A physician by profession, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter enjoys spending his free time learning about the Civil War. An avid traveler when pursuing his interests, Dr. Kevin Buckwalter enjoys studying the War onsite at its great battlefields.
One not-to-be-missed location for Civil War buffs is Antietam in Maryland. The site of the bloodiest one-day battle in American history, it is now a tranquil park with rolling cornfields and quaint country fences. However, in September of 1862, more than 23,000 troops met their violent ends on these fields. The site honors the fallen with a daily half-hour documentary shown at the battlefield’s visitor center. Ranger-guided or self-guided auto tours are on offer. Visitors can also take battlefield walks with the park rangers or self-guided hikes through a variety of the field’s key spots.
Off of the battlefield itself, visitors can learn about Civil War medicine at the Pry House Field Hospital Museum, located in the home where Union Commander General George B. McClellan headquartered himself during the battle. Now, visitors can see a re-created operating room as well as the implements that surgeons used when treating the battle’s wounded.
Born on April 27, 1822, Ulysses S. Grant grew up in Georgetown, Ohio, where he helped out on the family farm. Despite having little interest in the military, Grant attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated and became a Second Lieutenant for the 4th U.S. Infantry in St. Louis, Missouri. There he met and married Julia Boggs Dent. He stayed in the military until 1854 and then left to begin his own farm.
Once the Civil War began, however, Ulysses S. Grant once again joined the military and became a Brigadier General almost immediately. He became Lieutenant General in March 1864 and eventually led the Union forces to victory. After the war ended, Grant became the Secretary of War before being nominated as the presidential candidate by the Republican Party. He became President of the United States but is considered one of the worst presidents in U.S. history as a result of several scandals that prevented him from making any major accomplishments.
After leaving office, Grant traveled throughout Europe. He lent his son money to begin a brokerage firm, but the firm went bankrupt and Grant lost all his money. He ultimately began writing his memoirs to earn money for his wife before he died on July 23, 1885.
About the author: Dr. Kevin Buckwalter greatly enjoys learning about the Civil War. Additionally, he serves as a physician in Las Vegas.
Dr. Kevin Buckwalter is a physician in Las Vegas. When Dr. Buckwalter is not engaged in his medical practice, he enjoys studying the Civil War. In the following, he discusses the battle of Fort Sumter.
April 12, 1861 represents a crucial day in the history of the United States. It marked the beginning of the American Civil War. Although the issues that led to the conflict had plagued the nation for years, the first shot of the war occurred at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
A Union stronghold, Fort Sumter had become the center of controversy two days earlier, when Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard demanded that the Union garrison surrender. The North refused, and the Confederacy fired upon the Fort. The battle lasted for about 34 hours before the engagement ended. Although soldiers fired thousands of bullets, the only creature to die from direct bombardment was a mule. A single Union artilleryman was killed when a cannon misfired. Nevertheless, the Northern troops gave control of Fort Sumter to the South, and the Civil War had officially begun.