The Oxford Guide to American Military History

24 03 2009

I picked this one (sorry, couldn’t find a photo) up a couple days ago for $8, used.  I was flipping through it, and randomly chose a Civil War entry just to see what it had to say.  I settled on Ewell, Richard Stoddert – at Bull Run, he commanded a brigade in Beauregard’s Amy of the Potomac, and was stationed on the far right of the Confederate line near Union Mills.  The entry was written by Ervin L. Jordan, Jr. of the University of Virginia.  It included this curious bit:

“Old Bald Head” subsequently fought during the Wilderness to Petersburg Campaign, but poor health and his wife’s increasing Unionist sentiments culminated in his being relieved of field command in May 1864.”

ewellI’ve read a bit on Ewell, but honestly don’t recall his wife (whom he famously introduced as “Mrs. Brown”, even after their marriage, her second) having expressed Unionist sentiments, or those sentiments having played a role in Ewell’s reassignment.  The article cites a 1940 biography by Percy Hamlin, and one from 1991 by Samuel Martin.  The book was published in 1999, and while Donald Pfanz’s standard on Ewell came out in 1998, these encyclopedia type books take years to put together, so maybe Mr. Jordan didn’t have access to that fine piece of scholarship (in which I could find no support for the Unionist claim).  If anyone can expand on this aspect of Lizinka of which I was previously unaware, please enlighten me.

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5 responses

25 03 2009
Chris Evans

I’ll have to look through my copy of ‘Campbell Brown’s Civil War: With Ewell and the Army of Northern Virginia’ to see if it is mentioned somewhere in a footnote but I have never read about that being the reason that he was relieved. I believe her son -Campbell Brown- corresponded with her during the war and I don’t believe he would pass on information to a Unionist mother being as he was in such a prominent position on Ewell’s staff. I am no Ewell expert by any means but I just wanted to add my two cents. Interesting stuff.

25 03 2009
Harry Smeltzer

I have Brown here too, so I’ll check that out. thanks.

25 03 2009
Chris Evans

Glad I could help you. Tell us if you’re able to find anything.

26 03 2009
Steve Basic


News to me as well. Has been a while since I read Don’s book, but most I recall is he was relieved because Lee thought he was losing it, especially after the meltdown he had at Spotsylvania Court House. As for Lizinka, soldiers didn’t like her being around as much as she was, and IIRC caused some resentment in his camps. Had nothing to do with unionist views.

Hope all is well.

26 03 2009
Lizinka Ewell - Southern Unionist? « Bull Runnings

[…] Ewell – Southern Unionist? 26 03 2009 In this post I discussed an entry in the Oxford Guide to American Military History in which the contributor […]

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