond, Stephen Dandridge, John Edward Summers, Charles Irving Wilson, George Lea Febiger, John Thornley, and William Evelyn Hopkins. This blog will discuss the lives of Wray Wirt Davis and George Worth Woods in depth. While Davis was a southerner and a cavalry officer, Woods was a navy physician from the North.
by Brian Neumann | | Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 11:04
Most UVA Unionists—men like William Fishback, James Broadhead, and Albert Tuttle—viewed themselves as conservative men trying to preserve, rather than transform, their world. They rejected political radicalism, sought compromises to avert secession and Civil War, and often accepted post-war reconciliation with former Confederates. New York lawyer Robert Henry Shannon, however, embraced the possibilities of progress. As a Whig and a Republican, he insisted that government action could solve society’s problems and protect Americans’ liberties.
by Clayton J. Butler | | Wednesday, January 16, 2019 - 15:51
Although he would later do so in the classroom as a matter of routine, the first time that University of Virginia Professor Albert Henry Tuttle ever presided over a large group of white southern young men was as a Union soldier on prison guard duty during the Civil War. Born in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio in 1844, Tuttle enlisted in the Eighth Ohio Independent Battery at the age of nineteen and spent his Union service keeping watch over captured Confederates on Johnson’s Island in his home state. After the war he became an internationally recognized scholar in the fields of zoology and biology.
by Jennifer M. Murray | | Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 15:33
Visitors to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, will find no shortage of tourist and trinket shops in town, each selling a variety of Civil War souvenirs, memorabilia, and paraphernalia. The battle, its generals, and its leaders have been commercialized and commodified, their images placed on innumerable products, ranging from t-shirts to bobble-heads to decorative art. Recently, one tourist store offered interested buyers a framed Gettysburg collage.
by Matt H. Wallace | | Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 00:00
After Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman took Atlanta in the fall of 1864, the Union army commenced Sherman’s famous “March to the Sea.” As an auxiliary effort to his main campaign, Sherman ordered an expedition up the Broad River in South Carolina. Sherman hoped to either cut the railroad between Charleston and Savannah in half, trapping the rebels in Savannah, or spread a weakened rebel force across the state. The resulting encounter between the Union and rebel armies resulted in a Union defeat at the battle of Honey Hill.
by Casey Bowler | | Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 14:38
Narratives of African American men in the Civil War usually begin in 1863, with the establishment of the Bureau of Colored Troops and the federal push for the enlistment of black soldiers into the Union army. For black men in Louisiana, however, involvement began over two years earlier, with the formation of a Confederate militia to be drawn from the state’s significant population of free men of color. They were called the First Native Guards.