Charging into the Muzzle

A latent theme in Decision at Tom’s Brook concerns the spirit that animated American warriors in 1864. Most of the warriors mentioned–Rosser, William Payne, James Breathed, James Thomson and others–wore gray. But Custer was a prime practitioner of the warrior ethos, and plenty of other men in blue were battle lovers as well, among them…

Imagining the Worst

History gains more meaning when coupled with some imagination. For example, consider the effect of a typical news item on its readers in the autumn of 1864. Imagine yourself in a small city, perhaps in Ohio. A son or nephew or friend or brother had months ago “jined the cavalry,” and he wears the Union…