Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In the March 28th issue of the Culpeper Star Exponent, Nate Delesline discussed the newest book on the Battle of Brandy Station, written by Eric J. Wittenberg. Eric is one of the (if not the) foremost expert on the Army of the Potomac's Cavalry, and a friend of mine. "The Battle of Brandy Station: North America's Largest Cavalry Battle" is an excellent read and with its guided tour (with GPS coordinates), will make a trip to the fields of Culpeper that much more enjoyable.

Examining the Civil War’s Battle of Brandy Station

Nate Delesline III,
Published: March 28, 2010 Updated: March 28, 2010
Author Eric J. Wittenberg thinks history buffs and casual readers alike will enjoy his newest work.
“The Battle of Brandy Station: North America’s Largest Cavalry Battle” was recently published by Charleston, S.C.-based The History Press. This is Wittenberg’s 16th book.
“I worked on gathering the research material that makes up the part of that book for the better part of 15 years,” he said.
Before dawn on June 9, 1863, Union soldiers broke through the fog near the banks of the Rappahannock River to ambush the Confederates. The confrontation of about 20,000 troops between Union Gen. Alfred Pleasanton and Confederate Gen. JEB Stuart lasted all day and is the largest cavalry battle ever fought on American soil.
“What I’ve tried to do is to give people a good, solid tactical narrative that gives some details but is not overwhelming,” said Wittenberg, an attorney in Columbus, Ohio. “If people are interested in hearing the soldiers’ own stories in their own words, they will find plenty of that in this book.”
A native Philadelphian, Wittenberg is an award-winning Civil War historian. His specialty is cavalry operations, with a particular emphasis on the Army of the Potomac’s Cavalry Corps. His works have been chosen for study by history and military book clubs.
Wittenberg, who travels, lectures and regularly leads Civil War battlefield tours, also has authored more than two dozen published articles on the war’s cavalry operations. His work has appeared in Gettysburg Magazine, North & South, Blue & Gray, Hallowed Ground, America’s Civil War, and Civil War Times Illustrated.
Online, Wittenberg runs a blog (Rantings of a Civil War Historian) and moderates a popular Civil War discussion group.
He expressed appreciation to local historian Bud Hall for his assistance in bringing the book to fruition.
“I like to consider myself one of his disciples,” Wittenberg said of Hall’s expertise.
The book also includes maps, illustrations and GPS coordinates to help visitors plan a walking or driving tour of the publicly accessible battlefield areas.
About the book“The Battle of Brandy Station: North America’s Largest Cavalry Battle” by Eric J. Wittenberg is now available in paperback for $24.99. The book, 272 pages, can be purchased at historypress.net or amazon.com. More online: Read author Eric Wittenberg’s blog atcivilwarcavalry.com.

It will shortly be available also at the Graffiti House.

Today at Brandy Station: March 30, 1864
A soldier in the 116th Pennsylvania Infantry wrote: This morning disagreeable and muddy, wind cold and raw. Nine of us fixed up an old tent and have a good fire and feel very comfortable to what we did yesterday and last night.
In the 4th Michigan Infantry, a soldier was also doing some repairs to his chimney, after commenting on the weather: "Rained all last night Snowed part of today Built Chimney up above all others in compy." He also attended a Lyceum, to hear what he called spirited arguments. The topic was, "Resolved that Man is a free moral agent."

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