Let me start this episode by saying I don’t like doing this. That being, discussing military history. It’s not a moral issue or a repugnance of violence. As my students will tell you, I tend to embrace violence as a great storytelling device and an attention grabber. It’s not that I feel war is tedious with mundane details of forgettable military leaders and regimental formations. Like anything else: military history IS history. It deserves to be remembered, scrutinized, and finally judged like any other vein of historical inquiry.
The real reason is I’m not good at it. And this is not for lack of trying, mind you. In my experience, it is difficult to express the subtle nuances of the battlefield with such a large cast of characters. For me, reflecting on the ramifications and atrocities that subsequently follow the bloodshed is much easier. Luckily for the historian full of bloodlust, there is a cornucopia of places to get a complete look at warfare. Heck, there is even an entire channel dedicated to military history. Full budgets with an excellent production value far outmatch your humble narrator. You might say they have a bit more firepower than myself.
With that being said, here is my deep dive into some of the most important battles during the American Civil War. If you feel lost, I apologize in advance. If you find yourself lost in the reeds, remember your guiding compass as a historian: Don’t ask “what” but ask “why.”
2:31 First Battle of Bull Run
First Battle of Bull Run
Shiloh Battle Facts and Summary
Battle of Antietam
Gettysburg Battle Facts and Summary
Battle Of Vicksburg
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