About Me…


Thanks for visiting our site. My name is Richard Billies and I live in the state that had more Civil War battles than any other state: the Commonwealth of Virginia. Richard BilliesI have always been a lover of history, all kinds. American Civil War history is  particularly important in the life of the United States. Living in Virginia enables me to visit many of the battlefields and other sites that many can only read about. 

I’m a graduate of Manhattan College where I majored in Government and History. My wife, Sandy, and I live with our three cats in a house in a vineyard in southern Albemarle County. We are within a short dive from the homes of three American Presidents: Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and James Madison. We’ve had the pleasure of living in Virginia for nine years.

Sandy is a kindergarten teacher at the local public school. I write from morning to night on my nine different blogs. 

Two of my great great grandfathers were in the Union Army so I have an emotional attachment to the Civil War. One is profiled in the Soldiers Stories category. His name was Michael Patrick Murphy. He served in the 61st New York Volunteer Infantry from August 1981 until October 1862. During that time his unit was involved in the Seven Days Battles and the Battle of Antietam. My other ancestor, Asa H. Dyckman, was a member of the 46th New York State Militia. His unit was stationed in Washington three months at a time guarding the capital.

Whether you’re like me with an ancestor who served or your family are recent arrivals (last 140 years) to America, the Civil War is an important part of the history of the United States. Men on both sides fought and sometimes died for things that they believed passionately about. 

I hope that you enjoy your visit and subscribe to our site.

5 thoughts on “About Me…

  1. Richard,

    I have been a recent follower of your blog and your contributions to the American Civil War page on Google+ and just wanted to drop you a note and tell you thank you for the great articles and information you provide. I’m 34 years old and have lived within 10 miles of Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield my entire life, but never really paid attention to the subject of the Civil War until very recently. I appreciate the analysis of the motivations, politics, and personalities that you write about rather than just the typical battles and movement of troops. I’m sure it’s time-consuming so I just wanted to let you know it is very valuable to me. Thank you!

    • Thank you for your kind comments and your appreciation of my writing. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it. I have reading about the Civil War since I was about 12, about 53 years ago. I still have many of my books but the first one was passed down to my younger brothers. It was the Landmark series book “Gettysburg”. It obviously made a big impression on me. I’m fortunate to live in Central Virginia for the past 11 years. I have been able to visit many of the battlefields of the Eastern Theater. Sometimes, my wife will even accompany me (surprise). I had two dogs in this fight, my maternal 2nd great grandfather (Asa H. Dikeman) who was a 100-day man in the 47th New York State Militia and my paternal 2nd great grandfather who was in the 61st New York Volunteer Infantry. You can read about the latter under the Soldier’s Stories category. His name was Michael Patrick Murphy.

      I find that when I visit a battlefield that I can close my eyes and in my mind’s eye see the men in Blue and Gray charging across the fields. Perhaps, the best preserved are New Market where the VMI cadets charged and ten fell in the defense of their state. Their original tombstones are in front of the Visitor’s Center and the Corps of Cadets celebrates their courage every May 15th by including them in the roll call with a cadet responding when their names are called: “Died on the field of honor, Sir.”
      The other one that struck me was the battlefield at Spotsylvania Court House where the siege lines are still recognizable to this day.

      My wife and I were returning from a self-guided tour of the Seven Days battlefields where my ancestor fought when we happened upon the Petersburg siege lines running through a suburban subdivision east of Richmond. It was an eerie sight indeed.

      Thanks again.

  2. Richard, I happened upon your site when I learned that a distant relative Charles Yates died on the third day at Chancellorsville, my search took me to your site. In my on going study of the Civil War I do plan to spend many hours in your library. I have been fortunate to have visited many Civil War battlefields including Chancellorsville, and walked early in the morning the field of “The Angle” at Gettysburg,

    Thank you for your work.

  3. Where did you obtain the image of Adolphus Buschbeck? I would like to use it in an upcoming issue of Blue & Gray Magazine. Please advise……..Dave Roth, Editor

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