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Essential Civil War Curriculm

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Under construction for about ten years, Essential Civil War Curriculum is an ambitious attempt to compile a one-stop-shop for Teacher Lesson Plans and ideas of "what can be taught in the classroom." And, to be be fair, if  students read only what was advised by this online site, they would come away with a solid grounding in "History of the American Civil War." However, in later years they might wonder if mention was made of "Island No.10" or "Pensacola." Or the importance of Fort Columbus or Cairo Illinois or Mother Bickerdyke or PGT Beauregard...

A "horn of plenty" exercise that introduces many of the key elements of the War of the Rebellion, each vignette offers a summary of a person, place or event that had a connection to the 1861 - 1865 conflict. Items of interest are listed alphabetically, and can be accessed by selecting a desired letter (much like a dictionary) and scrolling down. Alternatively, key words can be placed in the Search Box (correct spelling important) and results acquired. (Although no listing is to be found under "B" for John Brown, searching John Brown (without use of quotations) in the Search Box locates "John Brown's Raid" listed under "J").

Although suffering from Eastern Theatre Bias (in my opinion) the information regarding James Buchanan and Braxton Bragg and many other noted characters from the War of the Southern Secession is presented in a creditable fashion; and all entries have extensive Reference Lists, allowing extended study.

In all, Essential Civil War Curriculum is worth a read, in order to "see what is being taught in the classroom today."


http://essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/j/   Essential Civil War Curriculum


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  • 1 year later...

Paducah --  Gateway to the Confederacy

There is no doubt that the occupation of Paducah by U.S. Grant and forces under his command in September 1861 (in response to Confederate occupation of Hickman and Columbus Kentucky just days earlier) was one of the masterful and most important non-battles of the Civil War. “Essential Civil War Curriculum” website has recently added a three page explanation of the Operation for Paducah that is valuable for providing background to the Federal campaign that ultimately resulted in Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, capture of Nashville, and Battle of Shiloh. [The website has other topics of interest, and is steadily expanding, so worth an occasional re-visit.]

https://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/paducah-gateway-to-the-confederacy.html  Paducah by John P. Cashon (2019)


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Island No.10


For those with half an hour to spare, and possessing moderate interest in “what was the contest at Island Number Ten all about?” the 2019 article by David J. Gerleman, published by “Civil War Curriculum” is worth a read. Because Island No.10 was the fallback position taken by Rebel forces after the FEB/ March 1862 evacuation of the Gibraltar of the West: Fort Columbus. [And Fort Columbus was turned because of Foote and Grant capturing Forts Henry and Donelson (with Union occupation of Nashville, for good measure, breaking the Confederate Defensive Line); and subsequent unfettered use of the Tennessee River by Union gunboats as high up as Muscle Shoals.

It is my opinion that successful completion of the operation at Island No.10 was more important to Henry Halleck than Buell joining his Army of the Ohio to Grant's Army on the Tennessee...

Have a read: do you agree with all the claims made by the author, David Gerleman?  https://www.essentialcivilwarcurriculum.com/island-no.-10.html 

[Worth remembering: Island No.10 was not in Grant's jurisdiction; but it was in Halleck's area of concern. And it was in Beauregard's area of concern. ]

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  • 6 months later...

8 SEP 1861 Action at Fort Columbus

As is known, BGen U.S. Grant took possession of Paducah on 6 SEP 1861 (and as Hank likes to say, “the War went downhill for the Confederacy from there” ...or words to that effect.) Less well known, the Rebel force that invaded Kentucky from the South, taking Hickman and the heights at Columbus, still were potential threat to Grant's small force at Paducah. What to do?

Before dawn on 8 SEP 1861 BGen Grant directed Commander Stembel (Gunboat Lexington) to support an expedition under command of Colonel G. Waagner to Rebel-occupied Columbus and determine the enemy strength. The gunboat Conestoga (Lieutenant-Commanding Phelps) joined enroute from Cairo and the two gunboats closed the Rebel position and drew fire from artillery mounted on the bluff. Then CDR Stembel threw several shells into Lucas Bend... and as if by magic, two Rebel gunboats appeared. The Federal gunboats withdrew, chased briefly by one of the Rebel boats; Lexington and Conestoga were back at Cairo before noon.

By this action and observation, the force at what became Fort Columbus was estimated as 2000 men and six pieces of artillery... not enough to threaten Paducah. The two Illinois infantry regiments and Willard's Battery (in total, about 2000 men) were deemed sufficient, for the moment.

But just to be sure, Isaac Pugh's 41st Illinois Infantry was sent to Paducah on September 8th.

Reference: OR (Navy) vol.22 pages 326 – 329.

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