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BULL RUN : The first battle of the Civil War aka The Battle between the States was re-enacted in Manassas Virginia at Bull Run Creek on 23rd of July 2011 with over 10,000 participants.
All photographs are the property of Michael J. Minardi and are copyrighted Minardi 2011.



The first battle of the Civil War aka The Battle between the States wa ...

Updated: Sep 16, 2014 9:54am PST

Stone's River National Battlefield, TN (7-23-14) : The Battle of Stone's River (also known as the Battle of Murphreesboro) was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War and yet, it remains relatively unknown to all but serious Civil War buffs.  I have to admit, though I had heard about the battle, I knew little of its cause or how it was carried out or the magnitude of the casualties left in its wake.  Stone's River ranks as the 7th bloodiest battle of the Civil War...slightly less so than Shiloh but more so than Antietam.  However, if you consider the number of total casualties of 24,615 against the total number of men engaged (~76,000) you get a staggering casualty rate of <i>32%</i>, the highest of any battle during the Civil War!

The stage was set for the battle at Stone's River many months prior.  Following his abortive campaign into Kentucky, Confederate General Braxton Bragg had fallen back south to middle Tennessee near the town of Murphreesboro.  There, in late November 1862, Bragg and his Army of the Tennessee dug in and awaited the next move from the Federals.  On the Union side, Major General Don Carlos Buell had done little to capitalize on his success in freeing Kentucky of a Confederate threat, letting the Rebel army slip away unmolested.  Licoln could not stand for this and quickly replaced Buell with Major General William S. Rosecrans.  Rosecrans first move with his soon-to-be-named Army of the Cumberland was south to Nashville, Tennessee where he set about reorganizing and refitting it.  Rosecrans dallied to long however and by the middle of December Washington was making it very clear to him that they expected a move against the Confederates wait further would mean his replacement.  Rosecrans got the hint.  On December 26, 1862 he set out with his army of 41,000 men to meet the waiting Confederates.  The three day march was miserable for the soldiers in blue.  Rain, sleet, and cold (which would be present  throughout the campaign), along with frequent raids by Confederate cavalry were ever-present.  By December 30 the two armies faced each other across the fields outside Murphreesboro.  Settling down for a cold night, the soldiers on each side had no illusions about what would occur come the first light of dawn...

<I><b>Battle Statistics</b></i>

<b>United States of America</b>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of the Cumberland
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Major General William Rosecrans
<b>Strength:</b>  41,400
<b>Casualties:</b>  12,906 <i>or 31.2%</i> (1,677 killed, 7,543 wounded, 3,686 captured/missing)

<b>Confederate States</b>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of Tennessee
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  General Braxton Bragg
<b>Strength:</b>  35,000
<b>Casualties:</b>  11,739 <i>or 33.5%</i> (1,294 killed, 7,945 wounded, 2,500 captured/missing)

Stone's River National Battlefield, T...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

The Battle of Stone's River (also known as the Battle of Murphreesboro ...

Updated: Sep 03, 2014 10:29am PST

14 Huntington Beach Civil War Days :

14 Huntington Beach Civil War Days


Updated: Sep 01, 2014 12:34pm PST

Fort Donelson National Battlefield, TN (7-22-14) : The conquest of Fort Donelson on February 16, 1862 marked the first major Union victory of the Civil War.  Up until early that year everything seemed to be going the Confederates way.  Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia had chased the Federal Army out of Virginia and in the Western Theater little had been done to break the Southern defensive line stretching from Arkansas across Kentucky.  To Union planners the soft spot along that line, however, seemed to be along the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, two waterways that would provide an open highway into the interior south if only they could be brought under U.S. control.

Protecting these waterways were two newly constructed Confederate forts, situated a dozen or so miles apart.  Fort Henry was built to protect the Tennessee River while to the east the much more imposing Fort Donelson protected the Cumberland.  In early 1862 a joint army/navy task force was sent out down the Tennessee to capture Fort Henry.  Commanding the naval squadron was Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote while the Army expedition would be led by a new-to-command and relatively unknown Brigadier General by the name of Ulysses S. Grant.  Due to it's poor location, the reduction of Fort Henry was a relative cake-walk.  While Grant was approaching with his army on February 6th, Foote attacked the fort with four of his ironclads.  In a ferocious artillery battle which lasted about an hour, the Confederate commander at Henry determined he couldn't hold out against the oncoming force and abandoned the stronghold before Grant even arrived.  Over 2,500 soldiers from Fort Henry escaped towards the next objective on Grant's list, Fort Donelson.

In contrast to Fort Henry, Fort Donelson was very well-planned and situated amongst high hills which dominated the Cumberland River.  The fort itself was some 15-acres in size and was surrounded by 10-foot earthen walls and abatis.  Facing the river were three batteries containing over a dozen heavy guns.  In addition, with the expectation of a land attack, nearly 3-miles of earthworks were constructed in a ring a half mile to a mile outside the fort.  To man these defenses were nearly 17,000 determined Confederate soldiers under the combined commands of Generals John B. Floyd, Gideon J. Pillow, and Simon B. Buckner.  Pleased with the ease at which Fort Henry was reduced Grant's plan for the bigger prize of Donelson was initially the same as his earlier victory.  He would approach with his army by land and surround the fort while Foote and his gunboats approached via the Cumberland.  Foote's ships would pummel the fort's heavy guns and force the then all-but-defenseless fort to capitulate.  As it turned out Fort Donelson would be a bit tougher nut to crack.

In the following album I take a tour around the National Battlefield as it is today.  As with other albums I tried, at least in part, to arrange this album as events took place at Donelson.  Because the landscape (particularly the thick forest) has changed so much since the time of the battle it was quite hard at times to keep myself oriented to how different positions correlated to one another.  Otherwise, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to walk amongst the earthworks and gun emplacements where a relatively unknown general became "Unconditional Surrender" Grant and the tide was irreversibly turned in the Western Theater of the war...

<I><b>Battle Statistics</b></i>

<b>United States of America</b>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  District of Cairo, Western Flotilla
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant
<b>Strength:</b>  24,531
<b>Casualties:</b>  2,691 <i>or 11.0%</i> (507 killed, 1,976 wounded, 208 captured/missing)

<b>Confederate States</b>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Fort Donelson Garrison
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Brigadier General John B. Floyd, Brigadier General Gideon J. Pillow, Brigadier General Simon B. Buckner
<b>Strength:</b>  16,171
<b>Casualties:</b>  13,846 <i>or 85.6%</i> (327 killed, 1,127 wounded, 12,392 captured/missing)

Fort Donelson National Battlefield, T...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

The conquest of Fort Donelson on February 16, 1862 marked the first ma ...

Updated: Aug 24, 2014 8:51am PST

Fine Art :

Fine Art


Updated: Aug 23, 2014 10:06am PST

Shiloh National Military Park, TN (7-22-14) : The spring of 1862 found the war going very badly for the Confederacy in the west.  Kentucky had been lost to the Union Army, Fort Henry on the Tennessee River had fallen opening the interior south to federal gunboats, and most disastrously Fort Donelson had surrendered on February 12th along with one-third of the Confederate forces between the Mississippi and the Appalachians.  The interior south seemed wide open for invasion by the northern hordes.

The general tasked with the defense of these southern states was General Albert Sidney Johnson, a former U.S. soldier considered by many to be one of its most promising future officers.  Johnson's allegiance was firmly with the south, however, and in his mind at this crucial juncture it was critical to maintain the only remaining communications and supply link between east and west, the Memphis & Charleston Railroad.  His widely scattered forces also would need to be concentrated if he were to have any hope of threatening the Union army.  To accomplish these tasks he set up his base of operations in Corinth, Mississippi.  During March of that year scattered units of his army converged on Corinth as well as reinforcements from wherever they could be spared.  By the end of March, General Johnson had around 45,000 soldiers ready to stand against whatever next move the Union Army might make.

Moving against Johnson was the supremely confident 48,000-man force under Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant.  After the capture of Fort Donelson Grant quickly pushed south and invested the Tennessee capitol of Nashville.  From there it was his intent to keep pushing south through the Mississippi Valley with the goal of splitting the Confederacy in two and, if possible, bringing Johnson's army to a decisive battle in the process.  Learning that Johnson was concentrating at Corinth Grant moved his army south along the Tennessee River to a ford known as Pittsburg Landing.  Setting up camp on the west bank of the river, Grant intended to gather the rest of his forces in the region before advancing further.  He was quite confident that in the interim Johnson's Confederates would stay safely behind their defenses at Corinth.

General Johnson wasn't planning on playing by Grant's rules.  First off he could do the math.  By the end of March he had near parity in numbers with Grant, but he knew that wouldn't last as Grant had more reinforcements on the way.  Also, he regarded Grant's choice of camp sites, with the river at his back, as a serious blunder.  Therefore it was Johnson's intent not to wait for Grant but to make the first move and catch the Union Army unawares.  His plan was simple, catch the Union Army by surprise with overwhelming force driving against the enemy's left flank and cutting off his route of supply and escape across the river.  Thus cut off Grant would be virtually surrounded and forced to surrender.  Such was the plan...

The Confederate Army began the 20-mile march north from Corinth on April 3rd.  The march quickly deteriorated into an almost comical mess.  Weather hampered the movement of men and artillery, green troops tired easily and slowed the march, and believe it or not <i>one whole division</i> got off track and went missing for the better part of a day!  The attack that should have commenced the morning of the 4th had now been pushed back to the morning of the 6th.  Johnson was sure his most crucial advantage, the element of surprise, had been lost.

He should have been right.  Though General Grant and most of his subordinates confidently stated that the Confederates were still camped at Corinth, the 4th and 5th of April had brought numerous reports of minor skirmishes and cavalry raids to the south.  One battalion of Ohio cavalry on April 4, in hot pursuit of Confederate raiders, crested a hill and were astounded to see long lines of Confederate infantry backed by artillery and immediately came under heavy fire.  When this information was brought to General Sherman he dismissed what the cavalry had seen as a Confederate reconnaissance mission.  A good glimpse into the mindset of the Union high command can be seen in a missive sent from General Grant to his superior General Halleck on April 5th when he stated, <i>"I have scarcely the faintest idea of an attack (general one) being made upon us, but will be prepared should such a thing take place."</I>  Unfortunately, these preparations didn't include building any earthworks or strengthening picket lines.  As the light faded on April the 5th, 1862 Johnson's 45,000-man army, despite two days of delay, were about to collide with a Union Army which didn't think there was a Confederate within 20-miles.  Over the next two days a titanic struggle the likes of which the nation had never seen before would bring into startling clarity that the war had entered a new and much bloodier stage...

<I><b>Battle Statistics</b></i>

<b>United States of America</b>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of the Tennessee, Army of the Ohio
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Major General Ulysses S. Grant
<b>Strength:</b>  66,812
<b>Casualties:</b>  13,047 <i>or 19.5%</i> (1,754 killed, 8,408 wounded, 2,885 captured/missing)

<b>Confederate States</b>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of the Mississippi
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  General Albert Sidney Johnston (killed), General P.G.T. Beauregard
<b>Strength:</b>  44,699
<b>Casualties:</b>  10,699 <i>or 23.9%</i> (1,728 killed, 8,012 wounded, 959 captured/missing)

Shiloh National Military Park, TN (7-...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

The spring of 1862 found the war going very badly for the Confederacy ...

Updated: Aug 19, 2014 10:50am PST

Kennesaw National Battlefield Park, GA (1-14-14) : <i>"All that has gone before is mere skirmishing--The War now begins..."</i>

These words, uttered by Union Major General Tecumseh Sherman 10 days before the opening of the battle at Kennesaw Mountain, gives soul-stirring insight into the type of campaign that he intended to launch in Georgia in the coming months of 1864.  With the Civil War slaughtergrounds the likes of Shiloh, Gaines Mill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg still vivid in the country's memory, anyone who heard these words must have shuddered down to the very fiber of their being.

General Sherman and his 100,000-man army had departed Chattanooga, Tennessee on May 7th, 1864 with the objective of both destroying the opposing Confederate force under General Joseph E. Johnson, and capturing the major southern city and rail hub of Atlanta.  The month or so prior to the battle at Kennesaw saw the two armies engage in numerous small actions while Sherman moved inexorably South by performing a series of flanking movements around Johnson, forcing his withdrawal closer and closer to Atlanta itself.  By June 15, Sherman's advance had stalled out 15 miles short of Atlanta, however, as Johnson's army took up positions along the steep ridgetop of Kennesaw Mountain and three neighboring peaks known as Little Kennesaw, Pigeon Hill, and Cheatham Hill.  Due to the dominating position these peaks offered the Confederates, astride Sherman's intended railroad supply line, the Union army could not afford to simply bypass the Rebel army.  Kennesaw Mountain <i>had</i> to be taken.

Sherman's plan was a simple one.  His Army of the Cumberland, under Major General George Thomas, would make a general assault on the center of Johnson's line at Pigeon and Cheatham Hills, while the remainder of his force would make strong demonstrations against Johnson's flanks at Kennesaw Mountain and the Kolb Farm preventing Johnson from sending reinforcements to the point he intended to break through.  At 8:00am on June 27, 1864, 200 Union cannon opened up along the 8-mile front signaling the start of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain...

<I><b>Battle Statistics</b></i>

<b>United States of America</b>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of the Tennessee, Army of the Ohio, Army of the Cumberland
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  Major General William T. Sherman
<b>Strength:</b>  100,000
<b>Casualties:</b>  3,000 <i>or 3.0%</i> (unknown killed, wounded, or captured/missing)

<b>Confederate States</b>
<b>Armies Engaged:</b>  Army of Tennessee
<b>Commanding Officer:</b>  General Joseph E. Johnston
<b>Strength:</b>  50,000
<b>Casualties:</b>  1,000 <i>or 2.0%</i> (unknown killed, wounded, or captured/missing)

Kennesaw National Battlefield Park, G...

Dan Weemhoff (dwhike)

"All that has gone before is mere skirmishing--The War now begins..." ...

Updated: Jul 19, 2014 8:21am PST

12 HB Civil War Reenactment : The 19th Annual Civil War Days was hosted by the Huntington Beach Historial Society at Central Park in Huntington Beach , California September 1st and 2nd. The Historical Society is honoring the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg. They shall be traveling to Pennsylvania to attend the Gettysburg gathering ........

12 HB Civil War Reenactment


The 19th Annual Civil War Days was hosted by the Huntington Beach Hist ...

Updated: Jul 18, 2014 8:12am PST

GCVM 2012 Civil War Re-enactment : Use slide show to view.

GCVM 2012 Civil War Re-enactment


Use slide show to view.

Updated: Apr 30, 2014 1:24pm PST

Gettysburg 150th Anniversary Reenactment : Includes images from the 2013 Civil War reenactment.

Gettysburg 150th Anniversary Reenactment


Includes images from the 2013 Civil War reenactment.

Updated: Mar 30, 2014 12:28pm PST