by Larry G. Parker
Patterned as she was on the revolutionary French Battleship Gloire, on paper she seemed formidable. She was 194 feet in length, 31.5 feet at the beam, drew 15.75 feet of water and displaced 1560 tons. Her hull was protected by 4.5 inches of armor amidships tapering to 3.5 inches at the bow and stern. Up to 24 inches of hardwood backed this iron carapace. A casemate forward sheathed in 5.5 inches of iron housed a pivot mounted, breech loading, 300 pounder Armstrong gun. A fixed turret aft covered in 4 inches of armor contained two 70 pounder breech loading Armstrong guns. In keeping with naval tactics at the time, she was also equipped with a ram. Steam powered with a top speed of 10.8 knots, twin screws coupled with twin rudders made her remarkably maneuverable for a ship of her size and displacement. Unfortunately, her bunkers held only 280 tons of coal limiting her ability to steam for prolonged distances. For longer voyages she was fitted with a bowsprit and two square rigged masts. Steam power, thick armor and modern guns made her a ship to be feared.
by Walter Giersbach
On Nov. 25. 1864, eight men walked the streets of Manhattan, New York. The group, calling themselves the Confederate Army of Manhattan, split up and approached a series of hotels on their lists and checked in. “At 17 minutes of nine the St. James Hotel was discovered to be on fire in one of the rooms,” The New York Times reported. Bedding and furniture had been saturated with an accelerant and set aflame. A few minutes later, Barnum’s Museum was ablaze. About the same time, four rooms of the St. Nicholas Hotel were ablaze. By 9:20 p.m. a room in the Lafarge House was ln flames. Then the Metropolitan House, Brandreth House, Frenche’s Hotel, the Belmont House, Wallack’s Theatre and several other buildings were on fire. Included in the incendiary maelstrom were 5th Ward Museum Hotel, Astor House, the Belmont Hotel, the Fifth Avenue Hotel, the Howard Hotel, La Farge House, Lovejoy's Hotel, the Metropolitan Hotel, the St. James Hotel, the St. Nicholas Hotel, the Tammany Hotel, and the United States Hotel. 
by Roger Craig and Michael Artis
The Battle of Chickamauga is a historic battle fought near Chickamauga Creek in Chickamauga, Georgia, during the Civil War, in 1863. The recent Union Army victories took its toll on the Confederate forces both in physical ways and emotional ways. General Braxton Bragg and General William Rosecrans met on the battlefield before the Battle of Chickamauga. They met and fought at the Tullahoma Campaign. General Rosecrans emerged victorious in the Tullahoma Campaign. General Bragg and his troops suffered a loss, but the fight for this region was not over. The importance of the region demanded that each side put all they had into controlling that vital supply route. The Confederate Army won the battle. However, the Battle of Chickamauga was the Confederate victory that led to the defeat of the Confederate Army in the American Civil War.
by Michael Irvin
Sherman’s March to the Sea proved to be a decisive campaign deep in the heartland of the South to which many have claimed was a criminal act but, in examining the facts, was nothing of the sort. Beginning in November 1864, approximately 60,000 Union soldiers left the city of Atlanta determined to reach the Atlantic coast while removing Georgia’s ability and will to contribute any more to the Confederate cause. This bold move was at first cautioned by Lincoln and Grant who were unsure of the likelihood of success but, through Sherman’s conviction and desire, was ultimately granted approval. The march has since gone down as one of the most storied and controversial undertakings of the Civil War and arouses an almost mythical stature for its followers. Sherman’s men were products of the 19th century and so did carry out acts that today would be seen as unacceptable but they were no criminals and committed no war crimes.
by Michael Collie
After the Second World War, many American Civil War historians came to argue that the Civil War was the first modern/total war. As summarized by Mark Grimsley, in The American Civil War: a Handbook of Literature and Research this theme includes a number of contentions. Troops armed with breech-loading infantry arms and artillery, primitive machine guns, and ironclad ships, early balloons, and trench warfare in the Civil War are cited as evidence. The use of railroads, steam ships and riverboats, and telegraph are said to have affected strategy. New mass armies of volunteers and emphasis on industrial capacity influenced battles and campaigns. The status of civilians as legitimate targets of armies and strategy may be the most significant aspect making the American Civil War the first modern and total of the new period of war, so the argument goes.
by Michael Collie
Following the Battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1863 the Army of Northern Virginia went into winter quarters along the south bank of the Rappahannock River. Confederate Lieutenant General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's headquarters was at the Moss Neck Plantation eleven miles southeast of Fredericksburg. General Robert E. Lee and Major General J.E.B. Stuart made camp near Hamilton Crossing within 8 miles of Moss Neck and about four miles south of Fredericksburg. The proximity of these headquarters allowed frequent contact between the staffs during the winter of 1862-1863.
by Walter Giersbach
Few people admire a spy who lives by duplicity, subterfuge and lies, even if he or she is your ally. However, Timothy Webster was a man of honor serving an honorable cause. And he was the first Union spy hanged by the Confederates for it. Webster was born into a large family in Newhaven, Sussex County, England in 1822. Foreshadowing the mass emigrations to come, the Websters moved to Princeton, N.J. in 1830. About ten years later, he moved again, to New York City, and in 1841, at the age of 19, he married 23-year-old Charlotte Sprowls. A year later their first child, a son, was born. They would have four children in all. 
by Bryan J. Dickerson
The Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War is one of the most researched and written about events in world history. A great many historians have researched, interpreted, analyzed and re-interpreted what happened leading up to, during and after these three epic days of battle in the Pennsylvania countryside. Run a search through Barnes & Noble or Amazon’s websites on Gettysburg and you will find literally several thousand books on the subject. Historians, scholars, and persons from all walks of life have debated and argued over these three days like few other events in history.