Monday, October 26, 2015

Return to Deep Bottom

Greetings! My apologies for falling off the face of the planet for a while, but my previous post elicited such deranged hatred from some of the self-appointed gatekeepers of ACW blogging that I thought it best to lay low for a while.

Mike Andrus describing the collapse of Girardey's line.
In any case, I had the pleasure of helping lead a tour of the Fussell’s Mill battlefield for the Richmond Battlefields Association over the weekend, which has drawn my attention back to where it hasn’t been for these few quiet months – the north side of the James River.

I had the great honor of teaming up with Mike Andrus (the man who first showed me the ropes of giving a good battlefield tour over 15 years ago) to take a hardy band of enthusiasts over ground that was recently preserved by the RBA. (And if you’re not a member of the RBA, please consider supporting them – for a small organization, they have scored some incredible preservation successes over the last decade.)

This ground was central to the August 16, 1864 battle at Fussell’s Mill, which saw the heaviest fighting of the Second Deep Bottom Campaign.

The new acquisition helps preserve a portion of Confederate general Victor Girardey’s line and most likely includes the location of where Girardey was killed attempting to rally his retreating troops. The tour also visited the monument to Col. William C. Oates of Little Round Top fame, who received his 7th wound of the war leading the 48th Alabama into battle. 

Col. William C. Oates
In any case, it was wonderful to be back home, and with that in mind I thought I would officially announce that I plan on resurrecting a series that I began on the Emerging Civil War blog earlier in the year that will take an in-depth look at the forgotten actions that took place North of the James from late June to late October of 1864. I will repost some of the old ECW posts I wrote and supplement them with new information and some recent finds, so stay tuned!