Month: July 2019

Battle of Second Manassas

In August 1862, after the Confederate victory in the Battle of Second Manassas, or the Second Battle of Bull Run as it was referred to in the North, Robert E. Lee had the momentum to lead the Army of Northern Virginia into Maryland that September. There he would gain support in that border state, resupply his men and pressure Washington into negotiations with the upcoming elections.

General Jack Mountcastle joins Mark to discuss the extensive tour he leads for Stephen Ambrose Historical Tours that covers Manassas as well as the other key events in the Eastern theatre. We explore the strategies, leaders on both sides and specific actions in the battle and leading up to the fight. It’s the closest thing to going to the battlefield itself.

Kate Tietzen on Iraq: From Ancient to Modern Times

With the Middle East at the forefront of international news, Mark revisits his conversation with Kate Tietzen about Iraq, from ancient to modern times. They discuss the conflicts, sometime resolutions and the evolution of the country. Her in-country research delves into the many facets of the Iraqi people, the religious factions and the nation’s friends, foes and allies.

Photo: British Troops in Baghdad in June, 1941.

About Kate Tietzen

Kate Tietzen is a PhD candidate in Military History at Kanas State University. Her dissertation explores the Iraqi-Soviet relationship in the Cold War, analyzing this dynamic through the Iraqi point of view by using Ba’athist regime documents housed in the United States. She seeks to demonstrate the complexity of the Cold War in the Middle East, and to draw out the legacies of this relationship in the post-Cold War era.

As she noted in an article she wrote for the Hoover Institution, where she is a Silas Palmer Fellow:

“My dissertation analyzes the formation, development, and continuation of the Soviet-Iraqi military and diplomatic relationship. I argue this relationship was neither one-sided nor heavily in favor of the Soviets, but was rather fluid and dynamic, creating much frustration for the Soviets. In addition, the Cold War dynamic between the Soviets and the Iraqis did not cease with the fall of the U.S.S.R. in 1991; instead, the relationship was only renewed and even strengthened as the Americans assumed hegemonic status. With these Iraqi documents, this dissertation seeks to reveal how the political, diplomatic, and military conditions created in the Cold War did not simply cease after 1991. Therefore, the historical legacies and consequences of the Soviet-Iraqi military and diplomatic relationship can help inform scholars, policymakers, and contemporaries about the Middle East today.”

Kate received her B.A. in History and Political Science in 2012 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2014 she received her M.A in history from Clemson University under the guidance of Dr. Edwin Moïse. While her M.A. thesis examined the Falklands War 1982, in the fall of 2014 she pivoted towards the Middle East upon arrival at Kansas State University.

LIfe in Jefferson Davis’ Navy

Dr. Barbara Brooks Tomblin joins Mark to discuss her recent book, Life in Jefferson Davis’ Navy. She addresses every aspect of the officers and men who served in the Confederate Navy—from the daily life of the sailors to the combat they endured. Through diaries, letters and newspaper accounts, she vividly depicts the wartime experiences on the gunboats, ironclads and sailing vessels in the Civil War.

Overview of the Book

The Civil War is often considered a “soldiers’ war,” but Life in Jefferson Davis’ Navy acknowledges the legacy of service of the officers and sailors of the Confederate States Navy. In this full-length study, Barbara Brooks Tomblin addresses every aspect of a Confederate seaman’s life, from the risks of combat to the everyday routines which sustained those sailing for the stars and bars. Drawing upon diaries, letters, newspaper accounts, and published works, Tomblin offers a fresh look at the wartime experiences of the officers and men in the Confederate Navy, including those who served on gunboats, ironclads, and ships on western rivers and along the coast and at Mobile Bay, as well as those who sailed on the high seas aboard the Confederate raiders Sumter, Alabama, Florida, and Shenandoah.

The author also explores the daily lives, deprivations, and sufferings of the sailors who were captured and spent time in Union prisoner of war camps at Point Lookout, Elmira, Camp Chase, Johnson’s Island, Ship Island, and Fort Delaware. Confederate prisoners’ journals and letters give an intimate account of their struggle, helping modern audiences understand the ordeals of the defeated in the Civil War.

About the Author

Barbara Brooks Tomblin is a naval and military historian and author of G.I. Nightingales, With Utmost Spirit, Bluejackets and Contrabands, and The Civil War on the Mississippi. She has a doctorate in American history from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey where she was a lecturer in military history.

Order you copy of Life in Jefferson Davis’ Navy>>