This blog will present snippets from my forays into the American Civil War. As I’m not only interested in history, but also in gaming, it will feature historical essays as well as scenarios and ideas for gaming the Civil War, mainly using miniatures wargames. All of it will, however, be firmly based on research. The blog will also contain the occasional book review as well as assorted observations on related subjects.
One day, in the school, the major asked him the question: “Lieutenant, suppose the regiment was standing in line of battle, and the enemy were to suddenly appear in front, but considerably to the right, how would you move to meet them?” To which the lieutenant replied, “I would move the reeg’iment stauchendiciler to the front.”
In this anecdote from a drill instruction school in the 4th Kentucky Infantry Regiment, the hapless Lieutenant shows how hard it was for volunteers to learn the argot of Civil War tactics. The story makes fun of the officer, but it also makes fun of the intricate technical vocabulary of drill manuals. The Lieutenant probably wanted to say “obliquely”, but ended up coining a neologism which I have appropriated as the title for this blog.
Like the Lieutenant in the anecdote, I will make blunders. I’m an amateur when it comes to Civil War studies, although I have worked as an academic historian for more than a decade. I am looking forward to your feedback and contributions!
Stauchendiciler also alludes to my interest in the more obscure or at least understudied events of the war. Although the Battle of Gettysburg is one of my main interests, you will read more about the skirmishes of XI Corps units than Pickett’s Charge. I’m also interested in the exploits of African American and Native American soldiers as well as in naval operations, especially amphibious actions.
What are miniature wargames?
Miniature wargames are games played with figures on a surface which models real-life terrain. Like board games, they are played according to rules that govern how the figures move and fight. There’s a lot of creativity involved in miniature wargaming: The figures have to be painted, the terrain has to be made, and many people tinker with the rules, devise their own scenarios and research the historical background. If you want to know more, browse my other blog, which deals exclusively with gaming, or have a look at the Little Wars TV Youtube channel. If this is not enough, have a look at Henry Hyde’s superb Wargaming Compendium.
If you want to contact me, you can reach me on Facebook or via email at tbrand [at] monochrom [dot] at.
 “Orphan Brigade Items,” Southern Bivouac 3 (1885), no. 7, p. 322.