Author: Bradford A. Wineman

associate professor of Military History at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia
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Whig Party in Virginia

The Whig Party was a political party in Virginia and across the United States that was founded in 1833 in opposition to the policies of U.S. president Andrew Jackson—a Democrat who was criticized for his expansion of executive powers—and in support of states’ rights and, eventually, the sectional interests of the South. Whigs, especially in the North, vigorously opposed the Mexican War (1846–1848), a conflict that led to increased sectional friction as the federal government attempted, without great success, to strike a balance between the interests of North and South, free and slave, when admitting the newly captured territory into the Union. By 1856, that friction had destroyed the party, both within the state and nationally, forcing its members to affiliate with different parties dictated largely by their stance on slavery and secession. In the years leading up to the American Civil War (1861–1865), many prominent former Virginia Whig Party members, such as John Minor Botts, were vocal in their resistance to Democratic calls for secession. Other prominent Virginia Whigs included Mexican War heroes Zachary Taylor, who served as U.S. president from 1849 until 1850, and Winfield Scott, who ran unsuccessfully for the office in 1852.

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Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller (1898–1971)

Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller, whose barrel chest and blunt manner inspired his nickname, was a thirty-seven-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps who rose to the rank of lieutenant general. The most-decorated Marine in history, he earned five Navy Crosses, the U.S. Navy’s second-highest decoration, for fighting in Nicaragua, at Guadalcanal and in New Guinea during World War II (1939–1945), and at the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War (1950–1953).

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Fort Gregg-Adams (formerly Fort Lee)

Fort Gregg-Adams (formerly Fort Lee), located near Petersburg, serves as the headquarters of the U.S. Army’s Combined Arms Support Command and Quartermaster Corps. Since 1917, it has trained and educated thousands of soldiers for service in every major conflict and continues to develop future combat systems and doctrine for the all of the Army’s logistics branches.

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New Market, Battle of

The Battle of New Market, fought on May 15, 1864, was part of Union general Franz Sigel‘s attempt to sweep the Shenandoah Valley of Confederate troops in conjunction with General Ulysses S. Grant‘s Overland Campaign during the American Civil War (1861–1865). While Grant battled Confederate general Robert E. Lee at the Wilderness and then at Spotsylvania Court House, he sent Sigel into the Valley to prevent the Confederates there from reinforcing Lee. Confederate general John C. Breckinridge quickly cobbled together two brigades of infantry, some cavalry, even a couple of hundred cadets from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, and confronted Union forces at the village of New Market. There, he attacked Sigel and was beaten back, but Sigel’s counteradvance wavered. At about three o’clock in the afternoon, in a driving rainstorm, Breckinridge called for the cadets—”May God forgive me,” he reportedly said—and ordered them and the rest of his men to charge. Sigel was forced to retreat across the Shenandoah River, burning the bridge behind him. Forty-seven VMI cadets were wounded and ten killed in the action, but Breckinridge’s forces were now free to reinforce Lee north of Richmond.