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Civil War Times Illustrated, December 2005

The December 2005 issue is the first issue of Civil War Times Illustrated that I'll be reviewing for this blog. In looking back, I was a little harsh on both America's Civil War & CWTI. ACW had topographical lines on some of the maps, and some also went down to regimental level. It appears that Primedia felt the pressure of the superior quality of North & South and Blue & Gray and decided to up the ante. That's only good for us. CWTI seems to focus on political and social aspects of the war more than the other magazines I subscribe to. That's okay, but I prefer military history, so that makes this magazine my least favorite of the four.

Page 8
Turning Points: Battle of Champion's Hill by Jeffry D. Wert

In this edition of Turning Points, Wert talks about the decisive battle of Champion's Hill. Fought on May 16, 1863, Champion's Hill was the turning point of the Vicksburg Campaign. Pemberton lost Vicksburg when he lost this battle to Grant, although the Siege would last until July 4, 1863.

 

Page 12
Gallery: Frank Weber submitted by Brian Schumacher

Frank Weber, born in Bavaria in 1842, moved to the United States at the age of 6 and moved ot Minnesota. He joined the 9th Minnesota Infantry on August 16, 1862. Weber was unfortunate enough to get captured at Brice's Crossroads on June 10, 1864, and he survived seven months of captivity at the dreaded Andersonville.

 

Page 14
Living In The Past: Proper Behavior by Tom Huntington

The Victorian era was a difficult place to live in if you wanted to be a gentleman or lady. There were many rules on proper etiquette to be followed if one was to be considered of high class. Huntington gives us a sample of various do's and don'ts for potential social climbers.

 

Page 18
School of the Soldier: Living Off The Land by Eric Ethier

Eric Ethier wrotes a brief one-page essay on soldiers living off the land. In the essay, he gives some examples of foraging and relays some vignettes.

 

Page 20
My War: The Letters of Harrison Beardsley by Barbara Shafer

Harrison Beardsley of the 5oth Pennsylvania Infantry of Stevens' IX Corps Division wrote letters home, and they are detailed in this article. Beardsley fought in South Carolina, was transferred with the Division to Virginia, and died at Second Manassas.

 

Page 26
Lincoln and the Lost Opportunity of Gettysburg by Glenn W. LaFantasie

LaFantasie writes in depth about Lincoln's belief that Meade missed an opportunity to destroy Lee's Army and end the war after Gettysburg. LaFantasie writes that Lincoln could never let this idea go, and he believes this was unfair. He doubts that the war would have ended even if Meade did somehow destroy Lee's Army after Gettysburg.

 

Page 34
Portrait of Possibility: The Submarine Alligator by Janet M. Maloney

The U.S.S. Alligator, the first Union submarine, is detailed in this interesting article. Most people have heard of the C.S.S. Hunley, but far fewer have heard of her larger Union counterpart. She was lost on April 2, 1863 off Cape Hatteras, NC, when the ship towing her was forced to cut the towlines to avoid being swamped. The Alligator has never been found.

 

Page 44
'A Mighty Mean-Fowt Fight': The Battle of Wilson's Creek by Eric Ethier

Eric Ethier writes a standard account of the Battle of Wilson's Creek. I enjoyed his writing, but the one map was inadequate for anyone new to the fight to get a good idea of what was going on. I'd recommend Ed Bearss' book on Wilson's Creek instead.

 

Page 50
The Transcendental Cavalier by Carol Bundy

Charles Russell Lowell was a transcendentalist in the Ralph Waldo Emerson mold. His life, participation in the Civil War, and his death at Cedar Creek are detailed by his great-great-great-niece.


Page 60
Reviews

1. The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion by Peter S. Carmichael
2. Daughters of the Union: Northern Women Fight the Civil War by Nina Silber
3. Generals in Bronze: Interviewing the Commanders of the Civil War by William B. Styple
4. Make Me a Map of the Valley by Jedediah Hotchkiss

 

Page 66
In Their Footsteps: Washington At War by Jay Wertz

This article offers Washington Civil War sites to tour, including contact information for the most important sites.

 

Page 74
Civil War Times Album of the Late War

In this collection of "trivia, curiosities, recollections, and artifacts", Charles Russell Lowell's widow Josephine Shaw Lowell is detailed. She was also the sister of Robert Gould Shaw, the commander of the 54th MA at Battery Wagner. Also of interest was a view of one of the original schematics for the submarine Alligator.

 

Page 82
Frozen Moment: Boom With A View

A 15-inch Rodman, the largest cannon in the world at the time, is shown in a photograph of Fort Rodgers defending Washington, D.C.